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FAQs about "Freshwater" Morays Eels 1

Related FAQs: FW Morays 2, FW Moray ID, FW Moray Behavior, FW Moray Compatibility, FW Moray Selection, FW Moray Systems, FW Moray Feeding, FW Moray Disease, FW Moray Reproduction, Marine Moray Eels

Related Articles: Freshwater Moray Eels by Marco Lichtenberger, Freshwater Moray Eels by Bob Fenner, Moray Eels, Other Marine Eels

Gymnothorax polyuranodon

Re: article for CA, FW morays, Corr., Payment   2/12/07 Dear Robert, <Marco> thanks for the kind response. I managed to borrow a camera and take a picture of my polyuranodon attached to this e-mail. Feel free to use it for the freshwater moray eel article and/or WetWebMedia if you wish. <Thank you> The 4 uppermost pictures on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm all show G. tile, the third one is a juvenile. <Yikes... thank you... had seen the mail just now of someone else sending in a/this corr... Will amend> Aside the literature listed in the article, the real Echidna rhodochilus (I don't have pictures of this species available) can be seen at : http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/encyclopedia-2.html http://fishpix.kahaku.go.jp/fishimage/detail?START=6&JPN_FAMILY=&FAMILY=Muraenidae&JPN_NAME= &SPECIES=&LOCALITY=&FISH_Y=&FISH_M=&FISH_D=&PERSON=&PHOTO_ID=&JPN_FAMILY _OPT=1&FAMILY_OPT=0&JPN_NAME_OPT=1&SPECIES_OPT=1&LOCALITY_OPT=1&PERSON_ OPT=1&PHOTO_ID_OPT=2&P=2 I have a PayPal account linked to this e-mail. cheers, Marco. <Real good. Will pay you through this. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Brackish to Marine Moray Fdg.   12/24/06 Hi I was wondering what non live food I should feed my freshwater (brackish) moray eel. <Mmm, most anything discrete (that holds together), meaty, that it will take... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayfdgfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Moray Eel in Fresh Water 10/10/06 Hi Bob I wonder if you can help.... <Hi, Chris here> I'm what people like to call an "impulse buyer" which I know is bad when it comes to fish. <Yep> Right now I have cichlids no bigger than an inch and a half. A paroon shark 2 inches at the most, and stupidly I went to the fish store and they had just gotten eels. <Uh oh> I picked the 'pretty one" which was brown with yellow spots. Its Gorgeous! I asked the people at the supply store if it was in a brackish tank... I though this was logical. They told me it was FRESHWATER so I bought it. <Oops> I have a 60 gallon tank that is very long so there is room for him and I have rocks with caves and driftwood and plants for him. I know I will have to upgrade to a 125 Gal eventually but they seem happy for now. So in doing research on the net I learned the eels are brackish... I want the best possible home for my fish and won't give it back to the store because they are obviously worse off than me. I asked what kind of eel and they said moray. Asked again if he was in brackish water and they told me freshwater is fine for them. They also said he'd be fine with my cichlids because they are too fast for him... I am planning on feeding him ghost shrimp, minnows and vary with frozen large shrimp and whatever I can get my hands on or I think he'd like...  So any advice you can offer would be great! I need it! <These Eels need brackish water when young and a marine environment when they mature.  Please read   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm for more.> <Chris>

Raising pH in Brackish Tank, "FW" Morays  7/11/06 Hi, <Hi John, Pufferpunk here> I am writing with a few questions for anyone who may have the time to answer them for me. All help is greatly appreciated. <I can certainly try!>    I have in my possession a "Freshwater" Moray Eel, about 14 inches in length. He is currently in a 55 gallon tank (48"x12"x18") with about 1/2" of gravel on bottom. I saw him for sale a while back and did some research on him before making the decision to purchase. The specific gravity of salt in the water is 1.008, according to my recently purchased hydrometer. <I prefer refractometers--much more accurate--hydrometers can be off as much as .005.  You might want to compare the reading on your hydrometer, with a refractometer, to see if it's true.> Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels are all at zero. I believe the pH is a little low for him, ranging at just over 7.5. I've had him for just over two weeks now and am having problems. :(   My first question is should I raise the ph level? <I would, BW fish prefer a pH of around 8.> He is a lone inhabitant, other than food (a few guppies ranging from very small to about an inch in length and a few ghost shrimp I put in yesterday). I'm not sure of the exact pH level he would be happiest in so I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Second, would he be happier if I kept him on live or switched him to frozen? I bought some frozen krill for him but he isn't taking to that very well. If it's better for him to be on frozen, what is the best way to switch him to frozen? One person I talked to said that I should not let him eat one day, then try frozen the next and if he doesn't take to it then give him some fresh and to just keep trying that making the gaps in-between feedings longer, until he breaks and eats the frozen krill. <You will have to "train" him to eat frozen foods (hopefully you are defrosting before feeding).  You can spear the food with a wooden stick (like the ones they use for kabobs) or you can get a plastic one at your LFS.  I'd take away his live food for about 3 days before trying this.  Then you will have to entice him, by wiggling the food around by his face (preferably in the evening, during "regular" hunting hours).  You could also bounce the food off a thread (use a needle to go through the food) but don't tie a knot in the end.  I would try a variety of foods, including silversides, people shrimp & any other odds & ends you see for sale in your grocery/produce store.> My other problem is with his breathing. He is breathing rapidly with the same symptoms of another eel I read about in one of the FAQs on your site but I don't believe that low salt is the problem. Like I said the salt level is at 1.008 SG. What else could possibly cause this breathing problem? He is not eating as much now as he used to. Is it because I'm trying to switch him to frozen or because he is sick? He is displaying no outward signs of any parasitic infestation or bacterial infection. Is there the possibility of internal infection? <Heavy breathing can be a sign of ammonia/nitrite issues, affecting the 02 levels in the water and/or burning their gills.  How long has that tank been set up?  Are you doing regular weekly water changes?  You should be seeing some detectable nitrates in a cycled BW tank.  How was the tank cycled?  How quickly did you raise the SG?  It should be only raised by .002/weekly water changes so as not I'd test the water again.> My last question is due to fact that he is a brackish water fish. Could I put substrate at the bottom of his tank instead of the standard fish gravel that he is in now? <This actually goes back to your pH question & how to raise it & keep it stable around 8.  It is recommended to use crushed coral or aragonite as substrate in a BW tank.  Since you only have 1/2" of gravel in there, you could just add another inch to that.  If your gravel is dark though, you may not like the look & want to change it out completely for the buffering substrate.> He seems to be doing just fine with the gravel--he is burrowing down under some rock I have in his tank during the day.  Kind of like a natural rock structure that he swims through and sleeps under. <Yes, they hang out in burrows during the day & hunt at night.> I have some knowledge about aquariums but I don't know everything <Ha, me either!> and hopefully you guys can help me learn a little more about this guy. I've had him for just over three weeks now. Anything you guys can share is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time and have a great day. John R. Ayer <Thanks John I will (today's water change day) & enjoy this interesting creature!  ~PP>

Why To Research BEFORE You Purchase - A Perfect Unfortunate Example - Not so FW eel... 06/14/2006 I have a fresh water tank and just bought a snowflake eel. It's a 55 gal. tank and I read on your website that they should have at least 1.005 salinity in the water.   <Please....  learn about your animals BEFORE you purchase them....  I see this going somewhere I don't like....> My first question is that I have many freshwater fish in the tank like a discus, 2 pictus catfish, 2 paradise gourami, a blue and gold gourami, 2 Plecostomus, African butterfly fish, tinfoil barb, Bala shark and two angelfish. <A slightly incompatible mix to begin with - that tinfoil will outgrow the tank and should be in a group/school, so will the Plecs outgrow the tank (eventually - they'll be fine for a good long while), the Bala is a schooler that should be kept in a group and which will also outgrow the tank (much faster than the Plecs), and the discus, a very shy, retiring animal, really isn't compatible with any of these, save perhaps the gourami and the pictus.  It's unlikely to become bold enough to get enough food in this group.> Will raising the salinity as you say to 1.005 or 1.010 bother or be fatal to any of these fish? <Fatal....  to all....  The snowflake is entirely incompatible in this system.  Your current animals CANNOT tolerate the amount of salt the eel will need as it grows.  It should, as an adult, end up in fully marine conditions.> Secondly how do you go about raising the salinity up to this point 1.005 or 1.010 without stressing the fish. <Forget stressing....  you'd ultimately kill the current inhabitants if you do this.  1.005 for a couple weeks might only damage them, but beyond that will come to a point that they can no longer survive.  Truly freshwater fish are NOT brackish fish, and brackish to marine fish, like your eel, are NOT freshwater fish.  These animals are simply and completely incompatible.> I saw that you told someone not to exceed jumping .002 at a time. So I guess really my question is can you tell me step by step how to raise the salinity in my tank without hurting my fish, <Can't.> and if you could please tell me step by step what I need and how to do this because I will admit I am clueless about this. <Read....  Research....  And most of all, NEVER buy an animal without first learning its needs and considering whether or not you can realistically fulfill those needs.  These are lives....  living things....  please treat them as such.> Thank you. I would really appreciate if you could answer this E-mail as soon as possible thank you. <We answer all as we can.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Why To Research BEFORE You Purchase - A Perfect Unfortunate Example - Not so FW eel - II - 06/15/2006 First thank you for responding , but I got 2 say <Please....  to, not 2....  All correspondences are presented on our FAQs pages, please don't use "netspeak"/"webbish"....> I do not like you implying I don't think of these fish as living things and that their lives are important because I love my fish and there lives are very important to me.  So I did not appreciate the implication that I do not treat them as living things and care about them because I do! <A wise fellow once tried to teach me that one of the first steps to loving something is knowing and understanding that thing, and having trust in that knowledge....> Secondly that so called "incompatible mixture" as you say has been eating and doing well together including the discus, thank you very much, and if I may add are very healthy. <.... this is an incompatible mix all the same....> Secondly the guy I bought the eel from said he was a freshwater eel and did not mention he would become a brackish water eel as he grew. <And again, I'll suggest that you research PRIOR to purchase....  Even if I tell you, with extreme confidence, that an animal is safe for your system, I'd prefer that you confirm it with more than a couple of sources....> I am going to try to correct the problem without hurting ANY of my fishes lives, even if I have to give the eel to someone who can care for him properly. <I'm very glad to hear/read this.> Thirdly can you please tell me if regular aquarium salt will help the eel any. <Mm, not a great deal....  Aside from that, though, any amount that would be of "real" benefit would be of harm to your other livestock, or at least not appreciated by them.> Thank you. <All the best to you,  -Sabrina> Re: freshwater moray eel help thank you for the very quick reply I've found a moray eel called the White-Cheeked Moray Eel or the Echidna rhodochilus can you please help me find one?  I live in Oldsmar Florida if  their is any shop or website that delivers quickly please tell me, thank you so much for your help. -Connor <Not a freshwater species... did you read where you were referred? Use your Yellow Page phone directory to call about for local stores. Bob Fenner>

