Moray Stocking/Selection FAQs
Related FAQs: Moray
Eels 3, Moray Identification,
Moray Behavior, Moray Compatibility, Moray Systems, Moray Feeding, Moray Disease, Moray Reproduction, Freshwater Moray Eels, Zebra Moray Eels, Snowflake Morays, Freshwater Moray Eels,
Related Articles: Moray
Eels, The Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena
zebra), Ribbon Morays, The "Freshwater" Moray
Eels, Freshwater Moray
Eels by Marco Lichtenberger,
Non-Moray Marine Eels,
Snake & Worm
Eel tank, moray stocking, comp.
Greetings Mr. Fenner & Crew
Long story shortened, added a Gymnothorax fimbriatus about 6 months ago,
he ate a couple young Maroon Clowns I added, I realize I won’t be able
to add any small fish to this tank, removing him I have deemed VERY
difficult as the tank is 5’x5’x2.5’. I have a large reef tank as well, I
have always wanted an Eel tank. I would probably make an Enchelycore
pardalis the next addition and feature fish. I’ve read the WWM article,
which says there is no way to tell the sex.
<Still none to my knowledge.>
One online site sells them as “Male” (for more money) and “Female” a few
hundred less. My guess is they are just hiking up the price on the ones
with more orange coloration, sound right?
<Probably. Am not aware of any evidence or even scientific study about
color differences between sexes (sexual dichromatism) in this species.>
Other question is would Gymnothorax favagineus be ill advised as the
<Gymnothorax favagineus gets much bigger than the other two species.
Have little doubt my old G. favagineus would have eaten an adult G.
fimbriatus. Better choose species with approx. the same adult size and
Too much Eel for the other two? If so, what would you recommend, at
roughly 460 gallons was hoping 3 good sized would be ok? I like Muraena
lentiginosa as well, though it is not very large.
<The size of the tank should not be a problem for 3 medium sized eels
(such as G. fimbriatus), but housing Gymnothorax and Enchelycore eels
together is always a risk. G. fimbriatus and E. pardalis can both be
quite aggressive to new additions. Your chances are best when all the
eels have about the same size and when you provide a sufficient number
of caves to reduce stress and aggression. Beware, they still might not
get along fine depending on their individual temper. Also, I agree with
M. lentiginosa being a little small compared to your other choices,
Muraena pavonia is similar and gets larger. To name a few more species:
Gymnothorax rueppelliae is about the same size as G. fimbriatus.
Gymnothorax kidako is only slightly larger.>
Thank you for your fantastic site, Happy Holidays
<Thanks. Wishing you happy holidays, too. Marco.>
Marco Lichtenberger. Other Echidna spp.
My name is Phillip and I'm looking to get in touch with Mr. Marco Lichtenberger
who I've been referred to by Jordan. I've got a few questions regarding the
Echidna Genus of Moray Eels outside of the commonly seen Chainlink, snowflake,
and Skeletor. There's not much out there on these and was wondering about their
temperament. Thanks, Phillip
<Sorry for the delayed reply. What species do you need information on?
Re: Marco Lichtenberger 7/12/16
Of the species you named only E. delicatula, E. polyzona and E. xanthospilos are
more or less regularly available in trade (E. rhodochilus has been in the past),
the other ones seldom (E. nocturna) to never, so there is not much information
on captive care. It's difficult to generalize the captive behavior of one or
even a few specimens to an entire species.
In my opinion there often is more difference between two Echidna individuals of
one species than between two Echidna species. And this can change with age,
especially when they get older and change their gender they can become totally
different fishes. In my opinion and experience there actually is not much
difference between E. nebulosa and E. catenata.
I've seen more calm and more aggressive individuals, fish eaters and perfect
tank mates of both species. I also like E. rhodochilus and E. delicatula, since
they stay much smaller. Echidna eels in general are a little less aggressive
compared to medium sized Gymnothorax, but this is certainly not true for all
specimens. Cheers, Marco.
Clarkii Clownfish and Zebra or Snowflake Eel. Muraenid
I have a 125 gallon (plus an additional 30+ gallon with sump) with
approximately 100 pounds of live rock that has heavy filtration
(oversized sump, oversized internal flow, return flow, protein skimmer,
refugium with macroalgae/mangro's...etc.). Currently there's two spunky
Clarkii Clownfish around 3"+ and 4"+. I also have a 4" Niger Trigger, a
6" Harlequin Tusk, and a 4" Canthigaster papua puffer. I plan to add a
BTA anemone for my Clarkii's but would also like to finish my marine
fish additions with either a Zebra or Snowflake eel. Everything I've
read is that the Zebra is likely the most friendly for this set-up, but
it's eventual size, and love for darkness (I have powerful LED's), plus
might the Harlequin Tusk pick on it, makes me wonder if the Snowflake
would be a better choice?
<About the same choice temperament/likeliness to get along-wise... but
I'd choose the Snowflake as it stays smaller>
But then again, I wonder if Snowflake might someday mistake the
Clarkii's for food and get them and then again would the Harlequin Tusk
mess with the Snowflake?
<About the same likelihood for either of these Morays... >
Possibly I am just better off avoiding an eel altogether, but I would
great appreciate your expert opinion.
<DO stack your rock like a pedestal for the anemone and place it a good
foot above the bottom... to avoid contact w/ the Muraenid>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clarkii Clownfish and Zebra or Snowflake Eel
Thank you Bob. Your service to us hobbyist's is highly appreciated!
<Certainly welcome John. BobF>
Skeletor eel... Echidna xanthospilos. in/comp.
<Frank; and have sent this to MarcoL for his separate response>
I was trying to find out some information on a Skeletor eel. I hear from
the lfs (which is selling it for 250) that they usually get to the max
size of 18-20 inches in the home aquarium from the experience of their
<Agreed; usually smaller>
They also mentioned that they only get as thick as a thumb... The one
they have is about 7" and is the size of a pen in thickness and i was
told it will grow slow unless you feed very frequently.
<This is so>
I currently have a Hawaiian dwarf moray eel (based on my research they
will be ok with each other)
<Mmm; well, even Dendrochirus (compared w/ larger Pteroines) can/will
inhale other fishes, motile invertebrates... if they can>
and is a good little guy. I have a 54 gallon corner tank,
but the rock work is designed with lots of overhangs and caves for the
eels and a I have tight cover on the tank. Since it is a rare eel and I
feel that this is a good price on him. I did a lot of research and so
far the experience with this eel is that its a calm eel like my dwarf
eel. I know eventually he will probably need a bigger tank, but if he
grows slow, I can enjoy him before his next home. I do have two cleaner
shrimps and a conch (the only inverts I care about)..... will they be ok
with the eel?
<Not the shrimps eventually>
Also, I have a diversified community of fish including a pair of clowns,
borbonius Anthias, Tailspot blenny, yasha goby, Tanaka possum wrasse and
a tiny marine Betta (1")
<You need more room; esp. for the last... And this Echidna may
well consume your smaller fishes>
(i rather have a bunch of small sized fish in my tank). Will the
Skeletor go after the Tailspot or yasha? Also, if I feed 2x a week
(krill and silversides) will it grow slowly? Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Skeletor eel /Marco
I was trying to find out some information on a Skeletor eel.
I hear from the lfs (which is selling it for 250) that they usually get
to the max size of 18-20 inches in the home aquarium from the experience
of their clients.
<20-24” is a typical maximum size for this species.>
They also mentioned that they only get as thick as a thumb...
<They must have quite fat fingers then. The adults look like this:
The one they have is about 7" and is the size of a pen in thickness and
I was told it will grow slow unless you feed very frequently.
<Can take them about 2-4 years to grow to their maximum sizes.>
I currently have a Hawaiian dwarf moray eel (based on my research they
will be ok with each other)
<Can work, however, I’d prefer eel tank mates with similar maximum
and is a good little guy. I have a 54 gallon corner tank, but the rock
work is designed with lots of overhangs and caves for the eels and I
have tight cover on the tank. Since it is a rare eel and I feel that
this is a good price on him.
<Depends on where you are. They are half of that here in my part of
Europe, but I’ve also seen them for much more.>
I did a lot of research and so far the experience with this eel is that
it’s a calm eel like my dwarf eel. I know eventually he will probably
need a bigger tank,
but if he grows slow, I can enjoy him before his next home. I do have
two cleaner shrimps and a conch (the only inverts I care about).....
will they be ok with the eel?
<Likely, though cleaner shrimps are not completely safe with an Echidna
Also, I have a diversified community of fish including a pair of clowns,
borbonius Anthias, Tailspot blenny, yasha goby, tanaka possum wrasse and
a tiny marine Betta (1") (I rather have a bunch of small sized fish in
<Sounds like a crowded tank 54 gallon tank to me. I would not add
Will the Skeletor go after the Tailspot or yasha?
<Unlikely, they are mostly crustacean eaters in nature, however, they
are not 100% safe with small fishes when hungry.>
Also, if I feed 2x a week (krill and silversides) will it grow slowly?
<I do not recommend malnutrition in order to stunt fishes. Feed it
properly and have a tank of sufficient size or don’t keep it. Krill and
silversides make no healthy moray eel diet. Please see WWM re. This
species is related to Echidna nebulosa (Snowflake eel) and Echidna
polyzona and should be kept and fed in a similar way.>
Thank you Frank
<I hope the information is useful for your decision. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Skeletor eel
Thank you for your prompt response
I will pass on this guy then.
Golden Dwarf Moray Eel questions, stkg., sys.,
Hello! First of all, I love your site and everything that you guys do!
I think it's wonderful that you are so helpful in this sometimes
confusing hobby. I had a question that I was hoping you could help me
with. I have always been fascinated by eels but it seems like most
would do very badly in a tank my size - 20g (with a 15
gallon sump/fuge) - except I read in my Scott Michael's book about
the "golden dwarf moray eel" (G. melatremus).
It says they only need 10g and that they are reef compatible except
<Mmm, well... Scott is a friend and he and I's opinions match at
least 98% of the time; but I find his "minimum system size"
suggestions to be much smaller than mine; esp. for sharks and eel
I had a few quick questions about the species I was hoping you guys
could help me with:
Would it attack or eat my Pearly Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)?
<Quite possibly, yes>
I know these are "fish-eating" morays but that they are
really small so it would be hard for them to eat other fish that
aren't goby-sized. However, Jawfish are relatively stationary
rather than swimming all over the tank.
Would it eat my cleaner shrimp or harlequin shrimp?
They are both at "full-grown" size but the book said they
will eat crustaceans. Yet I did find a tank containing one and a
Would my tank be large enough to house one?
<A small specimen perhaps... but just barely. If it were me, I'd
look into other fish families than the Muraenids>
Is there anything else I should know about this fish?
<Can't tell from your statements>
Thank you! : -)
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful
Hi guys long time reader first time writer. Thanks in advance for any
I have a 210 gallon saltwater tank mostly fowlr possible plans for reef
in the future. My fish include: Dragon Goby, Moorish Idol, Hippo Tang,
Pixie Hawkfish, Yellow Tang, Cowfish, Percula Clown, Maroon Clown,
Flame Angel, Coral Beauty Angel. At the moment my tank is peaceful and
everyone gets along. I am thinking of adding a Dwarf Zebra Lionfish,
and either a Zebra Moray Eel or a Chain Eel.
<Mmm, will assume the last is Echidna catenata. The last two fish
you list will have to be hand-fed... Will not be able to compete for
food w/ your present fish stock>
From my reading crabs are goners and possibly my Coral Banded
Will these additions keep my tank fairly peaceful and are my Emerald
Crabs goners also.
Thanks for any help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility 8/18/11
I apologize one last question. Out of the two eels which do you think
would be the safest/ most compatible or maybe even better candidate for
<More likely the Chainlink. BobF>
Re: Compatibility, Dwarf Lion and peaceful Morays
We have decided to go with both a zebra eel and a golden dwarf eel and
wanted to see if you thought this was appropriate. Thanks again for all
<I give you good odds... that the Lion will leave this Moray species
alone and that you won't have much trouble feeding the Eel. Bob
New moray eel 12/7/10
Hi Marco (I hope),
<Yes, it's me.>
No questions today, just wanted to show you something I picked up
the other day.
Best, Pat Corcoran
<Great you finally got your Enchelycore anatina! It's been
a while since I have seen one (last visit to the Canary islands,
where they are quite common), and they are rarely on stock lists.
Good luck with it. Feel free to wrap up what you find out about
the rare eels you keep in an article.
Re: New moray eel, writing re
I'd be more than happy to! I actually acquired a G. ypsilon
recently, and may be getting a G. zonipectus and G. neglectus
soon as well (please share any advice/experience you may have on
<G. zonipectis (I'm using the old spelling like Randall)
is a smaller species quite adequate as an aquarium fish. It
reaches about 50 cm and comes from the tropical Indo-Pacific (in
some parts of Indonesia it occurs in remarkable numbers).
It's possible to stumble over this species in the
"assorted morays" section of wholesalers and it is
found in trade from time to time with a proper ID (at least a few
years ago, right now quite less).
I find it somewhat comparable to G. eurostus with different
looks, of course. G. neglectus is a stout, massive species up to
4 feet (1,2 m), I have only seen it on Russian and Japanese stock
lists and as dead specimen.
It reminded me somewhat of a smaller, yellowish version of the G.
javanicus. It is mostly found in the rather sub-tropical waters
of Okinawa and Taiwan. I'd keep it a few degrees colder than
the average reef tank.>
Do you have any specific framework you feel would work?
<For a possible article? I'd suggest to go for the printed
formats first (such as TFH), and after publishing there give it
to an online format such as WWM. What would be needed are some
good, printable pictures. Of course you can directly go to the
online formats if having it printed is not important to you. In
this case I'd suggest sending the article to WWM's
Digital Magazine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/WWMDigPermanentRefPg.htm
Stocking list, 150 gal., FO SW, esp. Muraenid
Sel. -- 01/28/10
So, I am 13 years old, I have a 150 gallon aquarium that is done
cycling and has this stocking list:
x1 harlequin Tuskfish
x1 snowflake moray eel
x1 yellow tang
x1 Blackspotted puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)
x1 Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
<As long as the trigger and the puffer leave the Snowflake eel
alone, and as long the fishes are large enough to avoid being eaten by
each other, this should work.>
I would like to know if that eel is good for my list. Also are there
any other good eels instead of the snowflake that is "easy to
keep", small and hardy?
<I would not recommend too small eels below a foot, because of the
trigger and the puffer. In the medium sized range there are -- aside
the Snowflake eel -- the Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) and the
Chainlink eel (Echidna catenata). A little more aggressive, but still
an option for not too small tank mates, are the Goldentail eel
(Gymnothorax miliaris) and the White-eyed moray (Gymnothorax griseus).
A little larger, but compatible with even small fishes is the Zebra
moray (Gymnomuraena zebra). Also see here for other moray eel species:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm . >
Thanks ps: thanks for the quick response!
<Welcome. Cheers, Marco.>
No Gymnomuraena, more likely Echidna polyzona; ID
& care -- 01/02/10
I guess my eel is a Echidna polyzona instead of a zebra eel.
<Ok, not a bad eel either'¦ as long as it is no Gymnothorax
rueppellii, which can be very aggressive. If you want a confirmation of
its ID send a clear picture.>
can you please send me a link to some care sheets and general
<The care is the same as for Echidna nebulosa (Snowflake moray),
which is a close relative. The Barred moray (Echidna polyzona) just
stays a little smaller (2 feet maximum). Large males (your small
specimen is most likely still female for a few years) may eat small
fishes, but their main prey in nature are crustaceans such as crabs.
See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snowflakemoray.htm and
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm as well as the linked FAQs and
feel free to ask if you have specific questions not answered already on
also is this eel a problem eel for my fishes
<It likely is too small to hurt them now and if the other fishes
grow and the clown and the small puffer are given away I see not much
future danger from what I remember about your tank (grouper and dragon
wrasse?). Lionfish and triggers often work as tank mates, sometimes
they don't: lionfish stinging moray, trigger biting the moray's
large dorsal fin or tail, trigger biting off the lions spines... For
future emails please ALWAYS attach former correspondence. We cannot
remember everyone's tanks (at least I cannot).>
or is he a good addition to my community tank
<Generally one of the better choices for the typical FOWLRs with not
too small tank mates.>
also is that the price they normally go for $29
<Yes, they are about 20-80 bucks in the retail stores, also depends
on the country/state/trader/season/order status. Cheers, Marco.>
Re.... E. polyzona and Cryptocaryon
He looks more like the Echidna polyzona because the other one
Gymnothorax rueppellii has a yellow head and doesn't look like full
bars... he has like a orange tint to his head and full black and white
bars maybe a inch wide? I'll attach a picture if needed I cant
right now though.
