Snowflake eel is in rough shape

Pazernaker

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How in the world did I manage to screw up enough to have an eel get sick and everything else in the tank is fine?

Eel is lathargic, on his back, etc. Both pictures, he's taking a breath, so his gills are inflated. Fed him 4 days ago and he won't take food at all. Taking tank parameters currently, but everything else is fine

Eel.jpg Eel2.jpg
 
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Pazernaker

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Im not quite sure whats happening with him what size food did he eat did he eat something that was too big for him to handle
I feed him frozen shrimp chunks that are thawed out and cut to about the size of his head, sometimes a little larger. He always breaks them down and eats them.
 

Jwise

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I feed him frozen shrimp chunks that are thawed out and cut to about the size of his head, sometimes a little larger. He always breaks them down and eats them.
I would probably make the pieces a little smaller and make sure that they arent any bigger than the size of his head. Once you get parameters we might be able to tell a little better whats going on with him
 
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I can say from experience the last time mine was acting lethargic and out of character, breathing hard etc. It very simply was an ammonia an nitrate spike. Eels dont react well to elevated nitrates and of course are more sensitive to ammonia. I dont think this is a food issue, its possible it was too large a piece but I feed mine shrimp just as you do in the same method and he always tears them apart. Awaiting parameters, my bet is ammonia or nitrates
 

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How in the world did I manage to screw up enough to have an eel get sick and everything else in the tank is fine?

Eel is lathargic, on his back, etc. Both pictures, he's taking a breath, so his gills are inflated. Fed him 4 days ago and he won't take food at all. Taking tank parameters currently, but everything else is fine

Eel.jpg Eel2.jpg
Params? (include temp and salinity) tank age? tank size? what did you feed? tankmates?

Is it getting stung?
 

Bucs20fan

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+1 to salinity like @SlugSnorter, also side note, your eel looks really thin, that appears to be an 8 to 10 inch eel and its super thin from my view. How long have you had this eel, if youve had it for a while how often do you feed it, a varied diet is necessary. Its also fairly unusual for the eel to be out and about, this should be a more rare activity, they generally prefer to stay put in their cave especially if they arent feeling well. If its lethargic and breathing hard, you may not have enough surface agitation for O2 transfer or its hunting for food and ran into that nem which generally they are good at avoiding.
 

SlugSnorter

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+1 to salinity like @SlugSnorter, also side note, your eel looks really thin, that appears to be an 8 to 10 inch eel and its super thin from my view. How long have you had this eel, if youve had it for a while how often do you feed it, a varied diet is necessary. Its also fairly unusual for the eel to be out and about, this should be a more rare activity, they generally prefer to stay put in their cave especially if they arent feeling well. If its lethargic and breathing hard, you may not have enough surface agitation for O2 transfer or its hunting for food and ran into that nem which generally they are good at avoiding.
could be the tank was too small and lacked hiding spaces and the eel got really stressed
 

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Don't know about ammonia poisoning as the issue. Rest of the inhabitants would likely show signs as well and was under the assumption they were one of those few able to cycle a tank. something we did in the 80s and 90s. Had mine a tank that had high nitrates at one point which never settled below 20 ppm.

Don't see food size being an issue. Mine was fed shrimp slightly larger than his head as well as those at the shop.

Eels for the most part are resilient creatures. If current parameters aren't affecting other life then perhaps an internal injury, getting stung or due to some disease that can't be detected. Humans have various ailments that aren't environment related and yet hereditary. Never know if that's a concern with any life we keep.
 
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vetteguy53081

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Eels don’t do well with sudden changes, high nitrates and high salinity. They are known messy housekeepers and in turn cause critical numbers to elevate
Ph has an effect on the ammonia levels and sometimes else along with nitrate to focus on.
The state it’s in is known as moribund and can go both ways.
water change recommended along with increased aeration utilizing air stone.
what foods are you feeding and if feeding krill, may cause an issue with digestion . With eel thin, internal issues are at times possible
 
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could be the tank was too small and lacked hiding spaces and the eel got really stressed
I'll try to address all questions here, pulling params right now between meetings at work (remote today). Salinity was 1.02557 yesterday (I use a piece of lab equipment at work), verified this just now with a refractometer I calibrated last week and it came in at 1.026, water temp is 75.6, but looking at my log, it dipped to 74 yesterday for some reason for about an hour... Still waiting on all my other params to finish testing (Alk, Ph, Nitrite, Nitrate, and phosphate). He's fed every other day, sometimes every day, with pieces of frozen shrimp thawed out and skins taken off. I'll feed him small pieces till he's not interested in the anymore (usually 2-3). The only thing that COULD sting in my tank is the condy anemone. Eels last feeding where he took food was 4 days ago. He completely ignored his shrimp yesterday, which was VERY unusual.

