Lawnmower Blenny Fish (Salarias fasciatus)

lawnmower blenny

Last updated on August 1st, 2022 at 05:42 pm

Salarias fasciatus, commonly known as the lawnmower blenny fish, is a species of combtooth blenny (a kind of blenny fish). This species was described by Quoy and Gaimard in 1824, originally under the genus Salarius, before moving them to the Blenniidae family. It inhabits coral reefs in the western Pacific Ocean, including those around Australia and Taiwan. It can reach at least 15 centimetres (6 in) in standard length, although reports of this fish reaching up to 20 cm are also known.

The lawnmower blenny fish (Salarias fasciatus) occurs in the western Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, as well as off the coast of northeastern South America from French Guiana to Suriname and Venezuela, including Trinidad and Tobago.

Salarias fasciatus is a great addition to any aquarium, as long as it is not your only inhabitant. These small fish are useful in cleaning up detritus and excess algae in an aquarium, but they also have other benefits. Lawnmower blennies are great to have around since they are generally easy to care for, with a life span of about four years.

Origin and description

lawnmower blenny

Salarias fasciatus, also known as lawnmower blenny fish, is a member of Family Blenniidae which is found in tropical marine waters. Some species of Salaria are used in aquariums and they are commonly known as lawnmower blennies because of their unique feeding habits. This fish swims up and down on ocean floors, eating algae off rocks and coral, which results in a rasping sound that resembles a lawnmower. This behavior earned them their common name among hobbyists.

Salarias fasciatus, commonly known as lawnmower blenny fish or monkeyface blenny, is a marine fish belonging to the family Blenniidae. It was first described by Edmond Hédouin and Maurice Kottelat in 2001. The body color of S. fasciatus is variable depending on where it is found.

Its body can be black with white spots, blue-green with dark stripes, and also a mix of yellowish-brown with dark brown markings. Its tail fin has 10 dorsal spines; 5 soft rays; 3 anal spines; 8-9 soft rays; its caudal peduncle is compressed dorsally but ventrally it rounds out into a concave triangle shape which becomes increasingly marked towards its upper part where one can see visible ridges and grooves that become shallower when viewed from behind.

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Species profile

lawnmower blenny

Lawnmower blennies are a species of fish in the genus Salarias. They are commonly known as lawnmower blennies due to their grazing behavior, which makes them look like small lawnmowers. The diet of these fish consists primarily of algae, but also includes zooplankton and phytoplankton.

Individual turf-eating habits seem to vary depending on local conditions such as predation threat from larger reef inhabitants or competition for food by herbivorous fishes.

Lawnmower blenny habitat

Lawnmower blennies are found throughout the tropical regions of Australia and Papua New Guinea. They inhabit rocky reefs near shore, where they feed on small invertebrates that live in close proximity to rock surfaces. Lawnmower blennies typically inhabit crevices or cracks between coral or rocks, hiding from predators and occasionally perching on outcroppings to hunt for food items.

Lawnmower blenny size

Salarias fasciatus can grow up to 6 inches (15 centimetres), species growing to a maximum length of 8 inches (20 centimetres) have also been seen.

Lawnmower blenny tank size

The minimum recommended tank size is 30 gallons, although bigger is always better.

Tank set up

The primary consideration for a Lawnmower Blenny fish is tank size. For two to three blennies, you should look for an aquarium of at least 30 gallons, which gives them plenty of room to swim and thrive in your tank. They are very active swimmers, and if you want to see their full potential, be sure to give them plenty of space.

It’s recommended that they share an aquarium with other blennies or with similarly sized territorial species such as clownfish, damselfish, or firefish. Many hobbyists keep lawnmower blennies in reef tanks because of their great interest in cleaning up algae from hard surfaces; however, it’s generally not recommended because they can become prey for fish like butterflyfish and tangs who feed on small invertebrates.

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Lawnmower blenny tank mates

There are a number of marine aquarium fish which are compatible with lawnmower blennies, as long as they are introduced to each other when they’re young. Some of these include clownfish, gobies, and cardinalfish. These fish will get along just fine with lawnmowers in a 75-gallon tank as long as there’s ample cover for them to hide in and plenty of live rock for them to feed on.

