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FAQs on the Ecsenius, Bicolor Blennies Behavior

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

Related FAQs:  Ecsenius Blennies, Ecsenius Identification, 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,

Ecsenius dentax... doing what it does... in the Red Sea.

Bi-Color Blenny Lost Coloration       2/10/15
Good Evening WWM Crew!,
i have had a bi-color blenny for over 2 years. healthy, hasn't gotten bloated or anything.
when i first purchased the fish he had a yellow tail.. over the past 2 years the yellow turned into the same color ( black? dark dark blue? ) as the rest of his body.
any ideas? his diet consists of frozen mysis, live brine, algae strips, and pellets.
Thank you for any feedback possible.
<A few factors could be at play here: nutritional as you mention (I'd add purposeful sources of xanthophylls, Carotenoids... likely via good pelleted foods; e.g. Hikari, Spectrum); possibly there's a social input... you don't list what else is here. Highly likely water quality; a lack of it... Many other possibilities. See/READ on WWM re fish coloration, and call me in the
AM. Bob Fenner>

Bicolor Blenny spot    6/30/12
Hi guys. My question is about a bi-color blenny I currently have in a hospital tank along with his fellow tankmates (A mated pair of Ocellaris/Percula hybrids,  1 Blue Reef Chromis, a Mandarin Goby, and a small Two-Spot Bristletooth Tang). Days out of quarantine the Tang displayed signs of Ich so they're all going through a Cupramine treatment while the main tank goes fishless for a while. The hospital tank is a 30gallon and we're in the second week of treatment. The whole lot of them seem to be doing well, and eating normally (Mostly Selcon-soaked Brine & Mysis).
Fighting Ammonia during the Cupramine treatment, but I expected to.
Anyway, there's the current situation. Now on to the reason I wrote - A few days before I was to pull everybody out of the main tank I noticed that my Bicolor Blenny had a small spot on the corner of his mouth. It wasn't raised and simply looked like an odd skin coloration. At the time I attributed it to his normal color changes since it did not appear to be Ich. I planned on hospitalizing him with the others anyway so I figured I would keep an eye on it just in case. Since then I've noticed the spot is in the exact same area on both sides of his head (the corner of his mouth). I've attached a picture. He is still eating normally, and I have not noticed much of a change in his personality. I'm just concerned that there is something I could be doing, and I can't find anything to help identify what this could be. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can lend me!
<Mmm, the "light area" about the mouth isn't the same on both sides? Should be... some specimens do show this marking (Google "Ecsenius bicolor", look at "images"). Otherwise such markings can be due to physical traumas (scrapes mostly), that have removed chromatophores from the area. Not a big worry; and generally won't regenerate. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bicolor Blenny spot     7/1/12
Ah, that is actually great to hear. It is definitely the same on both sides. I must be blind because I looked at many images before deciding to ask you and didn't see the same marks. Thanks for the help!
<Ahh, welcome. BobF>

Bicolor Blenny Behavior  5/5/11
Hello guys/gals.
I have recently become concerned about my newly acquired Bicolor Blenny. I have a 20 gallon tall
<Not a good shape...>
with all readings where they should be.
I have had the tank for a little over a year now. In it I have:
Ocellaris Clown-1.5"
Pink Spotted Goby-2"
Blue Legged Pistol Shrimp partner
And the Bicolor Blenny.
I am in the process of finding a new home for the Goby and Pistol pair. My Goby has chased away my Blenny a couple of times but that's it.
Now my concern is that the Blenny has chomped down on the algae significantly to the point where my glass is fairly clean. Now I see him today chomping once in a while but for a while he was just swimming around the water column and around the glass as if he were my clownfish. He has not taken to my pellet food or mysis shrimp. Is there something potentially wrong with him/her?
What brand of food would you recommend? Thank you all in advance.
<Posted. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ecsenblenfdg.htm
Bob Fenner>