Ongoing NOT freshwater moray eel help, ongoing poor English and refusal to read   4/15/06 I have found info about the Echidna rhodochilus and it says that it only grows to 14" but other people say  that it could grow bigger than that and would a Pleco live with it do to the  salinity? <Posted on WWM... go read there. BobF>

Info about Gymnothorax tile eel   2/10/06 Greetings, <Salutations> I have a Gymnothorax tile eel AKA (Freshwater Snowflake Eel) and I have questions concerning his well being. Right now he lives in my 45gal Brackish water tank and seems to be doing quite well. I have had him for nearly 8 months and he is currently on a diet of squid. <Need to expand this diet> However I did some research on him and several article say that this species does better in a marine type environment. <Some do... with size/growth> Is this true? Second most of my research says that this particular species can survive in a brackish environment but not for long term. I currently have a 65gal saltwater tank that I am currently establishing that at this moment has no fish or animals of any sort. My question to you is this, would my Gymnothorax tile eel do better in a marine type environment or can I leave him in his current brackish water home? <Would be better in all marine> Second, if I were to transfer him to my marine aquarium can you recommend a procedure to minimize the stress on the animal? <Matching present spg, increasing some 0.001 to 0.002 density per week by adding/changing out water of increasing saltiness> I have done a lot of research on this animal but it is hard to separate fact from fiction. I would hate to loose him due to my ignorance. Many thanks in advanced Mike Hoefnael <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hi My Name is Britny, I have a fresh water snow flake eel,   2/8/06 <... there isn't any such animal> I noticed that one of his gills doesn't look like it is working properly, the one side looks like it always has. working, the other side doesn't move at all. Could this be from the water condition, or do you think it is because he is sick?? Its weird he seemed to be fine then like I said I just noticed that only one was working. If you can help by giving any reason why this would happen it would be really helpful. Thanks <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the Related FAQs linked at top. Bob Fenner>

FW moray eels  12/13/05 I stumbled across your page in search of information about a recent purchase of a 'freshwater moray eel'. I just wanted to thank you for the research you put into the making of this article as the information is invaluable. Andy Wooster Phoenix Arizona <Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater moray eels... actually brackish  11/18/05 Hi- I have a 180 gal. tank that I've had for a long time. My fish have been thriving for many many years. Three years ago I felt really sorry for two "freshwater" moray eels in a shop in a tiny tank. They looked terrified and had no shelter. I know from scuba diving that they like to stay in caves or overhangs and I could tell these guys were miserable and terrified. I went ahead and bought both of them, then went on the internet to see just what I needed to do for them. I upped the salt in my tank to one tablespoon to 5 gallons. My other fish are doing fine after three years. I have Jurupari, one mono, and one "fat" goby. So the eels have been great and happy-- they each have their own cave, they were eating calamari, shrimp, krill, salmon and smelt. <Me too!> I know they can go a few weeks without food, which they do sometimes. They are off the food again. The problem is that for the last two and a half MONTHS they haven't eaten, they go into one cave together (which they NEVER would have done before), one has a swollen throat, the other has a lump on his chin, <Likely goiters... from a lack of iodine (can, should be administered exogenously) and the cumulative effects of life in too "fresh" water> and they are just acting very strange. The goby is looking grayish (he's a dark brown normally) and his eyes are a little cloudy. The eels and the goby won't eat and the other fish seem to be ok. The water tests are all fine. I've upped the salt to one tablespoon to two and a half gallons of water and upped the temp to eighty five. A week later, they still don't look good. If you can help me with this I would appreciate it greatly. Also, do you know how long "freshwater eels" live? <Years when kept in brackish (spg of 1.005-1010) to marine (as adults) water> Thank you very much Dana Mardaga. <Bob Fenner> 

WWM, Actually USING What's Already Available - 10/22/2005 I would like to keep a freshwater moray in my 29 gal with 2 fantail goldfish and I have gravel, is this ok? Thanks for the help. <Uhh, did you even TRY looking at our site? Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm . Not only are these fish not compatible with goldfish, they're not even freshwater animals. Please.... do some research. -Sabrina>

Fire "Eel", Eye Damage - 10/12/05 Hello <Good morning.> I hope you can help me to help my Fire Eel. When we were cleaning the tank 10 days ago, my eel got a fright and decided to have a 100mph swim round the tank!  <Yikes! Hopefully this system is not too small for him to feel secure....> I think he must have hurt himself as I have now noticed that his one eye is totally white (looks blind) and he has a patch above the eye which seems to be getting whiter by the day.  <Definitely a concern.... Probably did scratch/damage himself during his speedy stint about the tank.> He is also off his food, not having eaten for three days (very unusual for him).  <And not a good sign....> I have bought some Potassium Permanganate (Condy's crystals), but don't know if I can use this as he is 'scaleless' and I have been told to be careful of medications as not all are suitable for eels. <You are correct. Do not use this.... Very, very caustic - will more than likely kill the eel, and can be hazardous to deadly even on stronger fish.> Please help. I am worried about my fat boy! <Bob's recommendation (and I agree wholeheartedly) is to add aquarium salt (the stuff marketed for freshwater aquaria, not marine salt), perhaps at one or two tablespoons per ten gallons, possibly also add Maracyn I & II (erythromycin and Minocycline) as a preventative.... and of course, maintain optimal water quality. Try feeding stinky, attractive foods like bloodworms (live if you can get 'em) or even redworms/tiny earthworms you collect yourself from an area uncontaminated by pesticides/herbicides.> Thanks, -Wendy <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

PLEASE HELP  Gymnothorax polyuranodon QUESTION 8/20/05 Hello I have a question regarding my eel (Gymnothorax polyuranodon).  I bought it as a "freshwater moray eel" but I now  realize its brackish/marine nature. <Yes> I have had this eel for about 6-8  months (with my African Cichlids) and It has been a complete  pleasure.  It has a nice cave and plenty of hiding   places.  It has had a fierce diet for night-crawlers (about 2-4  daily), and has eaten regularly since I brought it home.  It  killed my biggest fish, so I assume it was healthy and comfortable.   Now the problem.  For the last month and a half, it has stopped  eating.  It still swims and appears healthy, but occasional heavy  breathing has gotten me to believe its "freshwater stint" is about  over. <As is its life... internal damage... renal...>   I have added sea-salt, but nothing major.  He sits vertically  towards the top of the tank. I want to get this eel to a brackish/marine environment, but I have nowhere to send it.  Do I find a local fish store/aquarium?? <It's very likely too late>   Do I send him to brackish or marine?  Is there some sort of rescue center? <... no> I'd like to  know your opinion, since no one really seems to know anything about this at the local fish stores.  I appreciate any feedback. <WWM is, by design, a stop-gap attempt at informing (and inspiring) folks as aquarists... to avoid such mistakes as buying inappropriate livestock, mis-placing it... Bob Fenner>
Re: PLEASE HELP  Gymnothorax polyuranodon QUESTION... "snapping out of it" 8/22/05 <As is its life...  internal damage... renal...>   Internal damage?  Renal??   Please explain. <<Kidney damage from being in a non-brackish setting... evidenced by its current behavior>><It's very likely too late>  And if it's  not too late...what then?  I can't just do nothing.   <<There is little to do practically... you could try moving this animal to a cycled, stable brackish setting... but it is very, very likely too damaged now to recover>> So you're saying it's as good as dead, but you hardly explain  why.  Isn't it true that this type of eel stops eating for extensive  periods of time without reason?  Could he snap out of it? <<? "snap out of it...?" ... not likely... This animal was destroyed by being mis-placed... Next time, research your species, its needs, and supply/meet them. Bob Fenner>
Thank you for your time and good luck with what you're doing. <Welcome. BobF>

Grass Eel 7/12/05 Ok, I didn't see this in any of the FAQs, but, I have just bought a grass eel. From what the guy at the store said, they are freshwater, and I have a 50 gallon tank of guppies, he said they would be fine together. Well, I have a lot, and they came from 3 guppies saved from my turtles. I wouldn't want to see them get ate. I can't find any info on them. Any help would be great. Thanks, Kathy <Lifted from the FAQs: Grass eel and tank mates? Not likely I just received a grass eel as a present. I own a 200 gallon tank and have lots of live rock and I was wondering if he would be compatible with my rhino blenny, spiny box puffer, blue head wrasse, pink tip anemone, two tomato clowns,  several shrimp, and an octopus? I have him quarantined now.   Thanks, Nick <Is Chilorhinus suensonii your species? Not compatible with the above... who are not in turn compatible amongst themselves... Read on my young friend... on WWM, the Net re each of these species needs, life histories. Bob Fenner> Try inserting the common and scientific name above in fishbase.org Bob Fenner>

Re: grass eel 7/12/05 Well, I guess I have a separate tank for them. And the store I bought them from need to check out your site. <Ahh, yes> The fishbase.org was very helpful. Thank you for your quick response and I apologize for not catching the FAQ you listed. I'm not sure what species it is. <No worries... I found the link by the same process... using Google, the cached version so it highlighted the specific terms "grass and eel"> All they said was grass eel. I would send you a pic of them, but they have now buried themselves in the gravel of their tank. Again, thank you very much. <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>  

