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FAQs on the Algae Eating Blennies 

Related Articles: Algae Eating Blennies, Scavengers/Clean-up Crews for Marine Aquariums, by Bob Fenner, Some Fishes Are Good For More Than Just Looking At, by James Fatherree, True or Combtooth Blennies, Ecsenius BlenniesTube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,

Related FAQs:  Algae Eating Blennies 2, & Marine Algae Eaters, Marine Algae Eaters 2, & Algae Eating Blenny (AEB) Identification, AEB Behavior, AEB Compatibility, AEB Selection, AEB Systems, AEB Feeding, AEB Disease, AEB Reproduction, & Combtooth Blennies 1, Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Blenny Reproduction, Ecsenius BlenniesSaber-Tooth Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives, Tube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,

A nice pic of  S. ceramensis by Mark McGrouther

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

FAT Lawnmower Blenny, living life retroactively   3/11/10
90 gal tank almost two years old. Slow build. Started with live sand, crushed corals, live rocks, cleaning crew of about 10 basic crabs. Got blue damsel,
<A social species>
and three other varieties at same time. Added 1 cleaner shrimp. Month later added blood? shrimp..red, few white dots,
<Yes, likely Lysmata debelius>
white legs. Month later, added Coral Banded Shrimp who happens to be extremely territorial now.
<Is their nature... predaceous>
Got rid of damsels, added a mandarin goby and tried the addition of clowns. That failed miserably as they had a parasite and didn't figure it out until it was too late. So, gave up on fish, decided on route of don't buy it until the tank needs it.
<Interesting philosophy/direction>
Finally had the outburst of wonderful algae, so we thought. Added two ?
snails and two margarita snails. Decided we needed something more to eat algae as it was starting to take over. Bringing us to the lawnmower blenny.
He was wonderful! He just ate and ate and ate! Almost as if he didn't know when to stop. Quite literally actually. We then needed something more we thought. Purchased Orange spot snail..fun to watch. Also Firetail Blenny. That was an amusing introduction.
<As is life for you I imagine>
The lawnmower at this point was huge. A living teeter totter. I thought he was going to burst. That is the only thing we can think of as the reason behind his death.
<Happens... Salarias, Atrosalarias are "eager eaters" and often, the types of "foods" they encounter in captive conditions aren't good for them>
The firetail also seems to have picked up on the over-eating issue as his belly is slowly growing.
<You should be reading re Algae... their control>
Currently we have at least 4 maybe 5 types of algae. We decided to give the lawnmower blenny another shot...
maybe the last one had an eating disorder. Purchased one more lawnmower.
About a week ago I noticed a Bristleworm! Yikes I thought as we have not introduced any new rock since the first of the tank. Naturally occurred?
<Where else?>
Did some research and we decided on a six lined wrasse. Tonight is his first night with us. So, now we have 10 asstd sizes and types of hermit crabs, 2 emerald crabs, 5 basic snails, 1 orange spot snail, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 mandarin goby, 1 firetail blenny, all of the above mentioned shrimp, and tonight's wrasse.
We noticed that this lawnmower is starting to get fat. Just his belly. I have to say I think we spoil or shrimp and crabs as they are fed frozen Mysis shrimp, frozen krill, and the pellets of course. Just a small buffet.
Have never seen the lawnmower partake in this diet though. Is he ever going to stop eating!? I would hate for his belly to explode too! He is not going to run out of food as some parts of the tank are down right furry! I have also noticed 3 different worms in the substrate other than the bristle.
That will be for me another day. Is our tank just overrun with life or what!?! We keep finding weird little creatures that we didn't put there..on purpose anyway. We often wonder why we have cable, I think we watch the tank more! Main Q, how to save the blenny from eating himself to death. Do things occur in the tank naturally or just forever to develop?
<Have just skipped down. Please read here:
and the linked files above... and elsewhere on WWM re Algae control, nutrient limitation... and learn to/use the search tool, indices. Life is too short to live retroactively. Bob Fenner>  

Atrosalarias fuscus Going Berserk 7/26/07 Crew, <Hello> I have a Brown Combtooth Blenny that is going gangsta on my fish. My display is 110 gallons, with 65lbs live rock. My fish stock is the offending bully, a Sailfin Tang, a gold stripe maroon, and a Royal Gramma. <All are known to be aggressive, particularly the Maroon clown.> Seems that my tank is plenty big for my stock. <Probably, but then we don't really get to decide this, its up to the individual fish to determine how big their territory needs to be.> The Atrosalarias seems especially eager to pick on the Gramma, but he's not above chasing the Sailfin Tang around. He's not even partial to one rock--he seems to follow the Gramma all then pounce like a fisher cat. Is this normal?? I thought these blennies were supposed to be fairly peaceful as long as they weren't mixed with similar blennies?? <I would guess that the Gramma's body type is close enough to the blenny's and triggering a aggressive response.> Andy <Chris>

Kole Tang with Fin trouble 7/9/07 Hi I know you have heard this before, but you have a superb site, and normally I find everything (and more) through the search. In this case, I have not found a matching set of symptoms, so I hope you will let me "pick your brains" instead. <Not much left...> I have a 2-year old soft coral reef setup in a 72Gal Bowfront, with 15 gal sump. The inhabitants are a 6" Foxface, a 4" Salarias fasciatus (a.k.a. lawnmower blenny), and a 2.5" Kole. All have been in the tank for the full two years. Other notable inhabitants include a Lysmata amboinensis ("skunk" cleaner shrimp), and a "banded" serpent star (Ophiolepis superba). In the last day or so I notice that the Kole is favoring one pectoral fin, which is cloudy and while not shredded, seem a bit eaten away at the very end. <I see this... and some other damage on the flank> There are also two abrasions on its body, posterior to where the fin would contact, but directly in line with the fin if it were full-back. On the picture I attached, all of these areas seem somewhat pink, but in "real life" both the fin cloudiness and abrasions have a more "white" color. There is no redness, black spots or growths, (e.g. the symptoms I see associated with "fin rot" in the other posts.) (note there are two spots of coralline above the abrasions, I don't want to confuse you with those). <Thank you for this clarification> The fish is eating normally, but seems a bit spooky; every now and then it darts away for no apparent reason, (it is normally a very confident. It is "schooling" with the other two fish like it normally would, and mixing it up with them for Nori (rubberbanded to a rock) even though I put in multiple rocks this morning to try to give it some quality munching time on its own. But it is obviously having trouble swimming, (it reminds me of riding a bike with just one pedal). I have two 660 gph powerheads in the tank (Turbelle 6025s) and this morning I turned one off to make it easier for a one-finned fish to get around; that seems to have encouraged it to resume a normal (i.e. incessant) browsing routine. It also chased after some flake food I put in. The tank is fed daily with half a cube of either formula 1 or 2, soaked in Selcon, aside from the Nori-rocks. If this is an injury I think it could only come from the banded serpent, or the blenny, but it does not match the blenny's usual "hey that's my food" circular mark (which the other two fish have worn at times, but have never been injured by). <I do suspect the Blenny... Resource partitioning here... Atrosalarias are VERY defensive re their turf/algae... and the Kole is perceived as an intruder...> Anyway if the Blenny were getting to be a bully, I don't think I would see the Kole near him, and yet they are swimming together as much as normal. <Mmm, a bit of "schizophrenic" behavior here likely> The banded serpent does get fed (I target feed sinking pellets), since I don't completely trust him. The other possibility to explain the scraping is that with the fin compromised due to some fungus or bacteria, the Kole could not navigate properly and crashed into a rock, particularly with these high flow powerheads going. <This is also quite likely... from provocation from the two prime suspects likely> So the question (sorry to be so long winded!!!) Do you think this is a fish or critter-induced injury, or an infection of some kind, and do I need to get the Kole out to a treatment tank? <I most suspect the Atro/Salarias... but in either/all cases, I would move the Ctenochaetus elsewhere... and likely hold off on actual "pathogenic" treatment... It should self-cure under better social circumstances> I do have a 20gal QT, which is currently inhabited by a small Rainford's goby, who is a week into Quarantine. I am afraid the Kole would not like the confines of a 20 gal too much, since it is not acting "sick". But if there is some possibility of spreading this to another fish, I will move it, and cross my fingers. If it needs treatment, what would I treat with? <Would be better isolated... even in a sump/refugium... no chemical treatment> Oh yes, readings are: Temp 78.2, Daytime PH 8.3, Salinity 1.027, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 4 mg/l, Ca 320, <A bit low> dKH 7.
thanks so much,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Avoiding A Blenny Bummer! (Collection Practices for Blennies)  7/7/07 Dear Crew, <Scott F. in tonight!> Does anyone know how the Brown Combtooth Blenny, Atrosalarias fuscus, is typically collected? Specifically, whether chemicals are typically employed or whether these fish are generally subject to stressful transit due to their collection location? I purchased one on Wednesday and all was well, but this morning I found him serving as breakfast for my cleanup crew. Thanks. Andy Bulgin <Interesting question, Andy. This is one of my absolutely favorite fishes! I did a little checking with a couple of my contacts at some wholesalers/transhippers here in L.A., and no one seemed to feel that they are subjected to any unusual collection practices. Most of them are net-caught, although there are collectors in parts of Indonesia and The Philippines that utilize chemicals to flush them from the rocky crevices in the reef where they are usually found. This practice, although less common than in the past, still occurs, unfortunately. For the most part, these little fishes do ship pretty well, although they do often go a long time without eating. Since a large part of their diet is composed of algae, they may take longer to adapt to captive life, and could be rather depleted by the time they reach the hobbyist. However, with careful quarantine and feeding, they generally adapt quite well. Hard to say what did yours in, but it could have been one, more-or none of the above-mentioned factors! In the end, you just need to use your judgment and select your specimen carefully. Good luck next time around! Regards, Scott F.>

Conflicting Lawnmower Blenny Diet Information 6/6/07 Hi, I've been a longtime reader of your site and am always impressed with the sheer volume of information available. I've been planning on picking up a lawnmower blenny. One part because I enjoy the fish, and the other reason is for slight hair algae grooming. However I've come across some conflicting information on your website about their diet that have left me slightly confused. In one reply from Mike D I've seen : <I><OK. I'm surprised anyone would suggest a lawnmower blenny for hair algae as most won't eat it. Other macroalgae, yes, but hair algae has very few fish that enjoy it, the reason it's such a famous pest. Sadly, this is the eventual end to MANY Lawnmower blennies> </I> In other replies I've seen from Bob F : <I> Regarding the hair algae, if the system is 55 or more gallons do consider getting a Lawnmower Blenny... a fabulous green filamentous scraper... only one, because this is about all they eat.</I> Now is it slightly possible a Lawnmower Blenny won't eat hair at all, or is it more of a 50/50 gamble? I want to know how much I should initially supplement for its diet if there's a chance it won't find any of my greens appetizing. With thanks and respect, Craig R <Heeee! Well, being one of the two... I will re-state that I've seen these genera (Salarias, Atrosalarias) feed on what appears to be almost exclusively "hair algae" (a pretty vague term) in the wild... AND in captivity. I do suspect that these species will/would consume other morphological types of palatable algae in both settings... but that the latter are absent in their territories on the reef... possibly from consumption! And further will state that filamentous alga of a few Divisions, including Cyanophyceans, Chlorophytes, others... are likely NOT palatable to these fishes... and hence not likely to be consumed in confined or wild environs. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Lawnmower Blenny With A Taste For Cloves -- 4/7/07 Hi, <Hi there!> I was wondering if you could help...<Sure hope so!> last week I purchased a lawnmower blenny. <Love 'em!> I have closely been watching his behavior and have noticed he enjoys chewing on my clove coral <Uh oh>. After speaking to my local fish store, they advised moving the coral but could not advise further. Is this normal behavior and is there anything I can do to salvage my coral without getting rid of my blenny?? <I've read reports of these fish occasionally nipping at corals but after watching mine, and knowing what big appetites these fish have, I wonder if they aren't actually going after bits of algae or tiny invertebrates in amongst the polyps. Although Lawnmower blennies are predominantly herbivorous, mine will go after any pods it spots around the tank. You might try supplementing your blenny's diet with Nori, or sinking algae wafers. Hopefully, he'll decide that he prefers the readily available food and leave your clove polyps alone!>   Thanks Michelle <You're welcome and good luck! --Lynn>

Re: Check ID/Feeding of your "Sailfin" Blenny, Before Purchasing  - 03/12/07 <Hi Lance, Pufferpunk here> I'm confused - I was under the impression that this was an algae eater, hence the name (lawn mower), it eats algae of the glass and rocks yet your suggestion is that it only eats "whole-animal foods" so what is it that I did not research before my purchase? Is this not an algae eater? <In reference to your previous question about your "Sailfin" blenny: The "lawnmower" blenny is not the same creature as a "Sailfin" blenny.  2 totally different species that eat 2 totally different foods.  We can't give you the correct info, without proper ID.  ~PP> <<Mmm, many Blennies... and some other families fishes that are mis-called such have "Sailfins"... elevated dorsals... THE Leopard Sailfin Blenny, Exallias brevis  is an obligate corallivore... RMF> Lance

