Zebra Moray Eel

Quick Facts :: Zebra Moray Eel
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Maximum Size: 60″
Minimum Tank Size: 150 Gallons
Reef Compatible: Yes, With Caution
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Tropical Pacific
Family: Muraenidae
Species: Eels
Aquarium Type: Predatory


Zebra Moray Eels are one of the more peaceful eel species found within the hobby as well as one of the largest with a maximum length of 60″ (they generally don’t grow much larger than 40″ in the aquarium). Zebra Moray Eels can be found throughout the tropical regions of the Indo-Pacific, lounging among sea grass to relaxing in caves and crevices within the reef while waiting for a meal to pass by. The coloration of the Zebra Moray Eel can vary from a dark brown, dark red, to black base with cream to white vertical banding outlined with black borders. Zebra Moray Eels are popular among the more advanced hobbyists, but can be hard to acquire and may need to be special ordered locally if not presently in stock through online retailers.

Zebra Moray Eels can grow quite large at a steady pace and will require an aquarium of at least 150 gallons as well as a sandy substrate and plenty live rock. When setting up their aquarium, the live rock structure needs to be firmly placed and should be sturdy enough that the eel can not disturb it with its powerful body; the live rock should also provide enough shelter to hide the entire length of the specimen. Eels can be jumpers as well as escape artists and their aquarium should be fitted with a hood or tightly sealed lid for their safety. They can put a large biological strain on a system and in addition to high quality biological and mechanical filtration, an efficient protein skimmer is also required. Although they can be reef safe and will not harm anemones or coral, caution is required and Zebra Moray Eels should not be housed with crustaceans or any fish that will fit into their large mouths. They will get along well with many different tank mates, but are generally housed in FOWLR systems due to their specialized eating habits.

Zebra Moray Eels are carnivores that are equipped with powerful, blunt teeth that are specifically adapted for crushing and eating crustaceans among the marine algae, reef and substrate of their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, and vitamin enriched mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, chopped clams, crabmeat, mussels, squid, and scallops. Eels don’t need to eat as often as most aquarium inhabitants and should only be fed every 2 to 3 days. [Aquarium Domain]