Midas Blenny Aggression  1/3/09 Hi Crew and Happy New Year! Reading your site has become one of my favorite past times right behind watching my tank itself. <Both good diversions, focus points for meditation> Here's my question for you all. I recently added a Midas Blenny to my tank. Everything I've read says they are peaceful fish that get along well with most other non aggressive fish other than Dartfish and gobies. <Mmm, Ecsenius can be deceiving... in their "most of the time" easygoing posturing... Anyone who has been scuba diving in the genus range can tell you that they control the territory/small space they're found in> Unfortunately mine seems to have decided to become the tank bully. I thought at first he was only picking on the Double Barred Spinefoot (I know normally needs a bigger tank, but is currently a young 2" individual which will be moved to a bigger tank within the next 6 months to a year), but recently I've noticed him taking runs at the Chromis, although they are too fast for him, and the clownfish, although he was nipped at he seemed oblivious to it. Only fish I haven't seen him try to take a nip at is the Coral Beauty which he almost seems intimidated by her. I've read that they can became aggressive if they feel they are over crowded, but wouldn't have thought that would occur in a 55 gallon tank with the fish I have. <Oh yes... this isn't much room... much less than a Midas lek territory (in the wild)> Did I perhaps just get the exception to the rule that they are peaceful fish? <Not really peaceful... just small...> Also trying to decide what to do with him. He's a gorgeous fish and I'd hate to remove him from the tank, but I'm concerned he might cause actual injury to one of the other fish or himself (Spinefoot now raises her spines anytime he comes by). <A bad sign> When he was first introduced he ducked down to a corner of the tank along the sand bed sat there stressed out in his mottled colors and the other fish kept doing swim bys of him (especially the Coral Beauty as she just wouldn't leave him alone). He's since found a cave of his own, and his bright yellow coloration shows most of the time unless he's hiding in his cave and he freely swims about the tank, but he seems to be acting extremely territorially. <Good descriptions, observations> At first I wondered if I'd gotten the Basslet the midas blenny mimics by mistake, but after seeing what the Pseudanthias Squamipinnis look like I have little doubt I've got a Midas Blenny. Could it have been the reception he received from the other fish, or maybe he's just intimidated by the Coral Beauty and taking it out on everyone else? <A worthwhile speculation... but I believe this fish is "just acting naturally" here> I thought maybe he just needed time to adjust to his surroundings, but he's been in the tank nearly a week and the behaviour has continued. Below is a list of what is residing in my tank. Any insight would be helpful. 2 Green Chromis (Had three, were my first fish, and one died a week after purchased. He had an injured dorsal fin and never behaved right and I'm unsure if it happened due to my carelessness or the LFS as I am very new to this hobby) Ocellaris Clown Coral Beauty Angel Double Barred Spinefoot Chocolate Chip Starfish (Worried my tank wasn't old enough when adding this Starfish but so far so good. very active and a voracious feeder) Turbo Snail (So far managed to keep from getting eaten by the Starfish. Been feeding him from a seafood platter a couple of times a week to attempt to keep him from doing this) 2 blue legged hermit crabs 55 Gallon FO that will be upgraded to a 200 gallon FOWLR <I'd do this ASAP> Jason Tindell <You are a keen observer... What you have is more or less a "classical example" of a system being too crowded behaviorally. Either all will settle in to some sort of stand-off here, or manifest itself in stress-related disease. If this system was a few tens of gallons larger, I might suggest adding a few (three) more Chromis... as "ditherfish"... Bob Fenner>

Giving A Blenny Back His Midas Touch (Restoring Vibrant Color)   8/6/08 Hi Crew, <Scott F. in today> I'm writing today seeking advice to a two part problem: 1) how to restore color to my 4 1/2" beautiful Golden Yellow Midas Blenny (currently/mostly a dark brown/black fading to a lighter brown at times) and 2) how to get it swimming the length of the tank freely as it did before (it's now mostly hiding in the LR, darting out for food then darting for cover after each bite!) It seems scared of it's own shadow! ! ! <Interesting problems with solutions that can be ferreted out, Im sure!> This behavior started when I unfortunately introduced several pajama cardinals to the tank, which has since been removed now for three months hoping the MB would venture back out and regain it's color but no luck. She/He is such a beautiful specimen and I would love to see it swimming freely again in it's Golden glory! <A nice goal!> I have a 60 gal reef tank with just a mated pair of Ocellaris Clown Fish (5 yrs now and generally stays at the very far left lower corner of the tank! ??), a Yellow Clown Goby, Orange-spotted sand sifting Goby and of course the MB. Also in the tank are various hard corals, xenia frag and 6 rose anemones! <Sounds like an acceptable mix of animals; we can probably rule out aggression from other fishes as a major contributor to the color loss.> SG @ 1.026, KH 10.6 - 11, CA 430. pH 8.0 and temp. fluctuates between 77-79, water changes every two weeks All suggestions to encourage my MB back out and regain it's color will be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Annie <Well, Annie- your husbandry techniques seem sound. You did not go into more detail on your water parameters, such as nitrate. Do you have detectible nitrate in the system? Some fishes are sensitive to nitrate and will not display their best colors or behaviors in systems with high nitrate levels. Overall environmental parameters need to be stable. An 8.0 pH is a bit low for a daytime reading- should be more like 8.2-8.4, IMO. Look into this pH situation a bit more, and monitor for a while. Another big contributor to fish coloration is diet. I would be inclined to recommend a varied diet, with large amounts of quality food such as frozen mysis, and perhaps a color-enhancing dry food, such as New Life Spectrum. You could enrich the frozen mysis with vitamin supplements like Naturose, which contains Astaxanthin, a natural pigment derived from a microalgae. It's available in powdered form from etailers such as Brine Shrimp Direct. Give it a shot, and continue good husbandry practices. hopefully, this will bring your Blenny back to his flashy form soon! Regards, Scott F.>

