10 Snowflake Eel Tank Mates – List of Compatible Species

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If you’ve already got a Snowflake Eel on your hands, you know they can be a bit challenging. They’re super big and territorial, so they need lots of space. They require a specialized carnivorous diet.

They’re aggressive and they pack a powerful bite. These qualities make them a poor match for a community tank. However, don’t give up yet!

You can still create a colorful community with multiple species. You just have to know what to look out for.

The Snowflake Eel might not be compatible with small, peaceful fish. But it will do well with aggressive and semi-aggressive tank mates. Choose fish that can stand their ground, and this will keep the bullying to a minimum.

Also, try choosing fish that are similar in size. This Eel grows up to 24 inches. You don’t want species that are too much smaller, as these fish can get easily hurt.

Apart from this, you should choose fish with similar water parameters. The Snowflake Eel thrives in 72-80°F temperatures, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12° hardness, and 1.020-1.025 salinity.

So, you can narrow down your search to big, aggressive fish that enjoy warm, alkaline, and moderately hard saltwater.

As a side note, you might also want to consider the fish’s space requirements and tank level. Snowflake Eels require at least 75 gallons worth of space. Depending on how much room you have left, you’ll want to choose the tank mates accordingly.

Snowflakes are mostly bottom dwellers, so choosing species that occupy other levels of the water column will save you some space. This can also prevent unnecessary aggression.

If this still sounds like a lot to keep in mind, you’re in good luck! You don’t have to do your research alone. I’ve already put together a list of the most compatible tank mates. Take a look at this list to find the perfect addition to your community tank!

1. Emperor Angelfish

The Emperor Angelfish is brightly colored and has a square-looking body. Its ground color is blue, and its body is covered in thin, yellow, diagonal stripes.

It’s a unique look and it will brighten up the entire aquarium.

Most importantly, this fish has all the right traits to be the perfect Snowflake Eel tank mate. Know that this fish is most suitable for intermediate and experienced aquarists though. It might be a bit of a challenge for beginners.

Here’s a short species profile:

  • Temperament and Behavior: The Emperor Angelfish is semi-aggressive and not afraid to stand up for itself. They get competitive and might bully other Angelfish species.

They sometimes go after similar-looking species as well.

Emperor Angelfish are notorious bullies and they become very territorial. However, they get along well with large fish of different shapes.

Luckily, the Snowflake Eel couldn’t look more different than an Angelfish! No reason for fighting here!

  • Size: This fish grows up to 12 inches. They’re considerably smaller than the Snowflakes but still large enough not to get eaten.
  • Space Requirement: This is not a fish for any regular aquarium. Emperors need at least 125 gallons to feel comfortable.

And if you’re thinking about keeping a pair, bump that up to 180 gallons. That’s 180 gallons on top of the 75 gallons you’ll need for your eels.

  • Tank Level: They don’t occupy a specific tank level. They swim all over the aquarium. So, while Emperors aren’t bottom dwellers, they might enter eel territory quite often. Still, they’re agile swimmers and fully capable of intimidating a pissed-off eel.
  • Water Parameters: Try to maintain a water temperature around 72-82°F. The pH should be 8.1-8.4, and the hardness should measure 8-12 dGH. These fish have a lower tolerable range of salinity, roughly 1.023-1.025 SG.

2. Lionfish

This fish gets its name from its incredibly long, thin, and wispy spines. They make the fish appear more voluminous, kind of like a lion’s mane makes a lion look larger.

This hardy fish is suitable for beginners and experienced fishkeepers alike.

But it’s worth mentioning that this species has venomous spines, so proceed with caution.

When it comes to compatibility, they’re among the best additions for a Snowflake Eel tank.

Here’s how the species compare:

  • Temperament and Behavior: Lionfish are dominant, semi-aggressive, carnivorous fish. They’re dangerous predators and they come equipped with venomous spines.

They can seriously injure smaller fish, but are mostly peaceful around large tank mates.

They don’t go out of their way to bully large fish, but can still protect themselves against them if necessary.

  • Size: This fish grows up to 12-15 inches. It’s a decent size for a Snowflake Eel tank mate. Not to mention its voluminous spines that make the fish appear twice as tall and three times as wide.
  • Space Requirement: This fish likes living large. You’ll need no less than 120 gallons to house one Lionfish. At least this guy doesn’t mind being a loner, so you won’t need to adopt an entire school.
  • Tank Level: In the wild, this species usually swims in shallow bodies of water. When in captivity, they’ll spend most of their time closest to the water surface.

So, they’ll occupy the middle and top regions of the water column, away from bottom-dwellers like eels.

