Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Brackish Eels   

Related FAQs: FW Morays 1, FW Moray ID, FW Moray Behavior, FW Moray Compatibility, FW Moray Selection, FW Moray Systems, FW Moray Feeding, FW Moray Disease, FW Moray Reproduction, Marine Moray Eels

Related Articles: Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Freshwater Moray Eels by Bob Fenner, Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels, 


Pink Tulip Eel care   11/5/11
Hey all,
<Hello Sandra,>
I purchased two of these critters a couple of months ago and have yet to find much information on their preferred habitat.
<Tulip Eels are species of Monopterus, closely related to the Swamp Eels, Synbranchus spp.>
From reading Fishbase's info and very little else, they are currently in a 20 long brackish setup ( sg at 1.006 to 1.009 per info found here and Badman's Tropical Fish website).
<They do not need brackish water. Assuming that this is Monopterus albus, the most common Tulip Eel in the trade, this is a freshwater species that happens to tolerate brackish water.>
They have a sand substrate with rock piles, Java fern and fake silk plants.
In the tank with them is a dragon goby (8 inches), and some Molly fish.
<All of these are nothing more than sitting targets! Monopterus and Synbranchus species are  EXTREMELY aggressive and predatory.>
They are about 6-8 inches themselves.
<Tiny, tiny babies. Adults are up to 100 cm/39 inches long.>
I have an Aquaclear hob for 30 gallons and a sponge filter for the tank and of course stats are no ammonia or nitrite and nitrate under 20 ppl. Water changes are weekly 25-30%, varying sg by .002. The only reason I know they are still alive is because I stir the sand every water change, which disturbs them.
The tank is fed nightly with one frozen plankton cube, with one cube of bloodworms, brine shrimp or greens. Also, one small pinch of flake food and either brine pellets or an algae wafer every other night. I would just like to know if there is anything I can do better or change for them or does everything sound okay?
<Don't need brackish water. Do need a bigger tank. One tank per Tulip Eel.
Do not keep with any other fish except, possibly, very large, very heavily armoured Oxydoras-type Thorny Catfish of similar to larger size.>
Also, I know this group is going to need a bigger tank and suggestions on volume would be appreciated. And as always, you guys are a staple of my information searches for all my aquatic babies.
<Do make sure you aren't confusing Tulip Eels with Spaghetti Eels (Moringua spp.) or Rice Paddy Eels (Pisodonophis spp.). These are, arguably, better aquarium fish. Both are brackish water fish. Moringua spp. are small animals, sociable, like to burrow, and feed on small worms and insects.
Pisodonophis are bigger, predatory, but not particularly aggressive.
It's easy to tell these apart from Monopterus and Synbranchus. Whereas Moringua and Pisodonophis have a pair of small gill openings like those seen on Moray eels, Monopterus and Synbranchus have a single gill slit that runs all the way around their throat. Do also be aware some retailers sell True Eels, Anguilla spp., as aquarium fish from time to time. Although extremely hardy and adaptable, they are all much too big, aggressive and predatory to be of any long-term value to the home aquarist.>
P.S. currently, we have 8 fw tanks in addition to be tank set up ranging from 3.5-50 gallons and all manner of critters, mainly focusing on the eely kind :-) love our eels!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Pink Tulip Eel care   11/5/11

Hi all again,
My two little guys are definitely Moringua based on pictures from online.
<Ah, good. Much better fish.>
Sorry for the confusion. Although they were sold to me as tulip eels, they look exactly like pictures of purple spaghetti eels.
<I see. Well, check the gills. If there's a slit across the throat, it's a Tulip Eel or Swamp Eel; if it has a normal throat and small gill openings on either side of the head, it may well be Moringua spp.>
I can remove the mollies if needed.
<No, these are fine with Moringua.>
Also, if I have to, I can take them to my lfs if they can't stay together.
<Moringua are sociable, so do keep in a group, ideally 3 or more.>
Should I have 3 separate tanks for the mollies, violet goby and eels?
<The Violet Goby may be a problem in terms of feeding -- the Moringua feed on the same small invertebrates, but are smaller and slower, so might not compete. Otherwise, social behaviour and water requirements are similar for all these species.>
Just want the best for all of my critters. Again, what size tank is recommended for these guys?
<Doesn't matter too much; indeed, a group might be kept in as little as 15 gallons. But they do need soft sand and a VERY secure lid -- they will escape otherwise!>
Thanks again for the advice.

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: