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FAQs about Breeding the Clownfishes 2

Related Articles: Clownfishes

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

Best to start them small, in a group, and let your clowns sort themselves out.

Mixing Clownfish (Amphiprion) and Mating Them? - Hybrids...has happened before but not likely in this case 10/26/05 Dear Crew, <Hi Agnes.> You have been so much help with your volumes of information but I could not find anything to cover this situation.  <Ok, I'll do my best to help you out.> I have a 75 gal tank with live rock, lots of sand and crushed coral, and 2 (please don't beat me up too badly for this) different clownfish. <Ok no lecture for you this time but be-forewarned although there may be peace between them presently it may not last.>  I have a good sized Clarkii and a Cinnamon about half the other's size, a Firefish and Scooter Blenny in this tank. Again don't beat me up too bad but I also have some anemones for them which gives my mother the biggest thrill when they bed down in them.  <If they are thriving and living well…no reason to beat you up…and I really don't think my mother would be to happy with me if I hit a lady.>  (My mother is 80 years old and enjoys my tanks more than I do if that's possible, she talks to her "babies" every day) I've had a condy for over a year now and it looks better than ever.  <Cool, my grandmother, age 91!!! loves my tanks too.>  On with my clowns. Up until the last few days there has been the expected fireworks between them, for a while the poor little Cinnamon had to re-grow its tail fin.  <Not a good sign if the aggression has escalated to this level, do keep an eye out and be prepared to remove one or the other.> Lately though there has been a dramatic change, no fireworks at all. In fact, the Clarkii is acting quite alluring in a fishy sort of way. "She" even wags her fishy tail at "him".  <Displaying her dominance.>  No more chasing, nipping, bullying, nothing. So you can guess my real question, can these two possibly be contemplating making baby fish?  <There have been reports of hybridization between those in the Amphiprion genus though it is extremely rare do the fact that usually they can't stand each other. If there is any hybridization between these two ever it is artificial (in captivity) and I am not aware of it, the only hybrids I have ever personally witnessed are between A. percula and A. ocellaris but they are very similar in make-up.>  Maybe from a lack of options? If this is possible what are the chances of them being successful?  <Even if they are displaying it could be years before they actually decide to "do the deed", though again this peace may be temporary and the breeding may not even be possible, (really not likely anyway) for more info pick up a copy of Joyce Wilkerson's book: Clownfish.> Agnes <Adam J.> 

Re: Amphiprion Hybrids 10/27/05 Hi again Crew, <Hi Agnes it's Adam again.> You are right about the way they did act, I almost did take the Cinnamon out when he got beat up so badly.  <Yes I would have…well I never would have mixed them to begin with honestly.>  But he found a way to keep away from Madam Clarkii and recover so he stayed in the tank.  <Okay.>  He looks as good as new now.  And with the way "she" is acting is spending most of "his" time pretty close to her. They spend most of the day within a few inches of each other. If he moves away she goes over to be close again. It's really fun to watch after ducking the punches with him the rest of the time. <Sounds like they have reached an "agreement" no telling whether it will be long lasting.> I got the book on Clownfish and it sure does sound to me like these two characters are following the routine Ms. Wilkerson outlines in her book.  <Even with this behavior it could be years before actual mating occurs and there is still a big IF since the fish in question are not the same species.> I did notice a few things I did which could interfere with the process and corrected them (I had moved some small pieces of rock rubble where the "female?" had been grooming the sand bed but cleared it for her). But they are acting just like the book says they will do when starting to pair up. "She" is still aggressive but not to the point of actually attacking or hurting the other fish. And the smaller fish doesn't hide like "he" used to. They just kind of hang out together most of the day now but they still go to their own spots at night. I'm not set up to raise babies so I don't know what I will do if they ever decide to have some.  Thank you for your help as always. It is interesting to think what the babies would look like isn't it? Only time will tell. <Thank you for sharing, and not to discourage you but in general aquarists are not accepting of unnatural hybrids so do not be surprised (if they actually ever mate which I'm still not so sure about) if others look down on them.> Agnes <Adam J.> 

Amphiprion Hybrids: Round Three 10/28/05 I understand what you mean, I would probably feel the same about hybrids.  <Yes, we see hybrids a lot in the freshwater realm and the emotions are quite mixed.>  I would want the fish I had learned about and not some in-between thing.  <Sounds like a good movie premise.>  I will watch them and take care to move one if the peace doesn't last.  <Very good.>  I honestly don't want anything to happen to either fish.  <Understandable.> Thank you for your time and information.  <No trouble, anytime.>  I'm really enjoying to book too, a big thank you for that.  <Glad you like it.> Until next time, don't lose your sense of humor. <No its with me till I'm dust, thank you.> Agnes <Adam J.> 

Tomato clown eggs  10/19/05 How long does it take for tomato clown eggs to hatch? <Generally 6-8 days.> Our tomato clowns keep laying eggs and we have never seen any hatch.....<They are very small unlike freshwater egglayers.  The parents could be dining on them or other inhabitants of your tank.  James (Salty Dog)>  Thank you for your help. <You're welcome> Faith Capturing the Baby Clown/Eggs - 10/13/05 Hi <<Hola>> I am hoping someone can help me, I have read over heaps on your site but I can't find any answers to my question. My Nemo clown fish have laid eggs, and I have read that you must take the eggs out and put into another tank, which I already have set up. I also read conflicting information, some say wait till the eggs have hatched then, collect the fry and put into another tank. So which is it, move the eggs or fry?  << That depends on what you are setup to do. If your clowns are conditioned to lay their eggs on a removable tile (which I doubt they are), then pull the eggs and hatch them externally. If your clowns laid their eggs on live rock or some decoration in your tank then you will need to use a flashlight and bowl the night of the hatch to collect them.>> Is just using a fish net ok for collecting the fry? <<Absolutely not. Fry are extremely delicate and must be treated as such. A bowl with a wide rim is suggested.>> Also read that the clown fish eggs hatch in about 7-10 days. And that they only hatch at night when it's dark. Is this true? <<Yes>> If it is true, and if you're meant to catch the fry when they hatch to move them, then how can you see the eggs have hatched to catch them if it's night? Cause, if they hatch in the dark then obviously your tank light would have to be off for them to hatch? So, you couldn't see when the fish hatch to catch them. <<Use a flashlight. The flashlight or, "torch" for our English friends, is used to attract and see the fry. Luckily for us fry love the spot light, which aids in their capture.>> Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but I don't want to lose my first lot of baby clowns. <<Now for the hard part. Let your first batch go. There will be plenty more to follow. With each batch you will see more eggs and you will be able to judge the night of the hatch. While you wait please read "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson. You may also find this link helpful, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm >> Please help!!  Toni S <<TravisM>> 

Sebaes in my reef tank, a quick question 9/28/05 Hi Bob, <Andrew>   I have a question for you guys and scoured over the forums (great info BTW, found more than I thought I'd need to know)) but couldn't get a definitive answer.   So I have a 75 gal Oceanic Reef Ready tank with ~75 lbs of live rock, live sand, a Sebae Anemone, a Bubble Tip Anemone, and a couple non-stinging corals.  I also have a Sebae Clown (aprox. 3") <A big boy /girl!> , a Diamond Watchman Goby, and reef hermits/snails/ other cleaners.  This tank has been established for a little more than two years (some old tenants no longer with us).  I wanted to add more Sebae's to the tank because I really like their demeanor and relationship with anemones (and each other).  My pet store recommended to get at least 3 smaller ones to introduce at once.  I got 4 new ones (they said no problem) and of the four, two had white tips on their rear fins. <Mmmm, am prompted to mention the very often misidentification of Sebae's with Clark's... am sure you're familiar with> So far the smallest one (white-tipped tail and about 1.5") has started his twitching dance with the original Sebae (I think we have a successful match))  The other three are hidden away and occasionally come out (to get beaten up). <Yes> My worry is this....  If any of the other ones are females, will this result in a killing or will they just start their own group?   <Hard to "guess" in this size tank, with the two dissimilar species of anemones... I don't give you/them "good odds"... To make this short, I would remove the "other" clowns> Will they change sex or is a female always going to be a female? <In these circumstances highly unlikely any others will change to females other than the original resident... till it passes, is removed...>   Is this too many for my space or was the pet store correct in telling me this was a sound move? <Mmm, well the addition for the purpose was sound... but leaving all together... not> If you could let me know the probable outcome here I would really appreciate it.  I'll also be sure to keep you up to date with what happens.  Thanks <These are my thoughts, reflected experience. Bob Fenner>  

