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Old 04-29-2003, 05:24 PM   #1
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Scooter Blennies

One of our scooter blenny's have seems to be not acting normal, I've notice over the last few days that he doesn't seem to move much and breathes heavy, he doesn't show any signs of disease.

Ok, I'm trying to get to this... without beating around the bush. We believe one of the scooters is female and the other male, they've always gotten along and the smaller one the female we believe has always ignored him, he'd chase her and show his fin when she'd get around. Well she's been changing colors, I'm not sure what that means, she'd go really light almost the color of the sand, then she'd go almost purple in the face. They've both been showing off their fins and moving the sand.
Anyone know if it is a sign of mating or if it is a sign of territory? If it is territory why now? They've gotten along for so long, yet she doesn't seem to attack him, just gets next to him and then they take turns showing off their fins.

Below is a pic of both of them, nope it's not a mirror image I actually caught them with both of their fins showing. This goes on all day long, I guess I'd be tired too.

Look forward to any help anyone can give me, not that I can do anything, just want to make sure he's ok, they are are favorite fish.
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:52 PM   #2
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Hmm, I thought that the males had the finnage and the females did not have nearly as much...I am not positive on that though. Either way, if it is two males, they would puff up that way to try to intimidate the other. As far as the color change, mine do that all the time as to what surface they are on...almost chameleon like.

It sure looks like two males to me though
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:53 PM   #3
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Yes it sounds like a mating dance/ritual to me. I have never witnessed it, but that is sure what it sounds like.

Quote:
I've notice over the last few days that he doesn't seem to move much and breathes heavy, he doesn't show any signs of disease.
Might be trying to attract the female, heavy breathing usually means gill flaring which is a common attraction method in many fish, although I can't say whether that is the case for dragonettes.

Main concern....is the fish still eating?
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:53 PM   #4
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As far as blenny's go I only know a little bit about them. I know that blenny's of the same sex will fight to death over territory(males mainly). If they have survived for a long time in the same tank, I am guessing they reached sexual maturity and trying to spawn. If they go to the top of the tank at all and "fight". That would be spawning.

How big of a tank are they in? your pics only show a 29gal tank.

I'd keep an eye on the "female" and just make sure she doesn't get torn to pieces if shes not ready. Might want to setup a hospital tank just in case.

That's about all I know, but I'm sure a few people here can give ya more information.

GL..
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Old 04-29-2003, 06:04 PM   #5
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The Synchiropus genus is in the family Callionymidae and are referred to as
the 'dragonets'. In general dragonets tend to be deep-water sand dwelling fish
from the continental shelves, slopes and sea knolls and live in depths of up to
900 meters. Synchiropus live nearly circumtropical and in temperate seas and
live around coral reefs and seagrass beds (the later is the preferred biotope).

All dragonets have the same body shape but differ wildly in coloration. They
are large headed small fish that barely get bigger than 6 cm. Their eyes are
set up high on the head and constantly sweep the landscape for food and
predators. The mouth is small and pointed and their feeding is reminiscent of
a pecking bird. Their skin is scaleless but protected from parasites by a thick
layer of mucus. It is assumed the mucus contains toxins with large amounts
being produced when the fish feels threaten. Most dragonets have a spine
located on the front of the operculum (front dorsal fin) that helps protect
them from predators - but is not used in fights between two fish of the same
species, it is more of a 'hard to swallow' defense for larger predators.

Both sexes have two dorsal fins, but the male's is either very elongated or
umbrellalike. Males can suddenly raise the dorsal during skirmishes and
courtship and this can be quite a sight due to its size. A strong instinct in
mating for these fish is to rise from the substrate to the surface in pairs (male
following the female) just before lights out. The pair swim with their ventral
sides together towards the surface with eggs and sperm being released as they
reach the pinnacle (2 meters above the sandbed insuring good dispersment
of the fertilized eggs). Afterwards they separate and return to sandbed to
bury themselves. This process makes it difficult to collect and rear eggs in the
aquarium.
I would look for this type of behavior at night and see what's up.
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Old 04-29-2003, 07:29 PM   #6
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The Blennies have been in the same tank for over 3 months. The tank is the same 29 gallon that we have pix posted on here.

Here's an update:
OK, he was sitting on the sand in the front of the tank and arched himself up & then excreated something mustard colored. Then he moved around, spotted the female & did his little raise the fin, wiggle & stir up the sand dance. The female came towards the mail & is lighter colored. She seems to be more active than she is. She still changes colors also. We couldn't get a picture of it because it happened so fast. My wife was embarrassed watching this (I'm at work right now)...she feels like she's invading thier privacy
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:26 PM   #7
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Unfortuntely he was found dead this morning.

He was found in the back of the tank (behind the LR). We're bummed. We had him (and the the other still living female we think) for about 3 months. We think it was the female just not leaving him alone. All the other fish are doing great too. He was eating last night & this week.

Thanks for all your input & advice on this!
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:44 PM   #8
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
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so sorry..
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:33 PM   #10
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sorry to hear about the loss.
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