New baby snowflake eel not eating

Javiergumbs

I recently purchased a snowflake eel. It's no more than 6-8 inches long and the thickness of a pencil. I'm having a hard time getting him to eat. I've tried squid, shrimp, and scallops. I read live ghost shrimp might work. I have a pet store nearby that sells 10 for $1.50 so I might buy 100. I have a 75 gallon tank. If I release the ghost shrimp into the aquarium, will the eel hunt and eat them on his own? Or do I need to hand feed?
 

JuDom

Hi there. :)
How long have you had him for?
I don’t have personal experience with eels but I know that all of my new fish/amphibians/invertebrates are shy in general and especially food shy for the first week or so that I have them.

As for the ghost shrimp, I’m sure he would hunt them if they could last in saltwater but my assumption is that if you drop 100 ghost shrimp in a salt water tank, you will have 100 dead ghost shrimp. They can be acclimated to salt water over some time but it isn’t their ideal environment. In addition, it isn’t really recommended to feed freshwater shrimp to saltwater fish. Some people do practice it though.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

ChrissFishes01

I'd try the live ghost shrimp - turn the pumps off and drop them in the direction of whatever hole he's hiding in, and back away from the tank. He should go after them.

Only drop in 2-3 at at time so that there's not much wasted if he doesn't go after them.

Predator fish tend to take a while to warm up to new tanks, and eels are no exception. How long have you had him? I wouldn't be concerned unless it's been a week or two, or he looks emaciated.

Long-term, getting him weaned onto frozen food will be important, since ghost shrimp really aren't a great long-term diet. If he doesn't want to accept the frozen food for a while, it may be worth it to order some saltwater grass shrimp (very similar to ghost shrimp) to feed him on. You'll want to gut-load them, while you're at it - I've found boiled snap peas to be a good feed for them, and so is dried nori from the grocery store (non-salted).
 

Javiergumbs

Hi there. :)
How long have you had him for?
I don’t have personal experience with eels but I know that all of my new fish/amphibians/invertebrates are shy in general and especially food shy for the first week or so that I have them.

As for the ghost shrimp, I’m sure he would hunt them if they could last in saltwater but my assumption is that if you drop 100 ghost shrimp in a salt water tank, you will have 100 dead ghost shrimp. They can be acclimated to salt water over some time but it isn’t their ideal environment. In addition, it isn’t really recommended to feed freshwater shrimp to saltwater fish. Some people do practice it though.

Hope this helps a bit.
Well the fish store that I purchase the ghost shrimp from are already in a saltwater aquarium. I've purchased them in the past and had them as part of my cleanup crew until they all get eaten by eat my puffer or trigger. But I've had some last weeks. I've had the eel a few weeks now. When I purchased the eel I also purchased about 30-40 ghost shrimp and placed all in the tank. So I'm not sure if the eel ate some or not because they're all gone. And like I said before my puffer and trigger both eat the ghost shrimp.
 

ChrissFishes01

Well the fish store that I purchase the ghost shrimp from are already in a saltwater aquarium. I've purchased them in the past and had them as part of my cleanup crew until they all get eaten by eat my puffer or trigger. But I've had some last weeks. I've had the eel a few weeks now. When I purchased the eel I also purchased about 30-40 ghost shrimp and placed all in the tank. So I'm not sure if the eel ate some or not because they're all gone. And like I said before my puffer and trigger both eat the ghost shrimp.
Gotcha. The shrimp should be fine for now, then.

One of the advantages of a QT period is that you get to isolate a fish from others to make sure it's eating well - and, there's also the advantage of avoiding accidentally introducing diseases into your tank. Something like ich can be really hard to treat on something like an eel or a puffer, since most copper medications are really risky. Not the topic of your post, but something to keep in mind.

My personal advice would be to drop in a few shrimp after the lights have been out for a while. That'll give him the entire night to get a go at them before the trigger and puffer wake up when the lights come on.
 

JuDom

Gotcha. The shrimp should be fine for now, then.

One of the advantages of a QT period is that you get to isolate a fish from others to make sure it's eating well - and, there's also the advantage of avoiding accidentally introducing diseases into your tank. Something like ich can be really hard to treat on something like an eel or a puffer, since most copper medications are really risky. Not the topic of your post, but something to keep in mind.

My personal advice would be to drop in a few shrimp after the lights have been out for a while. That'll give him the entire night to get a go at them before the trigger and puffer wake up when the lights come on.


Excellent advice. I find that feeding my fish based on their behaviors is key in getting each one to eat as they should. The more shy/nocturnal members of my crew get fed after everyone else is calmed down for a while with the lights off.

QT is strongly suggested if not almost required for true success with saltwater fish. In the future, this will definitely help you learn a little about your fish..give them their own space to settle in and also prevent any unwanted disease from affecting the rest of your tank.

Hopefully he eats for you..maybe he has been all along but you just haven’t caught him in the act. Only time will tell. Good luck! And happy holidays!
 

coralbandit

I fed mine mostly frozen krill .
They smell way better then they see so that may be why it is slow responding .
I'll bet yours is eating the ghost and won't look to prepared food given the choice.
They are nocturnal hunters .
They can go weeks without eating so you may have to really work to switch him .
Mine was pencil sized when I got it and 18 inches and 1.5 inches thick in 1 year ...
They grow fast so feeding sparingly is not a bad idea IMO .
 

WRWAquarium

I feed whole frozen lance fish to a snowflake eel at work. I think it is worth trying to be patient target feeding with forceps.
 

JuDom

I agree with WRW with the target feeding. I’ve seen many keepers coax their eels out that way with all different sorts of foods; shrimp, chunks of fish etc.

Good info from coralbandit about them going weeks without eating, that should give you some reassurance until you find a routine that works for you. :)
 

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