<Our offer to help with the ID from a picture remains valid.>
Also I have a new ich outbreak in my tank. It started on my two domino
damsels I think from stress from the lionfish is getting more
aggressive, then spread to my yellow damsel and now I've noticed it
on the lionfish...
<The damsels are not adequate long term tank mates for the lionfish
and the grouper. If you introduced them as food you encountered one of
the big problems of feeder fish: introduction of parasites.>
I'm expecting the grouper and frogfish to show signs soon
that's a lot of money and lives to loose to ich... in my other tank
I used garlic and my pajama cardinals made a AMAZING recovery.
<Glad the Cardinal is better, but I strongly doubt it is a direct
effect of the garlic use. Rather the cardinal's immune system that
at some point developed a complete or at least sufficient immunity to
I just started using it now in the 75 do you think this will work with
all these fish?
Again thanks for all the help.
<Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm for the marine
White spot disease (called 'ich', but being Cryptocaryon). Also
check the disease FAQs of the fishes in the infected tank. Don't
exchange equipment with your other tank to avoid transferring cysts of
the parasites. Also be aware that your moray eel must not be treated
with copper product concentrations needed to fight the disease. Feed
vitamin enriched foods and if possible run a strong UV sterilizer. With
three damsels (quite active fish species), a lionfish, a small grouper,
a Sharpnose puffer, frogfish, the eel and a maroon clown the 75 gallon
tank is a very stressful environment, which supports the disease. You
should consider to take out a number of fish: In your first emails your
plans were to keep the lionfish, the grouper, an eel and the frogfish,
and to upgrade to a 250 gallon tank within two years. I'd stick to
this and not add more fishes to avoid the loss of further fishes (and
money). Good luck. Marco.>
...? Tesselata moray... sel./comp./sys.
hello, I really appreciate what you guys do it is a major help.
I currently have a 75 gallon fowlr tank in which I have a fairly small
Volitans lionfish maybe 6 inches.
a panther grouper who is maybe three inches and growing quickly.
along with a maroon clown I'm moving to a different tank, and a
Valentini puffer I'm planning on returning for a credit due to its
small size. I also have a frogfish who eats frozen krill.
for filtration I have a 400 h.o.b bio wheel filter, I believe its the
type 4 power head from Koralia about $70. and a sump loaded with tons
of Caulerpa filter pads, bio balls, and a skimmer. the tank has plenty
of live rock for bio filtration.
I'm almost 16 and extremely into the hobby, I know "the
books" and how things are suppose to be done, and I know there are
many exceptions and nature never follows the books and there's many
different ways to do things. such as my frogfish never touching a fish
and eating frozen krill, spitting out my puffer when accidentally
grabbed when feeding, snowflake eels that aren't normally fish
eaters grabbing a clown fish way to big for it, and a 5 ft green eel at
my lfs that's kept with tons of small fish and doesn't even try
to eat them. so I know there's exceptions to "the book"
here's my plan I want to get a very small tesselata eel, I know
there extremely aggressive
and grow to massive sizes, I figure if I get him at a small size too
small to attack any of my fish at the moment get him used to frozen
food, and keep him full (small feedings daily) and have all the fish I
want already introduced he wont be the blood thirsty beast that
he's portrayed to be,
<About middle on the scale for Muraenids actually (IME). Read
and the linked files above>
and will be happy till he outgrows my tank along with my other fish and
I plan to upgrade my system to maybe a 250 gallon in two years.
I am aware of all my fishes adult size and temperament issues
that's why I'm emailing you guys instead of a forum where id
get a million unethical comments.
thank you in advance for any comments... josh
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Tesselata moray... sel./comp./sys... Marco's
I really appreciate what you guys do it is a major help.
<Glad you like it.>
I currently have a 75 gallon fowlr tank in which I have a fairly small
Volitans lionfish maybe 6 inches. a panther grouper who is maybe three
inches and growing quickly. along with a maroon clown I'm moving to
a different tank, and a valentini puffer I'm planning on returning
for a credit due to its small size. I also have a frogfish who eats
<Needs a more varied diet and vitamin additions.>
for filtration I have a 400 h.o.b bio wheel filter, I believe it's
the type 4 power head from Koralia about $70. and a sump loaded with
tons of Caulerpa, filter pads, bio balls, and a skimmer. the tank has
plenty of live rock for bio filtration.
I'm almost 16 and extremely into the hobby, I know "the
books" and how things are suppose to be done, and I know there are
many exceptions and nature never follows the books
<Nature has its own (partly complicated) laws, the books just try to
show you these as the authors understood them in a way you might
understand them, too.>
and there's many different ways to do things.
<Some better, some worse.>
such as my frogfish never touching a fish
<Maybe you don't have adequate food fish for him in the
and eating frozen krill, spitting out my puffer when accidentally
grabbed when feeding, snowflake eels that aren't normally fish
eaters grabbing a clown fish way to big for it
<Not uncommon, about every second or third adult Echidna nebulosa
may eat small fishes if given the chance.>
, and a 5 ft green eel at my LFS that's kept with tons of small
fish and doesn't even try to eat them.
<Happens. Mostly if the other fish are small/fast and not worth the
hunt. But nobody will guarantee that none of them is missing with
so I know there's exceptions to "the book". here's my
plan I want to get a very small tesselata eel,
<For the 75 gallon tank? Not the best idea. You already got a number
of fast growing, waste producing fishes. I'd upgrade first and add
the eel later.>
I know they are extremely aggressive and grow to massive sizes, I
figure if I get him at a small size too small to attack any of my fish
at the moment get him used to frozen food, and keep him full (small
<Be aware, overfeeding will lead to a fatty liver and short life
and have all the fish I want already introduced he won't be the
blood thirsty beast that he's portrayed to be, and will be happy
till he outgrows my tank along with my other fish and I plan to upgrade
my system to maybe a 250 gallon in two years.
<Still rather on the small side.>
I am aware of all my fishes adult size and temperament issues
that's why I'm emailing you guys instead of a forum where id
get a million unethical comments. thank you in advance for any
<I've just given some small comments that might save you some
trouble along the way. Feel free to use them as you wish. I'd
rather start with a 250 gallon tank if you want to try this combo with
the option to upgrade as the eel grows. Be aware that the 'feeding
the eel route' is a narrow pass between the canyons of overfeeding
and tank mate eating, which at some point might end before you reach
your destination. Cheers, Marco.>
Re Nay on the Tesselata Moray, Yea on a
Gymnomuraena, w/ a need to read, Marco's input
thank you for your reply,
I actually decided against the Tesselata eel, and instead found a 8
inch Zebra eel
<A much better choice in terms of size and compatibility if it
really is a Zebra eel. I hope it does not fit in the mouth of your
for sale for twenty bucks labeled under misc. eel
<Mmh'¦ most traders know Gymnomuraena zebra'¦
Compare your eel to Echidna polyzona (less and wider stripes in
comparison with a Gymnomuraena zebra) at
Gymnothorax rueppellii (slightly yellow head when young) at
and couldn't pass the deal up. I do really want to add a dragon
wrasse though and maybe a Picasso trigger.
<Can work for now, and you are already aware they will need more
space in the future. Cheers, Marco>
Re: (no subject)... Nay on the Tesselata Moray,
Yea on a Gymnomuraena, w/ a need to read 12/30/09
thank you for your reply,
<Umm, where is the previous correspondence? Not attached>
I actually decided against the tesselata eel, and instead found a 8
inch zebra eel
<Gymnomuraena? This is a small specimen>
for sale for twenty bucks labeled under misc. eel
and couldn't pass the deal up. I do really want to add a dragon
wrasse though and maybe a Picasso trigger.
<... may be compatible if all are started small, the system is large
enough, there is sufficient cover/habitat... Will need to be especially
fed. See WWM re all species needs. Bob Fenner>
Moray eel questions for Marco: Gymnothorax
isingteena -- 12/01/09
I've asked you many an eel question in the past and have
another if I could lol.
We had a 3 foot Gymnothorax isingteena sent to our store by
mistake and wondered if it could be kept in my 300 gallon(140 gal
sump with large skimmer) as an adult or would that be pushing
<I'd use a 500 gallon tank as the absolute minimum and
would prefer to have twice the size for an adult.>
It's a beautiful eel and I've been looking for a larger
sized eel just unfortunately none of our customers with large
tanks are interested in it. My problem is finding an actual max
length for these guys because they are extremely similar to
Fishbase shows favagineus to get 300cm (10 feet max) of which I
<but I do. This is based on guesses, not measurements. The
largest measured ones had less than 200 cm. If there were larger
ones, they would be caught once in a while and shown off by
fishermen as it happens with other giant moray species
(Strophidon and G. javanicus). But I'm open to change my
opinion if proper measurements can be shown.>
cause I've seen clips of them well over 7 feet but
Gymnothorax isingteena growing to 180cm (6 feet max) and FishBase
does seem to be a very reliable source.
<It is in this case.>
My worry is that I have also heard they may in fact be the same
species just a bit of a color variant and are capable of getting
just as big as a favagineus.
<They are very similar and so far considered separate species,
but I agree that with future research they might be recognized as
If they do max out at 6 feet in the wild I'm assuming in the
home aquarium would be more likely in the range of 4.5 to 5 feet
<I'd always keep the 6 feet in mind, because that is what
they can reach. 5 feet are what seems reasonable for an average
specimen. An 'average' aquarium maximum size is not so
useful, because it would include those specimens that stay small
due to bad care or inadequate diet and not only those with the
genes to grow smaller.>
Love to know your thoughts cause you know your morays well and
everywhere else I find so much misinformation and finding this
guy a good home is the main priority.
<Thanks for your kind words and good luck with finding a good
home. They are for sure superb and interesting pets, but they
need a large tank and also a dedicated owner, who knows how to
handle a potentially dangerous animal. Marco.>
Skeletor Eel -- 10/31/09
Have you ever heard of an eel named Skeletor Eel (Echidna
<Of course. But I have to note - by the power of Grayskull -
it is among the most stupid common names I've heard for a
All I have read is that it's semi aggressive and it only
grows to 2' in length
<Both true'¦ Is about as aggressive as a Snowflake
eel or a Banded moray. Quite comparable to the latter>
, but it's super rare.
<Sometimes a bunch of them appears in trade. Sometimes even in
the freshwater section'¦>
No mention of how suitable to aquarium life and what they
<Quite adaptable to aquarium life, occurs naturally in a range
of biotopes and even occurs in freshwater (cannot be kept in this
condition). For diet see other eels of this genus such as the
Snowflake eel and the Chainlink eel: mostly crabs, shrimps, fish,
cephalopods. You can also feed clam and mussel meat. Be sure to
use vitamins about once per week.>
Have seen one for sale at FFExpress and would like some more info
before considering purchasing it. Tried various sites to no
avail, it's like a new discovered Eel that no one has any
<It's similar to the Snowflake eel on one hand and to
'Freshwater' morays on the other hand.>
I have a 125 gallon FWLRO tank with 3" Tomato Clown, 6"
Hippo Tang and a 6"
Pinkface Wrasse. They will all be moved at the end of year to a
bigger tank leaving this tank for the eel but in the meanwhile,
will adding this Eel to this tank be ok?
<Your fish are in my opinion too big to be hurt by a medium
sized E. xanthospilos. The clown is the most endangered
He is 12" long right now. Also, should an Eel be
<Ideally, most fish are quarantined. Since moray eels can
carry harmful bacteria, this can be a good idea if a proper
quarantine system is available. Clarify if the fish was already
quarantined by the trader.>
If so, how long?
<Four weeks should be enough. Also a good time to train it to
frozen food if necessary.>
And how big of a quarantine tank for this one footer?
<If you can keep the water parameters in a 29 gallon tank
stable, it can be sufficient if it has proper artificial caves
and a good oxygen supply (current, skimming). If a bigger tank is
available (about 50 gallons), it would likely be easier.>
Thanks for your help, Bill
<Welcome and good luck with this beautiful eel. Marco.
PS: Some reading about similar species:
Skeletor Eel II -- 10/31/09
Thanks for you quick reply.
I totally agree with you, what a stupid name.
I called FFExpress and they told me that he has been there for a
month, in a tank by himself
and eating well. Eating all kinds of frozen food like krill,
silversides, squid and shrimp with the shell on.
Unfortunately I do not have a quarantine tank ready, was not
expecting to buy an eel so since they have had the eel for over a
month, I think I'll just take a chance and put him in my 125
with the other guys. I just got a call from FFExpress and he
reinforced what you just wrote me, that this eel is close related
to the Snowflake and Chainlink eel species. Likes to eat
crustaceans. BTW, how do I add vitamins to his diet?
<Either by dropping them onto the thawing food item and
leaving them there for about a quarter of an hour or by using a
syringe, which appears to be more efficient. Adding vitamins is
inevitable in the long run when you are feeding frozen foods to
I actually wasn't worry about the eel with the fish stock I
have but vise-versa, my Pinkface Wrasse is pretty aggressive
towards new tankmates and so is the Tomato Clown. You don't
think they will nip at the eel, do you?
<This eel -- like all eels -- needs safe caves, either rock
gaps or PVC pipes, to hide itself if necessary. I think it will
be able to stand its ground. Most fish recognize eel tank mates
(except thin ribbon eel species) as predators and after some
first confrontations leave them alone. A 12" eel is
physically able to tear a 3" Clown in half.>
Thanks again, Bill
<Welcome Bill. Feel free to send some pictures/a report if you
get the eel. Marco.>
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 10/31/09
The eel should arrive Tuesday, once acclimated I'll take some
pics for you ok?
<That would be great! Thank you.>
Thanks for all your helpful answers,
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 11/05/09
The Skeletor Eel arrived safely from Live Aquaria. Excellent
packing job, bagged 7 bags thick with warmers and packing peanuts
to keep the Eel warm. Acclimated like they told me and now he is
in the tank. Already found a couple of places where he likes to
hide, none of the resident fishes have bothered him so far. Once
he starts to get out more, I'll try to take pics.
<I'm looking forward to that.>
He is about 12-13" in length and about as thick as a thumb.
Beautiful markings, dark brown color with yellowish/creme spots.
I have a question for you. Will a Golden Moray Eel (Gymnothorax
miliaris) be compatible with my eel?
<Likely, yes. Just watch the first meetings and feedings more
Whatever info I was able to dig out on my Skeletor eel says that
he doesn't get any bigger than 2 feet and so is the Golden
Moray. Could they coexist in a 125 gallon tank?
<If you can keep the water parameters in line: yes.>
Thanks again for all your help, Bill
Re: Skeletor Eel -- 11/06/09
I was feeding the other fish and the newly acquired eel must have
smelled the food so he started swimming around in the back so I
fed him. Gave him 2 pieces of squid and he
was all over it. That was only 6 hours after getting him out of
the shipping box. I'm very happy that he is eating
<Yes, this sounds very good. I'm glad the eel is eating
Today he is hiding in some rock cave and didn't come out to
eat but at least he didn't escape last night LOL. Here is a
pic of him yesterday, will take more whenever I can get his whole
<Thank you very much for sending. A beautiful
More rare moray questions; G. berndti, sel.
<Yes, how did you know?>
I've located a Gymnothorax berndti (Y-patterned moray/Berndt's
moray) and will, in all likelihood, be snagging it. To refresh, I
currently have a Japanese Dragon and a Koke (E. lichenosa), each about
30", in a 150 'Cube' along with a lionfish. The tank also
housed a Kidako, he has since been moved to a 72 for the time being.
Filtration is overkill, I generally read double zeros with teenage
nitrates. Temps average 72-76.
Like every other eel I'm looking for, info on captive care is
impossible to come by.
<I agree. And this is definitely another rarely kept
What compounds this is that this eel, as I'm sure you know, is a
deeper water species.
<Yes, but apparently it is sometimes also found/caught in more
shallow waters as pictures by standard scuba divers show.>
The specimen is being offered by a reputable company and is currently
being kept in the same system as a Dragon and Koke. Is there anything
you know of that I should be aware of?
<Nothing specific, maybe offer it more dark shelter to see if it
shows a even higher preference for a darker environment than your other
Sort of off topic - I picked up an acrylic 180 at a fire sale last
month...I think I am going to give the cold water system a shot, and
then try and find myself an E. anatina and E. ramosa...wish me
<I do! Sounds good.>
Thanks as always, Pat C.
Re: More rare moray questions; E. kamara; Input
by Bob? -- 09/30/09
Thanks for the reply...the is coming this Friday, I'll let
you know how it goes.