GSM Pairing?  9/28/05 I have a mature female GSM. She was about 3 years old when I got her and was the female in a "mated" (but not spawning) pair at the time, this was about 6 months ago. I recently had the opportunity to acquire a small juve/male GSM. I hesitantly introduced the male after hanging him in a specimen box for some time in "her" corner. <Good move> She all but ignored his presence while he floated in the box trying desperately to swim lower into the aquarium. After some time of this I let him loose. Much to my surprise and amazement she's continued to pay significantly little attention to him. He now hosts in her anemone about 1/2 of the time during the day, they swim together, eat together, etc. She has shown no aggression or dominance behavior over him (though her size speaks volumes to him, I'm sure). <Agreed... if there were to be trouble... would have evidenced by now> Without the dominance dance/submissive behavior will they form a true pair? <Mmm, only "time can/will tell"> The intro was such a non-event that I'm wondering if they'll mate or continue to just quietly co-exist. Any insight in what I should look forward to? What behavior I should look for? What do you look for in a "mated pair" (shy of the eggs, of course) of GSM? Regards, Phyllis <A bunch to state... feel I should plug Joyce Wilkerson's work, refer you to the Breeder's Registry (.com)... but there are a few "things" you might do that could trigger reproduction... manipulation of photoperiod, temperature notably... perhaps a change to higher protein diet, addition of liquid vitamins... Would you like to chat these, other issues (related) over? Bob Fenner>

Anemonefish Reproduction  9/24/05 Dear WWM crew, <Adam J with you.> I recently purchased a breeding pair of clarkiis to put in my 55g tank.  I have no other animals in this tank except for a few small snails and hermits for cleanup.  The tank has plenty of rock/hiding places in it.  I am new to marine breeding but I am anxious to start trying my hand at other species. <The very first thin I would do before proceeding any further is purchase a copy of Joyce Wilkerson's book "Clownfish."> Could you please recommend another species (vert. or invert) that could be added to the tank to breed as well? <Most crustaceans will breed prolifically but rearing the young is shall we say extremely difficult.>   I have a few species in mind, but I want to make sure that these additions will not make the clarkiis reluctant to spawn themselves.  I was thinking a pair of small gobies or cleaner shrimp.  I would appreciate any suggestions. <To minimize aggression and maximize breeding opportunities for your clowns it is best to let them be the lone specimens in the tank. Many other specimens will eagerly eat clownfish eggs as well as hunt the newly hatched clutch.> Thank you for your help, Steve <Anytime, Adam J, and you may want to read this http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm .> Encouraging Clownfish Spawning 8/14/05 I have a 40 gallon tank with live rock, and a live sand bed. It as two 65 watt PC bulbs. I have Xenias spreading through the tank. I also have two bubble tip anemones, after the first one split. I have two Clark's Clowns. I have had them for about nine months, and I have seen some good growth in both of them. The smaller male has turned very dark. He's almost black. He still sometimes trembles sideways towards the larger female, usually because by food. They both live in the large anemone together. My question is is there anything I can do to encourage them to spawn? My lights are on for twelve hours a day. The temp is 82. The eat many different foods, Mysis shrimp, fresh mussels, scallops, flying fish eggs, several types of flake food, Nori, squid, urchin, and what ever else I can find for them. I do feed pretty lightly several times a day, and I'm seeing some growth in the fish, so I believe they are getting enough food. Everything in the tank seems to be flourishing, including the fish, but no spawning. Should I just give them more time, or is there anything I can do to help them out? Thank you. <They will likely spawn in time given your good care here... keep your eyes on them for behavior where they peck at the foot of the anemone host. Bob Fenner> Breeding Clowns 7/27/05 Hello WWM crew. Sorry to trouble you again. I wanted to know what is the minimum size tank required for breeding a pair of clowns? Will a 39l tank be sufficient? <This depends on the species, but 39l (about 10 gal) is probably too small.> Is an anemone necessary for breeding? <No!  In fact, it is to be discouraged.  Anemones are very difficult to keep, and the system that would be required for the anemone would be very unsuitable for breeding clowns.> What is the size for the clowns to start breeding? <This again depends a lot on the species.  Female A. Ocellaris can start breeding at about 1.5 inches (about 3.5 cm), but other species have to be larger.  If you are even considering breeding clowns, please find a copy of "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson.  It provides all of the information required to successfully breed most species of clownfish.  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Ocellaris Anemonefish commercial culture... Hi Bob.  I was looking at starting a small business selling just  Ocellaris Anemonefish (hello Nemo) <And Nemo II> .  What is the minimum tank size a  Ocellaris Anemonefish could fit in.  Would 5 Gallons do for just one  fish. <Yes... are kept in smaller in actual aquaculture settings... with tied in filtration, circulation... in centralized systems>   How much work would be involved in taking care of one fish in  a 5 gallon tank?  In your opinion, what do you think is the best company  to buy tank raised Ocellaris Anemonefish, and fish tanks. <Mmm, I'd get your broodstock (they all come from about the same folks) from (likely indirectly), ORA, Proquatics, TMC... the tanks you need to read, study a bit more re. Do you have Joyce Wilkerson's Microcosm book on Clownfishes? This is a good start... then on to Frank Hoff...> Than you so much.  Your help will get me started on this  adventure. Richard <Take good notes. Bob Fenner>

Ailing A. percula Hi, <Hello there> I think I've read every clownfish faq on your site now!! :-) But I still wanted to write because I have a mated pair of A. percula set up in a 20L for breeding purposes and the male is not looking good. I didn't want to medicate the fish before knowing what might be wrong, as the mere act of medicating could cause me to lose them, if it's the wrong medication. <You're so right> All water quality parameters are excellent, as are the Percs' invert. tankmates (pair of L. amboinensis -- who try to clean the fish, but the fish will not let them,  <Best to not have this animal here... too few "customers" and a bother to the breeders, their spawn>  some hermits and snails). Both fish ate at the LFS before I bought them (about 2 wks. ago). They were inseparable in my tank and ate some Prime Reef flake the first few days. Then, they seemed to decrease feeding frequency. I thought maybe it was the food, so I tried feeding them thawed frozen prime reef cubes and then vitamin-enriched Artemia. In the meantime, I noticed white, stringy feces from both fish, but as I've read on your site, I'm not sure if this is a sign of internal parasites or their non-feeding... <Are these wild fish? If so, they are very likely hosting parasite fauna.> The female will eat a couple of pieces of food, but for the most part they are taking in the food and then spitting it back out. This has been ongoing for about a week now. Then, yesterday, I noticed the male in the back of the tank (he's usually in the flowerpot w/the female) with a clamped dorsal fin, refusing to eat at all. So, his symptoms were clamped fin, white, stringy feces and refusing to eat. I also noticed some marks on him and I thought it was "bite-marks" from the female (she did a fair bit of chasing him initially), but now I wonder if maybe it's some necrosis? <Possibly... the environment is at least some influence... so I hope/trust it is optimal and stable> After reading a lot of your FAQs, I decided to put both fish in a FW, pH/temp adjusted bath for 15 min. Both fish tolerated the bath very well. This morning, I noticed the male's pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins are frayed and the clear area of the pectoral fins is cloudy/filmy. He was actually hanging out in the front of the tank, just outside the opening of the flowerpot (in which remained the female) -- but he is no longer clamping his dorsal. I fed them some enriched Artemia (I know, I need to get Mysis :-) ) and the female ate a few. The male did not eat at all and then the female "tried" eating more but promptly spit it back out. I've tried feeding them frozen Prime Reef, Prime Reef flake, newly hatched Artemia nauplii (from a culture I'm hoping to raise to adulthood) and vitamin E-enriched frozen Artemia. Their finickiness reminds me of my 3 year old daughter. ha ha  I'm torn because I don't know if I should medicate with Metronidazole (internal parasites?) or formalin/copper (Brooklynellosis?) or just leave them alone. They have never been real strong eaters (I'm comparing them to my 6 yr. old Clarkii who can never seem to get enough). lol I know you must read hundreds of these types of emails a week, but I just can't seem to decide what this might be and I don't want to do something wrong and lose them. We all know we can do everything right and still lose them. <Mmm, wish you had told me you were testing your water, changing a good deal out regularly here... The stress from the shrimp I'd eliminate with its removal, I would also switch out the other invertebrates... and lower the spg here a few tens of thousandths... to 1.018 over a few days time... I would leave off with trying formalin, copper... might try the Metronidazole... would look at some of their feces with a microscope if you had one... Bob Fenner>

