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FAQs about Morays Eel Identification 5

Related FAQs: Moray IDs 1, Moray IDs 2, Moray IDs 3, Moray IDs 4, Moray IDs 6, Moray IDs 7, Moray IDs 8, Moray IDs 9, & Moray Eels 1, Moray Eels 2, Moral Eels 3, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels,

Related Articles: Moray Eels, Zebra Morays, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Morays, The "Freshwater" Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Other Marine Eels,

Moray ID's for Marco 2/23/11
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
Two new additions for you to take a peek at. The first might be zonipectis; he could fit inside a hollow pencil so it's difficult to tell, and photograph.
<No. G. zonipectis has a much different and very specific set of dark and bright spots at the side of the head even when very small and it has a different head shape. I've seen your species imported, photographed as G. richardsonii, too, but this is wrong as well, even if the chances are not bad to get this species instead of G. richardsonii in an import. Upon a closer look at your picture I am almost a 100% sure this is G. chilospilos given overall coloration, lip spots, white spot at the jaw, lack of dark spots and head shape. See here
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=4444+4444+1106+0760 and
http://www.fishbol.org/species.php?region=1&id=9712 >
The second is supposed to be neglectus... regardless he's awesome, but after some research I have some doubts as to the ID. Check out the pictures I took, as well as the ones I borrowed (the last two) - note the 'horns' above the eyes on my specimen (something like a dragon. by the way, is there a name for the nostrils on top of the head, as opposed to on the nose?).
<Rear nostrils, posterior nostrils. Can have short tubes on Gymnothorax spp. as seen here.>
They don't seem to appear in the borrowed picture,
<Oh they do at least on the one with the bent jaw and the other one is much too small to see them. Have a closer look above the right eye of the eel in the bent jaw picture you'll see the dark tube.>
or any others attributed to neglectus I've seen. The shape of the skull just seems to be different all together.
<I tend to say they look alike... your specimen being a younger version.>
He comes from the leftern Pacific, <Country?> if that helps.
<Honestly, your pictures are too blurry to see much detail, especially the rear nostrils, overall coloration of the eel, its gill opening would be interesting. Despite the blurriness, do I see a slightly white margin at the fin? This is a character of G. neglectus. The gill opening of G. neglectus is dark, is this the case here? From what is visible it does look like the G. neglectus in Chen et al.'s Review of Taiwan's morays. Take this one as reference for body coloration from front to back:
http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.php?StartRow=0&ID=10145&what=species&TotRec=2 >
Second to last question - in the second to last picture the eel's jaws seem to be bent/crossed. I've seen this before in pictures and once at a public aquarium. Any idea what causes this?
<Yes: two morays fighting for the same piece of food with one biting the jaw of the other and dislocating it. Not uncommon in tanks with several strong morays and not so careful keepers. Can occur in nature, too and apparently does not seem to disable the eels.>
Ever seen Enchelycore schismatorhynchus? That's next on my list.
<Yes, but caught by a fisherman and dead. Good luck!>
Best regards, Patrick Corcoran
PS- The four pics names 'Gymno_Ssp...' are mine, do with them what you want. The other two aren't, so please don't republish them.
<Thanks for sending your pictures. Nice eels! Let's link to the borrowed picture with the bent jaw for the other readers:
Pat seems to know very well what he is doing. For some others, please remember G. neglectus mostly occurs in sub-tropical to temperate waters, G. chilospilushas a wider distribution in tropical and subtropical waters.>

Re: Moray ID's for Marco 2/24/11
Good call man! ID looks spot on to me as well. The search for zonipectus continues....
<Should be a possible task for a collector. They are not that rare.
However, many collectors won't be able to ID it.>
Good call as well on neglectus... he does in fact have a defined white margin along his fin. He apparently came from Japan, if that helps you at all.
<Yes, it does (less possibilities for wrong ID). After a second look at your pictures, your eel probably looks more like G. neglectus than the borrowed pictures.>
Can you tell me where the E. schismatorhynchus you mentioned came from?
<Taiwan, but following other record they should be far more widespread.>
Re: Broken jaws and moray care - I usually don't spot feed as a single piece of food on a stick seems to cause more infighting than dumping chunks of food into the tank. I do, however, use a stick to ensure everyone gets their fair share and avoid potential fights. It works well - I haven't had an injury in 8 years (one before that towards the beginning of my mostly moray only career).
<I use long tweezers. Every eel gets the piece intended for it.>
I also 'shark tank' new specimens before fully introducing them to an occupied tank - this also works well. Lastly, I run chillers on all my tanks - the neglectus is
with the anatina's at 68 degrees, as are my deeper water species (berndti, ypsilon, etc), my dragon, kidako and koke seems to enjoy 72 degrees or so.
<Sounds good. Cheers, Marco.>

