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Moray Disease FAQs 4

FAQs on: Moray Disease 1, Moray Disease 2, Moray Disease 3, Moray Disease 5,
& by Species: Dragon Moray Health, Snowflake Eel Disease/Health, FW Moray Disease, Morays and other Eels, Velvet & Crypt,
FAQs on Moray Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Treatments

Related FAQs: Morays and other Eels & Crypt, Moray Eels, Morays 2, Moray Eels 3, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Reproduction, Moray Feeding, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels ,

Related Articles: Moray Eels, The Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra), The "Freshwater" Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Non-Moray Marine Eels, Snake & Worm Eels,

Golden Dwarf Eel Problems       4/17/17
Hello,
<Natalie>
I have a golden dwarf moray eel that started having some significant behavioral changes about a month ago. He started breathing harder and faster and started refusing food when he would normally eat vigorously.
<The two principal issues of environment and nutrition come to mind immediately... Too little DO, too much organic content and Thiaminase poisoning in particular>
Now he stays on the floor of the tank and doesn't move much, seeming to have a bit of difficulty swimming, though he stays upright and is responsive to stimuli. He moved to a spot where I could get a good look at his body today
and I think his stomach area may be a bit distended and a bit dark. I have had him for about a year during which he has been thriving, and he lived in someone else's tank for some time before he was brought to the store I worked at. I don't know what he was being fed or how often by his previous owner, but I have been feeding him once a week, primarily feeding squid, shrimp, and silversides (squid was his favorite).
<Trouble. Vitamin B issue at least a factor here. DO read HERE:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
NEED to change this diet, and likely supplement/soak foods to restore balance>
He is in a 12g
<... much too small...
the other issues alluded to... likely insufficient dissolved oxygen... other variable water quality problems. NEEDS a bigger, more stable world>
with no other fish, just a few snails and hermit crabs, and some rocks from his original tank with plenty of caves and tunnels. There are a few corals, mostly Zoanthids,
<Toxic>
and no anemones or other strong stingers. Water parameters are very stable.
Temp: 78 F
Nitrate: <10 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
pH: 8.4
Salinity: 1.024
<All these values are good>
The tank is very well-oxygenated, and I think I've gotten him to eat a scrap or two of garlic-soaked squid and octopus during this time period, though I am unsure as I had to leave it in front of him and check back a few minutes later as he won't tong-feed anymore. I used to dose iodine for my corals as I was unaware that eels needed this, I stopped about six months ago and have recently taken up dosing once a week again after reading some of your articles. Do you think the possible stomach swelling could be goiter or constipation?
<Possibly; yes>
Is it too late for him to recover, and if not, about what time frame should I expect recovery to occur in?
<Not too late>
I have been worried sick over him and really do not want to lose him. Should I continue to try to offer food? I have not attempted any feeding for about a week. Any other suggestions?
<The Thiaminase reading and action>

Re: Golden Dwarf Eel Problems       4/17/17
Thank you, the article was very helpful. A few follow-up questions:
I bought some Vitality and fresh predator mix food which I soaked and added garlic
<Worthless>
to, but it seems like it won't make a difference if he won't eat. I left a small piece of clam meat in front of him and he sniffed around for a bit but just curled around it and did nothing for several minutes until a hermit crab got to it. Can I add a small amount of Vitality to the water to help a little bit?
<Might help>
I know it's no substitute for soaked food, but I want to try and make some progress. How often should I try offering food?
<Read on. B>
Thank you,
Natalie M.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Japanese Dragon Eel HELP!!!!!! Mysterious losses... env.      4/6/17
I was wondering if you guys could possibly shed some light on a problem I'm having with Japanese Dragon eels.
<I will respond here and have sent your message on to MarcoL for his sep. resp.>
I am currently on my 3rd specimen within a 2 year period. The other 2 passed away after being in my current tank after 1 year and about 7 months respectively. Unfortunately, the one in my tank now I fear won't make it
through the night, and has only been in the tank for 1 week.
<Mmm; something wrong here... environmentally likely. Do you measure dissolved oxygen?>
I have a 150 gallon display tank with a 20 gallon sump setup and refugium. I run a protein skimmer, carbon reactor, and biopellet reactor.
<Why this last?>

Temp 78F, ph8.2, salinity 1.023-1.025, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20-40.
There is about 130 pounds of live rock, sand bottom, and terracotta pots (non glazed) in the main tank. There are also anywhere from 6-12 damsels in the tank at any given time, who do not seem to ever be affected (3 of which have been in the tank since the beginning).
<A good clue>

