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FAQs on the Sabertooth Blennies

Related Articles: Sabretooth Blennies, True or Combtooth Blennies, Ecsenius Blennies,

Related FAQs: True Blennies, Combtooth Blennies 2, Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Blenny Reproduction, Algae-eating Blennies, Ecsenius Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives,

A Plagiotremus goslinei in Hawai'i.

Which Fang blenny, if any?       10/12/19
Hi crew! I have the rare opportunity (at least where I live) to purchase captive bred Fang blennies, specifically Meiacanthus grammistes and/or Meiacanthus nigrolineatus.
I have been reading your site and others about them all day but still not convinced if they would be compatible in my aquarium or not.
My main question is, if they did happen to bite another fish in defence, what would happen to the fish they bit? I don't have any predatory fish but a few of my bigger fish can be a little boisterous and cranky at times (mainly Bristletooth tangs).
<These Grammistes blennies generally get along w/ all fish tankmates, using their fanged teeth to bite back challengers mostly>
Also, if it turns out not to be an issue, would you have a preference of one over the other?
<Mmm; I find both attractive>
Is one less aggressive, less poisonous etc. I love the look of both so any help in deciding which to get would be great.
By the way, just for a little background, my tank is 150 gallons with a ~30 gallon sump housing 3 different Bristletooth tangs, 2 different watchman gobies, 3 different plump dragonettes, a yellow wrasse, maroon clown, clarkii clown, starry blenny, pair of coral beauty angels, azure damsel, 2 Banggai cardinals, royal Gramma, cleaner shrimp, pistol shrimp, urchins, hermits etc. Please advise if you see any other compatibility issues between a Fangtooth blenny and my current stock.
<All these should coexist here>
Thanks in advance for your time and info!
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Which Fang blenny, if any?     10/14/19

Thanks for the reply. In the very rare chance the blenny did happen to bite
one of my fish in defence, would my fish die?
<Some small chance; about as likely as perishing from swimming into something, physical trauma in the tank. B>

Striped Fang Blenny and Invertebrates       2/10/19
Hi Team,
<Hey Callum>
Hope you’re all well.
<Most all; yes; thank you>
I recently added a Striped Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus grammistes) to my 34 gallon reef tank which includes a Blue Green Chromis and various invertebrates including snails and a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. I was very surprised when at feeding time I saw him deliver a powerful bite to one of my Nassarius snails who was climbing up the glass at the time.
<Ah yes... mimic blennies as a whole are given to such "trialing" of many invertebrates>
Needless to say the snail went into shock but seems ok. I was under the impression these fish were completely reef safe?
<Mmm; do leave "corals" alone>
I am now concerned for the safety of my Skunk Cleaner Shrimp as these are very expensive to buy here in Australia!
<Mmm; might go after this/it if very hungry, or if the shrimp is molting, not able to hide>
Do you have any experience of these fish going after snails/inverts? I don’t know whether I should take him back to the store.
Many thanks,
<Well; you'll have to decide... whether some/the risk is worth having the fish.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Striped Fang Blenny and Invertebrates      2/11/19

Thank you for the fast reply! I’ll watch the blenny closely over the next few days before making my decision.
<Ah; real good>
Many thanks,
<W. B.>
Re: Striped Fang Blenny and Invertebrates; now foods, feeding       3/5/19

Hi Bob,
<Howdy Callum>
I emailed a while back regarding my Striped Fang Blenny who was biting my resident snail population. Thank you for your advice, I have been keeping him well fed and have had no issues since.
<Ah, good>
However, something odd happened after I successfully weaned the blenny on to high quality Dainichi & Spectrum pellet foods. He now shows little interest in the foods he once devoured, like garlic enhanced frozen Mysis, Brine Shrimp and live Black Worms! Yet once I add the pellets he goes crazy for them and even out-competes my gutsy Green Chromis. I just thought I would share this as I’ve never come across a fish that almost shuns frozen food (he stills eats some) in favour of dry foods.
<Some have exceptional gustatory preference... Like children's cereal eh?>
I suppose it may not be a bad problem to have but I will work on getting him to eat more frozen
offerings. If you have any insight into this I would love to hear from you.
<High quality dried, pelleted foods of complete nutrition are fine as a staple diet>
Many thanks,
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>

Blenny compatibility     7/18/18
Hi Crew!
<Morning, Earl C. here.>
Simple question today, I know that some conspecifics shouldn’t be housed together but is a Tailspot and a fang blenny an exception? I have a 28 gallon with a Tailspot but always liked fang blennies too—lots of personality.
<I agree that blennies in general are interesting customers and underrated (in my opinion). You answered your own question here though. I would not risk this, certainly not in a tank of that size. In a larger tank (say 75g and up) I'd think about it particularly if one had not already settled in too much. In a 28 gallon, I definitely cannot advise it.>
I tried to look up compatibility but not much info available. I’m not sure they look different enough and would be open to being in different parts of rockwork or if it just wouldn’t work out and hence the lack of info. Hope you all are having an awesome week!
<You are thinking along the right lines (territory/rockwork/tank size) but there are too many other choices out there to risk the kind of "fish drama" you'll probably get.>
<Hope this help! -EC>

Re: Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add?... Actually now adding Meiacanthus grammistes     4/2/18
Hello again.
This is kind of an update with an additional compatibility question. I still haven't got any fish in the tank. I had a cherub angel in QT for 3 weeks, looking great and healthy, but on the 22nd day I found it dead under a rock (probably due to heater problem, water was cold). I need to take a kind of long drive to get another one and haven't had time to do it, but in
the meantime, I kind of made an impulse buy at a closer place (I never make fish impulse buys, so I'm not sure what got into me). I would like to know what you think about putting it with the cherub angel and the orchid Dottyback. It is a striped Combtooth blenny, Meiacanthus grammistes, looks about 2" in size (hopefully, it will grow very slowly, since the max size
of 5" is kind of big). I have never had a blenny before, and was not planning on getting one, but now it is here. It is just in the QT, and I don't have the other fish yet, so it's not too late to change my mind either about it or about my other livestock plans. Your advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
<Mmm; actually; isn't your question about adding a/the Meiacanthus grammistes here? And the genus, are not Combtooth, but Fangtooth Blennies... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm
In your prev. msg.s you mention this is a fifty gallon system. All should be fine here together. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add? Not, Fangblenny comp.        4/3/18

The numerous internet articles and blurbs I have read all say it is a Combtooth species.
<Please see WWM, Nelson's Fishes of the World, FisBase.org... this IS a Combtooth blenny, but more particularly a Sabertooth Blenny; a sub-grouping of use. >
The shop only had the scientific name on it, so that is what I researched before purchase, since I had no idea that some of the common names have the word "fang" in them.
<Ah, yes>
Common names based on non-scientific visual descriptions are sometimes so confusing, and at least in the case of certain dragonets, have probably contributed to thousands of deaths. I would rather make up my own names.
<Well stated. Bob Fenner>

Caring for a blind fish    1/8/17
<Hey Eric>
Happy New Year to you. My fang tooth blenny had a run in with a Bristleworm and unfortunately his eye is in bad shape. Its totally cloudy and puffy. Unfortunately it only had one eye so this is a very bad injury. Since the fish cant see I was able to get it out of the main tank and into a QT tank and am treating with erythromycin hoping it will help
some. I am assuming that the eye is probably gone but am holding out some hope that it may heal to a degree. Can a blind fish actually find food?
<Yes it can... particularly foods that move and have odor... and better in smaller volumes of course... for finding>
I don't think it will be able to compete in my 180 with all the other fish so worst case i can setup a nano tank for it. Would I just be wasting time though?
<I think you have a good idea here. I would move the fish to a nano. Bob Fenner>

