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FAQs about the Clownfish Compatibility 3

Related FAQs: Clownfish Compatibility 1, Clownfish Compatibility 2, Clownfish Compatibility 4, Clownfish Compatibility 5, & Damsel Compatibility, Clownfish 2, Clownfish 3, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Maroon Clownfish, Clownfish Diseases 1 & Clownfish Diseases 2Clownfish Diseases 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Brooklynellosis, Anemones & Clownfishes, Breeding Clowns, Maroon Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Maroon Clowns, Marine Disease

Clownfish/Compatibility    4/10/06 Hi <Hello Lori.> I have been noticing that everything I read says that Maroon and Percula will not get along. I don't know a lot about my tank except that everything looks good and my Maroon and Percula are doing mating dances and the Maroon is now making a nest. She has killed a blue leg crab but the male percula and the female maroon are getting along great. Do you think they could have babies together? <No.> Is there anything I need to do? <Just enjoy your clownfish.> I have a 30 gal. tank with live rock and live sand and crushed coral as a base the tank has been up since last August. Could you please respond at XXXX@yahoo.com I don't check this other email address. Thanks so very much.  <You're welcome.  If interested in breeding clownfish, read here.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm James (Salty Dog)> Lori I know, I know, don't mix clown species!  - 04/05/2006 Hi! I am the owner of a 30 gallon aquarium. I am planning to make it a saltwater with two scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, 15 dwarf blue leg hermit crabs, <Too many here> 35 pounds of Fiji live rock, some super colored colony polyps, 2 bubble tip anemones, <... not a good idea/mix> some green fluorescent mushrooms, and 60 pounds of live sand. I am also going to filter this aquarium with a 400 gph bio-wheel, a protein skimmer (worthy of cycling up to a 100 gallon aquarium), 150 watt heater, 190 gph power head, and I was going to light everything up with a 192 watt power compact light with three moonlights. I was thinking of what kind of fish I might possibly put in it and I came up with 4 ocellaris clowns and 1 maroon clown. <Uh, no> All of them will be small and introduced at the same time. If there were any problems, I would set up a divider and introduce them on certain days for a few seconds and separate them again (like they say to do with tangs if you have two or more in the same tank). Once the maroon clown got too big for the aquarium I would transfer it to another larger aquarium. The only reason I wanted to do this was because I once witnessed a large maroon clown protecting a ocellaris clown from two other fish that were also in a 30 gallon aquarium. A month later the maroon clown died because of some kind of poisoning (you know, when people try to capture wild fish they use a technique using dynamite, which is illegal). I, myself have tried to mix clowns (2 clarkiis and one tomato clown) in a 20 gallon aquarium for a project at school, but there were many variables involved. We didn't add them all at the same time (clarkiis added first) and they weren't young. The female clarkii (which we still have) is a real meanie! We think she killed the tomato clown but we weren't there to witness it (we added it on a Thursday, a big mistake because we don't have school over the weekend, duh, so we couldn't observe their behaviors). The smaller male clarkii died also. We think this happened because it was being handled too much by one of our partners (he liked to chase the clowns with his hand). Another reason we think this is because the 2 clarkiis were showing spawning behavior and the female wouldn't just kill the male overnight (there weren't any aggressive signs that day and the fins weren't damaged). Can you please tell me some other fish that would go well with the aquarium setup I am planning to have and tell me if my setup I'm planning is practical and if I need to change anything.   