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FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones/Hosts 2

Related FAQs: Clownfish/Anemones 1, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Anemones 4, Clownfish/Hosts 5, Clownfish/Hosts 6, Clownfish/Hosts 7, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases Brooklynellosis, Breeding Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Maroon Clowns, Anemones

A Stichodactyla haddoni, Polymnus Clownfish plus world in the muck.

Clownfish and anemones Hello  <Hello Mike> I have been trying to setup a percula clownfish breeding tank. Water was taken out of my other tank with high quality, (tested at home and at the LFS) I have an anemone that I have had for two months now, as well as 6 different clowns that turned there tails away from it. I've tried 3 different anemones and still no luck. Is there a way to help the them get along?<No, just nature> When I got the anemone it had a mated pair swimming in it at the time. Only three clowns are in the tank now, what I assume are a mated pair (they where swimming and playing with each other at the LFS, and have been doing so for a while (both are probably 11 months old) and a small juv. I've been told that they can take a few weeks to start using it, but not sure when to try a new one. are the three fish alright or should I have just the two?  <Three are fine. Mike, I've post a link here that you should read first. This will more than likely answer your questions on clownfish/anemone compatibility. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanmfaq2.htm.>  Thank you for any help.  <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Clownfish is loving my anemone to death - 12/7/03 Hello, I looked through the FAQs, but didn't see my situation, so I hope you can help. <Let me see what I can do> I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank that has been set-up for about 15 months.  It has about 75 lbs of live rock  and 5 small fish including  a sebae clown, peculiar clown <percula>, 2 damsels, Jawfish, Pseudochromis (strawberry color). <Interesting fish mix>  I've had a carpet anemone since the beginning, and a couple of feather dusters.  Also a medium hermit and 2 small hermit crabs. <A carpet eh??> My issues have to do with the sebae anemone (8" or so) and the sebae clown fish (2"), the clown has been in the tank for about 12 months, the anemone was added about 3 weeks ago.  The clown took a liking to it right away, <somewhat of an instinctive choice> almost seems like it defends it and doesn't leave it. <As in nature. Part of the Clownfish's genetic set of instincts so to speak> Sleeps in it and all. <Becomes a home> But after about 2 weeks, my anemone started not extending all its tentacles (the anemone has purple tips and a green inner body).  Turns upside down sometimes also. <not attaching?> The clown continues to agitate the anemone. <Maybe. This is completely natural behavior though. You need to pick up the various books on clownfish and anemone interaction. "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson is a good book. I really enjoy "Anemone  Fishes and their host sea Anemones" by Daphne Fautin and Gerald Allen.> Almost like it is pissing the anemone off. <Could be but to be sure I think there be sure that there is not something else awry here. Maybe the anemone is not healthy from the get go?? Has the anemone been eating?? What about lighting conditions?> Like I said it was fine the first couple of weeks, seemed like the 2 got along, but since, the anemone, couldn't be bothered. <I think its decline is due to some other issue but I wouldn't rule out the clownfish is just "loving it to death". I can't really offer anything in the way of advice per se but I would check through various reef boards and post the question to the many anemone/clownfish keepers.> Any advice?  Have you seen this before?  I had a smaller sebae anemone a couple months ago, and the same thing happened. <Hmmmm>  The anemone died, so I'm worried about this one. <I would be too. It is expected that the anemone and clownfish are compatible at first glance, but.....Do realize though, that it is not uncommon that clownfish can and do harm or irritate their hosts to death. Not sure about specifics or why one anemone take to the clownfish (and vice versa) and why others seem to decline symbiosis with clownfish (or vice versa) but it has been noted many times over. Check around the reef boards is my only advice. ~Paul> Please help. Thanks very much, Geoff

Clowns and my LTA Hey Bob!  Dude from Miami again!  How are you bro? <Fine, thanks> Sorry, got another question for ya - I just put in my new LTA (see pic) last night and he/she is doing terrific!  (Pleasant surprise!)  Anyway, my question is:  Will my Nemo (Amphiprion ocellaris) hang with this LTA and form a relationship? <Mmm, a good possibility, though these two species are not found in natural association in the wild> I know its only been one day, and it will take time, but I'm wondering what the chances are of them hooking up.  (Nemo seems mostly interested in eating and looking cute)  And, if not, can I get a second, different type of clown that will go to the LTA, and if I can, which type of clown would be my best choice? <Yes... please take a look at the compatibility chart here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm>   I've read through your FAQ's and articles on clowns, but still a little uncertain.  Will a second clown compete with Nemo, or try to kill him? <A possibility... how big is this system? If more than sixty gallons, you've got more than a 50:50 chance they'll "get along"> Or will they sex off and maybe even share the anemone if the second one is bigger than Nemo (Nemo's quite small)? <Very unlikely> I know lots of questions/details - sorry, but I trust your opinion(s), not really anyone else's! Thanks again for all your help and the ultimate site. Dude <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

RE: Clowns and my LTA Thanks for the response Bob!  Yeah, I have just a 55 gallon with Ecosystem filtration.  I figure a saddleback clown would be my best bet for a second, but I've also read on your FAQ's that Clarkiis go to the LTA as well. Another possibility I guess would be to get another slightly larger Nemo to pair them up, since you said its a good possibility that the ocellaris will hook up with the LTA despite not being naturally assc'd in the wild............. Thanks so much again Bob for all your help!! Dude <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Would it, Could it, Work for Me? >My tank has been set up for a couple of months now and I still have the brown algae on the side of my tank... >>This is a very young set up, and this diatomaceous bloom (assuming this is what you have) is not only common but entirely normal.  Let it starve itself out, don't over clean the tank in an attempt to rid yourself of it, you're in fact only ridding yourself of the species of benthic, nitrifying bacteria you MUST have. >...would turbo snails or hermit crabs work for my tank? >>I wouldn't purchase these for this purpose at this time. >I have a stars and stripes puffer, damsels, yellow tang, and a Clark's clownfish.... would they work or just get eaten? >>I would expect the puffer to at least try to taste the snails and hermits. >And also my Clark's clownfish is somehow moving all the sand to the one side of my tank to the point where you can see the glass at the bottom of the tank and I have a lot of sand in there. >>Lots of clowns do this.  They're arranging the living room, didn't you know? >I was thinking about a fake anemone, as buying a real anemone I don't think would work in my tank because of the lighting and the other fish, so do you know anybody  who had experiences with fake anemones? >>Even if you purchased a live anemone, there are no guarantees that the clown will host it.  I would wager that the fake anemone would look real pretty in there, and that the clown would ignore it.  However, I've seen clowns host lift tubes, powerheads, and other hardware in the tank.. so ya never know! >My LFS sells them and I thought I would check here before making the purchase. >><Note to you and others reading, please, don't send us queries in "net speak".> >I was hoping if I got the anemone he would be occupied and leave the sand alone. >>Well.. you can hope, can't you?  Is it likely.. I don't think so myself, but, I certainly could be wrong. >Hope this makes sense..  lol.....thanks >>Yes, it certainly does make sense.  Unfortunately, we can lead our fish to water, but we can't make them behave. (Oh, do beHAVE!)  You can ask the LFS for the option of returning it if the fish doesn't take to it in a couple of weeks.  Marina

Clownfish and Corals  Hi guys!  We are starting to re-stock our soft corals (after losing many to bleaching after this year's heat wave in the UK).<purchase a chiller!!!> However, our two resident clown fish have moved in to our newest colt coral. The poor thing had only been in the tank a few days before the clowns decided that it was a des res. It hasn't even had a chance to open up fully and now, not surprisingly, spends its days and nights in a contracted lump while the clown fish bounce up and down on it!<lol> I am surprised that the clown fish have chosen it because it is very small and cannot possibly offer any protection! <yea> My worry is that because the coral is not getting a chance to open up, that it is not feeding and will, therefore, ascend to the great reef in the sky. We are buying more corals this weekend so, hopefully, the clowns may find something else to bounce in.<agreed, you might want to place the colt coral somewhere else, because this could definitely prevent it from feeding.. if worse comes to worse I would remove the clowns temporarily> We've even bought them a fake anemone to try and entice them out but they have ignored it completely. Along with this anemone we have got quite a few fake corals from "Nature's Image". They look really good but I have no idea how to clean them and wondered if you knew at all. There doesn't seem to be a website for them and our LFS, who sold them to us, didn't know how they should be cleaned. Any ideas?<I also do not know how to clean them...I would try using a soft bristle tooth brush or something similar> Finally, one coral in our LFS that I particularly like and want to buy, has two orange clown fish living in it. I don't want to make them homeless if possible and am willing to buy them along with the coral, but I am not sure if mixing clown fish is a good idea.<its a bad idea> Our two existing ones are black and white (tank bred ones from TMC) and have been in our tank since the start over two years ago. What do you think?<keep the two you have, and do not purchase anymore>  I suppose I could leave the coral for them and buy something else but it is a beautiful specimen!<Purchase the coral if you wish, but do not purchase the clowns along with it or you may have a problem.. especially if they are different species of clownfish>  Thanks very much, as always!<your welcome, IanB>

- Maroon clownfish and Carpet Anemone - I know the carpet anemone is not the preferred home of the carpet anemone. <I'm guessing by the title of your email you meant that the carpet anemone is not the preferred home of the Maroon Clownfish... yes?> But I would like to encourage the behaviour anyway. <No guarantees it will work.> I know Bob Fenner has some advice how to do it, but I can't find it on the site. <You've got me there. I just asked Bob and he has no recollection of such advice. You never know... if this is the only choice the fish has, it may very well take up residence in your carpet anemone. Cheers, J -- >

-Bad maroon, bad maroon!!!- I had a bubble-tipped anemone.  For some reason, it died very suddenly. <Ooo, not cool.> Ever since then (about a week) my maroon clown has tried taking to my bubble coral.  I think it keeps getting stung, and its fins keep getting torn. Also I don't want it to harm my bubble coral, which I have had for 4 years now!  Is there anything I can do?  <I would suggest moving the maroon to a quarantine tank to 1) separate it from doing any harm (or getting harmed) by the bubble and 2) to watch for any potential infections from the torn fins.> Buy a new bubble tipped anemone? <Well, if you can rule out that your tank was the problem that caused it's demise. Run a full series of water tests (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, salinity, alk), do a good sized water change (test before this!), and maybe run the spec's of your tank by us.> Remove the fish from the coral, or vice-versa?  Please help before one or both dies on me! <Get that clown out! Hope this helps, -Kevin> Thanks!

