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FAQs about Marine "Eels" (other than Morays)

Related Articles: Marine Eel Families, Morays,

Related FAQs: Conger Eels, Moray Compatibility, Moray Identification,

Ophichthus altipennis and commensal shrimp in N. Sulawesi.

Myrichthys breviceps in the TWA

Taenioconger hassi in an Aquarium

Heteroconger halis

Some Ophichthyids and Congrids sold as "Snake" and "Garden Eels" occasionally in the trade... short lived at best.

Eels, ID      2/9/19
<Hi Charlie>
I was wondering if you can help me ID an eel in Indonesia?
<Ahh yes...it appears to be a Harlequin snake eel (Myrichthys colubrinus). >
Thanks, Charlie
<You’re welcome. Wil.>

Eel ID    12/31/12
Hello all :)
Happy New Year first of all :)
<And to you.>
Secondly, I have acquired a mystery eel today.  The lfs I got him from said that another customer brought him in because he was creating havoc in his reef tank.  The original customer said he was told it is a white ribbon eel.  I know this is NOT what he is.  He is only about 12-14 inches long, pale beige-yellow on the dorsal side, paling to the underside. He does not have nostrum that I can see.
<I think on the picture where it is looking to the left you can see nostrils?>
His dorsal fin starts about 2 inches down his length and connects with his anal (?) fin.  He also has pectoral fins after his gill pouch (?).
<If it has pectoral fins we can rule out morays.>
All his fins are transparent.  He looks a lot like a spaghetti eel but doesn't have the paddle-like tail. Attached are two not very good pictures of his face because he won't hold still :) The lfs said they were feeding him chopped Silversides and krill.  I would like to know your opinion on what he is so I might have a clue what size he will attain
<First we need to determine the family. Here's an overview
http://www.fishbase.org/identification/familieslist.php?spines=&fins=&ordnum =26&areacode=&classnum=6&c_code=  with some information. I think our best chances are in the family Ophichthidae - (Snake eels) with eels such as Ophichthus lithinus
(http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Ophichthus-lithinus.html ), but these have specific nostrils, not all of the family do have pectoral fins. Clearer pictures of the head, the gill area and the tail would likely be of use here. I'm sorry but on the ones sent I can see no detail. Also check the other matching families in the overview given above, e.g. congers.> 
and how best to care for him.
<I'd try to find out if it likes to burrow first. Many eels do. See if it prefers caves (e.g. pvc-pipes) or sand. Maybe that's the reason it created havoc in the other tank. With regard to anything else I'd try to keep it like a small moray or a snake eel. For food I'd try various fishes and crustaceans (or pieces of them), not only silversides and krill. >
Thanks as always for everything you guys do for all of us :)
<Not much in this case, but you are welcome. Marco.>

Re: Eel ID, now comp.     1/3/12
Thanks again Marco! Speaking of those 'boring everyday fish,' any ideas what might be ok with him? My husband wants a magnificent Firefish. I was thinking that might be ok.
<I think this could be possible eel prey, especially if it's a small Firefish as they are usually sold.>
Also, with my previous experiences with eels, I assume any inverts or crustaceans would be meals waiting to happen, yes?
<Not all inverts will be eaten, urchins and sea stars should be safe for example. I don't know if I would risk Cleaner shrimps, although I have seen them cleaning other Snake eel species. I have little information about your setup or preferences, so it is more easy to state what should be avoided in my opinion. Avoid predatory fishes which get large and could swallow a thin Snake eel such as groupers, Lionfishes, puffers, morays and so on. Also avoid fishes, which can be picking this thin eel such as triggers, larger angels. With regard to possible eel prey, I think fishes more than twice the diameter of the eel and at least a quarter to a third of its length should be safe, since the more petite Snake eels aren't known to tear pieces out of larger fishes as some morays do.>
Also, he is most definitely the escape artist kind :) When we first switched him to the tank, we couldn't catch him with a net so had to 'pour' him in from his drip bucket.  This actually turned into his 'flying' leap into the tank! :) He has a full lid with all holes plugged up :)
<Ah, good.>
I found it interesting that he's already acclimated to his new home and was out 'begging' for food.
<Very good.>
Right now, 6am, he's languidly taking laps around his tank. :) Thanks for help with my newest addition, named Squigglesworth! :)
<The name is a great choice. Have fun with Mr. Squigglesworth. Marco.> 

Zoanthid ID & juvenile angel & eel ID 3/8/2010
Hey Crew !!!
<Hey Abdo!>
Abdo here, from the land of the pharaohs :D (AKA aquarium no man's land!!!)
<Ahh, hope to be diving w/ friends in Sharm this coming May>
First I just want to show my deeeeep gratitude for you guys being there,
really makes the difference !!! from the bottom of my heart: THAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUUUU
now down to business
I have just ventured into invertebrates and I'm having a hard time identifying that group of polyps I just bought, the tank they were in at the retailer's was such a biohazard that a military submarine wouldn't survive !!!
anyway I attached a picture, it was taken the day after I put them in the tank, they were acclimated very slowly over 4 hours and now I think 80% of them have opened completely :D Yay :D Hope you guys could help me treat the polyps well :)
<Looks to be some species of Zoanthid; very nice>
Another question, hope I'm not being a pain in the neck here......
I bought what I identified positively as a vermiculated angel, at just under an inch long!!!, do you have any special recommendations regarding such a fish, given its size and other tank inhabitants ??? any advice ???
<Mmm, yes... keep it with small-ish, easygoing fishes, non-predatory invertebrates and you should be fine. These angels grow quite quickly when small, given good circumstances>
lastly (I promise), I had bought those 2 eels a while ago, and I've been having such a hard time identifying them it drives me crazy !! their looks are not special but their behavior amazes me!! They are grey with white bellies, 30cm long with 1cm diameter or so, small eyes, dotted lateral line near the head and curved, burrow under the sand and they do it backwards, meaning they stick their tails in and slip into the sand bed, and once they grab a piece of food they quickly pull it down under the sand to eat it, the retailer said they we're from the red sea, but I wouldn't count on anything he says.
the closest matches I could find in Dr. Burgess's atlas of marine aquarium fishes were "Pisodonophis cancrivorus" and "Muraenichthys tasmaniensis" but I'm not so sure..... I attached the best picture I could take, hope it helps.
<Mmm, is an Ophichthid... a Snake Eel... looks a bunch like an Apterichthys species... Unfortunately I don't see this species in my in-print reference works, and Fishbase.org is running VERY slowly currently. I would go there, and search "By Country" (I did for Jordan), Marine fishes (which will come out by default by species) and re-sort by family... Look at the Ophichthids found there (the Red Sea)... and try to find these species for photos, further descriptions>
I have a 110G + 20G sump, since August 2008, sandy bottom with one pile of LR, some locally obtained Ulva, 2 four stripe damsels, 1 domino, 1 silver moony, 1 Aidablenius sphynx, many coastal shrimps, 1 vermiculated angel, 1 common goby, 1 red tomato, 1 urchin with short sharp spines (red sea), several mussels and oysters, some Nerites, the 2 eels and the clump of Zoas.
<Sounds very nice indeed!>
Thank you in advance, and sorry for the long email :S
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner>

