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Moray Feeding FAQs

Related FAQs: Moray Eels, Morays 2, Moray Eels 3, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility Moray Systems, 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, Freshwater Moray Eels, Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Non-Moray Marine Eels, Snake & Worm Eels,

A healthy Gymnothorax textile enjoying a meal.

Golden dwarf moray won't eat         6/1/15
Hey crew! I have a 69 gallon Fowlr tank that has been setup since October.
At the end of March, I purchased a golden dwarf moray eel and it was in my quarantine tank for 4 weeks and refused to eat while he was in there,
<Quarantine is stressful, and fresh from the wild Muraenids often don't feed for quite a while>
I put him in my main display hoping that he would begin eating when he was in there. I still have not gotten him to eat ANYTHING, although he might have eaten a Firefish that I had in there ( it disappeared and was never seen again). I have tried raw shrimp, salmon, tilapia, silversides, mysis cubes, marine carnivore cubes( from recommendation by the guy I purchased him from). I know that he has to be starving, and I'm really at a complete loss for what to do at this point. Water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, calcium 420, alk 13( had a bad batch of instant ocean and alk got really high), SG 1.024. Any guidance as to what to do would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd contact the folks who sold you this animal... ask them to take it back..>

All the other inhabitants are eating and acting normally, no issues with them at all. His tankmates are a starry blenny, Tailspot blenny, pair of percula clowns, long nose Hawkfish, green Chromis, and royal gramma. Thank you!
-Samantha
<DO read on WWM re feeding morays.....
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Golden dwarf moray won't eat         6/1/15

Hi bob, thanks for the fast response. I ordered the eel off eBay and it was shipped to me, and they won't take it back. I had tried contacting them a few weeks ago. Needless to say, they got some very negative feedback. I will try squid again and see if that will entice it to eat.
<Do try live "grass, glass shrimp..." soaked for a few minutes in a dilute appetite stimulant (HUFA, vitamin mix like Selco)>
I will read through that link again, although I did read quite a bit if it before emailing you guys. How worried should I be at this point about his survival? The eel is probably fully grown at this point, he is 12".
<Mmmm; not eating for a week or two even is not a concern, but a month or more.... Not good. Bob Fenner>

Snowflake eel; fdg.       2/1/15
Hi there, thank you for providing this resource.
Quick question, when feeding my Snowflake Moray prawns (frozen) is it best to take the shells off the prawns or leave them on?
Thanks again.
Matt
<Matt, the best way to feed a moray prawns is "occasionally". Mussels and prawns are widely used by fishkeepers, but neither make good staples, and should very much be minority components of their diet (say, 20% of what you feed them). Cockles, white fish fillet, lancefish and squid are better alternatives. Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_1/thiaminase.htm
But to answer your question, whole and shell-on is best, but that assumes the moray is big enough to crunch the shells. Small specimens will need you to cut the prawn into smaller bits, quite possibly shelling them if the moray is really young (say, 20-30 cm in length). Cheers, Neale.>

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

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

Moray eel identification problems – 09/9/13
Hello to whoever reads this at wet web media! I'm assuming it will be Marco, and if so hope you are doing well my friend :)
<Yep. Still alive. :)>
Basically, I recently ordered a Banana moray eel from my LFS and had it going into my 4ft 100 gallon aquarium. Since then there have been a few issues on the identification on the eel I received with myself believing it is a Dwarf golden moray eel (Gymnothorax melatremus) instead of the true Banana moray from Brazil (Gymnothorax miliaris).
<Yes, both species can be traded as "Banana eel". Better use the scientific names.>

Here's the problem, I ordered this eel a few weeks back and was promised a 14 inch Banana moray at £330, but there were issues with this one (had a sore on its mouth) so the supplier ordered in another. I was never told the size of the eel only that it was a banana moray, and it was to be delivered by last Friday. When I obtained the eel the bag was not clear so couldn't see into the bag well and even then it looked really small but I thought that may just be the bag making an illusion. However when I returned home and placed the eel in the acclimation bucket, I saw the bright blue eyes and pinky orange characteristics of the Hawaiian dwarf moray eel. Here's a few picture's and video of the eel I received. Acclimating
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2N82uq5b6Y
In the tank (when he shakes his head can that be a sign of a parasite or disease?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaHn4dZQAsM 
<Don't think this is a sign of a disease, but rather acclimation. Give it some days and only if it continues research the cause.>
Also, when questioned about this the supplier said that they got the names confused as the dwarf can also be called a Hawaiian banana moray but I have never heard of this.
<As noted, both are sometimes called "Banana eel", the yellow morphs of the Indo-pacific G. melatremus as well as their yellow G. miliaris relatives from the Atlantic.>
Also seems strange as the first moray was supposed to be 14 inches+ but the dwarf golden moray doesn't exceed 12 inches, so I am inclined to think they have made this name up, but may be wrong. Also they said the true banana moray is extremely rare (like they have never seen one before and will cost much more than £330, is this also true)?
<It's rare, but not extremely rare and usually can be imported from Brazil. I did this myself and had no problem getting this morph. They were sellable around 200-250 Euro, larger ones up to 400 Euros, so £330 is a realistic price.>
Thanks in advance! Love the work you guys do and the answers you give. Really appreciate this as its being sorted out tomorrow so would love to have this information ready to fight my cause if need be. :)
<G. miliaris and G. melatremus are most easily told apart by their eyes. G. melatremus has a stripe through the eyes, which G. miliaris lacks. Your pics are a little small, but I think I see the stripe in the videos. Since you have Clownfishes, and a Toby in your tank it's even good you have G. melatremus, which is much more harmless (an adult G. melatremus can eat a small clown, though). I had a large, 2 feet yellow G. miliaris in the past (and still have a smaller one) and clowns and maybe even the Toby would definitely have been food for my specimen. It was harmless when young, but that changes after about 6 years. Good luck with your G. melatremus, I found this species much harder to obtain and better to keep due to the smaller size. They hide more, though. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Moray eel identification problems – 09/10/13
Thanks as always Marco! Great advice that I really appreciate :)
<Welcome.>
Just 2 more questions if you would be kind enough to answer.
Having a bit of trouble getting the dwarf moray to eat, any good staple diet foods that you could recommend? Being trying a large selection and he's not interested as of now.
<Yes, as with many or maybe even most eels it takes a while for them to settle in and accept food. This can go on for weeks. Ghost shrimps can be accepted in terms of live food, and for frozen food you can use pieces of clams, mussels, octopus, calamari, various shrimps and fish filet.>
Also, how would the compatibility of both eels eventually in my tank sound? Or would the Banana eel (miliaris) eventually consume the smaller dwarf moray? (dwarf moray is around 10 inches at the moment)
<The latter can happen. I had a tiny G. miliaris with another species of dwarf moray. Once the G. miliaris was significantly larger it attacked the smaller eel and they had to be instantly separated. Co-housing Gymnothorax eels of different size is generally not the best of ideas.>
Thanks again mate!
<Take care. Marco.>

Over fed Skeletor Moray Eel   1/28/13
I have a Skeletor Moray that was 8 " long when I purchased it 3 months ago.
 He is now in my 270 gal mixed reef.  When first introduce he was very active and aggressive even taking a nibble of a gorgonian in my tank.
Needless to say he made me a little nervous. It seemed nothing like what I had researched.
<Oh, well. After all it's a moray, even if it's a small one.>
So my plan was to make him fat and lazy.
<Making it fat can significantly limit its lifespan. Also, this species isn't native to the US.>
All the researching I did, I never saw anything about over feeding.
<See WWM re feeding moray eels. Have a look at Snowflake morays for a related species,>
Now my eel is just not looking right and I know he's suffering the effects of over feeding. So my question is: can I do anything to help him out or do I just have to wait and observe?
<You should feed less of course. A piece as large as the head or several of smaller size on three to four feedings a week should be enough. Keep the food varied (shrimps, clams, fish filet pieces, ...) and if you use frozen food add vitamins once per week.>
Thanks for any help Sincerely -Jason
<Good luck. Marco.> 

zebras and Snowflake eel fdg.      7/29/12
Hi there, I have a zebra and snowflake eel that have had for a long time.
Both get along great and lay together. The zebra is about 24" and the snowflake is about 16". I usually feed them twice a week. I give them a shrimp a piece soaked in vita-chem. Lately they have been acting like there starving. Can I feed the zebra more then twice week?
<Yes... and/or more on the days of the week they do get fed>
 I know the snowflake is only suppose to eat once to twice a week. I hope you all are well, Jim
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>
Re: zebras eel     7/29/12

Thank you Bob!
<Welcome Jim>

Goldtail Moray Eating Habbits <Habits> 6/21/2011
Hello,
<H Peter>
I've had a Goldtail moray for close to 3 years now and I believe it to be fully grown. It's about 2' long and pretty thick. The moray is in a 150gal tank and is pretty active for a moray and social, as social as an
eel can be. My question is in regards to its eating habbits. When it was small, I fed it every 2 days, different chunky foods like raw shrimp, silversides, squid, etc. It ate as much as it could, then when it was full it would go back in its cave. But now that I assume its fully grown, it only wants to eat about once a week. It still eats as much as it wants, but only once a week. Is this normal, for a moray to want to eat less
often as it matures?
Otherwise it's still active, social, no other fish pick on it, no new tank additions, it looks healthy.
<Do read here, especially the inset titled Moray Eel Not eating.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm>
Thanks in advance,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Peter

ID and feeding question. 5/26/11
I think it is either an hourglass moray or a reticulate moray but im <I'm> not sure. I would like a positive ID.
<Muraena clepsydra.>
I have this moray who is 16" long and as thick as a golf ball (would this be an adult?)
<With 16 inches? Can still grow a lot... 3 feet and a few inches (1m -1,1m) is a realistic adult size.>
in a 300g tank. It is a well established tank for years. He refuses to eat anything at all even though it has been 2 weeks now.
<A moray not eating for two weeks after being moved is nothing unusual.
Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and the linked FAQs.>
He wont eat live or frozen. When I feed the other fish in the tank he goes crazy trying to find food but never tries to catch his tank mates or takes from a feeding stick. Im <I'm> not sure what else to try.
<More patience and keep on trying. Can take more than a month (sometimes several months) with morays of this size. As long as no symptoms of a disease occur you'll likely be fine. Try offering various marine fish fillets, larger shrimps, octopus or squid (especially the last two are quite popular among morays of the genus Muraena. Also check if the water parameters are in line (nitrates < 30; pH around 8.2). Cheers, Marco.

Fimbriated Moray Questions, sys., fdg., comp. 1/29/11
Hello again! Trevor here! =)
<Hi Trevor. Marco here.>
I'm happy to see this awesome site is still running, and still powered by the same awesome crew at WWM. I've searched through your articles and intend to fish for a little more information on Gymnothorax fimbriatus, but before I begin I'll throw out some information on the system he's in and what I intend to do in the future. The moray is ten inches in length and resides in a 40gal breeder aquarium. I'll eventually be placing him in a 125gal aquarium or maybe something a pinch larger than that.
<The latter sounds sufficient to me, if you wish you can go bigger.
Remember, they can reach 90 cm (about 3 feet).>
Currently, there's a 50gal filter running on his tank with a 100gal protein skimmer on it as well. The temperature is at 78 degrees F. Currently, he's eating silver sides and squid. I bought one because I felt they were the hardier of the marine fish I could get. I made this choice after having read an article about one that survived a fire at the pet store it was in.
Quoting the article the fish survived "-extreme heat, cracked tanks, toxic fumes, no power and even an extended dose of fresh water from the fire hoses." I have no intent to put that statement to the test but we do have occasional outages here caused by severe weather.
<Many moray eels are quite hardy compared to other marine pets. However, it also depends a lot on the technical and biological setup of a tank how long it can survive a power outage. Especially canister filters can be a problem. If organic matter and bacteria are trapped in there without any current (and consequently oxygen) for a day or even longer (will depend on the specific filter and how dirty it is) toxic ammonia, nitrites and hydrogen sulfides can develop and flood the tank when the power is back on again. So, during a long power outage it is a good idea to unplug and partly clean such closed filter systems. Tank size is also an important yet simple parameter: The larger the water volume and surface, the longer it will provide enough oxygen for the inhabitants. Battery powered air pumps are also a very good idea for a longer power outage. Temperature usually is no problem, but I know people who wrapped up their tanks in isolation material during a power outage in a hard winter (don't forget oxygen input in this case).>
I was wondering if sand eels were good for my moray, as I've seen them advertised on the web just recently as I don't go about looking for new food morsels very often. I plan to feed the moray well enough that it will hopefully live to be thirty years old, and even past that age with good water care included.
<Keep the food as varied as possible and add vitamins regularly. There's quite a number of fishes called sand eels from the family Ammodytidae used in trade, but I have no long term experience with the use of them as main staple. Given you add vitamins and also feed other things you should likely be fine, though.>
There are hermit crabs digging in the live sand as I type this along with a shrimp tugging the bristle worms out of the rocks that came with the live rock a friend of mine recently donated more of. I've considered buying snails to aid in the turnover of the sand and cleaning up after the Gymnothorax fimbriatus though I'm not sure if he'll attack them or not, however doubtful I am of that right now.
<Should not eat snails. Rarely you may see piscivorous moray eels carry snails out of their caves (happens as I write), but generally they don't harm them.>
I've been wrong before as you'll see with the fact that there used to be two of the shrimp and now I'm down to one in the month I've had this eel with no sign of the other. Perhaps he's hiding in the live rock but since I see the other one quite often I think that's a bit far fetched. Should I assume he'll consume the other shrimp as well or get more?
<Can't tell you for sure. Often they get along very well with Cleaner shrimps for years, sometimes they are eaten. Shrimps may also vanish due to other reasons than the eel or the eel may only eat dead or dying shrimps.
There are a lot of possibilities, even that some shrimp couples are apparently not long term compatible for whatever reason. In the 40 gallon tank I would only keep 1, in the larger tank you can try 4, but add them before the eel.>
Further venturing onto yet another aspect of what I plan to do with the tank, I've looked into introducing a Mangrove tree into the sand and live rock. Is it possible the roots could eventually crack the tank and would there be any way I could prevent this?
<By cutting the roots from time to time. I got about 7 year old mangrove bonsai in a tank, the roots should be cut about once a year.>
I've heard those trees are phenomenal in removing nitrates from the tank, almost to the point of replacing the protein skimmer entirely.
<Not likely that this is (only) due to the mangroves unless you got a whole lot of them. Macroalgae, live rock, water changes and possibly a sand bed (be careful with those power outages) can be much better for nitrate export. Don't expect much of one mangrove.>
The livestock of the tank are as follows-
Gymnothorax fimbriatus
Banded Coral Shrimp (x2?)
Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab x3
I've thought about adding bumblebee snails in as well for added cleaning.
It's said they'll eat even more of the bristle worms as well as carrion and detritus. The tree could help absorb a lot of that as well.
<No, it will only remove dissolved nutrients, not detritus.>
It all sounds like a good idea to me, especially with a larger tank although I was wondering how the eel would feel about all of this.
<The eel would not mind it.>
I understand he's supposed to get quite large, possibly up to thirty inches in length. One last thing I thought I'd mention as well, was that the customer service rep I talked to from liveaquaria.com said this moray would do well in brackish water as well as marine. While I haven't considered putting my Fimbriated Moray in the near future it seems like a good question before misinformation is spread though I really like the folks over at Liveaquaria as do my friends. I just thought I'd check things out with other people as well, preferably people who are much more experienced than myself. =)
<This species can actually occur in river mouths and estuaries, I guess that's where the idea comes from. But for long term care a marine environment is the only option. If you have too low salinity (SG<<1.018) for a longer time your eel might stop eating, it's immune system will decline. It probably would not reach the 30 years you are willing to keep it.>
Thanks! Trevor
<Welcome. Marco.>
Fimbriated Moray Questions Sys., fdg. 01/31/11

