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FAQs about Zebra Moray Eel Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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 Disease, 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

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

Thank you Bob!
<Welcome Jim>

Feeding Zebra eel  8/30/10
Hello all,
question about feeding my Zebra eel. A little background. He is just under 2 feet, we have only had him a week. He is in our 150g tank with 240 pounds of rock so he has a lot of good spots to hide which he does most of the day.
He hasn't been eating the frozen krill and mussels and I have read on here that it might not be a big deal and maybe entice him with live food.
<It's not a big deal so far and quite common. Find out if the eel did eat at the store and what it ate. If it differs from your food, try it , too. Krill should not be a main staple in the long run. Also add vitamins to this eel's diet at least once a week.>
We live by the water and have an abundance of fiddler crabs. They overrun the shore. I never take anything from the water and put in my tank for fear of parasites, etc. So would this be a bad idea to throw a couple in for the eel to eat? Should I just stick to crayfish from the LFS?
<Depending on your shore (industry, pollution) your LFS might have a smaller risk to get something you didn't want to. I'd try the mussels and shrimps with shell for another week. Try them on a feeding stick, don't stress or frighten the eel during feeding time, keep the feeding calm. If that does not work ask at the LFS for hitchhiker crabs they get with live rock. They are often given away for free and in case you have 240 pounds of live rock in your tank, there may have been quite a number of crabs the eel was eating the last days/weeks. Fiddler crabs might be an option if your coast is clean, however, most species need air, otherwise they might die and remain in the tank uneaten. Also, check your water quality. Clean water can help with eels on hunger strike.>
Thank you!
<Welcome. 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.>

Zebra eel, comp., fdg.  -- 09/27/08 I am setting up a 135 gallon reef aquarium and was thinking of housing a zebra eel. As I have no personal experience with eels, and I take the advice of local pet stores with a grain of salt, I was wanting to get some information to aid in my decision. My main question was regarding clean up crew options and the feeding of the eel. If I use snails and serpent stars for cleaning the tank, would they be safe from the eel? I assume the serpent stars would be safe, but I've heard conflicting reports regarding snails. <Yes, the serpent stars are safe, but some Zebra eels (and Snowflake eels, too) have eaten snails. I've seen that personally, but most will leave them alone. Larger snails with thick shells should be safe with any Zebra eel.> What other options would I have for organisms to clean the tank? <Urchins are safe in most aquarium, although they have been found in the stomachs of wild zebra eels (they need an older system, though), Hermit crabs are also often safe as long as they have thick shells the eel cannot crack. Even cleaner shrimp can work (or be eaten), they are kind of a gamble, chances are best if they are introduced to the tank prior to the eel. The best choices you have already named: stars and snails.> Regarding feeding, would it be possible to just throw in 20 crabs or so every few weeks/months and let the eel feed on them at his leisure, or would I have to spot feed him? <Can be done, but depending on the type of crabs they could do some damage, eat corals or other desirable invertebrates and even small fishes until they become prey themselves. The eel will also make some chaos, lift rocks and such while hunting for the crabs. The crabs will also become quite expensive with time. Crabs are mostly useful for freshly imported specimens to make the acclimation period easier. I would train the eel to take dead food and feed a varied diet of shrimps, prawns, mussels with vitamin addition and long tweezers or a feeding stick.> I would very much prefer not to spot feed the eel, and if that is the case then I certainly would like to know now instead of later, as it isn't my intention of having a starving eel prisoner. <Should not happen with this species.> Thanks for your thoughts. <Welcome. See here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm and the linked FAQs on Zebra morays. Cheers, Marco.>

