Tell me about your Morays… especially they’re aggression with tank mates

trvrstnk4837

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Hey guys I’m setting up a 6’ 125 gallon I’m hoping to have a variety of fish and soft corals

I’m really interested in getting a fang toothed moray that can stay in a tank this size like a yellow-head or something similar

im really curious about what options I’ll have for tank mates and I’m not really interested in a predator only tank

so how do your eels behave? Are they all good with all your fish that it can’t easily swallow whole? Anyone have one with fish it can swallow but doesn’t and would just rather be fed? Anyone have one that’s an absolute nightmare biting fish it can’t gulp down?

in my research I’ve found that enchidna genius eels like the snowflake would be a better bet but I don’t have that same attraction to them

Thanks
 
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bobnicaragua

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I used to have a Mexican moray that went after anything that moved, probably not what you’re looking for.

Snowflakes are pretty good tankmates, at least as far as fish are concerned. I’ve been keeping saltwater tanks a long time. Be careful with predators. A fish eater will eat your fish.
 
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trvrstnk4837

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I used to have a Mexican moray that went after anything that moved, probably not what you’re looking for.

Snowflakes are pretty good tankmates, at least as far as fish are concerned. I’ve been keeping saltwater tanks a long time. Be careful with predators. A fish eater will eat your fish.

Yeah I guess it boils down to I want to have my cake and eat it too

I’m torn on it, I see a lot of feeding videos where an eel is with small fish and on the other hand a lot of peolpe have horror stories
 
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My Snowflake doesn't bother any of my other fish. Although he has made it down to the sump once, but now I eel proofed it. Lids are a necessity as it will get out and onto the floor, guaranteed. I never see it except for feeding time. They are slow movers, but I still wouldn't risk adding any small fish/inverts as they will probably end up an expensive meal.
 

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If you want to play it safe, keep large fish that won't fit in their mouth (think disc-shaped vs. slender), and feed smaller more frequent meals. If you want to try the whole smaller fish with bigger eels, go for small fast things that you really wouldn't mind if one went missing here and there (like damsels) and make sure they're in the tank before the eel, not after. Eels key in on fish that are stressed or dying, so the erratic behavior of new arrivals often triggers their hunting instincts.

I used to keep large fangtooth eels with larger predator fish like groupers, triggers, puffers, and lions; but also with larger butterflies and wrasses. In my experience, morays with the more slender/angular head shape tend to be more aggressive. This also seems to be the case with more nocturnal species vs. diurnal. Example: my large whitemouth moray and smaller greyface moray were a lot less aggressive/ravenously biting at things than the small undulated moray I used to keep. Every individual eel is different, but that 14" undulated gave me more bites than every other fish I've dealt with combined.

Just use common sense and a little uncommon sense in learning to appreciate how big their mouths can really expand.
 
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trvrstnk4837

trvrstnk4837

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My Snowflake doesn't bother any of my other fish. Although he has made it down to the sump once, but now I eel proofed it. Lids are a necessity as it will get out and onto the floor, guaranteed. I never see it except for feeding time. They are slow movers, but I still wouldn't risk adding any small fish/inverts as they will probably end up an expensive meal.

word yeah Aqueon makes a glass lid for my tank but I’m worried about oxygen so I may make something out of screen
 
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trvrstnk4837

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If you want to play it safe, keep large fish that won't fit in their mouth (think disc-shaped vs. slender), and feed smaller more frequent meals. If you want to try the whole smaller fish with bigger eels, go for small fast things that you really wouldn't mind if one went missing here and there (like damsels) and make sure they're in the tank before the eel, not after. Eels key in on fish that are stressed or dying, so the erratic behavior of new arrivals often triggers their hunting instincts.

I used to keep large fangtooth eels with larger predator fish like groupers, triggers, puffers, and lions; but also with larger butterflies and wrasses. In my experience, morays with the more slender/angular head shape tend to be more aggressive. This also seems to be the case with more nocturnal species vs. diurnal. Example: my large whitemouth moray and smaller greyface moray were a lot less aggressive/ravenously biting at things than the small undulated moray I used to keep. Every individual eel is different, but that 14" undulated gave me more bites than every other fish I've dealt with combined.