Thank you for the swift reply, as always :)
<You are welcome.>
I went to my specialty LFS yesterday before I'd gotten your reply and picked up some mangroves. (two) I thought they might be some help as well as just look good in the tank. The guy helping me was quite friendly and inquired on what I intended to do with the young mangrove trees. I told him what my plan was, and soon the discussion went off to my system and my moray. I told him I fed it large meals twice a week and his brows went up.
He told me at ten inches long I should be feeding the eel every day. It seems like quite a bit compared to what I could gather from the WWM Moray Q&A a while back. I fed him his silverside and squid today, turning this over in my head. I decided to ask just in case, since it was given as being the reason that my shrimp had gone missing though I was told to get another one in about a week when I had fed the moray a little more.
<Feeding two meals a week instead of a small meal everyday certainly is not the reason for your missing shrimp. The nutritional value of such a Cleaner shrimp is quite low and if this eel was being desperate your other shrimp would be missing, too. Your eel will either eat a shrimp for a snack at a given point of time or leave it alone, this won't depend on how much it is being fed within reasonable limits. Outside these limits, feeding a predator until it is so overfilled that he cannot eat tank mates (often done and even recommended to keep them from eating inadequate tank mates) is not a good idea. P. Purser called it power feeding, it leads to too fast growth and some anatomical anomalies you'll only find in captive eels fed large amounts of food when young. The latter can dramatically shorten the lifespan and is accompanied by an unusually high percentage of fat in the flesh as well as a fatty liver. Better aim at what moray eels eat in
nature. Many eels are found with empty stomachs (percentage depends on species), practically no moray eats every day. If you wish to feed it every day, you can do that, but in this case feed small meals. Personally, I would feed it every 2 or 3 days a meal that in combination is about as large as its entire head. Oh... and not too much silversides... and add vitamins to them...>
The moray looks quite healthy. Not only does he look nice but he's active and very alert. As soon as the scent of food wafts through the tank water he's poking around the entire tank looking for the source.
<Imagine a 3 footer acting like this. At any size, they are fun to watch.>
Trevor
<Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Fimbriated Moray Questions, fdg/nutr., sys. - 02/01/11

I have yet more questions! I seem to be full of them, I apologize, but I greatly appreciate your will to answer them and the more information I can get is all the better in terms of my moray's well-being.
<Okay.>
Wednesday will be the next time to feel the eel and squid is planned. Also, I've been told to use garlic as a main supplement.
<You can do that... or not.. doesn't matter.>
I feel like quite the novice now that I've began reading up on vitamin and mineral supplements. I went and asked a friend of mine who works at the zoo here. It's one of the best in the nation and I had wished I had brought this up with him earlier but he said some of the foods put out by Mazuri would be good for the eel. The gel diets don't dissolve quickly in water, or so he told me. It makes sense being that they're intended for fish.
Being that I want the very best for this moray, do you know what the best brands I could use with him that are available to me here in the United States?
<I personally prefer the brand fish market... Seriously, a variety of fishes and sometimes crustaceans and cephalopods is what I recommend and use for piscivorous morays myself. Avoid Thiaminase containing species when known and when feeding frozen food add vitamins to replace vitamins lost due to freezing and thawing. Variety is important.>
One website mentioned stuffing Nori into silver sides and other food items. I did more poking around in terms of the sand eels too. They're loaded with omega fats according to the products on the net. They're the same fats people associate with good health though it should be noted by myself that they're often marketed under "fish oil" which would lead me to believe he'll get the same benefit from the silver sides as well.
<Yes, that's what most/all fatty fishes contain... high in calories, though, and therefore best mixed up with less fatty foods.>
Maybe there are other things he could gain from sand eels.
<Stomach content and bones can be considered useful when feeding whole fishes. If this is essential can be doubted, though.>
A bit more looking around on that subject needs to be done on my part. I'm still hesitant to make any solid choices at the moment being that I'm hesitant whenever I make an investment in something. I always want to make sure it's the right choice. Just to be sure, however, how large should those feedings be? About the size of his head as you mentioned if I feed twice a week?
<Yes, as a rough recommendation for about 3 times a week. Can consist of a few pieces comprising this size. >
Is loading their food with Nori very reliable?
<Won't hurt, but probably cannot provide all vitamins.>
I've heard morays are sometimes omnivores but it sure doesn't look that way for my Gymnothorax fimbriatus.
<Omnivores? They either prefer fishes or crustaceans. Anything else is eaten less frequently or in the case of algae in the stomachs of herbivorous fishes unintentionally.>
More questions...
<Shoot.>
Digging around leads me to believe they enjoy somewhat turbulent waters.
<Mmm... no... they occur in areas with little current, too. In real high current areas you don't find many morays. They just need enough oxygen, gaseous exchange, not current per se.>
To what degree do they mean? On the site I read you can give too much aeration to the point of making the eel's veins stand out if memory serves me well. He seems to breathe easily enough.
<Does not make sense to me. Provide a nice surface current by having one or two streams or powerheads parallel to the surface and have a sufficient skimmer and you will be fine.>
I've never seen him gape except when there have been water changes and he's trying to intimidate me. It seems right now his water is circulated enough.
Again, I appreciate your input. I hate to rely on one source of information alone and it would appear I've found the best people to go to with my questions.
<A wise decision.>
I've only taken one piece of advice without asking for second opinions. It cost me my first moray, my Gymnothorax tile.
<Sorry to hear that.>
Thanks! Trevor
<Welcome. Marco.>

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

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

Very small eel... Sys., fdg. ID! -- 03/31/10
Hello, I need some info regarding what to feed and house an eel the size of a tooth pick !! yes, that small.. my Hawaiian dealer decided to add this critter at no extra charge this morning.. he claims it has stripes and that's about all on the description. I was hoping that live brine might do the trick ...but the animal might not be ready for such a hardy meal? very concerned... I will try and get you some pics .. ETA to me 4/1/2010.
<There are literally hundreds of different eel species. Without knowing what you get, it's difficult to give you an information the its natural diet. Feel free to send clear pictures of the head and body, maybe an ID is possible. Brine shrimp might be a start, but small, live Mysis would likely be better. Also, live Gammarids, which occur in live rock, reef tanks without fish eating them or refugiums. You will also need to train the eel to frozen food unless you have a good supply of live or freshly marketed foods. I hope it's not too small to eat these things or you'd need to look at Artemia nauplii and cultured Copepods.>
best regards, Tom
<Cheers and good luck, you might need it. Marco.>

Black Edge Moray Eel not eating -- 09/22/09
Hi there,
<Hello Janie.>
I have a Black Edge Moray Eel
<I guess you are talking about a Gymnothorax saxicola, G. nigromarginatus or G. ocellatus.>
that is about 16" long and about 2 months ago we put in the tank 2 fish that we found at the beach, a few days later the eel's eyes were swollen and completely white, like if they were full of smoke, we went to the fish store and we were given some green medicine to put in the tank once a day for 7 days. The eel's eye are perfect now, we changed about 50% of that water and sine she got sick has not been eating anything.
<Using fresh carbon for filtration might be a good idea.>
This happened in beginning of August. We recently changed all the water and she is still not eating. She doesn't look sick and her eyes are great but I wonder why is she refusing to eat ?
<The main reason for moray eels refusing to eat is stress caused by their environment. Check if the tank has a sufficient size (I'd say at least 60 gallons for now, if it is on its own, more when grown, as usual the more the better). Is there enough current (at least 10-15 times the tank volume per hour, preferably more) and a sufficient skimmer to provide enough gaseous exchange? Are there enough caves or tubes to completely hide in (yes, even these eels that are common on sandy substrates live in caves)? Are there any aggressive tank mates? Next, check the water parameters, even if you changed the water: See if the nitrates are below 25 ppm and if the pH is between 7.8-8.4. If this not the case re-consider your water changes and filtration techniques.>
We tried live shrimps, frozen shrimps, dried krill, live feeders and nothing....what else can I do?
<See above. I recommend not to use feeder fishes, but rather live crabs, which compose a big part of the Black Edge Moray species' natural diet.>
Please help !!!
<Check the environment and improve it. Don't stress the eel by attacking it with a feeder stick and food items. A healthy Black Edge Eel can go several months without food and certainly won't starve. After improving the system I'd wait a week or two and try frozen food items such as shrimps, mussels, a piece of fish (all later with weekly vitamin additions) or if it does not work add live crabs to the tank. Good luck.>
Thanks, Janie
<Welcome. Marco.>

Black Edge Moray Eel II -- 09/22/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie>
Thanks for getting back to me. The carbon filter was also changed at the same time we changed the water about 5 days ago which we were forced to do due to my kids pour scented oil in the tank accidentally, so I guess this added more stress to the moray. Anyways, before we went through this incident with my kids, the moray has been living in that tank for about 4 years, sometimes alone and sometimes with small fishes, like damsels, clown fish, tangs, etc, plus there is a small stone crab living in there for about a year or more.
I did some search online and found that this type of moray eel needs a tank that is at least 125 gal,
<Blackedge moray is a common name used for at least 3 species of moray eels, that are often confused with each other online, even in book sources. The three species have quite different maximum sizes and therefore the minimum tank sizes might equally differ.>
my tank is only 50 gal but since she has been there for a long time I did not think that it would make any difference now....this make me think on upgrade the tank to a bigger one but that will have to wait.
Someone recommended soaking the food in Garlic Xtreme before feeding which should help to stimulate the eel into eating again...what do you think ?
<I don't think it will hurt, but I cannot promise it will work either. The effects of appetizers on eels (and other fishes for that instance) are quite variable. As noted in the last mail, I'm sure the eel -- if healthy - will start to eat again with or without garlic products. I'd concentrate on checking its environment, especially water parameters and tank configuration as written before.>
Thank you very much for all your help! Janie
<You are welcome. Marco.>

Black Edge Moray Eel III -- 09/22/09
Here is a picture of the tank and the moray eel.....
she looks like she is living in a closet so definitely I need to upgrade in tank size.
<I concur, this appears to be a Gymnothorax saxicola, it will grow to 2 feet. I'd also add more surface agitation.>
Thank you very much for all you advised !
<Welcome. Marco.>

Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP -- 10/09/09
I have a Black Edge Moray eel that got sick at the beginning of August when I brought a fish straight from the ocean, her eyes got all white, we gave her some medicine provided at the fish store, her eyes got 100% clear but since then she has not eat anything.
We have tried everything possible for her to eat and even upgraded our 40 gallons tank to a 90 gallons tank
<Good decision!>
and she still not eating and for the past week or so her behavior have changed, she is calm and suddenly starts swimming crazy bumping into everything, like if she is very mad.
<Likely because of pain.>
We have had her for about 4 or 5 years and she has never behaved this way.
Now I am very concerned because she is starting to look skinnier plus she is starting to show severe scratches on her. Please take a look at the pictures, I circled the parts where you can see her bone sticking out, specially in the tail you can already see the tip of the bone out and some flesh out.
<Are there any life forms (fish, crustaceans etc) in your tank that might pick on the eel? If not this is likely a bacterial infection.>
I thought about releasing her back in the ocean, I really don't want her to die but I was told that since she looks so sick now she might die faster in the ocean.
<One basic rule of being a responsible hobbyist: Never release captive fish into the wild.>
What can we give her to make it better?
Please help !!!
Thanks
<First check the water parameters: Are the nitrates below 25 ppm? Is the pH is between 7.8-8.4? Are ammonia and nitrites 0? If this not the case improve your water change schedule and filtration, the situation should improve by itself. If the water does fulfill the above mentioned conditions I'd recommend an antibacterial treatment for example with Maracyn 2 in a bare bottom hospital tank with a few artificial caves and no live rock. With regard to feeding: If frozen shrimps or fish filet with vitamins do not work, try live crabs. Good luck. Marco.>

Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 2 -- 10/10/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie.>
We put live shrimps and small fish and nothing.
<Will take some time.>
I have not check the water yet, this new tank got filled with water right from the ocean, we put some fish first and then the eel about 2 days later without checking the levels.
<So this tank is not a cycled, biologically stable system? Water does not carry a lot of useful bacteria for the cycling process, only very porous rock and substrate do. I see from your video you got some rock in there and hope this is live rock. Be sure to check the water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates as noted in the last email. If any ammonia or nitrites are measurable or if the nitrates are above 25 ppm do larger water changes to bring them down and keep ammonia and nitrites 0. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm>
What should we do about her skin and broken tail ?
<If the water parameters are already as noted above, start an antibiotic treatment with e.g. Maracyn 2 preferably in a hospital tank (no skimming, activated carbon and live substrate or rock) if available.>
By the way, see the attached video clip of the eel, how do you think she looks? How can I cure her broken tail?
<Breathing a little fast'¦ another indicator of possible problems with the water. Do you have enough current and a skimmer sufficient for the tank? I've seen worse wounds heal at this species, so there still is hope. As noted above, I'd first check the water, it is possible an improvement of water quality may be the only treatment necessary. The immune system of this eel seems to be down due to a lack of vitamins and/or environmental problems, opportunistic bacterial infections ('flesh eating bacteria') likely have infected minor scratches. It is possible an improvement of the water will be sufficient alone, this would mean no additional stress for the eel. If this is not the case an antibiotic treatment will be necessary. I'd also offer him more shelter where he can completely hide, the eel does indeed look stressed to me. If you have success with feeding be sure to use vitamins regularly. I do wish you good luck. Marco.>