Diet consists of haddock, striped bass, squid, silversides, shrimp, krill, etc... Every eel has appeared to be in great health. Very active during the day. Very social with anyone that walks up to the tank. Great appetites. However, out of the blue it is like a switch is flipped and they stop eating, begin "gasping",
<This too>

become very lethargic, then die within a day or two. I have tried water changes, antibiotics, antiparasitics, without any luck. The first 2 eels were around 18-24 inches, while this new one is only about 12 inches. Any ideas what could be going on and why it only affects the eels?
<The DO issue comes to mind most prominently. A 150 isn't much room for a large eel... I'd add aeration... mechanically; and check to see that O2 is near saturation (7 or so ppm) here. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for any advice or help, Evan
Fwd: Japanese Dragon Eel HELP!!!!!!     4/6/17
I forgot to mention I have a full cleanup crew of Nassarius snails, blue legged hermits and peppermint shrimp that also appear to never be affected.
<Also leading me to suspect gas solubility issue.
BobF>
Re: Japanese Dragon Eel HELP!!!!!!     4/6/17

Bob,
Thank you for such a quick response...sadly though, this eel has passed as well. In terms of O2, how do I measure it?
<There are colorimetric assays like for much of what interests aquarists water-quality wise; as well as more expensive electronic meters>
Would the protein skimmer add enough O2 into the system?
<Not necessarily, no>
Could the terra-cotta be leaching some sort of poison?
<Mmm; good question: A point of fact is that there ARE other possible sources of morbidity, mortality here that would disfavor a large Muraenid (over damsels, the mix of invertebrates you mentioned)... I would remove
ALL that is questionable. I might avail myself of PolyFilter... as an aid (via coloring) as to what might be trouble here>
If O2 related, why do you think the larger eels lasted so much longer than the little one, who only survived 1 week and was doing great at my LFS for months in a much smaller tank and a Kidako eel tankmate?
<Can't say directly... but this IS the case... that smaller eels are more easily poisoned, die from env. stress vs. larger. I would have you (it will take a while) read generally re such HERE:
http://wetwebmedia.com/toxictkuf.htm
AND the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Golden Dwarf Moray issue       10/19/16
Hello,
<Hi Sam.>
I have a pair of golden dwarf moray eels recently added to my 55 gallon reef tank. PH 8.3, Salinity 1.026, Nitrites 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrates 0, Phosphates >.5 ppm. There are no other aggressive fish in the tank. Today I noticed something wrong with the larger of the two eels that I have not seen before. One side of his head seems slightly distended and there is some sort of protrusion near the lower left corner of his mouth. The color of this protrusion is whitish. Around the protrusion is a small area of redness. I have tried desperately to get a clear image but have failed utterly. Could I be dealing with worms? He has yet to eat like his younger tankmate but I know that morays can go for protracted periods of time without eating.
<Can't tell from the pictures in your other email what the moray is dealing with. I know it's hard to get proper pics, these pics are quite blurry and I'm not sure this is a parasite. If it occurred suddenly, could it be a flap of skin from a wound, maybe a bite from the other eel? Dwarf moray eels don't always tolerate conspecifics and can start fighting for
territory. If it developed with time it is more likely a bacterial infection.>
My suspicion is that they may be linked. Any input you could provide will be invaluable. These are my absolute favorite fishes in the trade and would hate to lose one to parasites. Thanks, Sam Porter
<Check if the protrusion could be a wound and if hostilities occur. If it's a bacterial infection and grows you might need antibiotics. Let's hope the latter is not the case. Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Golden dwarf moray issue - pics      10/20/16
Hello,
<John>
I just emailed you regarding a problem with one of my two golden dwarf morays. I just managed to get a couple pics for your examination.
<Yes; did you (not) see MarcoL's resp? Is archived on WWM; here on the dailies: http://wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs3.htm
Otherwise; I believe Gabe was also going to respond. Bob Fenner>

