The Bicolor Blenny, which can be seen above is definitely a fish that can be added right after the cycle has completed, and is considered an easy one to care for, and thus a good fish for beginners, and of course for any hobbyists.
The key to make sure that it’s introduction to your Nano goes without glitches is to acclimate the fish for 30 to 45 minutes to your tank’s water, using what is referred to as the drip method, which is explained in the book, but to restate how it is down here are the steps:
When purchasing the Bicolor Blenny make sure it is in good health and does not show any signs of disease and that it does not have a “sunken belly”, which would be an indication that it has not been fed properly, or is not eating. The latter would be unusual as this one, and other Blennies, are aggressive feeders and will take just about any food you give them, in addition to foraging around your Nano in search of whatever it can find to feed on, whether it be algal material, small life forms such as copepods and the like.
It is constantly looking for food, and you will see i moving around the tank, sort of hoping from one area to another and picking at the rocks and even instrumentation that is in your tank, e.g. heaters, power heads, skimmer tubes if you use an HOB one (Hang-on-the-Back) and so on.
Once you have determined it is fine and healthy bring it home and prepare a vessel large enough o hold the water that it came, and what will be added as you drip tank water into it. To do so, use airline tubing, one end of which is in the tank, and the other end in the container that holds the Blenny.
To regulate the flow, tie a knot in the airline tubing (I do it at the end that goes into the container where the fish is held) and gradually tighten the knot, until I get a drop of about 1 drop per second.
This will slowly mix the tank water with the one the fish cam in and bring the mix up to the chemistry of what is in your tank. Once you have dripped about 1/3 extra water in the vessel. remove some of it and let the drip continue, doing so, as indicated for a good 30 or more minutes (I usually will drip for 45 min.).
While doing so you will, a some point, have to remove some more water from the vessel as it will get fuller and fuller and you need to keep the level down so it does not overflow of course.
What you need to watch out for, and this is most important, is that the temperature of the water in which the fish is kept does not drop, as that would stress the fish. I use a real small heater that I have to do so and it is set for 78 F degrees (± 25.5 C).
After you have dripped tank water into the vessel for long enough, remove the fish from the container by using, not a fish net, but a small scoop, large enough to catch the fish, and then gently lower into your Nano.
The Blenny will probably go into hiding for a little while, but soon appear and start swimming around the tank, and do so by moving quite fast from one area to the next. Provide hiding places for it by making sure the rock used as little “caves” it can slide into.
You can improve on that by adding a small empty Barnacle shell to the tank and you will soon notice that the Blenny will make that the area that it gets into more often than in other places.
It also likes to hop around the tank and “sit” on rocks and even on coral for short periods of time and then move on to another area. This is normal behavior for this fish and nothing to worry about, as it does not cause any damage or injury to whatever it perches on.
The fish acclimates to the tank quickly, usually in a matter of hours, and makes a great addition to any reef tank and is a very interesting one to observe because of the manner in which it swims around the tank and how it behaves in general.
It is quite peaceful and is not know to bully other fish or harm your corals. Great choice especially for beginners as it is not all that demanding on water quality parameters, as long as they remain with generally accept reef tank levels.
Happy Nano Reef Keeping !