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FAQs about "Freshwater" Morays Eel Identification

Related FAQs: "FW" Moray Eels, FW Moray Behavior, FW Moray Compatibility, FW Moray Selection, FW Moray Systems, FW Moray Feeding, FW Moray Disease, FW Moray Reproduction, Marine Moray Eels

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

Help identify this eel    /Neale  6/25/18
Hi WWM Crew! I’ve been searching through your Eel ID photos and posted questions trying to find an example that looks similar to the one I just obtained from my LFS. The closest match I could find was a Freshwater White Cheek Eel. Do you feel that is most likely? Note the yellow/ green stripe that outlines the entire Eel body besides the head of this 14 inch Eel with a healthy appetite for krill. I just am hoping to know as much as possible about the new inhabitant of my 110g and appreciate any thoughts you might have.
Thanks in Advance,
Brad
<Hello Brad. This looks to me like Gymnothorax tile, one of several euryhaline moray eels sold as 'freshwater morays' in the trade. While identifying can be hard, at least their care is easy to pin down. Without exception these are brackish to marine fish -- despite what some retailers and even wholesalers suggest -- and need to be kept in saline conditions. For a youngster, SG 1.005 at 25 C/77 F may well be fine, but as it matures expect to increase that, especially if it goes on an apparent hunger strike (which almost always happens eventually when these morays are kept in freshwater). Let me direct you to some reading, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwmorayart.htm
I've cc'ed Marco, our moray expert, in case I've misdiagnosed the species involved. Can I also remind you that a varied (no feeder fish!) diet has to be a priority with these, and indeed any carnivorous fish, and it's also important to remember these are not community fish and cannot be trusted with tankmates. Cheers, Neale.>

Help identify this eel   /Marco    6/26/18
Hi WWM Crew! I’ve been searching through your Eel ID photos and posted questions trying to find an example that looks similar to the one I just obtained from my LFS. The closest match I could find was a Freshwater White Cheek Eel. Do you feel that is most likely? Note the yellow/ green stripe that outlines the entire Eel body besides the head of this 14 inch Eel with a healthy appetite for krill. I just am hoping to know as much as possible about the new inhabitant of my 110g and appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thanks in Advance, Brad
<At first glance, I would have agreed that this is G. tile. I also once had a specimen with a faint greenish margin on top of the dorsal fin, but your eel looks different on the second picture. G. tile usually has white eyes, the picture shows orange eyes. Also, the body and head color remind me of Gymnothorax flavimarginatus, which has orange eyes and a brown to purple head. I've seen juveniles of them with the typical yellow to green outline of the fins (flavimarginatus=yellow margin). It vanishes with age and adults often don't have it anymore. Compare your eel to this one: http://www.saltcorner.com/AquariumLibrary/critterPics/G.%20flavimarginatus%20(BG).jpg Can you send better pictures? G. flavimarginatus can reach 1,2 m, they are really massive morays as adults and should be kept in a marine tank. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/4/17
Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Allow me to continue our discussion,
I am thinking about other possible moray species that matches my eel, which are not Echidnas nor Gymnothorax.
In Fishforums.net a poster listed some species of morays that enters brackish & freshwater (I think this was quoted from WetWebMedia ;) One of the species mentioned, Uropterygius micropterus, is interesting, because when I see this picture here: http://www.tansuigyo.net/a/gao/x/551.html
<Not sure this is Uropterygius micropterus, but it's possible. Too bad the dorsal fin is not visible on the picture. Uropterygius micropterus has a light brown background color with a net of darker lines (see Fishbase).
Gymnothorax richardsonii has a more greenish color with a dendritic pattern. All Uropterygius spp. have a low dorsal fin limited to the area of the tail, while Gymnothorax spp. and Echidna spp. have a higher dorsal fin that starts behind and above the gill opening. The genera can easily be told apart with the eel in front of you by this character.>
Some of Mr. Eko's eels which he keep in his other brackish tank has the same patterns on the body with the Uropterygius Micropterus in the Chinese link above, though the coloration are different, that eel in the link
above are more dark brown, while Mr. Eko's eels are more grey-ish brown (except the one he gave me, it is green-ish brown).
<Compare to G. richardsonii, especially have a look where the dorsal fin starts.>
All of his small (<30 cm) eels he said were caught in brackish river, while the larger marine ones were from coral reefs around small islands. Price differences also reflect this, the colorful fully-marine morays costs a lot
more than the small brackish ones.
BTW, the small eel just ate a piece of thawed frozen shrimp. Interesting how fast it adapts with my aquarium, just a few days and it already ate frozen meal (smeared with garlic, thank you for your advice!), while my smallest E. rhodochilus still refuse anything else than live meal, even after living here for months!
Well, that concludes my observation today. Thank you for your kind attention & have a nice day!
<Have a nice day, too.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Brackish moray ID     1/11/18

Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Warm greetings from Indonesia. How's Germany today?
<Warmest winter I remember.>
I observed the eel and see no visible dorsal fin that starts above the gill opening. So there is a possibility that this is an Uropterygius eel instead of a G. richardsonii or E. rhodochilus?
<If you don't see said dorsal fin on the eel in question, but you are able to see it on your Echidnas, the mystery moray likely belongs to the genus Uropterygius (Anarchias would be another option).>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plk4DmOhi4g
<Sorry Ben, I can't make out any detail in the vid, it's too dark and blurry. You should use some additional light source when taking pictures or videos.>
Thank you and Best Regards,
<Have a nice day.>
Ben Haryo
<Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Brackish moray ID      1/12/18

Hello Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Nice to hear that your winter is warm, I hope this is good for your tropical fishes!
<I don't think they care. It's the same temperature in the house and their tanks all year round.>
Sorry for the bad quality of the film. I hope to borrow a better camera later, to take a better picture of my eel, or a cell phone with a strong flashlight.
<This would be good. Maybe we can get a proper ID instead of just guessing wildly.>
In any case, if my eel is actually an Uropterygius micropterus as I assumed, it is already 20cm maybe more, so I guess it's near adult (not baby eel anymore), as maximum length of this species is 30cm (according to Fishbase).
So, if it's really U. micropterus, then we confirm what Fishbase said is correct (that it is both brackish and marine). It also seems to be happy in its 1.008 sg aquarium, and are very docile in temperament, it is very
friendly with the E. rhodochilus and G. polyuranodon, no aggression observed.
<Good to hear.>
When I am back to Sumenep, I'll ask Mr. Eko in which part of the river he captured them: Was it at the river mouth, or further inland, did he used a submerged trap or did he picked them up in shallow waters. This way we could have some more info about the habitat of the eel.
<That's a good idea. Most of such useful information is lost with export, it's great you are close to the source.>
Too bad this species is not so common as pets, as I think this eel could be one of the easier ones to keep. It is not as pretty as E. rhodochilus, G. polyuranodon or G. tile, but it is not so hard to feed and not so shy, mine seems to spend almost as much time swimming outside the pipes as waiting inside. It also does not run away from my hands when I am cleaning the aquarium, interesting eh?
<Yes, especially since Uropterygius species in general are reported to spend most of their lives hidden in rocks and mud, but to be honest: not much is known about the behavior of members of this genus at all.>
Well, thank you and have a nice day!
<You, too!>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/17/18
Good evening Marco,
<Good morning Ben.>
Greetings from Indonesia!
I am aware that there are not much information about fresh and brackish water morays, so indeed, as an eel-enthusiast who lives close to the source, I'll share whatever information that I can gather from around here.
<Kudos to you.>
As for our mystery eel, I visited Mr. Eko this afternoon, and asked him a few questions about the eel. His answers are as follows:
1. The mystery eels that he has, were captured in the river in Java, a bit farther from the river mouth (estuarium), but he said this species are also known to inhabit not only on the river, but also the area around the river mouth and the beach. So, they can be found in both full saltwater and light brackish. They are from shallow waters, usually found in sandy beaches hiding in broken corals or under clamshells, or in the soft mud of the rivers.
2. They are known to hunt crabs and shrimps on the shallow waters of the beach and rivers. They can burrow their bodies in both soft sand and mud, but they are more active in swimming around, than other types of morays which spent much of their time burrowing or hiding. They could hunt during the day or during the night as they please.
3. These eels were usually not captured by fishing hook, but by submerged traps.
4. They are not territorial, plenty of them can be found together in a small area, often bunched together under a clamshell or a rock, like noodles.
So I thanked Mr. Eko for his info, and he promised to inform me if there are any other strange eels he captured or obtained. Before I left, he offered me to buy a pike conger baby at discount, as apparently he has one left. He told me that the pike conger were captured in the same area where they captured the mystery eel. But I declined (pike congers are known to be aggressive and has sharp teeth), and instead I bought another mystery eel from him.
So now I have two of these "mystery eels", I hope they will be happy in my aquarium. Mr. Eko took pictures of the conger and the second mystery eel, I attached it here. His shop is not as dark as my kitchen, so maybe these pictures are better for ID ing the mystery eel?
<Yes, much better. Can't see details of the head, but at least the body coloration is visible. It's definitely no G. richardsonii, G. tile, E. rhodochilus, G. polyuranodon. The coloration of the body matches Uropterygius micropterus quite well, so this ID is probably right. The ecology you describe above also concurs with what is known about this
species. Only that it seems to live so openly is something I had not expected from a Uropterygius species. I think this eel can be added to the list of moray species in captive care.>
That concludes my e-mail for now, I will share to you more from my research when I get new information.
<Thanks Ben.>
Warm Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>





