A very popular and beautiful eel. The Zebra Moray Eel are very suitable to the aquarium, with specimens known to have lived in captivity for more than 20 years!
Though rather reclusive, the reef safe Zebra Moray Eel is very peaceful and slow moving. It needs lots of rock in order to conceal its entire body, but once comfortable in its environment, it will venture out for food. Though very docile and compatible with fish, even other species of eel, its natural diet are crustaceans and it will readily snack on ornamentals. They are generally a chocolate-black, but some specimens can be more golden brown than the eel pictured here.
For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Yellow Edged Moray Eel
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Yellow Edged Moray Eel - Gymnothorax flavimarginatus
The yellow edged moray eel (Gymnothorax flavimarginatus) is a member of the family Muraenidae. The yellow-edged morays commonly inhabit drop-offs in coral or rocky areas of reef flats and protected shorelines to seaward reefs. The depth of the eel in the video is evident from the need for a light. They feed on cephalopods, fishes, and crustaceans. Their distribution includes the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and South Africa eastward to the Tuamotus and Austral islands, north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia, and in the eastern Pacific from Costa Rica, Panama and the Galapagos Islands. They can be found at depths as deep as 150 m (500 ft.). Yellow-edged morays can reach a length of up to 240 cm. (7.9 ft.) and are suitable only for very large aquariums.
Habitat: Natural geographic location: Zebra Moray Eels are found in the Indo-Pacific and the tropical eastern Pacific; they cover a wide range from the Red Sea and east coast of Africa across the Indian Ocean to the Philippines and north to the Hawaiian Islands, also found in the Gulf of California off Panama, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. They inhabit seaward reefs at depths of 20 feet to 145 feet (6 - 44 meters), dwelling close to the bottom among corals and rubble.
Description: True to its name, the beautiful Zebra Moray Eel is easily recognized by its zebra striping, narrow white bands on a chocolate or golden brown background. It is also readily distinguished from other eels by a blunt rounded snout.
Foods: The Zebra Moray Eels are carnivores. Having blunt teeth suitable for grinding, they primarily eat crustaceans in their natural habitat, such things as crabs, snails, urchins, and mollusks. For this eel a good choice is crab meat, blue crabs with their carapace cracked works well. Also fiddler crabs are readily available. They will also eat other meaty foods such as shrimp, clams, squid, scallops and fish flesh.
Though a very docile fish they can become a bit more aggressive when feeding and they do have a very strong bite, so it is best to feed with a feeding stick. Juveniles will eat more readily than adults and will take a wider variety of foods, however most specimens that are available are already over 17 inches (43.2 cm). Use a feeding stick if necessary at first to place the food right in front of its mouth. You can gently tap the eel's snout with the food laden stick to encourage it to eat. Don't worry if it doesn't eat for a while at first, they can go for several weeks without food (and often do).
Maintenance: These fish are generally very easy to care for and are hardy. Provide basic marine aquarium care with a 20% water change monthly or 10% twice a month.
For more information see, Marine Aquarium Basics: Maintenance
A reclusive fish, it needs to have plenty of rock with holes for hiding its entire body in to feel comfortable.
Minimum Tank Length/Size:
A minimum 75 gallon (284 liters) aquarium for an adult Zebra Moray Eel.
Light: Recommended light levels
No special requirements.
No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74° and 79° Fahrenheit.
Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong
No special requirements.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom
Will generally stay in the bottom of the aquarium. Will find a cave or crawl under a rock and spend most of their time there with only their heads sticking out.
Social Behaviors: Sociable and peaceful, can be considered a community fish as long as the tank mates are not ornamental crustaceans, they will readily snack on those. Because of their need to retreat, they are best kept in a reef aquarium, or an aquarium with lots of rock.
Breeding/Reproduction: Probably not possible in the aquarium. See Breeding Marine Fish page for a description of how they reproduce in the wild.
Several freshwater species of eels are known to lay their eggs in the ocean and die afterwards!