Feeding Blue Ribbon Eel

wonderphil-reef

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Hi all,

I wanted to just share some success I have had over the past day or so with getting a blue ribbon eel to feed. Everyone knows how painful they can be to get eating once you have them and my new boy was no different, almost over 2 weeks he didn't eat a thing. To make things even harder I have 3 Lions in the same tank, which means if the eel doesn't take it straight away, the lions will in seconds.

This was my first ribbon eel, I had read a lot of forums and papers on what others had done and got working and not working. So firstly I had loads of rock for him to hide in and he did and very quickly found his spot, I tried a number of times river shrimp, which was good, because I could dump a lot in one end of the tank and the loins would be happy, then dump some down the other end for the eel. On the first go I thought this was going to work, the eel looked at the shrimp and even followed some, but he never went for them, and then of course the lions saw what was left and that was the end of that. I did this a number of times and it never worked.

Next, I tried a Peppermint Shrimp as I'd seen people saying that work, and while it was ££ I had to try. But still, that didn't work but the shrimp has somehow managed to evade the loins and still living away in the tank.

Next was Guppies and mollies, while I didn't like this idea due to what I saw with fish getting sick and parasites coming in from these, again I needed to try, didn't want my new eel to die. This was interesting, again the eel would watch and follow the Guppies but wouldn't do any more than that. And even then I had to feed the Guppies garlic seaweed first. The other problem was how to keep the lions from eating the Guppies, first I tried to get a couple of Guppies in a next and place the net near the hole in the rocks where the eel come out, didn't really work and they just escaped.

The second was to feed the lions a tone of shrimp so much they would balloon and then go hide because they ate so much and that worked for two of my Lions, they balloon so much they just sat on their rocks and didn't move for days. I might add, those two almost doubled in size now because of this. The 3rd Lion, well he would just keep eating and eating and eating no matter how big he got so this was no good.

The other problem I had come across at this point was my Nitrates went from around 2ppm to over 50ppm :( Still doing massive eater changes along with Nitrate Ex added daily and NP Pellets in 2 reactors.

I had also read on a thread here that the eels feel safer in pipes and eat better when they were in, so even though I had a tone of rocks and hiding spots, I added a bit of pipe under the sand and hid one end with a rock and the other open near the front of the tank.

At this point, I also tried feeding with tongs so I could stop the lions and make sure the eel had its time, but that just scare the eel.

My last attempt at feeding come from an idea of using the net to hold the Guppies, but this time I got a breeders net, the ones you stick at the top of your tank for livebearers. I thought if I stick a could of Guppies in that, turn it upside down and put over the open end of the pipe, and left the eel to it he might eat.

Well, it worked!!!! :) after about 30mins of watching every move the eel made from a distance, he come out of the pipe, into the breeders net followed the Guppies around forever, and then out of the blue, he took the biggest guppy there and dragged it back to his pipe. Meanwhile, the lions are trying to get the other Guppies that are in the net, and for one of the Lions, one Guppies escapes and became breakfast for him.

So now my next step is to get him onto shrimp, but at least now he is eating!

While I didn't get a video of him actually taking the Guppies, I have attached a small video here to show you what I mean, sorry not the greatest video, still getting used to recording under blue lights. I hope this will help anyone else with their Bule ribbon eels.

20220314_085840.jpg

 
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lion king

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Here's the story of one that I kept.

The net method works, here's what I do. I have kept a few tanks with multiple predators where some are faster and piggier than others. I use a rigid airline tube from the lfs, a feeding stick or any other improvised tool is fine. I use it to block and herd, I herd the prey towards the fish I'm trying to feed, while using it to block the more aggressive fish that have already had their full. You can gently push the lions around, by the shoulder or behind the pectoral fin. Herding the ghosties, mollies, or guppies using the same stick. Before I gave the ribbon eel away he was in a tank of 4 lions. I currently have a rhino in a tank of 4 lions, the fuzzy is a real pita. Now my stick is mainly used to smack the fuzzy around so everyone else can eat, The rhino hops up to my hand and I release a molly for him to catch. Mollies and guppies are good food, you can catch many of my posts/threads over the years to see I have kept many predators for many years feeding ghosties, mollies. and guppies. Mollies and guppies are really brackish fish that lfs keep in fresh water, fresh water diseases and parasites do not transfer to salt water. I have never contributed any of my food sources to spread a disease or parasite. I strongly suggest to maintain an offering of live food to the ribbon if you want to keep him for many years, primarily mollies. While they may eat ghosties, they are primarily fish eaters, the bones and live flora in the guts are likely the key to a long life.
 
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lion king

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What is that green grass like stuff that is carpeting your tank that looks awesome and i would like some in my tank if can find some.

Thats green star polyps, easy to find and very invasive so be careful. It will grow over everything it touches and over corals as well. I had it on one side of my tank and trimmed it away as not to touch anything I didn't want it on. That green mound you see is actually a huge cave. It grows across the sandbed and its easy to create a lawn, it attaches itself easily to plastic things like overflows. if you want on the back glass, just use some strategically placed drops of superglue.
 
Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories

Lil Puff

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Thats green star polyps, easy to find and very invasive so be careful. It will grow over everything it touches and over corals as well. I had it on one side of my tank and trimmed it away as not to touch anything I didn't want it on. That green mound you see is actually a huge cave. It grows across the sandbed and its easy to create a lawn, it attaches itself easily to plastic things like overflows. if you want on the back glass, just use some strategically placed drops of superglue.
Does it come in any other colours?
 

lion king

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There;s these, blue clove polyps, a little harder to find, but all you need is a little frag. The problem is they will spread everywhere, but they are easy to control away from other corals, they don't grow over them. They must spread via spores because they don't have to touch, they just go everywhere. I got such a wow from friends about this tank, but you really got to like them.

1648948187340.png
 

MaxTremors

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Does it come in any other colours?
There is a purple/sort of flesh colored variety. But there is also sympodium and blue clove polyps (Sarcothelia). But for star polyps, green is the most common variety (there are branching and matting varieties, though the branching variety also mats quite a bit, there are also some that are more metallic than others and some that have white in the center of the polyp).
 
World Wide Corals

lion king

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There;s these, blue clove polyps, a little harder to find, but all you need is a little frag. The problem is they will spread everywhere, but they are easy to control away from other corals, they don't grow over them. They must spread via spores because they don't have to touch, they just go everywhere. I got such a wow from friends about this tank, but you really got to like them.

1648948187340.png

It was actually blue sympodium not blue clove, I literally started with a quarter size frag, and 6 months later the whole tank was covered.

https://liveaquaria.com/product/3082/?pcatid=3082&msclkid=34b48348b3ab11ecb62bbe5e7f031c8d
 

Lil Puff

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