a bunch of morays in a bucket      12/28/17
Hello Neale, hello Marco, hello all,
<Hi Ben.>
Warm greetings from Indonesia to all you amazing people at WetWebMedia.
So, I visited an ornamental fish procurer, the one who actually captured the fishes. I asked for fresh or brackish water morays. He showed me a bucket full of eels that he captured several days ago from a river in the
north of Jakarta, not far from the estuarium river mouth.
Here are the pictures of the eels.
So, which one is Gymnothorax Tile? I can recognize one tiny Echidna Nebulosa, but the rest of them I have no clue. I am not even sure that they are all morays. The guy who captured them all made no distinctions, all of those eels are "Belut Muara" to him (Belut Muara = eels being caught in brackish water).
<The pictures show too little detail for a proper ID. Would need to clearly see the heads of most of the eels. As you already know there is E. nebulosa and probably G. richardsonii. There might also be one (the grey eel with tiny spots) or two Gymnothorax pictus, which are easily IDd by the dark spots in their eyes. However, I cannot see the eyes on the pictures.
Gymnothorax tile are grey to brown with yellow the golden speckles. The older the eel, the less golden speckles. See here for some pictures: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwmorayart.htm 
Young G. tile look like this:
https://www.aqualog.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Gymnothorax_tile-baby.jpg 
The pictures you mailed of Mr. Septian's eels also show some G. tile and one potential G. pictus. >
Thank you & have a wonderful day!
Best Regards, Ben Haryo
<Hope this helps. Marco.>

