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Linear Blenny

(Ecsenius lineatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 3.5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Blenniidae   • Species: Blennies   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

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

The Linear Blenny is an interesting and inquisitive species endemic to the coral reefs throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. Linear Blennies have bushy cirri (whisker-like appendages) protruding from between the eyes and are equipped with specialized, combed teeth for eating marine algae. Linear Blennies have a body with the lower half colored white to cream while the dorsal half can vary from tan, to yellowish-green, to brown. The dorsal half also has several horizontal, white to yellow lines running from head to caudal fin and a pale tan to orange stripe on the top and bottom of their dorsal and caudal fins; they also generally have around 10 black, rectangular blotches (usually separated by a light hue) on each side, running the length of their bodies (down their lateral line).

Linear Blennies are quite peaceful and are compatible with many heterospecific tank mates, although they will not get along with others of their kind (unless as a mated pair), nor should they be housed with similar species or overly aggressive tank mates they may harass or stress them. Linear Blennies are readily available within the hobby and make wonderful choices for beginners as well as more experienced hobbyists.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Linear Blenny in the home aquarium.

The Linear Blenny requires an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and should be provided with a sand substrate as well as plenty of live rock for grazing, perching, and refuge. Some Blennies can be jumpers and their aquarium should be equipped with a secure hood or sealed top to prevent escape. They prefer a system with stable water conditions as well as adequate water circulation; quality biological and mechanical filtration in conjunction with protein skimming is recommend. They are a peaceful species that will generally mind their own business even though they enjoy watching "current events" from a perch among coral or live rock.

They will coexist with many different heterospecific tank mates as long as they are not of a similar appearance or are an overly aggressive species they may harass them. They should not be housed conspecifically unless as a mated pair. Linear Blennies are among the smaller Blennies and are excellent choices for "nano" aquariums and reef systems, although some individuals have been reported to occasionally nip at coral polyps and clam mantles.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Linear Blenny.

Linear Blennies are grazing herbivores that prefer to eat marine algae in the wild. In the aquarium they will graze on existing marine algae, but should be offered a variety of live 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 twice per day, but only what they will consume within a few minutes.

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