FAQs on the Sabertooth
Related Articles: Sabretooth Blennies, True or Combtooth Blennies,
Related FAQs: True Blennies, Combtooth Blennies 2, Blenny Identification, Blenny Behavior, Blenny Compatibility, Blenny Selection, Blenny Systems, Blenny Feeding, Blenny Disease, Blenny Reproduction, Algae-eating Blennies, Ecsenius Blennies, Blennioids & their Relatives,
goslinei in Hawai'i.
Re: Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add?... Actually
now adding Meiacanthus grammistes 4/2/18
This is kind of an update with an additional compatibility question. I still
haven't got any fish in the tank. I had a cherub angel in QT for 3 weeks,
looking great and healthy, but on the 22nd day I found it dead under a rock
(probably due to heater problem, water was cold). I need to take a kind of long
drive to get another one and haven't had time to do it, but in
the meantime, I kind of made an impulse buy at a closer place (I never make fish
impulse buys, so I'm not sure what got into me). I would like to know what you
think about putting it with the cherub angel and the orchid Dottyback. It is a
striped Combtooth blenny, Meiacanthus grammistes, looks about 2" in size
(hopefully, it will grow very slowly, since the max size
of 5" is kind of big). I have never had a blenny before, and was not planning on
getting one, but now it is here. It is just in the QT, and I don't have the
other fish yet, so it's not too late to change my mind either about it or about
my other livestock plans. Your advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
<Mmm; actually; isn't your question about adding a/the Meiacanthus grammistes
here? And the genus, are not Combtooth, but Fangtooth Blennies...
In your prev. msg.s you mention this is a fifty gallon system. All should be
fine here together. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question: C. Argi with P. Fridmani - order to add? Not,
Fangblenny comp. 4/3/18
The numerous internet articles and blurbs I have read all say it is a
<Please see WWM, Nelson's Fishes of the World, FisBase.org... this IS a
Combtooth blenny, but more particularly a Sabertooth Blenny; a sub-grouping of
The shop only had the scientific name on it, so that is what I researched before
purchase, since I had no idea that some of the common names have the word "fang"
Common names based on non-scientific visual descriptions are sometimes so
confusing, and at least in the case of certain dragonets, have probably
contributed to thousands of deaths. I would rather make up my own names.
<Well stated. Bob Fenner>
Caring for a blind fish 1/8/17
Happy New Year to you. My fang tooth blenny had a run
in with a Bristleworm and unfortunately his eye is in bad shape. Its
totally cloudy and puffy. Unfortunately it only had one eye so this is a
very bad injury. Since the fish cant see I was able to get it out of the
main tank and into a QT tank and am treating with erythromycin hoping it
some. I am assuming that the eye is probably gone but am holding out
some hope that it may heal to a degree. Can a blind fish actually find
<Yes it can... particularly foods that move and have odor... and better
in smaller volumes of course... for finding>
I don't think it will be able to compete in my 180 with all the other
fish so worst case i can setup a nano tank for it. Would I just be
wasting time though?
<I think you have a good idea here. I would move the fish to a nano. Bob
Meiacanthus diet - competition with mandarin?
Hope you are well?
<Middling, thank you>
I've been thinking about adding a captive-bred Meiacanthus grammistes to
my 90g reef and was hoping to get your advice re compatibility. My tank
is 90 US G with 100lb of rock and Chaeto fuge in sump and my fish stock
consists of 1 x coral beauty, 1 x green mandarin, 2 x Banggai cardinal &
2 x ocellaris clowns, all captive-bred.
I have read through your FAQ's and pretty much every other article/forum
post I can find online and the consensus seems to be that fish
Meiacanthus spp have a fairly broad diet including zooplankton and algae
and that they spend a great deal of time hunting amphipods & isopods.
<This is so; and the genus is quite aquarium-hardy, captive bred ones
more so, and easier-going>
With that in mind I was hoping to get your thoughts on compatibility of
M. grammistes with a green mandarin, do you think it’s likely the blenny
would outcompete a mandarin in my setup?
<Mmm; in a "healthy", well-set up and maintained ninety gallon... I give
you good odds that they'll coexist>
I add copepods every fortnight at the moment (Tigriopus californicus)
which keep the mandarin happy. He is captive-bred and does occasionally
pick at pellets/frozen but pods form the bulk of his diet so I would not
want to add anything that would jeopardize his wellbeing.
<Understood. I would use other foods... to "fill up" the other fishes,
in advance of adding the Copepods>>
Also in terms of stocking order do you think adding the blenny with the
established coral beauty would be a cause for concern?
<Not a concern>
I have had the angel for 6 weeks, it is captive bred and still tiny
(5cm) and whilst not noticeably aggressive is very much the boldest fish
in the tank.
I was also intending to add a Fridmani Dottyback as a final fish so
would be interested to get your thoughts on compatibility between the
blenny and Dottyback?
<Again; I do think these will get along here>
It has crossed my mind that there may be some aggression as they have a
fairly similar shape & habits, and also that adding both might be a bit
too much pressure on the pod population so my fall back would be to just
add the Fridmani and skip the blenny.
Also by way of an update I'm happy to report that since my previous
aquarium related trials you advised me on (Diodogorgia feeding &
subsequent ReefPlus overdose, and the Eunice worm!) all is still going
well in my tank thus far, the gorgonians are still looking good with 3-5
feedings per week and all my others corals & inverts survived the ordeal
with the exception of a few unfortunate Trochus snails.
Thanks once again
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Striped blennies; stock/sel. 10/27/15
Hey Bob, I've been told that a good alternative to keeping multiple
Chromis/damsels are striped (fanged) blennies? I was thinking maybe 3 in my
<Some get along better than others.... Where are you going to read, and when? B>
Re: Striped blennies 10/27/15
How do you know that I haven't been reading?
<Heeee! Strong intuition?>
The fact is I have been reading all morning about this on WWM and various other
I had not found specific information on WWM that answered my question about the
species provided, which is why I kindly asked for your opinion. Sorry if I
<Mmm; no problem. Did you see pix.... on WWM, elsewhere... showing more than one
specimen of a given species together? Some get along (Meiacanthus) at times;
others rarely (Plagiotremus).... Study/Steady ON! B>
Re: Striped blennies 10/27/15
Pictures? Yes, under "Saber-Toothed Blennies" there is a picture of 2 striped
blennies together which is what ultimately led me to ask. Trust me, I haven't
stopped reading during the 6 years I've been in the hobby, and will never stop.
I always find out what I can before writing you. I so very much appreciate and
trust your opinion. I would never waste your time intentionally or out of
Thanks buddy, have a great day!
<And you Jay. B>
Mimic blenny or black lined fang blenny
Hope all is well and I just want to thank you for all the information
you provide. I just purchased a red sea mimic blenny from the lfs (which
told me strongly it is a mimic blenny)
<Ecsenius gravieri? Don't think so>
. In my opinion it looks like a black lined fang blenny by the mouth.
< Meiacanthus nigrolineatus? Yes>
My experience with this fish is that the mouth shape is similar to a
Tailspot or bicolor blenny. Enclosed is a picture of him. Is he a true
mimic blenny or a good looking black lined fang blenny? Thank you again.
<The latter I believe. Bob Fenner>
Meiacanthus oualanensis, hlth. 3/15/13
Hi crew! Two days ago I put a Meiacanthus oualanensis in a QT. At
first he was swimming out in the open.
Now he's hiding in the PVC.
<To be expected>
He also has not eaten.
I've offered Mysis, Spectrum pellets and Rod's.