Brackish moray ID (file size fixed)   12/30/17
Hello Bob, Neale, Marco, and all my WetWebMedia friends, a good Friday for all of you!
<Hi Ben.>
(Dear Bob, sorry for the large files, my bad. I have re-sized the file and re-send the message. I hope this time it's in the correct size. Sorry for the inconvenience).
<<Accepted. B>>
Marco, thank you for your kind explanation. Brackish water is fascinating, isn't it? I like the concept of brackish and near-freshwater estuarium as nursery ground for various juvenile marine moray species, so they could get the nutrients from freshwater and cover to hide from marine predators. Our estuarine waters are indeed dark and muddy in many places, unlike the clear bright waters of the coral reefs just a few kilometers at the open shore.
I have made plans in the future to visit some of those estuaries & rivers in North Java and in Yogyakarta & record their salinity levels & record the tales about morays from local fish catchers.
<Nice. If possible compare the salinity at the bottom of the estuary with the surface. Can be quite different.>
I will keep you informed.
<Very good.>
I am also interested in marine aquarium, but maybe later when I have more space. Space is a problem for me as I cannot find place in my house for another aquarium. I often found myself donating my pet fishes to other friends, not long ago I donated my Anguilla bicolor to a friend who has a larger aquarium, as it has grown almost to 1 meter in length & looking very stressed & cramped in mine. It had spent almost 3 years in my aquarium.
Currently I am also looking for a new home for my Monopterus albus, it has grown to 70 centimeter and has shown signs of stress, before it's very active, now it became lethargic, often perched itself on top of the filter (glad my aquarium is covered!) or bury its head on the sand (glad the bottom of my aquarium is sandy, not gravels!). I have
donated other fishes in the past as well.
<You seem to like all eels, not only morays. As far as I know, M. albus does travel into brackish waters, but prefers freshwater in the long care (and aquarium care).>
Well, today I went to my hangout at Sumenep, where fish lovers hang around.
I visit my friend Mr. Eko, a specialist of brackish water fishes. Not only catching fishes in our estuarium and rivers near the sea, he also quarantine them and acclimatize them then supply them to ornamental fish seller. He has cement pools for this purpose, as well as various brackish, fresh and marine aquariums. He is an aquascaper too. He showed me his lovely Echidna nebulosa, which is very fat and is an adult (about 50 centimeters). He proudly told me that he kept this eel for almost 2 years in this brackish water, and describe how the Echidna survived a jump out of the aquarium for 2 hours! It's the best eel for aquascaping marine tank, he said, because of durability, docility and beautiful skin patterns. His tank is about the same size with mine, but mine is a bit longer. I sampled and tested the water on the E. nebulosa tank with my hydrometer, it's 1.012-1.014 after 3 tests. He told me that it was originally the water from the river where the Echidna came from, but he does regular water changes to acclimatize the eel. His aquarium does not look so appealing, with no sandy bottom and only a handful of dead corals for the hideout of the Echidna.
But the Echidna does looks healthy. I wonder how that's possible, as to my knowledge, E. nebulosa cannot survive anything below 1.018, so is this an anomaly?
<Surviving and thriving are two different things. E. nebulosa are very hardy and it's not the first time I hear it was caught in brackish waters.
1.014 is already mid brackish to high brackish. It's well possible the eel will survive this for months or a few years, but nothing I can endorse for permanent care based on the biology of this species.>
Knowing my love for eels, he showed me a low-water aquarium full of small eels, he said they're totally brackish. I sampled the water and it's 1.008 - 1.010 after 3 tests, so rather similar to my aquarium. I asked about the Latin name of the small eels and he said he has no clue (kind of expected).
So he gave me one, and asked me to study the eel and tell him what species it is according to science, and I can give it back to him later. It's very very small, maybe only 15 centimeter, and when I put it on my tank, it looks comfortable and it snuggled itself under my largest Echidna rhodochilus. They looks compatible in the pipe, they're almost the same in color and I noticed it also has white blotches on the mouth. Is that a juvenile E. rhodochilus?
<Probably. Can't be sure. The pictures are rather blurry and dark.>
I look at Fishbase and noticed that Echidna leucotaenia also has white blotches on mouth. What do you think it is, dear Marco?
<Based on what I see: E. rhodochilus. Echidna leucotaenia has more and different white spots.>
Well, thank you for your time & have a nice weekend!
<No problem. Have a nice weekend, too.>
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Brackish moray ID      12/31/17
Hello Marco, I hope your weekend will be a splendid one!
<Hi Ben.>
When I look at the "mystery" eel and how similar it is to E. rhodochilus, I think there is a big chance that you are right. The morphology are similar with my larger E. Rhodochilus, and they even breath in the same rhythm.
<You can try to take better pictures (more light, acuity, more detail of the head) of your mystery eel. Then we can work out a better ID. The last pics were so dark and blurry, I can only guess its ID by a white spot I suspect. E. rhodochilus is easily IDd by its uniform green to brown coloration and a larger white spot at the rear part of the lower jaw which extends to the upper jaw below the eye.>
What are other possible candidate? Maybe G. richardsonii?
<G. richardsonii can be IDd by a dark green dentritic pattern on a lighter background color. Looks nothing like E. rhodochilus.>
I just read in a webpage that this species stay small, and also inhabit estuaries. Will G. richardsonii thrive in 1.008-1.010?
<I doubt it. Though it does occur in shallow waters with brackish salinity it's most often found in marine lagoons as far as I know.>
Are they as docile as E. rhodochilus throughout their lives?
<I kept G. richardsonii in the past. Mine could not be trusted with small fishes, but got along well with other small morays.>
http://www.whatsthatfish.com/fish/reticulated-moray/3026
As you can tell, I like eels, not just morays. Actually Mr. Eko offered me one of his newly-caught pike congers, the one with lovely blue-ish dorsal fins. Very beautiful fish, but I heard it's rather vicious when wild-captured, so I declined.
Back to our E. nebulosa. Mr. Eko told me that small E. nebulosus are frequently being caught in the estuarium, while the larger ones are more common on coral reefs and on rocky beaches. Maybe it's like what you said,
the younger ones hides in the estuarium, as they grow older and bolder, they venture to the sea. If that's the case, then it's a humane practice to keep them in full marine, as brackish is only a temporary hangout for them.
<I agree with that.>
Well, thank you for your kind patience and guidance. I will keep you informed about my findings. Best Regards, Ben
<No problem. Looking forward to your findings. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Brackish moray ID (file size fixed)     1/1/18
Good Day Marco,
<Hello Ben.>
I tried to take better pictures. This eel seemed to change colors depending on its surrounding.
I hope these pics are clear enough for IDs.
<I fear they are not. I cannot see the coloration of the head and the pattern on the body with enough detail.>
This eel and his friends were caught in a brackish river in north Java, and has been living in a brackish tank for several months.
<Does your eel have the telltale white spots of E. rhodochilus or the dendritic pattern of G. richardsonii? You can also compare your eel to the ca. 65 species found in Indonesia here:
http://www.fishbase.org/identification/SpeciesList.php?class=&order=&famcode
=56&subfamily=&genus=&areacode=71&c_code=360&spines=&fins=&resultPage=1&sort
by=species
 If you try to take pictures again use much more light (will also help with sharpness) and maybe borrow another camera.
Thank you & Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco>

