Lawnmower Blenny And The Required Care Guide To Pet One

Lawnmower Blenny In A Saltwater Habitat

The Lawnmower Blenny, with many other nicknames, is a saltwater species and quite a popular one. For aquarists, this fish serves to clean the tanks with its algae-eating proclivity. Their moderate size, unique appearance, and their hardy nature are something you can bank upon. Now if you have already decided to get one, you require some authentic information that would make it easy to handle the useful fish. Below is given all the thriving conditions for this Lawnmower Blenny.

Key Specification Of Lawnmower Blenny

Also Known As Sailfin Blenny, Jeweled Blenny, Jeweled Rock Skipper, Banded Blenny, and Algae Blenny
ColourWhite, black, green, and grey
Origin Indo-pacific ocean
Temperament Docile with aggression at certain times
Size 4-6 inches
Tank Size40-55 gallon
Maintenance RequirementModerate


The Lawnmower Blenny, with its self-explanatory name, is a herbivorous marine fish that is scientifically identified as Salarias fasciatus. Its behaviour and appearance are two of the main reasons why people choose Blenny. It is, however, very difficult to spot the fish amidst a marine surroundings because it often camouflages against the backdrop. That is the beauty of it, while you can spot the head, you might as well struggle to find the fins. So, if it is appealing for you, we recommend you to read the full care guide starting below.

Origin And Habitat Of Lawnmower Blenny

The marine fish has its distribution spread across the Indo-Pacific zone, Great Barrier Reef, Red Sea, and Samoa where they are found at the depth of around 260 ft. Ryku Islands, East Africa Coast, and New Caledonia are also their home.

The habitat is generally estuaries, reefs, shallow water bodies, and slopy areas.

Appearance Of Lawnmower Blenny

The camouflaging shape and colours of the saltwater fish make it look exotic. Let us first pick the feature that is the most noticeable in the fishes. It is their pair of perched eyes that has the ability to move quickly and independently, assisting them with a good vision. It is typically located on the two sides of their blunt head.

They have some formations known as Cirri around their eyes. The teeth and jaws are quite flexible and thanks to them, these Blennies can chew and take off stubborn algae from the rock and other substrates. Their belly is a round one that gives them easy movement as rolling in the wild.

They have multiple spines in their anal fin, and the ones in the front are longer than the other spines. The dorsal fin patterns are somewhat continued throughout the whole body.


Most of the fishes are around 5.5 inches on average, but including the exceptions and majority, it can be said that their size range is 4-6 inches. Proportionally they have quite a big pair of lips.


There are shades of brown, tan, white, green, and cream noticed all over the body in unique patterns. Mostly they have a light body with some vertical stripes, all in dar grey or brown shades. The dorsal fin is tinted with brownish to cream patterns along with reddish-orange combinations. The pelvic fin is to some extent white.

The caudal and pectoral fins don’t show much colouration, so much so, that they are transparent.  

The colours of their eyes are also very interesting because the dark iris is covered by some white spots and that is further surrounded by blue dots taking a ring-shaped feature.

Behaviour Of Lawnmower Blenny

The Lawnmower Blenny is usually a good pet that doesn’t demand a lot of affection from you, but its activity is something that will always be captivating. The intelligence level if the fish is slightly higher than others, and it can recognize any particular human who feeds it or takes care of it. This fish is somewhat aggressive to certain species, but those are to be discussed in the compatibility section. Overall, the fish is interesting enough to get entertained. Algae scavenging is one of the key features that the Blenny is always busy doing.

Lifespan Of  Lawnmower Blenny

A well-taken care of fish can live for a maximum of 4 years and it could be as low as 2 years. Special care and a routine diet ensure that your Blenny is healthy all the time. Despite the short lifespan, you can at least have a good and flourishing happy fish, if you know how to treat it well. Also, don’t get confused if you get to know any individual fish is living way past 4 years, because exceptions always prove the rule.

Diet Of Lawnmower Blenny

They are mostly algae-eaters and that is an inevitable item you must include in their diet. The herbivorous fish sometimes consumes fish eggs in their natural habitat. Apart from that the fishes are always looking for food, especially from the rock or corals, and most importantly from the substrate. So, make sure you are giving them plant-based flake foods and pellets. If the tank has any algae, it will be cleaned by the fish without much hassle.

Any raw vegetables like zucchini, lettuce, and cucumber are good options. Apart from these, the fish will feed on spirulina. If you are to make the fish accustomed to a wide range of vegetables then make sure you are trying all the suggested one when they are young.

Once they become adults, it is very difficult to introduce new food items to them. The feeding time should be restricted to 2-3 times per day and not a single time more. Excess eating can take a toll on its health. Low sinking pellet will be good for your Lawnmower Blenny.

