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Canary Blenny

(Meiacanthus oualanensis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific, West Pacific Ocean
• Family: Blenniidae   • Species: Blennies   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Canary Blenny native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Canary Blenny is vividly colorful, bright yellow to orange-yellow species (with a slight green hue on their head) that is endemic to the tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific and West Pacific Ocean. Canary Blennies (also known as the Canary Fang Blenny) are one of the few blenny species (Meiacanthus) that possess enlarged fangs with associated venom sacs which are primarily used as a retaliatory defense and serve as a deterrent to predators; their bite is not lethal to humans but it is extremely painful (similar to a bee or wasp sting); hand feeding is strongly discouraged.

Canary Blennies have long, slender bodies with an elegant, forked tail and can usually be observed swimming around the middle to upper levels of the aquarium, playing in the current or looking for planktonic food within the water column and among live rock. Canary Blennies are generally peaceful with other species, but do not normally tolerate conspecifics, unless living as a mated pair; they will coexist well with many heterospecific tank mates and will not be bullied by larger or more aggressive fish species due to the presence of their fangs (fish that attack them will soon learn to pick on someone their own size).

Canary Blennies are an ideal choice for the reef aquarium as well as "nano" systems (provided they have plenty of swimming space) and are a great choice for beginners as well as advanced hobbyists. Canary Blennies were once quite rare in the hobby, but have become very popular as a result of their appearance, boldness, personalities, and reef compatibility; they are readily available within the hobby and can be purchased from online vendors and local retailers alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Canary Blenny in the home aquarium.

Canary Blennies should be housed in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with plenty of open, unobstructed swimming space, a sand substrate, and plenty of live rock for hiding and hunting. They can sometimes jump if startled and should be housed in an aquarium with a sealed enclosure or a tight fitting hood to prevent escape or injury. They should be provided with a good amount of water movement as well as quality biological and mechanical filtration (a protein skimmer is also a great idea to ensure water quality).

Canary Blennies are relatively peaceful and can defend themselves if bothered by other fish species; aside from not getting along with conspecifics, they can coexist well with many other tank mates and are completely reef compatible (they will not harm coral species, sessile invertebrates, or ornamental crustaceans). They tend to mind their own business and will provide beautiful coloration and constant activity to any aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Canary Blenny.

Canary Blennies are omnivores that mainly feed on plankton within their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin-enriched amphipods, copepods, cyclops, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill, and other prepared marine food items. They should also be offered quality flake and pellet foods (carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore) as well as other prepared food items. Feed once or twice a day.

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