September 27, 2016
A giant moray eel which outgrew its tank is settling in to a spacious new home at Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium.
The 80 centimetre long honeycomb moray was donated to the Rock-a-Nore wildlife attraction alongside an equally impressive blackspotted pufferfish after they became too large for their old home.
The eel, which could grow up to three metres in length, has gone on display in a large tropical tank alongside a group of other moray eels.
The giant puffer fish – which is the largest anyone at the aquarium has ever seen – will go in to the main ocean display, which is already home to a number of other related species.
“Both these fish are not suited to hobby fishkeepers except in rare circumstances where the owner can provide a large tank and very specialist care,” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.
“The moray eel in particular can grow extremely large and also has the potential to be quite dangerous if not correctly looked after.
“Fortunately we were able to provide both the eel and the puffer with a new forever home but space in our displays is limited and we would urge people to think very carefully before purchasing such demanding marine species,” she added.
Honeycomb morays, which get their name from the fact they are covered in spots, are found extensively throughout the Indo-Pacific oceans from Hawaii to Japan.
Moray eels have poor vision which may be partly responsible for them earning their fearsome reputation.
“Morays are generally quite shy and secretive creatures that spend much of their time hiding inside crevices among the coral reefs,” said Leanna.
“However they do have razor-sharp teeth and have to be handled with extreme care as they are capable of inflicting nasty bites. We take no chances and tend to stick feed our morays from a safe distance,” she added.
Also known as the dogface puffer, due to its apparently dog-like features, the blacksotted pufferfish is settling in to a new life in the aquarium’s giant ocean display.
Found in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, the pufferfish can grow up to a foot in length and feed on stony corals.