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FAQs on the Ecsenius, Bicolor Blennies Compatibility

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

Related FAQs:  Ecsenius Blennies, Ecsenius Identification, Ecsenius Behavior, 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,

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

Linear Blenny Behavior. Comp. w/ GSP     12/18/17
Good evening and hope all is well. I added a linear blenny to my 200 gallon reef. I did my research prior and knew with this fish their is a possibility of picking at the base of Acros. With that being said my tank is mostly softies with a few monti's and giant Deresa clam. Anyways the reason for my email is that the blenny has started picking through my green star polyps. Its certainly not eating them but looking to eat algae and in turn damaging the coral and yanked a few polyps off the base. Am i going to have to make a decision, either star polyps or blenny, or will it eventually die down. Any ideas in what to do here?
<I'd be patient here. Likely all will be well... the Blenny will take up eating elsewhere. Bob Fenner>

Husbandry     8/8/13
Hey Bob, do you think adding a Midas Blenny to a tank with a Malacanthid would be problematic?
<Should be fine if there's space/room>

Blenny Compatibility  12/8/11
I was curious as to how well an Atlantic Sailfin blenny, Emblemaria pandionis, would get along with a Midas blenny? This is a 40 gallon breeder with a little more than 30 pounds of Liverock and a 4 inch sand bed. I was going to get the Sailfin blenny and a Randall's goby, but I was afraid they'd fight since they both lived in burrows in the sand.
<Mmm, too likely to be territorial conflict twixt these two in this size/shape system. T'were it me, I'd pick one or t'other.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Midas Blenny/Longnose Hawk fish compatibility   12/3/11
Hello Crew,
Short and sweet question today. Been browsing but have not seen anything on Midas Blenny/Longnose Hawk fish compatibility. Will these species get along (since one perches and the other is mostly a free swimmer?)
<Actually, Ecsenius and Oxycirrhites species are mostly both perchers>
We are talking 75 gallon range.
<Mmm, well, the bigger the volume, more habitat the more likely these two are likely to get along. I give good odds at this volume... more than 80%, 4 out of 5 that they'll leave each other be in this size/shape system>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Rainfordi Goby/Compatibility 5/23/2011
<Hello Felipe>
Greetings to all. I will get straight to the point. I have a 20 gallon tall (I know its not a good shape) with an Ocellaris clown and a Bicolor Blenny.
They live together harmoniously. I was wondering if a Rainfordi Goby would be alright since it is not the tipical <typical> bottom dwelling goby. Any advice would be great.
<May or may not be compatible. The Bicolor Blenny has been known to pick on smaller blennies and gobies and this could be an issue in this small volume of water.>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Goby/Blenny Concerns 4/24/2011 (Psychological Crowding)  4/25/11
Hello everyone.
<<Hi Felipe.>>
Well congratulations on the wonderful site. Just wanted to thank you first for the help in the past.
<<Thank you for the accolades, glad to be of help in your education of aquaria.>>
Now to the questions at hand.
<<Of course.>>
I have a 20 gallon tall tank and am in the process of securing a larger tank(50 gallon). May take about 2-3 months. In the 20g I have an Ocellaris Clown who has no problem with anyone. A few blue legged hermit, a few Turbos, a Pink Spotted Goby (who is the concern) and lives with a blue-legged Pistol Shrimp named Dozer, and a newly acquired Bicolor Blenny. Now the question is...the goby is a bit larger than the blenny. I would say the goby is about 2" and the blenny is about 1.5". The goby for the most part minds his own business but I have seen him. Puff up and open his mouth to intimidate the blenny.
<<Normal aggression between these two animals when lacking space. The configuration of the 20 tall set up does not give them the surface area they need to avoid each other.>>
I even saw him chase the blenny away from his cave. The blenny seems to pay no mind. He just continues to eat algae everywhere but he tends to stay on the side of the tank where the goby is instead of the opposite side. Would the aggressiveness be something to worry about or will they be ok till the new tank is acquired and set up? Please advise and thank you in advance.
<<At this point it sounds like territorial aggression rather than outright attacking of one another, the main concern would be that one specimen would scare the other into psychological submission keeping him from eating and thus starving/dying. In that case, yes one would need to be moved. While they make have enough room swim wise, chemical wise, they do not, comfortability wise. - Adam J.>>

