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Moray Stocking/Selection FAQs

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

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

Enchelycore pardalis

Marco Lichtenberger. Other Echidna spp.         7/12/16
My name is Phillip and I'm looking to get in touch with Mr. Marco Lichtenberger who I've been referred to by Jordan. I've got a few questions regarding the Echidna Genus of Moray Eels outside of the commonly seen Chainlink, snowflake, and Skeletor. There's not much out there on these and was wondering about their temperament. Thanks, Phillip
<Sorry for the delayed reply. What species do you need information on?
Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Marco Lichtenberger        7/12/16

Of the species you named only E. delicatula, E. polyzona and E. xanthospilos are more or less regularly available in trade (E. rhodochilus has been in the past), the other ones seldom (E. nocturna) to never, so there is not much information on captive care. It's difficult to generalize the captive behavior of one or even a few specimens to an entire species.
In my opinion there often is more difference between two Echidna individuals of one species than between two Echidna species. And this can change with age, especially when they get older and change their gender they can become totally different fishes. In my opinion and experience there actually is not much difference between E. nebulosa and E. catenata.
I've seen more calm and more aggressive individuals, fish eaters and perfect tank mates of both species. I also like E. rhodochilus and E. delicatula, since they stay much smaller. Echidna eels in general are a little less aggressive compared to medium sized Gymnothorax, but this is certainly not true for all specimens. Cheers, Marco.

Clarkii Clownfish and Zebra or Snowflake Eel. Muraenid stkg/sel.      5/18/16
I have a 125 gallon (plus an additional 30+ gallon with sump) with approximately 100 pounds of live rock that has heavy filtration (oversized sump, oversized internal flow, return flow, protein skimmer, refugium with macroalgae/mangro's...etc.). Currently there's two spunky Clarkii Clownfish around 3"+ and 4"+. I also have a 4" Niger Trigger, a 6" Harlequin Tusk, and a 4" Canthigaster papua puffer. I plan to add a BTA anemone for my Clarkii's but would also like to finish my marine fish additions with either a Zebra or Snowflake eel. Everything I've read is that the Zebra is likely the most friendly for this set-up, but it's eventual size, and love for darkness (I have powerful LED's), plus might the Harlequin Tusk pick on it, makes me wonder if the Snowflake would be a better choice?
<About the same choice temperament/likeliness to get along-wise... but I'd choose the Snowflake as it stays smaller>
But then again, I wonder if Snowflake might someday mistake the Clarkii's for food and get them and then again would the Harlequin Tusk mess with the Snowflake?
<About the same likelihood for either of these Morays... >
Possibly I am just better off avoiding an eel altogether, but I would great appreciate your expert opinion.
<DO stack your rock like a pedestal for the anemone and place it a good foot above the bottom... to avoid contact w/ the Muraenid>
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clarkii Clownfish and Zebra or Snowflake Eel       5/19/16

Thank you Bob. Your service to us hobbyist's is highly appreciated!
<Certainly welcome John. BobF>

Skeletor eel... Echidna xanthospilos. in/comp.      8/5/14
<Frank; and have sent this to MarcoL for his separate response>
I was trying to find out some information on a Skeletor eel. I hear from the lfs (which is selling it for 250) that they usually get to the max size of 18-20 inches in the home aquarium from the experience of their clients.
<Agreed; usually smaller>
They also mentioned that they only get as thick as a thumb... The one they have is about 7" and is the size of a pen in thickness and i was told it will grow slow unless you feed very frequently.
<This is so>
I currently have a Hawaiian dwarf moray eel (based on my research they will be ok with each other)
<Mmm; well, even Dendrochirus (compared w/ larger Pteroines) can/will inhale other fishes, motile invertebrates... if they can>
and is a good little guy. I have a 54 gallon corner tank, but the rock work is designed with lots of overhangs and caves for the eels and a I have tight cover on the tank. Since it is a rare eel and I feel that this is a good price on him. I did a lot of research and so far the experience with this eel is that its a calm eel like my dwarf eel. I know eventually he will probably need a bigger tank, but if he grows slow, I can enjoy him before his next home. I do have two cleaner shrimps and a conch (the only inverts I care about)..... will they be ok with the eel?
<Not the shrimps eventually>
Also, I have a diversified community of fish including a pair of clowns, borbonius Anthias, Tailspot blenny, yasha goby, Tanaka possum wrasse and a tiny marine Betta (1")
<You need more room; esp. for the last... And this Echidna may well consume your smaller fishes>
(i rather have a bunch of small sized fish in my tank). Will the Skeletor go after the Tailspot or yasha? Also, if I feed 2x a week (krill and silversides) will it grow slowly? Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Skeletor eel
     /Marco      8/5/14
<Hello Frank.>
I was trying to find out some information on a Skeletor eel.
<Echidna xanthospilos>
I hear from the lfs (which is selling it for 250) that they usually get to the max size of 18-20 inches in the home aquarium from the experience of their clients.
<20-24” is a typical maximum size for this species.>
They also mentioned that they only get as thick as a thumb...
<They must have quite fat fingers then. The adults look like this: http://fishdb.sinica.edu.tw/chi/spe_picture/dpi600/hmchen25.jpg>

The one they have is about 7" and is the size of a pen in thickness and I was told it will grow slow unless you feed very frequently.
<Can take them about 2-4 years to grow to their maximum sizes.>
I currently have a Hawaiian dwarf moray eel (based on my research they will be ok with each other)
<Can work, however, I’d prefer eel tank mates with similar maximum sizes.>
and is a good little guy. I have a 54 gallon corner tank, but the rock work is designed with lots of overhangs and caves for the eels and I have tight cover on the tank. Since it is a rare eel and I feel that this is a good price on him.
<Depends on where you are. They are half of that here in my part of Europe, but I’ve also seen them for much more.>
I did a lot of research and so far the experience with this eel is that it’s a calm eel like my dwarf eel. I know eventually he will probably need a bigger tank,
but if he grows slow, I can enjoy him before his next home. I do have two cleaner shrimps and a conch (the only inverts I care about)..... will they be ok with the eel?
<Likely, though cleaner shrimps are not completely safe with an Echidna species.>
Also, I have a diversified community of fish including a pair of clowns, borbonius Anthias, Tailspot blenny, yasha goby, tanaka possum wrasse and a tiny marine Betta (1") (I rather have a bunch of small sized fish in my tank).
<Sounds like a crowded tank 54 gallon tank to me. I would not add another eel.>
Will the Skeletor go after the Tailspot or yasha?
<Unlikely, they are mostly crustacean eaters in nature, however, they are not 100% safe with small fishes when hungry.>
Also, if I feed 2x a week (krill and silversides) will it grow slowly?
<I do not recommend malnutrition in order to stunt fishes. Feed it properly and have a tank of sufficient size or don’t keep it. Krill and silversides make no healthy moray eel diet. Please see WWM re. This species is related to Echidna nebulosa (Snowflake eel) and Echidna polyzona and should be kept and fed in a similar way.>
Thank you Frank
<I hope the information is useful for your decision. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Skeletor eel

Thank you for your prompt response
I will pass on this guy then.

Golden Dwarf Moray Eel questions, stkg., sys., comp.  8/24/11
Hello! First of all, I love your site and everything that you guys do! I think it's wonderful that you are so helpful in this sometimes confusing hobby. I had a question that I was hoping you could help me with. I have always been fascinated by eels but it seems like most would do very badly in a tank my size - 20g (with a 15 gallon sump/fuge) - except I read in my Scott Michael's book about the "golden dwarf moray eel" (G. melatremus).
It says they only need 10g and that they are reef compatible except with crustaceans.
<Mmm, well... Scott is a friend and he and I's opinions match at least 98% of the time; but I find his "minimum system size" suggestions to be much smaller than mine; esp. for sharks and eel species>
I had a few quick questions about the species I was hoping you guys could help me with:
Would it attack or eat my Pearly Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)?
<Quite possibly, yes>
I know these are "fish-eating" morays but that they are really small so it would be hard for them to eat other fish that aren't goby-sized. However, Jawfish are relatively stationary rather than swimming all over the tank.
Would it eat my cleaner shrimp or harlequin shrimp?
<Definitely yes>
They are both at "full-grown" size but the book said they will eat crustaceans. Yet I did find a tank containing one and a cleaner shrimp?
Would my tank be large enough to house one?
<A small specimen perhaps... but just barely. If it were me, I'd look into other fish families than the Muraenids>
Is there anything else I should know about this fish?
<Can't tell from your statements>
Thank you! : -)
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful Morays   8/18/11
Hi guys long time reader first time writer. Thanks in advance for any help.
I have a 210 gallon saltwater tank mostly fowlr possible plans for reef in the future. My fish include: Dragon Goby, Moorish Idol, Hippo Tang, Pixie Hawkfish, Yellow Tang, Cowfish, Percula Clown, Maroon Clown, Flame Angel, Coral Beauty Angel. At the moment my tank is peaceful and everyone gets along. I am thinking of adding a Dwarf Zebra Lionfish, and either a Zebra Moray Eel or a Chain Eel.
<Mmm, will assume the last is Echidna catenata. The last two fish you list will have to be hand-fed... Will not be able to compete for food w/ your present fish stock>
From my reading crabs are goners and possibly my Coral Banded Shrimp.
<Likely so>
Will these additions keep my tank fairly peaceful and are my Emerald Crabs goners also.
Thanks for any help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility   8/18/11
I apologize one last question. Out of the two eels which do you think would be the safest/ most compatible or maybe even better candidate for this setup?
Thanks again
<More likely the Chainlink. BobF>
Re: Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful Morays    8/31/11

We have decided to go with both a zebra eel and a golden dwarf eel and wanted to see if you thought this was appropriate. Thanks again for all your help.
<I give you good odds... that the Lion will leave this Moray species alone and that you won't have much trouble feeding the Eel. Bob Fenner>

New moray eel   12/7/10
Hi Marco (I hope),
<Yes, it's me.>
No questions today, just wanted to show you something I picked up the other day.
Best, Pat Corcoran
<Great you finally got your Enchelycore anatina! It's been a while since I have seen one (last visit to the Canary islands, where they are quite common), and they are rarely on stock lists. Good luck with it. Feel free to wrap up what you find out about the rare eels you keep in an article.
Cheers, Marco.>

Re: New moray eel, writing re  12/9/10
I'd be more than happy to! I actually acquired a G. ypsilon recently, and may be getting a G. zonipectus and G. neglectus soon as well (please share any advice/experience you may have on these).
<G. zonipectis (I'm using the old spelling like Randall) is a smaller species quite adequate as an aquarium fish. It reaches about 50 cm and comes from the tropical Indo-Pacific (in some parts of Indonesia it occurs in remarkable numbers). It's possible to stumble over this species in the "assorted morays" section of wholesalers and it is found in trade from time to time with a proper ID (at least a few years ago, right now quite less).
I find it somewhat comparable to G. eurostus with different looks, of course. G. neglectus is a stout, massive species up to 4 feet (1,2 m), I have only seen it on Russian and Japanese stock lists and as dead specimen.
It reminded me somewhat of a smaller, yellowish version of the G. javanicus. It is mostly found in the rather sub-tropical waters of Okinawa and Taiwan. I'd keep it a few degrees colder than the average reef tank.>
Do you have any specific framework you feel would work?
<For a possible article? I'd suggest to go for the printed formats first (such as TFH), and after publishing there give it to an online format such as WWM. What would be needed are some good, printable pictures. Of course you can directly go to the online formats if having it printed is not important to you. In this case I'd suggest sending the article to WWM's Digital Magazine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/WWMDigPermanentRefPg.htm >
Thank you,
Pat Corcoran
<Cheers, Marco.>

Stocking list, 150 gal., FO SW, esp. Muraenid Sel.   -- 01/28/10
So, I am 13 years old, I have a 150 gallon aquarium that is done cycling and has this stocking list:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake moray eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 Blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)
x1 Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
<As long as the trigger and the puffer leave the Snowflake eel alone, and as long the fishes are large enough to avoid being eaten by each other, this should work.>
I would like to know if that eel is good for my list. Also are there any other good eels instead of the snowflake that is "easy to keep", small and hardy?
<I would not recommend too small eels below a foot, because of the trigger and the puffer. In the medium sized range there are -- aside the Snowflake eel -- the Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) and the Chainlink eel (Echidna catenata). A little more aggressive, but still an option for not too small tank mates, are the Goldentail eel (Gymnothorax miliaris) and the White-eyed moray (Gymnothorax griseus). A little larger, but compatible with even small fishes is the Zebra moray (Gymnomuraena zebra). Also see here for other moray eel species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm . >
Thanks ps: thanks for the quick response!
<Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>

No Gymnomuraena, more likely Echidna polyzona; ID & care -- 01/02/10
I guess my eel is a Echidna polyzona instead of a zebra eel.
<Ok, not a bad eel either'¦ as long as it is no Gymnothorax rueppellii, which can be very aggressive. If you want a confirmation of its ID send a clear picture.>
can you please send me a link to some care sheets and general information...
<The care is the same as for Echidna nebulosa (Snowflake moray), which is a close relative. The Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) just stays a little smaller (2 feet maximum). Large males (your small specimen is most likely still female for a few years) may eat small fishes, but their main prey in nature are crustaceans such as crabs. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm as well as the linked FAQs and feel free to ask if you have specific questions not answered already on WWM.>
also is this eel a problem eel for my fishes
<It likely is too small to hurt them now and if the other fishes grow and the clown and the small puffer are given away I see not much future danger from what I remember about your tank (grouper and dragon wrasse?). Lionfish and triggers often work as tank mates, sometimes they don't: lionfish stinging moray, trigger biting the moray's large dorsal fin or tail, trigger biting off the lions spines... For future emails please ALWAYS attach former correspondence. We cannot remember everyone's tanks (at least I cannot).>
or is he a good addition to my community tank
<Generally one of the better choices for the typical FOWLRs with not too small tank mates.>
also is that the price they normally go for $29
<Yes, they are about 20-80 bucks in the retail stores, also depends on the country/state/trader/season/order status. Cheers, Marco.>
Re.... E. polyzona and Cryptocaryon 1/4/2010

