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FAQs on the Ecsenius, Bicolor Blennies 

Related Articles: Ecsenius Blennies, True or Combtooth Blennies, Algae Eating Blennies, Saber-Tooth Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives,

Related FAQs:  Ecsenius Identification, Ecsenius Behavior, Ecsenius Compatibility, Ecsenius Selection, Ecsenius Systems, Ecsenius Feeding, Ecsenius Disease, Ecsenius Reproduction, True Blennies: True Blennies, Combtooth Blennies 2, Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Blenny Reproduction, Algae-eating Blennies, Saber-Tooth Blennies,

Some gorgeous Ecsenius in the Red Sea.

Questions on nano tank setup/inhabitants  7/23/06 Good afternoon WWM Crew!  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your continued support.  I don't know if I would have had the courage to finally "take the plunge" & start my first marine aquarium if it weren't for your valuable website.  I have been researching & reading off & on about reef-keeping for several years & have found this website & the conscientious aquarist such a help.  I have several issues that I'd like your advice on & hope you don't mind the long e-mail.   <Not at all> First off I'll tell you a little about my setup.  I have a 12 gal JBJ nano cube dx (I know you are cringing but because of space restraints this was my only option.... <Can be made to work...> me, my husband, and two babies under age 2 in an 800 sq ft house.  Space is at a premium.)  set up 7 mo.s now.  I have the back three compartments set up as follows:  #1- Chemi pure, carbon, small sponge that is rinsed weekly, and MJ 600 that has tubing aimed over the back wall and down towards the bottom to help w/ flow.  #2- 1/3 full of live rock rubble, Chaeto & light. #3- another MJ 600 powerhead, Visitherm heater & temp probe.  My sg is 1.025, temp a steady 78 degrees, ph 8.2, ammonia- 0, nitrates- 0, nitrites- 0.  I have about 14 lbs live rock, lots of encrusting coralline, Chaeto, red Gracilaria, and unfortunately an ongoing battle w/ hair algae, sigh.  I let the tank cycle 6 weeks before slowwwwwwly adding cleanup crew, then livestock.  This was very hard (self control- wise)! <Heeee!>   Inhabitants include 1 ocellaris clown, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, 3 dwarf blue leg hermits, 5 Nassarius, 2 Astrea, 3 margaritas, 1 small colony of zoas, 1 small colony of pulsing xenia, an ever dwindling population of pods and two new additions:  a toadstool leather & a blenny (Ecsenius bimaculatus).  I do weekly 10% water changes and once a month a 25% water change using reef crystals & distilled water. First question is regarding the toadstool leather.  It was quarantined for 1 week before adding.  Within an hour of putting in the tank, she had all her tentacles out & was looking happy.  Her base was nice and straight and columnar- about 3" in diameter & she stands about 8" tall.  Now, a week and a half later, her base is hourglass shaped.  She still looks healthy, but midway up her stalk, it curves inward & is about   1 ½" in diameter, with the top & bottom of the stalk still 3" in diameter.  Is this something I should be concerned about?   <Mmm, not necessarily... a "natural" reaction to being moved...> I removed a small sponge that was growing up against her stalk while she was in quarantine (didn't know if it could have been exposed to the air).  This didn't seem to affect her at the time.  Also, I've noticed that the margaritas & Astreas occasionally crawl up the stalk (about once or twice a day) and the cleaner shrimp and hermit crabs will climb on her also, but less frequently than the snails.  It doesn't seem to really bother her, as her tentacles stay out during their attention.  Is there anything I should do? <Mmm, keep an eye on your fishes... as good/best "bio-indicators" here... for signs of distress, have a good deal/volume of pre-made water, another unit of Chemipure to switch out if the Toadstool changes the water chemistry too much, too fast in way/s that mal-affect the other livestock> She is the showpiece of my tank & I've grown quite attached already...would be sad to lose her but I could find a new home for her if you feel she won't thrive in my tank. <Mmm... will have to "trim", "frag" this soft coral in time...> Concern #2:  The bimac blenny.  He was in a short quarantine (5 days) because I've read that this is best for blenny's, made even shorter because he didn't seem to eat a thing in quarantine.  Otherwise, he seemed quite happy & healthy spending much of his time perched on his rock.  My first concern is that I have never (in three weeks) seen him eat.  There is plenty of algae in the tank & I also feed a rotation of frozen formula 1, Sweetwater zooplankton, formula 2 flakes, brine shrimp, and small bio blend pellets.  Also, soak food occasionally in vita chem.  I feel like it's a good assortment & there should be something in there he likes.  The clown can be quite aggressive at feeding time, so I've tried putting her fav's at one side of the tank & while she is preoccupied, dropping the formula 2 flakes & bio blend pellets on the other side near the blenny.  I can see his little eyes moving as he watches the food, but he never makes a move towards it.   <Hopefully is "nibbling" on this and that when you're not watching> Also haven't seen him grazing on any algae either.  Are they bottom feeders, or do they eat from the water column? <Actually a good deal of/from both... nibbling filamentous algae types that are attached, and small free-swimming animals in the near-bottom water column... more or less continuously during daylight hours> Haven't been able to find this info anywhere. <Have observed Ecsenius blennies for long hours underwater> Then yesterday evening, noticed him rubbing a little on the rocks- which is normal behavior in a blenny from what I read. <Also correct> But he was also occasionally twitching & flashing his tail- if you can understand what I mean. <Yes... a type of "non-verbal communication"... likely intended for the Clown and you> But no other signs of crypt that I can tell.  The clown has never had it so I don't think it's in my tank unless the blenny has had it all along & just now showing signs. <I don't think this is Crypt, or other parasite>   Should I put the blenny back in quarantine or will this be too much stress?  Anything I can do to entice him to eat?   <Just what you are doing really> I haven't seen any signs of aggression from the clown- thought this might be stressing him but have ruled it out. Next question-  Down the road (maybe in another 6 months or so) if everything is still going smoothly, do you feel it would be okay to add a dwarf feather duster & a Florida Ricordea to this system? <These choices should go here fine> After those two additions, my wish list is done- or am I maxed out already? <Close to it, and more... with growth, asexual reproduction> I'm aware of the allelopathy issues that can occur but would like to give it a try.  Maybe with the Chemi-pure & carbon & frequent water changes it could work out? <Yes> I would appreciate your take on this. And my very last question...I promise!  What is your opinion of Boyd's vita chem.? <A good product... I have used this...> Is this a good product, or am I just feeding my hair algae? <Only to a small degree... Worth using for the benefits it affords your other livestock IMO> Thanks in advance for your consideration.  It is much appreciated!!! -Jaime <Thank you for writing so well, sharing... Your intelligence, learning and passion for life shine through. Bob Fenner> Bicolor Blenny Feeding    7/20/06 Hi, <Hello> I recently added a Bicolor Blenny to my reef tank, and it promptly disappeared into the rockwork. <To be expected. Natural behavior> My question is, how do I feed it if I can't see it? <Will come out, feed when it's ready> In quarantine, it ate Formula 2 pellets without difficulty. It's tankmates are two small Ocellaris clowns and one golden hogfish, all of which will certainly eat before the blenny. Thanks for advice! Jason <Patience... Bob Fenner> Midas Blenny Compatibility   7/18/06 Hey Crew, <Hey there, Leslie here with you this evening> May I get your thoughts on adding a Midas Blenny to my mix? <Sure, they are entertaining and adorable. I love them!> My LFS has a gorgeous one about 5" long. <Nice> Tank:  150 gallon, 150 pounds LR, sump, fuge, Euro Reef, MH Residents (all have been in my tank for at least a year):  2 Purple Tile Fish (2 years!),  Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura), mated pair O. Clowns, 3 green Chromis, Pearly Jawfish, Canary Blenny, LPS.   <In that size tank I think you should be just fine.> Many Thanks <You're most welcome and best of luck with your new fish. Cheers, Leslie>

Very Stressed Midas Blenny   4/1/06 Hi, <Hi there, Leslie here with you this morning.> I asked this on WetWebFotos and got no responses. I got a Midas Blenny from what I think is a reliable source (lots of reviews), also when everything arrived it was beautifully packed. Everything else is fine and in good condition (all inverts). However, the Blenny is not so ok. I don't think it is sick, but it is hiding constantly. I put the Blenny in QT. It is not a stripped down QT, has some rock and sand. Anyway, the Blenny has been hiding and has been seen a couple times, not moving much and very mottled in color. <These fish spend quite a bit of time perched between rocks usually with their heads peeking out, seeming quite alert and interested in their environment.>I understand that is a stress signal. <It can be a sign of stress but that is also how they look when they settle in for the night. It is a form of camouflage. He probably is not feeling safe in his new environment just yet.> (Actually if I didn't know what they really look like I would say it is quite pretty. Oh well.) Anyway, I want to know what I can do (if anything) to help my fish. I added a few more hiding places. Am planning on a water change tomorrow (1-2 gals) and changing the carbon. Also lowering the water level a little-- I am using a power filter so a little lower water level will cause a bit more water movement (I think). <Yes it should, even better would be a small power head placed at the surface so that the return flows horizontally across the water surface causing a nice ripple effect.> Anything else I could do for the fish? <I think you came up with a great plan. If possible limiting the activity around the tank for a while until your fish settles in may help. Your new fish probably just needs little time to adjust to it?#8364;™s new home.> Should I not do any of the above? <No. It all sounds just fine.> My main tank is looking much better btw!! <That?#8364;™s great news!!> Thanks, des <You?#8364;™re most welcome, best of luck with your new blenny.  Leslie>

