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FAQs about Tesselated Moray Eels... Gymnothorax favagineus, nee G. permistus, one of the Morays called the Leopard, Honeycomb...

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

Related Articles: Moray Eels, Zebra Morays, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Morays, The "Freshwater" Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Other Marine Eels

EMERGENCY: Injured Coral Cat Shark    6/5/16
Hello Wet Web Crew-
I have had a Coral Cat Shark and a Tesselata Moray eel
<Mmm... not compatible.>

in my tank together for years, and just tonight, the shark began having trouble swimming. It would end up laying upside down, and would have trouble righting itself. Upon closer inspection, the shark appears to have a puncture along its back... The same size as a moray tooth.
The two of them have coexisted peacefully, without a SINGLE issue for years, and I don't know what is going on now.
<I hate to key it, but inevitability>
Please respond ASAP, as I don't know how much longer the shark will last. I have isolated it from the eel for the time being, but I need help.
<Need to keep separated... and at this point hope>
Gabe Walsh
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Putting 2 Tesselata eels together in same tank, both very large        12/24/15
I looked through the info on Tesselata eels and really did not find much on cohabitation of certain species of eels
<Umm; I have only encountered Gymnothorax favagineus in the wild a few times; and it was always solitary. Many other morays I've found with their own and other Muraenid species mixed in the same "hole". I would NOT mix anything in with this Moray Eel species that you don't want to lose. I would NOT mix two Tesselatas together>
I have had mine 11 years now in a 280 gallon tank.
Originally when I put it in the tank there was a white mouth moray that had been in there a few years. They did fight, )not bite) or should I say try and scare each other and made the tank really murky for about a day or 2.
Over time the hung out, would even twist around each other in non aggressive ways.
After about 2 years my White mouth died (I think a chunk of salmon may have blocked its gills, not 100 % sure) anyways, the other eel has been solo for 9 years now.
My question is I found another Tesselata that is good size and wanted to ask if it could be put in with my current one.
<Not I>
My current one is fairly large, but this one I found at a local fish store is good size itself, probably younger due to such a difference in colors and patterns.
Do eels nee companionship?
<Mmm; not as far as I'm aware>
or should I just let the eel I currently have live on by itself till it passes.
<This is what I would do>
Photos included of my eel, taken 3 or 4 years ago. Probably larger now, but its always hard to tell.
Theron Elbe
<Am sending your msg. over to MarcoL, our resident eel expert; for his individual response. Bob Fenner>
Re: Putting 2 Tesselata eels together in same tank, both very large /Marco        12/24/15

<Hello Theron.>
I looked through the info on Tesselata eels and really did not find much on cohabitation of certain species of eels.
<Did you look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/EelPIX/Moray%20Eels/tesselatedMorayF.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm  ?>
I have had mine 11 years now in a 280 gallon tank. Originally when I put it in the tank there was a white mouth moray that had been in there a few years. They did fight, )not bite) or should I say try and scare each other and made the tank really murky for about a day or 2. Over time they hung out, would even twist around each other in non aggressive ways.
After about 2 years my White mouth died (I think a chunk of salmon may have blocked its gills, not 100 % sure) anyways, the other eel has been solo for 9 years now.
My question is I found another Tesselata that is good size and wanted to ask if it could be put in with my current one. My current one is fairly large, but this one I found at a local fish store
is good size itself, probably younger due to such a difference in colors and patterns.
<I wouldn't risk it. This species is quite territorial in general. When they get along with other morays, it's mostly when they are young. I know cases, where what you consider went wrong.>
Do eels need companionship?
<Not in my experience. But you could redecorate the tank to create more caves and hiding spots or try adding 1-3 cleaner shrimps if you want to improve its environment.>
or should I just let the eel I currently have live on by itself till it passes.
<Would be my choice. Be glad you have such a great specimen as a pet for so long and enjoy it. I have a G. favagineus of similar age and have no plans at all for a fishy tank mate.>
Photos included of my eel, taken 3 or 4 years ago. Probably larger now, but its always hard to tell.
thanks Theron Elbe
<Welcome. Marco.>

tesselata compatible with large Zebra?      2/20/15
Hello ,
Have an approx 34 in long and growing Zebra Moray eel in a 330 gal with a few large fish.. (in process of building taller tank, 60w x 36x 40 tall, approx. 400 gals with a ton of rock going in throughout)
Recently a similar size tesselata Eel was made available to me.
<Mmm; unpredictable compatibility wise... can be a terror>

This particular tesselata is in a tank with fish and does not bother them or the owner during feedings, water changes and tank cleanings.
<So far...>
Your opinion, would you consider the 2 eels compatible for this environment.?
<Am a big conservative this AM... the choice of course is up to you.
However, if you're at all risk-adverse, I'd keep this fish elsewhere>
Thank you for the feedback.
Steven Turk
<Oh! Do you know Chris Turk... of the fish foods business? Bob Fenner>
Re: tesselata compatible with large Zebra?   2/21/15

Hello Bob, Thank you very much for the immediate response.
Certainly prudent advice; have to admit, do love the morays. A large tesselata is a beautiful creature and would certainly be worth the investment of its own tank (I believe)...
<Ah yes; and in "putting away" our correspondence, I read over the accumulated Tesselata/Permistus accounts archived on WWM. You might want to read MarcoL's input there>
Chris Turk, very interesting (I use Ocean Nutrition foods regularly). Our family's name has not changed or been modified from the "old country", not sure if we are from same Old Country and there certainly are not a lot of Turks in the US....
<I see>
I will have to send him an e mail to see if there is a family connection.
Thinking maybe we can co-brand a moray specific frozen diet LOL!
I will update you if I find out.
Thanks again and best regards. Steve
<Cheers! BobF>

Honeycomb Moray Eel with possible infection -- Please help!      1/24/14
I’m writing because my 3’ honeycomb moray has been exhibiting some very worrisome symptoms in the last 48 hours. The day following a 30G water change in the 125G display tank where he lives, I noticed a large, puffy protuberance on one side of the eel’s mouth - where the cheek would be on a human.
<I see this>
Tonight I checked in on him and the puffy, soft bulge in his cheek has deflated somewhat, but has narrowed to a point, with the skin broken and soft, white tissue poking outward.
125G display tank
~30G sump
No skimmer currently running
Wet/dry filtration w/ double overflow
Bio balls, nitrate reducing pads, floss pads
Powerhead providing lateral flow
Temp: 80.2 degrees F
Salinity ~1.022
pH 8.3
Nitrates: unknown (usually 15 ppm)
Nitrites: unknown at this time
Significant population of Caulerpa algae in display tank
2-3” sand bed
The eel’s diet includes silversides, butterfish and large sardines from a local fish market, which I occasionally dip in a vitamin solution. However, the eel will sometimes refuse to take food if he smells the vitamin supplement, so I haven’t been using it as diligently as perhaps I should. All of the water I use for top-off and replacement comes from my home pipe work, which is then treated with Prime or StressCoat and allowed to mix with Instant Ocean salt for several hours.
<All good>
Given the sudden appearance of this swollen area and now the broken skin, I’m extremely worried for my beloved eel and would greatly appreciate any help WetWebMedia could provide.
Reid Connolly
<I fully suspect this is a wound area... an owee... I would not panic, not treat the water; but continue to do as you detail above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Honeycomb Moray Eel with possible infection -- Please help!      1/24/14
Thank you so much for taking the time to look into this. I've been working to find this eel a more permanent home with a public aquarium here in the NY/CT/NJ area and was so worried that he might not make it that far.
Have a great evening,
<Welcome. BobF>

Honeycomb Moray Eel sick     8/6/12
Hi there,
I have concerns about my honeycomb moray eel and I am hoping you can point me in a direction.  It has been in this tank for over 1 year and I have had it for 4 years.  It was with a previous owner so I am estimating the age of the eel is about 6-7 years at least.  It is in a 120 gallon tank with a canister filter.
<No skimmer? Size of the eel? Looks small on the picture, but I could be wrong about that.>
Salinity, PH, nitrates, nitrites all appear to be in approved ranges.
<Which are?>
Usually gets fed every 4 days with squid or shrimp, scallops with vitamins.
<Sounds good.>
Phosphates have been high even though I have been doing regular water changes every other week and using a phosphate remover in the filter.
<Mmm... so you say the phosphates are high, but nitrates appear okay? I would get another measurement (different test) for nitrates just to be sure the problem isn't simply related to water quality. As a side note you may find the WWM article on phosphates interesting.>
Also, we have been battling red algae for the past 6 weeks. Seven months ago we battled what appeared to be a white fungus that started in between the eyes and grew down the snout area.  We used an Ich treatment (without copper) and everything seemed to be cured. It started eating again and continued to be active.  Now, the moray stopped eating about 4 weeks ago and will not eat even with regular attempts.
Also, where the white disease was in between the eyes on the top of the head...now seems to be red and eaten away....
<Might be bacterial, watch if it appears to be spreading.>
I have seen the eel rubbing its face on decorations and in the air bubbles.
I have attached a photo for you to see.
Any thoughts on what course of action I can take?
<My first thought was water quality. Larger water changes certainly won't hurt here. I'd also check for proper oxygen supply, since you do not mention a skimmer. If you don't have one, consider getting one. In addition provide enough surface movement, canister filters are hardly enough here in general. If none of the afore noted ideas seems to apply and if the apparent infection is spreading you probably should consider using an antibiotic such as Maracyn 2. Good luck. Marco.>

Physical trauma? B
Re: Honeycomb Moray Eel sick     8/6/12
Hi Marco,  I appreciate your response to my email!
<You are welcome.>
I am currently at work and don't have all the test numbers in front of me, however, I do apologize that I didn't include information regarding having a protein skimmer, etc. I do have a protein skimmer on the tank as well as two long cylinder airstones (appox 8 inches) one on either end of the tank.
<Sounds good and should take care of the oxygen supply.>
The eel is just about 36 inches long and I estimate probably 7 years at least. I will start with your suggestions for testing, water changes, medication etc. including referencing that article on phosphates. I want you to know I appreciate your help with my questions. This has been a steep learning curve for me since the eel was abandoned into my care 2 years ago
and I had no prior saltwater experience.  Since that time, I discovered your website and have appreciated using it to further my knowledge.
Again, Thank you to you and your team,
<Thanks for your kind words. Cheers, Marco.>

Help please Tesselata Eel swallowed  zip-lock sandwich bag.    6/13/12
Hello my name is Elise, I have a four ft Tesselata Eel. While I was getting ready to feed him (his name is Scar),
he came up and grabbed the bag of food and swallowed it whole. The bag is a zip-lock sandwich size and had one piece of baby octopus about four inches long with a half a cup of Kent's brand Zoe. The bag was open. This happened
on Sunday, June 10th, 2012 about 8pm pacific time. Scar is swimming normal, and does not seemed stressed. He burped a little bit of the octopus and looked as if he was trying to find food directly after the burp. What should /could I do for him.
<I fear there is not much you can do yourself. It still is possible the bag will be leaving the eel at the front or rear end if it has not already.
Eels can vomit undigestible pieces of their food such as fish bones after days, so there still is a chance the bag will leave the fish. Personally I would not do anything except searching the tank for the bag unless unusual behaviour occurs. In this case the fish should be sedated and the bag removed. You'd need a vet to do that.>
Thank you in advance,
<Good luck. Marco.>

Tesselata Eel, hlth.      12/18/11
My boyfriend and I have a Tesselata Eel. He has had it in a 75 gal tank for almost 6 months.
<You know this species reaches 5-6 feet?>

Recently the eel has not had much of an appetite.
<Can happen.>
We then started to realize that it has what appear to look like black splotches, it is not its original black spots, these spots are more lighter than the original spots.
<Can't produce a proper picture in my head. Can you send one?>
She has also started to lose her color.
The stress has gone up as well as there being some ammonia (which has gone down) and the ph level has risen.
<The environmental problems likely are the cause of your eel's apparent disease (?). Check your water parameters. Nitrates should be <25-30 ppm (the smaller, the better), pH preferably between 8.0 and 8.2. Nitrites and ammonia should never be measurable. If this isn't' the case you likely need to change filtration or water change schedule. You'll also likely need a much larger tank in the near future.>
We have done almost a full water change as well as 25% water changes (quite a few).
We have tried contacting many other people but have not received a response. If you could help us out that would be greatly appreciated.
<Aside what is noted above: Provide a varied diet with vitamin additions.
The worst things done with respect to feeding is just feeding silver sides or large krill. Poorly fed eels are more prone to diseases.>

