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FAQs on the Combtooth Blennies 2

Related Articles: True or Combtooth Blennies, Algae Eating Blennies, Ecsenius Blennies Tube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,

Related FAQs:  Combtooth Blennies 1, Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Blenny Reproduction, Algae-eating Blennies, Ecsenius BlenniesSaber-Tooth Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives, Tube/Pike/Flag Blennies/Chaenopsidae,

Exallias brevis (Kner 1868), Leopard Blenny. A coral polyp feeder.

Tail Spot Blenny, gen. care  11/23/08 Hi Crew!!! <Michael.> Thank you so much for your recent information on the Striped Fang Blenny!! <Not myself, but welcome from the crew!> It should be arriving tomorrow and will be in QT for a couple of weeks. This will give me a chance to remove the Strawberry Pseudochromis, even if I must break down and remove live rock to do so...lol. Now I need advice on another fish. So my girlfriend has recently fallen in love with the Tail Spot Blenny, Ecsenius stigmatura, and is wanting to set up a Nano to house one. <A gorgeous fish.> I've been trying to learn about this particular fish but am having trouble finding any recent information. Google results are mostly several years old, as is information I'm able to find on a few forums. What can you tell me about this cute lil' guy? Natural Habitat, diet, compatibility issues it may have and such? <The few that I have seen around originate from the Philippines as far as I am aware. They will eat/pick off the rock and prepared foods too in most cases. As for compatibility they do tend to chase similar shaped, looking fish such as gobies or Firefish. Pretty much the same info as a Ecsenius bicolor, see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ecseniusblennies1.htm> Thanks so much for any information you can supply!! Sincerely, Michael <Welcome, enjoy the fish. Scott V.>

Bicolour Blenny Behaviour -11/02/08 Hello, <<Hiya Jess>> Emailing in regarding my Bicolour Blenny's behaviour. I've had my 40 gallon tank for nearly a year now, and at the moment I have a pair of Ocellaris Clowns, the Bicolour Blenny, a piece of Frogspawn coral and something like 10 individual soft polyps on the live rock, a stressed out BTA and heaps of annoying bristleworms. <<The Frogspawn is likely malaffecting the Anemone in this small volume and generally, Bristleworms are viewed as beneficial>> Everything in the tank has been in there for at least 6 months, and we had quite a nice setup going, until we moved house. <<Ah>> When we moved we took EVERYTHING out of the tank into buckets to transport it, freshwater dipped all the live rock to try and get rid of some bristle worms, <<Mmm?...you probably severely damaged the bacteria/beneficial and desirable biota on and within the rock when you did this. If you haven't yet, do read up on our FAQs and articles regarding Bristle/Polychaete worms. And if they are truly in plague proportions, you will also find differing methods of dealing with them. You can get started here, and then follow the blue links at the tops of the pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bristlewrmfaqs.htm >> and unfortunately managed to dip the Blenny too, as he was hiding in one of the rocks! <<Mmm?>> Hosed out the substrate (a mix of sand and calcium carbonate recommended to us by LFS) to get rid of some nasty red algae and worms, and cleaned the glass of all the algae (something I realize now was a bad idea as my blenny was eating it and regular marine flake food, I thought he'd be fine until it grew back). <<Indeed, ?not to mention more destruction of this system bio-filter/ability to support life with the sand "cleaning" you describe>> After moving the tank seems to have gone back to its previous condition, <<With time?>> the Clowns and corals are all flourishing, but the anemone has shrunk and the Blenny, instead of perching on the rock, hiding and dashing to the top of the tank for food, has those stress spots on him all the time, and is swimming around the tank everywhere now, and even swims over to the clowns. <<The Anemone may be suffering from less than ideal/unbalanced tank conditions created by the destruction of the biological filtering capacity of the system when you dipped the rock and rinsed the substrate (have you done any water testing since putting all back together?)?and the Blenny may well have been irreversibly damaged by what was likely a less then ideal freshwater dip with the rock>> At first we thought it was great that the Blenny had come out of hiding, but he also seems to be VERY stressed and spends a lot of his time out in the open at the bottom of the tank, just sitting there with really obvious spots. My question is what could be causing his changed behaviour, and should we be worried. <<All the previous and not much to do now but wait to see if this fish recovers>> He looks very unhappy and the clowns are starting to pick on him. <<This will only worsen things and speed the Blenny's demise. Perhaps you have a hospital/quarantine system you can move the Blenny to?>> I've searched the site and can't find much to do with this. Thanks, Jess <<Not much to be done here the damage is done as explained. This system needs time to recover its beneficial biota and return to balance (a piece of fresh rock or some substrate from the LFS/another healthy system will help re)?and the Blenny needs time and safety from aggressive tankmates to recover as well if it ever will. Regards, EricR>>