ID of Moray eel 2/3/11
Hi WWM crew,
Good day to you. Can you help me to identify this eel? My LFS brought it in from Brazil shipment and the invoice only state Banana eel, no scientific name. It is yellow with a black dot on its dorsal. Many thanks and God Bless.
Hello Kellvin,
No problem, this is the yellow (scientifically speaking xanthistic) color variant of Gymnothorax miliaris. It's often traded as Banana eel, sometimes even as yellow dwarf moray (which it is not) or Golden eel. I've imported them myself some years ago, too. Nice medium sized eel. Sometimes a little picky with regard to food (one of the two I keep myself), but not problematic. Keep it just like a regular colored G. miliaris.
Help, ID of Moray eel 2/17/11

Hi Marco,
My fish k
<Sorry Kellvin, I am not sure if I understand, the text ends after the "k".
I guess you mean you bought it. If so: congrats. Marco.>
Kellvin Lim

Moray identification... Pholodichthys 12/27/10
Have a look and help me please. This guy (gal?) is new and reportedly from the "western Pacific".
<Mmm, is>
Bar count is lower than for E. polyzona, but none of the online images for G. rueppellii match even closely.
What you can't see in the photo are well defined very fine dorsal spines that yield a serrated edge along its entire length. I've got to start a diet soon and assume from the rounded snout its a crustacean eater. Any help is appreciated.
<See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/pholodichthyidae.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: Moray identification 12/28/10
LFS gave this to wife as an 'eel" for a small specimen tank the day after x-mas.
<Mmm, well, not a true eel, nor goby or blenny for that matter...>
My 11 year old son said "hey...I think its one of those snake gobies we had a long time ago" (he meant at least five years ago!).
I said that I would look for some juvenile photos of potential morays. Looks like I have a budding ichthyologist.
<Do get him interested in finance, accounting, marketing... at least as a double major!>
We'll go back to see if they have a few more of these "eels" and we'll move them all to the large reef display.
<Good... is a VERY social species as you've read>
Maybe they can order a juvenile moray for us as this is what he really wanted.
Thanks for the timely help.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Marine Moray Identification Assistance 11/4/10
<Hi Jessi.>
1st I would like to commend you on the professionalism of your site and the assistance you provide!
<Thanks for your kind words.>
I have an extremely juvenile eel (<6") that I was ever so blessed to have come into my reef tank through live rock.
<Congratulations! A hitchhiker I would gladly welcome.>
I apologize, but I do not know where the rock came from that he was transferred in on to narrow down a geographical range, as I have purchased over 100 lbs. of rock from various places.
<Too bad, would certainly be an useful information.>
Approximately 3 months after the purchase of my last piece of rock, I transferred everything to a bigger tank. In the process, I left the other tank set up to decipher whether I planned to have it stay as a marine tank or not. This is when I found him! After everything settled I put him in a breeder net to take a picture. As you can see he has some yellowish green on his tail.
<Yes, I see.>
It has been a few months since this picture and I just saw him again last night. I will do my best to get a new picture but it is quite difficult. I can only find him by flashlight at night when he is "hunting." I assume he is eating amphipods, I couldn't get him to eat anything for me in the breeder net which is why I released him back into my reef tank.
<Training a wild caught moray eel to dead food can be a difficult task depending on the specific eel. You often need a lot of patience. I highly doubt the eel will be able to survive in a reef tank on a population of amphipods. There is a variety of food that can be tried: cephalopod pieces (squid, octopus), shrimp pieces, fish filet, clam or mussel flesh. I'd place some food in a clear tube or a bottle where only the eel can get in and leave it in the tank over night as a start. Sometimes you have to start with live food: young guppies from a fellow hobbyist or glass shrimp from the store. I fear you'll either have to train the eel to dead food or catch it to avoid it starving with time. Moray eels can starve over long periods of time. Some morays have refused food over more than 9 months before they started to eat again!>
His current appearance is the same with the exception that his body is slightly marbled now. He has not grown much but he has grown!
Please let me know if there's any other information that would be helpful.
<One very important thing: Does it have a dorsal fin (back fin) and where at its back does it start? At the picture it seems as if it does not. If this is right it's probably a member of the Uropterygius genus (you would have some rare find there!). This would be in line with its very secretive behavior. However, there are also some small brown members of the genus Gymnothorax. A better side shot would be very helpful with the ID. A demanding, but also useful picture would show its head with more detail (especially the front and back nostrils).>
Thanks & God Bless, Jessi
I apologize, I forgot to attach the picture...
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Marine Moray Identification Assistance 11/5/10
Hi Marco,
<Hello Jessi.>
Thanks for the tip about the food in the bottle. I will have to try a medicine bottle that my engineer gobies cannot fit in the mouth of since they eat anything! I can't have small shrimp because of them. For the eel I have tried Mysis, brine, and krill while he was in the net and nothing...
<Being in a relatively small net mean stress, which is a good reason for an eel to not eat. I'd try again with the bottle in the main tank. I'd also try the food items listed in the last email.>
I tried dosing the tank with baby squid in the middle of the night and it wasn't enough to get him out of hiding. I have not seen a dorsal fin, but will keep looking and hope to
capture you a better image.
<Good luck.>
What do you mean by "back nostrils"?
<Moray eels have 4 nostrils, 2 at the front of the snout (often with tiny tubes) and two above their eyes on top of the head. The latter set has typical shapes (e.g. keyhole shape or round) and colors, which can be a useful character for a genus or species. There are some marbled members in the genus Uropterygius with a yellow tip tail. With proper pictures we might me able to determine the species.>
Thanks again, Jessi
<Cheers, Marco.>

