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Moray Disease FAQs 3

FAQs on: Moray Disease 1, Moray Disease 2, Moray Disease 4, Moray Disease 5, Moray Disease ,
& by Species: Dragon Moray Health, Snowflake Eel Disease/Health, FW Moray Disease, Morays and other Eels, Velvet & Crypt,
FAQs on Moray Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Treatments

Related FAQs: Morays and other Eels & Crypt, Moray Eels, Morays 2, Moray Eels 3, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Reproduction, Moray Feeding, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels ,

Related Articles: Moray Eels, The Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra), The "Freshwater" Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Non-Moray Marine Eels, Snake & Worm Eels,


Injury on my Hawaiian dwarf moray eel       8/25/14
I noticed my dwarf golden eel having some type of growth on his bottom part of his jaw. He is still eating fine. Do you think this is something I need to worry about or is there something I can do for my eel? Enclosed are some pics, thank you.
<Nothing to be done w/ such a tear... but good water quality, nutrition and time going by. Bob Fenner>

Re: Injury on my Hawaiian dwarf moray eel       8/26/14
Hi Mr. Fenner,
<Mr. M.>
Thank you for the prompt response. Is this injury common for these eels?
Thank you again,
<Quite common for Muraenids in captivity and apparently in the wild. Their vision is celebratedly poor and their actions at times violent and uncoordinated... about sharp objects. They do heal quickly as well. Cheers, BobF>

Honeycomb Moray Eel with possible infection -- Please help!      1/24/14
I’m writing because my 3’ honeycomb moray has been exhibiting some very worrisome symptoms in the last 48 hours. The day following a 30G water change in the 125G display tank where he lives, I noticed a large, puffy protuberance on one side of the eel’s mouth - where the cheek would be on a human.
<I see this>
Tonight I checked in on him and the puffy, soft bulge in his cheek has deflated somewhat, but has narrowed to a point, with the skin broken and soft, white tissue poking outward.
125G display tank
~30G sump
No skimmer currently running
Wet/dry filtration w/ double overflow
Bio balls, nitrate reducing pads, floss pads
Powerhead providing lateral flow
Temp: 80.2 degrees F
Salinity ~1.022
pH 8.3
Nitrates: unknown (usually 15 ppm)
Nitrites: unknown at this time
Significant population of Caulerpa algae in display tank
2-3” sand bed
The eel’s diet includes silversides, butterfish and large sardines from a local fish market, which I occasionally dip in a vitamin solution. However, the eel will sometimes refuse to take food if he smells the vitamin supplement, so I haven’t been using it as diligently as perhaps I should. All of the water I use for top-off and replacement comes from my home pipe work, which is then treated with Prime or StressCoat and allowed to mix with Instant Ocean salt for several hours.
<All good>
Given the sudden appearance of this swollen area and now the broken skin, I’m extremely worried for my beloved eel and would greatly appreciate any help WetWebMedia could provide.
Reid Connolly
<I fully suspect this is a wound area... an owee... I would not panic, not treat the water; but continue to do as you detail above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Honeycomb Moray Eel with possible infection -- Please help!      1/24/14
Thank you so much for taking the time to look into this. I've been working to find this eel a more permanent home with a public aquarium here in the NY/CT/NJ area and was so worried that he might not make it that far.
Have a great evening,
<Welcome. BobF>

Is my Eel near the end?    12/14/12
Hey All - first things first - many thanks to all of you for all of the information you have provided to me and others over the years!  I have been a daily reader for many years and learn something new every day.
<I am very glad you like the site.>
Now on to my dilemma.  I have had the privilege to care for a 4' Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax undulatus) for about the last 25 years.
<That's impressive.>
Because of his rather unruly behavior (Hannibal the Cannibal - he eats EVERYTHING!) he is the sole inhabitant in a 72" 125g Oceanic tank with a 120g tank as a refugium and a 50g sump.
<I have a moray eel with the same name for the same reason, too.>
I have fed him a selection of various ocean fish/shrimp/scallops/squid about weekly.  I will sometimes inject some Selcon into the food as well. 
Over the last year or so, he has lost all his teeth, to the point where he is having trouble positioning the pieces of food so that he can swallow them.  Last week, and again tonight, despite his best efforts, he was unable to swallow the food and quickly became exhausted to the point where he just gave up trying.  I know they can go on hunger strikes - his longest was almost 6 months, but that was early on in his tenure with me and I attribute it to poor water quality/insufficient filtration. (Remember when putting a powerhead on UG lift tubes was revolutionary?)
Water quality is no longer an issue - pH is 8.1, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates barely detectable (Salifert test kits), temp is 78.
<Sounds perfect.>
Is it possible (likely) that he is coming to the end of his days?
<I fear this likely is the case. I've collected information on maximum life spans of various moray eels in captivity, and for G. undulatus I suppose 25 years would be the equivalent of a 90 or 100 year old human.>
If so, I do not want him to suffer - he has been with me almost 3 times longer than my wife! What would you suggest as the most humane way of easing him on his way?
<A MS 222 or clove oil overdose and pithing (destruction of the brain when the fish is unconscious). Please see
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm for a thoughtful article on the topic.>
Assuming, of course, that it is indeed that time.
<I would carry on offering small pieces of food loaded with vitamins and only take the path of euthanasia when the fish suffers (e.g. shows hunger, but can't eat or becomes lethargic.>
Thanks again for all your help over the years. Bill
<Take care. Marco.> 
Re: Is my Eel near the end?       5/28/13

