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FAQs about Zebra Moray Eel Systems

Related FAQs: Zebra Morays 1, Zebra Morays 2, Zebra Moray ID, Zebra Moray Behavior, Zebra Moray Compatibility, Zebra Moray Selection, Zebra Moray Feeding, Zebra Moray Disease, Zebra Moray Reproduction, Moray Eels in General, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Freshwater Moray Eel FAQs, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels

Related Articles: Zebra MorayRibbon Morays

Are so blind that may well run into benthic invertebrates. A beautiful Tun, photo by Marge... in Bonaire.

Zebra Eel Help; sys.      8/17/14
So Ordered a 14 to 20 inch Zebra from a Place and they sent me about a 30 inch Zebra.

I was able to feed him some live crabs and then a few days later got him to eat a crawfish took him awhile but he got him. The zebra is about 1 1/5 inch thick and was wondering how thick he will get.
<About twice this diameter>
I'm trying to build a PVC hiding area for him that will be underneath the sub straight. Will a 2 inch PVC pipe be fine for him or do I need to go with a 3 inch?
<A two inch will be fine for now>
Can't seem to find much help on line but some people are saying 2 inch will be fine and some are saying 3 inch. My only problem with the 3 inch is that I will have to have a deep sand bed 3 1/2 inch or more I get nerves of going that deep because I have never had a sand bed that deep and don't want to have a mass die off because the sand bed gets disturbed.
<I'd go with the two>
Upgrading Tanks Labor Day weekend He is in a QT tank right now. Going from a 120 to a 300G Just want to make sure I do it right the first time. I also heard that if you use to big of a PVC pipe then they won't use it because they don't feel secure in it.
<This is so. Bob Fenner>

zebra moray eel question, comp., sys.    1/17/13
Hi I have a quick question, I've used searches and still need an answer.
I have a ~36" zebra moray I've had in a 75 gallon for about 1.5 years.
<Needs more room than this by twice plus>

It has a 30 gallon sump/refugium and protein skimmer. There is a person locally that knows about my eel and wanted to know if I wanted another
zebra moray. My question is that the eel is only about ~20". Will these two zebra morays be okay together given their size difference?
<Likely so... but only trial can tell... I would put a perforated screen (likely a cut to fit piece of louver) twixt the two for a few weeks... in
the larger system>
The tank mates would be 2 flasher wrasse 2 small tomato clowns and a Tomini tang. There is no aggression between any of the fish and the eel, he hardly come out. Thank you in advance!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

zebra moray eel 11/01/10
Hello :)
<Hi Callum.>
I am emailing you regarding a Zebra Moray Eel and a Sailfin Tang.
They are in a 60 gallon 48x22x15 inch aquarium
Do you think they require a upgrade?
<Yes, especially the tang.>
If so I will purchase a 5x2x2ft aquarium (about 150 gallon I think) and I shall buy a Hawaiian Dragon Moray to go with it for a steal of £400
My dad thinks they don't need it but I do so this is to confirm the need for a upgrade.
<While the Zebra Eel mostly needs gaps, holes, tunnels, pipes, the tang needs swimming space and surfaces to explore. In my opinion your wish to upgrade is justified by the need of the animals. However, combining them with a Dragon Eel might fail.>
Thank you
<Welcome. Marco.>

