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Large-banded Blenny

(Ophioblennius steindachneri)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Eastern Pacific, Gulf of California, Peru
• Family: Blenniidae   • Species: Blennies   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Large-banded Blenny native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Large-banded Blenny (Ophioblennius steindachneri) is found inhabiting rocky shallows from the Gulf of California to northern Peru. Large-banded Blennies live in small holes or crevices near rocky shallow slopes just off the beach, where they spend much of their time darting out of their rocky home to feed on algae and plant matter and then darting back into their protected rocky crevice.

They will aggressively defend their home from other small fish, invertebrates or crustaceans that attempt to enter their rocky home or the immediate territory. Aquarium hobbyists should consider their natural lifestyle and provide them with plenty of small rocky caves and crevices to allow them to select a home and territory that suits them.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Large-banded Blenny in the home aquarium.

Large-banded Blennies are well suited for both reef aquariums and FOWLR setups. They should be provided an aquarium setup that has both a sandy or mixed sand/crushed coral substrate and plenty of live rock. Live rock is important as it will enable the Large-banded Blenny to establish a home cave or crevice and a surrounding territory. They will protect their territory against other Blennies or similarly sized and shaped fish species like Dartfish, Basslets, Chromis, etc. Thus it is important to house them in an aquarium that allows for multiple territories if they are to be kept with other Blennies or similar species.

While they can kept successfully in nano style aquariums, they are better suited for mid sized or larger aquariums ranging from 50 to 90 gallons or larger. Large-banded Blennies do well with most other community fish species, corals and invertebrate species if given ample room to establish their own home territory.

Large-banded Blennies are reef safe and are considered a beneficial species to keep in a reef aquarium as they will actively consume a variety of marine algae, which helps to keep the reef clean and clear of excess or nuisance algae growth.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Large-banded Blenny.

In the wild the Large-banded Blenny grazes on marine algae, using its comb-like incisor teeth to scrape algae off of rocks and sessile invertebrates. In the aquarium they will graze on existing marine algae, but should be offered a variety of fresh and prepared marine algae, vegetable matter, and Spirulina-based flake and pellets foods (treated with Selcon for additional benefits) as well as other prepared foods. Feed two to three times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.

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