Rejuvenating a very sad tank? And Midas Blenny?  - 03/22/06 Hi Guys and Gals (hey a hit musical?), <Maybe...> Anyway, I have a problem and can't seem to find any type of answer to this. I asked it on the forum and didn't get any sort of answers. I have a 40 gal breeder which I kept quite nicely (even moved from Chicago to Albuquerque) for years. Then I had a point where I wasn't making enough money to keep the tank going. <Yikes... got to move!> I decided I would do the very minimum. I fed the fish, I did very few water changes, and kept the water topped off (sort of). The tank looked like a cesspool but the fish and other critters stayed alive. The neon goby and shrimp were 2 years old and the bicolor blenny and clown over 4. My financial position has changed, so I am trying to reboot the tank. I have so far added a new light unit (Orbit with 2 96 watt bulbs), an RO system, and have a new blue spotted Jawfish in QT (no, I am not that rich-- it was a special treat to myself). <Do keep the tank top covered!> I added a whole bunch of sand and have done a few (plan for more) large water changes (about 9 gal) and am planning more. I have treated Aiptasia by putting shrimp with LR (that was prior to the new sand and all). I plan on putting a phosphate sponge in the filter next time around or so.  I also will be redoing the refugium. (Oh yes, and a very good top!!!) <Ah, good> In the process  of all that rearrangement etc. I lost the blenny and the neon, as well as the shrimp. :-( It is showing improvement, with clearer water, but I have a nice crop of diatoms. Anything else I should be doing?? <Mmm, nope... slow and steady as she goes... with your plans> Since I lost the blenny, I have been thinking again about a Midas Blenny. I really like this fish and like it better than the bicolor. We   had a discussion awhile ago about keeping them and seemed to decide that they are not as hardy as the bicolor. Perhaps it is a dietary thing? <Maybe... I find them about equal...> I was wondering since the foods have been getting better if it might be worth another try. Although I can't seem to keep Sweetwater zooplankton fresh for more than a week, there is Cyclop-Eeze, as well as New Life Spectrum (don't know if there is anything special in there but I am impressed with it), as well as the usual Mysid, etc. Any thoughts on this? <All should be accepted> Thanks ahead of time, --des <Good to "see/have you back". Bob Fenner>

Midas Blenny - Hardy or not?  - 2/4/2006 I realize that people can only speak from experience, so I'm not trying to criticize... rather, I am seeking clarification. On this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blenselfaqs.htm One person (Cody) says that the Midas Blennies one of the most hardy blennies, and then lower Steve says that they are NOT very hardy.     So is this a hardy fish, or not? -Jeff- <Not to be (or even appear) disingenuous, but both statements can be/are correct. Ecsenius species that have been "well-collected, housed, shipped"... and provided for (large environment, clean, well-aerated water, lots of healthy live rock, not crowded, or housed with antagonistic fish tankmates... are exceedingly hardy, interesting captives. Now, in reality, most are starved, beat on arrival, stuck in too-new systems with bullies, and further stressed, starved to death... Get healthy specimen/s (usually only one to a tank unless it's huge), quarantine briefly (making sure they're well-fed daily), and place in a proper environment and you'll see. Bob Fenner> Midas Blenny Hardiness Clarification  - 01/09/2006 Hey guys, <Nicholas> I was reading over your site, and wanted to clear something up.   <Will try> On http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blenselfaqs.htm , Cody says: 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> And at the bottom of the page Steven Pro says: Midas Blenny To Steve Pro or any of you knowledgeable people - Hi on a Sunday AM. Steve, I was wondering why you thought a Midas Blenny would not be a good idea for my two tanks. <Generally not very hardy. They feed very frequent feedings of plankton substitutes, much like the Anthias they mimic.> I wanted a small yellow friendly guy to put in with my two black and white clowns. Bob gives it a rave review in his book. <Not in my copy> Does he grow too big or what? (The tank is 29 gallons) I was also planning to put one in my 60 gallon tank. Do you know of other small yellow friendly fellows who are community-types and are fish? <Gobiodon citrinus or G. okinawae> Thanks for your continued help on stocking my tank. Am still planning on the fairy wrasse for my 60 gallon tank. Are there different kinds of fairy wrasses <Many> and if so should I beware of any particular one? <Please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/cirrhilabrus/index.htm> The current crew is one clown, one pygmy angel and one royal Gramma. Still plan to add 3 Chromis and one more clown to that tank. Fishfully yours, Connie Cavan <Have a nice weekend. -Steven Pro> Can someone say which of these is the better voice? Thanks, Nick <Mmm, well, they are (of a necessity) individual voices. I am more of the leaning of Steven Pro here... there is a huge range (and assemblage) of blennies, blennioid fishes... for given size, type settings, some are far more/less hardy than others. Ecsenius species by and large do well in uncrowded, not-too aggressive settings, with plenty of live rock. Bob Fenner>

Blennies (Ecsenius Sp.)  10/19/05 We don't see much written about the tail spot blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura). <Understandable it's not such a common offering.> We're looking for a small fish who will help keep the green hair algae in check. This is our only concern so far in the few weeks that we've had the fish in my tank which was first cycled by the live rock. <Care for the Ecsenius stigmatura is relatively easy care should be very similar to that of blennies in the Ecsenius Genus such as the Bi-Color Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor). Provide a tank with plenty of live rock for grazing accompanied by a varied diet and you should be fine.> We have a 40 gallon with 30 lbs. live rock, 2 green Chromis (Chromis viridis), 1 false percula (Amphiprion ocellaris), 2 cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), 6 blue leg hermit crabs (Clibanarius sp.), 6 Astrea Conehead snails, and 6 red leg hermit crabs (unsure of genus / species). Future plans include a royal Gramma and a wrasse (you've helped me narrow the wrasse choice in a previous message). <Ok.>  Also corals (Fungia sp., Actinodiscus sp, and Sarcophyton sp.) and on the wish list. I've read your cautions about having the hermit crabs once we more into the corals. <Risk varies depending on the species.> Thanks for the prior advice. <No problem and good luck. Adam J.> Midas Blenny biting its own tail, and Chromis Compatibility success, thanks to SteveA  10/6/05 Dear WWM Crew, firstly a big thank you for the previous advice (from Steve Allen) about dealing with a bullying blue-green Chromis (Murdering Chromis - 6/5/05 - on Damsel Compatibility FAQ's) - we weren't that keen/ able to just "get rid of it" as was his first suggestion, so we took a combination of his other two suggestions. We bought four more reasonably sized blue-green Chromises and quarantined then for 4 weeks. When their quarantine time was up, we removed the bully from the main tank into our very small treatment tank for a few days, and then introduced all of them into the main tank together at the same time. We now have a very happy shoal of Chromises, who seem to get on well together - thanks for the excellent advice. <Ahh, congratulations. Will send along to Steve> Sadly, of course, this is not our sole reason for contacting you. We bought a Midas Blenny about 5 weeks ago, and have quarantined him for 4 weeks. He has always remained a bit browner than he was in the shop display, but otherwise seemed pretty happy, and was taking a good amount of flake/ brine shrimp - have got some algae in the tank, and offered him some seaweed as well, but never seemed very interested. We put him in our main tank about 4 days ago, and he seems to have settled in alright, but last night we noticed him scratching against the rear wall of the tank, and also nipping at his own body (not the tailfin itself, but just in front). He is doing the same this morning as well. We have seen the same behaviour in a bicolour blenny we had, who subsequently died, at a time when all our other fish had ich. We thought we had dealt with the ich, by treating all the fish, leaving the tank fallow for 8 weeks, and quarantining new additions at least 4 weeks, and certainly none of the other fish (6 Chromis) have any signs of ich at the moment. The blenny hasn't got any white spots (though by most accounts blennies often don't show spots when they have ich), and appears to be feeding well, though is still brownish-yellow rather than golden, <"Stress coloration"> so perhaps we shouldn't be too hasty, but this all seems very similar to our previous blenny's pre-terminal behaviour! We've taken him out into the quarantine tank (along with a large piece of live rock in which he was hiding - any suggestions for removing him from this?) <I would not. Will come out of its own accord>> . Tank parameters are: Main tank - ammonia 0, nitrite 0.025, nitrate 25, pH 8.2, SG 1.022, temp 26C ; Quarantine tank - ammonia 0, nitrite 0.01, nitrate 10, pH 8.2, SG 1.022, temp 26. I'm going to do a 20% water change in the quarantine tank today, and we'll need to get the nitrates down in the main tank, but we're worried about losing the blenny if we don't act early and aggressively enough, and so were thinking about treating him with copper. As always your expert advice would be greatly appreciated, Jim+Jo, Norfolk, UK <I would not treat this fish per se... and not with Copper unless there was obviously some cause. Very likely this "self-nipping" behavior is just "natural"... I would sub-tend the quarantine process with this fish, dip it in a pH-adjusted freshwater bath, and (risk) place/ing it in your main system. Bob Fenner>