Sailfin Blenny  3/21/07 Sorry for confusion - this is a lawn mower blenny - I guess some also call it a sailfin but it is definitely an algae eater <What was the question?  ~PP> Lance

Quarantine?  3/10/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Jan> As always, thanks for all of your help!!  It is a great comfort to be able to reach out to you folks and get such great advice and help! <Yes> We have a 72G reef tank with about 80 lbs. of LR.  Our water parameters are (Temp=77deg F, Sg=1.025, pH=8.3, Ca=380ppm, Mg=1290ppm, dKH=6.75, Ammonia & Nitrite=0ppm, NO3= 5ppm).  The tank was set up and cycled last May.    For about the last six months our live stock has consisted of a pair of clowns (A. ocellaris), a fat mandarin (S. splendidus), and a school of 9 Chromis viridis.  15 various corals, 2 tube worms (Protula magnifica) 2 turbo snails and some (+/- 8) blue legged hermit crabs.  In addition to this we have 3 peppermint shrimp (L. wurdemanni) & 2 fire shrimp (L. debelius) and 2 common cleaner shrimp (L. amboinensis). We have 3 questions. 1. Our LFS has been holding a Hawaiian Yellow Tang (Z. flavescens) for us for the last 2 weeks in their "quarantine" tank with water dosed with copper.  However, while the Tang has been alone in this tank, the tank is connected to other tanks running on the same water.  Should we quarantine this fish? If so, for the full month or just two weeks? <I would quarantine this fish, or at the very least run it through a prophylactic FW dip/bath... detailed on... WWM> 2. We are also thinking of adding a Lawnmower Blenny (S. fasciatus) as our tank has plenty of algae on the LR.  Given this fishes need to graze algae, should it be quarantined?  If so, for how long? <I would quarantine this species for two weeks... some smaller, likely-to-starve Blennioids for a shorter duration> 3. Also, concerning the Blenny & Tang, given the size of our tank and the current livestock listed above, do you see any potential problems with adding either or both of these fish? <Mmm, no... not really... The fifteen species of corals here (in a 72 nominal gallon volume) should not be added to though... as they are likely "used" to each other... will/would react to new Cnidarian life adversely> Thanks!! Jan & Ellen   <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Potters Angel <Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies> in Possible Danger Related to Lack of Research. Howdy! <Hey there!>     I'm not sure where to start, so I'll start from the top and be very verbose (my apologies).... <No apologies my friend.>     2 months ago I set up a brand new "NanoCube 24" by JBJ (24 gal) with about 30 pounds of live rock, and 2 bags of live sand.  The rock came from a friends 75gal, which he had for 6 years.  There is about 16 gal of water in the tank (at a guess) and it has been doing fantastic.   <OK.> I let it cycle for about 3 weeks, then inserted my test pilot, a small Yellow Tail Damsel, who also did great.   <Not the most ideal means of cycling a tank.  Please read here for future reference:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm  > The following week, the insanity overtook me, and I had a trio of Catalina Gobies, 5 different button corals, and few very pretty mushrooms delivered. <Mmm, yes, insanity and impatience.  My, this is not a good mix.  Catalina Gobies (Lythrypnus dali) are a cool water species, preferring water temps between 64-71 F.   Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lythrypnus.htm Your corals are found in tropical waters.  An appropriate temperature would be around 78-79 F.>   The mushrooms were in baaaad shape, most having detached from their strata and curled into spit wads.   <Is that the technical term?> Currently, 1 is doing great, 2 are doing ok, and the other 2 are losses.   <See temperature suggestion above and below.> The button corals have their days where they are wide open, and their days where they are partially open.... <See temperature reference above and below.>      At this point, all of the fish were doing great.  Some hermit crabs and snails were added to help with some algae, eventually swelling to 16 crabs (tiny blue legs, zebra, Scarlets, and some normal Mexican red legs), and about 12 snails of various kinds (the Turbo snails will be exiting the tank in a day or 2, due to their constant tossing of my corals). <A lot of crabs and too many snails for such a small system.  High likelihood of starvation for the snails.>      2 weeks ago I inherited a Lawnmower Blenny from a friend, and he too is doing well, though I have never seen a blenny swim freely so much...   <He's probably hungry.> He seems to eat well, and everyone gets along. <The minimum recommended tank size is 55 gallons for a Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus).  The Blenny may starve in systems that are not well established or have insufficient algae growth.  Your system is too small and too new to be an appropriate home for this fish.  I would try to find a more appropriate home for this fish.> A small peppermint shrimp also came with the blenny. <OK.>       4 days ago, my girlfriend heard me say "That is a beautiful fish.  I wouldn't mind getting one at some point, like when I have a 75..."  at which point she wandered off to look at the puppies.  When I got home from work the following evening, she surprised me with that beautiful Potters Angel acclimating in his bag in my 24!  I was delighted, yet also totally freaked out.  I called the pet store, and they wouldn't take him back.  Now, they had him for 2 months, and he has done better than any other Angel (save a little Eibli they had).  I took about 2 hours to acclimate him, and during the transfer from bag to tank, my dog barked, which surprised both me and the fish.  He became tangled in the net due to that gill spike, and it took me about 2 minutes to extricate him with very small scissors snipping the net. <Aye!>      Since then, he has been very active in the tank, and was nipping at the glass, rocks, and strands of algae the very next morning.  I've recently done a profusion of reading, and I am in fear that he won't last in my little 24.  So far, he seems very happy, but only eats off of the rocks, and occasionally nibbles at the dried seaweed I clip in.  No one chases anyone around, and it is a very peaceful tank with everyone mingling and swimming about, including the Potters.  I change out about 2-3 gallons every 3 days, using RedSea for my salts. and the daily temperature beings at 72*F in the morning, at is usually at 75.5*F in the evening when I turn off the light.   <This water temperature and its fluctuation is less than ideal for your system, best to keep temps stable and warmer, 78-79 F.> I've been able to keep "perfect" water quality, with almost nonexistent Nitrite and Nitrate, and the KH is at the optimum level.      My question is... what can I do to keep this fish happy and alive?   <Actually the Potter's Angel (Centropyge potteri) is the most appropriate fish you currently have in your tank.  I would try offering some well-rinsed frozen foods soaked in Selcon several times a day.  The problems lie with the Blenny and Gobies. Your system is not an appropriate home for either.  The gobies do not belong in your system.  They require a cool water setup.  The gobies need to be relocated to an appropriate cool water home.  The blenny should be kept in a larger more established tank.>   I've called a few stores in the area, and the only one willing to take him off of my hands will only take him for free.  I'd hate to break my wonderfully misguided gals heart by giving her gift away, and I do like the Potters so....     Any advice or help would be GREATLY appreciated. <Your girl seems to have done more homework regarding appropriate choices for you system than you have my friend.  She is not as misguided as you may think.  Her selection is more appropriate than your selection of a Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies.  Your water temperature should be higher and more consistent.  You have too many snails and quite a few hermits which will compete with the angel for algae.  Please do more research before making purchases.  The lives of these amazing creatures are solely in your hands.  You may want to consider a book by Robert M. Fenner titled "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" to help you on your journey.  I think you will find it most helpful.  It is a book I continuously reference.  It is money well spent.         Thank you,   Darby <Welcome.  -Mich>
Re: Potters Angel <Lawnmower Blenny and Catalina Gobies> in Possible Danger Related to Lack of Research.
Mich,     Thank you very much for your advice.   <Hello Darby!  You are quite welcome!> Doing research can be so very frustrating because there are so many contradictory sources out there, especially the people in the shops "who know" and urge you on to get things going quickly. <Yes, it can be a big challenge, but doing your own research is essential to be successful in this hobby.  Shame on shops who encourage quickness... the antithesis of appropriate.>      I may have found a home for the Lawnmower Blenny, and a good number of the snails will be making an exit this evening.   <Very good, as long as they are going to appropriate homes.> I'll continue to look for some place for the Catalinas, as I'd hate for their lifespan to be shortened on my account.   <Yes, a shame these fish are occasionally sold as tropical species to well intended folks as yourself.> Perhaps I should set up a second tank ( I have a 10 gal that could be used for that, but it would be too small, except for a refugium). <This might be a good temporary solution.  Where they are at now is too warm.  The issue here really is temperature.  In many places in the world this system would require a very expensive chiller.  If you are in a Northerly climate, there is a possibility, but these fish like it as some would say, cool, I would say, brrr... cold.>     Another question, if you don't mind:  How can I keep the water temperature from fluctuating, without heaters or chillers?   <Mmm, you need a heater if you're keeping tropical fish, my friend.  These are quite affordable, tiny ones are less than $10 and super deluxe go for around $50.  I am shocked that you don't have one.  Go get one ASAP.  And while you're out, stop at your local bookstore and pick up a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner.  This book will be a tremendous resource for you.  I reference it frequently.  It is money well spent and you will use it as long as you are in the hobby.> I keep my house at a constant temp, so I can only theorize that it is the lighting system raising the temp, which I was assured that the Nanocubes were immune from.  These little systems don't leave very much, if any, room to add systems... <Yes, an inherent problem, but add a heater please.> thank you again, Darby <Welcome!  Mich>

Mandarin Goby & Blenny 12/31/06 I truly love your site and have found many useful tips here. <Good to hear.>  My  husband & I bought our tank for each other for Christmas - well an early  Christmas,....in October. :-) <Nice> We have a 24 g nano, (we are already wanting to get a bigger tank -very  addicting and expensive) <Quite> with live rock, live sand, a clown, a damsel, a  few soft coral frags, button polyp frags, xenia frag, a flowerpot, 2 turbo  snails, 10 hermit crabs, a skunk cleaner shrimp, a curly-q anemone (small) <Not good to mix corals and anemones, plus the small tank will make it even tougher.>, a  lawnmower blenny, and our most recent mandarin Goby.  I know this is not recommended for such a small unestablished tank - but we are committed to doing what it takes to keep him alive.  <A bigger tank.><<Mmm, yes... pardon my "chiming in here" but the genus Salarias "live" in pretty strict territorial settings... of about a square meter per individual... as I've tried to emphasize in an article pretty much specifically for this purpose: http://wetwebmedia.com/algaeblensart.htm]and will fight... ferociously... with most anything else that seems to consume "its" algae/space. RMF>>  We bought supplemental copepods, and also started a refugium to grow more pods for the mandarin (which we also use as our QT).  <Will still be tough to maintain adequate food.> <<Impossible... http://wetwebmedia.com/mandfdgfaqs.htm RMF>> We have our water tested weekly at the LFS, and all levels are good, except we were low on PH today, so we added some buffer. <Better to learn to do this yourself, more accurate and a good learning experience.> I have a couple of questions.....we had 2 clowns but this morning one of our clowns was very pale....we immediately took it out and went to the LFS.   Unfortunately it died on the way....the LFS could see no reason for it to die....perhaps because our PH was low? <Or raised too quickly.>  The other clown is doing OK  and so far no signs of problems....seems a bit sad though. <Yep> This clown used to  go into the Curly Q quite a but now seems to like the flowerpot coral and I can  always find him hiding and playing in there.  He still goes in the anemone,  but mostly is in the flowerpot...is this normal? <Yes, they often will often host in corals, can be tough on the coral so keep any eye on it.> Another question I have is the Blenny seems to have become aggressive towards the mandarin.  He follows him around and will head butt him...and bite him as well.  The mandarin does not even seem to notice him and does not cower to him.  My question is:  Is the Blenny being aggressive because he does not have enough to eat? <Competition I would guess, the mandarin is invading his territory which is probably most of the tank.> He has done a fantastic job on the algae....and now eats Mysis shrimp, and rotifers, and all the other food we feed the fish and corals. Do we need to supplement him with something else?  Suggestions? <Probably good to feed him some Nori to make sure he gets enough greens, but the aggression is probably more due to tank size than the availability of food.> Lysa <Congrats on the new tank and welcome to a wonderful hobby.> <Chris> <<Please see the ref.s cited/linked. RMF>>
Mandarin Goby & Blenny Part II 1/1/07
Chris - Thank you for your quick reply! <Sure> We will keep an eye on the mandarin, and if we seen signs of stress, we will take him back to the LFS.  I would not want to have this beautiful fish starve, or my blenny to bother him too much.  We read an article in Tropical Fish Hobbyist, about a guy who keeps his mandarin in a tank smaller then ours, and supplements him with Roe....so we are going to try that. Will let  you know the progress. There are 2 really good articles about Mandarins in  the Feb 07 issue.  <Have not read it yet, will take a look.> We will go out today and buy him some Nori and some other type of algae wafers or something. (More $$ :-) <Nori would be best, 100% marine algae.  Available cheaply at most Asian food markets.> I have another question if you don't mind.  My Damsel's right fin is  sticking straight out.  I do not know how he sustained an injury other then  there was a lot of activity in the tank yesterday due to the other clown dying  and us moving some rock to the QT/Refugium tank, and perhaps it stressed him  out. His color is a bit pale but nothing like the clown, and he seems to be  moving around alright, and eating as well.  I tried to catch him to move  him to QT, but the little bugger is so darn fast, and I did not want to stress  him out anymore.  Any suggestions on what we can do, or is he pretty much  on his way out.   <As long as he is eating and moving ok not much else to do, keep the water quality high and he should heal up over time.> Also, something I forgot to mention...the LFS suggested that we add a  garlic liquid concentrate to our water.  Said it makes the fish stronger  and kills parasites.  Do you agree?  <Does seem to trigger a feeding response, but does nothing to parasites.  If the fish are already eating fine I would not bother.> Thanks sooooooo much! Lysa <Chris>

