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FAQs about Morays Eel Compatibility 1

Related FAQs:  Moray Compatibility 2, Moray Compatibility 3, Moray Compatibility 4, & Moray Behavior, Moray Eels 1, Moray Eels 2, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels,

Related Articles: Moray Eels Bite, But Are They Venomous? by Marco Lichtenberger, Moray Eels, Zebra Morays, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Morays, The "Freshwater" Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Other Marine Eels

Most morays are piscivorous (fish eaters) and will consume fishes they can catch.

Eel <comp.> and Dissolved Oxygen Problems. - 8/8/8 Hi Crew, <Hello Adam.> Let me thank you in advance for the great site and your help with my concerns. I have scoured over your FAQs but haven't found the answers to my question. I'm a relative newbie to the marine aquarium hobby and have certainly made more than my fair share of mistakes thus far. I cycled my tank for six weeks with live rock and have had fish in there for a little more than five weeks. So my tank is almost three months old. I have had two weeks of hell with my aquarium. I have resolved most issues so I will not waste your time going over everything that has happened. I have two main concerns I need help with, but will go over the basics first. Set-up: 100 gallon FOWLR tank 2 Emperor 400 Filters 65 lbs of live rock 100lbs of sand Inhabitants: 2ft zebra moray eel 10in snowflake eel 1 1/4in dwarf lionfish <Might become prey to the snowflake, when it gets older.> 1 1/4in fu man chu lionfish 3/4in sphex lionfish 1in flame angel 2in starry-eyed puffer <Arothron stellatus? Not recommended for any tank smaller than 1000 (one thousand) gallons. This fish can reach 30 inches for sure and was even reported at almost 50 inches in nature.> 3 1/2in giant Hawkfish <When all these fish grow it will be too much for your tank. You'll likely run into water quality and stress problems.> Water Conditions: Ammonia = 0 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 15ppm PH = 8.1 Temp = 78-81F relatively constant Problem #1 Yesterday morning on my way out to work I saw my dog whining next my aquarium. I look in the tank and my zebra moray eel is not in there. Somehow he figured out how to get out of the tank, and probably fell about four feet onto hard tile. (I have since thoroughly secured my lid) <Good, that's recommended for all moray eels and most other eel shaped fishes.> My guess is he was out of the water for at least an hour but I don't know exactly. To my surprise he was still alive all be it a bit dried up and dirty. Anyways, I grabbed him ran some fresh water from the faucet over him to remove dirt and dead skin from him. He lost a lot of skin and slime. I put him back in the tank and had to go to work. When I got home he was still alive. Actually all things considered not doing too bad. He is obviously very stressed and isn't moving around much at all, but he is able to move. Considering the skin loss he hasn't lost much color, and eyes look fine. Only the very tip of his tail is whitish probably dead skin I could easily remove but I've been trying to just leave him alone and relax. All day yesterday he was breathing very heavily. Today his breathing seems to have returned to about normal. Although he is able to move, parts of his body don't look quite right. I fear he may have some internal injuries from the fall. I'm optimistic he is going to pull through, but cant be certain. <You did everything right and also your dog seems to be educated very well, because he did not kill or carry away the eel.> Yesterday I did a 25 gallon water change so I could vacuum up any excess dead skin in tank and also I figured his recovery would be aided by as high quality of water as I could provide. <Very good.> The local fish store person advised that I put this stuff called Melafix Marine into the tank to help prevent a bacterial infection on his skin. I put the first dose in there yesterday but all the other fish seemed not to like it much. I guess my question is in your opinion do you think that I should continue with the Melafix treatment? After watching my other fish's reaction to it I'd prefer to just keep monitoring water conditions and do water changes as needed and discontinue the treatment. It says that stuff is all natural and safe to use in tank but after reading your site I'm very hesitant to add anymore of it. I would appreciate any advice you could offer on this situation. <The recovery can take several months, you'll need some patience. I would not rely on the product you are using, but rather on good water quality and, when he starts eating again (can take a while, he went through a lot of stress), a vitamin enriched, varied food.> Problem #2 For the past week or so I have been noticing that some of my fish seem to have a bit of laboured breathing. <I'm not surprised seeing your stocking list and setup.> My Hawkfish especially has been spending much of his time up near the surface and filters, also I notice the flame angel and the eels poking their heads out of the top of the water. So my concern is that my tank has poor dissolved oxygen levels. <You can bet so.> But with my eels I have to keep my tank lid tight and secure. <Right. People with morays in coral reef tanks and strong illumination often apply nets, eggcrate and meshes instead of lids.> I suspect that this may be the culprit of the poor oxygen. (Actually that may be the reason the eel escaped?) <Possible, but we'll never know for sure. Does it have enough shelter? Does the other moray or any other fish stress him out?> I really have no idea how to improve this being that I have to keep the lid closed tight. I tried putting my powerhead back in the tank to improve water flow but the currents are way to strong for my small fish. <You could get two or three smaller ones with large outlets like Koralia or Tunze NanoStream models. They'll produce a soft current, but still sufficient surface agitation.> Could you please advise me of the safest and most economical way to improve my dissolved oxygen content considering my lid issues. Is there any way to test for dissolved oxygen concentration? <Yes, dissolved oxygen can be tested (e.g. liquid test by Salifert), but usually you do not need this test. What I would do is: 1: Re-think the combination and number of fish in your tank. It should be reduced. I know this is no advice one wants to hear, but believe this will be inevitable to get a stable system in your case. 2: A skimmer will drastically increase the dissolved oxygen and also reduce the organic pollution, which additionally inhibits the uptake of oxygen into the blood of the fishes. I would modify the lid to be able to use a skimmer or install an overflow and a refugium/sump with a skimmer (see WWM re). The second possibility would be more expensive, but also more beneficial. 3. Small powerheads pointing towards the surface will increase surface agitation and consequently gaseous exchange. Small diagonally arranged holes in the back of the lid as well as opening the lid, when you are at home will help to exchange the air above the water.> Thank you again for all you help and hard work! Adam <I hope the suggestions above will help. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Eel and Dissolved Oxygen Problems. + a new problem, eel/puffer incomp. incident - 8/9/08 Hello Again Crew <Hi Adam.> Thanks for the advice Marco. I'm trying to figure out what would be best to do. <You are welcome.> I had another big problem arise last night. While my zebra eel was relaxing and recovering last night my starry puffer (Yes, an Arothron stellatus) began viciously attacking his tail areas. <A common problem of puffer/Arothron combinations, especially when the moray becomes sick/weak.> It was not like a threat display he was biting him hard, as if he thought my eel was food. I immediately removed the puffer to a trash can and put a power head in there for overnight. That was extremely frustrating being that two have lived together for almost five weeks and have never had a problem. <That's not a long time. Let's talk about successful tank mates in a year and again in a few years.> While I would like to believe this was an isolated incident that will go away if I reintroduce the puffer, my gut tells me there is no way it will work in the future. <My gut agrees. There is no chance this fish will work in your tank.> And based on your advice here is my tentative plan. 1) Return the puffer to the LFS (eliminates aggression and stress for my other fish, also he eats the most and excretes the most so removing him will reduce the bioload on my system, and like you said he will grow to be giant sized so won't be suitable for my tank in the future anyways). <I absolutely agree with you. The puffer does not fit in there.> 2) Buy a protein skimmer and figure how to outfit my tank with it (Hopefully, help with water quality and dissolved oxygen issues you mentioned). <I'd first figure out how to outfit the tank and then buy an appropriate model. See WWM re different skimmer types and models. If you have the funds available go for a refugium/sump, this will give you the possibility to apply a DSB (deep sand bed, see WWM) and increase the water volume. Other skimmers will work too in terms of oxygen and protein removal.> Sound like a reasonable plan for the short term? <Yes.> With respect to my fish combination and bioload. Like you said, yes that is the most disheartening advice to hear as I love my fish I have. I am least willing to part with my zebra eel, Hawkfish (I realize at some point he will be too big for the tank but would prefer to keep him as long as possible) and my lionfish. So maybe just see how it goes with all my fish minus the puffer? Do you think with a skimmer the remaining fish could become a stable system? <Short term: yes, but long term (when your fish are grown): no. As you note the Hawkfish will have to go, and you likely will have to choose between keeping the snowflake eel and the dwarf lion and flame angel in the long run, although the latter combination might be solved by the snowflake eel itself when it reaches maturity. I guess the eel will leave the two slightly larger lion species alone, and although their stingers are a danger to the moray, this might work.> Thanks again for your input! Adam <Cheers, Marco.>

Green wolf eel and Jeweled Moray 07/03/08 Hi everybody hope all is well... <Hello Josh.> So at one of my local LFS they have this beautiful green wolf eel (Congrogadus subducens), it is beautiful, strangely it is red in color. <Yes, they sometimes occur in this color. There is some variability, and in addition they are able to change their color to some degree.> instead of green and it is about 12 inches long and as think as a ping pong ball. At home I have a jeweled moray who is about 22 inches long and as think as a tennis ball. My question is would I be able to put the green wolf eel in my tank without it becoming a quick snack for the jeweled? <I have seen this combination, but with animals of equal size. Personally, I would not risk losing the Wolf eel, because it would likely fit into the M. lentiginosa.> Thanks for your time. Josh <You are welcome. Marco.>  

Green Moray Eel - System 04/09/08 Hey Guys, <Hi.> Just had a quick question on green moray eels. I'm going to be buying a 300 gallon tank 6x3x2.5 high and wondered if I could house a green moray in it into adulthood? <I don't think so. For a few years it may be okay, but eventually you'll need a bigger tank.> I was wanting to buy a young one and raise it up and figured if it was fed a maintenance diet instead of power fed it would never grow to be as big as they do in the wild <No, they will reach their 6 to 7 feet when properly cared for.> ( I've heard Tesselata eels generally don't grow to much more than 4 to 5 feet in captivity so maybe about the same length?). <G. favagineus stays generally a little smaller than G. funebris. Those reports of very large (up to 10 feet) Tesselata Eels are not confirmed by science, might be stories or rare exceptions.> Don't mistake maintenance for starvation diet lol would never do that just more fed in moderation. He would be the only resident in the tank <He would eat most tank mates anyway.> (until an adult were I would like to add some fish too small to be eaten) and the tank would be over skimmed just more concerned if he would be comfortable in a tank that size. Just don't have room for a larger tank and have always been in love with the green morays so any advice would be greatly appreciated. <My recommendation would be to choose a less dangerous and smaller moray eel species, something below 5 feet. There is a huge selection. Have a look at an adult in some public aquarium or the ocean and I'm sure you'll re-think the 300 gallon idea. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm for experiences with large Green Morays in the home aquarium.> Thanks again! <Good luck with what you decide to do, Marco.>

Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina - System 04/09/08 4/13/08 Hey Marco, <Hi.> Thanks for the reply. <You are welcome.> If not the green then my other choice was the Viper moray (Enchelynassa canina), which are supposed to get to an adult size of 5 feet. I was just wondering if I imported a large one <Smaller specimens are easier to transport and adapt better to captive life. I think your tank could support an adult individual of this species if it's well filtered and skimmed.> would you think it would ignore fish say the size of a dwarf angel being it would be too small to bother with trying to eat? <I do not think dwarf angels would be safe, but I have not tried them as tankmates. In fact I have not kept E. canina personally, but can only comment from experiences with other fish-eating morays of similar size. Mine (e.g. G. favagineus) have eaten even smaller fish over night, when those were asleep, but I am planning to try tiny Gobiodon okinawae somewhere in the future when I have enough Acropora for them.> Just thought it would look sweet to have a bunch of small colorful and peaceful fish and to have a big ominous beast lurking around in the shadows. <While the idea sounds reasonable (this is done in large public aquaria with very large morays and very small fish), it will be difficult to do at home. Chances are best when the little fish are in the tank first, and if these fish are still juvenile specimens. Be aware that an adult Enchelynassa canina is a very dangerous pet that can easily mutilate your hand or arm if given the chance.> Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on it <Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina - Tank mates 04/14/08 Hey Marco, <Hello.> Thanks for all the advice so far. If not small fish with the viper moray do you think a good sized meleagris puffer would make a good tankmate? <No, I'd bet a 1 foot puffer (the maximum reported 19 inches will be hard to find) will be eaten. Chances for small fish (size below two inches, no dwarf angels as suggested in the earlier email) would be more promising. A large grouper might work, but while the eel would likely be able to live in your 300 gallon tank (with good filtration), I doubt a massive 2 foot grouper, which would be the size necessary to be (mostly) safe from your 4 foot moray, would do well in there.> Just don't see puffers to high on most animals like to eat list. <I have seen morays eat puffers without being intoxicated. But a moray may die when a puffer manages to puff in the predator's mouth, eventually you may lose both. There were pictures of such coincidences on the net, and even porcupine fishes were found inside of larger morays.> Incredible as the vipers morays are it would be nice to have some other movement in the tank. <Sure the temptation to try tank mates is there, but from my aesthetic point of view, a tank with one large moray is impressive enough. If you provide sufficient water quality, you can have many different corals and turn the tank into a nice reef section, and possibly even try some small coral dwellers like Okinawa gobies. As a side note: Since you considered a G. funebris first, do you know Gymnothorax castaneus aka fox moray aka chestnut moray? Looks very much the same and usually stays shorter than 5 feet. It's from the Eastern Pacific and rarely traded. Nonetheless, the same problems are to be expected re tank mates, danger to yourself as with the E. canina. Cheers, Marco.>

Swallow size guidelines for moray eels? - 02/02/2008 Hello, there! <Hi Derry.> To begin with, thank you for the INCREDIBLY informative site you have here. <Glad you like it.> My question: Is there any rule of thumb for moray eels and how large a prey item a given moray can consume? <Prey 1.5-2 times its girth is generally manageable by most moray specimens, some large mouthed ones like Chanomuraena spp. or Strophidon sathete may manage more. High bodied fish can be folded to fit. But the problem here is not only what they may be able to swallow at once. Morays can also form a knot with their body while biting a larger fish and pull their head through the knot taking a chunk out of the fish. I have personally observed this with many species ranging from tiny Echidnas to Giant morays (G. javanicus). However, this is rather the exception than the rule, most specimens won't try that with tougher tank mates of 1/3 to 1/2 of the length of the eel. It's also useful to introduce the moray last and not add new fish at feeding time.> For example, boa constrictors can swallow anything roughly double the girth of their own thickness. <Interesting.> I'm considering getting one of the smaller morays, but first I want to make sure the rest of my livestock is big enough to avoid becoming an entree! <Will highly depend on the moray species and the tank mates. Zebra morays are usually peaceful with regard to fishes and rarely eat small ones, they will mostly eat crustaceans, though. Snowflake (E. nebulosa), Chainlink (E. catenata) and Banded morays (E. polyzona) will occasionally eat smaller fishes, apparently especially when reaching maturity. Many Gymnothorax spp., and Enchelycore spp. as well as some others will in most cases eat or kill anything shorter than 1/3 of their total length.> Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. <Hope that helps. Choose your moray carefully. Also see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm, and the linked FAQs on compatibility (and feeding… hehe), and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm.> Thanks again! Derry. <Cheers, Marco.>

Viper moray care - 01/07/2008 Hey guys, Sam again. <Hi Sam.> My LFS just got in a young viper moray <Nice.> and I'm positive on what it is, but I can't find any FAQs about its care. I'm pretty sure they don't get too big. <How did you come to that conclusion?> Anyways, I was wondering about its care and if I could keep it with my G. tile. <Unlikely. Basically all morays referred to as Viper moray (maybe one smaller exception see below) will try to eat your G. tile as adults.> If not that's fine I'm willing to set up a larger species tank. Any info would be extremely helpful. <First you should try to find out what species it is. Several morays are called Viper moray in trade. Enchelycore nigricans is known under this name, can get to almost 3 feet, care is similar to the Dragon moray (see WWM re). Enchelynassa canina has also entered the trade as Viper moray. It reaches almost 5 ft and consequently needs something like 180 gallons for itself as an adult. Other Enchelycore spp. have been called Viper moray, too, they all have elongated tubes as anterior nostrils, while the Enchelynassa has 2 flaps at each nostril. Enchelycore carychoa is the only one I know that has been traded that's smaller than 2 ft, it can be recognized by white spots around the pores at its upper an lower jaw, but it's usually called Chestnut moray. If you can mail a picture of the head and maybe the body we could help you to ID this eel.> Thanks for your time, Fischer. <You are welcome. Marco.>

Moray Eel order of introduction to the new system - 01/07/2008 I am planning consolidation of White Mouth (18 in) and Hawaiian Dragon (15 in) into the same system. Both are pretty laid back and fed mostly frozen silverside fish. <Usual warning: Feed a varied diet with clam flesh, mussel flesh, prawns, scallops, squid, fish, and add vitamins from time to time. Your eels will probably thank you by having a long and healthy life.> What order would you suggest for moving them? My plan is to move the white mouth first and introducing dragon a week later. <This coincides with my recommendation. Although I would have kept the Enchelycore preferably in its own system, what you suggest has been done successfully at least for some time. Be prepared to remove the White Mouth or the Dragon in the case of severe aggression, though. In addition provide enough hiding spots for both of them and ensure the tank is 150 gallons or larger. It's good the Dragon is slightly smaller. The first nights and the first few feedings will be the most critical moments.> Thank you in advance for your help. Steven <Good luck. Marco.>

Gymnothorax pictus comp. - 01/06/2008 Hi there, <Hello Hilke.> I just inherited my Bruce, a Gymnothorax pictus from my friend. He is almost a meter long and I'm not sure how old he is or will be. <An adult, can get 10+ years.> He had a friend, a Zebra eel, but she died after stress related circumstances (heater broke and my friend didn't check temperature, very stupid!). Now I have this beautiful eel in a 566 litre tank and he is a very active eel. I would like to give him some new friend(s). Can you please advise me which ones are good friends? Thanks Hilke <The Zebra eel was a very good choice attaining a similar size and being even more harmless (for a moray). Eels would be a good choice, anyway, especially more peaceful species like the Chainlink E. catenata (only a few reach the size of Bruce), or the Tiger Reef Eel Scuticaria tigrina. Both are a little on the reclusive side compared to the Peppered Moray G. pictus. Only try eels of a similar size to Bruce, too small ones may be consumed. However, when you think about more aggressive species they should preferably be a little smaller than the G. pictus. His compatibility with other fishes will depend on his personality. What generally works best with larger eels are groupers (in nature many morays hunt together with groupers), however it will be difficult to get a grouper large enough to be surely safe with the moray and still small enough to live in a 150 gallon. An adult Rock Cod or Panther Grouper may work, given sufficient filtration. Others had success with large lionfish and puffers, but those cases in which such communities fail tragically keep me from recommending them. Be sure to read a lot about any tankmates you may think of and ensure your filtration and water change schedule can support another big fish. Hope that helps, also see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm. Cheers, Marco.>

Dragon moray comp. - 01/04/2008 Happy new year and thanks for the quick response <Happy new year to you, too… please attach earlier e-mails to new queries, so we know who answered your last question.> , I did forget to mention that I am planning to upgrade to a 1000 litre tank within the next 12 months as I love my Queen Angel and I know it could reach 45cm. The only thing stopping me at the moment is the size of my apartment, which will not be an issue for much longer. I would normally wait, but this is the first Dragon Moray I have come across in the UK after 3 - 4 years of searching. Do you think if I improve the filtration as you suggested, I would get away with keeping the eel in my current set up for the short term until I upgrade. If so what upgrades would you recommend? <I would not risk the lives of your beloved Queen Angel, your puffer or any other fishy inhabitants by putting a Dragon Moray in the same tank. Even other morays of similar size often flee from Enchelycore eels. They can take chunks out of large fishes and fold angels to fit them into their stomach.> All my fish are really healthy and I do regular water checks and changes with R.O.. water. I am even considering trading my black coral sea puffer against the eel if you think it would be a risk to keep them all, but I am very reluctant to part with any of my fish as they all work really well together. <The Dragon would be a typical case for a specimen only tank. Not much I can think of - aside sessile invertebrates, snails, hermits - is safe with this type of moray, even other Moray Eels may fail.> Thanks, Kev. <Cheers, Marco.>

Swollen Snowflake Eel - 12/04/2007 Hi WWMedia Crew! <Hello Andrew and Laura> We're huge fans! You've help us a great deal, as we've learned enough to set up our very first tank. Aside from some predictably difficult moments, we feel it's been a success. <Glad to hear.> We've read every FAQ on the site--(using the Google tool as necessary)--not even those just regarding our problem, but several others, which have helped us a great deal. (Also huge fans of the CM and Bob and Anthony's Reef Inverts.) Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find a topic that corresponds to our situation. (Though it's probably there somewhere.) Recently, we acquired a young snowflake eel. He seemed healthy and inquisitive. He had a lot of personality. We named him Gumboot. Anyway, we quarantined him for 4 weeks <Very good> , and he seemed fine-quite happy even, eating frozen foods, like krill, shrimp and scallops. We introduced him into our main tank, along with a sole tankmate-a young lionfish who also seemed happy and healthy. (The lionfish remains so to this day.) A few days ago, the eel disappeared into the rock. Old story, I know, but in this case he reappeared, acting curiously. Although he had been ravenous, he now retreated from food. <Not eating can be a sign of stress, disease, injury, not being hungry.> Soon after, we noticed a peculiar swelling or growth just above his midsection. Since then, he will not eat. He continues to hang out in his favourite spots, his breathing seems OK, but the swollen area has not moved or changed, and he hasn't eaten since Thanksgiving. <Swollen areas or bumps on eels can have many reasons: - Parasites below the skin (marble like appearance), - Internal bacterial infection (many shapes; usually growing; has to be treated in a hospital tank with antibiotics), - Various types of tumors (some will go away by themselves, some can only be treated by a vet), - Constipation (swelling at the belly, use Epsom salt; don't feed much krill, but more mussel and crab meat), - Carrying eggs (eel may increase its diameter more than three times, but yours is probably too young). - In your case I would not exclude the eel was stung by the Lionfish, swelling is one of the symptoms. However, the swelling should become smaller with time unless a piece of the fin ray of the Lionfish got stuck in there and caused an inflammation. In that case you should see a tiny entrance wound.> He is only about 8" long, if that matters. (Sorry we can't provide pix, but he won't show enough of himself to be relevant.) <I hope the list above helps you to get an idea of the possible reason and treatment of the swelling.> Water parameters: SG-1.023, pH-8.2, temp-77F, Am 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates <10. The tank is 90G FOWLR, w/ a 20 g sump, 100 lb. live rock, and a TurboFlotor protein skimmer. <Sounds all okay.> Should we remove the eel to quarantine and medicate--and if so, medicate with what? <Only if you know what he has, you will know how to treat.> Or should we just hang out and hope for the best? <Try to get a better diagnosis with the list above.> (Is he, say, just constipated?) <Well possible. Is the swelling mostly at the belly?> Sorry for the somewhat obvious question, but although he hasn't been with us for too long, we're very fond of him. <I'm sure you are and I do hope Gumboot will get well again. Further recommended readings are http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraydisfaqs.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraydisfaq2.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snoflkeeldisfaqs.htm; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramdisfaqs.htm; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmoraydisfaqs.htm> Thanks immensely... Andrew & Laura in Chicago <Hope that helps, Marco.>