He looks more like the Echidna polyzona because the other one Gymnothorax rueppellii has a yellow head and doesn't look like full bars... he has like a orange tint to his head and full black and white bars maybe a inch wide? I'll attach a picture if needed I cant right now though.
<Our offer to help with the ID from a picture remains valid.>
Also I have a new ich outbreak in my tank. It started on my two domino damsels I think from stress from the lionfish is getting more aggressive, then spread to my yellow damsel and now I've noticed it on the lionfish...
<The damsels are not adequate long term tank mates for the lionfish and the grouper. If you introduced them as food you encountered one of the big problems of feeder fish: introduction of parasites.>
I'm expecting the grouper and frogfish to show signs soon that's a lot of money and lives to loose to ich... in my other tank I used garlic and my pajama cardinals made a AMAZING recovery.
<Glad the Cardinal is better, but I strongly doubt it is a direct effect of the garlic use. Rather the cardinal's immune system that at some point developed a complete or at least sufficient immunity to the parasite.>
I just started using it now in the 75 do you think this will work with all these fish?
<Honestly: no.>
Again thanks for all the help.
<Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm for the marine White spot disease (called 'ich', but being Cryptocaryon). Also check the disease FAQs of the fishes in the infected tank. Don't exchange equipment with your other tank to avoid transferring cysts of the parasites. Also be aware that your moray eel must not be treated with copper product concentrations needed to fight the disease. Feed vitamin enriched foods and if possible run a strong UV sterilizer. With three damsels (quite active fish species), a lionfish, a small grouper, a Sharpnose puffer, frogfish, the eel and a maroon clown the 75 gallon tank is a very stressful environment, which supports the disease. You should consider to take out a number of fish: In your first emails your plans were to keep the lionfish, the grouper, an eel and the frogfish, and to upgrade to a 250 gallon tank within two years. I'd stick to this and not add more fishes to avoid the loss of further fishes (and money). Good luck. Marco.>

...? 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>
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 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>
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> 

Moray eel questions for Marco: Gymnothorax isingteena -- 12/01/09
Hi Marco,
I've asked you many an eel question in the past and have another if I could lol.
We had a 3 foot Gymnothorax isingteena sent to our store by mistake and wondered if it could be kept in my 300 gallon(140 gal sump with large skimmer) as an adult or would that be pushing it?
<I'd use a 500 gallon tank as the absolute minimum and would prefer to have twice the size for an adult.>
It's a beautiful eel and I've been looking for a larger sized eel just unfortunately none of our customers with large tanks are interested in it. My problem is finding an actual max length for these guys because they are extremely similar to Gymnothorax favagineus.
Fishbase shows favagineus to get 300cm (10 feet max) of which I don't doubt
<but I do. This is based on guesses, not measurements. The largest measured ones had less than 200 cm. If there were larger ones, they would be caught once in a while and shown off by fishermen as it happens with other giant moray species (Strophidon and G. javanicus). But I'm open to change my opinion if proper measurements can be shown.>
cause I've seen clips of them well over 7 feet but Gymnothorax isingteena growing to 180cm (6 feet max) and FishBase does seem to be a very reliable source.
<It is in this case.>
My worry is that I have also heard they may in fact be the same species just a bit of a color variant and are capable of getting just as big as a favagineus.
<They are very similar and so far considered separate species, but I agree that with future research they might be recognized as a synonyms.>
If they do max out at 6 feet in the wild I'm assuming in the home aquarium would be more likely in the range of 4.5 to 5 feet average?
<I'd always keep the 6 feet in mind, because that is what they can reach. 5 feet are what seems reasonable for an average specimen. An 'average' aquarium maximum size is not so useful, because it would include those specimens that stay small due to bad care or inadequate diet and not only those with the genes to grow smaller.>
Love to know your thoughts cause you know your morays well and everywhere else I find so much misinformation and finding this guy a good home is the main priority.
<Thanks for your kind words and good luck with finding a good home. They are for sure superb and interesting pets, but they need a large tank and also a dedicated owner, who knows how to handle a potentially dangerous animal. Marco.>
Skeletor Eel -- 10/31/09

Dear Crew,
<Hi Bill.>
Have you ever heard of an eel named Skeletor Eel (Echidna xanthospilos)?
<Of course. But I have to note - by the power of Grayskull - it is among the most stupid common names I've heard for a fish'¦ >
All I have read is that it's semi aggressive and it only grows to 2' in length
<Both true'¦ Is about as aggressive as a Snowflake eel or a Banded moray. Quite comparable to the latter>
, but it's super rare.
<Sometimes a bunch of them appears in trade. Sometimes even in the freshwater section'¦>
No mention of how suitable to aquarium life and what they eat.
<Quite adaptable to aquarium life, occurs naturally in a range of biotopes and even occurs in freshwater (cannot be kept in this condition). For diet see other eels of this genus such as the Snowflake eel and the Chainlink eel: mostly crabs, shrimps, fish, cephalopods. You can also feed clam and mussel meat. Be sure to use vitamins about once per week.>
Have seen one for sale at FFExpress and would like some more info before considering purchasing it. Tried various sites to no avail, it's like a new discovered Eel that no one has any info on.
<It's similar to the Snowflake eel on one hand and to 'Freshwater' morays on the other hand.>
I have a 125 gallon FWLRO tank with 3" Tomato Clown, 6" Hippo Tang and a 6"
Pinkface Wrasse. They will all be moved at the end of year to a bigger tank leaving this tank for the eel but in the meanwhile, will adding this Eel to this tank be ok?
<Your fish are in my opinion too big to be hurt by a medium sized E. xanthospilos. The clown is the most endangered specimen.>
He is 12" long right now. Also, should an Eel be quarantined?
<Ideally, most fish are quarantined. Since moray eels can carry harmful bacteria, this can be a good idea if a proper quarantine system is available. Clarify if the fish was already quarantined by the trader.>
If so, how long?
<Four weeks should be enough. Also a good time to train it to frozen food if necessary.>
And how big of a quarantine tank for this one footer?
<If you can keep the water parameters in a 29 gallon tank stable, it can be sufficient if it has proper artificial caves and a good oxygen supply (current, skimming). If a bigger tank is available (about 50 gallons), it would likely be easier.>
Thanks for your help, Bill
<Welcome and good luck with this beautiful eel. Marco.
PS: Some reading about similar species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm >
Skeletor Eel II -- 10/31/09

Dear Marco,
<Hello Bill.>
Thanks for you quick reply.
I totally agree with you, what a stupid name.
I called FFExpress and they told me that he has been there for a month, in a tank by himself
and eating well. Eating all kinds of frozen food like krill, silversides, squid and shrimp with the shell on.
Unfortunately I do not have a quarantine tank ready, was not expecting to buy an eel so since they have had the eel for over a month, I think I'll just take a chance and put him in my 125 with the other guys. I just got a call from FFExpress and he reinforced what you just wrote me, that this eel is close related to the Snowflake and Chainlink eel species. Likes to eat crustaceans. BTW, how do I add vitamins to his diet?
<Either by dropping them onto the thawing food item and leaving them there for about a quarter of an hour or by using a syringe, which appears to be more efficient. Adding vitamins is inevitable in the long run when you are feeding frozen foods to eels.>
I actually wasn't worry about the eel with the fish stock I have but vise-versa, my Pinkface Wrasse is pretty aggressive towards new tankmates and so is the Tomato Clown. You don't think they will nip at the eel, do you?
<This eel -- like all eels -- needs safe caves, either rock gaps or PVC pipes, to hide itself if necessary. I think it will be able to stand its ground. Most fish recognize eel tank mates (except thin ribbon eel species) as predators and after some first confrontations leave them alone. A 12" eel is physically able to tear a 3" Clown in half.>
Thanks again, Bill
<Welcome Bill. Feel free to send some pictures/a report if you get the eel. Marco.>
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 10/31/09

Dear Marco,
The eel should arrive Tuesday, once acclimated I'll take some pics for you ok?
<That would be great! Thank you.>
Thanks for all your helpful answers,
<Cheers. Marco.>
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 11/05/09

Dear Marco,
<Hello Bill.>
The Skeletor Eel arrived safely from Live Aquaria. Excellent packing job, bagged 7 bags thick with warmers and packing peanuts to keep the Eel warm. Acclimated like they told me and now he is in the tank. Already found a couple of places where he likes to hide, none of the resident fishes have bothered him so far. Once he starts to get out more, I'll try to take pics.
<I'm looking forward to that.>
He is about 12-13" in length and about as thick as a thumb. Beautiful markings, dark brown color with yellowish/creme spots. I have a question for you. Will a Golden Moray Eel (Gymnothorax miliaris) be compatible with my eel?
<Likely, yes. Just watch the first meetings and feedings more closely.>
Whatever info I was able to dig out on my Skeletor eel says that he doesn't get any bigger than 2 feet and so is the Golden Moray. Could they coexist in a 125 gallon tank?
<If you can keep the water parameters in line: yes.>
Thanks again for all your help, Bill
<Welcome. Marco.>
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 11/06/09

Dear Marco,
<Hi Bill.>
I was feeding the other fish and the newly acquired eel must have smelled the food so he started swimming around in the back so I fed him. Gave him 2 pieces of squid and he was all over it. That was only 6 hours after getting him out of the shipping box. I'm very happy that he is eating already.
<Yes, this sounds very good. I'm glad the eel is eating already.>
Today he is hiding in some rock cave and didn't come out to eat but at least he didn't escape last night LOL. Here is a pic of him yesterday, will take more whenever I can get his whole body.
<Thank you very much for sending. A beautiful specimen.>
Thanks, Bill
<Cheers. Marco.>

More rare moray questions; G. berndti, sel.  - 09/29/09
Hi (Marco?),
<Yes, how did you know?>
I've located a Gymnothorax berndti (Y-patterned moray/Berndt's moray) and will, in all likelihood, be snagging it. To refresh, I currently have a Japanese Dragon and a Koke (E. lichenosa), each about 30", in a 150 'Cube' along with a lionfish. The tank also housed a Kidako, he has since been moved to a 72 for the time being. Filtration is overkill, I generally read double zeros with teenage nitrates. Temps average 72-76.
<Sounds good.>
Like every other eel I'm looking for, info on captive care is impossible to come by.
<I agree. And this is definitely another rarely kept species.>
What compounds this is that this eel, as I'm sure you know, is a deeper water species.
<Yes, but apparently it is sometimes also found/caught in more shallow waters as pictures by standard scuba divers show.>
The specimen is being offered by a reputable company and is currently being kept in the same system as a Dragon and Koke. Is there anything you know of that I should be aware of?
<Nothing specific, maybe offer it more dark shelter to see if it shows a even higher preference for a darker environment than your other eels.>
Sort of off topic - I picked up an acrylic 180 at a fire sale last month...I think I am going to give the cold water system a shot, and then try and find myself an E. anatina and E. ramosa...wish me luck!
<I do! Sounds good.>
Thanks as always, Pat C.
<Cheers. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions; E. kamara; Input by Bob? -- 09/30/09

Hi Marco,
<Hi Pat.>
Thanks for the reply...the is coming this Friday, I'll let you know how it goes.
<Good. It would be interesting to know if you see any signs of a fastened metabolism when it has settled in. I'm curious if the captive specimens are adapted to the surface temperatures as the diver pictures of this species could suggest.>
Here's one more question for you, I'll be astounded if you have any info on this species: Enchelycore kamara of Palau and Guam, and the Line Islands.
<I got the first description by Bohlkei & Bohlkei here. That's basically it.>
It's a newish species and I can't even find a photograph of it.
<Newish like from the beginning of the 1980s?>
Do you know anything about this species? Are fish collected from the above locations?
<Collected: yes, but exported? Palau has banned live fish export last year. Guam should be possible (it's an unincorporated territory of the United States; I just assume you are in the USA). Line islands does as far as I know also export live fish. I don't know any importer of ornamental fish from these areas in the USA (maybe Bob does).
<Mmm, yes... there are a few... particularly from/on Kiritimati (Christmas Is.)... Don't know anyone personally though. RMF>
 There also remains the big question if someone will be able to catch one of these apparently not often seen eels at all. I guess the best would be to travel over there and personally take care of the project.>
Thanks! Pat C.
<Hope this helps. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions 10/2/2009

Thanks so much for the insight guys!
I'm actually going on my first wildlife collecting trip in Trinidad in January, though unfortunately I won't be collecting fish.
<Too bad... some nice morays there.>
I'll try to get pics of the out soon!
<I am looking forward to that and your experiences with this species. Cheers. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions; DOA -- 10/05/09

<Hello Pat.>
Well I've had an awful weekend...the berndti arrived and appeared disoriented and weak, even after a lengthy acclimation period. He spent Friday night poking out of a crevice, retreated into the back of the tank and passed away some time last night/early this morning.
<I am very sorry for you.>
Words can't express how awful I feel for this rare and beautiful animal. I've read the horror stories in you FAQ's ("My G, funebris is in a 20 long...") and hope you understand that I did everything in my power to save him.
<I am sure you did->
The vendor does not want the body back and I hate to let him go to complete waste. I was hoping you might know of a researcher in the field that might be able to make use of him as a scientific specimen to further the study of these creatures. I plan to freeze him, so he should be pretty well preserved.
<Within the USA David Smith (smithd@si.edu; Museum of Natural History Washington, DC) or John 'Jack' Randall (Bishop Museum Hawaii; http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/randall.html) might be interested in a G. berndti or able to tell you other contacts. Usually the place and depth a specimen was caught at would be an important information if available, most are preserved in alcohol, because ice crystals destroy tissue to some extent. Might be good to clarify that with a possible interested researcher.>
Thanks, Pat C.
<Take care. Marco.>
<<Mmm, will ask. RMF>>
Re: More rare moray questions - 10/05/2009

Jack, could you use a Gymnothorax berndti?
Gymnothorax berndti
No, thanks. The Bishop Museum has many specimens.
Aloha, Jack
<Thank you mate. A hu'i hou! BobF>
Re: More rare moray questions - 10/06/2009

Thank you Marco. I actually reached out to David at the Museum of Natural History first as they are much closer to me. I'll likely focus my finances and efforts on getting a cold water system set up and hopefully locating E. anatina and E. ramosa at some point in the future.
<Good luck Pat. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions - 10/05/2009

Thank you for your kind words and the contacts. I'll reach out to them immediately.
<J. Randall (asked by Bob) already noted by mail that the Bishop Museum has no interest.>
I'll also let you know of other species I find in the future; at the moment I'm hesitant to try berndti again, at least until I can speak with someone with success in keeping the species to ensure I am exercising proper husbandry with this particular animal.
<Yes, I only know of vendors, which typically keep them just like other eels a few months maximum until they sell them.>
Thanks, Pat C.
<Cheers. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions 10/7/2009