After much research on WWM I've read they can come with intestinal
<Sometimes... of consequence>
My question is should I put him in the main tank or wait it out in the
Bob has told me in the past he does not recommend QT for Blennioids but
I am very nervous since I just went through a bout of Ich. Thanks,
<I would expedite this fish from QT to your main display Jen... as you
state... Not likely to be negative consequence compared w/ waiting.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Meiacanthus oualanensis
Ah Mr. Fenner...hope this day finds you well. I will expedite him
to the main. He has come out since I've been in the room rearranging and
cleaning up but nonetheless he is going to his new home. Hopefully he
will eat in there. Thank you kind sir for all of your time and
<A pleasure to share w/ you Jen. BobF>
An ID question from the Wet Web Media Forum - 11/30/2012
Hi crew! Hope today finds you well. We have a new member who has
posted a picture, and asked for some ID help. We have not been able to
help after a couple days. It seems that at least Bob enjoys this type
of query, so I thought I would try to help the fellow out. He reports
the photo was taken while diving in Huahine lagoon, French Polynesia in
early November. It is 3 to 4 inches long and in about 5 feet of water.
I have cropped it to a smaller size. Thanks for taking a look!
Matt Bowers (Muttley000)
<A member of the Plagiotremi... the fang-tooth blennies. Please see here:
Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner>
Fang Tooth Blenny Pairs, comp.
About 6 weeks ago I purchased a male/female pair of harptail blennies.
I had them in quarantine for about four weeks and they were doing great
together. About 10 days ago I added them to my 125 display with much
success. They were doing great, following each other around, etc.
yesterday I noticed the female going after the male, pinning it in the corner,
and shredding his fins.
<More Mmmm... As far as I know there is no such thing as "pairs" of these
fishes, Meiacanthus mossambicus. Maybe captive produced ones get along more than
Today more of the same. The female is more interested in attacking
the male then swimming about the tank. The male is still eating but can
not leave the corner of the tank without the female coming after it. Is
this normal behavior and will it settle down?
Should I try to relocate the male?
<Too "normal" to leave them together. Yes; I'd separate. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fang Tooth Blenny Pairs 10/23/12
Thanks Bob. The pair is actually from ORA.
<Ahh, may well be captive-produced then. Have you contacted them re this
Getting the benefit of working from home today I noticed the getting along
fine this morning. Swimming near each other no issues. I wonder if
the aggression may have something to do with the halides causing some type of
reflection in the sides of the tank causing the blenny to think there is more
than the 1 other in the tank? Wishful thinking on my part?
<A plausible explanation from my point of view. Let's leave them in place and
see if all settles down. Cheers, BobF>
Sick Black Line Blenny 7/10/12
I am hoping you can help. My 4 year old blenny has been sick for the
last two days and developed two tumor looking pimples on its body.
<I see one of these>
One is in the picture and the other is on the other side of the fish next
to its gill. The fish is still picking on food but not eating as well
as it has been. It is also acting pretty lethargic kind of hanging out
on one side of tank. Does this look like anything you have seen
I am debating on whether or not to move the fish into my qt tank which
currently is home to a flame and pygmy wrasse. Obviously I would need
to cut the quarantine a few weeks short for these guys, but all appears well
with them. Any ideas what or how to treat this?
<Either something it ran/swam into (my number one guess); like a
Bristleworm, or very stinging Cnidarian, or some sort of subcutaneous growth
due to infection... In both cases I wouldn't treat it with anything... Just
provide good care and hope>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
| Re: Sick Black Line Blenny 7/10/12
Thanks Bob for the quick response. Also wanted to mention although the
fish's belly is fat the rest of the body looks like it is losing mass.
Not sure if this is due to the lack of eating. If things take a turn
for the worse would you recommend a certain antibiotic?
<I would not>
I have furan on hand if necessary. As for now i will continue with
Selcon soaked food and weekly water changes.
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny
Just wanted to let you know the blenny looks like it went head on with a
<Ahh, my first guess>
Not looking very good. One if its eyes has become cloudy with a
noticeable bristle sticking out the side. I wanted to dose a bit of
Epsom salt. Is it safe to use in a full blown reef at 1 tsp per 10
<It almost always is. B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny 7/15/12
Just wanted to give you an update. The blenny looks like it is
developing fin rot. I am assuming the infection seems to have spread.
There is no way to get the fish out of the tank. Are you familiar with
Dr G's medicated foods?
<A bit; second-hand>
The fish is still eating so I was thinking of feeding it this antibiotic
Can I avoid damage to my reef which includes sps, clams, shrimps, lps
<Yes; should be negligible effect on others listed. BobF>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny 7/15/12
Thanks Bob. I have to try and track down the food since they only sell
it in Florida. I was thinking about trying something as well.
Can i gut load brine shrimp with Maracyn or furan? Would this work
<Mmm, search WWM w/ the term "medicated food". B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny 7/15/12
I searched the site and could not find anything specific to gut loading
brine with antibiotics.
<Mmm, okay... I would not do this... takes too long to be of use>
I did some other research on Google and see people do this for seahorses.
I guess i will give it a shot tomorrow and see what happens. Is furan
2 a good choice here or would Maracyn be a better alternative? What
would be the least detrimental to a reef system should any left over food
end up in the tank and any inverts munching on the medicated brine?
<I would skip adding antibiotics period in this fashion. This fish will
likely heal of its own accord. B>
Re: Sick Black Line Blenny; now Crypt on small Labrids in QT
I was able to get my hands on the Dr G's antibacterial food. The fish
in the tank are taking it down no problem. It has only been 2 days and
the fish is a lot more active. No issues with the inverts either.
Here is the real problem now and I think your previous advice saved me from
My flame wrasse in qt has developed Ick. I am doing back flips literally
that I did not jump the gun and put him in the display. He is in the
qt with a pygmy wrasse who also showed up with a few spots. The wrasse
is breathing heavy but still eating which is great. My main question
is how would you go about treating this?
<Likely a copper-based... >
I have quinine sulfate on hand but have found it to be pretty hard on
sensitive fish. I have actually had bad experiences in the past using
this on a flame wrasse before. I also have Cupramine on hand.
<I would use this>
Do you think flame wrasse would be to sensitive to Cupramine?
<Yes; but less than other treatments>
My last option is hyposalinity which does not work in my opinion. It
is more of a suppressor treatment than an eliminator. I was however
trying to get my hands on quinine phosphate which I read is a lot more
effective and easy on the fish.
<This is so, usually>
The problem is I can only get it in a Kilo.
Not sure what I would do with a kilo of this white powder antibiotic,
Haha. Dr G also makes an anti parasitic formula and the main
ingredient is quinine phosphate. I am thinking I can use the hypo to
suppress the Ick and then feed the fish quinine to eradicate the parasite?
Sorry for the long email here. Thanks as always.
<Worth trying. Bob Fenner>
three (I hope quick) compatibility questions... Mixing
Meiacanthus, Gramma, Premnas in est. sys.s - 2/9/11
A friend is moving and breaking down her tank and would like to give me
her fish. The one is Meiacanthus grammistes and I don't think I can
take it because my 65 gallon has a bicolor and a Tailspot blenny and I
have read on your site and elsewhere that the fang blenny is
semi-aggressive with fish of a similar body shape.
<Is likely, too much so, to fight here>
My 90 gallon has a midas blenny so I am guessing it won't work
<Better chance here>
(My Nano is super peaceful--gobies and pom pom crabs, so I wouldn't
risk it. ) Just want to confirm with the experts I can't take the
The second fish is a royal Gramma--the 90 gallon has an orchid and a
splendid Dottyback, so that's out. The 65 gallon has a blackcap
Basslet. He is rather reclusive though and stays in his cave most of
the time. However, he is also very established, having been there two
years or more. Do you think I could try the Gramma in there? (I have
kept the two species together previously but it was in a 150
<I wouldn't risk it; or be ready to remove>
The third fish is a small maroon clownfish. I do have an empty
Bubbletip anemone in the 90 gallon but I also have (for eight years
now) a pair of Perculas in a Heteractis crispa. The anemones are at
opposite ends of the tank--but her clown does not currently have an
anemone of its own so may ignore the Bubbletip.
