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View Full Version : Looking for feeding ideas and suggestions for a blue ribbon eel


Cobrasvt1999
04/22/2016, 02:15 PM
Hello all!

First off, let me state that I know how difficult these guys are to keep and that many believe they are not suited for the home aquarium as a result.

That said, about three days ago as I was walking through my LFS I noticed a stunning blue ribbon eel. I have always wanted one, but refrained because of the difficulty getting them to eat. However, after talking to the store and realising that they considered it as you would a snowflake eel (through some frozen silversides in and its sure to eat!) I decided that it wasn't likely to survive in that store. Figuring that it couldnt hurt to try, I went ahead and brought him home.

So far, he has checked out all the pipe work buried in the sand, as well as the rock work, and he seems to prefer the rock. In the tank with him is nothing but corrals and a banded shrimp (way too big for him). So far as I can tell, he is healthy and doing well! However, he has yet to eat (big surprise there)!

What im looking for is new ideas, and new perspectives to get this guy to eat. So far im attempting feeding 3 times a day by lowering both live food and frozen food with tongs to him, and removing the uneaten food after he ignores them.

Foods I have tried and response:

Live Goldfish- He was looking at them as if interested, and has nipped at them, but no bite
Live Guppy- He looks at them, but display no further interest as of yet
Live minnow- He looks at them, but display no further interest as of yet
Live Ghost Shrimp- Unknown, he looks at them, but they got away from me in the tank and have not been seen since. I have a suspicion he may have eaten one, but no proof of that... :mad2: will be trying again with more shrimp today
Frozen Mysis- completely uninterested after nosing it
Frozen Silversides- completely uninterested


So that's what I have attempted so far. all frozen food has been attempted normally and soaked in garlic. As for live food, I have attempted:

holding it by the tail fin in front of him (most successfull so far with nips)
chasing the food around with tongs open like an eel like a read about in another forum (surprisingly actually got him excited and somewhat interested)
keeping the tongs out of the way and releasing a school of guppies in there (he eyed them like he suspected them of stealing something, but nothing more)


So I hope that this list helps show that I am dedicated to getting this guy eating healthy! Any ideas or suggestions are welcome! I'm going to keep working this problem till I find the solution, one way or another.

Cheers!
Lars


http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh303/larsjysereid/20160421_193503.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/user/larsjysereid/media/20160421_193503.jpg.html)

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh303/larsjysereid/20160419_181207.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/user/larsjysereid/media/20160419_181207.jpg.html)

not the best photo, but I thought it was kinda neat
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh303/larsjysereid/20160419_181320.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/user/larsjysereid/media/20160419_181320.jpg.html)

This is where i'm suspicious of him eating a ghost shrimp... He had his mouth closed for about 5 min and when he finally opened it again a small piece of what looked like exoskeleton came floating out.. I only noticed this by chance as I was walking by the tank.
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh303/larsjysereid/20160421_104320.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/user/larsjysereid/media/20160421_104320.jpg.html)

Cobrasvt1999
04/22/2016, 10:54 PM
So an update after one day. Attempted feeding him all the foods again. No joy as of yet...

....I wish I wish my eel would eat...

mokeyz
04/23/2016, 02:56 PM
Cobra, how are you feeding him? I haven't had a ribbon eel in probably 30 years but as I remember they have extremely poor eyesight. I used to feed mine by hand or tweezers and wave the food (piece of shrimp as I recall) very close to his face. Hope that helps.

Cobrasvt1999
04/23/2016, 04:02 PM
Cobra, how are you feeding him? I haven't had a ribbon eel in probably 30 years but as I remember they have extremely poor eyesight. I used to feed mine by hand or tweezers and wave the food (piece of shrimp as I recall) very close to his face. Hope that helps.

I have been using A pair of long tongs to keep the food down by him. I try to get the food as close as I can so that he will see it and then keep waving it around him. I will try a piece of shrimp and some squid tonight when I get home as well.

http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh303/larsjysereid/20160423_132846.jpg (http://s259.photobucket.com/user/larsjysereid/media/20160423_132846.jpg.html)

Sounds Fishy
04/23/2016, 04:59 PM
I had one of those blue ribbon eel escape artists.Mine unfortunately died in an escape,in a rather well fortified sealed top aquarium.
Mine did not eat for the first 3 weeks despite trying every live food imaginable.
During that 3 week period he did not respond to live food being dangled in front of him.I tried,so hard and started to realize ,perhaps it is unfortunate,but I have failed to succeed.However,one day he ate a Neon Dottyback,that was harassing him.From that moment on,he displayed the skills of a seasoned hunter.I fed him live "Rosie's".He ate 7 Rosie's a day.(One note on Rosie's is the more volume you buy,the cheaper they are,however they require lots of air and cooler temperature wherever you store them,or they die very fast)
It became routine that at 3 AM before I'd leave for work,he would be waiting(like a puppy),in his PVC cave,with his head expectantly,jutting out,for breakfast.What a fantastic creature to watch as he would super sonically grab a live Rosie swimming nearby.He would duck in his cave,consume it and be ready for the next one in a minute.Huge appetite!
I hope this helps.
I know,initially fore they ever consume that first meal,for you,,they look really stupid....as if they are too stupid to eat.Really,what you need to do is to ensure you have created the perfect environment,for it.And,try everything.This anorexia,is usually gone after they finally get hooked on eating the first meal....then they will eat so much food it is unbelievable like.One tip is that they do not like bright lights.Mine ate at 3AM,with LED moonlights on.Also make sure you have a long PVC cave buried in the sand.It will live in it,and sleep,in there,and eat there.They coat the inside of the PVC with a thick slime.
Then,they escape,and die.