Crazy Clownfish... Hello All, <Hello there! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I have a nutty full grown tomato clown of two years (he is full grown at two right?) <Pretty darn close, if not full grown...> I don't keep anemone's because they are near impossible to keep and sting everything. <Not true all the time, but I sometimes wish more hobbyists would share your "phobia", for the sake of anemones!> My tomato stays directly above the bubble coral (softball size) and bobs and weaves like some drunk bi-plane pilot.  I know he enjoys the "current" and the coral but... Is he destined to croak being the daredevil he is? Thanks in advance. Steve in California <Well, Steve- those clowns are a wacky bunch! I would not be overly concerned. However, the Bubble Corals do possess some rather aggressive stinging tentacles at night, which could pose a threat to the fish. However, I think that the fish will probably avoid sleeping there...Personally, I'd be more concerned about the potential damage to the coral caused by the fish's antics! Keep an eye on things...Don't go crazy, though! Regards, Scott F>

May I have your Table? Hi Bob, My name is Pavaphon. Now I'm writing some article about clownfish and sea anemone to publish here in Thailand.  Can I use your table about the anemones and clownfish to publish too? <Yes. I put it together from others literature, listing what species they had found in association in the wild> If you have msn messenger please add me so we can talk more convenient hope you will reply soon Thank you, Pavaphon <Bob Fenner> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm

-New BTA waitin' for some pals- Hello WWM anemone-guru: <Recently (as in 10 seconds ago) proclaimed anemone guru, Kevin, here today> I have a small (4" diameter) BTA that is doing very well after its rescue (purchase) from the LFS. I've heard that one should wait a while before introducing clowns (I'm thinking Perculas) to give the BTA time to firmly anchor itself, get adjusted, and most importantly, get somewhat bigger than 4". <A good idea> The advice I got says that clowns can actually smother a BTA to death if the BTA is too small when the clowns start to 'nest' in it. <They can really stress it out if it's not well adjusted to tank conditions. Clowns can dish some pretty tough love!> Do you have any advice on this matter, as far as time-in-tank or minimum size the BTA should reach before introducing the clowns? <Since you've got nothing but time, I would wait till it grows to 5-6" in diameter. This way it will have been well established and happy provided you have the appropriate system> Also, I feed the BTA small bits of Sweetwater zooplankton and shrimp every other day, and it seems to gobble this stuff up. Any change to my manual feeding regimen? <Frequent small feedings are fine. The more you feed BTA's, the faster they grow and ultimately divide. That said, a once or twice weekly feeding is enough.> I really feed the fish in the tank as little as possible, so there's not a lot of detritus floating around for the BTA to snag. <They're not interested in detritus, but keep them fish fat and healthy too! Good luck - Kevin> Great! Thanks a bunch, SLC

-Clownfish not accepting anemone- Dear all: <Hello, Kevin here> I bought a very nice anemone for my percula clownfish family that consists in two adults and a juvenile. Anemone is (I think) a Stichodactyla gigantean, is really big, almost 40 cm diameter, colored in light brown with white lines and short tentacles. In Dealer's place, there was a clownfish very comfortable with the anemone and I thought that my Clownfishes will be also. <Not always so> I didn't buy the clownfish also because my family was already set and maybe can cause problems the new arrival. The problem is my Clownfishes not even go nearer from the anemone and I don't now what to do with them. I tried to push them to the place the anemone is, box them together with a transparent box, changed the place to feed the fishes on top of the anemone and nothing. <Forcing them into the anemone will do nothing, it really has to be their decision. There is no guarantee that a clown will adopt an anemone as a host even if it was it's natural host. Sometimes it just takes a really long time as they cautiously "test" it by bumping into it and swimming away.> They are exactly in the opposite corner of the aquarium (I have a tank of 120 gall.) next to surface. They usually swim around together, maybe swim on top of anemone but they always go back to their corner. This situation is happening since June. I think they are very comfortable and don't feel threatened by any other fish so they don't feel the need to hide in the anemone. <Clowns may or may not adopt regardless of any other aggression in the tank. Hopefully some day they will dive right in!> What can I do? <Not much...> Do I have to let them, will they eventually go to the anemone? <Hopefully!> Will my anemone dye if there is no clownfish to clean it up? <Nope. Clowns and anemones are inseparable in the wild because one will quickly become food without the other. Provided that a mysterious school of butterflies doesn't cruising by to chow your anemone, it will be just fine.>  Is it wise to add another type of clownfish to take care of the anemone? <No, there will likely be aggression between the resident clowns and the new different kind. You're also not guaranteed to hit a match the second time either...> I also have also a Premnas clownfish (a bully one) with his anemone (bubble tipped anemone) and is wonderful to see them together. <If you already have two types of clowns in the tank, definitely don't add any more.> Other members of my aquarium are two blue devil's, one yellow tail blue devil, a bicolor blenny, a very new Canary Wrasse (two days in), some hermits crabs (4), some corals (hard and softs), sponges, a banded shrimp, a Lysmata shrimp, lots of live rock (near 50 kg) and an Ophiura star, two urchins and crabs and other stuff arrived in live rock, all of them healthy. <Sounds good> Thank you very much in advance <You are very welcome! -Kevin> Karina Geldstein

Clownfish accepting an anemone Hi, Just thought I would send in an observation that may be some help to people trying to encourage their clown to accept an anemone. I have two juvenile tank raised false perculas that never met a anemone before, and a 10 inch Heteractis Malu, (not a preferred host by perculas), all of which have been in the tank for three months, and the perculas not shown much interest in the anemone. This tank is on my desk at work so I spend a lot of time watching it. Three days ago, I allowed the sun to shine on the anemone, as it can do for a couple of hours per day if I pull the curtain. Immediately the clowns showed a lot of interest, and to my great joy, after around 1/2 hour or so one moved in. Since then, they have spent about 1/2 their time in the anemone, and 1/2 not. However, each day since then, I have allowed the sun to shine on the tank around two hours daily, and while the sun is shining on it, the clowns seem really attracted to the anemone, and spend all their time in it. The anemone seems to have benefited from the attention also, its tentacles have lengthened, and it appears more healthy. I will update this email in a couple of weeks. Cheers, Alastair <Thank you for this input. Even the newest public aquariums and culture facilities make use of "the real thing" (Sol) to some extent. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish, anemones, and surrogates Dear Crew, <Msieu Barry> I have read all I can stomach <Ha!> on the subject of clowns and their hosts as well as potential surrogates.  I am In the process of setting up two 55 gallon tanks to rear yellow-striped maroon clowns (P. biaculeatus) and ocellaris (A. ocellaris) clowns.  So far, no problem.  For aesthetic reasons, I would like to include and E. quad or surrogate for the Premnas and an elegance coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei) or Euphyllia spp. <The Euphyllia genus is a better choice for both host and symbiont> to act as a host for the ocellaris.  The problem is that Wilkerson warns against anemones (though she does think E. quads are relatively hardy), period. <Agreed>   Wilkerson suggests surrogates such as C. jardinei and Euphyllia.  Steve Pro seems to agree and even has pictures of his tank including a maroon clown hosted by an elegance coral.   <Can be done> However, Anthony Calfo states that the clownfish (A. percula in the FAQ) will ultimately kill the coral and both coral and clown could potentially die from the encounter.   <Also a possibility> I am a physician so I understand that, in any field, experts often have different and opposing opinions and it seems that this subject is no different. <A "good" scientific attitude> Is there any consensus in this area? <Mmm, no. Other than casual observation that Amphiprionines can/will host in various and diverse cnidarians in captivity> I am not looking for guarantees, nor am I intending to "stir the pot" among the WWM crew, I would just like some sound advice and maybe a little assurance.  Should I just give up the dream altogether and make the surrogates out of rubber bands?  Please help!   <Well, what you propose with all species mentioned can work. I encourage you to offer two species of Caryophyllids... and to be careful in your selection, preventative dip/bath and conditioning of the Catalaphyllia (they're not very "tough" these days)> Bob, I love your book and I refer to it often.  Calfo, I'm looking forward to getting you book soon.  Steve Pro, great tank pics!  I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Stuart Berry <Thank you for writing and your kind words. Bob Fenner>