  • Water Parameters: The ideal water values include 72-80°F, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.020-1.025 SG.

3. Picasso Triggerfish

Picassos are large, colorful, and funny-looking fish. Their most distinctive feature is their long down-sloped snout that ends in a huge mouth.

Their eyes sit pretty far up on their head, giving this fish a comical look.

Appearance aside, this species is very similar to the Snowflake Eel in many regards. Picasso Triggerfish possess all the traits of the perfect Snowflake Eel tank mate:

  • Temperament and Behavior: Picassos are carnivorous and aggressive. They cannot be housed with smaller fish or invertebrates, as they’ll end up eating them.

These fish enjoy hunting for food and they’re no strangers to bullying vulnerable fish in the aquarium.

They’re also highly territorial, so they require plenty of space to feel happy. Their ideal tank mates should be large and aggressive.

This evens out the playing field and reduces the chances of any fish getting seriously injured.

  • Size: This species grows up to 12 inches in length. They’re roughly half the size of Snowflake Eels. This is good because Picassos have strong jaws that can seriously injure smaller fish.
  • Space Requirement: Since this fish is very active and territorial, you’ll need a considerable amount of space. You should provide at least 100 gallons for one fish.
  • Tank Level: This species doesn’t have a preferred tank level. Instead, Picassos swim all over the aquarium, in all layers of the water column.
  • Water Parameters: This fish requires 76-82°F water with a pH of 8.1-8.4 and a hardness level between 8-12 dGH. The salinity can measure 1.021-1.025.

4. Dragon Wrasse

The Dragon Wrasse is an interesting specimen. This fish undergoes a complete change in appearance as it matures from juvenile to adult.

Young fish are earthy brown and have frilly fins. Adults have rounded fins, and dark bodies, and are covered in light grey dots.

They also have pale faces and red or orange eyes, which makes them look like they’re wearing a mask. If you want to add some interest to your community tank, this Wrasse is the perfect fish for that.

And of course, they’ll get along with the Snowflake Eels just fine.

Here’s why:

  • Temperament and Behavior: The Dragon Wrasse is very territorial and aggressive. It’s easy to upset them, and they’ll lash out at any unfortunate passerby. Anyone who dares to enter their territory will feel their wrath.

They’re not safe around smaller fish and invertebrates, because they’ll eat anything small enough to fit in their mouth. A Dragon Wrasse’s suitable tank mates include only large and aggressive fish.

  • Size: This fish grows up to 11 inches. They’re large enough to defend themselves against Eels without causing serious damage.
  • Space Requirement: This fish is very territorial and active. You’ll need at least 100 gallons for one specimen. Luckily, you don’t need to keep them in groups of pairs, so one fish can be comfortable by itself.
  • Tank Level: This fish is a middle to bottom-level swimmer. It spends most of its time swimming around reefs and searching through the substrate. Their favorite activity is burrowing and moving things around.

This might piss off bottom-dwelling eels, so make sure to provide enough space for both species.

  • Water Parameters: This species’ ideal values include 72-78°F temperature, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.020-1.025 SG.

5. Yellow Tang

If you want to add some brightness to the aquarium, look no further! The Yellow Tang‘s striking golden hue creates the perfect contrast for a lively view!

This fish also has an interesting tall and square-looking body shape. It’s going to be hard to miss even in a well-stocked tank!

You’ll also be happy to learn that this colorful species is inexpensive and widely available in most stores. But the best part is its compatibility with other aggressive species.

Yellow Tangs make excellent Snowflake tank mates for multiple reasons:

  • Temperament and Behavior: Yellow Tangs are infamous for their hot temper. This fish can become aggressive around other Tangs and other similar-looking species. They might also bully smaller fish and even damage some of the coral in your tank.

They show no interest in larger fish so they won’t bother Snowflake Eels. But they aren’t afraid to defend themselves, so they’ll keep these big guys in check.

As a side note, this fish is herbivorous. It will spend most of its time roaming around and searching for algae, keeping your aquarium clean and healthy.

  • Size: The Yellow Tang grows up to 8 inches long. It also has a tall body that makes it look almost square. While they’re not even half the size of a Snowflake Eel, they’re still too large to get swallowed by accident.
  • Space Requirement: You’ll need at least 50 spare gallons for one Yellow Tang. Double that if you want to keep a pair. But this fish is perfectly content living alone.
  • Tank Level: This fish isn’t exclusively a top or bottom swimmer. They spend most of their time swimming in the top levels of the water column.

But they also swim further down to search for food. You’ll often see them around rocks, where there’s more algae growth.