My Zebra Eel got stuck! 04/05/10
I have a 500 gallon system in which I house my Zebra moray eel. I recently did not see him for about 3-4 weeks. The first couple of weeks I wasn't worried, but around week 3 I began to worry. I have around 500 lbs. or rock in the system. I decided to take a flashlight and move some of the upper rocks very carefully. After about 3 weeks I saw him and noticed he was stuck.
<Mmh'¦ hard to imagine. In nature they live almost exclusively within the crevices and gaps, caves of the reefs, are perfectly adapted to this life'¦ Maybe something heavy fell down on him and trapped him.>
Now after carefully moving the rocks around him to get him unstuck, I caught him and placed him in my 30 gallon quarantine tank by himself for observation. He has two huge gashes on each side of his body which expose his white side I guess which is under the beautiful stripes they have, and under the skin. he is also bleeding all over his body around the gashes. My question is what should I do?
<Offer some safe shelter for the eel in the 30 gallon tank. Provide perfect water quality and try to feed vitamin enriched food. In the meantime get a plan how to fix that rock in the large system to avoid having the same situation at some point again. I tend to use cable wraps or in new setups concrete.>
Is there some type of medication I can use with my eel to prevent bacterial infections which may be likely? Do you have any other recommendations?
<Yes, antibiotics such as Maracyn 2, but I'd give the eel the chance to heal by itself. I'd consider antibiotics if the situation gets worse, e.g. if you see inflammations. Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra Moray Eel System 4/1/08 Hey WWM, <<Jason.>> Great site! <<Thanks.>> I've definitely learned a lot from this site. <<Glad to hear it.>> I'm in the process of setting up a 200gal Zebra Moray system. <<Dimensions?>> My question is about water circulation/flow. <<Okay.>> Do Zebra Morays like strong current or do they like calmer currents? <<Copious amounts of flow, and tank turn over are important, in moray tanks. The flow will help the dissolved oxygen levels. Make sure to include a very large protein skimmer in this system as well. Please see here for further detail from Bob F.; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm .>> How many power heads should I be running? <<None. The moray will knock them loose, look into closed loop systems.>> Thanks <<Good Luck.>> Jason <<Adam J.>>

Fish that can go with zebra eel   5/8/06 hi <...>     just wondering if I what I could keep with a zebra moray eel. I like dwarf lionfish, Niger Trigger, Foxface and queen angel I have a 60 gallon tank <... a sixty isn't large enough for just the Gymnomuraena> with an external filter 2028 Eheim and a internal filter Fluval 3 and a protein skimmer <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Sick Zebra Moray I have a 24inch zebra moray I have had for four years.  He has been ill for the past 4-5 months.  He is in a 55 gal tank (too small I know) by himself. <Yes>   He is losing his stripes and his white underskin is showing through on 50% of his body and he is not as active as he was before.  He eats once per week (shrimp, crab, clam, scallops.)  6 months ago he had this same disease and I temporarily cured it with Nitrofurazone (no immediate response) then Tetracycline hydrochloride (worked).  He fell ill to the same disease 2 months later.  (I have no hospital tank and treatments were done in his only tank.) <Not wise... immuno-deficiency syndromes easy to induce> The disease came back and he did not respond to the same treatment twice. <Bingo> I then tried erythromycin and he did not respond.  Filtration is Eheim ECCO and pro clear aquatic wet/dry filter, CoralLife turbo twist 9 watt UV sterilizer.  Temp 78degrees, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, ph 8.4, ammonia 0, salinity 1.023.  Water changes 20% every 2 weeks.  Please help I love this guy and want him to get better!  Thank you very much. Sincerely, Ethan. <... What to say? The root cause, cure for this situation is environmental. This Gymnomuraena needs more space, new live rock, places to move, hide in, explore... This life is in your hands, care. What do you want to do? Bob Fenner>

Cephalopholis miniata & Gymnomuraena zebra. Big fish and tank size. 07/04/06 Can a 100cm long Gymnomuraena zebra coexist with a 40cm long Cephalopholis miniata? <In a very large aquarium.> If so, what capacity tank would be required? <At a minimum, assuming there is no other livestock, somewhere in the terms of a 300 gallon tank with generous amounts of water flow, surface area and a VERY large protein skimmer...realistically I would prefer an even larger tank.> Apart from prawns and crabs, is there another kind of food that can partially replace the Gymnomuraena zebra's diet? <Any meat of a marine origin though I would avoid fish that are high up on the food chain as the main part of the diet.> Also Crustaceans are expensive! <Live ones yes...frozen, not so much.> Is a zebra moray in general much less active than most other commonly kept morays e.g. Gymnothorax tiles? <They tend to be more reclusive if that's what you mean.> Some sites state that a large tank is needed, but exactly how large, and what dimensions must the tank be? <To enjoy these animals and have them be comfortable into adult-hood I would like to see something with a lot of surface area...mmm maybe: 72"x48"x24"...that would be aprox 360 U.S. gallons, Adam J.>