Thank you for your time, VT
<Good luck. Marco.>

honeycomb eel, hlth. env. likely     5/23/11
About a month ago I bought a 135g tank and 2' honeycomb eel. It's been in that tank for over a year and doing very well.
<I'd just like to note these fishes can get 6 feet long if we're talking about Gymnothorax favagineus (other eels like M. melanotis have been called honeycomb, too). How is that tank filtered, does it have a skimmer ?>
I set the tank back up at my house and last week I added some damsel fish to see if they will get along or if it will eat them. So far it has not ate them.
<If it is too small and fast, this can work. Not always, but sometimes.>
I feed the eel the other day some Tilapia fillet and he did eat.
<Needs a varied diet, preferably marine fish or salmonids (and larger shrimps, octopus), not cichlids like Tilapia. Add vitamins to frozen foods at least once a week.>
Also had the local fish store check my water and all is well, they did say my tank appears to be cycling again
<Somewhat contradicting information.>
and I should do a water change in a week or so and bring in some more water to check it again.
<If you want our opinion on your situation, it would be good if you could provide some more data. Water parameters that is. Especially salinity, temperature, pH, nitrates, ammonia, nitrites. Proper numbers please.>
Here's my question lately the eel has been acting strange. Every so often it rubs itself back and forth against the rocks hard and fast (thrashing) and turning on its side and rubbing along the bottom of the tank (crushed coral) like its trying to scratch or rub something off. What would make it do this?
<I suspect something's wrong with the water, therefore the above question for your water parameters (proper numbers).>
Could it be some kind of infection or parasite?
<Could be, but is less likely.>
I've been looking at it very closely and I don't see anything. Thanks Bill
<Welcome. Marco.>
re: honeycomb eel, hlth and more    5/24/11

Thank you so much Marco, It does appear to be a Gymnothorax favagineus pear. No skimmer, just a Filstar xp3, that's what the original owner had been using. I have plans on putting in a sump/bio ball system in this week.
<Personally, I would think about adding a skimmer. It does make it much easier to provide a good water quality by removing waste from the system (which otherwise is only done by water changes, filter cleaning) and by adding additional oxygen.>
That's what I used when I owned a 110g tank and I never had any problems with my fish, zebra moray, blue dot stingray etc... Sold all of it when I moved 10 years ago. Trying to start over again. Also no live rock in the tank yet just dry rock and dry corals. I will get you the water #'s later today. Also I will get him some salmon or shrimp today. Does it need to eat any live fish or is it ok with store bought fish?
<Store bought fish is perfect. I'd not feed live fish at all.>
I used to feed my zebra moray live craw fish, would the honeycomb eat those too?
<Very likely.>
What vitamins should I be adding to the food?
<There's a number of adequate products for fishes on the market. JBL Advitol is one, Vita-Chem is another one and there are more (also see WWM). The product you want should at least contain vitamin C and vitamin B1.>
Also looking very closely at the eel it appears to have some small white dots on its head or the first 3-4". Not sure if they've always been there or if its something new.
<Can you get a good picture? If the spots are arranged in lines these are sensory pores, which are mostly found on the front quarter of moray eels. Cryptocaryon, the parasite causing one common white spot disease (uncommon on eels, though), almost always affects the gills and often the eyes also.>
That along with the flashing or rubbing all over the tank I started thinking that it might be ich.
<Cryptocaryon, see WWM re. Not very common on eels due to their thick skin and slime coat.>
I don't see anything on any of the damsels but they've only been there a few days. A couple of web sites suggest to treat this I should slowly bring the salt level down to 1.009 and keep it there for 4-6 weeks.
<Can work, but is not always reliable, since some Cryptocaryon and other parasites can live in lower end brackish water.>
After reading that I did a water change of 30g and brought the level down to 1.019. And I was going to do this a couple more times till it reaches 1.009, Is this something I should be doing?
<I'd first try to get a proper diagnosis and not rush into a treatment.>
If it is ich can I treat the tank and the eel with medication, one that contains copper?
<Probably not more than once... Don't do this.>
I've read that eels are sensitive to it, that's why I started doing the lower salinity instead. I will send you the water #'s this afternoon when I get home. Thanks again Bill
<Okay. Marco.>

reticulated moray   11/22/10
My eel has stopped eating. About 4 weeks ago he had eaten and then regurgitated the meal, he has then refused to eat for about 2 weeks at which time he eat 2 small sardines he would usually eat 8 to 10 of them every 3 to 4 days.
<Is this the only type of food he got so far? Are vitamins added?>
Since that time he has refused all offerings. I have offered different types of food still nothing I feel he is now starting to lose weight.<Healthy moray eels can survive several months without food.>
I don't know what else to try any ideas?
<Need to know more about your eel and setup. What eel are you talking about? By reticulated moray your mean Gymnothorax reticularis? Tell me about your setup: How large is the eel, what size is the tank and what are the water parameters (nitrates, pH...). There are many reasons why eels can stop eating e.g. stress, overfeeding, bad water quality, various diseases... Let's find out what the culprit is and solve it. Cheers, Marco.> 
Re: reticulated moray, not fdg.... env.   11/22/10

The eel is a Gymnothorax tesselatus.
<OK. Now called Gymnothorax favagineus.>
He is in 500 gallon tank. Water salinity is 17. PH is 8.4. There is zero ammonia. Nitrite is just about zero. Nitrate is between 40 and 60.
<There you go. What I would do is improve the water quality until the nitrate concentration is 25 ppm or lower (and keep it down there). You can do that by water changes.>
He is the only fish in the tank at this time. There is a protein skimmer, UV sterilizers, wet dry sump, plenty of rock work and caves. There is 12 hour light cycle. He comes out like he wants to feed but he hasn't eaten in weeks. Thanks, Marc.
<As noted above large water changes would be the first thing I would do. If you can get the eel to eat again keep the diet varied (various fish, various shrimps, crabs, crayfish, mussel and clam flesh, squid and octopus) and add vitamins on a regular basis to avoid deficiency diseases. Some people claim that garlic or eel bait from the bait shop have gotten their eels to eat again, but improvement of the environment where possible (water changes in your case) is the more reliable approach. I'd not be alarmed on a G. favagineus not eating unless other symptoms (discolorations, heavy breathing, cloudy eyes etc, permanent listlessness) occur. Cheers, Marco.>

Tesselata eel 01/10/10
Hi Marco,
<Hello Kellvin>
My LFS has a 30 inches tesselata eel from Sri Lanka for me. Can I keep it together with my big angelfish 7-10 inches?
<I do not recommend to put a G. favagineus with tank mates. Chances are about 50/50 for your fish to get eaten. Very large morays with very small fishes (too small to be interesting) can work. Sometimes also large fishes (at least half the length of the eel) in really large systems work long term. Remember this species will reach 5-6 feet and can be dangerous to its keeper. I do know a shopkeeper, who had his hand severely wounded by a 1 m G. favagineus during feeding.>
Thank you
Regards Kellvin
<Cheers, Marco.>

Tesselata Eel, Sys. -- 01/12/10
Hi Bob, Shea here again.
<Marco here today. Hope you don't mind.>
I am in the midst of purchasing a 210 gallon aquarium and am getting a stocking plan in mind before I get it up and running. I know that I want an eel of some sort. My favorite is the Tesselata.
<A very interesting species.>
My first question is can I keep this eel long term in this size of an aquarium?
<If you buy it at a small size, you should be able to keep it in an aquarium of 210 gallons for about 3-5 years. In the long run you'd be much happier with a tank of at least 500 gallons, more would even be better. The species can reach at least 5 feet, some even 6 feet in an aquarium and unconfirmed reports (which I so far do not believe) talk of 10 feet specimens in nature.>
Almost every website that I checked said the minimum aquarium size was 180 gallons. Some sites even said 150 gallons.
<Well, I don't know if they have kept this eel long term. I have done so and can confirm that at some point a 210 gallon tank will likely be too small. If a 210 gallon tank is the maximum size available to you, I'd rather look into smaller moray eel species that reach a maximum of 3-3.5 feet.>
I also want to know if my Aussie Harlequin Tusk would be safe with this eel. He is a beautiful fish and I would hate to put him in danger of being eaten.
<This depends mostly on the personality/experiences of your eel and when the Tusk is added. Chances are best if it is added before the eel or together with the eel and at a safe size. However, with Gymnothorax favagineus being one of the top predators of the reefs no one will be able to guarantee you that the Tusk is not hurt in the long run. Some eel individuals would likely leave it alone, some would eat it at some point. A Zebra eel, which is a smaller, but roughly similar colored moray species, would be a choice more adequate for the tank size and the Tusk as a tank mate.>
Thanks for all of your help, Shea
<Welcome. Marco.>

Tesselata moray... sel./comp./sys... Marco's go 12/28/09
<Hi Josh.>
I really appreciate what you guys do it is a major help.
<Glad you like it.>
I currently have a 75 gallon fowlr tank in which I have a fairly small Volitans lionfish maybe 6 inches. a panther grouper who is maybe three inches and growing quickly. along with a maroon clown I'm moving to a different tank, and a valentini puffer I'm planning on returning for a credit due to its small size. I also have a frogfish who eats frozen krill.
<Needs a more varied diet and vitamin additions.>
for filtration I have a 400 h.o.b bio wheel filter, I believe it's the type 4 power head from Koralia about $70. and a sump loaded with tons of Caulerpa, filter pads, bio balls, and a skimmer. the tank has plenty of live rock for bio filtration.
I'm almost 16 and extremely into the hobby, I know "the books" and how things are suppose to be done, and I know there are many exceptions and nature never follows the books
<Nature has its own (partly complicated) laws, the books just try to show you these as the authors understood them in a way you might understand them, too.>
and there's many different ways to do things.
<Some better, some worse.>
such as my frogfish never touching a fish
<Maybe you don't have adequate food fish for him in the tank.>
and eating frozen krill, spitting out my puffer when accidentally grabbed when feeding, snowflake eels that aren't normally fish eaters grabbing a clown fish way to big for it
<Not uncommon, about every second or third adult Echidna nebulosa may eat small fishes if given the chance.>
, and a 5 ft green eel at my LFS that's kept with tons of small fish and doesn't even try to eat them.
<Happens. Mostly if the other fish are small/fast and not worth the hunt. But nobody will guarantee that none of them is missing with time.>
so I know there's exceptions to "the book". here's my plan I want to get a very small tesselata eel,
<For the 75 gallon tank? Not the best idea. You already got a number of fast growing, waste producing fishes. I'd upgrade first and add the eel later.>
I know they are extremely aggressive and grow to massive sizes, I figure if I get him at a small size too small to attack any of my fish at the moment get him used to frozen food, and keep him full (small feedings daily)
<Be aware, overfeeding will lead to a fatty liver and short life span.>
and have all the fish I want already introduced he won't be the blood thirsty beast that he's portrayed to be, and will be happy till he outgrows my tank along with my other fish and I plan to upgrade my system to maybe a 250 gallon in two years.
<Still rather on the small side.>
I am aware of all my fishes adult size and temperament issues that's why I'm emailing you guys instead of a forum where id get a million unethical comments. thank you in advance for any comments... josh
<I've just given some small comments that might save you some trouble along the way. Feel free to use them as you wish. I'd rather start with a 250 gallon tank if you want to try this combo with the option to upgrade as the eel grows. Be aware that the 'feeding the eel route' is a narrow pass between the canyons of overfeeding and tank mate eating, which at some point might end before you reach your destination. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: (no subject)... Nay on the Tesselata Moray, Yea on a Gymnomuraena, w/ a need to read  12/30/09
thank you for your reply,
<Umm, where is the previous correspondence? Not attached>
I actually decided against the tesselata eel, and instead found a 8 inch zebra eel
<Gymnomuraena? This is a small specimen>
for sale for twenty bucks labeled under misc. eel
and couldn't pass the deal up. I do really want to add a dragon wrasse though and maybe a Picasso trigger.
<... may be compatible if all are started small, the system is large enough, there is sufficient cover/habitat... Will need to be especially fed. See WWM re all species needs. Bob Fenner> 