<Good. It would be interesting to know if you see any signs of a
fastened metabolism when it has settled in. I'm curious if the
captive specimens are adapted to the surface temperatures as the diver
pictures of this species could suggest.>
Here's one more question for you, I'll be astounded if you have
any info on this species: Enchelycore kamara of Palau and Guam, and the
<I got the first description by Bohlkei &
Bohlkei here. That's basically it.>
It's a newish species and I can't even find a photograph of
<Newish like from the beginning of the 1980s?>
Do you know anything about this species? Are fish collected from the
<Collected: yes, but exported? Palau has banned live fish export
last year. Guam should be possible (it's an unincorporated
territory of the United States; I just assume you are in the USA). Line
islands does as far as I know also export live fish. I don't know
any importer of ornamental fish from these areas in the USA (maybe Bob
<Mmm, yes... there are a few... particularly from/on Kiritimati
(Christmas Is.)... Don't know anyone personally though. RMF>
There also remains the big question if someone will be able to
catch one of these apparently not often seen eels at all. I guess the
best would be to travel over there and personally take care of the
Thanks! Pat C.
<Hope this helps. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions
Thanks so much for the insight guys!
I'm actually going on my first wildlife collecting trip in Trinidad
in January, though unfortunately I won't be collecting fish.
<Too bad... some nice morays there.>
I'll try to get pics of the out soon!
<I am looking forward to that and your experiences with this
species. Cheers. Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions; DOA --
Well I've had an awful weekend...the berndti arrived and appeared
disoriented and weak, even after a lengthy acclimation period. He spent
Friday night poking out of a crevice, retreated into the back of the
tank and passed away some time last night/early this morning.
<I am very sorry for you.>
Words can't express how awful I feel for this rare and beautiful
animal. I've read the horror stories in you FAQ's ("My G,
funebris is in a 20 long...") and hope you understand that I did
everything in my power to save him.
<I am sure you did->
The vendor does not want the body back and I hate to let him go to
complete waste. I was hoping you might know of a researcher in the
field that might be able to make use of him as a scientific specimen to
further the study of these creatures. I plan to freeze him, so he
should be pretty well preserved.
<Within the USA David Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org; Museum of Natural
History Washington, DC) or John 'Jack' Randall (Bishop Museum
Hawaii; http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/randall.html) might be
interested in a G. berndti or able to tell you other contacts. Usually
the place and depth a specimen was caught at would be an important
information if available, most are preserved in alcohol, because ice
crystals destroy tissue to some extent. Might be good to clarify that
with a possible interested researcher.>
Thanks, Pat C.
<Take care. Marco.>
<<Mmm, will ask. RMF>>
Re: More rare moray questions -
Jack, could you use a Gymnothorax berndti?
No, thanks. The Bishop Museum has many specimens.
<Thank you mate. A hu'i hou! BobF>
Re: More rare moray questions -
Thank you Marco. I actually reached out to David at the Museum of
Natural History first as they are much closer to me. I'll likely
focus my finances and efforts on getting a cold water system set up and
hopefully locating E. anatina and E. ramosa at some point in the
<Good luck Pat. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: More rare moray questions -
Thank you for your kind words and the contacts. I'll reach out to
<J. Randall (asked by Bob) already noted by mail that the Bishop
Museum has no interest.>
I'll also let you know of other species I find in the future; at
the moment I'm hesitant to try berndti again, at least until I can
speak with someone with success in keeping the species to ensure I am
exercising proper husbandry with this particular animal.
<Yes, I only know of vendors, which typically keep them just like
other eels a few months maximum until they sell them.>
Thanks, Pat C.
Re: More rare moray questions
Just heard back from David; he can use the specimen for DNA
samples...very glad that it's not going to complete waste.
<Ah... good. I'm already interested in the results of this
<Best wishes. Marco.>
Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead berndti etc --
Hello (Marco I presume),
I wanted to catch up on our correspondence from a few months ago
regarding the G. berndti I got that died, the E. lichenosa I got that
didn't, and some of the other rare species I've been looking
<Ah very good.>
As you may recall, I sent the berndti specimen off to David Smith down
at the Smithsonian and his crew was able to extract a usable DNA
barcode from it, the first such sample they've had. I'm very
happy that the poor fellow was able to further scientific study of
these creatures, and proud to have contributed. Thank you for your help
I've had the opportunity since then to buy another one, and now
have several tanks he could go in permanently but I just can't
quite bring myself to take the risk.
Moving along, I've gotten a 180 acrylic set-up as a cool water
tank. I could not find coldwater live rock, so I used about 25 pounds
of regular cured live rock, along with another 100 or so pounds of
base, cycled for a couple weeks at 72 and gradually brought the
temperature down to 65, where it is now. Algae is growing; in my
science-proof mind that means its working. At any rate, I'm
contemplating two ideas: one is to bring the temperature down further
and go with a coldwater deep ocean tank with a few chain cat sharks,
which I presently have access to. The other is of course to magically
find an E. anatina and E. ramosa and stick at 65 F or so. I've had
no luck whatsoever finding either... can you provide any guidance at
<My own approach would be to fly to the Canaries and talk to some
fishermen and do the transport myself (I've done similar things in
the past - all legal of course), but I'm in Europe just like the
Canaries, which makes things easier. The E. anatina is not too rare
around these islands. I'd clarify ahead what papers would be
required for the export/import to the US, likely a health certificate
from a official vet. For the E. ramosa I'd try contacting
Australian ornamental fish exporters. There are quite a few.>
I have my F&W Import Permit, so overseas suppliers are not an
Finally, a follow up on the Koke (E. lichenosa). It's simply one of
the coolest animals I have ever kept. Without going into too much
detail, he appears to be more intelligent than other morays I've
kept, is always out in the open when there is activity outside the
tank, isn't overly aggressive and eats like a champ. I also think
the 90 cm max length for this species is bogus. He has added at least 4
inches since he arrived 8 or so months ago, appears to be close to the
three foot mark, and eats like he plans to pack on a great deal more
length (his girth has barely changed.
<I don't know how many specimens of this species have been
measured so far. I hope you'll have it for many years, but if it
dies, feel free to photograph it with a proper scale and send it to
Fishbase. I can't remember seeing any significantly larger than 90
I vote that y'all (sorry) add an intermediate moray section, and
include Enchelycore lichenosa. Thanks, Pat C.
<Feel free to send some pictures. Thanks for your update and
interesting input. Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead etc
Rare Morays Follow Up: Dead etc II -- 02/04/10
Sounds good, thanks for your help as always Marco.
I actually just returned from Trinidad on a collecting expedition
(nothing in the ocean, though I did go snorkeling... no morays).
<Yes, more likely seen when scuba diving'¦ or at
I did everything legally, arranged for permits and vets before hand and
all. Sadly the one thing I didn't plan for was the animals
themselves...I was looking for a specific species of bug that refused
to show itself once during the entire trip.
<Sorry to hear.>
Still, it was amazing. I'd love to do it again. Thanks again for
the help. I believe I'll poke around for ramosa first; I'll
keep you informed.
<Good luck. Marco.>
Bioload Question 7/29/09
I am wondering what the bioload difference is between [3 moray
<One, two, three feet?>
and [two 3.5" PJ Cardinals, one 5" Vlamingi Tang, one 3"
Smith's Fang Blenny, one 3" Bar Goby, and one 2" White
Tiger Goby]. If you would like any more information, please feel free
<Bioload cannot always be determined by the length of the fish. How
much waste the fish produces must also be taken into consideration.
Moray Eels are large waste producers and the bioload will be much
heavier than the combination of fish you listed.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>--
Viper moray question -- 07/15/09
Hello (Marco, I assume?),
<How did you know? Hi Pat.>
I am currently looking at an animal labeled as a Viper Moray...the
size, description, and attached photo seem indicative of E. nigricans,
but I'd like to get your opinion as I have no desire to take on an
<It is an Enchelycore for sure, no Enchelynassa. Very likely E.
nigricans'¦ or a Pacific species (isn't the ocean where
the animal comes from known to the current keeper?)'¦ like E.
bayeri, hard to tell from the picture.>
As to the former in captivity, do you have any experience?
<Yes'¦ similar to other larger Enchelycore species.>
Please note that this picture was not taken by me and I am not
representing it as my own....I don't know if that dictates whether
or not you are able to post it.
<Nor do I.>
In case you recall, the E. lichenosa is doing fantastic...
<Great to hear.>
I'm in the middle of planning a tank upgrade as we speak and hoping
against hope that I'm able to find a E. anatina some time after
<You know these two cannot be kept together? The E. anatina will
need colder temperatures. You'd likely have to catch one yourself
or know someone from the Northern subtropical Atlantic (esp. Canary
Islands) to help you out.>
Viper moray pic
Sorry, forgot the pic in the last email.
<Got it. Thanks. But since we cannot post it, I'll delete it.
Eel from Monterey Bay -- 03/31/09
Thank you for your time and response. Sadly the porcupine puffer
didn't make it.
<Sorry for your loss.>
I do however have another question that hopefully you can help me with.
My brother brought home an eel from the ocean (Monterey Bay) and he is
just a little guy, about 3 inches.
<Two big mistakes: Taking home an animal you don't know and
putting it into an environment that does not resemble its
I don't know what kind of eel he is.
<Send clear pictures.>
I tried to look him up but he pretty much looks like all of the eels I
have seen on the internet. I was told at the LFS that he wouldn't
make it because he was a cold water eel beings as he came from Monterey
<Won't do well in the long run.>
But I didn't want to let him just die so I figured I would just
give it a try. He has been in there for 4 days now and seems to be
doing very well. We are trying to feed him thawed octopus and he
doesn't seem to want to eat.
<Possibly you'll have to start with live food like small
Do you have any tips or anything that I can try to keep this guy
<Sure: Find an adequate, chilled home or set up another tank in a
cold place. Since the eel already is in your tank I cannot recommend
putting it back into the sea.>
I can't do a chiller because its a tropical tank but he seems to be
doing ok so far.
<'So far' being the key words here. If this is a
sub-tropical to temperate water eel it won't do well in a tropical
tank, because its metabolism is not designed to run perfectly at higher
But it would be really awesome to have this eel for a long time as it
would make a cool story about how we got him. I can send a pic if you
would like if it would help to know the type of eel.
<Yes, much of what could be given as advice depends on the species
or even the group we are talking about.>
I've always wanted an eel and this one is really cool, because he
seems to change color and stuff. He gets along with the 2 damsels and
clown fish. I just want him to eat something. I just don't know
anything about eels so any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you
for your time.
<Let's start with some clear pictures, an ID and possibly
finding a cooler home for the eel. Cheers, Marco.>
Looking for an Eel Expert, ID, sel.
I am a very confused on the difference between Muraena lentiginosa and
<They are frequently confused in the hobby and even scientific
Fishbase and Live Aquaria lists lentiginosa as only getting to 2 feet
long, a manageable size.
<That information is correct.>
Other sources list it as a fish eating monster topping out at 60
<Fish eating: Yes; monster: No; size: max. 2 ft.>
I would like to add an eel to my 8x2x2 (roughly 280 total gallons)
"Aggressive tank", I of course don't want to lose any
<A zebra eel would be the best choice.>
I had been considering the Brazilian Dragon (M. pavonina I think?), its
tough to find much information on this guy as well, or the Goldentail
Moray (Gymnothorax miliaris). Which one of the three (if any) of these
would you recommend with fish?
<I do keep/have kept all three of the listed species and would only
recommend the Goldentail moray for your project. The Brazilian Dragon
(Muraena pavonina) gets significantly larger (about 70 cm, 28')
than indicated by Fishbase (51,2 cm, 20') and is the most
aggressive moray species I have ever kept (I do have 2 of them at the
moment). In my opinion they are best kept alone in single specimen
tanks. M. lentiginosa is not that aggressive, but still more than the
G. miliaris. Remember, even the G. miliaris is a predator that can eat
any fish to about 1/4-1/3 of its own length. So your other fish should
Tank mates would be Coral Beauty (big one) and Black Velvet Angel, Red
Tooth and Sargassum Trigger, Harlequin Tusk and Sunset Wrasse as well
as my most recent and final (other than an eel) addition a young Sohal
Tang. I have kept a Snowflake and Zebra Eel for many years in another
tank, just looking for something different to keep.
<The fish-eating morays are a definitely different experience, but a
Zebra eel is certainly the most safe moray choice for fishy tank
Thanks for any help, Kirk .
<Welcome! Cheers, Marco.>
Re: Eel on Diver's Den...follow up for Marco,
sel. -- 01/15/09
Based on my tank size (8 foot 240 gallon) and inhabitants (Sohal Tang,
Asfur and Coral Beauty, Sunset Wrasse & Harlequin Tusk, Sargassum
& Redtooth Triggers), would I be better off with Gymnothorax
miliaris (either the Goldentail or Banana) or Muraena lentiginosa in a
<Both eels are possible choices for your tank. The Gymnothorax
miliaris is generally more peaceful, and less likely to bite any of
your fish. The risk is only slightly higher for the M. lentiginosa, but
-- in my opinion -- still acceptable. I do not think it will eat the
sunset wrasse or the coral beauty, but the possibility that it might
try (if it is a very aggressive and large specimen freshly imported)
has to be noted.>
How about Brazilian Dragon should one come available?
<Muraena pavonina. My personal experience with these is: they are
much more aggressive than the ones suggested above, especially the
adults. I keep them alone or with strong morays like larger Gymnothorax
ocellatus. Even those can have scars from time to time. My largest
adult would assuredly make a massacre in your tank, the only fish it
showed some respect for in the past was a G. favagineus, but they are
too large in the long run for the M. pavonina.>
Any other you might recommend?
<Chainlink Echidna catenata, White eyed species like Gymnothorax
griseus and Gymnothorax thyrsoideus. All not too aggressive species
between 2 and 3 feet. I'd exclude potentially more aggressive
morays like G. fimbriatus, G. rueppellii and G. nigromarginatus. Larger
species (G. funebris, G. favagineus, G. nudivomer, G. moringa, G.
vicinus, G. undulatus...) and too small species (G. melatremus) as well
as ribbon eels should be excluded. Also have a look here:
I had a wonderful Snowflake for 5 years in a previous tank and would
like to try something else. I know Zebra is a good choice, I'm not
really a fan, they look more like a big worm than an Eel to me.
<Yes, its round head and low fin are perfect adaptations to move
through the gaps and holes inside coral reefs on the hunt for hidden
crabs and shrimps. This is what it does in nature. It's the most
safe eel choice to keep with fishes.>
Thanks again, Kirk.
Green Moray Eel -- System 04/09/08
Just had a quick question on green moray eels. I'm going to be
buying a 300 gallon tank 6x3x2.5 high and wondered if I could house a
green moray in it into adulthood?
<I don't think so. For a few years it may be okay, but
eventually you'll need a bigger tank.>
I was wanting to buy a young one and raise it up and figured if it was
fed a maintenance diet instead of power fed it would never grow to be
as big as they do in the wild
<No, they will reach their 6 to 7 feet when properly cared
( I've heard Tesselata eels generally don't grow to much more
than 4 to 5 feet in captivity so maybe about the same length?).
<G. favagineus stays generally a little smaller than G. funebris.
Those reports of very large (up to 10 feet) Tesselata Eels are not
confirmed by science, might be stories or rare exceptions.>
Don't mistake maintenance for starvation diet lol would never do
that just more fed in moderation. He would be the only resident in the
<He would eat most tank mates anyway.>
(until an adult were I would like to add some fish too small to be
eaten) and the tank would be over skimmed just more concerned if he
would be comfortable in a tank that size. Just don't have room for
a larger tank and have always been in love with the green morays so any
advice would be greatly appreciated.
<My recommendation would be to choose a less dangerous and smaller
moray eel species, something below 5 feet. There is a huge selection.
Have a look at an adult in some public aquarium or the ocean and
I'm sure you'll re-think the 300 gallon idea. See
experiences with large Green Morays in the home aquarium.>
<Good luck with what you decide to do, Marco.>
Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina -- System
Thanks for the reply.
<You are welcome.>
If not the green then my other choice was the Viper moray (Enchelynassa
canina), which are supposed to get to an adult size of 5 feet. I was
just wondering if I imported a large one
<Smaller specimens are easier to transport and adapt better to
captive life. I think your tank could support an adult individual of
this species if it's well filtered and skimmed.>
would you think it would ignore fish say the size of a dwarf angel
being it would be too small to bother with trying to eat?