Meiacanthus diet - competition with mandarin?     2/10/17
Hi Bob,
<Hey Nick>
Hope you are well?
<Middling, thank you>
I've been thinking about adding a captive-bred Meiacanthus grammistes to my 90g reef and was hoping to get your advice re compatibility. My tank is 90 US G with 100lb of rock and Chaeto fuge in sump and my fish stock consists of 1 x coral beauty, 1 x green mandarin, 2 x Banggai cardinal & 2 x ocellaris clowns, all captive-bred.
I have read through your FAQ's and pretty much every other article/forum post I can find online and the consensus seems to be that fish Meiacanthus spp have a fairly broad diet including zooplankton and algae and that they spend a great deal of time hunting amphipods & isopods.
<This is so; and the genus is quite aquarium-hardy, captive bred ones more so, and easier-going>
With that in mind I was hoping to get your thoughts on compatibility of M. grammistes with a green mandarin, do you think it’s likely the blenny would outcompete a mandarin in my setup?
<Mmm; in a "healthy", well-set up and maintained ninety gallon... I give you good odds that they'll coexist>
I add copepods every fortnight at the moment (Tigriopus californicus) which keep the mandarin happy. He is captive-bred and does occasionally pick at pellets/frozen but pods form the bulk of his diet so I would not want to add anything that would jeopardize his wellbeing.
<Understood. I would use other foods... to "fill up" the other fishes, in advance of adding the Copepods>>
Also in terms of stocking order do you think adding the blenny with the established coral beauty would be a cause for concern?
<Not a concern>
I have had the angel for 6 weeks, it is captive bred and still tiny (5cm) and whilst not noticeably aggressive is very much the boldest fish in the tank.
I was also intending to add a Fridmani Dottyback as a final fish so would be interested to get your thoughts on compatibility between the blenny and Dottyback?
<Again; I do think these will get along here>
It has crossed my mind that there may be some aggression as they have a fairly similar shape & habits, and also that adding both might be a bit too much pressure on the pod population so my fall back would be to just add the Fridmani and skip the blenny.
Also by way of an update I'm happy to report that since my previous aquarium related trials you advised me on (Diodogorgia feeding & subsequent ReefPlus overdose, and the Eunice worm!) all is still going well in my tank thus far, the gorgonians are still looking good with 3-5 feedings per week and all my others corals & inverts survived the ordeal with the exception of a few unfortunate Trochus snails.
<Ah, good>
Thanks once again
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Striped blennies; stock/sel.      10/27/15
Hey Bob, I've been told that a good alternative to keeping multiple Chromis/damsels are striped (fanged) blennies? I was thinking maybe 3 in my 180.?
<Some get along better than others.... Where are you going to read, and when? B>
Re: Striped blennies     10/27/15

How do you know that I haven't been reading?
<Heeee! Strong intuition?>
The fact is I have been reading all morning about this on WWM and various other sources.
<Ah good>
I had not found specific information on WWM that answered my question about the species provided, which is why I kindly asked for your opinion. Sorry if I disturbed you...
<Mmm; no problem. Did you see pix.... on WWM, elsewhere... showing more than one specimen of a given species together? Some get along (Meiacanthus) at times; others rarely (Plagiotremus).... Study/Steady ON! B>
Re: Striped blennies     10/27/15

Pictures? Yes, under "Saber-Toothed Blennies" there is a picture of 2 striped blennies together which is what ultimately led me to ask. Trust me, I haven't stopped reading during the 6 years I've been in the hobby, and will never stop. :)
I always find out what I can before writing you. I so very much appreciate and trust your opinion. I would never waste your time intentionally or out of laziness.
Thanks buddy, have a great day!
<And you Jay. B>

Mimic blenny or black lined fang blenny
Hi Bob,
Hope all is well and I just want to thank you for all the information you provide. I just purchased a red sea mimic blenny from the lfs (which told me strongly it is a mimic blenny)
<Ecsenius gravieri? Don't think so>
. In my opinion it looks like a black lined fang blenny by the mouth.
< Meiacanthus nigrolineatus? Yes>
My experience with this fish is that the mouth shape is similar to a Tailspot or bicolor blenny. Enclosed is a picture of him. Is he a true mimic blenny or a good looking black lined fang blenny? Thank you again.
<The latter I believe. Bob Fenner>

Meiacanthus oualanensis, hlth.     3/15/13
Hi crew! Two days ago I put a Meiacanthus oualanensis in a QT.  At first he was swimming out in the open.
Now he's hiding in the PVC.
<To be expected>
 He also has not eaten.
 I've offered Mysis, Spectrum pellets and Rod's.
After much research on WWM I've read they can come with intestinal parasites.
<Sometimes... of consequence>
My question is should I put him in the main tank or wait it out in the QT? 
Bob has told me in the past he does not recommend QT for Blennioids but I am very nervous since I just went through a bout of Ich.  Thanks, Jennifer
<I would expedite this fish from QT to your main display Jen... as you state... Not likely to be negative consequence compared w/ waiting. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Meiacanthus oualanensis    3/15/13

Ah Mr. Fenner...hope this day finds you well.  I will expedite him to the main. He has come out since I've been in the room rearranging and cleaning up but nonetheless he is going to his new home. Hopefully he will eat in there.  Thank you kind sir for all of your time and knowledge:) Jen
<A pleasure to share w/ you Jen. BobF>

An ID question from the Wet Web Media Forum - 11/30/2012
Hi crew!  Hope today finds you well.  We have a new member who has posted a picture, and asked for some ID help.  We have not been able to help after a couple days.  It seems that at least Bob enjoys this type of query, so I thought I would try to help the fellow out.  He reports the photo was taken while diving in Huahine lagoon, French Polynesia in early November.  It is 3 to 4 inches long and in about 5 feet of water.  I have cropped it to a smaller size.  Thanks for taking a look!
Matt Bowers (Muttley000)
<A member of the Plagiotremi... the fang-tooth blennies. Please see here:
Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner>

Fang Tooth Blenny Pairs, comp.      10/23/12
About 6 weeks ago I purchased a male/female pair of harptail blennies.
 I had them in quarantine for about four weeks and they were doing great together.  About 10 days ago I added them to my 125 display with much success.  They were doing great, following each other around, etc. 
yesterday I noticed the female going after the male, pinning it in the corner, and shredding his fins.
<More Mmmm... As far as I know there is no such thing as "pairs" of these fishes, Meiacanthus mossambicus. Maybe captive produced ones get along more than singly...>
 Today more of the same.  The female is more interested in attacking the male then swimming about the tank.  The male is still eating but can not leave the corner of the tank without the female coming after it.  Is this normal behavior and will it settle down?
  Should I try to relocate the male?
<Too "normal" to leave them together. Yes; I'd separate. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fang Tooth Blenny Pairs     10/23/12

Thanks Bob.  The pair is actually from ORA.
<Ahh, may well be captive-produced then. Have you contacted them re this incident?>
 Getting the benefit of working from home today I noticed the getting along fine this morning.  Swimming near each other no issues.  I wonder if the aggression may have something to do with the halides causing some type of reflection in the sides of the tank causing the blenny to think there is more than the 1 other in the tank?  Wishful thinking on my part?
<A plausible explanation from my point of view. Let's leave them in place and see if all settles down. Cheers, BobF>

Sick Black Line Blenny   7/10/12
I am hoping you can help.  My 4 year old blenny has been sick for the last two days and developed two tumor looking pimples on its body.
<I see one of these>
 One is in the picture and the other is on the other side of the fish next to its gill.  The fish is still picking on food but not eating as well as it has been.  It is also acting pretty lethargic kind of hanging out on one side of tank.  Does this look like anything you have seen before?
<Mmm, yes...>
 I am debating on whether or not to move the fish into my qt tank which currently is home to a flame and pygmy wrasse.  Obviously I would need to cut the quarantine a few weeks short for these guys, but all appears well with them.  Any ideas what or how to treat this?
<Either something it ran/swam into (my number one guess); like a Bristleworm, or very stinging Cnidarian, or some sort of subcutaneous growth due to infection... In both cases I wouldn't treat it with anything... Just provide good care and hope>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Black Line Blenny   7/10/12
Thanks Bob for the quick response.  Also wanted to mention although the fish's belly is fat the rest of the body looks like it is losing mass. 
Not sure if this is due to the lack of eating.  If things take a turn for the worse would you recommend a certain antibiotic?
<I would not>
  I have furan on hand if necessary.  As for now i will continue with Selcon soaked food and weekly water changes.

