Tesselata Eel

Gymnothorax favagineus

(0 Reviews)

Tesselata Eel

Tesselata Eel

Gymnothorax favagineus

(0 Reviews)

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Tesselata Eel Care Facts

Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indian Ocean
Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Reef Safe: No
Coral Safe: No
Invertebrate Safe: No
The Tesselata Eel, Gymnothorax favagineus, also known as the Lace Moray Eel, is one of the most visually striking yet challenging to keep eels in the home aquarium trade. They are masters of escape so every possible escape route must be prevented. Also, care should be taken while feeding because the Tesselata's poor eyesight may cause it to bit the hand that feeds it - feeding tongs are a suggested alternative. The Tesselata Eel should only be cared for by an experienced aquarists as they can grow up to 50 inches and need a large, non-reef tank. This tank should have a thick sandy substrate and plenty of live rock and no sessile inverts or corals. Larger Tesselata Eels are ciguatoxic meaning they secrete a toxin making their skin poisonous to eat. They are a voracious carnivore that will eat primarily live foods but can be coaxed to eat frozen meaty foods. The Tesselata Eel features a beautiful black and white patterned body that resembles spaced out lacework. 

Tesselata Eel (Gymnothorax favagineus) for Saltwater Marine Aquariums

In the world of saltwater marine aquariums, the Tesselata Eel (Gymnothorax favagineus) is a captivating and distinctive species that demands a comprehensive understanding. This analysis provides a fact-based exploration of the attributes, care requirements, and compelling reasons for choosing the Tesselata Eel from Saltwaterfish.com.

Habitat and Reef Compatibility of the Tesselata Eel

The Tesselata Eel is a native of the Indo-Pacific region, where it inhabits a range of environments, including coral reefs, rocky crevices, and sand beds. Regarding reef compatibility, caution is advised. Due to their predatory nature, Tesselata Eels may pose a threat to smaller fish and invertebrates, making them better suited to fish-only or FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) setups.

Size and Lifespan of the Tesselata Eel

This eel species can grow significantly, reaching lengths of up to 48 inches (4 feet). Therefore, they require a spacious aquarium to accommodate their size. With proper care, Tesselata Eels can live for a remarkable 10 to 20 years in captivity.

Diet in Captivity

Tesselata Eels are carnivorous predators that primarily feed on fish and crustaceans in the wild. In captivity, they readily accept a diet of meaty foods, including fresh or frozen seafood such as squid, shrimp, and fish. It's essential to offer a varied diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Aquaculture and Availability

Currently, Tesselata Eels are not aquacultured, making them reliant on responsibly sourced wild specimens. Saltwaterfish.com is committed to ethical collection practices, ensuring that the eels available to hobbyists are collected sustainably and acclimated for a smooth transition into aquarium life.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates

Due to their predatory nature, Tesselata Eels are best housed with larger, robust fish that are less likely to become prey. Tank mates should be chosen carefully to avoid conflicts. Suitable tank mates include:

  • Lionfish (Pterois spp.): These predatory fish are of similar size and disposition.
  • Triggerfish (Balistidae family): Larger triggerfish can coexist with Tesselata Eels.
  • Groupers (Serranidae family): Some larger species of groupers are compatible.
  • Moray Eels (Muraenidae family): Tesselata Eels can share a tank with other moray eel species.


Tesselata Eels are generally solitary and secretive in nature. They are known for their ambush hunting technique, relying on stealth and quick strikes to capture prey. Their temperament is characterized by caution and a preference for hiding.

Tank Requirements for the Tesselata Eel

To provide a suitable habitat for Tesselata Eels, consider the following tank requirements:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of 180 gallons or more is recommended for adult specimens to accommodate their size and swimming needs.
  • Substrate: Use a fine sandy substrate to mimic their natural habitat and prevent abrasions on their sensitive skin.
  • Hiding Places: Incorporate rock structures and PVC pipes to create ample hiding spots.
  • Lid or Cover: Ensure a secure lid or cover to prevent escapes, as these eels are known for their escape artist tendencies.

Detailed Water Conditions

  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.023 to 1.025 specific gravity
  • Water Temperature: 75°F to 82°F (23.9°C to 27.8°C)
  • Water Flow: Provide moderate water flow to simulate their natural habitat.

Why Choose the Tesselata Eel from Saltwaterfish.com

Selecting the Tesselata Eel from Saltwaterfish.com ensures access to responsibly sourced and expertly shipped specimens. Saltwaterfish.com's commitment to sustainable collection practices guarantees that hobbyists receive healthy and well-adjusted eels. By choosing the Tesselata Eel from Saltwaterfish.com, enthusiasts support ethical marine trade and have the privilege of housing this captivating species in their personal marine aquariums.

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