Fresh Water snowflake ell 7/6/05 I got my husband a freshwater moray ell for fathers day, he is still alive, but we have yet to see him eat. The store told us to buy guppies, which the convict and blood parrot ate, then they said frozen brine shrimp, well the blood  parrot and convict and even the still living (1)guppy eat that. Here over the  past few days, he has been searching the surface of the tank and doesn't seem as  plump as he once was. Please advise to what I should feed him. I have looked all over the  internet to only find info on other ells and Salt water ells. I would hate for "slick" to die  please.............help <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the Related FAQs linked at top. "Look before you leap"... Uhh, it's pet-fish equivalent... Study before you buy, commit... Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax polyuranodon Problem Hi, <Hi, MikeD here> My name is Natalie and I have had a Gymnothorax polyuranodon (freshwater moray eel - I attached a picture in case my observation of his species is incorrect.) for almost 3 years now- possibly a bit longer. He always eats regularly and even catches live silvers/shrimp/crawfish himself. He is a healthy weight and length and I have not noticed anything different with him until today.  The tank is a mix between totally freshwater and brackish. (I add about a half a cup- a whole cup of salt in every other week.) When I do he swims figure -8's through it as it dissolves then goes back to his den.   My other fish also seem to like the extra salt- I was told this is due to easier breathing on there end- I assume it helps the gills.  I have a 55 gallon and it is inhabited by the eel, a convict, a Texas cichlid, a jack Dempsey, and a Firemouths. They have all been together since the start and all get along well. My problem is the eel (as I noticed today) appears to have enlarged gills. They are normally a bit bigger when he breathes heavy or eats- but now they look swollen and a pinkish/whitish color.  I dropped some platys (he loves them so gets them as a treat every now and again) into the tank to see if he'd eat. He won't even touch his favorite food!!  He normally chows these even when he's not that hungry. I had the water tested earlier and it is fine... what could this be? Can it be treated? he is also breathing very heavy- not at all in his normally calm state.  And although, normally nocturnal, my eel swims about all day long- now he is just laying over one of the rocks.  The only time he lays around is in his den. Not stretched all over the tank appearing effortlessly helpless.  What can be wrong? The gills are the only noticeable difference as of today. Please, any input would be appreciated. thanks in advance, Natalie <Well Natalie, I suspect that your problem is twofold, one an error in terminology and two a matter of time. Many "freshwater" species, yours included, are actually fish with a two part life cycle that leave the sea and enter a "brackish" environment to spawn and reproduce, but many eventually need to return to the sea. Your other fish are true freshwater fish, and like most actually still benefit from the addition of a small amount of salt which selves to improve electrolytes and to retard fungus while your eel needs a LOT more salt and a different type altogether. Morays are among the toughest of fish, but even so You're extremely fortunate for yours too have lasted as long as it did in the environment that it's in. In truth, it's doubtful that your eel will improve unless moved to another tank with a true brackish or even better, marine conditions. By raising the specific gravity to about .0019 to 0124 I believe you'll see a drastic improvement, but again, that would be fatal to your other current fish. The list of fish that would make suitable tank-mates is actually large and includes Datnoides (Siamese Tigers), Archerfish, Monos, Scats, one family of cichlid called the Chromides and even common mollies. I know this isn't the answer that you were seeking, but in reality your little eel needs to return to the sea or at least something much more akin to it than it's current home. Hope this helps and good luck.>

Help my dying eel Bob, My freshwater snowflake eel is starving to death. Why wont she eat? I have tried to feed her shrimp, plankton and squid, all of which the other eel, which is the same as her, has eaten readily. >> As a semi-stopgap measure, do try soaking the food in a "baby vitamin" mixture (to boost its palatability) and lowering the system temperature (maybe just by leaving the lights off by day?). As the last desperate effort, do consider "force feeding" the specimen... with a plastic syringe, dropper, and finely minced food... using a net, wet towel, and someone else to help hold the animal... Bob Fenner

Brackish Fish? Hey guys I've recently purchased a freshwater snowflake eel. Which in my 55 gal. brackish tank w/bio wheel had them for 2 days, and he/she is about 18 inches long. And I've transferred some real fresh water fish to brackish. Which some pets stores say ya can't do! But the main Question is: is it best to have the eel by it self or can they do well in a community brackish tank? <Some fish can tolerate more salt then others. South American fish and many catfish have problems with salt. Others seem to be unfazed. There is no specific gravity specification of salinity for the term brackish so it is used pretty loosely.> And do they eat at nigh? In your forums I've read that some are they are kind of blind. What I have in the tank is Lionfish (rock fish), South American leaf fish (bush fish), Plecostomus, American an African Cichlids, Bala Sharks, Clown And orange finned loaches,1fairly large tin foil, dragon fish, green spotted puffer and a Gourami! Which are all doing fine in the brackish tank, I added salt slowly to make 'em that way. Is that to many fish to make my Eel unhappy? < Eels I don't think care one way or another.> He seems fine, hasn't eaten yet that I know of but pet store said he ate two days ago. Don't have Any PVC in the tank but lots of places to hide. Has taken over a tree stump ornament , new to eels but have read a lot of info on 'em, what is their favorite choice of food?  Got rosy reds and ghost/glass shrimp in tank, is that suitable diet? how often do they eat ? And are they a nocturnal? And are they best kept alone in a 55 gal. tank, which I plan to purchase soon just for him? Thanks James < Most eels are ambush predators that are most active at night. Feeding the food items at dusk are probably best. Try washed night crawlers. The shrimp is worth a try. Sometime all they will eat are feeders.-Chuck>

Anonymous Eel, Angel-Fish, and Pucstamis (? Plecostomus, Mayhaps?) F/W Hello, <Hey, Mike G here. For future reference, please do not type in all caps. I had to retype your entire query, and this was time that could have been spent helping someone else.>  I just bought my husband the eel he has always wanted. But now we have a problem. We have no idea how to take care of it. <That certainly is a problem! Hopefully this will teach you to research a fish and ask these questions BEFORE you purchase it. But, it happens to the best of us.> I have read over your web site and need a very straightforward answer to two questions. <To get a straightforward answer, you need to ask straightforward questions. You see, not once in this email have I read what type of eel this is, which really does not help me at all.> Do I need to put salt in this tank? <Depends on the eel, though in most cases, yes.> Can my Angle-Fish and Pucstamis survive the salt? <Well, I think I can safely assume you mean Angelfish for the first one, but I have puzzled over the second for a very decent period of time. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that you mean Plecostomus, but that is a shot in the dark. Angels do not prefer salt in their water, they are soft-water fishes, but Plecostomus could tolerate a bit of salt. I'd be mostly concerned about the eel consuming his tankmates. Best of luck, Mike G> Thanks, Susan

Moray Eel !!!!  FW, Brackish, Marine? The blame game I have today purchased two Moray Eels from one of our local fish stores..( the manager of the store apparently has no clue about fish). When arriving home with the Morays (2) we floated them in our tank for an hour before their release... We have a Pike (6 inches long), Pacu (about as big as an adult males hand), Catfish (2 about 2 inches long) and a Texas Gar (8 inches long) in this tank also... We keep aquarium salt in our tank and the water was tested fine! <How much salt? What is "fine?"> no medications are in this tank....A few hours after being released we noticed they started to change colors (white) and looked as if they were shedding (white slimy coat build up).... I, not knowing any different went to take a nap... Upon waking I went to check the two newbies again to see if they were ok....They were not...I immediately took them out of our 55 gallon tank and placed them in our ten gallon tanks. (we have two one is a cichlid tank the other is a gold fish & tetra tank) (separated one eel in each tank) All of their shedded like skin has come off now ( it floated in the water like white flakes when it fell off)(this was about  an hour after being in the ten gallon tanks) and one appears to be doing a lot better.... The other still keeps turning over on her side..... Neither of them are moving a lot...And both seem to be gasping for air with their mouths open wide (my tank has over and under water filtration along with bubble walls so there is plenty of air in the tank).... What have I done or what can I do to fix whatever problems that are going on? <... did you happen to ask what sort of water the fish were in at the store? Or test it on arrival?> What is the perfect climate for a Moray eel....These are so beautiful with their gold markings and patterns... I spent a lot of money for these fish and would not like them to die....Please respond quickly because I don't know what to do at this moment for them...THANKS!!!!! This picture looks just like the one that I think is a female....But the other one has a lot of gold spots that look like clovers or cauliflower markings.... <Mmm, this image was lifted from our site... you should read about this and other "freshwater" (they're not) Morays: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Scorpion fish and converted "FW" Moray together Hey what's up, <Not much (buttercup)>         I was wondering. I  have a freshwater snowflake eel {Gymnothorax tile} to be exact. I have  converted him to full marine. Can I get a scorpion fish that will live with him  in harmony? Oh one more question can you give me all the information I need to  know about a scorpion fish? And is it more aggressive than a  lionfish? <These two can likely go together. Please read re them by using the search tool on the homepage or indices on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax tile  12/24/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Three weeks ago I bought a G. tile at my local pet store. It was in a freshwater tank. I did not know it was a brackish eel. Will it live in Freshwater? I have had him in freshwater for three weeks and have not seen him eat yet. I have tried Mysis shrimp, krill, feeder guppies, goldfish, silversides. I have tried feeder prongs to hand feed it. I would like to find out what to do to get it to eat. I also would like to keep it I freshwater. Please help <The "freshwater" snowflake eel, Gymnothorax tile, reaches about 26 inches in length.  Although seen for sale in fresh water, this is a brackish water fish just and is not found in freshwater in the wild.  They must be kept in BW, which means using marine salt & measuring it with a hydrometer.  Don't raise the specific gravity more than .002/week, or your freshwater bacteria will die off too quickly.  these fish have been known to not eat for several weeks after being put into a new tank.  Try putting a piece of shrimp on a stick & wiggle it on front of the fish.  You'll have to be patient.  ~PP>

"Freshwater" Snowflake Moray Eel  12/14/04 Hey, <Hey yourself, it's Pufferpunk here.  I must request that in the future, you write your questions with the proper punctuation & capitalization.  These letters must all be corrected by us, as they will be put in our FAQs.  This will take away time from my answering other people's questions.> I am thinking about getting a freshwater moray snowflake eel. Would it go in an African cichlid tank? I have Malawi cichlids in it.  I have the salinity to about 0.009.                          <Do you mean 1.009 (1.000 is freshwater)?  Are you using marine salt?  You really shouldn't be, as Malawi cichlid salt is different.  I would not mix these 2 species.  The most commonly sold "freshwater" snowflake morays (Gymnothorax tile), although seen for sale in fresh water, is a brackish water fish and is not found in freshwater in the wild.  To make water brackish, you need to use marine salt.  It will also eat any fish they can fit into it's mouth.> Best regards, Miles <good luck with your fish.  ~PP>

FW moray eel question I found this pic on the internet.  My eel looks just like this, only a little more grayish.  It's a snowflake eel, right? <Do you see it here? http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm Bob Fenner>

Echidna rhodochilus <Hi, Mike D here> I have a sort of strange question. I was wondering if you knew how many breaths a min. my 24 inch Echidna rhodochilus should be taking.<You're right, it's a strange question> He takes about 40 per min. now and has done so every since I bought him, the lady at the pet store said this was fine. I have him in a 150 US gallon tank with aquarium salt.<I'd check to make sure your water parameters are in line and the temperature as well.  High ammonia, nitrite or nitrate levels will ALL make a fish breath at a higher rate,  eventually resulting in death in severe cases (particularly the ammonia and nitrite, which should both be 0). Higher temperatures also increase respiration as the warmer the water, the less oxygen it holds.  The mid 70's is usually good.>                                                                                                ThankYou                                                                          Keith

Brackish to marine eel in FW: might be too late Hi, I just found your site. I have a 110gal freshwater tank with Oscars, Arowana, Polypterids. I also fell in love with a snowflake eel. I use the one table spoon/5 gal salt rule. Problem. The white slime! It appeared very quickly. About three days and he was in big trouble. It is killing my eel. It may be too late. Is this normally caused by a parasite or bacterial infection? And how can I tell? <This animal is in a non-viable environment... I would remove it, take it to a store, other aquarist with a serious brackish (spg. 1.010 or higher) or marine set-up. NOW> I have brought the salinity up, but I do not want to cause my other fish any harm. Is there a place where I can see magnified images of parasites? Is there a way to determine if it is bacterial? What kind of treatments can I expect to admin? Thanks Chuck <No treatment... what you describe is an environmental reaction... akin to your opening your eyes in soapy water.> PS we can trade you for any cornsnake Q's <Ahh, beautiful animals. Bob Fenner>

