One of the so-called 'freshwater' Morays encountered by aquarists, Gymnothorax tile is actually more of a brackish- and saltwater fish, only occasionally being found in full freshwater.
Gymnothorax tile holds the typical moray shape. This species grows to a maximum length of 60cm.
The colouration can be varied between specimens, although the base colour is normally a green or greenish-brown base with lighter flecks of different sizes scattered over the body from the head to the tail. The belly is lighter than the rest of the body.
Distribution and HabitatEdit
This eel is found around the Indo-Pacific islands, and along the coast of South-East Asia. There are also reports of the distribution extending to India as well.
The most common habitat for G. tile is in the mouths of rivers, where the mixing sea- and river water creates a brackish environment of varying salinities. Younger specimens have been found freshwater, and older fish can be found marine coastal environments.
Although many stores offer this fish as a freshwater species, and may survive for some time in such conditions, the ideal setup for G. tile should have water that lies within the brackish range, or marine for older specimens, if desired. Long term housing in freshwater can lead to a diminished appetite and excess mucus production over the body, and eventually the fish may stop eating altogether. The pH should always be above 7, and the specific gravity should be, at its lowest, 1.005. Saltier water is preferred.
The substrate should be of a soft nature, as sometimes this fish may partially bury itself in order to get underneath an object - rough substrate will damage the scaleless skin easily. Plenty of hiding places in the form of rocks, pipes, pots and roots should be provided to give the fish a sense of secuirity. A tight fitting hood is required to keep G. tile from exiting the tank, and lowering the water level slightly discourages escapes.
Gymnothorax tile is tolerant of its own species, provided that enough space and hiding places are provided. They rarely fight with each other, if at all. Tankmates should be chosen carefully, as any fish that is small enough to fit into this moray's mouth is likely to become a meal. 'Freshwater' stonefish make good companions for this species.