Zebra eels Hello Mr. Fenner my name is Joe Reza (aquarist/zoo keeper) and I have a couple of questions concerning a setup that we would like to do at my work place (El Paso Zoo).  We have 2 tanks that are approximately 400 gallons each, in our California sea lion exhibit. <Man, those Zalophus get around! Keep them!> We have decided to stick with a Baja theme for these 2 aquariums.  We would like to put zebra eels in one tank, which is more of a rectangular shape, but I'm not sure how many we can keep in this tank. <Mmm, not really social animals, but can be placed together just the same... don't really have "teeth" on the principal jaws as many piscivorous muraenids as am sure you know> I know that hiding spaces are to be taken into account, we ordered some artificial corals from living color and they provided us with some pieces that have built in caves.  The main piece looks like it has enough room for 2 or 3 eels ,but I don't know if they would get along and if they would share the same cave.   <Should get along. Might well co-habit> I also wanted to know if the zebra eel could be trusted with fish like longnose butterfly or longnose Hawkfish, <Yes... Gymnomuraena is almost entirely a consumer of crustaceans... very rarely live fish flesh.> I have read that they are docile and usually don't prey on fish.  The other tank is a bowfront and we have decided   it would be a fish only exhibit for now.  There is only one problem, our local fish store is the only approved vendor at this time and we had asked him to provide us with a list of fish from the Baja region that he can obtain.  He came up with a fish list of about 10 different species, that include( passer angel, longnose Hawkfish, longnose butterfly, zebra eel, coral Hawkfish, rainbow wrasse, Mexican hogfish, black-eyed goby) and we have to stock these 2 tanks with these fish.  I would really appreciate any suggestions or ideas that you can provide. <Mmm, have this supplier contact me... I will in turn help them with their suppliers... there are a few more species collected/available seasonally/periodically>   We have no choice, but to go with these types of fish, since these tanks have to be stocked pretty soon. I would also like to say that I really enjoy your articles in TFH and I'm looking forward to meeting you at the IMAC conference in Chicago, Il.  Thank you so much for your time . <Ahh! Look forward to it... am "cheating" right at this moment, working on responding, posting while at the WMC conference in Sacto, during Sanjay Joshi's pitch on light/ing. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Zebra moray ... dis., sys.   3/10/06 I noticed my 2' long zebra moray has some sort of pink looking polyps growing on or near his nostrils.  Any idea? <Mmm, likely from rubbing... the nares... or running into the sides> He is in a 75 gallon tank with a skimmer and Rena filter, I do  five gallon water changes weekly and every time I check the chemical levels they all come out great.  My other fish are all doing great, too.  This guy was inherited so I don't know too much about him, although he has been eating really well for the 2 months or so that I have had him.  His diet consists of shrimp.  I have tried squid, scallops, etc. he prefers the shrimp.  Thanks, if I need to send some more info. I will. Rob <Will/does need larger quarters. Bob Fenner> Zebra Moray- will it be ok?  8/31/05 Hello, I have been looking at your site over and over  for a long  time now and I must say, it is the best information I have managed to find  on eels anywhere! I have two quick questions to ask which I don't think have been asked  before (at least this specifically). 1. Would a 125 gallon (UK) size tank be adequate for a zebra moray to live in for its whole life? <Mmm, likely so> The zebra moray grows to three feet long but I plan to keep it alone in the aquarium. So would 125 be enough? If not, what size  would you recommend as its lifetime house? <Well... the "bigger the better"... this species does grow rather slowly, and lives a good long time... we had some specimens for teens of years in service accounts...> and question 2 would be: How much live rock should I keep in the aquarium (if its 125 galloons)  ? <"Enough" to make caves, yet leave some open space to move about... two "piles" would be better than a continuous wall> Is there a way of working out how much is recommended for each tank  size? <Mmm, to some degree... as their is a range of density and shape of differing rock... You can always add more... but a hundred pounds or so to start of any type will get you started. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Many thanks my friends Phillip

