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FAQs about Zebra Moray Eel Disease/Health

Related FAQs: Zebra Morays 1, Zebra Morays 2, Zebra Moray ID, Zebra Moray Behavior, Zebra Moray Compatibility, Zebra Moray Selection, Zebra Moray Systems, Zebra Moray Feeding, Zebra Moray Reproduction, Moray Eels in General, Moray Identification, Moray Selection, Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Freshwater Moray Eel FAQs, Snowflake Morays, Ribbon Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels,

Related Articles: Zebra Moray, Ribbon Morays,

zebra moray cataract eyes; need info.        11/13/16
Hello,
I have an adult zebra moray with both eyes appearing to be cataract (see attached image), he is housed with community fish in a 425 gal marine tank.
All other occupants are healthy.
<Mmm; summat awry here... nutrition, water quality wise... poss. physical damage...>
Water parameters: ph 7.8,
<Much too low. Please see/READ on WWM re marine system pH and how to manage>
ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are 0. He is eating
<What? Are you familiar w/ vitamin B deficiency... Have you read on WWM re Gymnomuraena nutrition?
HERE: actually; the net is too slow here in Mauritius... please look this up; along with "Eye Diseases" of marine fished on WWM>
and otherwise appears ok. Is this bacterial and what is the recommended treatment?
<Need data.>
thank you very much, Steve
*Steven Turk*
<Oh! Have a good friend in the trade name of Chris Turk... owns H20 foods, now V... Bob Fenner

zebra moray cataract eyes /Here's Marco!     11/14/16
Hello,
<Hi.>
I have an adult Zebra moray with both eyes appearing to be cataract (see attached image), he is housed with community fish in a 425 gal marine tank. All other occupants are healthy. Water parameters: ph 7.8, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are 0. He is eating and otherwise appears ok. Is this bacterial and what is the recommended treatment?
<Probably bacterial, rarely Trematodes are the culprit. With both eyes affected an injury is unlikely. Crypt can also lead to cloudy eyes, but is very rare with eels and would likely be visible on other fishes. First thing I would try is to support the immune system by soaking the food in vitamins (e.g. Selcon). Also keep the food as varied as possible. If this does not improve the situation, the infection spreads or other symptoms occur I'd consider antibiotic treatment.>
Thank you very much, Steve
<Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra moray eel died        11/27/15
My zebra eel died today. I had him for about 2 months and he/she was doing well until a week or two ago. At which point it went off feed.
<Unusual; am a huge fan of Gymnomuraena; esp. this species; and we had MANY in service accounts years back. They're generally very hardy; resistant to the vagaries of captivity (vacillating water quality et al.); pathogen exposure...>
This is normal for eels but off for mine who usually begged for food whenever the other fish were being fed. I fed him shrimp soaked in VitaChem, garlic and Selcon.
<Uhh; not solely I am hoping....>

I fed him a piece or two daily bc he begged and I'm a sucker. After he went off feed He started laying around the tank sideways then upside down.
It was odd behavior for it so I started researching online but didn't come up with much.
<Use the search tool on WWM (on every page).... I strongly suspect a deficiency here.... likely B vitamin or... Search for Thiaminase, and Iodine>
Towards the end He started to look thin and shriveled around the neck but bloated in other areas. There was no sigh of injury or loss of coloration.
Yesterday it started to lose its slime coat and was dead by morning. I'm really sad about it and feel pretty bad bc they are supposed to be hardy.
I have a 65 gallon
<This is too small for a Zebra Moray
... ultimately grow to more than three feet in length>
with about 100lbs of live rock and some corals. As soon as the eel started acting strange I tested the water parameters with the API reef test kit and have been testing the water every few days.
Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates all 0. Tank is 3 months old. PH is 8 and salinity is 1.026. The only thing off is high phosphates which I read doesn't directly impact fish.
<Not usually... your "corals" would show signs way ahead>
About a month ago I accidentally brought the salinity up to 30. I missed it until my African star got sick.
<Not an easy animal to keep... esp. in small/ish volumes>
When I discovered my mistake I brought the salinity down to where it is now but lost the star fish an anemone, a small mushroom coral and two wrasse's who I think got velvet. I treated the tank with revive and everything else seemed fine. The only new addition was a newborn bamboo shark (I do realize this will out grow my tank and plan to get it a bigger
home). It hung out with the eels and I think it thinks it's an eel also.
Anyways I have been researching since the eels' first signs of illness and cannot figure out why my eel died. I have a snowflake eel and want to make sure it and any future eels (bigger tank first) don't have the same fate.
I'm stumped because that eel was supposed to be the hardiest thing in my tank.
What killed my eel? :(
<Well; there are other possibilities... some sort of toxicity from your Cnidarians? A stinging? You don't state troubles w/ other livestock; so I discount general system poisoning. I'd have you read re topics I've noted above; and IF you intend to try a Zebra Moray again; ALL we have archived re; article and FAQs files. >
Best,
Pamela
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Zebra Eel; markings.... Siganid poke? Poor water qual. ish?      6/17/15
Hello, my name is Terry. I have a Zebra eel approx length 21/2-3foot just of late the eel has started to get white spots an become discolored where the white has now turned to a more of a brown also has in a few area that the skin has started to peel off an turn into a cut.
<Mmm; either water quality or some sort of toxic event from a tankmate...>

I have a Rabbitfish
<Ahh! Here it is; likely the Siganid poked your Gymnomuraena. SEE (as in read) on WWM re the in/compatibility of Rabbitfishes at times. They're strongly venomous and the eel is clumsy, blindish>
long noise butterfly fish an a epaulette shark
<?! How large is this system?>

would be about 2foot the shark also has these pink ish spots where you could call them like a pimples.
<Oh! Now we're back to the possibility of water quality problems, contributions. Do you have test kits... for Nitrate?>
All the local pet shops have not been able to help I can send photos to you if you like.
<Please do>
I just do not want to lose the eel or shark I have had them for a very long time an they get on together very well. If you can help I would appreciate it a great deal thank you.
<Need data.... and for you to read. Bob Fenner>

Paralyzed Zebra Eel          4/7/15
Dear Wet Web Media,
It's okay if you'd like to publish my question but I'd really appreciate it if you could keep my name and e-mail confidential.
Thank you very much.
<Will do>
My friend has a Zebra Eel that was doing well up until four days ago. Now, he is lying upside down at the bottom of the tank paralyzed.
<Mmmm>
He has been unable to eat and his breathing has been labored. She has done water changes and said the water parameters are fine. The Ph level is 8. Unsure of what to do, she began treating the tank with Kanaplex last night.
<... For? I mean; what is it you hoped to accomplish by applying an antibiotic to the water here?>
The eel's tank mates consist of a Foxface,
<Oh! Likely poked by the Siganid>
anemones and corals.
<Or poisoned vis a vis an allelopathogenic "fight" twixt these Cnidarian groups>

Could the eel have been stung by the Foxface causing this condition?
<Yes>
Is there any way to help the eel and make him better?
<Only time, hope; and attention to maintaining optimized, stable water conditions... I suggest partial water changes (10-20 %) daily, the use of GAC, PolyFilter... Adding medicine/s won't help>
Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
<Try the search tool on every page of WWM w/ the terms I've mentioned above>
Thank you so much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
R
e: Paralyzed Zebra Eel       4/8/15
Bob,
<K>
Thank you so much for your response and for answering so quickly. I just sent your information to my friend and cannot thank you enough!
Sincerely,
<Cheers, BobF>

Sick zebra moray... mis stocked...      7/7/14
Hello! Im very worried about our eel,
<Mmm; you should be>
Grover. We've had him for a few months, probably about 6 months or so. He lives in a 72gal bowfront with a porcupine puffer and a volitans lion.
<... Not a good, acceptable mix of species... the puffer too likely to sample the other two; the Lion to poke, envenomize the others.>

He is now in a quarantine tank since he's sick.
<... bitten and stung>

He has the two "growths" on his head and his eyes are cloudy. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it until tomorrow. He is completely limp when I pick him up, still slimy, but wont move at all
anymore. Do you know what is wrong with him and why it happened?
<See WWM re compatibility of all three... you've created this problem>
Thank you
so much!
Tiffany
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick zebra moray     7/7/14
Bob,
<Tiff>
We've always had them together and haven't had any problems at all.
<Then you've been fortunate. This mix in such a volume is a disaster in the making>
They have
their areas in the tank and don't mess with each other. Is this a result of a sting from the volitans?
<Very likely yes. BobF>