Just use common sense and a little uncommon sense in learning to appreciate how big their mouths can really expand.

thanks for the advice, at this point I’m pretty committed to an eel I just did my aqua scape around a PVC tunnel

I’ll just be careful with the tank mates there’s a big Convict Tang at my LGS I have my eye on I’d also really like grouper but most seem like they’ll out grow my 125

I’ve mainly been looking into the Yellow Head, Jeweled and the Golden Tail and there seems to be more anecdotal evidence in favor of the Goldentail being laid back compared to the others …. I’ll look into the 2 you mentioned
 

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thanks for the advice, at this point I’m pretty committed to an eel I just did my aqua scape around a PVC tunnel

I’ll just be careful with the tank mates there’s a big Convict Tang at my LGS I have my eye on I’d also really like grouper but most seem like they’ll out grow my 125

I’ve mainly been looking into the Yellow Head, Jeweled and the Golden Tail and there seems to be more anecdotal evidence in favor of the Goldentail being laid back compared to the others …. I’ll look into the 2 you mentioned
Yellowhead applies to three different species; G. fimbriatus, G. undulatus, and G. rueppelliae. Most of those sold are fimbriatus or the fimbriated moray, mine was an undulated; I've never dealt with rueppelliae. I'd be surprised if any moray can match how vicious the undulated I had was, but I've never worked with fimbriateds personally.

The jeweled is probably what bobnicaragua called a "Mexican moray," which can also be bitey.

The goldtail (G. miliaris) is basically the Atlantic version of the whitemouth (G. meleagris), a lot more common than the whitemouth too. I've worked with them, very docile like my whitemouth was, so probably your best choice out of the three. No doubt they would eat fish though, the few I've worked with usually took silversides as their first food above the things I usually offer new morays (silversides, krill, squid, etc.). If you want to spend a small fortune, the eels sold as "banana moray" are the all-golden morph of the goldtail.

Greyface morays (G. thyrsoideus) are less common but you can find one if you look around a bit. Very under-appreciated species in the looks department because the juveniles are usually quite uniformly grey. As they get bigger their colors usually vary and darken up a bit more. Also a fish eater.
 
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Yellowhead applies to three different species; G. fimbriatus, G. undulatus, and G. rueppelliae. Most of those sold are fimbriatus or the fimbriated moray, mine was an undulated; I've never dealt with rueppelliae. I'd be surprised if any moray can match how vicious the undulated I had was, but I've never worked with fimbriateds personally.

The jeweled is probably what bobnicaragua called a "Mexican moray," which can also be bitey.

The goldtail (G. miliaris) is basically the Atlantic version of the whitemouth (G. meleagris), a lot more common than the whitemouth too. I've worked with them, very docile like my whitemouth was, so probably your best choice out of the three. No doubt they would eat fish though, the few I've worked with usually took silversides as their first food above the things I usually offer new morays (silversides, krill, squid, etc.). If you want to spend a small fortune, the eels sold as "banana moray" are the all-golden morph of the goldtail.

Greyface morays (G. thyrsoideus) are less common but you can find one if you look around a bit. Very under-appreciated species in the looks department because the juveniles are usually quite uniformly grey. As they get bigger their colors usually vary and darken up a bit more. Also a fish eater.

Awesome, really appreciate your first hand info I’ll definitely use it

Right now the only one I’m seeing available is the Jeweled it’s listed as a Mexican Dragon at Salty Bottom Reef Company

Nice I didn’t know they were the same eel, if I wanted to spend a lot there’s really cool Japanese Dragon eels at my LGS …. But there $1200 lol
 
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Steve and his Animals

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Awesome, really appreciate your first hand info I’ll definitely use it

Right now the only one I’m seeing available is the Jeweled it’s listed as a Mexican Dragon at Salty Bottom Reef Company

Nice I didn’t know they were the same eel, if I wanted to spend a lot there’s really cool Japanese Dragon eels at my LGS …. But there $1200 lol
Never gotten anything from Salty Bottom, so don't know how trustworthy they are.

Keep an eye on LiveAquaria's Diver's Den, they often have groups of fimbriated morays coming through. Once in a while they have greyfaces and goldtails as well.

If your LFS gets fish from Quality Marine, they almost always have goldtails, including the "bananas." Might be worth asking if they do special orders. Alternatively, if they have any wholesalers that specialize in Atlantic species (like Dynasty Marine), you might be able to get a goldtail a bit cheaper through them.


Reef beauties has fimbriateds and jewels often if you want to go that route.


Violet Aquarium has fimbriated ands greyfaces (white-eyes). They have good fish for good prices, but their high shipping costs usually even them out.
 
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trvrstnk4837

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Will do live aquaria had a single Yellow Head a week or 2 ago

Good point I didn’t think of getting it ordered from the store, now that you say that I remember having the store order me a fresh water tiger fish years ago…. It was DOA :( lol

really really appreciate the links my google-fu was to weak to find those 2 sites, if they still have both when I’m ready (filling my tank with water this week so I still have some time) https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/125-gallon-tank-for-an-eel-inexperienced-reefer.929630/
Then I’ll probably just debate between those two
 
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Never gotten anything from Salty Bottom, so don't know how trustworthy they are.