Red Spotted Blenny 3/29/08 Hello there WWM Crew! <Hello there.> I recently purchased a Red Spotted Blenny (also known as the Orange-Spotted Blenny or the Redspotted Rock Skipper.) I believe you would know what fish I'm referring to. < Istiblennius chrysospilos I believe.> I bought him/her to control the algae growth in my tank since a lot of it was growing. I was planning to get a regular Algae Blenny but once I saw him I thought he would be a more interesting addition. The fish store told me that he was basically the same as the regular Blenny but I never really fully trust the LFS. I would just like to know any info. you could give to me about this fish. It's in a 45 gallon tank with an Orange Line Chromis. I plan on adding a few more fish to this tank so, if you could, give me some ideas on compatibility with this fish. <These are fairly easy going fish, they generally will not bother anything but other blennies.> All the tank's parameters are perfect. Thanks for any help and good day to you. <For more information on this fish throw Istiblennius chrysospilos into your search engine. You will find a wealth of information regarding this fish. Welcome, Scott V.>

Vietnamese Blenny?  8/31/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> You guys have an awesome site that has helped a ton in the past and I'm sure will help more in the future. <Thank you very much!> Lately I've been hearing a lot about a new brackish fish called the Vietnamese blenny and actually we just got two at the shop I work at and it appears to be a neat fish. It's a brown color with some lighter stripes, and appears to be very similar to the algae blenny's, although I have not had much chance to observe them yet. My question is, as I have not been able to find it anywhere on the net or in any of the books.  Could you help me locate the scientific name of this fish so I can get more info on them. <I have never heard of any BW blenny's.  I think this is probably a SW fish that has been unfairly acclimated to BW.  It probably belongs in SW.  Look through the SW section of WWM site for the ID. ~PP> Thank you very much in advance, Kyle Woekel. 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<<< Blennies 9/28/04 I have a 65g, 100#LR, DSB in main tank and 20L sump/fuge.  I like fish so I want to have as many as would thrive in this environment and also be reef safe as I plan to add leathers, mushrooms, Ricordea & zoanthids gradually over time. <You mean there is still room in the tank with all of that rock? Hee hee.> I've read and read and read, but haven't found an answer to my specific question.  I love blennies - I have a local caught pair of crested blennies (Hypleurochilus geminatus) that I've had about a 1 1/2 years.  (previously I had a pair for 7 years that I lost in a move). If I later want to add a mandarin goby or a canary or forktail blenny will I have compatibility problems?  I also plan to have a royal Gramma, 2 pajama cardinals, and a pair of true clown fish.  Would this be too many for my tank?  Any suggestions would be appreciated. <The total sounds like quite a few fish, especially since the Royal Gramma may be a bit belligerent in such small quarters.  The grammas and the forktail and canary are jumping risks also, especially if things get a bit heated.  I don't know much, nor could I find much info on crested blennies, so I am sorry that I can't help you there.  Best Regards.  Adam>

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> Tiger Blenny Hi Guys, <Hi Megan, MikeD here> I've recently purchased a Tiger Blenny from my local aquarium (am in Australia) - but can't find out anything about him!!! The most I have found is a picture, but no useful information! I thought you guys would have a vast information base, so here I am! Any links, info you have would be greatly appreciated.<This one is extremely tricky do to the fact that often each species has many common or "trade" names, made more confusing by the fact that this often changes from locality to locality and new trade names are regularly introduced by ambitions marketers looking for a new angle.  If you found a photo, my suggestion is to look carefully at same and see if there's  genus/species info (the Latin or Greek terms) attached and do a further search on that basis.  While a few members of the family are vegetarians, the vast majority are predators or omnivores so you'd probably be safe increasing the protein in it's diet with shrimp, squid, and crustacean foods (I use the local supermarket preferentially over the LFS with excellent results)> Thanks very much, Megan Whall

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.>

Red Lip Blenny Quarantine Hello All, <Hi! Mike D here> Just purchased a red lipped blenny and have placed him/her into quarantine.<OK>  From what I have read these fish require live rock and micro algae for fish nirvana.<For starts. There are many different blenny species and each has its own particular requirements with no safe "general" rule that's going to work.>  I have this in my 80 gal. display.<Question: is this a reef display w/many corals or a FOWLR set up?>  The quarantine is bare except for a couple of PVC fittings.  What to do for food in the interim of approx. three to four weeks???<Feed it? **grin**>  Don't know if this guy will go for flake or pelletized food which is what I have on hand.<Here's problem #1.  While it MAY eat either of these, some algal food AND some fresh meaty foods are also suggested. Redlips are NOT 100% vegetarian and consume small shrimp and such in the wild, along with various plant materials.>  Appreciate your thoughts in this regard.  I presume that if I can't get him to eat after a few day a transfer to the display is in order as opposed to a starved/starving fish??<Yes and no. True, starving fish tend to break down and become infested/infected easily, but this can happen in a display tank just as easily. I suspect you were told a Redlip is a non-aggressive vegetarian and NEITHER is correct.>  Second question.  From what I have read the recommended photo period is 12 hours on, 12 hours off.  I was wondering if there is any particularly desirable on/off time or is this purely at the discretion of the fishkeeper?<That, again, is dependent on whether it's a reef set up or FOWLR set up, as the corals are usually light dependent, whereas fish and other inverts often could care less if it's the latter and it becomes a discretionary thing.>  Thanx for your input! and continue to  keep up the great work.<You're welcome and we try.>

