Gorgasia sillneri
Source: Bernd / CC BY 2.0


Latin name Gorgasia sillneri - Klausewitz, 1962
Family Congridae - Gorgasia
Origin The Red Sea
Max length 84.0 cm (33.1")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 400 l (106 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for special aquariums
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Peaceful


  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

Acclimatizing of Garden eels

Since these fish are very shy, there are difficulties feeding them at first as they are reluctant to come out of their holes.
Most aquarists report however, that once they appear, they eat well.

One must make certain that there are no aggressive fish in the aquarium and they should not be kept with creatures which dig into the sandy bottom.

It is obvious that these fish must have as short a journey to their final aquarium as possible, as they do not normally have the optimum conditions in the petshop.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Live food

There is a greater chance of success with this species if one can supply a living feed to allow it to adapt to the tank.


This species ought to be kept in a group of at least three.

Deep sandy substrate

This species must be kept in an aquarium with at least a 20 cm layer of fine sand.
The layer should resemble the length of the fish.

If necessary topped with another layer if the sand swirls round too much.

Family description (Congridae)

Eels are a large family, but mainly the subfamily, Garden eel (Heterocongrinae) are relevant in relation to aquaria.

Garden eels live together in groups. They require enough sand in the aquarium substrate to make their small but deep holes, also the more one wishes to keep the larger the sand surface needs to be.

The minimum number kept, should be 3, the optimum is between 6 and 10. Each eel however, needs at least an area of 12 by 12 inch (30 by 30 cm).

They eat zooplankton from the water column, which is difficult to maintain in an aquarium. At first one needs to have live Artemia and preferably a healthy population of zooplankton. Later on they can be fed with frozen foods, provided this can be fed in such a manner that it floats gently past the eels so it can be caught.


Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Western Indian Ocean: Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2001. Reef Fishes volume 1 - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Raul Roman. 2011. Aquarium Husbandry of the Spotted Garden Eel - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. The Conger & Garden Eels, Family Congridae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).


live food, shoal group, deep sand bed, eel
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