Blenny Diet Inquisition <A new Mel Brooks film?> 8/13/05 I recently got a two spot blenny (Ecsenius bimaculatus) for my 5.5g with fuge for a total water volume of 6g. Other inhabitants include 4 sexy shrimp and 1 peppermint shrimp. I feed a mix of Spectrum New Life pellets and Hikari Marine S pellets sparingly (5 pellets per feeding) twice per day. I also dose phytoplankton once a week at the rate of 2ml. Spectrum New Life main ingredients: krill, herring, wheat flower, amino acids, algae meal Hikari Marine S main ingredients: fish meal, krill meal, silkworm pupa meal, starch, dried seaweeds meal Questions: I know the Ecsenius bimaculatus is an herbivore but do you think it will eat pods? <Yes... this genus' members are not herbivores... more general omnivores> Any other food recommendations? I dislike flakes because they get caught in the sponge I use to catch debris as it flows back into the display. Shrimp, whether live or frozen is also out of the question because of the aforementioned reason and because the blenny is an herbivore. Thanks! <Healthy Ecsenius will eat most anything small, meaty... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ecsblenfaqs1.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Bicolor blenny gone AWOL on me... 8/4/05 Hi Bob or crew,... <Dimitri> I was just wondering if you're ever heard of bicolor blennies disappearing in a reef system like Houdini? <Yes... all the time. Either jump out (and dry up or are consumed by a pet), or die and dissolve or are consumed quickly> I had this bicolor blenny for quite sometime and seemed happy, however, a few days ago he decided to go AWOL on me and has not been seen since then... I mostly have leathers,1 plate coral, 2 acros, pagoda cups, with some Ricordea mushrooms being the only coral that has a mouth.. <Mmm, could be these...> I also have some button polyps but none of them would be capable of eating it? <Not likely... unless it died, fell on them> I have 4 tangs, 1 six line wrasse, 1 clarki clown, 1 orange Anthias and 1 mandarin. The system is 157 g, custom acrylic tank with a refugium. I checked all places, wet-dry filter, refugium, overflow area but he's nowhere to be found. I only have 1 red legged hermit crab, and the only thing I can think of is, either he got stuck in a crevice and died he loved spending time in a tight crevice of a rock) or he died of old age) and the hermit crab picked him up for food. I haven't seen the hermit for a while. No clicking sounds in the tank to assume that I have a mantis shrimp either. This is a 3 year old established system with no water issues. I did notice the past months though that the tissue on my pagoda cups started receding so I ended up removing all of my blue legged hermits plus 2 peppermint shrimp that I did see picking on them. From what I read in the WWM archives, there have been other aquarists that had those blennies disappear in an unexplained way. Any ideas what might have happened, or are the red legged hermit crabs reef safe? Could it be they are the culprit? <Could be... or might still be hiding... I'd check on the floor again, and for a smiling cat. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, D. - Bicolor Blenny a Good Addition? - Dear Wet Web Media Crew, I'm thinking about adding a bicolor blenny to my 90 gallon reef tank. Currently I have three damsels, three bar gobies, a strawberry Basslet, and a six-line wrasse. I've read that blennies will sometimes not get along with certain gobies. <I've not heard this... and certainly the bi-color blennies seem to keep to themselves - generally peaceful.> Do you think it would fight with any of the bar gobies? <Probably not - they tend to occupy different spaces in the tank - the bar gobies being in open water and the bi-color usually on the substrate. Provided there are plenty of spaces to hide and share, all should be fine.> Almost everything I've read on the bicolor blenny says that they are reef safe, however, I have read on your site that they might nip at certain corals and clam mantles. <Have never seen this personally... have seen numerous bi-color blennies in fully stocked reef tanks, and never heard anyone complain about the blenny nipping their invertebrates. Have seen a bi-color repetitively perch on a clam mantle, but did not nip it.> I have many LPS, soft corals, and various polyps along with a crocea clam. Do you think that I should avoid getting the bicolor blenny, and if so, is there any other blenny that might be a better fit? <I'd think the bi-color would be a fine match, but you might also look for some barnacle blennies which I've always found to be entertaining - you rarely see much more than their head, but this amuses me for reasons I can't explain. In any case, very peaceful.> Thanks so much. -Natalie <Cheers, J -- >

Bicolor Blenny color change 5/16/05 Hello. We purchased a bicolor blenny with a beautiful orange color on half of it's body. It stayed this way until we introduced a coral beauty. Within a week the orange color disappeared. The coral beauty seems to pick on the blenny some, although not hurting him, but chasing and preventing him from leaving his chosen holes. At the same time we introduced the coral beauty we also starting feeding more meaty foods such as Mysis shrimp and pellets. Our blenny loves the shrimp and pellets and seems to prefer these over the vegetarian foods offered. Is the change in color due to the stress of being picked on or because of the change in diet? Is there something we can do (other than remove the coral beauty) to get his color to return? Thank you, Ann  <I would guess that the color change is primarily stress induced. Changes in diet would likely take a while to cause significant color changes. There is a chance that the angel will ease up enough on the blenny to reduce the stress level, but maybe not. Best Regards. AdamC.>

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 Blenny problems Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 Hi, <Hello Chris, James (Salty Dog) here.> I've written to you a few times and you have always promptly replied.  Thanks so much for the help you have given me.  <You're welcome> I am stuck with a new problem, a problem with a bicolor blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) chewing on my Turbinaria peltata. I acquired a magnificent Turbinaria peltata last weekend. Its amazing with light brown polyps and fluorescent green between the polyps. Its been doing great, all polyps expanding. But a few days after I got the coral, I saw patches on the green tissue that looked like someone has taken an eraser and tried to remove the green. I know it was the blenny as he had slight go at my Acro.  He stopped chewing on that now at least. I did not think he would go for the Turbinaria though. I see him sometimes lying in the cup of the coral, all peacefully, then just to turn around and nip a piece of the fresh green tissue. Is this just a phase that will pass, or is it better the blenny goes. <You know Chris, there are some that say the bicolor is reef safe, and there are some that say it will go after corals and the like. So, if it continues, I guess you'll have to give him his discharge.>  I'd rather remove the blenny than lose the amazing coral. If the blenny leaves, will the damaged tissue recover?  <Yes, under good conditions> I want to evict the blenny, and tried a few times to no avail. He's a slimy customer. He has a favorite hole in which he sleeps and hides, and as soon as I get close to the tank with the net..... shwoop, he's gone. I've even tried to coax him out with some food, because he's quite a pig when it comes to food, but that was no good either. Can you suggest a method to remove him easily. I thought of removing the rock in which he sleeps, but I'd rather not rearrange my tank decor if possible. Is there a sort of trap I could build?  <Ahh, the joys of trying to catch a fish in a reef tank. You might try a mantis trap baited with his favorite food. No guarantee, but it is better to try this first that to disrupt the whole system which you will end up doing if he doesn't take the bait. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

Bubble-eyed Bicolor Blenny I have a bicolor blenny that developed a cloudy/clear bubble around one eye sometime within the last 12 hours. I have had 3 other bicolor blennies in the past, and NEVER have seen this before!!!<I sounds like it could be a bacterial infection.> I have had this one for 2 mo., and it is by far the prettiest as far as being so rich in color. This one even has a yellowish golden glittery area on the very tip of its tail. It is very active, swims around and is not nearly as shy as the ones I have had in the past. I tried to feed it flakes, it acted interested and then spit them back out. It has even been "kissing" the rocks/glass for algae. It acts normal. It swims to me when it sees my face, and hears me calling it. It is in a 20 gal. tall tank (in process and final stages of setting up 120 gal.) with only 2 true Percs. We have a 18 gal. sump and a protein skimmer for this tank. 1 week ago I rescued the blenny from the overflow by removing the over flow and dumping/pouring him/her back into the main tank. Could this have injured him? Help!!! Any suggestions or comments? Thanks for your time.  Jill <Jill, it is possible that the eye may have gotten irritated from the dumping. It could have removed the slime coating from the fish and created a site that could have gotten infected. I think the best thing for you to do is to watch it and if it gets worse put your fish in a quarantine tank and treat it with a medication for bacterial infections. One example of this would be Ampicillin. Good Luck. MikeB.>

Carnivore Bi-Color Blenny I recently acquired a bi-color blenny, and it was to my surprise and shock when I saw it eat live brine shrimp and squid flesh. I saw that others have posted accounts of blennies eating carnivore flakes, but none that would eat flesh. Is there any fish that may mimic a bi-color blenny? I'm wondering if I have the real deal.  <Erik, you have the real deal. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again, Erik Cornelissen 

Re: Carnivore Bi-Color Blenny Bi-Color Blenny Thanks James. Does this imply that some blennies are omnivores, contrary to what is commonly thought, or that they simply eat flesh in new surroundings or under special conditions?  <Erik, all fish will eat meat. Take a tang for instance or a Sailfin Blenny known to be algae eaters. That is a preference, but they will eat other foods readily. James (Salty Dog)>

Blenny chewing on Acro Hi, <And to you> Cheers for all the help so far........I've learned so much from you guys. I have a problem with my bicolor blenny that acquired the taste for Acro tissues. Its my first time with Acro, so I got hold of a small frag, its light brown with light blue tips. So When I added the Acro, after slowly acclimating it, I saw the blenny hovering the base rock that the Frag was mounted on, cuz it had some algae on it. All went well, and I was really happy about my new coral. So the next day, I noticed small whitish patches on the branches, easily seen if the lights were off. I thought I did something wrong, but soon found the blenny chewing on the patches that were white. Every time I see him go close I feel like ripping him out. So yesterday I observed him like constantly, he seemed to leave it alone, but the Acro was scarred. Will the Acro recover the areas that the blenny had a go at? <If conditions are propitious, likely so> I want to evict the blenny soon in anyway, but is it really crucial that he goes? <Mmm, am surprised that an Ecsenius would chew a staghorn coral... and if one did so, and you had enough specimen biomass, I don't think it would matter a bit. If it were me, my tank et al., I'd hold off on trying to remove this fish... It may well have been picking at something associated with the Acropora, not the stony coral itself. Bob Fenner> Cheers Chris B Injured bi-color blenny The other day I noticed a "gouge" for lack of a better term near the dorsal fin of the bicolor blenny.  Not sure where it came from -- the tang or ocellaris clowns? << No, too peaceful in regards to a bicolor blenny. >> The blenny is about 3 inches long, so twice the size of the clowns.  Could it have happened when the blenny squeezed in and out of holes in the live rock? << Much more likely. >> My question is whether there is any treatment I can administer, or if natural healing is the only way to go?  The dorsal fin is mostly gone, and there is an 1/8th to 1/4 inch wound on the back.  The blenny is swimming and feeding fine (normally). << I actually had this happen to some fish before.  My problem came from a powerhead filter mis-hap.  Anyway what I did was increased my iodine supplement.  I basically put the pipette right in the water and tried to squirt the Lugol's right onto the fish.  Then I just kept may water quality as good as I could and let it go.  Believe it or not my fish completely healed and even grew back the dorsal fin. >> Thanks for maintaining such a great site! Jim Lee <<  Blundell  >>

