What about keeping eels in a reef aquarium? Would you do it?

BRS

Would you keep an eel in a reef tank?

  • 1) Nope! I don't think it would work.

    Votes: 109 40.4%
  • 2) Yep, but only in a predator reef.

    Votes: 66 24.4%
  • 3) Yes! It can be done successfully! (Thoughts posted in the thread.)

    Votes: 95 35.2%

  • Total voters
    270

Appoloreefer

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Mine was fine until he grow and start eat warsse, clown, chromis, anthias, i was fedding him alot of food full freeze shrimp scarlop ect. to not have that appen but he did...
Wow, I am surprised because I had a snowflake eel and when he was full grown he never went after my chromis, clowns or shrimp. it just depends on the fish you get
 

JonnyReefer

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I had a snowflake for 5 years. After 4.5 years, fish started to go missing, especially new fish. Eels WILL eat smaller fish (gobies, blennys, etc) eventually. You can feed them well but doesn't mean they still won't go hungry and eventually try a snack and learn they like the snack much better. He was best friends with my cleaner shrimp though, that was fun to watch. Eventually returned him to lfs, got sick of losing so many fish.
 

Ocean’s Piece

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I think eels are fascinating, and I would keep them if I had a larger predatory tank. Weird story but true: We accidentally caught a King Snake eel in the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s the only picture I got of him before we cut the line. He was about 5 feet long.
F1FAF716-F2D6-40CD-8D6F-5AB34A2C6057.jpeg
 

ReeferMadness01

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My 180 came with a snowflake eel, blue eye porcupine puffer, 3 clowns, 2 engineer gobies, a lawnmower blenny, royal gramma, and a pajama cardinal. Never messes with anyone other than the puffer when they duke it out for a piece of shrimp.
 

Dan Ponchak

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Grallster

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I’ve had a snowflake in my reef for about 4 years. Eventually, small fish become a little too appetizing (pretty sure it ate a blue damsel and a psuedochromis). Now I only keep it with larger fish.
 

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Kernowzx2

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Ive put an eel in every tank ive owned. As long as you plan your livestock accordingly theres no issue. HOWEVER eels produce insane amounts of waste especially when they get bigger and you will need to have excessive amounts of nutrient export either through water changes or an extra large refugium to keep the nitrates and phosphates low enoigh for coral, especially sps.

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Nice to see you on here too! We usually converse on Instagram. Eels ehh? Lol!
 

Fish Think Pink

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I love eels!! I love reef tanks!! Can we bring these 2 together? How might that be doable? Today's Question Of The Day:

1) Would you keep an eel in a reef tank?

2) What kind would you keep?

3) What would you keep with it?


Photo by @FeliciaLynn

1 - qotd.jpeg
No I would not keep an eel .... because GRANDPA EEL almost killed me...

As novice diver vacationing on 'live aboard' with 5 dive masters, one afternoon I was out swimming upside down going along reef, scouting reef for lobster signs. Suddenly, yanked up and backwards!! Spun around to find friend who couldn't understand my underwater cursing... but got me to look at reef... where I was swimming head first into a 5 foot eel about thigh thick...

would grandpa eel have been able to eat me, no...

would one bite have killed me, yes...

that far out with no good medical option... me and eels are distant company since that day...

still don't want any of that 'ribbon candy' or 'reef noodles' or other adorable names we give SMALL eels... because GRANDPA EEL almost got me... (my fault, distracted blonde)
 
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rusty hannon

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my answer was yes n Ill try n answer the other questions best as I can. About 15 years ago we had quite a few salt tanks up n running of various sizes rangeing from 29 g to 75 gal. Didnt really realize we had now called a fowler, a reef, a breed specific salt predator and a couple cause i was really into anything salt. I wanted a eel and our lfs friend had one n gave it to us. Most of our livestock n food items were given to us for voluntering 2x a week cause we liked it n she needed the help anyway. Okies,go figure. Anyway she gave us a snowflake eel we put in a 50 gal . The tank was mainly for our new corals we were then gettingn trieing to keep alive a few different types of damsels n cuc w live rock from the gulf. Never lost any fish n as we were always adding to our cuc didnt notice if Mr. eel was doing much damage there. All went well n I would do it again if i wanted another eel although i wouldnt put small docile fish or shrimp w him/her. Not as youd say predator only. I wouldnt put said eel into my mandrin tank Im hopeing someday to have babies n but Id definately put a grown mandrin n Mr. eels tank. Hope I made sense there n hit the questions rite Happy reefing
 

vetteguy53081

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1) Would you keep an eel in a reef tank?