Damsels and anemone question Hello. I just purchased a long tentacle anemone and have an odd question. I have two false perculas and a few other fish in my aquarium and the behavior I am seeing seems to be reversed. The clowns want to host with the anemone but I have a 3 spot domino damsel that will not let them near the anemone and he is actually swimming through it and staying right by it. Is this normal behavior for a damsel? <Mmm, yes for all the Damsels which are the Clownfishes (they're a subfamily, Amphiprionae, within the Damsel family Pomacentridae) and the Three Spot/Domino, Dascyllus trimaculatus. Please see the pic and coverage here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dascyllu.htm> I wasn't aware that damsels had any interest in anemone's or for that matter even hosted with them. Is there anything I can do to deter this behavior or will he keep attacking the two Perc's? <Likely so, too likely, to continue harassing them. I would remove one or the other. Bob Fenner> Thanks you,                   Angel

Two different species clownfish in one anemone! Hi all! You won't believe it!!! I have a Clarkii and a True Maroon (which amazingly never fights)!!!  Best part of all, I just bought an anemone Not sure what it is but it is brown with long tentacles and a cream tapered tip...(Good specimen... very sticky and healthy!)...  Both the Clarkii and the True Maroon are SHARING the anemone!!! No fights!!! Can this be possible???  The amazing thing is that my yellow clown goby is coming in and out, joining in the fun as well...  Both the Clarkii and True Maroon are bringing food to the Anemone... Darn!  Where's the digicam when you needed it most!<yeah it sounds cool> (I got a 10000k marine PC light and a actinic blue) - 20 gallon, I placed the anemone near the top...  I think it should be ok.... <How many watts is this light? I would say you need something in the 96 watt range for this 20 gallon aquarium-do read more about anemones on WWM> Cheers!<good luck, IanB> Caleb

- Clownfish not Adopting Anemone... - Hello, About 3 days ago I purchased two false Perc's and a long tentacle anemone.  The guy who owns the LFS and who himself has a 300 gallon saltwater tank said that this anemone should work as a host for the fish. <Keyword: Should. There's no guarantees when it comes to compatibility.> So far after 3 days the fish are completely ignoring the anemone.  So far the only thing paying any attention to the anemone is the cleaner shrimp.  Should I wait a bit longer before I start complaining to the guy at the LFS about bad advice? <Just walk right in and knock him out! Actually, it probably should work, you need to give it some time. Some clowns, for reasons unknown, will decide not to adopt an anemone even if they are found with it naturally. It's a bummer, but like I said, there's no guarantees with this stuff.> Or should I be more patient and try a few tricks to see if the fish will take the anemone.  I've searched for ideas on how to get the clown fish to take the anemone and so far the only one I find is the flash light idea you had suggested, do you guys know of anymore? <Try the sit and wait technique, it just might work. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks Eddie

Lonely Anemone? Hi there, <Hello! Scott F. with you today!> I was looking around for information on sea anemones and found this page with your interviews, answers and questions. <Glad to hear that!> I live in Mexico and have a nice marine aquarium with a large maroon clown. It has golden bars instead of  the common white stripes... <Pretty!> Anyways, my question is about two perculas recently introduced to the tank. I have a large anemone for them but they have lost their interest in it, and I don't now what to do, maybe if I try your illumination trick at night... I dunno, well hope you can help me thanks, Alin <Well, Alin- I don't think it's a problem at all if the Percs don't associate with the anemone...Many are tank-raised, and have never even seen one before! Despite the public's perception, clownfish in general don't need an anemone to be happy and live long lives... We get lots of emails like this, so it is quite common, actually! I'd simply enjoy the perculas, and continue to provide the highest level of care for the anemone...And enjoy the anemone, too! Maybe one day the fish might move in- maybe not. Either way- you can still enjoy each! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

-Fighting or getting freekay?- Hi Bob & Crew: <Howdy, Kevin here this morning> I've had two tank raised Ocellaris Clowns and a Bubble Tip Anemone for about 6 months.   When I first put the BTA in I had only one clown (the larger one.)   He didn't go near the BTA.   Then he seemed depressed so I added another smaller Ocellaris and it snapped him out of it, they seemed to bond right away.   Then the larger clown started venturing into the BTA slowly.   He was just getting into it when all of a sudden the smaller clown took over not letting the larger into the BTA.   Now for over a month they have been nose to nose looking like they are arguing and going to nip ALL DAY LONG.   They haven't hurt each other but it gets rather annoying.  <I think they call that "makin looove"> They used to get along nicely. <They're getting along much nicer than you ever imagined...> I don't know whether to get another BTA (I'd rather not) or just let it play out and endure the tension it creates in the tank.   I read that clowns will share an anemone if their mated.    Any suggestions would be appreciated. <They're in the process of becoming a mated pair, keep an eye out for eggs in the coming months. -Kevin>  Thanks, Rich

Tank raised Nemos still gonna love up to an anemone? Hi Y'all, <Hey!> Hope all is beautifully well. <That it is, same to you.> Will tank raised percula's go to anemones? <With clownfish (both wild and tank raised) there's no 100% guarantee that they will, but it is very likely depending on what kind of anemone you have. I'd suggest an E. quadricolor.>I have heard they are harder to combine with anemone's? Any truth? <Nope, no truth there.> We are trying to be earth friendly by buying tank raised whenever possible:-) <And I commend you for it> Also we have a Bubbletip and it is the only one in the tank will a percula? <You read my mind about what kind of anemone to get didn't you?> I know they are not paired with bubble tips naturally, but I have seen them and other clown's guard weirder stuff (i.e. filter intake tubes, certain soft tentacled corals etc.) <Hehe, yeah, you should be all set.> Thoughts? <Lots, even some reef related! Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks C. Evans

Are clowns xeniaphiles? <Hi Neil, PF with you this evening> Hey guys, thanks for the great advice as always. Quick question, what's this I'm reading about xenia hosting clowns? I have one tank that's full of xenia, no fish. I've always thought it would be cool to have a pair of clowns, but never bothered because I only have one high light SPS tank which I don't want to put an anemone in. <A very wise policy, anemones can play havoc with a reef tank.> I know clowns don't need a host, but...  anyway, is the whole xenia/clown thing true? <I wouldn't doubt it.> What types of clowns take to xenia? <That I'm not sure of. I know my false Percs have hosted to several things: a powerhead, a Caribbean Rock anemone, and a branching hammer> will tank raised ones take too? <Mine are tank raised, think that answers your question> Is this even a pseudo-symbiotic behavior I'd want to encourage? <I don't think the clowns would really harm the xenia much (it grows like a weed after all), and may actually encourage the growth (my hammer eats a fair amount of clown poop). Getting the clowns to host, now that's another story. It took me about a week to get them into the anemone (their first host). I Photoshopped a clown and a rock anemone together and taped the picture to the outside of the tank. They got the idea eventually. I'd recommend a pair of tank raised false Percs - they're easily obtainable, reef friendly, and hardy. Watch out though, if they start to host they'll go after your hand if you intrude into their territory. The female in my tank is always "savaging" my arm if I go into their end of the tank. HTH, PF> Thanks again, Neil

Sleeping on xenia = all night massage! Here's a goofy question:  My Clarkii has completely abandoned his BTA (which he used to visit each night) and now sleeps among the Pulsing Xenia! <Promiscuous litter critter isn't it?> Is this potentially bad for the Xenia? <Nah> During the day he pays no attention to either the Xenia or the BTA.  Go figure... <Fish find their sleeping spots in the weirdest places, sometimes it's in a piece of coral. Right now my hippo tang is fast asleep crammed upside down into a big cup Montipora. I wonder if sleeping on xenia is like sleeping on one of those big leather vibrating massage chairs? Happy reefing! -Kevin> Ana M. Saavedra

Clown hosting, pseudo-symbiotic behavior or simply neurotic? Hey guys, Thanks for the great advice as always.   <No problem Neil!> Quick question. What's this I'm reading about Xenia hosting clowns?   <Just Xenia?  LOL!  "Hosting" or establishing what the fish thinks is such a relationship, is a natural instinct developed over many millennia, thus when your pet clown fish doesn't have an anemone, it acts out it's instinctive behavior with something similar, it can't really help it. This can be Xenia, a Sarcophyton Mushroom or a power head.> I have one tank that's full of Xenia, no fish. I've always thought it would be cool to have a pair of clowns, but never bothered because I only have one high light SPS tank which I don't want to put an anemone in.  I know clowns don't need a host, but...  anyway, is the whole xenia/clown thing true? <Or others, even some of the plastic copies, no need for an anemone.> What types of clowns take to xenia? <This is largely individual, although some are more defensive of their "host" and the instinct may be stronger in them than others. This isn't a learned behavior but totally instinctive, although strengthened by conditions (presence of mates, interlopers, anemone moving, etc.) so tank raising doesn't change the genetic makeup of the fish, and the resulting behavior. They are still clown fish with clown fish behaviors.> Will tank raised ones take to it too?  Is this even a pseudo-symbiotic behavior I'd want to encourage? Thanks again, Neil <It's up to you, If I were, I would use something less prone to disturbance and change than Xenia, like a toadstool or even a plastic copy of an anemone (like from Walt Smith), but it can be done and the clown may or may not host on what you want...but will likely pick something, even a corner, rock, etc. No worries, clowns are good fun. Make sure you QT.  Craig>

Anchor coral hurtin' and hostin'... AKA "clowns in my coral" Hi <not yet... but thanks for asking> I have a Anchor coral Euphyllia the problem is that at times the some of the coral looks shriveled and then seems fine the shriveled part is not always the same It does not extend as much as it did ,I have 2 common clowns who play in it are there responsible? <that is certainly a primary problem... it is unnaturally abrasive and repetitive in the confines of an aquarium. In time, it will wear or tear the Euphylliid perhaps causing an infection and possibly leading to the coral's death. They need to be separated> Water stats are  PH 8.2-8.3 Ammo 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5 Calcium 430-450 KH 12 is this to high <its fine but on the high end... avoid creeping higher. Just like you calcium... be careful not to abuse supplements> Phos 0 Thanks for your help Tim <best regards, Anthony>