Obtaining spawning clowns 5/2/05 Hi, do you know of any possible places I can obtain a pair of clownfish that have already started spawning? Thank you Adam  <Hi Adam, Adam here. Confused? I am! Anyway... finding a spawning pair of clowns shouldn't be too hard. Check with www.inlandaquatics.com, www.tropicorium.com or ORA (through your local fish store). The problem is that most clown pairs will cease spawning after being moved - often for months. This is especially true of those that aren't very reliable spawners to begin with. If you are thinking about raising them, please find Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes" book. It is a fantastic resource on the topic. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Breeding Clowns and male dies About a week ago, our pair of Tomato Clowns laid a batch of eggs. The male had been protecting the batch all week from the only other fish in the 50g tank (Picasso trigger and Niger trigger). Today we noticed the eyes of the eggs looking prominent, so we expect them to hatch within a day or two. Then, within an hour after seeing all is fine, we found the male completely motionless laying on his side at the bottom of the tank. The female was even trying to nudge him up - Aww. We've had the pair for 2-3years and this was their first batch of eggs. Is it typical for one to die once the eggs are ready to hatch? Also, what do you feed the larvae once they hatch? Shawn <Not typical... I do hope you've removed the larger predatory fishes from this system... Please read re Clown reproduction on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Clownfish breeding Hi, I just bought a pair of ocellaris clowns, one full grown, and the other about 1.25 inches. I figure the smaller one is not quite sexually mature. Is there any diet I could feed them to grow faster <Add Cyclop-Eeze to the diet, very nutritious and soak your food in Selcon or something similar.> or how many times a day should I feed them to encourage spawning? And also, do you think they would have a better chance of spawning in a 50 gallon with other clowns, or  in a 12 gallon by themselves? (Assuming perfect water conditions.) Thank you very much! <Read articles in this link on breeding clowns.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm.  James (Salty Dog)> Adam

The "Final Destination", or Sex Games Clowns Play Hi <How goes it> Say, if I have 2 female clowns will one change back into a male? <Nope, being female is the "final destination" as any female will tell you. ;)> Thanks <Anytime - M. Maddox> 

Clownfish Reproduction Hi I just have a quick question, or 3. I have a small pair of false percula clowns in a 50 gallon but am not willing to wait a few years for them to spawn, so I ordered from my LFS a large pair of false perculas. Do you think they should be fine together? <Should be> And will they not want to spawn or lay eggs if they don't like the other clowns near them?  And if they do spawn, will the other clowns try to eat the eggs or will the parents protect the eggs from them? <The parents will try to protect the nest.  Your chances of them spawning would be greater with just the pair in the tank. Here are some FAQ's you can read about the subject.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm  James (Salty Dog)>  Thanks a lot, Adam - A. ocellaris Rearing Problems - Dear Bob Fenner, I'm Carlos Llorens, biologist and right now trying to rear A. ocellaris, the reason I contact you is because I have some problems in my facility and I would like to get some help. First thing is that when larvae should start metamorphosis they die, this happens on day 6-9, I sent some samples to an icthiopathologist and he told that apart from copepods, which I already knew I had, there was a big population of Uronema marinum, this is a ciliate which I don't know if it is very harmful.  <This is an undesirable parasite and likely the source of your problems.>  Anyway by that time I lose almost all the larvae. Afterwards I have another problem with the few fish that survive which is that from 60-l tank. I transfer them to a 2000-l tank, there after a period of 15 days and no matter the age I transfer the juveniles I get an increase of mortality with no particular reason, the fishes seem to be very thin, even though they eat normally. Also I have send samples to the icthiopathologist to check if there is any pathogen. Do you have any information on what can be the problem? Are copepods producing such a big stress to the larvae or attacking them?  <There is probably some of this occurring, but suspect your real problem is the Uronema.>  Have you ever hear about this Uronema marinum and how pathogenic it can be?  <Yes, and left unchecked can become debilitating and fatal.>  Is there any way to get rid of it without having to stop the facility?  <Not really... you could try to lower the salinity, but if your rearing tanks are kept as individual systems, then I'd break them down one at a time and treat them with Nitrofurazone or Methylene blue (Noga, 1996). I've also read somewhere that malachite green will work, but obviously any of these treatments will render the systems unusable for rearing fry until the problem is remedied. Suspect this is your only option as the Uronema marinum will seriously hinder your ability to rear any viable fry until you deal with it.> Thank you very much for your time and help, I'll be waiting your news during the following days. Yours sincerely Carlos Llor?s <Cheers, J -- > 

Feeding Baby Clowns - The Book All Breeders Should Have 3/30/05 Hello, I have spent the last 2 hours looking through all your Q&A. I have a few questions raising clowns. My first question is will the adult clowns eat the larvae?  <Yes. Larvae will also be swept into filters, lost in substrate, etc.> I haven't read of anybody leaving the larvae in the main tank. Is this because of the filtration system?  <Yes, plus all of the hungry mouths, aggressive water movement, the fact that they need very high densities of food, etc.> I have been researching rotifers, and I'm not clear on how much to feed the larvae, or if you can even see the rotifers to know? I'm on my second attempt to hatch eggs, the first batch 46 days ago ended with a faulty heater in the 10g rearing tank. Can I keep the rotifers cultures alive and ongoing for the next batch, say in another 46 day's, or will I need to keep buying them per hatch? My 10g rearing tank has a heater, bubble stone and 2 live rocks. I really want this to work, If you guys have any helpful hints please help.. Last batch I took the eggs out before they hatched. This time I'm going to leave them with the parents. Thanks for your time.. Cam  <I applaud and encourage your efforts, but there is way too much information for me to convey by e-mail. "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson is the bible on this topic and no clownfish breeder should be without it. It will answer all of your questions, and the techniques described will ensure success. Good luck! AdamC.>

Clownfish Spawn Site Haven't written before, but your site has proven to be invaluable. I have been working with saltwater for about 18yrs, mostly failing because there never was a good resource prior to the internet. <Thank goodness for the Net... and good people willing to devote part of their resources for others benefit> I am on my fifth aquarium, 1yr old 45gal. All is well except for phosphates (due to feeding sinking pellets to feed my burrowing fish), but I have only fish a cherub angel, royal Gramma, engineer goby, pair of yellow watchman gobies, pair of cleaner shrimp, and a pair of false percula, and one disposable mushroom frag as a water quality indicator (i.e. coral looks bad, do something before the fish get sick). I have always had a pair of clowns, and never looked beyond enjoying them swimming together. But, I have not noticed the definite distinction between male and female before (i.e. size, started as two immature tiny fish). They are also shaking in front of each other, a behavior I have only really seen them do defensively towards other fish. Mainly I have read about others and talked to a breeder about flower pots used as a spawning surface, I have also heard of ceramic tiles being used. What I would like to know is what kind of pots, size, material, whole or half, buried or not etc. And/or what kind of tile, glazed, color or not, size, etc. <Red Clay pots, glazed tile... can be used... but are both unnecessary... the fish will "improvise" using a rock, the side of the tank...> And where they might be placed, where they spend most of their time, in a cave or private spot, use more than one at first, etc. There is no host anemone (don't plan to keep another until go back to a big aquarium again with my metal halide). I don't care if they spawn, but want to give them the opportunity, My base rock is the same lava I started with years ago and has enough growing and crawling on it from the two pieces of live rock I put in, its almost LR, but I think too rough for eggs. I will likely buy Wilkerson's book, but would like your feedback. Thanks. Have a good week! Ryan <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Sebae clownfish Hey crew, I think I have a pair of sebae clownfish. It's been a good 2 months and the clownfish get along fine. Is the one with a darker head the female? I also have 2 orchid Dottybacks for well over 3 months. They don't fight, is there a high chance that they are a pair? Is there any way to encourage breeding, or is it all a natural occurrence?  Thanks. <Hello, the clownfish with the darker head could be the female if she is the larger of the two. In clownfish morphology the female is generally the larger of the species. As for the Dottybacks, it is possible that they could pair but more likely that they have not matured yet. When they are young most fish employ the "safety in numbers" survival technique. I don't know how big or old they are but if they are still small (by orchid Dottyback standards) I would still keep my guard up. Good Luck. MikeB.>

Tomato clowns breeding... Hi, I have 2 tomato clowns caught from the wild that are spawning. Every time they lay their eggs, as soon as their eyes open, the babies die. How can I raise them and keep them living. Thanks, Monica Kennedy <Can be done... a few things that need to be done... and not enough space here to relate... e.g. moving the parents or fry, culturing foodstuffs, water changes... I strongly encourage you to seek out a copy of Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes" book, and to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfdgfaqs.htm  Bob Fenner> 