Re: Sick Black Line Blenny     7/12/12
Just wanted to let you know the blenny looks like it went head on with a Bristleworm.
<Ahh, my first guess>
 Not looking very good.  One if its eyes has become cloudy with a noticeable bristle sticking out the side.  I wanted to dose a bit of Epsom salt.  Is it safe to use in a full blown reef at 1 tsp per 10 gallons?
<It almost always is. B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12

Just wanted to give you an update.  The blenny looks like it is developing fin rot.  I am assuming the infection seems to have spread.  There is no way to get the fish out of the tank.  Are you familiar with Dr G's medicated foods? 
<A bit; second-hand>
The fish is still eating so I was thinking of feeding it this antibiotic laced food.
<Worth trying>
  Can I avoid damage to my reef which includes sps, clams, shrimps, lps corals?
<Yes; should be negligible effect on others listed. BobF>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12

Thanks Bob.  I have to try and track down the food since they only sell it in Florida.  I was thinking about trying something as well.  Can i gut load brine shrimp with Maracyn or furan?  Would this work also?
<Mmm, search WWM w/ the term "medicated food". B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny    7/15/12

I searched the site and could not find anything specific to gut loading brine with antibiotics.
<Mmm, okay... I would not do this... takes too long to be of use>
 I did some other research on Google and see people do this for seahorses.  I guess i will give it a shot tomorrow and see what happens.  Is furan 2 a good choice here or would Maracyn be a better alternative?  What would be the least detrimental to a reef system should any left over food end up in the tank and any inverts munching on the medicated brine?
<I would skip adding antibiotics period in this fashion. This fish will likely heal of its own accord. B>

Re: Sick Black Line Blenny; now Crypt on small Labrids in QT     7/18/12
I was able to get my hands on the Dr G's antibacterial food.  The fish in the tank are taking it down no problem.  It has only been 2 days and the fish is a lot more active.  No issues with the inverts either.  Here is the real problem now and I think your previous advice saved me from a disaster.
 My flame wrasse in qt has developed Ick. I am doing back flips literally that I did not jump the gun and put him in the display.  He is in the qt with a pygmy wrasse who also showed up with a few spots.  The wrasse is breathing heavy but still eating which is great.  My main question is how would you go about treating this?
<Likely a copper-based... >
 I have quinine sulfate on hand but have found it to be pretty hard on sensitive fish.  I have actually had bad experiences in the past using this on a flame wrasse before.  I also have Cupramine on hand.
<I would use this>
 Do you think flame wrasse would be to sensitive to Cupramine? 
<Yes; but less than other treatments>
My last option is hyposalinity which does not work in my opinion.  It is more of a suppressor treatment than an eliminator.  I was however trying to get my hands on quinine phosphate which I read is a lot more effective and easy on the fish.
<This is so, usually>
 The problem is I can only get it in a Kilo.
<Good gosh!>
 Not sure what I would do with a kilo of this white powder antibiotic, Haha.  Dr G also makes an anti parasitic formula and the main ingredient is quinine phosphate.  I am thinking I can use the hypo to suppress the Ick and then feed the fish quinine to eradicate the parasite? Sorry for the long email here.  Thanks as always.
<Worth trying. Bob Fenner>

three (I hope quick) compatibility questions... Mixing Meiacanthus, Gramma, Premnas in est. sys.s - 2/9/11
Good evening,
A friend is moving and breaking down her tank and would like to give me her fish. The one is Meiacanthus grammistes and I don't think I can take it because my 65 gallon has a bicolor and a Tailspot blenny and I have read on your site and elsewhere that the fang blenny is semi-aggressive with fish of a similar body shape.
<Is likely, too much so, to fight here>
My 90 gallon has a midas blenny so I am guessing it won't work there either.
<Better chance here>
(My Nano is super peaceful--gobies and pom pom crabs, so I wouldn't risk it. ) Just want to confirm with the experts I can't take the fang blenny.
The second fish is a royal Gramma--the 90 gallon has an orchid and a splendid Dottyback, so that's out. The 65 gallon has a blackcap Basslet. He is rather reclusive though and stays in his cave most of the time. However, he is also very established, having been there two years or more. Do you think I could try the Gramma in there? (I have kept the two species together previously but it was in a 150 gallon.)
<I wouldn't risk it; or be ready to remove>
The third fish is a small maroon clownfish. I do have an empty Bubbletip anemone in the 90 gallon but I also have (for eight years now) a pair of Perculas in a Heteractis crispa. The anemones are at opposite ends of the tank--but her clown does not currently have an anemone of its own so may ignore the Bubbletip.
<Mmm, this Premnas, started small, might learn to live w/ the other Clowns in this setting. No guarantee however in the longer term>
Thanks, as always, for your assistance and your wonderful site.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Blackline Blenny 12/16/2009
Good Evening,
<Now AM, PST here in this framework... Whassup?>
I am hoping you can assist with the purchase of my new fish. I recently ordered a trio of Blackline blennies from a reputable online retailer.
<Perhaps ORA... this is, these are Meiacanthus nigrolineatus I take it>
I was very skeptical at first because every thing that I have read about the sabre-tooth's state that only 1 should be kept per tank as they become highly aggressive with each other.
<Mmm, well... the Plagiotremi in general are... I suspect fully that these three are captive produced; much less agonistic>
I spoke to them over the phone and they even said they have been together for more than a few months. Worst case scenario I can split of these fish as I have 3 tanks in my house, but would prefer not too if possible. Right now the they are in my 30 gallon quarantine tank. Although I have not noticed a ton of aggression they are definitely chasing each other around.
<Not a worry>
Almost looks like they are setting up a pecking order, at least I hope. Do you think it is possible to keep these fish together?
<I do>
Should I just separate them?
<I would not. Much more interesting, and very likely happier interacting with each other>
Once I put them in my main 90 gallon reef there is no way to get them out as the tank is filled with over 140 pounds of rock. I look forward to your response.
<Enjoy! Bob Fenner>

Re: Blackline Blenny. Plagiotremi/Fangtooth incomp. 1/6/10
Figured I would give you an update so if anyone considers doing this again you can talk them out of it.
One of the fish became the aggressor and chased the other blenny out of the tank. The fish went right through the egg crate and I was unable to get to it in time.
<... these fish were not captive-produced after all>
I was a little hesitant to keep the remaining two together but figured there would be plenty of room in the ninety gallon tank.
<Mmm, no>
At first they seemed okay but by the 4th day the smaller blenny was pinned in the bottom corner of the tank and every time it tried to move it would be attacked. The other blenny was going for it's eyes and gills and I thought it was over for this little guy. I was actually able to net him out without any hesitation from the fish. For about 5 hours the blenny looked for the other fish to attack it. I haven't seen this type of aggression since I tried pairing two Spotfin butterflies, which I hand caught in NJ. Now that the blenny is in the new tank he seems a lot better. So far the Springeri Pseudochromis is leaving it alone, knock on wood. Not sure if it has to do with the fish's poisonous bite, but so far so good.
<Thank you for this follow-up Eric. BobF>

Fish help 9/9/09
Good Evening,
I am having an issue with one of my fang tooth blennies and am not really sure what is going on.
When I saw the fish tonight it looks like it went to war with a cactus! One side of the fish is covered in spikes. I tired to take pictures but the fish is now hiding and will not come out to eat. I am not sure what can do this? Possibly a Bristleworm?
<Very definitely. Polychaete spines are brittle, and the whole point of them is that they break off, irritating the skin of the would-be predator.>
Either way I am very concerned that I have something in my tank capable of doing this to my livestock?
<All reef tanks are filled with animals well able to protect themselves in various ways. While the reef looks harmonious to us, it's actually more of a Mexican stand-off, with different organisms each asserting themselves as they try to obtain resources or defend themselves. The "Fang Tooth Blenny" can be any one of a variety of species, but at least some may be opportunistically predatory, or else one simply darted into the wrong crevice at the wrong time, and bumped into something unpleasant.>
Any ideas how to get these spikes out of the fish?
<Not really possible. Will fall out in time.>
Any ideas what can cause this?
<Bristleworms of all types.>
Thanks, Eric
<Cheers, Neale.>