moray identification - 8/17/10
sorry for the big pictures, netbook is an ssd version and is slow.
I got this moray at the lfs, they said it was sold to them as a green moray. It does not look like a green moray to me
<Nope, certainly not.>
, can you help id this guy?
<From head shape, lip spots, head coloration and tail tip coloration I think this is a dark individual of Richardson's moray Gymnothorax richardsonii (wide range of light colors to dark colors within this
species). Will stay around one foot and is a good species for aquarium care (much better than Gymnothorax funebris, the Green moray). Keep everything covered and beware that small fishes may be eaten.>
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: moray identification 8/18/10
He is currently in a 30gal long with two Damsels(blue and 3-stripe), a Red Claw Crab, a Brittle Star, and Peppermint Shrimp. Everyone gets along great, although the damsels picked on him the first day or so they have backed off. If you're correct about species, he should stay small enough that none of these will fit in his mouth (he's already about a foot long), he should also be ok to stay in this tank. Although I will keep an eye on his appetite and size over the next year to be sure.
<OK, keep an eye on him. I've seen morays take out bites of fishes too large to swallow... not a nice thing to watch. It's good the moray was added last, this certainly reduces aggression somewhat. Cheers, Marco.>

My snowflake eel is being attacked by my more eel.
Unknown eel incompatibility -- 03/24/10

My 2 eels have been living together for months in a 46 gallon bow flex tank. I bought the more eel
<No such eel. Do you mean moray eel? There are 200 species from a few inches to 4 metres. It'd have been good to know what species we are discussing. As a side note, the 46 gallon tank is too small for a Snowflake eel alone in the long run.>
after the snowflake and the more eel took over the snowflake eels cave. So I added another hiding spot, he always stays underground so I didn't think anything of it. Now the more eel is attacking the snow flake, he is biting his tail and body and even his head, he try's to pull him towards him or bring him in his cave. I'm so scared for the eel, I broke them up several times, but the more eel keeps going after him. The snow flake is oblivious and keeps getting attacked. I don't think he is going to make it much longer, help me please, what can I do. I feed them regularly. Please help asap.
<Separate them (don't get bitten) and find a new home for one or both (in separate tanks) of them. I'd ask the fish stores around and fellow hobbyists e.g. in forums if someone is willing to take one of them urgently. Also, try to ID the 'more' eel, start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm or send pictures for a proper ID. The possible wounds of the Snowflake eel should be monitored and the water kept as pristine as possible (nitrates <<25 ppm; no detectable nitrites or ammonia; pH between 8.0 and 8.4) to prevent infections. In case of a spreading infection, antibiotic treatment might be necessary. If the Snowflake eel survives and you decide to keep it, plan for a larger tank. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: My snowflake eel is being attacked by my more eel.
Unknown eel incompatibility -- 03/25/10