Very Sick Zebra Eel   11/17/13
Hello and thanks for all of the assistance you provide.  It has helped me and countless others a great deal.  This is my first post, and I am very sad at the current situation I have contributed to. I purchased a 2' Zebra Moray Eel from LiveAquaria, however it was not from the Diver's Den section.  I received him on 9-25-2013 and put him in a 20g long quarantine tank setup with 1.5" PVC and a HOB Aquaclear with bio-media from another tank.  I acclimated him over a period of 90 minutes and then was able to hand feed him a few hours later with fresh caught shrimp (I live on the coast of South Carolina).  I freeze the fresh seafood I use prior to feeding it to my fish to kill anything that could infect my fish.   The next day I checked the levels in the tank and the quarantine levels were off the chart, so I decided that the tank was not fit to support him for the quarantine and it would be best to add him to the main tank
120g Fowlr - 90 lbs live rock - 90 lbs CaribSea Aragamax Sand - Wet-Dry Filter-Chemipure Elite - Purigen and a 220g Coralife Super Skimmer 
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 80 (I became aware of this after the illness became problematic - I assumed it was lower than this without testing which was a terrible mistake and at the least made this situation worse if it was not the direct cause)
Ph - Fluctuates between 8.00 and 8.15
Temp - 76
Salinity - 1.023
It currently had a Picasso Trigger (approx 1.25"), a Niger Trigger (approx 4"), and a 1.5" Chromis who manages to hold his own very well.  All of these fish had been given to me by a friend who decided to take his tank down.  I had been around them very much and hated the idea of them going to a local pet store and being sold to someone who might not care for them properly.
Things were going great initially; I have attached pictures labeled by date to show his progress.   He was eating 2 shrimp or large pieces of mussels a day and he ate vigorously.  He left all of our hermits and snails alone even when they came in his PVC to finish his leftovers.   Around 10-25-13 a friend came over to watch the eel eat and he pointed out a bubble on the eel's mouth.  I looked closer and indeed there was a ΒΌ" diameter bump that appeared to be filled with air or clear fluid on his upper portion of his mouth.   It didn't seem to bother him but I was very curious to what it was and how to fix it.  The closest I have come to identifying it is possibly an external gas bubble.  Based on this I started heating my new salt water from 72 to 76 prior to adding it to the tank.   At some point I also removed the Picasso due to his aggression during feeding times to the Niger.   I did not witness any aggression towards the eel from any of the fish.  As time went by he became less eager to eat and less active as well.  During a feeding time around 11-8-13 a snail attached to his blister until the snail managed to pull it off.  The wound now looked white but I hoped it would bother him less.  By November 10th he would not eat at all, and by the 12th things got worse very fast.  I came home to find him moving erratically in the 1.5" PVC and finally it appeared as though he was stuck trying to turn himself around in it.  After a short time I carefully grabbed the PVC and angled it down and he slid out.  He was barely responsive at all and appeared to have very little control over his movement.  I began setting up a 10g tank to isolate him in and carefully move him to a shady spot under a rock overhang.  While I was setting up the tank snails began crawling over him and appeared to be trying to eat him or perhaps his slime coat.  I got him in the tank and added a small amount of sand, a piece of live rock and a 4" PVC pipe to provide some cover for him.   I also added a Aqueon Quiet Flow filter, a heater and an aerator.  I then began reading more about similar situations and found a response from WWM about Furan-2 for treating Zebra Eels.  I ordered this and had it shipped overnight.  It arrived on the 14th and I added one packet as per instructions and removed the carbon from the filter.  He has very limited movement but appears to be breathing heavily.  Most of his movements consist of his tail flapping around.  I have only seen him adjust his head from being sideways once and that was last night after treatment began.  Other than that he simply lies there breathing. 
I have several questions that I hope you can help me with.  Is there a chance of recovery at this stage or does it appear to be too late?
<There is a chance for recovery. Morays can regenerate from serious diseases.>
Is there anything else I can do for him to increase his odds (I am keeping his water quality stable with large frequent water changes, but now am following the directions on Furan-2 in regards to water changes). 
<Providing a stable and high water quality is the most important thing right now. Don't stress the eel with feeding. It can go without food for weeks until the situation improves.>
It appears he is suffering much and I don't want to put him through more pain if it is too late.
I also would like to know what this bubble looking growth was and if it is the main cause of his current health.
<This blister could be various things from biting something the eel should not have bitten to a bacterial disease related to a demise of the immune system due to stress or bad water quality during quarantine.>
Is it possible he hurt himself trying to turn around in the PVC?
<I don't think so.>
Other than that I don't know of any other physical injuries he could have suffered. 
Finally, is this contagious to other fish?
<Cannot exclude it, but don't think this is probable.>
I am working around the clock to provide enough water to eliminate the dangerous levels of nitrates in the main system but if this is contagious or needs to be treated in some way I would very much like to know.  Currently the other fish (Niger and Chromis) are looking very well except for the Niger's occasional searching for the eel in his PVC.  
I have a 5" Reticulated Puffer Fish in a 30g quarantine tank that I would also like to add to the display as soon as possible.  He has been in there around 8 weeks and after dealing with a very bad case of Anchor Worms using Sentinel Dog Flea medication, I am ready for him to have more room which he desperately needs.  I do not want to risk him becoming infected with whatever caused the eel's disease (Nitrates will be below 20 ppm prior to adding him also).   Would it be best to wait and inspect the other fish longer, treat the tank with something (I have lots of snails, crabs and a few shrimp serving as clean up crew as well as a few frags of Kenya Tree Coral that migrated from my nano reef and a few hitchhiking that I do not want to harm - Amazingly the puffer and trigger have shown no interest in any of them), or would it be safe to add him to the tank once nitrates are under control?
<I would not treat the display tank without further occurrences or a proper idea of what the eel has. I'd add the puffer when the situation of the eel has improved or resolved itself.>
I'm sorry for the length of this but I wanted to supply all of the information I could to help you shed some light on the situation and my eel's chances of recovery.  If there is no other option I have read on here that clove oil and freezing the fish is a common way of ending the suffering, but if there is any hope I want to help the eel recover. 
Thank you in advance for anything you can do to help me.
Mike
<Hope it's helpful. Take care and good luck. Marco.>

Disaster in eel tank 6/8/11
Hello Crew at wet web media I really need help with a issue in my zebra moray eel tank
I sent emails to you earlier this year about dragon eel and zebra eel compatibility as you may remember
Well here's the story ............ at the weekend my dad was decorating and put white spirit on the top of my aquarium and it tipped in
<Yeeikes!>
We managed to save all the fish which include
Sailfin tang
Yellow tang
Flame angel
Damsel
Valentini puffer
Zebra eel
We managed to save all the fish as a friend lent some water from her tank and we put them in there
The issue is that while the tank is cycling again with some new mature live sand and live rock from our local marine store that they kindly let us have how long do you believe it will take to cycle the tank again?
<Perhaps already is... you'll just have to monitor nitrogenous accumulation>
The shop also took hold of 3 of our fish while the tank cycles but I am left with the eel as it is too big for there shops aquariums.
Therefore it was placed in my 15 gallon 2ftx12x15inch tank that was also at the shop and filled with mature live rock, water, heater and pump that we bought off them so the eel could survive. How long will the eel be able to live for in this tank?
<Weeks likely... Don't feed it here>
and also I have tried to feed the eel today but he wouldn't feed but I am not to worried about this yet as its only been 5 days since his last meal where he ate 20 muscles so it was a large meal. But is there any way to entice the eel to eat?
<Don't do it... period. It won't hurt this fish not to eat, and feeding it may well do so>
His diet consists of krill , muscle, shrimp and the occasional crab. I have put a garlic drop in the water tonight to make him seek out food a little more as I have been told this can initiate feeding again. Is this true or am I doing more harm than good with this?
<The latter>
In the tank with the eel is also the flame angel and damsel as they were on their death beds so I decided not to put them through the stress of moving to the shop
Large tank measurements
48inchx18inchx24inch
Thank You for your help in this
I am really worried for the life of my eel
If you need pictures of the eel in the tank then they can be sent
Callum
<No pix. Bob Fenner>
Re: Disaster in eel tank 6/9/11
Thank you so much bob that has helped alot <no such word>
just one last thing, how long can the eel go without feeding without endangering its health?
<Read on WWM re>
I will mail again if the fish survive and live to see the 48 inch tank again
Best wishes
Callum
<And you, BobF>
Re: Disaster in eel tank 6/22/11

Hello Bob
Just thought I would let you know that the fish are back in the tank and doing fine at the moment
<Ah, good>
The eel is feeding and all nitrate, ammonia and nitrite levels are at 0 which is brilliant
Fingers crossed they can make it
Thank you for all you help and your expertise is unquestionable
Best wishes for the future
Callum
<Thank you for this follow up. BobF>

Zebra moray internal parasitic worms 4/30/11
Greetings,
I recently acquired a zebra moray, approximately 24 inches in length, estimated 700 grams + in weight. The eel was purchased in distress, it was housed in a 20 l
<!>
tank with at least 6 other eels of varying size and species... After drip acclimating the eel and placing in a hospital tank where it's been for 4 days now, I have noticed that it has parasitic worms internally, one exited the eels rectum and was approximately 3 in in length. The eel is in distress as it does not move much, will not eat and has a mild bit of cloudiness it's eyes.
<The last will clear/heal of its own accord w/ time, good conditions, nutrition>
I realize that this may be a lost cause but I am not willing to give up just yet.
<Good... can/should be force fed a bolus of food laced with an
Anthelminthic. See here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/vermifugefaqs.htm
The water param.s are as follows
Ammonia, 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Ph 8.3
Salinity 1.025
Temp 75 I'm not sure what the best medication would be to begin treating this poor animal would be, Any possible advice would be greatly appreciated,
Tim butler
<And look for MarcoL's sep. resp. here. Bob Fenner>
Re zebra moray internal parasitic worms 5/1/11
Greetings,
<Hello.>
I recently acquired a zebra moray, approximately 24 inches in length, estimated 700 grams + in weight. The eel was purchased in distress, it was housed in a 20 l tank
<Some number missing here?>
with at least 6 other eels of varying size and species... After drip acclimating the eel and placing in a hospital tank where it's been for 4 days now, I have noticed that it has parasitic worms internally, one exited the eels rectum and was approximately 3in in length.
<Did you take a picture or try to determine what type of worm it was?>
The eel is in distress as it does not move much, will not eat and has a mild bit of cloudiness on its eyes.
<Not eating can be related to stress due to moving here, cloudiness can be bacterial, though.>
I realize that this may be a lost cause but I am not willing to give up just yet.
<Me neither.>
The water param.s are as follows
Ammonia 0; Nitrate 0; Nitrite 0; Ph 8.3; Salinity 1.025; Temp 75 <Keep the water parameters stable, also provide sufficient gaseous exchange with a skimmer and/or circulation pumps (stream or powerhead) providing surface movement. Also offer caves for the eel, so it can hide, which will reduce stress.>
I'm not sure what the best medication would be to begin treating this poor animal would be, any possible advice would be greatly appreciated,
Tim butler
<I'd go with a Praziquantel containing product here, since the type of possible worm infestation is unknown (e.g. Parasite Clear, PraziPro...).
Keep the water clean and if the eel should start feeding add vitamins to its food... oh, and: good luck. Marco.>
Re zebra moray internal parasitic worms 5/1/11
No number missing there 20l tank... No filtration, skimmer... I would have liked to get them all, but in reality I could not have housed them for the long term, so went with the biggest..
My hospital tank is a bit larger, 40l I know this isn't great, <It's not highly probable it will eat in such small quarters. I also guess you'll have to do daily water changes to keep the water quality stable and do recommend to use a skimmer to keep the oxygen high.>
but after recovery it will be housed in a 1500 l he's moving a bit today, not much though, so I'll start searching for the meds, as I'm not sure what is available here in Thailand.
<A number of Praziquantel containing meds are certainly available in Thailand given all the aquaculture facilities in this country. If the product does not come with directions use about 25 mg per pound of moray
(added to food (e.g. a clam, mussel, crab or shrimp), a bath would need a higher concentration). Repeat a week later. Cheers, Marco.>