Need help on possible Anguilla anguilla; rather Ariosoma balearicum (Congridae) 06/25/09
Hey Guys, I'm Abdo
<Hello, Im Marco.>
I just want to say that I really respect this site and every one contributing to it, you've done an amazing job.
<Thanks for your kind words.>
I've been vacationing on the Mediterranean coast (I live in Egypt) and I caught an eel using my hand net. It's around 12 inches long, has big round eyes and is greyish silvery to transparent in colour. I caught it at night, chased it for a while then scooped it up after it partially hid in the sand. I took it home last Sunday, put it in my saltwater tank and it seems ok, hiding under the sand during the day and coming out only at night. I haven't seen it eat, not sure if it's getting anything, doesn't look like it has any teeth.
<It probably does, but very small band teeth to be more exact. You probably need live food, e.g. small shrimps of adequate size or toxin free worms for the start and might only be able with time to adapt it to frozen food, which is often easier to get by, but needs regular vitamin additions.>
Did some research, it looks like a glass eel (Anguilla anguilla), but I'm a bit puzzled..... I caught it in very shallow waters almost 300KM from the nearest freshwater source (the Nile), and from what I've found on the internet it's size is quite unusual for Anguilla anguilla at this part of it's life cycle, right ??
<Looks and sounds much more like the Congrid Ariosoma balearicum (family Congridae), even though the picture shows little detail. See here another Ariosoma balearicum http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.php?StartRow=6&ID=1744&what=species&TotRec=8 .>
I've attached a picture and a Google earth place mark indicating where it was captured.
Please tell me what I should do, should I transfer it to my freshwater tank ? or keep it in saltwater for now ?? what to feed it ????
<Saltwater for food items see above you might have a problem with other fish eating its food away depending on what other fish are in the tank. Id try feeding live food especially at night, or dangling a small piece of food on a string before its eyes if only dead food is available. Dont stress or harass it and the chances it will eat in captivity will rise.>
I want to be responsible and do everything I can to ensure it survives.
<Thats good to hear anyway it would be more responsible to only take fish home of which you know what they are and can ensure the knowledge and quarters to keep them properly.>
I have a 450L saltwater tank with 100L sump, sand bottom with some live rocks, running for almost a year,
<Sounds sufficient in terms of size your eel is likely already grown. It will enjoy deep sand, they usually burrow in the sand in nature, too.>
an 80L freshwater tank, running for almost 2 years. Most of my saltwater live stock is wild caught from the same area as the eel. Thank you in advance :)))
<Good luck with your eel. I hope you will find a sufficient food source. Marco.>