<Mmm, this Premnas, started small, might learn to live w/ the other
Clowns in this setting. No guarantee however in the longer term>
Thanks, as always, for your assistance and your wonderful site.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Blackline Blenny 12/16/2009
<Now AM, PST here in this framework... Whassup?>
I am hoping you can assist with the purchase of my new fish. I recently
ordered a trio of Blackline blennies from a reputable online
<Perhaps ORA... this is, these are Meiacanthus nigrolineatus I take
I was very skeptical at first because every thing that I have read
about the sabre-tooth's state that only 1 should be kept per tank
as they become highly aggressive with each other.
<Mmm, well... the Plagiotremi in general are... I suspect fully that
these three are captive produced; much less agonistic>
I spoke to them over the phone and they even said they have been
together for more than a few months. Worst case scenario I can split of
these fish as I have 3 tanks in my house, but would prefer not too if
possible. Right now the they are in my 30 gallon quarantine tank.
Although I have not noticed a ton of aggression they are definitely
chasing each other around.
<Not a worry>
Almost looks like they are setting up a pecking order, at least I hope.
Do you think it is possible to keep these fish together?
Should I just separate them?
<I would not. Much more interesting, and very likely happier
interacting with each other>
Once I put them in my main 90 gallon reef there is no way to get them
out as the tank is filled with over 140 pounds of rock. I look forward
to your response.
<Enjoy! Bob Fenner>
Re: Blackline Blenny. Plagiotremi/Fangtooth incomp.
Figured I would give you an update so if anyone considers doing this
again you can talk them out of it.
One of the fish became the aggressor and chased the other blenny out of
the tank. The fish went right through the egg crate and I was unable to
get to it in time.
<... these fish were not captive-produced after all>
I was a little hesitant to keep the remaining two together but figured
there would be plenty of room in the ninety gallon tank.
At first they seemed okay but by the 4th day the smaller blenny was
pinned in the bottom corner of the tank and every time it tried to move
it would be attacked. The other blenny was going for it's eyes and
gills and I thought it was over for this little guy. I was actually
able to net him out without any hesitation from the fish. For about 5
hours the blenny looked for the other fish to attack it. I haven't
seen this type of aggression since I tried pairing two Spotfin
butterflies, which I hand caught in NJ. Now that the blenny is in the
new tank he seems a lot better. So far the Springeri Pseudochromis is
leaving it alone, knock on wood. Not sure if it has to do with the
fish's poisonous bite, but so far so good.
<Thank you for this follow-up Eric. BobF>
Fish help 9/9/09
I am having an issue with one of my fang tooth
blennies and am not really sure what is going on.
When I saw the fish tonight it looks like it went to war with a
cactus! One side of the fish is covered in spikes. I tired to
take pictures but the fish is now hiding and will not come out to eat.
I am not sure what can do this? Possibly a Bristleworm?
<Very definitely. Polychaete spines are brittle,
and the whole point of them is that they break off, irritating the skin
of the would-be predator.>
Either way I am very concerned that I have something in my tank capable
of doing this to my livestock?
<All reef tanks are filled with animals well able to protect
themselves in various ways. While the reef looks harmonious to us,
it's actually more of a Mexican stand-off, with different organisms
each asserting themselves as they try to obtain resources or defend
themselves. The "Fang Tooth Blenny" can be any one of a
variety of species, but at least some may be opportunistically
predatory, or else one simply darted into the wrong crevice at the
wrong time, and bumped into something unpleasant.>
Any ideas how to get these spikes out of the fish?
<Not really possible. Will fall out in time.>
Any ideas what can cause this?
<Bristleworms of all types.>
Breeding Smith's Fang Blennies...help determining who is
who... - 03/02/09 Hello. <Hi Austin.> I have a fat
Smith's fang blenny in my 60 gallon tank, and I know she is fat due
to her ovaries multiplying. <I hope you are right.> There is only
one problem with this though: I don't have another Smith's fang
blenny, nor do I know how to tell if a Smith's fang blenny that I
will buy at my LFS is male or female. Do you know how to tell the
difference between a male and a female Smith's fang blenny? <The
juveniles look the same, but males larger than 30 mm have larger
ventral fins. The larger, the more obvious.> Thanks for the help! PS
This is a link to the fish I am talking about:
Austin. <And here's the WWM page with linked FAQs on this group:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm . Cheers,
Re: Breeding Smith's Fang Blennies...help determining
who is who... - 03/02/09 Excellent! Thanks for the help!
<Welcome.> I officially have a female Smith's Fang Blenny!
Tomorrow, I am going to go down to my LFS and celebrate by buying a
male for her to spawn with! Yay! Thanks again! <Good luck.
What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? -
03/02/09 Hello. I just bought a male Smith's Fang Blenny,
because I already had a female. <I hope they will get along
peacefully. They can occur solitary (more common) or as pairs in
nature. For one specimen I'd recommend at least 40 gallons, but two
may even not get along in 200 gallons unless they are a mated pair. For
a mated pair I'd recommend about 80 gallons, but only if you can
separate them in case of relationship problems.> So now, I want to
move them to a private tank...a brood stock tank in a way. The only
tanks I have open right now are a 10 gallon (not sure if they will
survive very long in it, and a 1.5 gallon :D BettaCube that has an Aqua
20 filter on it :D. Would they live a normal life span in a 1.5 gallon
BettaCube, and spawn in it if there is PVC? <Maybe, but maybe the
female will release the eggs too early, maybe the male will not
fertilize them. You cannot keep them in there longer than a few hours
anyway.> Or would it be better to try to keep them in the 10 gallon,
which has a Aqueon 10 power filter on it? <Still way too small, but
better. The power filter might be too strong for the fry, filter them
out of the water.> I don't want to keep them in my 60 gallon,
because I want to raise the fry, and can't quite do it if they lay
their eggs inside of a rock. <So ideally you need another cycled
tank or remove the hatched fry (will likely happen in the evening after
the lights went of) from the parents' tank by attracting them with
a flash light and catching them with a clean glass.> Thanks for the
help! PS They are both over one inch long ;) Austin. <A little small
for breeding, but since you note that your female was carrying eggs and
you apparently were able to sex the male in the store… You may
want to contact the company ProAquatix (www.proaquatix.com), which
breeds a number of fang tooth blennies, they should know much more
detail due to long term experience. Good luck with your blennies,
remember you'll also need enough plankton to feed any fry.
Re: What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? -
03/02/09 Hey there, Polo. Thanks for the quick reply. You guys
reply faster than forums. Anyway. If I were to keep the pair of
blennies in my 34 gallon Solana with my pair of Perc Clowns, would the
parents of both species eat the eggs? <The eggs may be guarded, but
the fry will be considered food by the other species and have to be
removed if you want to raise them. In a tank of this volume I'd
expect them to be eaten quite fast. Marco.>
Re: What size tank is good for a Smith's Blenny pair? -
03/03/09 Marco- <Austin.> Sorry for the unnecessary pun
on your name. I realize it was uncalled for. <No problem, I do not
feel insulted.> Anyway...blennies spawn in PVC for people who want
to raise the fry, right? <Yes, some kind of cave, shelter hole with
a diameter large enough to allow both to be next to each other.>
Well, from the pictures I have seen, the breeders have sliced the PVC
pipe in half lengthwise. How can I do this without losing a finger?
