Need advice about my sick/skinny black lined blenny

MD Ocean Girl

New member
So I have a question about my black lined blenny......

Here's the background: I've had him for at least 4 months. He's in my 10 gallon nano tank. The tank is fed daily with either spectrum or cyclopeeze. And there's more than enough copepods for him to munch on. Up until maybe two weeks ago, he was eating fine and aggressively, had a fat little belly after every feeding. He's always been a picky and slow eater, but still always ate well. I went home for a wedding last weekend, and when I got back, I noticed he was looking thin. Really thin. His body is completely sunken in now. He still tries to eat, but everytime he goes for the spectrum or cyclopeeze, he misses it. He always misses to the right of the food. After two or three attempts at the food, he gives up and goes after another piece. The past two nights, I've even turned off the overflow so that there's no flow at all in the tank to see if it'll help. It hasn't. I can't see any external parasites on him. He doesn't have ich. There's no wounds or anything on the outside of him that could potentially be causing this. The rest of the fish in the tank (4 barnacle blennies) are completely healthy.

I've done some research, and I have no idea what might be causing this. Is there any way to find out? Could it be an internal parasite? And if so, what should I use to treat him? I'm willing to try other food options to see if it'll help, but I don't think that lack of food or the type of food I'm feeding is the issue since he still does try to eat.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. I'd hate to lose him, as he's an awesome fish that makes the tank, and he was pretty expensive as well.

Thanks!!!
 

block head

New member
i've had this happen with tailspots. usually blennies are hardy, the first 90 days seem the hump IMO. greens and hair algae might help. meds like prazipro might be a last ditch type thing. IME blennies do best in crunchy /mature tanks.
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
I don't have any hair algae in my tank....I run an oversized skimmer on it, as well as a HOB filter with carbon and phosphate pads. My tank has been set up for over a year now, so I'd like to think it's pretty mature.

What type of greens? He's a tiny guy, so I'm not sure if he would eat greens clipped to the tank, and I think the formula two pellets I have are too big for his mouth.....
 

block head

New member
maybe try pygmy angel formula or "green" flake ? the healthiest blennies i've owned, or know of ,graze heavily. i'm never optunistic ,once a fish shows a major weight loss.
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
I'll swing by ABC tonight and see if they have something food wise that might help. Yesterday when feeding him, I basically was dropping in two or three spectrum pellets at a time, and I think he ended up eating one or two. This is with turning off all the flow in the tank. Maybe he's just overwhelmed when there's more food in the tank at once??? It's quite challenging to do this because any food I drop in there usually gets scarfed up by the barnacle blennies before he decides what pellet to go after.

I'll see if I can get some pictures of him now for comparison. And I'll update as I go. Any more suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so far for the suggestions!
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
grow algae, Karen ;)

get rid of the PO4 pads. Use tapwater. Grow green fuzz.


Lol, Gary. If only it was that easy!!! With Syracuse water quality, it'd take all of maybe one week for my tank to be full of green fuzz if I did that.... :headwally:

From what I've read, they're carnivores, so I don't know if going so far as to grow green algae is the best idea, lol. I can see if I can find a good algae flake or pellet, but he can't eat anything that floats on the surface right now, as he keeps missing the food. And the formula two pellets I have are WAY too big. :sad2:

I don't know if I'm just not feeding him enough? I usually feed the tank once a day. It's hard to feed more sometimes because I'm in the hospital for 12+ hrs a day and because I don't want to overfeed my tank.

I did the whole turn off the flow and drop in a few of the micro spectrum pellets at a time again.....looks like he ate maybe two or three. Stopped in at ABC.....I was told that the spectrum with garlic and Thera A (which is what I have been feeding him) should help take care of any "parasitic" issues he might have....they didn't recommend antibiotics or soaking food in garlic (since he's still trying to eat).

I'm really frustrated and kind of at a loss...I definitely don't want him to continue to starve and die. I guess I'll try to feed more, look for a smaller algae pellet food, and do more water changes????
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
agreed. My recommendation was for herbivorous blennies and I'm still not sure which species you have.
PE mysis will fatten up carnivores.


The species I have is Meiacanthus nigrolineatus, aka, black lined blenny or blackline fangblenny. I'll have to give the PE mysis a try....though I might have to cut it up a bit, because it'll probably be too big.
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
Well, I tried PE mysis last night....was too big for him, even cut up. Grrrrrrrrr. He did eat a spectrum pellet or two. He definitely wasn't as active last night as normal :worried:
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
Update: I just found him lying on the gravel breathing fast. Won't eat anything, and the spectrum is right in front of his mouth. He's paper thin everywhere except his head. :sad1: Should I just put him out of his misery? I hate to see him suffer.....
 
sorry to hear

sorry to hear

freezer can be used to euthanize.

Not to long ago Meicanthus spp. blennies were considered very difficult but nowadays they're captive bred.

FWIW in my personal experience PLANKTIVORES are the most challenging fishes to maintain in captivity (besides corallivores, obviously).
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
Thanks for the suggestion Gary. I'll do that, if I can find him. I've looked everywhere, but I can't see him in the tank, and he's not on the floor. I wonder if he died and was eaten by my crabs/stars, etc?


Makes me really sad...wish I could have done more for him. He was such a cool fish in my tank.
 

MD Ocean Girl

New member
Well, I woke up this morning to my emerald green crab eating the blenny's body.....sigh. RIP little guy. Will hold tight for now and look for what I might want to put in my tank in a few months to replace him....
 
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