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).