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lkoechle

Actual moray owners, need opinions please

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Long time no see NR. Tanks are still kicking, just been away so as not be tempted to spend money.  I am looking for opinions on a moray eel.  Particularly a snowflake but I am open to other none piscavore eels.

 

So I have always wanted a snowflake, if you've followed my threads since like 2011 eels pop up with regularity. Lol. I am seriously thinking about finally doing it.  This would be my 65 shallow and I would have to get rid of some fish probably.

 

The tank is 65 gallons shallow (so 4 ft tank), I have a 130 gallon rated skimmer on it.  I traded a dry set up for a fully stocked set up (see first post of adoptees tank thread) so no tang police on inhabitants. I didn't choose them and am now getting ready to relocate some to make room for fish I do want. Lol

My current inhabitants are:

large spotcintus clown pair

blue tang (def going, I have no interest in tangs)

blue chromis

melanarus wrasse

Target Mandarin

Blue spot puffer (the only fish I actually chose)

 

I am getting rid of the tang either way and would like to replace it with a rabbitfish or foxface because I loved my rabbit from a previous tank. 

 

I am pretty much okay with getting rid of everyone except the puffer, the dragonet, and the clown pair.

 

How would a snowflake eel do with a Mandarin?

 

This is a fat, happy, healthy fish. I have owned many mandarins and this one is one of those "dream" mandarins but I am willing to take a low risk for great reward.

 

If I get a small young snowflake will it increase my chances of successful cohabitation? Or is this still a pipe dream?

 

Once again, I am looking for actual experiences. Not "I think this" or "I think that" but "this is my experience with a snowflake and small fish"

 

And I am looking for a budget eel with a personality if there is another species more suitable.

 

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Do you have a lot of rockwork or cover for the eel to slip in/under? I have very limited personal experience with morays - I held a baby Echidna polyzona moray eel for several months for a friend once, and he was roughly 6" with the thickness of a pencil. I gave him a large clump of Halimeda to live in, and he never, ever strayed from the halimeda-rock. Like, ever. Also, he only ate live. 

 

I observed the morays at my LFS and their behavior is more or less the same - they hide under the rocks with a part of their body (head mostly) visible. Depending on the size of the snowflake you're getting, the mandarin *could be lunch if he can fit into the eel's jaws and the eel is hungry enough to go after him.

 

Also, might want to invest in a very tight lid, preferably one that is weighted down at the corners. I found my polyzona slithering across the rug once, and this was after double-lidding the holding tank he was in. He found a tiny 1cm gap between the filter intake and the tank corner, and squeezed out of it. 

 

If the budget fits and you still want to do an eel and keep the mandarin, maybe consider a golden dwarf moray eel instead? I *think they're more passive than a snowflake, but you might have to talk to some golden owners. 

 

Add-On: I kept the polyzona in the same holding tank with a 1.5" target mandarin and a 1" Clarkii clownfish baby for six months without issue. But I also kept the eel well-fed, and he never strayed from his 'home'. 

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1 minute ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Do you have a lot of rockwork or cover for the eel to slip in/under? I have very limited personal experience with morays - I held a baby Echidna polyzona moray eel for several months for a friend once, and he was roughly 6" with the thickness of a pencil. I gave him a large clump of Halimeda to live in, and he never, ever strayed from the halimeda-rock. Like, ever. Also, he only ate live. 

 

I observed the morays at my LFS and their behavior is more or less the same - they hide under the rocks with a part of their body (head mostly) visible. Depending on the size of the snowflake you're getting, the mandarin *could be lunch if he can fit into the eel's jaws and the eel is hungry enough to go after him.

 

Also, might want to invest in a very tight lid, preferably one that is weighted down at the corners. I found my polyzona slithering across the rug once, and this was after double-lidding the holding tank he was in. He found a tiny 1cm gap between the filter intake and the tank corner, and squeezed out of it. 

 

If the budget fits and you still want to do an eel and keep the mandarin, maybe consider a golden dwarf moray eel instead? I *think they're more passive than a snowflake, but you might have to talk to some golden owners. 

Yeah I have to figure out the lid situation.  Might have to get a custom acrylic.

 

I do have a lot of caves.  I like making aquascapes with lots of over hangs caves and hidey holes to help fish feel more secure.

 

I was going to go with relatively small so he hopefully gets used to living with small fish.  My lfs usually has small ones.

 

I don't really want golden dwarf from price point but also I think the snowflake is prettier. Which is a rare occasion when I prefer the cheaper item lol

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2 minutes ago, lkoechle said:

Yeah I have to figure out the lid situation.  Might have to get a custom acrylic.

 

I do have a lot of caves.  I like making aquascapes with lots of over hangs caves and hidey holes to help fish feel more secure.