A Clown clowning around I spent some considerable time last night observing my clown.  Yes, it is hovering near a powerhead. <Well, that's definitely hosting behavior.> But it also appears as though he is "paralyzed from the waist down".  By this I mean that his swimming motion is not the normal "waggle".  It ate well, "defended" it's area from the goby (goby?) but all without wiggling it's tail!  It's front half is nice and chubby, its back half is not exactly thin, but not chubby either. <I did a google search, and came up with nada as far as matching symptoms went.> As to your question on buffering, I don't; I have checked my ph both before the lights come on, and after they have been on for most of their cycle and get the same 8.2 reading. I can purchase an alk test kit and check it and take corrective action if you feel that may be the problem. <No, I don't think that's the issue.> I sincerely appreciate your help.  My q tank has long been put away, but I would be happy to set it up again if I need to treat Mr. Clown for a problem.   <Well, I think it's come to that. I've asked some other crew members, and the consensus is it sounds like either a disease or an internal parasite. What follows is what Marina kindly supplied: I'm gonna give you what I have here: http://www.biofilter.com/diseases.htm http://www.wonbrothers.com/product/DrAqua/parasitic_diseases.htm http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed3.htm http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm http://www.fishbase.org (try a search there) And finally, do a search on RDO's library http://www.reefs.org/library Good Luck! Marina> Debbie <I hope that helps Debbie, sorry I can't do more. PF>

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Anemones? Hi Anthony and Bob (and all else who work hard at this amazing site), <You're "slumming it" with Scott F. tonight! LOL!> I recently bought a really nice (and really expensive) mated pair of true percula clownfish, hoping that they would set up shop with the green carpet anemone that I have set up in a large tank (basically by itself, with the exception of some reef dwelling crabs and others, along with power compact lighting).  <Great to keep clowns and anemones in a dedicated aquarium that suits their special needs!> Both the clownfish and carpet are doing great; the carpet eats regularly, has a firm hold in the corner of the tank, and seems to "react" to all the small amphipods and other creatures at night becoming a "moving carpet" of sorts as its tentacles go crazy...is it actually catching prey here?  <Sounds like it's "reacting" more to stimuli, as opposed to truly engaging in a feeding behavior, but you never know...Check it out carefully after dark with a flashlight and red lens...Should prove interesting!> Anyway, the LFS dude told me that Percs are known in the wild to pair up with carpets...which I see is partially correct from your site, if the carpet is gigantea (?) which I do believe mine is.  Here's the weird part...today I was cleaning the glass with a mag float, and one of the clownfish got spooked and dove into the carpet anemone.  At first I was very excited as these fish have not yet come in contact with the anemone (big tank, small/medium anemone in corner, I was waiting patiently), but then I noticed that the clownfish was not moving at all!  The carpet then began to close up around the clown!  Wasting no time, I grabbed the handy turkey baster and gently raised one of the flaps that held down the clown.  It swam out quite fast, and quickly rejoined its mate.  The clown is fine, and was eating fine (he does have some of the anemone "mucus" on him, but it doesn't seem to bother him, and I expect it to wash off in the current).  Have you ever observed this behavior with an anemone and a clown?  <Yep- I have witnessed this first hand, and have heard of similar things happening with other hobbyists. Clownfish are not "automatically" immune to the anemone's stinging nematocysts. They go through a sort of "acclimation process" before ultimately settling in to live. In fact, this is very important, because a considerable number of clowns that are on the market today are captive bred, and , many have never seen an anemone! You'd be surprised at the number of emails on a regular basis from hobbyists that are frustrated because their clownfish will not "bed down"" into "their" anemone!> I was under the impression that clowns were quite immune to the stinging cells and could wiggle free, but I never underestimate my carpet, as it is quite strong.  Could it be possible that the clown simply was held too firmly by the carpet??  <A possibility, as the clown could have become "stuck" in the nematocysts...> I was quite sure that these clowns would feel at home with the carpet, but now I am having second thoughts after having seen this latest display of strength by the carpet.  The clowns are constantly swimming near the anemone, but never actually "try it out"...although it is early yet...but can they "handle" this anemone?  Is this ever a problem between clowns and anenomes?  <I'm sure that they can "handle it", once they become acclimated> I would really like to keep the Percs in this tank, but I also have two other tanks in which they could go, and I could switch in some ocellaris, which might make cheaper "test fish" for the carpet, although I am reluctant to make the switch (I hate stressing fish).  If anything, I guess I could always just leave the clowns in, and simply wait to see, although I am a bit worried about them getting eaten.  <I'd leave them in there, myself. The fishes will either adapt to the anemone, or simply avoid it...Just give them time, and observe carefully> Any help you could give me in this matter would be great. Hoping that clowns and carpets can just get along. Paullee <Don't we all! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

New Anemone And Clownfish... Hi, Yesterday I bought a 1.5 inch pink skunk and a long tentacle anemone, I didn't put in quarantine the anemone (just acclimatizing) and the fish was isolated in a hospital tank. <Good procedure!> The clown looks great, bright and alert, the anemone moved itself to a mid position in the tank (I put it at night) this morning I found it attached to a rock and full open. Ok, 3 questions: 1)How to feed, how often, with? the anemone? <I'd feed the anemone several times a week with meaty "marine-origin" foods, like krill, squid, clam, etc...> 2)After 2 weeks? of quarantine, can I expect the pink skunk will get in symbiosis with the anemone? <Quarantine should last a minimum of 3 weeks, and there is simply no guarantee that a clownfish will take up residence in an anemone...Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't (how's that for an answer, huh?)...But, as we know- fishes have a mind of their own and won't always conform to our standards, unfortunately... the best you can do is provide a good environment, food, lighting, and hope or the best> 3)In my tank 200 lts- I have only one yellow surgeon, one yellow tail damsel (1.5") and blue devil damsel (3"), now the clown, do I have to expect some kind of aggression from the damsels to the little clown? <Quite possible...damsels tend to be a bit less than welcoming to new fishes, particularly clownfish...Keep an eye on the new clownfish...> Thank you, if you have another observation, I will be grateful Carlos D?z <Well, Carlos...just keep an eye on things, make sure that you provide optimum conditions for the anemone, and you should be successful...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Sarcophyton leather and percula clowns 3/27/03 Hello again Anthony, Hope you are well! <cheers Jenny, with hope for you in kind> You may or may not remember advising me to remove my two percula clowns from my FOWLR tank because my Lunare Wrasse would eat them eventually. (You will be pleased to hear that the Harlequin Wrasse is still holding his own in this tank and actually pinches food from the Lunare's mouth and then runs like a bat out of hell! Quite funny to watch as peace usually reigns except for these odd skirmishes brought on by himself being greedy!) <heehee... I do recall> Sorry I've wandered, couldn't resist telling you that! Back to the clowns. So I put them in my reef tank and they immediately took to my Sarcophyton  (who also owes it's life to you from long ago when it had a necrotic infection). I thought this was an o.k. arrangement because the leather keeps it's polyps open most all of the time. <agreed... usually OK> It has now started to take them in once evening comes and it also starts to shrink dramatically. It's always done this to a lesser degree after dark but not before lights out as it's doing now. <hmm... may have nothing to do with the clowns. Has there been a recent improvement in light or quality of light> New lamps, wiped down crusty bulbs, improved clarity (carbon use after a long absence), etc?> My first thought was PH but I don't think that is the problem as the lowest reading I get is 8.2 usually it's 8.4 <excellent> and the other corals/mushrooms and fish all seem happy. The clowns 'sleep' right inside the leather at night and I can now see a 'bald' patch in the centre approx 1 to 1 1/2 inches in size, no polyps and a yellow/cream colour instead of  it's normal flesh colour of pink . <still not that big of a deal... its simply forming a callus> I didn't notice this before because the leather expands to about 10/12 inches across in the daytime and all the other polyps have hidden the centre from view. Is this bald patch due to irritation from the clowns or is it a coincidence and another problem looms (it doesn't look like the necrotic infection the leather had before.) <agreed... likely from the clowns but no worries> Are the clowns nightly attentions going to kill my leather if I leave them in the reef tank  or doesn't it matter as long as the bald patch stays in the centre and gets no bigger? <agreed> On a different note I just thought I would tell you that I have finally got my new tank. (you sent me diagrams etc for drilling as I didn't have your book then). <excellent!> if you remember I had loads of trouble with Watford Aquarium who was going  to build it. I got a different tank manufacturer to build it for me and he has put in 4 * 1.5 inch bulkheads and built me a long overflow shelf just like your drawing . He has given me a 5yr guarantee and built a superb cabinet as well. I am in the process of decorating the room before setting it up as it's going nowhere once it's filled! I can hardly wait and I hope you won't mind if I need to ask for more advice when the time comes. <looking forward to hearing from you again, my friend> Many thanks for your valued advice  - Jenny <a pleasure. Kind regards, Anthony>