Just heard back from David; he can use the specimen for DNA samples...very glad that it's not going to complete waste.
<Ah... good. I'm already interested in the results of this study.>
Thanks, Pat
<Best wishes. Marco.>
Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead berndti etc -- 02/02/10

Hello (Marco I presume),
I wanted to catch up on our correspondence from a few months ago regarding the G. berndti I got that died, the E. lichenosa I got that didn't, and some of the other rare species I've been looking for.
<Ah very good.>
As you may recall, I sent the berndti specimen off to David Smith down at the Smithsonian and his crew was able to extract a usable DNA barcode from it, the first such sample they've had. I'm very happy that the poor fellow was able to further scientific study of these creatures, and proud to have contributed. Thank you for your help here.
I've had the opportunity since then to buy another one, and now have several tanks he could go in permanently but I just can't quite bring myself to take the risk.
Moving along, I've gotten a 180 acrylic set-up as a cool water tank. I could not find coldwater live rock, so I used about 25 pounds of regular cured live rock, along with another 100 or so pounds of base, cycled for a couple weeks at 72 and gradually brought the temperature down to 65, where it is now. Algae is growing; in my science-proof mind that means its working. At any rate, I'm contemplating two ideas: one is to bring the temperature down further and go with a coldwater deep ocean tank with a few chain cat sharks, which I presently have access to. The other is of course to magically find an E. anatina and E. ramosa and stick at 65 F or so. I've had no luck whatsoever finding either... can you provide any guidance at all?
<My own approach would be to fly to the Canaries and talk to some fishermen and do the transport myself (I've done similar things in the past - all legal of course), but I'm in Europe just like the Canaries, which makes things easier. The E. anatina is not too rare around these islands. I'd clarify ahead what papers would be required for the export/import to the US, likely a health certificate from a official vet. For the E. ramosa I'd try contacting Australian ornamental fish exporters. There are quite a few.>
I have my F&W Import Permit, so overseas suppliers are not an issue.
Finally, a follow up on the Koke (E. lichenosa). It's simply one of the coolest animals I have ever kept. Without going into too much detail, he appears to be more intelligent than other morays I've kept, is always out in the open when there is activity outside the tank, isn't overly aggressive and eats like a champ. I also think the 90 cm max length for this species is bogus. He has added at least 4 inches since he arrived 8 or so months ago, appears to be close to the three foot mark, and eats like he plans to pack on a great deal more length (his girth has barely changed.
<I don't know how many specimens of this species have been measured so far. I hope you'll have it for many years, but if it dies, feel free to photograph it with a proper scale and send it to Fishbase. I can't remember seeing any significantly larger than 90 cm measured.>
I vote that y'all (sorry) add an intermediate moray section, and include Enchelycore lichenosa. Thanks, Pat C.
<Feel free to send some pictures. Thanks for your update and interesting input. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead etc
Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead etc II -- 02/04/10

Sounds good, thanks for your help as always Marco.
<Welcome Pat.>
I actually just returned from Trinidad on a collecting expedition (nothing in the ocean, though I did go snorkeling... no morays).
<Yes, more likely seen when scuba diving'¦ or at Tobago.>
I did everything legally, arranged for permits and vets before hand and all. Sadly the one thing I didn't plan for was the animals themselves...I was looking for a specific species of bug that refused to show itself once during the entire trip.
<Sorry to hear.>
Still, it was amazing. I'd love to do it again. Thanks again for the help. I believe I'll poke around for ramosa first; I'll keep you informed.
<Good luck. Marco.>

Bioload Question 7/29/09
<Hi Austin>
I am wondering what the bioload difference is between [3 moray eels]
<One, two, three feet?>
and [two 3.5" PJ Cardinals, one 5" Vlamingi Tang, one 3" Smith's Fang Blenny, one 3" Bar Goby, and one 2" White Tiger Goby]. If you would like any more information, please feel free to ask.
<Bioload cannot always be determined by the length of the fish. How much waste the fish produces must also be taken into consideration. Moray Eels are large waste producers and the bioload will be much heavier than the combination of fish you listed.>
Thank you!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>--
Austin Rice

Viper moray question -- 07/15/09
Hello (Marco, I assume?),
<How did you know? Hi Pat.>
I am currently looking at an animal labeled as a Viper Moray...the size, description, and attached photo seem indicative of E. nigricans, but I'd like to get your opinion as I have no desire to take on an Enchelynassa canina.
<It is an Enchelycore for sure, no Enchelynassa. Very likely E. nigricans'¦ or a Pacific species (isn't the ocean where the animal comes from known to the current keeper?)'¦ like E. bayeri, hard to tell from the picture.>
As to the former in captivity, do you have any experience?
<Yes'¦ similar to other larger Enchelycore species.>
Please note that this picture was not taken by me and I am not representing it as my own....I don't know if that dictates whether or not you are able to post it.
<Nor do I.>
In case you recall, the E. lichenosa is doing fantastic...
<Great to hear.>
I'm in the middle of planning a tank upgrade as we speak and hoping against hope that I'm able to find a E. anatina some time after that.
<You know these two cannot be kept together? The E. anatina will need colder temperatures. You'd likely have to catch one yourself or know someone from the Northern subtropical Atlantic (esp. Canary Islands) to help you out.>
Thanks, Pat
<Welcome. Marco.>
Viper moray pic
Sorry, forgot the pic in the last email.
<Got it. Thanks. But since we cannot post it, I'll delete it. Marco.>

Eel from Monterey Bay -- 03/31/09
Thank you for your time and response. Sadly the porcupine puffer didn't make it.
<Sorry for your loss.>
I do however have another question that hopefully you can help me with. My brother brought home an eel from the ocean (Monterey Bay) and he is just a little guy, about 3 inches.
<Two big mistakes: Taking home an animal you don't know and putting it into an environment that does not resemble its habitat.>
I don't know what kind of eel he is.
<Send clear pictures.>
I tried to look him up but he pretty much looks like all of the eels I have seen on the internet. I was told at the LFS that he wouldn't make it because he was a cold water eel beings as he came from Monterey Bay.
<Won't do well in the long run.>
But I didn't want to let him just die so I figured I would just give it a try. He has been in there for 4 days now and seems to be doing very well. We are trying to feed him thawed octopus and he doesn't seem to want to eat.
<Possibly you'll have to start with live food like small shrimps.>
Do you have any tips or anything that I can try to keep this guy alive?
<Sure: Find an adequate, chilled home or set up another tank in a cold place. Since the eel already is in your tank I cannot recommend putting it back into the sea.>
I can't do a chiller because its a tropical tank but he seems to be doing ok so far.
<'So far' being the key words here. If this is a sub-tropical to temperate water eel it won't do well in a tropical tank, because its metabolism is not designed to run perfectly at higher temperatures.>
But it would be really awesome to have this eel for a long time as it would make a cool story about how we got him. I can send a pic if you would like if it would help to know the type of eel.
<Yes, much of what could be given as advice depends on the species or even the group we are talking about.>
I've always wanted an eel and this one is really cool, because he seems to change color and stuff. He gets along with the 2 damsels and clown fish. I just want him to eat something. I just don't know anything about eels so any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you for your time.
<Let's start with some clear pictures, an ID and possibly finding a cooler home for the eel. Cheers, Marco.>

Looking for an Eel Expert, ID, sel.    8/1/08
Hi Crew,
<Hello Kirk.>
I am a very confused on the difference between Muraena lentiginosa and pavonina.
<They are frequently confused in the hobby and even scientific literature.>
Fishbase and Live Aquaria lists lentiginosa as only getting to 2 feet long, a manageable size.
<That information is correct.>
Other sources list it as a fish eating monster topping out at 60 inches.
<Fish eating: Yes; monster: No; size: max. 2 ft.>
I would like to add an eel to my 8x2x2 (roughly 280 total gallons) "Aggressive tank", I of course don't want to lose any fish.
<A zebra eel would be the best choice.>
I had been considering the Brazilian Dragon (M. pavonina I think?), its tough to find much information on this guy as well, or the Goldentail Moray (Gymnothorax miliaris). Which one of the three (if any) of these would you recommend with fish?
<I do keep/have kept all three of the listed species and would only recommend the Goldentail moray for your project. The Brazilian Dragon (Muraena pavonina) gets significantly larger (about 70 cm, 28') than indicated by Fishbase (51,2 cm, 20') and is the most aggressive moray species I have ever kept (I do have 2 of them at the moment). In my opinion they are best kept alone in single specimen tanks. M. lentiginosa is not that aggressive, but still more than the G. miliaris. Remember, even the G. miliaris is a predator that can eat any fish to about 1/4-1/3 of its own length. So your other fish should be larger.>
Tank mates would be Coral Beauty (big one) and Black Velvet Angel, Red Tooth and Sargassum Trigger, Harlequin Tusk and Sunset Wrasse as well as my most recent and final (other than an eel) addition a young Sohal Tang. I have kept a Snowflake and Zebra Eel for many years in another tank, just looking for something different to keep.
<The fish-eating morays are a definitely different experience, but a Zebra eel is certainly the most safe moray choice for fishy tank mates.>
Thanks for any help, Kirk .
<Welcome! Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Eel on Diver's Den...follow up for Marco, sel.  -- 01/15/09

Based on my tank size (8 foot 240 gallon) and inhabitants (Sohal Tang, Asfur and Coral Beauty, Sunset Wrasse & Harlequin Tusk, Sargassum & Redtooth Triggers), would I be better off with Gymnothorax miliaris (either the Goldentail or Banana) or Muraena lentiginosa in a "semi-aggressive" community?
<Both eels are possible choices for your tank. The Gymnothorax miliaris is generally more peaceful, and less likely to bite any of your fish. The risk is only slightly higher for the M. lentiginosa, but -- in my opinion -- still acceptable. I do not think it will eat the sunset wrasse or the coral beauty, but the possibility that it might try (if it is a very aggressive and large specimen freshly imported) has to be noted.>
How about Brazilian Dragon should one come available?
<Muraena pavonina. My personal experience with these is: they are much more aggressive than the ones suggested above, especially the adults. I keep them alone or with strong morays like larger Gymnothorax ocellatus. Even those can have scars from time to time. My largest adult would assuredly make a massacre in your tank, the only fish it showed some respect for in the past was a G. favagineus, but they are too large in the long run for the M. pavonina.>
Any other you might recommend?
<Chainlink Echidna catenata, White eyed species like Gymnothorax griseus and Gymnothorax thyrsoideus. All not too aggressive species between 2 and 3 feet. I'd exclude potentially more aggressive morays like G. fimbriatus, G. rueppellii and G. nigromarginatus. Larger species (G. funebris, G. favagineus, G. nudivomer, G. moringa, G. vicinus, G. undulatus...) and too small species (G. melatremus) as well as ribbon eels should be excluded. Also have a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm >
I had a wonderful Snowflake for 5 years in a previous tank and would like to try something else. I know Zebra is a good choice, I'm not really a fan, they look more like a big worm than an Eel to me.
<Yes, its round head and low fin are perfect adaptations to move through the gaps and holes inside coral reefs on the hunt for hidden crabs and shrimps. This is what it does in nature. It's the most safe eel choice to keep with fishes.>
Thanks again, Kirk.
<Welcome. Marco.>

Green Moray Eel -- System 04/09/08
Hey Guys,
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.>

Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina -- System 04/09/08 4/13/08
Hey Marco,
Thanks for the reply.
<You are welcome.>
If not the green then my other choice was the Viper moray (Enchelynassa canina), which are supposed to get to an adult size of 5 feet. I was just wondering if I imported a large one
<Smaller specimens are easier to transport and adapt better to captive life. I think your tank could support an adult individual of this species if it's well filtered and skimmed.>
would you think it would ignore fish say the size of a dwarf angel being it would be too small to bother with trying to eat?
<I do not think dwarf angels would be safe, but I have not tried them as tankmates. In fact I have not kept E. canina personally, but can only comment from experiences with other fish-eating morays of similar size. Mine (e.g. G. favagineus) have eaten even smaller fish over night, when those were asleep, but I am planning to try tiny Gobiodon okinawae somewhere in the future when I have enough Acropora for them.>
Just thought it would look sweet to have a bunch of small colorful and peaceful fish and to have a big ominous beast lurking around in the shadows.
<While the idea sounds reasonable (this is done in large public aquaria with very large morays and very small fish), it will be difficult to do at home. Chances are best when the little fish are in the tank first, and if these fish are still juvenile specimens. Be aware that an adult Enchelynassa canina is a very dangerous pet that can easily mutilate your hand or arm if given the chance.>
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on it
<Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina -- Tank mates 04/14/08
Hey Marco,
Thanks for all the advice so far. If not small fish with the viper moray do you think a good sized meleagris puffer would make a good tankmate?
<No, I'd bet a 1 foot puffer (the maximum reported 19 inches will be hard to find) will be eaten. Chances for small fish (size below two inches, no dwarf angels as suggested in the earlier email) would be more promising. A large grouper might work, but while the eel would likely be able to live in your 300 gallon tank (with good filtration), I doubt a massive 2 foot grouper, which would be the size necessary to be (mostly) safe from your 4 foot moray, would do well in there.>
Just don't see puffers to high on most animals like to eat list.
<I have seen morays eat puffers without being intoxicated. But a moray may die when a puffer manages to puff in the predator's mouth, eventually you may lose both. There were pictures of such coincidences on the net, and even porcupine fishes were found inside of larger morays.>
Incredible as the vipers morays are it would be nice to have some other movement in the tank.
<Sure the temptation to try tank mates is there, but from my aesthetic point of view, a tank with one large moray is impressive enough. If you provide sufficient water quality, you can have many different corals and turn the tank into a nice reef section, and possibly even try some small coral dwellers like Okinawa gobies.
As a side note: Since you considered a G. funebris first, do you know Gymnothorax castaneus aka fox moray aka chestnut moray? Looks very much the same and usually stays shorter than 5 feet. It's from the Eastern Pacific and rarely traded. Nonetheless, the same problems are to be expected re tank mates, danger to yourself as with the E. canina. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Green Moray Eel, now Gymnothorax castaneus (Panamic green), sel.  - 04/14/08
Hey Marco,
Yes I do really like Gymnothorax castaneus as well but heard they were horribly shy and hide all the time so I took them off my list. Have you had any experience with them?
<Not from the aquarium trade, it's not imported over here so far. I strongly doubt it is generally much shier than G. funebris given how many photographs of it in nature exist, and how often they are seen by divers. This is among the top predators in the rocky reefs of its distribution with not many enemies as adults. I'd expect exactly the same as with G. funebris: The young often hiding, but the adults quite outgoing and curious. These two species are closely related.>
I have a Japanese dragon eel in one of my tanks and they say they can be shy as well but he's always out and a bout and one of the least shy eels I've ever owned so guess just comes down to the individual.
<Exactly. There are general statements possible and published about each species, but not all moray individuals seem to read what we write.>
I sent a picture of my dragon eel with his purple Rhinopias roommate cause you seem to be a pretty big eel nut like me lol.
<How did you come to this conclusion? Mmh'¦ looking around you may be right. Thanks for sharing the picture!>
Anyways thanks again for all the advice always like to have all the info before I start a new tank.
<Very good. Cheers, Marco.>

