Fish Species Profile: Ribbon Eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita)

by Kevin Kohen on December 27, 2010

Ribbon Eel

Ribbon Eel

Ribbon eels are beautiful animals with their long and slender bodies and velvet like smooth skin which resemble a strand or ribbon. Most marine eels are very hardy animals and adapt well to aquarium life, but the Ribbon eels have very specific housing requirements and can be a challenge to maintain successfully even by the most experienced marine aquarist, oftentimes refusing to feed.

We have housed numerous Rhinomuraena quaesita successfully in our Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility which houses all of the animals we offer in the Diver’s Den section of the website. Blue Ribbon Eels (Adult Male), Green Ribbon Eels (Adult Female), and the Black Ribbon Eel (Juveniles) can be very challenging to get to started feeding. One trick is to make sure their aquarium is large enough (at least 4 feet in length), with at least a 1” layer of fine sand. Plenty of rockwork with a few overhangs and caves is a must, as these fishes must have the ability to completely retreat, and hide their entire body. We normally maintain this species alone or with other Ribbon Eels, in a dimly lit aquarium, as they really don’t like a lot of activity or commotion in the tank nor do they like intense lighting.

Ribbon Eel

Ribbon Eel

Offering small live fish such as young mollies that have been converted over to saltwater, as well as live ghost shrimp are the ideal foods to get them to start feeding. Patience is in order during this critical time, but once they start taking these foods regularly, more docile and not overly active fishes can introduced and maintained along with them as long as they are large enough to not fit into the eel’s mouth. A tight fitting lid is a must as these fishes are escape artists and if left with any gap or void, will eventually end up out of the aquarium and onto the floor.

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About the author: Kevin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Wright State University, and is an avid marine life photographer, lifelong aquarist, and marine fish enthusiast. He has worked in the aquarium industry since 1983. He launched the web site in 2000 and designed and oversaw the installation of the Drs. Foster and Smith Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility, which opened in July of 2005. Kevin is currently the Director of LiveAquaria at Drs. Foster and Smith. See more articles by Kevin Kohen.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ace January 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

Hello! I was just wondering if you guys are ever going to consider breeding/selling freshwater Koi Angelfish? They’re very beautiful, but nobody around here sells them.

Love your site, and your products!
I hope to order a bunch of aquarium plants soon (depending on funds).

Ace January 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

Oops! Never mind. Boy am I an idiot!

I guess you DO sell them! The picture didn’t show a whole lot of orange.

This gives me new hope. 🙂

ashley June 14, 2011 at 5:06 am

ribbon eels r sure beauiful. i am doing a work about ribbon eels and u sure know lots of facts about them.

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