Re Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 3 -- 10/12/09
Marco,
<Janie.>
We checked the water and it is excellent
<What are nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and pH at?>
, only the ph is a little low and we started adding the buffer to stabilize it.
<A pH drop can indeed be reason for a moray eel to refuse to eat. Surface current and a skimmer will also help to keep the pH up, so you will need no or much less buffer.>
This tank was already cycled when we got it and yes, those are live sand and live rocks which by the way we have arranged many times but the eels keeps on knocking them down and pushing them so I gave up for now until she is better and we can try to re-arrange the rocks again.
<I use cable wraps in such situation und incorporate pvc pipes, which are gladly used by this and other eel species.>
We do not have a skimmer so we are planning to either buy it or make it.
<I'd urgently recommend to get a skimmer soon. This will help with both -- the pH and the health situation of the eel (by removing bacteria and organics from the water).>
I started putting garlic Xtreme in the tank, since it is a 90 gal I added 9 drops on Saturday, I was told that it is safe for all fish and rocks and the bottle said that it helps on bacterial infections and wounds.
<May help to make the food smell interesting, but the antibacterial properties are rather small.>
Will it be safe for the eel's tail? How often should I put those drops?
<Safe: yes, Useful: I doubt it. Can be added daily.>
She looks a little more calm but still not eating, I am not sure if it is because she is getting used to the new tank or because she is getting weak.
<More likely the first and the jaw will also hurt. What are you trying to feed? Adequate foods are: fish filet, shrimps, crabs (preferred food item of your species), mussel and clam flesh, octopus and squid.>
In regards to the treatment in a hospital tank I am not to convinced in moving her out again due to all the stress she went thru when my husband tried to get her out in which she jumped out and fall in the floor, this happened about 2 times and now every time we pass near the tank you can tell she gets mad and starts going crazy again. Will it be safe to do the antibiotic treatment while she is in this new tank with the live rocks, enenemies and the fishes or should I take her to the hospital tank and do it there?
<It's generally recommended to use antibiotics in a hospital tank. Maracyn 2 claims to 'not interfere with the biological filter', but also notes 'Use of a hospital tank is recommended'. If I had the choice I'd go for the hospital tank, especially if the wounds seem to grow. As a side note, the medication is removed by skimming and activated carbon.>
Can I use the garlic Xtreme at the same time as the antibiotic treatment?
<I see no reason why you could not.>
Are all vitamins reef safe?
<The products sold for aquarium use: yes.>
Which one will be better for the eel?
<Products that have at least the vitamins A, B1 (very important), B2, B5, B6, B12, C (also important), D, E.>
By the way, I was told that eel live about 10 years in the wild
<Can get much older if not killed (this is confirmed by bone examinations and not a simple guess). The oldest one I found in literature apparently got 60, eels in their 20s or 30s are not too uncommon in aquariums.>
and I have had this one for about 4-5 years which was in a friend's tank for another year or so.
Do you think she might be getting old and that's the reason why she is having this behavior?
<No. Your eel simply does absolutely not look like an old eel looks like.>
Thanks again for all your time and help ! Janie
<I'd get a skimmer ASAP, and if the situation does not improve (wounds getting larger, breathing getting faster, other symptoms occurring) use an antibiotic such as Maracyn 2. For feeding I'd try the items listed above with vitamins and live crabs/shrimps. Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 4 -- 10/12/09
Nitrate and Nitrite levels were at zero and PH was a little under 8.
<Sounds good.>
We tried to feed him live and frozen shrimps, frozen silver line fish, live feeders or goldfish.
<I'd not try the last two items, the other foods are fine.>
I have never tried any fish filet, mussel, clams, octopus or squid.
I'll get the Maracyn 2 today and treat him in the same tank, my husband is refusing to move it back to the other tank again and since we do not have a skimmer yet it might not be so bad.
<Ok, but be sure to monitor ammonia and nitrite to ensure biological filtration continues to work. If you see severe cloudiness, the surface of the water should be sufficiently moved by filter outlet or a powerhead in order to allow gaseous exchange.>
I will also get him one of those fake rocks with a cave and some clams and squid.
<Ah good.>
For how long should I use the Maracyn 2?
<At least 5 days. You should see an improvement at this point.>
Thanks again ! Janie.
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 4 -- 10/12/09 10/14/09
I prepared yesterday the other tank (40 gal) to move the moray today, checked water and everything is fine except that ammonia looks a little high so I let it run through the filter before putting the moray today, I'll check the levels again today. Took all sand out and bought a cave for him. Checks his chin and looks worse, a little tip of the bone is already showing.
<Yes, visible on the pictures you sent in one of the last mails.>
Thanks for everything, I will let you know in a week or so about his improvement.
<I do hope we'll see an improvement. Feel free to add one or two of the live shrimps to the hospital tank if no ammonia and nitrites are measurable. The antibiotic should not hurt them and perhaps a snack might me welcomed if the eel's health situation really improves.>
Janie
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Need help about my Moray Eel ASAP 6 -- 10/15/09
Hi Marco,
<Hello Janie>
It has been 2 days since I started the treatment with the Maracyn 2, we moved her to the tank in a very peaceful way, at least she did not go thru any stress with a huge plastic bag.
<Sounds good.>
I added to the water a multivitamin solution called Vita-Chem Marine by Boyd Enterprises (see picture attached) and it made the water yellow, I hope this is OK because since the filter has no carbon due to the Maracyn 2 treatment the yellow color is still there.
<Yes, a sufficient product. The color is no problem.>
I tried to give her some frozen shrimp and a piece of silverside fish yesterday but nothing yet, she definitely looks a lot skinnier now. Take a look at the attached video, she is now breathing very slow, what do you think?
<The breathing looks fine to me and the posture of the eel does look good, too. Much better than an eel lying on the bottom and showing labored breathing. It does not look like a death candidate.>
I did noticed that the wound on the chin looks like it is healing, the tail is still a little hard to say.
<Let's hope you are right and the healing starts. Also, continue to check for ammonia daily if possible, especially if the breathing changes to a faster mode again. If you wish add a few live shrimps or crabs.>
Thanks again ! Janie
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Eel Help Please!; G. eurostus -- 07/15/09
Thank you once again for your good advice and also the great link!
<Welcome.>
You said eel eating tank mates, you mean triggerfish?
<Some develop the bad habit to bite moray eel fins.>
I'm trying to get my eel on a feeding schedule but he/she seems to want to eat all the time. I feed my two triggers once in the morning and once at night time (small portions) and the eel goes crazy in search for food. Should I be careful on how often he eats?
<Yes.>
My zebra ate every other day (a couple shrimp or cam strips, or krill). I have read that you should feed twice a week as much as they want to eat. Is that the same for juveniles?
<Not as much as they want to eat'¦ they'll grow too fast and become too fat. A healthy diet does not include eating until you are absolutely full. In nature by far not every hunt is successful, which is also proved by moray eel stomachs being empty most of the time. I'd feed every other day pieces, which together are as large as the entire head of the eel.>
My new eel acts completely opposite from my zebra, he/she is out all day and night, he swims around my tank, while my zebra just came out late at night and stuck him head out of his cave, really never swam around the tank other than feeding time.
<May change when settled in in a few weeks.>
Thank you again and sorry for all the question,
<No need to be sorry.>
I just want to make sure I am giving my eel the best treatment that I can. I went and purchased some vita chem. vitamin drops, is there any other you would recommend?
<Some far I had no problems with other brands made for aquarium use. Just compare the ingredients if you feel unsure.>
I also went and purchased pro salt silversides, clam strips, squid and krill.
<Sounds good. Keep the diet varied.>
Thank you again. Terry
<Cheers. Marco.>

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

Dragon Eel is slipping away - 2/21/09 I have had an 18-20 inch Dragon Eel for 6 years. He's always been blind as a bat but is otherwise a hearty eater, healthy as a horse. He is of course beautiful, and they are no longer exporting this fish from Japan so he's essentially irreplaceable. Tank is 240 gallons and is kept clean, and is professionally serviced every month. Water quality has remained good throughout (I am a big believer in over- filtering a tank). He has survived a very wide range of tankmates. <And eaten some likely> About 4 months ago the tank had to be moved from a location about 7 miles away to its current locale. The only 2 fish that came along with the eel were a porcupine puffer (about 10 inches) and a Harlequin Tusk (5 inches). Not a lot of fish for a big tank, but hey, the economy. Since the move, the eel lost its appetite, eating only occasionally. Diet includes prawn, silversides, and "Variety Supreme" (or as we call them, "gumdrops"). <Mmm... not what I would use... Do you supplement, add vitamins, HUFAs?> I chalked his loss of appetite up to stress related to the move, since he otherwise exhibited no symptoms. But then about 6 weeks ago one of the 2 heaters in the tank burned out and the tank got a little cool for a few days (about 8 degrees F below normal). He stopped eating altogether and started to experience some sort of seizures. Once the heater was replaced he seemed to improve a bit (he finally moved back to his hidey-hole for a couple days, for example) but has demonstrated what I can only call neurological deficiency ever since, having trouble swimming, not eating at all, and occasionally hanging out upside down. <Bad> Now, 6 weeks later, he stall won't eat, he lies upside down in the middle of the tank. His breathing seems labored. He has lost lots of weight. But otherwise, he is asymptomatic--no obvious disease, no sores, no color change apart from being slightly paler -- nothing. Just starving and wasting away. I am contemplating euthanasia at this point. <Mmm, not quite yet> I don't have a sick tank or the budget to buy one, really, unless I believed there was a really great chance of it being successful. Do you foresee any hope at this point or should I admit the inevitable and put the fish down? Or is there something obvious I have missed? Thanks for your consideration, Brian Maffitt <Look into one of the commercial "appetite stimulants" sold in the trade... Selcon, Seachem's "Garlic Guard"... and raise the temperature to 82-84 F.... This and other Muraenids can recover from long bouts of non-feeding. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dragon Eel is slipping away 2/21/09 Thanks so much for your response. A follow-up--he has a white curling emission coming from the opening in his midsection, is could possibly be a worm, or maybe he's just pooping? I could send a picture if it would be useful. Brian
<Would be. B>

This is fecal material... I would force feed this animal... See WWM re if you are unfamiliar. BobF. 2/22/09

Re: Dragon Eel is slipping away 2/22/09 Thanks Bob. I see many different recommendations for force feeding on the site... the only one specific to eels involves removing him from the tank, holding with a wet towel and using an eyedropper or baster <Or plastic catheter of size) to administer minced food. Is this what you would suggest? <Yes... grind the food fine enough and add sufficient liquid (and vitamin, HUFA) prep. to make it "squirt-able"...> I did not see a specific FAQ related to force-feeding, but I want to make sure I do the right thing... <Understood. BobF>

Question about snowflake eel regurgitating. Fdg. 12/20/08 My snowflake eel is about 12-14" in length and has been regurgitating rather frequently after feeding. For the first three months I mainly fed the eel frozen krill and have recently switched him to mainly silversides and some squid on occasion; I plan I varying his diet <Don't plan, do it. E. nebulosa are crustacean eaters. A varied diet should consist of mainly unseasoned shrimps, but also squid, mussel flesh and fish. Vitamins should be added about once a week when you are feeding frozen food. They are not needed when you are feeding a varied diet of fresh food.> much more and adding a vitamin supplement rather than the garlic I'm using now (favored over vitamin supplement by my local LFS). <Obviously, garlic cannot replace vitamins.> Is this semi-normal behavior? <No.> Could it be due to overfeeding? <Yes. Everyday feeding is not necessary. Feeding every two or three days is fine. Morays do not eat every day in nature and are often caught with empty stomachs.> Any other possible causes I should look into? <The diet as mentioned above should be your top priority. Water quality should also be checked. Quality of the food should also be questioned if only one type of food is regurgitated.> Any thoughts on this matter are greatly appreciated! Feeding consists of 1-1.5 full silversides or an equivalent(quantity) alternative. <Per day? Too much.> The tank is a sixty gallon Uniquarium with 2-3" crushed coral and roughly 60lbs of live rock; considering increasing this slightly. Water parameters are as follows: Temp 77 F, SG 1.024, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 20-30 (working on this with partial water changes(5ga) and gravel vac every other day) <Yes, this should be improved.> , PH 8.2, Alk 2.9. Thanks for your time. -Joey <Cheers, Marco.> PS: you helped me answer some questions I had about my Coral Beauty Angel, and I would just like to let you know that he appears to be on the mend! <Ah, good to hear.>

My Golden Dwarf Moray, fdg., hlth. 12/20/2008 Hi, <Hello Matt.> I recently purchased and set up an aquarium for a Golden Dwarf Moray eel. The tank has been cycled and three days ago I added the eel. The specimen had been at the store for a month or two and seemed to be doing great, except I never actually saw him eating. So now I worry that he will not eat, I have tried feeding him silverside last night but he is scared of it and hides. Brine shrimp he seems to have a keen sense of smell for but has not eaten it. what else would you recommend I try? <#1: Patience. A healthy eel won't starve, many morays need days to weeks until they have overcome the stress of capture and changing homes, some larger ones need even months. #2: Keep it free of stress in the new tank, a stressed eel will not eat, especially when it feels by you. #3 adequate food: The diet of G. melatremus mostly consists of crustaceans, and to a smaller percentage of fish (although they often eat small fishy tank mates in captivity). Get some raw, frozen shrimps (no freeze dried krill) of adequate size (or cut them into smaller pieces). What is also eaten are scallops, clams, mussels and cephalopods like squid. Thaw them prior to feeding and add some vitamins once a week. #4: See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and the linked FAQs for further information on feeding, a lot is already written there. Also check the feeding part of this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebindex/fwmorayart.htm .> Also recently (yesterday) he became very twitchy, scratching / hitting himself on the live rock in the tank. Now I worry that he may have some sort of parasite but I cannot get a great look at his body (besides his head) for more then a few seconds. My water is fine (0 nitrate 0 nitrite 0 ammonia, 8.2ph 1.023 specific gravity). Any idea what may be causing this "twitching" <Has to adapt to new water parameters. For disease symptoms look for apathy and elaborated breathing.> he was formally in a system which had copper (the store) <Can/likely has damaged the eel, lowered its life expectation. No copper use for Anguilliformes <<= true eels, includes Morays. RMF>> in therapeutic doses.> , but the tank I have him in does not have any copper what so ever. <Good.> Over the last two days he has seemed active enough at night but now he is scratching / twitching a lot, and this in the combination with not eating has me worried... <It can take a while until the moray has adapted to the tank water. If you are concerned watch water parameters and its breathing?> Thanks for the help, Matt <Welcome. Marco.>

