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Dragon Moray Eel
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(Enchelycore pardalis) Moderate Aggressive 36" 180 gallons 65-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.0-8.4, sg 1.021-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Hawaii, Southern Japan Muraenidae Eels Predatory Dragon Moray Eels have fantastically colored bodies with red, yellow, orange, black and white markings running the length of the body. Their coloration combined with their large size, gaping mouth full sharp teeth and spiked horns above their eyes make the Dragon Moray Eel a truly menacing looking species. Wild specimens can be found in rocky outcrops and coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific to Hawaii, and as far north as southern Japan. Dragon Moray Eels are bottom dwellers that inhabit rocky formations that they use both for housing and for hunting. Their keen sense of smell allows them to seek out prey in the dark caves and crevices in which they live. Adult Dragon Moray Eels require an aquarium of at least 180 gallons in size. They need to provided with plenty of well secured rocky caves and crevices large enough to accommodate an adult Eel of up to 3 feet in length. Eel aquariums need to have tight fitting well secured tops in order to keep the Eel from escaping the tank. Their poor vision and large strong bodies make Eels excellent escape artists when housed in un-secured aquariums. While the Dragon Moray Eel does not do a lot of swimming about the aquarium, it is important to have an aquarium that is at least 2 feet from front to back in order to accommodate the rock work necessary to create caves large enough for an adult specimen. Dragon Moray Eels are considered reef compatible (with caution) in the sense that they will not try to eat corals, but in practicality their large size makes them destructive to coral reefs. They will also consume many of the helper invertebrates like shrimps and crabs that are commonly found in reef aquarium cleaning crews. For these reasons along with the fact that they will eat smaller fish species typically found in reef aquariums, the Dragon Moray Eel is not recommended for reef aquariums. The aggressive nature and large mouth size of the Dragon Moral Eel should be considered in regards to suitable tank mates. Dragon Moray Eels will consume most any fish, shrimp or crab that they can fit in their large mouths. Therefore, only other large predatory fish species should be considered as suitable tank mates for the Dragon Moray Eel. It is not uncommon for full grown Dragon Moray Eels to be kept in species only aquariums due to their aggression and feeding habits. When kept in large aquariums (greater than 200 gallons) the Dragon Moray can coexist with species like Triggers, Groupers, Snappers, Puffers, Lionfish and other similar fish species. The Dragon Moray Eel is a carnivore whose diet consists of live feeder fish, squid, octopus, crabs, shrimp and it will eat other fish in the aquarium if they small enough to fit into its mouth. Dragon Moray Eels should only be kept with very large fish species as any smaller fish or invertebrates will be eaten. Dragon Moray Eels have been known to take some time to adjust to aquarium life, during which they will often not eat for weeks or even months. If this occurs, it is best to offer them live feeder fish or shrimp and to keep the aquarium lights dimmed. Once acclimated to aquarium life, the Dragon Moray Eel will accept a variety of meaty foods fed to it via feeding tongs or feeding stick. It is best to feed them only what they will consume within a minute or two, a couple of times per week.