Bicolor Blenny With Internal Parasite? My bicolor blenny tonight had what I can only call white stringy poop... but this was really different. There were two strings, that were about 1 1/4" long and about 1mm thick. I managed to collect a small sample. Under a magnifying glass, it looks like a portion of a clear tube with many, many eggs inside. <Hmm...> The blenny was QT'd and I've had him/her for about 2 months now.  The blenny is plump and appears healthy (good color and appetite, active, and has grown quite a bit) but I can only guess this is some sort of intestinal parasitic infection. <That is definitely a possibility...> I was unable to find and collect the rest of the strings, so one way or another, even if this was the first sign, it's in the tank now. Thoughts on treatment, etc?   Thanks, Nicole <Well, Nicole, before you jump to a potentially dangerous conclusion and start a course of unnecessary treatment, I'd recommend observing the fish for a while longer. If the fish appears to be in otherwise good health, is eating well, not losing weight, and behaving in a healthy manner, I'd just keep providing a stable, clean environment and good food. If the fish is displaying lack of appetite, weight loss, listlessness or other symptoms, then I'd consider medicated foods, which are available at your local fish store. Patience first, then action if required. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Bicolor Blenny With Internal Parasite? (Pt. 2) Greetings from Orange County, Scott, and thanks for your reply.   <Hello again! Glad to be of service!> His/her poop is back to normal tonight and all fishies look fine.  I am not too worried at this point, just perplexed.  The eggs have not hatched nor rotted. <Unless this is a regular or semi-regular occurrence for this fish, I usual would not be overly concerned. Could be anything from some parasites to some type of undigested material that the fish passed almost intact...> Could this be HER eggs?  After the strings fell off, she did have a small tube pointing down and forward for a while.  The tube is not visible today. It looks too small for an ovipositor (compared to a clown's), and I didn't think she was mature yet because she was so small when I got her... But these sure do look like caviar.  Or cerith eggs.  She was not "laying them," but it was feeding time and she's a pig.  Heck, everything else in my tank spawns, why not her? <Hmm...I suppose it's an outside possibility, but your second hunch may have been more realistic: The fish may have ingested someone else's eggs. Certainly a possibility> I know female clowns can sometimes lay eggs without a male around, but can't seem to find anything on bicolor reproductive behavior. <There isn't much material out there. I'd check fishbase.org for more information and references on this fish and its biology.> Anyway, just thinking out loud.  Thanks again, Nicole <All good thoughts, Nicole. Excellent observations and theories! Keep me posted! BTW, if you are not a member of Southern California Marine Aquarium Society or Marine Aquarium Society of Los Angeles County, do consider hooking up with one of these excellent clubs! Regards, Scott F.>

Bicolor blenny not eating Okay....things are getting back to normal slowly...no ammonia, no nitrates, ph 8.2, nitrates still a little high at 15 (doing 5 percent water changes weekly). I've got 2 small Percula clowns, a rainfordi goby, cleaner shrimp, pygmy angel (a gorgeous fish!) and a bi-color blenny in my 46 gallon tank (plus a few snails and hermits and baby starfish)  A couple of issues....although I see waste from the blenny, it does not appear to be eating any food other than sucking at the live rock...I have tried:  formula 2, brine shrimp, flake, dried algae, Cyclop-eeze, and dried marine algae flake. <Its eating algae and pods from the live rock, which is a good thing.>  It also seems to sift the sand.  I have had it a couple of weeks....a guy at work tells me they eventually eat but it takes a while....what do you think?  Is there something else I should try? <I think that as long as it has stuff from the live rock to eat it will prefer to eat that.> Also, my clown has had a small white raised spot by it's side swim fin for several weeks...it does not look like ich, it is a little larger.  A guy at the pet store told me clowns get that sometimes and are usually doomed....any thoughts? <It depends on what it is, if its Lymphocystis (Cauliflower looking as it grows) then its not usually fatal> It is eating and acting perfectly normal....doesn't appear stressed at all, so I have been just keeping an eye on it. <Sounds like you are on the right track Lisa, Lymphocystis is usually fixed with good water conditions.  Good luck, MacL> Regards! Lisa MIDAS BLENNY & AGGRESSIVE TANK MATE Hi Crew- <Hi Jill, MacL here to try to help.> Thanks for your help in the past! I am about to move, and because that will mean an upheaval, I am thinking of how to solve an incompatibility in my tank. <Smart move.> I have a 30 ("breeder") reef over a year old housing, aside from the inverts (including a large skunk cleaner shrimp), Centropyge argi, a Midas blenny, and a Sailfin molly acclimated to marine. My Midas is my beloved. <I'm not surprised, such excellent personalities and truly great fish.> The argi has become aggressive. <I've understood this happens on occasion.> As time goes on, the Midas spends less time out in the open, with a darker face, and every time he comes out, the argi seems to bully him back to his nook or cranny. <Not good, one of the joys of Midas are that they will often swim out in the open.> I think I will remove the argi when I break down the tank for the move. <Probably a wise move.> If you think it inadvisable to keep the molly at the sustained higher salinity of the reef, I can remove him as well. (I introduced him to see if he found a particular algae palatable; he didn't.) <I've had friends who have keep them for a long time in totally salt water with no problems.> Once the tank is set up and stable again, I would like to add tankmates that would complement the Midas blenny well. Is there any particular fish you'd add that might share his food and let the blenny come out in the open, maybe bring out his good behaviors? <Sometimes found in association with the Basslet Pseudanthias squamipinnis, which it resembles, feeding on zooplankton. That's from the WWM Website. Sounds like that's the perfect companion for your blenny.> I am thinking of one or two of the following. Could you please comment on them, particularly in their relation to the blenny?  My tank is not well-covered, but there are some adjustments I can make. <You will probably need to based on what you'd like to have.> 1.  Black-cap Gramma (Gramma melacara)<Little aggressive> 2.  Black ocellaris clown <Little aggressive> 3.  Twin-spot hogfish (Bodianus bimaculatus) or Halichoeres chrysus <Not a good mix> 4.  Banggai Cardinal (Pterapogon kaudneri) or other cardinal <Should work well> 5.  Clown Goby (Gobiodon sp.) <Your blenny might nip at him> 6.  Purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora) <Your blenny might nip at him> 5.  I still love Centropyges, if there are any with which I'd be better off, and I love other goby/Blennioids if you think any would be particularly good. <I'm very much afraid most of the Centropyges will get aggressive although I have a friend who is successfully keeping a Lemonpeel with a Midas.> I would love a smaller flasher wrasse, but they are not often available. <You might try www.themarinecenter.com.> Thank you so much for your advice, helping me put the pieces of what I know about each fish to fit with the blenny. <Its a pleasure to help someone seeking to do things the right way. -Jill  <Good luck Jill>

Bicolor Blenny (weird color) <Hi, MikeD here> I have been turning to your sight whenever I noticed something weird in my tank.<Only when something bad happens, eh? **grin**> I have found great info to calm me until now.<Cool. Hopefully now as well> I have a 42gal tank that is about two months old. In the tank I have two Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, a Bicolor Blenny, a Radiant Wrasse and 8 Nassarius snails. I have had the Blenny for about three weeks and the wrasse for 4 days.<Uh Oh. No quarantine tank eh?> The Wrasse stays under the sand most of the time. I have seen him out briefly a number of times including this afternoon.<Not a good sign as it should be out and feeding more. They have heavy caloric intake needs when small> The real problem is that I checked on the tank a few minutes ago and my Blenny was acting funny. He was laying on the bottom of the tank on the sand. This is strange for him, he usually stays on or in the rocks. He had his white (somethings up) stripes on and he seemed to be breathing funny.<Good powers of observation, your most valuable tool.> I must have startled him because he swam to the back of the tank in a thrashing fashion.<Another bad sign> (didn't return calmly to one of his two homes inside the live rock). I took a closer look and his cheeks seem to be a funny light pink color and his whole body is lighter then normal. I immediately checked all the stats... everything was normal. The only thing was the nitrate (NO3) was 12.5. The tank is due for a water change is about 7 days.<Do the water change now. no reason to wait 7 days. My suggestion is that whenever you see abnormal behavior, do a partial water change before anything else, often the best solution.> I am not sure what else to do. I have a 10gal QT tank but catching him is going to be hard and I don't want to stress him out anymore if its nothing (but me being a neurotic parent)... I just checked on him and he had moved under a piece of live rock and one of the cleaner shrimps was giving him a bath. This is something new because I have not ever seen him let them do that. If he is having a health problem<Quite possibly. Many blennies are sensitive to high nitrates, which the water change should help, and then once weakened are open to Ick attacks. The reddening of the gills is often the only sign you'll see before losing the fish>, or suffering would the shrimp hurt him?<NO, but it would try to remove parasites> Or be able to make it worse? I don't think the Wrasse could have done anything because he rarely comes out of hiding. Also, I have read that this is normal but he does not come out to eat when I feed the tank. Could he be finding enough food in the sand?<Again, not likely. You're tank is too new for much to have developed that could be of use.  Try the water changes, and if you don't see an improvement in 24 hours, I'd suggest removing both fish to the 10 gal. tank and treating for ick with either hyposalinity or a good ick remedy. DO NOT use medications in your main tank, ever.> Thank you for all of your help in advance. I don't think I will be sleeping much tonight!<Hope this helps. In the future you want to start using that 10 gal as a Q-tank before adding new fish to your tank, as this can prevent some major fish losses, and, as in your case, worries> - Elizabeth