Tank is a 60 gallon tank with plenty of liverock. He's dug himself out a den in one that he hangs out in unless it's feeding time. I never see him out like he is in the pictures, and this behavior of being lethargic/out of his den just started today, but he could have been like this in his den prior.

Tankmates for fish are a wrasse, sailfin tang, sand sifting goby, starry bleny, blue spotted puffer, and two clowns.
 
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I'll try to address all questions here, pulling params right now between meetings at work (remote today). Salinity was 1.02557 yesterday (I use a piece of lab equipment at work), verified this just now with a refractometer I calibrated last week and it came in at 1.026, water temp is 75.6, but looking at my log, it dipped to 74 yesterday for some reason for about an hour... Still waiting on all my other params to finish testing (Alk, Ph, Nitrite, Nitrate, and phosphate). He's fed every other day, sometimes every day, with pieces of frozen shrimp thawed out and skins taken off. I'll feed him small pieces till he's not interested in the anymore (usually 2-3). The only thing that COULD sting in my tank is the condy anemone. Eels last feeding where he took food was 4 days ago. He completely ignored his shrimp yesterday, which was VERY unusual.

Tank is a 60 gallon tank with plenty of liverock. He's dug himself out a den in one that he hangs out in unless it's feeding time. I never see him out like he is in the pictures, and this behavior of being lethargic/out of his den just started today, but he could have been like this in his den prior.

Tankmates for fish are a wrasse, sailfin tang, sand sifting goby, starry bleny, blue spotted puffer, and two clowns.
Oh, and the tank is a refurbish tank from someone I bought it off of. I've had him about 3 months now and he's been growing substantially ever since. I did a full sand cleaning about a month ago, but he's shown no signs of trouble with that, in fact, I would say he thrived ever since until recently.
 
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Bucs20fan

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Hmm. They usually tolerate anything between 70-80 as long as it is consistent. Could very well be an internal issue we cannot see, Most common reasons for this behavior are rapid changes in key parameters. They are very hardy long term and can tolerate a generally dirty tank. My fowlr stays around 50ppm nitrate, but it rarely deviates from this and my eel is just fine.
 

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I'll try to address all questions here, pulling params right now between meetings at work (remote today). Salinity was 1.02557 yesterday (I use a piece of lab equipment at work), verified this just now with a refractometer I calibrated last week and it came in at 1.026, water temp is 75.6, but looking at my log, it dipped to 74 yesterday for some reason for about an hour... Still waiting on all my other params to finish testing (Alk, Ph, Nitrite, Nitrate, and phosphate). He's fed every other day, sometimes every day, with pieces of frozen shrimp thawed out and skins taken off. I'll feed him small pieces till he's not interested in the anymore (usually 2-3). The only thing that COULD sting in my tank is the condy anemone. Eels last feeding where he took food was 4 days ago. He completely ignored his shrimp yesterday, which was VERY unusual.

Tank is a 60 gallon tank with plenty of liverock. He's dug himself out a den in one that he hangs out in unless it's feeding time. I never see him out like he is in the pictures, and this behavior of being lethargic/out of his den just started today, but he could have been like this in his den prior.

Tankmates for fish are a wrasse, sailfin tang, sand sifting goby, starry bleny, blue spotted puffer, and two clowns.
Ideal temp range 76/78
Changing salinity as mentioned will cause issue as well as nitrate and ph
Shrimp if large can cause internal issues in digestive tract. Best foods are squid and silversides cut up
 

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How long have you had him. If he has only been getting frozen shrimp as a diet for several months or more, malnutrition could be a culprit. If he has been exposed to copper; either through treatment, qt, or from a source running copper in their system: that is a death sentence. Antibiotics and pretty much any tank chemicals as in vibrant or any other tank cleaners will injure the liver. Otherwise there could be a multitude of unknown causes.
 

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I agree with @lion king . Did you QT the eel? You could be seeing down the road effects of chemicals, especially if you're using a type of algaecide in the tank. I feed mine pieces of market shrimp with the shell on, cut up, Small scallops cut up, clams removed from the half shell, and I treat him with hermits and the occasional emerald crab.
 
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