Expensive tastes! RMF

Moray or Ribbon Eel... sel., fdg... -- 01/09/2008
Hi -
I am trying to select between two eels offered for sale at my LFS. One is a banded moray about 12"
<Several species are traded as such e.g. E. polyzona and G. enigmaticus.>
long and the other is a white ribbon eel about 15" long. Both are feeding well
<Hope you have seen the White ribbon eat in person.>
and have been in the store for a couple of months. Here's my question. I have a 55 gallon tank that's in the stamp of a 75 gallon, so it's very shallow - around 15" high. I'm concerned about the chances of the eel escaping. The top of my tank is pretty secure except in the back where I have the hoses and cords running out. Is one species more likely to try and escape than the other?
<All moray eels (ribbon eels are morays, too) are escape artists and might try to escape. Since the Ribbon eel is so thin even as an adult, I think it is endangered the most. Anyway, you will have to secure any holes, e.g. with tight fitting foam, for the banded eel, too. Drying up on the floor is one of the most common reasons of losing these wild caught animals. Providing enough shelter and no boisterous tank mates will also help to reduce the escaping activities drastically.>
Would you recommend one over the other?
<The Banded moray will likely be easier to care for.>
<Welcome. Marco.>

Moray Eel Species Only tank for a 75g suggestions 12/28/07
<Hello Joe>
I had been planning on making my now 75g grow out tank as a species only tank for a prized Japanese Dragon Moray eel. I know this eel max's out at 3' so I'm a little concerned that the tank may be too small even if he is the only one in it.
If it is too small for a DME what size eel should I be shopping for to place in a 75g species only tank and do you have any good suggestions?
<This tank should be fine for the eel as it will spend a majority of its time in a cluster of live rock waiting to ambush some prey. The main points of concern are not the 75g tank size which is the smallest tank I would use, but that water parameters are kept as constant and close to Natural Sea water (NSW) as possible. Keeping Nitrates and Phosphates as low as possible too will aid in the long term survival of this animal.
Finally, feeding it appropriate foods is also very important. Train the eel to take frozen Saltwater Fish (as Freshwater fish will be too fatty) and thawed frozen shrimp from the grocery store. These are much cheaper than aquarium prepared frozen foods for predatory fish) Frozen foods are best as they will limit any introduction of parasite or disease that live foods could introduce. Hope this helps-Rich...aka...Mr. Firemouth>

Moray Tankmates, which moray?  -- 5/14/07
Hi, would a undulated moray get along with a clown trigger, niger trigger or a powder blue tang? I would like to pick just one of them for a tank mate. And which one would be the best choice. <<RMF would NOT place a Muraenid with Balistids...>>
<Depends...which moray? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm There are quite a few in the genus...and it does make a difference re: my advice.>
Thank you
<Adam Jackson.>

Moray on 125, Sea Biscuit on the Outside...   1/8/07
Hi. I am in the process of cycling a new 125 gallon aquarium. During the past several weeks, I have been pondering a list of possible tank mates.
<Good timing>
Two of the fish are going to be a porcupine puffer (about 4") and a red volitans lionfish (about 4" to 5".)
<These fishes will get much larger here... and do keep your eye on the puffer... can get to being nippy toward the Lion>
These fish are coming from my 55 gallon. They are both health and thriving. (The move is to provide them with a bigger tank in which they can more comfortably grow.)
The other tank mate I wish to add is a moray eel. After my research, I have narrowed it down between the Goldentail moray, the Yellowhead moray, the black edge moray, and the white-eye moray.
<All "nice" aquarium species, for folks with room...>
Of these, my favorite is probably the golden ail moray (for it's looks and modest size.)
<Mine too>
Would this eel or any of the other morays mentioned above work in the environment mentioned above. Thanks for any help and the best of luck to you.
<As the saying (at least used to go) goes for when you've got to "guess" on multiple-choice exams; "Stick with your first choice"... I would go with the Goldentail here as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lions In My Tank?  12/6/06
<You're welcome>
It's always reassuring to hear your opinions.... Just when you think a retailer can be trusted... He tells you a Dragon Wrasse is an algae feeder that will get along great in your community tank....
<Those darn dealers.>
I noticed on your FAQ's some various opinions about predator fish and starfish.  Would I likely be ok with a sand star and or brittle or serpent stars in a tank with larger fish (some predators): lionfish, snowflake or zebra moray, etc?  The other fish I'm more familiar with and am not concerned about... But would crustacean feeding eels harass various starfish?
<It's possible, depends on the particular eel's personality.  In your moray selection, keep in mind that the Zebra Moray can grow to a length of over 4 feet, but are a little more aquarist friendly than the snowflake.  The Zebra Moray also tends to be out more during the day than the Snowflake Moray.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Lions In My Tank? 12/6/06
Oh? I have heard quite the opposite... That both zebras and snowflakes in captivity would likely stay beneath 3ft...
<Will all depend on feeding habits and size of tank.  Again, the Snowflakes generally
will attain a length of 24" and the Zebra up to 54" under aquariums conditions.>
And that Zebra's are more
reclusive... Snowflakes more active.
<My answer is based on the general behavior of these species.  All fish can/will develop their own personalities as I mentioned.>
From reading through your FAQ's...
It also seems more likely that the snowflake might like to taste fish a little more frequently than zebras.
<Zebras generally are no threat to other fish inhabitants, where Snowflakes can ambush other fish small enough to be swallowed.>
Do zebras tend to get more girth to them than snowflakes?
In any case, it seems like either of these are truly the best morays to deal with... And I do realize that every individual is different.  I just hope to get a fish friendly healthy eel
that I won't lose fingers to :)
<If your worried about fingers, you are a safer with the Zebra Moray as it is considered as one of the most mild mannered morays.
I'm sure you are aware that both can inflict very painful bites.  James (Salty Dog)>

Lionfish and an eel (crosses fingers). Rhinomuraena   12/3/06
I have a 55 gal tank that I am setting up for a lion fish, a fu Manchu to be specific,
<Gorgeous, though shy animals>
I have a SeaClone skimmer (I would strongly suggest nobody buy 1 of these I can't get mine to foam without it foaming like a rabid dog)
<We're in agreement>
I plan on putting in my red sea classic skimmer in my wet/dry (using a 75 gal rated wet/dry).  I've read many places that the lionfish can go into a 30 gal tank, although its my experience that almost nothing should go in that tank for long unless its a damn damsel,
I've also seen places that say some eels will do fine in smaller tanks if they are solitary as well.  My real dream is to get a ribbon eel, I have a guy at the LFS that will get 1 and hold it for 3 weeks and show me it eats before I buy it, in fact he insists that he hold it for 3 weeks,
<Good for him, them>
I haven't yet told him to get a hold of a blue ribbon but that is the dream, I've seen some smaller black ribbons and I know ribbons in particular are smaller, thinner, than most eels so I was kind of hoping that you would tell me, well Josh the lionfish will do just splendid in the 55 and as he is sort of a recluse the eel will do fine for a couple of years until you get a 120 gal tank to them in.
<Mmm, nope... most Rhinomuraena (by far) perish w/in a few days to weeks in captivity... this is posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rhinomuraenafaqs.htm>
I am expecting you on the other hand to say well Josh the lion will be fine but there is no way any eel of any kind let alone the 90% mortality rate ribbon eels can go in a 55 gal tank.
<Oh! Yes>
If a ribbon as I expect won't be able to go in the 55 but you know of another that will work with a fu Manchu please suggest.  Please sir/ma'am don't crush my dreams, to much.
Mucho appreciated
     Josh, the eel dreamer
<Perhaps one of the smaller members of the genus Echidna. Bob Fenner>

Moray selection    11/27/06
Hope all is well at WWM,
<Hey Josh, JustinN with you today, after a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, thank you>
My Snowflake eel died awhile back and I am in the need for a moray.
<Sorry for your loss>
I definitely know that I do not want another snowflake.
In my opinion snowflakes are boring, and not aggressive enough for my liking of a moray.
I am really looking for something that's not aggressive to the point where I have to worry about all my fish. But I want something with a little bit of an attitude, to the point where other fish know that pushing it around will not be tolerated.
<Mmm, a precarious line for sure>
I am having a hard decision with the following. A Jeweled moray, Brazilian dragon moray, Goldtail or a Green wolf eel.
<The wolf eel is out of the question, as these get HUGE. Any of the others will likely be a wonderful addition> <<Mmm, actually... the writer may be referring to Congrogadus... the Dottyback... RMF>>
At LiveAquaria.com they have a Goldtail moray for sale.
This is the specimen in question; He cost 230 dollars and is 12 inches long.
<I see this, is a beautiful specimen>
My question with it is one would a Goldtail be a good eel for a 90?
<Is a little small, but with good maintenance should be ok.>
Two is that over priced?
<For a 12" adult beautiful specimen such as that? No, not IMO>
Three, do you trust LiveAquaria.com for a clean, healthy specimen?
<If you mean, do they have the proper facilities for good care of these pet-fish, and good at handling shipping, then yes, absolutely. They have been in business for a long time and have their reputation for a reason. If by that you mean would it be ok for you to bypass a standard quarantine procedure for this creature, I cannot recommend such.>
thanks a lot
Josh Schiff
<No problems, Josh. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>
Re: moray selection
Thank you for you very fast response.
How ever I wanted to make sure that we are on the same page when it come to the green wolf eel.
I was talking about the  Congrogadus Subduscens. But either way I think I will stay with one of the other morays.
<Oh! I see this... would be as suitable as the others.. Lovely species as well. I was thinking of Anarrhichthys ocellatus... to 2.5 meters in length! See FishBase for some info on this massive, but lovely creature: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3813 I amend my statement about the carpet-eel, it would likely be an excellent addition as well. -JustinN>

Social Eel?  7/7/06
What eel do you think is the most comfortable in the reef aquarium?
<Depends on the make-up (livestock-wise) of the system... but likely an Echidna species or Gymnomuraena>
I know the risk with keeping them with inverts, but I think the zebra moray is the candidate for me.
<Great animals>
My only real question is do they hide all day like many morays or are they out during the day.
<Do come out a good bit once acclimated>
I am hoping to have an eel that will at minimum keep its head exposed if not take the occasional lap around the tank. What do you think? As of right now I
have a ghost moray that I have only had for about a week and I never see him. Can I expect the same from a zebra?
<Mmm, no... the latter is much more outgoing... though both take time to "get used" to new surroundings>
I love eels but I am on the hunt for the "best" eel. Any suggestions. Thanks.
<Mmm... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Richardson's Moray   6/10/06
Hello Crew,
A local LFS has had a Richardson's Moray (Gymnothorax richardsonii) in their tank now for 3-4 months.  Certainly not the flashiest looking of eels (now about 10-11 inches),
<About as large as it will likely get: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=6579&genusname=Gymnothorax&speciesname=richardsonii>
but would look better under proper lighting.  No one seems to be interested in him and he seems to leave the various tank mates he's had alone (triggers, puffers, angels, .
Very little information is available on the web.  His small adult size (13") is appealing.  I can't find information about his demeanor.  Will he be more like a zebra or a dragon eel?
<Am only guessing, but I'd say more like the former>
  Why aren't these eels more talked about?  
<Of the two hundred plus species of Muraenids, only a handful make up ninety some percent of those offered in the trade. I have seen Richardson's in the wild (Cooks, Polynesia), but never in the industry>
His relatively low price ($29) is also appealing and the LFS is willing to cut that in half because of the length of time in their tank and the relationship I have with them.  Funny thing about him, I can't see any teeth like you would see on a normal Gymnothorax.  Makes you wonder how "piscovorish" he would be.
Thanks as always for the help
<Again, am guessing, but I'd say this species is likely to be a general omnivore. Bob Fenner>

Snowflake Eel Wanted    3/24/06
I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, and would like to know if I could find any snowflake eels near where I live for a very cheap price. Could you help me? My email address is XXXX@bellsouth.net <Peter, in your area this shouldn't be too difficult to find.  Call the shops in your area.  I'm sure they can order one for you if none are stocked.  You will have to deal with the price.  James (Salty Dog)>
Thank you!

