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Choosing Marine Eels

Marine eels, of which there are about 20 families, make interesting displays in your tank but are usually kept on their own since, should they get the least bit hungry, they’ll most likely eat everyone else.

Eels are nocturnal fish that live in caves and holes along a reef, snatching any hapless fish drifting by. In nature, eels will eat just about anything, and in captivity, they’ll do the same, as long as it’s meaty. Some eels even have an evolved ability to crush shells, so even clams aren’t safe from the powerful jaws of a species such as the moray, the most common eel for hobbyists.

Chopped fish, shrimp or live fish will do fine as a regular diet. For eels, squid are a delicacy, so be sure to treat your moray to some raw calamari once in awhile. Some people hand-feed their morays, but watch your fingers. These eels locate food with their sense of smell – not sight. The bite of a moray is vicious. Their jaws clamp down and don’t let go easily. Use a long tweezers to place food in front of their mouth – to train them to eat. Later you can just drop the food in and they’ll get it. They can and often do go for several weeks without food, particularly during the adaptation period.

Varieties of Moray Eels