Re: Swollen Snowflake Eel - 12/05/2007 Hi Marco! <Hello Andrew and Laura.> We can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer our question. We hope you won't mind if we attach a brief rider: <No problem at all.> As if things weren't bad enough, we experienced a 5 hour power outage here in Chicago, during winter. Fortunately the display tank only lost about 2.5 degrees in that time. <No problem here for your FOWLR.> Afterwards. Gumboot came out. His swelling was even more pronounced, and he seems quite apathetic. He lay dead center, in the front of the tank. His respiration was normal, <Gills are not affected.> but he was limp and not inclined to hide. <This looks really bad.> We've removed him to a 10 gallon QT, so we might better see what is happening with him. <Understandable choice seeing the pictures. Offer him some cave to feel more comfortable and keep the water quality pristine.> He remains sluggish. We've attached some pictures here <I see one, had no idea the swelling was that large.> , in hopes that you might be able to help us more. Do you have any sense of what might be going on here? We're ready to dose with antibiotics or iodide supplements, but we're not sure which way (if either) to go. <Look for a wound from a lionfish sting and check if the lionfish has intact stinger ends. What we see here is probably an accumulation of fluids. If there is no wound I'd suspect an internal bacterial infection hard to diagnose exactly/treat accordingly without a veterinarian. You can try an antibiotic for gram negative bacteria like Maracyn Two, but, although some eels swollen like your moray survive, many die. It is impossible to know without tests which antibiotics actually work, due to the apparent use of loads of antibiotics at many collectors and wholesalers.> Thanks again. We know you're busy, and we appreciate your help more than we can say. Andrew & Laura in Chicago. <Sorry I have no better news. Keep us updated, I still hope Gumball survives. Marco in Heidelberg.>

Japanese Dragon eel and Volitans lionfish - 11/24/2007 Dear WWM crew, <Bill.> Love your website, it's the best website in this hobby for this hobby. <I'm glad you like the site.> I have a 120 gallon tank with about 100 lbs of live rock and a 30 gallon sump with a ETSS skimmer. The lonely inhabitant is a 30" Japanese Dragon eel and since he is always at the bottom of the tank (only comes up when hungry), I think the tank could use another fish so I was thinking about adding a V. lionfish but I'm afraid that it could sting the eel since the eel might get the wrong idea and try to eat it or would he? <Dragon eels (Enchelycore pardalis) can be a real pain for tank mates due to their long teeth, enormous power and fish eating tendencies. Fish large enough to be safe on the other hand may be a threat to the eel. The lionfish is both, a possible threat to the eel and possible prey. I would not risk losing this rare and expensive moray by adding a lion.> Do eels know to stay away from Lionfish? <In the confined space of an aquarium this may not always be possible. Since the eel was in the tank first, it may well interpret the addition of a lion (and most other fish) as feeding. Can work if your eel is exceptionally peaceful, but the risk is too high in my opinion.> So if too risky to put in a Lionfish, what other fish would you suggest? <Mmh… have many eels together with other eels of the same size without major problems, but eels will stay at the bottom, too, and dragon eels are not among the eels seen sharing their caves in the wild… robust groupers work well with many eels, too, but they need a lot of swimming space and I do not think a 120 gallon system could support a half a metre grouper… Tiny fish like some gobies work quite well with large eels. To be honest I would not try another fish in this tank.> I don't want to deal with Angelfishes or Puffers. <I'm sure the dragon would love dealing with them… pricey food and if the puffer puffs possibly a dead moray.> I really love the Sohal tang and the Harlequin tusk but they would have to be huge since the eel can eat filet of fish (6" long x 2" height) which is pretty big, huh? <Oh yes, and they can take out chunks of larger fishes by forming their body into knot.> Thanks for your time, Bill. <Sorry if it is not what you wanted to hear, but personally I would not try tank mates. Rather enjoy the dragon in his own tank. Much more relaxing. Take care, Marco.>

Re: Japanese Dragon eel and Volitans lionfish -11/27/2007 Dear Marco, <Bill.> Thanks for your quick response. <No problem.> I actually forgot to mention that the eel is going to be transferred to the 120 gallon tank so, if that's the case, would I be able to put the Lionfish in 1st and then the eel?? Do you still think it might not be worth the risk to the eel? <Chances are better when you add the Lionfish first. Anyway, I personally would not risk the life of this pricey and wild caught Moray eel. It is possible they will live together peacefully, but the probability is rather small. Chances are good the Eel will kill or eat the Lionfish at some point. Worst case scenario is the Eel is stung to death while killing the Lionfish.> Thanks, Bill. <Welcome. Marco.>

White mouth moray, dragon moray and lionfish compatibility - 10/08/07 Hey Guys, <Jim.> Just had a stocking question (no nothing to do with panty hose lol) Was just wondering how many volitans lionfish I could comfortably keep with a white mouth moray Gymnothorax meleagris in a 210 gallon tank as adults? <Morays and lionfish do not always mix well. I've encountered lionfish ripped apart by morays and morays stung to death by lionfish. They are certainly not among the tank mates I'd choose for a moray and the white mouth is not among the harmless species, especially not when grown. Sometimes you'll find 1 foot groupers or triggers in 3 foot morays, so possible tank mates should be larger.> I have a 75 gallon sump with a skimmer rated for 450 gallons. <Nice size.> Also how many volitans could I keep in the tank without the eel. <Not more than three to four adults in my opinion. Also have a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lioncompfaqs.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i2/lionfish/keeping_lionfishes.htm for further opinions.> The last question is I have a second tank with a dragon moray by itself and would like to put lions in there, but everyone I talk to says in time the dragon will come out and take chunks out of whatever fish I put in there. Do you find dragons to be so aggressive even with large fish? <As with all morays, it mostly depends on the personality of the fish. However, dragon morays are piscivores and some specimens actually do not tolerate any tank mates, they are generally among the more aggressive members of the family. They can take pieces out of larger fishes by biting their victim, forming their body into a knot and pulling their head through the knot.> Anyways thanks in advance for any info you could give me. Jim. <I hope it's helpful. Marco.>

Moray Eel Worries. Golden spotted eel in 15 gallons, upgrade needed; comp. questions - 07/08/07 Hi, I have a Golden-Spotted Eel in my 60 l tank (Sorry, I'm from Australia). <No worries. I'm living in Germany. 60 l is about 15 gallons.> He's only about 20cm <8 inches> in length (sorry again!) and lives with a yellow tang and domino damsel (no idea how he hasn't eaten the damsel yet <Give it some time.> because he's only about 1 cm in length). <Your tank is far too small (or is a 0 missing?), even if the fish are tiny now. I hope your afterwards mentioned upgrading will take place in the coming weeks.> I've got two problems - 1. I got some live rock from the sea and didn't realise there was a bloody anemone in it! I'm wondering if the anemone will sting the moray and/or other fish. <Well possible. Most anemones need pristine water quality and grow too large for a 15 gallon tank. It should go to a tank of a fellow hobbyist or back to the store in exchange for another piece of rock or to make a down payment for a larger tank.> It has already tried to eat my jardini, etc but it's joined to the rock and I'd have to kill it to get it out of there (don't worry the jardini is far away now). <See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemoneplacemtfaqs.htm and linked pages for moving anemones.> Do you think he'll be ok? <No.> 2. There isn't much info on my particular species of eel <Need to know the species' scientific name first. Likely there is information available. Do you have the scientific name or a picture for identification? If none of the two is available try comparing your specimen to fishbase.org pictures using the names given below. At least 3 morays are referred to as golden spotted: G. miliaris from the Atlantic (See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm ); G. tile from the Indo-Pacific (See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I2/Freshwater_eels/freshwater_eels.htm ); golden speckles are larger on young specimens and not very round ); G. eurostus from the Indo-Pacific ( See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm ). and I know they can be aggressive but mine doesn't seem so (I'm sure he is just tricking me though). <Don't get fooled.> I'm wondering what fish I can put in there (the tank is to be upgraded to a huge wall tank soon) and if I can 'try out' some Banded Shrimp because my boyfriend is in love with them. There's a little crab in there that came in with the rock so I'm wondering how much the eel even likes crustaceans? <No further fish until the system is upgraded. Most morays will eat or wound smaller fish and crustaceans, but they are quite individualistic with regard to their eating preferences, sometimes independently from their species' general preferences. Some eat anything moving, some only eat frozen sea food. It's almost always a gamble and only when you have it for some years, you might get an idea what your moray will eat and what it won't eat. You could try adding a larger banded shrimp to the new tank (as soon as it is cycled) first and then the moray. This ensures it won't think it is being fed. Anyway, a freshly molted shrimp is a temptation, so don't get attached too much to the crustacean (or any fish you add smaller than half of the moray length), because they might be consumed in the long run.> Thanks! Sorry it was so long! Fan from Oz, Liana. <You are welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

New moray eel settling in - 05/21/07 Hey guys, I recently messaged you about my snowflake eel getting out. I have just gotten another eel and I was just curious if there and thing <is anything?> that I can do to help him settle in with the snowflake <Provide enough caves for the two and leave the new one some time to settle in. Don't terrorize it too much with food, if it does not want to eat.> and whether there is a similar eel to the Chainlink eel <Yes, several… See WWM searching for morays, e.g. young barred moray eels Echidna polyzona are similar. If you need an ID search at fishbase.org or sent a good photo. Cheers, Marco.>

Help! Undulated eel (G. undulatus) comp.- 04/17/07 Hi, I have a few questions about putting fish with an undulated eel (1 ft.). <Will grow up to 5 ft. Notorious fish eater. Hope your tank can support that.> Fish such as a Hawaiian spotted puffer size is (2 In.) <too small> or a snow flake eel <risky in the long run, since the G. undulatus will likely outgrow it.> or a dwarf eel  <too small>. Would it be okay to add any of these fishes with an undulated eel or would it eat it or get along with it? If not any of these fishes I would like to know what types of fishes and eels are compatible. <Ensure first your tank is large enough to support two big fish. With regard to other fishes search for species, which will get around 2 feet and are rather heavy and peaceful. With regard to moray eels search for species that reach about the same length. Only put them in the same tank if they have a similar size and provide enough caves. Brazilian dragon moray (M. melanotis) and Purplemouth moray (G. vicinus) are equally aggressive species that might work. Peppered moray (G. pictus) and Zebra moray (G. zebra) are large and more or less peaceful species that could be compatible. The safest option would be to keep your G. undulatus alone. Be sure to read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm and the related FAQs.> We tried putting it with two damsel fish <expensive food, but much appreciated> and it tried to eat it and now all we have in the fish tank is a coral shrimp, which it gets along with. <Shrimp will probably be missing some day, too.> Thank You. <Welcome, Marco.>

Undulated moray eel and dwarf lion? …No - 05/07/07 Hi, I have an undulated moray eel. And  wanted to know, if dwarf zebra lionfish would get along with the moray. <There are several cases of lionfish having killed small moray eels and there are several cases of moray eels having killed lionfish. The undulated moray eel is rather on the piscivorous side. I would not try putting them together. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Moray Tankmates    5/16/07 It is an Undulated Moray (Gymnothorax Undulatus) and it is 15-18 inch. <I apologize, one more question. How big is the proposed system? AJ.>

Gymnothorax Undulatus Tankmates in a 125 Gallon Tank?  - 05/16/07 125 gallon tank <Any arrangement with the eel and any of the other animals you suggested will be a VERY short-term arrangement. This eel can reach up to 1.5 meters (about 6 feet) in length and is hardly suitable for most captive environments. Adam J.> <<Please, go somewhere else. RMF>>