Zebra Moray Advice 09/29/10
Dear Crew,
<Hello Jeremy.>
I have had a Zebra Moray for about 6 months now and he recently stopped eating. Normal behavior sometimes so I wasn't worried well he was laying upside down tonight out in the open and I took a picture he seemed to have some sight of fungus around his mouth and has 1 cloudy eye, he is breathing and it doesn't seem labored so I'm clueless. I have encountered Marine Ich before. I don't think that's what this is but I'm not ruling anything out.
<Don't think this is Cryptocaryon. Sounds/looks like an opportunistic bacterial infection caused by not so perfect environment and commonly also a wrong diet.>
I just know that Eels are usually very hardy and they produce a slime that usually keeps parasites at bay. I am attaching a picture but it is not the clearest picture ever. My parameters are Nitrates 50ppm,
<'¦too much pollution I fear'¦>
Nitrite 0ppm, Ammonia 0ppm PH 8.2, Salinity 1.024, and Temp 77 mostly stable with a chiller 180 gallon tank. The only recent change to my tank is I upgraded to metal halide lights 1 came in defective so 1 side of my tank (his side) didn't have lights for 5 days while I waited for the replacement. I have had no additions for 5 months so no new introductions to the tank. Any suggestions or ideas on what I could do to try and save him?
<Improve your water quality (esp. nitrates) with water changes, enhanced skimming until the nitrates are at least below half of what they are now at (and keep them there!). Nitrates somewhat inhibit the uptake of oxygen. Long term effects that can arise are a weak immune system and a generally not so lively behavior. Just imagine breathing thin air all the time. The situation should improve within a week and possibly/hopefully he will start to eat again. Next step: check his diet, what did he eat for the last 6 months? I hope its not just krill. Zebra morays need a varied diet of crustaceans (crabs, shrimps of all sorts, lobster pieces, crayfish, krill can be used as a treat) and mollusks (clams, mussels, sometimes octopus and squid are enjoyed), which should be enhanced at least once weakly with vitamins for fish.>
Also should I risk trying to get him out and QT him and treat somehow?
<Only if you see no improvement after fixing water quality and if he still does not eat. In this case a antibiotic (e.g. Maracyn II) in a hospital tank might be worth a try.>
I thought about a freshwater dip?
<No.>
Thanks for any advice you have. I have had a lot of success since I first started in the marine hobby and got a lot of information from this site 3 years ago. It has a great wealth of information and a great community keep it up. Thanks in advance for any advice you have.
Jeremy
<Good luck. Marco.>

Re: Zebra Moray Advice 09/29/10
Thanks I will get the nitrates down and give that a try. Also his diet has been shrimp and fish pieces but ill get some more variety in there and start soaking with vitamins.
<Sounds good!>
Thanks again.
<Good luck. Feel free to send an email should further questions arise. Marco>

My Zebra Eel got stuck! 04/05/10
I have a 500 gallon system in which I house my Zebra moray eel. I recently did not see him for about 3-4 weeks. The first couple of weeks I wasn't worried, but around week 3 I began to worry. I have around 500 lbs. or rock in the system. I decided to take a flashlight and move some of the upper rocks very carefully. After about 3 weeks I saw him and noticed he was stuck.
<Mmh'¦ hard to imagine. In nature they live almost exclusively within the crevices and gaps, caves of the reefs, are perfectly adapted to this life'¦ Maybe something heavy fell down on him and trapped him.>
Now after carefully moving the rocks around him to get him unstuck, I caught him and placed him in my 30 gallon quarantine tank by himself for observation. He has two huge gashes on each side of his body which expose his white side I guess which is under the beautiful stripes they have, and under the skin. he is also bleeding all over his body around the gashes. My question is what should I do?
<Offer some safe shelter for the eel in the 30 gallon tank. Provide perfect water quality and try to feed vitamin enriched food. In the meantime get a plan how to fix that rock in the large system to avoid having the same situation at some point again. I tend to use cable wraps or in new setups concrete.>
Is there some type of medication I can use with my eel to prevent bacterial infections which may be likely? Do you have any other recommendations?
<Yes, antibiotics such as Maracyn 2, but I'd give the eel the chance to heal by itself. I'd consider antibiotics if the situation gets worse, e.g. if you see inflammations. Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra Moray with Cryptocaryon? -- 02/26/10
Hello there,
<Hi.>
I read through everything you had regarding Zebras and Ick. I did not find the answer to my question. I lost every fish I had in my tank!!
<Sorry for that.>
My blue tang came down with Ick and died, then my cardinal, my damsel, and both of my clowns. Now the only living creatures in my tank are my zebra eel and two starfish! My eel has not eaten in about a week but although it isn't as often as normal he has gotten out of his hiding place and swam around the tank a couple of times. I put him in a 10 gal. tank but he became so unresponsive I thought he was dead. I decided to put him back home and he really seems better. I found out that my salinity was WAY too high (1.027) and over a period of two days I lowered it to 1.022. I also bought a UV light that is supposed to filter out the little parasites.
<At least many of them at low flow through.>
My question is this...I can't remember if my eel always had a little white in his black or if he has Ick. If he has Ick, will the UV light and lower salinity get rid of it off of him or does he need to be treated?
<'Ick' better called Cryptocaryon appears as raised salt grain like bumps on the fish. See if that is what you are observing. Morays rarely are affected by Cryptocaryon, they have a slightly toxic slime coat and a different blood composition compared to many other fishes. In severe outbreaks they can be affected, however, generally their immune system is strong enough to save them from death without further treatment. First assure if your eel is affected, then see if the disease is spreading (heavy breathing) or vanishing, monitor it for at least 4 weeks. If it is becoming worse, consider treatment, but be aware that most methods incorporating higher concentrations of copper, formalin and dyes will potentially be harmful to the eel. Hyposalinity (SG of 1.012 in a separate tank) is an optional treatment, but will not help in every case. I hope you get along without treatment, avoid stocking new fishes for 4-8 weeks after the last signs have vanished due the cycles the parasites go through. Ensure the water quality of the tank is stable and good (high , no ammonia/nitrite and little nitrates) and if it starts eating again add vitamins at every feeding for a few weeks.>
Thanks for your help!
<Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra Moray problem; discoloration -- 07/17/09
Hello. I am hoping that you can help me.
<Will try.>
I have a Zebra moray eel that is about 2 ft. long. I have had him for about a year in a 72 gallon bow front tank. There is good filtration and skimming. Water has always checked fine
<What does that mean? Numbers?>
with frequent changes. Recently, I noticed some white patches on his face.
<Picture?>
At first I thought that maybe he had scraped a rock. My local aquarium store agreed saying they are very resistant to disease.
<True given proper food and environment.>
However, now his whole head has turned white! It doesn't appear to be raised, just discolored. Also, he hasn't eaten regularly for about three weeks. Thanks for any help. Michael
<First check nitrates as an indicator for organic pollution. They should be below 25 ppm. If they are not, do corresponding water changes. Second check its diet: was it varied or did it only consist of shrimps or freeze dried krill? A good diet should consist of various types of foods (shrimps, prawns, crabs, mussel, clam, squid etc.) and be enriched with vitamins about once a week if the food was frozen. Change the diet if necessary. If the white patches continue growing a treatment with an antibiotic (like Maracyn II) in a hospital setup may be necessary. Please also see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramdisfaqs.htm
Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra Eel help please -- 07/11/09
My name is Terry and I live in Deland FL, I think your web site is one of the best around!!!
<Hi Terry, and thank you for your kind words.>
I have a 2ft zebra eel in a 100gal with a refugium, Coralife uv and a super skimmer with two 1200 wave makers and two 1300 wave makers. 0 ammonia,0 nitrite, ph 8.2,nitrate 10-20 and 1.025 salt. I have a 3.5 inch clown trigger and a 3 inch undulated trigger fish with it. I have tons of rocks and caves (80-100 pd.s). They all seem to be getting a long. I have had the eel for about a year with no problems. I feed him/her a couple of shrimp every other day or every other two days depending when it lets me know when its hungry.
<Nothing else?>
I noticed that he/she hasn't been as active in the past couple weeks and he/she seems to be eating less. Before he started acting less active, I feed him/her and the next morning I went to look at my tank, as I always do and I noticed he/she purged all the food up, first time in a yr I every seen him/her do that. Since then he when he/her started acting strange. This morning I notice one of his/her nostril looks swollen and red.
<So it's not just having eaten too much.>
What should I do? He has been a great eel and I do not want to lose him. Thank you for any suggestion you can offer. Terry
<A shrimp only diet is not sufficient for a Zebra moray, which can and do eat a variety of crustaceans (and mollusks and echinoderms, rarely fish) in nature without possibly suffering from the vitamin losses by freezing and thawing frozen foods. Therefore, I'd try to extend the diet with scallops, crabs, crayfish, mussels and such and add vitamins intended for fish to every meal (to push its immune system) until the situation improves (later at least once a week). If it becomes much worse you may have to consider a treatment with an antibiotic in a separate tank. I do wish you good luck. Marco.>