  • Water Parameters: The ideal values include 72-82°F temperature, 8.1-8.4 pH, and 1.021-1.024 SG. This fish naturally thrives in very hard water, roughly 21-25 dGH. In comparison, Snowflakes do best in moderately hard water.

You’ll need to slowly acclimatize both species to a common hardness level. It’s challenging, but not difficult!

6. Panther Grouper

The Panther Grouper is a very attractive albeit rare fish in the aquarium hobby. It has a simple yet elegant look. Its body is grey and covered in small black polka dots.

I don’t recommend this species for beginners. This fish is extremely large and needs hundreds of gallons worth of space.

It’s also a bit more difficult to care for. But if you have plenty of experience with fishkeeping and have a huge aquarium lying around, the Panther Grouper could make the perfect tank mate for your Snowflake Eels.

Take a look at their species profile:

  • Temperament and Behavior: This fish is as feisty as it is beautiful. Panther Groupers get irritated easily and will lash out at their tank mates. They don’t get along well with other Groupers, as this wakes up their competitive instinct.

And don’t even think about housing them with smaller fish or invertebrates. Panthers are predators and they enjoy hunting down their food.

They should only be kept with large, equally aggressive fish. Luckily, Snowflake Eels are just that!

  • Size: If you thought the other fish on this list were big, get ready for this. The Panther Grouper grows up to 27 inches long! Move over, Snowflakes, there’s a new giant on the block.
  • Space Requirement: Brace yourself. If you want to keep just one Panther, you’re going to need no less than 300 gallons! That’s 300 gallons on top of the space you’ll need for the Snowflake Eels.
  • Tank Level: Panther Groupers swim mostly in the middle and top layers of the water column.

They won’t interact much with the bottom-dwelling Eels. But they might sometimes venture deeper to explore.

  • Water Parameters: Panthers and Snowflakes have roughly the same requirements. The ideal values for Panthers are 72-78°F, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.021-1.023 SG.

7. Garibaldi Damselfish

Fun fact— this species is the official California state marine fish. If you live in the Golden State, know that it’s illegal to keep this fish without a permit.

Overall, the Garibaldi is quite rare in the aquarium hobby.

I don’t know if it’s because of their protected status, or because they require a moderate level of care. But they’re excellent if you’re trying to build a community tank with other aggressive fish.

This plump orange fish fits right in with their feisty Snowflake tank mates.

Here’s some more useful info on them:

  • Temperament and Behavior: Garibaldis can best be described as semi-aggressive. They don’t go out of their way to bother other tank mates as long as nobody disturbs them.

However, this fish is solitary and extremely territorial. It doesn’t even get along with other members of its species.

If any fish come close to its territory, the Garibaldi will chase them away. And this fish is reckless, might I add. The size of their opponent doesn’t matter. In the wild, they’re even known to charge at human divers.

Apart from their territorial tendencies, Garibaldis are also active and curious, so expect a lot of energy and movement in the tank.

  • Size: This fat fish grows up to 12 inches in length. Combine that with its stocky body and they become impossible to eat. Their strong body also helps them avoid injuries from aggressive tank mates.
  • Space Requirement: They need a lot of space. This fish swims around constantly and they prefer being alone and undisturbed. You’ll have to provide at least 100 gallons for one specimen.
  • Tank Level: They’ll spend most of the time in the bottom and middle layers of the water column. They usually establish their territory close to reefs and rocks. And they rarely venture far away from these spots.

They also feed at the bottom. They might interact with Snowflakes often. But all’s good as long as each fish has enough space to call its own.

  • Water Parameters: These fish enjoy slightly cooler water with a temperature around 68-79°F. The pH should be 8.0-4.0. Ideal water hardness ranges from 8-12 dGH, and salinity can be 1.020-1.025.

8. Marine Betta

Despite its name, this species isn’t related to Bettas, which belong to a different genus. But this saltwater fish has huge, beautiful fins.

So perhaps that’s where the name comes from. This fish is as ornate and mesmerizing as freshwater Bettas we know and love.

It’s also hardy and very easy to care for. So, if you need an attractive but low-maintenance tank mate for your Eels, the Marine Betta is perfect for you!

This species has multiple perks that make it a good addition to community tanks:

  • Temperament and Behavior: Marine Bettas are a nocturnal species, so they’re going to be most active at night. They’re also very shy and peaceful. You might find this weird, but this timid fish can live pretty well alongside Snowflake Eel tank mates.

That’s because they don’t need that much space and they aren’t very territorial. Despite their calm disposition, Marine Bettas aren’t the type to let themselves get bullied.

When threatened, they have a special intimidation display to deter aggressive tank mates.