Re: Bicolor Blenny (weird color) MikeD, <MikeD again, at your service> Maybe I spoke too soon! This evening (after water change) I noticed that "Imholtep" has some salt like flakes on his body none on the fins though...<don't hit the panic button too fast then. Usually, but not always, the spots will show on the fins before the body, but as stated, sometimes none at all will appear on blennies and can still be fatal. Since there are none on the fins, there's always the chance that it might be debris from the bottom stuck to his slime coat. Look very carefully, and if it's Ick the spots should look almost like grains of salt.> and I am not sure about the wrasse. (FYI today at the LFS I asked my fish guy (who had been out with back trouble) about the Wrasse. Turns out he is about two years old and belonged to one of the guys who works at the store. He broke his tank down a month ago to make some changes and the "No Name" Wrasse ended up with me... thus they feel like the hiding is normal and he should snap out of it! ) Back to "Imholtep", I am too tired to do anything tonight, how can I be sure that it is ich, and then what should be the next step. Should I assume the Wrasse is going to need treatment also...<Usually, but not always. Healthy fish can often fight off ick, and I've seen one fish covered with spots in a tank with all the rest looking just fine.> which means I get to go hunting! If it is ich both will have to move into the QT. 1.) How long will the tank need to be without fish for this to go away? 2.) What do you recommend as far as treatment is concerned? Should I stop by the LFS and get some FW for dipping? Then what type of chemicals should be used because "Imholtep" is scaleless.<Here's a URL that answers both questions beautifully http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm Can the shrimp catch this?<No, it's a fish only thing> When will it all end?  Good thing its a long weekend I have four days to take care of this problem!<The very best of luck to you. It gets better, honest!> Thanks for your patience and all of your help!<My pleasure> -Elizabeth

Re: Bicolor Blenny (weird color) MikeD,<Got me again. Are you lucky or what?> Thank you for your help!<You're welcome> This AM "Imholtep"<GOOD name...a thinker!> the blenny was back in his normal spot darker in color but still with his (somethings up stripes). His body looked good and fins were clear (no ick so far). I am going to do a 25% water change when I get home this evening. I will also keep a close eye on him.<Good. They can get Ick easy, show few spots, and IMO don't stand high nitrates well either, no matter what the books say> As far as the Wrasse is concerned... Although the tank is young it cycled in 3weeks... confirmed by LFS. I have already noticed (and been freaked by) copepods, baby snails, small clear shrimp, something that looks like a rolly polly with a black stripe down the back. I ended up with a few hitchhikers on the Worm Rock.<AHA! You put the LR straight in without curing it. That's probably why the cycle went faster as well. Be careful though as it's still unstable and can shift very easily.> The Wrasse is an adult I am sure. He is about 3 inches and pretty hardy. I know he comes out when I am not around. I caught him out yesterday around noon.<Probably having a pod dinner, on the hoof.> I got a chance to get a good look at him and everything seems good, thick body...good color...clear fins. He seems to be fine with the other guys in the tank. Once he noticed me he went back into hiding.<Not unusual. Many wrasses are shy, even some of the big ones> My tank is a 42gal Hexagon. How long should I give him to get comfortable to his new tank?<He may never get actually "bold" but should eventually get less skittish with time.> He was at the LFS for a good while. He was in a display tank separated from the main system, with some other wrasses.<???Wrasses don't usually like other wrasses, worse than tangs and angels.> I will be at the LFS this evening getting the water. I buy their (osmosis) water for water changes it is cheaper and easier then doing it myself. I will try getting some different foods to encourage the Wrasse out of hiding.<try live blood worms as a treat, just to get him out and used to you, if they carry them.> Thanks again for responding, this can be a tough hobby to get started!<just a little, more addicting than hard though. Welcome to the jungle!> Elizabeth

Blennies Your site has been giving me great information as well as curious email responses to past ?s and i appreciate that, thank you. I have a few more questions. Can I have more than 1 bi-color blenny in a 75 gallon tank?<I suppose you could but there is a possibility of the two fighting> Is there a way to get a pair and how can you tell that they are a pair?<Honestly I do not know what the differences between the males/females all i know is normally the males tend to be larger...but I do know that liveaquaria.com and themarinecenter.com could probably find a "pair" of bi-color blennies for you> Are they like Clowns that one male will turn into a female?<do not believe so> Also the pet store has a new type of food i think there called copepods or something like that, it's frozen. they said because mandarins are difficult, that they will eat these frozen pods, is that true or is he giving me a rundown. Also could a chevron and purple tang get along?<I would say no to the chevron and the purple tang. the mandarins should eat the pods. good luck, IanB> Harry

Bi-Color Blenny Bothering Shrooms - 2/2/04 Hi. Thanks for all you support in the past. <Thank you for being part of it all> New problem {haven't had one in a long time thanks to your crew :>). <Great to hear> I have a 55 gal with about 40-50 lb. live rock assorted mushrooms on rocks and polyps feather duster yellow tailed damsel (2) false perks blue legged and red legged hermit crabs a pincushion urchin and my new addition of a BI colored blenny. So cute. <Agreed> Problem the blenny. Has his spot in one of the rocks and swims back and forth between his spot and my purple mushroom rock. Just sits there swims away and back again. <Normal behavior> the problem is all of a sudden my mushrooms are not opening up some seem to be missing where he sits. <Likely he "bothered" them away, they detached and are free floating looking to attach somewhere else. There is a small chance they have been consumed.> the bigger ones on the side of the rock are still there and still open up full but I cant seem to find the others. <Look around as they are there but you never know with this fish. They have been known to have tendencies sometimes to eat invertebrates and corals.> He doesn't seem to be eating them or picking at them. <Agreed> its just on the purple mushrooms he enjoys sitting on. <Hmmmm> I moved the rock to the bottom of the tank in the sand bed hoping he would find a better spot but he just followed it down there. <Weird. I have not heard of them eating these mushrooms before. There are reports of them nipping at clams and other corals, but mushrooms are so noxious.> I was going to try to remove the mushrooms off this rock and try to propagate them to some small pieces of dead coral and set them somewhere else and give him back his rock. <Worthy of a try> am I doing the right thing or just sit back and watch this catastrophe happen? <No way. Empowering yourself is the right decision. read about the Bi-color blenny here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ecseniusblennies1.htm  ~Paul> Thanks a million. Misty

Teeny, Tiny Algae Chompers Alright, I have done (what I feel anyways) is quite a bit of searching around, and I cannot seem to find out if the entire genus Ecsenius, eats undesired algae in the home aquarium.   < I would be uncomfortable making a blanket statement that every species in the genus eats algae, but the majority of them do have algae as a major component of their diet.> I would be ok with something such as the bi-color blenny, but just feel that 4 inches is too large. <They tend to hit their maximum sizes, too! Most of 'em are good eaters> I would much rather Ecsenius opsifrontalis, or the Ecsenius gravieri I would consider a close second, I created a thread on RC, did a search on RC and hear, and checked fishbase to see if the species eat algae, but I couldn't find out.  Anyways your advice would be grand, actually any 2"-ish  fish that ate algae and is reef safe would be great.   <Tough call... hard to find a reliable algae-consuming fish that stays tiny...I've kept Ecsenius pictus, which stays pretty small, and does like to chomp algae, although not as its exclusive diet. I'm afraid that you may have to use a combination of a blenny, some snails, and manual extraction...Probably best to focus on the elimination of algae through nutrient export mechanisms...Blennies, tangs, etc. are all great, but they don't address the root cause of algae problems...Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Thanks so much guys!-ducati24

Stressed bi-color blenny? Hello! <Hi Marie, PF with you tonight> This is the first time I have ever written in, but I have been regularly reading questions and answers pertaining to the fish that I do have.  I have a Bi-color Blenny that has been living in my 44 gallon fish tank for about a month and a half now.  Other fish in the tank include a Maroon Clown, Percula Clown (strange that the two Clowns are getting along), a Damselfish (I think it is called a Neon Damselfish?), an Engineer Goby, a Scissortail Dartfish, a Scooter Goby, 5 Turbo snails, a Decorator Crab, and about 10 hermit crabs.  Everybody had been getting along just fine, and my Blenny had found himself a nice home in one of our barnacles.  He rarely left the barnacle (which I was told was normal for Blennies), leaving only to grab food and return to his home to eat it.  He was eating just fine, (eating algae, flakes, Mysis shrimp, and pellets) and I noticed no strange activity until tonight.  I went downstairs, after the tank light had been turned off, and noticed that my Blenny was laying on the bottom of the tank, where he NEVER goes, and was breathing heavily.  He had several thin white vertical stripes across his entire body, and looked as if he had been harassed, which might cause stress stripes?  I am concerned that he may not make it through the night.  He never leaves his barnacle, and is barely moving at the bottom of the tank.  Could he have been harassed by one of my other fish, or is he sick? I hadn't noticed any of the other fish ever harassing him, so I am not sure what is wrong with my Blenny.  Please help! I love my Blenny! Thanks, Marie <Someone could have driven him out of his barnacle, or he could have just gotten more comfortable and decided to go exploring. Blennies can and do change color. I would continue to watch him, and if you think he's taking a turn for the worse, move him to a hospital/QT tank. Here's the article on that: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm In the meantime, here's some info to read up on about your charge:http://www.google.com/custom?hl=en I hope your little guy is just acting squirrelly, we're pulling for him. Good luck, PF>

