05. Eels (4)

Gymnothorax tile

11. December 2020

For many years the up to 60 cm long moray eel species Gymnothorax tile has been sold as “freshwater moray”. It is true that G. tile can live in pure fresh water for a while (a few months) without showing any discomfort. But practice shows that this moray eel species is much more persistent in brackish or sea water (15-30 grams of salt per liter), as known from other fish species of the tidal zone, such as Scats, Monos etc. When keeping the fish in fresh water, the pH-value should not drop below 8, otherwise the moray eels will stop eating.

They are predatory fish that feed exclusively on carnivorous food: small fish, crabs and shrimps form their natural food. In the aquarium Frutti di Mare are an ideal substitute, frozen smelts and shrimps should be used as addition. It may take several weeks before these morays accept food. This is normal and not a cause for concern. The best thing is to put some live food fish in the aquarium; once they have disappeared, the spell is broken, the moray eel is accustomed and from now on it becomes a greedy eater. You have to watch your fingers a little bit; the moray eels see badly and orientate themselves by their sense of smell. If the keeper’s fingers still smell of food, it can happen that the moray eel bites him. This is not poisonous, but it bleeds violently and is in danger of infection.

Gymnothorax tile is very tolerant against conspecifics, as well as other large fish. The water temperature can be between 22 and 30°C. As with all brackish and saltwater fish the oxygen demand is high. The species is distributed along large parts of the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

For our customers: the animals have code 419675 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Gymnothorax polyuranodon

22. September 2017

This is the only real freshwater species of moray: Gymnothorax polyuranodon. Usually this species is not found over 30-40 km away from the coast, but most often in pure freshwater. The other salt tolerant species of moray, for example Gymnothorax tile, usually do not leave the tidal zone.

We could import this only very rarely available species (despite its wide distribution in the indo-west pacific region) now from Indonesia. Our 10 specimens are juveniles, 20-25 cm long. Maximum length reported for this species is about 150 cm. Each single specimen has an individual pattern of spots.

In the aquarium these morays are very anxious during settlement. So they should be kept along only with absolutely peaceful and calm fish. For feeding one should place some live small feeder fish of about guppy size in the moray tank. When these feeder fish are vanished the morays have started feeding. However, the keeper has to be patient. Often enough this takes several days to weeks. The fasting is usually harmless for the morays.

Breeding appears only in the sea – like in all species of moray. This is the reason why the species is so far spread, as the eggs and the larvae are taken away with the currents. In respect of keeping morays in the aquarium one has to take care that the tanks is absolutely closely covered. Morays will find even the smallest gap and press their body through – often with a fatal consequence. Besides this the pH is important: it should never be on the acidic side, but always over 7.5, better over 8.

For our customers: the fish have code 419654 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in small numbers only!

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Ophichthus apicalis

16. September 2014

Ophichthus apicalis Ophichthus apicalis Ophichthus apicalis Ophichthus apicalis

Eels (in the scientific sense) are usually no ornamental fish. But there is a greater number of species than one expects, and many of them are used for human consumption. We were able now to import a species of eel from Vietnam that was to the best of our knowledge never imported before alive: Ophichthus apicalis. The species belongs to the snake-eel family (Ophichthidae) and has a gigantic natural distribution in the Indo-Pacific. Usually the up to 45 cm long species is found in the sea, but it is very often found also in brackish environments. The genus Ophichthus contains currently 75 accepted species.

We received specimens in two sizes, 30-35 cm long and a dozen fully grown specimens. Nobody would regard these fish as beautiful, but in any case they are very interesting!

For our customers: the fish have code 439852 and 439853 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Vietnam
Verfügbare Größe in cm 35-45

Strophidon sathete

7. April 2010

Strophidon sathete Strophidon sathete

For the first time now we have some specimens of the largest moray eel of the world in stock: Strophidon sathete. This species originates from brackish water regions. They inhabit the very same habitats (lower reaches of rivers) as the common freshwater moray, Gymnothorax tile. Both can be kept like scats or monos: they are completely tolerant for both pure freshwater and pure marine water (euryhaline), but for long time keeping it is highly recommended to add 10-20 grams seesalt/litre water.

Against conspecifics this species is very peaceful. However, they try to feed on any other fish that seem to fit their mouth (and the mouth is really large!). Thus it is best to keep them in a one-species tank. S. sathete can reach the amazing total length of around 4 metres! It is so rare and relatively expensive in the ornamental fish trade, because they have to be collected by hand and in single specimens. They live very secretely and have to be burried out of the ground. In the aquarium they also tend to hide very much in the beginning, but they learn that the keeper means food after some time. The tank must be absolutely safely covered, otherwise the morays will break out. They feed on large meat, like whole fish, pieces of fish, shrimps, etc…

For our customers: the fish has code 456134 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexikon: Strophidon: not explained in the original description, but probably from ancient Greek, meaning “with teeth turned backwards”. sathete: after the vernacular name of the species in Bengal.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Indien / India
Verfügbare Größe in cm 30-50