Snowflake eel, Chainlink eel - compatibility and system. 03/25/07 Hi again, had a question about my snowflake eels behaviour.  When I first got my eels (Chainlink and snowflake (both came from the same tank)) they were buddy buddy hung out same cave and all and at first the snowflake was the adventurous one going all around its new tank while the Chainlink hid and refused food. Then I guess they had a fight and he moved on up to the pump in the corner of the tank. I took your advice and made a second cave and he came back down, but sure enough the Chainlink had to change caves from time to time which sent my snowflake flying out of its cave and back to its pump. <Need more caves. Once I had a similar case of a moray hiding behind and in my skimmer. It ended when I introduced and in part buried PVC pipes. I made two caves per moray eel and they almost never left them since.> At first it seemed they were the same size, but now I can see the snowflake is smaller. Any thoughts you feel like sharing on this? <Watch their growth carefully, moray eels are known to be cannibalistic in some cases when their sizes were too different.> I'd like to get them living in the rocks again, right now he's using my banded shark as a hiding place. Its kind of funny to watch the shark burrow itself in the sand only to have the eel ruin its burrow in its attempt to burrow and back and forth but I wouldn't risk giving it food while its under him. Also are there any chances a Chainlink eel could ingest a small lionfish safely mines missing. <Oh yes. Morays (even of the genus Echidna) can kill and eat small lionfish and lionfish can kill morays.> Thanks in advance. <Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Chainlink and snowflake still not getting along - 04/07/07 Hello again, I own two eels (a Chainlink and a snowflake). They both came from the same tank and got along great for a week or so (The LFS guys told me they would be great together rather then two snowflakes... I was new). <They usually do get along well.> Anyway long story short the happy couple had a fight and the snowflake moved up to my pump. My main concern is if the Chainlink is trying to injure the snowflake or push it around.  It'll come up to it and ram it with an open mouth to which the snowflake will dart off. I've tried multiple caves splitting the caves far apart etc... the snowflake just doesn't get bugged up top and there's no getting it down. <Seems this tank is not large enough at least for these two individuals. Have you already tried PVC pipes? It is possible the Chainlink will rarely leave such pipes, since they are really appreciated as hiding spots. Since the increase of the number of caves did not work so far, other strategies also have to be considered. You may try to install a PVC pipe hanging in the upper area of the tank until you can have a bigger tank. This could be an adequate hiding spot for the snowflake. The only other solution left is a separation.> Separating them means killing one, cause no one will take one of them back and the one tanks all I can manage right now so that's not really an option. <There is no need to kill any of them. Try a local reef club or ask at the fish store if they would take it back for free or know someone who would take it for free. There are numerous more possibilities to give away your moray eel instead of killing it. If you manage to remove the Chainlink for say 6-8 weeks in a spare tank or at the LFS, it could be enough time for the snowflake to establish its territory and gain some weight. It is possible that they will get along after that time.> A much bigger tank is on the way in about a years time so if its just harassment then I'll let it go but if not I'd like a suggestion. <It probably just is territorial behaviour. Anyway the snowflake needs a hiding spot. No hiding spot equals tremendous stress.> Thank you in advance for any solutions and/or info you can provide. <Hope one of the suggestions works. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Chainlink and snowflake still not getting along II - 04/08/07 Hello again, Marco if you are there quick follow up question. <I'm here.> Just wanted to expand on the prior question/answer for complete understanding. Is a PVC pipe just that much more secure over a pile of rocks near the back of the tank? <For many eels: yes. I also once had a specimen (some Gymnothorax) which hid in an internal skimmer. As soon as I installed PVC pipes, it inhabited one of those and never left it for long since. It in fact even is able to defend it (just by threatening with its mouth wide open) against a larger moray eel. All my morays, which had pipes available, loved them more or less. The advantage of pipes vs. rock piles is, they leave almost no vulnerable points except the openings. Therefore I think it is worth a try, especially in cases where they have difficulties to get along. In a few months the pipes can be covered with coralline algae and other things and even look good.> (I have two main stacks on either side of the tank and one elongated cavern for the other fish. The Chainlink has his favourite picked out, but makes a point to patrol the other two and chase the snowflake out of them. I'm trying to do a natural look in there, but will spring for more live rock if PVC pipe will allow the eels to get cozier. Also I have two pumps in the top corner of my tank (one for current the other for a sterilizer).  This is where my snowflake is, it's dark, has stuff for him to coil around, a background on the back of the tank and the wall on the other panel. <You could install a pipe in this area.> I would be willing to "camouflage" that spot as well but he really doesn't seem to be stressed (although he doesn't swim around all that much...). <Stressed morays do not eat. That is what you wrote in an earlier mail. If it started eating again, it is not stressed too much. I'd provide a pipe anyway to give him the chance to feel more comfortable.> On a side note while I'm thinking about it, I would never kill my eel, was just saying separation is a real tough option but may be one in a month. Also one quick question kind of off this topic. My brittle starfish hid underneath one of these caves. I can still see him (caves right on the wall of my aquarium), but in terms of the tank he's completely cut off unless he climbs out. I got a piece of shrimp in to him which he took the other day and was wondering do I need to pull him out or will he climb out when he gets hungry enough. <He will likely climb out again when he wants to.> Thanks again for your previous reply Marco. <You are welcome. Marco.>

Please Help Emergency Lunare Wrasse in Distress   3/3/07 <Hi Ivy, Mich here.> A few days ago I was replied to very promptly by your staff, All Thanks.   <Good to hear!> My Fimbriated moray attacked my lunare wrasse.   <Yipe! Yipe! Yipe!> I was instructed to separate them if possible.   <Gotta keep'em separated.> I did.   <Good.> I took all invertebrates out of the 55-gallon reef.  I took the lunare wrasse out of a 90 gallon with 100ppm <!> of nitrate, a work in progress.  Well he was moved to a 55-gallon reef with only one other fish that does not bother with him, shrimp goby.  Anyway the 55-gallon has about 10 ppm of nitrates.   <Much better.> As well other parameters would be different. <!> The levels of calcium would be higher, as well as the overall salinity and the temperature would have dropped from 82F to 80 F.  Well I acclimated the wrasse for an hour, with a heater and drip line.  He lay quite still.  All last night and today he has laid still eyes move around, he looks around.  Respiration is high but not exceedingly for this fish.  He seems to always have breathed faster than some others.   <OK.> I put my hand in the tank today and he let me stroke his face before he swam off.   <STOP TOUCHING HIM!!!> He swam about half the tank and then stopped again and still isn't swimming around.  He swam without difficulty though.  He is not eating.   <Not a good sign, but still may recover.> Anything I can do to help him.   <Stop touching him!  Leave him alone and stop stressing him.> Already treating with MelaFix and the cleaner shrimp gave him a once over.   <I would stop the MelaFix.  Better to concentrate of high water quality.> His wound from the eel was severe.   <I'm sorry to hear this.> But by this time it had begun to close up, rather rapidly.  He was vivacious and active just before I moved him,. eating well.   <So he was doing better and now is doing worse?> He is my pet.  He has been in the tank with high nitrates for two years.  I need him to live.  The wound doesn't look bad, it looks like it is healing but it has white stuff on it, right in the crevice of the deepest wound.  Is this healing tissue or fungus? <Hopefully healing tissue.  Don't pick it!> Oh my god I am just terrified I will lose him.  How can I help him? <Stop stressing him first off.  Maintain the best water quality you can, offer foods soaked in Selcon and give him time.  -Mich> Concerned Ivy

Taming or Training Aggressive Eel. G. fimbriatus attacking wrasse - 26 Feb 2007 Please help…I have a 24" Fimbriated moray in a 90 gallon tank with An 8" lunare wrasse and a 3" puffer. All the levels are good, nitrates are a bit high 80 ppm, but nothing crazy considering the diet of the fish. <Nitrates are too high, indeed. Read and think about a refugium or get a better skimmer.> Anyway, the problem is that there isn't a lot of info out there on fish psychology. The eel is extremely aggressive, he has bitten me before and he has a death wish for my beloved wrasse. <Watch out. Those moray eel bites can be dangerous due to secondary infections.> Granted the wrasse is very antagonistic to the eel, swimming up to the eels face with his hackles raised or swimming quick circles around the eels head. The eel has attacked the fish and severely injured him twice before, and I nursed him back. The LFS says the wrasse is the natural prey item, size and shape wise, for the eel and so the eel will never leave him alone, because there are some fish the eel won't take a second look at. For instance the puffer, the eel never even looks at, or a tang or even an engineer goby, the eel seems to be friends with, the engineer goby that would be a perfect meal for him. Question, can the eel be taught or trained or coerced into leaving the wrasse alone? <No. There is no guarantee any fish below 12 inches is safe with your eel at all in the long run, even the puffer. Trying to swallow a puffer may even result in a dead moray eel.> Is the wrasse initiating the attacks by his behaviour, could it be something personal? <It's probably considered food by the moray, might smell tasty, I don't think that can be called personal.> Why does the eel, which eats ten silversides every other day, insist on wanting to eat the wrasse? <It's in their nature. Some are peaceful and well fed for years and kill every other tank inhabitant within days> Is there any modification to the tank that could be made to house but keep separated the eel from the wrasse? <A perforated acrylic separator could be used, but they don't look nice and will drastically decrease swimming space, and thus could only be a temporary solution. I'd rather set up a second tank for the moray. If you connect the two tanks you'd also have a much larger volume of water and life rock and could get rid of those nitrates. In case you want to do that, be sure to research and read a lot at WetWebMedia and in books.> They have grown from a couple of inches to their current size together and they are my pets.  I would hate to loose them, but I am at a loss for things to try to reduce the aggression. One of your articles mentioned putting the mean fish in a small tank for a couple days. Would that approach be of any use here?   <You'd probably only stress the moray eel.> Does the eel want to eat him or just injure him? <Probably eat.> The attacks always happen at night, if I used a light source at night also would the eel be at a disadvantage? <Possible, but 24/7 light will not be appreciated by your fish at all.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Ivy. <Hope I could help. Cheers, Marco>

Snowflake Eel question   1/12/06   Would my Snowflake Moray (8-10") be ok in my 10 gallon "mini-reef" for a short period of time? <Mmm, not very> I ask because I need to move his (or her, I guess) 55 gallon to another room in my house, and I don't have anywhere else to put him. In the 10 gallon I have: (1) 2" tank-raised False Percula, (1) 2-3" Pearly Jawfish, (2) Margarita snails, (5) hermit crabs, (1) Emerald crab, (1) 2-3" Serpent star, (1) 1" Lettuce Nudibranch, polyps, frogspawn, mushrooms, 20lbs LS, and 8lbs LR. Any serious trouble or stress for anyone involved in this mix? <Yes... the Moray disrupting all by at times rapid swimming... investigating, bumping into the other life at night...> I know the inverts could possibly meet their maker, obviously I would be gambling. If you recommend this, what's the min/max amount of time to keep the eel in the 10 gallon before re-introducing into the 55? <I would not place this Muraenid here> If not, what do you recommend I do with him while his home is moved? <Mmm, have a friend, or fish store hold it> Also, which medium-sized triggerfish would you suggest keeping with a 8-10" Snowflake Moray in a 55 gallon FOWLR? <None... too big, likely to bite the eel> I'm hoping a Rhinecanthus or maybe a Balistapus Undulatus. The other triggers are either too big or not mean enough! Thanks for the help. WWM has changed my life. MIKE C <Yikes! Mine too! Bob Fenner>

Golden Dwarf Moray Eel and Sharks, incomp.   12/3/06 Hey Bob,    I am interested in keeping a relatively small eel in my 325 gallon aquarium. This is the same aquarium I will be housing my 2 Brown Banded Bamboo sharks. I was just wondering if you know of any places that sell Golden Dwarf Moray Eels? <None that do so steadily... just have to "put in your request and wait"... I'd try "That Fish Place", Marine Center, Marine Depot... (.coms)> How Expensive do they normally run? <Seventy to a hundred dollars or so FOB> And besides the Golden Dwarf Moray what other morays stay relatively small and docile? <Posted... on WWM> Please let me know. Thanks,              Brenden Hewko <I would not stock a Muraenid with sharks of any species... too likely to suffer from intentional and incidental damage from the Chondrichthyans. Bob Fenner>