Eel Selection  - 2/15/2006
Hi Bob,
I have a 90 gal tank, its not finished cycling yet however I am planning ahead.  I really would like to have an eel in the tank when it is time, and I have read much about what there is to consider.  Since my tank will be a reef community tank, crustaceans will be abundant.   
The "praised" eel I keep reading about is the Snowflake Eel, and coincidentally also the one at the LFS that really got my head stuck on the idea of having an eel.  My biggest concern, is the crustation that this eel likes to eat.
I have images in my mind of placing this great eel into the tank and the next day any emerald crabs or cleaner shrimp
have been devoured.  My second concern, is that the eel grows to two feet.  Although my tank is 4 feet long and should be sufficient for space for a Snowflake Eel, I am hoping to avoid very large specimens so that I can have more healthy living space for more inhabitants.  
<Will eat the crustaceans, eventually grow too large for this tank>
The other Eel species I have read about that peaks my interest that may be a better fit (if I can find one) would be the Pacific Golden (Gymnothorax melatremus).  I may be way off but I would think that the small size of this Eel would deter it from eating larger (more expensive) "show" crustaceans and also help with my goal to maintain a lot of space for a higher quantity of smaller inhabitants (instead of having a few big fish I would rather have several smaller fish and variety).
My method of thinking, again maybe way off, is that the eel should be one of my first tank inhabitants so that it can have first choice for the cave in the tank that it likes best as it's dwelling before other tank inhabitants "make their homes" ( I have several suitable cave area's in the rock and there is one particular large cave that if I was an eel, It would be my first choice).
Would you recommend that the smaller Eel would be better for what I am hoping to accomplish in the big picture?
<I wouldn't give such advice w/o knowing what else you intend to stock.>
  Is the snowflake actually a better choice because of other reasons?  Should I abandon the idea of having an eel at all if they need to coexist with crustaceans, or is there perhaps another species that I should consider?
<I would not stock an eel with a "community" tank...>
I am new to salt water, and I think I should stay away specimens that might require the care of a more "experienced aquarist".  
<I'd try other, smaller fishes than... or settle on a FO system... or build your collection around the/an eel species...>
Thanks in advance,  and you have an excellent resource here - I have used it several times already as I learn my way through my novice marine experience.
<Keep studying Todd... you'll soon know what your choices are. Bob Fenner>

Moray Eel article  1/8/06
I just read your article, both parts, on the idea of Moray Eels as pets. I just wanted to say that I have been fascinated with them since I was a little girl in Hawaii and on various aquarium trips (the one in Albuquerque, NM has several BIG Green eels in it. They attack the glass randomly). I thought it would be impossible to own one but your information has given me a little hope. The Banded Moray looks similar to the Green one and seems to be several feet less large.
Now I just have to figure out how to get a wall-sized aquarium through my front door.
<Heee! A few strong friends>
Thanks ever so much!!
<Bob Fenner, who hopes to put up a public aquarium at NELHA (formerly OTEC) north of Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island... with a large (perhaps circular tank from Mitch Gibbs) display of Puhi (local morays).> 

Golden dwarf moray (G. melatremus)  - 01/03/2006
was looking at your eel page and i didn't see any thing on golden dwarf moray (G. melatremus) witch
<"The house, to twitch">
is very popular in the hobby now.  
<A Who?>
are some pics i took
i wish some sites would post info on them. they
may not be common but they still are a fish people keep or want to keep.
<Thanks for the pix... see here re what is on WWM re this species: http://www.google.com/custom?q=gymnothorax+melatremus&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com
It's the Google Search tool... on WWM.
Bob Fenner>

Re: fish compatibility and new news ... Cramming in a moray 12/24/05
Hi Bob,
             Sorry, another question.  I think I am going to go with the porcupine puffer, however, I recently discovered a site (Marine Center) that sells all sorts of marine fish
<An excellent company... many rarities, good service, quality>
and states that a Honey comb moray can be kept in a minimum size tank of 55 gallons!
<Mmm, well... at an absolute minimum perhaps>
A little hard to believe but never the less it sparked my interest because I have always wanted on and since I have a 110 gallon tank with no inhabitants currently, maybe this could be a possible fish I could stock, I hope.  They say that in nature They can grow a little under 6 feet but rarely exceed 3 feet in captivity.
<Do agree with this... but a three foot fish in a four foot long tank (55)?>
If It is possible for me to keep this eel, would it be fine with a porcupine puffer providing that the puffer is large enough.
                   Thank you again!
<I do wish you and your livestock well... do keep an eye on them. Bob Fenner>

Moray Eel Selection  12/14/05
    I've recently set up a 400 litre marine aquarium  consisting of a jewel
400 tank and two Aqua medic bio star hang on  filter/skimmers. I have transferred 60 litres of mature water from a long  established tank that I have upgraded from and topped it up with salted RO  water from my LFS, but have not yet added any fish.
<Sounds good>
I have seen a 2ft Tesselata eel that I think is really cool, and the guy in the shop said they are very hardy and he would be fine as the "starter  fish" in a new system, is this true?
<Not IMO, and this tank is too small...>
If so, I know a 5ft long 400 litre tank will not be suitable for its entire life, but the LFS said it would be around four years before I would have to upgrade to a larger tank, how quickly do they grow?
<Not pertinent. This system is too small currently>
My final question is would I be able to keep any tankmates with him?, maybe a lionfish or porcupine fish?
<I would not do this>
(At the fish store he is currently in with a large dogface puffer, 2 banner fish and a large porcupine fish).                                                                    
<There are some other species of Muraenids/morays that are smaller, more compatible... these are covered on WWM. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Moray Eels and some Article Clarification  12/7/05
<Hello Kev.>
I have been trying to get hold of a Hawaiian Dragon Moray in England for over a year now with no luck (only one fish store said they could get hold of one, but it would cost around $1900),
<For that much you could almost fly to Hawaii and see them for yourself.>
so I have decided to look at other options, I have ruled out the Tesselata eel due to its size
<Oh yeah, that's a big one.>
but I am interested in Gymnothorax flavimarginatus & Gymnothorax meleagris, as these eels do not exceed four feet I was wondering why your moray section says that these two species are not suitable for aquarium use,
<I've read that article and from what I got out of it the author (Bob Fenner) did not say that these two individual eels were inappropriate but more that morays are inappropriate in general, here is a direct quote, 'Unfortunately, with the exceptions that we'll mention, as a rule moray eels are best left in the seas from which they came. Generally they get too big, are too ornery, even dangerous for aquarists, rendering bacteria-infested bites to the unwary. Of the several varieties often offered to the hobbyist, scads refuse food or readily escape the confines of too-small, inadequately-secured aquaria.' >Yes. RMF<
As for recommendation of the Tesselata, the article mentions that it is , " the Leopard or Tessellated Moray is one of the few members of the genus I can honestly endorse for home use,' This does not mean that the specimen is a good home choice, simply that if you MUST have this genus, that this specimen should be chosen over some of its cousins which can reach 10 feet in length. It is also my personal experience that this specimen adapts to captive life and prepared foods much easier, having said that, I must mention once more that it still attains a great size at almost 6 feet and is not suitable for the average home aquarium. There are a few other much more suited animals which Bob goes on to list in the article, out of those my personal favorite is: Gymnomuraena zebra, the Zebra moray.>
<<Oh! Oh!  They're MY favorite, too.  The ones I've handled are so amicable, "bullet-proof" (don't frighten easily, just very nearsighted, that they are truly pets.  Marina>>
but recommends the Tesselata which I have been told is one of the largest, aggressive morays available.
<One of the largest and aggressive readily available, yes 'the largest and most aggressive period, no.>
Thanks Kev
<Welcome, Adam J.> 

Chainlink moray and pistol shrimp, Or, Fish Soup That's Not as Good as "Siete Mares" - 11/28/05
Hi. I have a 45G reef with a regal and purple tang, a maroon clown, a marine Betta, a Longfin fairy wrasse, a pistol shrimp/goby combo 
<Yikes! Would you like some water with your fish?> 
and I just recently came across the cutest little Chainlink eel. I couldn't help myself. He ate right out of my hand and he's really tiny, so I took him home. My question is, do you think my little ol' eel will take out my awesome pistol shrimp? If so, how much and what should I feed him to keep this from occurring? I'm hoping not to regret my decision in the near future. Please help. Thank you!
<It is possible that it will consume the shrimp, but unfortunately you have much larger issues at hand here. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your tank is very heavily overstocked with inappropriate fish. Neither of those tangs, singly, should be in a tank of under 100 gallons, and some would argue that even this is too small. Fairy wrasses are highly active and would also benefit from a larger tank. The marine Betta will also outgrow your tank, and is also quite likely to mistake your shrimp for food.
Even short-term, this crowded tank is an almost impossible proposition to maintain healthily. If I were you, I would focus on thinning down the fish population to something that you can support long-term. Many ideas for more appropriate stocking may be found on WetWebMedia. Best regards, John> 

Tesselata Eel Tank Size and Behavior 11/3/05
<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.>
<Welcome Adam J.>  

Mexican dragon eel  10/21/05
I've wanted to setup a  saltwater tank for many years and was given a 55 gallon tank by a friend so I  decided to jump in. I've always wanted eels so I've been reading everything I  could find and came across your web site. Today I came across an eel  that I really liked and was informed by the owner that it was a Mexican  dragon eel.  My questions are, is a 55 gal tank big enough for this eel and  say a lionfish?
<Mmm, no... not even just for this species of eel... needs at least twice this volume>
Is this type of eel hard to find normally and usually expensive,  because I know Hawaiian Dragon eels are.
<Is about the same retail in most places in the world... a bit cheaper closer to the source>
And lastly how must live rock/and what  type of filtration should I go with?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and the linked files above>
A friend is going to give me a wet/dry system that he was going to use on a 120 gal tank and I was
looking at an Aqua C  Remora hang on protein skimmer. Is the wet/dry system needed for just these two fish? Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
<Please read on WWM re wet-dries, marine filtration... Bob Fenner>

Smaller Eels for Smaller Tanks  10/6/05
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Hi Josh, Josh here today.  I guess this feels like you've answered your own question, and rightly so.>
I currently have a 65g (36" x 18" x 24" high) tank, that I would like to have as an eel tank, the eel being the only inhabitant.  <Good call here> Although I find species like the snowflake and ghost eels stunning, I am drawn to the Gymnothorax genus. I find
both the miliaris and lentiginosa to be incredible, however I fear that a 65g may not be sufficient to house the animal throughout its life <indeed>. I was hoping you could recommend some other eels that are suitable for a tank this size. Please tell me that people with smaller tanks are not restricted to only a few eels!
<Unfortunately, tank size dictates much for us all.  I would view it as a "goal" more than a restriction.  You would most likely run out of space eventually for most eels.  Maybe try a small specimen and plan on "growing" your tank with the eel.  More on eels here,
Thanks so much.
<Glad to help. - Josh>

Re: Tesselata Moray in a 60" x 30" x 30" tank  9/11/05
Thanks for the quick response, In light of your opinion I have decided  to reconsider, my LFS also say the Tesselata Moray in their experience is the  most aggressive Moray.
Would a Dragon Eel be more suitable? and if so could I pair it with a  Lion fish?. I have contacted my LFS in England, and they say they could source  me a dragon eel in 3-4 weeks for 600 -700 English pounds, would you say this is   a fair price?
(Tank size 60" x 30" x 30")
>>>Hello again,
I'd say that is expensive, but about what I'm used to seeing nowadays for that animal. I paid $100 for mine (roughly 200 pounds?) 10 years ago. They are a better choice in the size department for sure given your tank size. How about a zebra moray, a dragon moray, and a Mexican dragon? You could put all three in a tank that size.
He should be fine with a lion fish.

Eel problem... actually, selection  9/5/05
Hello Again
I completely agree that a tusk gets too big, just wanted to make sure. But my next question is (I seem to have lots of them) which species of eel I should get for my 75. I have been thinking about the Barred, Snowflake, Jewel, or any other species you could suggest. I am just looking for an eel that would be happy and comfortable in a 75 gallon tank for probably its whole life.
Thanks Again
Patrick Nikiel
<Of those listed, just the Snowflake. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Releasing eels back into the oceans 8/15/05
I bought a small (at the time) green moray eel 6 years ago.  Of course the LFS did not inform me and neither did I do my research, shame on me shame on them, prior to buy this beautiful creature. He has become part of our family, I can pet him almost the whole length of his body, excluding his head.  He, of course, has become much too big for me to handle.
<And dangerous>
  At this time he is about 5 feet in length and as big around as a baseball bat.  He is in 180 gal tank and as we both know is and will be much too small for this part of my family.  It is very heart breaking for me to get rid of him, but would rather get rid of him then to keep him confined.  I have contacted some of the local state aquariums with no success.  Can you please help with what the laws are with releasing these creatures back into the oceans.
<Likely this is not allowed, but even if there are no specific statutes re, please do NOT do this... possible introduction of other organisms... make that probable... and your pet eel may well not survive>
  He is perfectly healthy and his hunting skills are still in tact, I think.  I have tried to put other larger fish, i.e. lions, groupers, in with him in.  Forget it he knows how to attack.  As you can tell this is a hard for me and my husband to do, but feel it is in the best interest of THE EEL to either release him into the wild or place him in a public aquarium.
<Or perhaps someone who has much larger quarters>
I am willing to pay the cost of transport and will do it myself if someone can help me with a GOOD home for him.  I refuse to put him to sleep!!!!!!!!  I made the mistake and I am willing to do what it takes to let him live.  As you can tell I am going to have to have therapy over this.  Any info (or support counseling) you have on this would much be appreciated. I would like for you to post this and encourage people to REALLY do their research on their purchases.  This is much to heart breaking.
<Karen, do try calling the larger service companies in your area (look in the "Yellow Page" directory of your phone book under "Aquariums, Service"... Very likely there is someone with a very large, nice system that will continue to look after your cherished pet. Bob Fenner>
I forgot to mention my location (and the eels).  We are located in Asheville, NC.  Hi to all of you regular readers of WWM you know who you are!!!!!!
Thanks again
<Mmm, would you like us to post contact information? BobF>

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.
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.
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?
<Thank you for the input Pat... Am going to (on your advice) move the TWA Spotted Moray into the "good" column. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Tale of two eel species, smelt
I'm glad I was able to help, and my spotted was happy to hear that his name had been cleared, and both eels are pleased that they can continue to enjoy smelt as their favorite dish.
<Mmm, now I'm getting a hankering for a smelt sandwich! Thanks, Bob Fenner> 

Anonymous Eel (Sure Ain't F/W!): Part II & We are So Rude.. How Rude are We?
First off sorry about typing in all caps.
<Apology Accepted. :-) >
But you don't have to be so rude.
<Hmm...I've reviewed the initial query and my response, and I have yet to find a case where I was rude and/or shallow and/or demeaning.>
Some people are not as smart about this fish as you are.
<I do not claim to know everything about this, or any other fish. I am merely a normal person that volunteers answering a massive amount of questions from a massive amount of people for a fish web site.>
Second, he is a Gymnothorax tile (scientific name) in case you did not know. 
<<Gymnothorax spp.>>
<I did not know a single thing about this eel from the email you sent. By providing this information, I am able to answer your previous questions here. I do sincerely hope that you possess a rather large aquarium (~500 gallons, give or take), as Gymnothorax species attain a very decent adult size. From this page:
"Most Gymnothorax species get too big, are too aggressive and strong for all but the most humungous systems. If you're going to try these, watch your fingers, tankmates and lock (yes, lock!) that cover down. For cooler water species, do invest in and run a chiller. species get too big, are too aggressive and strong for all but the most humungous systems. If you're going to try these, watch your fingers, tankmates and lock (yes, lock!) that cover down. For cooler water species, do invest in and run a chiller.
Too often offered to the hobby are the Atlantic green G. funebris, to eight feet! Others include G. javanicus, the Javan or Giant Moray (to ten feet!) and G. flavimarginatus to a mere four feet."