Re: Brackish moray ID      1/3/17
Good day Marco,
<Hi Ben.>
Sadly you are right, I cannot get any better quality pictures with my current cell phone. Also, my kitchen _is_ dark. Good for the morays, not so good for photography :/ So, I will try to find a better equipment to make pictures. I can take the eel out , bring it outside and take pictures, but I don't have the heart, it's such a cute little eel... When I can borrow a better camera or cell phone, I will make pictures again.
I checked out the Fishbase list and also this article below:
http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/bakasi-baby-eels
I observed the pictures of Bakasi (G. richardsonii) on the article above, indeed the color and body-patterns are not similar with my eel. The Bakasis has brownish and grayish color and beautiful body-patterns. Mine are plain.
Also, the Bakasis are described to be caught on the coastal areas.
<Also known from estuaries when young.>
Mine are caught in a brackish river, several kilometers from the sea. My eel has the same body type and color with E. rhodochilus (brownish green/greenish brown) but it has no white blotch on the cheek, just white blotch on the mandible. Most logical explanation that it's a freak baby E. rhodochilus that has white blotch on the mandible only.
<Probably E. rhodochilus if it's uniform brown to green with a single white blotch.>
Or it's another species that happen to live in the same environment & behaves similarly & has the same color.
Anyway, Mr. Eko said I can keep the eel for as long as I wanted, see if it could live well and happy in my1.008 sg. If it thrives, he will let me have it. If it doesn't look happy, he will take it back. So it's a good deal.
<Sounds good.>
I joked to him, If it's a new species, I'll name it Muraena ekonii after him ;)
The Fishbase article is very useful, thank you for sharing! I have seen some of the morays described there. Interesting that Fishbase mentioned some morays as living in both marine and brackish (like Gymnothorax pictus)
and even all three environments (marine, brackish and freshwater) like the Gymnothorax meleagris. Maybe most Gymnothorax species
<and many Echidna spp.>
are capable to enter brackish and freshwater from the sea, but not all has the adaptability to thrive long-term in non-marine environments.
<That's what I think. Especially the young, the adults not so much.>
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/5394
Well, thank you for the advice & discussions, I learn something new everyday!
Best Regards, Ben
<Cheers, Marco.>