Help with identification please... Moray, and sel. 12/11/08 I have obtained a specimen of this eel, and would like to know what species it is. Is it Golden Dwarf Moray, or is it a Golden Tail Moray? <Where is the picture?> I am a little confused in looking at the illustrations/descriptions. <Easily told apart: G. melatremus has a bluish stripe through the eye.> What I really need to know, is how suitable this beauty is for my 120 gallon reef? <Is your tank eel-proof? Eels are escape artists and there must not be any unsecured holes in the tank (e.g. drainage the sump) or in the hood. If you don't have a hood, you'll likely need to apply a net or similar.> I have a Sailfin Tang, Hippo Tang, Flame Angel, as well as cleaner shrimp, coral banded shrimp, and snails. None of the fish are full-grown by a the means; pet store size. <Depends on the size of the eel and your fish. Both will most likely leave alone fish of about 1/3 of their own length and larger. The shrimps might be recognized as cleaners, if not (less likely) they'll become food. G. melatremus stays under a foot and will less likely cause any trouble, except maybe finding and feeding it in a 120 gallon tank in the first weeks (later the eel will find you at feeding time). G. miliaris grows to two feet and can eat small fishes, your tangs should be safe, but the Centropyge should better grow if you have this species of moray.> I would really like to keep this eel, but I surely cannot dedicate my whole tank to it. Also, I am sure it is important to keep them well fed. Does this mean feeding them individually somehow? <Yes, with a feeding stick, long tweezers or something similar. Feed a variety of unseasoned and uncooked sea food (shrimps, fish, mussel flesh, squid etc.) and use vitamins at least once a week. It cant live on the standard fish foods like flakes or too small types of frozen food. Please see here (and in the linked FAQs) for further info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm > I would greatly appreciate any advice. Best regards, Jeff or a <Something missing here? Greetings. Marco.>

Hopefully easy question regarding Tesselata moray; feeding - 03/06/2008 I've searched around the web and definitely over WWM and am having a hard time finding a good answer for my question. I've recently acquired a small Tesselata eel, somewhere about 14" long. He eats amazingly, in fact too amazingly, which leads me to my question... Will it hurt the eel to be fed daily? <Consistent overfeeding can result in a fat moray eel with liver problems and shortened lifespan, but it's sola dosis facet venenum, the dose alone makes the poison. You'll probably see if your eel is becoming fat by comparing him to others (e.g. pictures), and then you should cut down the meals.> He is hooked into my other tank through a shared sump, so when I feed my other fish (6 green Chromis, a dwarf flame angel, a bristle tooth Tomini tang and a Twinspot goby) he smells the food and stretches way out of his hole to the spot where I normally feed him. I have a hard time resisting feeding when he is so obviously begging. I know he isn't really *hungry* because his stomach is nice and plump and he has been eating daily. So lately I've been only feeding him every 2 or 3 days and just ignoring the puppy dog eyes he gives me when I walk by the tank. Is it going to hurt him if I return to a regular one small meal a day feeding schedule until he gets larger? <Not necessarily, the keyword here being "small". You could divide the meals you feed him now to smaller ones given every day. Be aware that moray eels in nature do not feed every day, very large ones only about once a week. Most stomachs are found empty, and as you probably already know digestions takes about 2-5 days depending on the food and temperature.> I've got a large water volume, about 300g between my eel tank (150g) my sump (50g total water volume) and my "show" tank (125g) so I'm not real worried about an ammonia spike while he is at such a small size. <The danger here is an accumulation of nitrates with time. I'd monitor those nitrates, but that's standard marine tank maintenance, not only moray eel tanks.> Also, my system has been up and running over a year now and is nicely established, I've got plenty of bacteria and lots and lots of Caulerpa in my sump. Once he gets bigger, say over 2 feet, then I'll stop feeding as much, but I would like to feed him in a manner that lets him get larger quicker without endangering his health. Is that possible? <He will only grow quick if a good water quality is provided all the time. However, feeding very large amounts of food every day to juvenile eels following Purser (know his book on morays?) may result in problems with growth and malformed specimens.> And if it matters, I feed a mixed diet. <Very good, a key to a healthy moray.> He gets normally a small piece of shell on shrimp, a piece of a tuna filet or fresh salmon filet (I leave the skin on so he is getting that in case there is something in there he needs to complete the diet) and then a small piece of squid. <If this is one meal it sounds much, but since you state the pieces are small, it probably is okay. I'd also add vitamins for fishes from time to time.> I am still trying to find silversides in Alaska, they aren't easy to come by. <You can also try any other small saltwater fish that may be available in Alaska, if you want to feed entire fish, which is good in terms of variation and nutritional value.> Lastly, I do know that this eel typically reaches the 5 to 6 foot range in captivity <Yes, typically, with a few larger ones.> and yes I do plan on upgrading to a 350g tank in the future, with a bigger sump and no "show" tank, just the eel tank and a sump. <Sounds doable if good water quality is provided, however, 500 gallons would be better in case he keeps growing.> I appreciate all the work you guys do! Amazing site! <Glad you like it. I'd stick to feeding every other day. If you want to feed every day, I'd only feed half the amount. Slowly increase the amount of food, and also the time between meals while the moray grows up. Good luck with him, hopefully he'll accompany you a few decades. Marco.>
Re: Hopefully easy question regarding Tesselata moray; nitrates - 03/06/2008
Grant here by the way, I appreciate the quick response Marco. <You are welcome, Grant.> I think I will adjust my feedings to just every other day, I'd rather have a slower growing and healthier eel than a fast growing short lived one. Too bad though, because while he is a great little eel, I'd much prefer a specimen another foot longer or so. I guess all good things come with time, certainly something this hobby/addiction has drilled into me. <True. Hopefully in a few years you can sit in front of the tank and think about what a tiny little fellow he once was.> So you mentioned the main problem would be nitrates building up over time... <A common problem in predator tanks.> I've got a sump that nonstop grows Caulerpa which I remove about a 2g bucket full of every month or so. This is effectively removing nitrates from the system, correct? <Yes, very good.> And I also have at least 20 or 30 small oysters or clams on my rocks about an inch across from tip to tip of shell, along with 4 larger ones that are probably 3 inches across. I've been told they help lower nitrates? <No. Only things that grow fast and consequently take up nitrates, proteins, ammonia (e.g. you Caulerpa), or things that produce gaseous nitrogen (anaerobic bacteria in a DSB) will remove nitrates. I don't think your bivalves grow fast enough (like a few grams per weeks) to remove a reasonable amount.> I didn't get them for that purpose, they just came on my live rock and have done well in the tank. <They are certainly beneficial filter feeders.> I should mention I do about a 30g water change once a week, so 10% water change weekly, which should also help prevent nitrate buildup. <Very good rate!> Am I correct in assuming these things will effectively stop nitrate from building or should I still be worried about a slow creep up of nitrate over time? <Not worried per se, but should be checked on a regular basis, every few weeks. Keep nitrates below approx. 25 ppm.> I only check nitrate levels once a month or so with some cheap little test kit I picked up at the LFS. <That's okay as long as the kit was designed for saltwater.> I've got a couple gorgonians growing on my live rock that I have learned to watch, when they start looking a little "odd" then normally it's a water quality problem. I haven't had any problems through since about 3 months into the tanks life, so I'd say I have a good 9 months of very steady very "healthy" water. <Sounds good. Happy reefing and eel keeping. Marco.>

Moray or Ribbon Eel... sel., fdg... - 01/09/2008 Hi - <Hello.> 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.> Thanks. <Welcome. Marco.>

Moray eel not eating - 09/25/07 My moray eel is refusing to eat! <Species? Tank size? Water parameters (Nitrates, nitrites, ammonia)? Other tank inhabitants? How long is your system running? Any changes/losses? What do you feed? I need more information to help you.> I just bought it yesterday and it was feeding and today it's not eating. <Most morays, except the tiniest specimens, should not be fed daily at all. Really large ones can be fed every two weeks without any issues occurring. Overfeeding and resulting liver diseases are far more dangerous.> I'm worried that it will starve to death, because I have heard that they go on food strikes. <It is important to know species, size, tank parameters etc. (see above) to give proper advice. In general, morays can happily get along without food for weeks and some do without apparent reason and without dying.> Please help, because this is the last eel I am allowed to keep and I would not like to see it die. <Don't panic and don't stress the moray. Let it settle in for a few days. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayart.htm for some feeding tricks. They should work with marine eels, too. Write back with more information if you need further help. If you are unsure about the ID send a clear picture. Cheers, Marco.>

Vitamins and moray eel nutrition - 04/26/07 Hi. I have an undulated moray and a snowflake eel, they are in separate tanks. And I would like to know what kind of vitamins to give it and where can I get it? <Local fish store, online, vet… lots of sources and products. You can compare them by studying the table of contents on the packages. Ensure there is plenty of vitamin B in the product you choose. The diet of moray eels consists of fish and crustaceans, and has sometimes pretty much of the enzyme Thiaminase, which can destroy vitamin B. So, adding vitamin B is a good idea. More important than additional vitamins is a varied diet not only consisting of 1 or 2 types of food. Feed a variety of unprepared seafood such as fish, squid, prawns, shrimps, mussel flesh, etc.> Also, I just got my snowflake two days ago. Tried to feed it some frozen shrimp, but it did not want to eat it. Should I be worried? <No. When stressed (e.g. by moving) they stop eating. Be patient and try on. Can take a week or two with this species. Others (e.g. Rhinomuraena) may refuse to eat much longer.> And what should I do? <Read more on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm and the related FAQs.> Thank you. <Welcome, Marco.>

Eel not eating; crowded tank - 04/13/07 Hi, <Hi.> I have a 55 gallon tank w/ 75 gallon sump. <Large sump.> I have 3 damsels (yellow, green, blue w/ yellow tail), 2 clowns, Coris wrasse, pink bar goby, 2 urchins, 5" Foxface, 4" dogface puffer and a 17-18" snowflake eel. I know, too many fish, right? <Definitely. The dogface puffer needs around 100 gallons by himself.>. They seem to all get along. <Just a question of time until the trouble begins.> My problem is the eel hasn't eaten in weeks. <They often refuse to eat for weeks. Sometimes because of stress, sometimes due to high nitrates and/or inadequate food, sometimes without apparent reason.> In fact, he runs away from food. When I first bought him, I fed him a large whole raw shrimp a day. <Shrimp only diet is bad. You need to vary his diet to prevent deficiency diseases.> Now he turns away from all food. Unless he is eating scraps off the bottom at night, I think he is wasting. Can I get your input? <Reduce your stocking. Check your nitrates (should be below 20). Do water changes 2 or 3 times a week until they are. Provide a varied diet (squid, fish, mussel flesh, prawns) for the eel. Enrich the food with vitamins. Feeding twice a week is enough. If healthy, he can go without food for at least 2 months. Hope he has not suffered to much due to the shrimp only diet and the overstocking. It is well possible your moray eel eats your small fishes some day if he gets well again. Use your free time to read a lot about stocking and especially about eels at WWM. Lots of information is already available. Cheers, Marco.>

Moray feeding and behaviour 2/3/07 I am attaching pictures of my albino <Mmm, no... a xanthistic variety... not an albino> moray which I am assuming his species is Echidna rhodochilus and was wondering if you can tell from them if indeed he fits the bill for this species. <Images not definitive... too blurry among other things> I have heard that there is a species that is white from monsterfishkeepers.com and someone thought he maybe one of those because his eyes look black and not pink. <... no> I just recently purchased a Gymnothorax tile and was wondering if the behavior I am observing is natural for this species and how to ensure he is properly fed. I am currently feeding guppies and ghost shrimp to my brackish tank with the exception of kelp pellets for my scat. I have a total of four fish these two morays a toad fish and a red scat. The albino has no problems coming out of hiding with me around and he tends even when hiding to have his head poked out. The tile though I have only observed him out upon coming home from work and turning on the lights. He swims around the tank a little while almost in a frenzy then hides. I am hoping this is normal as it is so different for my other eel. <Isn't atypical> The shop I purchased him from said the fed him pieces of raw shrimp. I personally would like to feed live food in this tank. I am worried that he may not want to eat live food because he may have been conditioned to eat dead food. Is this something I should be concerned with? <Nope> I do not want anything to happen to the tile and would like to know if there is anything I could do to coax him out more. <Time, practice, patience> The albino is clearly no problem since he is actively and visibly going after live food. I have recently bought a large tank and the albino has adjusted extremely well in regards to eating his habits have not changed since before except that now he has more room. Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

White ribbon eel not eating 11/15/06 Hi, I bought a white ribbon moray eel at my local fish shop, they told me it was easier to keep than a snowflake eel.<boy did they lie to you!>I asked them if it was eating, and the guy said "not very well", and I said what do you mean?, he said "well he ate once, from a chunk of shrimp I offered it, but refused the other times". So I thought, "if it ate one, its ok" So I brought it home,<the rule of thumb is...if you don't see it eat...and eat pretty well....LEAVE IT THERE!> and today I tried to offer a piece of shrimp and it refused, in fact, I put it with a stick right on its nose, and still it didn't even bite it.<this species is notorious for not accepting prepared foods, you should have done your research beforehand...now you are going to have to offer him different types of foods, mussels, shrimp, calamari, silversides,...I would try everything until he finds something. Make sure you keep the water quality pristine and keep a lid on the aquarium so he doesn't escape. Also if you have any other fish that could potentially pick on him...that could stress him out more and make him less prone to eating. good luck and read about these things online "Google.com" is your friend! IanB> Does that mean it is going to die?, is it because it is the second day or what?

