Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Conger Eels

Related Articles: Conger Eels, Snake and Worm Eels, Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels

Related FAQs: Moray Eels, Morays 2, Moray Eels 3, Snake Eels, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Other Marine Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels,

Taenioconger hassi (Klausewitz & Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1959), the Spotted Garden Eel.

Need help on possible Anguilla anguilla; rather Ariosoma balearicum (Congridae) -- 06/25/09
Hey Guys, I'm Abdo
<Hello, I'm Marco.>
I just want to say that I really respect this site and every one contributing to it, you've done an amazing job.
<Thanks for your kind words.>
I've been vacationing on the Mediterranean coast (I live in Egypt) and I caught an eel using my hand net. It's around 12 inches long, has big round eyes and is greyish silvery to transparent in colour. I caught it at night, chased it for a while then scooped it up after it partially hid in the sand. I took it home last Sunday, put it in my saltwater tank and it seems ok, hiding under the sand during the day and coming out only at night. I haven't seen it eat, not sure if it's getting anything, doesn't look like it has any teeth.
<It probably does, but very small'¦ band teeth to be more exact. You probably need live food, e.g. small shrimps of adequate size or toxin free worms for the start and might only be able with time to adapt it to frozen food, which is often easier to get by, but needs regular vitamin additions.>
Did some research, it looks like a glass eel (Anguilla anguilla), but I'm a bit puzzled..... I caught it in very shallow waters almost 300KM from the nearest freshwater source (the Nile), and from what I've found on the internet it's size is quite unusual for Anguilla anguilla at this part of it's life cycle, right ??
<Looks and sounds much more like the Congrid Ariosoma balearicum (family Congridae), even though the picture shows little detail. See here another Ariosoma balearicum http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.php?StartRow=6&ID=1744&what=species&TotRec=8 .>
I've attached a picture and a Google earth place mark indicating where it was captured.
Please tell me what I should do, should I transfer it to my freshwater tank ? or keep it in saltwater for now ?? what to feed it ????
<Saltwater'¦ for food items see above'¦ you might have a problem with other fish eating its food away depending on what other fish are in the tank. I'd try feeding live food especially at night, or dangling a small piece of food on a string before its eyes if only dead food is available. Don't stress or harass it and the chances it will eat in captivity will rise.>
I want to be responsible and do everything I can to ensure it survives.
<That's good to hear'¦ anyway it would be more responsible to only take fish home of which you know what they are and can ensure the knowledge and quarters to keep them properly.>
I have a 450L saltwater tank with 100L sump, sand bottom with some live rocks, running for almost a year,
<Sounds sufficient in terms of size'¦ your eel is likely already grown. It will enjoy deep sand, they usually burrow in the sand in nature, too.>
an 80L freshwater tank, running for almost 2 years. Most of my saltwater live stock is wild caught from the same area as the eel. Thank you in advance :)))
<Good luck with your eel. I hope you will find a sufficient food source. Marco.>  

Garden Eel question - 07/14/08 Hi Wet Web Media Crew <Hello Brett.> I am in the process of setting up a new 180 gallon tank system. The plan is to run it similar to Chuck Stottlemeir's tank and try keeping non-photosynthetic corals. He has been keeping NPS with some success using a slow feed of concentrated zoo/phytoplankton over 12 hours daily. I can get the shellfish diet phyto he uses and have access to daily hatched Artemia/rotifers. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-02/feature/index.php I am thinking of what live stock I will keep (tank will not be heavily stocked and mostly with small non-aggressives) and locally here in Bangkok I see yellow banded and green spot garden eels now and then (Taenioconger sp). I realise they are plankton feeders. I would like to know what you think chances are like if I am using this feed method for my corals. Would the garden eels prosper or is this unlikely. I hate seeing them starving in tanks here and don't want to repeat it in my own tank. <Garden eel tanks can be done and some of the methods you linked to are promising. However, most garden eels will eat larger plankton food items than rotifers like Mysis, Gammarus, Artemia, copepods, isopods and such (the diet by Chuck with just Mysis will be too little variation in my opinion). You'll also need a more or less constant, laminar current (like in Chuck's tank), which will keep the food items floating around the eels as long as possible and changes a few times a day to avoid detritus accumulations. They are also very sensitive re shipping and transport, so you need to assure the ones you are buying were treated right and possibly even already accept frozen food.> Also, what is the minimum depth for the DSB for them? <Somewhat depends on the species and its maximum size. 6 inches (15 cm) would be the absolute minimum and 8 inches (20 cm) would be much better).> Would 4 inch be too little as that is what I had planned before considering keeping them? <Too little.> I'd appreciate any information you can give on this matter. <Certainly very difficult future pets you are researching. If you should have the time (hopefully!) you may want to contact some public aquarium/zoo like London with long term experience keeping these unique animals.> Many thanks, Brett. <Cheers, Marco.>

