Best for Experienced Owners
Activity Level: Low
Dragon moray eels are native to the Indo-Pacific ocean region, particularly around Hawaii, Korea, Japan, New Caledonia, and around the Society islands. Despite being expensive and moderately difficult to obtain, Dragon moray eels are one of the most popular eels sold as pets for home saltwater aquariums. Dragon moray eels are also known as the Leopard moray eel, Hawaiian Dragon moray eel, and Japanese Dragon moray eel.
Dragon moray eels are aggressive eels that can safely share a tank with large aggressive saltwater fish like puffer fish, adult triggerfish, adult groupers, lionfish, adult hawkfish, and adult snappers. Dragon moray eels are best kept one eel per tank as they will fight with other eels. When first added to a tank, Dragon moray eels tend to be a little shy and timid; however, they gain confidence quickly and within a couple of weeks are right at home. Dragon moray eels will bite if they feel threatened or if they are hungry and mistake their owner’s hand for food, extreme care should be taken when putting hands in the aquarium. Dragon moray eels are excellent escape artists and require a very secure tank lid so they do not jump out and die.
Dragon moray eels are one of the larger types of pet eels; they require a minimum of a 80-90 gallon tank. Dragon moray eels naturally live in a semi-tropical saltwater environment so the tank should be set up to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. The bottom of the aquarium should be covered in about three inches of aquarium sand and the aquarium should have lots of rocks and coral set up in a way that gives the eel caves and hiding spots. The aquarium will also require a water filtration system, an internal water pump, water heater, thermometer and a hydrometer to check salt levels. The aquarium can also include some real or fake plants. In addition, the aquarium will require a very secure lid with a light; the aquarium lid should not be able to be pushed off easily or have enough space for the eel’s head to fit out. The temperature of the water should be around 73-78 Fahrenheit and a salinity of 1.020 to 1.025. The aquarium light should be on during the day and turned off at night.
Appearance and Care:
Dragon moray eels are one of the most colourful species of eels that are sold as pets; they come in bright orange, yellow, black, bright red, bright blue, or white with multicoloured marking and stripes. Dragon moray eels measure around 25-36 inches long when full grown. Dragon moray eels are unable to close their mouths as their lower teeth are too big.
Dragon moray eels are carnivores that will eat almost everything that is small enough to fit in their mouths; however, they prefer fish to crustaceans. Dragon moray eels usually only eat 2-3 times week, and only eat live food. Most Dragon moray eels enjoy fish such as gobies or dragonets, shrimp, lobsters and crabs, squid, small octopi, other eels, and even non-adult triggerfish or groupers.
Dragon moray eels are hardy creatures with an average life span of around 10-15 years. The number one cause of death for moray eels is starvation so it is important that owners ensure they get enough to eat; however, overfeeding them can cause health problems too. The number two cause of death for moray eels is escaping from their tank and drying out, and dying.