...? Tesselata moray... sel./comp./sys.  12/26/09
hello, I really appreciate what you guys do it is a major help.
I currently have a 75 gallon fowlr tank in which I have a fairly small Volitans lionfish maybe 6 inches.
a panther grouper who is maybe three inches and growing quickly.
<They do>
along with a maroon clown I'm moving to a different tank, and a Valentini puffer I'm planning on returning for a credit due to its small size. I also have a frogfish who eats frozen krill.
for filtration I have a 400 h.o.b bio wheel filter, I believe its the type 4 power head from Koralia about $70. and a sump loaded with tons of Caulerpa filter pads, bio balls, and a skimmer. the tank has plenty of live rock for bio filtration.
I'm almost 16 and extremely into the hobby, I know "the books" and how things are suppose to be done, and I know there are many exceptions and nature never follows the books and there's many different ways to do things. such as my frogfish never touching a fish and eating frozen krill, spitting out my puffer when accidentally grabbed when feeding, snowflake eels that aren't normally fish eaters grabbing a clown fish way to big for it, and a 5 ft green eel at my lfs that's kept with tons of small fish and doesn't even try to eat them. so I know there's exceptions to "the book" here's my plan I want to get a very small tesselata eel, I know there extremely aggressive
<Some are>
and grow to massive sizes, I figure if I get him at a small size too small to attack any of my fish at the moment get him used to frozen food, and keep him full (small feedings daily) and have all the fish I want already introduced he wont be the blood thirsty beast that he's portrayed to be,
<About middle on the scale for Muraenids actually (IME). Read here:
and the linked files above>
and will be happy till he outgrows my tank along with my other fish and I plan to upgrade my system to maybe a 250 gallon in two years.
I am aware of all my fishes adult size and temperament issues that's why I'm emailing you guys instead of a forum where id get a million unethical comments.
thank you in advance for any comments... josh
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re Nay on the Tesselata Moray, Yea on a Gymnomuraena, w/ a need to read, Marco's input 12/31/09
thank you for your reply,
I actually decided against the Tesselata eel, and instead found a 8 inch Zebra eel
<A much better choice in terms of size and compatibility if it really is a Zebra eel. I hope it does not fit in the mouth of your Lionfish.>
for sale for twenty bucks labeled under misc. eel
<Mmh'¦ most traders know Gymnomuraena zebra'¦ Compare your eel to Echidna polyzona (less and wider stripes in comparison with a Gymnomuraena zebra) at http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=5389 and Gymnothorax rueppellii (slightly yellow head when young) at http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=5396.>
and couldn't pass the deal up. I do really want to add a dragon wrasse though and maybe a Picasso trigger.
<Can work for now, and you are already aware they will need more space in the future. Cheers, Marco>

My Tess Thanks   7/26/09
 You Hey everyone. I wanted to shoot you a quick note to say thank you from myself and my Tesselata eel. After a major move of his 300 gallon home he ate once and then didn't eat again for a couple of weeks. As soon as I decided it was a problem, I came to WWM and did some searching on Tess's and lack of feeding. Turns out I didn't have enough flow in the aquarium to ensure optimal oxygen saturation. I pointed the returns at the top of the water and added a Koralia 8 Magnum to the aquarium. He ate a big sardine Ryan
<Congratulations on your discovery and rescue. Bob Fenner>

HELP.. Hungry eel can't eat! -- 07/10/09
Hello all.. hope you can help'¦ We have a medium sized Tesselata eel for about a year now. He has always been an aggressive eater. For approximately the last two weeks when we go to fed him a shrimp, he acts very hungry.. trying to find the shrimp. Once he finds it he grabs it and acts like he wants to eat it, but can't chew it or swallow it, no matter how small of a piece we try to feed him. His breathing seems normal, water parameters are normal. We have approximately 1500 gallons total, same filtration, but separated into 5 tanks. He is in one of the tanks by himself and all of the other fish are fine. I see lots of article and have experienced fish that loose their appetite for one reason or another, but he seems to still have his appetite, just unable to get it down. Any suggestions?
<Sounds like a problem with its pharyngeal jaws/their ligaments or less likely a swollen throat, maybe due to physical injury or possibly due to a shrimp only diet related deficiency disease. Did the eel happen to eat anything sharp, are you missing a fish with sharp spines, a trigger, filefish etc. that might have jumped into the eel tank? Options are: sedate the animal and force feed (vitamin enriched food) and examine it (together with a vet) or try to let it heal naturally providing perfect water quality. Since moray eels can got without food for months, I'd use the second option first and if this fails try force feeding. Good luck. Marco.>

Large Moray eel Species only tanks - Need an eel expert Large Moray eel Species only tanks -- 01/07/09 Afternoon crew, <Morning Joe.> Over the past several years I have found myself falling in love with Morays more and more... <Happens.> and what's not to love (no sickness , easy to feed, not picky about water, long life, and on and on and on). I currently have a 30" Dragon Moray in a 75g (pic included) with a shoal of yellowbelly damsels (I know not ideal), but he is very happy, as well as a large 30" SFE and 18" Brazilian Golden in a 240 Community tank. Sorry, back to my question at hand..... I want to eventually do one of several tanks, but I'm not sure what is feasible. Need some guidance and recommendations. <No problem, I'm a fellow moray eel fan.> 1. For my other favourite species a Tesselata (I know 6' and killers), Can 1 be kept in these size tanks for life? 240sq (48x48x25) 240g (96x2x24) 375g (96x36x25) 500g (96x48x25) Bigger???? <I'd say the 500g is the minimum. 600-750 would even be better. I've done what you plan in about a 240 gallon and after a few years it's already becoming time to upgrade.> 2. Can multiple Dragon Moray eels or multiple Tesselata Moray eels be kept together in a species only tank if the tank is big enough? If so how many and what size tank? I have personally seen 2 large Tessie's together in a LFS, but not sure if that will work long term. I have also seen videos of multiple dragons in 1 tank, but again not sure if it would work long term. <Yes, for the E. pardalis. Especially in cases where two have been caught and imported together (mated pair), they generally can be kept together. In very large tanks (>800 gallons) even several pairs can work. Just adding a new one to a existing setup is more risky and can result in extensive biting. It's essential to provide a sufficient amount of rock work and caves and I would consider a 240 as the minimum for a pair. The new one should be slightly larger and adding the eel should be combined with a change of decoration. The G. favagineus is more difficult and rarely kept as pairs in home aquariums. In public setups of several 1000 gallons it should be possible to keep a pair. In smaller tanks I would not try this. It's best kept as a single specimen.> 3. Lastly with a Tessy if I wanted to add PVC pipe behind the LR to reduce the chances of him crushing himself when he gets huge how big of a diameter pipe would need to be used, I've yet to see a FULL size adult. <There you go: http://www.kapstadt.org/images/images-13/moray-eel-fish-fisch/moray-eel-muraenen-3g.jpg .> I was guessing 3" PVC but was not sure if that was enough. <Diameter of an adult is greater than 3'. 7' are more adequate. The rocks should be fixed with concrete to avoid them tumbling over again and again.> I like the simplistic approach of pick your favorite species and give him a tank with lots of small & cheap Chromis and Damsels. Easy to feed and care for. I would buy the absolute biggest skimmer and wet/dry I could for this tank and add tons of Live Rock and caves. Thanks for all the great information and wonderful site, hope to see one of you guys up at ThatFishPlace in April for the Spring Open House, I know Anthony has been there several times. Joe <Good luck with your endeavour. It's good you are planning ahead. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Large Moray eel Species only tanks II - 01/07/09 Marco, Thanks for the response and picture. <Welcome.> So just a few follow ups. Before I go out and buy, set-up, and prepare a 500g for a Tessie....Will that work long term? <Yes, as noted I'd consider this as the minimum necessary. If you skip tankmates, construct enough caves and invest into good filtration it will work long term.> I'd hate to spend several thousand just for a tank that it will outgrow anyway. <Understandable.> And 500g is about all I want to invest in a single creates home...water changes just too big and expensive after that. If the 500g would not be enough I may go with the multiple Dragon's idea. If I went with a 240g or bigger for 2-3 Dragon's and they were NOT mated pairs could they be introduced at the same time without fear or is each fish it's own individual and it's hit and miss? <The latter, but introducing them all at the same time will help a lot.> And would length be more important or width? 240g (48x48x25) square 240g (96x24x24) 375g (96x36x25) <While I usually prefer wider tanks, for such a project I'd prefer the longer tanks. They'll simply provide a slightly larger distance the morays can have between them if they want to.> On a personal note. How old is your Tessie and do you know their expected lifespan in captivity? <I have no idea how old my G. favagineus is, I guess 7-12 years. I know it since 2006. There are other specimens in close zoos I know for much longer. They'll easily reach beyond 20 years, more likely twice this age in captivity. The maximum age reports of larger morays are 60 years, but those were temperate water species (M. helena).> Thanks for all the support, <Anytime.> good luck with your Tessie in the 240 and his/her soon to be bigger home. Joe. <Thank you very much. Cheers, Marco.>

Gymnothorax favagineus Hi Mr. Fenner, Stumbled onto the Wet Web Media site this morning in desperation for help in treating my eel. <Glad for the first... the second...> Tessy, our Gymnothorax Favagineus has been with us for some nine years, and until recently has been extremely healthy. We have housed her in a 125 acrylic aquarium this entire stint with the same filtration, of undergravel filtration with 850 powerheads, Eheim filtration, with surface extractor. Tessy, is about 3 and a half feet long, is fed once every other week, to every third week. Her diet consists of squid only, she has had tank mates in the past but since eating a beautiful grouper about six months ago (they were together for years?), has been by herself. I removed a four inch in diameter by 3+ foot piece of PVC that she liked to be in, but looked bad in the aquarium. <Okay> That's the long story, here's the problem. Though she still is eating regularly, but sparsely, she seems to be choking on the second or third squid piece. More noticeable, and a huge concern is externally, she possess a bumpy mucus like membrane, about 12inches towards the middle part of her body. Also, her head area has shed her outer most layers of skin, and showed signs of hemorrhage/bleeding. This has been for about six weeks, and I have had an aquarium business before, so I am somewhat familiar with marine fish. This one has stumped me, so I'm in dire need of direction. <Ahh, could be... a resultant infection from...? Getting stabbed swallowing the grouper?... A resulting condition from a lack of nutrition?... an exclusive diet of squid can't be all that good for your Tesselata... A result of some of the above, none of it, stress from having its home/PVC pipe removed....?> In treatment of Tessy, since I don't like to medicate, I thought first to add some aloe Vera based Kordon product, then this past week I gave a go of the Melafix Treatment for seven days. This seems to have helped some, lets say it has "stabilized", but not cured the problem. I did a water change, @ 25% this morning, I use a nitrate reducer, have to do frequent water changes, bi-monthly due to continued elevated nitrate levels. PH is good 8.2, temp. @ 80, add buffer to raise PH, salinity @ 1.022.  <All good things for a large captive aquatic animal in a small space... might lower the temperature a bit... to among other things increase gas solubility, lower metabolism...> Seems to also be looking for additional oxygen, been breathing labored. Any help to this problem would be appreciated, going to try another week of Melafix? Thanks, Blake <Do lower the temperature, add a long airstone at least along one side of the 125... maybe another powerhead... if you have a canister filter, I'd rig this up with a couple, three units of Chemipure or equivalent... And I'd do all this ASAP. Bob Fenner>

Tesselata Eel I have a Tesselata Eel the head has slowly deteriorated down to bone I have had this Eel for 8 month. I've had other eel's and nothing like this has ever happened. I've talked to a few people and none of them have seen anything like this either. It's like he has hole in the head. Do eel's get that?  <I suspect that you are not too far from the mark here... Eel's do get bacterial infections that are very likely linked to a good degree with nutrition, water quality... as the neuromast degenerative condition termed HLLE... More to the point perhaps, what can/did you do to reverse this problem? Improved foods, water chemistry... Bob Fenner>

Tesselata (Gymnothorax permistus or favagineus?) I have a Tesselata his name is Eli, he is currently about 3 feet in a temporary 40 gallon tank, I just moved. I am in the process of getting a 240, <good my friend... your going to need it (and if you have the larger Tesselata that won't be big enough!)> but anyways, how often should I feed him and what do you recommend,  <highly variable per individual and will wax and wane a bit naturally, but several times weekly is appropriate. They really can fast for quite a while if necessary (many weeks)> I have been feeding him Jumbo Tiger shrimp, 10 a week but he gets other variety as well, like shark fillet salmon, halibut, whatever is nice looking at the fresh market.... <all very nice but do get a healthy amount of shell-on prey in their as well (live crayfish, fresh/frozen crabs, krill, etc). Also... frozen squid (calamari) with the tentacles are VERY exciting for them... do feed and entice him with squid. Always a varied diet and some Selcon soak would be nice too.> also how long do they usually live for and what would be their max size <lifespan is well over a decade...several decades are quite possible. Two species are shipped under this name... one maxes out under 3 feet (less common in trade) and the popular import can approach 8-9 feet!!! Although only about six foot is likely. Still a monster and rather aggressive for such a beauty. Please read more on WWM at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfaq.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm> thanks <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Feeding Eel So I can feed my Tesselata shelled stuff, I don't need to peel the shrimp it wont hurt him? Thanks Jared <correct Jared... the shelled Crustacea will not hurt him and are quite natural. In fact, the eel (like puffers, triggers and other toothy predators) need the nutrition (protein/Chiton) from the shells as well as the exercise for dental hygiene... they will suffer without shell in the diet. Anthony>

