By Bob Goemans
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Gymnothorax miliaris

(Kaup, 1856)

Goldentail Moray

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Southern Florida and Bermuda, and south to Brazil, and across the Atlantic to St. Paul’s Rocks, Ascension, St. Helena, and Cape Verde Islands.

Size: 24 inches (60 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits lagoons and coastal coral and rocky reefs caves at depths between 3 to about 50 feet (1 – 15 m) and stays under rocks and/or in caves during daytime and hunts prey during evening hours when it feeds mainly on small fishes and crustaceans.

General Husbandry: One of the more commonly available moray eels in the trade, usually appearing in several different body colorations, e.g., a golden yellow with several black spots, a dark brown with many tiny white spots, or a yellowish body with dark brown mottling. Coloration is dependent upon area of collection.

Best maintained in an aquarium having hiding places/caves large enough to conceal its entire body, tankmates large enough not to be eaten, and semi-aggressive tankmates.

As to diet, fresh fish and/or crustacean flesh impaled on a long feeding stick and waved near its head, which usually sticks out of a hiding area, will entice it to grab the food and should be offered twice weekly.


    Order: Anguilliformes

    Suborder: Muraenoidei

    Family: Muraenidae

    Subfamily: Muraeninae

    Genus: Gymnothorax

FYI: Avoid hand feeding!

Will eat ornamental crustaceans.

May be difficult to get feeding, if so, try providing it live ghost/grass shrimp and/or small crabs, e.g., fiddler crabs to induce feeding.

Aquarium must be covered, as they can get out of the aquarium through very small openings.

Rockwork in the aquarium should be quite stable, as they can undermine rock structures and cause their collapse.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: With caution

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Semi-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 80°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Gymnothorax miliaris (Goldentail Moray)
Photo © Robert Patzner
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