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 Chromises 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 gonna 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 turbo's 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.>

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>

A Glance is a Flash is a Bounce >Our purple and orange bi-color blenny has suddenly started "bouncing" in the sand early in the morning when I get ready to feed him and his tankmates.  I read an earlier post about a blenny "playing"  in the sand or appearing to be scratching and don't know if this is the same behavior.  The blenny hits the sand while simultaneously twisting his body several times in a row.  This has gone on for three days in a row now.  Otherwise, he is eating well, hanging out in his favorite holes and swimming. Thanks. >>Well, it's good to know that they're otherwise healthy, however, what you're describing sounds for all the world like what is known as "glancing" or "flashing".  This is almost ALWAYS associated with parasitic infection, so my advice is to WATCH closely and have a hospital tank ready for emergent treatment.  Marina Glenda Schill

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 Office: 202-357-3305 Fax: 202-357-2986 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

Blennies Hi I'm thinking of getting a bicolor blenny. I already have 2 percula clowns in my 26gal bowfront. Do you think this choice would be wise. If not can you tell me what blenny I could put in there. <A bicolor blenny should be fine in this aquarium, but after this fish I would not add any more, good luck, IanB>                                               Thanks - 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>

The Best-Laid Plans... Scott, <Hello, again!> I thought I would update you on my experience with these fish.  I purchased an apparently healthy Midas blenny today, and added him to the tank. It had been at the LFS for 2 weeks. <Oops! Remember to quarantine for at least 3 weeks next time- even for an apparently healthy fish, okay? We'll let it slide this time, though, okay? LOL> He immediately scurried into a hole in the rock, as expected.  However, when he came out several hours later, he was incessantly attacked by the A. Fuscus, which apparently had not initially noticed him. <A bit of chasing is to be expected upon introduction, but outright war is contrary to my experiences!> After watching the attack for several hours, during which the fish were very active and incessantly aggressive, I attempted to catch either fish. With a tank full of SPS frags and plenty of irregularly shaped live rock I could not catch either fish until the Midas blenny swam into my open hand gasping for breath. <Yuck> It has just died in the sump. The A. fuscus has a nice chunk missing from directly between his eyes, but otherwise looks OK. <Hopefully, it will heal...An awful experience, though. Sorry it happened, and frankly- I'm quite surprised. Some chasing is to be expected with these guys, but I have seen and kept such combinations many times, without any incident. It just goes to show you that nothing is for certain. I really feel bad for the fish- and for you!> I realize that is difficult to predict the reactions of fish, so I don't want you to misinterpret this email.  I am not upset with you for the advice you gave, I simply want to add my experience to your knowledge to possibly prevent this from happening to another person. <I appreciate that. Frankly, I do feel bad that such an event happened, though! I have not experienced this problem before! I guess this is a good time to review once again what we all know, for the benefit of all of our WWM readers: One individual's good (or bad!) experience (or even one hundred individual's good or bad experiences) doesn't mean that things will always work out (or not work out) for others. You're so right that it's hard to predict what animals will or will not do. We looked at a situation that could have-should have-worked out, has for me and for others...But it didn't. A horrible experience, and a dear price, but I guess that if it adds to the body of knowledge of the animals in question, it was not a total waste. The bottom line is that an animal died needlessly, and for that, I am truly sorry. It goes to show you that the best anyone can do when rendering advice is to speak from their own experiences (which is exactly what we do at WWM). My experience, or anyone else's- can and should not be taken as "the last word" on anything, although I would have made the same call on this one today. There is no substitute for "going with your gut feeling" on some things, especially when considering, as you have pointed out- the element of uncertainty that arises when you're talking about living creatures. The only "sure thing" is that nothing is certain!> I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to advise me on these fish, Thanks, Gusty <My pleasure, Gusty. Thanks for sharing this experience with others. Keep a positive attitude, and write us again any time! 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>

Blenny and mandarin fish compatibility Are the red lipped blenny and the mandarin fish dragonet compatible in a 46 gallon reef tank? <Red lipped blenny's can be aggressive towards fish smaller than themselves. I would give you a 50-50% chance with this mix. Do keep in mind that Mandarinfish have very strict diets...eat small crustaceans. Good Luck, IanB>