Clownfish no longer aggressive- 1/18/04 Thanks, for the info with my yellow toadstool problems. <It is our modus operandi!> The cap of it survived and is healing while the base turned into a rotten brown heap that smelled really foul. <Did you take it out?> This time however I have a new question. <Ok. Go for it!> In my main tank(44 gallons)  I had a small female clownfish that I have had for 6 months with its host rose bubble tip anemone. I added a smaller one in hopes of pairing them, however she beat the heck out of it. <Unfortunately this tends to happen more often than not when adding a clown at a later time. Not unheard of at all.> He stayed in there for 3 days and then I decided it wasn't going to work out. <Good work!> I went to the LFS to see if they could order a mated pair (all tomato clowns in this discussion). I walked in and went to look at the tanks and there was a large female and a little one swimming with it. The smaller one was not ripped up or anything and they were swimming together. I went ahead and bought them. When I got home I acclimated them while I tried to catch the other 2. I caught the smaller one first and put him in my mushroom propagation tank. About 2 hours later I caught the female and put her in the mushroom tank as well. <Why would you do that if she was just beating on the little male days earlier??? Hmmmm.....> The 2 that did not get along before are now hanging out with each other. <Well, could be stress induced co-operation possibly. But a more likely scenario is that this is a new environment and the territories are not set. They may set them together or one or the other will become belligerent. Have looked into buying the "Clownfishes" book by Joyce Wilkerson yet? Here is a link to it: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1890087041/002-5205264-6316819?v=glance A great resource. A must have if you want to breed clownfish or better understand all the nuances of their behavior.> They cleared my rocks with mushrooms on them to one side of the tank. After that she sweeps the area with her tail to get any debris  of it. Do you think that now they decided to pair and that she is getting ready to lay eggs soon? <Sounds like courting has begun....> What do you think about these crazy clowns. <I am very happy for you!!! Send my regards. Be aware that after the babies start hatch that you might have to move the male as he may agitate the female in such a small tank. Let me know if you have any luck with raising the offspring. And for gosh sakes!!.....take pictures of the  whole process and write a journal for yourself. Let me know how it turns out or if I can help with anything else. Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul>                                                       Thanks,                                    Kevin Please check my setup plans... clown breeding, Greetings Bob & Crew! <Howdy Ray!> Thanks again for all your help the last year-or-so!  I really have become quite addicted to the marine hobby as my reef tank is doing wonderful and is my pride and joy! <Great to read> I have gotten the OK from the "boss" (aka girlfriend) and I have set up a room in my basement as a dedicated fish room to breed clownfish.  After much reading and research, I have decided on black "onyx" perculas to breed (very neat looking and I already have Percs so I have some knowledge).  I have also done a lot of reading of the WWM archives on setups as well as the book "Clownfishes" and I want you to look over my plans and let me know what you think and if there are any "holes" in my plan. <Okay> The room itself is already done and will suit my needs.    It has it's own breaker for power and 4-GFCI outlets. It's inner walls are insulated and the outer ones are sealed concrete.  Temp-wise it is between 60 and 70 pending on season.  Got a very large table built that I calculated (engineering degree finally came in handy) will hold over 3,000 pounds (FAR more than needed). <Wow, great> Main brood tank: 20 Gal long with 1 to 1-1/2 of crushed aragonite and around 15 pounds of LR (a few nice big pieces) along with a ceramic tile for eggs.  It will have 2- 120gph powerheads at opposite corners and a CPR Aqualifter overflow going to the sump.  Will have 55W of PC lighting 50/50.  Will have a 100W heater in main tank. Whisper 60 HOT filter. <Okay> Sump setup: 30-gal long tank.  Intake compartment with AquaC Urchin with MaxiJet 1200.  Skimmer return compartment will house 300W main heater.  Next compartment (main) with 6 inches of sugar fine sand and about 20 pounds of LR. Also going to grow Gracilaria (aka Tang Heaven) in the main compartment (to feed my yellow tang in reef tank). Planning on 110W of PC lighting (55W 10,000K and 55W Actinic).  Return pump (200gph) in final compartment. <All right> Inhabitants: A pair of clowns of course.  A few small hermit crabs in sump.  A few snails in main tank to help with algae. Also thinking of a few Nassarius snails in sump to keep sand moving (opinion?). <Sounds fine>   Also thinking of a brittle star or two (one in each tank) but I am unsure if it will interfere with breeding/eggs.  I may try some grape algae in main tank as well (for looks). <I would leave out other life in your breeder tank/s> I know the setup may sound like a little overkill, but I have learned the importance of a stable system and I feel this will give me a nice stable environment. Few quick questions: 1.  What is the best way to connect PVC piping for a marine system?  PVC cement?  Silicone?  Threading the pipes?  I am thinking of cementing threaded ends to all pipes for easier movement or replacement if necessary. <Best to use mainly slip fittings. Solventing slip/slip fittings is best... "work from the fixed end"... cut, piece all together first... Threaded fittings are best siliconed together with just a thin smear of aquarium (100%) Silicone on both male and female threads...> 2.  Are small banded serpent stars ok for this system? I am thinking of detritus cleanup (plus I think they are neat).  If not, better suggestion? <Not really necessary... you will be doing most all the real clean-up> Anyway, I know this has been a long email but this project has been in the planning for a while and I am about to start assembling it and get it cycling.  I plan to let the system cycle for about a month (while clowns in QT). <Sounds good> Thanks again for all your help!  I'll send a pic of the completed and running system when it is up.   <Looking forward to your ad/venture... One item: Do consider multiple pairs of your broodstock, multiple tanks... Bob Fenner>

Re: Please check my setup plans Thank you so very much for the prompt reply!! <Welcome> Want to clear one thing up and have another question. <Okay> When using slip fittings of PVC, what do you recommend for cementing them together?  Would any "drinking water grade" solvent do or is there one you would recommend? <I use the thick bodied, colored solvents, my fave: Christies Hot Blue Glue... these are made for landscape use (sold at Lowe's, Home Depot...), where dirt, some moisture in assembly may be an issue. I generally do not use a primer with these> I have considered having two breeding pairs, but the onyx clowns that I am getting are a little more costly and that is not an option right now.  Mating a pair of true Percs would be more feasible. <An investment... time is money... you could subdivide that twenty for the two pairs...> Here are my questions on this: 1.  If I switched to a 30Gal long for the brood tank, could I separate the two pairs with a tank divider without interfering with the breeding habits? <Oh! We might be identical twins, separated at girth, I mean birth!> 2.  If #1 is not feasible (or not a good idea), how could I connect two tanks to the same sump without risking overflow of tank(s)? <Independent drains gravity feeding below, filling independently...> I just have a fear that one return pump would fail and the other tank would get more return than it could send back to the sump. Multiple sumps are not a financial option (#1 would be least expensive). <Mmm, one pump... with a manifold...> Thank you again! One last thing, is there a online schedule of when you appear to clubs/stores for lectures and/or book signings?  Ever make it to the Chicago or St Louis area?   <Mmm, we do post some here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmcrewvisits.htm and Antoine has a very nice listing: http://www.readingtrees.com/meet_the_authors.htm Thanks again. <Bob Fenner>

Re: Please check my setup plans (breeding clowns) Thank you for all your help so far.  Got another issue...rather clarification on an issue (no pun intended). <Okay> The only tank dividers that I can find are clear, perforated plastic/Plexiglas.  I would design & cut it so that my overflow box spanned both sides so flow is not as much of an issue as the two pairs of clowns being able to see each other.  Will this be a problem with their breeding habits? <Nope... have seen clown pairs house like this, with flow dynamics as you state. They don't seem to have much chemical communication as a species, nor mal-influence from seeing other pairs. Bob Fenner> Thanks for clearing this up!    -Ray

Baby Clown feeding  Hi Crew, Hope you are all well, I got an early xmas present at the weekend - a pair of baby clowns - the guy in the shop said they will need feeding 4-5 times a day (because they are so small (3cmish)).  <Definitely no longer "Babies".  I thought we would be chatting about raising rotifers!> I got some frozen brine shrimp (San Francisco sort) <Although Brine Shrimp are OK for enticing picky feeders or for an occasional treat, they are one of the worst possible food choices to use on any regular basis, especially for young, growing fish.  Frozen Mysis (especially Piscine Energetics brand) are higher in beneficial HUFA's. Clownfish eat a fair amount of algae in the wild, and Ocean Nutrition Pygmy Angle Formula is one of my favorite sources.> and some formula 1, I have defrosted some of each and have been dropping a couple of shrimps (or a sticky pinch of the formula) in at a time several times a day.  <Several small feedings a day is definitely superior to one or two large ones, at least while the fish are small.> Whilst my lil fellas have been eating some of the shrimp they don't seem too interested & I am concerned that there is too much going in that they don't eat that get stuck on the rocks or foam on the skimmer intake or sucked up into my Fluval 203. First off is my technique wrong - I try to drop a shrimp or two close to them - they do see it & do seem tempted but often don't go for it so it drifts off & gets snagged somewhere!  is there anything else I should be feeding them - better way? should I worry too much about the uneaten stuff? <In the short term, I wouldn't worry about the missed food.  Just add small amounts at a time to minimize this.  Sometimes clowns need a few days to settle in before they will eat with gusto.> Also they don't seem sure what to do with the formula stuff - should I just drop a "sticky" lump in? <They will figure it out, but perhaps smaller pieces would help.  If you sort of grind it in your fingers, it will bread up.> How can I encourage them to eat more of the food that goes in? should I switch powerheads & Fluval 203 off whilst I feed? - water flow does seem quite strong! (how long would the Fluval be ok switched off for before nasty things start happening?) <Turning down the current may help until the fish get bolder.  Your Fluval can stay off for at least a few hours with no problems.> Also I have read that my lighting should be on for about 10 hours a day - what is the consequence of a longer day -  <No problems up to about 13-14 hours, except possibly wasted energy.> My setup is 15Gal, SeaClone skimmer, Fluval 203, 2 power heads for flow, 17lb ish of live rock, 6 pygmy dwarf blue legged hermits, the 2 clowns & that's all.  <Sounds reasonably stocked.> Many thanks & best wishes for the festive season Chris  <Best Regards and Happy Holidays!  AdamC.>