Lawnmower blenny biting my tangs  12/12/06 <Hey Kathryn, JustinN here tonight> I have a 75 gallon tank with a yellow, a scopas, a regal, a purple, and a sailfin tangs, two clowns, a royal Gramma, a rock crab, a hermit crab, a couple urchins, 2 small conchs, and a lawnmower blenny. <...You're...not.. kidding..? You are incredibly overstocked. Your Regal, Sailfin, and Scopas tangs will all MASSIVELY overgrow this tank, can all get upwards of a foot long! Regardless of this, this is simply too many tangs, even for a tank twice this size! You are physically, and psychologically, overcrowded.> The blenny has only been in the tank for about 2 months. He is 2-3 inches long. My tangs are all 4-5 inches. Lately the lawnmower blenny has been bumping the tangs with his mouth as they swim by him. It appears that he has actually injured the sailfin tang on both of his sides. <Likely a retaliatory attack, due to aggression you are simply not seeing.> Is it possible that the blenny is so hungry that he is going after anything? I feed dried seaweed on a clip, frozen brine shrimp, frozen emerald, and pellets. My tank had lots of algae, however it is running low (maybe why the blenny is getting aggressive?) Any suggestions? <My suggestions: Get rid of the 3 aforementioned tangs! Soon! Things should calm down after such. Hope this helps! -JustinN>

Blenny mixing  11/12/06 Hello,    I have a 65 gallon reef tank, I was wondering if I can add lawnmower blennies in with my black sailfin blennies?    Thanks-Sue <Mmm, a Salarias species might well fight with any other bottom dwelling fish... I would skip this mix. Bob Fenner>

Lawnmower Blenny with Expensive Appetites - 10/15/06 Lawnmower blenny... just a note for you guys to add to your site. I recently purchased a healthy lawnmower blenny ..approx 4 inches. I had read on MarineCenter.com in a small excerpt that marine center had heard that a lawnmower blenny may nip at stony corals but they had not seen it. Well, maybe the risk is minimal but I had a beautiful multi color polyp coral... HAD is the key word... I wasn't sure why the coral was eroding away but watched the tank carefully and saw the blenny rip several pieces of the polyp from the rock base in no time. Needless to say, and in my opinion, the lawnmower blenny is a serious risk to anyone who has stony corals... believe me... I know first hand. Have you heard or seen this behavior with the Lawnmower Blenny??? Brad S. New Jersey <Brad, thanks for sharing. I will quickly say that I'm not surprised - there is always variation among individuals. These types of issues are what fuel the fires of things like the "Reef Safe Angel" and similar fish who are or aren't supposed to eat things they end up eating. All I can say is that an aquarium is artifice - there is no way to ever completely duplicate a 100% natural environment so that these fish end up doing things they wouldn't normally do. All we can do is document it and hope it helps a future aquarist. Thanks again for sharing. Cheers, J -- >

... Lawnmower Blennies... comp. Poor English  07/21/06 hi there. I have a 30 gallon reef aquarium with a lot of algae. I also have a yellow tang and a spotted watchman goby. can I add a lawnmower blenny? <<Mas:  Lawnmower Blennies have been known to be finicky eaters and could easily run out of food in your 30 gallon tank.  In which case, you would have to feed Nori on a clip.  Additionally, they can get quite big (4 inches or more long).  Given that the Yellow Tang is also an algae eater, you should pass until you have a bigger tank.  Best of luck,  Roy>>

Will algae blenny ruin my tank's "feel"?   6/18/06 Hello - <Hi there> quick question for you (lots of writing, but a quick question <g>)... I have a roughly 60 gallon tank that someone built for themselves before selling it to me on eBay.  It is 36"x24"x18", so it has more "horizontal surface" in the tank than a "standard" 60 gallon (perhaps an important fact given the fish involved, perhaps not). <Yes> There is roughly 65 lbs of live rock in the tank (arranged to provide lots of interesting channels, caves, and resting spots for the critters listed below), a 4" deep sand bed, and a home made sump/refugium that holds approximately 10 gallons of water (5 of it in the refugium section where bubble Caulerpa and Chaetomorpha are working away).  I am also running an EV-120 protein skimmer, and a 4" crocea clam in the main tank helps process the water as well. <Neat> My plan from the beginning has been to go with all small fish, including several "rock sitters" that tank observers will only notice AFTER they've been looking at the corals (mostly SPS and LPS) for awhile and then see the fish suddenly dart from one spot to another. Current fish/shrimp line-up: 2 percula clowns* 2 purple Firefish 1 Rainford's goby (eats a variety of frozen and flake foods in addition to tank critters so he doesn't seem to be starving (knock on wood)!) 1 red head goby (Elac. punct.) 4 green banded gobies (Elac. mult.) 2 peppermint shrimp 2 cleaner shrimp Down the road, I am hoping to add one of the colorful mandarin "gobies" (Synchiropus) as well. My question is: In a separate 12 gallon tank, I have a 3.5" algae blenny that my wife and daughter would like to see in the big tank in the living room rather than the little tank in my office.  I, too, think it would be nice to have the fish in a more visible place, but I have the following concern: I have read in a number of places that they sometimes become fairly territorial, and I would hate for all my gobies to wind up spending most of their time in hiding rather than flitting about as they do now.  If the algae blennies only get territorial towards fish with similar body shapes, perhaps I am ok for now... but when I add the mandarin, it will be the most "similar" fish in the tank, and I'd rather have the mandarin (and the rest of the gobies) than the algae blenny if the WWM Gods declare "thou shall not even think of adding the blenny, Nate."  Would you recommend adding the algae blenny? Not a problem? a huge problem?  or is it truly one of those 50-50 toss- ups dependent on the fish's own personality? Thanks in advance! Nate <Mmm, I share your concern (enough) Nate that I would not place this Salarias/Atrosalarias blenny. Too likely as you state to negatively interact with what you have established, hope to add. Bob Fenner> * well, I haven't actually counted the spines, but I am thinking probably one true and one false percula, though my LFS sold it to me as "true" when I first got into the hobby.  Anyhow, I bring it up to add to the collective pool of "captive clownfish lore"... the true percula is a fairly recent addition to the tank, and it came from the wild, whereas the first one was definitely tank raised.  Though it has not fully adopted my branching hammer coral yet (as I have read they sometimes do in captivity, even though they would not in the   wild), the wild percula is definitely spending a lot of time hanging out right on the edge of the hammer coral - and actually seems to be trying to show the other one "how to chill with the coral" as well...   the old one doesn't seem too interested yet, but the new one definitely is getting closer and closer to swimming "in" the coral every day!  pretty neat! <I'll say!>

Lawnmower, Blenny that is, Diet  - 05/10/2006 Hello, <Hi.> I have done some research on this website about the Lawnmower Blenny's diet, but can't find out what type of algae these guys prefer.   <In my experience they will eat whatever algae is available though they prefer what is easier..."less" thick algae...filamentous algae and such.> I have all sorts of algae in my tank.  I purposely don't clean the glass on the back and side of the tank so he can eat. <I leave a patch for my specimen as well.> I notice him eating the film algae.  Does he eat any other type of algae? <I feed mine Caulerpa, though he seems to just pick at it. He love Gracilaria, Nori and Botryocladia.> He goes through stages of being really fat and really skinny, with no noticeable increase or decrease in the algae available.  I guess all I am asking is, what is the preferred diet of this species? <Supplement with some fried Nori, ocean nutrition formula two, spectrum flake food and Spirulina.> Thanks. <Anytime.> Kurtis Schubeck <Adam J.>

'Not so' Odd Lawnmower Blenny - 4/11/2006 Hey all, <<Hi Aaron.>> I have a question concerning my lawnmower blenny. He is now established in my tank and sits on a perch in plain sight in the daylight. When I first got the blenny it would pick at rocks for algae. It has now given up at that and now fights my 2 Perculas and royal Gramma for food. Will he eventually get sick since this fish is meant to be an herbivore? Thanks, Aaron <<Many of this species move to meaty foods as they age in aquaria.  It is common, and is posted on WWM.  Lisa.>>

Lawnmower Blenny Behaviour 4/6/2006 Hello! <<Hey Sonny!>> My lawnmower blenny moves up and down so fast at the corner of the tank, and stays at the top of the water right beside the filter. He looks like gasping air, and he does that mostly up side down. <<Wow, that doesn't sound good.  These fish tend to use their mouths some when breathing, but certainly not upside down often.>> It started about a week ago. All the test results are fine. <<Actual number readings are helpful here.>> It is a fish only tank.46 gallon with 4 clowns, a vermiculated angel, a hermit crab, and the lawnmower blenny in it. Do you have any idea what could be the problem? <<While I do not know what your water chemistry is like, nor do I know how long you have had this fish, my guess is that the problem is environmental.  A 46-gallon tank is simply too small for this fish, not due to its size, but due to nutritional requirements.  They need LOTS of filamentous green algae in their diet, and if your tank lacks this, it will starve.  Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algblenfaqs.htm.>> Thank you in advance, Sonny. <<Glad to help.  Lisa>>

Disappearing Lawnmower Blenny   2/7/06 Hello All: I first want to say as most have done before me that your site has helped us in many ways. <Glad to hear that! Scott F. with you tonight> We have a 120 Gal saltwater tank that is about 7 weeks old, with about 13 pounds of live rock and a few pieces of medium to small coral, a few shells and a couple of handfuls of live plant, a Domino Damsel (despite what we've read is very friendly with it's tank mates) a Coral Banded Shrimp ( he can be nasty at times but stays with the live rock mostly) a Purple Dottyback, a Hermit Crab, 2 Emerald crabs, a Striped Goby and a Red Emperor, and my favorite of all, The Lawnmower Blenny. <One of my favorites, too!> We have had the Blenny for about 5 weeks. He used to be very active and skip about with a ton of personality. Last week he cleared away some of the crushed coral and sand and" moved into" one of the shells. He does not come out much any longer and if he does it is just for a very few seconds and then goes back into the shell and peeks out. I have the algae sheets in the tank for him to feed on and sometimes he will eat the flake or thawed shrimp.  Why would he all of a sudden  " hide out " ? He was/is so much fun to watch. Thank you in advance for any and all help.   Charlene & Todd <Well, it's hard to be 100% sure why a fish disappears. It is certainly a possibility that the fish is sick or injured, and simply needs to recover in peace. It may also be that the fish is otherwise stressed and is responding to some disturbance. In all likelihood, the fish is imply going through "a phase", and, if in otherwise good health- he'll head on back out to mingle with his tankmates once again. The fact that he is eating is a very good sign! I'll bet that he'll be out and about again in due time! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Lawnmower blenny/mandarin  - 1/30/2006 Good afternoon, <Good morning.> I know that generally the lawnmower blenny and the mandarin are compatible. I have a mandarin currently and would like to get an LM blenny. The problem is that the LM blenny that I am considering buying is 10x larger than the mandarin. Do you think the much larger LM blenny would harm the mandarin? The other fish in the tank are quite passive and pay little attention to the mandarin, so the new blenny is my only real concern. <The blenny has a peaceful temperament but may be aggressive toward fish with a similar body shape such as the mandarin. You may want to read the FAQ's here from aquarists with similar questions.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blencompfaqs.htm Thank you in advance. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Kelli Duncan

Napping Salarias in a Softy 12/24/05 Happy Holidays WWM, <And to you> I few quick question for you,  tonight I decided to watch my reef tank after the lights went out, and to my surprise I seen my Lawnmower Blenny, S. fasciatus napped out in my Colt Coral, Alcyonium sp.  It looked as if he is trying to make it his host like a Clownfish.  Has this ever been seen before?  Is it a normal behavior for the blenny to sleep in corals?  I notice that all the polyps on the Colt had retracted while he was in it; could he eventually harm the coral?  If I can get a picture I'll send it to you.  Thanks again and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! <Nothing unusual, just finding a room for the night.  James (Salty Dog)> Bryan