Maroon clownfish fighting over an anemone! ...and coral questions (03/05/03) hi guys <Ananda here today...> let me thank you first for a very informative site. I have a question about clownfish and a colt coral. i switched to saltwater from fresh water because i am a great fan of the symbiotic relationship between clowns and anemone. <Uh-oh. This symbiotic relationship is best enjoyed in the wild!> After a lot of unsuccessful attempts I got two gold striped maroon clowns. After putting them in a quarantine tank for 3-4 days I placed them in the display tank yesterday where I already have a 4-5 inch bubble tip. <Argh. Any new fish should be in quarantine for a month, minimum. It can take that long for dormant ich infestations to become apparent.> They were exploring the tank together and it looked beautiful. I knew maroon clowns were aggressive but I saw to what extent yesterday. The two were nudging each other in the quarantine tank but I can say that they were living peacefully. The clowns are both about 2 inches. <When buying a pair of clowns, you should always get one that is larger than the other. The larger will become the female if it is not already female. Maroon clowns are more difficult to pair than most; as a relative beginner with marine fish, I would not get maroon clowns that were not already paired.> One of the clown is dark and more aggressive ( i think its the female) and the other one is light colored (probably male?). They are the same size but could they still be male and female. They were in different tanks at the store but they just got it too. <At that size, they are still juveniles. The more aggressive one may become the female. Also, I would recommend against buying fish that have just arrived at the store, as they are likely still quite stressed from shipping.> When I put them in the display tank the light colored one found the anemone first and it was going into it and I was really excited to see that but then the other clown wanted the anemone too. And this is when all the trouble started. They clipped each others fins and spiraled down from the top. And the aggressive one was chasing the other around. Today the aggressive one is in the anemone and the other one is at the other end of the tank but there is no chasing today. i just wanted to know if this is normal and the clowns will finally come together. <It's not guaranteed that they will. This is *the* most aggressive species of clownfish.> Or should I buy another bubble anemone for the other clown. <No! I would not suggest buying anemones at all! Please read more about these creatures in the articles and FAQs on the WetWebMedia site.> Also the light colored clown is not accepting any food from day one. Anything I can do beside keep feeding it. <Yes. I would consider returning it to the store. If the store will not take it back, and if you are determined to keep these two fish together, I would suggest you put the more aggressive clownfish back in the quarantine tank for several days and let the less aggressive fish get established.> These are the only fish I have right now but I am thinking of maybe adding an angel and/or yellow tang. <Neither is appropriate at this time.> I have a 30 gallon long tank with 1.024 sg and temperature between 78-82. I have 1 96 watt actinic power compact light and 1 96 watt 7100k power compact light. I am also switching the light interval to only 11 hrs a day. <This tank is too small for a pair of maroon clowns. I have a tank this size, and I've seen maroon clowns so large I wouldn't put even *one* of them in there, even if it was the only fish in the tank. I see no reason to cut the lighting duration...anemones need more light, not less.> I also have a green open brain coral, bubble coral, torch coral, xenia, several starburst coral, elegant moon polyp, Ricordea mushroom and various mushroom coral. <Keeping these corals in the same tank with an anemone is not a good idea - in the ocean, anemones are not found near corals. Also, there are several corals in this group that your clownfish might host with; in some cases (the stony corals), to the corals' detriment.> Also I recently bought a colt coral. It was brownish when I got it 2 weeks ago but now it seems to be turning white. Can you tell me what could be the reason for this? Is it due to stress of moving or do I have too much light in my aquarium? <If it has just started to turn white recently (i.e., within a couple of days), it is probably not moving stress. It might be too much light, if you have the coral near the top of the tank. A more likely possibility, however, is that it is suffering from the chemicals released by the other corals in the tank. You might try using carbon in a power filter to cut down on the toxins the various corals release.> I do see some growth in the coral. Please help me with this. I am thinking of using a marker to paint the plastic cover of the light just over the colt coral black to let only little amount of light through. <Hmmm. A better option than using the marker over the plastic light cover would be to add several layers of nylon window screening between the light and the coral. Then you can add or remove layers as necessary to adjust the light level in that area.> Also I have a green fluorescent mushroom I have had for about 2 months. It was a magnificent green color but some of it divided and maybe ever since then it is very light colored. Its only green at the end of the day when only the actinic is on. <Sounds like it may have expelled some of its zooxanthellae. This, too, may be a victim of the coral chemical warfare in your tank.> I am sorry to barge you with so many questions but I hope you will be able to help me some. thanks Gaurav <You're welcome. Do check out the various articles and FAQs on anemones and corals…. -Ananda>

Getting Those Darned Clowns To Settle Down! I've taken your advice against anemones. <Better to hold off on anemones until you can supply them with absolutely optimal conditions, IMO. No shame in making a good decision!> So, I'm attempting to assimilate my semi-paired Ocellaris with a toadstool mushroom coral (8 "hands"). <I've seen them inhabit these corals many times...quite an interesting sight!> I'm currently using the flashlight trick; to no-avail, so far. Any other advice, or specific coral you'd suggest. <Well, the bottom line with Clownfishes is that they will inhabit whatever niche within the aquarium suits their needs-be it an anemone, coral, bed of macroalgae, etc...It's their call! Not much us humans can do to encourage them...That's the joy (and frustration, I guess) of nature...living creatures tend to follow their own wishes, not ours! Enjoy these fishes nonetheless!> Ordered your book and are looking forward to it! Chaz <You'll love the book...I refer to my copy constantly...And learn something new each time I open it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hey No Clowning Around!  3/2/03 I have a couple questions for you.<Shoot> My first one is about removing detritus in my aquarium. Every time I do a water change I find  myself sucking up all the "stuff" off the bottom. Also in a few spots on the sand some brown algae starts to grow by the end of the day. I am always mixing up the sand where brown to stop it from happening but the next day it is back. I have just started using carbon for about a week now but do not see any changes with that.<How much water are you changing during a water change?> I have been reading your "Sand Sifters" section and still have questions on what to get to get rid of those two problems. Would a Sand Sifting Star work to get rid of detritus and the brown algae growth?<Yes!> Or what would be the best for this?<Do you have a skimmer?  Skimmers remove large amounts of wastes that add to algae reproduction.> The tank is a 30 gallon. I have about 1 1/2 inches of sugar sized sand. Right now I have 3 species of Damsels. Second question: In the future I am thinking about getting a Dwarf Lionfish. Would you recommend getting one?<You can add one but kiss your damsels goodbye.  Lions are also called "Damsel-Hoovers".> Also what is the largest that they grow to?<6.7 inches> If not a Lionfish, a mated pair of True Perculas. In the tank now I have a Condylactis Anemone.<What kinda lighting do you have? Anemones need strong lights. Plus most Clowns won't host in a "Condy" anemone, there from the Atlantic.  Clowns are from the Pacific.> Would you recommend removing it before I get the Clowns or would it matter?<Most clowns won't even touch this anemone.> What would be the best anemone for True Percula Clowns to host in.<Well, I need more info on your lights, before I would suggest an anemone. BTW, clowns do fine w/o an anemone to live in.> I do not plan on purchasing one just wondering for maybe future thoughts.<Well in that case, Sebae Anemones will host True Perc's.  But Sebae's are very hard to keep, most don't survive in an aquarium.> I have looked at your chart and there are several. Is there one that True Perculas will use as a host more often than others?<Sebae> Sorry for all the questions!<No problem!  Hope this helps!  Phil>              Stichodactyla and clowns I purchased two 1" Ocellaris clowns yesterday.  I've read that carpet ( Stichodactyla gigantea ) anemones are the ones most likely to be a match, but that they are pretty aggressive.  I've got a 100-gallon reef tank with about 150 lbs of live rock.  My other inhabitants are 3 yellow tangs, cleaner wrasse, orange watchman (diamond) goby, longnose hawkfish , cleaner shrimp, Xenia , colt coral, arrow crab, emerald crab, various hermits, and assorted snails. Would you recommend Stichodactyla gigantea or another anemone? <I do not recommend this genus to many aquarists. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and on to the sections, FAQs on carpet anemones, over to the FAQs on Clownfishes and anemones... Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone Recommendations? I've read the information on your site (it's invaluable--thanks very much!); in fact, I'm in one of the sections right now.  Because of the information on carpet anemones, I was wary of getting one.  I wanted an anemone 1) because I think that they're wonderful creatures and 2) as a "friend" for my clowns.  I was leaning toward carpets because they make the best match with Ocellaris, but I'm thinking that the cons outweigh the pros <You and I are in agreement> (I don't want to jeopardize my corals or other tank inhabitants--or the anemone).  Is there a "safe" anemone that my clowns might hook up with? <Yes. Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish and anemones 2/17/03 I have an anemone right now and it is doing great. I feed it daily and it has plenty of light, 110 watts in a 25 gallon. But in reply you did not say what kind of anemone would be the best for a pair of True Perculas. <"I don't really recommend anemones, they are difficult to keep and many quite toxic when dying, and the clowns simply do not need an anemone." This is especially true for a tank as small as 25 gallons with hope of keeping a Pacific host species that inevitably gets large> The one I have now is a Condylactis. I would take that one out to have the kind wanted by True Perculas. <good to hear... mixing anemone species is a bit dangerous> Also you say no powerheads with anemones? Why is that? <yikes... fundamentals here. Please (!) read through the many pages of FAQs and articles on the site. Start navigating from the home page at wetwebmedia.com to answer your question specifically... powerheads are too difficult to safely guard from slurping a motile anemone in and killing it. All anemones move in time> Thanks, Chris <best regards, Anthony>

