Black Blenny (Enchelyurus ater)
Category: Aquarium Fish Other
The Black Blenny is sometimes called the black sailfin blenny, high fin blenny, dusky blenny, black combtooth blenny, yellow tail black benny or brown coral blenny. The name combtooth comes from its combed teeth that help it eat algae. The blenny is native to the western Pacific Ocean. The yellow tail black benny name is due to the yellow caudal fin or tail.
Black bennies also have cirri, whisker like objects, that protrude from their eyes. This helps them to blend into the environment.
Juveniles are yellowish, while the adults darken to black or dark brown. They will change colors when breeding. They grow up to four inches long. Males are larger than the females.
This species is peaceful and easy to take care of. They are territorial toward their own species but don’t care much about others. If adding more than one black benny to a tank, acclimate them together so each has an equal chance to establish territory.
They are herbivores. They are reef compatible, readily perching on living rock or hiding amongst coral caves. They will also burrow into sand substrate. They will graze on algae on live rock, but you should supplement this. Give the black benny pellet foods, Spirulina flake, dried algae or marine algae foods twice a day. This fish will clean your tank of nuisance algae but needs additional vegetable foods to stay healthy. They sometimes eat string algae. They sometimes nip at stone corals and clam mantles but probably won’t kill them.
They need a tank with at least 30 gallons of water. They prefer stable water.
The black benny needs water between 72 and 80F. They do well in the standard semi-tropical tank with a water hardness of 8 to 12 kDH, a pH level of 8.1 to 8.4 and standard salt water specific gravity of 1.020 to 1.025.
Blennies cannot share a tank with anglers, seahorses, rays, sharks, lions, scorpions or frogs. Use caution when putting them in a tank with large angel fish, batfish, cardinals and dragonets.