Lawn Mower Blenny Diet, and No Mercy..  12/5/05 Hi Guys/Gals, <Hey, Adam J with you tonight.> I have been reading the different, excellent articles provided on WWM regarding lawnmower blennies. I believe I know what your suggestions might be. I still have to ask because it will make me feel better. <I understand.> I have a 55 gallon FOWLR tank, specific gravity: 1.022 (low, I know) Ammonia: 0, Nitrite:0, Nitrates: 0, PH: 8.2, Phosphates: 0, Temp 78. The only other inhabitants is a 1.5 inch maroon clownfish. I have not seen any aggressive behavior. <Yet, keep an eye out 'adult maroons can get quite nasty.> The blenny has been in the tank for about 2 weeks. He has rapidly gone through the algae in the tank, <Well honestly, in the future, while it can be difficult for a species such as the lawnmower blenny, I prefer to make sure they are eating prepared foods during quarantine before introduction into the display. While I understand there is natural algae in the display for the animal to feed on its much easier to monitor eating habits in a smaller area without the intrusion of other livestock, not to mention disease transfer.> though there seems to be plenty left to feed him. I am attempting to wean him onto other prepared foods, Caulerpa, etc. <My lawnmower blenny loves many of the wonderful prepared foods available from Ocean Nutrition such as Spirulina and Formula 2 (Frozen, flake and pellet version). Dried Nori soaked in a nutritional supplement such as Selcon is also very nutritious and while this animal is an herbivore they do appreciate meaty foods such as krill and Mysis shrimp as well.> Since his arrival into the main display, the blenny has had very rapid gill movement. This rapid breathing has seemingly increased the past few days. He is still swimming around, eating and perching on the rocks.  <Sounds like normal behavior.> Like the dad that I am, I have started worrying about the many different diseases that blennies can succumb to. My thoughts are to maintain good water chemistry, keep up with water changes (I change 5 gallons weekly)...and just watch him. Any other ideas? <Just provide a varied diet and keep an eye on aggression.> I do have a QT/hospital tank available to set up. Thanks All, <Welcome, Adam J.> PS. Marina, be nice if I have made any errors. I checked! I promise! <Hey if she doesn't spare me you're not getting any special treatment! Hehe.>  <<As long as you try.. but if you're in school I figure you should know anyway, yeah? <wink wink>  Marina>>

Blenny, Pseudochromis Compatibility Question 10/16/05 Good Morning <Same> I have found much help from this site.  I have researched this question and just would like confirmation on my opinion, please. <Sure.> Tank size is 150. If there is an established blenny (lawnmower) in the tank, would he be harassed by a strawberry Pseudochromis added later? <In such a large tank and with such different species, I doubt it, though you never know with Pseudochromis. I'd chance it.> Thanks for your time, <Welcome> Ellen <Mike G>

Mixing Multiple Blennies and Gobies 10/11/05 Hello again. <Hello, Adam J with you this evening.> I've been searching the site for a while. It has been about 7 weeks since the tank was put up. 100g hexagonal flatback tank ( It's not a traditional hex tank. Dimensions are roughly 60x20x20), protein skimmer, 20 gallon refugium with 4-5" sand, wet/dry. <Sounds good.> It's currently stocked with a lemon damsel, 3 blue green Chromis, and 2 false Percs that was added after the tank was cycled. <Were they quarantined?> After the tank adjusts to the clowns I want to add a Redlip or bicolor blenny along with a lawn mower blenny. <The Lawnmower Blenny Salarias fasciatus can be quite territorial and aggressive towards other blennies. This will be a risk, though your tank size will help it is not a guarantee. Furthermore with algae eating blennies I prefer to wait until the tank is mature to add them, at least 6 months.> I was just wondering if there will be a problem with adding blenny with blenny. <Possibly, see above.> I was also thinking about adding some Firefish and a Jawfish or a watchman. Will these fish run into problems with the blennies? <You should be okay with one of these along with the blennies but all three, these fish all inhabit the same area of the tank and with all of these mixed including the blennies you would likely run into 'real-estate' problems.> Thanks for all the help so far. <No problem, Adam J.> 

Starving Lawnmower Blenny? Greetings once again Crew, After an exhaustive search on Lawnmower Blennies (Salarias Fasciatus) on your site, I couldn't find much in "ideal" conditions for a tank for his eating habits. I have a LMB ( about 4.5 inches ) in my 54 Gallon Reef ( 60 lbs LR, 80 Lbs LS ). I watch him eat and even "crap" all over the place, but in the past month or so, he has looked thinner to me than normal, despite his usual activity. I don't really have any kind of algae problem, and the only thing in my tank that may eat algae are 13 scarlet reef hermits and/or 12 Nassarius snails. Is it actually possible to "not have enough of an algae problem?" My tank is just about 4 months old, and if there is such a thing as not enough algae, are there certain conditions that need to be present for the Lawnmower Blenny to eat plentily? Thanks in advance for any advice. Cheers, and keep up the great work!  Rao    <It's possible to have algae overgrazed by other cleaners and starve some. You should try to get this fish eating regular fish food or give him much more habitat.  Feeding is your best option.  Craig>

Re: Neat Blenny Bob: Here is a picture that you may enjoy.  it sure to inspire those who are struggling with this addiction we call a hobby.  This little blenny has tons of personality.  Sometimes we are so busy working on our tanks that we don't take a few minutes to enjoy the habitat that we have created. <Indeed. Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Enjoy: Dan Sovetsky

2 Blennies in a 58gal Reef Hi,    Just a quick question.  Can a lawnmower blenny be kept in a 58 gal. reef tank with a bicolor blenny or will there be aggression? <Since they are similar in shape and size I would advise against the mixture of the two species, these species of fish tend to show aggression towards similar shaped fish> Thanks,<your welcome, IanB> Erik Jorvig

Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny I just got a new lawnmower blenny. What would you suggest feeding it? he is uninterested in Nori so far, but I have only had him for two days. Thank you for any help!! <Well, these fishes are pretty good consumers of microalgae, but they will certainly eat other foods. In fact, my specimen probably eats more frozen foods than algae! Try a variety of prepared foods, with an emphasis on vegetable matter. If you don't have sufficient algae in the tank to help sustain this fish, you could purchase a couple of algae covered rocks and place them in his tank. This will help supplement whatever else you're feeding him. Enjoy this little guy! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding The Lawnmower (Blenny) Hello, thanks for a great site, fun reading other peoples questions and your answers. I have a 75 gal, 4 month old system, wet/dry, Protein skimmer, UV, and Eheim bio canister all my fish are doing great, Copperband, Tang, Tasseled file, Picasso and 10 other various Damsels, a lot of fish.. <Wow- larger tank down the line, I hope...?> Anyway, my Lawnmower Blenny keeps the tank very clean, it has never taken to  eating any other food that the fish eats, it only eats the brown algae. Is it possible to get him to eat anything else? <It can and will munch on other foodstuffs...In fact, mine seems to have adapted so well to prepared foods- that he shows little interest in algae any more!> I am hoping he does not eat its self out of food. Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions of food ...Tony, Natick, Mass. <I'd encourage it to eat a variety of frozen foods, such as Mysis, "formula" foods, etc....he'll get used to them in time, believe me! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny 
thank you so much for your help!!<Thank you for writing!> I was told ocean nutrition formula 2 is good.  should I add garlic or Selcon?  <This food would be good as it is made of mostly algae.  I would add Selcon instead of garlic (garlic is mainly for repelling parasites).  Cody>
Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny (Pt. 2)
Thank you so much for your help!! I was told Ocean Nutrition Formula 2 is good. Should I add garlic or Selcon? <Either additive to food is acceptable and beneficial to these, and other fishes. Follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning their use. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Battling Blennies? I have a 60G reef with mostly SPS corals.  I currently have a pygmy angel (C. Argi) and a blenny with no apparent common name, (Atrosalarias fuscus). <Both cool fishes, nonetheless! The A. fuscus is one of my favorite fishes! it's been called the "Highfin Blenny" or "Black Sailfin Blenny" in the trade. A great little fish with plenty of personality! mine has been a perfect gentleman for years!> My local store has both Meiacanthus atrodorsalis and Midas blennies (Ecsenius Midas) both of which are very beautiful fish, and seem to be more active swimmers and likely to spend more time in the water column than my current blenny. <In all likelihood, yes!> However, I love my current blenny, and I know there is potential aggression between blennies. Would I be safe to add one of the two species mentioned to my current tank?  I can't seem to find much specific info, but the A. Fuscus is a strict algae eater IME, and the other two appear to be plankton feeders.  Would this work? <In my opinion and experience, it would! They can be a bit feisty at times, so there is no 100% guarantee, but I feel that it would work for the very reason that you indicate. The fishes inhabit very different niches in the system, and are not likely to compete. I maintain a system with a variety of blennies, and have yet to observe any long-term problems with this arrangement. I'd go for it!> I appreciate any help. Thanks, Gusty Stambaugh <Any time, Gusty! Regards, Scott F>

Mysterious Death Hello, I have one question: Why my SALARIAS FASCIATUS died? Everything was ok, but for few days his stomach was  VERY BIG.<Could have been bloat> I thought that he just ate too much but today I saw him behind the rocks... What cause that?<Also could be a hitchhiker in the LR that killed him> My water par, are great. In tank there was only him and Foxface. Please tell me why he died...<I can not give you a definite answer here all I can do is give you possibilities.> BTW: I can't take him out of the tank, will my cleaner shrimps ate him?<Probably not...you need to take this fish out post haste. It will pollute your water.> BTW2: I'm going to put Zebrasoma flavescens to the tank. Will be any problems with my Foxface (it's 55 gal, but will be 195).Will they fight? <I Have seen people do this before...normally it works but sometimes it doesn't. If it were me I would purchase a purple tang or a red sea sailfin tang because of the color difference.> THX guys <No prob, IanB>

Lawnmower blenny starving I purchased a lawnmower blenny 5 weeks ago.  He will only eat algae off the sides of the tank and off the live rock.  His favorite seemed to be brown diatoms algae.  Now the tank is algae free and he has nothing to eat.  He is very thin now, and I can see his bones.  I've tried Spirulina flakes, romaine lettuce, frozen brine shrimp, Nori.  He is not even interested in the food, he lets it float right by him.  I tried sinking pellets, but the hermit crabs run off and eat it all up.  Is there something that I could smear on the glass? I have a 2 month old 29 gallon FOWLR, 27 lbs live rock, Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite all at zero, Aqua C skimmer, penguin bio wheel filtration, and 2 clownfish (who eat like pigs).  Any suggestions would be appreciated, the poor guy is starving!<I would try feeding him Caulerpa and/or Nori...Caulerpa can be purchased at your LFS and Nori you can purchase from an Oriental food store. Good Luck, IanB>

- The Amazing, Changing Lawnmower Blenny - I have a lawnmower blenny who is fat and happy. <Glad to hear it.> I have noticed since I got him that he appears to have the ability to change color depending on stress level and depending on what his environment is. I recently added a lot of new live rock and it is covered in coralline. Now the back half of my blennies has a slightly purple tinge. Wondering if this is a ability they have or if it is an illusion or if I am just plain crazy? <Neither one actually... all fish can alter their colors to some extent, although most aren't chameleons some, like a couple of the flat fish have an uncanny ability to match their surroundings. Most others instead have what's known as a night/fright pattern, typically something that offers an additional amount of protection in the dark - like extra eye spots, etc. On the flip side, and in captivity it is not uncommon for a fish to fade its colors, many times due to nutritional deficiencies. What could happen in this case is a combination of factors - perhaps a response to environment, perhaps also a response to being fat and happy.> I have been searching Q&A's and blennies info and have turned up nothing. Any insight? <I say no worries.> Its a mystery now and I would love a expert opinion. Thank you Susan <Cheers, J -- >

- Algae Blenny: Clam Nipper? - I was just about to buy  rock (lawnmower?) blenny when I read that they nip at clam mantles. How true is this? <They occasionally do, most that I've encountered behave themselves. Make sure you supply lots of algae!> Also, will they be aggressive with a yellow headed Jawfish? <Should be fine, Good luck! -Kevin>

Salarias ceramensis Bob, I have checked your site again but didn't see anything posted.  Is your site interested about range extension for Salarias ceramensis?  I can let you have a photo taken at Heron Island in natural surroundings if you are. Kind Regards Brian Mayes <No pic needed if you don't want to have it posted, credited to you. Would however send your range extension information to fishbase.org. Look up the species and click on the... oh, wait, I see you already have. http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=7749&genusname=Salarias&speciesname=ceramensis Bob Fenner>