Cobrasvt1999
04/23/2016, 05:12 PM
I had one of those blue ribbon eel escape artists.Mine unfortunately died in an escape,in a rather well fortified sealed top aquarium.
Mine did not eat for the first 3 weeks despite trying every live food imaginable.
During that 3 week period he did not respond to live food being dangled in front of him.I tried,so hard and started to realize ,perhaps it is unfortunate,but I have failed to succeed.However,one day he ate a Neon Dottyback,that was harassing him.From that moment on,he displayed the skills of a seasoned hunter.I fed him live "Rosie's".
It became routine that at 3 AM before I'd leave for work,he would be waiting(like a puppy),in his PVC cave,with his head expectantly,jutting out,for breakfast.What a fantastic creature to watch as he would super sonically grab a live Rosie swimming nearby.He would duck in his cave,consume it and be ready for the next one in a minute.Huge appetite!
I hope this helps.
I know,initially fore they ever consume that first meal,for you,,they look really stupid....as if they are too stupid to eat.Really,what you need to do is to ensure you have created the perfect environment,for it.And,try everything.This anorexia,is usually gone after they finally get hooked on eating the first meal....then they will eat so much food it is unbelievable like.One tip is that they do not like bright lights.Mine ate at 3AM,with LED moonlights on.Also make sure you have a long PVC cave buried in the sand.It will live in it,and sleep,in there,and eat there.They coat the inside of the PVC with a thick slime.
Then,they escape,and die.


Well I can say im doing my best to seal the tank. I have a hard time opening it because of how tight the screen top is fitted. actually takes quite a bit of work. That said, I dont wanna loose my other fish, but I have been considering putting em in there again and hoping he decides one of them is enough to get him going... might sound cruel, but he is a predator... its what he does

Sounds Fishy
04/23/2016, 05:27 PM
I only ever saw it kill the dotty back.Once he was well fed daily,by me,my other fish were safe,it seemed.But it only ate live food,and really,really,liked eating Rosie's.
Mine slipped past that little plastic strip you get with glass tops.He slid through a crack 1 mm. wide(the width of a dime).Maybe if you wrap your system in plastic food wrap,and duck tape,he may not pull a Houdini disappearance.

Cobrasvt1999
04/23/2016, 05:45 PM
I only ever saw it kill the dotty back.Once he was well fed daily,by me,my other fish were safe,it seemed.But it only ate live food,and really,really,liked eating Rosie's.
Mine slipped past that little plastic strip you get with glass tops.He slid through a crack 1 mm. wide(the width of a dime).Maybe if you wrap your system in plastic food wrap,and duck tape,he may not pull a Houdini disappearance.

lol, Out I go to plastic wrap my tank! Any brand preference? :lolspin:

outy
04/23/2016, 08:06 PM
The trick is not feeding them by sight

They will eat by smell.

Soaking the food presented in things like oyster oil or something of the sort was a trick with a local here.

If I knew his number I would call him.


Key is they eat by smell, not sight

Grkgod36
04/24/2016, 12:46 AM
What beautiful creatures ! Stunning

Cobrasvt1999
04/24/2016, 03:42 AM
The trick is not feeding them by sight

They will eat by smell.

Soaking the food presented in things like oyster oil or something of the sort was a trick with a local here.

If I knew his number I would call him.


Key is they eat by smell, not sight

I attempted squid and scallops this afternoon, no joy. trying for some stink in the food.. another try in the morning!

What beautiful creatures ! Stunning

They are truly stunning eels! But really not for anyone who dosent want to spend hours a day working for as long as it takes to get him to eat! I feel like its been a full time job so far with no payout! :hammer:

Sounds Fishy
04/24/2016, 04:57 AM
It may take 3 weeks or more,not unusual before it feeds the first time.It will not eat anything but LIVE food the first time.It will starve and die otherwise.In the ocean they eat live food,he will not eat anything else right now..In your case anything else,you are trying to feed it,will not work.It isn't interested in dead food.It is a HUNTER.It does not eat,ROADKILL.Just do not give up and do it at nighttime with the lights out.Get alittle moonlight led so you can follow ,what is going on.Just add several feeder fish at a time.Not one at a time.You are trying to stimulate a feeding,so you have to entice it ,with a school of fish,not just one.When the uneaten feeders die,if not eaten,scoop them out,and discard them.Do it again,maybe 3 or four hours.It will be a big investment in live feeders before it eats.But do not give up.It is waiting for guppies,mollies all the time,so keep doing that.Just have to keep doing it till it grabs one.You have a nice looking eel,btw.I doubt it will eat off of your tongs.When you add the food to your aquarium,it already knows .Dangling the food in front of it,isn't required.