<I do not think dwarf angels would be safe, but I have not tried
them as tankmates. In fact I have not kept E. canina personally, but
can only comment from experiences with other fish-eating morays of
similar size. Mine (e.g. G. favagineus) have eaten even smaller fish
over night, when those were asleep, but I am planning to try tiny
Gobiodon okinawae somewhere in the future when I have enough Acropora
Just thought it would look sweet to have a bunch of small colorful and
peaceful fish and to have a big ominous beast lurking around in the
<While the idea sounds reasonable (this is done in large public
aquaria with very large morays and very small fish), it will be
difficult to do at home. Chances are best when the little fish are in
the tank first, and if these fish are still juvenile specimens. Be
aware that an adult Enchelynassa canina is a very dangerous pet that
can easily mutilate your hand or arm if given the chance.>
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on it
Re: Green Moray Eel, now Enchelynassa canina -- Tank
Re: Green Moray Eel, now Gymnothorax castaneus
(Panamic green), sel. - 04/14/08
Thanks for all the advice so far. If not small fish with the viper
moray do you think a good sized meleagris puffer would make a good
<No, I'd bet a 1 foot puffer (the maximum reported 19 inches
will be hard to find) will be eaten. Chances for small fish (size below
two inches, no dwarf angels as suggested in the earlier email) would be
more promising. A large grouper might work, but while the eel would
likely be able to live in your 300 gallon tank (with good filtration),
I doubt a massive 2 foot grouper, which would be the size necessary to
be (mostly) safe from your 4 foot moray, would do well in
Just don't see puffers to high on most animals like to eat
<I have seen morays eat puffers without being intoxicated. But a
moray may die when a puffer manages to puff in the predator's
mouth, eventually you may lose both. There were pictures of such
coincidences on the net, and even porcupine fishes were found inside of
Incredible as the vipers morays are it would be nice to have some other
movement in the tank.
<Sure the temptation to try tank mates is there, but from my
aesthetic point of view, a tank with one large moray is impressive
enough. If you provide sufficient water quality, you can have many
different corals and turn the tank into a nice reef section, and
possibly even try some small coral dwellers like Okinawa gobies.
As a side note: Since you considered a G. funebris first, do you know
Gymnothorax castaneus aka fox moray aka chestnut moray? Looks very much
the same and usually stays shorter than 5 feet. It's from the
Eastern Pacific and rarely traded. Nonetheless, the same problems are
to be expected re tank mates, danger to yourself as with the E. canina.
Yes I do really like Gymnothorax castaneus as well but heard they
were horribly shy and hide all the time so I took them off my list.
Have you had any experience with them?
<Not from the aquarium trade, it's not imported over here so
far. I strongly doubt it is generally much shier than G. funebris
given how many photographs of it in nature exist, and how often
they are seen by divers. This is among the top predators in the
rocky reefs of its distribution with not many enemies as adults.
I'd expect exactly the same as with G. funebris: The young
often hiding, but the adults quite outgoing and curious. These two
species are closely related.>
I have a Japanese dragon eel in one of my tanks and they say they
can be shy as well but he's always out and a bout and one of
the least shy eels I've ever owned so guess just comes down to
<Exactly. There are general statements possible and published
about each species, but not all moray individuals seem to read what
I sent a picture of my dragon eel with his purple Rhinopias
roommate cause you seem to be a pretty big eel nut like me lol.
<How did you come to this conclusion? Mmh'¦ looking
around you may be right. Thanks for sharing the picture!>
Anyways thanks again for all the advice always like to have all the
info before I start a new tank.
<Very good. Cheers, Marco.>
Expensive tastes! RMF
Moray or Ribbon Eel... sel., fdg... --
I am trying to select between two eels offered for sale at my LFS. One
is a banded moray about 12"
<Several species are traded as such e.g. E. polyzona and G.
long and the other is a white ribbon eel about 15" long. Both are
<Hope you have seen the White ribbon eat in person.>
and have been in the store for a couple of months. Here's my
question. I have a 55 gallon tank that's in the stamp of a 75
gallon, so it's very shallow - around 15" high. I'm
concerned about the chances of the eel escaping. The top of my tank is
pretty secure except in the back where I have the hoses and cords
running out. Is one species more likely to try and escape than the
<All moray eels (ribbon eels are morays, too) are escape artists and
might try to escape. Since the Ribbon eel is so thin even as an adult,
I think it is endangered the most. Anyway, you will have to secure any
holes, e.g. with tight fitting foam, for the banded eel, too. Drying up
on the floor is one of the most common reasons of losing these wild
caught animals. Providing enough shelter and no boisterous tank mates
will also help to reduce the escaping activities drastically.>
Would you recommend one over the other?
<The Banded moray will likely be easier to care for.>
Moray Eel Species Only tank for a 75g suggestions
I had been planning on making my now 75g grow out tank as a species
only tank for a prized Japanese Dragon Moray eel. I know this eel
max's out at 3' so I'm a little concerned that the tank may
be too small even if he is the only one in it.
If it is too small for a DME what size eel should I be shopping for to
place in a 75g species only tank and do you have any good
<This tank should be fine for the eel as it will spend a majority of
its time in a cluster of live rock waiting to ambush some prey. The
main points of concern are not the 75g tank size which is the smallest
tank I would use, but that water parameters are kept as constant and
close to Natural Sea water (NSW) as possible. Keeping Nitrates and
Phosphates as low as possible too will aid in the long term survival of
Finally, feeding it appropriate foods is also very important. Train the
eel to take frozen Saltwater Fish (as Freshwater fish will be too
fatty) and thawed frozen shrimp from the grocery store. These are much
cheaper than aquarium prepared frozen foods for predatory fish) Frozen
foods are best as they will limit any introduction of parasite or
disease that live foods could introduce. Hope this
Moray Tankmates, which moray? -- 5/14/07
a undulated moray get along with a clown trigger, niger trigger or a
powder blue tang? I would like to pick just one of them for a tank
mate. And which one would be the best choice. <<RMF would NOT
place a Muraenid with Balistids...>>
<Depends...which moray? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm There are quite a few
in the genus...and it does make a difference re: my advice.>
Moray on 125, Sea Biscuit on the Outside...
Hi. I am in the process of cycling a new 125 gallon
aquarium. During the past several weeks, I have been pondering a list
of possible tank mates.
Two of the fish are going to be a porcupine puffer (about 4") and
a red volitans lionfish (about 4" to 5".)
<These fishes will get much larger here... and do keep your eye on
the puffer... can get to being nippy toward the Lion>
These fish are coming from my 55 gallon. They are both health and
thriving. (The move is to provide them with a bigger tank in which they
can more comfortably grow.)
The other tank mate I wish to add is a moray eel. After my research, I
have narrowed it down between the Goldentail moray, the Yellowhead
moray, the black edge moray, and the white-eye moray.
<All "nice" aquarium species, for folks with
Of these, my favorite is probably the golden ail moray (for it's
looks and modest size.)
Would this eel or any of the other morays mentioned above work in the
environment mentioned above. Thanks for any help and the best of luck
<As the saying (at least used to go) goes for when you've got to
"guess" on multiple-choice exams; "Stick with your first
choice"... I would go with the Goldentail here as well. Bob
Re: Lions In My Tank? 12/6/06
It's always reassuring to hear your opinions.... Just when you
think a retailer can be trusted... He tells you a Dragon Wrasse is an
algae feeder that will get along great in your community tank....
<Those darn dealers.>
I noticed on your FAQ's some various opinions about predator fish
and starfish. Would I likely be ok with a sand star and or
brittle or serpent stars in a tank with larger fish (some predators):
lionfish, snowflake or zebra moray, etc? The other fish
I'm more familiar with and am not concerned about... But would
crustacean feeding eels harass various starfish?
<It's possible, depends on the particular eel's
personality. In your moray selection, keep in mind that the
Zebra Moray can grow to a length of over 4 feet, but are a little more
aquarist friendly than the snowflake. The Zebra Moray also
tends to be out more during the day than the Snowflake
Moray. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Lions In My Tank? 12/6/06
Oh? I have heard quite the
opposite... That both zebras and snowflakes in captivity would likely
stay beneath 3ft...
<Will all depend on feeding habits and size of
tank. Again, the Snowflakes generally
will attain a length of 24" and the Zebra up to 54" under
And that Zebra's are more
reclusive... Snowflakes more active.
<My answer is based on the general behavior of these
species. All fish can/will develop their own personalities
as I mentioned.>
From reading through your FAQ's...
It also seems more likely that the snowflake might like to taste fish a
little more frequently than zebras.
<Zebras generally are no threat to other fish inhabitants, where
Snowflakes can ambush other fish small enough to be swallowed.>
Do zebras tend to get more girth to them than snowflakes?
In any case, it seems like either of these are truly the best morays to
deal with... And I do realize that every individual is
different. I just hope to get a fish friendly healthy
that I won't lose fingers to :)
<If your worried about fingers, you are a safer with the Zebra Moray
as it is considered as one of the most mild mannered morays.
I'm sure you are aware that both can inflict very painful
bites. James (Salty Dog)>
Lionfish and an eel (crosses fingers). Rhinomuraena
I have a 55 gal tank that I am setting up for a lion
fish, a fu Manchu to be specific,
<Gorgeous, though shy animals>
I have a SeaClone skimmer (I would strongly suggest nobody buy 1 of
these I can't get mine to foam without it foaming like a rabid
<We're in agreement>
I plan on putting in my red sea classic skimmer in my wet/dry (using a
75 gal rated wet/dry). I've read many places that the
lionfish can go into a 30 gal tank, although its my experience that
almost nothing should go in that tank for long unless its a damn
I've also seen places that say some eels will do fine in smaller
tanks if they are solitary as well. My real dream is to get
a ribbon eel, I have a guy at the LFS that will get 1 and hold it for 3
weeks and show me it eats before I buy it, in fact he insists that he
hold it for 3 weeks,
<Good for him, them>
I haven't yet told him to get a hold of a blue ribbon but that is
the dream, I've seen some smaller black ribbons and I know ribbons
in particular are smaller, thinner, than most eels so I was kind of
hoping that you would tell me, well Josh the lionfish will do just
splendid in the 55 and as he is sort of a recluse the eel will do fine
for a couple of years until you get a 120 gal tank to them in.
<Mmm, nope... most Rhinomuraena (by far) perish w/in a few days to
weeks in captivity... this is posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rhinomuraenafaqs.htm>
I am expecting you on the other hand to say well Josh the lion will be
fine but there is no way any eel of any kind let alone the 90%
mortality rate ribbon eels can go in a 55 gal tank.
If a ribbon as I expect won't be able to go in the 55 but you know
of another that will work with a fu Manchu please
suggest. Please sir/ma'am don't crush my dreams, to
Josh, the eel dreamer
<Perhaps one of the smaller members of the genus Echidna. Bob
Moray selection 11/27/06
Hope all is well at WWM,
<Hey Josh, JustinN with you today, after a wonderful Thanksgiving
weekend, thank you>
My Snowflake eel died awhile back and I am in the need for a moray.
<Sorry for your loss>
I definitely know that I do not want another snowflake.
In my opinion snowflakes are boring, and not aggressive enough for my
liking of a moray.
I am really looking for something that's not aggressive to the
point where I have to worry about all my fish. But I want something
with a little bit of an attitude, to the point where other fish know
that pushing it around will not be tolerated.
<Mmm, a precarious line for sure>
I am having a hard decision with the following. A Jeweled moray,
Brazilian dragon moray, Goldtail or a Green wolf eel.
<The wolf eel is out of the question, as these get HUGE. Any of the
others will likely be a wonderful addition> <<Mmm, actually...
the writer may be referring to Congrogadus... the Dottyback...
At LiveAquaria.com they have a Goldtail moray for sale.
This is the specimen in question; He cost 230 dollars and is 12 inches
<I see this, is a beautiful specimen>
My question with it is one would a Goldtail be a good eel for a 90?
<Is a little small, but with good maintenance should be ok.>
Two is that over priced?
<For a 12" adult beautiful specimen such as that? No, not
Three, do you trust LiveAquaria.com for a clean, healthy specimen?
<If you mean, do they have the proper facilities for good care of
these pet-fish, and good at handling shipping, then yes, absolutely.
They have been in business for a long time and have their reputation
for a reason. If by that you mean would it be ok for you to bypass a
standard quarantine procedure for this creature, I cannot recommend
thanks a lot
<No problems, Josh. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>
Re: moray selection
Thank you for you very fast response.
How ever I wanted to make sure that we are on the same page when it
come to the green wolf eel.
I was talking about the Congrogadus Subduscens. But either
way I think I will stay with one of the other morays.
<Oh! I see this... would be as suitable as the others.. Lovely
species as well. I was thinking of Anarrhichthys ocellatus... to 2.5
meters in length! See FishBase for some info on this massive, but
lovely creature: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3813
I amend my statement about the carpet-eel, it would likely be an
excellent addition as well. -JustinN>
Social Eel? 7/7/06
What eel do you think
is the most comfortable in the reef aquarium?
<Depends on the make-up (livestock-wise) of the system... but likely
an Echidna species or Gymnomuraena>
I know the risk with keeping them with inverts, but I think the zebra
moray is the candidate for me.
My only real question is do they hide all day like many morays or are
they out during the day.
<Do come out a good bit once acclimated>
I am hoping to have an eel that will at minimum keep its head exposed
if not take the occasional lap around the tank. What do you think? As
of right now I
have a ghost moray that I have only had for about a week and I never
see him. Can I expect the same from a zebra?
<Mmm, no... the latter is much more outgoing... though both take
time to "get used" to new surroundings>
I love eels but I am on the hunt for the "best" eel. Any
<Mmm... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/eels/Eels.htm
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>
Richardson's Moray 6/10/06
A local LFS has had a Richardson's Moray (Gymnothorax richardsonii)
in their tank now for 3-4 months. Certainly not the
flashiest looking of eels (now about 10-11 inches),
<About as large as it will likely get:
but would look better under proper lighting. No one seems to
be interested in him and he seems to leave the various tank mates
he's had alone (triggers, puffers, angels, .
Very little information is available on the web. His small
adult size (13") is appealing. I can't find
information about his demeanor. Will he be more like a zebra
or a dragon eel?
<Am only guessing, but I'd say more like the former>
Why aren't these eels more talked
<Of the two hundred plus species of Muraenids, only a handful make
up ninety some percent of those offered in the trade. I have seen
Richardson's in the wild (Cooks, Polynesia), but never in the
His relatively low price ($29) is also appealing and the LFS is willing
to cut that in half because of the length of time in their tank and the
relationship I have with them. Funny thing about him, I
can't see any teeth like you would see on a normal
Gymnothorax. Makes you wonder how "piscovorish" he
Thanks as always for the help
<Again, am guessing, but I'd say this species is likely to be a
general omnivore. Bob Fenner>
Snowflake Eel Wanted 3/24/06
I live in the
suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, and would like to know if I could find any
snowflake eels near where I live for a very cheap price. Could you help
me? My email address is XXXX@bellsouth.net <Peter, in your area this
shouldn't be too difficult to find. Call the shops in
your area. I'm sure they can order one for you if none
are stocked. You will have to deal with the
price. James (Salty Dog)>
Eel Selection - 2/15/2006
I have a 90 gal tank, its not finished cycling yet however I am
planning ahead. I really would like to have an eel in the
tank when it is time, and I have read much about what there is to
consider. Since my tank will be a reef community tank,
crustaceans will be abundant.
The "praised" eel I keep reading about is the Snowflake Eel,
and coincidentally also the one at the LFS that really got my head
stuck on the idea of having an eel. My biggest concern, is
the crustation that this eel likes to eat.
I have images in my mind of placing this great eel into the tank and
the next day any emerald crabs or cleaner shrimp
have been devoured. My second concern, is that the eel grows
to two feet. Although my tank is 4 feet long and should be
sufficient for space for a Snowflake Eel, I am hoping to avoid very
large specimens so that I can have more healthy living space for more
<Will eat the crustaceans, eventually grow too large for this
The other Eel species I have read about that peaks my interest that may
be a better fit (if I can find one) would be the Pacific Golden
(Gymnothorax melatremus). I may be way off but I would think
that the small size of this Eel would deter it from eating larger (more
expensive) "show" crustaceans and also help with my goal to
maintain a lot of space for a higher quantity of smaller inhabitants
(instead of having a few big fish I would rather have several smaller
fish and variety).
My method of thinking, again maybe way off, is that the eel should be
one of my first tank inhabitants so that it can have first choice for
the cave in the tank that it likes best as it's dwelling before
other tank inhabitants "make their homes" ( I have several
suitable cave area's in the rock and there is one particular large
cave that if I was an eel, It would be my first choice).
Would you recommend that the smaller Eel would be better for what I am
hoping to accomplish in the big picture?
<I wouldn't give such advice w/o knowing what else you intend to
Is the snowflake actually a better choice because of other
reasons? Should I abandon the idea of having an eel at all
if they need to coexist with crustaceans, or is there perhaps another
species that I should consider?