The corals don't like the Blenny Hi, <Hi Lisa!> I got a rock with a few orange/purple Ricordea and another with green  star polyps about 1 1/2 weeks ago. They were doing great until I got a  Sailfin blenny. He climbs all over the rocks and occasionally the  corals. He knocked the Ricordea rock over 2 times! <Hee Hee!  Very normal Blenny behavior.  They don't seem to care much what they "climb" over or perch on, and in fact, mine will forcibly throw objects off of his favorite perch!> The first time he  just tapped it and they seemed fine, 2nd time it was flipped and  sitting on one of the Shrooms. I finally got some glue but when I  picked up the rock I realized the Ric was only partially attached to  the rock. It also has a small chunk missing, the purple looks grayish and the mouth does too. <Gluing or otherwise attaching corals is a wise choice to prevent such falls.> Is it dead or injured? Anything I can do to  save it? <It sounds like it is a bit  bleached.  It should recover quickly and completely if you prevent further insults.> As if that's not enough trouble from the blenny, he's also upset the  GSP. They were 1/2 closed up after the first day w/the blenny, now  they've been closed solid for 2 days. Are they OK? Will they get used  to him? <It is normal for GSP's to periodically close for a while.  If you are sure it is the Blenny, they may adapt, but it is probably best to move the GSP's out of his territory. Thanks, Lisa Spencer <best regards!  Adam>

Salarias ceramensis, range extension Dear Sir, With reference to page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/../trublennies.htm I photographed Salarias ceramensis at a depth of 10m between "Pam's Point" and "Heron Bommie"  off Heron Island on 10th Oct 2003. Your web page photograph  in an aquarium  and does not mention the range in GBR. With my find, the range has been extended. Below is a series of emails between me and The Australian Museum, National Museum of Natural History in Washington  and Paul Humann. At the bottom are a couple of the photographs. I would be happy for you to update your website with these and the new information providing of course you correctly credit the photography and identification. Kind Regards Brian Mayes <Will post. Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner> Hi Brian, I just saw your forwarded email from Vic Springer further down in my inbox. I'm delighted that Vic confirmed the identification as S. ceramensis. I will go ahead and add your image to the current webpage and update the description of the fish in the text. Yes, the fish is a range extension! Well done. I will mention this on the webpage. I'll email you when this is done. Thanks heaps, your image will really improve the page. Cheers, Mark McGrouther Collection Manager Australian Museum Fish Section Division of Vertebrate Zoology Dear Mr. Mayes, I concur with Paul Humann that the specimen is Salarias ceramensis, and possibly represents a southern range extension for the species, if it came from the Heron Island area (I would have to do a lot of checking in order to verify if it is a range extension). The photo of the specimen illustrated at the web site you mentioned was taken several thousand kilometers from where you photographed your specimen. The color pattern of your specimen is more typical of the species. Blennies often modify their color pattern to accord with their "emotional" state, frequently becoming dark or pale when stressed, which might account for the dark pattern of the web-site specimen. Thank you for calling the specimen to my attention. Sincerely, Victor G. Springer Curator, Senior Scientist Smithsonian Institution PO Box 37012 National Museum of Natural History - MRC-159 Washington, DC 20013-7012 USA email: XXXX@nmnh.si.edu Dear  Sirs, I contacted the author Paul Humann about a blenny I photographed off Heron Island. He advises it to be Salarias ceramensis. I found your  names credited with the identification of a photo of Salarias ceramensis  on the Australian Museum website  at  page http://www.amonline.net.au/fishes/fishfacts/fish/sceramensis.htm . The description and photo on the web site doesn't tie up with my photos below. I wondered if you agreed with Paul Humann that my photo is indeed Salarias ceramensis and if this is the case and mine is a variant, then would you like a photograph Kind Regards Brian Mayes Subject: Re: Fish Ident. Hi Brian, I've checked with a couple of people and your mystery blenny is probably Salarias ceramensis, sorry but there appears to be no common name. Best "fishes, "     Paul Dear Paul, I wonder if I could ask you for some help. I have been trying to identify a fish I photographed on a dive off Heron Island, GBR, Australia. It seems like a type of Blenny but I can't seem to find it in "Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea", by John E. Randall, Gerald R. Allen and Roger C. Steene. Do you have an email address for any of the authors? Better still can you identify it? Photographed at a depth of 10m between "Pam's Point" and "Heron Bommie"  off Heron Island on 10th Oct 2003. Kind Regards
Brian Mayes

Mystery Fish Update & Starving Blenny 5/21/04 Dear Bob or whoever is helpful today- <Anthony Calfo at your service> Mystery fish update: The mystery fish is growing quickly! It is over an inch now & is starting to get some color (black, white & red on the dorsal fin, red on the head & red on the caudal ventral fin) It is fun watching this little one grow & trying to figure out what it is. New question. I haven't been able to find a definitive answer so here is goes. Setup (running 6 mths): 55 gal, 90# CLR, 5" DSB, 5 gal refugium (macroalgae, bugs & 3 lettuce Nudibranchs), 1 gal refugium (with Aiptasia), protein skimmer, 2 percula clowns (probably false), 1 cleaner wrasse, 3 green Chromis, 1 Jeweled Blenny, 1 emerald crab, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, 3 sand sifting stars, 1 brittle star, 1 Halloween crab, asst. snails & hermits, 1 rock anemone, 1 Condylactis, 1 leather soft coral & 2 clumps of Anthelia.  When I purchased my Blenny from the LFS he was fat, now he is very skinny. I asked the LFS what to feed him & they suggested "Seaweed Selects Brown Marine Algae" (dried). I purchased a little clip to hang it on the tank. The big turbo snails go bonkers for the stuff, but Blenny doesn't touch it. <I can only assume you are referring to Salarias fasciatus without another scientific name provided, if so... they need a remarkable amount of microalgae. Large tanks with established films of green microalgae or young hair algae (like Derbesia). Spirulina based foods may help here. Really a matter of putting this fish in the right tank for it> I've also attached different types of macroalgae to the tank with the same results.  <they do not eat macroalgae or plants my friend> I've been trying this for about 10 days now & there is no interest in Blenny's part. I'm very concerned that my fish is going to starve to death.  <yes... although the fish can be hardy and long-lived, it will not be so if the tank is immature or too small (not enough microalgae growth)> Do you have ANY suggestions of what I can entice it with to eat. It is certainly hungry because it kisses the glass & rocks all day long looking for scraps of algae. <exactly> I'm driving to "the big city" tomorrow where there are larger LFS's & may provide a larger variety of food items for Blenny. Please send me some direction before my fish dies. Sincerely - Jennifer  <sigh... the problem here is that you bought/were sold the wrong fish... or the right fish for the wrong tank <G>. They do not fare well long term by target feeding. It really is as simple as needing a large tank that naturally grows a lot of microalgae. The fish may need to be traded away for best chance at survival. Anthony>

-Starving Blenny- I sent this yesterday to crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com I haven't heard back so I'm sending it to this address hoping for assistance. <Unfortunately we're a little short staffed because of Interzoo, please only send once.> Thanks Dear Bob or whoever is helpful today- <Kevin here, hope to be helpful!> Mystery fish update: The mystery fish is growing quickly!  It is over an inch now & is starting to get some color (black, white & red on the dorsal fin, red on the head & red on the caudal ventral fin)  It is fun watching this little one grow & trying to figure out what it is. <Sounds cool!> New question.  I haven't been able to find a definitive answer so here is goes.  Setup (running 6 mths): 55 gal, 90# CLR, 5" DSB, 5 gal refugium (macroalgae, bugs & 3 lettuce Nudibranchs), 1 gal refugium (with Aiptasia), protein skimmer, 2 percula clowns (probably false), 1 cleaner wrasse <yikes, in the future please don't support the continued import of these critters since most don't survive for very long in captivity.>, 3 green Chromis, 1 Jeweled Blenny, 1 emerald crab, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 cleaner shrimp, 3 sand sifting stars, 1 brittle star, 1 Halloween crab, asst snails & hermits, 1 rock anemone, 1 Condylactis, 1 leather soft coral & 2 clumps of Xenias.   When I purchased my Blenny from the LFS he was fat, now he is very skinny.  I asked the LFS what to feed him & they suggested "Seaweed Selects Brown Marine Algae" (dried).  I purchased a little clip to hang it on the tank.  The big turbo snails go bonkers for the stuff, but Blenny doesn't touch it. <If it's the same algae eating blenny I'm thinking of, they require almost constant feeding to keep up their weight.> I've also attached different types of macroalgae to the tank with the same results.  I've been trying this for about 10 days now & there is no interest in Blenny's part.  I'm very concerned that my fish is going to starve to death.  Do you have ANY suggestions of what I can entice it with to eat. <These critters are more of green algae eaters, so I would select the dried seaweed appropriately. If the fish is really that skinny, it may be wise to move it to your refugium in hopes that he will take a liking to some of the greenery in there. If you choose to leave it in the main tank, I would move seaweed eating snails out so the blenny can feast without bother. This fish should also eat from the water column with the other fish in the tank, and if it does, do your best to stuff it full of whatever you can get it to eat. You may want to try breaking up the dried seaweed and feed it like flake food.> It is certainly hungry because it kisses the glass & rocks all day long looking for scraps of algae. <See if your LFS has a rock covered in hair algae or the like, I'm sure the blenny would be very pleased.> I'm driving to "the big city" this afternoon where there are larger LFS's & may provide a larger variety of food items for Blenny.  Please send me some direction before my fish dies. Sincerely - Jennifer BTW, I did hang some rinsed lettuce in the tank last night & no one touched it. <Avoid the terrestrial foods in favor of dried seaweeds, they're much better for them and natural to boot. I hope this helps, -Kevin>  Blenny had gone to bed already so maybe she will be more excited about it today.

Silly Blenny, or Sick Fish? Hey crew, <Hey Scott F. here today!> I notice that my algae blenny every once in a while will rub up against the rocks.  He doesn't do it very often and has done it for quiet some time.  Is there a normal behavior of blennies doing this, or is it Ich?? I searched the forums but didn't really find a definitive answer. Thank you, Todd <I've seen various blennies engage in this behavior periodically without them being ill. They are kinda goofy characters at times. My advice is to simply keep a good eye on the fish and be prepared to take action should symptoms manifest themselves. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny <Hi, Mike D here> Some woman on your website recommended I get one so it is her fault he died.<OK. I'm surprised anyone would suggest a lawnmower blenny for hair algae as most won't eat it. Other macroalgae, yes, but hair algae has very few fish that enjoy it, the reason it's such a famous pest. Sadly, this is the eventual end to MANY Lawnmower blennies> I think her name began with an M. I told her I did not have a lot of hair algae in my tank, but she insisted I did and recommended I get a Lawn Mower Blenny and now he is dead, starved to death. Oh well, all my other fish are doing well, Twinspot Hog, Yellow Tang, Flame Angel, Royal Gramma, Firefish and Chalk Bass. I am on vacation this week and they all eat flake food which is good.<Eventually you should try some raw shrimp (Grocery store variety NOT LFS type!) on your Hogfish and Chalk Bass...you'll be amazed at how well they like it> I have the tanks set up as a carnivore and herbivore tank to make feeding easier so Spirulina flake for one and seafood flake for the other. I intend on getting a Crosshatch or Blue Jaw Trigger and a Solomon's Fairy Wrasse and a couple Blue Chromis  or maybe a Blue Tang or a baby Yellow-Bar Angel to round out my 40 gallon reef and 29 gallon fish only tanks. I am going to place an order probably with LiveAquaria, but they never have all the fish I want in stock at the same time. I am moving next year and will upgrade to a 125 and 55.<I'd suggest holding off on other angels until well after the move. Many don't survive the change to a new tank. I'd also suggest improving your foods, as flake foods are often fine for small juveniles but larger hogfish, wrasses and sea bass need a substantially meaty diet to do very well, and again, many of the best foods DO NOT come from the LFS>  