Zebra moray eel refusing food -- 11/06/2007 Hi, <Hello.> My zebra eel that I have had for 3-4 years stopped eating almost 4 weeks ago after I returned from vacation and shows no interest in the shrimp that he was accustomed to dining on every 2-3 days. This is the longest time he has not eaten that I can recall. At first I noticed that he had some protozoa blotches <What type of protozoans?> on his body and a few bites from the other fish. I did a water change and his skin cleared up but how still did not want to eat. I added some erythromycin <Is an antibiotic for gram positive bacteria. In my opinion it should only be used if such an infection occurs, additionally it has to be used for a certain time to work at all.> to the tank (mild dose) and the wounds and protozoa cleared up. He looks OK on the outside but tended to remain in his cave and did not venture out to eat as he normally had at feeding time. The only other unusual symptom was a quick head tremor when I tried to introduce a shrimp to him on the end of a stick but the tremor was short lived. I witnessed the same quick jerky tremor another time as well but again it quickly subsided. <Some morays quickly shake their head in front of new items in order to investigate them with their lateral line organ. Possibly what you observed. However, real spasms can be a symptom of a serious problem.> Any suggestions on what I should do? <Check the water parameters, especially salinity (should be 1.024-1.025) and nitrates (should be below 30) and act accordingly (water changes) if necessary. Try some different foods: mussel flesh, squid, crab legs from the grocery store or market, you could also try a live shrimp or crab. If it eats again, add vitamins to the food and keep the diet varied. Clarify which one of the other fish bit the eel and find a solution (likely separating them) to provide an environment with less stress.> How long can an eel starve? <The largest time I am aware of is several months. Most morays, which do not eat, don't die of starvation, but disease. Not eating can be a symptom of diseases related to poor water conditions, so check your water quality. An infection of the eel could also be related to the bites from other fishes, so this apparent issue should be addressed as well.> He is close to 3.5 ft long now and 1.5 inches diameter at his widest part <If right, that seems a little thin for his length and may be a sign of internal parasites. If he eats again, he possibly should be treated with medicated food (preferably in a system without live rock if possible).> and occupies a 120 gallon aquarium with an angel, clown fish and puffy (his long time tank mates). Thanks, Linda. <Hope that helps and your eel starts eating again. Some further reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zebramor.htm and the linked files above. Marco.>

Hungry Zebra Moray   7/31/06 G'Day crew. <G'day to you as well, Leslie in for the crew this morning.> I have a 30 inch zebra moray in a 8ft long 1.5ft wide 2ft high glass aquarium. <Great eel, I have one too!> My question is as follows. I purchased him about 2 months ago. It took a good week before he started eating. I have since feed him twice a week a variety of foods including squid, prawn, krill, fish from the fish market etc. He is doing well, is very health and quite active, even more than expected. But I have recently noticed an increase in appetite. He used to make his presence known at feeding time twice a week and would accept food when offered. Lately, every day I feed my fish he is out and searching, should I feed him when he searches for it or should I just ignore him and stick to just twice a week. <If you are feeding him until he is satiated, then 2 times a week should be fine.> Thanks in advance. <Your very welcome, Leslie> Cephalopholis miniata & Gymnomuraena zebra. Big fish and tank size. 07/04/06 Can a 100cm long Gymnomuraena zebra coexist with a 40cm long Cephalopholis miniata? <In a very large aquarium.> If so, what capacity tank would be required? <At a minimum, assuming there is no other livestock, somewhere in the terms of a 300 gallon tank with generous amounts of water flow, surface area and a VERY large protein skimmer...realistically I would prefer an even larger tank.> Apart from prawns and crabs, is there another kind of food that can partially replace the Gymnomuraena zebra's diet? <Any meat of a marine origin though I would avoid fish that are high up on the food chain as the main part of the diet.> Also Crustaceans are expensive! <Live ones yes...frozen, not so much.> Is a zebra moray in general much less active than most other commonly kept morays e.g. Gymnothorax tiles? <They tend to be more reclusive if that's what you mean.> Some sites state that a large tank is needed, but exactly how large, and what dimensions must the tank be? <To enjoy these animals and have them be comfortable into adult-hood I would like to see something with a lot of surface area...mmm maybe: 72"x48"x24"...that would be aprox 360 U.S. gallons, Adam J.>

Brand New Zebra Moray   1/27/06 Hi - I just got a zebra moray eel! And first of all I have to thank you for answering questions and putting so much information up on wetwebmedia - it has been REALLY helpful. <Thanks for the kind words :)> I have a 180 gallon (fish only) tank, loaded with live rock and a protein skimmer and UV sterilizer, with about 8 eight other small - medium sized fish. The LFS had him for about a year and he was very used to being handled and fed very well. He has adjusted very well, and I have been feeding him clam meat from the fish counter at the organic grocery store. I did some research before bringing him home, but I need some clarification on feeding. My LFS was feeding him everyday (frozen krill or crawdads (with the claws removed)). And I have been feeding him everyday and he is eating like a pig - but after doing more reading, I am beginning to see that feeding him everyday is not encouraged. He actually comes out looking for food when I feed the other fish, and I have been dropping chunks of clams (3-5 chunks) and he gobbles them up. (I just ordered a pair of feeding tongs) Sometimes he misses small pieces, which the other fish enjoy. So am I overfeeding????? <feeding an eel every day is not recommended because in the wild they rarely eat daily. they generally eat a couple to a few times per week.. (if that). I would try to feed him a little less at first, and then begin trying to feed him every other day. It sounds like he is extremely healthy.> Also if I buy him shrimp, should it be cooked or raw? Also should the shrimp be peeled or does the shell offer some nutritional value? <keep the shell and cooked/uncooked doesn't matter> Also, I have a valentini puffer in there, will he bother the eel? <he shouldn't' Just as an FYI the other fish in my tank are (sorry for the common names) Fox face Freckled face hawk fish Imperator angel (juv) Scopas tang Clown fish (2) Chalk bass Six-lined wrasse Convict blenny (3) Thank you so much for taking the time to read my e-mail - it is greatly appreciated!<sounds like a good mix of fish> Jennifer<good luck, IanB>