Clownfish Relations Hi there you wonderful team of lifesavers (that of our fish and our sanity). <Very kind of you Roxanne. MacL here with you this evening.> I had recently purchased a pair (already in love) of gold band maroon clowns and their host anemone. The male did not eat at all and sadly died a week and a half after we brought him home. The female was fine (eating, talking with her tank mates, swimming around and checking out her world) but the day after "Nemo" died she stopped eating and has been hiding out in her anemone or in a little cave underneath it. She doesn't venture out and is refusing to visit with her old friends. We have found her a new boyfriend (very handsome fellow. Only the best for our girl) but he is still in the quarantine. <Good for you.> I know this sounds silly but its like she is in mourning or lonely. <I personally believe fish do have emotions of some sort but unfortunately its more that likely that he had something and she also might have it. I sincerely hope she doesn't.> I'm worried that she is going to starve to death before she even gets a chance to meet her new beau. Should I put her in the quarantine tank with him and try to get her to eat and if I do, should I put her anemone in too. <I would consider putting her in there simply because she could possibly be ill. I would leave the anemone where it is, they don't have to have one and they will go back to it.>  Id hate to stress her out but I'm getting really worried about her. I've been looking through your site for hours each day and I'm finding it hard to get specific answers to my probs. Besides I guess Id feel extra special if you could help me personally ha-ha. Its very discouraging when fish get sick or die and it breaks my heart as I become quite attached to each one. < I think all of us can understand that Roxanne.> Any info that you could offer would be greatly appreciated. <Personally I would put her in quarantine.> Roxanne Clownfish sex change Hello, <Hi Shannon, MacL here with you tonight> I was wondering if you could answer a question for me about clown fish. I had heard that the male clown fish can turn into the female to take care of the baby fish, is this true?  <Shannon, clown fish start off life as males and only become females later in life when they are larger <Become adult>. Here again, sex change is socially controlled. A male changes into a female only when his female partner is removed and he is joined by a smaller fish. This is called protandrous hermaphroditism.>    Thanks you for your time. <Hope that helps you Shannon>                 Shannon Watz

Saltwater Fish Breeding Hi my name is Andrew <Hi Andrew, my name is Mac> and I am doing a project breeding salt water fish. <Sounds like a great project Andrew.>  I was wondering do you know what type of fish is easy to start of breeding. <There are many saltwater fish that have never been bred yet, Andrew. But there are some that have been bred for a while now.  Many species of Clownfish and some of the Dottybacks come most readily to mind.  <Let me refer you to a couple of different places. There is a thread http://www.fragexchange.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=50, that is all about clownfish breeding with step by step documentation. I hope you'll check it out.  Also, if you'll take a look at the Clownfish book by Joyce Wilkerson and Martin Moe's book on Breeding Dottybacks.  There is also a great thread on this site that talks about breeding fish, look here. . . http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reproduc.htm.  This site mentions other types of fish that are being bred as well.  Good luck and let me know how it turns out. MacL> Sexing clownfish how to tell a male from a female. <The females are usually much larger than the males.  Most people recommend getting two of the same size and letting the one change to female.  Take a look at this http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm  Good luck, MacL>    Clown Questions Hey WWM crew! <How goes it, Michael here, after a test I should have studied more for rather than reading WWM archives... :D > I have a quick question. I tried to do a search on WWM, but I couldn't find an answer to my question. Well, there were a ton of clown posts, and I couldn't get thru all of them.  So if there is already a post, you may simply direct me to it. I wanted to know if it were possible to have a black and white true perc successfully pair with a standard orange and white true perc clown.  If so, what is the likelihood of such a pairing and will introducing them at the same time when small sufficient to reach this goal?  I don't care if they breed, I just wanted to have one black and whit and one orange perc kept together successfully.  I have a 30g long acrylic with a 20g refugium/sump.  Right now I basically just have 1 hi-fin red banded goby and its shrimp buddy.  Also, would the black and white ocellaris and orange ocellaris counterpart be more likely for this odd-coupling?   I was once told that the black and white variants were in fact a different species from their orange counterparts, but not sure if this is the case from my initial research.  Any advice would help.  Thanks! <The all black "Percula" clowns are actually a black variant of Amphiprion ocellaris; so as far as I know, they will not mate with a true Percula clown.  However, seeing as the definition of a species is the ability for them to breed and produce viable offspring, and mules do exist, it may be possible to pair them, however unlikely.  I would ask this questions at the Clownfish and Anemone forum over at Reefcentral and get JHardman's input on this, as he would know more about clownfish pairing than I would.  Here's the link: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=7d41eaa08bb64023f86b103c555d49b8&forumid=36> -Dennis <Good luck, and sorry I wasn't able to better answer your question - M. Maddox>

Breeding Clowns??!! <Hi, MikeD here> Hey All! I have a 55 gal saltwater tank that has been set up for about six months, its occupants are 3 false clown fish (sorry, I don't know the scientific name) 2 blue damsels with yellow tails, a couple turbo snail, some tiny crabs, a chocolate chip starfish,  and our beautiful yellow tang named Banana. Here's my question: is it possible for two of our clown fish to have mated and laid eggs?<Actually, yes, it's quite possible> Last night, I found a white brittle star about a quarter size (including legs) and tonight, as I was carefully searching for more creatures, I scanned over the clown's "cave". There are these tiny, tiny, tiny, egg looking things, with what I swear are eyeballs in them. They are kind of clear in color, but when the light hits them just right, you can see a small iridescent green line down the middle. One of the two biggest clowns (the parents, I am guessing) is always 'checking' on these things, and neither leave the cave for much longer than to eat.  I haven't heard of anyone having this happen before, and I have no idea what to do!!<Actually, clownfish breed much like freshwater cichlids, and were among the first marine fish to be bred in captivity.....your description sounds very much like you have a pair that have spawned> I would love to be able to keep all of these little guys if in fact these are little babies, so what should I do to make sure that my other fish and creatures don't eat them!?<Sadly, this isn't possible, as marine fry are much smaller and more delicate than their freshwater relatives. IF you want to try and raise fry in the future, check the FAQs on Clownfish and/or check in the Reproduction forum, but it's MUCH more difficult than most people are prepared for, requiring a separate breeding tank, live food cultures, etc.> Oh, and I don't want them getting sucked into the filter either!! We have two of those Emperor type filters with the pipe that goes down to the bottom of the tank (they hang over on the back of the tank) Help me, please!! One other thing, is that will that brittle star hurt these little things? His home is in the rock right above them, but he rarely ventures out.<Everything in your tank will hurt them, and while I understand your feelings, there simply isn't anything that can be done.> Thank you for taking the time to help me out! You guys have the most AWESOME site.<Thanks, we try> I can't tell you how much those posts have helped me out! Keep up the great work! Kimberly and Dennis Thompson