White Ribbon Eel (Pseudechidna brummeri)- 05/20/08 Hi crew. <Hi Jim.> Just wanted to fire off an email concerning a fish I purchased a couple months back, and to offer some info and pictures in case you were interested. <Sure.> While browsing on nyaquatics.com, I happened to see that he had a "white ribbon eel" listed. Since he also had "blue ribbon eel" in stock, I figured this was just a female Rhinomuraena quaesita, but when I checked the picture, it definitely was not. I searched your website, but didn't find anything in the informational section on morays. I found a brief mention in the FAQ, but it wasn't much to go on. <There are a few posts on this moray. A WWM search for brummeri will bring them up.> It did give me the scientific name, however, which led me to an article by Greg Schiemer on advancedaquarist.com. Here's the link: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2004/fish.htm After reading the article, and talking to Michael Stern at nyaquatics, who assured me he had kept the eel for two months and it was eating Mysis greedily, I decided it was worth $20 plus shipping to give it a try. Well, the eel has been wonderful ever since I opened the bag from the shipping container. Miracle of miracles, he didn't even try to get out of the acclimation bucket! He swam around the tank a lot when I first put him in, including nosing around the top of the tank, but I had done my best to "eel proof" everything, and he settled in for the night. Next morning, I found him in the internal overflow (I had thankfully placed a pvc strainer over the drain before he arrived) and I rescued him with some difficulty. He hasn't done it since, so I guess he "learned!" He eventually hollowed out a small cavity beneath the largest rock in the tank, and spends most of his daytime hours there. <It may continue to dig. Ensure that the rocks cannot fall over and crack the glass.> If he has recently been fed, I rarely see him at all. But when he starts poking his head out or swimming around the tank, especially during the day, I figure he is looking for some food. He readily eats Mysis, plankton and krill, though the krill are big and pretty hard for him to get down, so I mostly stay away from those. I am concerned about how much to feed and how often, because I am still a little nervous about the whole ribbon eel and starvation thing, but right now I feed him one cube of Mysis or plankton about every other day, and it seems to be working. <Sounds okay. I?#8364;™d also use vitamins once a week to replace anything that was lost during the freezing/thawing process and maybe necessary for long term health (e.g. vitamin B). When your eel grows it will hopefully also eat larger food like shrimps, pieces of fish, silversides, mussel and clam meat, squid. Adults are not always safe with small, elongate tank mates like smaller gobies, blennies and sometimes shrimps. Your surgeon and dwarf angel should be safe from him.> He lives in a 72G bowfront soft coral tank, and hasn't bothered any of the corals, nor the two fish (Centropyge nox and Paracanthurus hepatus). I did add a yellow clown goby a couple weeks ago, which I haven't seen lately, but I often couldn't find him in the QT, either, and I think he's just too big for the little eel to swallow! <May be eaten with time. Their mouth is large and capable to swallow much larger prey than one might think when looking at this thin creatures first.> All in all, my Pseudechidna brummeri has been a model citizen, despite my initial concerns. I know that one anecdotal case (or two, with Greg's) doesn't mean everyone should rush right out and get one, but compared to a blue ribbon eel, which I made the mistake of trying ten years ago before I knew better, this little guy has been a cake walk. Could this be one of those species you talk about on the website that would make a good aquarium fish, but no one buys them because they aren't collected, and no one collects them because they aren't in demand? <They are regularly available in Germany and most (not all!) come in good condition and start to eat. The ones I know do fairly well in captivity. However, just as with other ribbon eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) it?#8364;™s critical to only buy specimens which eat dead food unless you are experienced with getting freshly imported fish to eat. As you know, they are even better escape artists than other moray species due to their small girth and need hermetically secured tanks. Given such a tank with not too boisterous tank mates eating Pseudechidna brummeri can make great pets.> I am attaching one picture I took recently, cut down to size as requested on the website, which you are free to use. I have a total of five larger, reasonably good pictures (at least for me) that I will gladly send if you want them. Keep up the great work! Jim Jensen <Thank you for your report and picture. It will be posted and further pictures are welcome. Have fun with your Pseudechidna. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: White Ribbon Eel (Pseudechidna brummeri) White ribbon eel (Pseudechidna brummeri) follow up ?#8364;" 05/20/2008 Hi Marco. I guess I was under the impression that he wouldn't get a whole lot bigger. He's currently in the 28-30 inch range. Fish base lists their max size at 103cm, which if my math is right works out to 40". And since fish don't seem to reach their full max size in aquaria, I was expecting at most another 6" of growth. Right now, his head is about the diameter of a pencil, maybe a little less. <He?#8364;™ll reach at least the 40?#8364;?, I?#8364;™ve seen specimens of that length and he?#8364;™ll also get a little bit more stout with the head about half an inch high.> I am glad they are being utilized well in another part of the world. I wonder what it would take to get American consumers on board? Could save lots of blue ribbons and huge morays from needless capture and death. They may not be as spectacular as a blue ribbon, but surviving has always been a plus in my book. <To be honest, I also have a number (at least a dozen) of positive reports (personal ad written) on the black/blue/yellow ribbon eel Rhinomuraena quaesita, which is also found quite often over here. The oldest specimens are about 6+ years and I know of two, which have expelled eggs in captivity. In one case the eggs were fertilized and larvae developed, although they have not been raised due to a lack of adequate food. So, these eels can do well in captivity, too. I am convinced how they do is mostly due to how they were caught (poison?#8364;?) and how they were treated by the catchers, wholesalers, pet shops and hobbyists. That's where things have to change and ribbon eels not already eating at the wholesalers should be put back into the sea and not be shipped overseas. Those who eat in captivity have good chances to live many years in adequate aquariums. Getting them to eat and possible damage by questionable catching methods are the two connected main problems with Rhinomuraena and Pseudechidna alike, but if they are treated right the survivors will not be the exception. I?#8364;™m very glad you found a healthy one and do hope there will be more available to fellow hobbyists.> C. meyeri and P. Pinnatus are two of my favorite fish to look at, in photographs, or maybe someday in the wild. But at home I'll settle for my raccoon b'fly (another tank) and my purple tang. Here are 4 larger pictures of my eel. Hope they aren't too big. Jim <It?#8364;™s a beauty, thank you very much Jim! Cheers, Marco.>
eel posting and id --05/14/08 Hi eel enthusiasts. I'm posting some of my pics on eels and I hope this will be helpful...Please help me identify these species.. Abner. <Hi Abner. Snake eels?#8364;? about 300 species and some not yet described ones, most of them not seen often?#8364;? you are giving us a difficult task here! Some information on where these fish were caught/photographed and also pictures of their bodies would have been useful, also if they are dead (because of the clouded eyes) or alive. The one sticking out of the sand probably is a Ophichthus altipennis (before 2002 often IDd as Ophichthus melanochir like http://www.starfish.ch/fishes-Fische/eels-Aale/Ophichthus-melanochir.html compare to McCosker, J.E. and J.E. Randall, 2002. Ophichthys melanochir Bleeker, 1865, a junior synonym of the highfin snake eel Ophichthus altipennis (Kaup, 1856). Copeia (3):798-799). The other two I cannot ID from these pictures. IMG 124 might be a Ophichthus serpentinus with the few dark spots around the eyes, but that?#8364;™s more a rough guess than a ID, and the one with the protruding lower jaw I am not even convinced this is a snake eel, it's possibly even a moray, but even that is hard to tell from just this picture. Greetings, Marco.>
Re: eel posting and id Eel posting and ID ?#8364;" 05/19/08 Thanks Marco, <No problem, Abner.> you did a good job. I appreciate your effort. I'll keep you posted when I have photos of live ones, like other morays that I?#8364;™m interested in. Cheers, Abner. <I?#8364;™m looking forward to that. Morays are mostly easier to ID than snake/worm eels as long as good shots of the head and body coloration are available. Marco.> any help is appreciated..thanks <<Good luck, keep reading ?#8364;" Adam J.>> Re: eel posting and id Eel posting and ID ?#8364;" 05/19/08 Marco, <Abner,> The photos on top are dead ones as they are very rare and elusive and they resemble worm eels and I used a microscope to shot them. They were captured near the mangrove swamp in Siquijor Island, Philippines. <Thank you. This information narrows it down to only 30 described species of snake/worm eels (Ophichthidae) from the Philippines. You can use the key for snake/worm eels for the Western Central Pacific for a more definite ID for the two dead ones http://www.fishbase.org/keys/description.cfm?keycode=131 .> The snake eel that you said an Ophichthus altipennis was photographed at 20 meters deep off Siquijor town on the same Island. <Good. The species I suggest occurs in this area.> Thanks, Abner <Welcome, Marco.>

What was it - eel or sea snake? -03/13/08 This week while snorkeling in St. Kitts I saw an eel or sea snake [I know there are supposed to be none in the Caribbean.] <Correct> It was 11 inches long, checkered [perfectly] from head to tail and I think the tail appeared pointy. The checkered colors were bright white and jet black and perfect rectangles. Each rectangle was sharp, about 8 mm long by 5 mm wide and the long rectangles were oriented length wise. The design was a perfect black rectangle next to a white rectangle on either side as well as on top and bottom. Each of the four corners of the black [or white rectangle] touched a black [or white] rectangle about or below. It looked geometrically perfect. <Mmm, maybe Muraena retifera. Bob Fenner>