Re: Zebra Eel help please II, hlth. and now comp. -- 07/11/09
Thank you for your advice!!! When I came home last night from the pet store (buying other foods and vitamin drops) he was laying backwards on a rock, I think the current was help keeping him up. A few hrs later he was on my sand bed upside down barely breathing. He died an hr or so later.
<Sorry to hear... So, there might really be an infection that was already in its final stage.>
I read some post on your page that talks about old age and a eel of that size may have some yrs on him.
<Hmm, yes, but red nostrils are not a typical sign of old age per se. The immune system becomes weaker with old age, but also with a uniform diet.>
I received him about a yr ago from a LFS and they said they had him a few yrs. He was about 3ft long and as big around as a base ball. If I may ask, I'm considering buying another eel, what is a good size to start with?
<I assume you mean a zebra moray. Depends on other tank inhabitants. With two 3.5 inch triggers I'd look for at least 1.5 feet.>
What should I look for when shipping for one?
<The usual things: Only buy from reputable sources with good references, keep the shipping as short as possible, see if heat packs are necessary and available. Also see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm >
Do you think if I added another one my triggerfish would bother it since I'm adding it after they were added, my undulated use to share the same cave as my other eel?
<That's possible. Triggers and eels is sometimes hit and miss. You can also try to remove the triggers for a few days while adding the eel.>
Do eels have a certain tank flow they prefer, since I have a lot of flow?
<That's fine. They do not need a lot of flow, but a lot of oxygen, and the higher the flow, the better the gaseous exchange and the higher the oxygen.>
Thank you for taken the time to read my e-mails and any advice would be highly appreciated and followed to a "T". Thank you. Terry
<Welcome and good luck. Marco.>
Re: Zebra Eel help please
Thank you for all your help!!!
<Welcome!>

Eel cauliflower on nostrils -- 06/29/09
Guys,
<Vini.>
I saw a question about this type of problem on your site. The response was ok
<Thanks.>
I guess if that is how these growths occur. My eel is 36" plus in length and his color is great and his eyes are sharp. These growths started on one nostril and then appeared on the other. The water quality is as close to perfect as you can get.
<That's good.>
The eel is the only inhabitant in the tank. He is not eating as well as he did before these growths appeared. I don't know if fish feel pain like humans but if I had these things on my nose eating would not be easy for me either.
<I agree. Especially bad for an animal that uses its smell as a most important sense.>
Anyway it does not seem possible that this is simply from banging around. Please see what you can find out. Thanks Vini D.
<Likely the same as the post you found: EV2 (Eel virus 2), which is a Orthomyoxovirus. Keep oxygen as high as possible by skimming and intense surface current. Also, as long as it still feeds soak the hopefully varied diet in vitamins for fish. If this does not stop or reverse the growth, you should consider a treatment with inorganic di-phosphates. In this case you probably need the assistance of a veterinarian to properly fight this virus. Don't exchange equipment with other tanks! Good luck. Marco.>

Zebra eel; dis -- 06/04/09
Hello,
<Hi John.>
I have a 2 foot or so Zebra Eel in my 180 reef that does not appear to be doing so well. I have had him for 2 or 3 years and recently he has been losing his sharp black coloring. His color is fading and getting some brown or dirty white spots on him.
<Would like to see a picture if possible.>
His appetite is good, I feed him Shrimp mostly but on occasion I will pick him up some lobster or squid when I am at the fish market. I do not feed him as much as others I read of online, he is generally fed weekly but from time to time its every other week....I am not sure if this is part of the problem, but its been this way for years so I sort of doubt it.
<The frequency is fine, but you should add vitamins sometimes when feeding shrimp mostly to avoid deficiency syndromes.>
He was a rescue animal from a smaller tank years back, so I am uncertain of his age. We are sort of convinced he is showing signs of old age. But I thought I would check with the experts to see if there is anything I should/could be doing for him. He has been in this condition for about 2 months now, the only other noticeable change is that he flips his head backwards and rest upside down and he is more active during the day than in years past. The rest of the tank is healthy, water is impeccable as always -- tank has been up for 13 or so years.
Thanks for the assistance. Regards, John
<A picture would be very helpful in order to (hopefully) give you better advice. Fish vitamins certainly won't hurt here. Cheers, Marco.>

Gasping Zebra moray; lack of info -- 01/20/09 Hi, Can you please help me I have a 350 liter <That is about 85 gallons.> tank that has two zebra morays in it and nothing else, the problem is one is not eating and he lays on his side on the bottom of the tank and the breathing is faster then normal. <Does not sound good.> I have now put him in a 2 foot tank with some Melafix <Useless, a waste of money in this case.> and it doesn't seem to help <'¦> do you have an idea of what I can do or a name of something I can treat him with. <First things first. As long as we have no idea what it could suffer from, we can hardly react adequately.> Levels in tank are all fine <Useless statement. Need numbers: ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, SG, temperature and pH at least. What are the tank mates, what changes have been made lately, how long are the two eels in this tank, what are they fed... need more information.> Now did have a problem with ammonia due to a prawn rotting on a hole in the tank. Thanks <Uneaten food has to be removed before it rots. Sounds the system was not well cycled. One shrimp should not show any ammonia at all, only a minor increase of nitrates, perhaps. The eel may suffer from an ammonia burn of the gills, possibly a secondary bacterial infection. Check the water parameters in the hospital tank at least daily, preferably twice a day: ammonia and nitrites need to be 0, nitrates<25 ppm, pH between 8.0 and 8.4. Do water changes if this is not the case. Provide sufficient aeration of the hospital tank with a skimmer and/or surface agitation with a power head. If it is becoming worse consider using an antibiotic. Good luck. Marco.>

My Zebra eel had stopped eating and is now upside down and bloated. 03/15/2008 Dear WWM Crew, <Jonathan> I have researched as far as I could using the internet and making several calls to the local aquariums. My Zebra Moray eel stopped eating approximately 3 weeks ago after a regular tank cleaning. I did a 15% water change, purchased a new protein skimmer and a carbon filtration system, and wiped down the tank as I have always done as my routine. The first week, I assumed that the minor changes in the tank stressed out my eel, just like all the other times. However, this time its appetite never returned and then developed a symmetrical bloating about 10cm in length & is about 5cm in circumferential thickness. The bloating had come on gradually and now has my eel lying upside down. It does appear to be losing its color. Its respirations were rapid during the first couple of weeks but now has slowed, most likely due to exhaustion or discomfort. <Something amiss here... gut blockage? The uniformity you describe... perhaps eggs, a tumour?> I have been treating the tank with Metronidazole for the past 4 days. <Mmm, see WWM re this powerful protozoacide... Don't want to overexpose fishes (or humans...)... one treatment will do about all the good that can be done> I fear that I may have started this a bit too late, however, I came to using the Metronidazole after I had exhausted my search for the cause or diagnosis. There has been no improvement over the past 4 days. So my real question is, what could this be? Parasite, bacteria, virus? The only new introduction to my tank was the water change and the new filtration systems. <Mmm perhaps unrelated> The population of my tank is the eel, 2 hermit crabs and a Rabbit fish. The others have shown no outward signs of illness. I have called around and aside from a "I think that I have heard of that", no one seems to have any knowledge about bloating eels. I do not see any evidence of parasites. No vein-like patterns on its skin and no unusual excrement. I'd appreciate any direction that you could lead me to, Jonathon Jones <Perhaps the addition of a modicum of Epsom Salt (see WWM re) can/will offer some relief... Am putting this message in MarcoL's in-folder for he has much more pertinent experience. Bob Fenner>

My Zebra eel had stopped eating and is now upside down and bloated -- 03/15/08 Dear WWM Crew, <Hi Jonathon. Marco here with you today.> I have researched as far as I could using the internet and making several calls to the local aquariums. My Zebra Moray eel stopped eating approximately 3 weeks ago after a regular tank cleaning. I did a 15% water change, purchased a new protein skimmer and a carbon filtration system, and wiped down the tank as I have always done as my routine. The first week, I assumed that the minor changes in the tank stressed out my eel, just like all the other times. However, this time its appetite never returned and then developed a symmetrical bloating about 10cm in length & is about 5cm in circumferential thickness. The bloating had come on gradually and now has my eel lying upside down. It does appear to be losing its color. <Bad.> Its respirations were rapid during the first couple of weeks but now has slowed, most likely due to exhaustion or discomfort. I have been treating the tank with Metronidazole for the past 4 days. <So you assume anaerobic bacteria? Well possible, but Metronidazole won't work effectively in a tank with substrate. Especially in deep substrates it may totally kill your biological filtration. Skimming and carbon filtration will remove Metronidazole and other antibiotics very fast and it won't help your eel at all. If you want to use antibiotics you need a separate bare bottom hospital tank. Alternatively, it can be applied as daily antibiotic baths for half an hour to one hour in a bucket of tank water with a small power head with 10 times the concentration. This treatment is stressful, but from your description I fear this eel might die without an antibiotic treatment.> I fear that I may have started this a bit too late, however, I came to using the Metronidazole after I had exhausted my search for the cause or diagnosis. <The best would be to have a veterinarian sample the bloated area, breed and ID the bacteria, and determine possible antibiotic resistance, and see which antibiotic would work.> There has been no improvement over the past 4 days. So my real question is, what could this be? Parasite, bacteria, virus? <If it is no simple constipation (color loss indicates it is not), which could be treated with Epsom salt and avoided by a varied vitamin enriched diet, this is most likely an internal infection with bacteria related to an accumulation of fluids and/or abnormal tissue growth.> The only new introduction to my tank was the water change and the new filtration systems. <May or may be not related to the disease. Water quality is sufficient (nitrates <30, no ammonia or nitrites while changing filtration?> The population of my tank is the eel, 2 hermit crabs and a Rabbit fish. The others have shown no outward signs of illness. I have called around and aside from a "I think that I have heard of that", no one seems to have any knowledge about bloating eels. <See WWM re'¦ several reported cases, sadly most passed away. Treatments were started too late and the right antibiotic as far as I know was never determined. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraydisfaq2.htm and the other linked FAQs.> I do not see any evidence of parasites. No vein-like patterns on its skin and no unusual excrement. I'd appreciate any direction that you could lead me to, Jonathon. <The sampling by a vet as stated above would be the best choice, although possibly too late'¦ if this is too expensive and time-consuming antibiotic baths would be the next choice. I wish you luck with whatever you decide to try and hope the eel gets well again. Marco.>