Thanks for getting back to me, I guess I will take a picture of him.
<I'm looking forward to it.>
He has a white round eye, a skinny long mouth that is always opened, his body is brown with some spots on it. He is about 12 inches long, his head is a darker brown and sometimes he has yellow spots. How is there memory, will the eel remember that he is aggressive towards the Snowflake or will he forget over time?
<Since they lived together for several months before the aggression started it is highly unlikely they will ever get along in anything smaller than a few thousand gallons. Their memory is quite good. But even if they would forget about the other eel, it is most probable the same behavior will start again under the same circumstances such as a relatively small tank for two eels. I'd keep them separated.>
Will adding more caves help and why does the Snowflake keep swimming by the other eel?
<No. This world is simply too small for both of them. Possibly the Snowflake eel is less territorial in this combination.>
Is he aggressive by nature or just dumb?
<The first, although it's likely rather territoriality than pure aggression what your moray eel is demonstrating.>
I appreciate your advice.
<They should be separated. Marco.>
Unknown eel incompatibility -- 03/26/10
That's a picture of my moray eel
<Thanks for sending. I fear it is too blurry to give an exact ID. Any chance for a better picture? There's a number of similar spotted Gymnothorax species, e.g. Gymnothorax prionodon from the Western Pacific, Gymnothorax phalarus from the Eastern Pacific and Gymnothorax johnsoni from the Western Indian Ocean, just to name a few. One would need a clear picture to be sure. Anyway, all the ones that might match your picture coming to my mind at this point get quite large (at least 3 feet, the G. prionodon and the G. johnsoni around 4 feet and a few inches) and are likely not compatible with an Echidna sp. such as you Snowflake eel.>
, the snowflake eel is being attacked by this guy, also can I buy dead squid from a local fish store and feed that to my fish.
<Sure, as long as it is not seasoned and free of preservatives aside vitamin C.>
Do I have to purchase fish from the pet store, or can I buy fish from the local fish store, and save money.
<I do buy almost all my moray eel food on the fish market or fish store. Just ensure there are no additions as written above.>
Sorry to keep asking for help.
<No problem.>
I'm just a fish lover and don't want to harm them. Thanks Craig.
<Take care Craig and for the sake of the eels consider having them in separate setups. Marco.>

Re Unknown eel incompatibility; now sys. -- 03/27/10
Hey so I'm looking for a bigger tank know, I'm hoping that will help my eel problem. I found a 125 gallon tank but the dimensions are 50 inches long and 60 inches high and 20 wide.
<Won't probably solve the problem of keeping the two together, but should be sufficient for one of your eels.>
I also found one that is longer and not as high and it is also 125 gallons. I want to add a sting ray and a banded shark. Is this a big enough tank?
<Certainly not for a ray and a shark. For the latter two you'd want to consider about 3 times the size or more. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sharks.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rays.htm . Also, their compatibility with moray eels is often rather poor in the long run.>
If not what size is the right one, I get confused with the right dimensions, should it be longer and not so high?
Please help, and also what's a good filter can I use my filter for my 46 gallon and buy another filter to add to this one?
<I'd prefer a live rock filtered setup with a large skimmer and strong water movement. Please see here for marine filtration and setups: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm

Unknown eel incompatibility -- 03/28/10
I sent you a clearer picture of my eel? Will he be a problem towards other fish as well, is he a violent vicious eel? Thanks
<Yes, looks like a young Gymnothorax johnsoni aka Whitespotted moray, although the head reminds me also of an undulated eel Gymnothorax undulatus, which has a different body coloration. Certainly a rare find. This eel is probably going be around 4 feet long when grown and likely is a threat to other fishes. The large grouper (hopefully this is not in a 46 gallon tank) might be compatible, though, if growing fast enough and offered sufficient space. Cheers, Marco.>

Moray Eel Identification 11/16/11
I occasionally get a species of moray eel from Sri Lanka that I have yet been able to identify. I have attached a picture. If you know what it is I would certainly appreciate your answer.
Thank you, Aaron Dragseth - Aqua Life Aquarium
<Mmm, I think this may be Gymnothorax fimbriatus, but am going to put your msg. in MarcoL's hands for a look/see as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Moray Eel Identification 11/16/11
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly, I'm really interested in seeing what Marco and Bob have to say. I'm pretty sure that it's not a fimbriatus though. Gymnothorax fimbriatus has a tan body with black
blotches and this species has a darker body with white spots. I do agree that the head and body style do resemble a fimbriatus but unless it's a very different color morph, I think it's a different species. Regards,
Aaron Dragseth
<+1. Marco.>
Moray Eel Identification 11/16/11
I occasionally get a species of moray eel from Sri Lanka that I have yet been able to identify. I have attached a picture. If you know what it is I would certainly appreciate your answer.
Thank you, Aaron Dragseth - Aqua Life Aquarium
<Hi Aaron, we've had this species here on WWM in the past... see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MorayIDF5.htm (scroll 2/3 down). I ID'd them as G. johnsoni last year and it has occurred in trade since (I only get bloody, sorry I mean blurry pics, no specimen), but with your picture I have to correct myself. Both likely are Enchelycore nycturanus. Your pic shows how slender the jaw really is. This species was described 2002:
http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2002f/zt00104.pdf . If you want to be sure look at the teeth, they are different in G. johnsoni and E. nycturanus as noted in the linked paper. Maximum size unknown so far. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: re: Moray Eel Identification 11/16/11