<I use a jab saw and a jaw vise to slice PVC pipes. If you think you
cannot do it yourself you may want to ask a carpenter. I do not think
the pipes have to be sliced to be accepted as breeding holes. I believe
as long as they are somewhat fixed to the tank bottom (with rocks for
example), they'll be accepted. Cheers, Marco.>
Need helping telling a Mimic Blenny apart from an
actual Fang Blenny - 02/04/09 Hello! <Hi Candi.>
I'm hopeful you can settle a bit of a debate. I purchased
what was sold as a Red Sea Mimic Blenny (Ecsenius gravieri)
online, when the fish arrived today I was surprised it looked
quite a bit different from the photo and from what I had seen
online. In fact it looked like an actual Yellowtail Fang Blenny
(Meiacanthus atrodorsalis). From the photos I've seen the
mimics tend to have less of a forked tail <No, both can have
forked tails... a male Ecsenius can have a more forked tail than
a younger Meiacanthus atrodorsalis.> , and a differently
shaped head with the front looking a bit flat/square (more like a
midas blenny) and with the two little "horn" type
structures. <I agree with the head shape.> The fish I have
has the sleek shaped head like the Fangs I've seen online and
a very forked long tail. I emailed the vendor who said he
received them as mimics but would look into it, we've both
posted photos of the fish and 1/2 of the responses are sure
it's a true fang blenny and 1/2 think it's a mimic.
<Let's start to get some things clear: E. gravieri mimics
M. nigrolineatus. Plagiotremus laudandus mimics M. atrodorsalis.
The first afore mentioned species pair has thinner lateral black
lines, positioned lower at the sides compared to your pictures.
I'd rule them out. P. laudandus does not have such a longer
line at the body at all. The fish you sent pictures of are M.
atrodorsalis . Further typical characters of the fang tooth
blennies are: swim bladder, fang tooth, dorsal fin without a
notch down to the back, a pair of tiny cirri at the chin, a
membrane between dorsal and anal fin and the caudal peduncle.
Your pictures are too blurry or small to clearly see these
characters, but you and your vendor will find them with the fish
in front of you. To defend your vendor, it has to be noted that
most populations of M. atrodorsalis don't have a such clear
black lateral line as the ones you photographed, but there are
such color morphs e.g. illustrated by Randall (see below).>
Being that neither of us is willing to try to get a bite to be
sure I was wondering if you had any ways of settling this debate
so I can get my refund if I did receive the wrong fish.
<It's clearly not a mimic, it's a Fangtooth. You may
refer your vendor to "Randall: reef and shore fishes of the
South Pacific" as well as "Randall: Red sea
fishes" where the differences are clearly explained. If you
have access to an university library, Smith-Vaniz (1987)
described the color morphs and characters of M. atrodorsalis in
detail "The sabre tooth blennies" in Proc. Acad. Nat.
Sci. Phila, volume 139 pages 1-52.> If it helps at all the
fish I have seems to be free swimming, haven't seen him perch
yet. I'm attaching photos of my actual fish along with some
the vendor posted from the same shipment. Thank you! Kind
Regards, Candi <I hope you now have all the proof you need.
After searching Google,...... Wormfish ID
11/26/08 Hi Fellas, <Don't forget to acknowledge
the gals here Mandy... Everyone needs to feel important> I
need you to identify a fish for me. Blue Zoo Aquatics sent me
this fish when I bought a Curious Worm Fish. <Mmm> I do not
think that's what it is though. My other Curious Worm looks
like this. And you are right, they are extremely shy. I have mine
in a tank with no other fish only some inverts. Now, here is the
one I just got, hoping he would keep my first one company since
they say they like to be in groups. This is NOT a Curious Worm,
is it? It's mouth is different, it's shape is different,
it's tail is different,....etc.....I know Curious Worms come
in two color forms, blue and yellow, but this looks like a shark
in the face and a cleaner wrasse in body type, and has a lyre
tail! Something is just not right! <The first fish is a
Curious Wormfish, Gunnelichthys curiosus, the second... is not
even of the same family (Microdesmidae) but a Blenniid... a
Fangblenny... the Bluestriped Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos... these
can be trouble in aquariums (biting other fishes), even biting
divers in the wild! I would do a bit of looking about, isolate
this fish, and ask for credit/replacement. All dealers make
mistakes... this is one. Bob Fenner>
|Re: After searching Google,...... Bob, thank
you soooooooooooooooooooo much!!!! I had a feeling. Some people
have mistaken blue striped fang blennies for curious worms before,
I've read it online. I just knew it!!! <Ahh!> He's
out of the tank in a plastic zip bag floating in the tank. But now
what do I do with him??????????? <Mmm, a sump, refugium? Perhaps
a store or fellow hobbyist with a large system (diluting the
aggression, spreading the possible/potential nips twixt more
fishes?> Thank you so much Bob. I'm so glad you were there.
Mandy in NJ <Me too! BobF, in SD> re: After searching
Google,...... 11/26/08 Oh, by the way, I consider fellas
to mean everyone. Sorry about that!! I'll remember next time to
be more specific. Thank you again, Mandy in NJ <Welcome!
Striped Fang Blenny Bringing Home a Blenny (Fang Blenny and
Tankmates) 11/18/08 Hi all!! <Hey there! Scott F. with you
today!> Been awhile since I've asked a question of you folks,
only because I can almost always find what I'm looking for in your
amazing FAQ!!! However, I'm at a bit of a loss and need some advice
regarding a Striped Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus grammistes). A great LFS
recently had an anniversary sale and raffled off several prizes. I was
lucky enough to win a couple amazing Acropora corals, some great food
items AND the Striped Blenny. <Your lucky day! Now go buy a lottery
ticket, too!> Now I understand that these fish are venomous but are
normally considered quite reef safe and even community safe. I'm
not at all concerned with the venomous portion, as I also have Rabbit
Fish...lol. Just got to be cautious. My real concern isn't so much
for the safety of the reef or community, but with the safety and health
of the Striped Blenny. I'm wanting to make sure which tank I should
put this great lil' guy in. So, I'll list each tank, along with
it's inhabitants. First, I have a 46 bowfront, mixed reef with
about 80 pounds of live rock and a HOB CPR Aquafuge teaming with pods.
Mainly soft corals, a large RBTA, a Mandarin Dragonette, a Lawnmower
Blenny, a pair of Black Ocellaris, a Coral Beauty, a Spotted Rabbit
fish (soon to go in a 113 cube). The only invert I might be concerned
with is a Coral Banded Shrimp, as I've heard they can catch and
kill fish, though I've never experienced this in this tank.
<Hmm..got to give you a bit of a hard time here: You're concerned
about the Coral Shrimp going after the open-water-swimming blenny, but
you're not concerned about the notoriously slow, passive Mandarin
swimming into the anemone? Hmm. Seriously, I wouldn't worry about
the shrimp and the blenny.> Second is a 75 mixed reef that's
predominately SPS. Inhabitants include a 6 Lined Wrasse, a Strawberry
Pseudochromis, 3 Green Chromis, a Starry Blenny, a Gold Striped Maroon
in a Sebae anemone, a Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp, and a
smaller Foxface Rabbit. I've never witnessed any aggression between
the 6 Lined Wrasse and Strawberry Pseudochromis, and watch them both
closely. However, I do plan to try and remove the Strawberry
Pseudochromis when I re-aquascape soon. ( I need to re-aquascape due to
digging from the Pistol Shrimp and due to the fact that when I set this
tank up, I failed to put the base rock on glass bottom and instead,
placed it on sand...lol. I know...catastrophe in the makings). Do you
see any complications with adding the Striped Blenny to either of these
set ups? I see a possible problem with the 46, due to competition for
food with the Mandarin. Currently the 46 is loaded with pods and Mysis
shrimp, however, I realize this could be a potential problem. Do you
see any problems between the Striped Blenny, the 6 Lined Wrasse or the
Pseudochromis? If needed, I will wait to add the Striped Blenny until
after the Pseudochromis is removed. Any suggestions or advice you can
give are very much appreciated, as always!!! Sincerely and Thank you,
Michael <Well, Michael, these are keen observations on your part. I
would be inclined to add the blenny to the 75, after the Pseudochromis
is relocated. I don't worry too much about the other fishes, with
the possible exception of the 6 Lined Wrasse, which can give a bit of
attitude. However, the blenny is well-equipped to defend itself if
necessary. My main advice with these fishes is to quarantine them
(well- it's my advice for ALL new fishes), and to make sure that
they are feeding. they often come in with intestinal parasites and
seemingly need to be "de-wormed", or at the very least, well
fed before placing them in their final home. Do read up on these issues
right here on the WWM site. Other than that caveat, they are great fish
with wonderful personalities and good looks..Almost as nice as my
girlfriend! Have a great day! Regards, Scott F.>
Re: Striped Fang Blenny Bringing Home a Blenny (Fang Blenny
and Tankmates) 11/19/2008 Thank you so much Scott!!