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

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

Seriously Concerned about Zebra Moray 8/3/04 <Dear Anxious in Ohio, (oooohh, I feel like "Dear Abbey"!<g>> Okay, now I am seriously concerned about my Zebra Moray. It has been 6 days, and she has not eaten. I was told by the guys at the fish store to feed her live crayfish, but she does not have a clue as to what to do with them. And I asked the question, since crayfish are freshwater, then how the hell do the saltwater eels get to them?  I was told it did not matter. It sounds like to me I have run into some real incompetence.<Not really.  Although freshwater crustaceans are not good long term food options for marine predators, they do resemble their natural prey, and the fact that they are alive often helps stimulate feeding.> I have even tried stick feeding her fresh shrimp, and mussels, but that does not work either. Her color is beautiful, and she acts normal in every other way, it just bugs the bejesus out of me to try what I was told, and it does not work. I'm going tomorrow to try and find some live fiddler crabs, maybe that will work. Any ideas?  Anxious in Ohio  <First of all, relax!  Hunger strikes of weeks are not uncommon on the part of morays and many other large predators.  Live but maimed ghost or grass shrimp may be better first food choices.  Once the eel is eating, it should be easily weaned to frozen meaty foods.  Best Regards!  AdamC.> Zebra Moray Hi, first of all thanks for being here for clueless people like me! Also, this is going to be a long email.... First of all, I have a zebra moray (a few inches under 2 ft). I bought him from  my LFS who had had him for about 1 year. I was not sure what he was eating, but they told me to feed him crawdads/crayfish. Well, I did much research on your site before purchasing, so I knew better. On the third day I had him I offered him a cube of Mysis and he took it. Two days later, he ate a cube of krill. I am feeding him with tongs by the way. Two days after that, I offered him a cube of squid (I didn't know that Hikari made squid cubes!) but he did not eat it. Anyways, what should I be feeding him (will he be find on the Mysis / krill diet?), how often, and how much? <I would feed this fish every other to every three days... a "cube" or equivalent... it will let you know> Next, my dog faced puffer - pretty much same questions, what should I be feeding him, how much, and how often? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pufferfdgfaqs.htm and the related links above...> He is very mellow. Is there any special foods for puffers to help keep their teeth worn down? Right now I feed the tank 1 cube of either Mysis/krill per day. I'll also throw in some flakes for the clown & tang who is learning what they are (came straight from Hawaii). There's plenty of micro algae for him and I occasionally throw in some fresh Caulerpa. Tank Parameters- 72 gallon pH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 10 (Ideas how to lower?) <See WWM...> About 40 lbs LR PVC and a fake "Castle" for the eel  to get his body completely hidden, including his head if he wants, although, he has never ventured into the PVC at all. Luckily, the castle is hollow and he live up there. Tank mates- 1 zebra moray (20" ish) 1 maroon clown (2 1/2") 1 yellow tang (5") 1 Dog face puffer (7") Do you see any future problems with my stocking load? <Yes... you need a larger tank... at least twice this size> Right now I am running an Emperor 400 and a Prizm skimmer which I am still trying to tweak with. I am thinking about adding a hang on refugium - dimensions approx 18" x 6" x 4". I have a spare 32 watt PC 10,000K / actinic, is this too strong or should I go with a 13 watt 10,000K bulb. All that would be in there is calupra (sp?) - do you have any recommendations for this fuge? Flow rate? <See WWM re...> Thank you so much for reading this whole email, you help is greatly appreciated! -Alex <As is your time, effort in reviewing the mass of materials that will answer these and your next likely strings of queries... posted on... http://www.wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

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