Blennies (6/24/03) <Hey! You got Cody today!> Hello.   Is there a blenny that is hardier than others?<I like the Midas and Redlip blennies as far as hardiness goes.  Cody>

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>

Jumping Blennies and Nasty Little Shrimp! Hi Crew, <Scott F. with you today> I was hoping you could help me out with a couple of things. <Sure> Let me begin, The Tank is about 8-9 months old. Spg 1.025 Temp 25-26.5 pH 8.0 - 8.2 (Red Sea) KH 11 (but cannot keep it @ this - Aquarium Pharm) Ca 375ppm (Salifert) Mg Approx 1250ppm (Salifert) PO4 < 0.25 mg/L (Hagen - lousy test kit) Ammonia 0 Nitrite     0 Nitrate      < 5ppm Tank: 30gal (36" X 12" X 16") Filtration & Circulation: Eheim 2213 Canister Filter running RowaPhos every 2 weeks and PolyFilter every other 2 weeks Seaclone Skimmer (drat! should have read WetWebMedia before hand) produces 1/2 a cup every week (terrible!) x3 Eheim 150gph powerheads for circulation Lighting: x4 NO Fluorescents in rain gutter hood with reflectors (12 hours a day) 1.)The other morning while I was getting dressed for work & watching the tank, I saw my Midas Blenny come swimming up to the front of the tank.  Then behind it I saw my Peppermint Shrimp chasing it.  The Peppermint Shrimp grabbed the poor fish by the tail and dragged him under the rockwork.  Sad to say, by the time I got my hand in the tank to rescue the blenny he was already dead.  I have since taken the Peppermint Shrimp back to the LFS.  The question I have is, is this normal behaviour for a Peppermint Shrimp?  My LFS told me the shrimp was probably starving, however, I have had it in there for about 1/2 a year and he eats whatever I put in the tank (good appetite - he was pig).  Another thing is not to long after I put him in the tank, my 3 mushroom colonies began to melt away (red, blue & green variety).  I have read up on WetWebMedia about Camel-Back Shrimps, and I am pretty sure he was not one of them.  Have you ever come across this behaviour before? <I have not personally experienced this with peppermint shrimp (I have with other species, however), but I have seen several friends' tanks who have...It is entirely possible that the shrimp has taken a turn to the "dark side" and become aggressive and destructive...And, I would not rule out the possibility that you have the more destructive variety...There are ways of determining the difference, so do study this, and carefully evaluate potential shrimp purchases in the future> 2.)The second question I have is.  I have begun dosing Seachem Reef Calcium to enhance my coralline algae growth, however. I still have a fair amount of hair algae in the tank.  Do you think I should stop using this until my algae subsides as I read this form of organic calcium can fuel algae growth.  I just want to out compete the problem algae with coralline. <Well, calcium gluconate (the kind of calcium that Reef Calcium is comprised of) has been "implicated" as a contributor to nuisance algae growth by some, but I think that this is overstated, and in the presence of proper nutrient export techniques (i.e.; good water change habits, aggressive protein skimming, and use of chemical media, such as Poly Filter or activated carbon), it is not a huge factor...Revisit your basic husbandry techniques, refine them accordingly, and you should be able to use this stuff without excessive nuisance algae growths. Work that skimmer hard, and keep at those small, frequent water changes, and you'll be fine> 3.)My 2nd Midas Blenny (only 2 days in the tank) jumped out the tank last night.  Luckily, my girlfriend awoke to some slapping noise, found the fish still alive and quickly put him back in the tank.  Do Midas Blenny's normally jump out the water? <Well, just about any fish can do that, unfortunately-for many different reasons. I have a Hawaiian Flame Wrasse male that "catches air" with amazing regularity...If this becomes a problem for you, you should consider egg crate or other material to serve as a barrier to keep this fish in the tank where he belongs, so as not to become "reef jerky"!> 4.)My tank evaporates about 500ml of water a day. Currently, I am adding Reef Builder to the top off water one day and then Reef Adv Calcium/Reef Calcium every other day as I top off daily (based on my tests).  My levels all test about right.  Do you think that this is a decent regime? <Well, it's important to buffer and add calcium to the tank as per the levels needed. In other words, determine your tank's approximate daily consumption of calcium and buffer based on your testing (which you are doing), and dose it regularly, regardless of how much top off you are doing...You don't want to be at the mercy of your tank's evaporation level to determine how much calcium or buffer that you should add...I think that your regimen is fine...but keep that little thought in mind when using additives...In the end, though, I like your consistent regimen. It  is better than a sporadic and random one...> Thank you very much for all you help, support and knowledge!!!  It is so very much appreciated!!! Many Thanks & Kind Regards, Karl McNally (from the UK) <Your welcome, Karl...Sounds like your tank is doing just fine! Keep up the good work, and be sure to share our experiences with others! Regards, Scott F>

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

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