Re: might be too late. I have checked with the store and we tested the water that theirs are in and it is very freshwater. They have them there for at least 3 weeks. They have no such problems. I am afraid that what ever it is will eventually work at my other fish. Is there a parasitic or bacterial element that I might want to know about? <... Perhaps I've been a bit too hasty... Please read here on WetWebMedia.com re "Freshwater Morays" and Echidna nebulosa... do you see the species you have listed/pictured? Plug this name into Fishbase.org and voila (!), read about the life habits, habitat of your specimen. Bob Fenner>

Re: might be too late. PS, I will remove animal to a more qualified keeper ASAP. <Good idea. A very great many "inappropriate" animals are sold in the trade, and many more that might be well-husbanded to folks that don't have the background to decide, provide for them. Little of this occurs at the express consent, knowledge of the parties involved. Thank goodness for tools like the Net for expediently allowing all to share. Bob Fenner>

White cheeked eels mispurchase I have recently bought 2 white cheeked eels and I was wondering, how large do they actually grow to? <Do you see them here?: http://wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm>   I was not informed at the time of purchase and I am now a little concerned that they will grow too big for the tank I have. <Then... why did you buy them? Bob Fenner> regards Fred Jacks

"Freshwater" Moray Eels  5/3/04 <Hi Dawn, Pufferpunk here> I recently bought three freshwater moray eels. One of them has died. It was lying on its side and not eating. The other two seem ok for now. However they are not eating. What can I do? <Here is some good info on them: http://fishinthe.net/html/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3627&sid=61704380b037524ca833aa662119a5c1 We have a 70 gallon tank with 4 tiger Oscars, three red Oscars, two peacocks and two of another kind of fish that I can not for the life of me remember the name of. We have a few things they can curve under and hide in. but we have no idea what to do. Any suggestions would be great. <Wow!  With 7 Oscars, you're going to need a much bigger tank!  If I was a sedentary, shy, nearsighted fish like a moray eel, I'd be afraid to eat too!  There is no such thing as a "freshwater" moray eel. These are not fish for the beginner aquarist. They are picky, delicate for a moray, and often times never eat. They should nor be kept with sharp substrates and must have plenty of places to hide. A good lair can be made by piling driftwood and lace limestone together. Although two species can live without salt, none of these eels should be considered freshwater. They all ought to be kept in brackish conditions, with the exception of Gymnothorax afer, which ideally belongs in a marine aquarium.  ~PP> Thank you for your time and consideration. Dawn Marie Himlin

Where to get an eel... in France? (03/04/04) bonjour , j'aimerai savoir comment je peyt me procurer la Gymnothorax polyuranodon car je suis deja en possecion d'une Gymnothorax tile  merci d'avance . <Hi! Ananda here, but I don't read French particularly well... fortunately, I know a guy from Quebec, who translated this as: "Hi, I would like to know how I could get the Gymnothorax polyuranodon because I already have a Gymnothorax tile. Thank you in advance". My suggestion is that you contact the store where you got the Gymnothorax tile to see if they can order a Gymnothorax polyuranodon for you. --Ananda>

My eel HI, I have bought an eel and things have been going great. The eel is lively and is eating.  <Very good, an eel that is eating is a great sign that you will have this eel for years to come.>  The problem is when I bought it at the store it said snowflake eel and I thought it was until I went to your website. I found a picture in the Freshwater Moray eel section and it looked exactly like my eel. (I have attached a pic).  <Many freshwater Moray eels are sold under the name Snowflake moray eels. Both of these eels are in the Moray Family. Though a "freshwater eel", still needs to be kept in a brackish environment (salt added to the aquarium).>  I would like to know how big they grow and some specifications on it.  <Their was no picture attachment to this email, so I'm unable to verify the eel. Since there are many different species of these eels and it's hard to be precise which "Freshwater" eel you have. You can look for the info on www.fishbase.org. Simply type in the common name and look at the pictures given. They will give you the exact measurements and other information about these amazing creatures.>  I notice that it cant see that well while stalking prey it seems to be using smell more and just lunging until he gets a fish in his mouth I was wondering if I should be worried about that.  <No, that is a trait of all eels. They go by smell predominately. In fact many eels are nocturnal hunters or they hunt during the early and late daylight hours. Their have quite an impressive olfactory sense.>  Also when I put food in his tank it snaps a lot I think it was because of the fish cause that's the only time it does that but I wanted to make sure it was alright ( I don't think it was a breathing problem though). Thanks and I really appreciate you helping me with my questions.  <The eel is alright, and the bad eyesight combined with it's snapping hunting style are the main reason I tell everyone not to feed these animals by hand. They smell food in your hand and can not tell the difference between the food and your finger. Eels have some sharp teeth and will do some damage if they should bite. Keep that in mind.>  Thanks. Allan Wold  <Good luck with the eel. -Magnus>

The new mystery moray eel Through a trade of an old unused aquarium and my Tiretrack eel I acquired a good lot of driftwood and a moray eel to hide under it all. It's about 14" and 1" at it's thickest, and when marked at the store it was designated "Snowflake Moray Eel." That is obviously wrong since the snowflake moray is exclusively saltwater, and much more it's black and white. I would take a picture for reference, but he's still hiding under all the wood in a lizard cave I buried down there and probably wont come out until he's hungry and ready for food. <Here at WetWebMedia there is a good deal of info on Moray eels.  I suggest you check out there and see what type you have.  There are many pages of info and you are bound to find something resembling your "little" guy. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm  > Having looked up anything referring to snow on FishBase, I came across a snowflake-patched moray, Gymnothorax niphostigmus, although I'm doubting it. <Color variations are one of the reasons why it is hard to classify any thing out of the Muraenidae family.  I myself had one eel that was dark and very blotched colors sharing a tank with a brightly colored white and yellow brackish variety of eel... both were of the same species, yet visually they looked like two completely different eels.> Looking at the snowflake-patched, it looks like it has eyes that can move slightly, but mine don't. They are very far forward on the face, and sunken in, not allowing any range of movement. It's very obvious that it's a moray species by the gills and face, but I haven't been able to find a match to the color. I'll try to give the best description possible if it will give you any ideas: <there are other good resources for searching the identity of your eel.  Here is a good group to start with: http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/fweelcareinfo/  > About 14" long, 1" at tallest length of the body, one solid fin running along back and body, no spines. <sounds like something a Moray eel would have> Mouth is an even arc, teeth weren't seen yet (juvenile?), <At 14 inches, I would imagine that small teeth should be visible by now.> eyes are recessed and fixed, and nose has the two pieces of anatomy typical to moray eels. (forgive my lack of aquatic anatomy) The color is the one thing that has thrown me off. The body color is roughly the color of a penny. The darker areas are the color of an old penny, and the randomly ordered spots have the color of a shiny fresh penny. <That does sound an awful lot like a Patched Snowflake.  If I had to wager a guess, I would say you are correct in assuming it's a Patched snowflake.> According to my friend, the previous owner, it eats frozen krill and small fish, but ignores anything smaller like blood or Tubifex worms. It's docile and prefers to be handfed instead of using any feeding rod, which intimidates it. <I would like to caution you with feeding by hand... Many eels can give you quite a nasty bite.  They don't have the best eyesight in the world, and when they smell food it's hard for them to discern between your fingers, and it's food.> Hopefully someone out there might know of a few possibilities to look into, and I'll try to coax the thing out of his cave so I can get a good picture of him. Thanks for the ideas. Robert <Keep looking around for information.  It's hard to figure what type it is by the description.  Also remember that this eels, if it is a Patched snowflake, will need brackish to Marine water to ensure it doesn't suffer any skin bacterial infections. -Magnus>

Gymnothorax tile How's it going, I have a Gymnothorax tile, he is about 16 inches long and about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. I was wondering if you could supply me w/ some info.  Mainly how long does it get, full grown diameter, disposition and what measures should be taken if bit.  He lives off a diet of live Mollies and Guppies and raw shrimp (hand feed).  I also noticed that it was recommended to convert him from his brackish water conditions to full salt.  If that's the case, over what period of time and to what specific gravity.  Any info you could supply would be helpful, and educated guesstimates are accepted!  Thank you, Scott Wilgus <Take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm and on fishbase.org re this species. Follow the white rabbit (wait, that's the "Matrix" film), follow the blue links. Bob Fenner>

Sick eels (12/21/03) <Hi! Ananda here on the solstice...> My question is regarding Gymnothorax Tile. I have two eels (1-new\1-2yrs) they have both been placed in my new 56gal tank, and they are doing terrible, the older one just hide and eats nothing, while the new one sits crooked and has recently pooped a white substance. <The white feces could be a sign of internal parasites. I would suggest Discomed, sold by Aquatronics, for that problem. The behavior of the other...could be stress, could be caused by other things. How long have you had them in this tank? What were the water conditions in the 55 gallon tank, compared to the tank they were in previously? What else is different between the two tanks?> He also seems to have white discolourations on his body, like bruises, but there is nothing in the tank but 3\4" mono argentus's and the other eel adores him. The water is 82, salinity is 0.010, <I hope you mean 1.010; freshwater is 1.000, saltwater is around 1.025.> do they need extra filtration, are the Mono's edging the eels out? <How many Monos do you have? (Do realize they get to be dinner-plate size and will need a much larger tank eventually.) What kind of filtration do you have?> Please help me, I love my eels. Also how can I make them eat dead food? <Try attaching a frozen/thawed version of some of the live food to a string, moving it around like it's still alive... do read up on how to train lionfish and marine eels off of live food; the tactics are similar. Good luck. If you are unable to get them to eat frozen, I'd suggest you consider raising mollies as a disease-free substitute for store-bought feeders.> Thanks.                                                                                                                               Sullex <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

For the snow flake eel? I am looking in buying a couple for a 75 gallon tank and would like to know what type of salt to use I don't want it to be a salt water tank but if has to then I will <for snowflake eels it most definitely should be a salt water tank...I would go with Instant ocean or Kent marine brand salt> I was going to put some other brackish fish in there just was wondering about how much a day or when ever and then what kind?<you need to do research my friend...type "Snowflake Eels" in the google search engine on the home page of the WWM site> thanks <Good luck, IanB.