Breeding Smith's Fang Blennies...help determining who is who... - 03/02/09 Hello. <Hi Austin.> I have a fat Smith's fang blenny in my 60 gallon tank, and I know she is fat due to her ovaries multiplying. <I hope you are right.> There is only one problem with this though: I don't have another Smith's fang blenny, nor do I know how to tell if a Smith's fang blenny that I will buy at my LFS is male or female. Do you know how to tell the difference between a male and a female Smith's fang blenny? <The juveniles look the same, but males larger than 30 mm have larger ventral fins. The larger, the more obvious.> Thanks for the help! PS This is a link to the fish I am talking about: http://www.peteducation.com/images/articles/pw71939whites_blenny_srilan.jpg Austin. <And here's the WWM page with linked FAQs on this group: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm . Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Breeding Smith's Fang Blennies...help determining who is who... - 03/02/09 Excellent! Thanks for the help! <Welcome.> I officially have a female Smith's Fang Blenny! Tomorrow, I am going to go down to my LFS and celebrate by buying a male for her to spawn with! Yay! Thanks again! <Good luck. Marco.>

What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? - 03/02/09 Hello. I just bought a male Smith's Fang Blenny, because I already had a female. <I hope they will get along peacefully. They can occur solitary (more common) or as pairs in nature. For one specimen I'd recommend at least 40 gallons, but two may even not get along in 200 gallons unless they are a mated pair. For a mated pair I'd recommend about 80 gallons, but only if you can separate them in case of relationship problems.> So now, I want to move them to a private tank...a brood stock tank in a way. The only tanks I have open right now are a 10 gallon (not sure if they will survive very long in it, and a 1.5 gallon :D BettaCube that has an Aqua 20 filter on it :D. Would they live a normal life span in a 1.5 gallon BettaCube, and spawn in it if there is PVC? <Maybe, but maybe the female will release the eggs too early, maybe the male will not fertilize them. You cannot keep them in there longer than a few hours anyway.> Or would it be better to try to keep them in the 10 gallon, which has a Aqueon 10 power filter on it? <Still way too small, but better. The power filter might be too strong for the fry, filter them out of the water.> I don't want to keep them in my 60 gallon, because I want to raise the fry, and can't quite do it if they lay their eggs inside of a rock. <So ideally you need another cycled tank or remove the hatched fry (will likely happen in the evening after the lights went of) from the parents' tank by attracting them with a flash light and catching them with a clean glass.> Thanks for the help! PS They are both over one inch long ;) Austin. <A little small for breeding, but since you note that your female was carrying eggs and you apparently were able to sex the male in the store… You may want to contact the company ProAquatix (www.proaquatix.com), which breeds a number of fang tooth blennies, they should know much more detail due to long term experience. Good luck with your blennies, remember you'll also need enough plankton to feed any fry. Marco.>

Re: What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? - 03/02/09 Hey there, Polo. Thanks for the quick reply. You guys reply faster than forums. Anyway. If I were to keep the pair of blennies in my 34 gallon Solana with my pair of Perc Clowns, would the parents of both species eat the eggs? <The eggs may be guarded, but the fry will be considered food by the other species and have to be removed if you want to raise them. In a tank of this volume I'd expect them to be eaten quite fast. Marco.>

Re: What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? - 03/03/09 Marco- <Austin.> Sorry for the unnecessary pun on your name. I realize it was uncalled for. <No problem, I do not feel insulted.> Anyway...blennies spawn in PVC for people who want to raise the fry, right? <Yes, some kind of cave, shelter hole with a diameter large enough to allow both to be next to each other.> Well, from the pictures I have seen, the breeders have sliced the PVC pipe in half lengthwise. How can I do this without losing a finger? <I use a jab saw and a jaw vise to slice PVC pipes. If you think you cannot do it yourself you may want to ask a carpenter. I do not think the pipes have to be sliced to be accepted as breeding holes. I believe as long as they are somewhat fixed to the tank bottom (with rocks for example), they'll be accepted. Cheers, Marco.>

Need helping telling a Mimic Blenny apart from an actual Fang Blenny - 02/04/09 Hello! <Hi Candi.> I'm hopeful you can settle a bit of a debate. I purchased what was sold as a Red Sea Mimic Blenny (Ecsenius gravieri) online, when the fish arrived today I was surprised it looked quite a bit different from the photo and from what I had seen online. In fact it looked like an actual Yellowtail Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus atrodorsalis). From the photos I've seen the mimics tend to have less of a forked tail <No, both can have forked tails... a male Ecsenius can have a more forked tail than a younger Meiacanthus atrodorsalis.> , and a differently shaped head with the front looking a bit flat/square (more like a midas blenny) and with the two little "horn" type structures. <I agree with the head shape.> The fish I have has the sleek shaped head like the Fangs I've seen online and a very forked long tail. I emailed the vendor who said he received them as mimics but would look into it, we've both posted photos of the fish and 1/2 of the responses are sure it's a true fang blenny and 1/2 think it's a mimic. <Let's start to get some things clear: E. gravieri mimics M. nigrolineatus. Plagiotremus laudandus mimics M. atrodorsalis. The first afore mentioned species pair has thinner lateral black lines, positioned lower at the sides compared to your pictures. I'd rule them out. P. laudandus does not have such a longer line at the body at all. The fish you sent pictures of are M. atrodorsalis . Further typical characters of the fang tooth blennies are: swim bladder, fang tooth, dorsal fin without a notch down to the back, a pair of tiny cirri at the chin, a membrane between dorsal and anal fin and the caudal peduncle. Your pictures are too blurry or small to clearly see these characters, but you and your vendor will find them with the fish in front of you. To defend your vendor, it has to be noted that most populations of M. atrodorsalis don't have a such clear black lateral line as the ones you photographed, but there are such color morphs e.g. illustrated by Randall (see below).> Being that neither of us is willing to try to get a bite to be sure I was wondering if you had any ways of settling this debate so I can get my refund if I did receive the wrong fish. <It's clearly not a mimic, it's a Fangtooth. You may refer your vendor to "Randall: reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific" as well as "Randall: Red sea fishes" where the differences are clearly explained. If you have access to an university library, Smith-Vaniz (1987) described the color morphs and characters of M. atrodorsalis in detail "The sabre tooth blennies" in Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila, volume 139 pages 1-52.> If it helps at all the fish I have seems to be free swimming, haven't seen him perch yet. I'm attaching photos of my actual fish along with some the vendor posted from the same shipment. Thank you! Kind Regards, Candi <I hope you now have all the proof you need. Marco.>

After searching Google,...... Wormfish ID 11/26/08 Hi Fellas, <Don't forget to acknowledge the gals here Mandy... Everyone needs to feel important> I need you to identify a fish for me. Blue Zoo Aquatics sent me this fish when I bought a Curious Worm Fish. <Mmm> I do not think that's what it is though. My other Curious Worm looks like this. And you are right, they are extremely shy. I have mine in a tank with no other fish only some inverts. Now, here is the one I just got, hoping he would keep my first one company since they say they like to be in groups. This is NOT a Curious Worm, is it? It's mouth is different, it's shape is different, it's tail is different,....etc.....I know Curious Worms come in two color forms, blue and yellow, but this looks like a shark in the face and a cleaner wrasse in body type, and has a lyre tail! Something is just not right! <The first fish is a Curious Wormfish, Gunnelichthys curiosus, the second... is not even of the same family (Microdesmidae) but a Blenniid... a Fangblenny... the Bluestriped Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos... these can be trouble in aquariums (biting other fishes), even biting divers in the wild! I would do a bit of looking about, isolate this fish, and ask for credit/replacement. All dealers make mistakes... this is one. Bob Fenner>

Re: After searching Google,...... Bob, thank you soooooooooooooooooooo much!!!! I had a feeling. Some people have mistaken blue striped fang blennies for curious worms before, I've read it online. I just knew it!!! <Ahh!> He's out of the tank in a plastic zip bag floating in the tank. But now what do I do with him??????????? <Mmm, a sump, refugium? Perhaps a store or fellow hobbyist with a large system (diluting the aggression, spreading the possible/potential nips twixt more fishes?> Thank you so much Bob. I'm so glad you were there. Mandy in NJ <Me too! BobF, in SD> re: After searching Google,...... 11/26/08 Oh, by the way, I consider fellas to mean everyone. Sorry about that!! I'll remember next time to be more specific. Thank you again, Mandy in NJ <Welcome! B>

