The Australian Freshwater Moray Eel (Gymnothorax polyuranodon) is native to the tropical Western Pacific. In Australia it is only known to inhabit a few creeks on the eastern coast of the lower Cape York peninsula in Queensland. Despite this species wide distribution, it is very rarely imported.
The single most important thing to consider when keeping moray eels is the aquarium lid or cover. Moray’s are excellent escape artists and will find even the smallest gap to squeeze through. Do NOT underestimated their ability to contort their bodies; if there is a hole, they WILL get through it.
In the aquarium these morays are very anxious during settlement. They should only be kept with peaceful and non-boisterous species.
This species grows to at least 90 cm in length, however, the maximum length reported is about 150 cm. As such, they need a very large tank.
Providing plenty of hiding places will encourage more confident behaviour. It may sound odd but the more hiding places you provide, the more you will see your moray! PVC pipe or rock structures with deep caves are a must to get the eel to relax.
The pH should never be on the acidic side. Ideally the pH should be above 7.5. The water should be hard. While this eel is a freshwater species, it will benefit from the addition of salt to the aquarium. A salinity of 1.008 – 1.012 is ideal.
Australian Freshwater Moray Eel’s are carnivorous and probably feed on small fish and crustaceans in nature. In the aquarium they should be fed on small live fish. As these fish do not acclimatise well, they may not start eating immediately. More often than not, the moray may not start eating for several days or even weeks. Do not panic, this fasting is usually harmless. If the moray does not start eating after a couple of days, it may be a wise idea to remove the feeder fish and introduce them a few days later. The complete absence of food may prompt the moray to eat upon the reintroduction of the feeder fish.
The Australian Freshwater Moray Eel is almost impossible to sex these eels visually. Breeding in the home aquarium would be incredibly difficult, as breeding naturally occurs in the ocean. This transition between fresh and saltwater would be near impossible to replicate.