Re: Golden dwarf moray issue. Wound      10/23/16
Marco, Lord of Eels,
<Lol... Hi Sam.>
Thank you for your assistance. I believe I have identified the wound as a laceration from a sharp piece of rock jutting from my wounded eels favorite hole. I have since removed the sharp edges from that area and the wound is already healing nicely.
<That's good news.>
However, I am still concerned as he had not eaten in over 3 weeks. I've read the other moray faqs/threads on here and have tried giving him uncooked table shrimp, silversides, mussels, squid and krill all soaked in Selcon with a drop or two of garlic.
<Quite a diverse selection. I sometimes had success with offering uncooked salmon to eels on hunger strike. Didn't always work, though.>
He has refused all offerings. I am getting increasingly concerned as he has lost a significant amount of girth. Should I attempt live feeders or is there something else worth trying first?
<Usually hunger strikes can go on for much longer than 3 weeks, but since you noticed a significant loss of girth I think you could try feeders, especially if the eel has not eaten in captivity, yet. Personally, I used home bred shrimps (for very small morays even red cherry shrimps, for larger ones ghost shrimps and Procambarus crayfish) or fishes (guppies and
mollies), but only a few times until dead food was accepted and mostly with recently caught morays.>
Thank you for your assistance, Sam
<Good luck with feeding the eels. Marco.>

Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray       7/29/16
Hi guys,
Hopefully you can help with medication options for a moray eel. I started to notice zig Zag like lines just under the skin and they seem to be changing locations. Parasitic worms ? This photo looks a lot like what I see.
<Yeah; nematodes>
I have two eels together a white mouth and a HDM
The Whitemouth is the only one effected. He is eating and growing normally but seems to display irritation, head tic's and jerks. Is this something common in morays and if so what is the best product/ method to treat it?
<Common enough. See WWM Re. Bob Fenner>
Thank you
Brad-
Re: Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray       7/29/16

Thank you Bob.
<Welcome. And have sent this to MarcoL for his sep. resp. B>

Parasitic worms on Whitemouth moray     /Here's Marco       7/29/16
Hi guys,
Hopefully you can help with medication options for a moray eel. I started to notice zig Zag like lines just under the skin and they seem to be changing locations. Parasitic worms ? This photo looks a lot like what I see. I have two eels together a white mouth and a HDM. The Whitemouth is the only one affected. He is eating and growing normally but seems to display irritation, head tics and jerks. Is this something common in morays and if so what is the best product/ method to treat it? Thank you. Brad-
<Typical lines of nematodes living in the skin. Use a copper und formalin free Anthelminthic in a separate hospital tank or with higher dosage as aerated baths. Treating in the display is much less probable to work and can negatively affect the system. Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Please help.... bring in another victim of env. dis.. No rdg.     1/25/15
Hi Sir/Madam
<Hi Paul.>
I am seeking some help with my morey lepord erl.
<I guess this should read Leopard moray eel... or maybe Leopard moray Earl.
Yes, Earl would be nice name for a Leopard moray eel. Anyway, from your text I guess you are talking about a Gymnothorax favagineus.>
We have had him for two years he lives in a 800 litre tank with live rock and a skimmer, biomedia and a sock for filterisation.
<filtration.>
About a month ago he wasn't eating as regular as normal he is approx. just under 5 ft in length
<that's quite a big fish for a 800 litre tank.>
and normally has two squids a night (frozen then defrosted first)
<You should keep the diet more varied. Also feed various fish filets, mussels, shrimps...>

so we had the water checked and the only issue was the nitrate was on the second colour down from ok.
<You should get a test, where you get real values. Nitrates should be smaller than 20 mg/l.>
We did a 200 litre water change and I cleaned all the rock and filled the tank back up all ok with this, since then this being nearly two weeks ago he hasn't eaten at all, he is moving around still just has no appetite even for sardines.
<You should do more of those water changes until the nitrates are below 20 mg/l.>
Tonight I checked him and his eyes had gone white and he had lost the yellow in his spots so I turned off the lights and left it for five min.s and when I turned them on again his eyes had gone back to brown and his colour had started coming back.
<That's normal. Many moray eels have a lighter night coloration that
changes back after disturbances, esp. turning on the light. People are often upset when they see it the first time.>
I am quite worried now, but don't know what to do as no one seems to know about these fish.
<I see no problem here so far. It's normal for Leopard moray eels and many other morays to refuse to eat for weeks from time to time. The night coloration is also normal. Educate yourself about nitrates und get a test that can measure ppm or mg/l, then do water changes about twice per week until they are below 20 mg/l and keep them there. Also check temperature
and pH, and vary the diet once he is eating again. Please
see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/EelPIX/Moray%20Eels/tesselatedMorayF.htm 
and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysysfaqs.htm  and 
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraysysfaqs .htm for morays eel care.>
Many thanks in advance if you can help
Kind Regards Paul
<Welcome. Marco.>