 

I was going to go with relatively small so he hopefully gets used to living with small fish.  My lfs usually has small ones.

 

I don't really want golden dwarf from price point but also I think the snowflake is prettier. Which is a rare occasion when I prefer the cheaper item lol

Yep, make sure you get the lid first - then the eel though. I've done the reverse, and regretted it. 😞

 

I think if you get a Snowflake between 6" to 8" it should be alright. As long as your tank has plenty of cover, then it shouldn't interact with the mandarin much. I kept my mandarin in closer quarters with my polyzona, but only because the holding tank was very small. The dragonet would literally hover around the halimeda but I've never seen the eel strike it even once (not even defensively). 

 

Since your tank is fairly large and spaced out, I guess you should be good. Just make sure the eel is well-fed. I'd suggest QTing him for a while to make sure the eel gets used to the idea of accepting food (live/frozen) from you. 

 

Important to note: Eels can 'starve' and go for long periods without food. Sometimes up to a month. New eels, especially, won't eat for several days/weeks - it's not unusual. But if you can wean your eel onto frozen (eg. silversides, krill, large mysis etc.), the quicker the better. With live food, it's a bit difficult. (Imagine chasing around a tiny ghost shrimp and trying to re-direct its trajectory to your eel's lair in your 65G - you'll be exhausted by the end of it). 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Yep, make sure you get the lid first - then the eel though. I've done the reverse, and regretted it. 😞

 

I think if you get a Snowflake between 6" to 8" it should be alright. As long as your tank has plenty of cover, then it shouldn't interact with the mandarin much. I kept my mandarin in closer quarters with my polyzona, but only because the holding tank was very small. The dragonet would literally hover around the halimeda but I've never seen the eel strike it even once (not even defensively). 

 

Since your tank is fairly large and spaced out, I guess you should be good. Just make sure the eel is well-fed. I'd suggest QTing him for a while to make sure the eel gets used to the idea of accepting food (live/frozen) from you. 

 

Important to note: Eels can 'starve' and go for long periods without food. Sometimes up to a month. New eels, especially, won't eat for several days/weeks - it's not unusual. But if you can wean your eel onto frozen (eg. silversides, krill, large mysis etc.), the quicker the better. With live food, it's a bit difficult. (Imagine chasing around a tiny ghost shrimp and trying to re-direct its trajectory to your eel's lair in your 65G - you'll be exhausted by the end of it). 

 

 

 

 

Thanks. Yeah I just told my husband I think I am finally going  to get my eel and he's like now? And I responded no, you have to build me a lid  first. Lol I am thinking about going the "Mandarin" route and just wait to find one already eating frozen at an LFS.  

 

When I got this tank, I was dismayed the owner had a mandarin because I didn't want to have build a feeding station and train it. He assured me she eats prepared (insert eyeroll because I have heard that before). And for once, it was true. Like the least picky mandarin in the history of the world. She will eat mysis from tongs.  She makes me feel like I won the lotto. Lol

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7 minutes ago, lkoechle said:

Thanks. Yeah I just told my husband I think I am finally going  to get my eel and he's like now? And I responded no, you have to build me a lid  first. Lol I am thinking about going the "Mandarin" route and just wait to find one already eating frozen at an LFS.  

 

When I got this tank, I was dismayed the owner had a mandarin because I didn't want to have build a feeding station and train it. He assured me she eats prepared (insert eyeroll because I have heard that before). And for once, it was true. Like the least picky mandarin in the history of the world. She will eat mysis from tongs.  She makes me feel like I won the lotto. Lol

Oh, good luck! When you do get your eel, post some pics. 🙂

 

 

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For a tank that size you could do a snowflake for sure. I would get it small, but not tiny. Another eel that you could consider is the “skeletor eel” offered on divers den. It’s more expensive, but imo cooler. 

 

Haveing a tight fitting lid is key. 

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4 minutes ago, William said:

I wouldn’t worry about the 125 gal tank size requirement on this eel, as from all the ones I have seen kept in captivity, they rarely get over 2’ and can be kept in a tank your size pretty easily. This species will be a bit more docile than the snowflake.

 

https://m.liveaquaria.com/divers-den/product/437589/yellow-spotted-skeletor-moray-eel

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Those are really cool.  I don't know if I could my husband to spring the money. But I did persuade to let me spend $150 on a created gecko so I guess I can be persuasive. LOL

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2 minutes ago, lkoechle said:

Those are really cool.  I don't know if I could my husband to spring the money. But I did persuade to let me spend $150 on a created gecko so I guess I can be persuasive. LOL

It’s really a great deal on that fish.... and i think the temperament would be better. I am following your IG and saw the crested you got..... I’m trying to convince my BF to let me get a chameleon ..

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