Eels ... mixing Snowflake, Zebra...  11/16/06 Can I put a zebra eel in with a snowflake eel?  <Hi, Michelle here.  They can be compatible.  There is much to glean about these fascinating creatures.  Please take a little time and read over some of the information found on the WWM site to learn how to provide appropriate care for these beauties.>  

Mixing in a Moray   10/27/06 Hi Guys, <And some ladies...> Just had a question about compatibility in regards to keeping a Tesselata eel with a large puffer or lion if they could get along or would they just get eaten. Also the tank size is 210 gallons which I'm not sure is big enough for a large Tesselata and puffer though it will have plenty of live rock and very capable protein skimming. Anyways thanks in advance for any info you can give me!                                                               Jim <A Tesselata may predate these other fishes in time... but all should be able to live here for a few years... starting with small specimens and feeding carefully. Bob F>

Aquascape... Mixing crab-eating morays, using a Jeweled Damsel from the TWA, Moray system/s, acclimating new livestock...   8/3/06 Morning, <Now the afternoon here... Yikes, got to "kick out the jams"... whatever that means> Just a quick question... or at least they always start out that way.  I'm looking at doing a 200gallon predator tank that will include both a snowflake and zebra moray eel, a Russell lionfish, and a couple of others. From reading your FAQ's, it sounds like in that large of an aquarium the two morays should be ok together?   <These two species, likely so> I also just bought a jeweled damsel on the advice of on of your FAQ's... since this fish will eventually get to be around 6", a good fish to cycle my new 200gallon tank and should be ok with a lion and the morays? <Mmm, likely okay to cycle, will get along> My damsel is pretty brown looking with the diamonds on his back... does this sound like a jeweled damsel to you? <Of mid-size/age... okay> Anyhow, my question.... Ok, my third question?   With a fish only tank, I'm thinking a crushed coral bottom hiding a small network of 3"pvc piping to create a more interesting habitat for the morays.  The pipe will open up in a two or three caves that I will make.  Sound like a good idea? <Shore> I just hope that a) a fish won't get down there and gobbled by the eel <Mmm, the two species listed are largely non-piscivorous... see WWM re Foods/Feeding/Nutrition of these two... I have penned, placed articles re...> or  b) something big doesn't die down there.  Would be pretty nasty disassembling my aquascape to remove the pipes to get a dead eel out.  Your opinion?   <Sounds pretty nasty> The real question is (this is number 4, isn't it?) am I ok using a nice black/grey slate to build up the backside of my tank and for the caves? <I wouldn't use slate in marine systems... too two-dimensional with all the drawbacks of same... too likely to have some chemically negative effect> I was thinking of using aquarium epoxy to get a nice firm rockwork and like the appearance of slate.  I was also going to use about 100lbs of liverock to get a mixture.  Do you foresee any problems with this? <Yes> Just a note on the 'freshwater dip' for new fish.  Sounds simple, but maybe it is me that is simple? Haha. <?>   After floating the sealed bag in the tank to get the temperature matching for about 20 min.s, I then open the bag and slowly introduce some tank water via a cup without mixing store water into my tank.  When fish is ready, am I correct in saying simply dip the net with the fish in it into some room temperature fresh water for a couple of seconds and introduce new fish from net into my tank? <Mmm, one method... not one I'd use. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and the linked files above.> Regards, Dave Brynlund <Keep reading. Bob Fenner> Re: Aquascape   8/3/06 Thanks Bob... <Welcome> And did I mention I finally bought your book?  Why on earth didn't I buy it 3 years ago? <Man! I could've used that 28 cents in royalties way back... devalued now, rats!> What can you recommend as a cheap rock that is attractive? <Mmm, see the various etailer re what's available from the S. Pacific... in bulk, box order quantities...> One of the fish retailers mentioned travertine? (sp?) <Mmm, no... we have this on some of our floors... is made up of various chemicals... formed in nature by "swamps/hot springs"... you don't want this...>   It's white, really porous...  I've read a number of people using the slate for marine aquariums... I guess I trust ya! <Up to you... BobF> Eels/Compatibility  - 05/29/06 Hello,  <Hello Kim> I am not sure if I am emailing the right place or not <You are.> but I have a question on my eel. It is a Tessellate eel <Tesselata or Honeycomb Eel> I think it is yellow and black spots and is about four foot. He is in a 240 gal tank and I would like to know what I can put in with him that he will not eat. I love him but I do not like looking at an empty tank. I think he is very lonely because when I go up to the tank to feed or just look at him he follows me. He is not a mean guy, <Mmm, a wolf in lambs clothing.>  I feed him by hand and love on him but I would like to put other things in with him just do not know what. Could you please help me? <Kim, about all I would recommend would be large angels or boxfish, but I don't think your tank can support much more than the eel as this guy fully grown, will approach six feet in length, taxing the limits of your bio and mechanical filter.> Thank you, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Kim

Stocking/Compatibility...Eels, Groupers, Lionfish I am currently setting up a 215 gallon aquarium, with a 60 gallon sump/fuge, and after much thought and research, I believe I have finally settled on which fish to house.   I would like to keep a radiata lion, a Gymnothorax miliaris (golden tail) moray, and a miniatus grouper.   Is the system that I'm planning large enough for this crew for the duration of their life span?   <Yes, providing no other additions are in the future.> Do you foresee any potential troubles with this setup?   <The Fire Coral Eel will eat anything it can get into its mouth, including fish and invertebrates.  I'd make sure the Grouper and/or other fish you decide on are larger than the eel to deter it from having supper on you.  You will also need a tight fitting cover on the tank or you will find the eel on the floor some morning.> Thanks, I really appreciate the help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Kevin

Re: Stocking/Compatibility...Eels, Groupers, Lionfish  5/12/06 Thank you for the quick reply James.  <<You're welcome.>> When you say that a Gymnothorax miliaris moray will eat invertebrates, would that include hermit crabs and starfish? <Whatever looks appetizing at the time.> If so, is there a small (but not dwarf) species of piscivorous moray that is less likely to eat hermits and starfish that you can recommend? <I'd probably go with a Tesselata (Honeycomb Moray) or a Zebra Moray, both a little more docile and fish friendly, especially the Zebra Moray.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Kevin    

"Brazilian Dragon Moray"   2/23/06 I have been checking out the web. I'm interested in a "Brazilian Dragon Moray", which I think is a "Muraena Retifera Eel". I have found both references on the net, but need more info. I currently have a "Gymnothorax Miliaris" eel & want to find a tank mate. I like the Brazilian Moray, but can't find much info. I want to know its behavior, max size, temperament, attitude toward other fish, co-habitation with my other eel & any general info I can gather. You have a great informative site & us hobbyist appreciate your help. Thanks ----- Corey <... what sort of information are you looking for? In general, I would not mix these or most other species of Muraenids... too much likelihood of trouble. M. retifera doesn't get very large... 60 cm... 24 inches... G. miliaris is similarly small... both piscivorous to omnivorous... Please search both on WWM, fishbase.org Bob Fenner> Morays together 2/20/06 Hi Guys!  I love your website and have gotten much great information from it!  I have a Goldentail / Gymnothorax miliaris/(about 12 inches) and have an opportunity to get a Yellowhead / Gymnothorax fimbriatus that is the same size. I have a 100 gallon (60x18x22) tank with approx 150 pounds of LR in it. I also have a Volitans and a Queen Angel (both about 4 inches long) that will go into the tank. I am wondering if it is possible that these might co-habitate?  Also for filtration I have a wet-dry system and a remora-pro, 3 1/2 inch DSB and about 20X water flow. Right now my 100 is cycling and the Goldentail and others are in a 65 gallon, but the Yellowhead would be going into a 30 QT tank until ready to go in big tank, so that they would all go in at the same time!  Would this make them have a chance at getting along better, starting off on even ground? Thank you so much for your advice! <<All Morays tend to be quite territorial, so I would advise against trying to mix them, even in the fairly large tank you describe.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>>

Gymnothorax fimbriatus... mixing piscivorous Muraenids with food  - 02/16/2006 Hello over there at WetWebMedia, <Hi there at...> I currently have a 125 with Emperor Angel 6" <Needs larger quarters...> Foxface 6" Blue Tang 7" Marine Beta 8" Powder Blue 5" Porcupine Puffer 7" Zebra Eel (just under 4 ft) <Yikes! A beauty I bet> I am upgrading to a 500 since I am not even close to achieving my desired fish list. I would like a Gymnothorax fimbriatus, Enchelycore pardalis, or a Gymnothorax favagineus. <... not with these other fishes... or at least not for long> Would any of these 3 eels work with the fish list I have? I will also be adding triggers, wrasses, and another large angel to the 500. Jesse <Only as food items. Bob Fenner>

Could you tell us what are the natural predators of the Hawaiian Moray Eel? 1st Grade Report  11/15/05 Aloha, Could you tell us what are the natural predators of the Hawaiian Moray Eel? Any help would be appreciated. Mahalo, George <Mmm, the resident sharks, including the White Tip Reef, Triaenodon obesus mostly. Bob Fenner>

Acrylic crack repair, opportunistic/typical Moray behavior  11/11/05 I just bought a used 55 gal hexagon acrylic tank.  I was moving it around trying to determine placement when I realized there is a crack in the top panel.  No point in finding blame now, I just want to know if I can save it or take this as a loss. <Mmm, can likely effect a simple repair here> The crack, definitely not crazing since I can feel a separation, starts from a corner round of the large cutout and extends about 3 inch toward one of the six sides.  One more inch and it is going to hit the side edge!  I've been reading about using Weld-On and applying an acrylic panel to the crack. <Yes> Also is drilling a hole at the end of the crack going to stop it? <Not likely useful, necessary> Can I get Weld-On at Home Depot if I were to try this?   <Best to seek out from a "Plastics" supply... look in your local Business Yellow Pages Directory re> Should I worry about this crack since it is only on the top panel? <Mmm, not much to worry about, but I would solvent it closed> The tank is a standard 55 gal hex 24x24x28.  It's funny how things go wrong and just seem to spiral even more.  I bought the tank intending to make it a new home for my white-mouth eel about 15in, who has managed to eaten two smaller fish.  Well he attacked and ate my 6-7 inch lunare wrasse last night.  I couldn't believe he was able to swallow the wrasse or even catch it.  What a sight! Thanks <Welcome... an easy project/fix... Bob Fenner>

Moray compatibility  09/13/2005 Hello again I was wondering if I could keep a snowflake eel with any species of sand sifting goby. I know snowflakes rarely eat fish but I read you should not mix bottom dwelling fish with morays. Your website's very helpful and thanks again  <I'll rephrase a statement you made:  "you should not mix any fish that a snowflake moray can swallow." In that case, knowing that snowflakes can attain a length of two feet, I'm thinking the goby may become dinner someday.  James (Salty Dog)> Patrick Nikiel