<I would not stock an eel with a "community"
I am new to salt water, and I think I should stay away specimens that
might require the care of a more "experienced
<I'd try other, smaller fishes than... or settle on a FO
system... or build your collection around the/an eel species...>
Thanks in advance, and you have an excellent resource here -
I have used it several times already as I learn my way through my
novice marine experience.
<Keep studying Todd... you'll soon know what your choices are.
Moray Eel article 1/8/06
I just read your article, both
parts, on the idea of Moray Eels as pets. I just wanted to say that I
have been fascinated with them since I was a little girl in Hawaii and
on various aquarium trips (the one in Albuquerque, NM has several BIG
Green eels in it. They attack the glass randomly). I thought it would
be impossible to own one but your information has given me a little
hope. The Banded Moray looks similar to the Green one and seems to be
several feet less large.
Now I just have to figure out how to get a wall-sized aquarium through
my front door.
<Heee! A few strong friends>
Thanks ever so much!!
<Bob Fenner, who hopes to put up a public aquarium at NELHA
(formerly OTEC) north of Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island... with a large
(perhaps circular tank from Mitch Gibbs) display of Puhi (local
Re: fish compatibility and new news ... Cramming in a moray
another question. I think I am going to go with the
porcupine puffer, however, I recently discovered a site (Marine Center)
that sells all sorts of marine fish
<An excellent company... many rarities, good service,
and states that a Honey comb moray can be kept in a minimum size tank
of 55 gallons!
<Mmm, well... at an absolute minimum perhaps>
A little hard to believe but never the less it sparked my interest
because I have always wanted on and since I have a 110 gallon tank with
no inhabitants currently, maybe this could be a possible fish I could
stock, I hope. They say that in nature They can grow a
little under 6 feet but rarely exceed 3 feet in captivity.
<Do agree with this... but a three foot fish in a four foot long
If It is possible for me to keep this eel, would it be fine with a
porcupine puffer providing that the puffer is large enough.
<I do wish you and your livestock well... do keep an eye on them.
Moray Eel Selection 12/14/05
I've recently set up a 400 litre marine
aquarium consisting of a jewel
400 tank and two Aqua medic bio star hang
on filter/skimmers. I have transferred 60 litres of mature
water from a long established tank that I have upgraded from
and topped it up with salted RO water from my LFS, but have
not yet added any fish.
I have seen a 2ft Tesselata eel that I think is really cool, and the
guy in the shop said they are very hardy and he would be fine as
the "starter fish" in a new system, is this
<Not IMO, and this tank is too small...>
If so, I know a 5ft long 400 litre tank will not be suitable for its
entire life, but the LFS said it would be around four years before
I would have to upgrade to a larger tank, how quickly do they
<Not pertinent. This system is too small currently>
My final question is would I be able to keep any tankmates with him?,
maybe a lionfish or porcupine fish?
<I would not do this>
(At the fish store he is currently in with a large dogface puffer, 2
banner fish and a large porcupine
<There are some other species of Muraenids/morays that are smaller,
more compatible... these are covered on WWM. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Moray Eels and some Article Clarification 12/7/05
I have been trying to get hold of a Hawaiian Dragon Moray in England
for over a year now with no luck (only one fish store said they could
get hold of one, but it would cost around $1900),
<For that much you could almost fly to Hawaii and see them for
so I have decided to look at other options, I have ruled out the
Tesselata eel due to its size
<Oh yeah, that's a big one.>
but I am interested in Gymnothorax flavimarginatus & Gymnothorax
meleagris, as these eels do not exceed four feet I was wondering why
your moray section says that these two species are not suitable for
<I've read that article and from what I got out of it the author
(Bob Fenner) did not say that these two individual eels were
inappropriate but more that morays are inappropriate in general, here
is a direct quote, 'Unfortunately, with the exceptions that
we'll mention, as a rule moray eels are best left in the seas from
which they came. Generally they get too big, are too ornery, even
dangerous for aquarists, rendering bacteria-infested bites to the
unwary. Of the several varieties often offered to the hobbyist, scads
refuse food or readily escape the confines of too-small,
inadequately-secured aquaria.' >Yes. RMF<
As for recommendation of the Tesselata, the article mentions that it is
, " the Leopard or Tessellated Moray is one of the few members
of the genus I can honestly endorse for home use,' This does
not mean that the specimen is a good home choice, simply that if you
MUST have this genus, that this specimen should be chosen over some of
its cousins which can reach 10 feet in length. It is also my personal
experience that this specimen adapts to captive life and prepared foods
much easier, having said that, I must mention once more that it still
attains a great size at almost 6 feet and is not suitable for the
average home aquarium. There are a few other much more suited animals
which Bob goes on to list in the article, out of those my personal
favorite is: Gymnomuraena zebra, the Zebra moray.>
<<Oh! Oh! They're MY favorite, too. The ones
I've handled are so amicable, "bullet-proof" (don't
frighten easily, just very nearsighted, that
they are truly pets. Marina>>
but recommends the Tesselata which I have been told is one of the
largest, aggressive morays available.
<One of the largest and aggressive readily available,
yes 'the largest and most aggressive period, no.>
<Welcome, Adam J.>
Chainlink moray and pistol shrimp, Or, Fish Soup That's Not
as Good as "Siete Mares" - 11/28/05
Hi. I have a 45G
reef with a regal and purple tang, a maroon clown, a marine Betta, a
Longfin fairy wrasse, a pistol shrimp/goby combo
<Yikes! Would you like some water with your fish?>
and I just recently came across the cutest little Chainlink eel. I
couldn't help myself. He ate right out of my hand and he's
really tiny, so I took him home. My question is, do you think my little
ol' eel will take out my awesome pistol shrimp? If so, how much and
what should I feed him to keep this from occurring? I'm hoping not
to regret my decision in the near future. Please help. Thank you!
<It is possible that it will consume the shrimp, but unfortunately
you have much larger issues at hand here. Sorry to be the bearer of bad
news, but your tank is very heavily overstocked with inappropriate
fish. Neither of those tangs, singly, should be in a tank of under 100
gallons, and some would argue that even this is too small. Fairy
wrasses are highly active and would also benefit from a larger tank.
The marine Betta will also outgrow your tank, and is also quite likely
to mistake your shrimp for food.
Even short-term, this crowded tank is an almost impossible proposition
to maintain healthily. If I were you, I would focus on thinning down
the fish population to something that you can support long-term. Many
ideas for more appropriate stocking may be found on WetWebMedia. Best
Tesselata Eel Tank Size and Behavior 11/3/05
I am considering keeping a Tesselata moray in a 144 gallon aquarium
<Short term I hope, this is a tank buster at a potential 5 feet+ in
am I right in thinking that I wont be able to keep any other fish in a
tank this size?
<Or the eel for its entire life.>
If this is the case, how lively is the eel likely to be?
<Most morays are rather reclusive and become slightly more active at
night or feeding.>
I don't want a tank that looks empty most of the time.
<Lost of other good choices that could give you much more variety
and enjoyment in my opinion.>
<Welcome Adam J.>
Mexican dragon eel 10/21/05
I've wanted to setup a saltwater tank for many years and
was given a 55 gallon tank by a friend so I decided to jump
in. I've always wanted eels so I've been reading everything
I could find and came across your web site. Today I came
across an eel that I really liked and was informed by the
owner that it was a Mexican dragon eel. My
questions are, is a 55 gal tank big enough for this eel
and say a lionfish?
<Mmm, no... not even just for this species of eel... needs at least
twice this volume>
Is this type of eel hard to find normally and usually
expensive, because I know Hawaiian Dragon eels are.
<Is about the same retail in most places in the world... a bit
cheaper closer to the source>
And lastly how must live rock/and what type of filtration
should I go with?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm and the linked files
A friend is going to give me a wet/dry system that he was going to use
on a 120 gal tank and I was
looking at an Aqua C Remora hang on protein skimmer. Is the
wet/dry system needed for just these two fish? Any help would be
<Please read on WWM re wet-dries, marine filtration... Bob
Smaller Eels for Smaller Tanks 10/6/05
Hi Bob and Crew,
<Hi Josh, Josh here today. I guess this feels like
you've answered your own question, and rightly so.>
I currently have a 65g (36" x 18" x 24" high) tank, that
I would like to have as an eel tank, the eel being the only
inhabitant. <Good call here> Although I find species
like the snowflake and ghost eels stunning, I am drawn to the
Gymnothorax genus. I find
both the miliaris and lentiginosa to be incredible, however I fear that
a 65g may not be sufficient to house the animal throughout its life
<indeed>. I was hoping you could recommend some other eels that
are suitable for a tank this size. Please tell me that people with
smaller tanks are not restricted to only a few eels!
<Unfortunately, tank size dictates much for us all. I
would view it as a "goal" more than a
restriction. You would most likely run out of space
eventually for most eels. Maybe try a small specimen and
plan on "growing" your tank with the eel. More on
Thanks so much.
<Glad to help. - Josh>
Re: Tesselata Moray in a 60" x 30" x 30"
Thanks for the quick response, In light of
your opinion I have decided to reconsider, my LFS also say
the Tesselata Moray in their experience is the most
Would a Dragon Eel be more suitable? and if so could I pair it with
a Lion fish?. I have contacted my LFS in England, and they
say they could source me a dragon eel in 3-4 weeks for 600
-700 English pounds, would you say this is a fair
(Tank size 60" x 30" x 30")
I'd say that is expensive, but about what I'm used to seeing
nowadays for that animal. I paid $100 for mine (roughly 200 pounds?) 10
years ago. They are a better choice in the size department for sure
given your tank size. How about a zebra moray, a dragon moray, and a
Mexican dragon? You could put all three in a tank that size.
He should be fine with a lion fish.
Eel problem... actually, selection 9/5/05
I completely agree that a tusk gets too big, just wanted to make sure.
But my next question is (I seem to have lots of them) which species of
eel I should get for my 75. I have been thinking about the Barred,
Snowflake, Jewel, or any other species you could suggest. I am just
looking for an eel that would be happy and comfortable in a 75 gallon
tank for probably its whole life.
<Of those listed, just the Snowflake. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/moraycompfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Releasing eels back into the oceans 8/15/05
I bought a small (at the time) green moray eel 6 years
ago. Of course the LFS did not inform me and neither did I
do my research, shame on me shame on them, prior to buy this beautiful
creature. He has become part of our family, I can pet him almost the
whole length of his body, excluding his head. He, of course,
has become much too big for me to handle.
At this time he is about 5 feet in length and as big around
as a baseball bat. He is in 180 gal tank and as we both know
is and will be much too small for this part of my family. It
is very heart breaking for me to get rid of him, but would rather get
rid of him then to keep him confined. I have contacted some
of the local state aquariums with no success. Can you please
help with what the laws are with releasing these creatures back into
<Likely this is not allowed, but even if there are no specific
statutes re, please do NOT do this... possible introduction of other
organisms... make that probable... and your pet eel may well not
He is perfectly healthy and his hunting skills are still in
tact, I think. I have tried to put other larger fish, i.e.
lions, groupers, in with him in. Forget it he knows how to
attack. As you can tell this is a hard for me and my husband
to do, but feel it is in the best interest of THE EEL to either release
him into the wild or place him in a public aquarium.
<Or perhaps someone who has much larger quarters>
I am willing to pay the cost of transport and will do it myself if
someone can help me with a GOOD home for him. I refuse to
put him to sleep!!!!!!!! I made the mistake and I am willing
to do what it takes to let him live. As you can tell I am
going to have to have therapy over this. Any info (or
support counseling) you have on this would much be appreciated. I would
like for you to post this and encourage people to REALLY do their
research on their purchases. This is much to heart
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE,
<Karen, do try calling the larger service companies in your area
(look in the "Yellow Page" directory of your phone book under
"Aquariums, Service"... Very likely there is someone with a
very large, nice system that will continue to look after your cherished
pet. Bob Fenner>
BIG EEL DELIA
I forgot to mention my location (and the
eels). We are located in Asheville, NC. Hi to all
of you regular readers of WWM you know who you are!!!!!!
<Mmm, would you like us to post contact information? BobF>
Eels, Gymnothorax tesselata/favagineus yea, G. moringa
I was just cruising your moray FAQs and articles and I was A:) blown
away by your knowledge and B:) confused and confounded by your
recommendations on species suited to aquaria. You list the spotted
moray (Gymnothorax moringa) as a bad species for home aquariums, while
you recommend the tessellated moray (Gymnothorax favagineus ). I have
one of each in my aquarium (135 gallon; the spotted is about 20"
and the Tessy is about 30", there is also a 16" Epaulette
shark), and I must beg to differ. My spotted is tame, active and even
playful, while the Tessy is aggressive and reclusive. He is also
constantly rearranging his hideout by wiggling his body and sending
substrate flying. When his rocks finally topple over he becomes irate,
having ruined his shelter. Inevitably, he will then try to attack me as
I fix his house.
The spotted on the other hand happily shares his shelter with the shark
and occasionally swims about. Is there something regarding spotted
morays I'm missing?
<Doesn't appear so>
I should also
point out that the spotted tops out at about four feet, while
tessellated morays can get close to six.
Also, I was wondering, is smelt a satisfactory food for morays?
<Yes... a bit oily, but very palatable, nutritious>
I mix it up with squid, shrimp, salmon and even sword fish sometimes
when they're lucky, but they LOVE smelt. Is this ok?
<Thank you for the input Pat... Am going to (on your advice) move
the TWA Spotted Moray into the "good" column. Cheers, Bob
Re: Tale of two eel species, smelt
I'm glad I was able to help, and my spotted was happy to hear that
his name had been cleared, and both eels are pleased that they can
continue to enjoy smelt as their favorite dish.
<Mmm, now I'm getting a hankering for a smelt sandwich! Thanks,
Anonymous Eel (Sure Ain't F/W!): Part II & We are So
Rude.. How Rude are We?
First off sorry about typing in all
<Apology Accepted. :-) >
But you don't have to be so rude.
<Hmm...I've reviewed the initial query and my response, and I
have yet to find a case where I was rude and/or shallow and/or
Some people are not as smart about this fish as you are.
<I do not claim to know everything about this, or any other fish. I
am merely a normal person that volunteers answering a massive amount of
questions from a massive amount of people for a fish web site.>
Second, he is a Gymnothorax tile (scientific name) in case you did not
<I did not know a single thing about this eel from the email you
sent. By providing this information, I am able to answer your previous
questions here. I do sincerely hope that you possess a rather large
aquarium (~500 gallons, give or take), as Gymnothorax species attain a
very decent adult size. From this page:
"Most Gymnothorax species get too big, are too aggressive and
strong for all but the most humungous systems. If you're going to
try these, watch your fingers, tankmates and lock (yes, lock!) that
cover down. For cooler water species, do invest in and run a chiller.
species get too big, are too aggressive and strong for all but the most
humungous systems. If you're going to try these, watch your
fingers, tankmates and lock (yes, lock!) that cover down. For cooler
water species, do invest in and run a chiller.
Too often offered to the hobby are the Atlantic green G. funebris, to
eight feet! Others include G. javanicus, the Javan or Giant Moray (to
ten feet!) and G. flavimarginatus to a mere four feet."
I would personally recommend returning the creature.>
And I went back to the pet store and got all the info I needed.
<Eegh! The pet store, in most cases, has to be the worse place to go
for information. Sure, there are responsible ones, but that certainly
is not the norm. You were very right to come to us for an answer. Just
a heads up, a bit of research will teach you more than you could ever
need to know, and it is most often accurate, unbiased information. May
I point out the Google search feature implemented into
Maybe next time show people a little bit of respect and don't be so
shallow as to think that you are too good to talk with common
<I do not think I am too good to talk with common courtesy. In fact,
I do not think that anyone is. Just for your information, this is a
free service. We are normal people with normal lives who have taken
time out of those lives to assist people with their fish problems. We
don't get paid for this, aside from in thanks, which we get plenty
of. I think that Anthony put it best when I asked how to deal with your
email: "The bigger WWM gets, the more people we
serve/satisfy... and the greater the number of minor meanies occur just
All of that said, if you don't like my attitude, next time you have
a question, be sure to ask for "Anyone but Mike G." Frankly,
I do not like yours, so that would suit the both of us very nicely.