Feeding Eel II Oh, I also wanted to ask if any cleaner shrimps would develop a symbiotic relationship and actually clean my eels mouth, without being killed.. <This does occur in captivity often although in close confines it is not guaranteed to work indefinitely> also could I add blue legs, will my eel eat them?  <yes you can add them... they are too small to be noticed by the eel> I can feed my eel shelled Crabs? <live crayfish are actually excellent food> What kind? I want my eel to be healthy I apologize if I am bugging you..:) but I just want the best for Eli, and there really isn't much literature on Tesselatas so I found you guys and so far you've been great. Thank you for everything.  Jared <you are quite welcome. Let me suggest you use 2-3 shell-on type frozen foods and 2-3 other mixed ocean meats (squid, whole fish, etc) plus live crayfish regularly (several times monthly if not weekly). Best regards, Anthony> 

Feeding? (and keeping a moray eel) Hello, I am a new tesselata Eel owner. It's about 2 feet long. How often should I feed it? and what? <Twice a week maximum. Something meaty... cut fish, squid, crustaceans... take care to provide sufficient filtration, circulation, aeration... messy animals... and don't use your hands to feed.... devise a feeding stick, routine. Please read over the Moray Eel section on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and FAQs> I heard many different things. For instance, 2 large feeder fish every other day, another one is...anchovies everyday. (Engraulids are sometimes too oily...> I personally like to feed it the feeders, it's fun to watch and he seems to like it too. Please help. Thanks,  Dave <Keep that tank lid weighted down... Bob Fenner>

Need Info on a new tesselata eel Hi. I read your FAQs and you article on marine eels and loved it. But I have a question for you. A few actually. I bought a baby Tessy about 2 weeks ago and he is doing fine. Staying under the rock for the most time till I turn on the light then he swims for about an hour then goes under the rock again. I guess this is normal. <Yes> He is about 10 inches long, and I have him in a 20 gal. tank, just for now. all that I have running in a AquaClear 150 power filter, with bio-max that I took from my existing 120 gal. tank, also I took the substrate from there also is this enough for now?.  <For now, yes... do keep the top sealed from jumping...> I am using Florida crushed coral and Aruba Puka shell. is this substrate ok for eels or do I need something smoother? <This should be fine> All he eats is live fish, which is ok with me, but I don't think its too nutritious. I feed him rosy reds (freshwater). he seems to not eat anything unless it is alive and swimming around. I'm trying to feed him krill but he wont take it. <Not yet... all in good time... with practice, exposure...> Also the guy at the LFS told me just the power filter alone is causing enough aeration for the tesselata. is this true? <Probably... but I would add another source... for safety's sake... maybe a powerhead with a venturi intake...> Lastly, I want to put a decoration in the tank that he can take refuge in, but it broke about 6 months ago and I repaired it with crazy glue. Is it still safe for saltwater? <Yes. Acrylates are used for even affixing new coral fragments...> thank you in advance for your help. <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Hopefully easy question regarding Tesselata moray; feeding -- 03/06/2008 I've searched around the web and definitely over WWM and am having a hard time finding a good answer for my question. I've recently acquired a small Tesselata eel, somewhere about 14" long. He eats amazingly, in fact too amazingly, which leads me to my question... Will it hurt the eel to be fed daily? <Consistent overfeeding can result in a fat moray eel with liver problems and shortened lifespan, but it's sola dosis facet venenum, the dose alone makes the poison. You'll probably see if your eel is becoming fat by comparing him to others (e.g. pictures), and then you should cut down the meals.> He is hooked into my other tank through a shared sump, so when I feed my other fish (6 green chromis, a dwarf flame angel, a bristle tooth Tomini tang and a Twinspot goby) he smells the food and stretches way out of his hole to the spot where I normally feed him. I have a hard time resisting feeding when he is so obviously begging. I know he isn't really *hungry* because his stomach is nice and plump and he has been eating daily. So lately I've been only feeding him every 2 or 3 days and just ignoring the puppy dog eyes he gives me when I walk by the tank. Is it going to hurt him if I return to a regular one small meal a day feeding schedule until he gets larger? <Not necessarily, the keyword here being 'small'. You could divide the meals you feed him now to smaller ones given every day. Be aware that moray eels in nature do not feed every day, very large ones only about once a week. Most stomachs are found empty, and as you probably already know digestions takes about 2-5 days depending on the food and temperature.> I've got a large water volume, about 300g between my eel tank (150g) my sump (50g total water volume) and my "show" tank (125g) so I'm not real worried about an ammonia spike while he is at such a small size. <The danger here is an accumulation of nitrates with time. I'd monitor those nitrates, but that's standard marine tank maintenance, not only moray eel tanks.> Also, my system has been up and running over a year now and is nicely established, I've got plenty of bacteria and lots and lots of Caulerpa in my sump. Once he gets bigger, say over 2 feet, then I'll stop feeding as much, but I would like to feed him in a manner that lets him get larger quicker without endangering his health. Is that possible? <He will only grow quick if a good water quality is provided all the time. However, feeding very large amounts of food every day to juvenile eels following Purser (know his book on morays?) may result in problems with growth and malformed specimens.> And if it matters, I feed a mixed diet. <Very good, a key to a healthy moray.> He gets normally a small piece of shell on shrimp, a piece of a tuna filet or fresh salmon filet (I leave the skin on so he is getting that in case there is something in there he needs to complete the diet) and then a small piece of squid. <If this is one meal it sounds much, but since you state the pieces are small, it probably is okay. I'd also add vitamins for fishes from time to time.> I am still trying to find silversides in Alaska, they aren't easy to come by. <You can also try any other small saltwater fish that may be available in Alaska, if you want to feed entire fish, which is good in terms of variation and nutritional value.> Lastly, I do know that this eel typically reaches the 5 to 6 foot range in captivity <Yes, typically, with a few larger ones.> and yes I do plan on upgrading to a 350g tank in the future, with a bigger sump and no "show" tank, just the eel tank and a sump. <Sounds doable if good water quality is provided, however, 500 gallons would be better in case he keeps growing.> I appreciate all the work you guys do! Amazing site! <Glad you like it. I'd stick to feeding every other day. If you want to feed every day, I'd only feed half the amount. Slowly increase the amount of food, and also the time between meals while the moray grows up. Good luck with him, hopefully he'll accompany you a few decades. Marco.>

Re: Hopefully easy question regarding Tesselata moray; nitrates -- 03/06/2008 Grant here by the way, I appreciate the quick response Marco. <You are welcome, Grant.> I think I will adjust my feedings to just every other day, I'd rather have a slower growing and healthier eel than a fast growing short lived one. Too bad though, because while he is a great little eel, I'd much prefer a specimen another foot longer or so. I guess all good things come with time, certainly something this hobby/addiction has drilled into me. <True. Hopefully in a few years you can sit in front of the tank and think about what a tiny little fellow he once was.> So you mentioned the main problem would be nitrates building up over time... <A common problem in predator tanks.> I've got a sump that nonstop grows Caulerpa which I remove about a 2g bucket full of every month or so. This is effectively removing nitrates from the system, correct? <Yes, very good.> And I also have at least 20 or 30 small oysters or clams on my rocks about an inch across from tip to tip of shell, along with 4 larger ones that are probably 3 inches across. I've been told they help lower nitrates? <No. Only things that grow fast and consequently take up nitrates, proteins, ammonia (e.g. you Caulerpa), or things that produce gaseous nitrogen (anaerobic bacteria in a DSB) will remove nitrates. I don't think your bivalves grow fast enough (like a few grams per weeks) to remove a reasonable amount.> I didn't get them for that purpose, they just came on my live rock and have done well in the tank. <They are certainly beneficial filter feeders.> I should mention I do about a 30g water change once a week, so 10% water change weekly, which should also help prevent nitrate buildup. <Very good rate!> Am I correct in assuming these things will effectively stop nitrate from building or should I still be worried about a slow creep up of nitrate over time? <Not worried per se, but should be checked on a regular basis, every few weeks. Keep nitrates below approx. 25 ppm.> I only check nitrate levels once a month or so with some cheap little test kit I picked up at the LFS. <That's okay as long as the kit was designed for saltwater.> I've got a couple gorgonians growing on my live rock that I have learned to watch, when they start looking a little "odd" then normally it's a water quality problem. I haven't had any problems through since about 3 months into the tanks life, so I'd say I have a good 9 months of very steady very "healthy" water. <Sounds good. Happy reefing and eel keeping. Marco.>

8 feet: That's alotta Moray! <Greeting, Craig... Anthony Calfo here on the medical team to help you keep all of your fingers from becoming moray fodder> Thanks for the reply... the eel I'm referring to is Gymnothorax favagineus sorry if the spellings wrong.  <Two words: Gorgeous and Huge... and I'm not talking about Jennifer Lopez> I would like to know if such an eel would be happy in a 200g tank with a wet/dry filter. <I'm not sure if it would be happy... but I can tell you that the tank is too small even in the shorter, (2-3 year plan)> My tank is arriving at the end of the month so I have a long time until I will be seeing that Moray around 5 months as I understand!!  <so we have time to talk you into a smaller and more suitable species <smile>> All I have is the tank with a wooden lid, stand and the filter. No heater protein skimmer substrate or rocks so what would you recommend for a tank dedicated to a Gymnothorax favagineus.  <I'd recommend a heater, protein skimmer and some live rock for starters> Although the tank is big I'm not a rich guy so the cheaper the better. <chemical filtration (Carbon and/or PolyFilters) and water changes play a big role in your future...cheap does not with an eel this big. The Tesselata species of eel that you speak of grows to over eight feet in the wild!!! I am not exaggerating. It is beautiful...but cruel to confine it in small aquaria and is quiet aggressive at feeding characteristically. Just not an appropriate animal. GOOD NEWS for you though... Gymnothorax permistus is almost identical and only grows one third the size! Please pursue this animal instead for your beautiful new tank. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks again Craig

Amazing Eel Saga continues Hi, Thanks for the advice I will take it. After I finish this mail I will check your site and look up the Gymnothorax permistus.  <excellent!> I was speaking with the guy who owns the fish shop close to me and he said that if I have only a small moray and a few tangs in my 200g tank then I will not need a protein skimmer, is this true?  <I strongly disagree... the guy giving you advice has obviously never had to deal with the waste from a predator like an eel before or you may be getting inaccurate advice... and the tangs will be eaten by even G. permistus> Also I have an idea but I'm not sure if it will work. Here it is: I want to stock my 200g tank either with the above mentioned species or echidna nebulosa and that is it.  <also and excellent eel...actually a better choice> I will also put in two yellow tangs to keep control of algae. <not necessary or a good idea... two are likely to fight horribly if not to the death. And Tangs only crop algae... they do not rasp it clean. You will not be satisfied> This is the idea bit, I want to stock the tank with 10 small catfish, <you can't mean coral catfish! they are venomous?!! And I do not know of any other cats that will live in seawater> which are 1 dollar each here in Thailand, and let the moray feed himself when he is hungry. I think that it will work if the moray does not gorge himself on all 10 fish in one night!! Are morays the type of fish that will eat only when hungry or will they stuff themselves creating waste and nitrates?  <Varies, but mostly the latter. And with all due respect, this sounds like an incredibly lazy approach to fish keeping. Good sir, please do not be offended by my suggestion... but you cannot continue to depend on folks like me or your LFS to give you repetitive advice without helping yourself at some point with a good book or other means of information gathering. The nature of your five queries in the past week leads me to believe that the best advice that I can give you is to research some topics on basic aquariology first. I'm truly afraid that without it, you will get bad advice from people trying to sell you something, kill some beautiful animals and then get out of the hobby unhappily and unfairly. Again, no disrespect intended. I truly wish to help you. But as they say... give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish...and you know the rest> If this will work then I can watch the moray hunting and it will be a lot more natural for the moray if it won't please tell me why not. Also what other things can I do to make my tank perfect for my moray as I said it will be a species tank. One more thing I heard that morays will eat cleaner wrasse but leave symbiotic shrimp alone is this true? <possible but not guaranteed> Thanks again Craig. <best of luck to you. Kindly, Anthony>