What was it - eel or sea snake? -03/13/08 This week while snorkeling in St. Kitts I saw an eel or sea snake [I know there are supposed to be none in the Caribbean.] It was 11 inches long, checkered [perfectly] from head to tail and I think the tail appeared pointy. The checkered colors were bright white and jet black and perfect rectangles. Each rectangle was sharp, about 8 mm long by 5 mm wide and the long rectangles were oriented length wise. The design was a perfect black rectangle next to a white rectangle on either side as well as on top and bottom. Each of the four corners of the black [or white rectangle] touched a black [or white] rectangle about or below. It looked geometrically perfect. Please email what you think it was. Thank you, Dr. George Oremland <Possibly a Snake eel. Have a look here: http://www.robertosozzani.it/Bonaire/murena03.html ; here: http://florent.us/reef/carib/sharptaileel.html and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ophichthidae.htm. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: What was it - eel or sea snake? Follow up ?#8364;" 03/14/08 Thanks Marco. I checked all of those sites and none of those eels were even close. <Too bad, one of these species is pretty common in the Caribbean.> When I saw it I was in 3 feet of clear water. I observed it for a few minutes and was only a foot above it. It was swimming over the sand about 20 feet from a pile of rocks. Sorry I didn't have a camera and was afraid to touch it. <A picture would be great, although it could still be difficult to ID, because there may not be much material to compare it to. A number of contrasting black/white snake eels is known from the Caribbean, many are from shallow water, but nonetheless they are rarely seen and live cryptic, often nocturnal lives, so the only pictures/drawings available can be found in the first descriptions. There are quite a few of the genus Ophichthus (about 10 species), Callechelys and some others with various color patterns, possibly one of them was your eel. You could try Carpenter, K.E. (ed.): The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Volume 2: Bony fishes part 1 (Acipenseridae to Grammatidae). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. Rome, FAO. 2002. pp. 601-1374, which is available online (at the FAO page), but often details of the dentition or vertebral counts are needed for ID. Cheers, Marco.>

Ultimate Live Rock Stowaway.. Eel Be Comin' Out the LR When he Comes, When He Comes 9/1/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Barbara, Mich with you today.> I have e-mailed you a few times regarding a 72-gallon saltwater tank I am setting up. I put water in it, and on Monday I put 100 lbs of live sand and 75 lbs of live rock in it. Today (Thursday) my husband and I found some sort of eel living in one of the rock's caves! I was expecting maybe a snail or 2, some cool algae, maybe a coral if I was lucky!! <One heck of a hitchhiker!> I searched all of your marine eel pictures and I can't figure out exactly what he is, the only one that looked close was the Zebra Moray. He is brown with wide white bands (hopefully you can see the enclosed picture!). I just want to be sure of what he is so I know if I have to try to get him out and return him to LFS or if he can be comfortable in my 72. <This may be a Banded Snake Eel (Myrichthys colubrinus) He is a challenge to keep and you may want to consider finding him a new home. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ophichthidae.htm http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=8053&genusname=Myrichthys&speciesname=colubrinus http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=8053 If this is a correct ID, the material I am referencing suggests a tank size of no smaller that 180 gallons, and generally this eel is not well suited for the home aquarium. Reportedly this eel is a challenge to feed and a very finicky eater. You might offer glass shrimp if available or try fresh shrimp, scallops or marine fish flesh impaled on a feeding stick. This eel should be fed until it appears to be full, twice weekly. Careful consideration should be given to tanks mates as well as many fish will nip at the eel.> He was out of the water for close to 2 hours with the drive home and me getting the sand in, then the rock, I have no idea how he did it! <Is tenacious.> I will offer defrosted meaty foods, hopefully he will eat. He is curious about us when we come to the tank! <A good sign.> Thanks so much for your help! <Welcome! Mich> Barbara

Re: Ultimate Live rock Stowaway... Marco chimes in re Eel ID! ?#8364;" 09/01/07 Hi Crew, I have e-mailed you a few times regarding a 72 gallon saltwater tank I am setting up. I put water in it, and on Monday I put 100 lbs of live sand and 75 lbs of live rock in it. Today (Thursday) my husband and I found some sort of eel living in one of the rock's caves! I was expecting maybe a snail or 2, some cool algae, maybe a coral if I was lucky!! I searched all of your marine eel pictures and I can't figure out exactly what he is, the only one that looked close was the Zebra Moray. He is brown with wide white bands (hopefully you can see the enclosed picture!). I just want to be sure of what he is so I know if I have to try to get him out and return him to LFS or if he can be comfortable in my 72. He was out of the water for close to 2 hours with the drive home and me getting the sand in, then the rock, I have no idea how he did it! I will offer defrosted meaty foods, hopefully he will eat. He is curious about us when we come to the tank! Thanks so much for your help! Barbara <Just a second (or third) opinion: Looks like a Echidna polyzona to me (bands and yellowish nostrils in combination with the blunt head), but there are several other banded eels and morays eels (e.g. Gymnothorax enigmaticus and many more). If E. polyzona is the species, care and character are similar to E. nebulosa (snowflake), it just stays a little smaller. In my opinion you could keep it in that tank (bigger tank would be better of course...), but it would eat smaller fishes and crustaceans while growing. They can survive quite long outside of the water and some of its relatives are known to leave the water in nature to hunt for crabs between rocks outside of tidal pools. Send a better picture and we?#8364;™ll get you a better ID. What a give-away, I usually have to pay for eels... am just coming back from such a shopping trip. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Ultimate Live Rock Stowaway.. Eel Be Comin' Out the LR When he Comes, When He Comes... Mitch? Miller? And a one and a two... ?#8364;" 09/01/07 Hi Mitch, <Hi Barbara, Mich with you again.> Thanks so much for your help. <Welcome!> Can the Banded Snake Eel be brown w/ white stripes? <That was my understanding, but rechecking fishbase they are describing as black and white though I though it looked brown in some of the images and looked brown in another book I referenced which had an up-close image. I could very well be wrong. I am far from an eel expert. You've gotten three different opinions. I suspect Marco's vote may be the most likely winner. Do use the scientific names to do a Google image search. You will likely be able to tell which of these three are closest to what your little stowaway looks like. That's what color this one is (I know it was hard to tell in the picture!). <Yes, and not just in your picture either!> I offered defrosted squid last night and he voraciously accepted it! <That is wonderful! I'm very glad to hear.> That seems to be a good sign. <Indeed it tis!> He is more than welcome in the tank but if 180 gallons is suggested it is cruel to keep him in my 72. He has only come out of the rock 1/2 way, any suggestions on removing him from the tank? <I think it is more important to determine who this stowaway is before you consider removal, as Marco's vote would be suitable for your tank.> I will continue to offer meaty foods every other day or so. <I wish you much success! Mich> Barbara

