The Midas blenny is a beautiful golden saltwater fish that many people with marine tanks love to keep. These gorgeous fish not only bring a brilliant splash of color to your setup but are a great choice for beginners to the hobby.
Read this detailed guide to learn everything you need to know to keep these gorgeous marine fish healthy and thriving!
The Midas Blenny – At a Glance
|Midas Blenny Info|
|Scientific Name:||Ecsenius midas|
|Common Name (species)||Midas blenny, Lyretail blenny, Gold blenny, Persian blenny|
|Origin||Indo-Pacific from the Gulf of Aqaba and the southeast coast of Africa to the Marquesan Islands|
|Average Lifespan||Up to 5 years|
|Minimum Tank Size||At least 30 gallons|
|Temperature Range||73o to 84o F|
|pH Range||8.1 to 8.4|
|Filtration/Flow Rate||Gentle flow|
|Breeding||Extremely challenging to breed in captivity.|
Origins and Natural Habitat
Midas blennies come from the Indo-Pacific waters, where they live on reefs and rocky outcrops, darting in and out of crevices and caves in search of shelter and food. These diurnal fish spend most of their days negotiating the reef in a characteristic, endearing swimming style that uses a weird motion that combines swimming and crawling.
Interestingly, the fish have coloration patterns distinct for the region they or their parents originate from, and they can also change color to reflect their mood and surroundings.
Midas Blenny Lifespan
In captivity, the Midas blenny typically lives up to five years or longer if provided with optimum living conditions and a varied, high-quality diet.
The Midas blenny is named for its glorious, deep golden color, highlighted by vibrant blue flashes around the fins and eyes. However, the colors vary depending on where the fish comes from. Generally, fish from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean are reportedly more vibrantly colored than those from the Pacific.
As mentioned earlier, Midas blennies can change color when they get stressed, so they can be considered the canaries of the marine reef system coal mine. Watch out for color changes in your blenny, as that could be the first indication of trouble brewing.
How Big Are Midas Blennies?
Most experts agree that these charming little fish can grow to reach between 4 and 6 inches long. Again, the size your fish reaches depends on the tank conditions you provide, stress levels within the tank, and the diet the fish receives.
Temperament and Behavior
Midas blennies are generally peaceful fish, spending most of their time cruising around the rocks and caves in their environment, searching for food. These fish can make a good addition to a community marine tank and get along well with most other tropical saltwater reef fish. That said, there are a few notable exceptions to that.
Blennies can be territorially aggressive toward fish of the same species, and some hobbyists report the Midas blenny nipping small gobies, firefish, and other non-aggressive species that compete for similar food sources. For that reason, I recommend keeping only one Midas blenny in your tank to keep the environment stress-free.
It’s also a good idea to keep this species in a large tank if possible and include plenty of rocks and caves where the fish can establish a territory. That way, the fish won’t feel confined and defensive, which could be the case in a smaller reef tank.
Are Midas Blennies Reef-Safe?
Yes, Midas blennies are reef-safe and are compatible with clams, invertebrates, corals, and most other popular community reef species.
Midas Blenny Care Guide
Midas blennies are popular saltwater fish that make an excellent choice for a beginner to the hobby, adding a bright, beautiful addition to any peaceful community reef tank.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to care for them!
As previously mentioned, tank size is critical in maintaining a stress-free, peaceful environment for all your fish if you want to include a Midas blenny in your collection. The smallest aquarium size I recommend for these fish is 30 gallons, although a bigger setup would be better if you have space for one.
These quirky little fish can jump when threatened or startled, so a tank with a tightly fitting lid is a must!
As with all fish species, providing your Midas blenny with the correct water parameters and chemistry is crucial for the fish to thrive.
The water temperature should be somewhere between 73o to 84o F, water pH in the range of 8.1 and 8.4, and salinity around 1.025.
I advise checking the water chemistry every week with a good-quality aquarium water testing kit and making any adjustments to the water quality before it deteriorates, potentially affecting your fish.
Midas blennies love to explore and hide amid live rock formations, caves, and corals, so be sure to include plenty of those in your setup. These curious, active fish must have lots of mental stimulation to keep them happy, and they need to adopt a territory to patrol and defend, so bear that in mind when aquascaping your tank.
These fish have been known to burrow into the substrate, so soft, live sand is the best choice.
Midas blennies don’t need any specific kind of lighting in their tank, so the usual reef tank light levels that suit your corals will do fine.