  • Size: These “Bettas” grow up to 8 inches long. Their large fins also make them appear a lot taller. I wouldn’t worry about this fish becoming dinner anytime soon.
  • Space Requirement: You’ll need at least 50 gallons to house one fish. That’s not too bad, considering its size. This fish is among the less space-demanding species on this list.
  • Tank Level: Marine Bettas swim all over the place, but prefer spending their time in the middle layers. You’ll often spot them near hiding places as well. They spend a lot of time hiding, especially when the lights are on.
  • Water Parameters: The ideal values include 72-81˚F, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.020-1.025 SG.

9. Serpent Starfish

You don’t have to stick to just traditional options! You can also add some starfish to your Snowflake Eel tank.

If you want a truly alien-looking addition that will make you look twice, why not opt for this starfish? This weird critter looks exactly as it sounds.

It’s got the shape of a starfish, but has long, thin, and squiggly appendages. This starfish is also super easy to care for and requires very little space. But the advantages don’t stop there.

Here are some more reasons why you should give this species a try:

  • Temperament and Behavior: The Serpent Starfish is a mellow and peaceful invertebrate.

It can live with many other species including fish, reef corals, and other invertebrates. These starfish don’t go out of their way to interact with others in the tank.

They usually ignore the presence of others and remain passive. Your Snowflake Eels might not even acknowledge the starfish’s existence.

If somebody happens to attack them, Serpent Starfish can detach their arms and escape in a swift motion.

Despite their look, they can move pretty fast when necessary. They can also regenerate lost limbs if they get hurt.

Overall, this starfish is mostly sedentary. They only come out at night to look for leftover foods through the substrate.

  • Size: Measured from the tip of one leg to the other, the Serpent Starfish is 12 inches long on average. Pretty impressive! They take less space than that though, as they don’t keep their tentacles sprawled out at all times.
  • Space Requirement: This is the best part. Unlike other giants on this list, the Serpent Starfish needs no more than 20 gallons worth of space!
  • Tank Level: Starfish crawl around, so they’ll be almost exclusively at the bottom of the tank. They might climb around on rocks or the tank wall on rare occasions. Despite being bottom-dwellers, they shouldn’t bother your Snowflake Eels at all.
  • Water Parameters: The ideal values include 72-79°F, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.021-1.025 SG.

10. Tuxedo Urchin

Finally, we have to Tuxedo Urchin. This invertebrate also goes by the names of “Royal Urchin” and “Crown Urchin”.

As you might have guessed, this little urchin looks similar to a royal crown. It’s a beautiful species and it’s also low-maintenance, reef-safe, highly adaptable, and it has low space requirements.

As a bonus, the Tuxedo Urchin also helps keep your aquarium clean. They’re an interesting, low-effort tank mate that will get along well with your Snowflake Eels.

Here’s some more info on them:

  • Temperament and Behavior: The Tuxedo Urchin is among the most peaceful species you can find. Although sociable, the Tuxedo doesn’t go out of its way to interact with or bother its tank mates. For the most part, Tuxedo Urchins are mellow and sedentary.

They become more active once the lights go out. That’s when they come out looking for food and exploring the aquarium.

They subsist exclusively on algae and other plant growth in the aquarium. They’ll help you keep things crystal clear!

Your Snowflake Eels won’t show much interest in this inanimate species. But even if the Eels tried to attack, Urchins come equipped with hundreds of sharp spikes to keep them safe.

  • Size: The Tuxedo Urchin measures up to 3 inches. It’s the smallest of all the species on this list. But you have nothing to worry about. Remember, Urchins have lots of spikes! This defense mechanism is more than enough to compensate for their modest size.
  • Space Requirement: This is the perfect pick if you’re very short on space. You’ll need just 15 gallons for one Tuxedo Urchin.
  • Tank Level: You probably already know the answer to this. Urchins are exclusively bottom dwellers. They live and feed on the substrate.
  • Water Parameters: The ideal parameters include 72-79°F, 8.1-8.4 pH, 8-12 dGH, and 1.021-1.025 SG.


Snowflake Eels aren’t the first fish you’d think of when creating a community tank. Creating a community tank around them seems even less feasible.

But it’s not impossible! You’ll just have to look for similar-sized, aggressive species.

There are plenty to choose from, including Emperor Angelfish, Lionfish, Dragon Wrasses, Panther Groupers, and more! If you don’t have enough room for these large, territorial fish, you can also opt for smaller species.

Marine Bettas, Serpent Starfish, and Tuxedo Urchins require no more than 50 gallons. In the case of Urchins, you’ll need just 15 gallons!

As you can see, there are options out there for any tank capacity. I hope you found this article helpful and informative. Feel free to share your thoughts or recommendations in the comments below!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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