Re: Ultimate Live rock Stowaway 9/3/07 Hi Marco, <Hello Barbara.> I appreciate all the expert opinions I can get! <No problem, but I?#8364;™m more a fan than an expert. Reading your e-mail reminded me to a case we had in a near life fish store, so I had to add Echidna polyzona as a possible banded candidate.> I apologize for the blurry picture, he is voraciously accepting defrosted squid and clam so far. <That's good news. Be careful not to overfeed, if it?#8364;™s a moray. Many appear to be hungry most of the time.> My husband and I will try to get a better quality picture while I am feeding him and send it along as soon as I can. <Looking forward to it. See if you can get a good shot of the head, since most banded morays can be differentiated by characters of the head. A snake eel will also be easily identified that way.> I'm getting attached to him now, so I'd love to keep him, but only as long as he can be comfortable and happy with us! <As soon as we know what it is, I?#8364;™m confident we?#8364;™ll know how to care for it.> Barbara
<Good luck with the camera. Marco.>

Looks like Echidna nebulosa to RMF

Eel ID, probably no moray eel 2/28/07 Are there any moray species that stand on their tails and have their throats inflated? I have heard of tulip eels doing this which are supposed to be very aggressive. I do not have any good pictures of my fish to help determine if he is a moray or not, but the LFS sold him as a moray. <Moray eels rather hide instead of standing on their tails. They inflate their throats while breathing. To get an idea of the ID a good picture is necessary. Without a picture you should try looking at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/congridae.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ophichthidae.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm for marine eels. Have a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anguillids.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/matacembelids.htm for freshwater eels. Check the related FAQs, too. Also check FishBase by entering the family names you found on WetWebMedia and selecting ?#8364;˜all fishes?#8364;™ to get a link to photos. For the swamp eel check Monopterus alba. It has a very typical head much unlike a real moray.> I do not know growth rates of the swamp eel but my fish has not grown but little in length but he has gained some girth and he has eaten quite a bit for a year now. He also no longer has a pointed tail it is rounding out with possible fins can not see close enough. Am I in a bad situation if mine is a swamp eel with my Gymnothorax tile? <I would not recommend keeping any of them with other fishes maybe except their own species. May work for years, but even the scat is potential prey. Read the freshwater moray articles on WWM.> So far they are both sharing the tree root ornament to hide in peacefully. I have my toad fish and red scat and the G. tile has no problems with them either and even lies on top the toad fish when out. I have seen people with swamp eels on monsterfishkeepers.com, but they are in fresh water. I have a brackish setup. The main question I have if this is a swamp eel should I be looking into finding him a new home at some point? <Yes. Swamp eels need fresh water to lower end brackish water, the moray eel needs high end brackish or full strength marine water, both are incompatible.> Thanks for your advice on this. <You are welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

Unidentified Eel 10/7/06 Hi Guys <Hey Duane, How are you?> I hope you can assist. I have an eel in a holding tank that comes from a friend but I can't identify it. At the moment it is about as thick straw and about 20cm long. It has alternating white and brown blocks on either side of it's body, and has quite a sharp, triangular head. <Duane rather than me make a guess here my suggestion to you would be for you to go to www.fishbase.org and put eel in where it suggest common name. There are thousands of different eels on this site with information about them. You can narrow down your search if you know where your eel is from. You also might check out the excellent articles located on www.wetwebmedia.com at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm. Good luck, MacL> Any ideas on what it could be?

Fish ID...Garden Eels Hi Crew, <Hello Johnny> Wondering if you can help me ID a fish I saw recently at the London Aquarium? I have tried to email them, but no reply ... there was also no ID on the display. There were a number of Eel type fish with a diameter of a little less than 1cm. They constantly kept their tails in the sand (almost like a Jawfish) but extended (7 - 8cm) to grab at particles drifting in the current. A number were silvery - grey in colour with two distinct dark spots on their flanks while others had an almost clownfish colouration, orange with white bands separated with black. Fascinating to watch! I did record a short vid of them but it would be far too big to mail ... Any idea's? <Sure sounds like Garden Eels to me, Johnny. Have a look here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/congridae.htm> Johnny, Sunny London ...<When?> <James (Salty Dog) in Tropical Michigan> Live saltwater bait eels 3/10/06 We are a small bait and tackle shop in Cape Canaveral Fl. I am hoping as a stretch that you may be able to help me. I am looking to purchase in bulk, eels as bait and I am at a loss as to where to find them. Is it possible that you know where I can purchase bait eels? I am told that they are farm raised but I can't seem to find them. I thank you in advance for any help you can offer me XXXX <Mmm, don't know, but I'd try asking the State Fish & Game folks about who they know that offers these not in your general area, call them and ask where they get them. Bob Fenner> Eel identification Hello Bob and crew, I have been reading tons on your site for my cichlid tank and saltwater tanks. The information I have found has been extremely helpful, thank you. <Welcome> A few weeks ago my wife and I started setting up our dwarf lionfish tank. We got some live rock from a LFS and started the cycle. The cycle finished and two days ago we got our dwarf fuzzy lion. This morning, while working on adjusting our dwarf lion to frozen food I was surprised to see an eel come out of the biggest piece of live rock. <Happens> I was quite shocked by this discovery. Now with our hitchhiker we have the task of identifying the eel and seeing if he is suited to our tank, and if so how to take care of him, not the ideal way to figure out how to take care of an animal after the fact, but we did not have a choice. OK, the eel is white and black striped, with wider stripes, probably about 1/2 inch stripes. Since we only saw the head and a little we could not tell more, but it looks like he could be 6 inches to a foot in length, and he looks like he could be close to 3/4 - 1 inch in diameter. His stripes seem more defined then the snowflake eels we have seen. I did see a banded snake eel online, but he does not quite look like this either. The first stripe starting at the head is white. Any ideas what this might be? <Not from this description> I will try to get a picture for identification if I can find a time when it is out. <This would really help> Thank you in advance for your help. Your site has already been a great help, and a lot of fun to read. Thank you, Andrew Morgenegg <Am sure you've looked at the few dozen species of eels we have pictured: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm. With a pic hopefully we can narrow down the possibilities here. Bob Fenner>