Have a wonderfully pleasant afternoon, Mike G>
I would really like to add a 'golden
moray' to my FOWLR system. It has several other fish in it already
(puffers, grouper, angel, trigger) with the smallest being the trigger
(Huma) at about 4". I'm hesitating, so that probably means I
shouldn't do it, right? I have another eel by himself, a retic
moray, who is very aggressive and will eat anything that he sees, or at
least try, even though he only gets thawed food (he got a taste for
tankmates, so now he has none and I have my other, larger tank... a
common story, right?). I see other people with other morays in their
fish only tanks, living quite peacefully. But my experience tells me
there is another side to the coin. Meleagris was mentioned several
times, but I couldn't find anything 'in general' about its
temperament. I have wanted an eel in the system from the beginning, but
as described above my first attempt didn't work out. Any
<Reuben, are you sure you meant miliaris or did you really mean
meleagris. If it is the meleagris, they can grow up to 40". I
suspect you have a rather large aquarium that your keeping these
critters in, correct? Anyway, here is a link on eel compatibility.
James (Salty Dog)>
Meleagris eel - II
Sorry to split this into two e-mails,
but I just realized that I forgot to mention how big the miliaris eel
is. His skull (which is the part that matters, no?) is about an inch
<Don't understand, "skull is the part that matters",
matters to what? Fish loading in a tank, if that is what you mean, is
based on the total cubic inch size of the fish.
<Other info was sent out earlier. James (Salty Dog)>
Gymnothorax miliaris Eel, Not G. meleagris? Which is
Hey James, thanks for the quick response.
I may have meant meleagris... could you clarify? The moray I'm
talking about is the golden-tail moray...
<I was looking for info on your original ID of Golden Moray and not
the Gold Tailed Moray.>
...this particular individual is the mostly gold variety with a few
brown dots. On your site, on the moray intro page it is listed as
... with the gold variety coming predominantly out of Hawaii.
Fishbase has another eel, a "turkey moray" listed under
meleagris, and also lists miliaris (but you have to search it because
for some reason it isn't listed with the genus Gymnothorax... I
suspect nomenclature issues. I think I'm talking about miliaris,
with a maximum size around 30" (comparable to a snowflake eel). I
do have a large aquarium (210) which I have since my other eel has to
live in the other tank (which was too small for all the fish I had
purchased without reading first anyway). Now I have both tanks doing
fine and with good amount of space for the fish I have. And I still
really want to have a moray in the tank with my fish... I'm just
trying not to be resigned to a snowflake (which are nice, but I had my
heart set on a more yellow moray... color scheme and everything... you
know...). So this "Golden Tail Moray" is what I am really
inquiring about. Which one is it, and will it be alright?
<What is listed on our moray intro page will be correct. In the
short time I've known Mr. Fenner, I can assure you there will be no
errors present. Very few fish are compatible with morays as you well
know, and my reasoning is if it can't eat it, then it's
compatible. Obviously you won't have any eel predators in your
tank, and I would avoid putting an eel in with any slow moving fish. I
think you are on the right track doing your homework on the WWW. Most
any questions are answered here. Good luck with your eel selection.
James (Salty Dog)>
Thanks again. You're right, I don't
think WWM has any errors... in fact, you guys and the book are like my
bible as far as aquariums go.
<I believe that is the intention, to help others.>
Thanks for all of the invaluable information. I'm sure you know how
difficult it can be to find reliable information (hence the common name
problem - golden moray, gold tail moray, banana moray, yellow moray...
why doesn't everybody just use Latin names?!)...
<Most hobbyists don't like Latin names, much easier to remember
common names such as Gold Tailed Moray, Yellow Tang, rather than
miliaris blah, blah, blah>
... and I applaud your more than thorough job of providing
What kind of eel?
Great site! My son must have an eel. Currently we have a 125 gallon
reef tank, Aqua C 240 skimmer, Korallin Calcinator, wave makers, great
water quality. We have 65 pounds of live rock and sand with two SPS
corals and one bubble tip anemone, one fish which loves the anemone.
Additional tank mates shrimp, (I know these will not last with an eel).
What would be the best way to go when cost is not that big of a
consideration? In advance - Thanks for
<Mmm, a tough one... not only the shrimp, but the anemone and coral
may be threatened (by physical movement, pollution from wastes... You
definitely want to aim for a small/er species, slow-growing... I would
likely stick with my plug for an Echidna species... Please read here:
re Morays in general, and on to the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at
top) on Selection, and Compatibility. Bob Fenner>
2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping
Been through your great
site. I'm planning to get a 125-gallon tank (48X24X24)
and the following inhabitants:
1 snowflake eel
1 leopard eel (I like the fact it's active during the
day. Please let me know if there are any other nice looking
eels that are active during the day)
<There are quite a few... but this size system... and keeping the
Snowflake... I would not add any more>
1 Volitans lionfish
School of 3-6 small fish.
<May be food items for your Lion...>
I want to get eels that are 1.5 - 2 feet in length. Would
this setup work?
<Only for two specimens maximum>
Can you recommend small schooling fish that are too big for the leopard
<Likely Damsels of a schooling, upper water column nature. You can
read over these selections on WWM>
Also, aquascaping question: On the MorayFAQs3 page, Anthony
mentioned a subterranean plumbing system described in his Book of Coral
Propagation. He mentions clear tubes siliconed below the
sand and against the front glass to see the eel swimming down
below. I would like to do this too. But would
this not defeat the purpose of having a place where the eels can
hide? I'm thinking that light will be able to get
through to the eels.
<Mmm, maybe... though Muraenids do not have keen vision, and likely
light will be limited here>
Finally, he mentions there were two stalactites of rock coming down
from the ceiling. How's this done?
<I suspect he is suggesting siliconing the base of these stalactites
from a glass support above the water. Bob Fenner>
Re: 2 Moray Eels and Aquascaping
Bob, thanks for the
response; very helpful. Forgot that the lionfish might also
eat the schooling fish if they're too small.
I actually meant to ask if there's another eel I can substitute for
the Zebra, to keep my options open. Any suggestions on other
eels that are similarly active during the day? KC
<Not really... as stated, I encourage you to stick with just the one
species here, the Snowflake (Echidna nebulosa)... most suitable for
your size, shape system. Bob Fenner>
- Adding an Eel -
I came upon your site last evening and tried to read as much as I could
about this eel. We have a 400 gal tank with: large porcupine puffer,
rainbow puffer, 14" French blue angel, 14" gray angel,
5" queen angel, 5" emperor angel.10-12" Naso tang,
4"yellow tang, 6" blue tang, 5" Huma Huma trigger, blue
line trigger,7" white face angel, 8" blue ring angel and some
small ( 2-3") damsels that were the starters.
The guy who takes care of the aquarium and our fish wants to add a
dragon eel. I am not sure of it's current size but he says it grows
to 18" and is docile. I have read so many conflicting articles,
letters and statements that I feel unsure of this addition. Are my
current fish going to be in danger?
<Not necessarily, but I think I'd forgo this choice in your
situation. While this is a very good looking and docile eel [in eel
terms] your tank sounds like it has enough going on without the added
bonus of an escape artist in residence. I think you'll also find it
won't be exactly cheap. If you can live without this, I
Please respond ASAP if you could as he would like our answer by Monday
Thanks for your time!
<Cheers, J -- >
- Adding an Eel, Follow-up -
Dear WWM FAQ Crew,
Thanks so much for your rapid response! <My pleasure.> I
completely agree with you. This was not a specimen I was looking into,
but offered by our "tank caretaker". <All the more reason
to pass on it.> This is a seasonal home so we are not there much
through the winter. I just did not want any problems with the other
fish being in danger. I also don't know exactly how large it would
get and basically want to keep the "peace" in my aquarium!
<You can expect the Dragon eel to make it to about two feet.>
Thanks for your quick reply, I really appreciate it. Will stay tuned to
your wonderful and informative site!
<Cheers, J -- >
Eel in a 45 gallon?
I love this resource. The best I've found by far in
keeping me from inadvertently mistreating fish. Thank you so
much for providing it.
Don't worry. I didn't buy something without knowing
how to care for it, but I am hoping to avoid such in the
The moray page says, "A minimum of forty gallons for the smallest
of morays." I wanted to know if this means total water
volume vs. main tank volume, as a permanent home or until it gets
bigger, and what species would do best in a smaller tank. I
have a 45 gallon that may eventually go from a peaceful reef to a more
aggressive tank whenever I
can get a larger tank for a bigger reef and transfer most of the
inhabitants. I'm interested in the possibility of an eel
and could maybe add a sump for increased total volume and a more
powerful skimmer to keep water quality up, but I don't think
I'd want to add an eel if I could have no other fish in
there. I was thinking a snowflake originally, but then I
read here that it needs at least 60 gallons.
Live Aquaria carries what they call Uropterygius concolor (ghost eel or
unicolor snake eel as it's called here) that supposedly only needs
30 gallons, but that's the only eel I've seen on a fairly
reputable site that seems like it might need less room than a
snowflake. Does their description sound accurate at all, or
does this eel need far more room?
They don't mention it living in brackish water as your site does,
so I worry.
The Chainlink (Echidna catenata) is suggested at 30 gallons on Marine
Depot and 125 on Live Aquaria, and I tend to assume the pessimistic
requirements are more likely to be right, especially when the site
claiming 30 suggests 30 for a snowflake as well.
Ideally I'd love to have a small eel someday that could live with a
couple 3-6" fish like maybe a maroon clown and a long-nose
Hawkfish, so is there one that fits the bill offhand, or should I
really make other plans?
A snowflake or a chain link moray will live in your tank for a time,
but both will grow to need larger quarters eventually. When I make fish
stocking recommendations, I like to set the person up long term, not
just for 2 or 3 years. In staying with this method, I'd have to say
steer clear of these eels. Although they are both hardy and easy to
care for species, they are more appropriate for tanks 75 gallons and
above. They will both jump from tanks that are not securely covered as
well. The eel you linked to may work, but I've honestly
never kept that species so can't comment from direct experience. I
have to say though, that it really isn't all that attractive IMO. I
would make other plans for your tank. 3 or 4 small fish will do much
better in a tank that size.
Moray selection questions
hey what's up you guys!
<< Diving and fun in the sun. >>
(firstly, your website's
awesome, I spend hours reading through all the FAQs.)
<< I'm glad it is useful, but you should thank Bob.
anyways, I've decided I want a saltwater eel for my 29g
<< Bad idea. I can't think of any eel I would put
in a 29 gal. >>
I know that's small, but I'm planning on upgrading in a
year or two to a much larger (60-100g or so)
<< In that case, I say wait a year or two until that tank is up
and running. >>
and the LFS said it takes some eels (i.e.: Chainlink/snowflake) 3-4
years to reach max size. so I've been researching and found the
Dragon Moray and love it. however, I need some solid info, I've
seen several conflicting sites
saying it is either very aggressive or fairly passive, which is
<< Well they want food. So if you don't feed them,
they will be aggressive. If you do keep them well fed, then
maybe they won't be. Either way I would be cautious and
treat it as though it will be aggressive. But once again,
not in a 29 gal. >>
secondly, how expensive are these dudes and how fast do they grow? (I
they get up to about 3') also, would a dwarf zebra lionfish be a
tankmate? << Yes, good tank mate. I see them as
similar in environment condition needs and would feel comfortable with
them in the same tank. >> and what type/brand of protein skimmer
do you recommend?
<< The bigger the better. >>
(preferably less expensive w/ good quality if possible) what's the
to get a dragon moray? one of those online suppliers or have the LFS
it? << I would go with a LFS because they can bring it in and
quarantine the fish before you buy it. Much better than
chancing the health of an online fish (at least is my opinion with this
specific fish) >> (ps. my LFS is very reliable and I have great
confidence in him as he is a biologist and my boyfriend has known him
for years, etc.) sorry about all the questions, I just don't wanna
screw up and kill any marine critters!
<< Bigger tank, take is slowly, that is my advice. >>
thanks so much WWM!!!!
<< Blundell >>
Are there any moray eels that will leave smaller fish alone like
clownfish and damsels?
Thanks for any info
<The crustacean eaters... e.g. the members of the genus Echidna and
Gymnomuraena... are good choices here. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for responding so fast!
So would a snowflake moray be okay with small fish? Would it try to eat
them or would it basically ignore them, since fish aren't even part
of their diet in the wild........I think?!
<Echidnas rarely consume fishes... in the wild or captivity... only
when very hungry w/o other foods available>
Biggest fish in the tank is going to be a Firefish goby. Would a small
moray be preferable or a larger one, that way the eel would be able to
get use to the fish and he wouldn't even be able to get the other
fish down their through?
<Yes, to start>
I found the coolest baby snowflake at the pet shop and its in the tank
with Chromis and baby blue tank and it looks like it he thinks they
aren't even there! Eel is only about 4-5 inches. how big do you
think they would get in a 70 gallon. Thanks again for the info!!!!!
<Ultimately about two feet in length, over several years. Feed it
crustaceans like cocktail et al. human consumption shrimp on a feeding
stick. Bob Fenner>
Marine Eel Selection
My little cousin was interested in getting an eel, but was disappointed
to learn his 20 gal. tank would be too small. There is a 190
gal fish only tank residing in the living room. it contains
some damsels (hopefully dinner), clownfish, tangs, and a Foxface
lo. It may soon contain a puffer as well. Are
there any eels that would be good candidates for this tank? he was
hoping for a dwarf moray or snowflake.
<Actually I think a snowflake might be suitable for the tank but I
would make sure it has a top on it. Good luck, MacL.>
Dwarf Golden Moray (5/16/04)
I have plans to purchase a
dwarf golden moray but I am having trouble finding info on these eel.
In a fish magazine these was a brief article on them, saying that they
would be good in a nano reef. <How Nano? Looks like they get to be
about a foot long. Do count on it to eat any small fish and any
crustaceans in your tank.> What I do know is that they are a yellow
to gold color with bright blue eyes. Can you tell me anything about
these eels? <If you do a Google search, there's lot's of
info out there. I got a lot of hits.> The scientific name is
(Gymnothorax melatremus). Marine Depot Live has a waiting list for them
and other individual have them listed from $250 to $450. What do you
believe the true price range is? <From what I saw, people have paid
anywhere from $200 to over $500 each> I can buy directly from a
wholesalers who has them priced at forty dollars. Thanks, Andy
<Sounds like a steal. I hope it's not "too good to be
true." Steve Allen.>
Dwarf Hawaiian moray eel source 2/17/04
Do you know of ay
sources to obtain Gymnothorax melatremus? I have been looking to
purchase one and no one seems to have one. Tell me more about this eel
and why it is so hard to find.
<one of my fave eels... a fantastic reef safe species... max adult
size 8-10" (20-25cm). The better wholesalers each get them a few
times yearly. One of my fave places for rare and unusual is Erik and
Denis Reynolds place in Cali... AM4fish.com Scott Michael
has used and cited them for rare and usual fish species photo ops often
too. best regards, Anthony Calfo>
Moray question 10/30/03
Are any of the breeds of moray suitable to be housed in a 90
<hmm... a few. Depends on what other tankmates you might have. Your
best bets are the crabs eaters versus the fish eaters.>
If so, which ones. Also, what is the recommended order that an eel be
<Snowflakes are excellent overall and top the list. Add them sooner
rather than later>
Should he be allowed to settle in and calm down, or should he be the
last specimen added.
I've been looking at a snowflake, but was advised by one of your
staff to look into the zebra.
<the zebra is even more sedate and peaceful than the already
well-behaved SF... but zebras are notoriously finicky feeders. Never to
be recommended as a first moray species>
I've checked out a few zebras at my LFS and most of them seem so
inanimate to the point that they look dead. Is this natural or could
these possibly be poor specimens?
<nope... they are indeed staggeringly shy if not sedate>
I have yet to see one open mouth breathing like the others. Which you
have to admit, is one of the cool things about morays.
<hmm... yes. cool. And more conspicuous with the narrow beaked fish
eaters which tend to be larger, meaner and more tricky for you. Stick
with the snowflake my friend... just a wonderful species overall.
A Foray Into Morays? (Thinking About Getting A moray Eel)
<Hi there! Scott F. with you today!>
I am interested in purchasing a Zebra Moray Eel from my LFS, I have
also just purchased and just set up my 75 gallon SW tank. I plan to put
live rock in there too. I am interested in putting the zebra along with
a Valentini puffer or one of the smaller puffers (5" max) and a
butterfly fish, maybe a raccoon or Copperband, and a Tang (Big enough
not to fit inside the Morays mouth). Would the 75 gallon be big enough
for the eel to live its whole life?
