Zebra Moray Eel
Common name: Zebra moray eel
Scientific name: Gymnomuraena zebra
Max size: 60 in / 150cm
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)
The Zebra moray eel is one of the most commonly available morays and one of the most suitable moray species to keep in aquariums as well. It is a docile species that spends most of its time hidden away in a cave but if you give it a suitable environment you will se it out and about as well. These fishes are relatively slow moving.
Zebra moray eels are commonly available in the trade and finding them is usually not a problem. If your local store doesn't have them in stock you can ask them to order it for you or you can order it yourself online. Zebra moray eels sold in stores are almost always in good health and no special care has to be taken before buying one.
The Zebra moray eel is as the name suggests zebra patterned. The body is black to brown with white vertical stripes.
The Zebra moray eel is well suited for an aquarium environment and adapts very well. They are exceptionally hardy and easy to care for. This species can be recommended to beginners with the reservation that the fish grows large over time and adult specimens will need large aquarium.
Zebra moray eels can be trained to eat out of your hand, but I do not recommend this as you ever so often will get bit due to their poor eye size. Bites can really hurt and cause flesh wounds. Hand feeding can also make them associate your hand with food and attack you when you are working in the aquarium. Even if you don't hand feed them they can try to find out if your hand is food and you should therefore always be careful when you work in an aquarium containing Zebra moray eels.
The Zebra moray eel is not reef safe as it will eat any and all crustaceans. Small specimens will not harm corals, anemones or gorgonians. Large specimens can easily accidentally harm corals and gorgonians when they move around in the aquarium since they are very clumsy. This moray will usually not harm fish and you can keep the zebra moray eel with even the smallest fish. This is a docile fish (for a moray) and can be kept with peaceful and aggressive fish alike.
The Zebra moray eel can be shy before it has acclimatized itself to a new aquarium. Once it has established itself it will become more active and more visible. It will be a little more sensitive during the acclimatization period but this is usually not a problem with this very hardy species. The Zebra morays very seldom get sick.
The Zebra moray eel originates from the Indo Pacific Ocean. They can be found from the Red Sea and the African east coast to Hawaii. They can be encountered as far north as Japan and as far south as New Caledonia. This species has also been reported seen off the coast of Panama which indicates that they can be found in suitable environments all across the tropical Indo Pacific Ocean.
Zebra Moray Eel care and aquarium setup
The Zebra moray eel grows quite large and even though a small juvenile can be housed in a 40 gallon / 200 L aquarium you'll need a much larger aquarium to house an adult 60 in / 150 cm Zebra moray eel. I would recommend a 250 gallon / 1000 L aquarium or larger to for an adult Zebra moray. They grow fast when young and it therefore better to start them off in a 75 gallon / 300 L because in a smaller aquarium they will outgrow the aquarium very fast, often within months.
The Zebra moray eel prefers an aquarium with suitably sized caves in which it can rest in safety while watching the world outside the cave. The more caves you provide it with the more at home it will feel in your aquarium and the more you will see of it. A Zebra moray eel kept in aquarium with just one cave will spend most of its time in that cave while a moray kept in an aquarium with plenty of caves will be out in the open much more. It is beneficial if the Zebra moray eel can move from one side of the aquarium to the other without having to expose itself. Zebra moray eels are best kept in reef aquariums. (Note what I written above about reef compatibility.)
Providing your Zebra moray eel with a stress free environment where it can feel safe is the single most important aspect of keeping morays as morays handles stress poorly and become much more sensitive if they feel stressed.
Keep the water quality high and theater values stable.
The Zebra moray eel is not as prone to escape as many other morays, but it is still very important to make sure that the entire aquarium is well covered. This is true even if the water doesn't go all the way up in your aquarium as morays can lift almost half their body straight up out of the water. They can lift themselves even higher if supported by the aquarium glass.
Feeding Zebra Moray Eel
The Zebra moray eel is a specialized predator feeding mainly on crustaceans in the wild. They will readily accept other food sources in the aquarium and almost always accept dead food such as shrimp and other types of sea food. Give them a varied diet consisting of meaty foods. If possible it is good to give them some live food every now and again. Feed your Zebra moray eels when they are hungry. This usually means a couple of times a week.
Breeding Zebra Moray Eel
We have no information on breeding or sexing the Zebra moray eel besides the fact that is an egg laying species.
Zebra Moray Eel - Copyright www.jjphoto.dk
Gymnomuraena zebra - Zebra Moray EelBy Cacoa_Pleco
The Zebra Moray Eel is definitely a conversation piece with its zebra-like bands. However, they require special care due to their aggression and size
Zebra Morays max out at 36”, meaning youre looking at bare minimum a 150g tank, but its always better to go beyond that. Like most other eels, they require lots of rockwork and PVC piping to hide and crawl in. They are Carnivorous, and will stalk their prey through their cave. However, they are a more docile eel, and people have reported keeping them with larger puffers and triggers with success. However, to keep a Zebra eel with tankmates, youre looking at a 250g+ aquarium to even out territories and aggression
Like other eels, they like a Salinity of 1.022 to 1.025, a PH between 8.2 to 8.5, and a temperature of 75f-78f. They should be fed Protein rich foods, as much as they can eat in a few minutes, and should be fed with a stick or claw to prevent humans from getting bit. Feed them once a week approximately, if you miss a week it is not a problem since these guys can go a considerable number of weeks without food. They will often take shrimp, crabs, squid, clams, and feeder fish. However, after you introduce your Zebra Eel to your tank, he may not eat for a few weeks from stress/new environment. In time, he will get hungry and be forced to eat, and will get used to his surroundings
Other Moray Eel ArticlesMoray eels- An article about how to keep moray eels in aquariums.
Dragon Moray eel- Learn how to keep and care for the dragon moray eel.
Snowflake Moray eel-A guide to keeping Snowflake eels.