Yellow brotula goby My LFS has a "yellow brotula goby" for sale; I think it resembles "Gunterichthys longipenis" but cannot find any information on feeding or habitat. One source labeled it a brackish fish. <Can be kept in brackish to marine circumstances> The store owner insists that it is marine. Though it has been at the store for more than a month, no one there is really certain that it eats or knows what it eats. Obviously, it is not starving and still looks as plump as it did when I first saw it... but I don't want to bring it home and slowly kill it. Can you tell me anything more about this fish? Is it a goby? Is it brackish or marine? What does it eat? Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Sincerely, Kyn Un. <Not a goby... Please see here: Gunterichthys longipenis. Not much known re its practical aquarium husbandry. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Lionfish Questions <MikeD here again> Wow thanks a lot<You're more than welcome.>...You responded to all my questions......I have nothing else to say <There will be more in the future, trust me.>........I would love to have an eel but my wife told me I could have what ever I wanted, even my 600 gallon tank next year......but no eel <Sorry to hear that. It sounds like you're another victim of the "Yuk, it looks like a snake" mind set, which is unfortunate, but it's a small price to pay if she tolerates and shares your passion in other areas.> .....Thanks again for your great info... Derik

Eel id to bob Fenner the photos are attached can you tell me what sort of eel it is please <Don't recognize this fish at all. Is it a synbranchid? This is freshwater, yes? Please see fishbase.org and look through the various species listed of this family for pix. Will post on WWM in the hope someone can make out what this is. Bob Fenner>

Eels Hi, <Good morning, PF here in the bright and early, at least by my standards...> I am purchasing that book I have already ordered it. <I'm assuming Michael's book on sharks and rays.> I know a lot about epaulettes but no where can I find information on how well they do with eels, in particular a Hawaiian Dragon Eel or a Tessalata Eel. <Both eels are piscivorous, and if there is a substantial size difference, I imagine one would eat the other. That said, Tessalata eels reach almost 6' in length, that's a lot of eel. Hawaiian Dragon eels reach about 32" - 1/2 the length. Don't forget the square/cube law: double the size, 4X the mass. > I have read everything on your website about sharks and almost everything about eels but I didn't find any information on Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tessalata Eels. <I would recommend you read Scott Michael's Reef Fishes Vol 1, there's an extensive section on eels.> I also am looking into the blue dot stingrays. I am not necessarily getting an eel or a stingray but I am definitely getting the sharks. I have read numerous books on marine aquariums that included information about sharks. I have also contacted the aquarium about epaulettes. I am smart enough to know not to get any kind of shark that is sharky-looking, like a nurse, lemon, white tip, leopard, shovelnose, or hammerheads, which are available from time to time. <Good for you, I can't believe someone would try to keep a hammerhead, well, actually, sadly I can believe that.> I have read lots of information about the sharks but I cannot find any information on how they behave with the Hawaiian Dragon Eels or Tessalata Eels or the blue dot stingrays. <The sting rays fair poorly in captivity, and need a very different setup than either the Epaulette or the Hawaiian Dragon eel - the ray needs a large, sandy area, while the shark and eel need rock work. For the sake of the ray (not to mention your wallet) leave it in the ocean, or go see one at a public aquarium.> So I need to know if they can all be housed together or with just an eel or just a stingray and sharks? <Think I already answered that one.> I also need to know some information about the Hawaiian Dragon Eel such as his behavior, what it eats, and if it is hardy? <It's an aggressive piscivore, like all eels prone to carpet surfing, and yes they are hardy animals. They are also known for going on hunger strikes. Do pick up and read Michael's book.> I also need to know if the sea life I listed above are compatible with a woebegone? <Not in my opinion. The woebegone gets over 10' long and is no more appropriate to keep than the hammerhead.> I know it is compatible with an Epaulette but I don't know if it is compatible with the other sea life I listed. Please help me. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Versusdude320 <Well, I hope this helps. Please do some more reading and research before making any final decisions. Have a good day, PF

Concerned Eel Owner I had a very small chain eel (6") which died. <almost newborn :p > After checking all parameters, I could not figure out why the chain died. I have a bicolor angel which is doing fine so I don't think water quality is a problem. Perhaps, it was simply too small or too stressed. Consequently, I've just purchased a large (1 foot) snowflake eel. I've noticed that it seems to be breathing hard which leads me to wonder if I have an aeration problem. <easy enough top confirm...O2 tests are cheap and reliable. Increase aeration and get a test kit. tetra makes a fine one> By breathing hard, I mean he is constantly gasping for breath and the gill sacs (here I mean those air filled pouches behind the eyes) are quite inflated. Is this normal? <is your salinity too low or too high? Do check with another hydrometer especially if you are using one of those hobbyist plastic swing arm jobs. Eels will show salinity shock before many fishes. Aim for 1.022-1.025> He didn't seem to be breathing as hard at the LFS. <diff water/salinity> I have a 180 g closed lid system with two Hagen 802 powerheads, a trickle filter and an AquaMedic protein skimmer. <the AquaMedic provides excellent aeration I'm sure... lets explore water quality> I'm not using the tubes which attach to the powerheads as they didn't seem to do anything and were constantly falling off. Should I add an airstone? <helpful but may not be necessary> Would this have any adverse effects on the tank? <beneficial but increases salt creep> I really do not want to lose this new eel especially since I've read they are among the hardiest of aquarium specimens. Thank you for your help. <best regards, Anthony>

Concerned Eel Owner, one more question Thank you for your prompt reply regarding my heavily breathing eel. <my pleasure to help> I think you're right that aeration isn't the problem. My eel breathes about once every second or simply keeps his mouth agape. <that sounds like rather typical respiratory behavior> I read on one the FAQs that this was a normal breathing pattern. Nonetheless, I'll test the O2 levels. As per salinity, it is at 1.025 when tested with the SeaTest hydrometer. I'll test with another hydrometer. Could you recommend a brand? <no brand preference... most glass hydrometers are more reliable because they are not affected by air bubbles like the swing arm plastic models> I have one more question. Periodically, the eel jerks its head. Is this normal behavior? <occasionally yes... head nods and twitches are normal. Not too excessive though> Sorry to take up more of your time but I really value your expertise. Thanks again. <no worries... we want you to happy and successful as an aquarists. Best regards, Anthony>