Hungry Zebra Moray 7/31/06 G'Day crew. <G'day to you as well, Leslie in for the crew this morning.> I have a 30 inch zebra moray in a 8ft long 1.5ft wide 2ft high glass aquarium. <Great eel, I have one too!> My question is as follows. I purchased him about 2 months ago. It took a good week before he started eating. I have since feed him twice a week a variety of foods including squid, prawn, krill, fish from the fish market etc. He is doing well, is very health and quite active, even more than expected. But I have recently noticed an increase in appetite. He used to make his presence known at feeding time twice a week and would accept food when offered. Lately, every day I feed my fish he is out and searching, should I feed him when he searches for it or should I just ignore him and stick to just twice a week. <If you are feeding him until he is satiated, then 2 times a week should be fine.> Thanks in advance. <Your very welcome, Leslie>

Starving moray eel 7/19/06 Hello- I have a moray eel (not sure what type, yellow-ish with black spots all over). <Mmm, maybe Gymnothorax flavimarginatus... common> He has been in my tank for 2 1/2 months and has not eaten a single bite of food. He is about 2 feet in length. I have spoken with his previous owner who says he ate everyday and his favorite food was sand eels. I have tried: sand eels, silversides, krill, plankton, squid, scallops, live guppies, live (and then dead) freshwater feeders, all of the above have been tried by dropping it in and with a feeder tool. His water has repeatedly been tested - it is fine. I have rearranged his rocks several times (thought he might not like the decor!). His only tank mates are two small damsels- I have actually seen them swim through his open mouth and he shows no interest. I know that eels often starve, but I would really love some advice on how to prevent this. I'm pretty attached to "Fat Daddy" and would like him to survive! Thanks- Ann <How is this new system different from the old...? Though it seems a very long time, this length of feeding strike with morays is not unusual. I would keep trying to offer one of these foods daily, soaked in an appetite stimulant (commercial product or liquid vitamins). Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax melatremus... fdg. 7/16/06 I have a question about my dwarf golden moray, it has not been hungry the last week. <Happens... morays often go on such "food strikes"... generally resume feeding after a few weeks...> I have looked online and can't seem to find out a lot about this specific eel. He normally comes out 2-3 times a week to eat. I feed krill and squid. I have tried muscles in the past and he does not like them. <Mmm... I would try cut fish... on a "feeding stick"... in addition to the foods mentioned... and soak all occasionally in a vitamin/iodine supplement> So my question is he eating the other critters in my tank. I have 150 gallon reef tank with a puffer who I stock lots of crabs and snails for. <Oh, your Moray may well be consuming these as well> I also had "not sure if they are in there anymore" about 10 peppermint shrimp. Can my eel be eating the critters? <Oh yes> I buy them for the puffer and I don't mind buying them for the eel, I just want to make sure he is not hungry. <Highly doubtful> He is out right now in the front of the tank and looks great. Thank you Holly <Patience. This fish will eat when it wants to. Bob Fenner>

Questions on my moray eel... feeding, reading 6/12/06 Greetings! <Hello> first and foremost i would like to say what a wonderful and informative site you have. i applaud you guys for that and keep up the good work. <Where's the capitalization of the beginning of your sentences?> as for my questions you see i <I> bought my first moray last week and i am worried cause it has not been eating yet all though you mentioned about morays not eating for a month after its capture from the wild. when exactly does the moray feed? <Most during the night, though they can be trained to feed by day> should i be worried if it has not taken any food after a month? second, i don't know what kind of moray i have so i took a couple of pix and hopefully you could identify it for me. <Not from this pic> i am having trouble distinguishing it from the giant moray and the stout moray. lastly, do morays hunt? cause you mentioned that morays feed on dead or injured fish and i already put some damsels for it to feed on in case it gets hungry. hope you guys can enlighten me on my questions. appreciate the help. Arthur <May not be able to catch... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Moray eel/Feeding 1/31/06 Hi Bob <James today> I bought a Moray eel about 5 days ago and it is not eating. I tried to feed it live gold fish put in front of him also silverside, squid and Roseys. both live and frozen. Is this a big problem should I try anything else or just wait and keep trying. <First off, never use any food that lives in freshwater. Give your eel a chance to acclimate. Are there plenty of caves etc to hide in? Try feeding cocktail shrimp (unsauced), usually a sure bet. And read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm One other question for you. Is this a ribbon eel? If so, will be very difficult to acclimate/keep.> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Edward Vomiting Snowflake Moray 11/6/05 Hi, I have a snowflake moray that is driving me insane (He's about 14 inches). He was eating very well (2 Silversides everyday) but 3 weeks ago, he started to eat the Silversides and then vomit them up 30 min.s or an hour later. He then progressed to only occasionally eating a Silverside and a few pieces of Krill but now every other meal, he vomits and it is killing my water quality as well! <I would not feed much fish flesh, silversides to Echidna genus eels... and not this frequently period... Something crustacean based once, twice a week maximum...> Do you have any idea what is wrong with him? - water quality is fine, nothing has changed in the tank and he appears very healthy? I am concerned because he has gone from big eater to hardly anything Any help greatly appreciated <Cut back on frequency, amount of food, and type... Bob Fenner>

Planning Moray Meals 9/12/05 Hello! <Hi! Scott F. with you today!> I got 2 Snowflake Morays not too long ago for my breeder aquarium... The guy at the LFS told me to feed it frozen shrimp. Would this be a good diet for them? Thanks, David <Well, David- frozen shrimp can certainly be a good nutritional item for your eels, but you really need a diverse set of menu items, such as squid, clams, strips of fish, etc. Variety for fish, just like people, is very important. Feeding any one items exclusively is not a great idea. Be sure to diversify these fishes' diets, and you'll be pleased with the results! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Malnourished Moray 8/23/05 My snowflake eel is about 3-4 years old. He's about 18 inches long and 2 inches diameter. He usually eats 1-2 medium frozen shrimp every other day. <Needs a wider range of nutrification...> Day before yesterday he only had 3 bites (about 1/2 shrimp). This would not concern me except that tonight he did the same and he has local swelling around and behind his left eye. About 1/2 inch diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch raised. I'm not sure if I should try to treat this. As rapid as it has come on, I'm not sure he'll survive if it grows much faster/bigger. R. Rodriguez <Please read re Moray Foods...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm I would try soaking whatever foods this animal will still take in diluted "aquarium" iodine/ate, Selcon or equivalent... this may be a simple goiter... or other result of avitaminoses. Bob Fenner>

Re: snowflake eel 9/13/05 He died a few days later. Water quality was good. Any suggestions as to what could have come on so quick? <The swelling... may have been evidence of an internal tumor, perhaps a cumulative nutritional deficiency... Impossible to say. Bob Fenner>

Banned Eel or Banded Eel? (6-14-05) Hi, <Hi there, Leslie with you here today.> I have worked in saltwater specialty shops as a teenager and just got back in to the hobby or the addiction/passion as I call it. <Yes it certainly is a passion and some would have to also admit an addiction, but at least one of the healthier addictions ?.> I have a 125 gal aggressive tank (prior I had a reef/community tank). I cycled it for one month with 12 damsels to start the good bacteria. After I got lionfish and he is still alive eating like a champ. <Excellent!> My levels of toxicity are good. <Well done> I recently introduced a Banned Eel into the tank. <I am not familiar with a Banned Eel, I am going to assume you mean a Banded Moray Eel (Echidna polyzona)> It's about 2 feet long. <This species gets to be about 2 feet in wild, so we can assume you have a mature full grown adult specimen.> What is the best way to make sure he or she eats? <Morays are opportunistic omnivores. First off all give your new eel a chance to settle into his new home. It would have been nice to see him eat in the LFS, that is always reassuring. There is no need to be overly concerned if your eel goes on a hunger strike. Morays collected in the wild have been found with empty stomachs and have also been known to go for months without eating. You do however need to offer food daily until he is eating and then he should be fed to satiation about 2 times a week. If you do indeed have an Echidna polyzona, then your eel is a crustacean eater and will need to be fed things like shrimp and crab. My Zebra Moray loves lobster. As a matter of fact he did not eat for a month when I got him home. He had refused all but krill at the LFS for the year he lived there, but would not touch it in my tank. I tried everything and one day I bought a bag of mixed shell fish from Trader Joes. I was offering the Puffers a small piece of lobster and the eel came out of no where, in a flash and stole the lobster off the feeding stick. I was thrilled and amazed. I fed him lobster for a few days and that was the end of his hunger strike. Now the lobster is only a treat. Keep in mind Morays don't chew. So be sure to cut up his food into appropriately sized pieces. These guys do not see well at all but have a great olfactory sense so they will smell the food as soon as it hits the water but have difficulty seeing it. Target feeding with a feeding stick is very helpful. I gently bump my eels nose with the food at the end of the feeding stick and he takes it from there.> I will do what ever it takes!!!!!!! <Wonderful attitude my friend A little patience will go a long way. Also have a look at the articles and FAQs on Moray Eels, start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and learn as much about your eel. Best of luck with your newest wet pet. HTH, Leslie>

- Eel Feeding - Hey thanks Adam, I Appreciate the quick response. <JasonC here this time, but I'm sure Adam appreciates your gratitude.> I treated the water for chlorine with a half cap of Prime conditioner and ammonia remover. since then my ammonia has dropped to a consistent .5 and nitrite is at .3 (probably a little higher). Hopefully in a week or so the biological filtration will pick up. Any ways thanks again and I have one real quick question. I have a tessellated moray and was wondering how much to feed him? <A couple of shrimp every couple of days.> I fed him 4oz of silversides and he stilled seem hungry so i gave him 2 0z of raw salmon and he gobbled that up to. <I'd skip the silversides as they are quite fatty, and instead offer other sea foods like shrimp, squid, and the salmon sounds good too.> I want to make sure I am not overfeeding him or underfeeding him. <You should be able to get away with a decent feeding every one to two days.> I read the FAQs but feeding varies. well if you can answer that it would be quite helpful and i will leave you guys alone because i know your busy with others who need help. thanks again. Justin <Cheers, J -- >

Question about a ghost eel Hello, I have been reading your web page trying to find more information about a ghost eel (Uropterygius concolor). I searched for it on fishbase.org, but it still does not give me much information to go by such as what I should be feeding it. I talked to my LFS after finding it on fishbase.org and they ordered it in for me but didn't know much about it. I acclimated some ghost shrimp for it to entice it to eat, but I have yet to see it try for any. I was thinking of trying some black mollies to see if he will go for them. I have only had him a few days and am probably just getting too excited about it, but I do not want to lose him because I am feeding him something he will not like. He seems to be doing fine. He settled under a rock and just shows his head, occasionally taking a swim around the tank. So if you have any feedback on him I would greatly appreciate it and thank you for all the help you've given me by reading through the articles! Bret Caprilla Fort Lauderdale, FL <After the fish is "settled in" for a week or so, I'd try some small fish (marine in origin) or flesh of same, frozen, defrosted or fresh, attached to a "feeding stick"... wiggled in front of the eel... You can collect your own or buy silversides et al. from the fish store, grocery. Bob Fenner>

Mexican Dragon Eel I have had a Mexican Dragon Eel for about 4 weeks. He ate quite a bit right before leaving the pet store. Since then it hasn't eaten at all. A few days ago it ate a fish, and then threw it up. Is this something I should be concerned about? There are no other fish in the tank. Thank you for any advice. <Harley, I would give it time to adjust. These eels are known for their aggressive eating habits and can even attack other fish when they are in a feeding frenzy. Hope this helps you out. James (Salty Dog)>

Moray Eel Not Eating Hi Crew, I have a Gymnothorax miliaris (Spotted Golden Moray) which has stopped eating. She use to have a great appetite and love eating shrimp and octopus but for the past month I can't get her to eat. I've tried Shrimp, Octopus, Squid & Scallops. I used Garlic Extreme on the food but she still won't eat. She started eating less and less after I consolidated all my fish from my 240 in her 92 gallon while I finish my 380 but is there anything I can do to get her eating again, since the 380 will probably not be ready until another month. Thanks. >>>Hello, Moray eels have modest caloric requirements. It's not uncommon for them to go off feed for a time after being fed well. Remember, they don't move around much. After taking in enough calories to maintain biological functions, weight, and depending on the age of the animal, grow, extra food may be rejected for a time. Stress from added tank mates in a crowded space can play a factor as well. I've never known a moray to starve itself though, so I wouldn't worry. Leave the food in the tank after lights out, and chances are the eel will eat it. If not the first time, then eventually. Remember, they're nocturnal. Regarding the garlic, it's not proven to do anything but make your spaghetti sauce taste better. Cheers Jim<<<

Eel Stuff <Hi, Mike D here> Will the eel eat blue fish or fluke.<That depends on what kind of eel it is. Some, like the Zebra, Snowflake and Chainlink may well refuse fish flesh of any kind and insist on shrimp and crustacean meat. Many of the others will gobble it with relish.> I am not mike D but nice name for me<I'm not sure how to take that.**grin** I was stuck with it at birth and Mom and Dad just weren't into Tarzan or Jaques.>

My Snowflake Eel <Hi! MikeD here> I recently purchased a snowflake eel and it hasn't eaten anything. Could you guys tell me what this eel would eat<Two foods almost guaranteed to get it eating are 1) frozen squid or octopus, obtainable at many Greek or Sushi specialty food shops and coastal bait shops (why it isn't carried in the same packages in LFS is beyond my ken), and 2) frozen shrimp of the same variety that you would eat, obtainable from local grocery store seafood sections. As to why THAT isn't readily available at any LFS is another case of the hobby paying no attention to itself and CAUSING its own problems. In my opinion, any predatory species will likely do far better if you get its food anywhere EXCEPT an LFS who should only sell reef safe fish, apparently.>