It is with heavy heart that I must report the passing of my old friend, Hannibal, a Gymnothorax undulatus.
<I'm very sorry to hear that.>
I had the pleasure of keeping him for someplace in the neighborhood of 25 years, So I figure I did all right by him. 
After a proper period of mourning (well, not really) I will turn his tank into the reef tank that I had originally purchased it for, way back in the day.  The wife would like some anemones and clown fish, so the tank will become something new and different, but live on none the less. 
Thanks for your help with him over the years. I'm sure that the new system will bring its own share of questions, so rest assured, I'll be back!
Bill Smith
<Take care. Marco.> 

Skeletor Eel Post Hurricane Sandy    11/11/12
Hope all is well.  Being from the Jersey Shore I was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  I was without power for 10 days however I was able to keep my tanks somewhat operational with battery operated pumps for water movement and portable power supplies to keep the tanks heated.  I made it through without any losses.
<Ah, great news>
  It has been 4 days since the power has been back on and it appears i may suffer my first casualty.  I have a foot long Skeletor eel that is breathing real heavy and is acting very reclusive.
<Don't give up hope... Have seen eels recover from almost certain doom>
  I did a 40% water change on the tank but had no response in the eels behavior.  Water levels check out ammonia and nitrite 0 and nitrate at 15.
Any other options I can try here?  Antibiotics, etc?
<Best to just keep the system stable; no treatment/s. Bob Fenner> 

Dragon Moray Eel, hlth.     10/11/12
I have searched your site and have not seen this question before. I have had a dragon moray for about a year and he is probably about two years old.
He has appeared to be in great health the whole time. While feeding today I noticed he has a big (acorn size) lump on the side of his head. Just one lump on one side. Behind the eye but definitely up on the head. Still acting normal and eating normal. Any ideas?
<Tumor like growth can have a number of reasons be it bacterial infections, parasite related cysts or neoplasms. There's not much of a treatment you can do in my opinion without more information e.g. by sampling the lump, which has to be done by a vet. What you can do is provide both a proper environment (especially high water quality) and varied, vitamin enriched
food. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HIDragonMorayArt.htm, especially the part on captive care. Also, keep an eye on the lump, if it grows you may have to consult a vet or if signs of a bacterial infection appear use adequate antibiotics. In addition have a look at the FAQs on dragon eel diseases, e.g. on top of the article linked to above.>
<Good luck. Marco.>

Honeycomb Moray Eel sick     8/6/12
Hi there,
I have concerns about my honeycomb moray eel and I am hoping you can point me in a direction.  It has been in this tank for over 1 year and I have had it for 4 years.  It was with a previous owner so I am estimating the age of the eel is about 6-7 years at least.  It is in a 120 gallon tank with a canister filter.
<No skimmer? Size of the eel? Looks small on the picture, but I could be wrong about that.>
Salinity, PH, nitrates, nitrites all appear to be in approved ranges.
<Which are?>
Usually gets fed every 4 days with squid or shrimp, scallops with vitamins.
<Sounds good.>
Phosphates have been high even though I have been doing regular water changes every other week and using a phosphate remover in the filter.
<Mmm... so you say the phosphates are high, but nitrates appear okay? I would get another measurement (different test) for nitrates just to be sure the problem isn't simply related to water quality. As a side note you may find the WWM article on phosphates interesting.>
Also, we have been battling red algae for the past 6 weeks. Seven months ago we battled what appeared to be a white fungus that started in between the eyes and grew down the snout area.  We used an Ich treatment (without copper) and everything seemed to be cured. It started eating again and continued to be active.  Now, the moray stopped eating about 4 weeks ago and will not eat even with regular attempts.
Also, where the white disease was in between the eyes on the top of the head...now seems to be red and eaten away....
<Might be bacterial, watch if it appears to be spreading.>
I have seen the eel rubbing its face on decorations and in the air bubbles.
I have attached a photo for you to see.
Any thoughts on what course of action I can take?
<My first thought was water quality. Larger water changes certainly won't hurt here. I'd also check for proper oxygen supply, since you do not mention a skimmer. If you don't have one, consider getting one. In addition provide enough surface movement, canister filters are hardly enough here in general. If none of the afore noted ideas seems to apply and if the apparent infection is spreading you probably should consider using an antibiotic such as Maracyn 2. Good luck. Marco.>

