Write-Up Wednesday: Midas Blenny

The Midas Blenny (Ecsenius midas). A fish who is well into “glamour without the bill” territory with a golden yellow body and sparkling blue eyes. While the Midas Blenny is beautifully colored, what is most striking about the fish is the unique swimming motion which closely resembles an eel. When swimming, the anterior (rear) part of the fish hangs below the rest of the body and the body moves in a ribbon-like motion. 

The Midas Blenny also spends a lot of the day perching on rocks instead of swimming in the water column. It is known to hide in crevices and will back itself into a hiding spot. If you’ve ever seen a fish swim backwards, it is quite a fun experience.

Midas Blenny

Midas Blenny

Unlike other blennies that will only eat algae, the Midas Blenny will easily take to frozen food. I’ve found the Midas Blenny to leave other blennies alone and I still recommend you only keep one blennie in a tank unless the tank is over 90 gallons (340L). For you nano tank owners, the Midas Blenny is right up your alley as it will be comfortable in a nano tank that is at least 30 gallons (113L)

The Midas Blennie is on my list of great beginner fish and even tanks filled with rare or more advanced fish are incomplete until a Midas Blenny is in the system.

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Comments for this article (17)

  • Helen says:

    I like the midas: unfortunately he doesn’t seem to care for my orchid dotty backs or firefish. The one I had went to a new home because he just bullied the other fish so badly.

  • Bob says:

    I had a Midas Blenny for a while. Mine was quite the fish. He showboated around my 40 gallon breeder. Any Wrasses I ever tried keeping with him would escape down my overflow one way or another. Make sure it has a lot of room! This fish has a big appetite for open space.

  • Ed Nudd says:

    I have a 210 gallon tank with one lawnmower blenny will it get along with the Midas?

  • Ed Nudd…very likely yes. The lawnmower will probably let the Midas know when the Midas is getting too close. Otherwise they will ignore each other.

  • Interesting Helen. I have 3x dottybacks in my 450g tank and my Midas ignores them all

  • Robert Humphrey says:

    I have a Midas who bothers no one in a 120g. I have 6 different wrasses, 4 purple firefish and a neon dottyback and they get along. But I also have a smith’s, harp and bicolor flame blenny in with him. Never seen any trouble. the Midas is cool the way he backs into crevices. I would highly recommend one 4 your tank.

  • Harry says:

    This came at a great time. I am debating between Midas or bi-color blenny for my 90 gallons.
    I have shrimp, wrasse, fire fish, and flame angel.

  • Darrell says:

    Do they get along with a yellow watchman gobbie?

  • Kevin says:

    Would it be ok in my 75g with a tailspot blenny?

  • James says:

    I have a bicolor blenny; great fish. Eats algae and flake food. Swims with the same pattern. Darts in a out of small caves in the rock work mimicking a moray eel.
    Smart, funny fish.

  • Shawn says:

    I have a Tail Spot Blenny in my 38G and he does great. I’ve got him accustomed to eating flake and pellet food. I also have a Royal Gramma in the tank; he can be fresh to the Tail Spot if he gets too close.

  • Mike Wilding says:

    I have had two Midas bennies now and on each occasion they were fine for a while (months) but then gradually wasted away to had a very thin body and ultimately died. I love the fish but don’t want to lose another so have resisted the temptation to get another. I alternate daily feed with frozen marine mix (brine shrimp/mysis/lobster eggs….) and marine flake mix. Am I missing a trick with this fish as I often hear they are easy to keep. BTW, my other fish are doing fine.

  • John Giaccotto says:

    Hey mark , you said you had dottybacks in your 450 reef tank. What kind of dottybacks are they and I thought they eat snails and hermits and even ornamental shrimp. What is your experience with them?? cause I assume you have shrimp and many different cleanup crew members.

  • John…I had a dillectus dottiback but it got eaten by my seabae anemone. I’ve had springerii, neon and orchid.

  • jarek says:

    Hi Would you recommend Midas with Algae Blenny? Do you think it will be a problem?
    Also, how many fish would you keep in 58 gallon? I already have 2 Clowns ,Algae Blenny and Mc Coskers Wrasse. Any recommendations on adding more? Thx for any help!!!!

  • Luke Riehm says:

    According to my understanding, Midas blennies are far from peaceful. About a week ago, I purchased this demon for $40(most expensive fish or coral I’ve bought). An hour of acclimation went by, and everything seemed to go fine. It hid in the rocks, and I thought it was angelic. Yesterday, I noticed that my Bangaii Cardinalfish’s pectoral fin was shredded. I dismissed it as probably just my clownfish getting a bit aggressive at feeding time. It wasn’t until today, that the Midas Blenny’s wrath occurred. I was feeding like normal, but than noticed my Midas blenny biting my other clownfish. It then, sped over to my typical aggressive clownfish, and bit him too. My clownfish swam away, but it’s wrath wasn’t over. It started nipping at my Xenia, yes you read this correctly. It started to coral nip. That was the last straw, and I destroyed my rock work to expose this fish out in the open. After it hid in every rock and I took all the rocks out, I couldn’t find my sixline wrasse. After 5 minutes of searching, he lodged himself in between one of my rocks( I suspect to avoid the Midas Blenny) and suffocated. Yes, that was kinda my fault, but that poor fish was tortured into a rock, that later suffocated. I was so distraught, and I vigorously caught the demon. The reason I’m commenting this is to prevent this from happening to any of you. Maybe this was just a bad blenny, and I’m just simply misjudging the species, but one thing is for sure. I’m not getting a Midas Blenny again.

  • Sam says:

    Mark, could you comment on Midas Blenny aggression? He was to go into a tank with *generally* peaceable fish (though the Red Sea Clownfish has been known to have an attitude). I was also going to add an Orchid Dottyback.

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