Many thanks,   Jeffrey      P.S. Please respond fast, I setting up my aquarium soon! <I would not mix a Maroon here, and would try at most a couple of tank-bred clowns of any one given species in this volume. Bob Fenner> Clownfish/Compatibility    3/27/06 I have a 135 gal reef tank w/125 lb. of Fiji live rock w/lots of hiding places, 200 lb. live sand (DSB). I have one Sohal Tang, one Fiji Damsel, one Cinnamon Clown (my Cinnamon is not very aggressive and stays in his area 90% of the time),  two Cleaner Shrimp, about 15-18 snails and lots of other inverts. I would really like to add two Percula Clown fish. In your opinion, do I have at least a reasonable chance that this would work in this size tank?  <Somewhat reasonable.  The Cinnamon Clownfish is semi-aggressive toward other clownfish.  Chance you would have to take. You may get away with it in a larger tank such as yours.  James (Salty Dog)> Kent B. Murrell Clowns that won't makeup    3/27/06 Good Evening Wet Web Media Crew, <Eric> Eric from Denver here.  I recently lost a Amphiprion ocellaris (Piece of crap JBJ tanks).  That was a week ago.  This  afternoon I bought a new A. ocellaris and put him in the tank.  For the  first couple hours he was fine, and so I went to dinner, when I got back the  poor guy was being chased by the other Clownfish. <Very common... to be expected in this circumstance... crowded, established small system...> Not only was the  clown chasing after him but my Pterapogon kaudneri started chasing him  and the clown he has been living with for 3 months now. Here are my  specs  24 gallon JBJ Nano-reef tank, 2  Amphiprion ocellaris, 1 Pterapogon kaudneri,  1 Nemateleotris magnifica, 1  Gobiosoma multifasciatum, 5 Clibanarius tricolor, 5 Clibanarius, 1 Lysmata  amboinensis, 1  Black Brittle Star, 2 Astraea tecta,  2 Turbo  fluctuosa, 5 Black Turbo Snails.   Salinity  1.025, PH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10,  Religious Weekly  Water Changes 20%. Water change will happen  tomorrow. Here  are my questions: How long should this  aggressive behavior continue before it becomes life threatening? <Is already...> Why is the  Cardinal all of the sudden aggressive towards the new fish, and the old  one? <Resource partitioning...> If  both A. ocellaris female, will the old resident kill the  new resident or will they eventually change sex and calm down (They are  roughly the same size)? <High confidence limit that very likely the new fish will be killed> Should I  remove the new fish? <I would, yes> Should I  remove the Cardinal? <If you want... this system is too crowded as it is...> How long  should this aggressive behavior continue before it becomes life threatening? <See above> Is chasing  considered fighting or does fighting  consist of nipping? <Both> You guys  are the best, whenever I have a question (or questions in my case) your  website is the first place I look. I really appreciate you answering my question.   Thank You,  Thank You, Thank You Eric Ross <Welcome in kind... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clncompfaqs.htm and the Related files linked above... and re operating a small marine system, livestocking same... Bob Fenner> Re: Clowns that won't makeup   3/28/06   Dear Bob and Crew, <Eric> Is there any chance that I could have two clowns ever again. What  would happen If I took both clowns out and introduced new clowns would  I still have the same problem? <Perhaps, but this is the only practical approach to take here if you wish to try two clowns in such a small volume... Start with two quite small tank bred individuals... Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Eric Ross Mixing Amphiprion Species    3/24/06 Hi, <Hello.>   I was just wondering if you can have a 2yr. old false percula and a 3yr or so old Clark's clownfish together in the same tank? <Yes you "can", physically it is possible to purchase these two species and place them into the same tank....however "can" and "should" are different. You should not place these two species in the same tank, different species (and sometimes even those of the same species) anemone fish (Amphiprion and Premnas) should not be mixed...a fight to the death usually ensues.> It's a 55g tank. The Clark's has been in this tank first, and then want to add the percula. <I would advise against it.>   Thanks in advance, <Sure thing.>   Kathy <Adam J.>