<He's fabulous! I could go on and on.> I hope your girlfriend
isn't reading this, <She is.> or if she is, she's as
drawn to Striped Blennies as you are...lol. <Mmm, I prefer the
Blackline Fang Blenny (Meiacanthus nigrolineatus) myself!> As for
the Mandarin vs. RBTA, I know it's a risk, however they been in
this tank together for 2 years, so far, with no problems. <Still
doesn't mean your Mandarin won't end up as lunch.> The
Clowns are very good at keeping others away from the anemone. <Glad
to hear this.> They even will charge the Spotted Rabbit if it
wanders too close. <They are Damselfish after all!> Thanks
again!! Will put blenny in 75 after relocating Strawberry Pseudochromis
and of course, <A pretty fish.> after QT!! <Yay!>
Fang Blenny ID 11/11/08 Hi Guys, <Hi
Beta.> Can you please ID the Fang Blenny in the attached pic.
It was caught of the South Western coast of India. <It's a
Petroscirtes breviceps, a Shorthead Sabretooth Blenny or Striped
Poison-Fang Blenny Mimic as shown on:
. Also see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm
.> Regards Beta Mahatvaraj
Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus
atrodorsalis, comp., sys. 4/12/08 Hello all at WetWebMedia
Greetings from Ireland <Hello from California, USA.> I have
a small marine tank (30 US Gallons) which contains two Percula
clowns, 1 boxfish, <Most, if not all boxfish will be trouble
in a tank this size. A stressed/cramped boxfish will end up
releasing their toxin into the water.> a small goby (not sure
of species), a boxer shrimp, and a big stack of liverock. All is
going well. To finish off the collection I wanted to add a small
group of shoaling fish. I was in my local fish shop and was
recommended Lyretail Anthias. <Not in a 30 gallon tank.>
Now I know the standard Anthias are tricky but I'd never seen
this type before (blue and yellow and elongated!) and as I'd
seen them feed and they were (allegedly) hardier than other
Anthias, I bought three. Marine fishkeeping here in the Emerald
Isle is still in it's infancy so misinformation is rife...
<Books and the internet can provide valuable information
regardless of how advanced any LFS is or is not.> After some
intensive research on your site I now see that they are Yellow
Tail Fangblennies! <Ooops!> I wanted to know if three is a
sensible quantity for my small tank? I can only see one website
that references the compatibility of these fish
(www.peteducation.com) with their kin and it recommends only one
or maybe a breeding pair. What's your opinion? <One per
tank, especially a tank this small. Inquire with the store about
returning two of these.> Love this site, it really has been a
great help to me. Keep up the good work. <Thank you, will
do.> Laurence, Ireland P.S. The tank is running for three
months with the above inhabitants with 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrate and
the occasional trace of Nitrate (mostly 0). pH and Salinity are
all stable. <Sounds good. A link below for more information.
Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabretoothfaqs.htm
Re: Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus
atrodorsalis 4/13/08 Thanks Scott, <Welcome Lawrence.>
All good advice as per usual. The boxfish is really happy at the
moment, very friendly and watches us as much as we watch him, but
I know he'll need larger accommodation in the future. <Yes
he will, but these sure are fun fish to watch, some of the
goofiest fish I have ever seen!> The plan is to move him in to
the Ubertank we have planned, a truly mammoth system hopefully.
<Sounds good.> Do you know of a good link or book regarding
the construction of large tanks, possibly with block work and
fibreglass sides and a single glass/Perspex front? <I know of
no such book and have actually started on one (yes Bob,
finally!).<<Yay! RMF>> As far as websites, there are
a few that can guide you through such a project. Of course
WetWebMedia.com has much useful information in this regard
throughout the tank building FAQ's. Another site worth
checking out is the Garf.org DIY pages. This will give you the
basics of how to, but the automated calculator calls for too thin
of materials for my taste for the larger tanks.> Laurence
<Have a good day, Scott V.>
Re: Yellow Tail Fangblenny, Meiacanthus
atrodorsalis 5/13/08 Hello <Hello Laurence!> I
emailed you recently regarding my Fangtail Blennies. I followed
your advice and now have just the one and he's doing very
well, a real character, so thanks for the advice. <Great!
You're welcome.> I purchased a blue starfish a while back
(yes, it's THAT Linckia that shouldn't be kept!) and I
just wanted to say thanks for your advice on feeding it frozen
Angel food containing sponge. I defrosted a chunk, packed it into
the corner of a Mussel shell and plonked him/her on top: Hey
Presto! A feast commenced! This is now a regular thing and he/
she is visibly larger than a couple of months ago. <Always
good to hear a story of success, thank you.> Thanks WetWeb
Crew, you've done it again. <Hee, welcome!> Laurence
Fletcher Cork Ireland <Thank you for the encouragement and
sharing. Scott V., California, USA.>
Fang Blennies in a 120, mixing 12/5/07
Hello Crew, I currently have a Meiacanthus mossambicus (Mozambique
Blenny). In the 120 reef now about 6 months. Great little fish (eats
out of my hand... cautiously!). <You should both be> Me being
cautious, not the fish. <Ahh!> One of my LFS's has a
Meiacanthus bundoon (Bundoon Blenny). Didn't see it on your site.
<Wish I was out in its range with you diving, making photos... the
weather here in Hawaii currently is frighteningly BAD!> Could the
two co-habitate in a 120? <Mmm... borderline... they may well
fight... terribly> I've read there is a possibility, but am
looking for your opinion/experiences. They sure do look similar,
prompting the question. Keep up the great advice. Jeff Butterbaugh
<Mixing Fang Blennies, particularly of the same genus is risky... If
it were me/mine, I'd forego this blend. Bob Fenner>
A bit of a concern about a blenny... Nemophini beh. -
10/18/07 Dear WWM crew, <Jon> I just acquired a Yellowtail
Fangblenny (*Meiacanthus atrodorsalis) and I have him in quarantine
along with two fairy wrasses and two tomato clowns. <Mmm, better to
not have so much jammed together during these processes> The problem
is that he is continuously just laying around. He'll swim around
for a bit at food time and maybe take a flake or a pellet or two (or
sometimes a Mysid shrimp) but then he just goes back to hiding or just
laying in the corner. Now, if I touch him, he'll dart out and swim
a bit (and he doesn't look stressed or faded or anything). <Is
stressed... and this behavior is to be expected under the
circumstances... Will "brighten up" behaviorally when moved
to the main display> Nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia are all 0. SPG
is 1.025 and I use water from my established (and now crypt free) tank
that is already temperature and PH adjusted to match the quarantine
tank. <Good> I've noticed no signs of crypt on the
atrodorsalis or on any of the other fish in the tank (the tomato clowns
were in the quarantine for 2 weeks prior and showed no signs of crypt).
