FAQs about Brackish Eels
Morays 1, FW
Moray ID, FW
Moray Behavior, FW Moray
Compatibility, FW Moray Selection,
Moray Feeding, FW Moray Disease,
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
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
In the tank with them is a dragon goby (8 inches), and some Molly
<All of these are nothing more than sitting targets! Monopterus and
Synbranchus species are EXTREMELY aggressive and
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
Do not keep with any other fish except, possibly, very large, very
heavily armoured Oxydoras-type Thorny Catfish of similar to larger
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
Pisodonophis are bigger, predatory, but not particularly
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
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!
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
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
<Moringua are sociable, so do keep in a group, ideally 3 or
Should I have 3 separate tanks for the mollies, violet goby and
<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.