Eels and Wiseguys Greetings O Kind Keepers of Free Assistance & Wisdom, <that makes us kinda sound like the government <G>> I have been actively searching for an e. pardalis (Hawaiian Dragon Eel) to add to my 180. <really... I didn't know you were rich...heehee> I figured the teeth would impress my buddy the dentist! <please don't make me fly to where you live and smack you> The price is steep though...Mt. Everest steep. <yep... nature of the beast> While I am still leaning this way, I ran across an old FAQ reply from Anthony in which he suggested that a hobbyist should reconsider the eventually huge g. favagineus (tesselata) and instead purchase a g. permistus, which is almost identical in appearance but much smaller. This intrigued me enough to consider it, but it is virtually impossible to find a good reference on g. permistus--nor is it generally offered for sale. <try the Marine Center... they even quarantine their livestock before selling it> More importantly, can a web-order house reliably tell the difference between two young individuals --one being permistus and the other favagineus??? <some can... the better companies. Often it is a matter of knowing their collectors reliably and the geographic distribution of the species> If I were to ever order this less expensive fish (relative to the wallet-emptying Dragon), I would feel horrible if the specimen was growing out to be a monster favagineus. <ahhh... ya :p> It would be inhumane to house an 5+(??) ft. adult in a 180, <you wouldn't have to worry about that... it would jump out of the tank, eat the dog, smack the kids and be found in the kitchen making a pizza by that point> and I also know it can be difficult to find a taker for a huge fish when you can't keep it anymore. <beyond difficult... it is irresponsible to take on an animal that you can't care for its life. They are completely dependant on us> Can they accurately tell the difference??? <yep> Or is it a safer bet to just pick the Dragon with its 3 ft. max. size and Colgate-look-Ma-no-cavities smile? <I'd advise against the dragon... not all specimens look as pretty as the cover girls you see in books. Many in fact don't. It would really suck to buy an overpriced ugly eel> Thanks. You guys rock! Steve w/Predators. <you are welcome... Anthony w/allergies>

Small Moray Tank Setup Hey WWM Crew, <Cheers, friend!> I'm a dedicated 15 year old keeper of a 38 gallon reef, but I have space in my room for another tank. <ahhh... you are a dedicated aquarist!> I was thinking of 15-20 gallon setup dedicated to one species, a small moray eel. Scott Michael's article in the latest aquarium fish said that the morays that remain under 15 inches could be successfully maintained in a 10-15 gallon tank. <yes...agreed, although they are rare and can be expensive. The yellow dwarf eel from Hawaii is a great choice...very hardy!> But even before this article, I have always wanted a moray. I plan on using a PVC pipe covered with Macroalgae encrusted live rock and rubble for the aquascape. <excellent> I want the whole thing to be as simple and inexpensive as possible, as I don't have that much money, but it should be effective as well. What would be the best filtration to have for a system like this? <have a very tight fitting cover first <G>. Then a large Eheim canister filter would work nicely (double foam blocks and a small foam block on the intake strainer in the tank to greatly extend the life of the media in the Eheim> Should I use a plenum like on my reef? <not necessary at all... even for reefs> Is an undergravel filter good enough? <too labor intensive... not good for water quality in the long run, plus the lift tubes are a danger to the eel> Could you recommend a good protein skimmer model for this sized system? <CPR Bak Pak would be just fine> Thanks for any help -Andy <good luck, bud. Anthony>

Moray Changing colors Sorry about that, I am new at this.. <no worries... Anthony with the follow up> Well here I go, I have a Leopard Moray he is about 2 feet long. I have 130 us gallon tank. I have about 65lbs of live rock. I <do consider more live rock!> also have Niger trigger and a blue spotted Grouper. <Hmm.. a bit fast/greedy to keep with the eel in the long run> Some snails and 2 red scallops. <the above are called "food" for most such predators.. heehee, fortunately your Niger Odonus trigger is one of the few planktivores whereby most eat mollusks like you have mentioned> I have a biological filter and protein skimmer and a U.V sterilizer. My water levels are as follow. ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, ph 8.1 and those are the test that I run. <do get that pH up to 8.3 or higher minimum> should I run other test?? Dose that help you answer my question?? <yes...thank you for the specs... the basics offered lend no cause for suspicion. And the length of the eel suggests a maturity in which color changing from age would not be a surprise. If the eel is alert and eating normally... I say it sounds fine until you see otherwise. Many fishes take on a dark or dusky appearance with age... like unshaven old men. Perhaps that is to keep both out of the gene pool...heehee> Simon Doucette. Thanks <kindly, Anthony>

Moray eels/Conger eels Dr. R. Fenner: I've been considering the possibility of having at first a conger eel, since besides my affinity to them, the cold waters of the Atlantic cost of Portugal (North) wouldn't present such a difficult task in terms of temperature balance. <I don't follow.. how will you keep the water cool in a captive system?...generally expensive unless the animal is to be tortured in warm water...hehe> The possibility of a moray came later when I've heard from a friend, (although I'm still not sure of the specie) that is being kept on an small aquarium, and so i could maybe provide a better option to it. I have an aquarium of 1.50 mtsx40x40m and two more of 1.0x30x30, that could be used to amplify the tank size. Even so, i find those dimensions two small for such species, that is in my op., <agreed, leave it in the ocean where it belongs> in terms of the conger eel, i could, when it got to a bigger size, return it to the ocean that is at about 800 mts, of my home, <Aaaaaaiieeeee! No, please> but even in that possibility, i do have my doubts that it would survive, since it was raised on a tank, and hand-fed. <more importantly it is irresponsible for aquarists to release anything held captive including native species back into the wild for fear of introducing exotic diseases (among many other reasons) into the wild through fish foods used or exotic tankmates. Overall a bad, if not unlawful idea> I read your article, at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm therefore i would like to ask your opinion on what kind of tanks (glass in the first option that i have, since i bought those three tanks at a bargain price) or pvc, or any other material to were i could have them (one of the specie's only! in spite, sometimes certain species share the same "hunting grounds"), oxygen levels, temperature, the basic structure required for these kind of fish; <no reference point for this unusual captive> the use of the common aquarium filters?. or biofilters?...nitrates levels, etc. Every possible information that you could give, (a sketch of the hole structure would be excellent, if that's not asking to much.!) <I'm sure that it would require a standard set-up plus a chiller just as one would set up for a tropical predator tank. You could expect to employ trickle filters, protein skimmers, chemical filters (carbon, etc) and do frequent small partial water changes> Thank you in advance, With my Best Regards, Artur Santos <Best regards, Anthony>

