Blenny Fish – Facts | Care | Size | Diet | Tank Mates

blenny fish
(Last Updated On: August 19, 2020)

With so many brilliantly hued marine fish accessible for aquarium, it’s simple to turn into captivated with vibrant colors and beautiful fin of a blenny fish. Even so, most aquarists’ favorite specimens are sometimes people who possess probably the most “character.”

Blenny Fish facts

In this article, I am going to talk about blenny fish care, facts, size, diet, etc.

Blenny is a typical title for a kind of fish. The time period is ambiguous, having been utilized to a number of households of percomorph marine, brackish, and a few freshwater fish sharing comparable morphology and behavior.

Six households are thought of as “true blennies”, all grouped collectively beneath the order Blenniiformes; its members are known as blenniiformids. About 151 genera and almost 900 species have been described throughout the order.

The order was previously categorized as a suborder of the Perciformes however the fifth Version of Fishes of the World divided the Perciformes into a variety of new orders and the Blenniiformes had been positioned within the percomorph clade Ovalentaria alongside such taxa as Cichliformes, Mugiliformes, and Gobiesociformes.

Blenniformids are usually small fish-only sometimes reaching lengths as much as 55 cm-, with elongated our bodies (some virtually eel-like), and comparatively massive eyes and mouths.

Their dorsal fins are sometimes steady and lengthy; the pelvic fins usually have a single embedded backbone and are quick and slender, located earlier than the pectoral fins.

The tail fin is rounded. The blunt heads of blenniiformids typically possess elaborate whisker-like constructions known as cirri.

As usually benthic fish, blenniiformids spend a lot of their time on or close to the ocean ground; many are reclusive and should burrow in sandy substrates or inhabit crevices in reefs, the decrease stretches of rivers, and even empty mollusc shells.

Some blennies, in any other case generally known as “rock-hoppers”, leap from the water onto rocks in an effort to attain different swimming pools.

Blennies are a relaxed, pleasant, group fish. They’re extremely fascinating and wanted, as they have a very distinctive bubbly character in contrast to some other sort of marine fish.

Blennies will preserve a small territory wherein they discover a small place within the stay rock to sleep and conceal.

They don’t do nicely with different Blennies except they have a really massive atmosphere with locations to roam and conceal. They settle for an assorted weight-reduction plan and like just a few small meals a day.

By way of character, few fish teams examine the blennies. Mixed with a (normally) good temperament and hyper-alertness, their daring antics make them fairly entertaining to look at.

In comparison with many different marine aquarium fish teams, blennies make for very low-maintenance pets.

Easy to feed and cozy in smaller tanks, these robust, disease-resistant fish seldom pose any main issues for even novice aquarists.

To make certain, they supply a lot of rewards for the comparatively easy care they require.

Quite a lot of hobbyists would describe their blenny’s look and conduct as “cute,” entertaining, and even comical.

With such endearing character, together with being so temperamentally nicely suited to captivity, it’s not shocking to so typically see not less than one blennioid inhabitant in most residence marine aquaria.

As a gaggle, the blennies are reliably reef-safe, and their small grownup dimension and general hardiness additionally make them a superb selection for any marine aquarist, together with newbie hobbyists or these with smaller-sized aquaria.

Certainly, quite a few blenny species have been staples within the decorative fish commerce for many years.

Blenniformids are usually small fish-only sometimes reaching lengths as much as 55 cm-, with elongated our bodies (some virtually eel-like), and comparatively massive eyes and mouths.

Their dorsal fins are sometimes steady and lengthy; the pelvic fins usually have a single embedded backbone and are quick and slender, located earlier than the pectoral fins.

The tail fin is rounded. The blunt heads of blenniiformids typically possess elaborate whisker-like constructions known as cirri.

As usually benthic fish, blenniiformids spend a lot of their time on or close to the ocean ground; many are reclusive and should burrow in sandy substrates or inhabit crevices in reefs, the decrease stretches of rivers, and even empty mollusk shells.

Some blennies, in any other case generally known as “rock-hoppers”, leap from the water onto rocks in an effort to attain different swimming pools.

True blennies are broadly distributed in coastal waters, typically plentiful and simply noticed which has made them the topic for a lot of research of ecology and behavior.

Two of the family, the Blennidae and the Tripterygiidae have world distributions, the Clinidae have a primarily temperate distribution and the remaining three households are largely Neotropical.

This distribution makes these fish splendid topics for research on biogeography.

It’s thought that the splitting of the Tethys Sea by the formation of the Isthmus of Panama mixed with Pliocene warming of the local weather might have been vital elements influencing the evolution and biogeography of the Blenniiformes.