Eel compatibility question  8/26/05 Hello My name is Laura Nikiel. I have a 125 gallon saltwater fish only tank. I have been thinking about getting an eel. The species I have thought about are the snowflake, zebra or jeweled morays. <Good species for aquarium use> But I am concerned about the eel being bothered by my large 7" niger trigger or my 6" Klunzinger's wrasse. <Possibly, yes> My other fish include a  4" Naso tang, a 2" Pearlscale butterfly, a 5" porcupine puffer, a mated pair of maroon clowns, and 2 damsels. I have lots of live rock and hiding places. I will also add PVC pipe if I get the eel. It would also be great if you could tell me what species of eel is best. An answer would be greatly appreciated Thank You Laura Nikiel <... I do hope this system is a few hundred gallons in size. Any of the proposed species might go... but you might have trouble getting food to it/them... and the trigger, puffer, and even the wrasse might harm it... Bob Fenner> Info on Spotted Moray (Gymnothorax moringa) 8/23/05 Hey, I was wanting to know if you had any information you could give me on Spotted Morays... <G. moringa> I was thinking about purchasing one and didn't know that much about them... some questions I did want to ask was... how aggressive are they? <This one is not much...> would one get along w/ a Zebra? and I know Zebra Morays won't go chase after fish, but would a Spotted? <Not likely> Thanks for taking to time to help, pls respond back w/ any info you could give me.. thanks a lot, Steph <A good mid-sized Muraenid for large aquarium use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm Bob Fenner> Jewel moray compatibility 8/5/05 Hi! there. There is a jewel moray eel available at my LFS today and they call it Mexican dragon eel. <Both names are at times applied to the same species> It is about 10", a juvi. I am interested to get this eel but didn't since I am not to familiar with this eel. I checked WWM site to  learn more about this eel, but found too little about it. According to your site  that this eel grows to about 2' feet in captivity. I don't think that would be a  problem since I have a 300 gallon aquarium with no eel in it yet. You have  mentioned that the Zebra eel is pretty docile. My question, is this eel as  docile as the zebra eel <Mmm, no... on a 1-10 scale I'd rate it twice as aggressive, much more variably aggressive> and if not, will this jewel eel could be a potential  predator in my tank? <Mmm, possibly... especially with small edible invertebrates> Is it as aggressive as the Hawaiian dragon eel? <No... about half...> Will this eel eat my fishes? <Possibly, yes> I have several tangs (powdered blue, purple tang, clown tang, a rare mix Kole tang, sohal, Vlamingi, blue unicorn),  Angels (Regal angel, Queen Angel, majestic  angel, Scribbled angel), wrasses (2 harlequin tusk, Green bird wrasse, Cuban  hog, 12" Coris wrasse), puffers( Masked panda puffer, golden dogface, unknown  puffer with all stripes all over the body, no spots, porcupine  puffer), Moorish idol, Catalufa, Tassel file, 24" white spotted bamboo  shark, a parrot fish, flame hawk, dwarf fuzzy lion, Anthias and butterflies semilarvatus and long nose. All are doing great in my tank for more than 5 1/2  years now. <I would not add more life to this system... too much chance of "something" going wrong> the smallest is the dwarf lion at 4". My system: two overflow built  in, Aqua C EV400 skimmer with Iwaki pump, 60 gallons refugium, 80 gallon sump  with all live rocks as the filter media, mag drive 7 on each end of the tank for  oxygen, big air bubbles in the middle of the tank slowly, 40 watt UV  sterilizer, about 250lbs of live rock inside the tank and 2" of substrate. I  also have a RO system attached to the faucet near the tank and this is being use  to tap off the tank for daily precipitation of the water and for changing water.  I have marine plants in the refugium that grows so fast and these serves as food  for all of my veggie lover fishes. I love all of my fishes and they've been  with me for more than 5 1/2 years now, that is the reason why I am asking  for help on the "Mexican dragon jewel moray eel", if this eel will be a predator  on my tank? or is it better just to get a zebra moray eel? Also, with my tank  set up, can I also get a Port Jackson shark? <I would not... Bob Fenner> Your suggestion in this matter is  greatly appreciated. Mark A.

Re: jewel moray 8/6/05 Thanks for your response. I now know that it is best for me to get a Zebra eel. I have ordered that already on my LFS. You guys are a big help. <Uhh, I wouldn't add the Gymnomuraena either> Just  one question unanswered. What do you think of a Port Jackson shark on my 300 gallon system? Does Port Jackson shark attacks fish for food? Please response ASAP and thanks for your patients and kindness. Mark <Please read the article, FAQs file on PJ's/Heterodontids posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: jewel moray 8/7/05 I am a bit confused as to what I've been reading now on your site. Per Bob Fenner, the Zebra Moray eel is very docile and will not eat or bother fishes in your tank, since the diet of this eel is just crustacean. Which is true now? <This is so... but, referring back to our original correspondence, I mentioned that your system is over-stocked as it is... and that adding another fish is not worth the risk of introduction of disease, or behavioral dynamic> I  just look at Bob Fenner's article on Zebra Moray eel, and it is mentioned on his  article that the Zebra eel, don't bother fishes. <Sorry for the confusion. This species is not a piscivore... but your tank is too crowded as is. Bob Fenner>

Re: jewel moray  08/08/2005 Thanks for the reply, Mr. Fenner. Anyway, you haven't mentioned about being over crowded in my 300 gallons, but I will take your advice and cancel my zebra  eel order. <Actually... please re-read our correspondence... archived here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm> Having a successful tank for few years now makes me be more careful in  what I put in my tank now. Thanks for your advice. <If this were my system (one more time), I would not risk adding more life to it. Bob Fenner>

HI Dragon Eel and PJ Shark 8/7/05 Good Afternoon Mr. Bob Fenner, <Sunday late AM now...> Your articles about the marine creatures are very helpful. I have searched your site and can't find much about the beautiful Hawaiian dragon eel and the port Jackson shark. <Not that much I know re these species> I have a 300 gallon tank with live rocks (a lot) and fish only and the smallest is about 4". I have a white spotted bamboo shark 2 feet long, wrasses, large angels, tangs, large parrot fishes, Catalufa, Dwarf lion, hawk, Hogs, long nose butterfly, Tassel file, unicorn, and Moorish idol. I have all this fish for about 5 1/2 years now and they are all doing great and healthy. Yes, I am very fortunate to have Moorish Idol, Regal Angel, Parrot fishes, yellow tail Coris wrasse, Tassel file which are all rated as hard to take care in Scott Michaels marine book for 5 1/2 years now. it is not easy  and it requires so much time and work to maintain delicates. My white spotted bamboo is very docile. <Good> My question: Does the HDE and PJS will be compatible with my fishes? <Uhh, no... both these animals will eat your other fishes...> Do  they just swallow fishes that will fit in to their mouth, and if so, what is the biggest fish that they can swallow? Do they attack large fishes and then tear them into pieces before eating it? <Both swallow and bite pieces...> Please, e-mail me ASAP. I have the opportunity to have both fishes for a very reasonable price, but even then, I want to know more about these two fishes  before putting it on my system. Also, I don't want to jeopardize my fishes that's  been with me for almost 5 1/2 years now. Thanks so much for your help and for your time. Please response ASAP. Your help is greatly appreciated. Mark <Again... I would not add these fishes, nor likely any more livestock to this system. Bob Fenner>

Eel email!  07/02/05 Ok Bob, I recently got an eel as a pet.  its a green moray. yes I am aware of the size they get.  my main question for you, is do the get meaner than Tessalatas? someone told me they are about the same as far as temperance goes.  I just wanted to see what you thought of that.   <Can be a very aggressive species... eating all tankmates, biting aquarists... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysii.htm Bob Fenner>

Tesselata Eel Hi, In my larger tank I have a 2 foot Tesselata eel, Blueline grouper, black Volitans lionfish, spotted grouper,  and a clown trigger. <Yowzah! I do hope this is a BIG tank> I had a Janssen wrasse in there that was 7 inches and during feeding time the Tesselata decided to strike it rather then the krill. <Happens with piscivorous Muraenids> It was like the discovery channel. Anyway I have a dogfaced puffer, Blueline grouper, and a clown trigger that are even smaller then the Janssen in the tank. Will the Tesselata eat all of them eventually? <Perhaps> Or will it leave certain groups of fish alone? Thanks    Dinesh Patolia <There is always going to be a chance here, though with growth, familiarity, the other fishes ought to be able to keep out of Mr. T's way. Bob Fenner>

Grass eel and tank mates? Not likely I just received a grass eel as a present. I own a 200 gallon tank and have lots of live rock and I was wondering if he would be compatible with my rhino blenny, spiny box puffer, blue head wrasse, pink tip anemone, two tomato clowns,  several shrimp, and an octopus? I have him quarantined now.  Thanks, Nick <Is Chilorhinus suensonii your species? Not compatible with the above... who are not in turn compatible amongst themselves... Read on my young friend... on WWM, the Net re each of these species needs, life histories. Bob Fenner>

Moray stung by a Lionfish... Hello. I purchased a 2 foot Chainlink Moray Eel and he was very healthy when I introduced him into the tank. A few days ago my Lionfish stung him twice. <Yikes... not compatible...> He has survived and is doing ok considering what happened. He had open wounds so I dosed him with medication. <... ?... for?> He seems to be doing better but now he is losing the skin on his underbelly where he was stung. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your time. <Keep the system optimized and stable... and the fish well-fed... Bob Fenner> 

Dragon moray compatibility I have an 18" Hawaiian dragon moray in a 65gallon tank. He is doing great and eating well. He is the only fish in the tank with the exception of some damsels I get about once a week for him to chase around and eat. I want to put a fish in there that actually swims around. The tank looks pretty empty most of the time. I really want to put a clown trigger in the tank with him. I know this fish will eventually out grow my 65 but for now the one I saw at my LFS is the perfect size. Too big to be eaten and too small to have an adverse effect on the tank quality. My biggest concern is if the trigger will pick on the eel? It's the eels tank and I don't want to get something that will hurt him. Thanks. <Mmm, well, this tank is already too small for just the Dragon Moray... and it has now been "trained" to eat what comes into its system... I would NOT place a trigger in with this fish. Bob Fenner>

The Octopus and the Moray Hi Bob,   I have a 30 gallon marine aquarium. I have on bimaculoides octopus (1 inch) in my tank alone. In my 10 gallon marine aquarium I have one snowflake eel I am quarantining. The eel is about 5 inches. Is it okay to mix these two together. <Mmm, no... though the moray you have feeds most often (in the wild) on crustaceans... it might very well bother the Octopus to the extent that it inks your system... likely deadly to both> I feed my marine life 2 times a day so would there be a problem with food? Or do you think I should put the eel in the 30 and the Octo in the 10? Please get back to me as soon as possible.    <I would go with this last plan... separately stocking... DO keep your tanks completely covered! Both these animals are very adept at getting out of tanks. Bob Fenner>   

Moray Eel I'm looking to set up a 200-240gal tank. I would like to keep a "Gymnothorax miliaris" in it & I'm wondering if there are any other morays that are compatible to house with it?<Providing you have plenty of live rock/caves built up, just about any moray would co-exist with it.> I would like to keep 2 eels in this tank. Also, I'm thinking about keeping a small cat shark in it.<I would forget about the small cat shark as they won't be small for long.  Even a 240, six feet long, <<Usually eight. RMF... still too small>> is not that big of a tank for a shark.  I strongly believe sharks should be left on the reefs where they do their best job as scavengers.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks --------- Corey Moray Compatibility hi, I was thinking of getting a tank devoted to aggressive fish. Would a zebra moray eel and a snowflake moray eel be compatible? Are these two eels shy? I want an eel that is swimming around. I have heard that zebras are hard to feed and tend to go on feeding strikes, Are they? They cost $30 at the fish store and I don't want an eel that is going to starve to death. Would they be compatible with a niger trigger and a porcupine puffer? thanks >Greetings, Moray eels are by their very nature retiring creatures, therefore you will never have a moray that is always swimming around as you stated. Most will swim around during feeding time, and they are VERY good at detecting food in the water. Their olfactory acuities are second to none, except maybe for sharks. My zebra used to dash out of it's hole SECONDS after the food items were introduced on the far end of his 6' tank! Having said that, it's best to feed them with a stick to discourage them from prowling about during feeding, this minimizes feeding aggression in general and prevents mishaps with tankmates for the most part. As far as compatibility goes, a zebra and a snowflake will do just fine together as long as the  zebra isn't huge, and the snowflake tiny. Neither of these species are piscivores, but rather molluscivores. Offer food accordingly. Neither the puffer nor the trigger poses any problems. Good luck Jim<

