Leopard Moray Eel (Gymnothorax polyuranodon) CareSheet
The Leopard Moray Eel (Gymnothorax polyuranodon), sometimes known as the Tiger or Blackspotted Moray Eel, is a rare species found only in Northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Unlike other "freshwater" moray species that only visit freshwater environments near estuaries for a short time before returning to brackish or marine water, the Leopard Moray Eel has been found to survive and grow in complete freshwater conditions for an extended period of time. Though it is usually assumed that its fry grow to juvenile size in brackish or marine water before moving to freshwater to finish the life cycle, it is frequently seen many miles upstream from any salt in the environment. This species has also been reported to dwell in landlocked ponds and lakes in certain situations. It may also be found in brackish water and, in certain situations, can survive in full marine water.
The Leopard Moray Eel is predominantly nocturnal, and it needs driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places like PVC tubing to survive. It is not a very aggressive fish, but it will devour tiny fish and insects that qualify as food. All other tankmates are often ignored. It prefers to live in a fissure as its primary habitat. It gets along with other members of its own species as long as they're of similar size, and it's typically safe with other big, hardy fish that like alkaline water. A big tank with lots of floor area and excellent filtration is required for the Leopard Moray Eel.
Because moray eels are skilled escape artists that aren't scared to leave the water, an aquarium with a tight-fitting cover is required to keep them from escaping. If they get out of the tank, they usually die from a lack of moisture before succumbing to suffocation. If they are discovered before they have been out of the tank for an extended period of time, they should be returned to the aquarium and gently moved to try to restart their breathing and restore moisture to their bodies.
The Leopard Moray Eel has a difficult time feeding. In the wild, it eats tiny fish and invertebrates, and it might be picky when initially brought to an aquarium. It should be fed parasite and disease free tiny live fish (such as guppies), small shrimp
, and frozen meaty feeds like bloodworms
. Because moray eels may spend weeks without feeding without harming themselves, patience is necessary when working with fresh species. Other meaty non-live items are typically accepted by the Leopard Moray Eel over time. This species possesses razor-sharp teeth and may deliver a devastating bite once it grows to its full adult size. It should never be fed by hand. For moray eels, skewering food items on a feeding stick is the favored way of feeding.
Requirements for keeping Gymnothorax polyuranodon
Temperature: 78° - 84° F (26° - 29° C)
pH: 7.5 - 8.0
Minimum tank size: 150-200+ gallons for an adult
Average purchase size: 8 - 12 inches