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Chainlink Moray Eel

(Echidna catenata)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 30"
• Minimum Tank Size: 125 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Western Atlantic
• Family: Muraenidae   • Species: Eels   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Chainlink Moray Eel native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Chainlink Moray Eel is also commonly referred to within the aquarium hobby as the Chain Eel or simply the Chain Moray Eel. As Eels go the Chainlink Moray Eel has a very interesting pattern of contrasting colors including a white to yellow body with a rich brown, black, or gray chain markings. While the Chainlink Moray grows a little over 2 feet in length, it is still one of the smaller moray eel species, with some species reaching up to 6 feet in length.

It size and brilliant coloration have made this species popular within the aquarium hobby from some time. Chainlink Moray Eels are suitable for large aquariums with other large fish species that will not fit into the Chainlink Moray's mouth. While this species poses no direct threat to corals, it will consume shrimp and can be destructive due to its large size; therefore, it is not often added to a reef aquarium.

Chainlink Moray Eels have a thick body and grow to around two and a half feet in length. Their body is primarily dark brown or black in color with a Chainlink pattern that is usually a bright yellow, white or gray color. This species has the unmistakable face associated with moray eels and appears very intimidating, making a favorite among many aggressive species hobbyists.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Chainlink Moray Eel in the home aquarium.

In the aquarium environment the Chainlink Moray Eel will require large caves and crevices within the rock or coral in which to seek refuge during daylight hours. Because of its size and the amount of rock required to provide it with adequate places to hide, the Chainlink Moray requires at least a 125 gallon aquarium. Initially it will spend most of the day in a cave and then coming out at night to search for food, but over time it will begin to adjust to the bright aquarium lighting and will become more active during daylight hours.

Rock or coral formations should be very solid as this is a large species and can topple or disturb insecure rock formations. The Chainlink Moray Eel will also eat smaller fish and invertebrate species, so it should be kept only with other large fish species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Chainlink Moray Eel.

It is common for the Chainlink Moray Eel to be a difficult feeder upon introduction into the aquarium environment. To help entice it to eat dim the aquarium lighting and impale a live or thawed fish, shrimp or mussel flesh to a feeder stick and place it near the eels head. Over time the Chainlink Moray will become an aggressive eater and will readily consume offered fish or shrimp. It is best to feed this species 3 to 4 meals per week. Depending on the tank mates and aquarium setup, live meals may be offered in the form of glass shrimp or small fish.

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