Sounds Fishy
04/24/2016, 05:16 AM
The pay out is,once it eats,it will always eat.They are fantastic to watch grabbing their prey and racing into their lair to eat.Popping their head out of the PVC pipe waiting for another victim to swim near. It means having live food to feed available all the time.It cost a lot of money to feed that.I was unable to keep enough live guppies and mollies breeding to satisfy mine.It will eat Rosie's,so go to the store and get some.The fact is many (most ribbons) starve in captivity.If you give up,it will die.If you persist,and give it the obsessive attention,they require to initially eat,it might live.

Cobrasvt1999
04/24/2016, 11:10 AM
It may take 3 weeks or more,not unusual before it feeds the first time.It will not eat anything but LIVE food the first time.It will starve and die otherwise.In the ocean they eat live food,he will not eat anything else right now..In your case anything else,you are trying to feed it,will not work.It isn't interested in dead food.It is a HUNTER.It does not eat,ROADKILL.Just do not give up and do it at nighttime with the lights out.Get alittle moonlight led so you can follow ,what is going on.Just add several feeder fish at a time.Not one at a time.You are trying to stimulate a feeding,so you have to entice it ,with a school of fish,not just one.When the uneaten feeders die,if not eaten,scoop them out,and discard them.Do it again,maybe 3 or four hours.It will be a big investment in live feeders before it eats.But do not give up.It is waiting for guppies,mollies all the time,so keep doing that.Just have to keep doing it till it grabs one.You have a nice looking eel,btw.I doubt it will eat off of your tongs.When you add the food to your aquarium,it already knows .Dangling the food in front of it,isn't required.

The pay out is,once it eats,it will always eat.They are fantastic to watch grabbing their prey and racing into their lair to eat.Popping their head out of the PVC pipe waiting for another victim to swim near. It means having live food to feed available all the time.It cost a lot of money to feed that.I was unable to keep enough live guppies and mollies breeding to satisfy mine.It will eat Rosie's,so go to the store and get some.The fact is many (most ribbons) starve in captivity.If you give up,it will die.If you persist,and give it the obsessive attention,they require to initially eat,it might live.


I will keep working on it! I will keep trying live fish till the day he eats!

salty joe
04/24/2016, 06:43 PM
+1 to what Sounds Fishy says. I had one a long time ago and after a couple weeks or so it ate the clown that was with him. From that point, it ate bait minnows. Mine also found a way to slip out. It's ridiculous how they can squeeze through the tiniest gap. I think mine got out where the heater wire entered the tank. What a drag to find it crispy.

Sounds Fishy
04/25/2016, 05:16 AM
Yes they look much nicer in the aquarium.

vashawn
04/25/2016, 11:38 AM
tagging alone...im in the process of getting 1 myself but didnt relaize that feeding them was so hard

Cobrasvt1999
04/25/2016, 01:00 PM
Yes they look much nicer in the aquarium.

tagging alone...im in the process of getting 1 myself but didnt relaize that feeding them was so hard

They are beautiful to say the least

I am sorry to say that the Ribbon Eel has passed. yesterday I came home to find him lethargic and unresponsive. After testing the water params and finding nothing wrong, I decided that All I could do was a water change and hope for the best. :sad1:

By The next morning he had died. The eel had never eaten while in my care, but I do not believe starvation was the cause of death. He wasn't with my more than a few days, maintained his color right up till the end, and was active until yesterday afternoon.

I cant suspect the water quality either because not only did it test well, but all my corrals and maxima/ fire clams are doing great.

vashawn, My recommendation is to continue to do ALOT of research into one of these guys before you buy it, I dont think mine was a fluke in its lack of eating, your tank needs to be ready, and you need to be ready to invest hours of each day into him until he eats.

Sounds Fishy
04/25/2016, 03:18 PM
Very sorry to hear,that your Blue Ribbon,passed away.I think by the time they are acclimatized to your aquarium,they have exchanged hands several times in transit,from the time they were caught.Depending on what part of the world fish are caught for the hobby some are still using questionable methods for capture,that guarantees a fish will perish,sooner than later..Many fish never recover from that stress.

Cobrasvt1999
04/30/2016, 10:42 AM
Very sorry to hear,that your Blue Ribbon,passed away.I think by the time they are acclimatized to your aquarium,they have exchanged hands several times in transit,from the time they were caught.Depending on what part of the world fish are caught for the hobby some are still using questionable methods for capture,that guarantees a fish will perish,sooner than later..Many fish never recover from that stress.

There's probably more truth to that than I care to admit...

Question is, how do you make sure your fish are harvested in a reputable manner?

Coralmassa
05/06/2016, 04:58 AM
Sorry to hear. My old boss had a ribbon eel that made it set the overflow teeth and went all the way through the sump and into the return, and got shredded. I did take care of a tank with one, a reef with a school of small green chromis. Every week, I would go back to find one chromi missing, and a big bulge in the eels belly. I think he may have been hunting them at night.