Lawnmower blenny breeding

lawnmower blenny

The lawnmower blenny fish is a very easy fish to breed. They are egg layers, which means that they will lay their eggs on an object in your tank and then let you raise them for them. They should be spawning when you bring them home, which means that there will be several egg spots on rocks, pipes, or other objects.

You can either place these eggs in another breeding pair’s tank and leave them with their parents or put them into your own aquarium. If you do choose to incubate these eggs yourself, it is best to remove any other fish from your aquarium as they will most likely eat all of the babies once they hatch out of their eggs. I would also suggest removing any plants from your aquarium, as well.

That way, if something goes wrong during incubation you won’t have to worry about losing plants too. Once hatched out of their eggs, these babies need to be fed 3-4 times per day for about 10 days before being able to live without parental care.

Are Lawnmower blenny aggressive or peaceful?

Though they may appear aggressive, lawnmower blennies are generally harmless and peaceful. However, they will defend themselves aggressively when threatened; when you see one at a store or in your fish tank, be careful not to handle them too much, or else they might bite you!

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To remove these fish from your tank when you no longer want them around, use a net to transfer them into another aquarium rather than trying to grab them. If you pick one up with your hands, it’s likely that it will nip at you for trying to steal its territory and food source.

Lawnmower blenny care

lawnmower blenny

Lawnmower blennies are relatively hardy. Because they come from a tropical environment, you may need to acclimate them by slowly introducing them to your tank’s water. This can be done over 24 hours and should help minimize their stress while also allowing them time to adapt to their new surroundings. Keep in mind that blennies can live up to eight years in captivity if provided with proper care, so it’s important not to be hasty when setting up their aquarium home!

Lawnmower blenny diet

A lawnmower blenny is primarily an herbivore, but it will also eat small crustaceans and scavenge for meaty leftovers. It’s a common sight to see them swimming along reefs with their mouth agape, slurping up whatever they can find. Though they don’t typically catch live prey, some lawnmower blennies may eat other fish eggs if they come upon them while out, grazing on algae.

Water parameters

lawnmower blenny

Aquariums should have a pH of 8.1 – 8.4, a temperature of 77 – 82°F (25 – 28°C) and a specific gravity of 1.020 – 1.025 at 77°F (25°C). The aquarium should be large enough to allow these fish to swim around with ease; it is also recommended that there are numerous hiding places in case they feel threatened.

A lawnmower blenny will eat any fish that can fit into its mouth; therefore tank mates need to be chosen carefully. These fish will eat shrimp, krill, worms, and any other meaty food items that can fit into their mouths.

Lawnmower blenny lifespan

The lifespan of Salarias fasciatus is thought to be between 2 to 4 years on average.

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Parasites and diseases

Often, parasites will latch onto a fish and attach to its organs. This can lead to major health issues if not treated correctly, as it could clog up a fish’s gills or weaken its immune system, which can end up being fatal. Some other times, parasites and diseases have no visible effect on a fish’s outward appearance—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t taking a serious toll on your fish’s health.

Some of the parasites and diseases that can affect your lawnmower blenny fish are Marine Ich, Hexamita, Cryptocaryoniasis, Oodinium, Trichodina. Consult with a reputable veterinarian if you notice any symptoms similar to these.


These blennies have many predators in their natural habitat, including eels, moray eels, triggerfish, surgeonfish, and lionfish. These fish feed mainly on algae that grow on coral reefs where they reside; however, these blennies are also known to feed on small invertebrates. Some examples of these include copepods, amphipods, and ophiuroids.

Some of its predators are moray eels and lionfish.

Do lawnmower blenny make good pets?

Yes. These fish are small, brightly colored, and easy to care for, which makes them appealing pets. However, they are not suited for everyone; aquarium conditions require frequent monitoring and maintenance. The lawnmower blenny fish is an herbivore that does best in a planted tank with no aggressive tank mates.

If you’re planning on keeping these fish as pets, be sure to choose species carefully. Some lawnmower blennies may bite or injure their owners if they feel threatened.