Marble Moray Eel (Anarchias seychellensis)... ID, sys... NOT FW    1/11/12
Hi
<Hello Nikki.>
Two days ago I purchased a Marble Moray Eel being told it was a  freshwater fish. Reading some info on the internet told me that he is a brackish water fish.
<First we should determine what fish you have (Anarchias seychellensis would be a rare find and I doubt such a rare fish would be sold as freshwater). Do you have proper pictures you could email?>
I have a tank of about 46cm long, 22cm wide and 29cm tall (I'm not sure of how much litres that is).
<4.6x2.2x2.9 = 29 litres = tiny.>
The tank's bottom  is covered in black gravel, decorated with a few rocks, live plants and a cave. Being concerned of my eels health, I added 1 tablespoon of  freshwater salt (I heard that you shouldn't use marine salt for brackish water) to my tank,
<Actually the opposite... you should use marine salt... And one tablespoon is hardly brackish water...>
dissolving it in a cup before adding it  to my tank. I'm not sure of what the pH level should be, but it is currently about 7.4-8.0. The temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius/ 71 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm feeding him dried blood worms,
<No food for a moray eel if you really have one...>
but I'm not sure if he's eating. The eel himself is almost always hiding in his cave, but sometimes he will swim around in the tank before retreating  back to his cave. My questions are: Is the pH, temperature, salt and food right for a moray eel?
Nikki
<First we should determine what species exactly you have (there are 200+ moray eels species, some hard to tell apart from each other), then we can discuss the proper environment, which differs from species to species. If your tank really only has a volume of 29 litres (which means there are about 22 litres of water in it) it is much too small for even the smallest dwarf moray species. Most moray eels are actually marine fish and only very few can live in brackish water. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Marble Moray Eel (Anarchias seychellensis)   1/12/12

Hi, again.
<Hello Nikki.>
Thanks for the advice! I am currently changing my tank to be suitable  for my eel. He is looking a lot better, swimming around and even eating. I heard eels prefer lighter coloured gravel and rocks and I will soon swop my black gravel for white gravel and rocks. I'm also adding one cup of salted water to my tank every day, slowly changing the water to brackish and eventually marine. I went to a pet shop that specialises in marine fish (with my eel) to determine what sort of eel he actually is. The owner said that it is hard to exactly say what eel he is when he is still small, but the owner said he is 90% sure the eel is an Anarchias seychellensis eel.
Here is a picture I took of him:
<Hehe... no Anarchias seychellensis... this is definitely (100%) Gymnothorax tile. Please see here our article on this and closely related species:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I2/Freshwater_eels/freshwater_eels.htm
Thank you, Nikki
<Welcome. Marco.>