Dragon Moray Eel issues       1/16/15
Hello,
<Mark>
You all have helped once before a few years back, hoping for your help again. I have a dragon moray eel that is about two feet long. He is housed alone other than some turbo snails. I do water quality tests and water changes once a week. However over the holidays I got very sick and had a month where instead of doing four water changes only two got done. Nitrate levels did rise during this time.
<Ahh; to how high? Oh, see this below. WAY too high>
The eel has begun chewing his tail and has not eaten since Tuesday of last week. The tail looks very nasty and I am not sure he has stopped. I have begun doing water changes every day
<DO see WWM re other means of nitrate reduction. Do you need help using the  search tool, indices?>
and the nitrates have come down from 160 to 80 and hopefully still dropping. The heat also may have risen higher than I normally let it. I usually keep him at 78-80 and Any experience with this? Any suggestions?
<Yes; and the reading
. Am sending this off to MarcoL here as well (our resident Muraenid resource). He may well suggest med. use... I'd for now be doing what you can to improve the environment. Including use of chemical filtrant/s>
Thanks,
Mark Mazzei
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Dragon Moray Eel issues /Marco       1/16/15

Hello,
<Mark>
You all have helped once before a few years back, hoping for your help again. I have a dragon moray eel that is about two feet long. He is housed alone other than some turbo snails. I do water quality tests and water changes once a week. However over the holidays I got very sick and had a month where instead of doing four water changes only two got done.
Nitrate levels did rise during this time.
<Ahh; to how high? Oh, see this below. WAY too high>
The eel has begun chewing his tail and has not eaten since Tuesday of last week. The tail looks very nasty and I am not sure he has stopped. I have begun doing water changes every day
<DO see WWM re other means of nitrate reduction. Do you need help using the search tool, indices?>
and the nitrates have come down from 160 to 80 and hopefully still dropping. The heat also may have risen higher than I normally let it.
I usually keep him at 78-80 and Any experience with this? Any suggestions?
<Yes; and the reading. Am sending this off to MarcoL here as well (our resident Muraenid resource). He may well suggest med. use... I'd for now be doing what you can to improve the environment. Including use of chemical filtrant/s>
Thanks,
Mark Mazzei
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
<<I agree with Bob. Improve the environment with daily water changes until you reach nitrate levels <20 mg/l. You can keep this species colder, since they mostly come from colder parts of the oceans. 76 F or 24°C is also okay. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HIDragonMorayArt.htm 
and the disease link on top for further information. Also check your filtration: two water changes less should not result in such high nitrates. If the infection you observe expands or does not heal by itself, try antibiotic baths with Neoplex (the antibiotic in this product is Neomycin) or Maracyn if you find some available. Good luck!
MarcoL >>
Re: Dragon Moray Eel issues Thanks for the quick response. I will keep working on the nitrates and keep
watching for more info.
Mark
<Ah; do please keep us/WWM informed. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Dragon Moray Eel issues       1/16/15

Thanks for your response. Here is an update. I am continuing daily water changes. Yesterday I added Seachem Denitrate yesterday and also a Deep Blue brand nitrate reducer pad and they do seem to have helped. Nitrates were down this morning to about 50 from 90 yesterday. I will continue in this vein unless you a have other suggestions.
>Nope; carry on<
His tail looks slightly improved - a bit less red but still not good.
Hopefully it means he has taken a break from chewing on it. Still is spending less time in his tunnels and maybe breathing a bit more labored.
Any input is welcomed. Thanks,
Mark Mazzei
<The reading Marco and I've suggested. BobF>
Re: Dragon Moray Eel issues. Not a reader      /RMF    1/21/15

Thanks so much for your input on the dragon eel thus far. I do have a wet/dry filter system on this tank and have gotten away with it up to now but reading your nitrate reducing articles....sounds like that needs to go.
I currently am still doing daily changes and have nitrates down to 40ish but that5 is as low as they seem to be going.
<.... read again on WWM re NO3... you were directed there last time>

