You should realize right away that snowflake eels have a peculiar habit of exiting their aquarium. There have been reports of them fitting through the smallest of cracks.
A sponge or sleeve should be placed over any tank holes, such as those for the filter or plumbing.
They can also jump a short distance out of the water. This can be problematic if the tank is not covered. They are powerful enough to push against the tank lid and maybe displace it.
Hence, make sure it can be locked or secured.
What Should the Tank Setup be for a Snowflake Eel?
Keeping snowflake eels in a tank requires no extra equipment. They only need a large tank containing plenty of hiding spots and consistent water conditions to thrive.
It is possible to make them feel at home by creating a reef-like environment. Such an environment mimics the snowflake eel’s natural habitat.
A large tank giving snowflake eels plenty of swimming room is ideal. A single snowflake eel requires a tank at least 75 gallons large. In order to thrive, they must be provided with a reef-like surrounding.
Captive snowflake eels can reach a length of 2 feet. If given a healthy diet, they can quickly outgrow their initial housing. As a result, a tiny tank can become too small, very quickly.
Keeping snowflake eels in a tank that is too tiny may stress them out. This could then lead to aggressive behavior.
Decoration and Equipment
Flake eels, or snowflake eels, live in the sediment. So, it’s important to give them a place to burrow and relax. Until they become used to the tank surroundings, these eels tend to be timid.
Therefore, they require numerous locations to conceal themselves. These hiding spots include holes, fissures, and caverns.
You can give them a cave or two to use in their tank. Three or four caverns of an appropriate size are suggested for a large aquarium.
Your snowflake eel will be happier if its caves are strategically located. This is because it will allow the eel to swim from end-to-end without exposing itself.
Snowflake eels dwell in caves. So, to make the aquarium look like a coral reef, live rocks can be used.
Alongside offering ample hiding spaces, you could also decorate your eel’s aquarium. To do so, you can use various plants and other objects. This will help keep the snowflake eel occupied and entertained.
As mentioned, snowflake eels can be escape artists. Thus, it is important to secure the cover on their aquarium.
The essentials for a snowflake eel aquarium are as follows:
- Aquatic plants
- Aquarium lighting
- Aquarium hood or lid
- pH testing kit
- Suitable substrate
- Ample hiding spots like driftwood, caves, and rocks
What Are the Water Requirements for a Snowflake Eel?
The ideal saltwater temperature range for the snowflake eel is between 73 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit
Keep the alkalinity between 8 and 13 dKH (degrees of carbonate hardness). The salinity, meanwhile, should be between 1.020 and 1.025. The pH of the water should be between 8.11 and 8.25.
You’ll need a powerful filter and protein skimmer. Other than that, you will also need to regularly replace the tank water. This must be done in order to ensure sanitary conditions.
The cleanliness of a snowflake eel’s habitat is essential to the animal’s well-being.
What Are the Diet Requirements for a Snowflake Eel?
Carnivorous snowflake eels require feeding twice or thrice weekly. Squid, shrimp, scallops, octopus, mussels, fish, crab, and clam can all be served frozen or fresh. However, make sure to serve the food in bite-size portions.
Frozen or dried krill is another viable food option.
Never risk their health by providing feeder fish. These fishes include freshwater fish like rosy reds and goldfish.
The owners of these eels have reported being bitten when offering them food. Feeding snowflake eels is easiest when you use long tongs. These tongs allow you to place food close to the eel.
Alternatively, you can also use feeding sticks for holding the food.
If you don’t want to get bitten, keep your hands out of the tank. Also make sure to not bring your hands too close to the eel’s mouth.
How Long Do Snowflake Eels Live?
Typically, a snowflake eel will live for around four years. They have few recognized medical issues and are generally healthy.
On occasion, you may need to add vitamins to their diet. This is especially true if you are feeding them unprepared, frozen food. The vitamins will help keep the eel’s immune system efficient.
Always remember to refrain from giving them freshwater fish. Overfeeding can cause health issues, so watch their food intake as well.
They are susceptible to oxygen deficiency, nitrate toxicity, and ammonia poisoning. These are ailments generally caused by improper tank maintenance.
What Are the Common Diseases that Affect Snowflake Eels?
Snowflake eels are known for their resilience and relative immunity to illness. But they’re not safe from sicknesses either.
Snowflake eels lack a substantial layer of protective scales. This is in contrast to the wide majority of aquarium habitants. Hence, a snowflake eel’s tank must be cared for. Else, they can be susceptible to diseases.
As mentioned, snowflake eels do not have protective scales. For this reason, their skins are also directly exposed to the tank water. Hence, you should avoid putting any harmful chemicals into the water.
The following are examples of diseases that have been observed in snowflake eels:
- Marine Ich
- Fungal and bacterial infections
- Liver disease. This is normally the result of freshwater fish consumption.
What is the Temperament of a Snowflake Eel?
The snowflake eel, like other moray eels, can turn hostile. This is especially common during mealtimes.
In contrast to other morays, snowflake is one of the calmer eels. Some owners have even trained their eels to accept food from the owners’ hands. However, this must be done with great caution.
Although it can’t see very well, the snowflake eel possesses powerful teeth. Hence, it can deliver a quite devastating bite.
Be mindful to not let the eel associate your hands to its meal. If that happens, the consequences could be quite unfortunate for you.
Many of the snowflake eel’s waking hours are spent head down in a crack or crevice. When first brought to a tank, it will typically remain in the corner. This will be the case until the eel is comfortable enough to venture out.
Instinctively, they are driven to look for food in the evening. This is why they are often more active later in the day.
Who Are the Best Tank Mates for a Snowflake Eel?
The snowflake eel is a carnivorous predator.
However, it can still be kept in a community aquarium. But, this is only possible if you choose the right tank mates. It is recommended to house snowflake eels with large, calm fish of a similar size.
In addition, they do not cause any harm to corals purposefully. As a result, they can be kept in a reef aquarium without fear of damage. With a large enough tank, you can even house multiple snowflakes together.
However, both eels should be about the same size. They should also be placed in the aquarium at around the same time.
Below is a list of compatible tank mates for the snowflake eel:
- Large gobies
- Butterfly fish
- Puffer fish
- Trigger fish
- Mollusk invertebrates or non-crustaceans like corals, starfish, gorgonians, anemones, and sea urchins
Avoid housing the snowflake with fishes that are small enough for its mouth. In the wild, snowflake eels feed on small crustaceans. For this reason, we strongly advise not keeping the two as tank mates.
Snowflake eels view small crustaceans as appetizing meals. Other marine creatures to not put with the snowflake eel include:
- Small damselfish
What is the Average Size of a Snowflake Eel?
Snowflake eels are among the bigger marine species. These eels can reach a maximum length of 39 inches when free-living.
Typically, snowflake eels kept in aquariums do not get very big. In home aquariums, they can grow to a maximum of 24 inches.
To sum up, we hope this blog helped you understand more about the snowflake eels and their behavior. The snowflake eel can be an excellent addition to any aquarium. However, you must watch out for their tendencies to jump.
They can also deliver nasty bites. Hence, it is best to keep your hands far away from their aquarium.
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