Physical trauma? B
Re: Honeycomb Moray Eel sick     8/6/12
Hi Marco,  I appreciate your response to my email!
<You are welcome.>
I am currently at work and don't have all the test numbers in front of me, however, I do apologize that I didn't include information regarding having a protein skimmer, etc. I do have a protein skimmer on the tank as well as two long cylinder airstones (appox 8 inches) one on either end of the tank.
<Sounds good and should take care of the oxygen supply.>
The eel is just about 36 inches long and I estimate probably 7 years at least. I will start with your suggestions for testing, water changes, medication etc. including referencing that article on phosphates. I want you to know I appreciate your help with my questions. This has been a steep learning curve for me since the eel was abandoned into my care 2 years ago
and I had no prior saltwater experience.  Since that time, I discovered your website and have appreciated using it to further my knowledge.
Again, Thank you to you and your team,
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers, Marco.>

Honeycomb Moray eel going crazy    6/13/12
Hi guys,
I have a 4ft Honeycomb Moray in a 420 litre tank. I have had him in for nearly 1 year now, on his own in this tank and have never had any water quality issues.
<So what are the nitrate and ammonia readings actually... 420 litres is quite small for such a large fish...>
Initially the eel was very friendly (comfortably coming out for food and just to swim around the tank in general) this has changed recently.
We all know that Morays like to shift their rock around during the night,
<None of mine does that.>
however, on 3 occasions now in the last 4 weeks he/she has started to go absolutely crazy during the night.
On these occasions the Eel will thrash around in the tank, swimming end to end at speed crashing into the tank edges and generally going crazy between the rocks, stirring up the tank to the point water splashes out onto the floor. I must say that when this occurs it is quite worrying as it is that violent I am scared he will break the tank! After about 15-20 seconds he will kind of chill out and calm down and go back to hiding in his pipes.
On the days following one of these outbursts he will not come out from his pipes and generally looks quite frightened. I must add, his appetite has not changed and continues to eat.
I would like to know if a normal behavior
and if not what has bought it on?
<Don't know for sure... could be related to problems with the nervous system... linked to poor water quality or lack of vitamins... an alternate explanation: sometimes eels suffering from constipation go crazy until the problem is solved.>
and can I fix it?
<Check water quality and food (see WWM re), if constipation is an option try Epsom salt (see WWM re).>
It's almost that when he gets going and causing such a torrent inside the tank he is frightening himself into swimming faster and going more crazy?
Please help and I appreciate your time.
Glen Williames
<Good luck. Marco.>

Help please Tesselata Eel swallowed  zip-lock sandwich bag.    6/13/12
Hello my name is Elise, I have a four ft Tesselata Eel. While I was getting ready to feed him (his name is Scar),
he came up and grabbed the bag of food and swallowed it whole. The bag is a zip-lock sandwich size and had one piece of baby octopus about four inches long with a half a cup of Kent's brand Zoe. The bag was open. This happened
on Sunday, June 10th, 2012 about 8pm pacific time. Scar is swimming normal, and does not seemed stressed. He burped a little bit of the octopus and looked as if he was trying to find food directly after the burp. What should /could I do for him.
<I fear there is not much you can do yourself. It still is possible the bag will be leaving the eel at the front or rear end if it has not already.
Eels can vomit undigestible pieces of their food such as fish bones after days, so there still is a chance the bag will leave the fish. Personally I would not do anything except searching the tank for the bag unless unusual behaviour occurs. In this case the fish should be sedated and the bag removed. You'd need a vet to do that.>
Thank you in advance,
<Good luck. Marco.>

Tesselata Eel, hlth. 12/18/11
My boyfriend and I have a Tesselata Eel. He has had it in a 75 gal tank for almost 6 months.
<You know this species reaches 5-6 feet?>

Recently the eel has not had much of an appetite.
<Can happen.>
We then started to realize that it has what appear to look like black splotches, it is not its original black spots, these spots are more lighter than the original spots.
<Can't produce a proper picture in my head. Can you send one?>
She has also started to lose her color.
The stress has gone up as well as there being some ammonia (which has gone down) and the ph level has risen.
<The environmental problems likely are the cause of your eel's apparent disease (?). Check your water parameters. Nitrates should be <25-30 ppm (the smaller, the better), pH preferably between 8.0 and 8.2. Nitrites and ammonia should never be measurable. If this isn't' the case you likely need to change filtration or water change schedule. You'll also likely need a much larger tank in the near future.>
We have done almost a full water change as well as 25% water changes (quite a few).
We have tried contacting many other people but have not received a response. If you could help us out that would be greatly appreciated.
<Aside what is noted above: Provide a varied diet with vitamin additions.
The worst things done with respect to feeding is just feeding silver sides or large krill. Poorly fed eels are more prone to diseases.>