Zebra Moray Not Eating Hello Friends, <Hi Dan, I'm in KY here so nice to meet a neighbor.> I just bought myself a new Zebra Moray 3 days ago to go in my 180 gallon. <I'm so jealous, Zebras are so very nice and that's a good size for one.> I have 8 other small fish in there, with a Chainlink eel also. The Zebra is 18 inches, the Chainlink is 15 inches. Both of them are getting along just fine, moving about the tank occasionally, and checking out the different caves and coves I aquascaped for them. <Sounds like they are settling in fine.> My question is, what is the longest I can expect my Zebra to starve herself? <That's a hard one to judge because you don't know how long it had been since she's eaten. They can go quite a while without food.> I was told by my local saltwater store that to offer crayfish, and fiddler crabs and krill. I have done this and she still does not want anything. I get nervous when my fish don't eat, and I'll probably go into a joyous spasm when I see her eat. <I used to feed mine with something on a stick. Their eyesight isn't very good.> My Chainlink eats frozen shrimp, and mussels, these are the foods that have no preservatives, they are taken out of the ocean and flash frozen. I am just wondering if there is anything else I can try to get her to eat. She is such a beautiful chocolate brown, and I would seriously go into despair if I lost her. Please help me to understand these beautiful creatures. <The biggest thing is to let her settle and find a home them tempt her with food that smells pretty strong. I think once she settles that things will be fine. Since she can't see well she'll need foods that tempt her with smells.> Dan In Ohio

Seriously Concerned about Zebra Moray 8/3/04 <Dear Anxious in Ohio, (Oooohh, I feel like "Dear Abbey"!<g>> Okay, now I am seriously concerned about my Zebra Moray. It has been 6 days, and she has not eaten. I was told by the guys at the fish store to feed her live crayfish, but she does not have a clue as to what to do with them. And I asked the question, since crayfish are freshwater, then how the hell do the saltwater eels get to them? I was told it did not matter. It sounds like to me I have run into some real incompetence.<Not really. Although freshwater crustaceans are not good long term food options for marine predators, they do resemble their natural prey, and the fact that they are alive often helps stimulate feeding.> I have even tried stick feeding her fresh shrimp, and mussels, but that does not work either. Her color is beautiful, and she acts normal in every other way, it just bugs the bejeesus out of me to try what I was told, and it does not work. I'm going tomorrow to try and find some live fiddler crabs, maybe that will work. Any ideas? Anxious in Ohio <First of all, relax! Hunger strikes of weeks are not uncommon on the part of morays and many other large predators. Live but maimed ghost or grass shrimp may be better first food choices. Once the eel is eating, it should be easily weaned to frozen meaty foods. Best Regards! AdamC.>

Ribbon Moray, eating, not hello, Bob Fenner <Hello, MikeD here> I saw your web site and the FAQ section on the ribbon eels and I was wondering if you have time to answer a eel question and concern. I have a white ghost ribbon eel for 3-4 months that I rescued from work. He was not eating for months so I took him home and nursed him back to great health (it took at lease a week to get him to eat).<Congratulations on a job well done.> He was always been a active swimmer and swimming about for the longest time.<This is abnormal behavior, not normal or a good sign for an eel, particularly a ghost eel> Know last Wednesday he did a complete 360 he eat his usually meal 2- 3 half silversides every other day the next feeding I go to feed he never came out to eat. so I think he might of not been in the mood of something but now its been one week to this day that he has not eaten or came out to swim like he always has and I'm worried. He's my favored animal in my tank and I must do anything to help him. What do you think is happening?<I think he's finally fully recovered and now acting like a normal Ghost eel. By feeding every other day, I suspect he's built up sufficient body fat so that he's now acting normally, and another week to ten days more w/o food won't surprise me> I have not changed anything since last week I always clean my 75gal tank every Wednesday I maintain aquariums all over Denver and I lack the experience of this species of eel can you help.<You've dove very well. Don't panic now and create a problem, but rather try to just sit back, watch and enjoy.> thank you for your time,<You're more than welcome> Chad Smith

Snowflake EEL not eating (or anything else for that matter!) Hey gang. How are you? I recently purchased a 6 in snowflake eel for my 120g FOWLR tank. When I first bought it about 3 weeks ago, he found his way to a particular rock that he likes and honestly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,HE HASN'T LEFT THAT ROCK SINCE THEN! <That is odd... maybe take a look at night with a small flashlight...> Now I know that snowflakes like to hide in rocks but he hasn't come out at all. Not to eat, not to explore the tank, nothing. Do you think he'll stay in there forever? Any foods you could recommend to get him to start eating? <Most any shrimp (sans cocktail sauce or cooking) will do to instigate a feeding response... Maybe even some live ghost shrimp or glass shrimp would really get this eel out and going. Bob Fenner>

An addicted eel!!! Hey all, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I wonder if people remember who I am. <Not really, I'm kinda new.> I've had no problems so no real need to come scrambling back for new advice. <That's good.> My little experiment with a saltwater aquarium went well till I got bored of the maintenance and dropped it back down to a brackish tank again. <Hmmm, the only difference is a protein skimmer, IMO.> My Tetraodon nigroviridis that was in that tank through the saltwater and now brackish has grown very fat, and ever since I added in bumblebee gobies he's been looking much more content to have the company of their species again (he was raised from the smallest size with two bumblebee gobies before I traded them away). <GSPs are best kept in marine conditions as adults. See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm I have never been able to keep smaller, slow-moving fish with my adult GSPs.> My hunt for aquatic plants ended when my aquarium now looks like a jungle and I have to frequently cut and remove the excess foliage to allow the light to hit everything. <Curious, how low BW SG did you go? There are no plants that could survive over 1.005, never mind grow into a jungle.> In that tank I have a male and female pair of johanniis, a very lively banded archerfish, a masked Julie, a Melanochromis exasperatus and four angels that I just acquired today. The angels are actually absolutely fabulous specimens, which I had personal pick between from friends of mine who are professional angel breeders. I wasn't able to pick any purebreds, but I did get a chocolate/marble, marble/smokey, gold/koi and marble/koi angel. <All of the fish you just listed are not BW fish (except the archer. Are these all in the same BW tank as the GSP? The angelfish are actually soft water fish, which is the opposite of BW conditions. Also, those angels are going to be without fins in the very near future in the company of your puffer.> Then finally there is the Red Sea Whitespotted moray eel, who brings up the subject of this email. Four months have gone by since I made the trade for this eel, and it took two months just for him to get accustomed to his new surroundings. After the first month he would come out and explore, and after the second month he was finally eating the krill that I'd stick in front of him on the end of air tube. Since then he's started to show more signs of aggressiveness when exposed to the smell of food, and when he actually attacks the food on the krill-on-a-stick. He seems to be acting like an adult based on how adult morays are supposed to be aggressively, but what I find weird is that as aggressive as he may be he wont attack anything live. I've put live mollies and silverbacks (the only thing he would eat when I first got him) right in front of his face, but he wouldn't dare touch them, even if I helped by half killing them for an easy catch. Now he eats krill like a starving hog in heat but I can't find anything else to vary with his diet. Also I'm noticing that there are frequently pieces of krill too small for his poor eyesight to see. What I mainly need is to find out what I can use as a larger version of krill, and another type of food that he might be coaxed into eating so I can vary his diet. He's a real healthy stinker, but he's still an addicted stinker nonetheless. Any other ideas would help. <Try threading most any food you can find from the fish dept of your grocery store. Bounce it in front of his nose on the end of the thread. You need to be very patient, it may take a while, but he should eat it. You could start with shrimp. Again, this fish also prefers high-end BW & SW as an adult. ~PP>

EEL...and feeding Is it okay to feed my eel squid and octopus I don't really know what to feed him. I got him free from my cousin, that was a break seeing as I was going to buy one anyway. Well thanks guys you've been a BIG help to me <I would feed him silversides and krill...That is what my golden moray loves, IanB> Jeffery

Muraena retifera food habits hey. I saw on your website that you have a photo of m. retifera, a photograph of an eel that bears an uncanny resemblance to a hardy little trooper I also have. however I noticed that this eel is supposed to eat crustaceans, which seems strange to me as my eel has viciously long, narrow teeth, like a dragon eel, only brown not orange and with the black eyespot on the gill. upon researching, I discovered that most other images of m. retifera do not look like the eel in question, rather they are mostly brown or black and do not have the distinctive protrusions on the head or the obvious black spot on the gill area. is this image (and my specimen) simply a juvenile form? <Am presently in Hawai'i and don't have reference materials other than the Net for TWA organisms. Do agree that the pic on fishbase.org does look very different. However, Google images has one that is quite similar: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=www.marinelifeimages.com/carib/fishid/pages/eel/images/FSD565.jpg http://www.marinelifeimages.com/carib/fishid/pages/eel/pages/FSD565.htm&h=355&w=480&sz= 120&tbnid=boo7xK_43EgJ:&tbnh=92&tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMuraena%2Bretifera%26svnum% 3D20%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26sa%3DG . And is likely also a juvenile as this one appears to be> I have mine for quite some time and it is not that large (maybe two feet or so) but he is quite aggressive. he is also quite an efficient hunter of fish and hasn't touched any of the ornamental shrimp he cohabitates with. I'm really interested in finding out more about the specific taxonomy of this animal (especially in the interest of the eel, though he seems quite content thus far) and without it I have been unable to best simulate his native environment. do you have any natural history? <Well do I agree with you that the bulk of genus Muraena eel species are opportunistic feeders on fish, squid and crustaceans. I am going to amend the caption with this one on WWM. Thank you for your input. Bob Fenner> thank you so much! Reuben

Will He Last That Long? >In about a week am leaving my home for a week. I have someone to feed my clown trigger, however feeding my Goldentail moray is a bit tricky and will not be able to be performed by the person I have feeding my trigger. >>Why not? It would seem to me that creating or purchasing a feeding stick or tongs would make it just as easy, but the trigger will likely have to be distracted with food first. >Would it be ok for the Goldentail tail to go without food for a week or would that propose a problem. I no morays have been known to go on "hunger strikes", however I fear this is different from just not feeding it. Thanks, Brad >>Just about any fish will be just fine going a week without food. Question is, with food readily available in the tank, will it tolerate it? You can certainly try it, but don't be surprised if the moray decides to have a late night trigger snack. Marina

Moray On A Hunger Strike? My Goldentail moray of late has not been excepting the food which i have been offering it. A few times it accepted silversides, but now it looks right past them even though he is obviously hungry. He is constantly swimming around the tank, looking for food. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I should be feeding my Goldentail moray.-Brad <Well, Brad, assuming that the environmental parameters are all in line (check for nitrates and metals in your water, as these can cause some problems for eels) and that he is not showing any signs of disease, you should be able to get him to eat by simply trying as many "meaty" foods as possible. Use items like krill, squid, chunks of shrimp, mussel, or fish. Enrich the food items with Selcon or Vita Chem, as they not only will provide some additional nutrition, but they will also add more "scent" to the food that may trigger a feeding response. Don't give up- but don't stress out too much, either. These fishes are known to go on "hunger strikes" lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks! If you keep trying, and keep maintaining a good environment, things should turn out in your favor, and he'll start chowing down once again! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Lion Practices Non-Violent Disobedience? Hello! <Hi! Ryan Bowen with you> I've read all the emails asking about training a Fuzzy Dwarf Lion to eat frozen, but none of them really say what to do if he still refuses to eat. I bought a baby (about 2") Fuzzy Dwarf 10 days ago and I've not seen him eat anything. He won't eat the brine or the Mysis shrimp, and refused my offerings of silversides and krill. I wiggle them in front of him and he turns away. He is starting to lose color and I'm worried! He seems healthy otherwise and the LFS claims he was eating frozen silversides. He shows some interest in the hermits but not in the food. <I would get some live brine shrimp, soak them in a little Selcon. It's better than nothing, and you've got to get something in him quickly. If not, even a few feeder guppies may work, but are not ideal. Are there other fish in the tank that eat what is on his menu? It may help. Chopped clams are a good food to get picky eaters eating.> I also have a Banded Eel that is a real piggy. He even ate the first day in his new home! How often should I feed him and how much?? He is about 7" long, is it possible he ate my 1" yellow tail damsel that recently vanished?? <Not possible, certain. You can feed him twice a week or so, and vary his diet as much as possible.> Thanks so much for your help! Your site is amazing! <Thank you for being a part of it. Good luck, Ryan> Dayna

Zebra Eel Problem (2/2/04) Hi. <Howdy> So I'll try to make this short. First off I did look on your site to try and find the problem myself <thanks> but since I am still fairly new to salt water I couldn't really find much. I have a 1.25 ft zebra eel in a 55 gallon tank. <I disagree with Scott Michael's assertion that a 55G tank is big enough for an eel that can exceed 4 feet in length. 120G is better.> As you can see in the picture he's starting to turn pink (not white) in his black stripes. <Do you mean the white stripes in between?> At first this didn't concern me cause I figured it was just cause he only ate krill for a year (bad info from store) so if you can suggest something else for him to eat (besides silver sides)<why not silversides?> I would appreciate it. <sand eels, squid, octopus tentacles, mussels--a variety of marine meats. I feed mind a seafood gumbo mix I get at Albertson's for $3 per lb.> Anyway, this concerns me now because my 1.5 in Sailfin tang (only other fish in tank besides some signature coral) has some pink forming above one of his eyes and the eel has started acting strange. <Suspicious for HLLE, look this up on WWM.> Sometimes it looks as though he's trying to breathe without opening his mouth at all, and then he'll thrash around like he's having a seizure. <Almost sounds like maybe he's got something stuck in his throat. Don't know what to do for that if it were the case.> Other times (I saw that other people on the site had this problem too but I didn't see what it was) he'll lay on his side or up against something like he's dead for half the day. <Possibly toxic water conditions or malnutrition.> I know you would like specific numbers on water quality but sadly enough the store said that they can't give me exact numbers they just say that "your water is fine, nothing's off" and oxygen should be fine cause I have the powerhead from the Fluval 304 breaking the surface and creating bubbles. <I'm no longer a fan of canisters in marine aquariums. Frequent (at least weekly) cleaning is required.> Anything that you could suggest would be great help, thank you so much for you time. <Buy some test kits of your own so you can have real numbers for the most important parameters. Salifert, Hatch and LaMotte kits are well-regarded. I've been reasonably satisfied with Hagen. Feed the fish a better variety of foods and soak these in Selcon & vitamins before feeding. Get the Tang some live algae to eat (e.g. Tang Heaven from www.ipsf.com) that you might want to grow yourself. Maintain excellent water quality & see if this causes improvement.> Sincerely, Shaun Welsh <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