Striped Fang Blenny Bringing Home a Blenny (Fang Blenny and Tankmates) 11/18/08 Hi all!! <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> Been awhile since I've asked a question of you folks, only because I can almost always find what I'm looking for in your amazing FAQ!!! However, I'm at a bit of a loss and need some advice regarding a Striped Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus grammistes). A great LFS recently had an anniversary sale and raffled off several prizes. I was lucky enough to win a couple amazing Acropora corals, some great food items AND the Striped Blenny. <Your lucky day! Now go buy a lottery ticket, too!> Now I understand that these fish are venomous but are normally considered quite reef safe and even community safe. I'm not at all concerned with the venomous portion, as I also have Rabbit Fish...lol. Just got to be cautious. My real concern isn't so much for the safety of the reef or community, but with the safety and health of the Striped Blenny. I'm wanting to make sure which tank I should put this great lil' guy in. So, I'll list each tank, along with it's inhabitants. First, I have a 46 bowfront, mixed reef with about 80 pounds of live rock and a HOB CPR Aquafuge teaming with pods. Mainly soft corals, a large RBTA, a Mandarin Dragonette, a Lawnmower Blenny, a pair of Black Ocellaris, a Coral Beauty, a Spotted Rabbit fish (soon to go in a 113 cube). The only invert I might be concerned with is a Coral Banded Shrimp, as I've heard they can catch and kill fish, though I've never experienced this in this tank. <Hmm..got to give you a bit of a hard time here: You're concerned about the Coral Shrimp going after the open-water-swimming blenny, but you're not concerned about the notoriously slow, passive Mandarin swimming into the anemone? Hmm. Seriously, I wouldn't worry about the shrimp and the blenny.> Second is a 75 mixed reef that's predominately SPS. Inhabitants include a 6 Lined Wrasse, a Strawberry Pseudochromis, 3 Green Chromis, a Starry Blenny, a Gold Striped Maroon in a Sebae anemone, a Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp, and a smaller Foxface Rabbit. I've never witnessed any aggression between the 6 Lined Wrasse and Strawberry Pseudochromis, and watch them both closely. However, I do plan to try and remove the Strawberry Pseudochromis when I re-aquascape soon. ( I need to re-aquascape due to digging from the Pistol Shrimp and due to the fact that when I set this tank up, I failed to put the base rock on glass bottom and instead, placed it on sand...lol. I know...catastrophe in the makings). Do you see any complications with adding the Striped Blenny to either of these set ups? I see a possible problem with the 46, due to competition for food with the Mandarin. Currently the 46 is loaded with pods and Mysis shrimp, however, I realize this could be a potential problem. Do you see any problems between the Striped Blenny, the 6 Lined Wrasse or the Pseudochromis? If needed, I will wait to add the Striped Blenny until after the Pseudochromis is removed. Any suggestions or advice you can give are very much appreciated, as always!!! Sincerely and Thank you, Michael <Well, Michael, these are keen observations on your part. I would be inclined to add the blenny to the 75, after the Pseudochromis is relocated. I don't worry too much about the other fishes, with the possible exception of the 6 Lined Wrasse, which can give a bit of attitude. However, the blenny is well-equipped to defend itself if necessary. My main advice with these fishes is to quarantine them (well- it's my advice for ALL new fishes), and to make sure that they are feeding. they often come in with intestinal parasites and seemingly need to be "de-wormed", or at the very least, well fed before placing them in their final home. Do read up on these issues right here on the WWM site. Other than that caveat, they are great fish with wonderful personalities and good looks..Almost as nice as my girlfriend! Have a great day! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Striped Fang Blenny Bringing Home a Blenny (Fang Blenny and Tankmates) 11/19/2008 Thank you so much Scott!! <He's fabulous! I could go on and on.> I hope your girlfriend isn't reading this, <She is.> or if she is, she's as drawn to Striped Blennies as you are...lol. <Mmm, I prefer the Blackline Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus nigrolineatus) myself!> As for the Mandarin vs. RBTA, I know it's a risk, however they been in this tank together for 2 years, so far, with no problems. <Still doesn't mean your Mandarin won't end up as lunch.> The Clowns are very good at keeping others away from the anemone. <Glad to hear this.> They even will charge the Spotted Rabbit if it wanders too close. <They are Damselfish after all!> Thanks again!! Will put blenny in 75 after relocating Strawberry Pseudochromis and of course, <A pretty fish.> after QT!! <Yay!> Sincerely,
<Cheers, Mich>

Fang Blenny ID 11/11/08 Hi Guys, <Hi Beta.> Can you please ID the Fang Blenny in the attached pic. It was caught of the South Western coast of India. <It's a Petroscirtes breviceps, a Shorthead Sabretooth Blenny or Striped Poison-Fang Blenny Mimic as shown on: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=6073 . Also see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm .> Regards Beta Mahatvaraj
<Cheers, Marco.>

Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus atrodorsalis, comp., sys. 4/12/08 Hello all at WetWebMedia Greetings from Ireland <Hello from California, USA.> I have a small marine tank (30 US Gallons) which contains two Percula clowns, 1 boxfish, <Most, if not all boxfish will be trouble in a tank this size. A stressed/cramped boxfish will end up releasing their toxin into the water.> a small goby (not sure of species), a boxer shrimp, and a big stack of liverock. All is going well. To finish off the collection I wanted to add a small group of shoaling fish. I was in my local fish shop and was recommended Lyretail Anthias. <Not in a 30 gallon tank.> Now I know the standard Anthias are tricky but I'd never seen this type before (blue and yellow and elongated!) and as I'd seen them feed and they were (allegedly) hardier than other Anthias, I bought three. Marine fishkeeping here in the Emerald Isle is still in it's infancy so misinformation is rife... <Books and the internet can provide valuable information regardless of how advanced any LFS is or is not.> After some intensive research on your site I now see that they are Yellow Tail Fangblennies! <Ooops!> I wanted to know if three is a sensible quantity for my small tank? I can only see one website that references the compatibility of these fish (www.peteducation.com) with their kin and it recommends only one or maybe a breeding pair. What's your opinion? <One per tank, especially a tank this small. Inquire with the store about returning two of these.> Love this site, it really has been a great help to me. Keep up the good work. <Thank you, will do.> Laurence, Ireland P.S. The tank is running for three months with the above inhabitants with 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrate and the occasional trace of Nitrate (mostly 0). pH and Salinity are all stable. <Sounds good. A link below for more information. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabretoothfaqs.htm

Re: Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus atrodorsalis 4/13/08 Thanks Scott, <Welcome Lawrence.> All good advice as per usual. The boxfish is really happy at the moment, very friendly and watches us as much as we watch him, but I know he'll need larger accommodation in the future. <Yes he will, but these sure are fun fish to watch, some of the goofiest fish I have ever seen!> The plan is to move him in to the Ubertank we have planned, a truly mammoth system hopefully. <Sounds good.> Do you know of a good link or book regarding the construction of large tanks, possibly with block work and fibreglass sides and a single glass/Perspex front? <I know of no such book and have actually started on one (yes Bob, finally!).<<Yay! RMF>> As far as websites, there are a few that can guide you through such a project. Of course WetWebMedia.com has much useful information in this regard throughout the tank building FAQ's. Another site worth checking out is the Garf.org DIY pages. This will give you the basics of how to, but the automated calculator calls for too thin of materials for my taste for the larger tanks.> Laurence <Have a good day, Scott V.>