Thank you for your help with my Blenny!! Hello Crew!  I just wanted to write you back and thank you for your quick response to my e-mail.  My Bi-Color Blenny appears to be much better today.  When I went down this morning to check on him, he was back in his usual spot in the barnacle, stress marks gone.  I think that one of the other fish may have just ran him out of his spot, but I am not sure which one it might have been.  I will keep an eye on him for a while, hopefully it was just a one time thing.  Thank you again for your help!  Your site is fantastic! Marie

Godzilla I mean... Green Chromis vs. Bi-Color Blenny  2/27/03 Hello everyone, and thanks again for the great site.<Thanks, it's our pleasure!> Please accept my apology in advance for the long question: I have some questions about the green Chromis that have been in my (90gal reef)  system for about 7 months now.   Upon their initial arrival, even post-QT, most of the tank took sick (I attributed it to stress, as those little buggers are a handful), and I lost many of my fish - 1 percula clown, 1 yellow goby, two green gobies, all three engineer gobies got sick and thankfully recovered, and my favorite, my bi-color blenny, got sick and very skinny.<Sorry to hear of the losses.>  I rescued him and took him to my 55gal sump, with a few rocks, where he was nursed back to health.  Fat (he loved to eat my Caulerpa!) and happy, he returned to the main tank after about 4 months, when I renovated the sump and increased the size of the refugium.  Since then, about one month, he has NOT done well.  He has been eating, as much as he can get (which is not a bad amount).  Hiding a lot, though.  Within a week, he got a big *clear* bump (blister like) behind his eye, that eventually went away, as well as one (not clear) back on his side at his tail.  This one took longer, but has mostly gone away now.  The problem is that so have his tail fins!  His lovely yellow/orange tail is almost fin-less now, and it just looks awful.  He is also getting skinnier!!<he may have fin-rot.  What are you feeding him??> Is it possible that the 8 green Chromis (which seem more and more like Damsels every day, my nickname for them is "the Piranhas") are harassing him?<Maybe, doubtful...>  This seems unlikely to me, as they occupy different niches in the reef system, but... who else could be bothering my favorite fish?<What are you feeding.. he can't survive on just flake/pellet foods.>  I have one percula clown, two fire gobies, three engineers (as above), and the 8 "Piranhas".  Lots of snails/crabs, although none that might snack on a fish - like the 1" emperor crab I just acquired (and read at great length about on your site - thanks!) that is still in QT.  Also there is one large shrimp - either "camel" or "candy", as I have seen him named, larger and striped differently than a "peppermint".  Everything else is doing well, all water quality tests are fine. I have come to dislike the Chromis, partly due to their general aggressive behavior, but mostly due to the suspicion that they are beating up my blenny.  I would like to catch them and get rid of them - any ideas how?  I have been acclimating them to the Net, by feeding them with it.  But they are smart/suspicious of every move I make, and quicker than lightning.   Have you ever heard of Chromis looking/acting like damsels?<Sadly, this is the all too normal Chromis problem.  They cute as little guys, but they are terror as adults.>  Did I get a bunch that had been incorrectly identified, or is this behavior typical??  The larger look more like damsels (slightly darker taller body shape, taller dorsal fin when raised) than the smaller which are more ovoid and lighter green. Any advice (on who the bully is and how to catch them) would be greatly appreciated.   Thanks in advance, Wendy <Wendy I believe your problem is not the Chromis... but the Blenny's food.  Try feeding him: Spirulina, and start a small microalgae section in your tank.  Most Bi-Color's die because of not enough of the right foods.  Try this and get back with me...  I'm willing to bet (ok not really :) ) that this is your problem.  Hope this helps and keep me posted!  Phil>

Proposed new addition to tank/bicolor blenny Hey there.. <Hello!> I've spent so much time reading this site, that my wife has had to pry me away from the computer!   <My wife is sitting beside me at this moment trying to pry me away from the computer!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! We all learn to deal with it...eventually!> Great stuff.  Even though I had never used an QT before, after reading your site, I went out and bought a 10 gal tank for my next fish.  My tank (this is the 45 gal tank that has been running smoothly and disease free for 10 years) is too nice to mess up through laziness!  Anyway, I have two fish: a scopas tang and a mandarin.  The rest of the tank is inverts, including banded coral shrimp, brittle star, numerous hermit crabs, snails, star polyp (too much!), colt coral,  button polyps and something I can't identify and 1 Tridacna maxima.  Can I add a small bi-color blenny?   <Bicolor (Ecsenius bicolor) sounds like a good choice. They are hardy and beautiful. One warning, they often like clam mandibles and occasionally nip stonies. There is also the possibility that it will harass really peaceful fish like Firefishes and small bottom-dwelling fishes e.g.. mandarin. > Although I really like the fish, I won't get it if you think it might be hazardous to the inverts in the tank.  Thanks for your help! <I think it will be fine with inverts> tom <Have a nice day! David Dowless>

Ecsenius blennies hi bob & co., I've long been a fan of the Ecsenius blennies, having had a couple bicolors and a midas without problems for several years.  <Some of my fave fish species... had some nice pix from a few weeks back of "heads" in holes in sponges, corals... made in N. Sulawesi... but I don't seem to be able to "import" color settings for the new slide scanner (Nikon 4000) that I like...> with the possible exception of my shrimp/goby pair (Stonogobiops yasha w/ tiger pistol shrimp), these were easily my favorites. I'm now hunting for a mimic blenny (Ecsenius gravieri), but I was wondering about some other Ecsenius species that might be available since they were listed on your site. do you know if blennies like lineatus or axelrodi are ever available for the home aquarium? <Only very rarely as far as I've ever encountered... and a bit strange in that there are quite a few of these specimens about underwater, and near the sorts of other organisms collected with similar gear (fine mesh low fence nets... and fishes like Rainford's, other Amblygobius...) and would sell... The one downside to their collection (other than the founder effect of no one ordering because they haven't seen them, so no one catches them because no one orders them...) is that they're ding-dang mean toward each other (very territorial) by species, similar species... so they would have to either be collected individually (expensive) or put in individual specimen containers underwater... Perhaps someone (you?) will aquaculture them... no harder than pseudochromids.> my research thus far says no, but I thought I'd ask an expert just to make sure. what's the best way to go about finding such hard-to-find species if they are occasionally available for the home aquarist?  <Either to have "friends in the right places"... on the import end, who can/will look for "oddballs" (there are always these) on arrival... Maybe try Marine Center (link on the top right shared border on WWM), as they do get an amazing mix of species... mainly high-end but they may have a good lead in turn.> thanks for your time & all the great info on your site. Chris <Thank you for being part of it. Bob Fenner>

Sick Bicolour Blenny Hey Crew, Sunday night I noticed my blenny did not eat and has not eaten since. Monday night I did a 20% water change (50 gal tank). when I got home tonight he was not poking his head out of his favorite hole like usual. so I moved the rock that he is usually in and he was inside. he was very slow to react then swam away. I noticed that his coloration was pale compared to normal. water parameters are as follows, sg 1.024, temp 26C, ph 8.5, nitrate less that 5, calcium 300, ammonia 0, nitrite 0 to 0.1. I noticed he was breathing hard this evening. everything else in the tank, 2 Percs, cleaner & peppermint shrimps, snails, hermits and corals have no noticeable problems. the cleaner even molted last night. I added some Epsom salt to the tank tonight encase it has a blockage. but other than that I'm at a loss. any ideas? <the most likely cause is the onset of a parasite that has started in the gills. Remove the fish to QT, FW dip and treat with Formalin if necessary (no copper here for the small scaled fishes) Best regards, Anthony>

Midas Blenny <<Greetings,>> I have little experience with this little guy - but you may have seen this before. We've had him for about 3 weeks - and he seems to "scratch" all the time - but there are no spots on him, or any of the other fish in the tank. <<If this scratching is just against the substrate and not against other decor, then my hunch is that it is a move to reveal (hopefully) some food item in the substrate.>> He'll fly towards the gravel, and almost "play" in it - kicking up the gravel while he swims. <<Hard to say for certain.>> Is this normal? Is there anything we should be worried about - I had always read that scratching was a sure sign of ick. <<Well, incessant scratching or visible damage from scratching are usually a sure sign of a parasitic infection. Some fish randomly scratch various items in the aquarium and it's rather difficult to say for certain why they do it. Perhaps they have an itch, perhaps they are trying to uncover some food delight... who knows, but it is certain that not all scratching is bad or abnormal.>> My fiancé thinks he is just playing in the gravel. Do they do this? <<Play? Again... it's hard to know the motivations of a Midas blenny, but keep an eye on it... make sure it isn't breathing hard in addition to the scratching. Keep an eye on your other fish. If nothing turns up, then it's probably safe to call this a 'behavior' and not a 'condition'.>> ~Bill <<Cheers, J -- >>

Bicolor blenny - disease id? Hi everyone at WWM, <cheers, my friend. Anthony Calfo in your service> Yesterday I brought home a bicolor blenny. He looked in good shape at the LFS and was very attentive. The guy at the LFS said that he's had him for almost a year. (and to my stupidity thinking that a year in the LFS didn't require a quarantine)  <ahhh... I understand your logic but it would only had a chance to preclude a QT tank if the fish was in a tank that never saw a new addition (wild fish, rock, coral, etc) for that same past year. Even then, a LFS store has nets, fingers, hands, etc that dip in tanks with new fish and then dip into the blennies display tank as well. Many chances for a disease to be transmitted. And I suspect that this blennies tank had new coral or fish added monthly if not weekly> tonight while I was watching my aquarium, I noticed that he had some white spots.  <common Ich?> upon further observation, the corners of his mouth, his antennas, as well as some spots on his body are white. looks like discolouration of his skin, no lumps or roughness.  <may just be a fright/stress pattern as new to the tank. Especially if it looks only like a change in pigmentation... not mucous> he is very alert and poked his head out of his hole all day long. I've never heard of a bicolour blenny changing colours,  <they have tremendous color change as they age and even day to night with night/fright patterns> or have his antennae change colour. I haven't seen him eat yet, but he is just new to the system so I didn't think much of this. <agreed... but do try Mysis shrimp in addition to greens. Actually, Sweetwater Plankton might be even better> I'm very concerned. is this ich or do they change color like the midas blenny or something else altogether?? <if those spots are not raised like grains of salt, or the fish does not get mucous (from mucus <G>), and you see know rapid gilling, scratching or glancing... then just continue to observe> Thanks Barry <best regards, Anthony>