When introducing your Midas blenny to the tank, I recommend leaving the lights off for a few hours until the fish has settled into his new home and acclimated. Sometimes, these guys can be pretty shy at first, and darkness can help them to relax and explore, and it helps to reduce stress.
Water Flow Rate
Since Midas blennies tend to spend most of their time hanging around the rocks and corals in the habitat, they can keep out of a strong flow if they want to. So, you can use whatever flow rate best suits your corals.
The blenny will take tiny particles of food floating past in the current and seek a suitable place to hang out where it can do that.
Midas blennies get along with most peaceful reef species, including invertebrates, provided you keep your fish in a tank larger than 30 gallons. Good tank mates for this species can include:
- Flame hawkfish
However, any fish that are viewed as competitors for food can be nipped, and other blennies will be seen off in displays of territorial aggression. Of course, large predatory carnivorous fish should be avoided.
What Do Midas Blennies Eat?
Midas blennies are omnivores, meaning they enjoy a diet containing meaty proteins and plant-based foods.
These are active feeders that snatch food particles floating in the current of the water column. You can feed your fish commercially prepared omnivore flakes, supplemented with brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped mussels and clams, spirulina, and algae-based or herbivorous foods.
How Often Should I Feed Midas Blennies?
Ideally, you should feed your fish two or three times a day, offering only what they will clear in a few minutes to prevent overfeeding and waste.
Health and Disease
Midas blennies don’t have scales to protect them from disease and parasites, but they’re not especially susceptible to any particular diseases. If your blenny gets stressed, you’ll see it change color, so stable water conditions and careful acclimation are essential for this species.
Remember, blennies are a wild-caught fish species, so there will always be differences between their natural habitat and conditions in your fish tank. For that reason, you must take your time with introductions, even when you’re just relocating your fish from quarantine to your main display aquarium.
Breeding Midas Blennies
To date, it’s not been possible to breed Midas blennies in captivity, largely because they are harem spawners. So, the female fish lays eggs that the male watches over. To complicate matters, the eggs hatch at different times, so the fry is at different stages of development, making feeding them extremely difficult.
Availability and Price
Since Midas blennies are wild-caught, they’re not always available in fish stores. However, if you can get hold of one, you’re probably going to pay around $40 to $50 per specimen.
In this part of our guide, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Midas blennies and their care.
Q: Are Midas Blennies Aggressive?
A: Midas blennies are generally peaceful fish that can live with many tank mates. That said, the fish can sometimes get territorial towards other blennies or species that look similar to them. In addition, Midas blennies have been known to nip at gobies and firefish.
You can usually prevent aggressive behavior by keeping your blennies in a large tank with plenty of rocks and decorations to break up the swimming space and create territories the fish can adopt.
Q: How Many Midas Blennies Can You Keep Together?
A: Like most species of blenny, Midas blennies are peaceful and will do fine with most peaceful fish species. That said, they are quite territorial with others of their own kind, so we recommend keeping just one specimen per tank unless you add two small ones at the same time.
Q: Do Midas Blennies Eat Copepods?
A: Yes, Midas blennies eat copepods, zooplankton, amphipods, and other small creatures floating about in the water column.
Q: Are Midas Blennies Poisonous?
A: No, Midas blennies are not poisonous. It’s the Canary blenny that’s toxic.
These fish are quite similar in looks to the harmless Midas blenny, but they have enlarged fangs with associated venom sacs. The venom is used primarily as a defense against predators and also works as a deterrent. When cleaning out your tank, you have nothing to worry about, as the Canary blenny’s bite is not lethal to people. However, a nip is as painful as a wasp or bee sting, so we discourage hand-feeding your fish.
Midas blennies are gorgeous golden marine fish that can look strikingly beautiful in a peaceful marine or reef tank. These lovely fish are relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginners to the hobby.
Unfortunately, you can’t breed these fish in captivity; most are wild-caught. Even so, Midas blennies are not as expensive as some other reef species, although they are just as beautiful.
These fish get along well with corals, inverts, and most small, peaceful reef fish. However, Midas blennies can be territorially aggressive, so it’s not a good idea to keep more than one of them in your tank, and other species of blenny should be avoided for the same reason.
In addition, some very small marine fish that share the same food sources as Midas blennies can be nipped and chased, which is stressful for both parties and could result in disease outbreaks.
Do you have Midas blennies in your reef tank? What tank mates do you keep with them? Tell us in the comments box below.