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Old 08-24-2003, 12:27 AM   #1
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Ribbon Eel: Diet and ideal habitat

Hi all,

I have been away for a while.. but wanted to drop in and ask some advice. I have a 260 gallon FOWLR aquarium containing an emperor angel, a longnose butterfly, a volitans lion, a harlequin tuskfish and a blue ribbon eel. Now, I bought the eel a while back knowing all the caveats associated with the animal.. won't feed readily, easily spooked by other fish, often damaged in capture. I only purchased this specimen after witnessing a feeding and hearing the LFS had had it in a tank for almost a year (they were going out of business and needed a home for the store "pet"). Now, as far as I knew at the time, the above mentioned problems didn't apply to this gorgeous animal.. he feeds readily (greedily even), I made sure in the transition to the new tank that my new ribbon eel was first in while the others waited a month in a smaller tank so I could get him used to taking food and so he could establish a niche of his own before adding the more rambunctious fish.. added them.. and after 3 days of hiding.. the eel came out and now fends for himself nicely.. so after 4 months I decided I wanted to add a tang to my mix.. either a Sohal or a Hippo. Asked wetwebmedia's advice on finishing out my little family.. and was berated for even attempting to keep a ribbon eel. The response was basically "So what he's feeding and seems to be getting along with the other fish in the tank, all ribbon eels in captivity die of nutritional deficiency and if kept at all should be the only fish in the tank!" I only want to do what's best for my fish.. but can't seem to find the answer to my dilemma. If I need to move the eel into a species tank.. I still have my old 75 gallon sitting empty.. but is moving a fish that seems healthy and happy an unnecessary strain, especially since I've never had to catch him before and am concerned about damaging his delicate looking body. Also.. does anyone know the optimal diet for a ribbon eel? I have been feeding him chunks of squid, silversides, chopped krill, all soaked in a vitamin supplement. SHould I change anything? I know no one wants to encourage sale of ribbon eels as most perish in captivity.. but I seem to have stumbled upon the exception to the rule (maybe everyone thinks that!) Advice??
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
either a Sohal or a Hippo
I'd recommend a hippo, simply because Sohals are so aggressive.

Quote:
If I need to move the eel into a species tank.. I still have my old 75 gallon sitting empty.. but is moving a fish that seems healthy and happy an unnecessary strain
In your situation, I would find it an unecessary strain, the eel is doing well feeding etc...sometimes moving an established fish can case enough stress that it will stop feeding. I would only consider moving the fish as a last resort.

Quote:
Also.. does anyone know the optimal diet for a ribbon eel?
Since I've never owned one, I've not done alot of research, what I would do is a google search using the scientific name of the eel, I would look for hits on other hobbyists personal pages. Then read and se what has worked for other people.

In this hobby there is always the exception to the rule, the madarin that eats frozen food, the ribon eel that eats readily, etc... IMO, you went about finding the eel in the right manner and should be commended on not simply buying the first ribbon eel you saw. Since I don't have much experience with ribbons, I hope others give their opinions, but I am wondering one thing....where are the pics of this beauty?
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Old 09-06-2003, 07:55 AM   #3
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Does anyone here have any experience with these animals? (Thank you for the response reefrunner..my cam is on the fritz, but I am borrowing a friend's camera soon)
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