These fish are superficially fairly just like members of the goby and dragonet households, in addition to a number of different unrelated households whose members have sometimes been given the title “blenny”.

Many blennies reveal mimicry of different species, comparable to Aspidontus taeniatus.

This mimicry permits the blenny to rise up near fish that will usually let A. taeniatus, a cleaner wrasse, clear them.

The blenny then takes nips or bigger bites out of the unsuspecting fish. There are two genera of blennies that reveal Batesian mimicry- Ecsenius and Plagiotremus.

So far as predation, blennies rely upon a secretive life-style, hiding on the ocean flooring in shallow water, with cryptic coloration.

What’s a Blenny Fish?

As a gaggle, the blennies are enormously assorted. The so-called “true blennies” are generally known as blennioids and type their very own taxonomical group.

Although some aquarium literature speaks as if these true blennies type a family, the blennioids really make up a whole suborder, with six households comprising the suborder Blennioidei.

This suborder claims round 833 separate blenny species in 130 genera.

Whereas they’re reasonably species-rich, the blennioids share just a few fundamental traits.

They’re primarily marine (that’s, saltwater, although there are just a few brackish and freshwater species), and they’re strongly benthic in behavior; that’s, they’re backside dwellers (lake ground, sea mattress, and so on).

They incessantly exhibit sturdy nesting behaviors as a consequence of being demersal spawners — making ready nests on the backside and laying their eggs there to develop.

The eyes and mouth of a blenny are comparatively massive. They oftentimes bear distinctive cirri — wispy antenna or whisker-like appendages — on their heads.

Their bodies are lengthy and modern, some so long they resemble eels and snakes, however, almost all members of the blenny group are smallish in physique dimension.

Blenny Fish for home Aquarium

Representatives from many of the six blenny households are often accessible to marine aquarists. Although they actually share some blenny-like traits, they range considerably from subgroup to subgroup when it comes to how they need to be cared for in captivity.

Triplefin Blenny fish

The triplefins (household Tripterygiidae), additionally known as threefins, are a notable, even when not generally stored, blennioid.

The genera Tripterygion and Enneanectes declare round 100 species of oftentimes fantastically colored little fish.

As their widespread title suggests, their dorsal fin is made up of three particular person segments.

Solely hardly ever accessible to hobbyists, engaging species such because the Niue Triplefin (Enneapterygius niue) might be extraordinarily fascinating.

Sand Stargazer Blenny fish

The Sand Stargazers (household Dactyloscopidae) are fascinating creatures.

Sand Stargazers spend a lot of their time hidden beneath the sandy backside of the seafloor, with solely their eyes, nostril, and mouth protruding above the floor of the sand.

The Stargazer’s bodily diversifications for a principally sedentary lifetime of burrowing embrace bulging eyes on high of their head, an upturned mouth for catching prey, and a novel branchiostegal pump, which assists in respiration whereas buried.

Stargazers are extra predatory than a lot of their fellow blennies.

They sit and wait for predators, prepared to grab up any unsuspecting morsel that passes over them by opening their mouth like a entice door.

They feed on small invertebrates (e.g., shrimp, snails) and tiny fish, so concentrate on that earlier than including them to a multi-species tank.

Whereas not particularly widespread within the aquarium commerce, the Pink Saddled Sand Stargazer (Dactyloscopus pectoralis) has been accessible.

Clinid Blenny and Indonesian Weedfish

The clinid blennies (household Clinidae) can most rapidly be recognized by their lengthy, steady, soft-rayed dorsal fin and intensely elongate our bodies.

Whereas some species, such because the Indonesian Weedfish (Springeratus xanthosoma), have been collected for the tropical marine interest, most clinids (e.g., the kelpfish) are collected for temperate aquaria.

Pikeblenny and Flagblenny


Although the Pikeblennies and Flagblennies (household Chaenopsidae) range significantly in type, many have a thin, scaleless physique and a big, sail-like dorsal fin.

The Orange Throat Pikeblenny (Chaenopsis alepidota) is a species that has lately turn into extra accessible to aquarists.

Labrisomid Blenny fish

The labrisomid blennies (household Labrisomidae) aren’t nicely represented within the aquarium commerce presently.

One of many simpler labrisomids to acquire is the Saddled Blenny (Malacoctenus triangulates).

These blennioids have pointier faces with our bodies that superficially resemble the unrelated dragonet fish.

blenny fish

Combtooth Blenny

When persons are speaking about blennies within the aquarium, they’re normally referring to one of many many species of Combtooth Blenny (household Blenniidae).