Re: Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus atrodorsalis 5/13/08 Hello <Hello Laurence!> I emailed you recently regarding my Fangtail Blennies. I followed your advice and now have just the one and he's doing very well, a real character, so thanks for the advice. <Great! You're welcome.> I purchased a blue starfish a while back (yes, it's THAT Linckia that shouldn't be kept!) and I just wanted to say thanks for your advice on feeding it frozen Angel food containing sponge. I defrosted a chunk, packed it into the corner of a Mussel shell and plonked him/her on top: Hey Presto! A feast commenced! This is now a regular thing and he/ she is visibly larger than a couple of months ago. <Always good to hear a story of success, thank you.> Thanks WetWeb Crew, you've done it again. <Hee, welcome!> Laurence Fletcher Cork Ireland <Thank you for the encouragement and sharing. Scott V., California, USA.>

Fang Blennies in a 120, mixing 12/5/07 Hello Crew, I currently have a Meiacanthus mossambicus (Mozambique Blenny). In the 120 reef now about 6 months. Great little fish (eats out of my hand... cautiously!). <You should both be> Me being cautious, not the fish. <Ahh!> One of my LFS's has a Meiacanthus bundoon (Bundoon Blenny). Didn't see it on your site. <Wish I was out in its range with you diving, making photos... the weather here in Hawaii currently is frighteningly BAD!> Could the two co-habitate in a 120? <Mmm... borderline... they may well fight... terribly> I've read there is a possibility, but am looking for your opinion/experiences. They sure do look similar, prompting the question. Keep up the great advice. Jeff Butterbaugh <Mixing Fang Blennies, particularly of the same genus is risky... If it were me/mine, I'd forego this blend. Bob Fenner>

A bit of a concern about a blenny... Nemophini beh. - 10/18/07 Dear WWM crew, <Jon> I just acquired a Yellowtail Fangblenny (*Meiacanthus atrodorsalis) and I have him in quarantine along with two fairy wrasses and two tomato clowns. <Mmm, better to not have so much jammed together during these processes> The problem is that he is continuously just laying around. He'll swim around for a bit at food time and maybe take a flake or a pellet or two (or sometimes a Mysid shrimp) but then he just goes back to hiding or just laying in the corner. Now, if I touch him, he'll dart out and swim a bit (and he doesn't look stressed or faded or anything). <Is stressed... and this behavior is to be expected under the circumstances... Will "brighten up" behaviorally when moved to the main display> Nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia are all 0. SPG is 1.025 and I use water from my established (and now crypt free) tank that is already temperature and PH adjusted to match the quarantine tank. <Good> I've noticed no signs of crypt on the atrodorsalis or on any of the other fish in the tank (the tomato clowns were in the quarantine for 2 weeks prior and showed no signs of crypt). Granted, it's only been 2 days, but I've read that most blennies and fairy wrasses are fairly crypt resistant and that the fairy wrasses should usually just be dipped and placed in the main tank since they are a bit fragile in quarantine. <Agreed> Just a bit unsure of what to do since the atrodorsalis was swimming readily in his tank (The Hidden Reef in PA) but seems so lethargic since he's been placed into my tank. I'm just wondering if I should either give him his own quarantine tank would even be a better option than leaving him in his (admittedly) crowded quarantine tank. - Jon <I would wait, move the fish in time... to the main display. Bob Fenner>

Re: A bit of a concern about a blenny 10/19/07 Bob, quick recap: Both fairy wrasses and the blenny looked really mediocre to bad today. <Yikes...> I made a temp/pH adjusted dip and quickly dipped each. <Good> The blenny lasted around 6 minutes before he had to be removed. <Something going very sideways...> Each fairy wrasse only lasted about 3 minutes before they looked bent and bad before I had to remove them. Now all 3 fish are in the main tank along with a Kole Tang who was already quarantined for 3 weeks with no ill effect. <Good> I would've much rather left the wrasses and blenny in quarantine, but as I've said (and you've agreed with) is that the wrasses are pretty fragile and they just did not do well in quarantine. I've always heard they are fairly crypt resistant in the first place, but I do hope that my dip would've taken off anything that I didn't notice in the tank yet. - Jon <You made the right moves... at least... what I would have done as well. BobF>

Re: A bit of a concern about a blenny, the pet-fish store experience/mass merchandisers included 10/20/07 Bob, <Jon> I think my problem with the dip is that I set it up very... quickly. Usually, when I've dipped, I've set it up about 4 nights before -- aerated, heated, multiple pH testings (and I usually use a package of the 8.0 pH adjuster + some baking soda to perfectly match my tank pH). <Good to be thorough, meticulous here> But yeah, everyone looks good today. The one fairy wrasse, a Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lubbocki), is one of the shiest fish I've ever seen! He was shy in the store, but besides that he looked great. Same in my tank. He's got tons of personality and pops out quick to eat food. Just likes to scuttle back to cover quickly. I don't know what species the other is and I'm going to try and get an up close shot of him to send to you guys. He's a fairly drab purple color with a little bit of light green around his fin area. <Cirrhilabrus spp. live in large shoals by and large in the wild... and are quite active as such... in captivity, in small numbers, little volumes, quite different> This is also way off topic, but I just started a job at Petco (Howell, NJ). I know that you guys generally hate the way fish are kept there and all, <Mmm, for the record, I worked at/for Petco in the early nineties, as a consultant, then a buyer... helped with arranging the co.s early entry into livestock... It is my qualified opinion that each store, indeed experience is largely a measure of the individuals involved. Much of the gear that the personnel are charged with is deficient IMO, and the system for livestock ordering... Is NOT sustainable... but the very gist of what one "gets" from involvement with mass merchandiser LFSs is identical with that of independents... Id est, "it" all comes down to the knowledge, ability, personal skills and desires of the INDIVIDUALS involved... Hotay, off da soap box... for now> and I agree for the most part, but I've noticed that it's better than I expected. And at least I've been trying to persuade salt and fresh customers alike to quarantine and use salt/fresh dips before placement as well. <Excellent! Good for you... us... the planet> I like to think that I'm making a bit of difference. I think I've given out Wet Web's address about 30 times to various customers (and a few have come back and mentioned just how great of a site it really is). <Ahhh... the pleasure> Thanks again for the help! - Jon <Welcome my/our friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Meiacanthus Mystery... ID, care/fdg. - 07/01/07 Hey Crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> We are new to the saltwater world, and really enjoying our foray so far. Our tank is about 2 months old and we've just added a blenny. <Ahh...one of my favorite groups of fishes!> We researched it out, using your FABULOUS website and help, and are hoping we got the right one... we were aiming for one of Bob's Meiacanthus favorites. Its a bit of a mystery still... I think it is a M. atrodorsalis, but I've gotten a little confused with all the terminology and different common names. <Yep, from your pics, it is definitely a Meiacanthus...I'm leaning towards M. tongaensis, although it could be a washed out M. mossambicus...But I'm thinking that it's the former.> So far, similar looking fish on your site and fishbase.org have been called: Forktail Blenny, Eyelash Harptail Blenny, Lyretail Blenny, Yellowtail Fang Blenny. And I'm not sure if he is a M. atrodorsalis, an M. nigrolineatus or a M. luteus. <None of the above, IMO. However, as you're finding out, common names are a really tough way to get an ID on a fish. Best is to use a scientific resource, such as fishbase.org, which lets you search the genus and find the species via pictures.> Anyway, here's a pic. I'm sure he's a Meiacanthus something, because he floats around in the middle of the tank and seems quite brave and sure of himself, but not aggressive. I know that there are varying opinions on his docility... I saw it mentioned that he is a Sabertooth variety, but also saw Meiacanthus under Combtooth, and that he might use his fangs to skin my other fish (royal Gramma and pygmy angel). <These "fangs" are typically used as a defensive measure, and it's very uncommon to see them attack other fishes, in my experience (and I've kept a few over the years!).> So far, the Gramma has had a bit of territorial behavior, but not too much. Angel loves him. He just hangs out and stakes his ground in his spot... won't fight for it, but won't move, either. <Sounds like he's settling in the social order in your aquarium.> Gramma has mostly left him alone today. He has not made any attempt to hide or dig around on the bottom. Does he still eat algae? He took a huge chunk of Mysis shrimp this am when I fed the other fish, so I guess he likes meat. Should I still offer Nori? <These are typically plankton eater, so Mysis is a better choice, IMO.> Thanks... and SO grateful the WWM crew is around... was flying blind at first, but now I know to research and ask you guys before I go to the LFS. <WWM is a great resource to keep you informed and educated before shopping around!> .. they are, sadly, much less knowledgeable and really only interested in selling. <Sad to hear that..> Maybe since I'm in Southern California, where there must be many options, I'll find a reputable, trustworthy FS to go to in the future. Sarah <I'm a SoCal guy, myself, so I can vouch that there are some very nice stores out here, staffed by knowledgeable, informative staff. Of course, there are plenty of other not-so-good places, too. Like so many things in the hobby, you just need to ask around and get a feel for what's out there. Then, take any advice that you get "with a grain of salt" if you find it questionable. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Topic 1 Canary blenny beh. 4/11/07 I have owned two canary blennies since I started this hobby. My experience was that neither of them ate any prepared foods <This is so... rarely do such foodstuffs sustain this species, Plagiotremes period> but mostly were content to pick on pods and the occasional spaghetti worm (they would pluck these out of the sand even though I could see no visible trace of them on the sand surface). For a while I had been debating adding a yellow "Coris" wrasse to my tank but had hesitated out of fears of competition for food and/or aggression between two similar looking fishes. I finally went ahead and purchased the wrasse and after QT added him to the tank a little before lights out to hopefully minimize any aggression between the two. <Good timing> I had to sneak in a quick feeding and was surprised to see the wrasse take food so quickly. <Yes... this Halichoeres usually adapts quickly to captive conditions> The canary blenny seemed to be inspired by this performance and began to eat the frozen Mysis as well. Ever since, the two of them seem to hang out together chasing pods during the day, and the canary blenny is eating whatever I feed and is now the fattest I've ever seen. Once again I am surprised by the range of behavior these animals exhibit. <Ahh! RMF>

Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse" 8/27/05 Well, wouldn't ya know... yep, I got faked out by a mimic "cleaner wrasse". I though something was up by the way my flasher wrasse was acting towards him, ( it didn't "flash" at anyone else). Quick, to WWM for the answer to what's going on! Turns out its a saber-tooth blenny. <Ah, Aspidontus... happens, though not often> After having to COMPLETELY breakdown my reef to catch the little guy and place him in the fuge temporarily, now what? I like him a lot and would love to keep him, but feeding the fuge is not good. Do I trade him in, knowing that he'll just do the same thing to someone else's fish? <Ah, no> Please give me some advise on this dilemma. I'd be heartbroken to send him to a watery grave in the bathroom!! Thanks for your guidance in advance, Allegra <... "look before you leap"... or purchase livestock? When we find these mixed in with Labroides, they're removed and destroyed... not suitable for aquarium use with other fishes... could try keeping in your refugium. Bob Fenner>

Re: Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse" 8/29/05 Hi again Bob (or fellow WWM guru), I did put the little fella into the fuge, although I think putting food in is counter-productive to its use. The reason why I'm replying again is that I was checking out more of the questions posted about real cleaner wrasses, and there were some folks that mentioned theirs were doing well on supplemental foods, such as Mysis, etc...even Nori. There was no mention that their fish may be a saber-tooth, <Would not be... these will invariably terrorize other fishes...> just that it was an unusual case. Mine also feeds on everything as well, including the Nori strip I put in. In fact he's the only one that does eat it. Its hard for me to tell the difference in the mouth from the pictures here, so are we truly safe to say that I do have a saber-tooth blenny and not an unusually hardy cleaner wrasse? <Seen side by side, these fishes are easily told apart... See fishbase.org, the Net/Google pix...> PS. Thanks for the quick reply, very impressive! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fang Blenny Won't Bite! (Finicky Feeder) Hi <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I just got a Canary Fang Blenny and its doing great. It doesn't show any sings of depression. It swims around the tank, stops occasionally to look around. It's a very amusing fish to observe. <I love these fish! One of my favorite aquarium species, but they can be a bit finicky at times.> But it won't eat any of my food. I tried everything: Brine Shrimp, Blood worms, Formula Marine S for small fish, Zooplankton. It just won't eat. It comes close to the food, swims around it but won't eat it. It has been a week since I got the little guy and I am really starting to worry. I even tried to make pieces of food very small; maybe he is not big enough to eat big chunks of food, and that didn't work. But he likes to eat my isopods of the walls of the tank and the Live rock. I even saw him eat a little baby Peppermint shrimp this morning, lol it took him about five minutes to eat the whole thing. He is the only fish I have in the tank so there is nobody to bother him. He has plenty of places to swim and hide. I have rocks all over the place and corals. My tank is over 8 month old. Did the tests and everything is perfect. My corals are doing great, multiplying like there is no tomorrow. <Sounds excellent> How do I make him eat? or Is he going to be fine just eating little bugs in my tank which I have plenty of? <There's no guarantee here. If he is foraging naturally, and seems to be otherwise healthy, I'd feel okay about it. The foods that you are trying are fine. I would probably also include frozen or live Mysis shrimp, as they are very nutritious and seem to attract otherwise finicky fishes. One thing that I have noticed with this fish over the years is that they seem to come in with some sort of intestinal parasites in many cases. You'll actually see their stomach contort and become distended over time. The fish can be rendered unable to eat at that point. Keep a close eye on your guy. However, if he's eating natural foods, he may be just fine. Keep tempting him with the excellent prepared foods that you've been trying, and I'm sure he'll be okay!> -- best
Mr. A. <And the best to you! Regards, Scott F.> Fang Blennies-Terrors or Model Citizens? Hello everyone <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I did a little reading on your web site, I found out Chromis are not the hardiest. So I did more reading on different fish. On another site I had come across a photo of a Blacklined Blenny, did a little Reading on it [now I am normally on the computer in the wee hours of the morn. Not good time to be trying to read] I decided on getting the Yellow Hogfish and the Blacklined Blenny. I e-mailed the place I get fish [ it is a mail order operation, however I am local and pick up all my orders]. <Excellent> I returned to your web site during the day and read through the same article and I realized I ordered a venomous fish! Not exactly what I wanted. I am now hoping that there supplier doesn't have the fish!! I do think its really cool, and some info I read said it was a peaceful fish, only using the fangs if being swallowed. <Are you referring to the Meiacanthus grammistes? If so, these fishes are largely model citizens, in my experience, and will only use those venomous fangs as a defensive mechanism. They should not be taken lightly, however, and you do need to be careful with these guys. I would not be as concerned about keeping them in a community tank as I would be with a Lionfish, for example.> I have my Flame, who chases all new fish around [ except my Clown fish]. It is still chasing the Sixline Wrasse. I am concerned that this fish might retaliate against the Angel and bite. <It could, but only if continuously harassed. In my experience, these fishes don't go out looking for trouble. They are among my favorite fishes, and have great personalities!> Any info and opinions on this fish would be greatly appreciated [not much more on it on the web] I don't want to put the other fish in danger. <As stated above, with the special caveat about the venomous fangs, they are great fishes for your tank> I also had a question on my wrasse. He doesn't seem to be getting fed at all feedings, and when he does, its like one bite. What would be a good food to him? Frozen crab or krill or squid? <All of the above are good foods.> So far he only seems to like the Mysis Shrimp I have. <A good food.> He nibbles on the live rock and pick stuff off the glass. I have also seen him pick at the Angel Fish, it is the only time the Angel will allow it near her. The Angel does not go to the cleaner shrimp at all but will let this wrasse take a nip at it once in a while [I didn't know Sixline cleaned up other fish] <Unusual, but not unheard of, I suppose> I hope this letter isn't too confusing , I shouldn't be writing in the wee hours of the morn. <Hey- that's your quiet time- enjoy it!> Thank for the help, Paige <Glad to be of service! Regards, Scott F.>