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Tessalata Moray Eel
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(Gymnothorax favagineus) Easy Aggressive 70" 180 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Sri Lanka Muraenidae Eels Predatory The Tessalata Moray Eel is a brilliantly patterned species of Eel with an awesome brown leopard spotted pattern over top a yellow/white background running the length of their body. Their color pattern and popularity within the hobby have prompted livestock vendors to assign them a variety of common names including: Leopard Eel, Honeycomb Moray Eel, Tessellated Eel, Giraffe Eel, Blackspotted Moray Eel and Tessalata Moray Eel. They have a wide distribution across tropical reefs ranging from Eastern Africa to the Indo-West Pacific, typically in water depths that range from 10 to 150 feet in depth. The reported length of the Tessalata Moray Eel varies quite a bit with a typical reported length of about 6 feet, but with some reporting lengths upwards of 9 feet in length. Tessalata Moray Eels are one of the most aggressive species of Eels found within the aquarium hobby trade, thus caution should be exercised when working in an aquarium housing this species. Their bite can both be very painful and can cause a bacterial infection. It is important to clean the area around the wound and seek immediate medical attention if you see any signs of redness or swelling. To properly care for an adult Tessalata Moray Eel, it is important to provide them a large aquarium that is at least 2 feet from front to back and 6 feet in length. The aquarium should be well sealed with a tight fitting lid that is also weighted or physically secured so that it cannot be pushed open by the Eel. They should be provided proper aqua-scaping that includes large rocky caves and crevices that provide enough room for the Eel to retreat into fully. The Tessalata Moray Eel does not have specific lighting and water flow requirements, but they should be provided with strong mechanical and biological filtration in order to deal with the high bio-load they place on the aquarium due to their size and large food portions. Tessalata Moray Eels are very aggressive and should only be housed with other very large aggressive species that will not be seen as prey items. Tessalata Moray Eel owners should also we careful when working in the aquarium as they are known to bite at hobbyists working within the aquarium. Their large size makes them unsuitable for most all but the largest reef aquariums, as they can easily bump and damage sensitive corals. Tessalata Moray Eel will also consider most crustaceans and many invertebrates as a food source, which also makes them a poor candidate for a reef aquarium. It is best to house them with other large marine predators in an aquarium that is large enough to provide enough territory for each species. A good starting point is a 180 gallon aquarium, with large aquariums exceeding 300 gallons being even more ideal. The Tessalata Moray Eel is an aggressive feeder, much more so than most species of eel commonly seen within the aquarium trade. Its diet should consist of variety of meaty foods including krill, raw table shrimp, squid, clam and mussel. They are quite aggressive towards tank mates smaller than themselves and will eat other fish in the aquarium if they small enough to fit into its mouth. Tessalata Moray Eels should only be kept with very large fish species as any smaller fish or invertebrates will be eaten. There should be no problems getting this species to begin feeding as it will readily take to most any meaty foods offered to it via a feeding stick or tongs.
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Spotted Garden Eel
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(Heteroconger hassi) Expert Semi-Aggressive 16" 125 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Red Sea Congridae Eels Fish Only Spotted Garden Eels (Heteroconger hassi) are an attractive and highly interesting species of eel that live in large colonies (commonly in the hundreds to thousands) that prefer to burrow into the substrate of sandy flats and slopes along the reefs throughout the tropical waters of the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific. Spotted Garden Eels are named for their colonies being mistaken for sea grass (at a distance), which would quickly disappear into the sand bed upon closer inspection. They have long and slender bodies (even for an eel) and have a head which looks similar to that of a dartfish; they are designed to effectively feed upon plankton in the water column and will generally face the current and wait for dinner to head their way. Spotted Garden Eels can be quite entertaining to observe and make unique additions to a peaceful aquarium, although they have special needs and are a very timid species. Spotted Garden Eels are generally available through online retailers, but they may also be special ordered from local stores if not on hand. Spotted Garden Eels require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons in addition to a 6" to 10" deep, sand substrate for burrowing. Although they should also be provided with a sufficient amount of live rock (relative to tank size), they require plenty of open space among the substrate for burrowing. Provide quality biological and mechanical filtration in conjunction with an efficient protein skimmer and well colonized refugium with plenty of amphipods or copepods. They also require a low to moderate current provided by the filtration "return(s)" or the addition of submersible circulation pumps. They are known jumpers and could end up outside of the aquarium if their system is not equipped with a sealed hood or tight-fitting top. Spotted Garden Eels are generally a peaceful and timid species, although conspecific males may fight with each other if they are forced to live in close proximity (180+ gallons is necessary for multiple specimens). Their tank mates should be chosen carefully and should not be a species that may harass or bully them; in the wild they are often attacked by heterospecific eels and the larger Triggerfish. They are reef compatible, but have been known to eat small fish species and small crustaceans in addition to their staple, planktonic diet. Their ideal setup would be a peaceful, community or "species only" reef or FOWL system with plenty of sandy real estate providing multiple choices for burrowing sites. Spotted Garden Eels eat copious amounts of plankton from the substrate and water column within their natural habitat. In an aquarium environment they should be provided with a constant supply of live amphipods, copepods, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, and the occasional, small "feeder" fish. They should also be offered a variety of fresh, frozen, prepared, and vitamin-enriched, meaty choices of brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, silver sides, chopped crab meat, and other chopped, fresh seafoods. Feed two to three times a day.