New snowflake eel 1/5/03 Happy holidays guys, <You too! Sorry for the slow reply. Things have been quite hectic with the holidays and all!> I am fairly new to marine aquariums (only had my 55gal set up for about a year now) and I've never added to much too it, a few damsels and a Koran angel. I just recently got myself in a little deeper then I really was expecting. My LFS had a snowflake in one of their freshwater tanks and was asked to re-locate him by a few knowledgeable shoppers. Well the employees scooped it up and dropped it straight to a salt water tank (yea it freaked out) <Yikes!! Not very good handling. I would beware of an LFS that first of all would make the mistake of housing a marine animal in fresh water, and second subject it to such rough handling.> after letting it settle and regain its color I couldn't in any good conscience just walk away from it. So I now have a snowflake. <Walking away might have been the wiser choice, at least asking them to hold it for a few days to be sure it survived this ordeal.> I have been going over WWM site and I may have missed things concerning this, but how long should I wait before getting worried that the snowflake isn't eating, it had a mighty fright and I was warned that it would probably be a few day (they said it hadn't eaten for some time to the best of their knowledge)? And how/when should I start to get a bit aggressive in its feeding? <It is quite common for a lot of fish (predators in particular) to go on hunger strikes after stress, and yours certainly has been stressed! Any kind of raw meaty seafood is appropriate, but you may have to try something living to break the hunger strike. Live feeder guppies aren't suitable as a staple, but are OK for a one time use to break a fast. I wouldn't get too worried unless the hunger strike lasts more than 10 days or so or if the eel starts looking wasted. Best of luck. Adam>
Re: New snowflake eel 1/6/03
Thank you for you reply Adam no worries about long delay its appreciated, to let you know the eel is still living but still not eating, up to day ten to let you know. I have 3 small damsels in the tank with it so hopefully the eel will eat them not befriend them. <Snowflakes are mostly crustacean predators, so it is unlikely that a small one will go after fast moving fish like damsels unless they are incapacitated. You may try tempting the eel with a live feeder guppy or live freshwater ghost shrimp lightly speared on the end of a feeding stick (it should be presented moving, but not able to easily escape). Once it is eating again, it should easily adapt to frozen meaty sea foods.> My water quality has been going a little haywire since I got him but been doing regular changes and proper buffers. (5-10gal every 2-3days) the eel is looking a whole lot better I'm optimistic that he will make it through the stress. <I agree it should make it once it starts eating.> Oh i did ask the LFS to hold him for a few days and they said it was not a possibility, needless to say new fish store time, didn't have the heart to leave him in inadequate care. thx for you help <Definitely a strike against this LFS, but by "rescuing" animals from such conditions, you only support poor care and encourage the store to continue. We have all been there, but the best way toward the "greater good" is to either try and help the store improve or support those who do it right. Best Regards. Adam>

Eels With A Gourmet Taste? Hello there, I have an interesting question for you all. Have a snowflake and zebra moray who have become particularly fond of frozen angel sponge to the point where they will more preferably eat that as opposed to anything else...is that okay? Thanks for the input. <Well, if you're referring to "Angel Formula" by Ocean Nutrition- this is a fine food, and it does contain more than just sponge. All of my fishes seem to love it, not just the angels. Of course, feeding ANY food to the exclusion of all other foods is not a good idea, but you needn't worry about any possible "bad effects" as a result of feeding this food. Bon app?it! Regards, Scott F>

- SFE (?) Stopped Eating - Hi guys, Hope everything is well.. My SFE has stopped eating and need to know if I should be worried or any suggestions on how to fix it. <Pardon my lameness - SFE... I had to ask Anthony, he thought it might be Snow Flake Eel? I'm not familiar with SFE, but Snowflake Eels, sure... they sometimes go on hunger strikes.> I feed my tank Frozen Krill and brine shrimp and occasionally throw a crayfish in. <I'd do that a different way and only throw in brine shrimp occasionally, or not at all if you can. Instead feed more of the meaty foods - squid, shrimp [krill, prawns, tiger, Mysis, etc.], clams/mussels.> I actually broke down yesterday and through a couple of goldfish in to see if I could entice him to eat however unfortunately my Lionfish turned into a pig and ate everything that I threw into the tank... Any suggestions. <Hmm... do attempt to feed the eel (?) I hope that's what it is, directly with a feeding stick, wiggle small chunks of food in front of its face, that should help.> Thanks for your help Chris <Cheers, J -- >
- SFE Stopped Eating, Follow-up -
Hi J Yes, snow flake eel is the animal in question, <Ahh good, I hope Anthony sees this.> I'll try the feeding stick tonight and will try and pickup some squid etc. from the local supermarket today. Will let you know how I make out. <Sounds good.> Chris <Cheers, J -- >
- SFE Stopped Eating, Follow-up II -
Hi J, Didn't work <Give it some time.> Picked up some fresh squid and put it right in front of his face and he wouldn't touch it (clown trigger loved it by the way) Also attached a live gold fish to the stick as well and he wouldn't touch it either. Did a quick check on my levels and found my Nitrates were sitting at 60 ppm so did a water change...Will test them again tonight and if still high will do another. My salinity is sitting at 1.019 so is a little light as I try and keep it fluctuating between 1.020 and 1.022 depending on evaporation. Any other suggestions...I don't think he has eaten in a week so am afraid of losing him. <Don't be overly concerned. These fish can go several weeks without food.> Let me know thx <Cheers, J -- >

Eel stocking 10/5/03 Alright, I have a beautiful jewel moray in my 55 now; He's loving it compared to the 7 gallon he was in at the pet store; <good grief... a 7 gallon?! Shameful> But I have 3 questions for you: -First would he be alright with a white mouth or stout moray of his similar size? (if not please list a few he might get along with). <eels can be territorial with each other. More importantly... your tank is not big enough for an adult jewel moray in the 3-5 year picture... let alone a second eel. They need room to grow... else they will stunt and die prematurely> -Second is there any inverts that would be alight to keep with him, maybe something like cleaner shrimp. <possible... but a slight risk. You would be safe with echinoderms (starfish, cucumbers... perhaps urchins)> -Third I feed him 2-3 silver sides a night, and plan on switching it up with squid and other goodies... but do you think that is too much feeding, or is 2-3 silversides a night alright for a 16 - 17 inch jewel moray eel? <feeding just 2-3 times weekly is more appropriate... and please increase the variety of its diet with more prey items (krill, crayfish, fish meats)> Thanks for your time, I just want the best for my buddy to grow large, healthy and live a long happy life.... <it needs to be the only fish in this 55 gallon tank then, my friend. Do enjoy hardy sessile inverts in stead for tankmates. Try some low-light polyps (Zoanthids, Corallimorphs, etc). Best regards, Anthony>

-Zebra moray not eating- Hello, I recently purchased a Zebra for my 400 gallon tank, at first I put fiddler crabs for him to eat and he scarfed them all up, I have been trying to feed him tiger prawns (fresh/frozen) but have had no luck, he turns his nose up at them. he actually attacked my feeding stick when I put it in front of him, but he wanted nothing to do with the shrimp. I have asked some LFS for any ideas and all they can say is keep trying... <That's why it's best to make sure the LFS you bought the eel from has already dealt with this> when he gets hungry... he will eat what is available. <It rarely works out that way, you really need to keep trying. Try different foods, and it's all about jiggling!> I think this to be a little cruel (starvation), what if he never wants to try the shrimp. Any suggestions? <They can go for a pretty long time without food, so avoid any live stuff for as long as possible. You could try putting a fiddler crab on the feeding stick so the eel might make the connection. Good luck! -Kevin>

Feeding Snowflake Eel Hi. <Hello! Scott V. here> To feed my fish, a snowflake eel and puffer, how would you suggest feeding them. <Carefully> I Have read conflicting suggestions, just drop the food in the tank or take a feeding stick or tongs to do it. Which one would you recommend? <Well. I would say "try it." If you're lucky, and can just drop the food in, then you will have no problems. However, be sure to watch carefully. I would suspect the puffer to hog all the food before the eel even becomes interested, if it ever becomes interested in food just floating around in the first place. Another danger is that food will go uneaten and cause further problems with the tank. I think it would be worth a try once to see what happens, but I think you will end up feeding the snowflake with tongs to make sure 1. It's eating, and 2. Nothing is going to waste and polluting the tank. The puffer may be finicky, but I think it's likely to happily eat either way> Thanks so much guys <You're welcome. I hope I was of some help :) Scott V. >

Snowflake Moray Stopped Eating >Hi crew, >>Greetings Lorenzo, Marina today. >My snowflake moray stopped eating and hid away a month ago. My pH dropped below 7.9-8.0. >>OUCH! >Now the pH was restored to a normal pH range of 8.0+, but few days have elapsed and moray haven't yet started eating again. What can I do for it? Help me, please. Thanks a lot, Lorenzo >>Lorenzo, if the pH has bounced (changed up or down more than a tenth or two of a point) then this will not only SEVERELY stress the fish, it can kill it. I would do a large water change, and wait, then try again. If he's lived through the pH changes, he's probably just not "feeling well", and water changes will only help (do be absolutely certain the pH matched). Best of luck, Marina

-Eel feeding- Dear Crew, We have a 250 gallon marine aquarium with a zebra moray eel and a shark. <An appropriate shark for such a system I presume?> Both seem to be doing fine and the only aquarium parameter we seem to have some trouble controlling is the Nitrate level. <To be expected in larger heavily filtered aquaria, do your best to keep it low. The tank would benefit tremendously from a refugium, check out the articles and FAQs on the subject> But my real question is how much to feed the moray? We feed the moray eel krill on the end of a stick every other day. <Sounds fine to me. I'd feed it some krill, silversides, etc a few times per week. You can even hand feed him so he gets some fingers in his diet ;) > He is about 24 inches long and quite active. Do you have any guidance on the matter? Thanks, Max <Good luck Max and keep that tank covered! -Kevin>

- Eel Eating Habits - What's going on guys, I have a question regarding my Blackedge Moray (Gymnothorax nigromarginatus). I've had him for about 2 and a half months now. The first question that I had was regarding his feeding habits. He is very active seeming hungry very often especially lately. I started feeding him freshwater feeders, which the LFS said they were feeding him prior to buying him. However when placing the fish in the tank he seems to have difficulty locating the fish at times (sometimes even swimming by his face without him being able to catch them even expiring before he catches them. Other times he will catch them within seconds of being placed in the tank. I know eels use their sense of smell, because of their poor eyesight but at times it doesn't even look like that is working. I also noticed that this may coincide with the water temperature, is it my imagination? But it seems if the water temperature elevates a couple of degrees he is a little more inaccurate. Ideally I would like the temperature around 77-78 degrees, but with the heat and humidity where I live it sometimes gets up to 80-81 degrees. <Understood - I'm not aware of an effect on ability to locate prey caused by temperature, it could just be coincidence. Often times the eel just gets so excited about food that they miss sometimes.> Also I try to vary his diet but he at times seems very finicky. I gave him squid in the beginning which he readily accepted. He no longer seems to accept squid. I tried him on krill in the beginning which he did not want to accept, but now loves krill (which is what appears to have increased his appetite). I tried cut up fish he seemed liked it but no longer does. I tried cut up shrimp he didn't respond to it. What else can I give him to eat? , and should I try again with some of the things the he did not respond to, now that he seems to be eating well? <Absolutely... most important to get off of the live feeders as soon as you can. The best and easiest way to feed these other offerings to the eel is to use a feeding stick; skewer the food on the end of the stick and then waggle the offering in front of the eel's face, I think you will find it is much more receptive to these other offerings.> The last thing is at times he seems to do a type of thrashing motion with his head rubbing it against the floor of the tank. This is only occasionally. I do not notice anything in the area to indicate infection/disease of any kind. Can you explain this? <I wish I could, but I'm not sure... it's hard to know the motivations of eels.> Thank you Neville <Cheers, J -- >

Strange Events in the Middle of the Night (& Questions About Lighting) Howdy Crew! <Steve> It's way too late for normal people to be up, but an aquarist with problems loses sleep sometimes! I had a weird one today. I have a 1+1/2 foot Snowflake Eel in an 18T QT with an Emperor 280 and an airstone. When I woke up this morning, the eel was gone! I thought I had the tank sealed up tight. I looked everywhere in the small basement bathroom where I keep the QT-he was nowhere to be found. I have an open vat of LR curing on the floor below the tank, so I figured he maybe got lucky and fell into it. Not having the time to deal with it, I went about my day's activities. Around midnight, I decided I had to ascertain his fate before I could sleep, so I pulled all of the LR out of the bin and guess what-no eel. I was beginning to think he'd been abducted by aliens. The last place I hadn't looked was inside the filter. Sure enough-there he was! That filter has a BioWheel and it had it's cartridge plus PolyFilters padding in it. I still can't figure out how that eel got past the BioWheel, but he is only about a half inch in diameter. I swear that eels are not fish-they are piscine snakes. I always wanted a python, but my wife said it was her or a snake, not both. This eel is the next best thing. Now if I could just get him to eat-Arrgh! I've had him for 10 days now. Acts fine & swims around, but I can't seem to interest him in anything. I use a prong and have tried: frozen Hikari krill, raw & cooked shrimp, various disgusting raw seafoods from Albertson's, and life ghost shrimp-all to no avail. (The 3" Picasso Trigger I have instantly downed 3 of those ghost shrimp in 3 snaps.) Any suggestions? <squid, capelin, non-oily fish (salmon)> BTW, my 180 was delivered today. Setup is on Thursday. I've been having a hard time deciding on lighting. It is FOWLR and will contain the eel (if it doesn't starve), the trigger, a bird wrasse, and a harlequin Tuskfish. The three sections will be covered with glass lids. I was going to go with a pair of AGA 36" twin tube standard strip lights end-to-end plus possibly a separately-timed 24" in the front of the middle section with an actinic to help simulate dawn/dusk. However, I am wondering if I would be better off with a single 72" CSL SmartLite with 2 96W power compacts. What do you think? Also, are Moon-Lites of any value? They seem rather expensive. <Power compacts are cooler and more bang for the buck, and moonlighting is not necessary at all for a system with only fish> Anyway, now that my eel is safely back in the QT, I'll sleep now--at least until I start fretting again about his hunger strike. Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful & helpful advice, Steve Allen. <best, Chris>
Strange Events in the Middle of the night
Great news! My eel finally ate tonight. <fantastic news!> He took several big bites of Hikari frozen krill. Perhaps his visit to the filter box stimulated his appetite. Thanks, Steve Allen <best, Chris>