Tank Requirements Of Lawnmower Blenny

A marine tank is the basic essential for a Lawnmower Blenny. This fish appreciates a lot of free space that it can utilize throughout the course of time.

Tank Size

The tank size should be within 40-55 gallons. Although some people say that one single specimen can even stay in a 30-gallon tank, but that would restrict its movements in more than one way. The diameter of the tank could be around 48x12x16 inches so that the fish has enough space to swim and explore the surrounding.

Tank Lid

This fish can jump frequently so putting a tank lid is required. Keep some gap between the water surface and the lid.


The fish spends most of the time at the bottom of the aquarium so how you decorate that is important. Many aquarists place a mesh covering on top of the substrate. You should distribute the substrate in some soft layers so that the fish can fulfill its scavenging activity because it is one of the spontaneous things.

Sand with some fine grains is the best option for the tank bottom. They will not hurt the fish as the latter is keen on foraging all the time. Opt for coral sand as that would perfectly recreate the natural habitat of the Blenny inside the aquarium.


The fish keeps the tank free from any sort of algae and detritus by turning the sand upside down and eating the edibles items. Keep a strong filter that will be able to produce strong water flow because that is also one of the thriving conditions. An air or water pump is also suggested if the filter doesn’t have the required strength it needs.


You can extensively decorate the tank the way you feel, as far as there is enough free space. The caves, hiding addresses, and some corners made of rocks should be inside the tank because the fish would explore them all. The hiding retreats are essential for the fish so that it can stay inside them whenever it wants to.


The lighting should be mild and you can choose the LED tank lights for that.

Presence Of Flora

Make sure the aquarium has live plants because not only will they keep the tank oxygenated and clean, but also control the lighting. The fish will enjoy having the plants around it and playing with them eventually. Such plants are also helpful in making the tank much like the natural habitat.

Cleaning Method

The tank should be cleaned both from the inside and outside. While the filter is good to keep the tank pollution-free, still there are a lot of things that you need to manually clean. Water change is one of the things that are supposed to be done on a weekly basis. Moreover, the Blenny participates a lot when it comes to cleaning the aquarium by consuming almost most of the algae inside.

Once a week, you can change a certain amount of the water, for example, if you are doing the task weekly, then change around a quarter amount of water.

Water Type For Lawnmower Blenny

The marine fish has some specific requirements for its tank water and those are in the below section. There might be other fishes so all the parameters should be according to their mutual requirements.


You can set the temperature range between 22-25 Degrees Celsius as those are ideal for the fish.

pH Level

There is also a range of pH levels that is usually from 8.1-8.4.


The carbonate hardness of the water is 8-12 dKH.


The water should have a salinity range between 1.020-1.025.

Compatibility Of Lawnmower Blenny

This fish is not a reef-safe one, but it can stay with other fishes. Similarly, there are some fishes that are not good for the Blenny.

Suitable Tank Mates

Most of the saltwater community fishes could share the tank with your Blenny. Most importantly, the tank mates should be similar in shapes and sizes, and in nature so that there is no potential clash amongst them.

Unsuitable Tank Mates

Too large or some extremely vulnerable fishes, especially two Lawnmower Blennies (apart from their breeding purpose) are not supposed to stay with each other. They will be aggressive and fin nipping will be a common thing. You should always avoid keeping Angels, Large Dottybacks, Sea horses, Pipefish, Tangs, Lionfish, Triggers, Frogfish, Toadfish, Anglers, Damselfish,  and Groupers with your Blenny.

Breeding Of Lawnmower Blenny

It has never been recorded that a mated pair has started to breed in aquarium condition. While in the natural habitat, they mate and lay eggs when the temperature is warm, mostly around April to June. The eggs are laid and the male fish is supposed to guard them. You can try mating a pair but for that, you need to identify the genders which is a difficult task itself. If they don’t mate then they can be aggressive towards each other, so everything could be at risk suddenly.

Diseases Of Lawnmower Blenny

Any pet fish would have the best health if it receives proper water conditions, proper food, and a clean environment. This is applicable for Lawnmower Blenny as well. You can check for some unusual signs that a fish might showcase when it comes to sickness. Like, as not showing enough appetite because the fish loves eating all the time, some weird movement or restless motions indicating something is not right. You need to be careful when it comes to marine fish water diseases.

As an owner of it, make sure it is not depriving of anything, especially health. For any saltwater-related diseases, you can consult a professional vet who can help you with some solutions.


The hardy Lawnmower Blenny is a delight to watch, especially when it plays along with everything they find in their territory. The camoflouging colouration, the scavenging nature, and its beautiful cohabitation with other marine species are indeed a blessing to witness from close. So, what are you waiting for, if a saltwater tank has been your choice for a long, then get one immediately, but only if you are ready for the commitment.

Other Similar Care Guides

If the care guide is informative enough for you, then you may read about other saltwater fishes like the following one.