Thank you for your time, VT
<Good luck. Marco.>

Eel with white coating on tail--what disease? 7/28/11
I have an eel (moray I guess).
See picture. I reduced the size so it may be hard to see the eel clearly, but his tail is still there, it's just coated in white slime? and he also has white dots higher up. The eel is still breathing
<... what other livestock is in with this fish?>

It's about 2 feet long and has been doing well for about a year. It is fed Formula 1 and 2 cubes and silversides, typically eating several cubes/fish every five days or so. It's always looked well fed.
Suddenly, in the past 24 hours or less, a strange white slime has started to cover the lower third of the eel. It is very sluggish sitting out in the open on the sand.
The same thing happened to another eel that was in the tank 6 months ago or so. That eel was dead within a day or so.
None of the other fish seem to be experiencing any problems. Water change was just done two days ago. Water parameters look good, my nitrates are generally a little high at 30-40 but this is FOWLR tank, 400 gallons so not overstocks even with 5 other big fish in it.
Has anyone heard of a disease that manifests itself with this white coating.
There are little spots also visible higher up the eel.
Any advice or does it look hopeless and I should get him out before the other fish starting picking at him. The other fish are red snapper, grouper, lion fish, blue tang, raccoon butterfly, Porkfish-all medium to large fish.
<I suspect the bass/grouper has picked on this fish... The Muraenid is likely doomed from the damage.
Bob Fenner>

honeycomb eel, hlth. env. likely 5/23/11
About a month ago I bought a 135g tank and 2' honeycomb eel. It's been in that tank for over a year and doing very well.
<I'd just like to note these fishes can get 6 feet long if we're talking about Gymnothorax favagineus (other eels like M. melanotis have been called honeycomb, too). How is that tank filtered, does it have a skimmer ?>
I set the tank back up at my house and last week I added some damsel fish to see if they will get along or if it will eat them. So far it has not ate them.
<If it is too small and fast, this can work. Not always, but sometimes.>
I feed the eel the other day some Tilapia fillet and he did eat.
<Needs a varied diet, preferably marine fish or salmonids (and larger shrimps, octopus), not cichlids like Tilapia. Add vitamins to frozen foods at least once a week.>
Also had the local fish store check my water and all is well, they did say my tank appears to be cycling again
<Somewhat contradicting information.>
and I should do a water change in a week or so and bring in some more water to check it again.
<If you want our opinion on your situation, it would be good if you could provide some more data. Water parameters that is. Especially salinity, temperature, pH, nitrates, ammonia, nitrites. Proper numbers please.>
Here's my question lately the eel has been acting strange. Every so often it rubs itself back and forth against the rocks hard and fast (thrashing) and turning on its side and rubbing along the bottom of the tank (crushed coral) like its trying to scratch or rub something off. What would make it do this?
<I suspect something's wrong with the water, therefore the above question for your water parameters (proper numbers).>
Could it be some kind of infection or parasite?
<Could be, but is less likely.>
I've been looking at it very closely and I don't see anything. Thanks Bill
<Welcome. Marco.>
re: honeycomb eel, hlth and more 5/24/11

Thank you so much Marco, It does appear to be a Gymnothorax favagineus pear. No skimmer, just a Filstar xp3, that's what the original owner had been using. I have plans on putting in a sump/bio ball system in this week.
<Personally, I would think about adding a skimmer. It does make it much easier to provide a good water quality by removing waste from the system (which otherwise is only done by water changes, filter cleaning) and by adding additional oxygen.>
That's what I used when I owned a 110g tank and I never had any problems with my fish, zebra moray, blue dot stingray etc... Sold all of it when I moved 10 years ago. Trying to start over again. Also no live rock in the tank yet just dry rock and dry corals. I will get you the water #'s later today. Also I will get him some salmon or shrimp today. Does it need to eat any live fish or is it ok with store bought fish?
<Store bought fish is perfect. I'd not feed live fish at all.>
I used to feed my zebra moray live craw fish, would the honeycomb eat those too?
<Very likely.>
What vitamins should I be adding to the food?
<There's a number of adequate products for fishes on the market. JBL Advitol is one, Vita-Chem is another one and there are more (also see WWM). The product you want should at least contain vitamin C and vitamin B1.>
Also looking very closely at the eel it appears to have some small white dots on its head or the first 3-4". Not sure if they've always been there or if its something new.
<Can you get a good picture? If the spots are arranged in lines these are sensory pores, which are mostly found on the front quarter of moray eels. Cryptocaryon, the parasite causing one common white spot disease (uncommon on eels, though), almost always affects the gills and often the eyes also.>
That along with the flashing or rubbing all over the tank I started thinking that it might be ich.
<Cryptocaryon, see WWM re. Not very common on eels due to their thick skin and slime coat.>
I don't see anything on any of the damsels but they've only been there a few days. A couple of web sites suggest to treat this I should slowly bring the salt level down to 1.009 and keep it there for 4-6 weeks.
<Can work, but is not always reliable, since some Cryptocaryon and other parasites can live in lower end brackish water.>
After reading that I did a water change of 30g and brought the level down to 1.019. And I was going to do this a couple more times till it reaches 1.009, Is this something I should be doing?
<I'd first try to get a proper diagnosis and not rush into a treatment.>
If it is ich can I treat the tank and the eel with medication, one that contains copper?
<Probably not more than once... Don't do this.>
I've read that eels are sensitive to it, that's why I started doing the lower salinity instead. I will send you the water #'s this afternoon when I get home. Thanks again Bill
<Okay. Marco.>