Meiacanthus ovalauensis Feeding Query I recently purchased a canary blenny. <Hi! Ryan with you today.> It does not appear to be eating, although it is very active and plump, and seems otherwise healthy. I have tried to read up a bit on them, but there really is not a lot of info about them. What do they eat, and what should I feed? <Meiacanthus ovalauensis, or the Canary Blenny, is a member of the family Blenniidae, Tribe Nemophini. They're called the Sabertoothed Blennies for a reason- The enlarged teeth are used for ripping flesh from other fishes. The canary, however, typically feeds on plankton from the water column. I'd use DT's, or another type of plankton, in combination with killing the skimmer and pumps for ten minutes.> Also, to what extent should I be concerned about their bite? <I'd avoid it when possible!> I have it in a 29 gallon reef tank with a pair of gold stripped maroons, and a coral beauty angle. (Surprisingly the clowns could care less about the other fish and all get along great.) Any info you could give me about these particular canary blennies would be much obliged. <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm> Great site and information. Thanks for the help in advance. <Happy holidays! Ryan>

- WWM Images - Dear Bob <Hello, JasonC here... I handle much of image fulfillment.> I would like to get a high resolution digital image of a saber-toothed blenny, preferably genus Plagiotremus - either P. ewaensis, P. goslinei, or P. rhinorhynchos would do. The image will be used in my evolution text, and Oxford University Press would pay the usual fee. Is such an image available? <Hmm... hard to say. I suggest you take a look at our online archive, http://wetwebfotos.com to see if you can find what you are looking for. If you do find something you want, let me know and we'll make arrangements to get you a high resolution version of the image.> Copies taken off the web are not of high enough quality to publish. If you have an image of cleaner fish in the act of cleaning the mouth of a grouper or a barracuda, I would also be interested in that. <Again, please check WetWebFotos - let me know the ID number of the images you require.> Best wishes, Steve <Cheers, J -- >

Re: image of Plagiotremus Hi... If the photo is not on WetWebFotos, it only means it's not available for immediate fulfillment. If you've seen the image on WetWebMedia, then it means there is a strong chance Bob has this in his slide collection and can re-scan it for you at a larger size. The only bad news is that Bob is out of town and will not return to San Diego until the 17th of this month. If you can wait that long, then we'll have no trouble getting you that image. Cheers, J --

Canary blenny hi bob, <Simon> I have just read your description of the canary blenny which is under saber tooth blenny on WetWebMedia.Com. <Yes... this fish is a member of this subfamily> I have just bought this fish and put in my reef tank with a dwarf flame angel, two black Percula clownfish, yellow tailed damsel, crab eye goby, two small chalk gobies, 3 cleaner shrimps, boxing shrimp, two hermit crabs, sea anemone, small sea urchin, and assorted soft corals. <Quite an assemblage> my question is are they safe ? I was unaware of its nature when I bought it, though on the site its a bit confusing as the box out says it feeds on plankton but the info gives the impression that its a bold predatory fish ? <Is not a pushover... and can be a picky problem with other fish tankmates... regardless of their size. Not generally a real problem as long as not crowded, well-fed...> what is your opinion, I would be grateful for any advice at this point. its definitely not a shy fish from what I see and is doing the mimic dance mentioned on the site, though all its earned it so far is being chased off by the angel and clown fish ! the damsel just extended all its fins, but then its always been a bit bolshy like that! help, bell, slightly worried reef owner ! <I would keep an eye on the Canary... and look to it as a cause of torn fins, stress should your other fishes display these. Bob Fenner>

Feeding fang blennies Hello, <How goes it, Michael here> Thanks for the info on stocking my 30 gallon tank. I have decided to go with a canary blenny, orchid Dottyback and Falco's Hawkfish. I am worried that the canary blenny will not have enough to eat since I don't have any live rock. Reading around, it is unclear if they will thrive unless their is live rock in the tank. Thanks for you your help. <Hmm, in a 30 gallon tank I would keep the fang blenny solely on it's own. You may try live\frozen daphnia, brine shrimp nauplii, or get a refugium going. For more info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm > -Mike <M. Maddox>

Fang Blennies <Hi James, PF on call tonight> I think I remember reading something about fang blennies being aggressive enough to be housed with larger aggressive fish. Is this true? <They're aggressive because they feed off other fish. Fang blennies strip the flesh and scales off of other fish to feed. I'd advise housing them alone in a species display.> Also, how territorial are they with members of there own species? <That I don't know, but given their natures I would not recommend it.> They would be housed with a porcupine puffer, Picasso trigger, two tangs, and a Pinkface wrasse. <In all honesty, I cannot advise anyone to keep these fish with other fish. It would be like locking someone up in a room with a bunch of biting flies.> If not this fish, what are some small fish that can hold there own against these guys? <There are a number of Dottybacks that would work, start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm > James <Have a good evening, PF>

Fang Blennies, Gobiosoma, Gobiodon Will M. grammistes and M. atrodorsalis get along in the same tank? Do these fish do as well alone as in a group? <Alone. Not a good idea to mix any species, specimens of the Nemophini. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm> Also, I was contemplating a Cortez Red Head Goby. If I can't afford to get more than one, should I wait? Would two be enough? I'm not interested in breeding them, just interested in their general health. <This fish is fine singly or in its species company> Last, I heard the Green Clown Goby occasionally picks on SPS corals from Scott Michael's book. Any experience with these guys? <Yes. And yes, they do... if have enough Acroporids present not a big problem. This is where and what they live on in the wild> Would they make a good addition to a reef tank with lots of Dartfish, blennies, and other gobies? <If there's enough food, not-aggressive types as tankmates, sure.> Cheers, Chris (aka newkie) <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Fang Blennies I have a 55 gal. tank with 55# LR. Currently I have a Smith's fang blenny and a scooter blenny. However, while looking at the FFE website, I ran across Meiacanthus Atrodorsalis, <Hmm, too much chance in this size system they would fight... in the wild these two are sometimes found together... but have seen them chase each other about while diving...> and would like to add him as well. Would these two be compatible? Would they have been if they were introduced at the same time? Once again, thanks very much. Michael <I would keep searching for better potential mixes. Many choices detailed on our site, www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Canary Blenny's Hi Mr. Fenner, You probably don't remember me. Our paths have crossed a couple of times on the internet. When I was a beginner I bugged you quite a few times on FF express' q&a section and you also got involved in a discussion (someone was attacking something in your book Conscientious Aquarist - had to do with nano/small saltwater tanks as I recall.) <Ah yes... don't mind discussing ideas/opinions... even heatedly... and am always delighted with a turn of phrase or jest re my foibles... but not personal attacks> that I was involved in on a message board. Hope it's not an imposition for me to email you like this, but I was reading and article with your name on it and had some questions. I hope you don't mind me running these questions by you. :) <Not at all> This is the article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm I've taken up a fascination with Canary blennies. They seem to be a hardy, good natured, attentive little fish always swimming in plain site. <Yes... and you know why they can be so bold...> Going over this article, I saw what appeared to be 2 different Latin names referring to Canary blennies: Meiacanthus oualanensis <ovalauensis>and Meiacanthus atrodorsalis. Am I correct in this understanding and is there more than 1 species typically called by the common name "canary blenny". If so, how do you tell 'em apart? <Hmm, well... there are two (you can check the species of the genus, some of their mixed common names on www.fishbase.org), and I just checked (and changed) the name of the pic on the WWM site... the 'properties' show the image was labeled correctly, but the naming on the site was wrong. Sorry re> To complicate matters, you mention a mimic of the canary blenny - Plagiotremus laudanum flavus, the golden mimic blenny. How similar is it to the canary blenny? I'd basically like to be able to differentiate between these 3 species. <I understand. Please insert both genera on FishBase and follow through their references> Also, it seems to be implied that canary blennies use their venomous fangs only as a defensive measure. I've noticed on a handful occasions my blennies grabbing a largish amphipod, holding it in its mouth for a few seconds and then letting go of it, watching it, then grabbing it again. It appeared at first to be "playing with its food", but thinking about it later I wondered if it was envenomating the amphipod? <Hmm, possibly> I also realized later that I couldn't think of a single animal that had venomous fangs and didn't use them for predation. <I'd add to that general use statement: territorial defense, personal defense, scaring divers...> Circumstantial evidence at best but I still thought it was interesting. I even took it a step further, wondering if they might possibly be able to predate on Cirolanid isopods (turning out to be a real scourge lately, it seems). That may simply be wishful thinking - it'd be nice to discover a biological control for the isopod. <Hmm, maybe...> Anyway, thanks in advance for your time and any assistance you can provide. :) <And thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

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