About my Amphiprion ocellaris and host Anemone(s) Hello Bob, <You got Don tonight> Man!!! I have read almost the entire section on Anemones and Clownfish and am stumped as to what is going on in my tank. I have 3 Ocellaris and two Bubble Tip Anemones. One of which has taken a nose dive and is just flattish disk with very small tentacles on the edges. It has colour and takes food (small amounts given; sea plankton), but has a hard time holding onto it. I am pretty sure it is dieing,<Yes, sad, but most do> but it seems to come back slowly. My other is healthy as far as I now. It eats and fills out and shows all of the natural signs of health. <Most likely it will slowly (or not so slowly) fallow the others> Tank set-up is; a Protein Skimmer and a Wet/Dry reef system which is built up for a 5 foot tank. I am running a 3 foot tank (approx 130 Lt. Top and 50-60 Lt. in the sump) I have three fluorescents (which I know are not enough and am going for something bigger in my next tank) <In the meantime, are you really going to sacrifice another anemone? Although you don't give tank depth/light type> My levels are all 0 etc. Now my issue is I just got a Magnificent for my clowns. <Please, take it back> They are a small family with the set hierarchy and were with a magnificent that had died before I purchased them. I read an article about captive bread clownfish and stated habitual habits due to the captive breeding. Mine swim in the top half of the tank <Yep, mine do too> ( they have ventured down, but only the two larger ones). They sleep at the top corners and never go into the reef. <Ditto again> They have been pestered by yellow tail Damsels, Humbugs (both removed from the tank since) and chased by a Coral Beauty. They have been with the Bubble tips for over 2 months and nothing. I have feed the Anemone first hoping to get the clowns to go for the food and nada. So I get this magnificent in hopes it will all work out. It has been in the tank for 2 days and I do not expect much at this point. Would it make a difference providing something new as I have? At the shop it had a few different Ocellaris swimming into it and looked very pink and healthy. Since I got into the hobby it has been one of the most interesting things I have done in years. I really wanted to work out the symbiotic relationship and am not so frustrated as I am curious. Any answers would be greatly appreciated. And GOOD JOB with the resources. It is hard to find good information that matches. <Joe, time to bite the bullet. Take the anemones to someone who can care for them, as the clowns don't NEED the anemone or vice-versa. In the meantime, research the anemone, get the equipment and knowledge to keep them properly and realize your goal. Good Luck, Don> Joe

Seductive Fish Photos- Clowns and Anemones 2/8/03 Hello, I am SO STOKED!!!! <nice to meet you... I'm Anthony. What have you done with Randy? <G>> After a couple of weeks, my tomato clown has taken to my bubble-tip anemone! This is so weird! I was searching the web for pics of clownfish to print out and tape to the glass near the anemone so that the fish would get "jealous" and try to settle into the anemone. <the weirder thing is that I have heard of this working before> I was doing this for a few days with a pic of a tomato clown, and decided to try another clownfish pic just a few minutes ago. So I printed out a  false perc and cut it out and walked over to the tank, about to stick it to the glass. It was like synchronicity or something when I saw the real tomato clownfish snuggling into the BTA!!! <Synchronicity... great... now I've got Sting/Police songs in my head> A tear built up in my eye...almost. <I'm feeling Faklempt just reading it> I was wondering if it would ever adopt the anemone...the BTA does not appear big enough...but I guess it will grow, eventually. The tomato clown is nipping at the tentacles and is pretty aggressive, probably trying to "train" the anemone to get used to it?!? <lots of theories about this including rasping for food or rasping off stinging cells> Anyway, I've had this tank for almost 9 years or so and just last year decided to go "reef" style. I've had clowns and FL Condy anemones, but never tried to keep symbiotic creatures. I never was "expecting" the two to come together, but hoped. I had to drop everything, do my happy dance, <do you have video to share?... the happy dance... not the clownfish> then share this with you guys FIRST! <Its appreciated in more ways than you know <G>> Actually I tried to reach a buddy of mine on his cell phone, but the line was busy. But I thought you guys would like to hear of this union. Sharing some happy news with all of you is the least I can do for the much help and advice you have given me over the past several months. And Anthony, if you remember, I stuck with my water changes and the calcium is down from >800 to <500 as of today. <excellent... as they say, "Dilution is the Solution to Pollution> Thank you, Randy M. Yniguez, MA "Keep on-a-reefin' baby" <rock on my brother, Anthony>

Anemones, clownfish just got  two percula clownfish, one is brown and white and the other is orange and white, would like to buy a anemone for them but want to get one that they will actually use. as some anemone's these fish don't use .have you any suggestions please and a rough guide as to how much they cost. many <<Hi Dave, Don't want to rain on your parade, but...I think that most here would recommend against purchasing an anemone solely for the companionship of a clown. Far to high a percentage of anenomes die in a short time without excellent husbandry. If you are really set on going this route, please research carefully, starting here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and beyond. I think I remember a simple compatibility chart at www.marinedepot.com. BTW, an anemone is NOT necessary to the well being of a percula clown.>> thanks Dave. <<Your welcome, Don>>

- Anemone & Clownfish Pairing - Hello again WWM...again I am here with questions, this time about my reef tank! <Greetings, JasonC here at your service.> I'm still new to reef keeping.  Converted my 75g FOWLR to a reef 8 months ago because I wanted some Clownfishes and corals.   Since then, I have been trying to find an anemone that will host my clowns.  I was told (perhaps incorrectly?) that a blue carpet and Haitian would host my two tank-raised false Percs, but such was not the case. <The carpet should have worked for the ocellaris clown, can take some time though.> The blue was a TORTURE to me, the Haitian was evil, <Evil? Anemones have no intentions one way or the other...> and my LFS let me trade them in for a sebae and red brain coral.  The clowns are still NOT interested in the sebae.  Now, I have a friend who loves my pseudo-Percs and would be willing to swap her tank-raised Clarkii for my pair.  Will the Clarkii take to my sebae?  The sebae is not very large...maybe 4-" and her clown is fairly big at about 2.5 to 3". <This could be a function of your lighting...>   Too big a fish?  Do tank-raised clowns ignore anemone hosts more often? <I've heard some anecdotal evidence of this but there's no scientific proof as yet.> Have I just been given bad advice on the kinds of anemones to choose? <You started out with a good choice, but there's just no way to really know why a clown will or won't take a certain anemone that they typically pair with in the wild.> I really want a clown/anemone relationship in my tank--and really like the Percs and Clarkii's personalities, but am about to give up trying. <Honestly... keeping anemones is very difficult at best, and your clowns will do just fine without them.> I don't want to keep trading in fish/anemones.  If I missed this answer already in FAQs, it's only because my screen started pulsing at me due to the late hour of this email. <Well... when the screen stops pulsing, check out this page which has a matrix of clowns and anemones and which you can expect to match to which: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm > Thanks AGAIN, Vicki <Cheers, J -- >

Clowns and Anemones Respected sir Well sir what you told me to do I am just doing that. I had read in you faq that yellow tail damsels are not suitable for 30 a gallon tank.  So I changed my list adding a blue damsel and a pair of clown fish and lion fish.  Well sir I am thinking of putting a anemone but in your faq I have read that 30 gallon is small for anemone.  I also want to know that malu anemone is hardiest one or not. I also want to know that without anemone clown can live or not.  I will be waiting for your reply. Monty <Hi Monty, I would advise against getting an anemone until you are more experienced and your tank is better established.  Clown fish do not require anemone hosts to thrive in captivity.  Make sure you have enough room for the Damsel and clown pair. If you get an anemone in the future the hardiest choice is a bubble tip  (Entacmaea Quadricolor) as a clone from a captive system, not from the wild.  Best wishes, Craig>

