Buying eels and know what to look for

Discussion in 'Predatory Fish Discussion' started by Earl Karl, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Earl Karl

    Earl Karl Active Member

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    So I have bought a ton of eels since I have started the hobby, they have tons of personality and my hawaiian dragon eel the first thing guests look at in my display reef. However, I have always thought eels were disease resistant, so I about I relatively healthy snowflake eel. Until he got nose cancer and passed away recently. This was confirmed by an autopsy by a vet. When I did buy him though, he did have brown streaks on his snout. I went to my lfs (which is a really good lfs), all of the big snowflake had some brown streaks (not as bad as the one I purchased). What does this mean? Are there anything else I should be looking for in a snowflake eel?
     

  2. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Partner Member 2018 Expert Contributor Partner Member

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  3. Bob Loblaw

    Bob Loblaw Active Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Louisiana Reef Club

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    Disease resistant refers to parasites not cancer, liver disease, heart disease... Aberrant color/patterns are normal and I wouldn't let them sway my decision on purchase. Physical deformities are a different story though.
     
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  4. graffitireef

    graffitireef Active Member

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    Thats interesting. I didnt know they suffered from cancers like that. Every eel I've had was near impossible to kill. I've had 2 even jump out of the tank that was covered (still dont understand how they did it) and lay on the ground for a few hours before I found them, put them back into water and them revive themselves.
     
  5. tyler1503

    tyler1503 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    This is basically what to look for when buying a new eel. Or any fish for that matter :)

    - fading colours.
    - loss of appetite (if a dormant stage has been ruled out).
    - swelling of the face or body.
    - cuts or scrapes that change in colour, shape, size or texture or will not heal.
    - weak swimming ability.
    - acting lethargic and sluggish.
    - cloudy eyes.
    - strange and often discoloured patches of skin or bumps.
    - unnatural coloured poop.
    - swelling of the abdomen.

    It's copied and pasted directly from an article I wrote a while ago. Some information needs updating, but the important stuff should still be good.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/eel-care-guide.190769/
     
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  6. Earl Karl

    Earl Karl Active Member

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    Ok, that's pretty hard to distinguish then. Last time I bought an eel who looked healthy and showed no symptoms (besides brown streaks on snout), ended up get nostril cancer. I took a gamble on a beautiful eel though. I'm pretty sure this type of thing happens to one in a million eels. I now have a 27 inch monster (literally 3 inches diameter), which was offered as a gift from the owner. But I wanted to support the lfs and paid the price for it ($100). I plan to grow out a small eel to full grown in the future though. Right now I want to spend time with this beast. RIP my food budget.
     
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