Eels  Are there any other eels that are freshwater that look like the snowflake eel, if so do yo u have a pic of it.  <this link should be helpful, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm, IanB>

- Freshwater Eel Bloating -  Hey all,  I love your site! It has helped me a number of times with my cichlids as well as just educating me on things that I knew would come up. The problem that I'm having now is a bit of a mystery to me. I can't seem to find any info of the subject. I have a Gymnothorax tile  http://www.fishbase.org/Eschmeyer/GeneraSummary.cfm?ID=Gymnothorax http://www.fishbase.org/Eschmeyer/EschPiscesSummary.cfm?ID=17266  that has been great to watch and keep for about six months. It is now about 12-13 inches long and seemed healthy till about three days ago.  The eel is stopped eating and looked like it had some of the gravel stuck in it's digestive tract. I noticed some discoloration at the affected area (bruising about an inch or inch and a half back). It was swimming erratically at the top of the tank most of the time I was home that day. (weird! usually hiding.) The following day a little swelling or bloating appeared at the end of the digestive tract extending about an inch forward. The eel still exhibited the same behavior. Today, the bloating has extended from the anus to the front of it's abdominal cavity or whatever (if eels have one? :)). <Sounds like something is backing up...> I feed the eel mostly ghost shrimp but occasionally a goldfish by hand. I've tested the water weekly since I started keeping fish and everything seems to be fine.   The temp is 79-80 deg and the pH is 7.6 and I do keep 1 teaspoon per 5 gal salt in the water. I keep a green terror and a jewel cichlid (I know, not a good idea) in the same tank and all three have been doing great until recently. Is there really something stuck or is there some kind of disease that I'm not finding. <Most likely constipation from one source or another. Do try some Epsom salts added to the tank - that might help... about one tsp. per five gallons.> I'm frustrated and worried!  Please help!  Thanks for doing what you do! B-Lucky  <Cheers, J -- > 

Snowflake Eel FW? 11/03/03 <Pufferpunk here> can I put a snowflake eel in freshwater, and will it live. <No, it is a saltwater fish.  Keeping a fish in conditions unnatural to them will lower their immune systems, causing disease & shorter life span = early death.> <Pufferpunk>

"Freshwater" moray tankmates <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I am going to be setting up a rather large brackish aquarium( probably over 200 gal.) <Cool!> and I really wanted to get a freshwater moray eel ( Gymnothorax tile most likely) <I do detest inaccurate common names! That particular eel is a brackish fish when it's young, moving to full saltwater as it ages.> and I know it is very hard to find suitable tank mates for them.  What would you suggest to fill this aquarium?? <The fish to consider would be others that start out in brackish water and move to saltwater as they age. Some of the other fish that fall into that category are scats and Monos. You need to avoid any fish that either spends time on the bottom of the tank or is small enough to fit into the eel's mouth. Hope this helps, Ananda.>

Freshwater Eel Aloha, Pls help me....I have a F/W tank 20 gal about 1 year old...1 African cichlid 3 1/2", 1 Jack Dempsey 4", 1 Plecostomus 4", and a red eared slider (turtle), in about 2 days I am transferring them to a 65 gallon, also I am going to be in the process of changing the tank from F/W to B/W to accommodate a so called "Freshwater Moray Eel." <If you change the water to accommodate the eel you will end up harming all of the others.  The Eel will need its own brackish tank.  The African and the Jack will end up having problems as well, the are not compatible.  It is best to keep African Cichlids with other African Cichlids, they need higher Alkalinity.  The turtle is just going to make a mess no matter where he is.  He would be best in a tank of his own as well, they foul their water too quickly to keep your other fish healthy.  Even a 65 gallon would foul pretty quickly.> I have a choice from 3 different species...the first is a member of the Gymnothorax family (the LFS knows not the exact species just that it is a brackish water Moray), and the other is a Echidna Rhodochilus ...and the other is said to be a Freshwater Snow Flake Eel (once again the LFS knows not the species...how surprising huh?) I have followed up on plenty of research and I know that the Gymnothorax Polyuranodon will not live well at all w/ the Cichlid and Jack for the water is not the same...but will the Gymnothorax Tile or any Gymnothorax species for that matter? <No, same problem, different requirements.  fishbase.org is a great tool for checking the water parameters for different fish.> And if not what is the best type of F/W-B/W Moray Eel to share a tank with my Jack & Cichlid without harming any fish...The LFS said to use aquarium Salt for the change from fresh to brack, And also that the Cichlid and Jack can both live great in brackish water, <I would have to disagree with the LFS, maybe check some of the others stores as well.  The African might be able to handle it, but it is really not recommended.> is that correct and if so how much to start off DAILY not to shock the fish and how much max per gallon to accommodate all fish? All of the Eels I am looking to purchase are 12-14" long...I know I have allot of questions but I just don't want to harm any fish...hope you can understand...thx for all your help. <Unless you plan to have a separate tank set up with brackish water I would go for a different type of Eel, maybe a tire track or something similar.  The African really should be removed as well, they need higher Alk.  Best Regards, Gage> MAHALO, Crisean Maxilom

Sick FW Snowflake Moray Eel (08/01/03) Good day Mr. Fenner, <Hi! Ananda here today answering some eel questions...> Great book buy they way, highly recommended. <Many thanks, from those who worked on it.> I purchased a juvenile freshwater snowflake a couple days ago and yesterday noticed some white crustacean on his nose.   <Ah...presumably you mean "encrustation", i.e., something growing on his nose?> Curious I began searching the internet to see of such a symptom - no success.  It appeared to me (in my ignorance) that 1 of a few things could have happened... either he was attacked by the black shark in the tank, he was digging in the gravel and scuffed up his nose or he was shedding.   <Hmmm. I rather doubt it was any of those.> By the time I got home from work, the white crust looking stuff had covered the left side of his head and covered over his left eye.  Obviously anxious to figure out what was going on, I called the LPS where I purchased the eel and the gentleman had me bring him back for treatment.  He mentioned something about "cloudy eye" or ich.  From what I've read about ich it didn't seem right.  It honestly looks like he is shedding, looks very much like when land snakes are shedding... probably not the case but that's how it looks. <The encrustation doesn't quite sound like ich, but the shedding... could be a symptom of late-stage ich or perhaps a Costia infection.> The eel is in a 20 gal tall that has been established for well over a yr, probably closer to 2 yrs.   <Sounds like a tank that is far too small for an eel.> The water has been tested and then retested and tested again.  All levels are fine.  One adjustment I had to make was to heat the water up a bit more from where it was to ease the intro from the LPS tank.  I was closer to 78 and the LPS was at 80... Much appreciate your reply when time permits.  Just want to provide the best possible environment for this little fella. <Do read up on these guys, starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm and http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwanguilliforms.htm > Many thanks, Tom <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Eel lifespan (08/01/03) <Hi! Ananda here tonight....> I have a freshwater (brackish actually) eel that I bought 6 years ago and adapted to live in a Marine tank. I love my little buddy but he's cost me at least $1000.00, most probably more, in ornamental fish over the past 6 years and I was curious, how long will he live? if he's only got a couple of years left on him I'll keep him till he goes to the big tank in the sky. otherwise, I'll find him a new home w/ a good keeper. its a Gymnothorax polyuranodon to the best of my knowledge. any help will do. Barrett <Well, you have the oldest individual I've found mention of. Fishbase has no data on the lifecycle of these fish, and many other sites reference Fishbase. One site says they can live for "several years". I'm sorry I can't give you better information! --Ananda>

Snowflake eel Hey, I just recently purchased a FW Snowflake Eel, (it is a moray).  I was wondering what I could be feeding it.  It is a teeny little thing, about 8" and only about as big around as a pen.  I have been feeding it guppy fry, but I don not know how healthy this is for it.<I would feed him krill or silversides. I would not feed the eel guppies. Silversides and krill are much better for the eel. Do read more about eels on WWM, IanB>

Sick FW Moray eel (04/19/03) Hello, <Hello! Ananda here tonight with the brackish fish questions....> I have two freshwater moray eels and after all of the research I have done I'm pretty confident they are echidna rhodochilus.   <Yep, I said "brackish fish questions" above, because these fish do not do well in freshwater over the long term.> In the last week my eels have been lethargic and do not readily hide during the day as they usually do.  They still have a good weight and color to them and have a good hiding response when they see me approach the tank.  Their breathing is normal.  I recently noticed that the larger of the two eels (the 18" one) has developed what looks to be an internal parasite because he has about 10 1mm diameter bumps under his skin around his gill area.  They are the same color as him.   <Sounds like an internal parasite to me. Time to put him in the hospital tank and feed him medicated foods. Start increasing the salinity in the hospital tank, too. Use marine salt -- mix a quantity of saltwater, agitate it for a day, then use it as replacement water for water changes on the hospital tank. The parasites should have difficulty adapting to the saltier water.> They are in a 30 gallon with two African cichlids.  I checked the ammonia, nitrate, nitrate, and ph and all are in very low levels.   <Whoa -- ammonia and nitrite should be *zero*. If you have any readings of those, do a water change. Pronto.> I put aquarium pHarm. doc Wellfish's salt in there (about 10-15% over the recommended 1 tbsp/5 gal) and keep the water temperature at 78 F for their normal living conditions.  They have plenty of hiding spaces so they don't stress.  I have a power filter and bio wheel also.  I have put them in Melafix for the last few days (I'm only half way through the treatment) and see no improvement. <Melafix is not the best thing to use to treat an internal parasite.> What is this ailment?  Is this the right medication to use for this?  Is there a better medicine?   <I would suggest a saltier environment first -- several commercially available anti-parasite medications include salt as an active ingredient. Then, if that does not help, something like Metronidazole (AquaZone) in combination with Pepso food (if the eel will eat it).> I recently spoke to someone who had this same problem with their eel and they used Kordon's RidIch and said that they weren't sure if that's what cured it but it went away in about 2 days. I'm a little leery about using this on my eels so I went with Melafix instead.  Would RidIch be okay or better?   <Rid Ich is reported to be formalin and malachite green, both of which are more useful for skin parasites.> Is there a good site on the diseases these fish are prone to? Please help I've had them for a year and do not want to lose them. - Cordelia <The eels will need to be in a brackish tank for their long-term health. Please check out the WetWebMedia pages on these fish, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm....     --Ananda>

"Freshwater" moray eels Hi Mr Fenner, I just want to send you some pictures of my so called freshwater moray eels... The grey eels are sold as Gymnothorax tile and the other as Gymnothorax polyuranodon. best regards Thomas P.S.: there are some more pictures on my website: www.brackwasser.com <Thank you. Bob Fenner>