My Zebra eel had stopped eating and is now upside down and bloated II -- 03/15/08 Thank you for your quick response. I had shut off the carbon filtration system prior to the admin of the Metronidazole. <Good, but as long as the skimmer was working, it still was removed.> Can I treat my eel in a separate tank with the Epsom salt in conjunction with the antibiotic treatment, seeing how I had already initiated it? <Yes, a separate tank is a must when using antibiotics.> The color change looks more like the color wearing off of him in a horizontal and uniform fashion. Much like pin-striping on a car but more faded and practically along the whole length and both sides of its body. <Problems with its slime coat and/or bacterial infection, although the latter usually appears in faded patches.> I'll make up a hospital tank and try to bring him into a vet. I am just afraid that this will further stress the eel out. <Certainly, but you have to consider what is worse: stressing the eel or continuing a treatment, which may work or may fail. If you are unsure what to do, you can risk to try the antibiotic treatment in the hospital tank for a few days to see if it works, and if it does not, and the eel is still alive go to the vet. It's your choice, I just indicated what I would do.> The Epsom treatment, what is the particulars on that including dosing and frequency? <1-2 tablespoons Epsom salt (Epsomite) per 10 gallons of water. Also, add accordingly at partial water changes. This is a mild 'medication' and won't affect the water chemistry or the efficiency of the antibiotic as long as it is not overdosed.> Thank you, Jonathon. <Good luck, Marco.>

Re: My Zebra eel had stopped eating and is now upside down and bloated III - 03/18/08 Thank-you so very much for all of your help. Yesterday morning, "Mr. Eel" succumbed to his condition. <I am very sorry to hear that.> His bloated body resembled a prior post "Sick Snowflake Eel". <Yes, that's one of those I was thinking of.> Whatever this condition is, it appears to be fatal. <At least if untreated.> If you could please post something for others to watch out for. First onset: (3 weeks ago) Loss of appetite lasting longer than a week (which is not unusual for eels to do from time to time). Swimming erratically in the tank for a couple of days. Respirations are fast and deep. Middle stages: (1.5 week ago) No food intake or interest. Began Anti-biotic treatment. Observed the eel peering out of its hiding places with its head turned sideways and out further than usual. Eel no longer wants to be in hiding. Looks a little bloated. Slight fading of color in areas. <That's always alarming and a symptom of bacterial infections.> Respirations slows down a bit, but still is faster and deeper than normal. Final stages: (4 days ago) Eel still has not eaten. No improvement from Anti-biotic treatments. Eel totally out in the open. Often lying on its side. Lying sideways and now has an obvious bloat around its abdominal area. Bloat appears larger daily. Bloated area is rigid. Eyes appear to be slightly opaque. Eel's respirations are labored but appear normal due to speed. This is not normal, eel is tired and working to breathe. Post observation: Eel is upside down, breathing. Eyes are bulging in the clear areas only. Looks like internal pressure has forced the outer layer of eye cornea?) to fill. Eyes are cloudy. A couple of days to live at most. Mine lasted 42 hours in this position, before passing. Remaining population in tank have no signs or symptoms of any illness. I sure hope this helps someone else. Thanks again. <Thank you for the detailed description. I am sure it can help others to see fit with the case of your eel in time and possibly start treatments earlier. Did you see what the swollen area was composed of? Is it fluid, irregular tissue growth, gut blockage, swollen reproductive or other organs? My best guess still is an internal bacterial infection, but other sources (especially nematodes, worms) should be excluded by examination. If the source is known, a proper treatment can be applied. In many of these cases the morays have not been fed a vitamin enriched varied diet, but mostly one type of food like krill. It can be suspected this may have an impact on the function of the immune system. Again, I'm sorry Mr. Eel did not make it. Marco.>

My Zebra eel had stopped eating and is now upside down and bloated IV -- 03/19/08 I am having him explored to get that very information. I will let you know of the findings. Thanks again, Jonathon <Thank you Jonathon. Marco.>

Sick Zebra eel, James' go 12/11/07 Hi Bob, James with you today, Jack.> Owner: Jack I'm 12 years old. <Mmm, a young aquarist, good for you!> Tank: Corner 110 litres, Crushed coral base, 3 hand size & 3 golf ball size live rocks. One hollow ship wreck. Built in filter, Heater, Power head set up to pump in air as well. Occupants: 35cm Zebra Eel, 18cm Snow Flake eel, Blue Damsel fish. General: Zebra Eel. I have owned the eel and tank for about 6 months. The eels have both been eating fine every second day (Cooked and uncooked prawns, Pipis ) Tried calamari, squid and mussels. They both swam around during the day and night, They hand feed and loved to be petted. <Not a good idea to hand feed eels, they have a nasty bacteria infested bite which can lead to a bacterial infection on the wounded area. Do discontinue this practice.> Their breathing was fine and they are very calm and seem relaxed in their environment. I did water change of 5-10 litres every week to ten days. I tested the water every week and adjusted when needed. We did adjust the pH with Marine buffer (Seachem brand) I did once put the buffer in the tank directly without mixing it in water from the tank in a cup first and then pouring it in. Problem: Last Tuesday I noticed the Zebra Eel's head was laying on bottom of tank and seemed to struggle to breath and hold his head up. He was not swimming around and stopped eating for about week. His eye was a bit smoky gray. His stripes were fine, skin was slimy. On Tuesday afternoon we transferred the eel to the aquarium that we bought him from. In capturing the eel this made him swim around and seemed to pick him in itself. <?> When we arrived at the aquarium and they transferred it to their tank it seemed a lot better, they said they will keep it for observation. They increased the salt in tank and the next day it ate and seemed on a recovery. When I called the next day they said it seemed to relapse back to its old ways. The next day they said it was about the same but had a white spots on its face appearing and in its mouth. From this position he did not recover and this afternoon the eel passed away. The aquarium said they are not sure why it passed away but I would love to know why so I can take better care of my other eel and I would like to one day get another Zebra Eel. General: The Snow Flake Eel and the damsel are fine. I did check the water when all this was occurring and it was perfect and the aquarium checked the water as well the day we took the eel there and they said it was fine. We have been told that eels are hardy pet is this true. <Yes, they are hardy if conditions are favorable for them. A 28 gallon tank is much too small for this fish. They can grow to about two feet and really need to be in a 50 gallon or larger aquarium. I'm guessing what happened to eel was caused by environmental stress. They are huge waste producers for their size and I believe this led to his demise. In reading your email, I'm guessing you have a 28 gallon all in one nano tank. The filtration system on these systems isn't really suited to keeping eels or any large fish.> Thanks for reading my email but I would appreciate your feedback. <You're welcome Jack, and please read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm James (Salty Dog)> Jack

Sick zebra moray eel... too small, too little filtered, mis-buffered... reading, Bob's go 12/11/07 Hi crew, Owner: Jack I'm 12 years old. <Howdy: Bob, I'm 55> Tank: Corner 110 litres, Crushed coral base, 3 hand size & 3 golf ball size live rocks. 1 hollow ship wreck. Built in filter, Heater, Power head set up to pump in air as well. Occupants: 35cm zebra eel, 18cm snow flake eel, Blue damsel fish. <Mmm... I wish I knew the make-up of your built-in filter... Moray eels do produce a good deal of waste... And this tank volume is much too small for these two> General: Zebra eel. I have owned the eel and tank for about 6mths. The eels have both been eating fine every second day (Cooked and uncooked prawns, Pipis ) Tried calamari, squid and mussels. They both swam around during the day and night, They hand fed and loved to be patted. Their breathing was fine and they are very calm and seem relaxed in their environment. I did water change of 5-10 litres every week to ten days. I tested the water every week and adjusted when needed. We did adjust the ph with Marine buffer (Seachem brand) I did once put the buffer in the tank directly without mixing it in water from the tank in a cup 1st and then pouring it in. <I see... and you've hopefully learned better> Problem: Last Tuesday I noticed the Zebra eels head was laying on bottom of tank and seemed to strangle to breath and hold his head up. He was not swimming around and stopped eating for about week. His eye was a bit smoky gray. His strips were fine, skin was slimy. On the Tuesday afternoon we transferred the eel to the aquarium that we bought him from. In capturing the eel this made him swim around and seemed to pick him in itself. When we arrived at the aquarium and they transferred it to their tank it seemed a lot better, they said they will keep it for observation. They Increased the salt in tank and the next day it eat and seemed on a recovery. When I called the next day they said it seemed to relapse back to its old ways. The next day they said it was about the same but had a white spots on its face appearing and in its mouth. From this position this he did not recover and this afternoon the eel passed away. The aquarium said they are not sure why it passed away but I would love to know why so I can take better care of my other eel and I would like to one day get another Zebra eel. <Mmm...> General: The Snow flake eel and the damsel are fine. I did check the water when all this was occurring and it was perfect and the aquarium checked the water as well the day we took the eel there and they said it was fine. We have been told that eels are hardy pet is this true. <Most species, specimens if placed in appropriate settings are, yes...> Thanks for reading my email but I would appreciate your feedback. Jack <Your Zebra/Gymnomuraena likely succumbed to the buffer being poured directly into the tank, along with general stress... This system is too small... Please read re these two species needs here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm the third tray down. Bob Fenner>