Grouper + Moray Tank Size 11/1/05 Can a 100cm long Gymnomuraena zebra coexist with a 40cm long Cephalopholis miniata?  <In a VERY large tank I see no problem with this duo.>  If so, what capacity tank would be required?  <At least 240-gallons for the two alone, both are very large and both are very messy.>  Apart from prawns and crabs, is there another kind of food that can partially replace the Gymnomuraena zebra's diet?  <Anything meaty of a marine origin, fresh market fish, scallops, clam meat, silversides and squid.>  Crustaceans are expensive!  <Well it does not have to be live food, both of these animals are easily weaned to easily attainable frozen fair.>  Is a zebra moray in general much less active than most other commonly kept morays e.g. Gymnothorax tiles?  <I'm not sure about less active but definitely much more reclusive in my experience.> Some sites state that it is possible to keep the fishes in a "smallish" tank. However, personally I feel that 300gallons is sufficient.  <Yes as long as it has plenty of surface area and not jus 'show' height. You'll also want to have a lot of water flow in this tank to keep to much detritus from settling as well as a very efficient skimmer for these carnivorous specimens.>  What dimensions and size should the tank be in your view?  <The BEST would be 96'x36'x24' (which would be a little larger than your looking for at aprox. 350 gallons but not to much more), you could get away with a 84' or 72' tank length too'¦.but surface area is definitely the key. Adam J.> 

Zebra moray eel question? Dear Robert, I have just purchased a zebra moray eel. He is a very handsome fish at 24 inches long give or take. I have only had him for three days so I know I cant tell you to much about him yet as far as his attitude and eating habits. I bought him for my 55 gallon tank because he was sitting in a 20 or 25 gallon pet store tank for a good price I think. The guy at the store told me he would do fine. <This person should be housed in a cardboard box for a good while> So I took him home and built him his own little cave setup. He doesn't like my cave because he is on the opposite side of the tank. Is there a certain way I should build it?  <Yes, for now, just place a 1 1/2 or 2" diameter PVC pipe of a good foot or more long and place (carefully) rocks around it> I know it has to be dark but that's about all I know. My tank is kind of bright is that a problem? Now that I have him in my tank I feel he needs a tank much bigger! Can he be happy in my 55 gallon tank? I am using a undergravel filter and crushed coral for a bottom. Would he prefer sand? I have a 80 gallon as well, I consider it to be done because the community all gets along and seems to have a perfect balance. I thought about putting him in there but that would require removing a lot of rock a huge carpet anemone the clownfish and my soft crustaceans into the 55 and putting the anemone and clownfish from the other tank into the 80. My 55 gallon tank is fairly new compared to the 80 and seems to be doing fine. I Hope I gave you enough descriptions and I hope you understand my questions and thank you for taking the time to read this. very concerned, David Myers <This tank is too small for the Eel, and you may want/need to move the animal for now to the 80, moving the anemone in advance...and any/all crabs and shrimps... lest they become eel meals. Bob Fenner>

Re: zebra moray eel question? do you think the 80 gallon is big enough? Its not longer but it is wider and it is probably 97 percent eel escape proof.  <Should be big enough... and fix that other 3%> I really would like to move him into the other tank. I am a little afraid of trying to the carpet anemone because he is so huge and is probably stuck himself all the way through the sand and onto the glass.  Any tips on how to move him.  <Scoot most of the sand away, or vacuum/siphon it out and edge the anemone off the bottom with a plastic credit card... gingerly> Should I take all the fish out of both tank and do a massive water change, and put them all back in at the same time in their new tanks?  <Not necessary... do move a good deal of the water between the two in moving the animals though> I'm sorry I have so many questions for you but I am very appreciate of you time and I am only bugging you because I care a lot for these fish. Any tips and information you can give me would be great. <Never too many questions. No worries. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, David Myers