Thanks Marco! That's a big help. I'm going to take a closer look at the eels mouth tomorrow to see if I can get a definite ID. I will let you know what I come up with.
<Okay. Looking forward to it. Marco.>

Eel ID -- 02/26/10
Hi crew of WWM,
<Hello Linda.>
I'm looking for help to ID my eel. Eel is approx. 30" and has VERY sharp teeth (I know this first hand..Ummm, well, Finger).
<Sorry to hear'¦ this is the most vicious eel species I know.>
I sort of think he looks like a Brazilian Dragon Eel but what is throwing me is the color. His spots are white and not yellow that I see in most all the photos I see of them.
<You are right with your ID. This is Muraena pavonina, often called Brazilian dragon eel a name that in the past was applied to other Muraena spp. at least in trade.>
I'm attaching photos as well as the photobucket links...I'm not sure which kind work better for you to view.
<Both work. Thanks.>
Thanks in advance for your time and assistance with ID'ing Eel.
<This species can undergo dramatic changes in color. Muraena pavonina typically has very large white spots. That's how they look mostly in nature and that's how they look freshly after import. They most often change this pattern to the pattern your eel shows within 6 months to 1 year. These smaller spots can be white or slightly yellow, also dependent of the lighting of the tank (/the camera/flash in the case of photographs). This happens regardless of the size (I've imported pencil sized ones and 2 feet specimens). The reasons are environmental, I believe it's an adaptation, but I cannot tell you yet if the critical parameters are physical, chemical or biological.>
Sincerely, Linda Close
<Kind regards, Marco.>

Re: Eel ID
Muraena pavonina; comp. -- 03/01/10

Eel lived with me for a few years and then I gave him to a friend who took one of my 180 tanks. She is now breaking down her tank and I am taking back Eel. I'm wanting to consolidate my tanks here and need to decided on who to keep and who to give away to other good/qualified fish keepers. I will have Eel in my 180 and have to choose a few tank mates for him.
Choices are: a good size/fat/healthy PBT 4-5"
an equally sized Sailfin 5"
smaller size Scopas 3"
smaller size Kole 3"
decent size YT 4-5"
rabbit fish 3-4".
<All about equally endangered or compatible with regard to the eel.>
All sorts of Inverts also: long black spin urchins, sea cucumbers, various snails and shrimp
<Shrimps may get eaten.>
I absolutely can commit to frequent water changes, especially with the idea of downsizing the number of tanks, so bioload shouldn't be an issue but compatibility and keeping a humane tank is my priority.
Can you give me some advice on who I should choose to be tank mates with Eel? Eel seems to be very cautious when eating. In Eels present tank when he smells food and accidentally finds a tank mate he just mouths them and backs off (at least for the past few years). He doesn't seem (at this point) to ever go after anybody to eat them or to harm them, but then again he is well fed.
<This depends a lot on the specimen. One certainly would not be able to keep my largest M. pavonina with medium sized tangs or rabbit fish in the long run, but if your moray accepted tank mates so far, it might be possible. However, it may also fail with time, since this species can get quite aggressive. Ensure to add anything you want to keep with the eel first and give them some time to get used to the tank.>
Thank you in advance for your input. Linda
<Welcome. Marco.>

Zebra eel? Of a sort, yes 1/23/10
Good morning (here anyway)! I have an identification problem. A while back I acquired a beautiful eel sold to me as a juvenile Zebra. I posted the attach pictures on my local forum and some experienced hobbyists seem
to think it may not be a Zebra but a Snowflake Eel.
<Mmm, no; but a congener... i.e., of the same genus>
From my research, the main difference I notice is that my eel has solid bands, unlike the scattered splotchy pattern seen most Snowflakes seem to have. Could you help me identify it? It is around 12-14" long and it is worth mentioning that the bands are not exactly white in color, but yellowish. Attached are a couple of pictures.
Thank you much!
<This looks to be a very nice specimen of Echidna polyzona. Bob Fenner>