Percula Clowns Hey Guys, I asked a question awhile back about drilling holes for a 55 gallon tank and 2 1" holes were recommended so I decided why not drill 3 (just in case) <Not bad logic> but hey that has nothing to do with my question. I want to get a pair of True Percula clowns once I have it set up and thoroughly cycled with live rock. I wanted to know what kind of anemone would possibly host the clowns (I have no intention of buying the anemone for quite sometime but would like to start researching its needs now). <According to Wilkerson's "Clownfish" H. magnifica, H. crispa, and S. gigantea are natural hosts for true Percula's, but all bets are off in aquariums.> Also what kind of lighting would this type of anemone require. <Depends on the anemone.> I don't plan on putting much else in the tank except some algae grazers and while I'm here what would you recommend for that purpose. <Various snails> I just think the 55 gallon tank would be nice with just the pair of clowns an anemone and whatever might grow on the rock. <A species tank is best for anemones. Do archive the wealth of information available on anemones on www.WetWebMedia.com. Please understand that anemone keeping is not easy and should only be attempt if you accept responsibility that comes with knowing that the vast majority of these wonderful creatures die soon after removal from the wild. The captive care of anemones needs to be approached thoughtfully and deliberately.> Thanks, Ryan <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Anemones How we doing boys? <So far, so good> In my last e-mail I was discussing my tank which is a 3 month cycled 10gal marine tank with about 7lb of live rock in it and 3 hermits and 3 snails. I was originally wanting to place a small to medium Entacmaea quadricolor (what is the size difference in them when you are ordering them from say ffexpress?) <Ask them... most are "squeezed down" for shipping... and can be one, two, three hand size on initial expansion... in the wild, much larger.> in with a symbiotic Maroon Clown. My lighting is a 10,000K day tube and a Actinic 03 tube which I was told is enough for this shallow tank but however is was mentioned to me that a Heteractis crispa would be a better choice with a TR perc. clown. From articles I read I though the Sebae is kinda hard to keep? <Harder on average than Entacmaea> Like if they don't replenish the zooxanthellae in them then they are doomed to perish. From all articles I read the Entacmaea quadricolor is a much hardier species. Am I being misinformed? Any help is great. The sight I went to on WWM had a Aprils fools about a Betta. The pic had been changed so I couldn't understand the joke (I'm thinking Betta in a anemone?) <A joke, yes> Any who, so there wasn't the info I was looking for . Any input would be marvelous. Oh, one more question. Why is the Amphiprion bicinctus clown so hard to find and when it is found it is thought the roof expensive. <Simply because of its origin... all come out of the Red Sea... a long way, expensive to ship to the West> They are one of the most beautiful clown I have ever seen I would love to have one. Thanks for the help, you guys have a great weekend. John (Fin) <You as well my friend. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish question I couldn't see anything about this but I currently have a tomato clown that loves a bubble tip type anemone (not sure what kind. It was attached to the same rock I got my red zebra anemone and the person just gave it to me rather than hurt it by taking it off. It really had its foot in the rock.) I also have a Sebae anemone as well and wanted to get a Sebae clownfish in the hopes it will like its fellow named anemone to help take care of it. <A bunch to state here... the "Sebae" anemone (Heteractis crispa) is not a natural symbiont with the real Sebae Clown. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm and the FAQs beyond... but/and the Sebae Clown is very rare in the trade... mostly Clarkii Clowns are sold as this species... a bit confusing, eh? Please read over WWM on the two groups...> The clown and his anemone are on the opposite end of the Sabae(55 gallon tank) and I know clowns can be territorial (nips at me every time I need to put my hand in there) but other than being territorial towards their area do they actually not like other species of clown? <Mmm, yes> Am I getting into trouble by introducing a different kind of clownfish? <Maybe... if the tank is psychologically crowded otherwise... they may well fight terrifically> If its not a good idea is it ok to get another tomato clown and hope it likes the Sebae.. Oh ya, since I bring up the fact are the odds with me that the Sebae clownfish will more likely stick the Sebae anemone.. <No... about the same likelihood any new species of Amphiprionines will/would be challenged... Bob Fenner> Sorry for the long email. By the way.. Maybe I looked in the wrong area for the information.. If there is a correct place to look can you just kick the link in for future reference. Thanks, WillyG <Try the Google search feature on the bottom of the Home Page of WWM and at the bottom of each Index, Sub-Index... Bob Fenner>

Clown pair Hi, Bob, Happy holidays! <And to you> I've got an H. crispa and a E. quadricolor and am planning on adding a rose E. quadricolor. For a reef tank with a number of angels and a modest number of peaceable fish, what do you think is the most reasonable clownfish pair to add if I don't want clownfish terrorizing my tank? <Tank raised Perculas or Ocellaris> The tank is 210G. I've currently got two maroons which might be in the process of bonding. However, I've heard maroons can get to be a real problem when larger. <Yes... can be quite territorial... particularly in small quarters, being first, larger than other fishes...> The bigger one is just over an inch. At the moment, they are peaceful enough but I don't expect them to stay that way. If the question sounds familiar, I did mention this in passing in another email but didn't quite ask it this way. I think I gave you the choice of a false or true percula over a maroon. I'm wondering if I should consider other clowns. Both false and true Percs are more likely to host in the H. crispa, right? <Not necessarily> My hope is my BTAs will split so I'd prefer something calmer than a maroon that would host with the BTAs. I'm just keeping my H. crispa 'cause it's doing so well and it's a shame to take it back when it seems to be thriving. I assume in this size tank it would be a very bad idea to attempt to different clown species. (Too bad, I like clowns.) Do you think the Percs would host in BTAs if there was no H. crispa? <Perhaps> I've read that the false Percs aren't likely to take to BTAs. Not sure about the true Percs. All in all, I'd prefer to go with pairings that occur in the wild. I have checked out your anemone/clownfish chart. Nothing really leaps out as a good choice except true Percs with the H. crispa. However, if you think the true Percs will be just as bossy as the maroons, I might stick with the latter. I do have an Asfur in the tank which is presently a coward ;-) But in an earlier thread, you indicated he is likely to become the boss of the tank and might squelch some aggression. Not sure if that would extend to a bossy clown pair. <Extends to all in relation with the Angel> Speaking of the Asfur, I've been wondering about P. Asfur versus P. Maculosus for some time. You and most books say the two look very similar but in every picture of the two that I've seen, including your own, the Asfurs look more iridescent and the Maculosus look more dull. I've seen the Asfurs in person and they seem to match the pictures but I haven't seen Maculosus in person so I can't compare. Is there really a difference between the two aside from the tail? <Yes...> Or do they all get kind of flat-colored when they get very large? Thanks! Marc <More depends on size, how they were raised. Bob Fenner>

DIY Anemone Hey Bob!! Just reading your Q & A for the day and I came across a very interesting  idea you prescribed for someone. You said to cut up rubber bands and use  a safe adhesive to glue them all together in order to provide an  "anemone" for clown fish.  I thought this idea was GREAT!! A couple of questions: 1. What do I glue the rubber bands too? 2. Will a Clown Trigger or a Emperor Angelfish try to eat the rubber bands?  3. How long should the Rubber bands be?  4. Should it be located in moving water or can it be behind a pile of rocks or coral where there is little movement? One more question for you: Will Yellow Polyps or Feather Dusters be safe  in a tank with a Clown trigger or a Emperor Angel? Thanks so much for your time Bob!! Clint  <<Thanks for the call for clarification. First, let me give credit for where it's due... I heard the possibility as an anecdote from Daphne Fautin (the anemone expert... I think she's at the U. of Kansas) while we were giving pitches at a hobby get together in Baltimore this year (99)... Answers 1) My fave choice would be a shallow Petri dish, but a flat piece of plastic will do, like a base of a pop bottle cut off with a hack saw. 2) I wouldn't put anything past the category of what a Clown Trigger would "try out", but I think it would lose interest (as would an angel)... however, the trigger would definitely try the Clownfishes.... 3) For function's sake a half inch or so, for appearance's sake maybe twice, three times that. 4) I'd place the contraption wherever it provided best viewing for you. The fish will find, use it wherever it is placed. Bob Fenner>>

Clownfish (and H. magnifica anemone/s) Hello again! How many Clownfishes (ocellaris) and anemones (Heteractis magnifica) should I keep in my 90 gallon cube tank (27.5")? <I would stick with one anemone and a pair of clownfish, plus other fishes, too.> Regards, Darek <Have a nice weekend! -Steven Pro>

Condylactis and Captive Clowns Greetings Bob, Anthony and crew. I am writing not with a question, but to share some observations I have made regarding captive born clowns and Condylactis anemones. I am hoping to clear some confusion some readers might have about the notion that captive bred clownfish will take on almost anything as a host, and that Condylactis being cheap and easy to care for would make a good host. <I have stated... many times... a few decades back that this mix (though it can happen in captivity) is ill-warranted... and often leads to trouble (as in ingestion of the Clowns, death of the anemone)> In general, Condylactis do not host clownfish. In aquariums, Condylactis anemones can be a threat to clownfish. Clownfish can be an equal threat to Condylactis anemones. I have attempted to keep two separate Condylactis anemones with my captive reared maroon clown, with the same results each time... a dead anemone. (Resist the urge to comment here and read on.) <Oops, okay> I have witnessed my maroon clown take each anemone as a surrogate, a somewhat commonplace among captive clowns from what my research shows. In close observation of this relationship, it is easy to see that this is by no means a symbiotic affair. My clownfish eager for a safe host, instantly warms up to the Condylactis. The Condylactis however, shows no shared emotions for the clown. The anemone withdrawals tentacles touched by the clown, and exhibits a general dislike of the clowns affection.  Over the course of a few days my clown becomes aggravated and forceful toward the anemone. The anemone responds to the pushing and poking by becoming more withdrawn, closing up for hours. The clown persists on any given chance that the anemone is open. After a few days I find a limp, deflated Condylactis with a torn foot on the bottom of my tank. This is the second time this has happened to me. The first time the anemone was torn closer to the outside ring of tentacles. I would like to note that in both instances the anemones were on live rock surfaces that may have had sharp areas, so I am sure that the clown did not bite or otherwise intentionally kill the anemone. The tear wounds were rather long unlike a fish bite or a hermit claw, and consistent with having been rubbed against a somewhat sharp surface. I theorize that some Condylactis may take a kill or be killed attitude towards this abuse, and this could explain the reports of clownfish being eaten by Condylactis anemones. After my experiences I would have to disagree with Joyce Wilkerson's suggestion that a Condylactis may be an acceptable surrogate for Clownfishes. If readers must witness fish swimming through their Condylactis anemone without being devoured, I suggest they ignore clownfish altogether and go for a diamond blenny. Otherwise, forget keeping the Condylactis and get a tank raised bubble tip. That is assuming of course one has the proper equipment to care for it. If anyone disbelieves what I have observed, I am sure I can repeat this behavior and document it, though I would rather not risk another anemone. To sum it all up, Condylactis + Clownfish = Bad Idea. Readers be warned. -Randy <Thank you for your input. Bob Fenner>

