Algae Blenny and Plate Coral

I just bought an Algae Blenny. While not as colorful as my other fish, he is quite a character. In the store, he disappeared inside a rock about the size of my fist and would not come out, even when the rock was picked up out of the water. Result? The rock came home with him inside it.

When I removed the rock and placed it in the tank, there was no sign of him. I actually wondered if I had accidentally left him at the store. Eventually he showed up: he had been hiding inside the rock. I had been unable to see him, even after looking at each nook and cranny with a flashlight.. He can cram himself into the smallest of holes, and likes to do so. In the tank he is always finding some hole in a rock and ending up coming out the other side. Many of the live rocks are actually dead corals, so there are lots of caves and tunnels.

Notice his dark blue eyes, and the "horns" over his eyes. His eyes swivel, unlike the eyes of the other fish I have (which are safely in the sides of their heads), so he sometimes sits in one place, with each eye wandering independently. Also notice the "teeth".

Here he is poking his head out of a rock. Not a great shot of him, but imagine trying to find him if you didn't know he was right in the middle of the picture. He is very "rock like". The "kisses" on the back wall will be discussed in a moment.

This is what the Algae Blenny does best: eats algae. This is the back wall of the tank the morning after I purchased him. Notice all of the "kisses" where algae has been eaten off. Two days later, virtually all of the tank wall was clean.

Here he is again. The blue in his eyes is brighter, and his translucent side fins are also visible. This is a very traditional pose: he sits atop something and plans his next move. He is very gentle and is always in motion.

The Plate Coral arrived as a disk of "rock" about 3 inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Notice the numerous radial slits and fins, out of which poke the lavendar headed polyps. This is how he looks when he is not at all happy (i.e., right upon arrival).

And this is how he looks when he is quite happy indeed. Notice that the underlying "stone" base is invisible under the luxurient polyps. And here is the Plate Coral from above. Notice the lavendar tipped polyps, the yellow base flesh, and the mouth with teeth ( photo by Stacey).