Freshwater Moray Eel Can you answer a question about this type of eel? <Yes we can.> She had a disguised tube that she hides in, she's been in there for 3 days now, and lays on her side most of the time.  Is this normal? <Hiding is normal, laying on the side is not great.  Start by getting your water tested, send us the results as well as your systems specifications, and what you have been feeding him/her.  We should be able to get to the bottom of this.  This fella may be better suited in brackish water.  -Gage> The laying on the side may have been misinterpreted.  I had these very same "freshwater" morays (3 to be exact) that I kept in a fish-only saltwater setup (they were beautiful once acclimated, deep purple with gold spangling.  This may have been due to them eating Hikari Color Enhancing Pellets for cichlids as their diet.).  At least in my very limited experience with morays, if they have any length to them, often the body and tail lay flat on their side due to the flatness (more football shaped) of their bodies.  It is hard to balance a football on end, but laying it on its side is easy.  Of course, if the entire body is on its side (head and all) then there is a serious problem.    By the way, these guys are aggressive feeders.  I had a Volitans lionfish and a niger trigger in the same tank, and one night I woke up to some violent splashing.  I turned on the light and they were biting the lionfish and tying themselves in a knot and pulling their head through the knot, bring a piece of flesh with them.  They tried to do this to the trigger also, but only managed to skin him.  Both lionfish and trigger died.  I took them to a LFS the next day. - Jason Seymour Get <Thanks for the input Jason.  I think I would be afraid to sleep in the same room with those bad boys. -Gage>

Re: Freshwater Moray Eel I've only had her for 3 days.  I know she hasn't eatin anything yet.  How long can they go w/o eating? <most likely a few weeks> She is in a 75 gallon tank: the water temp is 83 and the water is slightly brackish.  I thought maybe it was just the transfer from the store to here, but  I'm not sure how long it would take her to adjust... <Could be from the transfer, very common with eels.  See if you can verify the species, some need more salt than others.  Try searching on WetWebMedia and also fishbase.org. -Gage>

Freshwater Moray Eel Can you answer a question about this type of eel? <Yes we can.> She had a disguised tube that she hides in, she's been in there for 3 days now, and lays on her side most of the time.  Is this normal? <Hiding is normal, laying on the side is not great.  Start by getting your water tested, send us the results as well as your systems specifications, and what you have been feeding him/her.  We should be able to get to the bottom of this.  This fella may be better suited in brackish water.  -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm >

Re: Fresh water eel? Hello, One of my friends recently (he left the state) gave me what he called a freshwater snowflake eel.  I looked up stuff online to find out what it needs to live and I found that it is probably a brackish fish but I have been keeping it in fresh water. I don't know how to identify it or switch to brackish water in my tank. He is currently about 5-6 inches long and in a 5 gallon tank all by himself and I haven't gotten him to eat yet.  I think he is either Echidna rhodochilus or Gymnothorax polyuranodon. what should I do to find out what it is and how to keep it from dying?  Yours truly Ben P.   THANX! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the linked FAQs (above, in blue). Bob Fenner>

Re: White Cheek Moray Eel Why can I not find any information on my White Cheek Moray Eel. Mature size? Tank size? Compatibility to a Snowflake Eel. Thanks for your time. Rich <Umm, don't know... is this a species of freshwater/brackish Muraenid? Did you look where I sent you on WetWebMedia.com? No match with the pictures there? You might try your search engines, the bulletin boards in our interest... maybe even the people you are going to, or have bought this animal from. Bob Fenner>

Re: White Cheek Moray Eel I hope you have time to respond. I have purchased a White Cheek Moray Eel. It is 10" in length. I have it in brackish water at this time. I also have a Spotted Peacock Eel in the same tank. I know the White Cheek will at some point need pure marine water. The people at the pet shop knew very little about this species. What water temp., when to change to marine water, its mature length? <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm> I am looking at a Snowflake Eel to be a tank companion to the White Cheek (12" in length) but they already have it in marine water. If, at any point do I get the Snowflake? <When the system is entirely marine> Thank you for your time. Rich <Bob Fenner>

Re: Echidna rhodochilus What do you think the best type of food is for this kind of eel? Are they Nocturnal? <To some degree yes, but will come out "all the time" in time> Will they eat anything larger than a guppy??  Even when fully matured? Thank you for any information. Tom <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top) re this species. Bob Fenner>

A LFS blunder? Not so FW eel Bob, I have been writing you asking you questions about the wrong species. What I had been told was a GYMNOTHORAX POLYURANODON, turns out to be a ECHIDNA RHODOCHILUS . I found an exact description on fish base, my question is these eels are more in need of a brackish if not full marine water setup than the gymn poly right ? If so what is the easiest way for me to make a conversion to keep it healthy until I can get a new set up going if there is one? But on a side note all the info I got from you on the Gymnothorax polyuranodon has me in great shape for when I do get one. Once again Thanks for all your help! Dave Siecinski <Please see here re conversion of FW to marine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fw2marfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Eels on the skids Bob, I've got problems one of my eels died. I did not see it but my wife told me that the one who died, had been listing or laying on either side. The eel showed no signs of ich, slime, or any obvious illness. The larger of the 2 (the only one left) seems to be doing the same thing , but not constantly it also is still swimming around a lot. What could it be? Dave Siecinski <Whoa! What species are these? Marine, fresh, brackish? Tell us about your set-up, maintenance, history... Bob Fenner>

FW Moray eel illness Sorry I got a little ahead. GYMNOTHORAX POLYURANODON, IN A 7.8 PH freshwater tank sand bottom , temp between 76-78F. I just did a water change yesterday about 1/2 the tank , added about 1 Tbs uniodized salt (10 gal tank). Like I said the eel is listing or laying on its side, it shows no obvious signs of illness. (ich, slime, or abnormal markings) Got any ideas? Thanks Dave <How long have you had this fish? What is it eating? Most don't make it through the first month... likely due to trauma, the stress of collection, shipping. Bob Fenner>

Bichirs and FW eels? I've been attempting to feed it krill, prawn, (both frozen) ghost shrimp & feeder guppies the 2 Bichirs I have in with it usually hit the krill & prawn and although I have not seen it the feeder guppies I had in there got eaten during the night. I've had the eel and the Bichirs for about 2-3 weeks. <Mmm, these two types of fishes should be kept in separate "types" of water. You can read about them on WetWebMedia.com or fishbase.org... I suspect that your problem lies with the incompatibility here. Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax polyuranodon, freshwater et al. moray Other sites say that these guys are strictly freshwater , but some sites agree with the info I got from WWM. (very confusing) Now I'm more apt to believe you and your crews advice due to the fact my best friend who use to be very heavily involved in the hobby (while not being an authority on eels) had said things (prior to writing to you )that reading your responses to other questions went right along with his best educated statement. If I should change the salinity of the tank as the eels mature, how do I no when to up the salt without waiting too long or making the transitions too prematurely? <Do take a look at the "stock" listing re this species on fishbase.org. It is found in freshwater habitats, as WELL as marine, brackish. I encourage people to at least consider some salt in its water... on the basis of their being a chance that their source water is acidic, has little buffering capacity. How to put this... all else being equal, it's better to treat Gymnothorax polyuranodon as a brackish water species, though it can by all accounts be maintained long-term in freshwater (that is hard and alkaline). Please see our brackish water section: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/BrackishSubWebIndex.htm re issues like water preparation. Bob Fenner>

FW Moray ID Hi, I recently picked up 2 freshwater morays at my LFS. They seem very honest about what they do and do not have info on. They have told me the eels are GYMNOTHORAX POLYURANODON the common name was white cheeked moray. No photos I have seen yet of that type or any fresh/salt water moray match what these 2 look like. They look to be in good health (no weight loss or anything unusual ) actually they seem to have gotten bigger in the short time I've had them. I have a couple of photos maybe you could help me track them to an exact species. THANK YOU Dave Siecinski <Does look like this species to me. Please see here re our coverage: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm and the FAQS linked (at top, in blue) beyond. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick freshwater Moray eel Thank you so much for your speedy reply, it was very much appreciated. <our pleasure and duty!> I suppose it's best to research your pet COMPLETELY and not trust everything the pet shop owner says!  <absolutely... being an educated consumer is the very best thing you can do for yourself and the live animals that you/we admire so well> I've learnt my lesson, pity it had to be the hard way.. <no worries... I have faith that it has served the greater good and you will be an ever so much better hobbyist for it! We (hopefully) learn from such lessons in life> Regards Nico <kindly, Anthony> Dear Anthony Thank you so much for your speedy reply, it was very much appreciated. I suppose it's best to research your pet COMPLETELY and not trust everything the pet shop owner says! I've learnt my lesson, pity it had to be the hard way.. Regards, Nico

Salinity hey bob, what should the salinity be in a freshwater moray tank?? is a tablespoon per 5 gallons a good idea or should it be higher?? <Depends on the species... there are some general guidelines for the fishes called FW Morays, brackish in general posted on WetWebMedia.com Please use the Indices or the Google Search tool there. Bob Fenner> Jiwan..

Freshwater moray eel?? Hey, well thanks everyone BOB, CRAIG. That was really helpful.  <Hi Jiwan...well, apparently not helpful enough I'm afraid...> Yesterday I ran into something at my LFS. It's called a freshwater moray eel (GYMNOTHORAX POLYURANODON). Grows to around 28". He's around 14-15" at the moment. I purchased it. Do you think if this is a good idea??  <I do NOT think this is a good idea at all and will not work. You are trying to combine Brackish MARINE Eels from the Indo Pacific with African Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi in Africa. They do not live in the same environment. The higher pH African Cichlids require is NOT the same as salinity. Not to mention these eels grow to three feet long *if* they live. The following is by Bob Fenner from WetWebMedia.com. :"Gymnothorax polyuranodon (Bleeker 1853), a "Freshwater Moray". Indo-Pacific; Sri Lanka to Fiji, down to Australia. To about three feet in length... if it lives... most do not... this is a brackish to marine/estuarine species. Best considered brackish." You do not have a brackish marine system. Please take the eel back, it is doomed as are the Cichlids in salt water. Marine salt and aquarium salt are not the same.> The guy at LFS told me to put in about 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of salt in the tank to make these guys comfortable. I already put that much in my tank anyway cuz I have African cichlids in there. I feed him 2 shrimp yesterday, I mean I tried to. He didn't eat but when the lights went out he was swimming all over the place biting in the gravel to look for food. How should I go about feeding these guys?? And where can I get hold of a feeding stick??. And honestly is this going to work?? Jiwan <No. It will not work. It is absolutely vital that livestock purchases be well thought out and researched. Please take some time to find out about some animals that might interest you, research their living conditions thoroughly, and then supply the proper conditions for them to thrive in captivity. Those who fail to educate themselves are at the mercy of the salespeople at their local fish store, who may not have the interests of the customer or animals in mind. When you take the eel back, buy a good book on African cichlids and change your water to match the water your fish come from, which is fresh water, high pH and alkalinity, not brackish/marine. There is lots of information on WetWebMedia.com on all of these fish and eels, please go there and enter the fish of interest in the google search. Hope this helps. Craig> 

