News / Species Spotlight / Highly Underrated Fish - Klausewitz's Blenny (06/23/14)

Highly Underrated Fish - Klausewitz's Blenny

In The Wild

Ecsenius lineatus is a common fish in the all over tropical and subtropical indo pacific. They are almost always found in water less than 50ft deep, and usually collected in less than 10ft of water. They are often reef associated, preferring areas dense in cover. These are also the areas in which there is generally enough algae to support this fish's grazing lifestyle. In addition to spending a lot of time grazing, these also consume a lot of planktonic foods.

Like the rest of the fish in the genus these lack a swim bladder. This results in them perching on top of things, and poking their heads out of hiding spots as well as a very cool, eel like swimming motion. They are a pretty small fish, with a max size of about 4 inches.

In The Aquarium

In many ways, Klausewitz's Blenny is an idea aquarium fish; don't need a large space, acclimate to captivity well, are hardy as all get out, and they have quizzical, sometimes even comical behaviors. In addition, this is a generally peaceful fish. It will go mostly unnoticed by other aquarium inhabitants, and won't bother much of anything itself, with the noted exception of other blennies or similar shaped fish, like gobies and dartffish.

This is a fish that grazes for a large portion of their day, and will definitely attempt to graze on anything that has motion (this include LPS and many soft corals). In a large, established aquarium with a lot of coral, this behavior isn't likely to be much of a problem. In a small aquarium (which they are otherwise well suited for) they will quickly bother some corals to death. Many aquarists report that feeding them spirulina and supplying dried algae products tends to lessen this detrimental behavior.

All in all, this is a really great fish for the home aquarium, just pick that aquarium well. Small aquariums should probably be Fish Only, and these shouldn't pose any kind of problems in larger established reef systems.

References:

www.fishbase.org/Ecsenius-lineatus
Scott W. Michael, Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications Inc, New Jersey, 2001).
Rudie H Kuiter & Helmut Debelius, World Atlas of Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv 2006)
Carlson, Bruce. Awai, Marj (2008, April/May). Getting To Know The Blennies. CORAL, volume 5, number 2, pp. 27-38.
In House Resources: Adam Mangino, Eli Fleishauer