Leopard Moray Hi, I got your e-mail address off the WetWebFotos section, I am just after some first hand experience/advice. <welcome, my friend> I am just starting a marine tank up, 5ftx2.5x1.5ft 360ltr, with 2 canister filters 3 powerheads and a protein skimmer and looking to keep 1 or 2 Moray Eels and the leopard moray is the one I an very interested in. <OK... a reasonably good, hardy and peaceful species> Firstly is my tank suitable for this type of eel? <yes> and the other which is my girlfriend's request that I have to keep something else with them as she finds then ugly and boring.  What type of fish would you advise or would you advise against this altogether. <some fish are quite compatible with eels... look for slow feeders. Other lazy predators like Anglers and Lionfish make good tank mated. Avoid fast toothy predators like puffers and triggers. Groupers are often compatible although some are too greedy/fast. Please go to our home page at www.wetwebmedia.com and navigate the link for marine fishes and any pertinent topics on marine aquarium keeping that interest you. Many pictures, articles and FAQs there that might give you ideas for the direction to take your tank in> Any help would be much appreciated. Kind Regards, Darren Adams <best regards, Anthony>

Eel tank Dear Mr. Fenner, As always, I hope this letter finds you well. <Yes my friend, thank you> Over the last few months I've asked you multiple times about moray eels, specifically tesselata moray eels. I've done a lot of research, and have decided that if I really do set up and eel tank, it's best to make it a take that is eel-only.  <Yes... unless the system is "very large"> Starting with a young (12"-18") tesselata would give me time enough (a year or so) to upgrade my currently 75g eel-only tank to a larger, permanent tank. The only thing I can't seem to find much information on as far as eels go, specifically tesselata morays, is if any sort of cleaner is allowed in the tank with them. <Mmm, yes> Some websites I've read have said they'll tolerate certain types of shrimp, while others have said certain snails they'll leave alone. I'm left pretty confused about either. Some eels have crushing molars, which I'd assume was for snail and crab-chomping and the like.  <You are correct> Tesselatas (from what I can tell) only have fine razor like teeth for fleshy feasting (such as fish, shrimp.) <Yes, principally fishes> Am I right here, or will a tesselata eel or like specimens gobble anything they see? <Animals recognized as biological cleaners... e.g. Lysmata Shrimps, Labroides Wrasses, possibly Gobiosoma gobies... might be left alone permanently> Also, what would you recommend for salinity? I've read two different thoughts- some say 1.025, and some say low to lessen parasites.) Thanks again for helping answer my too-many questions :) <Not too many. I would keep this fish at near seawater conditions... a spg of 1.025. Bob Fenner> Bill

Re: Eel tank Ack! Forgot a few things... My 75g is set up with a very eel-oriented aquascape, large (15ish lb pieces) of rock set firmly to make many caves and much place for hiding. The flow in my tank is extremely high, as I've read that eels appreciate much oxygen in their water (thus the "ready to eat you" open mouth.)  <Yes> Some people have told me I have too MUCH flow, what do you think? I have an AquaClear 802, two AquaClear 302's, and the output of my Fluval 404 & Prizm skimmer which post-adjustment is low) <This is not too much flow... and you are going to need a bigger, better skimmer> All together I have a lot of current in the top, mid, and bottom levels of the tank. Is this too much for an eel? Also, what lighting do eels like? I currently have 2x 55 watt PowerCompact 10,000K daylight bulbs over the tank. I just finished "sealing" it off, using material from my LFS to secure the glass covers all the way to the back of the tank, etc. Am planning a trip to home depot to weight down the tops of the tank, meanwhile LFS searches for a small enough tesselata for me. :) My heaters are on either rear corner of the tank- two 200watt heaters, keeping the water around 80 F, will that work? <Should... do add a couple more suction cups to the heaters... consider building drilled PVC sleeves to keep them from being broken... better to place them in a tied-in sump...> Will my heaters being in the tank harm the eel? I've heard they are prone to getting burned, and a sump type setup is best, but I don't have that available, and don't plan on using a Bak-pak on this system if I ultimately will upgrade to a 150+ gallon tank for the tesselata. I think that's it.. oh.. feeding.. from what I understand.. it is best weekly, followed by water changes, and done from a long plastic-type feeding stick. <Twice, thrice weekly while this animal is small> Have I left anything out? I am so grateful for your help in all of this, without your caution I most likely would have owned an eel months ago, with minimal knowledge and probably the same in the success department. <Well thought out, and stated. You have done well to have investigated, planned. The anticipation has likely been enjoyable.> I hope that through purchasing a young eel of the mis-understood Tesselata species, I can get some insight into what they are really like. Everyone I've talked to has tried thoroughly to dissuade purchasing one, but given that it will be the only fish in the tank, I am hoping for success. Any input/advice you have on eel keeping would be greatly appreciated, rest assured I have read your eel FAQs a thousand times over in preparation. Thanks again Mr. Fenner. Every LFS I go to here in Atlanta (which is a lot of LFS's) I tell the employee's and patrons how informative your site, book are. Many have read the CMA book but have no knowledge of the website. I think it's a wonderful thing you do for all of us inquisitive CMA's :) Bill Hammond <Thank you my friend. Do consider recording your observations, making pictures of your preparation, and writing up the experiences, reflections as an article for the hobby literature and posterity. Bob Fenner>

Continued Moray Eel Discussion Hi again Bob! <I say a greeting> As always, I hope this letter finds you well. <Yes my friend> We've discussed adding a moray (tesselata possibly) to my FOWLR tank. I've done more reading, more asking at LFS's, asking people that have owned eels.. and the answer I'm starting to come up with is.. I should dedicate a tank to an eel only. My question is this: I was told by one LFS that since eels do not move around too much, a 75 gallon would be enough for one eel in an eel-only with live rock tank. Any ideas if this is a good idea? Should I go that route, wait until I can afford a 180 or 200 gallon setup?  <I might get a small specimen for the 75, with full anticipation of securing the larger system by the time the fish reached two feet in length.> Also, what is your idea on buying used setups?  <Nothing wrong with "used"... All are used with their first filling...> I've recently found a LFS that installs for businesses etc, and when they upgrade systems the LFS resells used setups. <A wise use> like a 58 gallon oceanic with stand/canopy, wet/dry, plumbing, lights, heaters, etc. for $600. I thought "what a deal." Are there any things to look for or to avoid when buying used tanks? <Yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/usedmargear.htm> Thanks again friend <You're welcome. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Bill Hammond

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

Queen Angel, Niger Trigger & Tesselata Moray Eel 8/18/05 Hello- First off, I absolutely love your site.  You offer such a wonderful service to all of us marine enthusiasts. I have looked at the forums and could not find an answer to my specific question; so, if it's there, I apologize in advance. I have a 150-gallon aquarium that I realize I will have to upgrade to a larger size in the near future.  It's a fish only tank with a rather large Niger Trigger (7-8" head to fin tips), a Tesselata (or Honeycomb) Morey Eel (close to 3 feet) and a Queen Angel (about 6").  I don't plan to get any more fish for this aquarium. They all seem to get along fine and there have been no serious disputes amongst them; however, the angel is a relatively new addition to the tank. Do you see any concerns with the compatibility of these fish and, further, any immediate needs to upgrade tank size. <Eric, the eel alone is pushing the limits of your tank.  They are high waste producers.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks so much! Eric Fossum

Queen Angel, Niger Trigger & Tesselata Moray Eel, Thanks, James. 8/19/05 I hear that my eel can push up to nine feet in the wild and it likely will have no place in a home aquarium.  He is a wonderful fish, however... I will be upgrading to a 250-gallon tank in the near future (two-three months), but imagine that my Tesselata eel will have to find a new home at some point.  I just hope to keep him as long as possible. Until then, it's been weekly 20% water changes and frequent filter changes/cleanings (I have both wet/dry and canister filters on the tank, along with a Remora Pro protein skimmer). Regardless, I truly appreciate your insight...<Good to hear 20% water changes and frequent filter cleaning.  This does improve water quality significantly.  Might want to ensure you have a good supply of hermits.  Shrimp of course would be out of the question as they would be readily consumed by the eel.  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Eric Tesselata Moray... Hello- I currently have a 240-gallon tank with a large red Volitans (10" or so), a medium yellow tang (5"), a medium long-horned cowfish (6"-7"), a beautiful Maculosus Angel that is moving quickly from juvenile to adult (about 5"), and a HUGE domino damsel (about 6"). I will be inheriting a 15" Tesselata (Honeycomb) eel in the next few days and am a bit worried. Can anyone put my mind at ease. I realize that at some point in the next few years the eel will likely outgrow my tank and I'll have to get a bigger one, but I just don't want him to hurt any of the fish I have now... Any suggestions? Words of comfort? Etc... >>>Hey Eric, You should be fine, I've known people that have kept this eel in much smaller tanks for quite some time. Once they reach about 30", they really don't grown that fast anymore. I don't see any tank mate issues either. Peace Jim<<< 

Moray Aquascaping   1/14/06 Hello, hope everything is well. <Fine, thank you.>                                             I'm  a newcomer to having a marine aquarium (had many freshwater) and I'm trying to set it up thinking ahead. <A good thing.>   The tank is a 240g 70LX24WX31H with  more than adequate filtration, that's not my concern. <You sure you don't want an overview, critique since you are new?> My question revolves around a Tesselata Eel that will be the main attraction.   <Mmm....> What  approach can i take to create a good home (cave) for him, or her. <Use as few and as large a rocks as possible to create a stable structure as possible. Maybe using aquarium safe epoxy, acrylic rod or even zip ties to somewhat bond the rock work together.> Any recommendations?  I have roughly 200lbs of Fiji rock but I feel that the cave I've created will be too small. <Actually sounds like quite a bit of rock.> I've read through many of your FAQ but never got a solid idea. <Did you see the article about leaving such morays in the ocean? Or perhaps the other specimens that are better suited to captivity. Even with a 240 gallon tank, this is a temporary quarters for this animal at best...a potential 5 feet+ in length.> Any help will be appreciated. By the way, great work.            <Good luck, Adam J.>      

Re: Aquascaping for Eels   1/22/06 Adam, thanks for your response. <Anytime.> I was torn between the Tesselata and the Whitemouth, but I just love the coloration of the Honeycomb.  I've seen in your FAQ that there are a few people that have them. <Yes, few, being the operative word.>   My question is will it really grow over 5' in captivity <Oh, yes.> and if so how long will it take? <Well to be honest most I see in the trade are already nearing 3 feet, I rarely see juveniles. So your tank may suffice for a few years.>   I understand that the 240g will most likely be too small in 3 to 4 years but I intend to set up a larger system in my basement by then. <Long as you are sure.>   The current tank is in my living room/ kitchen (viewed from both sides), it'll be upgraded to a reef tank by then. <Cool.> I really like the Tesselata Eel so I have to give it a shot, so I decided to build a subterranean enclosure 30L X 22 X 8H out of Lexan for the eel to retreat into with a rock formation above to add a natural look.  Hopefully this will suffice for the next few years. As for the Fiji rock, you would think 200lbs of rock was a lot but it doesn't seem so once its in the tank.   <Probably not very porous.> You asked about what filtration I'm using.  I have a Eheim Professional 3 Filter 2080, a Pro Clear 300 Wet Dry, an Aquastep 25 Watt UV Sterilizer, and a PM Bullet-2 Protein Skimmer.  Do you feel that this is adequate. <Along with weekly water changes yes, I prefer refugium/vegetable filters to wet-dry but for this animal this filtration arrangement should be fine.>   Thanks Again, Brian <No problem.> Brian J Sadanowicz <Adam J.>

Tesselata Eel Tank Size and Behavior 11/3/05 Hi, <Hi Kev.> I am considering keeping a Tesselata moray in a 144 gallon aquarium <Short term I hope, this is a tank buster at a potential 5 feet+ in length.> am I right in thinking that I wont be able to keep any other fish in a tank this size?  <Or the eel for its entire life.> If this is the case, how lively is the eel likely to be?  <Most morays are rather reclusive and become slightly more active at night or feeding.>  I don't want a tank that looks empty most of the time. <Lost of other good choices that could give you much more variety and enjoyment in my opinion.> Thanks Kev <Welcome Adam J.>  