Zebra Moray Hi Bob, PF again. I've just read through your article on Zebra's and you've got me sold! I was wondering as to the size of system for a species tank for one of these, I know bigger is better and all, but would a 125 gallon be a good size for it? <Yes, a good size for a few years, medium size specimen> Talking the wife into another 300g is an iffy proposition at best. Should be no problems having a new Sarcophytons w/ clownfish, correct? <No problem directly... the eel won't eat them... just mount all attached invertebrates up off the bottom area> BTW, if you ever get to Denver, be sure to check out the local aquarium, Ocean Journey. They have two main exhibits, an Indonesian river setup, freshwater to mangrove to reef to ocean, and the Colorado river (high mountain streams, to canyon river, to brack water, to Sea of Cortez. <Wow, neat> Plus a few oddballs out on their own, sea otters in a tank with a massive surge setup, a giant pacific octopus, and a few others. The trip got my wife excited about getting the tank setup (have to wait till next year to get the Florida rock at it's best), so it turned out great from my end. <Great to hear> The large green moray's were very impressive, and I must admit it was fun educating one of the volunteers about the Stomatopod. They can't find theirs, and nobody's willing to go digging through the live rock to look for it, I don't blame them either. <Time for a large, strong, porous net... Bob Fenner> Thanks as always! Mike

Re: Zebra Moray Robert Fenner wrote: > I know bigger is better and all, but would a 125 gallon be a good size for it? > <Yes, a good size for a few years, medium size specimen> would a snowflake be better at that size setup then? just how large should a dedicated zebra be? <A Snowflake would be better (typically start smaller, stay so). And about eighteen inches if you can find one... recently encountered a barely eight inch one in NJ... tiny. Bob Fenner>

Zebra Moray Jumping Prevention I am interested in buying a zebra moray for my 150 gallon tank and I have a couple of questions.  1.) Compatible with large Volitans lion fish? <Yes, should be fine> 2.) How much of a lid should be placed on the tank?  Will 1/4" glass be acceptable or larger? <This will work. Most important that there are not holes large enough for the animal to leave the system by>   3.) Is a 150 large enough? <Yes, for these two fishes> 4.)  I can't remember if you mentioned this in your web page, but are they compatible with crabs and snails? <Not crabs... will gladly consume them, but snails will likely be ignored.> Thank you for your time and effort, C. Joslin <You're welcome. Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Zebra Moray - 8/20/03 I currently have a 55 gallon hexagonal aquarium and a 29 gallon rectangular aquarium. (Both are separate.) Can either of these tanks support a zebra moray eel?   <the 55 could just barely IMO if it only housed the moray (no other fishes). This is a very thick and hefty species... not the smallest either growing to over two feet long> If not is there any other species of moray eel that would be better suited for the aquariums? <a snowflake moray would be much much better... hardy, handsome and generally a more slight adult than the zebra. Fine for your 55 gall> Thanks for your time <best regards, Anthony>

-Planning for growth- Hi, I am interested in purchasing a Zebra Moray Eel from my LFS, I have also just purchased and just set up my 75 gallon SW tank I plan to put live rock in there too. I am interested in putting the zebra along with a valentini puffer or one of the smaller puffers (5" max) and a butterfly fish maybe a raccoon or Copperbanded, and a Tang (Big enough not to fit inside the Morays mouth) Would the 75 gallon be big enough for the eel to live its whole life? <Let me start of by saying that I'm incredibly happy that you're asking before you buy, so many don't!!! If we're talking about the same zebra moray (Gymnomuraena zebra), then with adequate filtration, I think it could be happy in that tank indefinitely provided ample filtration and hiding places exist. It will max out likely just short of 3' long and they're actually quite pleasant tank companions (won't even bite the hand that feeds!). A puffer like a valentini would be a good choice, and just to be safe, it should be larger than the eel's mouth although it probably won't bother it. As for a tang, most will get too large and will ultimately have to be removed to larger quarters.> Also would the other fish be able to co-exist in a 75 gallon with the zebra for their whole life? <The moray shouldn't be a problem.> Thanks for your time, I appreciate what you and the other crew do to help us out. <Excellent, good luck! -Kevin> Thanks once again,  Gerard Walsh

Missing the Point... Zebra Moray and a Ramrod - 9/21/03 Hi, thanks so much for you answering my question I appreciate it but I don't know if you specialize in eels or maybe you got you info mixed up <neither> but I have done a tremendous amount of research on this eel and have found that they only get max 40 inches in a aquarium and basically 5 feet out in the wild, <Hmmm... was your research field studies? If so... do you need an assistant in Hawaii? <G>. How about a peek at the authoritative fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Gymnomuraena&speciesname=zebra 150cm = 5 feet> the reason I asked you because I wanted a pro's opinion to see if a 3 foot eel would be fine. Hey, for once I think I'm giving information and help to you guys, LOL, I think you have it on   your site too that its 3' in aquarium maybe I'm wrong, <correct... most do not get much larger than 36-40" (Michael 2000)> so what so you think now? 3' still too small for 75? Thanks for the help on the other fish too :) -Jerry <I think you are missing the whole point here, mate: even with the low end stats... that still leaves a 36-40" animal in a tank 24" wide. Or... 40" in a 48" long aquarium. By analogy, how comfortable would you feel being 5 foot tall living in a box 3' wide by 6' high. If you only grew to 4.5 foot tall... the box is still too small to thrive in... you would merely survive at best. Admittedly this eel, like most, is not terribly active... 'tis also not known for roaming. These are facts. But you still can't get me to bless/recommend the keeping of a fish in an aquarium half its adult width and barely longer than its own length. I'm not sure why anyone that admires such creatures would even try. Wishing you the best... Anthony>

Zebra Eel Problem (2/2/04)  Hi. <Howdy> So I'll try to make this short. First off I did look on your site to try and find the problem myself <thanks> but since I am still fairly new to salt water I couldn't really find much. I have a 1.25 ft zebra eel in a 55 gallon tank. <I disagree with Scott Michael's assertion that a 55G tank is big enough for an eel that can exceed 4 feet in length. 120G is better.>  As you can see in the picture he's starting to turn pink (not white) in his black stripes. <Do you mean the white stripes in between?> At first this didn't concern me cause I figured it was just cause he only ate krill for a year (bad info from store) so if you can suggest something else for him to eat (besides silver sides)<why not silversides?> I would appreciate it.  <sand eels, squid, octopus tentacles, mussels--a variety of marine meats. I feed mind a seafood gumbo mix I get at Albertson's for $3 per lb.>  Anyway, this concerns me now because my 1.5 in Sailfin tang (only other fish in tank besides some signature coral) has some pink forming above one of his eyes and the eel has started acting strange. <Suspicious for HLLE, look this up on WWM.> Sometimes it looks as though he's trying to breathe without opening his mouth at all, and then he'll thrash around like he's having a seizure. <Almost sounds like maybe he's got something stuck in his throat. Don't know what to do for that if it were the case.> Other times (I saw that other people on the site had this problem too but I didn't see what it was) he'll lay on his side or up against something like he's dead for half the day. <Possibly toxic water conditions or malnutrition.>  I know you would like specific numbers on water quality but sadly enough the store said that they can't give me exact numbers they just say that "your water is fine, nothing's off" and oxygen should be fine cause I have the powerhead from the Fluval 304 breaking the surface and creating bubbles. <I'm no longer a fan of canisters in marine aquariums. Frequent (at least weekly) cleaning is required.> Anything that you could suggest would be great help, thank you so much for you time. <Buy some test kits of your own so you can have real numbers for the most important parameters. Salifert, Hatch and LaMotte kits are well-regarded. I've been reasonably satisfied with Hagen. Feed the fish a better variety of foods and soak these in Selcon & vitamins before feeding. Get the Tang some live algae to eat (e.g. Tang Heaven from www.ipsf.com) that you might want to grow yourself. Maintain excellent water quality & see if this causes improvement.>  Sincerely, Shaun Welsh <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Compatibility Hi, <Hi Alex, MacL here with you today.> I was wondering if I could house a Zebra Moray and Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish together in a 100 gal comfortably for their whole lives? <I know people who have done it, but their tank was larger than yours. I would think the secret would be to keep the Moray fed.> Thank you! -Alex

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