Moray Eel compatibility Hello, Can a Gymnothorax eel and a echidna eel live together in the same tank? I have Chainlink eel and I'm planning on getting a Yellowhead moray eel (Gymnothorax fimbriata (sp?) ). Are they compatible? Thanks for your help. Ben <Ben, They will get along when they are younger.  There will be a problem when they start to come to size.  If you have a large tank, 125 gallons or larger, you might be able to make it work.  Good Luck. MikeB.>

Re: Moray tankmates? Hello again, <Greetings Chris> Thank you again for your response in my last email.  Now, on to the drama.  I wound up picking up that eel the other day, but suddenly have several problems.  1) It's bigger than I had remembered/estimated.  2) It's trying to eat anything in the tank that moves, including my puffer. No, I didn't quarantine it.  He'd been in his own tank at the local store for several months, and I've kept my eye on him.  3)  I think I misidentified it; I think it's a "Spotted Moray".  I'm pretty sure this negates your advice, right? <Is this... a Gymnothorax meleagris? Should be about as okay as the G. eurostus> I really hope the store takes this guy back, because despite my instant attachment to it, I'm not keen on having it decimate the other livestock.  I truly was amazed to see such aggression out of that thing. <Me too... it must have "learned" that anything in its environment is food... can be trained that this is not the case... by using a partition...> And, I hate being "experienced" and making such a mistake.  I hope my puffer wasn't hurt too badly.  He doesn't any visible damage as of now, but is a bit low on self esteem at the moment I think ;). He's in QT now.  
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Moray tankmates? Thanks Bob.  I received your email after returning the eel this morning. My logic was that I'd wait for a bit until I could have a dedicated tank for such a neat eel, or wait until my current tank occupants get a little bigger.  As it turns out, I worked for this pet store when I was a kid, so when I explained my deal today the owner said, "Sure, but the fish people aren't in yet, so you put him away and we'll work out the rest later."   <Ahh... very good> Actually, I think it was a Gymnothorax moringa, perhaps just one with especially dark coloration? <Possibly... from the tropical West Atlantic... not Hawai'i: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=7547&genusname=Gymnothorax&speciesname=moringa> I've enclosed a picture so you might see for yourself.  It doesn't show in the picture, but he had the same white tippage to the end of his fins. <Okay> I did consider the partition, but wasn't sure the success I'd have with such a device, didn't want to see my friendly puffer get snacked if it failed, etc.  How often does this method work? <More than nine out of ten... unless the moray gets around the partition... which happens about half the time!>   Assuming that he did indeed think that anything in his environment is food?  Why, then, did he leave the Lion alone?  He'd go sniff out the hermit too, Thanks again. <"Targets of opportunity?" (homeland security, coalition of the filling?)... which would you try if you had no hands (or pectoral fins in this case). Bob Fenner>

Moray tankmates? Hey Folks. <Chris> I have to say, I think your site is the most valuable single information resource that I've found to date.  I've spent hours browsing around, getting answers to questions, and learning.  It's great! <Glad you find our efforts useful> I have successfully kept two tanks for several years now, a 90 gal reef tank and a 75 gallon community tank.  I've recently converted the 75 "rough and tumble" tank, moving out its occupants and replacing them with a 7" or so Black Volitans lion and a porcupine puffer of a slightly smaller size.  There's also an ENORMOUS common hermit crab in there (larger than the 4" max that I thought they were supposed to peak at. he's big. his shell is about the size of a baseball) <Hee hee! Saw one underwater (in Hawaii) last week about this size> Anyway, on to my question:  My LFS has an eel that I'd love to have.  I believe it to be a Gymnothorax eurostus,  dark brownish color, yellowish speckling, dark blue iris's, pointed teeth.  They have him labeled as a "XL Hawaiian Eel"   He was a special order that never got picked up, and has been there for a couple months, getting marked down in price (down to $79 now).  I'd guess this critter to be at about 12-14" in length right now.  I know a larger tank is in my future, (<12 months) as well as upgrades to my skimmer/powerhead/canister filters to match the larger tank.  Do you guys think this guy will be okay with the lion and the puffer? <Will be... but am concerned actually re the Hermit... the false crab might do the eel damage if not fed to satiation often> By his teeth, I am guessing he's a fish eater but I'm hoping he can still mix with my fish.  That is, If he's not going to try to swallow things that he's not supposed to. Thanks in advance.    Chris Higgins <Yes to this "Puhi" being a piscivore (you can look up this info. on fishbase.org)... Do keep an eye on that hermit if you decide to place them together... and train the moray (with a feeding stick) to make sure it's getting fed. Bob Fenner>

Mixed Moray Tank? Hey <Hey there! Scott F. here tonight!> I was wondering if a Zebra Moray and a Golden-Tailed Moray be compatible in a 150 gallon. My Golden-Tailed Moray is about 2.5 feet and the one I'm thinking to get is about 3.5 feet. What do you think? <In theory, these animals may get along, given enough room and hiding places. Despite Morays' relatively sedentary habits, I think a much larger tank would be advisable if you are going to attempt this. Another- and perhaps more important- factor is water quality. Two very large animals that can give off copious amounts of metabolic waste can really take a toll on water quality. In my humble opinion, 150 gallons is simply not enough water volume (especially if you have lots of rocks and substrate, further decreasing the actual water volume) for these messy animals. I'd enjoy the Golden-Tail and consider a larger tank if you want to mix and match down the line. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F> Gymnothorax saxicola >Hello, I work at That Fish Place and am purchasing and eel that we've had for a few weeks now.  He is a 2ft black edge moray (Gymnothorax saxicola according to LiveAquaria.com) >>So cool to get first pick, etc.  That's how I ended up working the biz, had to pay for my habit somehow!  In any event, take a look at fishbase.org here - http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=2616&genusname=Gymnothorax&speciesname=saxicola (big link, I know).  If this is your guy, there's not much listed for foodstuffs, my guess would be anything that fits in his mouth, though I'm not familiar with this animal's dentition.  Squid, octopus, krill should all be accepted readily. >He is going in a 72g tank for a couple week unit I get my 150 set up in my basement.  I'm wondering what you suggest keeping with him?  I've read over all the eel info on your site but didn't see anything on how aggressive this fish is.   >>I'm going to guess (this is just a guess) that he's not going to be very aggressive, per se, but will try to sample anything that he thinks might be tasty.   >I'd love to keep a large puffer/trigger/lionfish but according to much of your information this may not be a good idea.   >>Lionfish would get my nod, a very docile species of trigger, don't really know of any puffers, Tobies, similar that I would comfortably house with him for their aggression or smaller size.  Filefishes that are large enough should be alright, but honestly, I would look to wrasses to fit this niche. >For what it's worth the eel was housed with a large sawtail tang and a 6-8" Volitans for about a week with no problems in a 50g tank.  We also have a 1ft black edge moray as well as a few others including tiny chainlinks, tiny jewels, tiny snowflakes, a 1ft jewel, 1ft Tesselata, 1ft leopard eel.  Would any of these make suitable tank mates? >>I don't care for snowflakes, the Tesselata, if you're comfortable, might be a good choice, but my favorite would be the zebra eel (Gymnothorax zebra) for their docility, and the fact that this animal can easily become a pet.  They can be a bit tricky with feeding, but I'm going to assume that you're working where you are because you've got some good experience under your belt (and I've never had a problem with this fish in good conditions). >BTW, I'm assuming urchins and starfish should be rather safe with these eels? >>Starfish (NOT brittles!) yes, urchins, I wouldn't be so sure.  Again, though, I don't know what its dentition presents. >Thanks for your input, it's much appreciated!!  Chris >>You're very welcome, Chris, and you should enjoy this fish.  Also, make use of your Marine Fish Bible (the ID book by Burgess) to help get an idea of the possibilities.  You can probably locate small, docile puffers, Tobies, etc. there, acquisition is another issue.  The fish in this system need not be aggressive, just smart.  For instance, Coris gaimard might be a good tankmate - they bury at night and to the best of my knowledge are fairly safe as such from eels, triggers, Lionfishes, etc.  Marina

Non-fish-eating Eels? Hi, Are there any moray eels that will leave smaller fish alone like clownfish and damsels? Thanks for any info <The crustacean eaters... e.g. the members of the genus Echidna and Gymnomuraena... are good choices here. Bob Fenner> Re: Eels? Thanks for responding so fast! So would a snowflake moray be okay with small fish? Would it try to eat them or would it basically ignore them, since fish aren't even part of their diet in the wild........I think?! <Echidnas rarely consume fishes... in the wild or captivity... only when very hungry w/o other foods available> Biggest fish in the tank is going to be a Firefish goby. Would a small moray be preferable or a larger one, that way the eel would be able to get use to the fish and he wouldn't even be able to get the other fish down their through? <Yes, to start> I found the coolest baby snowflake at the pet shop and its in the tank with Chromis and baby blue tank and it looks like it he thinks they aren't even there! Eel is only about 4-5 inches. how big do you think they would get in a 70 gallon. Thanks again for the info!!!!! <Ultimately about two feet in length, over several years. Feed it crustaceans like cocktail et al. human consumption shrimp on a feeding stick. Bob Fenner> Zebra Moray Eel together Hi <Hello Darren> I have 150 UK gallon marine tank with 2 large canister filter a 300 gallon Prizm protein skimmer and 4x power heads, I also carry out a 20 gallon a water change. at present I have a 2.5 ft Zebra moray eel & 5inch snow flake. I have tried to house the zebra with numerous different tank mates over the last 18 months with not real success, such as tangs, triggers, damsels and a puffer who has just been sent back to the shop due to eating part of the Zebra's tail. My question is due to my favourite fish being eels I would like to add a second much smaller Zebra moray to the tank maybe 1ft in length from your experience would they get on, given enough caves etc (maybe 4 or 5 places to live). <I would be amazed if you can find a one foot zebra moray honesty but yes I think they should be fine.> If not could you suggest another eel that would? <As long as you keep them fed on a strict schedule and provide lots of nooks and cranny's. I think you might be able to mix him with most kinds of eels. I just recently saw one with a small wolf eel. However you should be aware that Bob Fenner in the WetWebMedia discussion of morays says "Different species of morays are rarely found together in the wild and do not generally mix well in captivity. Territoriality within species is not heard of either. Provide mucho space, nooks and crannies and carefully observe your charges." http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm> As always you help would be much appreciated. Regards Darren <Good luck Darren, MacL> Gymnothorax Tile Compatibility Issues (5/25/04) Hello, <Hi. Steve Allen tonight.> First off I love your incredibly informative website! <Thanks. It is a pleasure for me to play a small part.> Keep up the amazing work. OK now to my question. I have been very carefully plotting the fish I would like to place in my 55 gallon saltwater tank. In my countless hours of research I have fallen in love with the Gymnothorax Tile (Freshwater Snowflake eel) and when I found it to be demersal (marine and brackish, right?) <The definition of demersal is: "Sinking to or lying on the bottom; living on or near the bottom and feeding on benthic organisms." This fish is indeed primarily at home in brackish/marine environments.> I decided to check and see if it could coexist with my other favorite fish a Dwarf or Antennata Lionfish. <Nice fish> My research has led me to believe that being fish both from the Indo-Pacific region it's possible that these may even encounter each other in the wild. <Quite possible> While combing WWM I saw others asking if it could go with an Echidna Nebulosa (Snowflake Eel) <A favorite of mine>, however because those tend to grow half a foot to a foot larger than the Gymnothorax Tile and have much larger heads I am still curious if you think this combination would be unwise. Thank you so much for your time and effort. <So I guess you read the post recommending against the Echidna. I have heard stories of eels taking out some pretty big slow fish (e.g. Lionfishes). Even if you go with the smallest eels, there is still some risk. You would want to start out with a relatively small eel and a relatively large Dwarf Lion. You might want to reconsider.> Jacob Tran 

Golden Moray Hello Crew, <Howdy!>I have an eel that was sold to me as a Golden Moray Eel which is about 2 feet in length with a black body with golden spots which makes me believe it's a Gymnothorax miliaris. I currently have this eel in a 92 gallon tank by itself but I will be moving her into my 240 along with my other fish which are a Banded Cat Shark , (3) Yellow Tangs, Blue Tang, Maroon Clown and a pair of lawnmower blennies. The shark is very small only 10" long, the Tangs are all over 4", the Maroon Clown is about 3.5" and the blennies are about 5". I was told that this eel would eat any fish it could catch therefore I will be selling my blennies since they are probably an easy target for her, but are my other fish at risk from being eaten by this small eel?<If they can fit in his mouth they probably will become dinner eventually. He should be fine in the 92 by himself for a while though. Cody> BTW: I currently feed the eel 3 times a week a good amount of Shrimp, Squid and Octopus. Should I be feeding her more often ?<Nope, this is about perfect. Cody> Thanks. 