He's a Daddy!  Rearing Clownfish Fry >Hi, >>Hi, Marina here. >My name is Dan and I am in the process of rearing tomato clown larvae.  I have about 25-30 in a 10 gallon tank with 15 watts of light and a coarse bubbler.  I am at day four since hatching.  All are doing well and are feeding on baby brine shrimp hatched from Sally's San Francisco bay hatchery.   >>I'm no expert, Dan, but I think you'll need to offer them a greater variety of foodstuffs. >The larvae tank is about 78 Fahrenheit.  There is no ammonia, no nitrite,  and 10 nitrate.  The tank is bare bottomed and was initially filled with water from my main tank where the eggs were hatched.  I have no tank for these clowns after metamorphosis.   >>Any watertight container will do. >My intention is to hopefully sell these to are LFS's to provide tank raised tomato clowns in the area.  My question is how soon after metamorphosis will these look like tomato clowns and when can they be safely transported to the LFS?   >>Well, Dan, I just logged onto afterx.net (the IRC server used by reefs.org for their live chat at #reefs) and spoke with a fellow who raises clowns.  He says that metamorphosis will occur at 7-10 days, depending on species.  He also says that they will *not* be saleable till about 5-6 months of age.  He highly approves my recommendation to you to acquire Joyce Wilkerson's book, "Clownfishes", oft considered by many to be the "Bible" of clownfish breeding and rearing.  If you'd like to try the live chat then reply to this email and I'll help you get set up.  Do know, though, that there isn't *always* someone online who can answer your questions.  However, it's a great source of information "on call". >Any suggestions would help.  I Love the invaluable information you provide and your web site has been a great help to me.  Most articles I found on rearing larvae stop at metamorphosis.  Sorry if you've already given this info out.  I couldn't find it.  Keep up the excellent work.                                                                                Dan Misur - Windsor, On Canada >>Well, Dan, I couldn't find it EITHER!  So, it's a good thing I was able to find this fellow so quickly.  On reefs.org there are a few folks who have been rearing Clownfishes for quite some time, so I'll recommend trying that site (I am known as "Seamaiden" there) for all kinds of info.  Beyond that, IRC, and the book, I'm afraid I can't help you much further.  It seems you're doing well, though, as getting the fry through that first 48 can be tough.  Best of luck, and I hope I've helped somewhat.  Thanks to Rod, whoever you are.  Marina Clownfish larvae 8/19/04 I have been attempting to keep my percula clownfish larvae alive, but am finding it difficult at this point.  <A real challenge indeed!> The batch I'm am nursing is the seventh in the last two months, my breeding pair keep laying new eggs two days after the previous batch hatches.  So far I have kept the larvae alive for a measly forty-eight hours.<I would suspect a water quality issue.  It seems to me that the larvae should survive longer than forty-eight hours even without food.> I attempted to use rotifers but had little luck, now I am using a aquacultured marine zooplankton mixture and they seem to actually eat it, but not longer than two days.  I add new saltwater daily to keep the nitrates, nitrites and ammonia down, what do you suggest I do next? <Commercially produced foods are certainly not cost effective.  If you do not already have a copy of "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson, get one.  It is the "Bible" for rearing clownfish larvae.  If you are following the advice in that book, I would start hunting down water quality issues, including your water source, salt mix, sources of contamination, etc.  Larvae are far more sensitive to such problems than adults.  I would also suggest being sure that your Broodstock is of very high quality (lots of HUFA's) to be sure that they are laying the most viable eggs.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Clownfish eggs 4 Aug 2004 It looks like my clownfish is going to have baby fry but not sure how she   she look when she is going to have baby fry. Could you send my pics if you have pics of them. she does have all the sign. <You have come to the right place, let me start you off by suggesting you take a look at this site http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm, there's a section specifically about clownfish eggs. You don't mention whether you have a male and a female but generally you need both for the eggs to be fertile.  Good luck, MacL>                               Thank you

Sump/Nitrates part II and breeding Clownfish 8/3/04 Hi Crew,  Thanks for the info on my Sump / Nitrate problems. I filled the first 2 compartments of my sump with Aragonite (5'), Also Added a 18 " tank with DSB and some Macro Algae. I got some of the rubble in the Live Rock Containers from our LFS to help seed my DSB. These guys seem to think a DSB will become live by itself so that's the only places where I got some critters. <The rubble should help, but exchanging some sand with fellow aquarists will help too.> I would like to setup 4 3 foot tanks as tanks for breeding pairs of clowns, I'd like to run them all off 1 sump.  This time I'd like to start of right so I'm looking for some help again.  Each 3 foot will have a DSB, some Macro Algae and will house only one pair of clowns.  Still deciding what to put in with them as a host (Anemone etc..). <Host anemones are definitely out for a breeding system.> I'm not sure which sump to use but was thinking in the line of these 2. I want as little problems as possible with Ammonia, Nitrites AND NITRATES. Option 1  Will use another 3 foot tank for this design: Light, Wool, Siporax, Space or chemical filtration (Activated Carbon), Deep sandbed.  Can plant Macro Algae, Live Rock, Power heads to Tanks Option 2  Here I will use 2 3 foot tanks to get more water volume and to have more space for live rocks. Light, Space for wool & chemical filtration (Activated Carbon), Space for heaters, Macro Algae, Live Rock, DSB Tank 1, Tank 2 - Over flow to tank 1 Tank 1 to hold power heads to main tank My Questions are :  Will any one of these sump setups work?  Can I leave out the Siporax in any one of these setups or should I leave them for a trickle?  What type of lighting should I use and must the lights stay on 24 hours a day?  <Breeding systems have some special requirements, and I would not recommend a refugium for filtration.  Both of the systems you describe (Your diagrams did not come through) would be fine for a display system, but not for breeding.> When Cycling the tanks when do I add the live rock?  Should I use a Protein Skimmer?  Can any one of these be used for my main reef tank?  Hope you can give me more info.  Regards, Gustav  <I always recommend cycling with live rock, since it is the rock itself that needs to cycle.  A skimmer can be used for breeding systems.  If you are considering breeding Clownfishes, please find a copy of "Clownfishes" by Joyce Wilkerson. It is an excellent guide.  Best Regards.  AdamC> Clownfish Larvae First Food hi.. my name is Nick<MikeD here> and I really want to try to breed my clownfish<It's a serious undertaking, but very rewarding>...however, I have been reading countless articles that keep saying that clownfish larvae eat rotifers only<There are other microfauna cultures as well, but basically true>...I work at a pet store and we carry this product called Liquifry, which feeds freshwater and saltwater fry...can I use this product instead of rotifers?<I would expect 0% success rate. It would be nice, but alas, raising babies in the marine hobby is MUCH more difficult than in FW, primarily because of the much larger broods of much smaller fry>  also, can you tell me the gradual progression of what clownfish larvae eat?<Here's a forum run by Dr. Frank Maini that describes the progression and what cultures are needed http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=135137  > thanks so much<You're very welcome>...................nick

Breeding Clownfish and Obtaining Rotifers (7/22/04) Hi <Hello. Steve Allen here.> I want to breed clownfish and I need to get rotifers and I need to know where to get them. Thank you <The best way is to grow your own. I highly recommend you buy Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes"--everything you need to know to breed clownfish is in there, including rotifer info. Also, do a Google search on "live rotifers"--lots of sources. Hope this helps.>

Maroon Clown Pairing Hi Wet Web Peoples… <Hi Brett, MacL here tonight> I have put a small - ? inch, hopefully male - maroon clown with my 1 ? inch female housed in a 75 gallon well furnished reef tank.  She's given him(?) a hard time. On the first day, I thought she was going to kill him, chasing and biting his fins.  Day two and she's a lot better behaved. He's got a few pieces missing from his tail, but is otherwise ok. <That's typical.> She leaves him generally alone, but stays close by with only the occasional chase and doesn't seem to want to kill him. He seems to be petrified of her, but still wants to stay near to her. Does the tempering of aggression mean they are slowly pairing? <Probably.> How long can the process take? <That's up to the individual fish. I wish I could give you a certain time but unfortunately it depends on the fish.> Also regarding anemones… I have one that is a rose pink, with cream tips - sorry but I have no idea what it is, but I guess its locally collected in South East Asia, as a lot of corals are here.  Any ideas what it could be?  The female clown has ignored it from day one. <They don't have to have an anemone to be happy but if you want one that she will breed in its best to get what is natural to her.> Will having a mate change that or should I take it back to the dealer and wait until they can get a green bubble tip in - they seem hard to come by here - but occasionally available. <One of their natural anemones is the bubble tip so if I could I would buy one of the natural hosts.> I heard they are a better match - is that correct? <Yes> Yours Sincerely Brett Bangkok, Thailand

Clownfish Question. I've recently bought two healthy tank bred clown fishes both around 1.5inches from the LFS, they swam together for about an hour while first introduced into the tank, but now they've gone their separate ways, I believe they are both still juveniles considering the size of the crew I got them from, my question is, how can I get them to hang together? Or become a pair?<Honestly if they are to become a pair they will do so on their own. Only time will tell my friend. Good luck and hopefully they pair up. IanB>

Breeding Percula Clownfish July 5, 2004 Hi, <Hi Pamllen, MacL here.> I was wondering how big clownfish need to be before they start to breed <Actually, sort of a hard question because that really depends on their maturity and not necessarily their size.> and how to pick a pair of clownfish so you have good chances of one becoming a breeding female. <My process was to get two young and small fish and let them grow up together and sort it out.> I think I read that the clownfish start out as males and the most dominant male becomes the female and the second most dominant clownfish becomes the breeder male. <I think you should take a look at the FAQs on breeding fish http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm, there's a lot written specifically about breeding clownfish. Also I can highly recommend the Joyce Wilkerson's  "Clownfishes", which is an excellent primer on the care and breeding of these fishes. There is a lot to breeding these fish, perfect tank conditions is a must.>