I would personally recommend returning the creature.>
And I went back to the pet store and got all the info I needed.
<Eegh! The pet store, in most cases, has to be the worse place to go for information. Sure, there are responsible ones, but that certainly is not the norm. You were very right to come to us for an answer. Just a heads up, a bit of research will teach you more than you could ever need to know, and it is most often accurate, unbiased information. May I point out the Google search feature implemented into WetWebMedia's homepage?>
Maybe next time show people a little bit of respect and don't be so shallow as to think that you are too good to talk with common courtesy.
<I do not think I am too good to talk with common courtesy. In fact, I do not think that anyone is. Just for your information, this is a free service. We are normal people with normal lives who have taken time out of those lives to assist people with their fish problems. We don't get paid for this, aside from in thanks, which we get plenty of. I think that Anthony put it best when I asked how to deal with your email: "The bigger WWM gets, the more people we serve/satisfy... and the greater the number of minor meanies occur just the same."
All of that said, if you don't like my attitude, next time you have a question, be sure to ask for "Anyone but Mike G." Frankly, I do not like yours, so that would suit the both of us very nicely. Have a wonderfully pleasant afternoon, Mike G> 

Meleagris eel
I would really like to add a 'golden moray' to my FOWLR system. It has several other fish in it already (puffers, grouper, angel, trigger) with the smallest being the trigger (Huma) at about 4". I'm hesitating, so that probably means I shouldn't do it, right? I have another eel by himself, a retic moray, who is very aggressive and will eat anything that he sees, or at least try, even though he only gets thawed food (he got a taste for tankmates, so now he has none and I have my other, larger tank... a common story, right?). I see other people with other morays in their fish only tanks, living quite peacefully. But my experience tells me there is another side to the coin. Meleagris was mentioned several times, but I couldn't find anything 'in general' about its temperament. I have wanted an eel in the system from the beginning, but as described above my first attempt didn't work out. Any thoughts? 
<Reuben, are you sure you meant miliaris or did you really mean meleagris. If it is the meleagris, they can grow up to 40". I suspect you have a rather large aquarium that your keeping these critters in, correct? Anyway, here is a link on eel compatibility. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm  James (Salty Dog)>
Meleagris eel - II
Sorry to split this into two e-mails, but I just realized that I forgot to mention how big the miliaris eel is. His skull (which is the part that matters, no?) is about an inch long. 
<Don't understand, "skull is the part that matters", matters to what? Fish loading in a tank, if that is what you mean, is based on the total cubic inch size of the fish. 
<Other info was sent out earlier. James (Salty Dog)> 

Gymnothorax miliaris Eel, Not G. meleagris?  Which is it?
Hey James, thanks for the quick response. 
<You're welcome> 
I may have meant meleagris... could you clarify? The moray I'm talking about is the golden-tail moray...
<I was looking for info on your original ID of Golden Moray and not the Gold Tailed Moray.>
...this particular individual is the mostly gold variety with a few brown dots.  On your site, on the moray intro page it is listed as Gymnothorax miliaris...
... with the gold variety coming predominantly out of Hawaii.  Fishbase has another eel, a "turkey moray" listed under meleagris, and also lists miliaris (but you have to search it because for some reason it isn't listed with the genus Gymnothorax... I suspect nomenclature issues. I think I'm talking about miliaris, with a maximum size around 30" (comparable to a snowflake eel). I do have a large aquarium (210) which I have since my other eel has to live in the other tank (which was too small for all the fish I had purchased without reading first anyway). Now I have both tanks doing fine and with good amount of space for the fish I have. And I still really want to have a moray in the tank with my fish... I'm just trying not to be resigned to a snowflake (which are nice, but I had my heart set on a more yellow moray... color scheme and everything... you know...). So this "Golden Tail Moray" is what I am really inquiring about. Which one is it, and will it be alright? 
<What is listed on our moray intro page will be correct. In the short time I've known Mr. Fenner, I can assure you there will be no errors present. Very few fish are compatible with morays as you well know, and my reasoning is if it can't eat it, then it's compatible. Obviously you won't have any eel predators in your tank, and I would avoid putting an eel in with any slow moving fish. I think you are on the right track doing your homework on the WWW. Most any questions are answered here. Good luck with your eel selection. James (Salty Dog)> 
Miliaris eel
Thanks again. You're right, I don't think WWM has any errors... in fact, you guys and the book are like my bible as far as aquariums go.
<I believe that is the intention, to help others.> 
Thanks for all of the invaluable information. I'm sure you know how difficult it can be to find reliable information (hence the common name problem - golden moray, gold tail moray, banana moray, yellow moray... why doesn't everybody just use Latin names?!)...
<Most hobbyists don't like Latin names, much easier to remember common names such as Gold Tailed Moray, Yellow Tang, rather than miliaris blah, blah, blah> 
... and I applaud your more than thorough job of providing it. 
<Thank you!> 

What kind of eel?
<Hi there>
Great site! My son must have an eel. Currently we have a 125 gallon reef tank, Aqua C 240 skimmer, Korallin Calcinator, wave makers, great water quality. We have 65 pounds of live rock and sand with two SPS corals and one bubble tip anemone, one fish which loves the anemone. Additional tank mates shrimp, (I know these will not last with an eel). What would be the best way to go when cost is not that big of a consideration? In advance - Thanks for
your time.    
<Mmm, a tough one... not only the shrimp, but the anemone and coral may be threatened (by physical movement, pollution from wastes... You definitely want to aim for a small/er species, slow-growing... I would likely stick with my plug for an Echidna species... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm
re Morays in general, and on to the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top) on Selection, and Compatibility. Bob Fenner>

2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping
Been through your great site.  I'm planning to get a 125-gallon tank (48X24X24) and the following inhabitants:
1 snowflake eel
1 leopard eel (I like the fact it's active during the day.  Please let me know if there are any other nice looking eels that are active during the day)
<There are quite a few... but this size system... and keeping the Snowflake... I would not add any more>
1 Volitans lionfish
School of 3-6 small fish.
<May be food items for your Lion...>
I want to get eels that are 1.5 - 2 feet in length.  Would this setup work?
<Only for two specimens maximum>
Can you recommend small schooling fish that are too big for the leopard to eat?
<Likely Damsels of a schooling, upper water column nature. You can read over these selections on WWM>
Also, aquascaping question:  On the MorayFAQs3 page, Anthony mentioned a subterranean plumbing system described in his Book of Coral Propagation.  He mentions clear tubes siliconed below the sand and against the front glass to see the eel swimming down below.  I would like to do this too.  But would this not defeat the purpose of having a place where the eels can hide?  I'm thinking that light will be able to get through to the eels.
<Mmm, maybe... though Muraenids do not have keen vision, and likely light will be limited here>
Finally, he mentions there were two stalactites of rock coming down from the ceiling.  How's this done?
<I suspect he is suggesting siliconing the base of these stalactites from a glass support above the water. Bob Fenner>
Re: 2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping
Bob, thanks for the response; very helpful.  Forgot that the lionfish might also eat the schooling fish if they're too small.
I actually meant to ask if there's another eel I can substitute for the Zebra, to keep my options open.  Any suggestions on other eels that are similarly active during the day? KC
<Not really... as stated, I encourage you to stick with just the one species here, the Snowflake (Echidna nebulosa)... most suitable for your size, shape system. Bob Fenner>

- Adding an Eel -
Dear Bob,
I came upon your site last evening and tried to read as much as I could about this eel. We have a 400 gal tank with: large porcupine puffer, rainbow puffer, 14" French blue angel, 14" gray angel, 5" queen angel, 5" emperor angel.10-12" Naso tang, 4"yellow tang, 6" blue tang, 5" Huma Huma trigger, blue line trigger,7" white face angel, 8" blue ring angel and some small ( 2-3") damsels that were the starters.
The guy who takes care of the aquarium and our fish wants to add a dragon eel. I am not sure of it's current size but he says it grows to 18" and is docile. I have read so many conflicting articles, letters and statements that I feel unsure of this addition. Are my current fish going to be in danger?
<Not necessarily, but I think I'd forgo this choice in your situation. While this is a very good looking and docile eel [in eel terms] your tank sounds like it has enough going on without the added bonus of an escape artist in residence. I think you'll also find it won't be exactly cheap. If you can live without this, I would.>
Please respond ASAP if you could as he would like our answer by Monday 10/04/04.
Thanks for your time!
<Cheers, J -- >

- Adding an Eel, Follow-up -
Dear WWM FAQ Crew,
Thanks so much for your rapid response! <My pleasure.> I completely agree with you. This was not a specimen I was looking into, but offered by our "tank caretaker". <All the more reason to pass on it.> This is a seasonal home so we are not there much through the winter. I just did not want any problems with the other fish being in danger. I also don't know exactly how large it would get and basically want to keep the "peace" in my aquarium! <You can expect the Dragon eel to make it to about two feet.>
Thanks for your quick reply, I really appreciate it. Will stay tuned to your wonderful and informative site!
<Cheers, J -- >

Eel in a 45 gallon?
Hello Crew,
I love this resource.  The best I've found by far in keeping me from inadvertently mistreating fish.  Thank you so much for providing it.
Don't worry.  I didn't buy something without knowing how to care for it, but I am hoping to avoid such in the future.  :)
The moray page says, "A minimum of forty gallons for the smallest of morays."  I wanted to know if this means total water volume vs. main tank volume, as a permanent home or until it gets bigger, and what species would do best in a smaller tank.  I have a 45 gallon that may eventually go from a peaceful reef to a more aggressive tank whenever I
can get a larger tank for a bigger reef and transfer most of the inhabitants.  I'm interested in the possibility of an eel and could maybe add a sump for increased total volume and a more powerful skimmer to keep water quality up, but I don't think I'd want to add an eel if I could have no other fish in there.  I was thinking a snowflake originally, but then I read here that it needs at least 60 gallons.
Live Aquaria carries what they call Uropterygius concolor (ghost eel or unicolor snake eel as it's called here) that supposedly only needs 30 gallons, but that's the only eel I've seen on a fairly reputable site that seems like it might need less room than a snowflake.  Does their description sound accurate at all, or does this eel need far more room?
They don't mention it living in brackish water as your site does, so I worry.
The Chainlink (Echidna catenata) is suggested at 30 gallons on Marine Depot and 125 on Live Aquaria, and I tend to assume the pessimistic requirements are more likely to be right, especially when the site claiming 30 suggests 30 for a snowflake as well.
Ideally I'd love to have a small eel someday that could live with a couple 3-6" fish like maybe a maroon clown and a long-nose Hawkfish, so is there one that fits the bill offhand, or should I really make other plans?  
Thank you,
Hey Ben,
A snowflake or a chain link moray will live in your tank for a time, but both will grow to need larger quarters eventually. When I make fish stocking recommendations, I like to set the person up long term, not just for 2 or 3 years. In staying with this method, I'd have to say steer clear of these eels. Although they are both hardy and easy to care for species, they are more appropriate for tanks 75 gallons and above. They will both jump from tanks that are not securely covered as well.  The eel you linked to may work, but I've honestly never kept that species so can't comment from direct experience. I have to say though, that it really isn't all that attractive IMO. I would make other plans for your tank. 3 or 4 small fish will do much better in a tank that size.

Moray selection questions
hey what's up you guys!
<< Diving and fun in the sun. >>
       (firstly, your website's awesome, I spend hours reading through all the FAQs.)
<< I'm glad it is useful, but you should thank Bob. >>
 anyways, I've decided I want a saltwater eel for my 29g aquarium,
<< Bad idea.  I can't think of any eel I would put in a 29 gal. >>
 I know that's small, but I'm planning on upgrading in a year or two to a much larger (60-100g or so)
<< In that case, I say wait a year or two until that tank is up and running. >>
and the LFS said it takes some eels (i.e.: Chainlink/snowflake) 3-4 years to reach max size. so I've been researching and found the Dragon Moray and love it. however, I need some solid info, I've seen several conflicting sites
saying it is either very aggressive or fairly passive, which is true?
<< Well they want food.  So if you don't feed them, they will be aggressive.  If you do keep them well fed, then maybe they won't be.  Either way I would be cautious and treat it as though it will be aggressive.  But once again, not in a 29 gal. >>
secondly, how expensive are these dudes and how fast do they grow? (I know
they get up to about 3') also, would a dwarf zebra lionfish be a good
tankmate? << Yes, good tank mate.  I see them as similar in environment condition needs and would feel comfortable with them in the same tank. >> and what type/brand of protein skimmer do you recommend?
<< The bigger the better. >>
(preferably less expensive w/ good quality if possible) what's the best way
to get a dragon moray? one of those online suppliers or have the LFS order
it? << I would go with a LFS because they can bring it in and quarantine the fish before you buy it.  Much better than chancing the health of an online fish (at least is my opinion with this specific fish) >> (ps. my LFS is very reliable and I have great confidence in him as he is a biologist and my boyfriend has known him for years, etc.) sorry about all the questions, I just don't wanna screw up and kill any marine critters!
<< Bigger tank, take is slowly, that is my advice. >>
thanks so much WWM!!!!
<<  Blundell  >>

Non-fish-eating Eels?
Are there any moray eels that will leave smaller fish alone like clownfish and damsels?
Thanks for any info
<The crustacean eaters... e.g. the members of the genus Echidna and Gymnomuraena... are good choices here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Eels?
Thanks for responding so fast!
So would a snowflake moray be okay with small fish? Would it try to eat them or would it basically ignore them, since fish aren't even part of their diet in the wild........I think?!
<Echidnas rarely consume fishes... in the wild or captivity... only when very hungry w/o other foods available>
Biggest fish in the tank is going to be a Firefish goby. Would a small moray be preferable or a larger one, that way the eel would be able to get use to the fish and he wouldn't even be able to get the other fish down their through?
<Yes, to start>
I found the coolest baby snowflake at the pet shop and its in the tank with Chromis and baby blue tank and it looks like it he thinks they aren't even there! Eel is only about 4-5 inches. how big do you think they would get in a 70 gallon. Thanks again for the info!!!!!
<Ultimately about two feet in length, over several years. Feed it crustaceans like cocktail et al. human consumption shrimp on a feeding stick. Bob Fenner>

