Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bobo 04-06-2008 03:04 AM

ghost eel
after losing all my fish (minus invertebrates) to clownfish disease, i cleaned all my sand(suction), filter media etc. and decided to give it a second go. This time (1.5 weeks later) , hoping all the evil bacteria is dead i got myself a baby ghost eel.

I know in the long run he may have a go at my shrimp but he is still really small.

I plan to get some pvc tubing and place it underneath the sand so he can swim through it, as now he is just hiding underneath a large piece of LR.

The good thing is i have him eating Frozen mysis shrimp, anything else i should feed him?

bettababy 04-06-2008 11:32 AM

Unfortunately the news I have for you is not "good". Brooklynella hostilis, aka clownfish disease is not quite that easy to get rid of, and your eel will also be in jeopardy if it has only been 1.5 wks since your fish died and you did the tank cleaning.
This parasite feeds on live fish for a host, and if the only fish available in the tank is the eel, it is likely to become infected. That tank needs to go without fish for a good month and your eel should be treated in a QT tank with formalin. Raise the main tank temp by 2 degrees to help kill the parasite.

Parasites that feed exclusively on live fish for hosts can be eradicated from the tank, but only if there are no fish for it to host on, and for a long enough period of time to completely starve out the life cycle of the parasite. 1.5 wks is not enough time for this to happen, and if there are inverts in the tank then any medicinal treatment must be done in a QT.

The other not so good news I have for you is that once your eel gets large enough he is likely to feed on many of the inverts in your tank. Shrimp especially will be vulnerable.

Please be careful with the pvc for shelter. As your eel grows he is liable to get stuck inside the tube. I have seen this happen in various species of eels and bottom dwelling fish that are known to get large. You'll want to make sure he has plenty of shelter in the QT tank, too. Please don't remove anything from the main tank and add it to the QT tank with the eel, as this is likely to bring the parasite with it, and may make it more difficult to protect your eel, even with the meds. Most meds will absorb into live rock, making it then unsafe to keep with inverts afterwards.
Live rock is still going to be the best shelter for the eel, so there should be a lot of it in his tank.

Because this parasite is so fast to kill, I would strongly suggest doing the QT and formalin treatment asap, and consider adding a UV sterilizer to your main tank.

If your infected fish came from your local LFS, I would strongly suggest finding a new source for purchasing fish. It is highly likely that their tanks are also infected, and because of the way a LFS stocks its tanks (ordering new fish weekly) the parasite is going to survive and thrive in their tanks. This only means it will continue to reinfect your tank with any fish you bring home from that LFS. The only way the LFS is going to be rid of this parasite is to do some major treatment of infected fish in the tanks, or to empty those tanks and let them either sit for a good month empty, or to be dried out and bleached and started over. I have worked too many yrs in LFS's to know standard procedure in the majority. You might want to let them know what they're dealing with. If they want some useful information, you could print out the information found on this link and hand it to them.
At the same time I would also inform them that you won't buy anything from their tanks because of the risk of reinfesting your own.
When you read that article, please be aware that acriflavin will stain anything it touches. If you find you need a more potent treatment for your eel, please only use the acriflavin in your QT tank and be careful what it comes into contact with.

gymnothorax 04-06-2008 12:34 PM

There are actually several eels that are commonly sold as "ghost eels" i'm curoius which one you actually purchased, if you can post a pic i can probably give you a more specific ID on your eel. As far as your eel contracting brook, it is possible but morays have the ability to "shed" and can often rid themselves of the external parasite if needed, regardless a treatment with formalin would still be a very good idea.

bettababy 04-06-2008 03:27 PM

Just one more quick note...
Most other Fish also have the ability to shed slime coat to protect themselves. The problem with something like this or ich is that they can only shed so much of it, which then leaves them more vulnerable to further infestation by said parasite. The formalin treatment will help to kill the parasite, so that along with the shedding, you should be able to rid your eel of it completely without further risks of secondary infection.

When a fish sheds their slime coat the body must work to produce more. Conditions which cause a fish to shed their slime coat are also very stressful for the animal, which means a weakened immune system. While a parasite problem is bad, the 2ndary infections that many fish suffer during and/or after a parasite infestation can be even worse. This is the reason I suggested removing the eel to quarantine and doing a treatment with formalin asap.

bobo 04-07-2008 03:04 AM

thanks for the quick replies.

My QT is actually cycling just now as i dont want to use water from the main tank. Thanks for letting me know so fast that its unsafe for the eel in the MT and i plan to move him asap.

The eel is still EXTREMELY small, and a sexy shrimp is the only shrimp he would be able to eat at the moment. The plan was , i was going to grow this eel for my friends 125gallon, seeing that my tank is only 32 gallons. In the summer i have to go study abroad and wont be able to take care of an eel (and i`m quite sure my parents wouldnt want to either) so i`m going to get them a pair of clownfish which they seem to like and are relatively "easier" to care for. This eel is just something i want to do before i head off to study.
is the picture of the eels head.
They sold him to me as a white ribbon eel, it truly is beautiful.

As for changing petshop, i did hat immediately after i found out about brooklynella.

bobo 04-09-2008 10:53 AM

btw just pit iin the piping, it has a diameter of 2 inches.

How long do you think that will last him?
how do i get him accustomed to it?

bettababy 04-09-2008 01:03 PM

The only way to get him used to it is going to be by putting it in the tank. If you put it in an open area of the tank, he will find it as shelter when he is in that area of the tank.

As for growth rate... there is no way to determine or predict that. Growth rate is dependent on the genetics of that particular fish, the environment and how healthy it is, and foods... how much of a well balanced diet is he receiving. The only thing you can do is to watch him, and as he gets larger either replace the pvc with a larger diameter pipe, or to remove it and replace it with rock work built to form more caves.

bobo 04-09-2008 07:26 PM

thanks for the advice, i put the piping at the front of the tank and i`m hoping he gets to it.

hes about as thick as a telephone wire now so he still has lots to go (i hope )

i`ll try to get a pic of him or a small vid if he ever comes out.

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