Granted, it's only been 2 days, but I've read that most
blennies and fairy wrasses are fairly crypt resistant and that the
fairy wrasses should usually just be dipped and placed in the main tank
since they are a bit fragile in quarantine. <Agreed> Just a bit
unsure of what to do since the atrodorsalis was swimming readily in his
tank (The Hidden Reef in PA) but seems so lethargic since he's been
placed into my tank. I'm just wondering if I should either give him
his own quarantine tank would even be a better option than leaving him
in his (admittedly) crowded quarantine tank. - Jon <I would wait,
move the fish in time... to the main display. Bob Fenner>
Re: A bit of a concern about a blenny 10/19/07
Bob, quick recap: Both fairy wrasses and the blenny looked really
mediocre to bad today. <Yikes...> I made a temp/pH adjusted dip
and quickly dipped each. <Good> The blenny lasted around 6
minutes before he had to be removed. <Something going very
sideways...> Each fairy wrasse only lasted about 3 minutes before
they looked bent and bad before I had to remove them. Now all 3 fish
are in the main tank along with a Kole Tang who was already quarantined
for 3 weeks with no ill effect. <Good> I would've much rather
left the wrasses and blenny in quarantine, but as I've said (and
you've agreed with) is that the wrasses are pretty fragile and they
just did not do well in quarantine. I've always heard they are
fairly crypt resistant in the first place, but I do hope that my dip
would've taken off anything that I didn't notice in the tank
yet. - Jon <You made the right moves... at least... what I would
have done as well. BobF>
Re: A bit of a concern about a blenny, the pet-fish
store experience/mass merchandisers included 10/20/07 Bob,
<Jon> I think my problem with the dip is that I set it up very...
quickly. Usually, when I've dipped, I've set it up about 4
nights before -- aerated, heated, multiple pH testings (and I usually
use a package of the 8.0 pH adjuster + some baking soda to perfectly
match my tank pH). <Good to be thorough, meticulous here> But
yeah, everyone looks good today. The one fairy wrasse, a Lubbock's
Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lubbocki), is one of the shiest fish
I've ever seen! He was shy in the store, but besides that he looked
great. Same in my tank. He's got tons of personality and pops out
quick to eat food. Just likes to scuttle back to cover quickly. I
don't know what species the other is and I'm going to try and
get an up close shot of him to send to you guys. He's a fairly drab
purple color with a little bit of light green around his fin area.
<Cirrhilabrus spp. live in large shoals by and large in the wild...
and are quite active as such... in captivity, in small numbers, little
volumes, quite different> This is also way off topic, but I just
started a job at Petco (Howell, NJ). I know that you guys generally
hate the way fish are kept there and all, <Mmm, for the record, I
worked at/for Petco in the early nineties, as a consultant, then a
buyer... helped with arranging the co.s early entry into livestock...
It is my qualified opinion that each store, indeed experience is
largely a measure of the individuals involved. Much of the gear that
the personnel are charged with is deficient IMO, and the system for
livestock ordering... Is NOT sustainable... but the very gist of what
one "gets" from involvement with mass merchandiser LFSs is
identical with that of independents... Id est, "it" all comes
down to the knowledge, ability, personal skills and desires of the
INDIVIDUALS involved... Hotay, off da soap box... for now> and I
agree for the most part, but I've noticed that it's better than
I expected. And at least I've been trying to persuade salt and
fresh customers alike to quarantine and use salt/fresh dips before
placement as well. <Excellent! Good for you... us... the planet>
I like to think that I'm making a bit of difference. I think
I've given out Wet Web's address about 30 times to various
customers (and a few have come back and mentioned just how great of a
site it really is). <Ahhh... the pleasure> Thanks again for the
help! - Jon <Welcome my/our friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>
|Meiacanthus Mystery... ID, care/fdg. -
07/01/07 Hey Crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> We are
new to the saltwater world, and really enjoying our foray so far.
Our tank is about 2 months old and we've just added a blenny.
<Ahh...one of my favorite groups of fishes!> We researched it
out, using your FABULOUS website and help, and are hoping we got
the right one... we were aiming for one of Bob's Meiacanthus
favorites. Its a bit of a mystery still... I think it is a M.
atrodorsalis, but I've gotten a little confused with all the
terminology and different common names. <Yep, from your pics, it
is definitely a Meiacanthus...I'm leaning towards M.
tongaensis, although it could be a washed out M. mossambicus...But
I'm thinking that it's the former.> So far, similar
looking fish on your site and fishbase.org have been called:
Forktail Blenny, Eyelash Harptail Blenny, Lyretail Blenny,
Yellowtail Fang Blenny. And I'm not sure if he is a M.
atrodorsalis, an M. nigrolineatus or a M. luteus. <None of the
above, IMO. However, as you're finding out, common names are a
really tough way to get an ID on a fish. Best is to use a
scientific resource, such as fishbase.org, which lets you search
the genus and find the species via pictures.> Anyway, here's
a pic. I'm sure he's a Meiacanthus something, because he
floats around in the middle of the tank and seems quite brave and
sure of himself, but not aggressive. I know that there are varying
opinions on his docility... I saw it mentioned that he is a
Sabertooth variety, but also saw Meiacanthus under Combtooth, and
that he might use his fangs to skin my other fish (royal Gramma and
pygmy angel). <These "fangs" are typically used as a
defensive measure, and it's very uncommon to see them attack
other fishes, in my experience (and I've kept a few over the
years!).> So far, the Gramma has had a bit of territorial
behavior, but not too much. Angel loves him. He just hangs out and
stakes his ground in his spot... won't fight for it, but
won't move, either. <Sounds like he's settling in the
social order in your aquarium.> Gramma has mostly left him alone
today. He has not made any attempt to hide or dig around on the
bottom. Does he still eat algae? He took a huge chunk of Mysis
shrimp this am when I fed the other fish, so I guess he likes meat.
Should I still offer Nori? <These are typically plankton eater,
so Mysis is a better choice, IMO.> Thanks... and SO grateful the
WWM crew is around... was flying blind at first, but now I know to
research and ask you guys before I go to the LFS. <WWM is a
great resource to keep you informed and educated before shopping
around!> .. they are, sadly, much less knowledgeable and really
only interested in selling. <Sad to hear that..> Maybe since
I'm in Southern California, where there must be many options,
I'll find a reputable, trustworthy FS to go to in the future.
Sarah <I'm a SoCal guy, myself, so I can vouch that there
are some very nice stores out here, staffed by knowledgeable,
informative staff. Of course, there are plenty of other not-so-good
places, too. Like so many things in the hobby, you just need to ask
around and get a feel for what's out there. Then, take any
advice that you get "with a grain of salt" if you find it
questionable. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>
Topic 1 Canary blenny beh. 4/11/07 I have owned two canary
blennies since I started this hobby. My experience was that neither of
them ate any prepared foods <This is so... rarely do such foodstuffs
sustain this species, Plagiotremes period> but mostly were content
to pick on pods and the occasional spaghetti worm (they would pluck
these out of the sand even though I could see no visible trace of them
on the sand surface). For a while I had been debating adding a yellow
"Coris" wrasse to my tank but had hesitated out of fears of
competition for food and/or aggression between two similar looking
fishes. I finally went ahead and purchased the wrasse and after QT
added him to the tank a little before lights out to hopefully minimize
any aggression between the two. <Good timing> I had to sneak in a
quick feeding and was surprised to see the wrasse take food so quickly.
