The Sailfin Blenny (Emblemaria pandionis) is a fun little fish perfect for small nano-reefs or community aquariums. They can be found in colors ranging from white to brown and even black. Their name comes from the high dorsal fin that they display when threatened or as part of their courtship behaviors. Several other blennies sometimes share the common name “Sailfin Blenny”, including those from the Atrosalarias genus, but have very different appearances and requirements.
Many different species and varieties of blennies enter the aquarium trade regularly. Some of the more commonly encountered genuses are Atrosalarias (the Sailfin Blennies), Blenniella (Rockskipper or Combtooth Blennies), Ecsenius (often small and flat-faced), Meiacanthus (the notorious fangtooth blennies), and Salarias (the popular algae-eating Lawnmower Blennies). Many blennies may eat some algae growing in the aquarium like the nuisance hair algae, or ornamental macroalgae like Caulerpa. Blennies will also accept many other types of food like pellets, frozen formulas, brine shrimp and others.
Blennies can be kept with most other community tankmates like damsels, clownfish and angels but they may become territorial with time and will defend against trespassers. Blennies typically do not tolerate others of the same species except in very large aquariums with enough territory to accommodate their need for space. They are safe for reef aquariums and will not harm most invertebrates, with the possible exception of small crustaceans like Sexy Shrimp. They spend most of the time on or around the bottom, or perching in the rockwork of the aquarium.