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View Full Version : Safe to put baby eel in reef?


Ranlexus
07/21/2013, 03:16 PM
The lfs tried to sell me a baby eel when i commented on it but i dont think it is reef safe? It was probably 4 inches. Obvisouly i wont try to keep it in the long run but for the time being in my 57 gallon ?
What do you think?
Reef safe or not?

I didnt get it but if it will do good with my other fish ill be happy until i let it go(back to lfs) .

Thanks.

Painted skin
07/21/2013, 03:27 PM
What kind of eel is it? some are predators and depending the size of eel and fish some small fish can be at risk.

You say you don't on keeping it in the long run, what would you do with it when it does get bigger? If it's a predator IMO it would hard be to get rid as most have reef tanks with small fishes. The only people I think would be people that has predator tank only tank.

Sorry, I didn't see that you would give it back LFS, but at a loss if the LFS takes it back..

ca1ore
07/21/2013, 03:46 PM
One of those things that is appealing on some level, but probably not a good idea. Even if it manages to not eat ornamental shrimp and crabs, they are messy and contribute heavily to bio load. Pass!

Ranlexus
07/21/2013, 04:23 PM
what kind of eel is it? Some are predators and depending the size of eel and fish some small fish can be at risk.

You say you don't on keeping it in the long run, what would you do with it when it does get bigger? If it's a predator imo it would hard be to get rid as most have reef tanks with small fishes. The only people i think would be people that has predator tank only tank.

Sorry, i didn't see that you would give it back lfs, but at a loss if the lfs takes it back..

hey it will be traded back for store credit my lfs will take it if its a good deal.

Ranlexus
07/21/2013, 04:23 PM
one of those things that is appealing on some level, but probably not a good idea. Even if it manages to not eat ornamental shrimp and crabs, they are messy and contribute heavily to bio load. Pass!

got me thinking there.

Painted skin
07/21/2013, 04:26 PM
hey it will be traded back for store credit my lfs will take it if its a good deal.

Like my LFS they will take some livestock back, but at loss to me.

browning_boy20
07/21/2013, 04:38 PM
Good luck when its time to get him out. Chances are you will have to remove all rock to catch him.

Normalaquatics
07/22/2013, 09:47 AM
was it a reef garden eel?

bambam918
07/22/2013, 10:35 AM
I wouldn't. You will have to brake the tank down to get him out. And your risking your other live stock. Not worth it for a year or so of enjoyment

Mr.Tan
07/22/2013, 10:38 AM
its hard to say without knowing what type, however if you dont plan on giving it a permanent home don't do it. Nothing more stressful for you and the fish (eel in this case) then being taken from its home and moved, especially back to the LFS.

plus it could be a risk of eating your fish even if its a baby, or atleast injuring them.

figuerres
07/22/2013, 11:50 AM
yeah I will put it this way : if you have to ask then you are not ready for it.
not that I am trying to say you should not ask, I am glad you are asking!

but some things like Eel's and sharks are just not good for *most* hobby tanks.
they have special needs in housing, feeding, handling etc... that can put you or the eel into some level of danger depending on the eel and the tank and so on.
some kinds of eel can be ok in some tanks but you need to know about them before you start trying to house one.

if you think you might want one then start by doing a lot of reading and research and even do some diving to see them in the sea before you try and put one in a tank.

SailAnnapolis
07/22/2013, 09:24 PM
Getting him out would be a chore. If you know you are upgrading to a bigger tank later anyway then take him back at that time while you are breaking down. I've learned knowing I have to catch a fish later is stress on my mind I don't need. Had to catch a fish a while back and ended up with all my live rock in bins in the living room. It sucked.

ingtar_shinowa
07/22/2013, 11:02 PM
Good rule is to never put anything in your reef that wont live there 'forever'

Beandawg
07/23/2013, 02:21 AM
Eels are maniacs, and they don't see very well. I'm going to assume it's a small snowflake eel. In a reef tank, as soon as they smell food, they spaz out. They bite anything and everything they bump into, and when they get bigger, they can easily snap/move corals.

billdogg
07/23/2013, 06:17 AM
I would advise against it in a reef tank for several reasons. First, without knowing what type it is, there is no way of telling how big it will get. The Eel I got form the LFS was about 18" when I got him. He grew to ~4'. The second reason is that, once again not knowing the species, you will find out by trial and (expensive) error exactly what it's diet is. Some eat fish only. Others like crustaceans. You will find out soon enough either way when things start disappearing. Mine ended up in a tank by himself because he ate everything I put in with him. The next reason is that aquascaping will be decided by the eel, not you. Although it looks cool swimming around all the nooks and crannies, it will be knocking things down all the time. I eventually gave up and had only a few large rocks on the bottom of the tank. His home was a #20 piece of LR sorta dome shaped that formed a natural cave. Then there is the ability to escape from just about any tank. I found mine on the floor several times, even using eggcrate over the entire top with the lights and chunks of rock holding it down. Finally, they can easily live for a very long time. Hannibal (a Gymnothorax Undulatus) made it to ~25 years with me. That is a whole lot of water changes on a 300 gallon t.v. system.

Getting it with the intention of trading it back sounds like the perfect idea, but what happens if (when) the LFS changes it's mind and won't take it back? I called the Columbus Zoo about 15 years ago in an attempt to pass mine on - they didn't want anything to do with it due to its rather predatory habits. Are you prepared for the long term?