<Yes... this Halichoeres usually adapts quickly to captive
conditions> The canary blenny seemed to be inspired by this
performance and began to eat the frozen Mysis as well. Ever since, the
two of them seem to hang out together chasing pods during the day, and
the canary blenny is eating whatever I feed and is now the fattest
I've ever seen. Once again I am surprised by the range of behavior
these animals exhibit. <Ahh! RMF>
Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse" 8/27/05 Well,
wouldn't ya know... yep, I got faked out by a mimic "cleaner
wrasse". I though something was up by the way my flasher wrasse
was acting towards him, ( it didn't "flash" at anyone
else). Quick, to WWM for the answer to what's going on! Turns out
its a saber-tooth blenny. <Ah, Aspidontus... happens, though not
often> After having to COMPLETELY breakdown my reef to catch the
little guy and place him in the fuge temporarily, now what? I like him
a lot and would love to keep him, but feeding the fuge is not good. Do
I trade him in, knowing that he'll just do the same thing to
someone else's fish? <Ah, no> Please give me some advise on
this dilemma. I'd be heartbroken to send him to a watery grave in
the bathroom!! Thanks for your guidance in advance, Allegra <...
"look before you leap"... or purchase livestock? When we find
these mixed in with Labroides, they're removed and destroyed... not
suitable for aquarium use with other fishes... could try keeping in
your refugium. Bob Fenner>
Re: Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse" 8/29/05 Hi
again Bob (or fellow WWM guru), I did put the little fella into the
fuge, although I think putting food in is counter-productive to its
use. The reason why I'm replying again is that I was checking out
more of the questions posted about real cleaner wrasses, and there were
some folks that mentioned theirs were doing well on supplemental foods,
such as Mysis, etc...even Nori. There was no mention that their fish
may be a saber-tooth, <Would not be... these will invariably
terrorize other fishes...> just that it was an unusual case. Mine
also feeds on everything as well, including the Nori strip I put in. In
fact he's the only one that does eat it. Its hard for me to tell
the difference in the mouth from the pictures here, so are we truly
safe to say that I do have a saber-tooth blenny and not an unusually
hardy cleaner wrasse? <Seen side by side, these fishes are easily
told apart... See fishbase.org, the Net/Google pix...> PS. Thanks
for the quick reply, very impressive! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Fang Blenny Won't Bite! (Finicky Feeder) Hi
<Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I just got a Canary Fang Blenny
and its doing great. It doesn't show any sings of depression. It
swims around the tank, stops occasionally to look around. It's a
very amusing fish to observe. <I love these fish! One of my favorite
aquarium species, but they can be a bit finicky at times.> But it
won't eat any of my food. I tried everything: Brine Shrimp, Blood
worms, Formula Marine S for small fish, Zooplankton. It just won't
eat. It comes close to the food, swims around it but won't eat it.
It has been a week since I got the little guy and I am really starting
to worry. I even tried to make pieces of food very small; maybe he is
not big enough to eat big chunks of food, and that didn't work. But
he likes to eat my isopods of the walls of the tank and the Live rock.
I even saw him eat a little baby Peppermint shrimp this morning, lol it
took him about five minutes to eat the whole thing. He is the only fish
I have in the tank so there is nobody to bother him. He has plenty of
places to swim and hide. I have rocks all over the place and corals. My
tank is over 8 month old. Did the tests and everything is perfect. My
corals are doing great, multiplying like there is no tomorrow.
<Sounds excellent> How do I make him eat? or Is he going to be fine
just eating little bugs in my tank which I have plenty of?
<There's no guarantee here. If he is foraging naturally, and
seems to be otherwise healthy, I'd feel okay about it. The foods
that you are trying are fine. I would probably also include frozen or
live Mysis shrimp, as they are very nutritious and seem to attract
otherwise finicky fishes. One thing that I have noticed with this fish
over the years is that they seem to come in with some sort of
intestinal parasites in many cases. You'll actually see their
stomach contort and become distended over time. The fish can be
rendered unable to eat at that point. Keep a close eye on your guy.
However, if he's eating natural foods, he may be just fine. Keep
tempting him with the excellent prepared foods that you've been
trying, and I'm sure he'll be okay!> -- best
Mr. A. <And the best to you! Regards, Scott F.> Fang
Blennies-Terrors or Model Citizens? Hello everyone <Hi there!
Scott F. here today> I did a little reading on your web site, I
found out Chromis are not the hardiest. So I did more reading on
different fish. On another site I had come across a photo of a
Blacklined Blenny, did a little Reading on it [now I am normally on the
computer in the wee hours of the morn. Not good time to be trying to
read] I decided on getting the Yellow Hogfish and the Blacklined
Blenny. I e-mailed the place I get fish [ it is a mail order operation,
however I am local and pick up all my orders]. <Excellent> I
returned to your web site during the day and read through the same
article and I realized I ordered a venomous fish! Not exactly what I
wanted. I am now hoping that there supplier doesn't have the fish!!
I do think its really cool, and some info I read said it was a peaceful
fish, only using the fangs if being swallowed. <Are you referring to
the Meiacanthus grammistes? If so, these fishes are largely model
citizens, in my experience, and will only use those venomous fangs as a
defensive mechanism. They should not be taken lightly, however, and you
do need to be careful with these guys. I would not be as concerned
about keeping them in a community tank as I would be with a Lionfish,
for example.> I have my Flame, who chases all new fish around [
except my Clown fish]. It is still chasing the Sixline Wrasse. I am
concerned that this fish might retaliate against the Angel and bite.
<It could, but only if continuously harassed. In my experience,
these fishes don't go out looking for trouble. They are among my
favorite fishes, and have great personalities!> Any info and
opinions on this fish would be greatly appreciated [not much more on it
on the web] I don't want to put the other fish in danger. <As
stated above, with the special caveat about the venomous fangs, they
are great fishes for your tank> I also had a question on my wrasse.
He doesn't seem to be getting fed at all feedings, and when he
does, its like one bite. What would be a good food to him? Frozen crab
or krill or squid? <All of the above are good foods.> So far he
only seems to like the Mysis Shrimp I have. <A good food.> He
nibbles on the live rock and pick stuff off the glass. I have also seen
him pick at the Angel Fish, it is the only time the Angel will allow it
near her. The Angel does not go to the cleaner shrimp at all but will
let this wrasse take a nip at it once in a while [I didn't know
Sixline cleaned up other fish] <Unusual, but not unheard of, I
suppose> I hope this letter isn't too confusing , I
shouldn't be writing in the wee hours of the morn. <Hey-
that's your quiet time- enjoy it!> Thank for the help, Paige
<Glad to be of service! Regards, Scott F.>
Meiacanthus ovalauensis Feeding Query I recently
purchased a canary blenny. <Hi! Ryan with you today.> It does not
appear to be eating, although it is very active and plump, and seems
otherwise healthy. I have tried to read up a bit on them, but there
really is not a lot of info about them. What do they eat, and what
should I feed? <Meiacanthus ovalauensis, or the Canary Blenny, is a
member of the family Blenniidae, Tribe Nemophini. They're called
the Sabertoothed Blennies for a reason- The enlarged teeth are used for
ripping flesh from other fishes. The canary, however, typically feeds
on plankton from the water column. I'd use DT's, or another
type of plankton, in combination with killing the skimmer and pumps for
ten minutes.> Also, to what extent should I be concerned about their
bite? <I'd avoid it when possible!> I have it in a 29 gallon
reef tank with a pair of gold stripped maroons, and a coral beauty
angle. (Surprisingly the clowns could care less about the other fish
and all get along great.) Any info you could give me about these
particular canary blennies would be much obliged. <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm>
Great site and information. Thanks for the help in advance. <Happy
- WWM Images - Dear Bob <Hello, JasonC here... I handle
much of image fulfillment.> I would like to get a high resolution
digital image of a saber-toothed blenny, preferably genus Plagiotremus
- either P. ewaensis, P. goslinei, or P. rhinorhynchos would do. The
image will be used in my evolution text, and Oxford University Press
would pay the usual fee. Is such an image available? <Hmm... hard to
say. I suggest you take a look at our online archive, http://wetwebfotos.com to see
if you can find what you are looking for. If you do find something you
want, let me know and we'll make arrangements to get you a high
resolution version of the image.> Copies taken off the web are not
of high enough quality to publish. If you have an image of cleaner fish
in the act of cleaning the mouth of a grouper or a barracuda, I would
also be interested in that. <Again, please check WetWebFotos - let
me know the ID number of the images you require.> Best wishes, Steve
<Cheers, J -- >
Re: image of Plagiotremus Hi... If the photo is not on
WetWebFotos, it only means it's not available for immediate
fulfillment. If you've seen the image on WetWebMedia, then it means
there is a strong chance Bob has this in his slide collection and can
re-scan it for you at a larger size. The only bad news is that Bob is
out of town and will not return to San Diego until the 17th of this
month. If you can wait that long, then we'll have no trouble
getting you that image. Cheers, J --
Canary blenny hi bob, <Simon> I have just read your
description of the canary blenny which is under saber tooth blenny on
WetWebMedia.Com. <Yes... this fish is a member of this subfamily>
I have just bought this fish and put in my reef tank with a dwarf flame
angel, two black Percula clownfish, yellow tailed damsel, crab eye
goby, two small chalk gobies, 3 cleaner shrimps, boxing shrimp, two
hermit crabs, sea anemone, small sea urchin, and assorted soft corals.