Breeding Percula follow-up Was to get two young and small fish and let them grow up together and sort it out> I read that you should get one that is noticeable bigger than the other. Is this true? <If you are in a hurry its a good way to speed up the process, but like I said I let mine grow up together and decide which one was which. In the other way you are likely to deal with fighting> wouldn't the big one harass the small one? I am very interested in marine fish and I thought it would be cool to breed clownfish. <I would really recommend you get the Joyce Wilkerson "Clownfish" book. I think it will help you immensely>

Feeding baby Clownfish Hi crew my name is Deyan,<Hi Deyan, MacL here> I am 11 years old and i have a question. What do you feed a new born clownfish? <Deyan I feed a mixture of greenwater (single celled alga cultures), rotifer, or newly hatched baby brine shrimp.>  You can find how to culture green water and rotifers pretty easily or its covered in a great book called Clownfishes: A Guide to their Captive Care, Breeding & Natural History by a lady named Joyce Wilkerson. Hope this helped.  MacL>

Clownfish Pairing Dynamics (Pt. 3) Hi Scott / Crew <Hi there again!> The smaller maroon has finally 'moved' into the BTA with the female about three weeks back.  I am attaching a picture for your viewing pleasure.  I also have a question on my purple Firefish, which I've had for 2 months and had not have any problem with it.  However, yesterday it was hidden in it's home the whole day and did not even come out during feeding.  This has not happened before.  Anyway, today, it came out and I noticed that its breathing was a bit heavier than usual. <Curious> It was eating though. <That's always a good sign> No changes to the tank and did not add any fish or corals for the last 1 month. Did a 10% water change yesterday.  Is this normal or could this be an early sign of some illness? <Well, it certainly can be a sign that something is not right wit the fish. However, the fact that he/she is eating is a very good sign. At this point, I'd just keep observing the fish and make sure that no future signs of illness emerge. If they do, be sure to take proper action.> Thank you for  your help and hope you enjoy the picture !! <You're quite welcome! The only bummer is that we didn't get a picture! Do re-send! Regards, Scott F.>

Buying two tank raised Gold Bar Maroons, will they form a pair? <Hi Nathan, MacL here> I would really like a pair of Gold Bar Maroons.  <Very nice choice. Very pretty fish.  But they are known to be pretty aggressive so that will make a difference as to the fish you can have with them.> I know that generally speaking, established pairs are wild caught.  <Not always. Some places are offering breeders for sale.  You also might consider checking the boards and local clubs to see if someone has a pair that they would like to sell or trade.> I would like tank bred fish. <Very wise. I do know that ORA and some other places have been selling tank raised for many years.  I believe that while they don't sell retail they could connect you with a place that does sell their fish.> I found on Dr. Fosters & Smith that they have tank bred maroons!  <Great>If I purchase two will they form a pair?  <If you get two young, small ones, one will change its sex more than likely.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. <You are doing wonderfully and very wise to check out what you are doing in advance.> Thank you, Nathan Brown

-Pairing up maroon clowns- Ok, here is my story.. I purchased 2 maroon clown fish, both came from the mail <ah, the USPS now sells fish? ;) >and both were the same size. As expected they fought for 2 days until one became the dominate one. The other sat in the corner, flat, scared and not eating. I was waiting for mating <?!> but the other just kept nipping at it for about 4 days. <That sometimes happens, you probably should have separated them previous to this.> I decided that the scared one needed to be removed. OK, now that the dominate one is all alone, it now hides behind the skimmer box, barely comes out, and shows no interest in eating. Maybe he misses the other? <No emotional attachment here, not clear what's going on though.> Any ideas of what's up. Before I removed the other, the dominate one was fine, eating, swimming around? <Interesting, it may have been the stress of you actually going in the tank to remove the other one that spooked it. There could also be another fish in the tank bullying it.> Should I put the other back, maybe they were about to mate and I ruined it. <Fish are not like horny stray dogs, a pair of clowns only 'mates' (i.e. lays and fertilized eggs) after several weeks or likely months of courtship.> I also have a bubble tip anemone that for 1.5 weeks now, the maroon clown has not even touched it yet? <Although E. quadricolor is the natural host of your clownfish, there's no guarantee that the clown will actually take to it> The clowns were tank raised. <Tank raised or not, same chance.> One more thing. the anemone has moved to a place that is between a feather duster and a button polyp. I found the tentacles laying on the button polyp, is that polyp doomed. <Unlikely, I'd move the polyps. This is also an indication that you could probably use some more flow, since these very light tentacles were just sitting by their previous owner.> I did move the polyp over and it looks like some of the polyps are shrived, will they all die, will the shriveled pieces come back to life. <The shriveled polyps are a bit burnt, but will likely make a full recovery.> It also touched the feather duster, is that doomed too, the tube is getting dark and flimsy looking but the feather still comes in and out ok? <The tube is made of their excrement, so it doesn't matter what it looks like. A good way to judge feather duster health is to look at the crown, which I'm not sure if it can actually be stung... I must roll that one around for a while since I'm not sure what the crown is actually made of.> Can it get stung as well. I am rambling, I let you answer. Thanks, Mark <I hope this helps, -Kevin> 

Playing With Sandbeds Ok, Guys I bought some sand for my tank and am now pondering how to clean it? Should I buy a starfish or let it be. Should I vacuum it, I'm just worried that all the sand will go up the vacuum- please help. <My recommendation with sand beds is to siphon only from the top 1/2" or so, if it all. You really want to leave the deeper layers undisturbed, so that you don't inhibit the denitrification processes that occur in these deeper layers. Just go slowly and carefully. Or, as you suggested, you could use animals such as brittle stars to help do the job, too.> Also my friend wants to breed clowns in his 45 gal bowfront. the clowns are probably all his livestock except for a cleanup crew, and some nice corals-maybe a pink tip anemone, some 'shrooms and lots of LR to go with it. My question is how can you tell male to female? Is the female larger in size? <Well, usually, one of the fish in a pair will turn into a female, who may be recognized by-you guessed it- her larger size! Your should arm himself with a good book on these fish, such as Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfishes", which has lots of good information on these fish and their care.> Anyway, I gotta roll- gotta get up early for school. Thanks for reading, Aaron <Don't be late, Aaron! Regards, Scott F.> 

-False Percs- Hi ya. <Heyyy, Kevin here> I have a 190 Litre tank. with 40Kg Live Rock, 300w Metal Halide with twin T5 Actinic, 2 x Power heads and Eheim External filter fitted with Marine Media. Live stock = One Purple\Pink Dotty Back, 1 x Purple Sea Urchin and 2 x Ocellaris Clownfishes. <ok> The problem seems to be with the Ocellaris Clownfishes, When I purchased them (about 2 weeks ago, they came with the 40KG of live rock and the former keeper has had them for a couple of years) they were lovely, always hanging together and looked like they were inseparable. Over the past couple of days I have noticed the smaller one is being got at by the larger of the two on quite a regular basis. <Welcome to the world of clownfish 'love'> It appears that the larger female is swimming towards the smaller male and goes to take a bite out of him (sometimes doesn't make contact) the male responds by curving it's body and twitching before swimming up behind her. <Ooo, sounds like it may be spawning behavior!>  Today I noticed what looks like a single white spot on the bottom of its mouth, although have no concerns in this being white spot as he still has his appetite and is feeding well and my LFS said it was probably a battle scar. <Likely, they don't always play nice.> I understand this behaviour may be the result of the female trying to show dominance over the male and wondered if this will continue for long ? <The dominance issue will last their entire lives. If the two clowns were incompatible, the female would likely have torn up the male by now.> should I be concerned for the male ? Also I have not as yet added any Anemone's or Mushrooms, should I consider adding some soon, would this help calm this behaviour ? It would be a shame to have to separate them as they look so nice together when they get on. <I don't think there's a problem here, but keep an eye out for torn fins. Should the male begin to look ragged, you should separate them, otherwise light some candles, pop in some Barry White, and dim the lights because I think some other stuff is about to go down.> I cant understand why they are doing this when they have been living together in previous keepers tank for a couple of years quite happily, surely they would have established who is the dominate one by now and know each others place... <I'd pick up the aptly titled book by Joyce Wilkerson 'Clownfishes' which has excellent information about breeding these critters, which may just happen to you! Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you for you time.