Freshwater Moray eel? Hi Bob <cheers> I've had my freshwater Moray eel for a few months now, but it really looks like he's dying and I don't know why. I'm hoping you could please help me before it's too late! <the first step is to ID your species and verify how "freshwater" it is if at all. Many species sold as such are brackish at best and need more saline water as they mature. Some stay brackish and others really are freshwater. Most FW eel sold as "morays" however need serious salt and attention to salinity. A tragic death for many. Please look through fishbase.org to find yours and through our archives on WetWebMedia.com beginning here (be sure to explore links/FAQs at the top): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm > He is breathing very rapidly and gaping his mouth constantly. He's blue around the throat area and lies on his back for a while, before turning himself upright again. <Ughh... commonly occurs from incorrect salinity. Check ID of this species... resist changing SG drastically yet... get a hydrometer if you don't already have one to measure salinity and add some extra aeration to the water please> I did a partial water change a few days ago, and he's been looking sick since then. I throw shrimp and baby clams in than tank as well as pellets. The only food we have seen him eat is live glass shrimp. I read somewhere that they can go for months without food, is that true? <possible yes> I added more salt to the water last night. What else can I do? <research my friend> Many thanks Nico <best regards, Anthony Calfo

Eel question Hey Bob, my names Joel. I'm up in college right now, and I was given a fish tank (20 gallon freshwater). I went to the local aquatic store looking for a puffer fish, and walked out with an eel.  <Ughhh... not another so-called FW moray eel> They told me it was a freshwater snowflake,  <that story will likely turn out to be a big pile of crap> and it preferred brackish water, but would live fine in freshwater.  <correction... a big steaming pile of monkey crap> I read a couple things online that say snowflake's won't live long in freshwater,  <Amen and pass the ammunition! Keep reading/researching my brother. You are almost a perfect aquarist/educated consumer. I say "almost" perfect because you just might end up killing an eel that you bought and brought home before actually knowing its needs for survival <G>> and I have a discus in my tank as well, so putting salt in the water would kill the discus.  <these are two completely incompatible fishes... yes. No salt for the discus and likely plenty for the eel. Before we can say for sure... you must ID the eel. Use fishbase.org and look through our archives beginning here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm > Do you have any suggestions for me?  <yep... you need a separate tank for the eels and discus. One likes soft acidic water and the other likes salted alkaline water and a compromise of the two would be cruel if even possible> Should I put a certain amount of salt water in my tank (5-10 gallons) and give the discus to the fish store (they said they would take it if I wanted to give it up) or will the eel be fine in the freshwater?  <good idea, bud. If you really like the eel... do take the discus back ASAP and keep the eel brackish> Also, one of the sites I looked at (it may have been yours) recommended a 50 gallon tank for the eel,  <correct for most if not all> I have 20 and I was told it was large enough. What do you think?  <I think the LFS lied or were ignorant (not knowing)... you will need a bigger thank for the eel in the future, my friend> Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Joel <I wish you the best in this wonderful hobby. Please do keep reading and be an educated consumer. It is the best weapon you have against misinformation. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: African cichlids and eels?? hey bob, <Gage here.> thanks that was really helpful.. but u didn't answer one of my questions.. would the fire eel eat the other fish seeing that it can get to 3 feet long?? <No, the fish that you are keeping are pretty dang tough, I would worry more about the eel.> and also if not the fire eel r there any other eels that I could keep in this type of a setup???.. my frontosa is pretty passive.. the only one I am concerned with is my Malawi blue dolphin he is pretty aggressive.. Jiwan <I would not add any eels to this set up, I would pick one lake and go with it. Your Frontosa is from Lake Tanganyika, and the blue dolphin is from Malawi. This will not work in the long run, it is best to stick with cichlids from the same lake, and possibly some catfish. How big is your tank, the Frontosa can reach 13in. Best Regards, Gage>

African cichlids and eel?? hey bob, <Hi Jiwan, Craig here> Thanks very much. So if a fire eel is a bad idea would a freshwater moray eel be a better option, seeing that they like salt in their water and African cichlids live in alkaline conditions and I do have salt in my tank. The salinity is 1.005. Would a FW moray eel work?? Do I have to worry about them eating the other fish in the tank?? Jiwan <"Freshwater" Morays are not really freshwater residents but are really brackish residents that require 1.005-1.010 SG salt water. African Cichlids are freshwater fish requiring a higher pH and hardness but they could not survive brackish conditions. You would not like the results regardless. Please do research stocking options on WetWebMedia.com. Craig> 

Snowflake Eel Mr. Fenner, Hi, my name is Lisa, and my husband and I own a Snowflake Eel.  <Likely Gymnothorax polyuranodon> We've had him for about 3 months now in a 10 gallon tank with three black fin sharks. <The seawater/brackish Ariid catfish> Recently we bought a 29 gallon tank and put them all in there. The black finned sharks seem to be doing all right, however our Eel does not. I was hoping you would be able to help us determine if there is something that we are doing that might be harming him. The tank is a brackish tank. I'm not sure about the specifics of how much salt etc. because my husband does all that. The eel's nose is turning white, almost like he bumped it on something, and he used to be rust colored with white spots, but now he looks pale and we can barely see his spots. If you have any information that would be of use, could you please let me know. Thank you. Lisa Meyer <Mmm, the move to larger quarters was a very good idea... as the catfish/sharks do get quite large (please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ariidcats.htm) as can the eel (here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayeels.htm). You may need to move these two types of fishes apart... as the eel is a far less aggressive feeder than the "sharks"... otherwise, do check and adjust your specific gravity (saltiness) to about 1.010 over a period of a week or two, try some other foods (ghost, glass shrimp). If the eel does not improve (it does have a pipe or such to hide in?) I would definitely separate it to another system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Snowflake Eel (do check and adjust your specific gravity (saltiness) to about 1.010 over a period of a week or two) How would we do this? <By adding water of a higher spg, removing that of lower... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spg_salinity.htm and the FAQs beyond (linked at the top). Bob Fenner>

Gymnothorax polyuranodon Hey Bob, I know you all over there in Wet Web Media will pretty much tip over after reading this email. <A tall challenge. A few of us are built like those old clown punch bags and just "pop up" when pushed over> I have 4 Gymnothorax polyuranodon in a 29 Gallon tank. The largest being 24 inches long and about as a thick as a quarter. The smallest being about 14 inches long and as thick as a pencil. I have had these particular Gymnothorax polyuranodon for almost a year. I rarely change the water. When I do, I just pour tap water directly into it. Mind you, I pretty much unknowingly have gone against ALL instructions and "educational" advice that is located here at WetWebMedia.com. or anywhere else that I have recently have found on the Internet. I feed them little crabs, ghost shrimp or Krill that I get at the local pet store or PetSmart. Their housing consists of PVC 1" tubing that line and cross the bottom of the tank under the gravel numerous times. About 10 feet of PVC tubing not counting the "elbows" and "T's". The water temperature can range from almost 98 degrees on a warm day to 75 on a cold day. I have never check the Ph. I have never really done much to it other then add food. Although, I do have a Pro-Quatics 2400 filter, it does 125GPH. It isn't a great filter but it does the job and is very quiet. I do a filter media change once a month. The lighting is nothing special either, a black light and cool white GE florescent bulb. My girlfriend calls it a hostile tank because there is nothing that isn't cute, except the snail. Whom is never bothered and just continues to grow like crazy. Although, I have never experienced a "feeding" problem or a health problem. <Sounds like you've been successful> The reason I am writing to you now is this: One of the Gymnothorax polyuranodon that has never been to bright in colour. Actually it has no colour other then dark "brownish" with a few typical markings of the species. I believe this is a female. <Maybe> I have no scientific expertise in this area, nor do I claim to be any sort of a hobbyist auquariumist- However, due to the wriggling and intertwining of the other Gymnothorax polyuranodon with this particular one as of late. Recently, it has been becoming "fat". It is not really fat, per se. It is more like "above average thick". I have read pretty much EVERYTHING that is on the Internet regarding this species. Well, what little there is. And the conclusion of data supplied by experts is that there is very little known and general consensus is that it is not even known how Gymnothorax polyuranodon reproduce. <As far as I'm aware there isn't much that is recorded, known... you may be the person with the most knowledge> I have no idea either, I would love to say " Yea, the little bugger ate some really big (fill in name of thing)". But. there is nothing in that tank that would do this. And nothing that is missing out of the ordinary. So, who knows. I guess if this Gymnothorax polyuranodon gives birth and I have a million of these things in the next month then we will know for a fact it was fertilized. Wouldn't that be ironic. <Mmm, more likely to be a "real mess". The true eels produce a great many eggs... and sperm... these are released in the water... and a good deal of time (look up and read the story of the best-documented group, the Anguillids) as pelagic larvae...> I apologize for not being a "be all you can be " aquarium-ist. I do plan to institute some changes in the tank and so on --upon reading all the material this evening. <Good for you, and them> Please do not release my email address or use of my name other then my first name thanks -- if you choose to use it .. G'day.. <We don't unless folks insist on actually doing so... one never knows. Hopeful though that someone will read your input, chime in with useful information as well. Please keep an eye on the freshwater moray FAQs (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwmorayfaqs.htm) and dailies. Bob Fenner>

Moray Eel HI..! I used to have a Gymnothorax polyuranodon until yesterday, it was ok swimming and eating well the day before I found it upside down, move it and swam as always but yesterday was again upside down but when touched it just rolled several times, but never went back to swim as usually, a few hours later died. I don't know why, I have 5 tiger barbs, 1stingray (orbignyi), 1 plecostomus, I change 25% water two times a week, could you help me in discover what cause my eel to die.? <This species is not easily kept... takes a beating in capture, holding, transport from the wild... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm Bob Fenner> Best regards. Carlos Gorgon

So-called Freshwater Snowflake eel Mr. Robert Fenner, <Anthony Calfo, in your service, my friend> I have a Snowflake Eel that's been swimming on its side erratically from one end of the tank to the other and sometimes resting upside down. I've noticed he's been breathing very rapidly, too. He's about 28" long and lives in a 65 gallon tank, along with seven 2.5" African Cichlids (variety) and a 22" white cheek eel.  <the first and most likely problem with your eel is that it is suffering from the extended captivity in freshwater. These so-called "freshwater eels" are only comfortable in freshwater at best as juveniles. As they mature they migrate out to brackish water and some eventually to the sea. This is a common question and problem. The size of your eel and rapid gilling is a giveaway. Do buy a hydrometer and begin a adding sea salt slowly to bring the salinity up by .002 daily (not too fast!) until you reach at least normal brackish water of 1.010 within two weeks. Since you have Africans in the main display... I assume/hope that you are already adding a little salty, eh?> I also keep the feeder gold fish, about a dozen medium size gold fish,  <really...goldfish are an inadequate food item for crustacean feeding eels. Predators forced to feed on such deficient prey often die of complications prematurely. The aquarists often doesn't realize it because the fish seems to be "fine" eating them for a couple of years (but still doesn't reach a full lifespan). Be sure to mix up the diet with great variety of shell-on creatures (krill, plankton, shrimp, crayfish, etc)> in a floating container inside the 65 gallon tank. I changed 20% of the water last Tuesday and he's been eating 2-4 Gold Fishes every other day. I've noticed this change of behavior Saturday evening. Right now I have him isolated in a 20 gallon tank with seven small gold fish (feeder fish). He's not very responsive and tends to lay on its side, sometimes. His breathing tends to speed up at times (average about 49-50 breaths per minute) and slows down (30-32 breaths per minute). I'm a little worried about him. I've had him for about 3 years and I about him when he was 17" long.  Do you know what might be wrong? I've enclosed a picture of him in the sick tank. <yes... please add some salt promptly as prescribed above. Anthony> v/r John Black

