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Skeletor Moray Eel

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Echidna Xanthospilos

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October 31, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
The second crash we went through after we started keeping saltwater fish was a huge one.

The first signs that something was wrong in our tank was that the water started to smell really bad. Normally there is hardly any smell from a saltwater tank, so that was a bit odd. A few days later I noticed that our Flame Angelfish started to lose his vibrant red color. The next day it was at the bottom of the tank dead and had even less color. At this point I was pretty much lost as to what happened.

A few days later the same thing happened to our Spotted Mandarin and it suffered the same fate. I could not figure out what was going on. I read everywhere and couldn't figure out what was happening. In no time our Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse passed away as well. I was just so lost at this point.

Soon after our Black Ocellaris Clownfish start acting weird and swimming at the bottom of the tank. That morning I went to a trusted LFS and asked the owner what his thoughts where. He blammed the live sand we used and also that we were using treated tap water. That day I took the remaining fish (Ocellaris Clownfish, Black Ocellaris Clownfish and Skeletor Moray Eel) and inverts out of the tank. I tore the tank down and removed all of the water, live rock and live sand. I added in crushed coral and RO water, with half of the water being from an established tank. I also added in some liquid bacteria.

While I had the rock out of the tank, I noticed that two pieces smelled terrible. These were the two newest pieces I had just bought recently. It looks like the rock had not been cured and the LFS did not tell me this when I purchased it. I threw the bad rock away and added the remaining livestock in.

That night the Black Ocellaris Clownfish died and I felt terrible for our Occellaris Clownfish who had paired with it. The Eel and other Clownfish pulled through and are still doing good to this day. This crash taught me the hard way about uncured live rock and what it can do to your fish.

The next crash I had was a few months away, and it was from no real fault of mine, minus not quarantining fish. I was put in a very bad position and the result was some fish deaths... more on that later...


October 26, 2012 by Peter (1 Comment)
For the longest time I've always wanted to keep a Moray Eel. Before keeping a saltwater tank, I had dreams of keeping a Green Moray.

After coming down from the clouds and realizing that keeping a 6 foot plus man eating eel in anything smaller than a 1000 gallon system would be nuts, I started looking for alternatives. I for the most part like rare things that other people don't have. From cars, to trees and now fish... it's just something I do. My wife would say to a fault ;-)

The first rare Moray I looked at was the Dragon Moray, which only grew to just over three feet. Once again after more thought, I realized that I'd like to keep a Moray that wouldn't eat all of my fish. So I started looking at Morays that weren't fish eaters. The normal list of crustacean eaters came back including that Chainlink Moray, Snowflake Moray, Golden Dwarf Moray and Zebra Moray. All were a bit too common for me, minus the Golden Dwarf, so I kept looking.

I then happened across a post talking about various rare Morays. One that caught my eye was the Skeletor Moray Eel. Not only was it named after the villain in He-Man, but it was a crustacean eater and rare. It also has a very unique and appealing coloration to it. So it was off to the races for me to find this rare eel.

Now I ran into a problem, seems this eel is very seasonal and was impossible to find. I happened to find one in New York, but the LFS owner wanted $1,000 for the eel. I also was offered a full sized Skeletor on Reef Central for $800, but wanted to start with a small eel. Finally somebody on Reef Central told me that he had bought a Skeletor Moray from Live Aquaria's Divers Den and was sent a Tesselata Moray Eel instead. He told me that they found a replacement Skeletor for him and two more were also coming in.

Before this I had even reached out to various divers in the Pacific around Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to see if they could find the eel for me with no luck, so now knowing Divers Den had two extra Skeletors was a godsend. I contacted them right away and was told they had them, but couldn't sell them to more or let them know when they would go for sale. I watched Divers Den like a hawk everyday around 5PM and finally on November 15, 2011 it came up on Divers Den and I snagged it. Without even looking at the size or price I bought it

The Skeletor Moray soon arrived and we got him into his new home (no quarantine... go us!). He was a thin little guy and was about 7 inches long. He's got a lot fatter now and is around 20" long now. He loves him some frozen shrimp with Zoe added to it. He has been extremely happy in his home and has left all of our fish alone. Some shrimp have gone missing, but I think I'll blame the Niger Trigger (Gunner) on that one... We'll make sure to keep you up to date on Skeletor's growth in our reef with updated pictures and videos as well. Below is our Skeletor featured on Divers Den.


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