TOO MANY LARGE FISH IN A 90gal AQUARIUM! my eel is in a 90 gal with 15 pieces of different types of soft and hard coral 9 in lunar wrasse 7 in broom tail wrasse 6 in panther grouper 4 in big eye squirrel and 60 lbs live rock.<this is a huge bio-load for this aquarium-especially with the messy two foot eel> i just started feeding the eel squid and green back muscles with the same foods i feed everyone else which is cubes pellets krill and if i could get them silversides. the eel used to eat the back of the fishes tails but now it seems that it is too full to eat antones tail.<yes, this species of eel can be very aggressive towards tankmates-but with these fast moving wrasses I would not be too concerned (but do realize the eel could get the wrasses as they sleep at night-if he is large enough and that persistent> the eel is about 18-22 inches and the day i got the muscles and squid i feed it 4 muscles and a hand full of squid. now i feed it 1or2 muscles and 1 whole squid a day. it seems like that is too much but if it keeps it from biting my other fishes tails should i keep feeding it that amount and what else can i feed it that is not so expensive like cubes and krill.<I would not feed this eel this much, I would only feed him a decent size meal once or twice a week-and plan on getting a larger tank ASAP> hope to hear from you soon , matt Wolfe ps the fish stores around here don't seem to know anything about fish except how to sell the wrong kind and size to me.<Do research the fish before you purchase them, IanB>

Gymnothorax fimbriatus Hi. I posted a question last week but received no reply. <Sorry about that> I have a 15" Gymnothorax fimbriatus I purchased as a 6"er last year. He's very active, and thrives in my 150 gallon fish only tank. When I first bought him, he ate twice a week, then once, then bi-weekly, and for the past 8 months only once a month. He appears very healthy, always swimming around the tank, and visibly hanging out in one of the numerous live rock caves. He switches his tastes between silver sides, squid, shrimp, and scallops. I've researched on line as much as possible, and have read they sometimes go months without eating. I just wanted to make sure once a month was okay for him? <I would go with once a week as that's about how often they eat in the wild.> He also escaped from a holding tank in October, when I was moving from Chicago to Michigan. He was out for several hours, moving across the floor. He was immediately placed back in the tank and shed his slime coat. Since then he has had a 1 inch whitish discoloration near his head, that hasn't grown, and doesn't look fungal/parasitic. My water parameters are all right on the money. Could this be a normal variation with growth, or an effect from the molting? <This is likely just a wound and will go away with time. Cody> I appreciate any help/answers you can give me. Thank you. Paul.
Re: Gymnothorax Fimbriatus (feeding)
Thanks for the quick response. <We aim to please!> The only thing unclear is on the eating situation. I try and feed him weekly, but he only accepts food on a monthly basis. Is there anything I can do about this, or is this maybe just the way his system works?. Thank you for your time. <If he is doing fine and staying fat and healthy I would not worry. Cody> Paul
Re: eel feeding question
Hi again;<Howdy> Ii just want to say thanks a lot for all of your help with my Chainlink moray. He is doing much better now, though i didn't get the pet store's water, so i purchased that nitrifying bacteria, which seams to have worked well. I did get him a new 20 gal ( i know still small!!!), many new hiding crevices and rocks, a huge new filter (meant for a 60 gal), two 6'' airstones w/ individual pumps, and his levels are ammonia = 0, and his nitrites peaked and are coming down now. He has been eating every other day, and is no longer getting pale, at all. My question now is about feeding. He eats squid no problem, and ignores krill. Today i got him formula 1 cubes (probably will try tonight to feed him w/ those), and i got a small blue devil damselfish, which is another option for him. The last thing i got is a ghost shrimp; I'm so sure that i have read about how ghost shrimp are okay for him, even good because eels need some shell in their diet, but someone on the forums told me not to feed him with ghost shrimp. Also, if it is okay for me to feed him ghost shrimp, should i be worried that the ghost shrimp may get himself behind a rock and die before being eaten, messing w/ my tank's levels? sorry to be a bother, and thanks again for all of the help that you've given me!!! < Never a bother! It is ok to feed the ghost shrimp occasionally but you will want to gut load them with foods of high nutritional value. Only feed one at a time and make sure that it gets eaten. Cody>

When A Fish Won't Eat For More Than A Week- That's A Moray! <With apologies to Dean Martin...> Hi, <Hi there! Scott F here!> I have a Snowflake Moray Eel in a 29 Gal tank with 2 small damsel Fish. Temp.= 78 f / ph = 8.7 / Alkalinity 10 dKH/ Nitrate less than 10/ ammonia = 0/ Nitrite = 0/ specific Gravity 1.025. He seems to have lost his appetite and has not eaten in about 2 weeks. Usually he is a great eater. For a few feeds he ate very little and than he just stopped completely. <Well, this may be due to some kind of infection...look for any recent major changes in tank parameters or water quality for a possible catalyst for disease. As far as the "hunger strike" is concerned...don't be too worried-yet. These fishes can often go for very long periods of time (months, even) without eating! Not what we'd like- but be assured that he will not starve after a week or two.> I was wondering if these guys are prone to any specific malady. His eyes are slightly cloudy. <Well, they do occasionally contract bacterial diseases, which can be treated with antibiotics in a separate tank (don't use copper here, especially not if you're dealing with a bacterial or fungal infection.> He is about 13 inches long and I have had him for 1 year under these conditions. In the summer months the water goes up to about 84 degrees. He acts normally but at times he is less active. Any insight into this will be appreciated. Thank You, Joe Santini. <I'd just keep a close eye on this guy and be prepared to move him to a different tank for treatment in case he takes a turn for the worse. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Moray eating habits Hi Bob; I have read several of your responses regarding the feeding of eels, and usually you recommend feeding no more than two times a week. I haven't seen why this is although I would have guessed to limit size, replicate nature, and or to limit aggression. <Yes, my friend... and to limit pollution> I currently have a Gymnothorax miliaris (yellow) approx 11" long <I modified the spelling... this is a small specimen!> that becomes extremely active when any food is put into the tank for the other fish, and flies around looking for food. Sometimes he makes me nervous in respect to the proximity to other fish, but no chunks missing yet. This morning he ate four Spirulina flakes with gusto; this makes me wonder if I am not feeding him enough, or if he is just a slightly strange individual. I usually feed him 3 times a week with silversides, dried shrimp, frozen shrimp, and live ghost shrimp. Should I change his diet or regularity? <You are correct in your stating that smaller eel species/individuals are better fed more frequently. I would likely offer yours food daily. Bob Fenner> Thank you, Ken Kiefer

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

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

Ribbon eel/Dragon eel I have always heard all the horror stories about Ribbon eels. Well, I took at chance with a black ribbon eel about 1 wk, ago. He has been getting along with the Dragon eel. The Dragon has been in my tank for >6months. My tank is a 65 gallon. Both eels eat Formula 1 cubes with a passion. My Dragon will eat other things as well. The Ribbon eel did eat some ghost shrimp, also. <Very good news... you have one out of many Rhinomuraena... one that eats> Do you have any suggestions on food supplements or is formula 1 cubes good enough?? I plan within a year or so to get 150-200 gallon tank. The Dragon eel is around 1-1.5 feet (he was <1 ft when I got him) and Ribbon is 1.5 ft. <No worries re the Dragon... it will easily accept most all meaty foods. I would keep the Ribbon readily supplied with whatever types of crustaceans you can get it to take. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Suresh

Ribbon Eels I've started a fish-only tank as a change of pace. Normally, this would be easier, but I would like to keep several Ribbon Eels and have heard they can be very, very difficult to keep. Do you have any advice on Ribbons? What should I feed them? Are there any particular techniques for getting them to feed consistently? Are there any unique frailties for this species that I should keep in mind? << All sorts of advice about Rhinomuraena... First off, yes, they are amongst the fishes with the most dismal survival. Most jump out (very good at finding very small spaces in their tops) or starve to death. Some folks have had success with scooping up their Ribbon Morays in a net with an intended food item and swishing them back and forth till the animal grabs/inhales it... other people force feed them (tricky) with a baster type arrangement, others grow small shrimp and train their eels to take these, offering them right about "sundown".... Though if it were me, I'd look for other eel species... these animals don't make it in captivity. Bob Fenner, who says take a look at other Muraenid choices on Wetwebmedia.com>>

Squid tentacles for a picky feeding eel The frozen squid worked like a charm (It only came in 2.5 lb packages. I got enough for a long, long time :0 ). He didn't even pursue the Rosies like he did the squid! <yes... I would have been very surprised and worried a bit if the eel refused this most ideal food/enticement> Should I add some type of liquid vitamin to the squid before feeding? <yes... some Selcon would be nice until you get the little bugger to eat a better variety> Also the LFS said to feed Rosies twice a week. Should I continue feeding (the squid no more Rosies) twice a week? More? Less? <not at all... I am not mincing words or exaggerating here: your eel will die within 2 years most likely if not much sooner if freshwater fishes are any significant part of the diet. I feel that they should almost never be fed to marines. Much better live foods include ghost/grass shrimp and appropriately sized crayfish. Do mix in other frozen meats too over time. No one food is complete. Best regards, Anthony>

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

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

Eel/Crayfish It appears my eel ate a small crayfish that was destined for another species (trigger or puffer). It doesn't look like its anything for concern, but generally is it healthy for an eel to munch on crayfish ? Not sure if this is a good habit to continue or not. <For many species of eels (what are referred to as the flat tooth eels), this is completely normal and can be continued.> Thanks, Ed <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>
Eel/Crayfish II
I don't think I have a flat tooth eel (Muraena pardalis) - its a bit on the razor jagged side. . . .. I guess in that case you would advise against ? thanks Ed <live crayfish (and most all shelled Crustacea) are an excellent fish food for most any toothy predator. A great source of protein and more. I would advise feeding them as part of the diet. Anthony>

Albino Ribbon Eel? Hello, <Greetings friend... Anthony Calfo here answering Bob's mail while he participates in a scientific study on the excess production of belly-button lint (and he's not the control subject...if you know what I mean <wink>> I've acquired a white (albino I'm told) ribbon eel, <I suspect that you were told wrong. Is it yellow or pale yellow and looks exactly like (in form) any given photo of Rhinomuraena quaesita? If so you have a terminal phase (female) Ribbon eel. Good luck keeping it alive in the 2-20 year plan. One of the most difficult marine fishes and arguably should not be imported responsibly. If that eel does not look like yours... there are some light colored Gymnothorax species and Siderea grisea that are imported and rather hardy (good choices except for adult size in some cases)> that has been captive about five months, and has eaten previously peppermint shrimp in the store's (and my ) tanks. <holy cow... why such an expensive meal?> Are there any other species I should try adding to the tank? I've tried live ghost shrimp, but they seem to die before the ribbon eel takes interest. I've tried day and night feeding of the ghost shrimp, but with no success. <Bill... ghost shrimp live in full seawater in Florida but some wholesalers ship them in brackish or fresh water... change suppliers or acclimate them slower yourself. They live indefinitely in saltwater> I am thrilled that the eel has been alive this long- keeping him from escape is a minor miracle. About once every two weeks he finds his way into the overflow box, which is heavily guarded with sponge material I placed as to block his jumping right in.. I do make efforts to clean the sponges weekly along with my sump intake sponge filter.. Any suggestions for food sources would be appreciated, I don't mind the peppermint shrimp, he only seems to consume one shrimp every week or two, but want to know if I can diversify for him. <you're breaking my heart, dude! One shrimp every week or two is a shame. Your eel will be dead within six months if not a matter of weeks. It is suffering from a net daily deficit and will die by attrition: fact. I realize that you admire this animal, but let's work very hard to improve the frequency and quality of its diet and perhaps not buy another one. My advice is to set up feeder tank for the ghost shrimp (a 20 long minimum as they are cannibalistic). Then gut load the shrimp before feeding the eel by feeding the prey a wide variety of marine grade dry and frozen foods. Again, my apologies for sounding critical... I largely fault the LFS for making this animal available for impulse purchase. And if it was special order, then enough homework was not done... unsexed juveniles are black (and have a slightly better history in captivity)... next they turn blue (male and extremely difficult to keep)...then yellow (female, rare and difficult to say the least). Good luck, my friend. Anthony>

Ribbon Eel Follow-up <Bill.. Anthony again... got your follow-up messages, answering with this one. Excellent to hear you have Pseudechidna sp... a wonderful eel and much easier than the Ribbon eel. Feed heavily with shell-on animals (krill, shrimp, crayfish, ghost shrimp, etc.) and feed squid with tentacles; they are incredible eel food!!! Get them at the Italian groceria (calamari)> If I purchase ghost shrimp that are in freshwater conditions, and slowly raise the salinity of the system.. will that work? <absolutely> If not, can you recommend any places that sell ghost shrimp that are already acclimated to saltwater conditions? I'm still interested, and setting up a 20 long or larger shouldn't be a problem.. what will such a feeder tank require? <Lots of bushy plastic plants for cover, a simple sponge filter and air pump, heater and not much more> would fluorescent lighting, a power wheel type filtration system, and some LR/sand/water from one of my current tanks be sufficient to get one going? <more than enough...like a palace. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick moray eel I have a snowflake moray eel, and I've been feeding it small ghost shrimp. I switched to scallops for a while, which it seemed to love, and then the other day I switched back to the ghost shrimp. After that day he has stopped eating, and a portion of his body seems limp like when he swims, he is not able to move his lower half very well). Any suggestions on what caused this or ways to help. thank you - Ian <Hello Ian, this could very well have been caused by the lack of a varied diet. No one food is complete... especially whole prey items (krill versus Formula I, for example). This fish may very well be suffering from severe dietary deficiency. I would continue to offer him various food items with hopes that he will start eating. Also, check water parameters to make sure everything is in line. Best of Luck, Gage>
Re: sick moray eel
My eel actually started eating last night, I was very happy about that. It started eating the scallops again, and today I purchased frozen Silver Sides (thin fish), and he ate those as well. So I am currently feeding it Prawns, Scallops and Silver Sides. I also have a Baby Banded Cat Shark. Could you recommend various foods for both that I could feed for each fish. Thank you - Ian <Both the eel and the shark should enjoy finely shredded crustacean meats, minced shell-on Crustacea (krill, plankton, shrimp) and squid tentacles. If you use the Google search tool on our site you can find a lot of info on these sharks. Best Regards, Gage>

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