Gymnothorax javanicus
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Gymnothorax javanicus - (Bleeker, 1859)
Common name Giant moray
Family Muraenidae - Gymnothorax
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 300.0 cm (118.1")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1500 l (396 gal)
Hardiness Hardy
Suitable for aquarium Suitable for special aquariums
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

Recommended
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Fish

Threat towards crustaceans

This species poses a threat towards shrimps and crabs etc., which are relatively small.

Demand a very large aquarium when fully grown

This species needs a very large aquarium when fully grown.

Exactly how big the aquarium should be is hard to say, but the size of this species is such, that it cannot normally be kept in a home aquarium.

Feeding of Moray eels

Morays should be fed a large meal every 3-4 days, as they otherwise can harm themselves by over eating.
If one has problems with getting the Morays to eat frozen fish or crustaceans, try moving the food in front of the fish with a tweezer. 

Do note, that the food must be varied and raw/fresh, whole shrimps or smelt (small fish) for example.

It can take a week before they start feeding in the aquarium, but this is not a problem.
Try feeding them live fish or shrimp if the Morays iare not eating frozen foods after a week. 

Escape specialist

Morays can easily escape from aquaria, they can even move loose lids and glass covers without problems.

Threat to larger fish

This species can pose a threat towards fish that are relatively large in comparison to its own size. 

Rearranges rocks and sand

This species has a habit of rearranging rocks and sand.

Make sure rocks are placed securely on the substrate, so they cannot toppled over.

Thrive best on their own

These fish flourish better without other members of the same species in the aquarium.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

Family description (Muraenidae)

Moray eels (Muraenidae) are predatory fish that will most commonly live off fish or crustaceans. 

To avoid overfeeding, the Moray must only be fed every 3-4 days, but may then also have a large meal.

They may dig up the substrate or move loose objects in the aquarium, so fastening the rocks and corals to the tank is a good idea.
Moray eels can easily escape from the tank if not tightly closed. They can lift lids and glass covers, do not underestimate their escape ability.

It is important that the Moray can, with its full length, hide between the rocks.

There are a few Moray eels which are suitable for reef aquaria, but the bigger species can only live in large tanks with other big fish.

Many Morays have a slightly poisonous bite, although it is not normally dangerous for people. One must not underestimate the strength of their bite however.  

FishBase

Aquarium trade Unknown
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 33390) to the Marquesas and Oeno Atoll (Pitcairn Group), north to the Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to New Caledonia and the Austral Islands.
English common names Java moray eel, Giant moray
Danish common names Kæmpemuræne
German common names Reisenmuräne
French common names Murène de Java

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2001. Reef Fishes volume 1 - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Frank Marini. 2002. A Serpent For Your Reef Tank: A Look at Fish-Safe Eels - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Mike Maddox. 2009. Morays! - Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine - (English)
Kirby Adams. Five Favorite Eels - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. The Moray Eels, Family Muraenidae, pt. 1 - Wet Web Media - (English)
Bob Fenner. The Moray Eels, Family Muraenidae, pt. 2, Less Aquarium Suitable Species - Wet Web Media - (English)
Marco Lichtenberger. 2007. Moray Eels Biteā€”But Are They Poisonous? - Tropical Fish Hobbyist - (English)

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

Tags

destructive, eats shrimp, eats crab, eats fish, predatory, eel
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