<Honestly, I'd say no. Sure, this fish, like many Morays, does
not swim all that much, but you still need to think about it's
ultimate size (they can reach almost 5 feet long!) and the copious
amount of metabolic waste the fish produces. And, to be quite honest
with you, the other fishes that you are proposing are simply too much
for this sized tank. Part of the pain (and fun) of planning a community
of fishes is the mental "projections" that we must make as to
the prospective inhabitants' needs and requirements. I like your
thinking about the fish living "its whole life" in the
tank...That's how we need to think. I'd shoot for much smaller
fishes, or species from the families that you are interested that are
much, much smaller...Did you know that there is a "Golden Dwarf
Moray" that only gets like 10- 12 inches long? check out Marine
Center (see link) for availability. They are very pricey, but they are
hardy, long-lived, and very appropriate for a smaller system! See- you
can have your moray...You just need to make some concessions...It's
a trade off, for sure!>
Also would the other fish be able to co-exist in a 75 gallon with the
zebra for their whole life?
<As above...Re-configure your proposed population...We have awesome
fish resources on the WWM site that you can check out!>
Thanks for your time, I appreciate what you and the other crew do to
help us out. Thanks once
<Glad to be of assistance, Gerard! I'm sure that you'll
develop a great stocking plan for this tank! Good luck, and have fun!
Regards, Scott F.>
Are White Eye Moray Eel's rare?
thyrsoideus? Not exceedingly so. Not in the wild within its range, nor
the pet-fish interest. Though this species is not one of the "more
commonly offered" Muraenids>
I am having trouble finding them in the aquarium trade. Are
<Nope. I would try one of the mail-order/internet marine livestock
suppliers... like Marine Center(.com) or Marine Depot, Dr.s Foster &
Smith... they can get them>
Brandy and Keith Prentice
Zebra Moray - 8/20/03
I currently have a 55 gallon hexagonal aquarium and a 29 gallon
rectangular aquarium. (Both are separate.) Can either of
these tanks support a zebra moray eel?
<the 55 could just barely IMO if it only housed the moray (no other
fishes). This is a very thick and hefty species... not the smallest
either growing to over two feet long>
If not is there any other species of moray eel that would be better
suited for the aquariums?
<a snowflake moray would be much much better... hardy, handsome and
generally a more slight adult than the zebra. Fine for your 55
Thanks for your time
<best regards, Anthony>
Eels for a 150gal
Ok, I want a large moray for a 150
Gallon Tank. I know the tesselata would work, as I was told
(thanks IanB)<it wouldn't work for its entire life, but what
about a Green Moray?
<they get too large>
Or perhaps a Zebra Moray?
<A zebra moray should be ok>
And I am not talking about these fish being able to remain in it
for a little while, I mean for its life. <also you could get a
snowflake eel> Thanks for your help!<IanB>
- Eel Selection -
Hi Bob.... great website....
<JasonC here this morning.>
I've had snowflakes in the past but am looking for something
different for a 90-gallon fish-only tank that I have set up. I've
looked at several site and several species, but am still not sure which
eel I want to purchase.
Here are my hang-ups...
1. Price (I really can't afford to drop a lot of cash on the fish),
<Then this will be your main limiting factor.> 2. size (I
don't mind something that gets large, but not one that will
possibly outgrow my 90), 3. temperament (I'd rather not have an eel
that might take a chunk out of its other tankmates), 4. looks (I want
something somewhat attractive etc..., but I'm really not sure.
Not sure what advice or suggestions you might be able to give me, but
any thoughts would be appreciated. I did see a golden tail or yellow
spot in my local store the other day, he was $65 which might be more
than what I want
to spend..... not sure which species it was. <Sounds to me like you
need to make the big decision. There aren't many eels that stay
small... snowflakes are common, relatively cheap, and don't get too
big. Many of the other eels that fit that bill are expensive. More on
your eel choices here:
<Cheers, J -- >
Dragon Eels and Tesselata Eels
My first question is about Dragon Eels. How easy are they to keep?
<Very much so. Same old challenges of not letting them get out of
the tank... getting big, being messy...>
I currently have a Chainlink eel and a Blackedge and they are pretty
easy to take care of. Both were really easy to switch to frozen food
and are fairly fun and personable. Is a dragon the same way?
Or am I looking at something that is gonna be more difficult to care
My second question is that I have fallen in love with Tesselata eels. I
currently have an empty 75 gal that if I got one would go into until he
outgrew it. How fast do these guys grow?
<Not that quick... a few inches a year... given "just"
feeding for maintenance (as opposed to growth, satiation>
I have heard that they can be pretty aggressive and I have heard that
of the larger morays they are one of the best to keep. Any info on them
Thanks for your help,
<Please see the various references to the Moray Eels posted on the
materials archived re the group on WetWebMedia.com
Thank you for your response Cody. That is well needed information
concerning the decision of the what type of eel to purchase. I
researched a lot about the Zebra and Snowflake as well and I think I
would rather go for a Zebra because of the personality and aggression
levels it has but was wondering two things.<This is a great choice,
I have one myself that will eat out of my hand! They become
very tame after a while, mine even lets me "pet" it.> One
web site I found said they were difficult to keep compared to other
eels and I want to know if this is true and if so what makes them
difficult compared to others?
<They are a very hardy choice, although they can sometimes have
problems with blindness.>
Next question would be could I keep a large sea cucumber with this eel?
<Yes> I pride myself on researching and making informed decisions
especially when it comes to the life of a living creature.
Also, if you don't mind will a Zebra work well in a 125g tank or
should I just get a snowflake?
<He should be fine, just keep the tank under crowded with a protein
skimmer to clean up after their messy meals. Cody>
Hello,<Howdy, you got Cody today.>
I am very interested in purchasing a moray eel for my tank and have
found a place that has several to choose from. I like the snowflake and
the zebra and have read a lot on your site about them, but the one that
I am really interested in buying the honeycomb eel. What I would like
to know is would this eel work well in a 125 gallon
tank? <Not for long.> What is the max length of this
eel? <I have seen four footers, but have read they can
reach six.> What does this eel eat, fish or inverts?<Fish> Is
this eel aggressive or calm? <They are usually very
aggressive. Cody> Anything you could tell me
about this specific eel would be great.
<Hi Ronnie, PF here this AM>
I am having chemical problems with my tank. It is a long story so I
will just ask my questions.
Let me first say, I almost have it under control.
tank is 75gal.
only inhabitant is Gymnothorax funebris
<Are you aware that these eels can reach 6' in length? Such
animals are best kept in public aquariums where they have the space for
such an animal.>
Ok, my first question is in regard to overdosing on certain chemicals
to try and help stabilize the water.
Can I overdose the tank on
2. Ammo-lock 2
3. Proquatics water conditioner
4. ProClear by Kent
<Not that I know of>
I have been adding one dose per day of each after a 25% water change
(tank is 75gal.).
<That looks like overkill to me.>
once the tank is stable I am going to do another 25% water change.
Water is still a little cloudy.
ammonia 8ppm (should not be toxic)
I lost my biological filter due to medicating.
<I see. IMO, you should remove the eel to a QT tank and keep it
there till your tank has re-established the biological filter. Time is
what is going to cure this, not chemicals. Do consider finding a new
home for your eel, one more appropriate (IMO a 500g tank at home is too
small. There are many other members of the family Muraenidae that would
make much better pets. Do look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm,
and consider getting Scott Michaels Reef Fishes Vol. 1 - it has an
extensive section on moral eels. > I know I shouldn't have
medicated the main tank. I am still a rookie. <We all make mistakes,
the key is learning from them. Then you can make all new mistakes. ;)
Ok, second question how long does each dose (StressZyme, ammo-lock2,
etc...) last? <I would assume until the chemical agents are all
bound. Sorry, I'm not a biochemist, that's the best answer I
Last question, if I run the protein skimmer will it pull all these
(StressZyme, ammo-lock2, etc...) out of the water?
<I would think so, but after they have been bound to the polluting
agents. At this point, you need to treat your tank as though it was a
brand new setup, and let it cure as you would live rock. For the sake
of the animal, please remove it.>
<Your welcome Ronnie, I hope I've helped. Remember to thoroughly
research any future purchases you make, and good luck. PF>
Overdosing on eels
Thanks for the quick response.
<We aim to please. :) >
I know how big this moray can get, I do plan on getting a bigger tank.
I was told that some green morays only get 4'. I read a lot about
the Gymnothorax and I still can't find accurate descriptions of the
different green morays. <Then you don't know how big it's
going to get. I've seen just how big those 6' eels are. I hope
you get a really big tank.>
Maybe I have the one that only grows to 4'.
<Maybe, do check out the book I recommended, lots of good info on
morays in there.>
As for removing the eel to a QT, how can I make a QT tank if I
don't have good established water? <Move him over to the QT, and
do water changes every day. A pain in the posterior, but worth the eels
life.> I wish I had a better place to put him until the tank
stabilizes, I would do it in a sec. He doesn't seem to be stressed,
his color is good and he is breathing normal. <The problem is that
fish can be like birds - looking ill is an invitation to be
Should I be running the protein skimmer?
<Yes indeed, you should probably also be running activated carbon
<You're welcome, hopefully I've helped.>
Hello again! I currently own a large
peppered moray with a Volitans lionfish (and various other assorted
tanks with mostly south American cichlids). I've recently become
interested in setting up a small, separate tank and keeping a golden
moray (not a golden tail!). I read a short article on keeping nano
reefs (have some experience with this) in a magazine that said golden
morays would do well in a 10 to 20g tank. It also said they don't
get over 7 inches.
<Mmm, don't know (nor does fishbase.org) this species. Do you
have a scientific name?>
First of all, is this true?
<Mmm, not as far as I'm aware. The smallest morays grow to about
a foot and a half in length... most of the more than 200 species to
more than twice this length>
Second, I can't find much in the way of pricing, although I have
found numerous sites that said the yellow variety is hard to find and
much sought after. This is the species I'd like to keep. Is the
care of a small moray much different in the way of feeding/tank
<No... just able to wiggle out of smaller spaces...>
Any info or sites you have on this species would be much appreciated. I
can't even find a listing of them on your site - thanks!
<As stated, have never come across this species. Bob Fenner>
I am considering a jump into the world of eel care. I have taken your
recommendations to heart and am considering the Echidna nebulosa,
Gymnothorax favagineus or the Gymnothorax miliaris.
<All worthy species of morays>
I currently have a 40 gallon (3 feet across) that is unoccupied, the
eel would be its only resident.
<I would strike the favagineus off your list for this size
Should the 40 not be suitable I have no problems waiting until life
affords me a larger aquarium, but what size would say is ideal for any
one of these fish.
<A hundred gallons for a small individual (up to eighteen inches
let's say), twice or more for a larger one>
I have experience with reefkeeping and aquarium keeping in general. I
would use a plenum, protein skimmer, two canisters (this offers
filtration) as well as a two powerheads to help keep the water
oxygenated. But It's the size of the tank I am concerned about.
<Mmm, I wouldn't use canister filters on tanks with large
fishes, eaters, defecators like the Morays... something sump-like is
better by far.>
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thank-you for your time, Vito Pilieci
<Looking forward to reports of your progress, planning. Bob
I was thinking about adding a tesselata eel
(12-18 inches) along with my Goldentail moray (12 inches) but I was
wondering if the tesselata if try to eat the Goldentail once it was
about 2.5 feet in length?
<Too likely so for me. Bob Fenner>
Hi. I currently have a 75 gallon tank with
plans to upgrade to a 125 this summer. I currently have a niger trigger
and a Huma Huma trigger in the tank. Both are about 4-5 inches and
doing fine. I want to add an eel and there are two that I just am
having a very hard time deciding on and so I am wondering if I could
put both eels into the tank right now with the two triggers and house
them compatibly together until I get the 125 then switch everybody over
to it. The two eels I am interested in are the Fimbriated moray and the
banded moray. Both are about 8-10 inches. Do you think that this can be
<Mmm, there is some chance that your triggers may chew up these eels
at this small size...>
I have very good filtration on the tank and an Aqua C protein skimmer
as well. I have lots of hiding places also. Any help would be much
appreciated. I really would love to have both eels and the triggers but
do not want to order them and THEN find out that I cannot have them.
<The eels themselves should be fine together now and for quite a
while in your size system... It's just the worry about the
unpredictable nature of Triggerfishes that concerns me. Bob
Eel addition to 75 gallon tank...
I have contacted you previously and you suggested that I wait a month
or so until I think about adding an Eel. Well, here I am, a month
away.. let me recap my livestock... a Scopas tang, panther grouper,
porcupine puffer, niger trigger, Tasmanian damsel and domino
I want to add an eel, but will/can this realistically be put into my 75
gallon FOWLR system?
<In a 75? Not for too long... this eel will have to be a species,
size to compete (and not get eaten!) by the other fishes (all but the
Tas. may hassle it...)>
I have 50lbs live rock and 80 lbs live aragonite sand. I haven't
seen a trace of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in over two months.
I've recently added a 400gph powerhead for increased circulation,
it really seems to make the tank a more active community. I have a
Prizm skimmer that, since I last contacted you, I went to my LFS and
they offered to take it back if they couldn't make me happy setting
up/instructing me in store on how to properly set it.. now it works
great, no air bubbles and skims a bucketful of scum out of the tank
that I have to empty almost every 3-4 days.
Now.. as far as eels go, I really do have my heart set on a Tesselata
moray eel.. How large do these get?
<Up to about four feet in captivity: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm
and would they work in my system?
<Crowded... but is going to be too crowded even without adding the
eel... do you have plans for a much larger system? Even just the eel
can't live indefinitely in a 75 gallon system>
If not, can you suggest an eel that would?
I'm trying to stay away from zebra/snowflake now that I've done
a bit of research.. Tesselata is the only one that I've read is
compatible in fish only systems. Thanks again friend, Bill Hammond
<Please do look over the "Moray" parts of our site (WWM),
and the references posted there... and let's chat further. Bob
Re: Eel addition to 75 gallon tank...
I do plan to eventually get a larger system (perhaps an eel-only
leaving my current fishes to their 75 gallon setup.
<This system will still have too much fish life w/o the Eel>
This, however, would be at least one if not two years down the road. I
read every bit I could on WetWebMedia about morays. It said eels grow
slowly in captivity...
<Most species, most circumstances, yes... but large species fed
often can grow a foot or so a year>
So I asked my LFS what size I could get and the buyer there is going to
look for a 1.5 ft specimen of tesselata and contact me if/when he finds
one. Would this be the right size given that most of my fish are very
young still.. the largest is the Scopas (about 6 inches long) and next
largest is the panther (3.5-4" long)
<The Tesselata is a piscivore. It may well eat all these fishes in
time. An eighteen inch one could eat most all that you have
If I went with an eel of this species/size, how long could I get
without adding a new system? (I would like a 150gallon, saw a great
looking set-up at LFS) Would 150 be enough for a full grown
Thanks again, you have truly been so much help.. I've gotten
my LFS a few times, or not been able to get a straight answer.. but
always seem to shoot back an email quickly and are always informative..
you sure make keeping a captive ocean enjoyable!!! Thanks so much for
all the advice you've given me!
<Very glad to be of assistance. Have you ever considered
dive/adventure traveling, going to visit these animals in the wild? Bob
Take care, Bill Hammond
Re: Tesselata moray
Doh forgot one last thing..
I saw a picture of a leopard moray.. looks very similar to tesselata..
but was very recommended on your site.. would this eel be a better
choice for my FOWLR tank (very aggressive one) ?
<About the same situation all the way around. There are some smaller
species of Muraenids... but they might well have troubles with some of
the fishes you have in turn. You need more and larger systems. Bob
Thanks again, Bill
100g reef (livestocking a reef)
I am setting up a 100 gallon reef with 125 lbs rock and a 2" sand
bed. I already have a 4" Fu Manchu Lionfish, and a 6" marine
Betta which I will move from my old 55g tank. I have three other
species I'm thinking of adding. First is Opistognathus rosenblatti
(or another species of 5 to 8" Jawfish) , the second is
Gymnothorax melatremus, and the third is the leaf fish.
Do you think the Jawfish would do ok with these small but predatory
<Not the Moray>
My main question is about the dwarf golden eel. I checked Fishbase and
they say it gets 10" long and has small conical teeth. I would
appreciate any knowledge you might have on this species. Id like to
keep a small moray in this tank but am fairly worried about it.
<You should be. Fishbase is generally spot on... but doesn't
offer husbandry information. Please read through our coverage of these
Finally would this fish mix do ok in a reef tank. I will not be keeping
any shrimps or small fish but would like to keep hermit crabs and
<Should be fine... with a small eel. Bob Fenner>
Hi Bob, I have in my 90g tank a 4" fu man
chu lion, a 5" black Volitans, a 3" Picasso trigger, a large
say 6 or 7" majestic angel and a 6" panther grouper along
with 1 little Fijian and 1 blue Chromis damsels and a pajama
<Yikes... some crowd now! And soon to be much more crowded... hope
you have a much larger system in the planning.>
125 lb of live rock and 25 lb of live sand. since I don't like food
to be left over in the bottom (sand) which moray eel, if any, is more
suitable for the tank. or any other suggestion?
