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Black Combtooth Blenny

(Ecsenius namiyei)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Western Pacific, Indo-Pacific
• Family: Blenniidae   • Species: Blennies   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Black Combtooth Blenny native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Black Combtooth Blenny is a beautiful and comical species, which is also commonly referred to as the Yellowtail Black Blenny. Both nicknames are direct results of physical characteristics, such as being equipped with combed teeth, which assist with eating marine algae, as well as the presence of a bright yellow-orange caudal "tail". Black Combtooth Blennies also have bushy cirri (whisker-like appendages) protruding from between the eyes, which help them blend in to their surroundings as they forage for marine algae throughout the coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean.

Black Combtooth Blennies like to perch on (or in) corals and live rock and watch the aquarium; they also like to burrow into the substrate and hide among various caves and crevices. Black Combtooth Blennies are peaceful and can make excellent additions to "nano" reefs and larger reef systems alike. Black Combtooth Blennies prefer the stable water conditions of a well established aquarium that also contains marine algae growth of which they can graze upon. The Black Combtooth Blenny is becoming more popular within the hobby, but can sometimes be hard to acquire; it can be ordered through some local retails and may be found through various online vendors and other hobbyists.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Black Combtooth Blenny in the home aquarium.

Black Combtooth Blennies require an established aquarium of no less than 30 gallons and should be provided with a sand substrate in addition to an adequate amount of live rock (live rock should be securely placed in case of burrowing) for grazing, perching, and refuge. A lot of Blenny species are known to jump if startled and they should be housed in an aquarium with a hood or sealed top to prevent escape. Quality biological and mechanical filtration is recommended, along with the use of a protein skimmer to help ensure stable and clean water.

As a peaceful species they will get along relatively well with many different tank mates, but may argue with conspecifics and species of a similar appearance; multiple specimens in the same system should already be a pair, or at least introduced at the same time (as juveniles). Black Combtooth Blennies are not aggressive and should not be housed with aggressive or highly territorial species that will constantly harass and force them into hiding. Although considered to be reef friendly, this species has been known to nip at various corals as well as clam mantles.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Black Combtooth Blenny.

The Black Combtooth Blenny is a herbivore that loves to graze on marine algae in the wild. The species will also graze on existing marine algae within the aquarium (ornamental and nuisance), but should also be provided with a wide variety of live and prepared marine algae, vegetable matter, and Spirulina-based flake and pellets foods (preferably treated with Selcon) as well as other prepared foods for herbivores. Feed twice daily.

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