A ribbon eel or snowflake, more than likely. I have a 14" Engineer goby that serves as my eel

2) What kind would you keep?

Moray is by far the easiest to care for. They have minimal maintenance needs but that fierce reputation is well earned. Beyond the fact that they are totally intimidating there are more than 100 eels in the family Muraenidae that are able to be kept in the home aquarium environment.

3) What would you keep with it?

Fish that cannot and never will fit in its mouth. They are compatible with Triggerfish, Pufferfish, and Larger Angelfish. For larger morays, maintaining water quality suitable for invertebrates becomes much more of a challenge. Realistically, you'll want to consider these specimens for a fish-only system and species or mixed large predator set-ups will be the best route.

A word of caution and feeding:
When keeping moray eels must be very careful because all species have those needle-like teeth which can cause severe damage and some victims have lost fingers, thumbs and sometimes more as a result. Though we all get tempted at times, avoid hand feeding any of the moray family. They can move exceedingly quick and with their poor eyesight often bites will occur because they can't readily distinguish between food and your fingers. So we always advise using a feeding stick, or tongs when feeding and finally you must always keep yourself alert to what's going on.

Feeding:
Feed twice a week. Also if your Moray Eel doesn't eat do not despair.. It's not unusual for new marine eels to go on a hunger strike for several weeks after introduction to new quarters, so it may be necessary to train the moray onto captive diets. Regular careful feedings using the protection of feeding tongs will produce a trust between your moray and you. It's rare for them to starve to death, so keep plugging away until they feed!
Moray diets vary. They're all carnivorous, but some require a crustacean-based diet while others will favor fish or squid. The greatest clue to any species diet is dentition. Crustacean feeders tend to have flattened teeth for grinding and crunching hard-shelled invertebrates, while the needle-like teeth of piscivorous species are used for spearing and gripping slippery prey. Whatever the diet of your chosen species, variety is important. Specialist crustacean feeders should have a range of prawns and crabs. Piscivores will benefit from a mix of frozen fish species as well as squid. Vitamin supplementation should be considered for all morays to prevent dietary deficiencies.
 

Bbfishb81

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I think you can, and I have. I have 2 zebra moray eels. One in a reef tank, one in a an aggressive tank, but there are inverts in both, neither has touched anything. Also had a chain link with in the aggressive tank with a zebra, and still never had issues. To each their own though.
 

srobertb

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I want one. Well, actually my son wants one. I love my fish but I’m willing to accept they are collateral damage. They’re all full grown and I have less concern.

My lid isn’t tight fitting. It does not span the last 3” of my tank to allow for the auto feeder and refugium overflow. I’d have to rework the lid completely.
 

bwp

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I kept a snowflake in a mix reef tank for ~9 years before I lost him following the Texas freeze. He was ~3ft at time of death.

I think he only attacked one fish during the entire time. He would “hunt” throughout the tank regularly, but he had poor eyesight. Basically any fish could get out of the way.

One thing I will mention is that I noticed an immediate Ph increase (0.1 consistently) in my tank (230 g) after the eel was gone. So if you have lower Ph , you may want to think twice about putting such a large fish in your tank as it will impact coral growth rates.
 
BRS

Do you house a "Reef Safe" Angelfish in your reef tank?

  • YES and it's going good

    Votes: 73 40.6%
  • YES but it's not working out

    Votes: 6 3.3%
  • NO I have tried it in the past and it didn't work out

    Votes: 17 9.4%
  • NO I haven't tried yet

    Votes: 79 43.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 2.8%
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