Moray parasitic worms, reading -- 10/20/10
I was wondering what medication I can use for a Moray Eel with parasitic worms attached to its mouth and tail - I know Copper is not an option.
<Correct... there are a few choices...>
There are dozens of tiny black worms attached that are irritating the skin, leaving red dots where they have detached. They seem to be preventing him from eating.
Any ideas?
<Yes; read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmidcuref.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Japanese Dragon Eel and clown trigger. 9/14/10
<Hello Kellvin.>
My fish store is bringing in a Japanese Dragon Eel for me. 25-30cm.
Currently I have a show Clown Triggerfish 25cm and a Banded eel and some grouper. Can the dragon eel be kept together?
<Nothing I would recommend.>
Lastly, can dragon eel tolerate Seachem Cupramine?
<Although it might not die instantly, no moray eel should be brought into contact with copper containing products of any sort.>
Thank you with God Bless. Kellvin.
<Cheers, Marco.>

Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead Berndti etc -- 02/02/10
Hello (Marco I presume),
I wanted to catch up on our correspondence from a few months ago regarding the G. berndti I got that died, the E. lichenosa I got that didn't, and some of the other rare species I've been looking for.
<Ah very good.>
As you may recall, I sent the berndti specimen off to David Smith down at the Smithsonian and his crew was able to extract a usable DNA barcode from it, the first such sample they've had. I'm very happy that the poor fellow was able to further scientific study of these creatures, and proud to have contributed. Thank you for your help here.
I've had the opportunity since then to buy another one, and now have several tanks he could go in permanently but I just can't quite bring myself to take the risk.
Moving along, I've gotten a 180 acrylic set-up as a cool water tank. I could not find coldwater live rock, so I used about 25 pounds of regular cured live rock, along with another 100 or so pounds of base, cycled for a couple weeks at 72 and gradually brought the temperature down to 65, where it is now. Algae is growing; in my science-proof mind that means its working. At any rate, I'm contemplating two ideas: one is to bring the temperature down further and go with a coldwater deep ocean tank with a few chain cat sharks, which I presently have access to. The other is of course to magically find an E. anatina and E. ramosa and stick at 65 F or so. I've had no luck whatsoever finding either... can you provide any guidance at all?
<My own approach would be to fly to the Canaries and talk to some fishermen and do the transport myself (I've done similar things in the past - all legal of course), but I'm in Europe just like the Canaries, which makes things easier. The E. anatina is not too rare around these islands. I'd clarify ahead what papers would be required for the export/import to the US, likely a health certificate from a official vet. For the E. ramosa I'd try contacting Australian ornamental fish exporters. There are quite a few.>
I have my F&W Import Permit, so overseas suppliers are not an issue.
Finally, a follow up on the Koke (E. lichenosa). It's simply one of the coolest animals I have ever kept. Without going into too much detail, he appears to be more intelligent than other morays I've kept, is always out in the open when there is activity outside the tank, isn't overly aggressive and eats like a champ. I also think the 90 cm max length for this species is bogus. He has added at least 4 inches since he arrived 8 or so months ago, appears to be close to the three foot mark, and eats like he plans to pack on a great deal more length (his girth has barely changed.
<I don't know how many specimens of this species have been measured so far. I hope you'll have it for many years, but if it dies, feel free to photograph it with a proper scale and send it to Fishbase. I can't remember seeing any significantly larger than 90 cm measured.>
I vote that y'all (sorry) add an intermediate moray section, and include Enchelycore lichenosa. Thanks, Pat C.
<Feel free to send some pictures. Thanks for your update and interesting input. Cheers, Marco.>