Sun tail goby pair and Bicolor blenny compatibility  3/22/11
Hi guys, I was wondering if I could keep a pair of Suntail Gobies <Amblyeleotris aurora> in my tank as well as my Bicolor Blenny <Ecsenius>?
My tank is 75g with a 28g sump/fuge and about 40kg of LR, I have a pair of Ocellaris clowns, a scooter Blenny, Chevron Tang, Banana Wrasse, Royal Gramma and a Bicolor Blenny all of whom get on really well. Can in introduce the Suntails, or will the Bicolor kick off due to them being a similar shape? I've reserved them but won't get them until I get the all clear from you lovely folks at WWM
<I do think you'll be fine here... in this volume, type of set-up, with the fishes mentioned. Bob Fenner>

Quick Ecsenius Blenny Question/Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish/Compatibility, sm. sys.  6/24/10
<Hello Nick>
Thanks for all of your help in the past!
<You're welcome.>
I just set up a 12 gallon Nano (total volume including the integrated sump in the back of the tank). The display portion measures approximately 12x12x12 inches. It houses a large piece of live rock with many holes and
caves. This will be primarily a reef tank with mixed hard and soft corals.
I have a Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish (about 3/4 inch) that was just introduced and is still hiding. My question is this - the only other fish I would like to add is a small Midas Blenny. What do you think of the compatibility between the two fish? Is the Midas likely to harass the Hawkfish to death?
<The Midas Blenny will get too large for your tank and any aggressive traits it does possess will be magnified in a confined space. The Pygmy Hawkfish is a closer relative to Anthias and Groupers than Hawkfish, but it's tagged as a Hawkfish because of its overall shape and behavior.>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Nick N.

Shrimp And Goby/Blenny/Compatibility 2/15/10
Hi, James (salty dog)...
<Hello Jordan>
Anyways I have 2 questions, 1st can a skunk cleaner and a Coral Banded Shrimp live peacefully in a 37 gallon FOWLR?
<No, your cleaner shrimp will be at risk.>
(at my LFS I've seen a gold coral banded shrimp and a skunk cleaner live together in a tiny tank, but the gold CBS in that tank was much much smaller than mine.) and my 2nd question is whether a Bi-Color Blenny and Diamond Goby can peacefully in that same 37 gallon?
<Your size tank will not support a Diamond Goby long term. The Diamond Goby requires a larger system (50+ gallons) with an active live sand bed to supplement prepared offerings of food. You may want to read the FAQ's here on Valenciennea/Sleeper, Sifter Goby systems.
thanks for your insight.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Stocking a 75 gallon tank, Ecsenius comp.   12/24/09
Hi Bob,
Ok one last question ; ) I was thinking of a bicolor or a tail spot blenny as a replacement for the flasher wrasse. I perused the reef/SW forums for any compatibility issues with the orange spot goby and didn't read of any real issues. Am I missing anything or am I good with these two together?
<Ecsenius spp. rarely mix well in small (less than hundreds of gallons) volumes. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ecsenblencomp.htm
and the linked files above>
I trust your opinion more than a lot of what I'm reading on line as I think some people are willing to take more risk than I am at this point. Thanks again, sorry to keep bugging you. Take care and Happy Holidays to you and
your family! Lyle
<And you/rs. B>

Compatibility (Help) 10/8/09
Hey all,
I am turning to you all for some advice. I have set up my 29 gallon nano tank for about 6 months now, and finally added my final livestock (Tail Spot Blenny) to my tank. I currently have a pair of false clowns (1
black/white and 1 orange) and one Royal Gramma. The 3 have been living in peace together for about 3 months now.
Since its been so long, I forgot that the most peaceful fishes should always be added to the tank first, and the Gramma seems to be bothering the blenny. I actually saw the Gramma take a pretty good bite of the blenny as he sticks his head out of his "hole". Unfortunately, he picked his spot right in front of the Gramma's "nest" and the blenny is cornered in it seems. Its only been about more than a day but every time the blenny tries to leave his "hole" the Gramma scares him back in. Will this continue?
Should I be worried about the blenny? Also, the clowns are very curious, but I don't think they would do harm the blenny? Any suggestions?
<Yes, in lieu of the tank being on the small side and easier to work with, carefully rearrange the rockwork which will initially eliminate territorial behavior. We are hoping that after this remodeling, their new territories
will be much farther apart and hostilities will end.>
Your comments and advise are always greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jonathan Tan

