The Midas blenny, Ecsenius midas, is great beginner fish for a medium-sized aquarium or larger (at least 20 gallons, according to Marine Fishes and at least 30 gallons, according to Live Aquaria). The Midas blenny is an easy-to-care-for species with a deep golden color, for which it gets its name, and blue accents around the eyes and fins. The colors of the Midas blenny will vary a bit, depending on what part of the world it comes from. Fishes from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea are reported to have more vibrant colors than their fishy cousins from the Pacific. There are reports of this species being aggressive to other fishes, like the firefish goby, so it is probably best to avoid mixing the two species and also to consider not keeping the Midas blenny if your saltwater aquarium is on the smaller side.
The Midas blenny is an omnivore, which means it needs both meaty and plant-based foods in its diet to remain healthy, which is different from many of the other bennies, which often eat predominantly plant-based foods.
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Midas blenny: Ecsenius midas
Reports vary about how large these fish can get–3.9 inches, according to author Scott W. Michael and 6 inches, according to LiveAquaria.
If you want to keep the Midas blenny in your saltwater aquarium, be sure to have a tight-fitting lid or screen, because they are prone to jump out and try to surf on your carpet.
Midas bennies are shy fish that need a fair amount of live rock aquascape to feel secure. They will perch on the live rock and even hide inside the crevices, peeking out from their hiding spot waiting for a meal to float past. One of the most interesting behaviors to watch is when a midas blenny swims backwards to back up into the rock work. That trick is worth the price of admission.
Ecsenius midas is also reef safe and won’t harm your corals or other invertebrates. Feed your midas blenny regularly with brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, chopped up clams or mussels and algae-based foods containing spirulina or other herbivorous foods.
Check out the Midas blenny in the video below–how can you not love that face.
Like many fish in the aquarium trade, the Midas blenny comes from Indo-Pacific reefs.
I see only one major drawback about the Midas blenny; this fish is currently only available as a wild-caught fish. Several other blenny species are available from aquaculture companies like ORA Farms and Sustainable Aquatics, but while the Midas blenny has been reported to spawn in captivity, is not yet commercially available. It’s a shame, because there would undoubtedly be a lot of demand for this gorgeous fish.
If you absolutely want to have a captive-bred blenny, you could consider getting a canary blenny instead of the Midas blenny–which is an awesome–but not quite as attractive fish that is sometimes confused with the Midas blenny. If the canary blenny isn’t right for you, you could check out one of the other aquacultured fang blenny species.
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