When it comes to controlling algae in the tank, lawnmower Benny is one choice saltwater aquarist often make for their aquarium.They’ve origin from indo-pacific and red sea, so aquarium shops near this region likely to have this species readily available. You can purchase them online as well, but you can’t guarantee about their health,infection so you can purchase it from the aquarium shop near your home. These fishes cost about 10$ to 30$ and are available in most of the aquarium shops.
Size & Color: They grow upto size of 10 – 15 cm. They have gray body with dark color bands and spots mixed with white color. When they’re small they can fit well into the reef tank but once they grow adult it’s better to keep them away from reef tank. It’s hard to differentiate between male and females.
ph & temperature: Tank temperature of about 21°C – 28°C needs to be maintained as well. Ph should be 8.2 – 8.4, with carbonate hardness of about 8 – 12°dKH.Because of their size they require larger tank and it is suggested that the tank should be 30 gallons minimum. Their lifespan is 2-5 years or more sometimes depending on their diet and tank conditions.
Food: Their primary source for food is algae so place it in the tank where there is enough algae for them. You can keep cured live rock inside the tank that has lots of algae that Benny can eat for breakfast. Supplementary foods like veggie flakes, dried algae discs and nori can be given to them on regular intervals to avoid them getting into starvation. This fish feeds on algae and other wastes spread inside the saltwater tank. So if the tank becomes free from algae then you need to either put them in another tank with algae or give them supplemental food of their choice else they’ll get into starvation.
Breeding: You’ll find it hard to get pair for this fish so breeding them in captivity is hardest part for the most of aquarist. There is very less data available for breeding of this fish.
Behavior: It’s hard to get mated pair or even pair so you can keep just one fish if you get chance. They’re not suitable for reef tank as they could attack on coral and clam mantles. They also attack on their own fish types so you can’t keep more than one benny fish in same tank. Being hardy marine fish with algae eating habits you’ll rarely find this fish getting sick but you can take precaution and quarantine them if they get sick. They spend a lot of time near live rock as they get most of food from there so you’ll have hard time locating them sometimes so use fish-trap to catch them.
Lawnmower Blenny is quite peaceful fish and goes quite well with most of the tank-mates. But when they get older they might attack on other tank-mates so place them in tank of semi-aggressive fishes. I’ve noticed that they also run away when they see their keeper nearby, when they relax on rock they’ll watch other fishes and the keeper with their big eyes. It’s one beautiful and interesting saltwater fish.