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Jeweled Moray Eel
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(Muraena lentiginosa) Easy Aggressive 24" 90 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Eastern Pacific Muraenidae Eels Predatory 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. 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. 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.
Zebra Moray Eel
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(Gymnomuraena zebra) Moderate Semi-aggressive 60" 150 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Tropical Pacific Muraenidae Eels Predatory Zebra Moray Eels are one of the more peaceful eel species found within the hobby as well as one of the largest with a maximum length of 60" (they generally don't grow much larger than 40" in the aquarium). Zebra Moray Eels can be found throughout the tropical regions of the Indo-Pacific, lounging among sea grass to relaxing in caves and crevices within the reef while waiting for a meal to pass by. The coloration of the Zebra Moray Eel can vary from a dark brown, dark red, to black base with cream to white vertical banding outlined with black borders. Zebra Moray Eels are popular among the more advanced hobbyists, but can be hard to acquire and may need to be special ordered locally if not presently in stock through online retailers. Zebra Moray Eels can grow quite large at a steady pace and will require an aquarium of at least 150 gallons as well as a sandy substrate and plenty live rock. When setting up their aquarium, the live rock structure needs to be firmly placed and should be sturdy enough that the eel can not disturb it with its powerful body; the live rock should also provide enough shelter to hide the entire length of the specimen. Eels can be jumpers as well as escape artists and their aquarium should be fitted with a hood or tightly sealed lid for their safety. They can put a large biological strain on a system and in addition to high quality biological and mechanical filtration, an efficient protein skimmer is also required. Although they can be reef safe and will not harm anemones or coral, caution is required and Zebra Moray Eels should not be housed with crustaceans or any fish that will fit into their large mouths. They will get along well with many different tank mates, but are generally housed in FOWLR systems due to their specialized eating habits. Zebra Moray Eels are carnivores that are equipped with powerful, blunt teeth that are specifically adapted for crushing and eating crustaceans among the marine algae, reef and substrate of their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, and vitamin enriched mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, chopped clams, crab meat, mussels, squid, and scallops. Eels don't need to eat as often as most aquarium inhabitants and should only be fed every 2 to 3 days.
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Snowflake Moray Eel
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(Echidna nebulosa) Easy Semi-Aggressive 24" 75 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Muraenidae Eels Fish Only The Snowflake Moray Eel is also commonly referred to as simply the Snowflake Eel, Clouded Moray, or Starry Moray. This species is one of the more popular species of eel for keeping in a home aquarium both because of its attractive appearance and manageable size. Typically the Snowflake Moray Eel will grow to around 24 inches in size in the aquarium, but can grow up to around 30 inches under the right conditions. Like other moray eels the Snowflake Moray will spend its time in caves and crevices within the aquarium with only its head poking out. However, over time it will become more active during lights on hours and not simply at night. Its coloration, size and temperament make this an excellent species for aquarium hobbyists. The Snowflake Moray Eel typically grows about 24 inches in length and has a white to cream colored base color with black and gold markings that run the length of its body. Snowflake Moray Eels have a medium thickness body that has the distinctive moray eel shape to it. The face is generally all white or cream in color with yellow and black eyes and gold nostrils. The Snowflake Moray Eel is a very hardy species that adapts well to aquarium life and is better suited than most moray eels for living in an aquarium as it typically grows to around 24 inches in length. An aquarium of at least 55 gallons with plenty of live rock caves and crevices and a completely sealed top is recommended to properly house this species. Eels of all types are notorious for jumping out of uncovered aquariums, thus it is extremely important that the aquarium is completely covered. While Snowflake Moray Eels are carnivores and do eat fish, they can be kept with large fish species that they cannot easily swallow. There are also some invertebrates species that are also safe to keep with a moray eel; such as, anemones and corals. In the wild the Snowflake Moray Eel is a nocturnal predator, ambushing fish and crustaceans that wander near its cave or rock crevice. In the home aquarium, it will quickly adapt to taking frozen or freeze-dried krill, fish, shrimp, and most other meaty foods from its owner. It is best to feed it by impaling the food onto the end of a feeding stick and positioning the food near the eels mouth. However, it can be taught to hand feed, although this should be done with caution, as its bite can be very painful.