Re: moray identification, FW    11/21/10
I have another moray to identify. These were being sold as freshwater morays. One I am sure is G. tile, the other I thought was polyuranodon but now I'm not sure. I couldn't get a better pic of the G. tile, unfortunately but you can see his coloration. There is also a close-up of the second eel, which is much clearer. -Matt
<Both eels are G. tile. The "unknown" eel still shows the juvenile coloration, which will/should blend into the standard G. tile coloration within about a year or two. Some individuals have the juvenile coloration for a longer time than others. Definitely no G. polyuranodon. For captive care please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwmorayart.htm
and please hit the shift key from time to time when sending emails to us (makes it easier for me). Cheers, Marco.>


"Freshwater " moray eel Mr. Fenner, First, like everyone else, I have to thank you both for your excellent book and the responses you post on WWM. They were both very helpful last year when I set up my first reef, which continues to thrive thanks to your advice. <You are certainly welcome. Thank you for the acknowledgement> I am writing to you regarding the eel that is commonly sold as "freshwater snowflake moray," which I am using as the centerpiece for a brackish tank. I recently purchased one at 18" that has turned out to be a fantastic fish. (Just recently came off its hunger strike...big relief for me!) <Ah, yes> First, has the scientific name for this eel changed? I see it on WWM referred to as Gymnothorax polyuranodon, but I have seen it referenced elsewhere as Echidna rhodochilus.  <Hmm, well this is a valid name for one of the "marine/fresh Moray species": http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID= But the former is also freshwater and a valid species: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID= And there are a few others that are occasionally imported for aquarium use... So, both do come to ornamental aquatics through the Philippines, but are separate/different species.> Second, I have found reliable information on this animal hard to find. I have read the synopsis here and on Fishbase, as well as on Ruben Tolen's brackish site, but I have found little else on the web. I am primarily confused on the salinity this animal needs to be kept at as an adult. 1.010 is about what/where I've seen them kept by the trade... as juveniles. The Echidna I suspect should be kept in NSW, Near Seawater, conditions as an adult> I always see it referenced as a brackish fish, but reliable responses from other aquarists on AquariaCentral and FishIndex suggest it requires marine conditions as an adult. I am prepared to provide for it either way, but I would like to know what environment will be best for it. Thanks for your time and your expertise, Jason <Actually either or both of us need make a trip down to a large/r college library here (unless you have BIOSIS/Zoological Record access at home/office... Go back to Fishbase.org and click, follow under "references"... and if you have time, inclination, to the library you go, and have a reference librarian show you how to do a computer bibliographic search. Like: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Re: "freshwater " moray eel Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the quick reply! The freshwater moray that I own looks more like the echidna rhodochilus from these pictures, as does the animal labeled as Gymnothorax polyuranodon on WWM: http://www.aquariacentral.com/species/db.cgi?db=fresh&uid=default&ID=0580&view _records=1 Does Gymnothorax polyuranodon display enough color variation to account for this difference in pictures, or is the photo on WWM (or AC) possibly mislabeled? <Don't know about the range of color, patterns in this species... all the ones I have seen have been rather bland... if these were indeed G. polyuranodon... But do know (for sure) about the possibility of mislabeled images identified by myself! These are definitely due to error.> Also, I happen to be student at Virginia Tech, which unfortunately doesn't help as our library does not have the text cited for rhodochilus on Fishbase. I will look into Interlibrary Loan and see if I can get lucky...I will let you know if I find out anything interesting. Thanks again, Jason <Yes to the interlibrary loan... Do check to see if you have BIOSIS on campus. Bob Fenner>