Eel quarantine period -- 12/15/09
Dear WetWebMedia crew,
<Hello Jason.>
Just a quick question regarding a snowflake moray in quarantine. I recently purchased the eel from a local fish store. It had been at this store for quite awhile, and is currently in a 10 gal quarantine tank. The eel appears to be healthy and is eating well.
<Very good.>
Would a week long quarantine period be too short?
<Depends on the reason you put your eel into quarantine for. If you did that to ensure it is eating captivity the aim has obviously been reached and the quarantine can be ended. If you put it into quarantine to see any possible outbreaks of white spot diseases, one week is too short. However, while moray eels can get those diseases and can transmit them to other inhabitants of your tank, they are very rare within the family. For most other possible diseases one week seems rather small, too. I'd decide also from the situation at the store it came from: Were there other obviously sick fishes in their tanks? How long was the eel at the store and was it quarantined there? If the store is well run and the eel has been there for a few weeks chances for the introduction of a disease are much smaller than if the store carried a number of fishes with white spot diseases or bacterial infections.>
I hope to purchase a Hawkish from a different store that won't "hold" the fish for me for and extended time, and I don't want the eel and Hawkish in the qt tank at the same time.
<I would not want this either.>
Thank you. Sincerely, Jason.
<Hope the notes above help you with your decision. Also see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm  and the linked FAQs for more Echidna nebulosa information. Marco.>
Eel quarantine period II -- 12/16/09

Dear Marco,
<Hello Jason.>
Thank you for the reply.
<You are welcome.>
My main concern with the eel is the transmission of disease. It had been at the LFS for about 2 months. The store has 2 saltwater tanks that share a filtration system. I have not noticed any of the fishes in either tank infected with ich.
<Sounds good.>
There was one recently arrived butterfly that looked like it had Lymphocystis.
<Quite harmless as you probably know.>
I checked the other store that carried the Hawkfish on Monday. They have 2 in stock, so I plan on waiting a bit longer before moving the eel to the main tank. Hoping that the store doesn't sell both Hawkfish in the near future.
<I do wish you good luck.>
Sincerely, Jason
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Golden moray needs help -- 12/07/09
Dear Marco
<Hello Bill.>
It's been almost a month since I last e-mail you and the eels are doing great.
<Good to hear.>
They are ferocious eaters and always looking for food. When I last talked to you the Golden Moray had a small thing by his eye(see 1st pic below), didn't think much of it but now, it has grown quite a bit. What is it? A parasite or an infection of some kind?
<Impossible to tell from the pictures. I see no structure, just some white standing out. Almost looks like fungus, but could also be bacterial or a parasitic. Is it soft of hard? Is any structure visible? Also, compare it to Lymphocystis (viral, but harmless) pictures, do you see any similarity with the fish in front of you?>
And how do I treat it?
<What do you feed? Do you add vitamins? How's the water (pH, nitrates?). I'd try to support the immune system of the fish first, which means high vitamin input and low water pollution.>
It's not going to be easy to catch it and put it in a QT tank but I have a 20gallon tank all ready for it.
<Very good. I'd first try to strengthen the immune system of the fish before using antibiotics or an antifungal/antiparasitic remedy.>
See below his eye, a little tiny patch of white.
Now it looks like this:
<Yes, this is some growth for a month.>
Thanks in advance. Bill
<Welcome. Marco.>

Re: Skeletor Eel needs help
Golden moray (G. miliaris) needs help -- 12/08/09

Dear Marco,
<Hello Bill.>
Thanks for the quick reply. Looking at the picture, I think it could be Lymphocystis but not 100% sure. Can't really tell if it's soft or hard. Looks like it's soft and sometimes I wish I could catch the eel and squeeze that white part out like you would squeeze a pimple LOL.
Water parameters are normal... Temp 78.5, Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0, PH 8.2. I don't know about alkalinity since I don't have a test for it. I do add Purple Up once in a while in the tank.
<Sounds all good.>
I feed this eel silversides, shrimp and squid every 3 days till full. Sometimes soaked in Selcon or injected right into the food.
<Sounds good, too. Feel free to also try vitamin products with higher vitamin B1 and vitamin E contents.>
If it is Lymphocystis, I've read in WWM that it goes away by itself in time so I hope it is.
<Me too.>
I'll keep an eye on it and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks again, Bill
<Welcome and good luck. Marco.>

Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 2 -- 10/10/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie.>
We put live shrimps and small fish and nothing.
<Will take some time.>
I have not check the water yet, this new tank got filled with water right from the ocean, we put some fish first and then the eel about 2 days later without checking the levels.
<So this tank is not a cycled, biologically stable system? Water does not carry a lot of useful bacteria for the cycling process, only very porous rock and substrate do. I see from your video you got some rock in there and hope this is live rock. Be sure to check the water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates as noted in the last email. If any ammonia or nitrites are measurable or if the nitrates are above 25 ppm do larger water changes to bring them down and keep ammonia and nitrites 0. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm>
What should we do about her skin and broken tail ?
<If the water parameters are already as noted above, start an antibiotic treatment with e.g. Maracyn 2 preferably in a hospital tank (no skimming, activated carbon and live substrate or rock) if available.>
By the way, see the attached video clip of the eel, how do you think she looks? How can I cure her broken tail?
<Breathing a little fast'¦ another indicator of possible problems with the water. Do you have enough current and a skimmer sufficient for the tank? I've seen worse wounds heal at this species, so there still is hope. As noted above, I'd first check the water, it is possible an improvement of water quality may be the only treatment necessary. The immune system of this eel seems to be down due to a lack of vitamins and/or environmental problems, opportunistic bacterial infections ('flesh eating bacteria') likely have infected minor scratches. It is possible an improvement of the water will be sufficient alone, this would mean no additional stress for the eel. If this is not the case an antibiotic treatment will be necessary. I'd also offer him more shelter where he can completely hide, the eel does indeed look stressed to me. If you have success with feeding be sure to use vitamins regularly. I do wish you good luck. Marco.>