Potter's Angelfish Color, and Midas Blenny whipping... Mmm, more of... Net livestock buying, Coris aygula sel., RMF ranting...  03/22/07 Unfortunately there is too much to read and not enough time in my day. <... Your graphic is an order of magnitude larger than what we allow... Have you read through the screen re writing us? And... did you use the search tool for WWM, the indices?> I have done a Google search on the topics, but I wanted to follow up with you.   I added my general tank info at the top and put my concerns at the bottom.    Back ground.    180 gallon reef tank about 120 lbs of live rock, 4 months  upgrade from 50 gallon for 4 years 2-4 inches of live sand 40 Gallon Sump Refugium. and a chiller.  2 VHO lights one super actinic and 1 400 watt 15k  halide light with the larger tank I add about 3 gallons of water and I cycle 35 gallons a month in a water change, (your thoughts Should I cycle more than 35/month?)) <Mmm, no... this should be fine... what are your reasons, rationale... for possibly changing more?> Tank community Snails, hermits,  sally crabs, emerald crabs, fire shrimp, cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp 1 clam 2 bubble tip Anemone <Should NOT be mixed here with other Cnidarians... see WWM re Compatibility> 2 brain coral, two SPS 1 cactus coral Ricordea,  metallic and fuzzy mushrooms2 Tigertail cuc's 1 black cuc <Holothuroids ditto> Fish 1 yellow tang 2 years 2 4 stripe damsels (4 years) 1 blue dot jaw fish 2 weeks <Neat animals... but digging machines> 1 midas blenny 1 year  (last week he started diving to the bottom and whipped his tail in the sand) <Yes... in reaction to the introduction of the above fish> 2 Percula clowns 5 years 1 potter's angelfish 3 months  (losing a little color on sides) no signs of flakes and he is very active <Good> 1 male Lyretail Anthias. 3 weeks 2 blue Chromis one died in transition to new tank. 2 years 1 mandarin goby 4 years Twinspot hogfish 2 months Goals  to add Eiblii Angel, Radiant Wrasse, Female Lyretail Anthias, Twin Spot Coris Wrasse, <Mmmm, No... gets way too large...> or peacock/vermiculate wrasse,  Filamented flasher wrasses or blue filamented flasher wrasses,  (are the last two compatible,?)  would this be too many fish? <Likely okay here> I feed my tank Mysis Shrimp, Cyclops, and a veggie mix with a veg clip. Problem last week I lost 1 Eiblii angel and a female Lyretail Anthias.  both new additions the other new additions are doing fine. <I would be sticking to a strict quarantine procedure... AND investigating all purchases ahead of time... Your list of what you have and propose shows a dangerous disregard...>   (Jawfish and Anthias and Twinspot hogfish) My concern is for my midas blenny and potters angel.    The potters is still very active he has just lost the intensity of the purple on his side. <Very common in captivity> The oranges are still vivid.  and the tail is vivid purple.  I just added the veggie clip to increase seaweed diet, but my angle dominantly eats from the live rock and eats the Mysis shrimp. She/he is not chased by other fish and does not appear stressed. (Your Thoughts)    After reading a little in your article I read about fishes whipping and signs of ich,  well my midas blenny is more active swimming in the open and current than he was in the 55 gallon tank, but he has great color I just recently noticed him diving to the bottom and turning real fast near the sand, I just wanted to see if I should be concerned.     (Your Thoughts)   <Is likely simply reacting to the new Opistognathid... but your system could well be Crypt infested> All other fish including the deceased appeared to be in great health.    I do have means to catch my fish in my reef tank and can get something else set up if I need to treat them.  I do not want to treat them in my reef tank unless there are easy solutions.    <I would not... see WWM re Infested Systems...> let me know what you think and if you need more information.   <Just smaller attached files... IF you had read... we have an imposed limit of ten megs... after this is reached our mail server crashes... Do you understand? Do you care?> last additional comment and question.    I think your site is great.  I have been looking around the web and reading as much as I can.   I live in Portland and I honestly wanted your opinion on purchasing fish in stores vs. the web, <See my book, CMA, toward the end... my stated opinions re this practice are laid out succinctly there. Is a useful, practical avenue for folks not located near "real" LFS...>   the dealers I work with will hold the fish for me.  However Dr foster and smith has a 14 day guarantee.   what are your thoughts on best ways to buy a fish.  (my thoughts are still on the store unless I set up the quarantine.)      <I would definitely quarantine all, regardless...> I read your quarantine article and I really was left with one other question.  should you treat all fish even if you do not see anything (internal parasites) or can you just quarantine them and see how they do?    <This latter> I do not have a quarantine tank unfortunately and I have never had a problem to my knowledge.   My method has really been to let the fish stabilize in the stores for 2 weeks.  and bring them home.  (this may have to change if I do have a disease problem. Russell W. Scranton
<Read on. Bob Fenner>

