Home > Tips & Tricks > Tailspot Blenny | Ecsenius stigmatura Care & info

Tailspot Blenny | Ecsenius stigmatura Care & info

Looking for a fun addition to your reef, or even a species that you can center a nano aquarium around? We’re delighted to introduce you to the tailspot blenny! This colorful, perpetually confused-looking bottom dweller might be the perfect species for your fish marine tank.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about tailspot blenny care.

Name (Common, Scientific)Tailspot blenny, Ecsenius stigmatura
Mini tank size15 gallons
Minimum group size1
Temperature75-82 °F
Difficulty levelEasy

Tailspot blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura) description

The tailspot blenny is not a large species and maxes out at around 2.5” in length, making it one of the smallest blennies out there. It naturally inhabits reefs in the Indo-Pacific and can easily be recognized from its eye-catching coloration: a blue to orange gradient over the entire body, a double horizontal stripe on the face and of course a black tail spot.

Frog-like eyes and two whiskers that almost resemble antennae conclude the tailspot blenny’s comical appearance.

Tailspot blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura) aquarium

These fish are not too fussy about their aquarium and what it looks like. They make a good choice for a nano reef, although there is some discussion on how small you can go. Some sources list 8 gallons, others 10, while yet others prefer 30.

We’ve settled on around 15 gallons as being the minimum for us, provided it’s a horizontal tank that offers plenty of bottom space. Bigger is still better, though.

Like many other reef species, tailspot blennies will appreciate an aquarium with plenty of live rock and other décor. They love having access to nooks and crannies to hide in and, as bottom dwellers, will also appreciate a sandy substrate. They also appear to prefer a relatively low water flow level.

As for water quality, this is a relatively hardy species, but as with all fish your aquarium has to be fully cycled before you introduce it. Keep water values stable with regular maintenance.

Tip: We love open-top tanks, but with this species, you’ll have to make sure your aquarium has a tight-fitting lid. They’re prone to jumping and can easily end up on the floor if you’re not careful.

Tailspot blenny aquarium fish.

Tailspot blenny Ecsenius stigmatura) compatibility

This is a delightfully peaceful species that won’t bother any of your reef inhabitants, with one exception: other blennies (and anything that looks too much like one). It works fantastically as an addition to a peaceful reef and won’t bother corals. In fact, for a species this small, the main risk is it being eaten itself!

Avoid larger carnivorous or overly assertive tankmates. Some examples of good tankmate options for a tailspot blenny include species like the blue-green chromis or clownfish.

As for its own species, you can keep tailspot blennies in pairs. If you don’t have a confirmed pair, you’ll have to at least double the minimum tank size in order to avoid excessive territorial quarrels. This also applies if you’d like to keep any other blennies, like the lawnmower blenny.

Tailspot blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura) diet

The tailspot blenny is an omnivore, but one that leans towards the herbivorous side. A happy tailspot will spend plenty of time scouring the aquarium in search of tasty algae patches! It’ll be appreciated if you’re not too vigorous about scrubbing away algae, as unsightly as they can be.

Because our home aquariums are a bit too clean to sustain fish without supplemental feedings, you can go for a mix of (thawed) frozen foods and algae-based bottom feeder discs to keep your tailspot blenny happy.

It’s recommended to feed small portions at least twice a day. For variety, you could also see if your blenny is interested in seaweed sheets and blanched leafy greens such as spinach.

Tip: An underfed tailspot blenny might become desperate enough to pick at corals and invertebrate tankmates. If you see this happening, especially if your blenny’s belly appears sunken, it’s time to up the feedings. Also keep an eye on things to make sure this bottom dweller actually reaches the food before other fish do.


A reef aquarium filled with colorful fish like the tailspot blenny is a joy to see, whether it’s a 15 gallon desktop tank or a 150 office eyecatcher.

If you’re dreaming about your own reef but don’t know where to start, you can contact us here so we can design, build and maintain it for you.

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Marijke Puts

Hey! I'm Marijke, FantaSEA's resident blog writer. I'm a full-time pop science author, part-time PADI diver and snorkeler, and have been keeping fish since I was a kid. When I'm not writing fish care guides, you can usually find me underwater or trying to figure out how to fit more tanks into my house.

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