Midas Blenny Aggression: Psychological Crowding and Con-specifics 4/6/2009
Hello Wet Web Crew,
<Hi Lindsay>
I've been having some problems with a Midas Blenny I've had for 5 weeks now. I was reading a post on your website titled "Midas Blenny Aggression 1/3/09" and felt like I knew exactly what this guy was talking about. I already have a feeling what needs to be done (return my blenny), but all the same I thought I'd get another opinion so that I might feel better about it, or else to dissuade me from making this decision if you disagree.
<No Problem, fire away.>
OK, for starters I've had a 55 gallon tank for 10 months with live sand, 45 lbs. live rock, Tunze protein skimmer (can't remember the model exactly), but I do not have an RO system (I mix salt & tap, occasionally dechlorinator for a few hours before adding). Water changes are biweekly.
Currently temp is at 76-78, nitrates are less than 20 mg/L, pH was a bit low (7.6/7.8); am monitoring and treating slowly.
<Agree it is low. Also, do make sure your water is made up well in advance of using it - At least 24 hours.>
So to the point...I have a rusty angelfish, one flame and one purple Firefish, 2 percula clownfish, 1 blue-green Chromis, a few shrimp, crabs, and snails. All the other fish have been fine as far as I can tell before I got the midas blenny. My flame Firefish has always been a bit of a "scaredy cat", darting into bolt holes every now and then, but now she sometimes disappears for all but feeding time. The purple Firefish is less skittish, but she gets chased frequently by the midas blenny (it's a good thing she's fast!).
<Midas Blennies generally don't do well with Firefish, as they look a lot alike, the Blenny see them as a threat to its territory, plus you are a bit overcrowded here>
The blue-green Chromis is less lucky and also gets harassed. Yesterday was the first I noticed something was seriously wrong with him. He is, for lack of another way to describe it, shaking with fear. He is sticking to one spot at the water surface of the tank, someplace that is not his typical territory, and has tattered fins. One part of me thought some type of disease like Finrot, but there's a chunk out of his tail that I think
has to be nipping. Like I said, the Midas Blenny chases him, though I've never seen him in the act of biting any of the fish. There's also a tear in a fin of one of the clowns which I hadn't noticed before. I wasn't sure
if they're related or not. I don't really see the blenny chase the clowns much, but I'm beginning to wonder how much I'm not observing when I'm not around if you know what I mean.
<The Midas is very territorial, this is made worse by the fact that a 55 gallon isn't enough space for each to establish territories.>
I am attaching a few pictures of my fish, the Chromis and clown obviously, the others in case you see something I don't. I feed the fish a varied diet--Cyclop-eeze, 2 different flake types one of which contains dried algae, and Mysis shrimp. I only feed once daily to try and avoid overfeeding. Everybody has been eating, even the Chromis.
<Very good>
I really do hate to get rid of the midas blenny, he's beautiful, his perching and swimming movements are entertaining to watch, and his color changes when I clean the tank are very unique. I've become quite fond of him, but if he's being a bully to the other fish I just can't justify keeping him. I can return him to my LFS, but again, I wanted to hear what your thoughts were.
<You can try rearranging your rockwork, or perhaps put the blenny in a container for a few days to allow him to settle down. If those fail, you will have to get rid of either the blenny, or the Firefish and Chromis.
Lastly, you can get a larger tank. With more space, there is more room for each to establish territories.>
P.S. I was hoping to get a blue-spotted Jawfish at the 1 year mark, which might get pushed back with all that has happened recently.
<Jawfish do require a fairly deep sand bed to be happy. Given your setup, I don't think this is a wise choice.>
Other than pH, any strong habit change recommendations or suggestions if I was still thinking of one other last tankmate?
<You are pretty much at maximum capacity now.>
<My pleasure>
Re: Midas Blenny Aggression: Psychological Crowding and Con-specifics 4/6/2009