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Snake Spotted Eel
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(Myrichthys maculosus) Easy Semi-Aggressive 40" 125 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Ophichthidae Eels Fish Only Snake Spotted Eels are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region ranging from the Red Sea and East Africa to the central Pacific ocean. They generally inhabit coastal reefs with sandy bottom areas or grass flats, where it can bury itself in the sand both for protection and to ambush unwary prey. This species uses its firm pointed tail to help it burrow into the sand backwards (tail-first), thus should be kept in an aquarium with a deep sand bed to properly simulate their natural habitat. Snake Spotted Eels are a good Eel species for the aquarium environment as they do not grow too large (around 40 inches maximum size) and are not as aggressive as some of the larger Eel species available. Snake Spotted Eels typically reach about 40 inches in length, and have slender bodies with a stiff pointed tail, that they use to burrow into the substrate. As a juvenile their bodies are white with black spots; however, as they age their bodies become a pale cream color and their black spots fade to a charcoal black/gray color. They have larger spots on the top of their back, that decrease in size towards the lower area of their body. Snake Spotted Eels do well when kept in predator or large fish species aquariums of around 100 gallons or more. In nature this species buries itself in the sand both for protection and to ambush prey, thus it will appreciate a deep sand bed or approx. 4 to 6 inches in the aquarium to allow it to behave naturally. This species of Eel is not as aggressive as some of the larger species (i.e. Green Moray), and can be kept with a wide range of larger semi-aggressive or aggressive fish species. The mouth of the Snake Spotted Eel is not as large as some of the larger Moray Eels, which also make this species more suitable for fish-only aquariums as it cannot swallow larger fish. However, the Snake Spotted Eel will eat ornamental shrimp and crabs, so should not be kept with these types of invertebrates. Snake Spotted Eels feed on small fish and invertebrates that they find inhabiting reef or grass flat environments. In the home aquarium, they can be fed a variety of meaty foods including: shrimp, chopped fish, mussel, clam, etc. along with small feeder fish. While they will consume goldfish or equivalent fresh water fish, they do not provide proper nutrients for marine eels and should only make up a small part of their diet.
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Chainlink Moray Eel
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(Echidna catenata) Easy Semi-Aggressive 30" 125 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Western Atlantic Muraenidae Eels Fish Only 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. 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. 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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Black Edge Moray Eel
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(Gymnothorax saxicola) Moderate Semi-Aggressive 24" 125 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Western Atlantic Muraenidae Eels Fish Only The Black Edge Moray Eel also known as the Ocellated Moray Eel and originates from the seagrass beds of the Caribbean ocean. As is typical of other Moray eels, it has a very thick body and will typically hide in the rocks with its gaping mouth out in plain view. This species of eel is a more aggressive species than is commonly seen within the aquarium hobby. The Black Edge Moray Eel is known to attempt to eat any fish or invertebrate that will fit into its mouth, this along with its size make this species suitable for experienced to advanced hobbyists with a large aquarium and other very large tank mates. The Black Edge Moray Eel is primarily brown in color with intense golden spots covering the entire body. The underside of the eel is gold in color, and the tail is outlined in black, which gives it its name. Its face and body both fit the typical appearance of a moray eel, with a thick aggressive look. While the Black Edge Moray Eel only grows to around 24 inches in length, it has a thick body and will need sizable caves in crevices to live within and will require a 125-gallon or larger aquarium with suitable rock shelter to conceal itself within. After it becomes established within the aquarium, it generally have its head poking out of a cave in the open, or will lie out in full view. The aquarium must be equipped with a tight-fitting lid to discourage escape, as all eels are prone to jumping out of aquariums that are not completely sealed. Caution must be taken with this eel, as it will eat just about anything that it can catch and fit into its mouth, including fish and invertebrates. While it will not directly attack corals, this species should only be kept in a reef environment with caution as they can damage corals because of their thick bodies. This species should only be kept with large fish species that it cannot swallow. The Black Edge Moray Eel is a much more aggressive feeder than most species of eel commonly seen within the aquarium trade. Its diet consists of live feeder fish, squid, and octopus, and it will eat other fish in the aquarium if they small enough to fit into its mouth. Black Edge Moray Eels should only be kept with very large fish species as any smaller fish or invertebrates will be eaten. There should be no problems getting this species to begin feeding as it will readily take to live feeders or meaty foods offered to it via a feeding stick or tongs.
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