Injured zebra moray eel -- 10/25/2007 Hi Crew, <Hello Darren.> Hope you are well! <Yes, thanks.> I have 3 zebra moray eels between 18 inches and 2 feet, they currently are in my spare 70 gallon tank till my main 150 gallon show tank is emptied of its inhabitants this weekend. I have had the eels for 4 weeks and they have been feeding well and seem to do well, although things do get interesting at feeding time. Their current tank contains about 3kg of live rock and 2x 18 inch long rubber tubes for them to hide in, there is no substrate in this tank, I am carrying out 10% water changes to maintain water parameters. <10% per week, month, year? See if the nitrates exceed 30 ppm and act accordingly. Since you plan to move them at the weekend larger water changes would be adequate, if high nitrates occur.> I have just gone out to feed them and found that one of them has a huge wound about half way down his body, it looks like a cut about 25mm x 10mm and looks white and fleshy, I have searched the tank for sharp objects but I can not find what has caused his wound. <Search on'¦ must be caused by something. Could it be power head accident?> He's still eats well but it looks awful and I am worried one how it happened and two if it well heal. <It probably will> He does not seem to concerned with it and is still pretty energetic. Can you please advise if you feel this injury is terminal? <Hopefully not.> Should I hold off moving him to the larger tank this weekend? <I would not move him now, but remove the cause of the wound.> Should I treat him with any medicine? <Watch if any white or red and spreading patches occur on and around the wound. These would be signs of a bacterial infection. Use medication (an antibiotic) only in that case. You could use the 70 gallon tank as a hospital tank, therefore I would not move the eel, yet.> Would he be best off without the other 2 eels as company? <Until it heals: yes.> Any help would be greatly appreciated <Monitor the wound and feed a vitamin enriched diet. Search for the cause of the injury and remove it. Keep the water quality as high as possible and don't stress the animal too much. Chances are good for your moray eel, but the healing may take weeks to months. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above for further information.> Many thanks in advance. Kind Regards, Darren. <You are welcome. I hope your eel gets well again. Have to feed some of mine now'¦ Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Help Please Injured Zebra Moray Zebra moray eel with blisters -- 10/30/2007
Thanks for your last response it's great to get guidance and reassurance. <You are welcome.> I have now moved the other 2 morays in to the main show tank with as little stress to the 3rd as possible. <Very good.> I have now been able to view injury closer up, as I'm sure you can appreciate it was quite confusing with 3 black and white stripy eels. <I can imagine.> The injury is now showing very slight signs of red round the edges and I have also noticed his skin has blistered slightly on the opposite side of his body, the blisters have a red tinge to them and cover a similar size to the open wound but the skin is not broken. This confuses me more on how this injury has occurred! <Very good you observed that. These blisters may well be encysted worms under the skin (or other encysted parasites). I have seen such on morays and many other fish. Some day they did open leaving a white fleshy wound with reddish edges. It took them very long to heal (months), but no medications needed to be applied. Such parasites can be treated with Metronidazole, Flagyl and an anthelminthic like Praziquantel. See WWM re searching for "bumps" and "encysted".> As it would now appear that infection/bacteria is present can you suggest a possible brand/type of medicine, it's not so easy in the UK to pick up such treatments, someone suggested iodine not sure if this would be any good. <Does not sound like a (severe) bacterial infection to me, I'd continue to watch the eel and monitor the wound and also the eyes. If the eyes get cloudy or the red is spreading around the wound, I'd get an antibiotic from the vet, since as far as I know, they are not sold freely in the UK. For the treatment of the cysts see above, I do not think iodine would work here.> As always any help would be much appreciated. <Hope the eel gets well again. Marco.> Kind Regards, Darren

Sick zebra moray eel -- 10/06/07 Hi, <Hello> Just wanted to get some advice on my zebra eel which seems to be behaving strangely'¦..Today it has been lying at the front of the tank on a rock and looks to be gasping for air. Normally eats frozen/fresh prawn and has been feeding well. <Vitamin addition are not a bad idea.> The eel is about 2.5 ft and shares the tank with 3 pairs of clown fish, a blue tang and a Marine Betta. All water tests seemed fine, other fish are ok (Nitrite= 0, PH = 8.3, salinity =1.022). The tank size is 5ft X 2.5ft x 4ft. I have tried increasing circulation and aeration to no avail. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Nicolas <Heavy breathing can have different reasons aside a lack of oxygen or nitrite poisoning. Any recent additions to the tank? An Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon infection of just the gills (and not the skin) can result in heavy breathing. Second idea: How high are the nitrates? If above 30 ppm for a longer time they can harm the immune system of the moray and allow secondary bacterial infection to infect the gills (in this case you'd have to treat with antibiotics in a separate tank or as baths). Idea three: Are there any metal parts in your tank or do you use water from copper pipes to mix your salt water? Another possibility is a tumor (which in fact can be related to a bacterial infection, too). I have seen morays dying, because of large tumors on their gills, they can only be treated by a surgery. Hope these suggestion help you to diagnose and take action accordingly. I'd try a large (>50%) water change anyway and filter with fresh carbon. Good luck and I hope your eel gets well again. Marco.>

Zebra moray with cloudy eye -- infection or cataract? -- 04/30/07 Hi, I've really enjoyed reading through your site in the evenings with a beer, now I have a question that I can not find any answer to. My Zebra moray's eye had clouded up, for several months I've noticed a small clouded spot in the middle of the eye, now the whole eye is covered <A cataract only affects the lens. See if the margin of the eyes is covered, too. Do you see any worms or cysts in the eye? Another possibility is an ablatio retinae due to an accident. In that case there is not much you could do to help your moray eel (It can live happily with one eye). If, as I suppose from your picture, the entire eye is clouded and no cysts or worms occur, a bacterial infection seems more probable, although they in general do not develop over several months, but faster.>, the other is fine. I've been thinking he scratched it on a rock <A possible source of an bacterial infection>. He is about 24" long, eats well. I feed him a frozen medium shrimp (or a bay scallop) every 2-3 days, sometimes soak them in Kent Zoe Marine. <Sounds like a good diet. You may want to try a little more variation with crab legs, different brands/sizes/species of shrimps. Change the 'sometimes' into a 'frequently' as long as the cloudy eye occurs.> I have him in a 70 gallon tanks with 1 yellow tang, 1 blue tang, 1 blue/green Chromis, 1 orchid Dottyback, 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, a pulsating xenia, Bubbletip anemone, anemone crab, small (3") crocea clam, small colony of button polyps. For filtering I use a MegaFlow sump #3, Berlin turbo flow skimmer, 10 gallon refugium (lights on 24/7). I do 5 to 10 gallon water changes weekly. I make up 40 gallons at a time so I have "fresh" salt water all the time, the water is ro/di, and I use Instant Ocean sea salt. I also have a Carlson surge device that flushes about 10 gallons of water into the tank in about 15 seconds every 5 minutes during the day and then run 2 power heads at night. Lighting is done by Coralife Aqualight Pro HQI/Compact Fluorescent/Lunar Light Fixture 2-150 watt bulbs (1-10000K and 1-14000K) and 2 actinic blue compact fluorescents. 70 lbs of live rock. It's been running for about a year and a half. The water parameters are: 0 -- ammonia; 0-5 ppm of nitrates; 0 phosphates; KH 179ppm; Ca 300 mg/l; PH 8.2; SG 1.028. This is temporary for him, in the fall I plan on putting in a 220 gallon and leave this as a reef tank. Thanks. <I would not treat so far, but keep up the high water quality and a varied diet with frequent vitamin addition. If you see any worms in the eye, you need to get a wormer. When provided a proper environment, moray eels are hardy and can fight many infections with their blood and skin toxins as well as with their strong immune system. I'd wait with considering the use of antibiotics in a separate tank until further symptoms like cloudiness of the other eye, skin discoloration develop. Such treatments are stressful and could harm a moray eel more than a small infection. I hope it will not spread. When you plan your bigger tank, be sure to incorporate pvc pipes in case you haven't already. Much less danger of scratching. Marco.>

Zebra Moray Injury Question 1/17/06 Hi, <Hello there> I had a question about my zebra moray eel (young, 10"). <Wow, tiny> I just introduced him about a week ago. He is not yet eating but was showing some interest and otherwise behaving what I would consider normally. <Oh?> When I got up this morning he had a 1/4" diameter circular wound (It looks like a conical "chuck" is missing) behind his left eye. <Mmm, likely either a trauma/run-in with decor, or a bite/tankmate> Also on the right in front of his gill pouch there is a similar white fleshy looking 1/4" vertical wound (no skin/flesh missing). Also his head has swollen to twice its size. <!!!> He also seems to be mostly swimming backwards. <Very bad> None of this was apparent the previous night. Tank conditions are as follows: 70 gallon FOWLR (100+ lbs multiple caves) protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, power heads Ammonia: zero Nitrite: zero Nitrate: 30 PH 8.3 Salinity 1.020 <... way too low... should be close to NSW... 1.025> Tankmates: (1) Hep. Tang (1) Coral Beauty Angle (1) Half Black Angle (2) False Percs (9) Green Chromis (2) Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp (bunch) Zebra hermit crabs <Mmm... Gymnomuraena eat crustaceans...> The only interaction between the Zebra Moray and the tank mates is the cleaner shrimp want to clean him which does seem to cause him some Greif. I have no idea what has happened. Did I inadvertently introduce something that is incompatible (besides that the eel may have tried to eat the shrimp or crabs)? <Oh, I see you're aware...> Any advise would be appreciated. I have a 55 and a 30 gallon tank I could use as a hospital if removal would help him). I am going to continue combing the site when I get home from work. Thanks -Matt <Raise your spg... about a thousandth per day (0.001)... provide ghost shrimp (unless you have other live crustaceans available)... and hope... I would not move this Eel... trouble is likely environmental in origin... a bump in the night along with too low spg effects. Bob Fenner>

Sick Zebra Moray I have a 24inch zebra moray I have had for four years. He has been ill for the past 4-5 months. He is in a 55 gal tank (too small I know) by himself. <Yes> He is losing his stripes and his white under skin is showing through on 50% of his body and he is not as active as he was before. He eats once per week (shrimp, crab, clam, scallops.) 6 months ago he had this same disease and I temporarily cured it with Nitrofurazone (no immediate response) then Tetracycline hydrochloride (worked). He fell ill to the same disease 2 months later. (I have no hospital tank and treatments were done in his only tank.) <Not wise... immuno-deficiency syndromes easy to induce> The disease came back and he did not respond to the same treatment twice. <Bingo> I then tried erythromycin and he did not respond. Filtration is Eheim ECCO and pro clear aquatic wet/dry filter, CoralLife turbo twist 9 watt UV sterilizer. Temp 78degrees, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, ph 8.4, ammonia 0, salinity 1.023. Water changes 20% every 2 weeks. Please help I love this guy and want him to get better! Thank you very much. Sincerely, Ethan. <... What to say? The root cause, cure for this situation is environmental. This Gymnomuraena needs more space, new live rock, places to move, hide in, explore... This life is in your hands, care. What do you want to do? Bob Fenner>

Zebra moray ... dis., sys. 3/10/06 I noticed my 2' long zebra moray has some sort of pink looking polyps growing on or near his nostrils. Any idea? <Mmm, likely from rubbing... the nares... or running into the sides> He is in a 75 gallon tank with a skimmer and Rena filter, I do five gallon water changes weekly and every time I check the chemical levels they all come out great. My other fish are all doing great, too. This guy was inherited so I don't know too much about him, although he has been eating really well for the 2 months or so that I have had him. His diet consists of shrimp. I have tried squid, scallops, etc. he prefers the shrimp. Thanks, if I need to send some more info. I will. Rob <Will/does need larger quarters. Bob Fenner>