Eel in a future tank Hello Bob! I recently discovered this site and it probably will surpass even www.thekrib.com as "My Favorite Website." (Does this make me a 'fish geek'?). <High praise indeed! And... you're in good-geek company> Well, I'm going saltwater, and I really wanted a 180(24x24x72), but I felt too guilty spending my kids' college $ on that size setup, so I settled on a 92 corner tank (besides, it matches my discus planted setup.) <Let them work, builds character... I did, and most all who know me will attest I'm a character> The species I want to house are... an EEL! I have got to have an eel. an antennata lion (maybe) an algae eating tang of some sort a filefish of some sort some starfish an urchin maybe a giant clam (in future, after experience) also an anemone/clown duo (again, in the future) (inverts someday...) finally, some of those bright red fire shrimp <Might be eel food...> From what I have read (incl. your book, even though the binding has completely failed and the pages go flying onto the floor), this load should work in that 92. <Mmm, mine too... supposedly the newer printings hold together better.> So here is my question- in your opinion, which is the better scenario- A) zebra moray vs. beautiful red cleaner shrimp (I do love that red color) <Yikes, tough choice... start with the eel, maybe trade out, or spend more of college tuition/party funds on another "reef" tank...> B) Mexican dragon moray vs. the other fish (and poss. my fingers) <Ultra yikes... Hold off on this species... not that interesting, trust me> The aquascape will include a nice cave @ the rear corner. Thank you, Erik Nelson P.S. It is 8:10AM Monday and I should be working. <Super ultra yikes, me too. Bob Fenner>

Regarding to get information about eel dear sir/ madam with due respect , first of all let me introduce myself, that i am a senior research fellow at central institute of fishery education, Mumbai, India. now i came to know about you and your work on eels. i am in a urgent need of some basic information like taxonomy, distribution, worldwide species of eels . if you can send some material on these aspects then it would be immense help of me by you. looking forward to receive your favorable and quick reply with best regards Vishal <I will help you in what ways I can. Have you searched through fishbase.org on the Net yet? This is the best place to start your search. Bob Fenner> my address is Vishal Saxena senior research fellow 317,CIFE hostel, 7-Banglows Andheri (west), Versova Mumbai-61 Mahrashtra INDIA

Eel identification G'day from Downunder, I have a question for you, I live 50 km (30 miles) south of Perth and one of my hobbies is diving for the local crayfish. <These are spiny lobsters to you/us Yanks> During these dives, I often see some kind of eel with just it's head poking out of the sand. All the eels I have seen in the sand seem to be quite small (heads 1-2 inches) and some of the holes they are in are surrounded by empty small mussel like shells. The eels themselves look to be a silvery white colour and the heads (which is all I have ever seen) look a bit like the Dragon Moray I found in your remarkable set of eel pages. Can you help me by identifying or at least giving me your best guess on what type of eels they are? I am not a collector, and have never dug one out of the sand, I would just like to know what is down there! Thanks anyway, even if you can't help me. John Rowe Safety Bay WA <Took a look through my Rudie Kuiter, Roger Steene, Gerald Allen, John Randall... Aussie fishes books... Might be a Worm Eel (family Moringuidae), perhaps a Moray like Siderea thyrsoidea... even a Snake Eel (family Ophichthidae) like the Slender Muraenichthys macropterus... or even some type of Opistognathid, blennioid, gobioid... Sorry to not be able to direct you more specifically, but do use these terms in the fabulous database: www.fishbase.com and look through their many images associated with these families, species... There's even a chance that you're looking at an undescribed species! Bob Fenner, who would like to dive around Perth someday (soon!)>

Acclimation of Anquilla Robert, any advice/instructions on how to acclimate Anguilla angilla to tanks of 5 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius? help greatly appreciated, Brianna Fahey Trinity College Dublin, Dept. of Zoology <Ah, wasn't it Henry the... who is said to have died from a surfeit of these freshwater/anadromous eels? Do take care here on a few counts... depending on the "ambient" (or shall we say "most recent") thermal regime these specimens have been kept at, (if only a few, as in two degrees from a target moving temperature), simply placing them will do... if it's several (from the Middle English meaning "many") A few weeks ought to be set aside to slowly (two degrees C per week maximum) in moving them to/from where they're currently. A few provisos (sorry to overstate the case here, but all this is posted to folks who are likely unfamiliar), DO make sure and handle these eels as little as possible, in particular preserving their ionic/osmotic integrity by not-wiping much of their body slime off. Do provide copious aeration, circulation, and frequent partial water changes... and of course, take care with their feedings (the best overall indication/bioassay of the effects of temperature, overall environmental adaptation). Lastly, should they perish in good numbers, give me a call back, and we'll share recipes. Bob Fenner>

More Anquilla: thanks for the speedy reply bob. i just want to ask for some clarifications - how exactly to increase the temp. by 2 degrees per week (any specific don't do's); and once they've reached the required temp, how long before they're acclimated and happy?! Brianna <Yes, a daily addition/removal of a portion of the system water, replacement with similar volume of new water of the desired target temperature, with a "nudging" of room, thermostat temperature setting in that direction... Depending on starting/finishing thermal differences a few weeks to a few months for metabolic change and "happiness". Bob Fenner>

Re: ich :( thanks bob :) Does the eel count as a "fish" that should be moved to treatment? >> Kind of... most true eels really don't like copper... Arggghhhh, so it would be best/better to low salinity treat it.... in yes, another system you don't have.... but you can try it (short time... possibly) with the other fishes... Bob Fenner

What the heck are these little critters? Are they like baby boxfish and the "Boston Bean" in that they could grow up to be gigantic, or are they just an eel-like fish that stays tiny? Thanks in advance for any info you can provide... >> What? What are Garden Eels? They're Congrids... the family of true eels most commonly called Conger Eels... why do you ask...? They are eels... that get to a couple of feet in length... live in soft, deep sand... You've seen them in underwater nature shows on the tube... hanging around in the open current in a group... like so many reeds in the wind... Not suitable for aquarium use. Boston Beans (Ostraciids, Boxfishes) don't grow up to be gigantic... they're puffers that don't blow up... Bob Fenner

Garden Eels Hi Bob .I was looking for a eel for my 55 gallon fish-reef tank ,an I noticed in the collectors corner on FF Express that they are offering Garden Eels. I am unfamiliar with this breed of eel, is it reef safe, and is there anything else I would want to know about this breed of eel before I buy it? Thank you Richard Tarr >> Hmm, well, I just looked through the big list of Collector's Corner, and Eels catalog listings and can't seem to locate "Garden Eels"... but do suspect that you're referring to the Congrids (family Congridae), and no to these animals period in captivity... they're not easily kept by anyone... require very deep, fine sand, no real competitive tankmates... If you want to set-up a "species tank" for them, let's talk... Bob Fenner

Eel What would you feed a Goldspot eel Myrichthys oculatus? >> This western Atlantic eel eats mainly crabs in the wild... and at night... I would try to get it to eat most anything it will accept... This whole family, the Snake Eels (Ophichthidae) does terribly in captivity... I really wish the trade would stop offering them entirely. Bob Fenner

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