Snail question. Mike, <Hi Nathan, MacL here.  I guess they sent you to me because you felt my advice to you in the past was erroneous.  I have to say I'm sorry but I stand by what I said to you. I feel and have seen lawnmower blenny's eat hair algae. <RMF has as well... many times, in the wild and captivity> You do have to watch closely and make sure all your fish are eating and getting enough to eat. ALWAYS. But I have a friend who has lawnmowers in his tank right now eating there way through a hair algae problem. Now he has cut his in the past cut his hair algae down or pulled some of it out to a shorter length to do this as well. But please accept my apologies if my advice didn't work for you.  On here we can ONLY speak from our own experiences.  I gave you mine.> Thanks for your advice on feeding fish and I agree completely. The only reason I was feeding flake was because I was on vacation, otherwise, I feed frozen food exclusively. <You might consider mixing up your food types simply because it provides your fish a wider range and larger selection of foods and therefore nutrition.>  I also disagree in that I think San Francisco Bay brand is garbage because Brine Shrimp or Artemia I think is the primary ingredient in everything they sell, but Ocean nutrition is a little better. <I think if you use brine shrimp in any form you really must supplement with vitamins of some kind.> I especially like their Pygmy Angel formula. The ingredients sound very good (algae, krill, shrimp, squid, etc..) and it is a good food for my herbivore tank (tang, flame and Firefish).  I also used Fenner's recipe and made my own food which is more vegetarian based.  I buy that Mysid shrimp from that fresh water lake that is over 65% protein. I can't remember the name of the company who makes it.  My carnivores love it.  What about flake food with Zoe, Vita Chem or Selcon?  Does adding this to the food make it a decent food or still not very nutritious even with the vitamins added? <Adding the vitamins helps, the food does have some nutrition in it, in my experience but adding vitamins and trace elements always helps.> Anyway, my question is about snails. I have 5 Turbos in my 40. I need to get some Cerith or Nassarius, but have not had time.  Well, in the mornings I see very small snails about the size of an eraser head. At first there was only one or two 3-6 months ago, but this morning I counted 9! LOL. <Its possible you have snail hitchhikers but its also possible you have baby turbo snails. You might want to search the snail identification FAQ's http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailfaq.htm> They only come out at night and have not gotten bigger than that. Are they bad? If so, how do I get rid of them aside from physically pulling them out? <As long as they aren't cone snails they should be okay in the tank.> I had Aiptasia and bought a peppermint who promptly ate it. I had bubble algae and bought a emerald crab who promptly ate it. <I've had bad person experiences with emerald crabs who have gone on that attack.> Is there a similar solution for these snails if they are bad?  Now, I want to say my reef tank is doing incredibly well.  I bought very small frags of Xenia and Yellow and I think Brown Polyps for 5 bucks each and I have fragged these onto three more rocks, each. I also got a couple red mushrooms free and have fragged them onto two more rocks.  I have almost no nuisance algae in the tank at all and none on the gravel. Water conditions are perfect.  <Define perfect? O of everything? Phosphates etc? >Thanks for the advice. <Anytime>

Sick Lawnmower Blenny 8/1/04 I need your assistance.  My (female) lawnmower blenny seems ill to me.  She seems less active then normal and she is eating but not at the same rate she used to.  I had the manager of the fish store stop by to take a look at her and he said she was losing some color on her back but should be ok.   <hmmm... based on these symptoms, there's not much to go on here (and it does not sound like much/any problem> I am really concerned.  I checked my water parameters yesterday and they were fine, I also took a sample into the fish store to have them test and they said the parameters were fine also.  I really would like some suggestions on how to help her.  I absolutely adore this little creature.  Thanks in advance, Karen <the best way to stimulate fishes is a series of hearty water changes and improving the diet. Let me suggest that you do at least three 25% water changes in the next 2-3 week and add some Dick Boyd's Vita-Chem (for vitamins of course) and Selcon (for HUFAs) to the diet (usually soaking the thawed frozen foods... thaw and drain first, then add the supplements before feeding to fishes). No worries :) Anthony>
Sick Lawnmower Blenny III 8/2/04
Thank you for your response.  I added some "Kent Garlic Supreme" to the food yesterday  and did a partial water change today.   <very good> I have also purchased and added to the food  "Kent Zoe Marine". <I have little regard for Kent products personally... but this may be helpful indeed> She, the lawnmower blenny, seems to be doing better today.    <the water change gets the credit I assure you> We were also wondering if the moon light could be disturbing her at night , could it be affecting her rest?     <no more than the moon on a reef <G>> We turned the moon light off when we went to bed last night and she seemed to do better this morning..   Thanks again.  Karen <you fuss/worry too much Karen... and I say that affably. Relax my friend... it is a relaxing hobby.  Fussing with your tank and fishes in the long run makes things worse.  Allow the system to find a groove and run a more natural course without frequent knee-jerk reactions. kindly, Anthony>

Lawnmower Blenny Addicted To Lettuce? Hi folks! <Scott F. here today!> Just a (hopefully) quick question here.  About a month ago, I acquired a great little lawnmower blenny (looks like a Salarias ceramensis from the pictures).  After a stint in the quarantine tank, I've added him to my main tank. <Good procedure! Here's a pat on the dorsal side for you!> For the first few days, he didn't eat, which worried me, but now he's taken off.  My question is this: I've been offering him food to supplement his diet of algae, but I can't seem to get him to eat anything other than romaine lettuce; I've offered him Nori, but he ignores it.  I know they were feeding him romaine at the FS, and I think that's just what he's used to, but I also know that "land food" just isn't as good for fish as other things he could be eating. <Right! Do encourage him to eat foods of marine origin.> Do you have any suggestions for weaning him off of the lettuce to something healthier? <If he's eating some sort of sheets of vegetable material, then a natural "transition" would be to use Nori, which is processed seaweed used for sushi or musubi (yum!). You can purchase it at any Asian market, or you can pay more (!)and get the kind packaged for aquarium use...> And if I can't get him to make the switch, is there anything I should do to increase the nutrient value of the lettuce, or types of lettuce that are better than others (I know iceberg is pretty much devoid of nutrient value, so none of that of course). Thanks for your help! Kirsten <I suppose that you could use Romaine or something with slightly higher nutritional value, but I'd really get him off of the lettuce ASAP. In fact, my "Lawnmower Blenny" has been with me for several years, and eats just about anything. In fact, when I first obtained him, he showed little interest in algae, and was more interested in frozen foods! Give him time and variety, and this little gourmet will come around! Bon apetit! Regards, Scott F>

The Clownfish and the Blenny (5/25/04) Hi guys, I had a quick question that I was hoping you could assist me with. I have a 72 gal FOWLR setup. Current inhabitants include a pair of percula clowns, still young about 2 inches, a lawnmower blenny, about 3.5 inches, and 4 turbo snails. I have about 85 lbs of live rock. My problem is that my clowns stay secluded in one corner of the tank. This is the corner they sleep and rest in all the time. <In nature, Clownfish seldom stray from their anemone. they're not particularly adventurous. My Maroon Clown limits itself to maybe 10% of my 180G tank's volume.> Occasionally they will venture to about midway across the tank, but then back to the corner. Recently I observed my blenny acting aggressively towards the clown. <Can be a problem. Lawnmower Blennies can be aggressive.> He swam right up to them and started waving his tail at them furiously. This behavior occurred when the clowns saw me get close to the front of the tank to feed them, and they moved out of their corner. I am afraid that my blenny is keeping them in the corner of the tank. <Probably, but like I said, they often choose an area to stick to.> I have seen this happen a few times thus far. I have read that this particular species of blenny is only aggressive towards conspecifics, and rarely towards other fish. Scott W. Michael specifically states that they can often attack any smaller fish.> Could I possibly have the rare possibility? <Not rare, rather common actually.> The clowns are in very good health, vibrant colors, fins are not clamped, and breathing normally. Is there any other reason that the fish could be acting this way? <Their natural behavior, especially when threatened. That's why they live in anemones in nature. (But they do not need one in a tank, they need tankmates they can cope with.> I have had the fish in this tank for over a month, which I know is not that long, but they had this corner behavior when housed with the blenny in there previous tank too. The blenny is not as important as my clowns, even though I love his personality. So if he is the problem, then I will find him another suitable home. If so, could you suggest a species of blenny that would not be a problem? A more peaceful species. I sincerely thank you for your help. Brian <If this blenny has been aggressive toward them in to tanks, he is probably an unusually intolerant one. Perhaps he is unhappy because he isn't getting enough food. Does he eat whatever it is your feeding him? Most lawnmower blennies starve because they won' eat anything but hair algae. You could remove him to a QT for a few weeks, re-arrange the tank, let the clowns settle back in and try again. But I'm skeptical given the history of aggression in two tanks. As for alternatives, how about a shrimp goby? Many blennies are territorial and may get aggressive. Blennies to consider are the Midas, Red Sea Mimic and Bicolor. Check out Scott W. Michaels' "Marine Fishes" for ideas and alternatives. Have you considered a Hawkfish? Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Blenny Blunder? (Moving a Blenny Into A Nano Tank) My Lawnmower Blenny was doing very well in my 125 g until I "rescued" a black-tipped grouper from a LFS that was going out of business.  After about a week of what seemed to be peaceful co-habitation between the current tank occupants, the blenny was obviously worse for the wear (no damage, but was so exhausted that I scooped him out of the corner of the tank without a fight). <Good move!> By the way, the tank parameters are:  1.021; amm=0; nitrate=0; nitrite=0; phos=undetectable;  calcium=380;  pH=8.2; temp=79-81; it's an All-Glass 125 FOWLR with 122# of LR and 150# of LS;  lighting is 2 X 10,000 96W and 2 X 420 Actinic 96W. <Sounds good!> Anyway, I removed the blenny to my HOB refugium where he is eating and recovering nicely.  Now the question (usually that's the reason for these notes, eh?)....I'm considering relocating the blenny from the refuge to my 12g nano...parameters the same as above with the noticeable exception of lighting and 1.023 salinity.  The nano has 13# of LR and houses Xenia, Yellow Star Polyps, a couple of small colonies of Zoos, and 3 small hermits.  The only occupant, fish-wise is a Yellow-head Jawfish, who has built a considerable underground village under the LR which is supported by pvc.  As the blenny is not the world's smallest (about 3.5"), I wonder would he be comfortable, for about 5 months, in the nano considering the current, happily running environment.  I'm adding a reef tank after Christmas of 90 gallon size to which he would later re-locate.  I don't want the blenny or jaw (or corals for that matter) to suffer during this time period.  I'd rather give the blenny to another hobbyist if we can anticipate problems in the nano. <Well, the main problem might be that the two inhabit similar "niches" (i.e.; towards the bottom). You also don't want to push the bioload to far in such a small tank. Fish, with their greedy appetites and copious metabolic waste products can tax water quality quickly. I'd say go for it, but be prepared to move someone if things get out of hand.> Thanks and sorry for the length of the note. Grunfeld in Detroit <No problem on the length. Your accurate descriptions help us do a better job of helping you! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny Hey guys, <Hi, MikeD here> I have a lawn-mower blenny who has eaten all the hair algae in my tank and he looks hungry.<He probably IS!> Every time I put seaweed in the tank the hermits, peppermint shrimp and emerald crab eat it all and he does not get any. Do you have any idea how I can feed him and not have massive arthropods.<Why are you concerned about the arthropods? My suggestion is to feed the amount necessary to keep the Lawnmower Blenny healthy and if you start getting too many 'pods, add a scooter blenny or a Mandarin. It sounds like you have one of the few tanks where one might be happy> Thanks
Re: Feeding a Lawnmower Blenny
He died. <MikeD here. Sorry to hear about your blenny. These fish can be very difficult to keep and almost never do well in "pristine, spotless tanks" ,along with, IMO, many other species. Their diet requirements are simply too complex for someone who only wants a few pretty fish to swim around and be perfect, and are erroneously quoted as being necessary by many well meaning but misinformed sales people with little or no experience, so I highly doubt that much of the blame is yours.  As I mentioned earlier, your concerns about "pod explosions" and such indicate that both you and your fish would likely benefit if you stuck to undemanding, easily cared for species, and this is not singling you out in any way as incompetent, but rather is just a fact.>

Helpful Tip for feeding Lawnmower Blennies Just thought this info might help. <Thanks for this> Hey folks. I have some great news for those of you having problems feeding   your lawnmower blennies. New Life Products makes New Life SPECTRUM  Marine Fish Formula; sinking pellets. I purchased my first lawnmower  over a year ago and soon after realized he wasn't eating and I began to worry.  My daughter named him "Little Feller" I desperately searched the internet for an  answer. After reading many posts and articles and many failures in trying to get  him to eat, I about gave up. I even tried sanitizing some fresh algae from the  nearby fresh water pond placing tufts of the stuff bunched together with rubber  bands in the rocks, but nothing would work. I had temporarily ran out of Formula  1, so I was feeding the Spectrum for a few days until I could run out to the  fish shop. Within 2 days, the blenny started devouring the stuff. This was after  no eating for 2 weeks and I'd just about wrote him off. I felt so guilty that he  was suffering. Within a week he was fat as a hog. He recently bought the farm  after jumping out of the back of the tank. (SAD) I just purchased a new  lawnmower (Little Feller II) about a month ago. I was worried that my previous  success was just a fluke. By the 2nd day in the tank he was eating the Spectrum  just like my previous blenny. Just as a test, I tried Formula 1 and Formula 2  and he just spits them out after tasting them. But the Spectrum; He loves it!! I  hope this is helpful to anyone having feeding problems. <Am friends with the maker, Pablo Tepoot... and feed his foods to my African Cichlids... and have seen the Spectrum line fed to Moorish Idols, Parrotfishes, many other difficult-feeding fishes in public and private aquaria around the world... the food is to put it simply, amazing. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility Hello, I had a question in mind which is troublesome. In my marine reef tank, the ignorant lawnmower blenny keeps on chasing the Hawkfish like it's food. Is the flame Hawkfish able to defend itself, since the blenny is really big. The Hawkfish just keeps on exploring though. They are both breathing extremely quick after a chase and if they don't stop I am going to remove the blenny. Is there any sort of fish that is able to intimidate such large blenny? <The idea is to have compatible tanks mates, not to find one to be the enforcer.>  Also, I have a little tomato clownfish ( recently added in) who is extremely feisty. He attempts/ does attack my pair of Sebae or black percula clownfish. However, my purple tang viciously chases off the tomato with his fins, and the pygmy assists in trying to nip at its tail.. Do you think the tang have a bond with the pair? <No, just defending territory>  Should I remove the tomato and throw him into my smaller tank and just bring up the pair of false percula clowns instead?  <Tomatoes are feisty as you say, and the larger they get, the worse it is. I'd see if you could trade him in, or put him in another tank to avoid the problems. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for your time!  <You're welcome> 

