Snowflake eels are carnivores that prefer a meaty diet. These eels are nocturnal hunters that ambush crustaceans and small fish in the wild. In captivity, you can feed them a diverse diet of frozen or freeze-dried clams, krill, octopus, shrimp, scallops, and other meaty food enriched with vitamins.
Let’s now understand in more detail what snowflake eels eat in their natural habitat and aquariums.
What Do Snowflake Eels Eat in Their Natural Habitat?
In the wild, the snowflake eels inhabit rocky reefs and rough environments.
These carnivorous eels have poor vision and depend on their sense of smell to hunt.
They’re predatory eels that remain hidden under the cover.
Once they detect any smell, they get into action by attacking and devouring the unsuspecting prey.
Given below are a few types of food that snowflake eels eat in their natural habitat.
1. Marine Crustaceans
Marine crustaceans are a vital part of the marine food chain and are an important part of snowflake eels’ diet in their natural habitat.
They provide essential nutrients required by snowflakes eels for their healthy development.
Snowflake eels specifically prey on crabs.
Besides crabs, snowflake eels also eat other crustaceans like krill, shrimp, and lobster as part of their diverse diet.
2. Marine Mollusks
Marine mollusks are an excellent source of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
They help in the overall development of snowflake eels.
Besides their widespread utility, marine mollusk have high nutritional value.
Snowflake eels eat clams, mussels, snails, slugs, and scallops in the wild.
3. Marine Fish
Tiny marine fish found in the reef are also part of snowflake eels’ diet.
However, there is no specific fish that snowflake eels prefer. They devour anything that fits in their mouth.
Fully grown eels are also known to attack big fish by wrapping themselves around their bodies.
Doing so allows them to tear off small pieces of meat easily.
What Can You Feed Snowflake Eels in Captivity?
Snowflake eels prefer to eat meaty food in their diet. So you can design a diverse diet of meaty stuff that your eels can enjoy.
Given below are a few types of food that you can feed your snowflake eels in captivity.
Frozen and Live Food
Frozen or live food is the most common food for aquarium fish.
It’s readily available, and there are different sources from which it can be procured.
Live food has a higher nutritional value than frozen food.
However, live food can be expensive and increase your cost exponentially compared to frozen food.
A) Frozen Food
Snowflake eels like to eat crabs as part of their diet. You can also include vitamin-enriched shrimp in their diet.
Ideally, you should feed them a diverse diet by including diced krill, shrimp, clams, octopus, squid, scallops, and other meaty items.
These food items are enriched with protein and vitamins to help improve the health of snowflake eels.
It’s best to serve these food items at room temperature.
B) Live Food
Snowflake eels enjoy eating live food.
You can feed them a diverse diet of diced krill, shrimp, clams, crabs, octopus, squid, and scallops.
Live food items are rich in protein, contain high nutritional value, and improve the overall health of snowflake eels.
The downside is that they can be expensive.
Aquarists raise live fish food, such as shrimp, crabs, and other invertebrates, to control the spiraling fish food cost.
However, creating a quality fish feed requires tremendous time and effort.
What Should You Feed Young Snowflake Eels?
A young snowflake eel’s diet isn’t different from that of an adult eel.
However, the feeding pattern will vary because young eels must be fed once every couple of days.
Young snowflake eels need a highly nutritional, protein-rich meaty diet that can stimulate faster growth.
Given below are a few types of food that you can feed young snowflake eels.
Like adult eels, young snowflake eels also eat a carnivorous diet consisting of marine crustaceans and mollusks.
Feed the young snowflake eels vitamin enriched diverse diet consisting of frozen or freeze-dried krill, shrimp, clams, crabs, octopus, squid, and scallops.
This protein-rich food contains a high nutritional value and will help the young eel’s growth and overall development.
2. Feeder Fish
Feeder fish is the general term used to describe any small, inexpensive fish that is fed to other captive fish species, such as predatory or carnivorous aquarium fish.
Feeder fish are usually easy to keep and breed. These species typically grow fast and reproduce quickly.
So depending on the fish size, you can chop or dice them before serving them to your young snowflake eels.
How Often Should You Feed Snowflake Eels?
Snowflake eels should be fed two to three times per week.
These nocturnal eels can stay hidden for weeks without ever leaving their hiding place, even during the feeding session.
So you should provide these reef-safe eels with plenty of hiding spots like caves and rocks.
It’s also dangerous to feed them with your hands. Feed them with a tong and not your hands.
Snowflake eels will readily eat frozen food such as clams, krill, shrimp, and squid.
You can also feed them freeze-dried food such as crab, shrimp, and octopus.
Snowflakes eels are messy eaters and will create a mess inside the aquarium.
The uneaten food can rot and affect the water quality of your marine aquarium.
So a robust filtration system and protein skimmer are essential for your reef tank.
This equipment will improve the water quality by clearing debris and eliminating dissolved organic waste.