Echidna polyzona, ID, sys. -- 01/07/10
This is the eel I have purchased will you be able to identify it?
<No, the picture shows too little, but the black bars I can see seem to have a large distance for E. polyzona. You can count the bars: E. polyzona has 24-30; G. rueppellii has less than 25.>
Also the ich problem I have my frogfish showed up dead and I'm guessing it's from the ich along with one black damsel.. the rest of the fish seem to be recovering.. I've been adding the garlic and it stopped getting worse the minute I've added it.
<I'd bet it cycled out.>
My panther grouper I don't think is eating as much as he should be, he seems to stalk the frozen Mysis shrimp and grabs a few but lets most just float by, also sometimes he will snatch a piece of krill from the lionfish.. everything else is normal such as swimming and behavior.
<Check the water parameters (especially nitrates and pH and nitrates). PH should be between 8.0 and 8.4 and the nitrates <25 ppm. Also, if you feed mostly Mysis shrimp and krill, you should add vitamins, especially B1 (and others).>
I have one more question, I wanted to add a better light it's a predator tank with no corals so I bought a 48" hanging fixture from home depot that holds two 48" bulbs... the people at the fish store told me I could put one actinic and one 10k bulb to give off, is this correct information?
<You can do that. You can also add two 10k bulbs. Depends on if you like the actinic look or not.>
and also if it is would I be able to add some polyps and mushrooms that only need
low light or would I be able to add more?
<It also depends on the water parameters. You might also be able to add some easy soft corals such as Kenya trees.>
Thank you for the help.
<Welcome. Marco.>

Echidna polyzona or Gymnothorax rueppellii?, ID, sys. -- 01/17/10
I cant get a better picture of the eel, he hides all day and just sticks his head out during feeding time only coming out a couple inches, he does swim around at night. but the minute you turn the light on to take a picture he hurries back to his hole and his colors are faded anyway.
<Count the bands as noted in the previous mail. This should be possible with a red light (e.g. weak torch with red foil).>
He is really starting to look like a more predatory eel, such as elongated face instead of the blunt roundness of most crustacean eaters. also he's gotten big pretty quick I'd say about doubled in girth and added 1-2 inches in the small time I've had him.
<Sounds more and more like Gymnothorax rueppellii. This eel would reach almost 3 feet and is very predatory.>
With the ich is almost all gone just on the two damsels and its subsiding on them also.
<Don't add fish until you have not seen a single spot for at least 4-6 weeks.>
The grouper also has started eating a lot again. I figure it was maybe just a pause between growth spurts, also the Mysis shrimp I feed are vitamin enhanced.
I added the light I mentioned earlier with the 48" 10k and 420 actinic (2) different bulbs. I am going to start some soft coral soon and just wanted to make sure my inhabitants are reef safe. I have the lionfish, grouper, maroon clown, two damsels, and plan on adding the dragon wrasse and maybe a pink tailed trigger- the reef safe one, and maybe a potters angel?
<If your Eel really is G. rueppellii the stocking list should be changed or the eel removed. The Damsels, the Wrasse, the Clown, the Angel might become food with time. Even the larger species could be hurt. The Dragon wrasse is not always reef safe anyway, when grown might likely eat snails, hermits, echinoderms. When still small it might become food itself. The Angel may also be eaten by Lionfish, Grouper or Eel at some point in the future.>
I have a couple large Mexican turbo snails, two large hermit crabs probably 4" shells
<Determine species. Some are not reef safe.>
, the eel, and a red sea urchin I'm not sure if he's reef safe?
<This is a common name for Strongylocentrotus franciscanus'¦ If this is your species, it is an algae eater as long as it finds enough food.>
again thanks for all the help, you guys are great, also any recommendations for types of soft coral?
<Depends on if you can keep the water parameters in line with all these fish you plan to have. I doubt you would have good coral growth. If you wish to try soft corals try some hardy Kenya trees and maybe some blue or brown mushrooms. Cheers, Marco.>

Viper moray question -- 07/15/09
Hello (Marco, I assume?),
<How did you know? Hi Pat.>
I am currently looking at an animal labeled as a Viper Moray...the size, description, and attached photo seem indicative of E. nigricans, but I'd like to get your opinion as I have no desire to take on an Enchelynassa canina.
<It is an Enchelycore for sure, no Enchelynassa. Very likely E. nigricans'¦ or a Pacific species (isn't the ocean where the animal comes from known to the current keeper?)'¦ like E. bayeri, hard to tell from the picture.>
As to the former in captivity, do you have any experience?
<Yes'¦ similar to other larger Enchelycore species.>
Please note that this picture was not taken by me and I am not representing it as my own....I don't know if that dictates whether or not you are able to post it.
<Nor do I.>
In case you recall, the E. lichenosa is doing fantastic...
<Great to hear.>
I'm in the middle of planning a tank upgrade as we speak and hoping against hope that I'm able to find a E. anatina some time after that.
<You know these two cannot be kept together? The E. anatina will need colder temperatures. You'd likely have to catch one yourself or know someone from the Northern subtropical Atlantic (esp. Canary Islands) to help you out.>
Thanks, Pat
<Welcome. Marco.>
Viper moray pic
Sorry, forgot the pic in the last email.
<Got it. Thanks. But since we cannot post it, I'll delete it. Marco.>