Just got a "freshwater snowflake eel" Ok at the risk of sounding like an idiot...I just got an eel...the guy I bought it from said it was a freshwater moray snowflake eel, he seemed to know what he was talking about and was fairly helpful...the eel is about 6-8 inches long and in a 10 gallon tank... water is entirely fresh and clean...I got some frozen silversides from the guy I got the eel from and was wondering if this is a good food for him? I threw a few in there, about an inch square cut from the package, I let it thaw and then dropped them in front of his hiding place (a plastic decorative aqua-gator with hollow belly and mouth open) he didn't move for them...I have fish gravel rocks on the bottom and a filter that I got from Wal-mart...I guess I just need to know exactly what steps I need to take to make this a happy healthy eel that isn't going to die on my fiancé.....she will be crushed....please help me....I know that all this is probably in the FAQ but I wanted it personally...if you could send a reply to my e-mail address I would be extremely grateful....thanks a lot.....Mike <you are correct my friend. There is so much to say, and at times we are pressed so dearly for time to try to keep up with e-mailed queries that restating covered topics can be difficult. The eel species needs to be ID first as a true fresh, brackish or marine species. The 10 gallon tank is obscenely small whatever it is. Diet will depend o species again, but is likely to include crustacea (live shrimp (ghost/grass), crayfish, krill, cocktail shrimp frozen). If it seems to respire fast it may need salted water indeed. Please browse articles and FAQs starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Echidna rhodochilus ID   12/6/06 Hi I was wondering if the photo of the Echidna rhodochilus on your site is wrong because it doesn't match the one on fishbase.org, or is theirs wrong. <Mmm, I do believe both images are of the same species... the one shown: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Photos/PicturesSummary.cfm?ID=11709&what=species is of a "natural" specimen... that has eaten much more live food material, had better water quality. Bob Fenner>  

Eel ID (02/24/04) Hi I attached a photo and I wanted to know what eel this is. Mostly I want to know how big will it get like in thickness and length or other information thank you. <Hi! Ananda here tonight... the file name seems to indicate the species: Gymnothorax polyuranodon -- though it does not look quite like other photos I've seen of that species. If you think the file name is not indicative of the species, and to find out more basic info, head on over to Fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org ...just type "Gymnothorax" in the Genus field and check the results. --Ananda><<Is G. tile. RMF>>

Yellow finned eel ID I emailed a while ago about a new unidentified eel I had gotten, and I finally have pictures to aid in the ID process. He's about 8 or 9 inches long, about as wide as a pen or a AAA battery at his thickest point. He eats like a pig, and will come searching around the tank if I pour in a little of the water I used to thaw krill or prawn with. (Even if I stick my fingers into the tank after touching some)  <I think what you have is Echidna rhodochilus Bleeker 1863, "Freshwater White-Cheeked Moray". You can see this animal on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm> I found a white color variant Siderea thyrsoidea (white eye moray), and want to add it to my tank very much, but as it is probably close to a foot in length and maybe as big around as a nickel or larger, but I worry that my little yellow finned beauty will be eaten. <A valid concern. This latter animal will grow much more quickly than your current one> He is currently in a 38, and I can quarantine the white eyed in my (hopefully "eel proof") ten gallon a little longer than normal until I get my 75 up and running in a month or two, but do you think they will bother each other even in there? <Too likely so to suit me> It will be mostly dwarf lionfish; a dwarf zebra lion, a dwarf fuzzy lion, a Fu Manchu, 3(?) leaf fish, a cockatoo Waspfish, and the two eels. I have some shrimp in the 38 with the little guy, and he hasn't bothered them yet. I worry that my current little guy will get too big and eat the white eye moray in time too, since I don't know what he is (hoping not a longtail moray). Scott Michael's Reef fishes book states that white eye morays are not a threat to other eels, and regularly share holes with them, but it doesn't really say what kind of size difference is a safe margin for that statement. I would really like them both, and I worry that because my LFS does not get white eye morays in very often and I can't seem to ever find them on the internet,  <Look up both these species on fishbase.org> that I won't see another one, especially a white one. If I really need to, I can even keep the white eye in my 10 until my 75 is up, then keep him in there and my little guy in the 38, but I'd like to put them together. From the pictures, do you have any idea what my little guy might be? I have more picture, and although they're blurry, I can send them if you need them. Thanks, Valerie Hess p.s. I have already tried fishbase.org and I looked at EVERY SINGLE eel picture they had, but it didn't help. <Mmm, use their "Google Photos" patch on the (double lift click the image on their species identification pages) extended photo/s pages. Bob Fenner>
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