Evil Blenny (10/22/04) Hi, I recently acquired a lawnmower blenny, reading on how they tend to be passive fish. <There is quite a bit of opinion to the contrary. To quote Scott W. Michael's "Marine Fishes" : "Large individuals will attack fish tankmates..."> I had exchanged a very small blue tang for him, since the blue tang drove my clown fish crazy for a month until she couldn't take it anymore, and turned on him.  Before damage was done I returned him, and got a lawnmower blenny.  A few weeks into having him in the main tank, he has decided that he does not like my longhorn cowfish.  The cowfish was the first fish in the tank, and in my opinion, it is his tank.  Now the blenny chases him around, nipping at his belly.  I am worried of stressing out the cow, so I am curious if this is a long-term behavior. <Probably will get worse as it grows. I'd get that blenny out of there before it causes your cowfish to release its toxin and wipe out your tank.> Will it stop after a while, or should I bring him back to the store.  The cowfish is my main concern, and I will do whatever is in his best interest. <Get the blenny out of there.>  I thought if there were going to be any problems, it would be between the blenny and the mandarin I have, since they both tend to hang out by the rocks.  But there are no qualms there.  Any info would be helpful.  Thanks so much. <Bye, by Blenny. Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>
Re: The Evil Blenny
Hi There, <Hello> I saw the post of the person with the evil blenny problem -- attacking his cowfish.  I have no idea how big the person's tank is, but allow me to suggest giving the blenny someone else more suitable to wrangle with.  I have a huge Lawnmower Blenny myself, and he loves to chase a Highfin Blenny.  The other blenny thinks he's nuts, and they just swim around each other.  Just a thought :- <Thank you for this. Will post alongside the other input for alls edification. Bob Fenner>

Lawnmower Blenny Hi, I discovered something that might be of interest to your other readers.  I noticed a lot of people have trouble feeding lawnmower blennies.  I had the same problem.  Or so I thought.  I did not have that much algae in my tank, and he would not touch any of the algae sheets I would put in the tank.  I even tried macroalgae.  Nothing.  Then I noticed the other day, after I would feed my other fish, something interesting.  I feed my fish a mix of formula two, prime reef (both flake), and Kent marine platinum herbivore and carnivore pellets.  That little blenny bugger started eating the pellets!  And not the herbivore formula, but the carnivore ones.  I would be curious to see if it worked for any of your other readers.  Thanks for your time.   >>>Hello, People have trouble feeding lawnmower blennies because they often do not eat prepared foods in captivity. Some do, your specimen being one of them. It's good that you found a pellet that he likes, but that high protein pellet will not be suitable for him long term. Cheers Jim<<<

Lawnmower Bennie Hey there, I have a Lawnmower Blenny for about 3 month's now. I notice that his stomach is sunken in. What can I feed the Blenny. The fish always seems to shave off algae from the glass. I see him try to eat hair algae that is present in my tank. Thanks, Anthony >> Yes, these animals (mostly Salarias spp.) are prodigious algae eaters... and not much else. If you can't move the animal to a larger tank with more algae, do try offering "green" foods like sheet algae (you can buy from fish stores or oriental food (sections) of human food stores), other algae-based foods (dried, pelleted)... Bob Fenner

Lawnmower Blennies I'm expecting a shipment of two Lawnmower Blennies tomorrow. I have lots of maroon colored algae with bubbles. Will they eat this? Do they carry any parasites? I'm contemplating dipping them in Methylene Blue and wonder if this could harm them because they don't have scales. I will also quarantine them. If fish are going to be quarantined for 2 weeks or more, is it necessary to put them through the stress of a dip? Thank you for your time. >> Lots of questions! I love it! Yes to the likelihood of the Lawnmower Blennies eating the maroon colored algae, and no to the bubble types... About the only thing that touches the latter (aka Valoniaceae) are the "Emerald crabs", genus Mithrax... and yes to the dip in Methylene blue and freshwater (IMO), along with the two week quarantine... These fish (es if you want to include all blennies/oids) rarely bring in communicable diseases... but are surely tough enough to tolerate the added procedure... and I would/and do, do it. Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner

Lawnmower Blenny I have a Lawnmower Blenny that seems to be getting thinner and thinner. We have had him in our 55 for almost 3 months, and seems to be swimming around and eating (algae off of the glass and rocks and such) just fine. He has occasionally eaten some of the brown marine algae I feed. Along with him, I have (cleanup crew wise) 6 turbo snails and about a dozen or more blue and red legged hermit crabs. I also have 50 lbs of live rock in the tank. I don't have a sump, but do have a Berlin skimmer, and Penguin 400 BioWheel filter. The tank is lit with a 10,000 K, 50/50 and full spectrum 40 watt fluorescent lights. One more question... Livestock wise (in addition to the above), we have a Flame Angel, Koran Angel, Yellow Tang, Christmas Wrasse, Maroon Clown and a Bubble Anemone. What temp. should we keep the tank at? I have been told 75-76 by some, and 79-80 by others. Thanks for your wonderful Q&A column. I have learned a ton!!! Dan Farnham >> Thanks for writing... I would either move the Lawnmower Blenny, or add more live rock... about all this species (Salarias fasciatus) eats is filamentous green algae...  And your temperature is fine in the mid-seventies... the animals will/would live faster/shorter lives at higher temperatures... but is that what you want? Me neither. Bob Fenner, who likes diving in warm water... 

Blenny Hi Bob, The local fish store said a Lawnmower Blenny and Rock Blenny will do the same thing: eat hair algae. Is this true? <Yes> I went to buy a Lawnmower Blenny since I had read online about their appetite for green hair algae. I trimmed it to where it's a 4th an inch off the rock. Will the Rock Blenny eat it? <Yes> Also, I bought some Margarita Snails and some red-legged reef crabs. However, my Lunar Wrasse is having a field day picking at them. He knocks the snails off the rock and glass and I think he has actually eaten some of my crabs. HELP!! <Yes, they will all be consumed in time> Thanks in advance! Barry >> <You're welcome, Bob Fenner>

Lawnmower??? I know that the Lawnmower Blenny eats algae but is it a "sand sifter"? Also would the Neon gobies from FFExpress be a good cleaner species. Its says that if they are captive bred that they may not clean. Would those? Thanks, Tim >> Lawnmower Blennies (mainly Salarias fasciatus) are not much in the way of Sand Sifters.... they spend most all their time in/on the rocks... and Neon Gobies, tank raised or no will generally learn to be cleaners... if there are customers to be had. Bob Fenner, whose Sand Sifter, Blenny, and Goby articles and more can be found, perused at www.wetwebmedia.com, including images.

Compatibility I would like to know if a lawnmower blenny would be compatible with my Niger trigger and 2 snowflake eels . Trigger is approx.5 inches and eels roughly 12 to 15 inches in length they are in a 58 gal reef ready I thought I read recently in your column suggesting a blenny was okay with these fish was wanting to use the blenny for natural algae control thanks in advance for your comments and a very informative and educational column >> Worth a try with a larger (let's say about 4") individual... these are fast, smart animals... do place it down near the rock when you release it... maybe feed the trigger and eels at about the same time... Bob Fenner

Goby/blenny Bob- Here is more info on my reef tank that you requested so that you could fully reply to my question about blennies/gobies (original question and reply are below). <Ah, good. Thanks for the info.> 58 gallons with 71 pounds of Manono live rock 1/2 inch layer of aragonite <Grade? I'll assume this is not egg-sand or more than 1/8"> water quality and movement is superior  2 96w PC Currently I have 1 Percula clown and a yellow tailed damsel. Ideally I would like to place a Flame Angel, Purple or Desjardin Tang, Banggai Cardinal, Lawnmower Blenny, Neon Goby and a substrate sifter in the form of a blenny or goby. I am concerned that the tank might be over populated with this mix and will be willing to not place the Banggai Cardinal in the tank. <Leave out the Desjardin's Tang. Too big for this size system> Other concerns are: I like the lawnmower Blenny for algae purposes and the Neon Goby for parasite purposes. Will the Neon Goby and Lawnmower blenny compete for food resulting in the loss of one?  <Nope... different foods, niches> I would like to place a "substrate sifter" but three blennies/gobies seems like too much competition as well.  <Yes, just one sifter would be best... and the tangs you list will turn the bottom over to an extent> Maybe I should drop the Neon Goby and buy a Pacific Cleaner Shrimp for the purpose of fighting parasites. Any suggestions? Thanks a million, Rob The Lawnmower should only go in when there is substantial filamentous Green algae (Chlorophyta) to consume... and start with a small specimen... only one. Maybe a Cryptocentrus, Atrosalarias, Amblygobius, Valenciennea species after the system has been up, running a good six months... Suspect we will be "chatting" between now and then... Bob Fenner

Lawnmower blenny Bob, I had a green algae problem in my tank, but after doing what you have suggested the problem is gone. One of the things I did was purchasing a Lawn mower blenny which did a great job. The problem now is that there is no more algae for the blenny to eat and it has lost a lot of weight. I tried feeding it dried seaweed but it wasn't interested. Is there anything that I could do to save it or should I just return it to my LFS. Thanks for your help. >> Hmm, how big a tank do you have it in? Anyway to grow some "extra" algae on some live rock... in a sump, refugium or your hospital/quarantine tank? Maybe try "algae wafers"...  If all else fails, do return the animal. Bob Fenner

Lawnmower blenny Hi Bob, I just added a 4-5 inch lawnmower blenny to my 125G reef. Other tank inhabitants include 2 green Chromis, Naso, Kole, and yellow tangs, Percula, 2 barred gobies, 2 cleaner shrimp, several peppermints and other inverts. My concern is did I just add a potential problem to my tank? <Unlikely... these Combtooth Blennies are not common prey to these animals or predaceous toward them... almost exclusively feeders on filamentous algae> He seems ok so far, everyone else did their stare downs. Is it common for these fish to be easily startled or is because it is a new place for him?  <Yes, and they are just naturally skittish period> My main concern is will he eat any of my corals or go after the shrimp?  <Very unlikely> He seems very peaceful but now the day after I add him I hear that he is not compatible with Kole tangs or he may attack my hand when I have it in the tank. Is there any truth to these accusations or should he continue to be a peaceful addition to my tank?  <Bizarre. Never heard such things from credible sources> Thank you much! Eric Liebe <Not to worry my friend. Bob Fenner>

Name that Blenny! What are some of the common names associated with Atrosalarias to help me locate them in my LFS? >> Hmm, Highfin Blenny... Brown or Coral Blenny... many other common names possible... Take a look at FishBase for pix, species... exp. A. fuscus. Bob Fenner

Algae (of some sort) I have a lawnmower blenny and some hair algae growing off my water flow director and he won't eat it. Could it be he doesn't know it's there?  <Highly unlikely... and almost as unlikely that this is a green algae that is palatable... Probably a blue green, aka Cyanobacteria> Should I just clean it off myself? How would I clean it? <Yes, remove the unit, lightly bleach it for an hour in a container, rinse thoroughly in freshwater, replace. Bob Fenner> Thank You, Sandl