Marine Eel Selection
<Hi Matt>
My little cousin was interested in getting an eel, but was disappointed to learn his 20 gal. tank would be too small.  There is a 190 gal fish only tank residing in the living room.  it contains some damsels (hopefully dinner), clownfish, tangs, and a Foxface lo.  It may soon contain a puffer as well.  Are there any eels that would be good candidates for this tank? he was hoping for a dwarf moray or snowflake.
<Actually I think a snowflake might be suitable for the tank but I would make sure it has a top on it. Good luck, MacL.>

Dwarf Golden Moray (5/16/04)
I have plans to purchase a dwarf golden moray but I am having trouble finding info on these eel. In a fish magazine these was a brief article on them, saying that they would be good in a nano reef. <How Nano? Looks like they get to be about a foot long. Do count on it to eat any small fish and any crustaceans in your tank.> What I do know is that they are a yellow to gold color with bright blue eyes. Can you tell me anything about these eels? <If you do a Google search, there's lot's of info out there. I got a lot of hits.> The scientific name is (Gymnothorax melatremus). Marine Depot Live has a waiting list for them and other individual have them listed from $250 to $450. What do you believe the true price range is? <From what I saw, people have paid anywhere from $200 to over $500 each> I can buy directly from a wholesalers who has them priced at forty dollars. Thanks, Andy <Sounds like a steal. I hope it's not "too good to be true." Steve Allen.> 

Dwarf Hawaiian moray eel source 2/17/04
Do you know of ay sources to obtain Gymnothorax melatremus? I have been looking to purchase one and no one seems to have one. Tell me more about this eel and why it is so hard to find.
<one of my fave eels... a fantastic reef safe species... max adult size 8-10" (20-25cm). The better wholesalers each get them a few times yearly. One of my fave places for rare and unusual is Erik and Denis Reynolds place in Cali... AM4fish.com  Scott Michael has used and cited them for rare and usual fish species photo ops often too. best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Moray question 10/30/03
Are any of the breeds of moray suitable to be housed in a 90 gallon?
<hmm... a few. Depends on what other tankmates you might have. Your best bets are the crabs eaters versus the fish eaters.>
If so, which ones. Also, what is the recommended order that an eel be added.
<Snowflakes are excellent overall and top the list. Add them sooner rather than later>
Should he be allowed to settle in and calm down, or should he be the last specimen added.
<the former>
I've been looking at a snowflake, but was advised by one of your staff to look into the zebra.
<the zebra is even more sedate and peaceful than the already well-behaved SF... but zebras are notoriously finicky feeders. Never to be recommended as a first moray species>
I've checked out a few zebras at my LFS and most of them seem so inanimate to the point that they look dead. Is this natural or could these possibly be poor specimens?
<nope... they are indeed staggeringly shy if not sedate>
I have yet to see one open mouth breathing like the others. Which you have to admit, is one of the cool things about morays.
<hmm... yes. cool. And more conspicuous with the narrow beaked fish eaters which tend to be larger, meaner and more tricky for you. Stick with the snowflake my friend... just a wonderful species overall. Anthony>

A Foray Into Morays? (Thinking About Getting A moray Eel)
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>
I am interested in purchasing a Zebra Moray Eel from my LFS, I have also just purchased and just set up my 75 gallon SW tank. I plan to put live rock in there too. I am interested in putting the zebra along with a Valentini puffer or one of the smaller puffers (5" max) and a butterfly fish, maybe a raccoon or Copperband, and a Tang (Big enough not to fit inside the Morays mouth). Would the 75 gallon be big enough for the eel to live its whole life?
<Honestly, I'd say no. Sure, this fish, like many Morays, does not swim all that much, but you still need to think about it's ultimate size (they can reach almost 5 feet long!) and the copious amount of metabolic waste the fish produces. And, to be quite honest with you, the other fishes that you are proposing are simply too much for this sized tank. Part of the pain (and fun) of planning a community of fishes is the mental "projections" that we must make as to the prospective inhabitants' needs and requirements. I like your thinking about the fish living "its whole life" in the tank...That's how we need to think. I'd shoot for much smaller fishes, or species from the families that you are interested that are much, much smaller...Did you know that there is a "Golden Dwarf Moray" that only gets like 10- 12 inches long? check out Marine Center (see link) for availability. They are very pricey, but they are hardy, long-lived, and very appropriate for a smaller system! See- you can have your moray...You just need to make some concessions...It's a trade off, for sure!>
Also would the other fish be able to co-exist in a 75 gallon with the zebra for their whole life?
<As above...Re-configure your proposed population...We have awesome fish resources on the WWM site that you can check out!>
Thanks for your time, I appreciate what you and the other crew do to help us out. Thanks once again,                            
<Glad to be of assistance, Gerard! I'm sure that you'll develop a great stocking plan for this tank! Good luck, and have fun! Regards, Scott F.>

Are White Eye Moray Eel's rare?
<Gymnothorax thyrsoideus? Not exceedingly so. Not in the wild within its range, nor the pet-fish interest. Though this species is not one of the "more commonly offered" Muraenids>
I am having trouble finding them in the aquarium trade.  Are they seasonal?
<Nope. I would try one of the mail-order/internet marine livestock suppliers... like Marine Center(.com) or Marine Depot, Dr.s Foster & Smith... they can get them>
Thank You
Brandy and Keith Prentice  
<Bob Fenner>

Zebra Moray - 8/20/03
I currently have a 55 gallon hexagonal aquarium and a 29 gallon rectangular aquarium. (Both are separate.) Can either of these tanks support a zebra moray eel?  
<the 55 could just barely IMO if it only housed the moray (no other fishes). This is a very thick and hefty species... not the smallest either growing to over two feet long>
If not is there any other species of moray eel that would be better suited for the aquariums?
<a snowflake moray would be much much better... hardy, handsome and generally a more slight adult than the zebra. Fine for your 55 gall>
Thanks for your time
<best regards, Anthony>

Eels for a 150gal
Ok, I want a large moray for a 150 Gallon Tank.  I know the tesselata would work, as I was told (thanks IanB)<it wouldn't work for its entire life, but what about a Green Moray?
<they get too large>
 Or perhaps a Zebra Moray?
<A zebra moray should be ok>
 And I am not talking about these fish being able to remain in it for a little while, I mean for its life. <also you could get a snowflake eel> Thanks for your help!<IanB>

- Eel Selection -
Hi Bob.... great website....
<JasonC here this morning.>
I've had snowflakes in the past but am looking for something different for a 90-gallon fish-only tank that I have set up. I've looked at several site and several species, but am still not sure which eel I want to purchase.
Here are my hang-ups...
1. Price (I really can't afford to drop a lot of cash on the fish), <Then this will be your main limiting factor.> 2. size (I don't mind something that gets large, but not one that will possibly outgrow my 90), 3. temperament (I'd rather not have an eel that might take a chunk out of its other tankmates), 4. looks (I want something somewhat attractive etc..., but I'm really not sure.
Not sure what advice or suggestions you might be able to give me, but any thoughts would be appreciated. I did see a golden tail or yellow spot in my local store the other day, he was $65 which might be more than what I want
to spend..... not sure which species it was. <Sounds to me like you need to make the big decision. There aren't many eels that stay small... snowflakes are common, relatively cheap, and don't get too big. Many of the other eels that fit that bill are expensive. More on your eel choices here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm >
<Cheers, J -- >

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?
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,
<Please see the various references to the Moray Eels posted on the materials archived re the group on WetWebMedia.com
Bob Fenner>

Thank you for your response Cody. That is well needed information concerning the decision of the what type of eel to purchase. I researched a lot about the Zebra and Snowflake as well and I think I would rather go for a Zebra because of the personality and aggression levels it has but was wondering two things.<This is a great choice, I have one myself that will eat out of my hand!  They become very tame after a while, mine even lets me "pet" it.> One web site I found said they were difficult to keep compared to other eels and I want to know if this is true and if so what makes them difficult compared to others?
<They are a very hardy choice, although they can sometimes have problems with blindness.>
Next question would be could I keep a large sea cucumber with this eel? <Yes> I pride myself on researching and making informed decisions especially when it comes to the life of a living creature.
Also, if you don't mind will a Zebra work well in a 125g tank or should I just get a snowflake?
<He should be fine, just keep the tank under crowded with a protein skimmer to clean up after their messy meals.  Cody>
Please advise,

Moray Query
Hello,<Howdy, you got Cody today.>
I am very interested in purchasing a moray eel for my tank and have found a place that has several to choose from. I like the snowflake and the zebra and have read a lot on your site about them, but the one that I am really interested in buying the honeycomb eel. What I would like to know is would this eel work well in a 125 gallon tank?  <Not for long.> What is the max length of this eel?  <I have seen four footers, but have read they can reach six.> What does this eel eat, fish or inverts?<Fish> Is this eel aggressive or calm?  <They are usually very aggressive.  Cody> Anything you could tell me
about this specific eel would be great.
Thanks, JB

<Hi Ronnie, PF here this AM>
I am having chemical problems with my tank. It is a long story so I will just ask my questions.
Let me first say, I almost have it under control.
tank is 75gal.
only inhabitant is Gymnothorax funebris
<Are you aware that these eels can reach 6' in length? Such animals are best kept in public aquariums where they have the space for such an animal.>
Ok, my first question is in regard to overdosing on certain chemicals to try and help stabilize the water.
Can I overdose the tank on
    1. StressZyme
    2. Ammo-lock 2
    3. Proquatics water conditioner
    4. ProClear by Kent
<Not that I know of>
I have been adding one dose per day of each after a 25% water change (tank is 75gal.).
<That looks like overkill to me.>
once the tank is stable I am going to do another 25% water change.
Water is still a little cloudy.
ph 8.0
nitrite 10ppm
nitrate 200ppm
ammonia 8ppm (should not be toxic)
temp. 77
salinity 1.024
I lost my biological filter due to medicating.
<I see. IMO, you should remove the eel to a QT tank and keep it there till your tank has re-established the biological filter. Time is what is going to cure this, not chemicals. Do consider finding a new home for your eel, one more appropriate (IMO a 500g tank at home is too small. There are many other members of the family Muraenidae that would make much better pets. Do look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm, and consider getting Scott Michaels Reef Fishes Vol. 1 - it has an extensive section on moral eels. > I know I shouldn't have medicated the main tank. I am still a rookie. <We all make mistakes, the key is learning from them. Then you can make all new mistakes. ;) >
Ok, second question how long does each dose (StressZyme, ammo-lock2, etc...) last? <I would assume until the chemical agents are all bound. Sorry, I'm not a biochemist, that's the best answer I can give.>
Last question, if I run the protein skimmer will it pull all these (StressZyme, ammo-lock2, etc...) out of the water?
<I would think so, but after they have been bound to the polluting agents. At this point, you need to treat your tank as though it was a brand new setup, and let it cure as you would live rock. For the sake of the animal, please remove it.>
<Your welcome Ronnie, I hope I've helped. Remember to thoroughly research any future purchases you make, and good luck. PF>
New Jersey

Overdosing on eels
Thanks for the quick response.
<We aim to please. :) >
I know how big this moray can get, I do plan on getting a bigger tank. I was told that some green morays only get 4'. I read a lot about the Gymnothorax and I still can't find accurate descriptions of the different green morays. <Then you don't know how big it's going to get. I've seen just how big those 6' eels are. I hope you get a really big tank.>
Maybe I have the one that only grows to 4'.
<Maybe, do check out the book I recommended, lots of good info on morays in there.>
As for removing the eel to a QT, how can I make a QT tank if I don't have good established water? <Move him over to the QT, and do water changes every day. A pain in the posterior, but worth the eels life.> I wish I had a better place to put him until the tank stabilizes, I would do it in a sec. He doesn't seem to be stressed, his color is good and he is breathing normal. <The problem is that fish can be like birds - looking ill is an invitation to be eaten.>
Should I be running the protein skimmer?
<Yes indeed, you should probably also be running activated carbon too.>
Thanks again
<You're welcome, hopefully I've helped.>

Golden moray
Hello again! I currently own a large peppered moray with a Volitans lionfish (and various other assorted tanks with mostly south American cichlids). I've recently become interested in setting up a small, separate tank and keeping a golden moray (not a golden tail!). I read a short article on keeping nano reefs (have some experience with this) in a magazine that said golden morays would do well in a 10 to 20g tank. It also said they don't get over 7 inches.
<Mmm, don't know (nor does fishbase.org) this species. Do you have a scientific name?>
First of all, is this true?
<Mmm, not as far as I'm aware. The smallest morays grow to about a foot and a half in length... most of the more than 200 species to more than twice this length>
Second, I can't find much in the way of pricing, although I have found numerous sites that said the yellow variety is hard to find and much sought after. This is the species I'd like to keep. Is the care of a small moray much different in the way of feeding/tank cleaning?
<No... just able to wiggle out of smaller spaces...>
Any info or sites you have on this species would be much appreciated. I can't even find a listing of them on your site - thanks!
<As stated, have never come across this species. Bob Fenner>

Eel question...
Mr. Fenner:
I am considering a jump into the world of eel care. I have taken your recommendations to heart and am considering the Echidna nebulosa,
Gymnothorax favagineus or the Gymnothorax miliaris.
<All worthy species of morays>
I currently have a 40 gallon (3 feet across) that is unoccupied, the eel would be its only resident.
<I would strike the favagineus off your list for this size tank>
Should the 40 not be suitable I have no problems waiting until life affords me a larger aquarium, but what size would say is ideal for any one of these fish.
<A hundred gallons for a small individual (up to eighteen inches let's say), twice or more for a larger one>
I have experience with reefkeeping and aquarium keeping in general. I would use a plenum, protein skimmer, two canisters (this offers better
filtration) as well as a two powerheads to help keep the water oxygenated. But It's the size of the tank I am concerned about.
<Mmm, I wouldn't use canister filters on tanks with large fishes, eaters, defecators like the Morays... something sump-like is better by far.>
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thank-you for your time, Vito Pilieci
<Looking forward to reports of your progress, planning. Bob Fenner>

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>

Eel question
Hi. I currently have a 75 gallon tank with plans to upgrade to a 125 this summer. I currently have a niger trigger and a Huma Huma trigger in the tank. Both are about 4-5 inches and doing fine. I want to add an eel and there are two that I just am having a very hard time deciding on and so I am wondering if I could put both eels into the tank right now with the two triggers and house them compatibly together until I get the 125 then switch everybody over to it. The two eels I am interested in are the Fimbriated moray and the banded moray. Both are about 8-10 inches. Do you think that this can be done compatibly? 
<Mmm, there is some chance that your triggers may chew up these eels at this small size...>
I have very good filtration on the tank and an Aqua C protein skimmer as well. I have lots of hiding places also. Any help would be much appreciated. I really would love to have both eels and the triggers but do not want to order them and THEN find out that I cannot have them. Thanks Tiffany
<The eels themselves should be fine together now and for quite a while in your size system... It's just the worry about the unpredictable nature of Triggerfishes that concerns me. Bob Fenner>