- Tessellated Moray 6/27/06 - I know this question has been rehashed over and over again, but I am going to ask anyway.  I have an opportunity to get a free baby (It is an actual baby, about 9" in length with the juvenile markings) tessellated eel.  Unfortunately the more I have tried to research this eel, the more confused and frustrated I have become.  The site MarineCenter.com say the minimum tank size is 55gal (this can not be true, I know), some resources say they all get to be 10 feet in length, and a LFS that has a 3 foot (approximate) specimen in a large tank (at least 150, it is a custom so hard to judge the actual size) claims that they have had him for a little over a year with little or no growth.  Again, I feel like I know just as much now as when I knew nothing at all about these fish.  My ultimate question I think is this: is a 240gal (72x30x25) a sufficient tank for this fish, and this fish alone (if it can be adequately housed in a smaller tank, or can it have tank mates in the 240 please let me know). <Not long term. I actually just got done working at a fish store that had a 4.5 foot tessellated eel that lived in a 2,000 gallon tank. Now of course, 2,000 gallons is much larger than this fish needed, but it lived there pretty much alone because it had eaten all of its tank mates over the 15 years it lived there. I think that eel would have done fine in anything 500 gallons or larger, but a 240 wouldn't have been quite large enough.> Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Blake <Cheers, J -- >

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>

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>

Tesselata Eel/Housing/Compatibility 01/01/09 Hello WWM Crew! <Hi Josh> I have a 150g saltwater tank measuring 72L-18W-27H. My local fish store has a Tesselata Eel measuring around 8-9 inches. My question is if I was to keep this eel along with a handful of damsels or chromis, would it house the eel for its lifetime? <You're Joshing me, correct? :)> If not when would I need to upgrade to a larger tank in order to maintain optimum conditions for the Tesselata? Also, I have 150 lbs of liverock now, should I use less in an eel species tank or maybe epoxy them together? Thanks for your time and have a Happy New Year! <Your tank would be large enough, but Tesselata Eel (Honeycomb Moray) is very predatory and will eat any fish it can swallow. Is best to keep this fish by itself with a tight fitting cover. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm James (Salty Dog)> Josh

Eel selection I have a 180 gal. FOWLR tank, 8ft long. I would like to add an eel to the tank but I'm having mixed feelings about this because of what people are telling me about them. I would like to have a Dragon eel but the guy told me that he would have to be in a tank by himself (would be kind of boring to have just 1 eel in a 180 gal by himself). Then I saw a picture of a Tesselata and someone told me that these guys are too aggressive and would eat what I have in the Tank. My tank includes: Lrg. Naso Tang Med. Red Coris Wrasse Lrg. Dusky Wrasse Med. Dragon Wrasse Lrg. Chevron Tang After looking at your recommendations on wet web media I saw that the only ones that you suggested for home use was the Snowflake, Chain, Girdled, and Zebra eels. Do you know of any web sites where I could find a good picture of the Chain and Girdled eels? I would like to check one of these out to see what they look like. Which one of these two would you prefer? <Actually, these are my fave choices but a Tesselata could go in your 180... and with the other fish livestock... for a few years if you're careful not to feed it too much/too frequently... but enough. And no to a website, but Scott Michael's v.1 Reef Fishes book has some fab coverage.> I'm looking for something that has some color to it (Different). The Snowflake and the Zebra eels are nice but I would rather have something else. After looking at my current stock would an eel even work? Are there any other eels that would work? <Yes, even the larger piscivorous ones would do given the usual provisos... careful feeding, a secure tank cover... starting with an appropriate sized individual (shades of the Three Bears!)...> The only thing else that I might add to my tank is a Juv. Passer Angel or Grey Angel (if I can find one). What do you think about this selection? Are there any other fish besides these that you think would be a real showpiece? <Should work, and many... MANY! Keep dreaming, scheming and gathering information. When you have enough, you will know. Bob Fenner>

Trouble deciding on morays Hi Again Bob, Sorry to be pestering you every day for the last few days ...... this will be the last Q for a while now :-) .... so hopefully you are not to sick of me! Thanks for your recent correspondence RE my proposed FO set up, I really appreciate your help. <You're welcome my friend> Due to a pic I saw today, I suddenly feel this re-occurring urge to add a moray to my selection. I have always been interested in the snowflake and zebra moray ...... but also really like the leopard (Gymnothorax tesselata). I have also seen pics of Gymnothorax favagineus, which bears a striking resemblance to the tesselata ...... is it by chance the same species ???  <It/they are indeed the same species... you can see this in Scott Michaels fabulous first volume of "Reef Fishes" as well as on the net on www.fishbase.org> I prefer this species to the invert eaters ..... I like the "menacing" looking head .... which seems more pronounced, and the big gaping mouth ..... which is less pronounced in the Zebra and snowflake. I read an old article about marine oddballs, namely about morays, which said that ....... "The leopard moray (G. tesselata) is most outstanding and attains 75cm (30") in captivity" . I find this hard to believe ??? How big could I expect one to get in my 84"x18"x18" tank ??? .... a once a week feeding routine is planned. <At least this size... likely a few to several inches more over time> Tank mates are most likely going to be: Emperor angel Long spined porcupine puffer (D. holacanthus) .... or maybe a Arothron type ...not sure yet. Volitans lion (or maybe a fuzzy dwarf lion instead) Miniata grouper Of the 3 (4?) morays listed above, which would you find: 1) The most suitable as a tankmate ? 2) The "best" aquarium choice 3) The most active (during lights on period)? <The Snowflake for 1,2... the Tesselata for the third> Could you also give me an idea what size to expect from each species, including both length and girth ...... I have read so many differing reports, that by now I am confused !!! Are there any other species that you think might be worth considering, other than E. catenata, S. grisea, <Catenata is a great species, very rare in the trade though... See the Moray sections on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for a bunch more... but the ultimate (sort of good guess) for the Snowflake... a couple of feet long, two or so inches in diameter, the Zebra, three feet long, three inches in diameter... the Tesselata three and a half feet long, four inches in diameter...> Thanks a lot for reading, and for your help. It is really appreciated, as is you fab site :-) Cheers, Matt <Chat with you soon my friend. Bob Fenner, visiting on Hawai'i's Big Island> (Co. Cork, Ireland)

Eel addition to 75 gallon tank... Hello, I have contacted you previously and you suggested that I wait a month or so until I think about adding an Eel. Well, here I am, a month away.. let me recap my livestock... a Scopas tang, panther grouper, porcupine puffer, niger trigger, Tasmanian damsel and domino damselfish. I want to add an eel, but will/can this realistically be put into my 75 gallon FOWLR system? <In a 75? Not for too long... this eel will have to be a species, size to compete (and not get eaten!) by the other fishes (all but the Tas. may hassle it...)> I have 50lbs live rock and 80 lbs live aragonite sand. I haven't seen a trace of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in over two months. I've recently added a 400gph powerhead for increased circulation, it really seems to make the tank a more active community. I have a Prizm skimmer that, since I last contacted you, I went to my LFS and they offered to take it back if they couldn't make me happy setting up/instructing me in store on how to properly set it.. now it works great, no air bubbles and skims a bucketful of scum out of the tank that I have to empty almost every 3-4 days. <Sounds good> Now.. as far as eels go, I really do have my heart set on a Tesselata moray eel.. How large do these get? <Up to about four feet in captivity: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm > and would they work in my system? <Crowded... but is going to be too crowded even without adding the eel... do you have plans for a much larger system? Even just the eel can't live indefinitely in a 75 gallon system> If not, can you suggest an eel that would?  I'm trying to stay away from zebra/snowflake now that I've done a bit of research.. Tesselata is the only one that I've read is compatible in fish only systems. Thanks again friend, Bill Hammond <Please do look over the "Moray" parts of our site (WWM), and the references posted there... and let's chat further. Bob Fenner>

Re: Eel addition to 75 gallon tank... Hi again! I do plan to eventually get a larger system (perhaps an eel-only one) leaving my current fishes to their 75 gallon setup. <This system will still have too much fish life w/o the Eel> This, however, would be at least one if not two years down the road. I read every bit I could on WetWebMedia about morays. It said eels grow slowly in captivity... <Most species, most circumstances, yes... but large species fed often can grow a foot or so a year> So I asked my LFS what size I could get and the buyer there is going to look for a 1.5 ft specimen of tesselata and contact me if/when he finds one. Would this be the right size given that most of my fish are very young still.. the largest is the Scopas (about 6 inches long) and next largest is the panther (3.5-4" long) <The Tesselata is a piscivore. It may well eat all these fishes in time. An eighteen inch one could eat most all that you have now.> If I went with an eel of this species/size, how long could I get away without adding a new system? (I would like a 150gallon, saw a great looking set-up at LFS) Would 150 be enough for a full grown tesselata? <Barely> Thanks again, you have truly been so much help.. I've gotten frustrated with my LFS a few times, or not been able to get a straight answer.. but you always seem to shoot back an email quickly and are always informative.. you sure make keeping a captive ocean enjoyable!!! Thanks so much for all the advice you've given me! <Very glad to be of assistance. Have you ever considered dive/adventure traveling, going to visit these animals in the wild? Bob Fenner> Take care, Bill Hammond

Re: Tesselata moray Doh forgot one last thing.. I saw a picture of a leopard moray.. looks very similar to tesselata.. but was very recommended on your site.. would this eel be a better choice for my FOWLR tank (very aggressive one) ? <About the same situation all the way around. There are some smaller species of Muraenids... but they might well have troubles with some of the fishes you have in turn. You need more and larger systems. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Bill

Tesselata Eel I was thinking about adding a tesselata eel (12-18 inches) along with my goldentail moray (12 inches) but I was wondering if the tesselata if try to eat the goldentail once it was about 2.5 feet in length? <Too likely so for me. Bob Fenner>

Dragon Eels and Tesselata Eels Hey guys, My first question is about Dragon Eels. How easy are they to keep? <Very much so. Same old challenges of not letting them get out of the tank... getting big, being messy...> I currently have a Chainlink eel and a Blackedge and they are pretty easy to take care of. Both were really easy to switch to frozen food and are fairly fun and personable. Is a dragon the same way? <Yes> Or am I looking at something that is gonna be more difficult to care for? My second question is that I have fallen in love with Tesselata eels. I currently have an empty 75 gal that if I got one would go into until he outgrew it. How fast do these guys grow? <Not that quick... a few inches a year... given "just" feeding for maintenance (as opposed to growth, satiation> I have heard that they can be pretty aggressive and I have heard that of the larger morays they are one of the best to keep. Any info on them would help. Thanks for your help, Wade <Please see the various references to the Moray Eels posted on the materials archived re the group on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Eels, Gymnothorax tesselata/favagineus yea, G. moringa nay? Hey there, I was just cruising your moray FAQs and articles and I was A:) blown away by your knowledge and B:) confused and confounded by your recommendations on species suited to aquaria. You list the spotted moray (Gymnothorax moringa) as a bad species for home aquariums, while you recommend the tessellated moray (Gymnothorax favagineus ). I have one of each in my aquarium (135 gallon; the spotted is about 20" and the Tessy is about 30", there is also a 16" Epaulette shark), and I must beg to differ. My spotted is tame, active and even playful, while the Tessy is aggressive and reclusive. He is also constantly rearranging his hideout by wiggling his body and sending substrate flying. When his rocks finally topple over he becomes irate, having ruined his shelter. Inevitably, he will then try to attack me as I fix his house. <Yikes!> The spotted on the other hand happily shares his shelter with the shark and occasionally swims about. Is there something regarding spotted morays I'm missing? <Doesn't appear so> I should also point out that the spotted tops out at about four feet, while tessellated morays can get close to six. <Yes> Also, I was wondering, is smelt a satisfactory food for morays? <Yes... a bit oily, but very palatable, nutritious> I mix it up with squid, shrimp, salmon and even sword fish sometimes when they're lucky, but they LOVE smelt. Is this ok? Thanks, Pat <Thank you for the input Pat... Am going to (on your advice) move the TWA Spotted Moray into the "good" column. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Tesselata Eel Tank Size and Behavior 11/3/05 Hi, <Hi Kev.> I am considering keeping a Tesselata moray in a 144 gallon aquarium
<Short term I hope, this is a tank buster at a potential 5 feet+ in length.> am I right in thinking that I wont be able to keep any other fish in a tank this size?  <Or the eel for its entire life.> If this is the case, how lively is the eel likely to be?  <Most morays are rather reclusive and become slightly more active at night or feeding.>  I don't want a tank that looks empty most of the time. <Lost of other good choices that could give you much more variety and enjoyment in my opinion.> Thanks Kev <Welcome Adam J.>  