Jeweled Moray Eel  Hi, <Howdy!>  I am thinking about adding a Mexican dragon eel (Jewel moray) to my existing 90g with a 4" Picasso trigger and a powder brown tang about, maybe 4.5". The eel is probably about 14-16" in length and I am wondering if my fish are relatively safe as long as I keep him well fed (according to the guidelines from your site). Any info would be much appreciated. <It would be a gamble so I would probably not add him. Also this guy will get almost 5 feet and will need a huge tank. Cody> Thanks  Tim

Gymnothorax rueppelliae is this a very suitable eel for a 150gal with dwarf lions and some scorpion fish and if not do you have any suggestions on an alternative species, thanks  Ryan. <As morays go this is a rather aggressive species, though not a large species ultimately. I would NOT advise keeping it with Lionfishes. Look instead into one of the crustacean feeding species like those of the genera Echidna and Gymnomuraena. Bob Fenner> Gymnothorax fimbriatus how is the suitability of this guy I have asked about the Gymnothorax rueppelliae and you referred me to the genera Echidna and Gymnomuraena due to having dwarf lions if this one is no good is possibly a dragon ok, or any other type of eel with the same head structure of this type where the tip touches when the mouth is closed and they have lots of nasty teeth (I love that stuff), thanks, Ryan <I would not keep a large piscivorous Muraenid with Lionfishes period. Bob Fenner>

Mini Moray? Thanks so Much for the great advice (quick too) <My pleasure!> One last question.  Are there any eels that could be done that will not eat my small fish? The Marine Center recommended a few eels including Golden Moray Gymnothorax miliaris? <Well, the "Golden Dwarf Moray" is a pretty cool fish, and it stays small. It will, however, munch on smaller fishes if it can catch 'em. I was painfully reminded of this when a buddy of mine purchased a small specimen and placed it in his 200 gallon reef, which was stocked with some rare small fishes, such as Helfrich's Firefish ($$$), etc. Well, after several meals worth a few hundred dollars and a bunch of missing Firefish, we concluded that "a Moray is a Moray..."! Add the dwarf species with caution.> Oh, and do you even need bio balls in an established tank?  Could I pull them and replace them with live rock in my sump? Matt <Personally, I would not use the bioballs. The live rock and sand in your system (or live rock in your sump, as you point out) can do an effective job at processing organics. Go for it! Regards, Scott F.>

Eel Hitchhiker Ought to Go (3/7/04) Hi WWM, <Steve Allen this AM> I would like to seek your advise about keeping the snowflake moray eel. <OK>    I bought a batch of 12Kg live rock this afternoon and now I found there is a 8" to 10" eel that came along with the rock. After searching in the internet, I found its an snowflake moray eel. <Lucky you. I paid $30 for mine. Eels do occasionally show up as LR hitchhikers.> Well here is the problem, I have 4 x 1.5" common clowns, one 2.5" African clown, 4 more about 3/4" fishes, one doctor prawn & a  lot of coral. Should I keep the eel or remove it? How to remove it (easy to catch?). Thanks. regards, ws teoh <Well, you do have a problem. The shrimp is a goner for sure. The eel may not quite be big enough to get the clowns yet, but it will be. The 3/4" fish are already in mortal danger. I'd get him out now. The only way to do this is to remove all of the rock and net him. Be careful: they bite hard, the wriggle like mad, and they can escape through the smallest opening. Good luck. You ought to be able to sell him to a fish store.>

Eel Compatibility I was thinking about adding a few smaller fish in with my eels, but I was wondering if I might just be feeding them. I have a snowflake and a Goldentail moray; The question I had is do you think they'll eat a school of blue green Chromis or percula clowns? <Its a toss up, these two eels are crustacean eaters but almost all eels would take a easy meal.  I would feel better about some bigger guys, like a larger pair of maroon clowns.  Cody>

Limiting Aggression <hello, Ryan with you today> I'm attempting to limit aggression by trying a little trick with my fish, so here's the plan; I have a Goldentail moray, and a miniata grouper both are juveniles. I know my Goldentail gets along with snowflake morays, because he was housed with a few when I bought him and I had him in with one for awhile till I sold him to a close friend. <OK> I recently miss having a cute little snowflake in the tank, so I plan on adding one back, but I know that by now my Goldentail will rip anything apart that's an eel. Even knowing that the one he was housed with before was much smaller then him, and he never showed a bit of aggression towards him. So here's my plan, I'm going to take my grouper and Goldentail, and put then in my sump (for up to 250 gallons, so its about the size of a 30 gallon tank) for 3 weeks to a month; Then mix all the sand up where it looks totally different (no holes left that either one of them made); Add a bunch of new pieces of rock work, and change the setting around, and add the new snowflake to the tank (after quarantine of course). <Not sure if I'm crazy about using the sump...I would quarantine for a month, skip the sump>  Therefore when they get added back the snowflake will be settled in, and hopefully they wont remember it as home after being away so long;  Also maybe after being in such a smaller area for awhile they wont feel a need to hold so much aggression towards the other tank mates in a much larger tank. <Likely never make it back> The common sense factor comes into play when making this plan, but as we all know marine fish, and especially moray eels have many surprises; So do you believe that this step of events will raise my chances of seeing my Goldentail sit next to a snowflake in harmony once again, or would I be wasting a lot of time here? <I think you're wasting time...The eel wouldn't stay in a sump for very long, you're probably going to find him dried up somewhere.  I think your best bet is to stay with one eel.  In the wild, eels give each other space.  Predators like this should be respected, and understocked for best results.  Good luck, Ryan>

Dwarf Question for a Small Lion.. >I was wondering if you could tell me if a dwarf lion fish about 2 to 3 inches in size and a snowflake moray eel about 16 inches long would be ok to keep together.  Thanks, John >>No.   >>(Even a larger lion could become a meal for the moray, they have been known to bite off the spines, then eat the fish).  Marina

Golden Tail Morays (12-18-03) Hey I just have a quick question for you; Can you keep two Goldentail eels in a 180 gallon tank? I have a dark kind, and I also wanted to get the light gold kind....<I think you should be ok here as these guys stay small, at least for a eel anyway.  Just keep a close eye on them and move some of territory and hiding places around before you add him to make it a more even playing field.  Cody.>

6 Week old Banded Bamboo Shark Accident Hi, I hope you can help I do not know what to do? Last night my Zebra moray eel mistook my shark for a peace of squid at feeding time (they have never acted aggressively towards each other before) the eel grabbed the sharks by the head and pulled him into his cave. I think he let go of him straight away and I managed to recover the shark about 1 minute later. The shark appears to have been injured quite badly, one of his eyes is slightly out of socket and although he is moving round the tank he is always on his side and cannot bottom himself, his breathing is about twice as fast as normal and he has a small cut to his head, when the lights are off he tries to swim around as he would of before, Also the eye shutters still open up at night. Please help! <Well I am sorry to say there is really nothing that you can do to save this fish. First of all I believe its a mistake to house bamboo sharks with eels which have very poor vision and usually mistake their tankmates for food> What should I do, I do not think I could bring myself to put him out of his misery!<If it gets worse I would remove the shark from the aquarium and place him in a Ziploc bag and freeze him...a fast and painless death. Its the humane thing to do. :( > In your opinion will he ever recover from this ?<I highly doubt it> Should I try to keep feeding him?<I wouldn't even bother...From what you tell me he seems like he is in very bad shape> Your prompt help would be much appreciated I have reared this shark from its egg and grown quite attached to it. Regards Darren <I am very sorry this occurred...but life is about lessons. and this one was a bad one. "Don't kick yourself, everyone makes mistakes. But I do advise you to either keep the eel or shark. and NOT BOTH. Good luck, IanB>

Moray/Anemone Mix...Nah! I've seen a few rare comments of people that keep snowflake morays with anemones. I was thinking of adding a bubble tip anemone to my tank but am worried my snowflake will go after a piece of krill I'm feeding the anemone and get stunned/injured. Is it a good idea to mix the two? <I'd pass, for this and other possible problems...> Also I know morays prefer low lighting conditions. Will a moray do fine in a 4x55W (my tank is 55G) compact fluorescent system (the bulbs are mixed 10000k/dark blue actinic) as long as he has enough space to hide during the day? <The lighting should be fine for the Moray, but a bit lacking for any anemone commonly kept in tropical aquaria...> I'm currently feeding my eel about two small krill every other day (in addition to some small live ghost shrimp I stock the tank with). Is this acceptable? He eats great and is quite active! Thanks for your help! <Krill is an excellent part of a balanced diet, but I'd mix in plenty of other seafood items, such as clam, squid, Mysis, chopped shrimp, etc... Mix it up, and your Moray will do even better! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Eel stocking 10/5/03 Alright, I have a beautiful jewel moray in my 55 now; He's loving it compared to the 7 gallon he was in at the pet store; <good grief... a 7 gallon?! Shameful> But I have 3 questions for you: -First would he be alright with a white mouth or stout moray of his similar size? (if not please list a few he might get along with). <eels can be territorial with each other. More importantly... your tank is not big enough for an adult jewel moray in the 3-5 year picture... let alone a second eel. They need room to grow... else they will stunt and die prematurely> -Second is there any inverts that would be alight to keep with him, maybe something like cleaner shrimp. <possible... but a slight risk. You would be safe with echinoderms (starfish, cucumbers... perhaps urchins)> -Third I feed him 2-3 silver sides a night, and plan on switching it up with squid and other goodies... but do you think that is too much feeding, or is 2-3 silversides a night alright for a 16 - 17 inch jewel moray eel? <feeding just 2-3 times weekly is more appropriate... and please increase the variety of its diet with more prey items (krill, crayfish, fish meats)> Thanks for your time, I just want the best for my buddy to grow large, healthy and live a long happy life.... <it needs to be the only fish in this 55 gallon tank then, my friend. Do enjoy hardy sessile inverts in stead for tankmates. Try some low-light polyps (Zoanthids, Corallimorphs, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

EELS!!! I have a few of questions about the White Mouth (Gymnothorax meleagris). First I was wondering why it was on your list for being one of the better eel's to have?<These eels are pretty hardy>  It doesn't get really big like most Moray's.<true> Second, I have a 180 gallon fish only tank.  In it I have a 5 in. snowflake eel, 12 in. banded eel, 8 in. Yellowhead eel, and a 12 in. Goldentail eel. I was wondering if the White Mouth Moray Eel would be suitable for this tank and the fish that is in it?<First of all I would not keep different species of eels in this size aquarium... for the 180 I would just keep two eels... I have seen multiple eels kept in these size aquariums before...and one day one is found dead. :(> Third, is the White Mouth Moray Eel aggressive?<I would rate it semi-aggressive... it could fight with the other eels if that is what you mean by aggressive> Thank You

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