<Hi Lindsay>
I hadn't considered that blennies and Firefish would conflict territory wise.
<It is actually that the Blenny sees the Firefish as another blenny, thus attacking it to defend its territory.>
It does make me feel a little better about the fact that I might need to get rid of the midas blenny. Thanks.
I have been planning on getting a Jawfish for some time and have about a 4 inch sandbed with that in mind.
<Ahh OK>
I'm fine with increasing this as well if I have to, the BSJF has kind of been my goal fish. If I don't keep the midas blenny, do you still think I am at maximum capacity and that I shouldn't get a Jawfish?
<With the Midas gone, you should be OK with a Jawfish. Do realize though, they are notorious jumpers. Keep the tank covered.>
Do you think this is a bioload capacity or a "Psychological Crowding" capacity (or both)?
<With the Blenny gone, there should be enough room for everyone to establish territories.>
Re: Midas Blenny Aggression: Psychological Crowding and Con-specifics (4/6/2009) Follow up 4/20/2009

Hi WWMCrew!
<Hi Lindsay.>
I just thought I'd give you guys an update.
<Updates are always nice.>
I brought the Midas Blenny back to my LFS.
He made the trip just fine (which makes me feel less guilty). More importantly, all of my other fish have been far more active since the Blenny's removal, the Firefish in particular. My blue-green Chromis has healed remarkably; it took a few days for him to look less scared and start swimming normal again, but I think he's going to be just fine.
<Great news!>
Thanks again for the advice!
<My pleasure>
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>
Re: Midas Blenny Aggression Update-- 2/4/09
Hi Bob and Crew. I just wanted to thank you for your information and advice. It's a wonderful service you have where a novice such as myself can turn to people with knowledge and experience you guys have if nothing more than to confirm what I'm seeing is real. :) Below is the previous email. My fiancé© and myself decided to try an idea I believe I got by reading someone else's experiences on your website, and if that didn't work we'd have to return him.. I went to the local pet store, and got a plastic container with tiny holes in the top usually used to house feeder crickets. I put the Midas Blenny along with his favorite cave into the container (after thoroughly rinsing of course) and sunk it into the far side of the tank where little traffic from the other fish occur. We added a few more cover items as well as rearranged the decor and after keeping him here a couple of days released him back into the system. First couple of days he spent most of his time in the cave, but as time has gone on he's rejoined his tank mates and again spends most of his time swimming about the tank (The crazy fella even sometimes uses our starfish as a perch!) We have noticed a couple of nips, but nothing like what we'd seen before where our tank seemed to be turning into a B Horror Movie. Attack of the Evil Midas Blenny. We'll also start moving to that new tank I mentioned in the next few weeks as we put our tax returns to good use. :) A close eye will continue to be kept on everyone's behavior, but thought I'd let you know  how things seem to be turning out. Thank you for your response and the wealth of knowledge your site provides. <Ahh! Shades of Caesar and his dog training! Maybe we should rename you the "Fish Whisperer" Jason. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Blenny/ Wrasse Question... comp.  04/15/2008 Hi there! <<Hello, Andrew today>> My question is in regards to possible aggression between my bicolor blenny and Sixline wrasse. I have a 20g tank, all water parameters are good. They are the only fish in the tank. The blenny has been in there a while and had no issues. We went and purchased a Sixline from the LFS after researching various sites that said they were compatible. They have been together for about a month and the blenny has been increasing gilling more heavily and this morning is trying to hide under a rock to get away from the wrasse. <<I can quite understand this behaviour with a 6 lined wrasse in these confines>> I noticed the blenny has some flaking of his scales near his head and the wrasse came by and looked to be picking at him. The blenny has been fine until probably this last week and his color has been much paler than usual. The LFS said they would trade out the Sixline so that might be my option. Any insight you can give would be great. Thanks. <<Robin, i would certainly separate these two fish. The 6 line wrasse is an ok fish in larger confines, 50-60gals plus. I would trade the 6 line for maybe a shrimp goby / clown goby or if you have a good lid, a Firefish>> Robin <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Ecsenius lineatus'¦ Munching On My Corals   9/2/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Peter, Mich here.> Just wanted to give you guys a heads up. I use your site for researching new additions to my tank all the time, and always recommend you to others through the various BBs. <Thank you. Is wonderful to hear that you value what you find here.> I have never come across this info so I though I would share. <Always appreciated.> I recently purchased a Ecsenius lineatus as seen in the attached picture. <Pretty fish!> Well, he's a total coral muncher :-( <I'm sorry.> Started with Montipora species, and birdsnest coral, and has graduated to Acros. <Mmm, he's got good taste!> Just thought I'd share this bit of info. <Thank you!> I'm sure it is very uncommon, but I still think it's something people should be aware of. <Hopefully will help others to be aware.> Thanks.
<Welcome, Mich>