Re Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 3 -- 10/12/09
We checked the water and it is excellent
<What are nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and pH at?>
, only the ph is a little low and we started adding the buffer to stabilize it.
<A pH drop can indeed be reason for a moray eel to refuse to eat. Surface current and a skimmer will also help to keep the pH up, so you will need no or much less buffer.>
This tank was already cycled when we got it and yes, those are live sand and live rocks which by the way we have arranged many times but the eels keeps on knocking them down and pushing them so I gave up for now until she is better and we can try to re-arrange the rocks again.
<I use cable wraps in such situation und incorporate pvc pipes, which are gladly used by this and other eel species.>
We do not have a skimmer so we are planning to either buy it or make it.
<I'd urgently recommend to get a skimmer soon. This will help with both -- the pH and the health situation of the eel (by removing bacteria and organics from the water).>
I started putting garlic Xtreme in the tank, since it is a 90 gal I added 9 drops on Saturday, I was told that it is safe for all fish and rocks and the bottle said that it helps on bacterial infections and wounds.
<May help to make the food smell interesting, but the antibacterial properties are rather small.>
Will it be safe for the eel's tail? How often should I put those drops?
<Safe: yes, Useful: I doubt it. Can be added daily.>
She looks a little more calm but still not eating, I am not sure if it is because she is getting used to the new tank or because she is getting weak.
<More likely the first and the jaw will also hurt. What are you trying to feed? Adequate foods are: fish filet, shrimps, crabs (preferred food item of your species), mussel and clam flesh, octopus and squid.>
In regards to the treatment in a hospital tank I am not to convinced in moving her out again due to all the stress she went thru when my husband tried to get her out in which she jumped out and fall in the floor, this happened about 2 times and now every time we pass near the tank you can tell she gets mad and starts going crazy again. Will it be safe to do the antibiotic treatment while she is in this new tank with the live rocks, enenemies and the fishes or should I take her to the hospital tank and do it there?
<It's generally recommended to use antibiotics in a hospital tank. Maracyn 2 claims to 'not interfere with the biological filter', but also notes 'Use of a hospital tank is recommended'. If I had the choice I'd go for the hospital tank, especially if the wounds seem to grow. As a side note, the medication is removed by skimming and activated carbon.>
Can I use the garlic Xtreme at the same time as the antibiotic treatment?
<I see no reason why you could not.>
Are all vitamins reef safe?
<The products sold for aquarium use: yes.>
Which one will be better for the eel?
<Products that have at least the vitamins A, B1 (very important), B2, B5, B6, B12, C (also important), D, E.>
By the way, I was told that eel live about 10 years in the wild
<Can get much older if not killed (this is confirmed by bone examinations and not a simple guess). The oldest one I found in literature apparently got 60, eels in their 20s or 30s are not too uncommon in aquariums.>
and I have had this one for about 4-5 years which was in a friend's tank for another year or so.
Do you think she might be getting old and that's the reason why she is having this behavior?
<No. Your eel simply does absolutely not look like an old eel looks like.>
Thanks again for all your time and help ! Janie
<I'd get a skimmer ASAP, and if the situation does not improve (wounds getting larger, breathing getting faster, other symptoms occurring) use an antibiotic such as Maracyn 2. For feeding I'd try the items listed above with vitamins and live crabs/shrimps. Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 4 -- 10/12/09
Nitrate and Nitrite levels were at zero and PH was a little under 8.
<Sounds good.>
We tried to feed him live and frozen shrimps, frozen silver line fish, live feeders or goldfish.
<I'd not try the last two items, the other foods are fine.>
I have never tried any fish filet, mussel, clams, octopus or squid.
I'll get the Maracyn 2 today and treat him in the same tank, my husband is refusing to move it back to the other tank again and since we do not have a skimmer yet it might not be so bad.
<Ok, but be sure to monitor ammonia and nitrite to ensure biological filtration continues to work. If you see severe cloudiness, the surface of the water should be sufficiently moved by filter outlet or a powerhead in order to allow gaseous exchange.>
I will also get him one of those fake rocks with a cave and some clams and squid.
<Ah good.>
For how long should I use the Maracyn 2?
<At least 5 days. You should see an improvement at this point.>
Thanks again ! Janie.
<Good luck. Marco.>
Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 4 -- 10/12/09 10/14/09