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.>

- ID This Eel... - Hello Bob and friends, <Good morning, JasonC here...> I just bought this little fellow the other day for a reasonably good price. I attached a image of him that I just took. Now he looks like a Tesselata or tessellated eel I guess, but what kind to be certain I cannot figure out. As you can see his spots are pretty large. I don't think he's a Chainlink. What's your opinion and also what's the overall expected size/life expectancy of these??? <Looks to me like a Gymnothorax favagineus, which is known to some as the Tessellated Moray, to others the Honeycomb or Leopard Moray. More information on these here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm Cheers, J -- >

Titan Trigger... titan tank I do not believe the Tesselata eel gets that large. <this fish is Gymnothorax favagineus FYI> <Hmmm... You do not believe the measurements taken in the field or that we as aquarists have the potential to realize the lengths observed and measured in the field? Do trust fishbase.org as a reliable and objective database. Not perfect for sure... but reliable> From the many aquarium books i have read they said the size is about 6-7 ft in the wild 4 to 5 ft in captivity. <Please keep in mind why fishes do not grow as large in aquariums as they do in the wild... it is an artifact of confinement: the aquarium. Stunted growth, poor development, unnaturally high concentrations of DOC, etc, quality issues in general. The abbreviated size is not natural or even healthy.> I am planning on getting a large tank built in my basement that will be over 1000 gallons. <I am very grateful to hear you say it, good sir> i would not put any of my animals in jeopardy and if they grew to large I would take the appropriate measures. <OK> I am actually looking for someone that builds large tanks that would be able to assemble it my basement. <agreed and wise... look up the folks at some regional public aquariums for advice on regional builders of such large vessels. I would hope that you can find an aquarist or docent on staff that admires your ambition and can hook you up with a contact> I will eventually get a 10 ft long tank by 4 feet wide and 4 feet long. or something of similar size. <cool... but indeed it is better to buy the tank before you buy the fish> and i would not keep any dog larger than a German shepherd in a 180 gallon. <G>. Best of luck in the endeavor and education. Anthony>

Re: which eel? Hi there again! <Hello> Can you help me determine which eel I have?  I was under the impression I had G. Permistus.  But more and more I wonder...do I really have G. Favagineus?  More importantly I guess is:  is there really a difference? <Mmm, no. This is actually one species, Gymnothorax favagineus> My Dr. Burgess Atlas says there is...other websites (Fishbase for one) say there isn't.  How can I tell which eel I have?  My LFS sold it as G. Permistus...but they couldn't answer my question, so I'm now not trusting their labeling.  For the love of GOD, can't there be some sort of regularity to naming fish species? <There is. The International Congress of Zoological Nomenclature... and other "conventional" scientific determinations done by individuals, groups... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm> Am I going to have a 6 foot moray on my hands rather than the 3-4 footer I expected?  If so, good thing I've got a 300g planned for spring. HELP ME! I've attached a pic for you, if that does any good.... <Likely one in the 3-4 foot range... in time> Thanks! Vicki <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax favagineus Mr. Fenner, <Vick> Again, thank you for your quick response.  I feel I am taking advantage of you by asking so many questions.  You are so gracious to respond.  You must get so many of these mails.  I suppose if I do end up with a giant, I'll just get a bigger tank...which is ALWAYS the goal anyway:)  I will inform my LFS of your response, too.  It'll be cool to tell them Bob Fenner said so! Best to you! Vicki <And you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: green moray and honeycomb [favagineus] in same tank? WW Crew, the 24 inch green moray is temporarily in 100 gal tank. Just putting the finish work on a diy 500 gal tank [96x26x48] <Better that this tank is wider than taller... maybe this is what you mean (LHW instead of LWH)> that will be his permanent home. I also have a  24-30 inch honeycomb in his own 300 gal tank. His tankmates are a small Fimbriated and a small golden tail moray. They are living in harmony, but i fear for the smaller eels as the h.comb is very aggressive, hard to get food past him to feed the smaller eels. Thinking of putting the h.comb in with the green moray in the 500 gal tank. Wondering if they could coexist because of  M.A.S. [mutually assured destruction]. Then again, is the 500 gal tank to small for 2 eels with their size potential even if they do get along. Both tanks have big EuroReef skimmers cs8 and cs12-2,and canister filters. Both these eels are growing fast, eating leftover bait, pilchards, ballyhoo, squid, QT. Thanks.    Paul <Mmm, a gamble... but may be your best choice of circumstances. Bob Fenner>

- Gymnothorax favagineus Follow-up - Jason, when they are young are their spots (Tess eel) larger and when they get larger they stay the same size? <A better way to state that is, yes there is a difference in the juvenile and adult colorings... seems to vary in the pictures I've seen, but best way to explain is that the white lines get thinner.> You understand what I'm saying?  I thought it was a Gymnothorax favagineus also, but their "spots" are quite more numerators than my lil guy here. <There's always going to be individual variations. Cheers, J -- >

Tesselata eel bit me - is he poisonous hello I have a foot and a half long Tesselata eel (Dragon) and he became a little aggressive during feeding time (didn't know where finger ended and food began) and sliced my finger with his teeth.  I didn't know if they are poisonous or not.  I am almost 100% sure they are not but please let me know!! thanks, Jessica <Ouch! Not poisonous or venomous, however moray mouths can be dirty microbially... best to wash the wound site with very warm water and disinfect with what you would for any open cut... Keep the wound clean and dry... and have it checked out if it seems to become infected. Bob Fenner>

Re: ? on Gymnothorax Permistus/Favagineus Well, hello again Bob, Happy New Year and greetings from Oregon! Sorry it's taken so long for an "update" on the Leopard Moray, BUT, I'm happy to report that ALL is well. Eel is fine and has digested the Lion Fish and about another 100 clams worth of misc. shrimp/squid/cod/sea bass/mussels etc., since we last communicated. <What an eating machine!> In response to your suggestions: I did a complete H20 check across the board and...yes the ammonia level was elevated, but not to the point of being truly "out of line". The rest of the readings (which I did with a Sea-Chem test kit/individual tab) seemed to be within normal/acceptable parameters. I think that perhaps what I was feeding the Lion Fish may have had something to do with his unfortunate demise (store bought Damsels...but better than freshwater Goldfish.....just couldn't get him to eat a prawn/shrimp) In terms of adding Sodium Bicarbonate to the system, FOR ME, that could potentially goof things up. I use a product for my water (Average out of the tap 7.2ph/13kh ,not General Hardness) called "Rift Lake Cichlid Salts" made by a local chemist that we use here, for our African Cichlids Steve Lundblad)  <Yes... have known Steve for many years. Good folks all the way about, very good people in the industry> that quite frankly is a "no-brainer" to achieve around 8.5ph/maintained. So... what I do, is pre-mix the additive water, let it sit and then top off tank as needed. Actual H20 changes are done without the "Cichlid Salts" and the use of a "pre-mix' salt product. not here to endorse or belittle anyone). <I understand... and btw have "no problem" in speaking my mind, heart re "real" products, good folks in the field. I try to "just keep quiet" re charlatans and their efforts...> I did in fact add 5lbs of carbon to the filter flow and that REALLY helped in a lot of ways. Water clarity etc., and I'm sure, helped to eliminate some of the ammonia. Since it's been a few weeks since we've chatted, I have once a again re-charged the system with another 5lbs. of carbon. and have done another 30% H20 change. I had about 7-8 various Damsels (Blue, Blue/yellow-tail/Blk/White) in the 150gal for the Lion Fish to eat Do not feed Lion Fish "Gold Fish...Period"), and they are doing just fine. They, for now are just to quick for the Moray to eat( I think they've kind of figured out the drill...for now). Bottom line: The Eel is doing GREAT and I thank you for your advice and help. <Great> With that said...I would like to share some comments for those whom might read this or want one of these MAGNIFICENT MORAYS. <Please do> 1. PLEASE pay ATTENTION to what BOB says about this critter. PLAN AHEAD>>>WAAAY AHEAD to what you perceive as "Cool". This, gets to be a really BIG fish, that will rival a Boa Constrictor in a way! <Good comparison> 2.LARGE> LARGE Tank. the 150 mine is IN is rapidly becoming too small especially if you want other stuff to reside in the same tank). 3.Filtration:I'm using an Eheim 2250 Canister, Amiracle MR-200 Wet/Dry w/Berlin Turbo Protein Skimmer, and 2 Marineland Emperor 400 Bio-Wheels and a couple of Marineland Sponge Power Heads. Is it enough? With the high protein food you need to feed.......just about. 4.Food: COUNT on a LOT of $$$MONEY$$$ In a little over 3 years, I have spent over $1500 to feed JUST this ONE fantastic Eel! 5.Surroundings: I have 40 to 8 pound Mt. St. Helens Lava Rock as my base with Philippine beach sand (+Coral etc.) and this 4 foot eel moves this "Rock" its not like pumice/its as heavy as granite) around in this GLASS aquarium like its GRAVEL!! I think there's someone knocking at the front door, he makes so much noise. My suggestion thru trial/error is DEFINITELY anchor your base stuff down (silicone), or opt for a Plexiglas tank that won't break. And if you don't do this, please understand that however you want YOUR tank to LOOK, your Permistus MORAY has his own ideas. Learn to live with it! 6.Please listen to/read what Bob describes in reference to this Moray Eel. It truly is an incredible specimen that a lucky few of us get to enjoy in our home. RESPECT THAT, please. 7.And if you like Arowana...1200 gallons isn't enuf...but that's another forum! Bob.....THANKS!!!!!!! <Thank you my friend. You have likely saved many aquarists trials, heartaches... and a few Muraenids their lives. Bob Fenner> Cordially, as always, Rich Waters

Nine Fingered Eel Keeper Hi, First I want to compliment you on the moray article, its great. I am an English guy living in Thailand so getting info is not easy except off the net. My question is this: I am a novice and have never had a salt tank before., but I want a leopard moray. I have a 200g tank with a wet/dry filter and I want to dedicate the whole tank to the leopard moray and maybe a couple of tangs to keep on top of the algae. Do you think that a leopard moray will be happy in a 200g tank. Well as happy as he can be anyway. I know very little about what protein skimmer to use or anything at all really it is all new to me. I have had a lot ok experience with wild eels though both morays and congers. I used to feed a conger when I lived in England a few years ago. And when I came here in Thailand I fed Morays squid by hand. One individual was quiet tame and would like to be stroked after being fed. This does give me the advantage of knowing a moray and how to treat it, which is with respect. But it doesn't help me take care of one in a tank to much.    I want to know what I can do to make it as happy as possible. I also want to hand feed as much as possible even though it is advised against I would like to know if you hand feed your morays, and is it possible with the leopard moray? Do you think I should get from young to do this? Also do you know how I can get a lot of info of the net on this species or is this site the best going? I wont be surprised if it is!!  I know that is a lot of questions and I'm sure your a busy man but I would really appreciate it if you can find the time to help me. I want to let you know that I will be very dedicated to this and have a lot of patience so if there is a slower but better route to the perfect moray tank I will take that one. <There is much for you to read on the WWM site.  Much on setting up your tank, cycling, maintenance, and then the specifics about eels.  Depending on what you are calling a leopard eel.  Take a look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/eelsmar.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/eelsmar.htm and see if you cannot identify your animal by scientific name.  Please do not hand feed your eel or any wild eels.  Guess what your fingers smell like after you pick up that piece of squid.  You guessed it, squid.  Unless you want people to call you nine fingered Craig, I would buy one of the feeding probes/tongs sold for just this purpose.  -Steven Pro> Thanks a lot for your time CRAIG   

Compatibility Are a Pair of Gymnothorax permistus aka reticulated eel. Compatible with Foxfaces in a 200g fish only tank? <If the Morays are otherwise fed, maybe. Bob Fenner>

Re: Your endorsement of Leopard Moray I'm a bit confused. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm  Are you endorsing it or not endorsing it for home aquarium? I have 15 years experience in marine aquarium keeping but have never kept a Leopard (is it also called Tessellated)? If it's personality is peaceful enough, it would make a spectacular addition to my 200 gallon living room display. Any comments are greatly appreciated. <Mmm, this is a spectacular looking species... and easier-going and more consistently so as Morays, Muraenid eels go... but still an avid fish-eater if/when hungry... Have seen it kept with many expensive fishes though... Bob Fenner, feeling a bit cagey this AM> Regards, Robert Ponder