 Wonder how they get those neat little hidey holes? Not just from stealing them. RMF

Blenny questions--oh, and a wrasse/mandarin question!  Comp. Ecsenius, Macropharyngodon,  4/10/07 Good morning and thank you for your wonderful site. I have just spent a couple of hours reading but I am a little anxious still, so thought I would ask you directly. I ordered a Tailspot blenny(  Ecsenius stigmatura) and was sent a bicolor blenny instead. <The most common species...> They will send me the Tailspot soon, but in the meantime, I have to decide what to do with the bicolor. It is currently in my little 14 gallon nano with two pearly Jawfish and a hi-fin banded goby. <Mmm... not compatible here> I know he can't stay there. I would like to put him in my 7 year old 150 gallon reef, but I have a large Midas blenny in there and I have had him several years. <Might go in this sized volume...> He swims with my lyretail Anthias school <Neat! What this species does in the wild...> and ignores everyone else, (except very occasionally my flame Hawkfish, not fond of him) but this is another blenny. <Yes... of the same genus> Once the bicolor goes in, I can't retrieve him. The midas has one little hole that is his special favorite (to the point that he deliberately knocked a coral   fragment off--I watched him do --that I placed near his cave) so as long as the bicolor avoids that...... Is it worth a try? <A tough question... I would likely give this fish away ahead of risking real aggression in your 150... And I want to mention I would not place the other Ecsenius in the small tank either...> Secondly, I lost my green mandarin after 5 years and so I bought another very large female mandarin recently. I have a spotted female already (this is in the 150 gallon)  and I had read that females get along. (My previous green was a male. ) Well, it turned out I didn't have to worry about the spotted mandarin, because my ornate wrasse just attacked the new mandarin mercilessly, buffeting her and feinting at her, as though biting--it was constant. The strange thing is that the mandarin acted as though nothing was happening <A strategy of the species... plus their slime is unpalatable...> and yet the harassment was so vicious and so consistent that I knew she couldn't eat or settle at all. (The wrasse wouldn't even come away from her to eat!   and he is a pig.) I also know that although he didn't appear to be actually biting her, no obvious wounds)  he does have some teeth and it did seem that the blows from his body would evidently do damage.   This shocked me because the wrasse has never been a issue with anything, even all the shrimp and snails.  I couldn't catch the wrasse but I did manage somehow to catch the mandarin and I threw her in my 29 gallon nano. I know you will say she can't stay there, but  is there some way I could feed her from the rotifers in the 150 's refugium? <Yes> I feed very well, and very diversely and there is plenty of live rock and corals in there. (The nano  is a 3 year old established tank with a small fairy wrasse, a six-line wrasse and a orange spotted shrimp goby with his pistol shrimp ) Patiently awaiting your scolding on the mandarin/nano issue and your advice on the blenny. :) <Heeee! I wish you were in our neighborhood, so we could visit, I could see your systems> Thank you very much, Jeanne <Bob Fenner>

