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Snowflake eel won't open his mouth?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Illness and Disease' started by icel, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. icel

    icel AC Members

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    I've had this eel for a year or so, and he's been perfectly healthy.

    Two days ago i added a cleaner shrimp. Today the shrimp finally came out of the rockwork, and was hanging out near the eel.
    He jumped on the eel and tried to clean him several times, but the eel didn't seem too happy about it.


    Here's a video I took earlier today:
    [YT]77v9ZvdXS98[/YT]

    I saw him do this around 3 times, with similar results.
    Now 30 minutes ago I went to feed the other fish, and noticed that the eel looked a bit weird. He had moved to the middle of the tank, and his mouth wasn't opening and closing like usual. In fact, it kind of looks like the bottom jaw was kind of fitted into the top jaw? The top part is overlapping the bottom, when they usually just stick out at the same length and rest against each other when the mouth is closed. I tried adding a bit of garlic to the water to see if this would make him hungry and come out (and hopefully open his mouth), but all he did was look around a little bit.
    Fast forward to now, and his mouth is still closed and no water is moving through his gills. He slithered back to his "lair" near the shrimp, sat there for a while with his mouth still closed, and then went away from sight into his cave..

    I know morays can survive out of the water for a while, so they can go without breathing... but will he be okay? Will I need to try prying his mouth open or just leave him alone? I don't know if his lower jaw is stuck. And can morays breathe through the little nose tubes they have?
    I have nothing in my tank that would have caused his mouth to stay shut like that. I have some purple mushrooms but he hasn't touched them. Did the cleaner shrimp just poke something in his mouth and scare him into not opening it? I really don't know what to do. :(
     
  2. icel

    icel AC Members

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    Nevermind, after I came back from walking the dog his mouth is magically back to normal and he's breathing again! I think the shrimp just scared him.

    Man, my eel is so pathetic. :shakehead:
     
  3. jackiomy

    jackiomy Lover of Oddballs

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    That is truly sad. Poor guy, those shrimp can be pretty scary. :)
     
  4. SubRosa

    SubRosa AC Members

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    He was probably chewing and didn't want to be impolite!
     
  5. silentcircuit

    silentcircuit AC Members

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    You can see in the video, he's just chillin' then... OH GOD WHAT IS THIS THING ON MY FACE GETITOFFGETITOFF!!!!!
     

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