Eel addition to 75 gallon tank...
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?
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

100g reef (livestocking a reef)
I am setting up a 100 gallon reef with 125 lbs rock and a 2" sand bed. I already have a 4" Fu Manchu Lionfish, and a 6" marine Betta which I will move from my old 55g tank. I have three other species I'm thinking of adding. First is Opistognathus rosenblatti (or another species of 5 to 8" Jawfish) , the second is Gymnothorax melatremus, and the third is the leaf fish.
Do you think the Jawfish would do ok with these small but predatory fish?
<Not the Moray>
My main question is about the dwarf golden eel. I checked Fishbase and they say it gets 10" long and has small conical teeth. I would appreciate any knowledge you might have on this species. Id like to keep a small moray in this tank but am fairly worried about it.
<You should be. Fishbase is generally spot on... but doesn't offer husbandry information. Please read through our coverage of these eels: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm>
Finally would this fish mix do ok in a reef tank. I will not be keeping any shrimps or small fish but would like to keep hermit crabs and snails.
<Should be fine... with a small eel. Bob Fenner>
Thanks, Everett

Which Eel?
Hi Bob, I have in my 90g tank a 4" fu man chu lion, a 5" black Volitans, a 3" Picasso trigger, a large say 6 or 7" majestic angel and a 6" panther grouper along with 1 little Fijian and 1 blue Chromis damsels and a pajama cardinal. 
<Yikes... some crowd now! And soon to be much more crowded... hope you have a much larger system in the planning.>
125 lb of live rock and 25 lb of live sand. since I don't like food to be left over in the bottom (sand) which moray eel, if any, is more suitable for the tank. or any other suggestion?
<A bigger tank! No morays here w/o shipping out two or more of the larger fishes... Otherwise, my take on the Muraenids and beyond is posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm>
I have a Sealife minireef system that comes with the protein skimmer integrated that is doing quiet well. Thanks for your help!!
<Do consider trading in some of these fishes... before you run into troubles from the bioload in your ninety. Bob Fenner>

Another ? - this time @ eels
Thanks for your help on the algae ?'s!
What, is THE eel least likely to eat crustaceans and grab fish - Snowflake, Zebra or Leopard?
<The first two for not grabbing fish, the last one for not grabbing crustaceans>
I've read through the info on your website and would really like to add one, but am torn as to which one. I like that Leopards swim out in the day, and I think snowflakes are pretty....
I have Mithrax crabs in my tank, but think they are getting toooo big and grabby anyway. If I added one of these eels, how do you think my urchin, sand star, Cuke, cleaner shrimps will fare?
<Likely fine for the echinoderms... the shrimps would be lunch if it were one of the first two>
Here again is a list of occupants in my 75 gal tank w/ 60# rock & 2" crushed coral sand: yellow tang, Sailfin tang, blue regal tang, Banggai cardinal, maroon clown, small blue neon damsel, flame angel, bicolor angel, Longnose Hawkfish, sand star, impatiens Cuke, 3 Mithrax crabs, 2 cleaner shrimp, 3 cleanup hermits, tuxedo urchin, BUNCHES of small feather dusters. Thank you Guru! Linda
<This system is too small, fish-crowded for any of these Eels for when they grow... Bob Fenner>
Re: Another ? - this time @ eels
OK, good point! - I have one 4" fish, six 3" fish and one 1" fish = 23 "fish-inches" (I made that up) How much less fish (or fewer fish-inches) would be optimal for one of these 3 eels in 75 gal ? 
<Hmm, it's not the "present inches" that concern me, but the potential "inches"... You could place (best) a Snowflake that is small now, and of the three will "stay" smaller over time... but all will be crowded a year or two down the line>
Thanks, Linda
< Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Hi Bob,
I am looking at getting a 125 gal tank and was wondering if I could house 2 of the following a Zebra/snowflake/dragon together?
<Yes, they can be kept together in such a system>
Or what would be allowable tankmates. (clowns with anemones?)>??
<If the anemones were placed high enough in the water column. Likely on live rock>
I read the long article on the Zebra moray, is there any literature online about dragon morays?
<Don't know... search by the genus name... some on fishbase.org>
<Bob Fenner>

Cortez Dragon Eel
I was wondering do you think that I could add a 10' Cortez Dragon Eel to my 200 gal FOWLR tank with these following fish already in occupancy? 12' Snowflake Eel, 6' Vlamingi Tang, 5' Pink Tail Trigger, 5' Paddle Fin Wrasse, 5' Twin Spot Coris Wrasse, and 6' Red Coris Wrasse. The Cortez Dragon would be the last addition to the Tank. I know that the current tank size seems like I will be overcrowding the fish but I'm waiting on my 360 gal tank that is on order. I know that Eels hunt at night and was wondering if you think that I would wake up one morning to find my Paddle Fin missing? My Snowflake missing? 
<Hmm, well, if these fishes were consumed by the Cortez, it would take a couple of years for this to happen. I'm more concerned that the trigger or Coris wrasse might harass this young Muraenid... but give you good odds that this addition will/would work out>
I'm looking for an Eel that I could start off small and probably wont be a total terror as it gets larger to my current set-up. I don't want anything like a Zebra moray, but something different that you don't see often in the pet stores. Any suggestions? Already tried looking on the WetWebMedia site and various dealers. Any extra information would be appreciated.
<Please look over the section "The Fishwatcher's Guide to... Tropical Eastern Pacific" posted on the WWM site, and consider picking up a copy of this book... need to get them out of the living room. Bob Fenner>

Stocking question w/eel
I am desperately trying to make up my mind on which route to take. If you could help me in deciding which would be the best route to go, I would be most grateful.
My tank is a 75 gallon Fish only with live rock. I currently only have about 10 lbs but am adding about 35 more this weekend. I have the new Ecosystem sump filtration method running on my tank. I have about 15lbs of live rock and crushed coral each. I also have an Emperor 400 that I am still running as a result of switching over to the Echo System sump. I will eventually take if off unless I need to leave it on.
<Good attitude>
1st choice - I would like to put an eel in the 75 with one showpiece fish able to be able to be with the eel, (not many choices here), and yet not bother the live rock.
<Or overwhelm the filtration... messy animals>
I was considering the Cortez Dragon Eel or the dwarf golden eel, (If I could find it anywhere), and the Clown Trigger fish. I had also considered the undulated trigger. I was told that as long as the clown trigger, or undulated trigger were well fed they wouldn't bother the live rock or the eel.
<Not necessarily... the Triggerfishes are unpredictable...>
2nd choice - Tang tank. I was looking at the blue hippo tang, (maybe 3), Christmas Island Flame Angel, and possibly a mated pair of Gold striped Maroon Clowns, along with my selection of inverts.
<This is better than the first choice>
3rd choice - Again, the Blue Hippo Tangs (maybe 3), and 2-3 painted frogfish, or the wartskinned frogfish.
<Just get one... this is all you'll end up with anyway... they'll eat each other...>
Can you help me with any of these decisions and tell me which would be the best in your experience? 
<Hmm, of the three, number two is the best for sure>
Also if there is a choice you would pick as the best but it needs a few changes please let me know. I would rather know before hand that after the fact.
One more question. Should I end up going with the eel choice, IF and WHEN, the eel would outgrow the tank, the big question is if you don't have a bigger tank yet and the LFS won't take it, and you can't sell it to anyone, what do you do with it? 
<Ads in the papers? Most public aquariums don't want overgrown Muraenids...>
Please help! Just as an afterthought, I am going to be getting a 125 gallon middle of next year. Thanks again for all of your help. Robin
<Keep studying, considering your options till you're sure of where you want to go. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking question w/eel
Thank you so much for you speedy reply. With your help I have narrowed it down to 2 choices.
1st, Putting just a Dragon Moray in the 75 with the Live Rock. I know that they are messy eaters, my son has a snowflake right now, but I believe I can keep up with that. (I also considered instead of the triggers putting in the clown tang but I don't know. Would it be better with just the eel with this choice?)
<The Regal (Acanthurus lineatus) will/would be fine with either Eel... the Dragon might eat the Snowflake if placed together>
2nd, the blue hippos (3), (this is possible to keep the 3 together right?),
the pair of maroon clowns and the Christmas island flame angel with my choice of inverts.
The reason I asked if I could even keep the 3 blue hippos together is I hear so much about not putting the same species of tang in the same tank.
<Many species aggregate/associate in the wild... Paracanthurus is one of them>
My cousin used to have a 125 with a purple tang, yellow tang, blue hippo tang, powder blue at one time, then had to get rid of it because it was so mean, and 3 other tangs that I don't remember the name of. But he said that they all did great, even with having 6-7 tangs in that tank.
I really wanted the powder blue but after reading your site I have changed my mind. Thanks for all of your time and patience. I really appreciate it.
<You're welcome my friend. My success and enjoyment are tied with yours. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking question w/eel
Thanks again. You have been such a big help that it makes enjoying this hobby that much more fun. Thanks again. A sincere saltwater hobbyist. Robin
<You're welcome my friend. As you know/will know, this sharing is very important to me as well... an opportunity to make the distance and concise distinction twixt our lives and "the planet" that much smaller, less evident. 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)

Morays in Reefs with Cartilaginous Fishes?
This will be my final question.  When I put my fish in to the bigger tank that I am setting up, I would like to do something new in my 125. I was thinking 2 big eels the golden eel and the Brazilian dragon eel or tesselata eel.  Either one not sure but are they reef safe because I want to make it just coral and eels. is there any certain corals they like to eat if any that I would not want to buy?
<None of these Morays will eat corals... but do arrange your sedentary invertebrates "high and tight" to discount these going-to-get large eels nightly forays...>
Is there any other fish that I can keep with the eels and coral?
<For the eels, fast and smart ones... for the corals... ones that don't eat, bother them...>
With the big eels I know they eat a lot would that affect the corals or would it be better with just one eel?
<It's going to be a big job with even one as it grows...>
How big would these 2 eels get in this tank because I don not plan on upgrading the size of the tank for the eels.
<A few feet>
Do all of these eels usually live a long time I heard the morays are pretty strong fish to not as good water quality?
<Hmm, yes, they're very tough as marine fishes go>
Would a shark or stingray work with the eels I would maybe get a little stingray or leopard shark?
<No my friend... Please read over the shark, ray, moray sections on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. 
Bob Fenner>

Bob, I am interested in purchasing a Moray eel. I was wondering which eel would be more compatible with Tomato Clown and Damsel sized fish: Zebra or Snowflake? Thanks for your help, Kelly
<Only a few choices here... as most Moray (family Muraenidae species) are fish-eaters that get more than large enough to eat your livestock. Either genus, species you list will do... Please read more thoroughly about them on posted materials on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Dragon Eel
I was thinking of buying a Dragon Eel for my 180 FOWLR. What do you think about this eel? Does he get fairly big? Long? Will this type of eel go after everything? I really can't find that much information about this specimen.
<Enchelycore pardalis? About three feet maximum length... a fish eater. Will eat what it can/does catch>
If I did buy this type of eel will I be able to put my hand in the tank to clean it. 
<Yes, carefully... watching where the Moray is... keeping your hands out of its way>
Your opinion will be greatly appreciated. Could you also give some examples of some other fish that I should be able to place in the tank. I'm
assuming that all other fish in the tank should be 7inches or bigger correct. When buying fishes of this I'm sure my selection is limited due to
the fact that most fish do poorly when you purchase them at that size.
<Hmm, depends on the starting size of the Moray... do read over the selection pieces and Moray cover article posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com site.  Bob Fenner>
Re: Dragon Eel
Does this go the same for the Cortez Dragon Eel? Does this eel look similar in color (markings)? Would this be a better choice? Will this eel come out and show itself during the day?
<Yes, yes, about the same in choice, and eventually. Bob Fenner>

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>

Eel question
Hello I have a 55 gallon tank with 25lbs of crushed coral and 15lbs of sand,  and I am going to buy 25lbs of live rock today at the LFS. I am thinking of  putting a blue ribbon eel in the tank first. My question is how hardy are  these guys and how are they at taking food. Is there a eel which you would  prefer? What kind of live fish should I feed them, I would really want them  to eat frozen food. Later I am think of putting in a loin fish and maybe a  stone fish. And will these fish eat peppermint shrimp and snails?
<< The Ribbon Moray Eel's"? Genus Rhinomuraena? Terrible choices... most die, jump out (99.9%) within a month of capture... And yes, they do eat crustaceans... if they do eat in captivity.
There are some fave Muraenids (morays)... The Snowflake and relatives of the genus Echidna, and the Zebra's (Gymnomuraena)... but they REALLY eat shrimps... You can read my take on true eels stored at www.wetwebmedia.com in full if you'd like. Bob Fenner>>

Questions about Eels
Hey JasonC,
My LFS keeps their eels in one tank. They got snowflake and zebra eels sharing their homes in PVC pipes. 
<<you realize this is because they don't expect to be keeping them for very long... >> 
Is it okay to get one of each in a 55 gal. tank? 
<<I personally wouldn't do it. Better to have just one and enjoy it. You're going to be kept very busy by one Houdini let alone two - these guys are amazing escape artists.>> 
I am also planning on stocking the tank with a marine Betta and a dragon wrasse. How does this mix (2 eels, 1 Betta, 1 wrasse) sound? Do they have enough room to live together peacefully for many years? 
<<How about one eel, one marine Betta, and the wrasse for a couple of years? Perhaps some other small-ish fish - a pygmy angel >> 
Does the wrasse prefer sugar-fine sand or something coarser? 
<<I would think the sugar-sand would work best>> 
<<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >> 

Eels getting along?
What are you guys opinions on a Hawaiian Dragon Moray and a Gymnothorax melatremus coexisting in a 120. The dwarf pretty much hides all day with his head poking out. Do you think he would end up a snack or would they be alright? 
<<Hmm, hard to predict. I'd say at best the odds are 50/50 that the smaller eel would become a meal.>>
Thanks, Ken
<<Cheers, J -- >>

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