Bicolor blennies Bob I purchased a couple of Bicolor blennies. They were both deep maroon with the last third being an orange color. Well after about a week the smaller one is now all maroon. I was just wondering if they are kinda like the clowns and choose sex depending on who is dominant. just curious what happened. <For the species, stock, the orange one likely "matured", developing from the orange to maroon color. More social/developmental than a sexual change. Bob Fenner> Darren

Bi-color Blenny Hello, I have a 29 gallon marine tank with 40 pounds of fine live sand, 20 pounds of live rock and a domino damsel (mean little dude)      <A very common and accurate description.> and one blue and yellow damsel. I really want to add a another interesting fish to my aquarium and have been considering purchasing a bi-color blenny, I am willing to get rid of my damsels if they are not compatible. <I would remove the Domino.> Most importantly I want a fish that is low maintenance. Oh, and one more question do blenny's munch on corals, I don't have any right know but I am hoping to get some. Thanks a bunch, Ryan P.S. Please recommend something interesting for me if you have a better idea. <Bicolor's have been known to nip at some desirable inverts. Also consider the algae blenny, Salarias fasciatus, and the Brown Combtooth Blenny, Atrosalarias fuscus. -Steven Pro>

Midas blennies in captivity? Hi Bob, If you have time you may be catching our discussion on WWF re: my Midas Blenny's death. And not that I wish to knock myself in the head about it. I would like to find out why to prevent further such incidents. <Have seen such> The idea I am getting is that Midas Blennies may not be the great beginner fish they are thought to be. <Agreed> And I am even thinking here I am not quite the rank beginner either. At least I don't talk like one. :-) But here is what I am getting from the discussion: 1. This is not unlike others experience with these fish. (Including Zo-- who has a lot more experience than I). 2. The diet may require large amounts of plankton. <Yes, this is so> I have a refugium, but perhaps it failed to produce at some stage. I was growing Caulerpa and it didn't want to grow. Most aquarists (especially new ones) do not have refugiums yet. 3. This is a schooling fish who seeks the company of Anthias in the wild. <Mmm, no, not really. Found associated with many other fishes.> Perhaps my Blenny sought out the Clarkiis as pseudo Anthias (they weren't orange but oh well). When I had to pull them the blenny was scared. And this is my term depressed. (I am not so sure that fish can't be depressed. They can certainly be scared.) Perhaps a good captive display might be some Anthias and the Midas blenny. (Of course this would require a big tank. And Anthias are considered advanced fish.) <Yes> Anyway, I would definitely appreciate your take on this neat little fish. Though I believe my next blenny will be a bicolor which Zo and Steve both consider a hardier creature. <Other Ecsenius species (than E. midas) are better for captive use. Bob Fenner> --des/Jane

Blenny trouble? Hi Bob, I hope you had a very nice time out diving and so on! Jason did an admirable job, btw. Of course you know that! <Oh yes, and yes my friend> Anyway, I have been having trouble with the Midas blenny lately-- or maybe not... Anyway, he moved from one place to another, lost his color (became a strange mottled color), and is back to his usual midas gold. He hasn't swum normally since, I think since the Clarkiis were removed and the Kole died. <Mmm> I now have a small Yellow tang and a Royal Gramma. They are nice fish, not aggressive. The Yellow tang may be a bit skittish but neither fish has bothered the Midas at all. <Okay> I came home a few days ago and found the midas is now not in the new apartment, but laying on the bottom of the tank. I should say stretched out t like a long snake. His color is back in all his midas gold glory. And he is even chasing food when I give it. It is definitely not swimming like it was before. (Several months ago). He is kind of slithering up the sides of the tank. (I have the tank well covered). It looks like he can NOT swim in the usual sense. Could he have a swim bladder problem? Do Midas' even have swim bladders? <They do have reduced swim bladders... what you describe is not abnormal for captive behavior... There is likely a link between this species color, health, behavior in the wild being different and the much more rapid water movement/conditions they're found in there. Bob Fenner> --des/Jane

Re: Blenny trouble? Hi Bob, >the tank. (I have the tank well covered). It looks like he can NOT swim in the usual sense. Could he have a swim bladder problem? Do Midas' even >have swim bladders? ><They do have reduced swim bladders... what you describe is not abnormal for captive behavior... There is likely a link between this species color, >health, behavior in the wild being different and the much more rapid water movement/conditions they're found in there. Bob Fenner> But why would he change in behavior like this? <Hmmm, I feel like singing... "Why does the world go on spinnnnnning? Why do these eyes of mine cryyighyighyigh...?" These "things" just happen> Wouldn't this kind of change be a not so desirable thing, even if not actually sick? <Perhaps this organism "can't help it"... likely more directly due to some influences in the environment... as stated, my biggest, best guess is a lack of water movement... could be many other aspects...> I mean if anything the water movement has increased and he is probably less crowded (at least in a psychological sense- never actually crowded) than previously. <Exactly> The only thing I can think of is he misses some fish or other. Is this too anthropomorphic of me? He seems social in a certain sense. <Not too much so... these animals are keenly aware of what their environment is made up of... particularly life forms> And can I help this critter to be more comfortable? Or is he perhaps trying to help himself? <... increase water movement, provide rocks/spaces with small holes (they duck in/out of these continuously in the wild)...> Oh yeah, and could he have a swim bladder problem of some kind. Since they do have such a thing. <Not to worry...> Gosh this is LOTS of questions!! :-} --des/Jane <Wouldn't that be "this is a lot" of questions? Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blenny trouble? Hi Bob, ><Hmmm, I feel like singing... "Why does the world go on spinnnnnning?  Don't give up your day job. :-) <<"I'm in the mood for a moray... simply because they're finless... no P 1's or pelvics, I'm in the mood for an eel!>> >And can I help this critter to be more comfortable? Or is he perhaps >trying to help himself? ><... increase water movement, provide rocks/spaces with small holes (they duck in/out of these continuously in the wild)...> He used to do this all the time. I have many possible holes to hide in. Maybe part of the time, he is doing this. As for water movement... I have -- one MaxiJet 1000; one MaxiJet 400; and a rio600 on the outtake. This isn't enough? <<Should be>> >Gosh this is LOTS of questions!! :-} ><Wouldn't that be "this is a lot" of questions? Be chatting. Bob Fenner> I suppose so, but this is email. :-) Thanks, Bob. Your friend, des/Jane <<I wouldn't be overly concerned here... fishes are more diverse in their behavior, psychoses than most folks credit them... Yours is likely fine. Bob Fenner>>

Blenny Psychology 101? Hi Bob, How are you? I am wondering if you can help me with blenny psychology? <Perhaps> The blenny is looking very good, color is back to it's usual gold. It is lively, or as lively as it can be staying in a rock. If I tap on the top lightly, he turns and looks over to me and smiles or so it seems. <Good to hear, read> He is eating well (variety, Spirulina flakes, frozen brine, frozen marine mixed food; marine flakes). It also gets the Selco and garlic with iodine. I did the largish water change. The water is looking good. Tests good (temp 80; pH 8.2; ammon. 0; nitrite 0; nitrate under 10; alk 3.5). That was before the water change and the added carbon. He just won't swim. I gotta say, maybe it is ok by him but it makes me nervous. Besides I am used to more critters in the tank!! <Many blennies don't swim much... unless provoked to do so... often by conspecifics.> Also thinking I will get him a buddy as the Midas is a friendly fish. A couple selections: any of these better than the other? <Perhaps an Atrosalarias species... many other choices... something that will go in a forty gallon system... not fight either Ecsenius spp.> Kind of thinking cheap (as I am moving sometime hopefully). lined wrasse; royal Gramma; small yellow tang (if I could find one). There are now no other fish in the tank since I sold the Clarkiis and the Kole died. I want somebody sociable that might interact with the blenny. Wonder if this might help him get out of the house more. :-) <Perhaps a couple of small tank bred clowns of another species?> Also timing? Is it ok to add one after a quarantine? <Yes> Or should I wait longer. I'm assuming here the Tang died of injury and/or infection due to the injury. <Yes> And that the Blenny isn't really sick, more stressed or upset. <I agree> Looked at your nice selection FAQ btw. But you didn't talk about "socialness". The blenny did play with the Sailfin quite a lot, but won't get one of those giants again. <Perhaps a Ctenochaetus species? Bob Fenner> --des/Jane

Re: Blenny Psychology 102? Hi Bob, The inevitable follow up. :-) >Also thinking I will get him a buddy as the Midas is a friendly fish. A couple selections: any of these better than the other? ><Perhaps an Atrosalarias species... many other choices... something that Didn't mean to imply that I wanted another blenny. Also don't have a big problem algae concern. > Kind of thinking cheap (as I am moving sometime hopefully). lined wrasse; royal Gramma; small yellow tang (if I could find >one). What about any of the above?? <Fine> >I want somebody sociable that might interact with the blenny. >Wonder if this might help him get out of the house more. :-) ><Perhaps a couple of small tank bred clowns of another species?> Gosh not sure they are social, they seem more neurotic to me. Swim around the heater and think it's their anemone. :-) <Their nature...> >But you didn't talk about "socialness". The blenny did play with the Sailfin quite a lot, but won't get one of those giants again. ><Perhaps a Ctenochaetus species? Bob Fenner> A Kole? A little wary now. I think I'd need some rubber bumpers on the rocks. Though I don't have the wild guys in there anymore. <Perhaps a hawaiiensis... with the big income from the condo sale...> Your friend in fish :-) --des/Jane <Bob Fenner>