Sick Zebra Moray Eel My firm has had a Zebra Moray Eel now for several months and a couple of weeks ago I noticed some white blotches (which looked somewhat like scars) on his skin. He had been eating his shrimp well previous to this discovery (3 X a week - which I realize is probably too many times from reading the other entries), but all of a sudden he has decided that he is not interested in his food anymore, and has not eaten much, if at all, over the past couple of weeks. Also breathing seems somewhat labored and every now and then his whole body seems to jump or act like it is convulsing (kind-of like a human having the hiccups). I know we have a service company that comes out 2 times a month and cleans the tank, changes the water, checks the chemical balance of the water, etc., so I don't think that would be what's causing his issues, but please tell me if I am wrong in this assumption. The Zebra Moray Eel is in the tank with several other fish, but they don't seem to be having any problems since I noticed the spots on the Eel. Do you think there is any reason to be concerned? We would appreciate any suggestions or treatments you could give us! Thanks! <Tracy, being that this tank is serviced by an aquarium servicing company, I'm thinking they selected the fish to put into it, correct? If so, I would have them come out and take a look/see. It would be hard to make an accurate diagnosis with seeing the fish. Has anyone been cleaning the glass with an ammonia based cleaner? I'm also curious as to the tank size. James (Salty Dog)>

Sick Zebra Moray Eel - II As it turns out, we actually pick out the fish in the tank. The aquarium company just tells us what we can and cannot put in there. Besides the eel, we have the following fish (plus a couple of others that I cannot identify): Square spot Anthias, Speckled Grouper, Royal Dottyback, Longnose Hawkfish, Threadfin Cardinalfish, Ocellaris Anemone fish (Clown Fish); Yellowtail Blue Damselfish, Moon Wrasse, and Purple Tang. I have been told the tank is 180 gallons. Hope this helps! <Tracy, don't know what kind of filtering system is employed but none the less this tank is exceeding its capacity. The eel, grouper and tang all get quite large. My rule of thumb is one cubic inch (not length) of fish per five gallons of water. When tanks become overcrowded, the chance for disease is heightened. I would ask the aquarium maintenance company if they can remove the eel and treat it at their place for resale. You really need to reduce the fish load. James (Salty Dog)>

Unwell Zebra Moray Hi, I have a 2.5ft Zebra Moray eel in a fish only tank, I have had him now for about 8 weeks He lives with a 3 inch porcupine puffer and a Picasso trigger of about 4 inches. When first purchased the eel was eating between 3 and 5 mussels every 2-3 days. Since buying the Puffer feeding and trigger he seems to be less interesting in food and does not readily (it is also harder to feed him with as the others are always hungry) come out of his cave for it, but never the less he is still feeding, about 2 mussels every 10 days. The water checks are all perfect and the water is being aerated with a 10-15% water change weekly. Over the last week the eel seems to be jerking his head a little more regular and laying his head flat on the gravel rather than the usual arching his head up looking happy. He is about as active at night as normal but I am getting extremely worried about what to do now or how to treat him. Could it be that he is being pestered buy the other fish and would he benefit by me placing them in another tank for while (I have not seen any evidence of this). Also this may be insignificant but the puffer was also inflated this morning for the first time. Your help would be much appreciated as I feel I do need it. Sorry for such along e-mail but I wanted you to have all the information possible. Kind Regards, Darren Adams <Hi Darren, sounds like it could be related to his environment, tank size, water quality, diet, tank mates. What size tank are we dealing with, filtration, and what are the water parameters? You will also want to feed a varied diet. The links below have more information on the Zebra Moray. -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morayfdgfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm >
Unwell Zebra Moray
Hello Again thanks for your reply, The tank is 380ltr and I have 2x Eheim 70 gallon external canister filers with full media one of these has a wave system etc, I also have 3 power heads. <skimmer?> The Ammonia is zero and so is the Nitrite, the Ph is 8.4 and the Nitrate 20. The shop I bought him from had him for 10 months and said they could only ever get him to feed on mussels. Should I maybe put the puffer in my spare tank and see if the eels feeding mood gets better as the trigger and puffer are just getting more aggressive at feeding time. Kind regards Darren Adams <Evenin' Darren, that nitrate reading is pretty darn high, I would focus my attention on getting that down. The puffer and trigger could be pestering him, removing them could not hurt. A feeding stick would work well to direct food down to him. You will need to offer him a variety of foods for long term success (cut fish, squid, crustaceans). -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm >

Zebra Moray Looking ill I have come home from work today to fine my 2.5ft Zebra moray lent against a rock with only one of his breathing pouches working he seemed to feed okay last night and I have never noticed this before. Is this normal and if not how should I treat it <Likely nothing... Do what you do to check water quality, assure that there is adequate aeration, circulation... Otherwise, I would not treat this fish. Morays, and other eels sometimes just seem to "breath from one side". Bob Fenner> Your help would be much appreciated Darren
Re: Zebra Moray Looking ill
Thanks for your reply I have checked the water and its all okay except .25 on the nitrite test, <This is a little troubling... is your biological filtration sufficient? I would slow down to stopping feeding till this reads zero> ph 8.4, ammonia 0 and nitrate 20, the tank also has good aeration. I can not remember whether I have ever seen him breath though the right hand air pocket is it usual that they are some times made redundant and should I do anything if he does not start to use this again, he seems slightly agitated and not his normal self. <I'd chalk that up to the nitrites... or rather, the source of the nitrites> I am very worried as I have only had him a couple of week and everything seemed okay till today. <Do boost your biological filtration. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/biological/biofiltr.htm Bob Fenner> Your help again would be much appreciated, Darren
Zebra Moray Eel Looking ill help required
Hi I am quite concerned about my 2.5ft Zebra moray eel over the last couple of days he has been spending a lot of time laying with his whole body upside down with his head flat on the floor of his cave. <Not a good behavior> He seems to be eating fine on his present menu of tiger prawns and the water tests, aeration and circulation are all good. <Real values please> One thing I have noticed is that his breathing is a little much shorter but more rapid, I may be worrying about nothing but could you just confirm if this seems normal. <Moray breathing rates can/do vary> His tank mates are a sail fin tang and a French angel in an 85 UK gallon tank. <A bit crowded... I would check on the alkalinity (aka alkaline reserve) of the water. Easy for small volumes with large bioloads to lose such in short order> As always your help would be much appreciated Kind Regards Darren Adams <Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Zebra Morey Eel Looking ill help required
Thanks for your reply, the water readings are ammonia 0, nitrate 40ppm, <Would like to see the nitrates kept below 10 ppm> nitrite 0, and ph 8.4, I always us RO water and do a water change of 7-10 UK gallons a week, would there still be alkaline in the water. <Likely so, gauging from your high, constant pH.> The eel is still swimming round at night, but again today he was laying upside down. The tang is just 3 inches and the angel 5 inches. If you think I should test for alkaline it will get a kit tomorrow but if that is fine do you have any other suggestions. <Perhaps to try changing the diet a bit (to other crustaceans) and maybe augmenting this with a HUFA, vitamin and iodide mix (available through TMC in the UK... by Tropic Marin, Microvert. Bob Fenner> Kind Regards Darren
Re: ill zebra eel
Zebra Eel Follow up I just checked the quality of the water. The specific gravity is 1.019. The pH is between 7.8-8.0 , the nitrites are 0, the Nitrates are between 10-20 and the ammonia is 0. I have been feeding the zebra moray eel about twice a week. I feed him krill and occasionally crab. I have been constantly monitoring his condition and he seems to be breathing less and less. It does not seem as if he has moved today. Although this could be the case, he is still breathing and moves occasionally. <Your pH is pretty low. You mentioned doing a water change in your previous email. I would suggest another as soon as possible. You nitrates are not high, but your pH should be higher, 8.2-8.4 being optimal. Feeding and other parameters are ok. -Steven Pro> Please help. Thanks. Anny & Brian

Zebra Eel <greetings, Anny> Recently, he has been inactive for long periods. During this period, he will lay part of his body upside down (mostly resting it on a rock). Could it be something he has eaten (yellow damsel currently MIA)? <nope... captive artifact/anomaly or water quality issue most likely. Else it may be an expression of poor health from inappropriate diet. What have you been feeding an how often?> I recently did a water change so the water quality is ok. <what were the specific water quality readings?> Is there any illness associated with zebra eels that I should know about? Thank you for your help! -Anny <Anny, please follow up with the chemistry and feeding info so that we may help you promptly. Anthony>

Zebra Moray Eel Problems Hi Robert, just a quick question regarding an eel. He has developed small egg-looking sacks on the inside of his mouth. It seems to be hindering his eating behavior. Please let me know if you have any knowledge of what this might be and how I might treat it. Thanks <Could be symptomatic of a genetic, developmental, nutritional, environmental, infectious or parasitic disease... or "natural"... about the only thing to do at this point is to check water quality, improve, make consistent... possibly supplement foods, water with vitamins, iodide... and evaluate your current set-up and maintenance procedures for possible trouble/s. Bob Fenner>

Zebra Moray (6-11-03) I have a 17-18" Gymnomuraena zebra living in a 55 tank Who has developed white specks along his body. Is this disease? <If they look like little grains of sugar on him it is most likely disease. Look here and see if you can find anything helpful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm .> History: Tank: Been cycled for nearly a year. 25-30lbs. Live rock. W/D SUMP. And Canister filter. Feeding. Recently switched from small daily feeding to twice weekly medium/large feeding. Additions. Only 5-6lbs live rock. <Some thing may have come in on the rock.> Tank Mates. No new additions, 4 small predatory fish. Any ideas? Thanks for your help And as I've stated in a previous email, Great book. Jake Dean <Hope this helps, Cody.> Dallas. I was the author of the above post http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramfa.htm and wanted to follow up. As I watched him daily the white spots, in a sort of ameba shape, covered 99% of his body and within days became recessed bruised and bloody sores. I took him to the LFS to which they said "This is bad" (comments of a belt or a wrist watch band didn't sit well with me) "but try this" - Kanacyn, "If that does not work let me know and we will switch meds." I treated him in a hospital tank for 25-30 min.s. at a time, every other day, and cutting the dosage in half then returning him to his tank. It didn't work. Triggers waiting for a meal started nipping at his rotting and bloody tail. I researched to next Med. and decided on Triple Sulfa. Once daily in the hospice tank, 1-1.5 hours, three rounds. Within two days his activity was back to normal and he was eating. That was nearly three weeks ago, he is doing great. He has barely visible scars and his tail is slowly retaking it's original shape and color. thanks -Jake