Clown Habitat Hello again Mr. Fenner, I wanted to get your opinion an a Clown Habitat tank I am considering. I'm thinking about trying a 25G Eclipse tank w/2 small pairs of clowns and 2 or 3 anemones as hosts.  <Mmm, one pair (or a few and remove the others when two become obviously paired), and one anemone. This is all this size system can realistically/practically support> The clowns I like are: Black perculas (if I can find tank raised), <They're almost all tank bred, raised. Wild collected ones are virtually unknown (expensive) outside Australia> pink or orange skunks, Maldives or saddleback. According to Scott Michaels book, these species are the least likely to attack other Clownfishes. Which 2 groups would you suggest. Anemones I would consider are: Bubbletip, ritteri, sebae or long tentacle. I would love hear your choices/selections. <They're posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance again. Craig

Clown Troubles Hello gang. I have been a reader of the site for quite some time now and always look through it if I have an issue. I've had a pair of mated maroon clowns for a year now. Recently my anemone withered away and had to be discarded. Although, I am very fond of the maroons, the tank is stuffed with some cool coral (and a purple tang). Lately the female maroon wags her tail vigorously at the bottom gravel (crushed coral) over and over and in different places. Needless to say, the water is always stirred up (120 gallons). The corals are PISSED and my water looks like crap. My pride and joy beautiful reef is a swirling whirlwind of gravel chaos. Is she ready to have clown babies? Is she mad there are no anemones to hang out in? Is she cranky the male maroon is ignoring her?  Please, o reef tank masters, shed some light! <I could not say categorically why she is doing it. I can say that most all clownfish throw sand and gravel all over the place. It is just something they tend to do. If yours has not for the past year, all I can say is you have been lucky up to this point. Sorry.> Thanks, Brian in Michigan. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Home Is Where The Anemone Is? Hi, <Hello- Scott F. this evening!> I was wondering....how long does it normally take for a percula clown fish to take up residence in an anemone. I have recently purchased (4 days ago) a percula clown who still hasn't taken up residence in my long tentacle anemone. I was told it could take up to 30 days...is this true? I was tempted to buy a clarkii clown today, but was persuaded to wait. So, will my percula ever take up residence in my long tentacle anemone? Thanks <Well, there's really no set answer to this one. To be quite honest, it is not really necessary to have an anemone for the clownfish. In fact, most captive-bred clowns have probably never even seen an anemone. The fish may eventually decide to take up residence in the anemone, but it may also never even try to settle in. It all depends upon the fish and how it responds to its environment. According to Joyce Wilkerson, author and clownfish expert, The Long Tentacle Anemone does not host A. percula in the wild. Maybe the Clarkii would be more likely to inhabit the anemone. Then again, for the same reasons cited above, the fish may not have anything to do with it! Frustrating and fascinating at the same time, but that's the beauty of nature- it doesn't have to follow OUR rules! Good luck!>

Not Clowning Around! Dear WWM crew, <Scott F. with you this evening> I got 2 false perculas and a long tentacle anemone from LFS five days ago. One died. He never stopped stressing in my tank and wouldn't eat and died : (. <Sorry to hear that!> Nitrites were a bit high. These are my first fish after cycling with LR for 4? weeks. Nitrites were not high when I got the fish, as the LFS tested the water and confirmed, then sold them to me. <I wish that they wouldn't have sold you the anemone for a brand new tank. Not that you aren't doing a good job-it's just that anemones require excellent, stable conditions and lots of light. Things that are sometimes lacking in new systems. > The anemone is doing great. Eating, was settled for four days and last night went on a trek around the tank... now in the opposite corner. <This is common with anemones. They will often move into a location that suits their needs. The LTA likes a deep sand bed to bury its foot or column in, so keep this in mind.> The clownfish that is still alive seems to be swimming around just fine, but has left the anemone since the other clownfish died. (When I originally put both of them in the tank with the anemone, this clown dove into the anemone and would not leave it, seeming to chase the other clown away. Seems like female clown behavior I have read about, but since her intended "mate" perished, she hasn't been with the anemone at all. She is the only fish in the tank. <Could be a lot of reasons for this> Should I worry about her not eating? I feed brine shrimp (am) and frozen shrimp (pm) and the anemones and crabs seem to enjoy, but clown ignores. She seems to be swimming fine and has ventured throughout the 29 gal tank, but prefers to stay in the area where the anemone was. <I would always be concerned when a fish isn't eating. You may want to try something other than frozen brine shrimp. It actually has little in the way of nutritional value for marine fish (even though they usually love 'em). try frozen Mysis, or finely chopped clam, squid, or other ocean "meats".> Is there a special food I should try? Just wait? Am I worrying for nothing? <No- you are not worrying for nothing. You are doing the right thing by trying to analyze what could be wrong! It's never good when a fish does not eat for extended periods of time. There could be a lot of reasons for this. I'd recommend that you test the water for ammonia and nitrite regularly for a while. There should be no detectable levels of either of these in your tank. Are you performing regular water changes? Is the temperature stable? Does the fish show any obvious signs of disease or discomfort? Take a good hard look at your tank and make sure that everything is in order. In addition to being a lot of fun, observing the tank carefully will allow you to get a feel for what is "normal" for your system, and to take corrective actions, when necessary, in a timely manner. Learn all that you can, get a copy of Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist", which has tons of great information, and use the wetwebmedia.com resources. Make sure that everything is stable before adding any more animals, quarantine all new fish, and feel free to contact us any time. If you follow these simple rules, you'll be fine! Enjoy and Good Luck!> THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE! Diane Bedard <And thank YOU for stopping by!>

Hello Bob! Hello to H. magnifica and A. nigripes clowns Hello Mr. Fenner, I've spoken with you via your website about Ecosystem Aquarium once before. I see a link here that you have a A. nigripes and I was wondering if I could ask a question or two. I am about to by a pair and would like to know if there is any chance they would take to a long tentacle anemone (H. doreensis) <Possible> I can only find one species that they go to in the wild ......the Magnificent Anemone. From the web: "Once a rarity but now available captive bred, the Maldives Clowns prefer the Heteractis magnifica sea anemone but would also be happy in just about any anemone especially bubble tips. Feed meaty fare and keep only two per tank unless the tank is large and has plenty of "anemone room." <Yep... concurs with my reading, observations seeing them in the Maldives: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm> How hardy are these guys in your experience. <For clowns, large symbiotic anemones, these are near the top in their categories... as captive inhabitants about middling> Thanks for your time and patience. Rob from Ottawa Canada. <There are many instances of "strange associations" twixt Amphiprionines and cnidarians... Bob Fenner>

Anemone, Clown Combo Hello Again Rob! <Howdy> Just thought I would touch base and let you know that the larger female A. nigripes took to the Long tentacle anemone. The male is lingering by not too close. This happened all within 24 hours. Very pleased to see this happening! Thanks again for your time it is very much appreciated :) <Welcome... the male will likely join in, in a day or two. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish/Anemones I started my first tank a couple months ago. I read your book before I started my tank and found it extremely helpful. I have had a pair of True Percula's in my tank for 5 weeks and added an Entacmaea quadricolor last week. I know this is not the natural host for True Percula's, but from everything I've read and heard, I decided life might be a lot easier with a bubble tip as opposed to one of the natural hosts. So far so good, <Much too early to tell anything. After a year or more you will have the appropriate time frame to evaluate your attempt.> the anemone seems to have found a crevice it likes and is eating well. Fully expanded it is about 5 inches in diameter. Do you have any recommendation regarding the frequency, amount, and type of food. <3 times weekly with frozen plankton and/or Mysis shrimp> The store was feeding it whole silversides but I read short book by Dr. Shimek that recommended whole krill - which I bought and it eats readily. <Both prey items listed above are too big and easily/usually regurgitated at night> Also, the clownfish have yet to notice it and have never really gone near the part of the tank where the anemone lives. <Typical> If things go well and the anemone stays put for a couple more weeks, is there anything I can do to entice the clownfish to the anemone. <No> I know the bubble tip is not their preferred species, but neither are the mag-float, maxi-jet, and turbo snail, which both have taken a liking to. <You hit the nail on the head, clownfish are perfectly content and happy without anemones and some never recognize/develop a relationship with them.> Thanks, Bob <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Clownfish and Bubbles! I have an 80 gallon reef taken that has been set up for almost two years now. One of the occupants of almost all that time is a Sebae Anemone. Actually I believe it is a Long Tentacled Anemone that was misidentified by the internet store I bought it from. Several months ago, I added two tank raised Percula's. Up until a few days ago, the Percula's could not have cared less about the anemone, which has grown to a substantial size. Recently though, they're wilder instincts have kicked in, and now they will not come out of the Anemone, even to eat! <Sometimes it takes a while for them to take to an anemone.> Additionally, there is some nipping and chasing going on between them. <Probably working out who is who in their relationship. Clownfish developed into males and females. The females grow larger and are generally the meaner ones.> Anything I can do to encourage them to eat? <Offer a greater variety of foods, but no real worries. They will not let themselves starve to death.> Will they be able to share the one Anemone? <If they become a pair, yes.> On a fairly consistent basis I have bubbles that grow from the rock. Not your ordinary everyday air bubble. Rather bubbles that start the size of a small marble and grow to about golf ball size. They are greenish, almost like algae was growing on them. <They are in fact algae themselves.> I opened on once, and found it to be empty. <That is what you thought. The inside of bubble algae is filled with hundreds of spores for reproduction.> The material it was made of had the consistency of cellophane, though apparently when they pop either something eats them or they dissolve as I have never found one just lying on the bottom. Any idea's what this could be. <It sounds like bubble algae. Please search www.WetWebMedia.com for bubble algae or Valonia.> Your consideration is appreciated. <Have a nice night. -Steven Pro>


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