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Old 07-07-2003, 10:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
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Black and white banded snake eel ... help?

Hi all,
it's been a while since I posted but my new 40 gal long saltwater tank seems to be doing well. It's been up and running for about 6 weeks now and everything seems to be in the correct ranges at every test. I started out by adding 4 damsel fish ... 2 blue and 2 black and white (about 1 week after initial set up). Once the tank was going good and the fish were doing well I added a clown fish and a yellow Tang (after the damsels had been in there for 3 weeks with no problems). A couple days after adding them 1 of the blue damsels seemed very dark and ragged and I think it was getting picked on. Needless to say it disappeared from sight a day later ... never found the body! Everyone else seemed to be getting along fine after that.
Now, stupid me, on a special trip to a saltwater store a couple towns away I gave in to my son's begging and bought a snake eel. I know spur of the moment and I had no idea what I was doing ... why? I don't know. Anyhow I talked to the LFS guy at length about it ... how big it would get, what it eats, is it community safe, told him what I had in the tank already and he said it should be fine just to keep it well fed on Mysis shrimp and squid. Here's my problem ... 2 days after having this eel in the tank I noticed the second blue damsel missing. I thought if the fish was bigger than the eel's head he wouldn't be able to harm or eat it ... that's what the guy said ... but where else could it have gone?
As a replacement for the 2 blue damsels I thought I'd buy a second clownfish. This one was about halt the size of the original clown but the 2 clowns got along great after an hour or 2 or chase ... they would swim together and sleep together and seemed like they had paired up nicely (which was the plan from the start). Anyway, 2 days later that little clown is missing! Now I know it was in there the previous night as I was up until 1:30am watching the clowns huddling together near their territory. I have a sneaking suspicion that this eel is the culprit and made a meal of this smaller clown ... I'm not happy as you might imagine!
I did a bit of research on snake eels but couldn't find a whole lot and there was nothing about them making snacks out of tankmates, though I'm sure it happens ... case in point! Anyhow, can anyone give me some insight as to these eels and what to do about this? I feel so bad that I got my clown fish to pair up nicely only to loose it's partner to a midnight munchy eel. I'm thinking I might have to get rid of this eel but want to find out more before I make that decision. Should I just be more perceptive of the size of new fish I add ... I still want to get a second clown fish but think I should get one at least as large as the one I have now ... about 2 inches.

All advice welcome but please be gentle ... I'm still learning!

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Old 07-07-2003, 10:31 PM   #2
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The eel will eat your small fish. It is what they do. It also needs a much bigger
tank, minimum of 60 gallons. Maybe you should suggest to the moron that told you it would be fine, that he replace the fish it ate when you take the eel back to him.

Maintenance difficulty:
This fish is easy to keep. Most eels are very hardy and readily eat all kinds of live and meaty foods.

Feed all kinds of live fish and meaty foods. Use a poker if necessary at first to place the food right in front of their mouth. Don't worry if it doesn't eat for a while at first, they can go for several weeks without food (and often do).

Habitat: Natural geographic location:
Found in the Indo-Pacific.

They feed mainly on small fishes in the wild with an occasional invertebrate.

Social Behaviors:
Sociable and peaceful, can be considered a community fish as long as the tankmates are not small enough to eat!

Light: Recommended light levels: No special requirements.

Temperature: No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish: Adults can grow to 75 cm (30 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size: 60 gallons
Hara is offline   Reply With Quote

banded snake eel, eel, snake

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