Although the snowflake eel is still a very niche tank addition, its unique appearance and price tag that keeps getting lower and lower, more and more people within the fish keeping hobby are starting to add a snowflake eel to their aquarium.
This has resulted in more and more people asking questions about keeping snowflake eels and although snowflake eels are usually very beginner friendly due to them being hardy, some people can have some problems with keeping them.
This is why we there are a number of people reaching out for help with their pet snowflake eel not eating each month.
Now, you have to keep in mind that most snowflake eels don’t have to eat regularly, especially if you overfeed them as most people who are new to keeping snowflake eels do.
Still, we will be covering the more common problems that people can have with their snowflake eels that may cause them not to eat much.
Why Your Snowflake Eel Is Not Eating!
We have made a list of the more common reasons that your snowflake eel may not be eating and then we will cover each of them in more detail in the rest of the article:-
- You Are Using An Unsuitable Food!
- Bad Water Parameters!
- Water Temperature!
- Stress And Anxiety!
- Unsuitable Tank Mates!
- Internal Parasites!
If you are new to the fish keeping hobby, there is a high chance of you having problems with more than one of these issues so keep that in mind when investigating why your snowflake eel is not eating.
You Are Using An Unsuitable Food!
One of the most common problems that people have when it comes to their snowflake eel not eating is that they are using an unsuitable food.
Most of the time, this is because people do not understand what snowflake eels eat in the wild and so they try to feed them pellets or flakes which the snowflake eel will not touch.
Snowflake eels are carnivores which means that they need a diet that is high in protein in order to stay healthy.
The best way to achieve this is to feed your snowflake eel live foods such as earthworms, bloodworms and brine shrimp.
You can also feed them frozen foods such as krill and mysis shrimp but make sure that you defrost the food properly before feeding it to your snowflake eel.
One thing to keep in mind is that snowflake eels are very opportunistic feeders which means that they will eat anything that they can fit into their mouths.
This includes fish, snails, crabs and even other eels.
So, if you have other tank mates that are small enough, there is a chance that your snowflake eel may see them as food and try to eat them.
Bad Water Parameters!
Another common reason that people have problems with their snowflake eel not eating is because of bad water parameters.
This is usually because people do not understand the water requirements of snowflake eels and so they do not maintain their tank properly.
Snowflake eels are very sensitive to changes in water parameters and so it is very important that you keep an eye on your tank’s pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels.
Ideally, you should aim for a pH of around 8.3, ammonia and nitrite levels that are as close to 0 as possible and nitrate levels that are below 20 ppm.
If your water parameters are not within these ranges, it is very likely that your snowflake eel will become stressed which can lead to a whole host of health problems, one of which is not eating.
Another water related issue that can cause your snowflake eel to stop eating is the temperature of the water.
Snowflake eels come from tropical waters and so they need warm water in order to stay healthy.
Ideally, you should aim for a water temperature of between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the water in your tank is too cold, it is very likely that your snowflake eel will become stressed and stop eating.
Stress And Anxiety!
Snowflake eels are very sensitive to changes in their environment and so it is important that you make sure that their tank is set up correctly.
If you do not provide your snowflake eel with the right conditions, it is very likely that they will become stressed which can lead to a whole host of health problems, one of which is not eating.
There are a few things that you can do to reduce the stress levels of your snowflake eel:-
- Provide them with hiding places such as caves and rocks.
- Make sure that there are plenty of plants in their tank.
- Avoid using bright lighting.
- Do not make any sudden changes to their tank.
If you follow these guidelines, it should help to reduce the stress levels of your snowflake eel and stop them from becoming anxious.
Another common reason that snowflake eels stop eating is because they are ill.
There are a number of different illnesses that snowflake eels can get and so it is important that you keep an eye on your snowflake eel for any signs of illness.
Unsuitable Tank Mates!
Some tank setups may have unsuitable tank mates in them where the snowflake eel actually gets bullied by its tank mates causing it not to eat.
You should keep an eye out for signs of aggression from the other tank mates in your aquarium to see if they are bullying your snowflake eel and then take appropriate action if required.
Another reason that your snowflake eel may stop eating is because they are constipated.
Snowflake eels can be prone to constipation if they are on a low quality diet so it’s important that you keep an eye on their feces to make sure that they are passing them regularly.
If you think that your snowflake eel is constipated, you can try feeding them live foods such as earthworms or brine shrimp to help get their digestive system moving again.
One final reason that your snowflake eel may not be eating is because it has internal parasites.
Internal parasites are a very common problem in aquarium fish and they can cause a whole host of health problems, one of which is not eating.
If you suspect that your snowflake eel has internal parasites, the best course of action is to get an anti-parasitic medication to try and treat the internal parasites to get your snowflake eel eating again.