Keep an eye on LiveAquaria's Diver's Den, they often have groups of fimbriated morays coming through. Once in a while they have greyfaces and goldtails as well.

If your LFS gets fish from Quality Marine, they almost always have goldtails, including the "bananas." Might be worth asking if they do special orders. Alternatively, if they have any wholesalers that specialize in Atlantic species (like Dynasty Marine), you might be able to get a goldtail a bit cheaper through them.


Reef beauties has fimbriateds and jewels often if you want to go that route.


Violet Aquarium has fimbriated ands greyfaces (white-eyes). They have good fish for good prices, but their high shipping costs usually even them out.

One more quick question would you say your more aggressive eel was more active then the white eye eel in general when it comes to swimming and stuff?

Not sure if that goes hand in hand with aggression
 
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I have a snowflake eel about 18 inches long and an Indian Mud Moray thats about 20 inches long. They get along with everyone fine. They are housed in a fowlr tank with 4 different species of triggers, 2 squirrel fish, a coral beauty angel, a clown tang, and a dogface puffer. They are very very messy. The eels rarely leave their hidey holes unless its feeding time. I could recommend a feeding stick versus tongs, they have a habit of biting the tongs along with the food and makes it hard to let the food go. This is only an issue for larger eels. But to cap it off, I have seen no issues regarding aggression from the eels. Only thing that is a slight issue is the triggers will try and steal food from the eels.
 

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I have glass lids on my fowlr tank, and have seen no issues regarding gas exchange and or temp. I would never have any kind of larger eel without a heavy lid, and my glass lids are weighted down as well.
 
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One more quick question would you say your more aggressive eel was more active then the white eye eel in general when it comes to swimming and stuff?

Not sure if that goes hand in hand with aggression
In my experience, activity level really has to do with nocturnality vs. diurnality. Most people assume morays are all nocturnal, which they aren't: at least not all to the same degree. Sure, most eels would prefer to stay out of the open in the daytime, but whether or not you see them during the day seems to be related to species and size of the individual. Larger eels tend to be more bold and calm, so they are less apprehensive about showing themselves.

If a moray has a comfortable home with a good vantage point, expect to see at most 1/3 of their body at any given moment; it's not really in their nature to get out and swim around for no reason. Many researchers find morays will spend many years returning to the same spot in the wild if they think it's a good "home base" to return to. I find that applies to our tanks as well; if you build a suitable home for your eel, they shouldn't really feel the need to cruise around outside of meal time. That's also a good thing to hear when it comes to having them not try to escape.

Here's how my whitemouth spent most of his day. He would actually slowly approach the front glass if I was nearby until he bumped into it, probably expecting food. It was actually quite rare for the little undulated to make obvious appearances during the day; I usually had to sit in front of the tank and actively look for him since he was usually barely visible between his darker daytime colors and only usually having his head visible.

IMG_0539.JPG
 

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If you want something a little different I've been experimenting with snake eels of the genus myrichthys. They seem fish safe though I can't guarantee it but are not small crustacean safe. My goldspotted is very easy while my banded is quite difficult and similar to a ribbon in terms of feeding difficulty.

 
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If you want something a little different I've been experimenting with snake eels of the genus myrichthys. They seem fish safe though I can't guarantee it but are not small crustacean safe. My goldspotted is very easy while my banded is quite difficult and similar to a ribbon in terms of feeding difficulty.


Sweeeet! Like a real sea snake in your tank
 
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In my experience, activity level really has to do with nocturnality vs. diurnality. Most people assume morays are all nocturnal, which they aren't: at least not all to the same degree. Sure, most eels would prefer to stay out of the open in the daytime, but whether or not you see them during the day seems to be related to species and size of the individual. Larger eels tend to be more bold and calm, so they are less apprehensive about showing themselves.

If a moray has a comfortable home with a good vantage point, expect to see at most 1/3 of their body at any given moment; it's not really in their nature to get out and swim around for no reason. Many researchers find morays will spend many years returning to the same spot in the wild if they think it's a good "home base" to return to. I find that applies to our tanks as well; if you build a suitable home for your eel, they shouldn't really feel the need to cruise around outside of meal time. That's also a good thing to hear when it comes to having them not try to escape.

Here's how my whitemouth spent most of his day. He would actually slowly approach the front glass if I was nearby until he bumped into it, probably expecting food. It was actually quite rare for the little undulated to make obvious appearances during the day; I usually had to sit in front of the tank and actively look for him since he was usually barely visible between his darker daytime colors and only usually having his head visible.

IMG_0539.JPG

Nice he’s beautiful, but yeah that all makes sense I made a little tunnel out of pvc so my eel should hopefully feel comfortable

320A5B77-E788-4203-8FBA-34560D7E8292.jpeg
 

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