Two questions First of all thanks for your last advice and fast response, I will get the PH and nitrite tests. 1) I have a Gymnothorax polyuranodon (freshwater eel) and some times he changes color to a pale one but just happened twice during a month and later he has its original color, is this normal or what could be happening? is eating well, as I see during everyday observation is quite good. <This is normal... seems to have more to do with "mood" than water quality, other external influences... Not necessarily an indication of trouble> 2) I will get a freshwater stingray soon but I can't find written thinks online about injuries caused by the sting and envenomation, what should I do in case of envenomation or being touch by it sting ( accidentally, of course I will take care of this everyday). <Please take a read through the Freshwater Stingray article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwstingrays.htm and Injury piece: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Wound. tm and we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner> Best regards. Attn. Carlos Gorgon

Freshwater eel? Not in this case? hello sir <Greetings, Brian. Anthony Calfo in your service> I recently purchased a snowflake eel and I'm getting worried about it is pale colored and it like to lie on its side, gasping for air it seems, I have 3 African cichlids, a tiger Botia, and a blue crawfish, the eel is about 1 foot long they all live in a 20 high he hasn't looked healthy and I was wondering if you could give me your opinion of what it is I need to do. thank you for you time. Brian Dillon <Brian...your eel is most likely a brackish species. Fortunately, it's tankmates will tolerate and even appreciate some aquarium salt. Add 1 tablespoon per five gallons for starters and only replace it at that dose when you do water changes (not evaporation top off). And look for a picture on the Web (this site and www.fishbase.org) for a picture to identify the species so that we can better help you. Let us know if your eel breathers easier with the salt in the water. Also, test your water quality for any low pH, high ammonia, etc>

Eel food..? Hi..! searching on your site I found my eel is just the same as: Gymnothorax polyuranodon . <excellent, Carlos... but that is a good stretch from the tile eel species mentioned in your first e-mail. The feeding advice stays the same... but did you buy the eel in fresh or saltwater. If saltwater, disregard the history mentioned in the last e-mail. Best of luck to you, Anthony> Thanks.! Attn. Carlos Gorgon

Freshwater Eel? Hi..! <Hi, Carlos... Anthony Calfo in your service> A few days ago I got an eel, searching at the web found is just one alike and is called lycodontis tile eel, is just exactly the same I have but I'm not sure if it is a snowflake eel (?). <no sir... you have a variegated "freshwater eel", which favors brackish water and if kept in freshwater may be stressed not to feed... but not a snowflake moray eel> This is now 6 inches, small but healthy as I think, it open its mouth sometimes when quite in a place and moves greatly but feeding is kind of concern, since 4 days ago never seen it eating, I tried freeze dried blood worms, <good food, but not likely to be taken> fish flakes ( as pet shop owner recommended) a <that person needs a good book... the only way that eel is going to eat flakes is with a slingshot> and now after more research I set a toothpick with beef heart with just small bites on it but not sure if they were from the eel. <hmmm... perhaps> What do you recommend about this situation?  <try crustaceans (live and frozen)... krill (FD and Frozen maybe)... live ghost/grass shrimp very good> my eel is moving and breathing as usual so I think is healthy, color, eyes and dorsal fin ( from head to tail) is ok. <excellent> What kind of eel is this one.? probably it just eat live fish and need to try. Best regards. <live fish not necessary, I believe. keep us posted, Anthony>

Re: ALL CAP.S and stocking cichlids and eels what's wrong with all capitol letters? is this better?  <Yes, thank you. Much easier to read... an aspect of "netiquette"... rules of polite society> I'm not shouting. ok. (lol) can I put a freshwater eel in a 55 gallon tank with a red devil and a green terror.? <Mmm, not really a good idea... "the" freshwater eels are too slow, blind to compete with such "go-getter" cichlids. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwmorayeels.htm Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Gregg

Freshwater morays Hi Bob, I have been reading the FAQ on freshwater moray eels and was wondering if you could help me out with a query of mine. A friend of mine recently acquired 3 freshwater morays directly from a wholesaler. He was informed that they were a freshwater species and that the specimens were actually bred in captivity in freshwater. <Really? Hmm, have just this last week finished spiffing up this section of WWM... no Morays (Muraenidae) have been spawned, reared in captivity... the larval history phase, the leptocephalus, is very problematical...> He does not have the Latin name but we believe them to be Echidna Rhodochilus and they range in colour from a peppery speckle to whitish. <Yes... wish I had better pix of the white and black geographic "races"... very beautiful> I am surprised to hear that they were bred in freshwater but apparently this is the case. They are about 4" long and currently being housed in a 20 gal aquaria where they are doing well and feeding on river shrimp. <Neat> Due to the eventual size and conditions they require he has offered them to me as I have a 150 UK gal brackish tank housing Figure eight and green spotted puffer fish. I am interested in taking these fish but am wondering if my current tank inhabitants are suitable tank mates for these morays. The puffers range in size from 1-4 inches. <I suspect there might well be trouble with the Puffers both biting these tiny eels and consuming all their food. I would at least put a serious barrier/divider between the front and back of a section of your tank to keep them separated> I look forwards to hearing your reply! Many thanks, Kris Graff <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: freshwater morays Hi Bob, Thanks for the info and the quick reply! I was wondering if it would be an option to grow the eels on in a species tank and then introduce them to the main brackish tank with the puffers when they are at a decent size. Would I still see problems here as regards to the eels catching food? <Possibly... the Puffers might be able to be trained to accept food in one corner, the eels the other...> I will send you some pictures of the eels as soon as possible. My friend has three of different colour phases, the white is indeed very attractive. Once again, thank you for your help, Kris <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

"Freshwater " moray eel Mr. Fenner, First, like everyone else, I have to thank you both for your excellent book and the responses you post on WWM. They were both very helpful last year when I set up my first reef, which continues to thrive thanks to your advice. <You are certainly welcome. Thank you for the acknowledgement> I am writing to you regarding the eel that is commonly sold as "freshwater snowflake moray," which I am using as the centerpiece for a brackish tank. I recently purchased one at 18" that has turned out to be a fantastic fish. (Just recently came off its hunger strike...big relief for me!) <Ah, yes> First, has the scientific name for this eel changed? I see it on WWM referred to as Gymnothorax polyuranodon, but I have seen it referenced elsewhere as Echidna rhodochilus.  <Hmm, well this is a valid name for one of the "marine/fresh Moray species": http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID= But the former is also freshwater and a valid species: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID= And there are a few others that are occasionally imported for aquarium use... So, both do come to ornamental aquatics through the Philippines, but are separate/different species.> Second, I have found reliable information on this animal hard to find. I have read the synopsis here and on Fishbase, as well as on Ruben Tolen's brackish site, but I have found little else on the web. I am primarily confused on the salinity this animal needs to be kept at as an adult. 1.010 is about what/where I've seen them kept by the trade... as juveniles. The Echidna I suspect should be kept in NSW, Near Seawater, conditions as an adult> I always see it referenced as a brackish fish, but reliable responses from other aquarists on AquariaCentral and FishIndex suggest it requires marine conditions as an adult. I am prepared to provide for it either way, but I would like to know what environment will be best for it. Thanks for your time and your expertise, Jason <Actually either or both of us need make a trip down to a large/r college library here (unless you have BIOSIS/Zoological Record access at home/office... Go back to Fishbase.org and click, follow under "references"... and if you have time, inclination, to the library you go, and have a reference librarian show you how to do a computer bibliographic search. Like: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Re: "freshwater " moray eel Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the quick reply! The freshwater moray that I own looks more like the echidna rhodochilus from these pictures, as does the animal labeled as Gymnothorax polyuranodon on WWM: http://www.aquariacentral.com/species/db.cgi?db=fresh&uid=default&ID=0580&view_records=1 Does Gymnothorax polyuranodon display enough color variation to account for this difference in pictures, or is the photo on WWM (or AC) possibly mislabeled? <Don't know about the range of color, patterns in this species... all the ones I have seen have been rather bland... if these were indeed G. polyuranodon... But do know (for sure) about the possibility of mislabeled images identified by myself! These are definitely due to error.> Also, I happen to be student at Virginia Tech, which unfortunately doesn't help as our library does not have the text cited for rhodochilus on Fishbase. I will look into Interlibrary Loan and see if I can get lucky...I will let you know if I find out anything interesting. Thanks again, Jason <Yes to the interlibrary loan... Do check to see if you have BIOSIS on campus. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater Moray Eels I really appreciate the time that you took for this site. <Ah, you're welcome. It was made for you.> I would like to buy a fresh water Moray Eel. I guess I need some help and no one in pet stores really know anything about freshwater. I am going to put it in a 75-100 gallon tank. What kind of sand should I put down?  <Something fine/r... and calcareous. Please see the "Marine Substrates" section and "Moray Eels" under the Marine Index (the freshwater species are touched on there)> Is possible to order a fish through the mail? <Certainly> Can I feed them gold fish? And better yet how about a book on fresh water moray. This would really help. <Not really goldfish, but other live or frozen/defrosted meaty foods. Take a look at the WWM site cited, then fishbase.org then your search engines under "Freshwater Morays"> Thanks, Michael <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Re: Freshwater Moray Eels Thanks for getting back to me. I have called all over the place in Virginia looking for a "fresh water moray eel' I have had 0 luck! Do you know of a place that I could order one through the mail or call. <Take a look at the livestock etailers listed on our site (www.WetWebMedia.com) Links Pages> I have also had no luck looking for a book. <See the "Moray Eels" section on the WWM site> I figure that I will get a 75 gallon tank with heaters that will keep the tempter a 70-80.{F}. I will have a 2 caves in it so that it can hide and the sand that you recommended. I will buy a power filter. Do you think that I will need a skimmer? <Probably not a skimmer if you are going to try keeping the water entirely fresh... do take a look through Fishbase.org under the term "freshwater moray". Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Michael Davis

Freshwater snowflake moray I got a snow flake about 2 weeks ago and it wont eat I've tried all sorts  of food (Tubifex worms.. live...Crustaceans..) please help ... please mail any info you might have Thanx <Do have patience... these Eels frequently go on food strikes when first moved... do keep trying various meaty, live foods, including smaller earthworms (like those you can dig up, or buy at bait stores), and if your other fishes, plants et al. can tolerate it (they should), do place a teaspoon per ten gallons of non-iodized salt (ice-cream, kosher, pickling...) in this system... should help stir appetite and act as a general cathartic.

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