Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Flametail Blenny, also referred to as the Yellowtail Black Blenny or Yellowfin Blenny, is found in the western Pacific. This dazzling and overall peaceful blenny makes an excellent addition into a small or standard reef aquarium to help control nuisance algae growth. Their specialized comb-like teeth help to scrape such matter off of surfaces, which make up a large portion of their diet. Flametail blennies have an overall dark gray-black body that transitions to yellow near the posterior end, with orange to yellow dorsal and anal fins. The Flametail blenny may be mistaken for the Bicolor Blenny (Escenius bicolor), a closely-related genus to Enchelyurus, but there are a few tell tale differences to distinguish these two species. First, the Flametail blenny has an overall rounder appearance in both its face and tail, whereas a Bicolor blenny has a more squared-shaped head and angular tail. Second, behaviorally, the Flametail blenny will spend more time hovering in the water column while the Bicolor blenny will hop and perch among the live rock. And third, the Flametail blenny does not have the pair of cirri, or hair-like appendages, between its eyes that the Bicolor blenny [and all Escenius blennies] have. Only one Flametail blenny should be kept per aquarium as they can quarrel; it may also be good to avoid any Escenius blennies given their similarities. An adult Flametail blenny can reach a size of approximately 3.5″.
Diet Requirements: The Flametail blenny is herbivorous. A diet consisting of high quality, vitamin enriched frozen preparations is absolutely necessary to maintain optimal health, coloration, and immune function. Such foods can include, but are not limited to, brine shrimp, calanus, and rotifers. Frozen food mixes that contain algae such as Spirulina or Chlorella are preferred. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements. A Flametail blenny may accept high quality algae sheets, or vegetable flake and pellet foods.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 15 gallon aquarium is ideal to house a Flametail blenny. A more adult specimen should be upgraded to a larger aquarium. Blennies enjoy a variety of rock work and crevices to take refuge in and on; these fish lack swim bladders and therefore will “hop” around the aquascape. Flametail blennies do spend a considerable amount of time within the water column compared to other blennies, however. This blenny would not do well in a biologically immature aquarium because of water chemistry sensitivities, in addition to the presence of insufficient algae for it to forage on. Do not house a Flametail blenny with overly aggressive and pugnacious tank-mates. Flametail blennies will almost entirely ignore most other fish, though territorial behavior could be exhibited toward a fish of similar body shape or dietary niche. This blenny would feel right at home in a reef setting, and poses no threat to corals or invertebrates. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/4″ to 2’’, Medium: 2-1/2’’ to 3″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.