<A bigger tank! No morays here w/o shipping out two or more of the
larger fishes... Otherwise, my take on the Muraenids and beyond is
I have a Sealife minireef system that comes with the protein skimmer
integrated that is doing quiet well. Thanks for your help!!
<Do consider trading in some of these fishes... before you run into
troubles from the bioload in your ninety. Bob Fenner>
Another ? - this time @ eels
Thanks for your help on the
What, is THE eel least likely to eat crustaceans and grab fish -
Snowflake, Zebra or Leopard?
<The first two for not grabbing fish, the last one for not grabbing
I've read through the info on your website and would really like to
add one, but am torn as to which one. I like that Leopards swim out in
the day, and I think snowflakes are pretty....
I have Mithrax crabs in my tank, but think they are getting toooo big
and grabby anyway. If I added one of these eels, how do you think my
urchin, sand star, Cuke, cleaner shrimps will fare?
<Likely fine for the echinoderms... the shrimps would be lunch if it
were one of the first two>
Here again is a list of occupants in my 75 gal tank w/ 60# rock &
2" crushed coral sand: yellow tang, Sailfin tang, blue regal tang,
Banggai cardinal, maroon clown, small blue neon damsel, flame angel,
bicolor angel, Longnose Hawkfish, sand star, impatiens Cuke, 3 Mithrax
crabs, 2 cleaner shrimp, 3 cleanup hermits, tuxedo urchin, BUNCHES of
small feather dusters. Thank you Guru! Linda
<This system is too small, fish-crowded for any of these Eels for
when they grow... Bob Fenner>
Re: Another ? - this time @ eels
OK, good point! - I have
one 4" fish, six 3" fish and one 1" fish = 23
"fish-inches" (I made that up) How much less fish (or fewer
fish-inches) would be optimal for one of these 3 eels in 75 gal
<Hmm, it's not the "present inches" that concern me,
but the potential "inches"... You could place (best) a
Snowflake that is small now, and of the three will "stay"
smaller over time... but all will be crowded a year or two down the
< Be chatting, Bob Fenner>
I am looking at getting a 125 gal tank and was wondering if I could
house 2 of the following a Zebra/snowflake/dragon together?
<Yes, they can be kept together in such a system>
Or what would be allowable tankmates. (clowns with anemones?)>??
<If the anemones were placed high enough in the water column. Likely
on live rock>
I read the long article on the Zebra moray, is there any literature
online about dragon morays?
<Don't know... search by the genus name... some on
Cortez Dragon Eel
I was wondering do you think that I
could add a 10' Cortez Dragon Eel to my 200 gal FOWLR tank with
these following fish already in occupancy? 12' Snowflake Eel,
6' Vlamingi Tang, 5' Pink Tail Trigger, 5' Paddle Fin
Wrasse, 5' Twin Spot Coris Wrasse, and 6' Red Coris Wrasse. The
Cortez Dragon would be the last addition to the Tank. I know that the
current tank size seems like I will be overcrowding the fish but
I'm waiting on my 360 gal tank that is on order. I know that Eels
hunt at night and was wondering if you think that I would wake up one
morning to find my Paddle Fin missing? My Snowflake missing?
<Hmm, well, if these fishes were consumed by the Cortez, it would
take a couple of years for this to happen. I'm more concerned that
the trigger or Coris wrasse might harass this young Muraenid... but
give you good odds that this addition will/would work out>
I'm looking for an Eel that I could start off small and probably
wont be a total terror as it gets larger to my current set-up. I
don't want anything like a Zebra moray, but something different
that you don't see often in the pet stores. Any suggestions?
Already tried looking on the WetWebMedia site and various dealers. Any
extra information would be appreciated.
<Please look over the section "The Fishwatcher's Guide
to... Tropical Eastern Pacific" posted on the WWM site, and
consider picking up a copy of this book... need to get them out of the
living room. Bob Fenner>
Stocking question w/eel
I am desperately trying to make
up my mind on which route to take. If you could help me in deciding
which would be the best route to go, I would be most grateful.
My tank is a 75 gallon Fish only with live rock. I currently only have
about 10 lbs but am adding about 35 more this weekend. I have the new
Ecosystem sump filtration method running on my tank. I have about 15lbs
of live rock and crushed coral each. I also have an Emperor 400 that I
am still running as a result of switching over to the Echo System sump.
I will eventually take if off unless I need to leave it on.
1st choice - I would like to put an eel in the 75 with one showpiece
fish able to be able to be with the eel, (not many choices here), and
yet not bother the live rock.
<Or overwhelm the filtration... messy animals>
I was considering the Cortez Dragon Eel or the dwarf golden eel, (If I
could find it anywhere), and the Clown Trigger fish. I had also
considered the undulated trigger. I was told that as long as the clown
trigger, or undulated trigger were well fed they wouldn't bother
the live rock or the eel.
<Not necessarily... the Triggerfishes are unpredictable...>
2nd choice - Tang tank. I was looking at the blue hippo tang, (maybe
3), Christmas Island Flame Angel, and possibly a mated pair of Gold
striped Maroon Clowns, along with my selection of inverts.
<This is better than the first choice>
3rd choice - Again, the Blue Hippo Tangs (maybe 3), and 2-3 painted
frogfish, or the wartskinned frogfish.
<Just get one... this is all you'll end up with anyway...
they'll eat each other...>
Can you help me with any of these decisions and tell me which would be
the best in your experience?
<Hmm, of the three, number two is the best for sure>
Also if there is a choice you would pick as the best but it needs a few
changes please let me know. I would rather know before hand that after
One more question. Should I end up going with the eel choice, IF and
WHEN, the eel would outgrow the tank, the big question is if you
don't have a bigger tank yet and the LFS won't take it, and you
can't sell it to anyone, what do you do with it?
<Ads in the papers? Most public aquariums don't want overgrown
Please help! Just as an afterthought, I am going to be getting a 125
gallon middle of next year. Thanks again for all of your help.
<Keep studying, considering your options till you're sure of
where you want to go. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking question w/eel
Thank you so much for you
speedy reply. With your help I have narrowed it down to 2 choices.
1st, Putting just a Dragon Moray in the 75 with the Live Rock. I know
that they are messy eaters, my son has a snowflake right now, but I
believe I can keep up with that. (I also considered instead of the
triggers putting in the clown tang but I don't know. Would it be
better with just the eel with this choice?)
<The Regal (Acanthurus lineatus) will/would be fine with either
Eel... the Dragon might eat the Snowflake if placed together>
2nd, the blue hippos (3), (this is possible to keep the 3 together
the pair of maroon clowns and the Christmas island flame angel with my
choice of inverts.
The reason I asked if I could even keep the 3 blue hippos together is I
hear so much about not putting the same species of tang in the same
<Many species aggregate/associate in the wild... Paracanthurus is
one of them>
My cousin used to have a 125 with a purple tang, yellow tang, blue
hippo tang, powder blue at one time, then had to get rid of it because
it was so mean, and 3 other tangs that I don't remember the name
of. But he said that they all did great, even with having 6-7 tangs in
I really wanted the powder blue but after reading your site I have
changed my mind. Thanks for all of your time and patience. I really
<You're welcome my friend. My success and enjoyment are tied
with yours. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking question w/eel
Thanks again. You have been
such a big help that it makes enjoying this hobby that much more fun.
Thanks again. A sincere saltwater hobbyist. Robin
<You're welcome my friend. As you know/will know, this sharing
is very important to me as well... an opportunity to make the distance
and concise distinction twixt our lives and "the planet" that
much smaller, less evident. Bob Fenner>
Trouble deciding on morays
Hi Again Bob,
Sorry to be pestering you every day for the last few days ...... this
will be the last Q for a while now :-) .... so hopefully you are not to
sick of me! Thanks for your recent correspondence RE my proposed FO set
up, I really appreciate your help.
<You're welcome my friend>
Due to a pic I saw today, I suddenly feel this re-occurring urge to add
a moray to my selection.
I have always been interested in the snowflake and zebra moray ......
but also really like the leopard (Gymnothorax tesselata). I have also
seen pics of Gymnothorax favagineus, which bears a striking resemblance
to the tesselata ...... is it by chance the same species ???
<It/they are indeed the same species... you can see this in Scott
Michaels fabulous first volume of "Reef Fishes" as well as on
the net on www.fishbase.org>
I prefer this species to the invert eaters ..... I like the
"menacing" looking head .... which seems more pronounced, and
the big gaping mouth ..... which is less pronounced in the Zebra and
I read an old article about marine oddballs, namely about morays, which
said that ....... "The leopard moray (G. tesselata) is most
outstanding and attains 75cm (30") in captivity" . I find
this hard to believe ??? How big could I expect one to get in my
84"x18"x18" tank ??? .... a once a week feeding routine
<At least this size... likely a few to several inches more over
Tank mates are most likely going to be:
Long spined porcupine puffer (D. holacanthus) .... or maybe a Arothron
type ...not sure yet.
Volitans lion (or maybe a fuzzy dwarf lion instead)
Of the 3 (4?) morays listed above, which would you find:
1) The most suitable as a tankmate ?
2) The "best" aquarium choice
3) The most active (during lights on period)?
<The Snowflake for 1,2... the Tesselata for the third>
Could you also give me an idea what size to expect from each species,
including both length and girth ...... I have read so many
reports, that by now I am confused !!! Are there any other species that
you think might be worth considering, other than E. catenata, S.
<Catenata is a great species, very rare in the trade though... See
the Moray sections on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for a bunch more...
but the ultimate (sort of good guess) for the Snowflake... a couple of
feet long, two or so inches in diameter, the Zebra, three feet long,
three inches in diameter... the Tesselata three and a half feet long,
four inches in diameter...>
Thanks a lot for reading, and for your help. It is really appreciated,
as is you fab site :-) Cheers, Matt
<Chat with you soon my friend. Bob Fenner, visiting on
Hawai'i's Big Island>
(Co. Cork, Ireland)
Morays in Reefs with Cartilaginous Fishes?
This will be my final question. When I put my fish in to the
bigger tank that I am setting up, I would like to do something new in
my 125. I was thinking 2 big eels the golden eel and the Brazilian
dragon eel or tesselata eel. Either one not sure but are they
reef safe because I want to make it just coral and eels. is there any
certain corals they like to eat if any that I would not want to
<None of these Morays will eat corals... but do arrange your
sedentary invertebrates "high and tight" to discount these
going-to-get large eels nightly forays...>
Is there any other fish that I can keep with the eels and coral?
<For the eels, fast and smart ones... for the corals... ones that
don't eat, bother them...>
With the big eels I know they eat a lot would that affect the corals or
would it be better with just one eel?
<It's going to be a big job with even one as it grows...>
How big would these 2 eels get in this tank because I don not plan on
upgrading the size of the tank for the eels.
<A few feet>
Do all of these eels usually live a long time I heard the morays are
pretty strong fish to not as good water quality?
<Hmm, yes, they're very tough as marine fishes go>
Would a shark or stingray work with the eels I would maybe get a little
stingray or leopard shark?
<No my friend... Please read over the shark, ray, moray sections on
the www.WetWebMedia.com site.
Bob, I am interested in purchasing a Moray eel. I
was wondering which eel would be more compatible with Tomato Clown and
Damsel sized fish: Zebra or Snowflake? Thanks for your help, Kelly
<Only a few choices here... as most Moray (family Muraenidae
species) are fish-eaters that get more than large enough to eat your
livestock. Either genus, species you list will do... Please read more
thoroughly about them on posted materials on the site:
www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>
I was thinking of buying a Dragon Eel for my
180 FOWLR. What do you think about this eel? Does he get fairly big?
Long? Will this type of eel go after everything? I really can't
find that much information about this specimen.
<Enchelycore pardalis? About three feet maximum length... a fish
eater. Will eat what it can/does catch>
If I did buy this type of eel will I be able to put my hand in the tank
to clean it.
<Yes, carefully... watching where the Moray is... keeping your hands
out of its way>
Your opinion will be greatly appreciated. Could you also give some
examples of some other fish that I should be able to place in the tank.
assuming that all other fish in the tank should be 7inches or bigger
correct. When buying fishes of this I'm sure my selection is
limited due to
the fact that most fish do poorly when you purchase them at that
<Hmm, depends on the starting size of the Moray... do read over the
selection pieces and Moray cover article posted on the
www.wetwebmedia.com site. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dragon Eel
Does this go the same for the Cortez
Dragon Eel? Does this eel look similar in color (markings)? Would this
be a better choice? Will this eel come out and show itself during the
<Yes, yes, about the same in choice, and eventually. Bob
I have a 180 gal. FOWLR tank, 8ft long. I
would like to add an eel to the tank but I'm having mixed feelings
about this because of what people are telling me about them. I would
like to have a Dragon eel but the guy told me that he would have to be
in a tank by himself (would be kind of boring to have just 1 eel in a
180 gal by himself). Then I saw a picture of a Tesselata and someone
told me that these guys are too aggressive and would eat what I have in
the Tank. My tank includes:
Lrg. Naso Tang
Med. Red Coris Wrasse
Lrg. Dusky Wrasse
Med. Dragon Wrasse
Lrg. Chevron Tang
After looking at your recommendations on wet web media I saw that the
only ones that you suggested for home use was the Snowflake, Chain,
Girdled, and Zebra eels. Do you know of any web sites where I could
find a good picture of the Chain and Girdled eels? I would like to
check one of these out to see what they look like. Which one of these
two would you prefer?
<Actually, these are my fave choices but a Tesselata could go in
your 180... and with the other fish livestock... for a few years if
you're careful not to feed it too much/too frequently... but
enough. And no to a website, but Scott Michael's v.1 Reef Fishes
book has some fab coverage.>
I'm looking for something that has some color to it (Different).
The Snowflake and the Zebra eels are nice but I would rather have
something else. After looking at my current stock would an eel even
work? Are there any other eels that would work?
<Yes, even the larger piscivorous ones would do given the usual
provisos... careful feeding, a secure tank cover... starting with an
appropriate sized individual (shades of the Three Bears!)...>
The only thing else that I might add to my tank is a Juv. Passer Angel
or Grey Angel (if I can find one). What do you think about this
selection? Are there any other fish besides these that you think would
be a real showpiece?
<Should work, and many... MANY! Keep dreaming, scheming and
gathering information. When you have enough, you will know. Bob
Hello I have a 55 gallon tank with 25lbs of crushed coral and 15lbs of
sand, and I am going to buy 25lbs of live rock today at the LFS.
I am thinking of putting a blue ribbon eel in the tank first. My
question is how hardy are these guys and how are they at taking
food. Is there a eel which you would prefer? What kind of live
fish should I feed them, I would really want them to eat frozen
food. Later I am think of putting in a loin fish and maybe a
stone fish. And will these fish eat peppermint shrimp and snails?
<< The Ribbon Moray Eel's"? Genus Rhinomuraena? Terrible
choices... most die, jump out (99.9%) within a month of capture... And
yes, they do eat crustaceans... if they do eat in captivity.
There are some fave Muraenids (morays)... The Snowflake and relatives
of the genus Echidna, and the Zebra's (Gymnomuraena)... but they
REALLY eat shrimps... You can read my take on true eels stored at
www.wetwebmedia.com in full if you'd like. Bob Fenner>>
Questions about Eels
My LFS keeps their eels in one tank. They got snowflake and zebra eels
sharing their homes in PVC pipes.
<<you realize this is because they don't expect to be keeping
them for very long... >>
Is it okay to get one of each in a 55 gal. tank?
<<I personally wouldn't do it. Better to have just one and
enjoy it. You're going to be kept very busy by one Houdini let
alone two - these guys are amazing escape artists.>>
I am also planning on stocking the tank with a marine Betta and a
dragon wrasse. How does this mix (2 eels, 1 Betta, 1 wrasse) sound? Do
they have enough room to live together peacefully for many
<<How about one eel, one marine Betta, and the wrasse for a
couple of years? Perhaps some other small-ish fish - a pygmy angel
Does the wrasse prefer sugar-fine sand or something coarser?
<<I would think the sugar-sand would work best>>
<<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>
Eels getting along?
What are you guys opinions on a
Hawaiian Dragon Moray and a Gymnothorax melatremus coexisting in a 120.
The dwarf pretty much hides all day with his head poking out. Do you
think he would end up a snack or would they be alright?
<<Hmm, hard to predict. I'd say at best the odds are 50/50
that the smaller eel would become a meal.>>
<<Cheers, J -- >>