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Saltwater Aquarium/Snowflake Eel annoyed by Fry


QUESTION: Hi David,  I saw that you have a special affection for Snowflakes so thought I would direct my question to you:)  I have noticed my eel was not quite right over the past few days, and now have perhaps seen why.... he is being nipped by baby fish that have materialised in the tank.  He is flinching with every bite.  They probably came with the water I have delivered as the only other fish in this tank is a Sailfin Trigger.  
Once I discovered this scenario I tried putting a piece of food nearby in the hope it would distract the fry, but other than this do you have any suggestions to help my Snowflake (called Frankie by the way!).
He has also more recently lost one of his yellow feelers, is this a sign of ill health and will it grow back?
Thankyou for your time.

ANSWER: Hi Carolyn:

Your snowflake eel losing one of his yellow feelers is a definite sign of stress and rapidly deteriorating health; if you remove him from the aquarium and put him in another aquarium to restore his health, the feeler should grow back.

I would recommend to immediately remove the baby fish as soon as possible, to restore your eels resident aquarium.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thankyou for your prompt you have any suggestions as to how I remove the fry?  It is a large tank and they tend to hide within the rocks :(   I dont have a spare aquarium to move him into.

Hi Carolyn:

Besides emptying the aquarium, you could try to catch them with a trap. See the following web page below, to see an example of a fish trap.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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