Chubby Salarias (Algae Eating Blenny) Bob, While reading your newest faq page today (a daily ritual...just hope the boss doesn't see!)  <Yikes, me neither> I read a question from someone that was worried about a chubby Salarias, and would like to relate a recent experience I had with a lawnmower blenny. <Ah, great... can barely wait till we have somewhat of a "forum" for folks to do this interchange> I had an outbreak of Ich in my 72 gal in which I lost a couple of fish, including a lawnmower blenny. I treated my tank and was able to save 3 fish, much thanks to you on your help with that situation. After all had settled down I ordered another Salarias from FFExpress, and it arrived healthy and happy and went to work eating off the live rock. Within the first two weeks I noticed he was FAT...this little fishes belly was so bulged he could barely perch on his fins without his gut hitting bottom. Yet he continued to eat and eat and eat. A month after adding the fish I added a small flame angel that also spends a great deal of time picking off the live rock, but also eats flake and frozen food very well. Then, 3 weeks ago I added a 3" yellow tang, that eats a little flake food but spends most of the time grazing. <Okay> Over the last 3 weeks I noticed the Salarias getting thinner and thinner, yet he was still munching on the live rock. Unfortunately when I came into the office yesterday after the weekend he was laying on his side and breathing rapidly and was dead by the end of the day. Despite the 60+ pounds of live rock, did the angel, tang and blenny simply not have enough grazing food?? Or did the blenny eat himself out of food his first month? ( I can't stress how fat this fish was!) In all he only lasted about 10 weeks in the tank. <All of this is possible... My "standard" statement is not to place a Salarias fasciatus in anything smaller than a sixty, with plenty of healthy, established live rock... and not to have too many competitors for the filamentous algae to be cropped there... Sometimes I'll give a nod to the equally prodigious and typically smaller Atrosalarias fuscus, another True or Combtooth Blenny that is commonly available... instead, as it tends to come in smaller, doesn't get as large, not as likely to starve...> I'm hesitant now to get another Salarias because if I don't have enough available food I don't want to loose another fish. This blenny was about 5 inches long. Is that large?  <Yes, about maximum size...> What is the possibility it died from old age?  <Some> I didn't' notice any parasites on him, and all the other fish are fine. The tang and the angel are the only other fish that eat algae in the tank and would take away from his food source (other than a clean up crew) Anyway, just curious and thought I'd pass on my experience with a fat Salarias...maybe it will make someone think on their purchase of tankmates in relation to available food.. I know I will, despite the fact that the lawnmower blenny (nicknamed Torro) was the most popular and comical fish in the office tank! Thanks, as always, Kris, PA <Thank you for this input... I would try the Atrosalarias genus or request a decidedly smaller Salarias (three inches or so) if it were my system. Bob Fenner>

One last question. (chubby Salarias) Hello again. Thanks so much for all of your advice and help so far. We ended up going with a Rusty Dwarf Angel and a "Lemon" Tang (not sure if that is it's real common name because I haven't found anything on it yet.) <Likely a mimic tang variety of Acanthurus pyroferus... take a look on the WetWebMedia.com site re these> But after 5 days, they've both done extremely well, and there's been no quarreling between any of the fish. the two new fish have both taken to the reef aquarium comfortably and have found their own niches amidst the other fish and reef life. it's still too early to tell, but I think they'll last us a while barring any freak accidents. I just had one quick question, though. since we removed the murderous Hawkfish, our algae blenny has started to get noticeably chubby given his newfound freedom to graze wherever he pleases. should I be worried about it eating too much?  <No... this happens in the wild and in captivity. No problem> otherwise, all the fish are doing well. the Dottyback has even eased up a bit on its aggressiveness since the introduction of the bigger dwarf angel. thanks for all your help. Chris Pua <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Blenny compatibility question Hi Bob, I am considering getting a Lawnmower blenny for my 120g reef tank. I also would like to add a Midas Blenny. Would the two fish work out ok in this tank or would one try to harass/kill the other? Thanks, <In this size, type system, should be no problem. Wish I had videotaped the many Salarias fasciatus interactions I saw earlier this month in Pulau Redang, Malaysia... amongst themselves and a few Atrosalarias fuscus... pretty much ignore all non-algae eating fishes. Bob Fenner> Dave

Compatibility of Wrasse and Blenny Mr. Fenner, I was hoping that you could advise me on how well a Salarias fasciatus (lawnmower blenny) and a Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (six-line wrasse) would get along in my tank. The LFS says it will work, but I am a little nervous because I have heard that they both establish territories on the live rock. <Yes, they should... occupy different niches (though both mostly "in the rock"... Have seen these two together in systems many times> Here are my system specs: 29-30 gal (it's a custom flatback hex that I got as a gift, so I'm not exactly sure of the gallonage, but it is 36" long) <Hmm, can calculate... by LWH, 231 cubic inches per gallon... maybe use a piece of paper to detail... or by filling with a container of known volume... important information to have at times...> ~25 lbs. of LR ~35 lbs. of aragonite sand (gives me a semi-DSB of 3.5-4") Magnum 350 for mechanical filtration and circulation Penguin 550 powerhead (turns over 125 gph) Brand new Prizm protein skimmer that I am still breaking in Ammonia/nitrite are always 0 Nitrate goes from 15-30 ppm depending on how recently I did a water change (I'm hoping the protein skimmer and the removal of the BioWheel from my Magnum will bring these levels down) pH 8.2, temp about 79 degrees. <Yes, should> Current inhabitants are: 1 C. solandri puffer (3") 2 false Percula clowns (1.5 and 2") and the lawnmower blenny, who is about 2" <A bit crowded... keep your eye on the blenny to assure it's not getting too thin> I've probably given you WAYYYY more information than you'll ever need, but at least you won't have to ask me for more! The wrasse I want to add is 1.5-2". Do you think this would work okay? If anything does go drastically wrong, the LFS will always take fish back from me because I spend so much money in there :). I really appreciate your opinion. <Hmm, yes, should be fine.> Please do keep up the good work, Laura <I will try my friend. Bob Fenner>

Algae Blennies Hello, I currently have a 20 gal. tank with about 19 lbs. of live rock, a coral banded shrimp, tomato or cinnamon (not sure which one) clownfish, a Banggai cardinal, 2 hermit crabs and some snails. My tank is about 2 years old. I had some trouble until I put in all the live rock. Lately I have been trying to keep an algae blenny but have failed twice. Could they have starved to death?  <Likely yes... take a look at the "Blennies" and FAQs section on our site: a Salarias will definitely not be sustained in a twenty gallon system... but there are some other (pictured) species that might (don't get as big, aren't as active), like members of the genus Atrosalarias...> I fed green marine algae in the dried sheet form. I also fed brine shrimp and formula 1 for the other folks. I am not planning on putting another one in but would like to figure out what happened. Thanks much! <Well done my friend. Bob Fenner>

Blenny nipping fins Hi. <greetings> I have a lawnmower blenny that has nipped off the majority of my yellow tangs fins.  <they are territorial although not usually to this extent> he doesn't do this to any of the other fish. He is well fed with algae and has plenty of rockwork in a 120 gal.  <indeed, it has nothing to do with feeding, but rather aggression> If you have any tricks please pass them on. <they most likely need to be separated. Anthony>

Name this fish? :) WWM Group- We bought a fish at the LFS quite a while ago, we'd never seen the type before but decided to give it a try. The owner didn't know the name, he thought it was a blenny of some sort, and had put one in his tank successfully. We called him the Blue Dragon Blenny. He disappeared recently and we want to get another one. He had quite a personality. He was a grayish-blue with antennas, he looks similar to the Black Sailfin Blenny picture on flying fish express. He was about 4 inches long but we don't know if he was an adult. He perched, often pushing our hawk out of his favorite spots, he was also quite the algae eater. We know this is probably a lost cause but thanks for anything at all. <Hopefully this is one of the several hundred possible blennies that is commonly collected. I'll guess it's an Atrosalarias fuscus (come in different colors). Please see on our root web here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm Is this the animal? Bob Fenner> Thanks- Elaine

Algae Blenny I have a 20gal. with lots of algae on my rocks (mostly green hair). I bought an algae blenny but I don't think he is getting enough to eat. I see him pick at the rocks all day but still seems under fed. <<The chances are that you just don't have enough... these fish typically need about a 60g tank to keep them healthy.>> Is there any other food I can feed him? <<Not really besides live rock with algae on it. Please do read the following URL and FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm>> Shaun Nelson <<Cheers, J -- >>

2 Lawnmower Blennies in same tank. Two weeks ago I purchased a Lawnmower/algae blenny. I acclimated the fish and put him in my 120G. He seemed happy. The next day I could not find him. The whole week went and I still could not find him. I took a flashlight and checked the rock, the overflows, and the sump. No fish. Assuming (key word here) that the fish was gone I purchased another blenny the next weekend. This (the new) blenny has been happy in the reef for the last week. He is doing fine after a week and I see him in the main tank. Last night while watching the tank I saw something in one of the overflow. Guess who !!! Yep, lawnmower #1. <Mmm, lucky... on both your parts> Can I have two of these guys in the main 120G tank? <Maybe not... this is a great fish to watch underwater in the wild (and in fish tanks!)... constantly harvesting the area about it... aware and chasing, being chased by other Atrosalarias fuscus (and often other wanna-be algae eaters) in "its" territory which can be a square meter to a few square meters (depending principally on size of the individuals, availability of foodstuffs)> LOVE the site - keep up the good work! <Will endeavor to do so. Thank you, Bob Fenner>  Andrew Culross
Re: 2 Lawnmower Blennies in same tank.
"Maybe Not" - Don't have a good feeling about this. I have another 29G tank in the basement. Would you put him there or risk the 2 of them in the 120 with plenty of foodstuff (at the moment)? <Well... my "stock" response is that this species "needs" about a sixty gallon system to support one individual... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trublennies.htm and the linked FAQs beyond... if your 29 has a bunch of algal growth on a bunch (love that term) of live rock... and the specimen is smallish... will likely do. Make sure the tank cover has no holes large enough for the animal to launch itself out of. Bob Fenner>
Re: 2 Lawnmower Blennies in same tank.
No LR in the 29G. Some algae growth. I realize all individuals are different but I'm trying to make an informed choice here. If I put him in the 120G there will be no chance of retrieving him. Do, in general - in your experience, lawnmower get along or fight? <They almost always fight... unless there is sufficient space, food, hiding/visual get-away places... If there is not a real need for another, tolerance of angst on your part, I'd trade the one in. Bob Fenner> Thank you.

Ailing Lawnmower Blenny Good morning one and all. I have a quick question regarding my Lawnmower Blenny. He started off looking good and fat and is now slowly becoming more thin. There is still a predominance of hair algae in the tank that he takes no notice off but instead tries to eat the glass of the tank. What supplements can I give him in order to get him fat and healthy again? He ignores the Nori and the Dulse that I use to feed the tang. <Very bad sign> All tank parameters are great and everyone else is healthy, the corals are flourishing. Now I just need to get him back up to speed. Any suggestions would be great. Cheers. Julian Hunt <Of the major categories of probable cause here I'd discount bullying, environmental pollution effects... and suggest that "something" internal is at play... gut blockage from swallowing "something", perhaps a developmental/genetic anomaly, more likely an internal parasite of some sort. You can either "wait this out" hoping the animal may spontaneously cure of its own (they get thin quite quickly, and can perish in days to weeks w/o food), or try force-feeding the Blenny with an anti-parasitic compound or mix (I suggest food laced with Metronidazole)... in a quarantine system. Bob Fenner>

Blenny Not Eating Hello WWM crew. <Hi there! Scott F. here> I've had an algae blenny for about 6 months now and he's been doing fine up to about a month ago when the tank started being dominated by red hair algae. The Blenny stopped eating and he is so thin now that I'm afraid he will die any day now. <Well- two things: First, you need to review water conditions. Usually, red algae are indicative of high nutrient loads. Do check water chemistry, review husbandry procedures (water changes, skimming, and feeding habits), and take action to eliminate the root cause of the outbreak. Second- if the red algae is of the "Cyanobacteria" variety (more slimy than hairy), there is always the chance that the fish is suffering from toxins (these algae can be toxic to fishes if ingested) as a result of eating the algae. This is a very remote possibility-but it could happen. A better possibility is that some of the same water conditions that are resulting in an algae outbreak are causing this fish to suffer. Check them regularly!> The odd part is that there is still some algae on the glass but he isn't going after it. I see him swimming around the glass like he is looking for some algae to suck on but he never does. What can I do to help him since he doesn't seem to go for the formula 2, blood worms or brine shrimp that I feed the other fish? <Well- depending on the species that you have, they are not exclusively algae consumers, so your idea to try other foods is a good one. I'd keep trying targeted feeding of a variety of food items. I'd even try enriched brine shrimp. Although much maligned, brine shrimp might serve as a stimulant to get this guy eating again. Keep trying, observe the fish carefully for any outward signs of illness, and take any corrective actions that are necessary. hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Re: Blenny not eating
Hello,  I may have some help for the person with the Lawnmower blenny that's not eating.  Every time I feed my Niger trigger and my blue spot goby in my 60 gallon acrylic sump SERA brand Marin tablets, my Lawnmower blenny goes crazy trying to find it and will eat as much of it as it can, but the Lawnmower blenny in our main tank won't even touch the stuff.  Eating anything other than algae is very strange for Lawnmower blennies as far as I have ever seen.  Mine must be the exception.  This might help.  Jeff <Thank you for this. Will post in the hopes that the person with the non-feeding blenny will see... and that others will benefit from your shared observation. Bob Fenner>

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