Compatibility (rocks, marine systems) How is the world treating you Bob? I'm sorry to trouble you again but I need your advice. I have a 300g tank with coral sand 2 G. permistus, 2 Horseshoe crabs 2 Lion fish hermits and damsels as a live food source and 100 pounds of live rock. I use a w/d filter and L/R for filtration. My question is regarding aquascaping. I have been sown the local market and there is a large selection of rocks for sale there. I think the rocks are quartz or very similar. They contain no flecks of metal like granite and have natural holes running through them. I would like to know if it is safe to put these rocks in my tank with the L/R? <Perhaps so... but they may prove deleterious in another way. Your Morays are actually quite clumsy... and even Lionfishes have cut themselves on such sharp material...> If not Could you recommend a type of rock that is safe, besides rock from the sea. Thanks again for your time and troubles hope the rest of the day treats you well. Craig <Do place some of this material in a "test tank" with a few damsels to give it a bit of bioassay... if they show no signs of distress after a month or more, it can likely be trusted. Bob Fenner>

Mixed Bag Bob- It's been a few days. ;) Hope I'm not bothering you.  <You will know if so> Here's a few questions. My live rock is still curing. Covered in brown algae. It blows away with a turkey baster though. Anyway, it seems to be killing the coralline as it is turning white and gray/white. Is this possible?  <Yes, of a certainty> Ammonia is starting to drop, nitrites are off the chart, pH is 8.3 and alkalinity is at 4.5.  <Calcium?> Oh, I've also decided I'm not going to make this tank a reef tank. I don't feel I'm ready yet. I'm going to read and practice for a few more years. <Best to take ones time> Unfortunately, I already bought my lights (halides) and I want to keep lions and a Miniata grouper in here. Although, even with two 175W 10000K halides and two 65W actinic PCs, it still looks less bright than my bosses 125 with 2 96W actinic PCs and 2 96W 1000K PC's. Any thoughts? <Lionfishes do not appreciate/do well in bright lighting... and the Cephalopholis grouper will tend to hide much more... encourage you to try to trade these in for VHO or compact fluorescents...> Second, what is the correct way to pronounce Pterois?  <"Tare-Oh-ease"... pter like Pter in Pterodactyl, or Pteridophyta (the ferns), or Pterophyllum (the genus of freshwater angelfishes) (from the Greek meaning "wing"... and the vowels in scientific taxonomy (as in Latin and ancient Greek) are like Espanol...> Does it sound French?  <Not to me mon ami> Also, the Sixline Soapfish/Goldstripe grouper. Does it produce a toxic slime, or is it only toxic if something eats it?  <The former> My friend and I had an argument at work and I had to run out to my car and get your book to show him. He still thinks exudes means toxic if eaten. I know he's wrong, we just didn't have a dictionary handy. Also, I have a 37g with a emperor 260, AquaC remora skimmer, 8Watt UV, two Rio 600 for circulation, and 65W PC SmartLite, with 40lbs LR. I want to make it into a neat community with as many fish as possible without overstocking. I was thinking some green Chromis, a few banner cardinals, maybe a clown. Any suggestions? <Yes, look for a bigger tank... this one can only hold a few of these fishes> Next, how do I keep the nutrient levels down in my quarantine tanks. They are both 10 gallons, with Duetto filters, and airstones, with PVC pipes to hide in. I occasionally put cured rock in there to help, but I have to remove it when I treat with copper or other meds. Even when I soak the filter sponges in a cycled aquarium or put a piece of uncured rock in a freshly cleaned tank to cycle it, it still doesn't seem to be enough. Especially with fish that produce waste in copious amounts. I would do daily water changes, but this would mess up my treatments and stress the new fish more, wouldn't it? <Yes, please read over the "Quarantine" section on the marine index on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com on this...> Last, can you help me identify this eel in the attached photo? He was sold as a Tessellated moray, or Gymnothorax tesselata but I can't find it in any books or even Burgess's Atlas. He's about a foot long now, maybe ten inches. To me he looks like G. favagineus.  <Please read over Scott Michael's coverage of this gorgeous Muraenid in his most recent Reef Fishes (v.1)... they are the same species...> Thanks. Sorry for taking up so much of your time. You are a wonderful help to us all! Jeff Young <Glad to be here, of help, my friend. Bob Fenner>

Is a he or a she??? Hi Bob, love your site. I am very close friends with (the semi world famous) Jeff Macare and he suggested in a recent conversation that you may have the answer to my question. <Ah, glad to see the rock n' roll world didn't end up with our friend... at least not yet> Is there any easy way to sex Tesselata eels by appearance? I recently acquired a small one with lots of yellow in him/her and the wife wants to give it a name. Thanks, Jim <No way to sex these Morays externally as far as I'm aware. Suggest a "non-gender" name... like Jerry, Max... Bob Fenner>

Moray success.. thus far Hello, Happy holidays! <And to you> We chatted recently regarding my tesselata eel that died three days after arrival. The replacement is here ( a smaller specimen) and it is doing much better. Much more active, it has done very well so far, even eating the first day it was in the tank. Adding aeration to the tank really helps- when I tried removing the extra-aeration from my powerheads, the eel's mouth instantly opened gaping wide.. with much aeration and movement, however, its mouth remains shut.. Also regarding ammonia levels in the shipping water.. they were off the scale of my test kit ( >8.0!! ).. at the advice of LFS, I added approx 2x the eel's water to the bag, retested for ammonia (now around 6.0'ish) then slit the bag, drained water, and added eel directly to tank.. he's doing great and enjoys life with a cleaner wrasse at the moment.. will let you know of any other observations I make regarding how to make eel's captive lives better... oh, and duct-tape kept him from escaping the first night.. I had to tape down the glass tops and plastic back strip of my aquarium.. he was forcing it all open. I'm hoping for success with this eel, and time will tell. Am working on getting a digital camera still to share my eel-habitat with others :) Thanks for all your help preparing for the new arrival. Bill H <Good to hear of your success. Bob Fenner>

Eel name.. Hello again, The eel I've been referring to as a tessellated moray eel, when looked up at fishbase.org comes across as G. favagineus, which on your own moray section is referred to as a Leopard moray.. but under Fishbase it's called a Laced moray.. are there just a lot of names for the same eel, or is there a mis-identification somewhere? Maybe that's why I've had such a time finding information on Tessellated moray's.. <The a priori argument for scientific naming is illustrated here. There are many common names for common animals/plants/things... Bob Fenner> Bill H.

Tesselata Eel Hello again friend, I hope this email finds you well. <Yes, thank you> I've conversed with you recently regarding eel-keeping. I finally located the eel I wanted (a Tesselata moray.) Upon acclimating it to my tank (which took about 1.25 hours) it seemed happy enough, careening around, looking for a way out. The second day he was in the tank he laid on the bottom most of the day.. rather common for eels I've heard. <Hmm, not really...> The third day I woke up and he was dead.  <!> I was shocked, everything I've heard says that eels are hardier than damsels. What could have caused this? My LFS has another on order and is replacing it for no charge, but is there something I should do to prevent it from happening again?  <Do check your dissolved oxygen levels if you can, look for "tramp" metal in the system, a clamp on a hose... Test the system with a few damsels...> My water tested perfect at the LFS. Spg is at 1.024 .. The only thing I can think is.. perhaps it was stressed from shipping? damaged maybe?  <Yes, most likely possibilities> The only other thing I wonder about is oxygen. I have an AquaClear 802, and two ac 302 powerheads, as well as a Fluval 404 canister all outputting strong current.. but I don't have air hoses on any of the power heads.. should I?  <Ahh, yes... and a protein skimmer... hopefully you have... messy fishes and the skimmer adds a great deal of gaseous exchange> Do eels require more oxygen than a community of fishes, given their large size?  <Yes> I thought I had done my research, checked and triple checked all possibilities, but still I failed to achieve success. Any input you have on this would really help, are there certain things I might have missed? <Don't think so.> He had a good hiding spot to get almost nearly out of view.. had the whole 75g tank to himself.. was about a 20" long specimen.. Thanks in advance for your advice as always <Damage in collection, handling most likely led to the demise of this specimen... given the data supplied. You are likely to have success with the next one. Bob Fenner> Bill Hammond
Re: Tesselata Eel
When you say "not if sufficient aeration added.." do you mean that I should add an airstone to the Eel's bag while acclimating?  <Yes> I heard once that this will peak ammonia levels, certainly killing whatever is in the bag.. is this false ?  <Not totally false, but highly unlikely... aeration may raise pH and if there is much ionized ammonia, convert it to a more toxic format... Best to add something to the protocol here: Check the ammonia concentration in the bag, if small (less than 0.25 ppm, to undetectable, add aeration... if more than a quarter of a part per million, keep changing out shipping water for new acclimation water till it is lower than 0.25 ppm and then add aeration...> Should I aerate the bag while adding water? <Same criterion> Thanks again, I go to pick up the new eel in an hour. (Hope you're near the pc, :) I'll acclimate it without aeration until I hear from you.. and will ask LFS if it is a good idea, perhaps they know. Bill Hammond <They should. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tesselata moray
I almost forgot, I have PowerCompact lights on the aquarium, 110 watt 2x55 system.. both using full spectrum daylight 10k bulbs... should I downgrade this? Bill <No... should be fine, functionally, esthetically. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tesselata Eel
Thanks for your encouragement, and yes I have a Prizm protein skimmer, and am looking to upgrade to an AquaC skimmer.. as far as testing the system with damsels.. until the day the eel arrived, I had a Scopas tang in the tank... the only survivor that I didn't take back to my LFS for aggressiveness. The Scopas is now in my 58g reef tank, happy as a lark. That's why I thought it was damage in shipping.. if a tang (less hardy than an eel) could survive just fine in the tank.. I figured the eel would do great... No metal parts in the tank at all, and have added air intakes to the two 302 powerheads (tried the 802, but it made my tank almost not visible with so much air. Hoping this will make the habitat better for the eel. <Mmm, thank you for all this... Am more convinced that transit trouble was the root cause of mortality here. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Bill Hammond

Re: Tesselata Eel
Hello yet again from Atlanta! One last thing about the eel (sorry for too-many questions, I just want to do everything I can to help the next one) For acclimation.. I originally took 1 hour 15 minutes to acclimate the first eel, adding slowly 1 cup of water to its container every 5 minutes until the water amount was twice what it originally was. Is this too long ?  <Not if there was sufficient aeration added...> Not long enough? With all my other fishes I do the same, but only take about 30 min.s. worth of adding water... LFS said to stretch it out very long for an Eel. I added a blue damselfish at your suggestion in one of the prior emails.. just incase some chemical/metal element was added to the tank during the eel's stay.. <I do believe in such bioassays... "canary in a cave" testing.> blue damselfish is holding up just fine and will be in until I get the next tesselata eel tomorrow. I will let you know what happens with my next eel encounter. I am also working on cataloging my set-up (per your suggestion :) and working on getting a digital camera to make a website on eel husbandry (assuming I have success enough to share!) as there is relatively little information on these mysterious creatures out there... <Great! Do count on me to help in whatever way/s I may, can to help. And do consider sending this work into the hobby press for publication, sharing with others> Thanks again friend, <Ah, the pleasure. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Bill Hammond

? on Gymnothorax Permistus/Favagineus Hi Bob! First let me say Great Site! Second, BIG Problem with my 4 foot "Leopard Moray Eel". I have had this critter about 3 years now and it's been an absolute kick, except for the hundreds & hundreds of dollars worth of "other" inhabitants I've tried to introduce into it's domicile, that it's consumed, not to mention his constant ration of shrimp/squid etc.  <Yikes, well-stated> I finally, was able to introduce a larger Lion Fish ( Red Volitans) and BOTH respected each others territory been together for about 5 months). Several days ago I noticed a clouding of the Lion Fishes eyes and definite lethargy. I let it go for one day and decided to do a fairly substantial water change in the 150 gallon tank, the next day. <Good idea... and for the record, I would have added "a box" (a pound or more) of sodium bicarbonate... baking soda, dissolved in system water.> This AM (12-15-01) the Lion Fish was NOT doing well and was resting at the bottom. The Problem: The Lion Fish is now GONE and one can only assume that the Moray ate it. <Probable> I have heard of whole tanks being decimated with the toxin from the Lion Fish, BUT more importantly, what's the prognosis for the Moray? <From ingesting the Lion? Pretty good... Muraenids are tough in this category as well as so many others> Probably doesn't make much difference, but the Lion fish was about 8-9 inches (head to end of tail) in length. What can I expect? Is there any thing I can do, except wait 48 hrs. and simply "see what happens?". Anyone else have this happen? Any info will be most appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time and Happy Holi-daze....I think. <Mmm, more a concern is whatever declining water quality led to the Lion's eye cloudiness... I would check, modify pH, alkalinity, and maybe add a pound or five of activated carbon to your filter flow path... otherwise, not much else to do. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Cordially, as always, Rich Waters

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