A Ribbon Eel Cloud

Many moons ago, I had a reef tank.

Then I had TWO reef tanks.

Then I moved to a new place, and everything was dead the first morning at the new apartment.

Animals that I had kept for many years.

Many purple, blue, and yellow tangs, clowns, anemones, coral, shrimps, tons of snails,  200+ pounds of live rock, and ~100 pounds of live sand.  As well as other animals I have forgotten with the passage of time.

To see all these animals dead–and all at once, was devastating.

After a while I started up one tank again.  I came home one day to the beautiful (new) Blue Tang lying on the floor.  She had jumped out of the tank and died on the floor before I found her.

All the deaths were just too much for me.

I sold 2 100-gallon tanks, a bad ass skimmer, 2 metal halide lamps, and tons of customized plumbing (built by moi!), all to a guy from Tahoe with 10 kids.

When I saw this cloud, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a Ribbon Eel.  I never kept a Ribbon Eel, but I could spot one in a line up with one eye closed.

A Ribbon Eel seems to always have her mouth wide open to the water’s surface.

Clouds that make familiar shapes make me happy.

Someday I will spot marching elephants.  Just like the ones I saw on Sesame Street.

I hope there will be a camera nearby.  Like the day a Ribbon Eel appeared from the clear blue sky.

A Ribbon Eel Cloud


ISO 400

Focal Length 40 mm

Aperture f/11

Shutter Speed 1/800

No Flash


  1. Great picture! I would love to have a saltwater tank, but know I would never be able to keep up with it!!

  2. Michele says:

    What a sad story, I’m sorry for your loss. I have a fish story for you… I received a used fish tank and all the supplies from a friend many years ago. I set the water at the right temperature, got about 10 fish from the pet store, made sure the fish were good, then went out for a couple hours. I came home to fish soup, the heater was set too high and I cooked my fish. :-(

    Love the picture and reading your blog. Great stuff!

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