APOLOGY AND CLARIFICATION Hello there, I just sent an e-mail about blennies (and a second question about my mandarin) and I need to clarify. I apparently do NOT have a bicolor blenny that I need to place but a "flametail" listed on their site as Atrosalarias sp. (Does NOT look at all like a lawnmower blenny. Has a small Ecsenius head and body and is dark, almost black with a yellow tail. ) Should be less of a problem since it is not an Ecsenius? Or is this a more aggressive fish? Jeanne Brown <Actually, the chances of avoiding WWIII are greatly diminished with this change... This is the species I take it: http://www.vividaquariums.com/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=01-1629-10 I give you good odds that the current Ecsenius will leave this fish alone... now, about that offending Labrid... Bob Fenner>

Blenny Aggression...And A Brackish Puffer In A Marine Tank - 01/10/07 Hi there! <<Hello!>> I have looked online and consulted with various people I work with (a large public aquarium) and cannot seem to find a solution to my problem so maybe you can help, or have a different perspective. <<Let's see what I can do...>> I have a bicolor blenny, a red Firefish, and a figure-eight puffer in a 20 gallon, as well as a decorator crab but I doubt he figures into this equation. <<Something to mention here...Tetraodon biocellatus is a "slightly brackish water" species and will not fare well in the long-term in a full-strength marine environment.  This species is also best kept as single individuals (it will eventually bite/kill its tankmates), and though a small species (to less than three inches) it likes having some room to roam with minimum recommended tank size being 30-gallons.  You can find much more information re this species by perusing our articles and FAQs.  A good place to start is here, following the associated links in blue:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/fig8pufffaqs.htm >> And yes, I know the figure eight is usually brackish... <Not usually...is>> All that considered here is my question.  The blenny is getting aggressive with my Firefish.  It is not at feeding times, so I doubt the theory that he isn't getting enough to eat.  I thought it could be a territorial/spatial issue. <<Very likely this "is " the issue>> I had one big pile of live rock, so I split it into two piles thinking that maybe the blenny would pick one to call his own, but no luck. <<This tank is too small...does not afford enough "separation">> He swims between the two like he owns it all. :) <<Indeed...these blennies generally occupy relatively small territories on the reef (sometimes smaller than a square meter...but still larger than a 20-gallon tank) and will defend vigorously from perceived invaders>> I have thought about splitting it into three piles, but not sure if this would help. <<probably not>> Any suggestions would be appreciated. <<I'm afraid your best option is to remove one or the other>> And just as a side note, no one else in the tank is involved in this dispute. <<Not surprising...only the blenny and the Firefish would compete for the same food items/occupy the same niche on the reef.  Nemateleotris magnifica is a peaceful (conspecifics aside) almost timid fish that can be difficult to keep under the best of conditions.  The continued aggression from the blenny will likely result in its demise>> Thanks a lot! Robin <<A pleasure to share, Eric Russell>>

Midas Blenny with Jawfish  - 08/15/06 Hi, <Hello> I am thinking about adding a Midas Blenny to my reef tank.  It is a 120 gallon with 4 Green Chromis, a Mandarin, a Coral Beauty, a Royal Gramma, two Pearly Jawfish, a  Chalk Bass and a Bicolor blenny. <Sounds like a lovely tank.> My LFS currently has two Midas Blennies.  My concern is mostly with my two Jawfish.  They have setup quite a happy set of homes.  They are right next to each other and don't fight too much.  When I had a yellow Watchman in the tank, the Jawfish were very skittish.  Now that the Watchman Goby has been moved, the Jawfish are out quite a bit and I don't want to do anything to mess up their home life.  I'm wondering if a Midas Blenny would cause a problem. <No, I don't think so. They inhabit different levels of the water column. The Watchman Goby is a bottom dweller, inhabiting the substrate as your Jawfish do. Midas blennies spend most of their time on and in the rock in the mid and upper levels of the water column. You will find they perch on rock or back themselves into nooks and crannies within the rock work, with just their head peering out.  So I do not think your Jawfish will be bothered by the addition of a Midas Blenny.> Thanks, Nate Terry <Your most welcome, Leslie>

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

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>

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>

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

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>

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

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>

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 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)>

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 - 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 -- >

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>

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