<Quite an assemblage> my question is are they safe ? I was
unaware of its nature when I bought it, though on the site its a bit
confusing as the box out says it feeds on plankton but the info gives
the impression that its a bold predatory fish ? <Is not a
pushover... and can be a picky problem with other fish tankmates...
regardless of their size. Not generally a real problem as long as not
crowded, well-fed...> what is your opinion, I would be grateful for
any advice at this point. its definitely not a shy fish from what I see
and is doing the mimic dance mentioned on the site, though all its
earned it so far is being chased off by the angel and clown fish ! the
damsel just extended all its fins, but then its always been a bit
bolshy like that! help, bell, slightly worried reef owner ! <I would
keep an eye on the Canary... and look to it as a cause of torn fins,
stress should your other fishes display these. Bob Fenner>
Feeding fang blennies Hello, <How goes it, Michael
here> Thanks for the info on stocking my 30 gallon tank. I have
decided to go with a canary blenny, orchid Dottyback and Falco's
Hawkfish. I am worried that the canary blenny will not have enough to
eat since I don't have any live rock. Reading around, it is unclear
if they will thrive unless their is live rock in the tank. Thanks for
you your help. <Hmm, in a 30 gallon tank I would keep the fang
blenny solely on it's own. You may try live\frozen daphnia, brine
shrimp nauplii, or get a refugium going. For more info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm
> -Mike <M. Maddox>
Fang Blennies <Hi James, PF on call tonight> I think I
remember reading something about fang blennies being aggressive enough
to be housed with larger aggressive fish. Is this true? <They're
aggressive because they feed off other fish. Fang blennies strip the
flesh and scales off of other fish to feed. I'd advise housing them
alone in a species display.> Also, how territorial are they with
members of there own species? <That I don't know, but given
their natures I would not recommend it.> They would be housed with a
porcupine puffer, Picasso trigger, two tangs, and a Pinkface wrasse.
<In all honesty, I cannot advise anyone to keep these fish with
other fish. It would be like locking someone up in a room with a bunch
of biting flies.> If not this fish, what are some small fish that
can hold there own against these guys? <There are a number of
Dottybacks that would work, start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm
> James <Have a good evening, PF>
Fang Blennies, Gobiosoma, Gobiodon Will M. grammistes and M.
atrodorsalis get along in the same tank? Do these fish do as well alone
as in a group? <Alone. Not a good idea to mix any species, specimens
of the Nemophini. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm>
Also, I was contemplating a Cortez Red Head Goby. If I can't afford
to get more than one, should I wait? Would two be enough? I'm not
interested in breeding them, just interested in their general health.
<This fish is fine singly or in its species company> Last, I
heard the Green Clown Goby occasionally picks on SPS corals from Scott
Michael's book. Any experience with these guys? <Yes. And yes,
they do... if have enough Acroporids present not a big problem. This is
where and what they live on in the wild> Would they make a good
addition to a reef tank with lots of Dartfish, blennies, and other
gobies? <If there's enough food, not-aggressive types as
tankmates, sure.> Cheers, Chris (aka newkie) <Be chatting, Bob
Fang Blennies I have a 55 gal. tank with 55# LR. Currently I
have a Smith's fang blenny and a scooter blenny. However, while
looking at the FFE website, I ran across Meiacanthus Atrodorsalis,
<Hmm, too much chance in this size system they would fight... in the
wild these two are sometimes found together... but have seen them chase
each other about while diving...> and would like to add him as well.
Would these two be compatible? Would they have been if they were
introduced at the same time? Once again, thanks very much. Michael
<I would keep searching for better potential mixes. Many choices
detailed on our site, www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>
Canary Blenny's Hi Mr. Fenner, You probably don't
remember me. Our paths have crossed a couple of times on the internet.
When I was a beginner I bugged you quite a few times on FF express'
q&a section and you also got involved in a discussion (someone was
attacking something in your book Conscientious Aquarist - had to do
with nano/small saltwater tanks as I recall.) <Ah yes... don't
mind discussing ideas/opinions... even heatedly... and am always
delighted with a turn of phrase or jest re my foibles... but not
personal attacks> that I was involved in on a message board. Hope
it's not an imposition for me to email you like this, but I was
reading and article with your name on it and had some questions. I hope
you don't mind me running these questions by you. :) <Not at
all> This is the article:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm I've taken up a
fascination with Canary blennies. They seem to be a hardy, good
natured, attentive little fish always swimming in plain site.
<Yes... and you know why they can be so bold...> Going over this
article, I saw what appeared to be 2 different Latin names referring to
Canary blennies: Meiacanthus oualanensis <ovalauensis>and
Meiacanthus atrodorsalis. Am I correct in this understanding and is
there more than 1 species typically called by the common name
"canary blenny". If so, how do you tell 'em apart?
<Hmm, well... there are two (you can check the species of the genus,
some of their mixed common names on www.fishbase.org), and I just
checked (and changed) the name of the pic on the WWM site... the
'properties' show the image was labeled correctly, but the
naming on the site was wrong. Sorry re> To complicate matters, you
mention a mimic of the canary blenny - Plagiotremus laudanum flavus,
the golden mimic blenny. How similar is it to the canary blenny?
I'd basically like to be able to differentiate between these 3
species. <I understand. Please insert both genera on FishBase and
follow through their references> Also, it seems to be implied that
canary blennies use their venomous fangs only as a defensive measure.
I've noticed on a handful occasions my blennies grabbing a largish
amphipod, holding it in its mouth for a few seconds and then letting go
of it, watching it, then grabbing it again. It appeared at first to be
"playing with its food", but thinking about it later I
wondered if it was envenomating the amphipod? <Hmm, possibly> I
also realized later that I couldn't think of a single animal that
had venomous fangs and didn't use them for predation. <I'd
add to that general use statement: territorial defense, personal
defense, scaring divers...> Circumstantial evidence at best but I
still thought it was interesting. I even took it a step further,
wondering if they might possibly be able to predate on Cirolanid
isopods (turning out to be a real scourge lately, it seems). That may
simply be wishful thinking - it'd be nice to discover a biological
control for the isopod. <Hmm, maybe...> Anyway, thanks in advance
for your time and any assistance you can provide. :) <And thank you
for writing. Bob Fenner>