They have been stable at that for the last 5 days.
His tail was looking less red but today I got a good a view and apparently he is back to chewing as it is red again.
What are your thoughts on antibiotics added to the water?
<... had you read>
Could they help?
Will they kill any good bacteria I have going on? Any particular antibiotic you would recommend? My local aquarium m shop, have recommended this.
<That you READ: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
scroll down to Morays, disease, this species. We can't help you if you won't READ. BobF>
Thanks again for any advice,
Mark
Re: Dragon Moray Eel issues     /Marco      1/21/15
Thanks so much for your input on the dragon eel thus far. I do have a wet/dry filter system on this tank and have gotten away with it up to now but reading your nitrate reducing articles....sounds like that needs to go.
<Yes
, use a strong skimmer to remove a lot of waste before it turns into nitrates. Also have strong circulation for gaseous exchange and high oxygen levels.>
I currently am still doing daily changes and have nitrates down to 40ish but, that is as low as they seem to be going.
<Still too high.>

They have been stable at that for the last 5 days.
<If you are still changing water and the nitrates remain the same: Check the nitrates of the water you use for the changes. If this has significantly lower nitrates it's obvious bound nitrates are leaching back into the tank water. Possibly from the substrate, pad and bound by Denitrate. Try changing the pad and carry on with the water changes.>
His tail was looking less red but today I got a good a view and apparently he is back to chewing as it is red again.
<I have never seen an eel chewing on its own tail. The wounds there are probably from flesh eating bacteria unless you have seen it biting its tail.>
What are your thoughts on antibiotics added to the water? Could they help?
<Very possible. See the recommended products in our former answers.>

Will they kill any good bacteria I have going on?
<Should not have significant impact, however using antibiotic as baths or in a hospital tank is more safe, but more trouble for the fish.
Any particular antibiotic you would recommend? My local aquarium shop, have recommended this.
Thanks again for any advice, Mark
<Good luck. Marco.>

Injured snowflake moray eel      12/22/14
Hello wwm crew!
<Hey Wend>
I am sending along two pictures, one from 11/3 the other from 12/12. These are of a chronic wound on a 2 foot long snowflake moray who was actually the winner of a dispute with a Huma Trigger. They were having an ongoing feud, which I tried to resolve with the addition of four more caves into their 150 gallon tank. I get rejected, nasty, mean fish from work and try to offer them a second chance at life instead of a trip to the dumpster.
Sadly, before I could rehome the Trigger, the eel are him! But the trigger left his mark, in the form of two deep bites. These are down near the vent, on both sides of the body, and they refuse to heal. I don't have another tank that is large enough or secure enough to remove the eel. Is there anything you could suggest I try to facilitate healing?
<Mmm; yes (the usual) lacing of foods with vitamins and HUFAs and such (commercial or DIY prep.s); and optimized, stable high quality water conditions. I would not advise much more... though IF you had occasion to
be netting the specimen, perhaps a topical (mercury based likely, like Merthiolate) rinsed off outside the tank... might make my hit list>

He is still eating, but not as much as normal, and he is often restless and agitated, I'm sure this must hurt a great deal.
<Actually... I've encountered MUCH worse damage amongst Muraenids in the wild and captivity... Appeared not bothered much at all by... these are VERY tough fishes>
They almost appear to be growing deeper into the tissue... frustrated and worried.
Any suggestions welcome, I've had him for ten years, started out the size of a pencil!
Wendy Amaral
<The prep.s mentioned... SeaChem's Vitality, MicroVit, Selcon and such. Bob Fenner>

Injured snowflake moray eel /MarcoL     12/23/14
Hello wwm crew!
<Hi.>
I am sending along two pictures, one from 11/3 the other from 12/12. These are of a chronic wound on a 2 foot long snowflake moray who was actually the winner of a dispute with a Huma Trigger. They were having an ongoing feud, which I tried to resolve with the addition of four more caves into their 150 gallon tank. I get rejected, nasty, mean fish from work and try to offer them a second chance at life instead of a trip to the dumpster. Sadly, before I could rehome the Trigger, the eel ate him! But the trigger left his mark, in the form of two deep bites. These are down near the vent, on both sides of the body, and they refuse to heal. I don't have another tank that is large enough or secure enough to remove the eel. Is there anything you could suggest I try to facilitate healing?
<As Bob already suggested, vitamin enriched food and the cleanest water possible.>
He is still eating, but not as much as normal, and he is often restless and agitated, I'm sure this must hurt a great deal. They almost appear to be growing deeper into
the tissue... frustrated and worried.
<Yes, they seem somewhat infected and apparently they have not healed a lot in the last 7 weeks. If you can remove the eel, try antibiotic baths. Seachem Neoplex (Neomycin) is worth a try for such external infections or maybe you find a store that still carries Maracyn.>
Any suggestions welcome, I've had him for ten years, started out the size of a pencil!
<Good luck. Marco.>

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