I prepared yesterday the other tank (40 gal) to move the moray today, checked water and everything is fine except that ammonia looks a little high so I let it run through the filter before putting the moray today, I'll check the levels again today. Took all sand out and bought a cave for him. Checks his chin and looks worse, a little tip of the bone is already showing.
<Yes, visible on the pictures you sent in one of the last mails.>
Thanks for everything, I will let you know in a week or so about his improvement.
<I do hope we'll see an improvement. Feel free to add one or two of the live shrimps to the hospital tank if no ammonia and nitrites are measurable. The antibiotic should not hurt them and perhaps a snack might me welcomed if the eel's health situation really improves.>
<Good luck. Marco.>
Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 6 -- 10/15/09

Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie>
It has been 2 days since I started the treatment with the Maracyn 2, we moved her to the tank in a very peaceful way, at least she did not go thru any stress with a huge plastic bag.
<Sounds good.>
I added to the water a multivitamin solution called Vita-Chem Marine by Boyd Enterprises (see picture attached) and it made the water yellow, I hope this is OK because since the filter has no carbon due to the Maracyn 2 treatment the yellow color is still there.
<Yes, a sufficient product. The color is no problem.>
I tried to give her some frozen shrimp and a piece of silverside fish yesterday but nothing yet, she definitely looks a lot skinnier now. Take a look at the attached video, she is now breathing very slow, what do you think?
<The breathing looks fine to me and the posture of the eel does look good, too. Much better than an eel lying on the bottom and showing labored breathing. It does not look like a death candidate.>
I did noticed that the wound on the chin looks like it is healing, the tail is still a little hard to say.
<Let's hope you are right and the healing starts. Also, continue to check for ammonia daily if possible, especially if the breathing changes to a faster mode again. If you wish add a few live shrimps or crabs.>
Thanks again ! Janie
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 7, fdg. & dis. f's -- 10/16/09 -- 10/21/2009
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie.>
Just an update ... the eel is doing a lot better, the wounds are almost gone
<That's some fast healing. Very glad to hear.>
but she is still not eating.
<Keep on trying different foods and if you have the chance live shrimps or crabs.>
I have a new question ... I noticed she has been yawning (not too often) and when she does her gails <gills?> opens up so much that something red comes out very fast and goes right back in .... is that normal ?
<Does not sound normal. Usually you are able to look inside the gill hole and see some red, but nothing comes out. Clarify if it is just some skin flapping or potentially some parasite. The breathing of your eel is normal, so gill parasites that need treatment would not be my first guess here. Could also be a piece of gill hurt from the now healing bacterial infection. In the latter case the situation should resolve itself. >
Thanks, Janie
<Cheers and good luck with feeding. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 8 - 10/21/09
It looks like a bright red flapping skin, it comes out and in very fast, it is about 1/4" or maybe less, I have been trying to get it on video to send it to you but she definitely has a perfect vision now and sees me there but I will catch that and send it.
We put in the tank 2 small fish (about 2"), forgot their names, they are both silver (they were very cheap), she stares at them but doesn't try to eat them.
About putting live shrimps, are bait shrimps good for that?
<Yes, can be used.>
I noticed they are kind of bog and very fast, will that be good or should I use another type of shrimp?
<The best would be live crabs if available. Crabs make most of the natural diet of this species and they are not quite as fast as shrimps or fish'¦ Also keep trying various frozen foods. Another trick to get predators to eat is using attractants for eels from fishing shops. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes it does not, though. >
Attached is a picture so you can see the improvement as well as her body showing her muscles already from not eating, she was very round before and now she looks soo skinny.
<Maybe skinnier than before, but from the pictures it does not look too bad.>
Thanks, Janie
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 10/21/09
Got it...
I did a partial water change last night due to the nitrite and nitrate levels were a little over "0" plus the ph was low, I guess due to the medicine, vitamins and garlic Xtreme plus had no carbon in the filter. She seems a little more active, I put 2 dried krill
<A mainly dried krill diet is one of the main culprits for health problems with moray eels in my opinion.>
that she used to eat a lot, she started moving around and looking up like if she smelled them but did not tried to eat them so I think she is trying to get back on track.
<That'd be good.>
I'll keep you informed and if I get those gills on video I will send it to you right away. Thanks again ! Janie
<Welcome. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 10/21/09
Last question ... what types of crabs should I get ?
<They mostly eat Xanthid crabs in nature. Personally, I'd try beach crabs or - if I had no access to the sea - live rock hitchhiker crabs, which some fish stores give away for free. If such are not available I'd go for the shrimps. Marco.>
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