Jeweled Moray Eel
Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Easy • Temperament: Aggressive • Maximum Size: 24"
• Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore • Origin: Eastern Pacific
• Family: Muraenidae • Species: Eels • Aquarium Type: Predatory
Native Habitat and Species Information
Jeweled Moray Eel native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
Jeweled Moray Eels are a delightful, hardy species among the smaller Moray Eels, endemic to the Eastern Pacific, running along the coast of California, Central America, all the way to tropical reefs of South America. Jeweled Moray Eels get their name from their dark, purple-brown to mottled white-gold base coloration with multiple white to yellow, contrasting spots and blotches that commonly have darker borders, making them stand out like "jewels". Jeweled Moray Eels are extremely aggressive and possess a painful bite delivered from a powerful jaw and long, sharp teeth that curve inwards in order to capture and shred their prey while attempting to swallow it whole.
Jeweled Moray Eels are popular within the hobby due to their smaller size (relative to their larger cousins) and vibrant appearance; they are sometimes elusive within the hobby, but can generally be found through online retailers and can frequently be special ordered from local vendors.
How to successfully keep Jeweled Moray Eel in the home aquarium.
Jeweled Moray Eels should be supplied with an aquarium of at least 90 gallons, a sand substrate, and plenty of live rock, which provides at least one (preferably two) cavernous refuge where it can hide its entire body (make sure the live rock is secure as they are a powerful species and can dislodge rock work). They should also be equipped with efficient biological and mechanical filtration and would greatly benefit from the addition of a quality protein skimmer to assist with organic waste. Eels are known for their excellent escape and jumping skills and should only be housed in an aquarium with a tight-fitting, sealed hood; they are also a nocturnal species and should only be exposed to subdued lighting conditions during their first few days of acclimation to a new environment.
Jeweled Moray Eels are highly aggressive and have evolved to specifically prey upon fish (including other eels) that will fit into their mouths; however, they are known to be facultative piscivores and they will also consume benthic crustaceans aside from "cleaner" shrimp of the Hippolysmata, Lysmata, and Periclimenes genera. They are ideally suited for large FOWLR systems with large, aggressive tank mates that will not fit into their mouths; they will not usually get along with conspecifics unless they are a pair of juveniles that have been introduced to a much larger (150+ gallons) aquarium at the same time.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Jeweled Moray Eel.
Jeweled Moray Eels are facultative, piscivorous carnivores (mainly fish-eaters, but will consume other meaty foods) that feed on fish and crustaceans within their natural habitat. In the aquarium, they should initially be offered live fish and ghost shrimp ("gut-loaded"), but can learn to accept frozen, vitamin-enriched (possibly even freeze-dried) mysis shrimp, krill, silver sides, chopped squid, chopped crab meat, chopped fish, chopped clams, and other meaty marine foods. Feed twice a week for juveniles and once a week for more mature specimens (they appreciate a scheduled routine). A feeding instrument such as a pipette, a prong, or a "stick" is highly recommended as Jeweled Moray Eels have an excellent sense of smell combined with poor eyesight, which can lead to injury.
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