Sick Zebra Moray (8-6-03) As I watched him daily the white spots, in a sort of ameba shape, covered 99% of his body and within days became recessed bruised and bloody sores. I took him to the LFS to which they said "This is bad" (comments of a belt or a wrist watch band didn't sit well with me) "but try this" - Kanacyn, "If that does not work let me know and we will switch meds." I treated him in a hospital tank for 25-30 min.s. at a time, every other day, and cutting the dosage in half then returning him to his tank. It didn't work. Triggers waiting for a meal started nipping at his rotting and bloody tail. I researched to next Med. and decided on Triple Sulfa. Once daily in the hospice tank, 1-1.5 hours, three rounds. Within two days his activity was back to normal and he was eating. That was nearly three weeks ago, he is doing great. He has barely visible scars and his tail is slowly retaking it's original shape and color.<Thank you for the follow up, it is always nice to hear what happened. Good to hear of success! You will love this guy, I have 1 myself and he is my favorite. Mine is very tame and will wrap around my arm and take food from my hand at feeding time. He would appreciate a bigger tank in the near future though. Cody> thanks
-Jake

Zebra Moray and Ich Hi, I have a case of Ick, in one of my tanks. I've moved all the fish to a hospital tank. The only thing left in the main tank is my Zebra moray. I'm thinking I should set up another tank for him. Is this necessary, and would the meds be the same as for the fish?<NO!!! I would recommend a simple freshwater dip for this species with the usual three to four week quarantine for new specimens. Avoid copper compounds, dye and organophosphate-containing remedies as these are deadly to true eels. ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm)> I would like to move a few of the fish from the first hospital tank to the second to reduce crowding, especially for the length of time they will be there.<ok> I will NEVER add a fish that hasn't been in a Q tank again. Any help or Ideas will be appreciated. Eric <Do read more about your Zebra moray at this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm, Good luck with everything, IanB>

Zebra Moray and Ich I've already taken care of it. I separated the eel and medicated the fish. I managed to save all but 1 fish. Meds are done and I'm going to wait a month then put them back in the main tank gradually. Thanks for your quick response. Eric <glad to hear that my friend, Good luck, IanB>

- Sick Zebra Eel - I wrote a few days ago about my sick zebra eel. I thought for some reason that you would reply to me and post it on the site but that was my mistake. <Well... my most humble apologies - your mail did not come through my email box, but sometimes things get lost in the shuffle - we get hundreds of emails a day... or at least it seems that way.> So today when I went to look for the reply on the site I found the picture that I attached to the email but I was unable to find the reply. <It does sound like we never got to it, except for the picture - very odd.> The picture looked like it was attached to someone else's email about Ich so does that mean that's what he has? <I couldn't say for certain, except to say that eels don't generally get Cryptocaryon - if you don't mind resending the image along with your original email to my attention, I'll be happy to give things another look.> I know its hard to say but is there anyway that i can search for the reply or anything. <My feeling is that there is no reply to find - something got mixed up. Again, I apologize for the confusion.> I really appreciate all your help and patience. If you could just reply to me here so I'm sure to get it that would be great, thanks. <Please tell me again what's up with your eel - I've no way to give you any useful information at this point.> Sincerely, Shaun p.s. the picture is of mostly just his head, pointed to the right out of what looks like the entrance to a cave. i don't know if you needed to know that but just in case, thanks again. <Look forward to hearing from you with that image and original email. Cheers, J -- >
- Sick Zebra Eel, Follow-up - i appreciate you writing me back but someone already replied to me... <Ok.> found out that he has HLLE but they didn't say how to fix it. I know that its supposed to be mainly vitamin deficiency but i can't get him to eat even his krill soaked in vitamin sup or this garlic stuff i got and I've haven't fed him in two weeks so he should be hungry. <Yup, getting it to eat will be a good start.> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks again for replying to me though. <Cheers, J -- >

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>

Zebra Moray Ills? Hello Bob, <Hi, MikeD here today> I have two Zebra Moray Eels in a 125 UK Gallon tank. One eel which is of 2.5ft which I have had for 18mths, the other is of 18inch and was recently introduced in to the tank just over 3weeks ago. The only other tank mate is a six inch snowflake eel.<Shouldn't be a problem here with the combination> The tank is well filtered with a large prism protein skimmer. All chemical levels are okay. Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 20ppm, ph 8.o<OK> I have a cave made of gutter piping imbedded in the coral sand with four outlets for the eels to live.<Fine as long as they will use it. Keep in mind the zebra morays get quite large!> The larger zebra moray eel has not fed for 5days, paying no interest in food at all, and for most of today laying upside down with his head out of the cave.<This isn't unusual, and actually normal for morays being fed quite heavily> After the lights went off tonight he/she swam out of his cave and I noticed his girth was swollen to nearly twice its normal size, from behind his/her head to his rectum. I had noticed over the last week or two his girth was slightly larger but not to the concerning extent of the above). His respiration is also slightly more erratic.<THIS is sign for concern. You may want to consider quarantining this fish for treatment> The two zebra eels seem to get on very well, swimming and laying together most of the time. Could this be a pregnancy!<Possible, but not likely, given their small size.> surely not in such a short time?<LOL! Even fish can react strongly if one is a "10" **grin** I have tried to look up on the internet but have not found any information on this subject.<IF it's pregnancy, they may well spawn for you, but rearing has not yet been accomplished on a home level due to the long planktonic elver stage. My suggestion would be to wait for a day or two, and if the larger fish doesn't show signs of improvement, remove it to a quarantine/hospital tank and treat for constipation, possibly a bacterial infection> Your prompt help would be most appreciated in this hour of need. <Hope this helps a little> Many Thanks Darren Adams

Sick Zebra Moray Eel <Hi, MikeD here> I have a 2 ft eel that up to very recently was doing well. I found him today breathing rapidly with his head leaning on a rock (left side) and with only his right gill pouch protruding out more than I ever noticed before.<That's not good> My first thought was that he has something caught in his throat as he usually breathes evenly through both pouches. When he tried to move positions, I noticed that his body quivered and like one would with a chill or seizure. I fed him 4 days ago 3-4 silver slides but not interested in eating now.<This is part of your problem....I'm surprised it ate them at all. These are specialized crustacean predators, requiring a diet of shrimp, lobster, squid and crabs> I had him for about a month or so and his diet consists of these fish (silver sides).<OK...this is part of the problem. These are an oily, fatty fish not normally suggested for these> That was the store told me to feed him.<Ouch! So much for stores. God only knows how long they were feeding it these. He lives in a 120 gallon aquarium with 2 angels 1 squirrel fish and a clownfish.<Good combination.> Occasionally the small black angel fish (about 2-3 inches) has tried to peck at him but otherwise there is no stress from other tank mates.<Do you have enough LR so that he can stay completely hidden, with just his head exposed?> He was well until recently and the only change I made before his condition changed was to do a water change and I expected that this would improve the environment not make things worse.<Likewise> The PH is 7.9-8.0 . Ammonia and nitrites is zero and nitrates is 5 Could this be due to some bacterial infection from bad fish food, bad chemistry or diet issues?<All three is possible and likely. My only suggestion would be try a good antibiotic regimen in a quarantine tank and make a trip to the supermarket for a diet change. Raw shrimp ought to be eagerly welcomed if it can be tempted to eat.> What can I do to help him?<Keep your fingers crossed too.> I appreciate any help that you could offer. Linda.

Sick Zebra Moray <Hi, Mike D here> Thanks for your speedy response. I wish I had received the instructions from the store on the crustacean diet at the outset.<me too> I tried to give some raw shrimp to give to the eel but he unfortunately was not interested in eating.<That's not good> I have a lot of live rock creating hiding places but nothing enclosed like a cave where there is only one way in and out.<Many people bury PVC pipe in the substrate so that the eel can use it like a tunnel with just the head protruding, the normal position for them.> I did take notice that the little black angel is very aggressive towards the eel and took every opportunity to nip at his body. I did not think that this was so much a problem.<It isn't. Many fish will "mob" a moray whenever they see them out, much like crows with a hawk.> The eel still moves around the tank but not swimming as before but rather on the gravel dragging his body (body appears stiff).<Swimming wasn't a good sign either, but it sounds to have gotten worse> I wonder if he has sustained a bunch of wounds from this fish?<Doubtful...they make wallets from this tough hide, plus they secrete a very heavy slime coat> I did remove the aggressive fish from the tank.<put the angel back and remove the eel for treatment> Can you tell me what kind of antibiotic product I should obtain for the tank? Should I be adding anything else to the tank?<I suggest NEVER treat you fish in your main tank. It can destroy the bacterial balance, causing the whole tank to cycle at times, create a bacterial bloom that's often fatal, and/or some products, like copper will actually chemically bond to the LR and substrate. I suggest keeping a 10 or 20 gal. tank around to press into service as a hospital tank (do a search under "hospital tank" and you should find a wealth of information on filters and such. A good antibiotic is Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone> like that stress coat product?< Probably not necessary as eels secrete a copious amount of slime already.> Thanks so very much for your help!!<The very best of luck to you> Linda

Sick banded moray eel/red sores I have a 3 1/2 ft. I believe a Banded Moray eel. <Gymnothorax zebra?> I recently did not add enough salt to his tank and burned him w/ the fresh water? <Not likely> He now has red bloody spots around his face & neck approx 4 of them, also very white around the face as well. I have since corrected the problem w/his salinity and ph is ok as well. It has been about a week since this has happened. Have you ever heard of this before? Thank you for your response. Stacey Swanson <Have seen moray eels with burns from poor water chemistry, physical damage from scratches on decor, jumping out... if yours is still alive after a week it will likely cure up. Bob Fenner>
He's a tough guy, and is still alive and kicking!
<Ah, good> Thanks for the quick response! <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Stacey Swanson :)

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