Creating the "Love Connection" Hi Crew, <Hello, Ryan with you> I hope you can help me solve a recent mystery <Do my best> While on a business trip last Friday Saturday, I left my wife in charge of my \x{201C}other kids (my 180g aquarium). When I returned I was unable to find my 3.5 maroon clown fish. The 1.5 male maroon clown is still swimming around his anemone but the female (who is always in view) has still not appeared after 2 days. <Not a great sign> I have had this pair of fish and their anemone for a year and they all appeared very healthy. <Could have jumped?> Other tank inhabitants are: a variety of tangs, royal Gramma, eyelash blenny, Foxface lo, Banggai cardinals, flame angel, serpent stars, brittle stars (not green), snails, cleaner shrimp, red & blue leg hermits, pulsing xenia, hairy mushrooms, BTA, 1.5 maxima clam. I had not expected any of these other inhabitants to eat a clownfish but I have searched everywhere for this fish and I have been unable to find any trace of it (whole or otherwise). There are no accessible pump intakes in the tank and the overflow slots are only about 3/16 wide. Before noticing the clownfish was missing, I did notice the hairy mushrooms appeared to be very full and healthy (although not as large as I would expect if they had somehow eaten the large clownfish). Is it possible that the mushrooms would have eaten the fish? Do you have any ideas what could have happened to it?  The next problem is that I would like to keep a mated pair of clownfish so I assume I need to add another large clownfish to the tank ASAP. <May never re-pair> What advice do you have for maximizing the chance of a new clownfish and the existing male pairing-up? <Crap-shoot>  Is there any way, other than finding a large clownfish, to ensure I purchase another female?  <Nope. If you're convinced you need a breeding pair, then remove the current clownfish and purchase a new, already paired couple.>  Will any other clownfish (i.e. percula, ocellaris) pair with a male maroon clown? <Nope>  Since I have a gold-stripe maroon do I need to add another gold-striped maroon clown or would a white-striped maroon clown work? <Must be the same fish>  How much time do I have for adding a female clown (i.e. until the male begins to grow into a female)? <Could be a few weeks, could take months.> If this time is less than 4 weeks, I assume I would need to catch the male clown and move it to the quarantine tank with the new female? <You could expose your male clown to infection if you do this. After quarantining the new arrival for 2+ weeks with success, you could add the other clown to quarantine. Or, you could try your luck in the main display. Either way, there are no guarantees. Maybe a little Barry White in the background will give you that extra-edge? Good luck, you matchmaker! Ryan> Thank you for the help! --Greg 

Re-Pairing Divorce Clowns in Separate Houses (4/16/04)  I have a 4-5 inch maroon and a 2-3 inch maroon that I bought separate but was able to somehow pair up. <Good fortune.> They shared the sebae anemone with the only problem being the little one beating up the big one for a week but I was told they were just finding out who they were as far as male/female. they have stopped doing that. I recently got a rose anemone which I think might be a mistake <Yup> because the smaller one has taken to the rose after a couple of days and now they are separate any ideas? <Mixing different anemones in the same tank is not really a good idea anyway. Unfortunately it sounds like the one clown has moved out for good for whatever reason. Some sort of "irreconcilable differences." I doubt you will be able to get them back together again.> I also would like to know that if it was possible to  keep 4 maroons in a 125 gallon <I wouldn't try it. These fish can get 5" and very aggressive as they grow.> and if not do you think it is possible the clowns were sexed already and can't got back or are they not of size yet? <It might work better to have an even greater size difference between the two.> If they were sexed which would be the easier to try and pair with another one? <Hard to say. Might want to try the bigger one with an even smaller one.> thanks, Steve <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Clownfish Pairing Dynamics  Hi Sifus (meaning "prodigy" in Chinese)  <Thank you so much for the kind words  Very well done. Keep up the good work. Sorry for the long-winded story that follows but wanna be precise.  <No problem...>  I have seen tons of posting regarding Maroon Clownfish and only wished that I had read them earlier. I'm a real newbie.  I bought a "pair" of maroon clowns 2 months ago of quite similar sizes, the bigger one appx 2" and the smaller 1.5". They were in the same tank at the LFS. When introduced into my tank (new tank setup 1 month with only LRs), they bickered for awhile and eventually settled in. The bigger one usually hangs out near a rock while the smaller fella would spend his time at top right of tank near the skimmer. Things seemed to be peaceful. A month later, I added a BTA and the bigger fish took to it immediately. The smaller fish would swim nearby and the bigger fish would chase it away. 2 weeks later, they had a major fight which left both with missing fins and tail. We had both confined in a plastic container in the tank. Day 1 - still bicker at sight, day 2 and so on - wriggle their tail at each other. Eventually, bigger fish escaped into main tank and both have recovered very well. We tried to release smaller into tank but bigger would look for and chase after smaller all over the tank which would end up in smaller being confined in the container again. Smaller seemed terrified whenever being released into main tank. Bigger would occasionally swim up to look at smaller and they would wriggle their tail at each other.  I still have a small glimpse of hope that they would be friends again and I wonder whether you have any suggestions on how this can be tackled. I do not want to bring the smaller fish back to the LFS, rather as a last resort, would find a fellow hobbyist to adopt the smaller fish (but I have grown quite attached to it). Truly appreciate any suggestions that you may have.  Thanks in advance.  Aikun  p/s: 55g tank, side filters, 2xfans, protein skimmer, LRs, feather duster worm, jewel stone, fox, open brain. Also have a 1.4" Yellow Wrasse and appx 2" Purple Firefish. Maroons do not bother Wrasse and Firefish unless the Wrasse approach the BTA, bigger would chase it away and leaves it at that.  <Well, Aikun, pairing clown fish, particularly the "tough guys" like Maroons, tends to be a rather dramatic and occasionally, violent proposition. My suggestion is either to add another couple of Maroons, so that there is a balance of aggression among the fish. Alternatively, you could re-arrange the decor (although this may not be the ideal way) to break up territory and create new ones. Remember, there will still be some aggression and chasing as these fishes pair off; eventually, if a valid pair forms (you can tell when that happens because the male will stop running from the larger female), things should settle down and the fish will become almost inseparable. Hang in there; observe your fishes carefully, and be prepared to intervene again if required. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Clownfish Pairing Dynamics (Pt. 2) Hi Scott/WWM Crew <Hello again!> Thanks for your advice. I have a good news. I think the two maroon clowns are finally friends again. <Excellent!> The smaller clown no longer runs from the bigger clown and I have observed the 'shaking and kissing' thing numerous times. The smaller clown can now swim around the tank (sometimes they swim together) without constantly being chased and harassed by the bigger clown, although it is restricted to certain areas. Anywhere near the BTA is still out of bound. The smaller clown is spending most of its time hanging out near a Bubble coral. it doesn't 'play rough' with the bubble but simple staying close enough to touch it. Is this ok for the fish and coral? <If the coral appears to be suffering, then you may need to move it. Otherwise, enjoy the show!> Would the bubble mistaken the fish for food? <The potential exists...But not too likely, IMO.> Thought we could share with you how things had developed. We had the smaller clown placed in a plastic container in the main tank at a location where they can see each other. We would lower the container to leave an inch space, enough for smaller to go into the main tank (under supervision). Initially, there would be a lot of chasing (luckily without further injury to either). Whenever, smaller clown is back in the container, the chasing stops. The bigger clown did not try to enter the container until recently. Whenever the bigger clown is in the container, there are no aggression although smaller clown would initially freak out. <I can imagine!> Somehow, smaller clown sort of got used to having the bigger clown at close proximity and there's where we first observed the 'shaking and kissing' thing. <Interesting...> Hopefully, all's well from now on. Don't really care whether they spawn, just want them to enjoy their new home. Thanks again for your help!! <As long as they are doing well, let nature do the rest! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> 

Maroon clown getting attacked? <Hello> I wrote to you yesterday about my larger maroon clown getting attacked. Today I found that it was the much smaller maroon doing this. Is there a reason this would happen after a month of living in the anemone together with no problem? They still swim everywhere together but sometimes he just goes after the larger one.. Seems to be mostly at night <this is normal. they are not attacking each other but determining who will be what sex. The smaller one will be the male and the larger the female. This usually happens when a mated pair is not purchased and a small and large one are added together. This will pass do not worry. you may also notice some weird movement and shaking this is also normal. MikeH>    Thanks again

Maroon Clown Pairing? Hi. I was hoping you could help me out. Now I know you probably been ask this question a thousand times but here goes. I purchased 2 Maroon clowns a couple of weeks ago from a LFS that had 3 of them in a tank together. The 2 I purchased seemed to have gotten along cause they were sharing a BTA and were both chasing the other Maroon around. The Maroons are I would say 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. I had them in QT and while in there they stayed on opposite ends of the tank with an occasional chase here and there but with not actual assaults. Now I have introduced them to a 55gal reef. (They are the only fish in it) One of the Clowns seems to be trying to host a Bubble Coral and a Frog Spawn. He's what's going on though. When that clown that's trying to host sees the other clown A chase breaks out and seem to lead to some Jaw locking between the 2. There hasn't been any damage to fins or anything. Just the whole jaw locking thing. I would like to know what you make of this behavior? And what you suggest I should do? If anything? Thanks for your help in Advance..<I would separate these fish, it sounds more like signs of aggression to me, IanB> ~Don~


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