Re: Viper moray question, ID, sys. II - 07/15/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
Thanks as always...the person I'm thinking of buying this guy from will likely not know where it came from...I'm assuming that depending on locality it is either bayeri or nigricans?
< A good picture of the head showing details of the nostrils, pores and teeth would help, but so far E. nigricans seems more likely.>
Oddly enough, he did in fact have a fangtooth (first I have heard of in the US) in the same tank as the 'viper'.
<Excuse my doubts. Was it really E. anatina? Picture?>
I understand that they enjoy some level of popularity in European aquariums and have read several accounts of them being successfully kept at 72-75F.
<I must have missed something here. Those very few aquariums I am aware of all have them at colder temperatures.>
My understanding is also that they range about half way down the western coast of Africa, and when they do come in, this is where they are collected (along with a couple Muraena species that I see from time to time).
<Ascension, Cape Verde and St. Helena are the most 'tropical' places, where E. anatina can be found, but the water is colder over there than in American waters of same latitude. I am not aware of occurrences of this species in the tropical parts of the Eastern Atlantic a little North of the equator with typical marine tank temperatures. The guide on Eastern Atlantic Muraenidae by Böhlke seems to confirm this.>
Is this all hogwash?
<If there is any good proof I'd enjoy to stand corrected.>
Because the animal comes first, as a back up I was thinking of converting my current tank (150 'cube') to coldwater for the anatina as well as an E. ramosa (at five feet max length I don't know if the 3x3x3 would do it in the long run, though).
Thanks as always for your input Marco!
-Pat C.
<Anytime. Cheers. Marco.>

Re: Viper moray question - 07/16/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Pat.>
If you'd like I can try to locate some of the material I've gone through regarding E. anatina;
<Ah, very good. Thanks.>
I've included some of the easier to find links below. The maps appear to indicate that they are found in warm water regions along the west coast of Africa, and one source indicates that they are found in the Bahamas, albeit as a deep water species...
<There is an old report (1880) of one at the Bermudas, maybe you mean that one. About the links below: the first link shows very few locations to me, none in tropical waters. The second link shows only the rough areas'¦ click on the species name and you'll come to Fishbase where the more accurate locations are named: you'll see they are the ones I included in earlier mails. Also click at occurrences to get a few more definite and even more accurate locations.>
I can't find that article but the second link seems to back that up.
As I said, the animal comes first and foremost, and I've been interested in setting up a coldwater system for some time, so perhaps this is a good excuse...it appears as though the Canaries maintain in the mid 60s F...is that correct?
<I'd aim for 16-20°C (61-68°F) with an exceptional maximum of 24°C (75°F) in summer.>
Do you think that E. ramosa and E. anatina could make good tank mates?
<Possible, may work best in a large system. Given how rare both appear in trade, maybe this would be the first try.>
Without abusing my question asking privileges, do you have experience with any other Enchelycore species?
<Taxonomy: yes; Aquarium care: limited, mostly second hand information from public aquariums and a few keepers visited. E. carychoa needs to be added to the ones discussed so far from my side. That's one I could think about having at home myself.>
Map: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20m?kind=Enchelycore+anatina
FAO: http://www.fishbase.gr/Country/FaoAreaList.php?ID=8087&GenusName=Enchelycore&SpeciesName=anatina&fc=56&StockCode=8397
I'm working on getting more pictures, hopefully a few clear ones of both the 'viper' and 'fangtooth', I will pass the latter on to you for your input.
I'm well aware that when it pertains to the exotic animals in this, or any fauna hobby, people can get selective in their research and ignoring sound advice against certain animals...you must run into that quite a bit...please note I am not one of these and I do want to provide, and am capable of delivering an adequate environment for these creatures.
<From time to time people in Europe have brought home small Muraena helena (a species that occurs in much of the range of E. anatina) and had quite bad results in tropical tanks. It is good you are willing to do better and can provide a cooler tank.>
Thanks! Pat.
<Cheers. Marco.>