The genera Blennius, Salarius, Ecsenius, and Meiacanthus embrace many fashionable aquarium species.

Where to Buy

Fortuitously, blennies readily breed in captivity.

A number of vital aquarium species have consequently been cultured extensively and at the moment are broadly accessible to fish-keepers as captive-bred specimens.

These cultured, captive-bred people are preferable to wild inventory; they’re hardier and higher socialized, they usually additionally current a decidedly extra sustainable selection.

Fairly just a few well-liked fang blenny species (Meiacanthus spp.) can be found as captive-bred, together with M. bundoon, M. kamoharai, M. negrolineatus, M. oualanensis, and M. grammistes.

The Red Sea Mimic Blenny (Ecsenius gravieri) has turn into a generally used captive-bred species for nano aquaria.

The Molly Miller Blenny (Scartella cristata) is gaining a reputation as the primary captive-bred clean-up crew fish species (versus cleaner shrimp and cleaner snail for the house aquarium).

Extra unique blenny species, such because the Striped Blenny (Chasmodes bosquianus), the Feather Blenny (Hypsoblennius hentz), the Seaweed Blenny (Parablennius marmoreus), the Mimic Fang Blenny (Petroscirtes breviceps), and the Peacock Blenny (Salaria pavo), have all been bred in captivity and may very well be broadly cultured for the aquarium fish commerce within the close to future.

One blenny that it would be best to think about rigorously earlier than including a combined species tank is the Bluestriped Fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos), which is a mimic of the Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse, a symbiotic cleaner fish.

Whereas the Wrasse offers a cleansing service to bigger fish by cleansing them of parasites, the Blue striped Fangblenny imitates the “dance” and coloration of the Wrasse, however, then takes a giant chunk out of the bigger fish earlier than rapidly swimming away.

Fortuitously, the chunk doesn’t damage the larger fish, owing to the numbing impact the blenny’s venom has on its sufferer, however, you’ll nonetheless have an injured fish to are inclined to.

Captive Care for Blennies

Housing Blennies

Blennies are extremely adaptable fish that thrive in a typical aquarium atmosphere.

They recognize a rocky aquascape that has loads of holes and crannies into which they might rapidly dart on the slightest trace of hazard.

Blennies want locations to cover, like rock caves, small areas, and, for some, tube-like constructions.

They’ll even create their very own burrows when they should. As long as it has just a few locations to cover away, a tank as small as 20 gallons in quantity will usually present sufficient dwelling house for a single blenny.

They are going to be healthiest when water high quality is perfect, they’ll additionally face up to lower than pristine circumstances.

It’s a good suggestion to position a tight-fitting lid over any aquarium that homes a blenny, as a result of whereas blennies are intently related to being backside dwellers, they are often spunky and flighty, as nicely. In some circumstances, they might even be susceptible to leaping out of the tank.

With Other Fishes

For probably the most half, blennies get alongside fairly nicely with different fish.

As a result of they’re small in dimension, widespread sense ought to be exercised earlier than mixing them with bigger, extra carnivorous species comparable to Lionfish, which can view the blenny as meals – and conversely, with a lot smaller fish, which the blenny might view as meals.

Some blennies will squabble over a very good hiding spot, however, they typically don’t harass different fish.

Even so, to keep away from tense territorial disputes between members of their very own species (particularly between competing males), it’s advisable to maintain just one particular person per species of blenny in a tank.

Feeding Blennies

Keepers hardly ever face any issue getting their blenny to feed. These grasping eaters aren’t choosy and can normally settle for any type of fish meals that may be provided.

As a rule of thumb, the forms of blenny that spend extra time swimming within the water column (e.g., fang blennies) will feed totally on tiny crustaceans comparable to brine shrimp and mysis shrimp.

Those who spend nearly all of their time resting on the underside (e.g., most of Blennius and Ecsenius) will probably be extra omnivorous, feeding on small crustaceans in addition to algal movies or turfs.

Some, such because the aptly named Lawnmower Blenny (Salarius sp.), feed most closely upon algae.

As a matter of reality, sure herbivorous species, such because the Molly Miller Blenny, a cleaner fish, are used particularly to manage nuisance algae progress in reef tanks.

Blenny Fish Venom

For defense, there is just one genus that’s actually venomous and that’s Meiacanthus. These fish can inject venom from their mandibular, hole fangs.

They’ve venom that incorporates the opioid-like enkephalin, phospholipase, and neuropeptide Y.

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