Re: Potter's Angelfish Color, and Midas Blenny whipping 03/22/07 Thank you, <Welcome> Sorry, I thought my image was under the limit recommended, I must have missed a decimal place on the JPG.  to answer your quick questions I did follow your protocols, and I used your search to read more on the issues, but I was getting some conflicting information and information overload.   I do care and appreciate your help and do not want to crash your site, I messed up on the picture size sorry . Russell W. Scranton <Ahh, thank you for this forthcoming explanation... I DO wish our mail server weren't so self-limited/ing... We have asked our ISP for something better, but all they have won't allow the couple dozen of us to log on at the same time/interval. Cheers... and do keep your eyes open for possible further indications of parasitic involvement here. Bob Fenner, who used to hang out at the SWFC during the "Hobson" days there>

Midas Blenny 8/28/06 I have a new Midas Blenny <Wow I do too!> which is the first fish that I introduced to a 29 gal. BioCube with 30 lbs of live sand and about 20 pounds of live rock and an additional powerhead.  The tank has cycled for 6 weeks.  My test levels are good (Am. 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <10, Ph 8.2 SG 1.022, Temp 79 Deg.)  As soon as I put him in he bolted for the top corner and stayed there for a while.  After a couple hours he started to venture out a tiny bit, skimming along the surface and poking his nose out about halfway across the tank and then would go back to his corner, spending much of the time on his side with this belly up against the glass, and sometimes trying to wiggle himself more into the corner. There are plenty of hiding spots in the live rock setup. Should I be concerned that he is not hiding in the rock? <No I don't think so. He will eventually find his way to the rock.> His breathing has slowed since I put him in <Good> but his color still looks like he is stressed. Is this normal behavior for a new inhabitant? <Yes, normal for this particular fish. These are not necessarily stress colors but the color they also use for camouflage. You will notice this coloration is also common at night. He just needs some time to settle in. It could take a few days. My new Midas has just started coming out and is it's bright yellow color today, on day 3. Eating is a good sign. Try target feeding him with a piece of mysis. I use a clear turkey baster and place the food as close to the fish as possible. You should be able to get it pretty close with a clear turkey baster. If he eats one piece try a few more.> The only other things in the tank are 5 snails and 2 hermit crabs. Thanks a lot any info would be appreciated.  I am new to this and looked everywhere for an answer to this specific question but couldn't find any answers.   Thanks, Vince <Your most welcome. Best of luck with your new blenny! HTH, Leslie> 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 !!! Hervey© <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>

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>>

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 fiancĂ©© 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 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.>

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 Clarkii 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. 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 Chromis  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 Chromis , 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>

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'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's great news!!> Thanks, des <You're most welcome, best of luck with your new blenny.  Leslie>  

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