Congridae Care   4/1/07 Hey Bob, <Hey Becky this is actually Adam J. with you tonight.> I was on my monthly fish store spending spree when I came across this guy and fell in love so of course knowing nothing about him I about him. <An impulse buy? I'll start the finger wagging.....> He's a Spotted garden eel (Heteroconger hassi) about a foot long.    I've been searching all over the web and I can't seem to find any specific information on keeping him.   <These eels, family Congridae are well known by the scientific family and as Bob puts it they are the "darlings" of many public aquariums.  Though the animals themselves do not grow large, in order for them to thrive in captivity they require very large aquariums with deep almost-oolitic sand beds. Furthermore they have quite specific dietary needs, relying mostly on live zooplankton that the currents deliver to them.  You'll either have to have a VERY large zooplankton/microfauna refugium or plankton cultures.  Needless to say they aren't kept very often or very long in your average marine aquaria.> Normally I do my research before buying a fish and have it well planed out now I know why.  Could you help me please. < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/congridae.htm ; See here.> What does he need to have a happy home? <See above and the linked FAQ's.> Because If I can't supply those things I will return him so someone else can give him one.  Thank you for the help.    <No problem.> Sincerely, Becky <Adam J.>

Please identify the eel ... Congrid   6/2/06 Hello Crew, <Eric> I'm back again with another query. I recently saw an eel at a LFS that was similar in length and girth to a garden eel (Taenioconger hassi), but had a strikingly different coloration. This eel was about 10 inches long and had alternating bands of orange and white encircling the body. I was unable to find a similar creature on fishbase.org, your website or a number of commercial sites. Does anyone have any idea about the species and care requirements? Thanks in advance, Eric <Mmm, maybe... http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12704&genusname=Gorgasia&speciesname=preclara. Have never seen this fish, period... know nothing re its care, but should be about the same as other Congrids. Bob Fenner> Re: Please identify the eel   6/2/06 Hello Bob, Thanks for the quick reply.  It was ID'ed on another board as a Splendid Garden Eel (Gorgasia preclara). The link below is to a picture of the eel. http://www.sergeyphoto.com/underwater/reeffish/allmiscreeffish/splendidgarde neel1.jpg Eric <Ah, the same as my guess. BobF>

Re: Please identify the eel  - 06/02/2006 You and Frank Marini both got it.  I guess great minds do think alike! <Heeee! Wish I were young, had Frank's occupational possibilities and good looks...> Unfortunately the store only had the one eel and it was bought before I could return.  Oh well.  Maybe for my next tank - but don't tell my wife I said that ;) <Shhhhh! BobF>

Fish ID...Garden Eels Hi Crew, <Hello Johnny> Wondering if you can help me ID a fish I saw recently at the London Aquarium? I have tried to email them, but no reply ... there was also no ID on the display. There were a number of Eel type fish with a diameter of a little less than 1cm. They constantly kept their tails in the sand (almost like a Jawfish) but extended (7 - 8cm) to grab at particles drifting in the current. A number were silvery - grey in colour with two distinct dark spots on their flanks while others had an almost clownfish colouration, orange with white bands separated with black. Fascinating to watch! I did record a short vid of them but it would be far too big to mail ... Any idea's? <Sure sounds like Garden Eels to me, Johnny.  Have a look here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/congridae.htm> Johnny, Sunny London ...<When?> <James (Salty Dog) in Tropical Michigan> Snake eel / eel snake??? Clear Day Hello, Bob. Do you ever help people to identify "sea creatures"? <All the time> Last time out in the Gulf of Mexico (off Port O'Conner, TX) one of guys caught some type of eel, or snake, or something!  It's length was a little over 6 1/2 ft.  It had no over-all body "fin", just one that looked to be about 1 - 1 1/2 ft. on its back (about halfway down).  It's head was club-like with what looks like a fin by it's gill.  The eyes were further back than most eels, and on either side of its head (as opposed to close together).   The coloring was banded - tan and a mute orange.  The stomach was white.  The tail (and I can't be sure from the picture) doesn't "really" appear to be flat, but it could be. It also (the tail) was a dark brown or black... kind of like a rattlesnake's tail turns dark where the rattles are located. Anyway....sorry I took so long ... what I'm wondering if I sent you a picture of it, would you be able to help me identify WHAT it is?  Or would know someone to send me  to identify it? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Sharon Wolfe <Mmm, from the description, particularly the size, I'd guess this to be Conger oceanicus, an American Conger Eel... Please see here: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=300&genusname=Conger&speciesname=oceanicus and the Google Images linked there... Do send the pic along if you have one. Bob Fenner>

Re: Snake eel / eel snake??? Hello, again. I don't have the capability to send it to you (other than snail mail), but my son has it on his website....... please look at it and confirm it is an American Conger Eel. The site address is www.littlehoppers.com  once there (on first page and down a little) click on "Fishin' Tales",  scroll down (second page) to "June 2005" click on that, when this page comes up click on either of the first two pictures. (7' eel-sea snake type critter 340' water)  To enlarge picture, click on the picture. Let me know what you think, please.  I appreciate all your help!!! Thanks ever so much, Sharon <Ah, yes... does look like the American Conger Eel. Bob Fenner>

Re: Snake eel / eel snake??? A big THANKS for helping us out --- from ALL of us. Truly, --- The whole Wolfe Family <Welcome. Thank you for sending your query, adventure along to share. Bob Fenner>  

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