Eel Help Please!; ID -- 07/13/09
My name is Terry and I'm from Deland FL. I think you have one of the best web sites for CORRECT information!!
A few nights ago I lost my 3.5-4 ft zebra eel due to old age. I was in a LFS today and I came a cross this eel. The store owner really didn't know what type of eel this is or anything about him/her. My wife liked the colors of it and talked me into buying it. Can you please identify what species of moray this it?
<Gymnothorax eurostus also known by the common names Stout moray, Salt'n Pepper moray, Abbott's moray and a few more'¦>
He is about 13-16 inches and very active. I think it is a golden tail moray, but I'm not sure.
<No, definitely not.>
Any information would be extremely appreciated.
<A fish and crustacean eater par excellence, will reach 2 feet.>
I have him in a 100 gal with a refugium, Coralife uv, Coralife supper skimmer, two 1200 wave makers, two 1300 wave makers, 80-100 lbs of live rocks. My levels are zero except my nitrates 20-40, ph 8.2-8.3, salt 1.025 and temp 82. I have a 3.5 clown trigger and a 3.5 undulated trigger.
<I do hope they work well together, I would not vouch for any of your fish to leave the other two in one piece in the long run.>
Thank you for taken the time to read my e-mail.
<Anytime. Take care. Marco.>

Re: Eel Help Please! 07/14/09
Thank you once again for all your help and advice. The Gymnothorax eurostus eel does not need any special care other than the proper diet and a good environment?
<No, basically that's it with a good environment consisting of many things like good water quality, many caves, no moray eating tankmates, but also an escape-proof setup. See here and in the linked FAQs above: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm .>
Thanks again Terry
<Welcome. Marco.>

Re: Eel Help Please!; G. eurostus -- 07/15/09
Thank you once again for your good advice and also the great link!
You said eel eating tank mates, you mean triggerfish?
<Some develop the bad habit to bite moray eel fins.>
I'm trying to get my eel on a feeding schedule but he/she seems to want to eat all the time. I feed my two triggers once in the morning and once at night time (small portions) and the eel goes crazy in search for food. Should I be careful on how often he eats?
My zebra ate every other day (a couple shrimp or cam strips, or krill). I have read that you should feed twice a week as much as they want to eat. Is that the same for juveniles?
<Not as much as they want to eat'¦ they'll grow too fast and become too fat. A healthy diet does not include eating until you are absolutely full. In nature by far not every hunt is successful, which is also proved by moray eel stomachs being empty most of the time. I'd feed every other day pieces, which together are as large as the entire head of the eel.>
My new eel acts completely opposite from my zebra, he/she is out all day and night, he swims around my tank, while my zebra just came out late at night and stuck him head out of his cave, really never swam around the tank other than feeding time.
<May change when settled in in a few weeks.>
Thank you again and sorry for all the question,
<No need to be sorry.>
I just want to make sure I am giving my eel the best treatment that I can. I went and purchased some vite chem. vitamin drops, is there any other you would recommend?
<Some far I had no problems with other brands made for aquarium use. Just compare the ingredients if you feel unsure.>
I also went and purchased pro salt silversides, clam strips, squid and krill.
<Sounds good. Keep the diet varied.>
Thank you again. Terry
<Cheers. Marco.>

Eel aggression and ID -- 07/29/09
My name is Terry and I'm from FL, I have wrote to you in the past and you have provided great advice.
<Thanks Terry.>
I am a great fan of your web site and I must say you provide the best accurate advice. I purchased a 12-16 inch moray eel about a month ago (Gymnothorax pictus, I think that is what it is).
<As noted in the last email it is a Gymnothorax eurostus (Stout moray, Salt'n Pepper Moray, Abbott's moray). Beware, the G. pictus is also called Pepper moray, but is a different species. Your eel definitely is a Gymnothorax eurostus, head shape, eye size and location, what can be seen of dentition and coloration (several color morphs are known of this species) are indicative.>
I have it in a 100 gal with a 4" clown trigger and a 4" undulated trigger. It seems to be doing very well, it is always out day and night. It is always swimming though the tank. My question is, when I feed my two triggers my eel gets extremely aggressive, I mean it takes the food out of the triggers mouth, attacks them and just gets really nasty, is that normal?
<Somewhat: yes. Could easily be the other way round. As noted in earlier correspondence: I would not vouch for any of your fish to leave the other two in peace in the long run. Your eel is a fish and crustacean eater, and in addition your triggers are not the peaceful side of the spectrum.>
Last night I feed my clown a piece of clam strippers and my eel swam out of a cave and crabbed my clowns head and tried to swallow it. It let go and my fish seems to be fine ( still eating and not acting strangers, no marks) but is that a sign that I need to feed more? I'm feeding like every other day and sometimes every other couple days. Any advice would be once again highly appreciated.
<You would likely reduce its activities when feeding much more, but feeding too much for longer times will not be healthy for your eel. Too fast growth and fatty liver disease are among common reasons for moray eels dying in captivity.>
Thank you, Terry.
<Your options are basically: see if the unwanted behavior changes with time when feeding a little more or separating them. Cheers, Marco.>

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