Midas Blenny Dear Mr. Fenner, So, how can I determine which specimen that I have? Does it possibly just need more time? The fish is about 3 1/2 in. long now, could it just not be  a mature specimen? Also, How am I suppose to know that the fish that I am receiving does not look anything like the fish in the picture before I  purchase it? Is this an isolated incident for this specimen? Or is it possible for me to order a Purple Tang and receive a modeled brown on? At 3 plus inches this is a mature individual... and it may well be a/the species Ecsenius midas... and may still change color... There is a large amount of variability in the color/markings of this blenny... For what it's worth, the Purple Tang is a much more "standard" color/markings species. Bob Fenner> > Dear Mr. Fenner, > Last week I purchased a Midas blenny from ffexpress. When he arrived he was a dull brown color with light colored patches all over him. The first > day all he did was swim into the power head, and by the next day he had developed a white fleshy looking patch that covered half of his left > pectoral fin. He is now quite established to the aquarium, finding himself a hole to live in, eating, and no longer swimming into the power head, and > the white patch is about half the size that it was. However he is still a brown - white modeled color and he still has the fleshy looking thing on  > his pectoral fin. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? The patch on his fin has not shrunk any in the last few days and he does not appear > to be coloring at all. > Thanks, > Bryan Hunt > Hmm, I'm wondering first off about the coloration of this Midas Blenny...  there is a wide range in the species Ecsenius midas...(most are yellow, > orangish... with white banding posteriorly, underneath...) but there are also a bunch of other Ecsenius blennies... The initial behavior is nothing to be > concerned about... just a bit of acclimating to new conditions, shipping stress... And the patch on the pectoral could be resultant to a small, simple > injury... and should clear of its own accord... The color though... may be the actual permanent one of this specimen/species... > Bob Fenner

Midas and Bicolor Blenny, together? Bob, Any problem adding a Midas Blenny to the same 60 gallon home as a well entrenched Bicolor Blenny? (Also has a Royal Gramma, Firefish, and Banggai) Chris bought a Midas, but if the combo won't work, we'll put it in the other tank, with the Coral Beauty, Banggai, and 6-line wrasse. (any problems there?) The Midas is currently lounging in week 2 of quarantine with a dwarf angel of undetermined species. (Really... undetermined...) Thanks! (Should be okay... though the only assay to trust is the actual one of trying... similar blenny (and-or Gobioid) species utilizing a similar habitat- food stock are bad news in general... You'll be able to tell almost immediately if this is going to work. Bob F.) -Lorenzo

Sick Midas Blenny!! Hi Bob, Yikes! Just tried to feed the blenny and it was the same deal. He showed no interest in food, or even in moving. I think this is serious but for the life of me have no idea. <Mmm, could be "just a phase"... perhaps tired of the same old foods... maybe an aerosol, or bug that fell into the system...> Yesterday I fed him and he was not so interested in food as usual (ate the Nori fine, earlier that day). He is just sitting or lying in rock. Little movement. He is breathing and responds to stimuli Light, movement, my finger). <Sometimes this is all that they do... for quite a while> Other thing I am wondering is if he got some bad food. Both of the fish aren't too hungry but the Kole is eating. Did some water tests: Temp 80; SG 1.0235; pH 8.2; Amm 0; Nitrite 0 or trace (did two tests to check the trace); Nitrate <10 Alk 3.5 No scratching or anything. The color on the blenny is off. (Yesterday or before. No marks on blenny.) I noticed the color is off, like the tan with dark brown streaks like when I bought him. Yesterday was ok. <When in doubt, water change... about 20%. Bob Fenner> --des/Jane

Blenny died :-( Hi Bob, <Hello> I have written you on my Midas blenny-- he was my favorite fish-- last night he appeared in the front of my tank for a few hours. This is strange as I haven't seen him for ages-- maybe a glimpse here or there. Anyway this morning I saw him being chewed up by some hermits. I am assuming he died and the hermits were just eating the corpse. However, last night I noticed he looked quite bad, maybe emaciated. I think perhaps he died of starvation because he was never around to be fed, but as I remember this was one of the better eaters, so I'm sure it wasn't the reason. He has not been doing well since I pulled the Clarkiis, and the Kole died due to injury. Is it possible the injured Kole could have had an infection that would have carried over to him somehow? Or that the fish died of all the stresses from fish being moved around etc. Or even of loneliness/stress of missing certain fish. I don't suppose we'll ever really know though. <All possible contributing causes> BTW, just got a new Coral Beauty and he's in qt now. He's been in the store a month (2 weeks in quarantine). And looks very fat and healthy. A beautiful fish!! <I hope this fish does well for you. Bob Fenner> --des/Jane

Ecsenius midas Hi M. Fenner, I'm the French aquarist who asked you some information's about Samariscus triocellatus !! Now, I'd like to know more about Ecsenius midas because I'm writing a article for the ARA : www.aquarium-recifal.com about this fish. I read that there was mimicry between Ecsenius midas and Pseudanthias squamipinnis, but I remember that you said it wasn't true...how do you explain the similarity between the two species ?? <Mmm, actually, don't recall such a statement. As far as I'm concerned the Midas Blenny definitely is a Batesian mimic of the Orange Anthias> I looked for information about reproduction and breeding of this species but without any success :-( . Do you have any ?? Thanks for everything you could add to my article !!! Hervé <Take a read re the species on www.Fishbase.org and the references listed there re its reproduction. Not bred in captivity as far as I'm aware. Bob Fenner>

Midas Blenny Hi Bob (or whoever might be working this shift), <Steven here this evening as the impending storm has chased me inside.> It is the 40 gal. gal again-- haven't had a tank to comment on--or much else having just moved to LFS deprived Albuquerque. Anyway, things are going to slowly with my tank--esp.... slowly since they can't seem to get me a tank yet. Anyway, I have taken my old discussion of Midas blennies over to reefcentral. There was an interesting spin on it which I thought someone would like to see over here. Several folk have discussed (Steve Pro, for one) that they maybe aren't the great beginner fish that they were thought to be. I am trying to figure the whole thing out as I would love to keep one (and also it's an interesting topic in the absence of real fish :-}) But not if it is just going to die on me in 8 months or so. If you'll remember the discussion was that they will do great for 8-12 months only to decline slowly. <Yes, do remember the discussion.> Several comments in the original discussion were dietary lack and/or lack of a schooling fish to be with. <Not so much strictly dietary in the nutritional sense as the frequency of feedings. These fish always seem to lose weight over time and relate this to living with and sharing the same foods as Anthias.> But does this mean that fish diets are *worse*? Or that the Midas was previously provided with a school of fish? <Probably neither.> Here's a bit of a quote from the reef fish moderator: "I'm not sure what's going on in these tanks. Normally, these are supposed to be very hardy fish. I know people who have kept them a lot longer than 2 years. I wonder if there's been a change in collection or shipping practices. It wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened. For example, 5 or 6 years ago elegance corals were considered a good beginner coral. Take a look at the poll in main discussion forum, and several threads over the last few years and you'll see that most people have a hard time keeping them alive now. It's been hypothesized that a big part of the problem has been a change in the collection and storage of them, and so they're not coming in as healthy. I wonder if one of the big collectors of Midas blennies is having problems like this. <Also implied use of drugs or . Dave" <I believe the problem with Elegance corals is where they are collected now and not so much the shipping or holding.> A couple other speculations are that the fish needs a mate to thrive. My final comment was maybe the bar is raised. It isn't enough anymore to keep a fish 6 months and say you are doing great. Wilkerson comments that anemones were thought to be tough because they lived for 6 months, but not anymore. Do you have any comments on all this?? <Anthony & I were discussing this last night before going out for Sushi. The strongest possibility was what you mentioned, that many fish did not last long and twenty years ago a fish that lasted 8 months was hardy. I still believe the underlying cause is feeding frequency which could be overcome with a large tank (over 100 gallons), a refugium, and frequent feedings with good food (Mysis, plankton, Seawater Zooplankton, etc.).> Hope you are doing fine, your fishless friend in the desert. -des/Jane <Catch you on the Forum later. -Steven Pro>

A quick thank you! 05/29/2008 Hello, I wanted to send a thank you for answering my lighting question. I really appreciate all of the hard work undertaken by the WWM crew. My ability to care for our tank in a responsible and informed manner has greatly improved since finding this website. The families, teachers, and foster grandparent volunteers at my workplace, a non-profit child care center with 160 children ages 6 weeks through 6 years, enjoy a thriving, beautiful tank each day. With regard to my lighting question, I decided to go ahead and change the tank lighting to T5 lighting, as per my question. was promptly answered by A. Nixon on 04/05/08. We ordered the lighting through one of the advertisers on the WWM website, marine and reef. The fixture was $200 less than what my LFS was offering and included free shipping. We ordered it on a Monday, they verified the shipping address on Tuesday, shipped it on Wednesday, and it arrived on Friday! It is now all set up and doing well. We have noticed things we never noticed before, sponges and brittle sea stars etc., because we couldn't see in the darker rock crevices. We love the new lights and thank you again for your advice. Sincerely, Kim <<Its my pleasure Kim, i am really glad to hear everything is well and new aspects of viewing pleasure are now being explored. Kind Regards,


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