Three's A Crowd...Clownfish Behavior - 3/21/2006 Hi Lisa, <<Hey Elise.>> I need help! <<Ill try!>> I have three percula clowns, the smallest of which has been mercilessly chased and nipped at non-stop for the last week or two (by the other two perculas). <<Not unusual at all.  It is likely that the other two have paired and are harassing the singleton.>> I just put little Elmo in QT, and now that I can see him closer he has definitely got some damage to his fins.  He can swim OK, and he's eating, but he's obviously stressed.  Anything I can do to help him recover? <<Pristine water conditions, good food, and time.>> Do the fins come back, or are they damaged for life? <<With a little TLC, they will re-grow.>> Will I ever be able to put him back in the main display? <<Likely not.  Keeping three clowns of the same species in one tank often spells disaster for one of them.  If you must try, be sure to re-arrange the rock work entirely before doing so.  That said, even if you do so, the problem will likely return.  Sorry your little guy isnt doing very well!  If you love him a lot, you can do like I did, and set up another tank for such battered souls.  Its the most peaceful tank Ive kept!>> Thanks again! Elise <<Always a pleasure my friend!  Lisa.>>

Three's A Crowd...Clownfish Behavior Follow-Up - 3/21/2006 That was a fast response!  Thanks! <<Youre welcome.>> We were wondering if it would help to add a fourth clown.  Would that balance the power, or would I have three picking on one, or two picking on two? <<Its really hard to say for sure.  You could have full-out war, or could have two peaceful pairs.  Its really up to the fish.  You may want to try adding the fourth one to the QT with your odd-man-out, to see if they will pair first.  Good luck with whatever you choose!  Lisa.>> Elise

Three's A Crowd...Clownfish Behavior Follow-Up II - 3/21/2006 Me again! <<Hello again Elise.>> My husband is suggesting we get another clown and put it in the QT with Elmo and let them "bond" for a month or so then put them in the main display.  What do you think? <<See my last email regarding this.  I could help, but again, it is really up to the clownfish.  Be prepared to separate again if need be!  Lisa.>> Elise

-Clownfish Mouthing off to corals?-   3/19/06 <You have Justin today> Recently, my true perc developed a darkening to the left side of his upper and lower lips.  This continued to darken until it was black.  He also began to develop black spots on his belly and side-all on his left side.  His health did not seem to be affected in any way.  No other fish in my tank was affected in a similar manner. <Ok> During this same time I observed him hosting in my brown polyps, he then began to "mouth" the polyps,  putting them in his mouth but not tearing or damaging them. Occasionally, he would mouth the center of the polyps.  I also observed him doing this and then retreating quickly shimmering and shaking, almost as if he had a bad taste in his mouth.  Sometimes, he would even seem to have a mini seizure.  But, of course he would go back. After one of these seizures he seemed to be blind.  He was swimming into rocks, careening off the sides of the tank, acting crazier than normal.  His vision seemed to be impaired for several days before returning. <Definitely sounds like he is being stung by the polyps and possibly had one get him in the eye to create that loss of vision.> I then removed him from the main tank, dipped him in the Meth blue and put him in a QT.  The black spots disappeared very quickly (2 days) and I have since returned him to the main tank.  Is it possible that the black lips/spots were the result of the polyps?  The black spots were not tiny spots like Ich, they were larger. <Yes quite possible.  I do not know why for sure he would be mouthing the polyps or allowing them to sting him as true perculas can host in almost anything.  If he hasn't been hosting in the polyps before, its possible he was acclimating to them.  They get stung till their mucus layer has enough identifier nematocysts in it that they are not recognized as foreign to the coral is the gist of how that works.> Thank you for a great source of information. Cindy     <Cindy you may need to cover or use the white plastic crating material (I call eggcrate) to protect the polyps and the clown from each other.  Also, adding another coral or moving one that is less toxic to that area for the clown to host in might be a good idea.  Regardless I do not think you have anything other than coral stings.  You were correct in your assumption> <Justin (Jager)>

Reintroducing clownfish   3/16/06 Hi Crew, <Hello Thomas - Tim answering your question today!> My son has had a pair of Amphiprion melanopus clowns for a couple years.  Two weeks ago, one got stuck on a Mag 3 pump intake for at least some minutes <Oh dear...>.  I thought he/she was a goner, but my son suggested an intervention involving removing the fish to a hospital tank (and not moving the other one too, as the healthy one was harassing the injured one) <A very good idea - especially as the stress from this incident could have brought on a stress-related disease such as ich!>.  The injured one now looks fully recovered <Fantastic!>, and my question is how to reintroduce the two fish.  One is in a 10 gallon bare tank and the other in a 75 gallon with lots of live rock hiding places and no other fish.  Water parameters are now very close in both tanks.  I know from experience that catching these fish in the 75 gallon when they are healthy is very difficult (it can take days and good luck). <I assume you are trying to ultimately have both in the 75 gallon, am I correct? In which case there is really no need to catch the fish in the 75gal tank. I should not imagine that the male would have changed gender during this time and so there should not be any problems between the two fish. If they don't remember each other then there may well be some slight aggression as dominance is re-established initially, but this won't be a long term problem. Even if the two fail to get along after their brief separation, then a 75gal is large enough to host two competing clowns.> Thanks, Tom

One Old Percula Clown Fish   03/07/06 I've had a pair of true Percula clown fish for 13 years. <Neat> I don't know their exact age as I got them from a diver. The female died today and I'm wondering if I go get another pair will the 3 of them get along? <I do hope so... Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help - Dennis. Clarki clownfish/Anemone Compatibility Issues    3/2/06 Good Afternoon! <Good morning Sarah.> I have 2 Clarkii's that I bought from LFS and at the time of purchase was told that they were an established pair. I brought them home and put them into my 30 gallon tank were they coexisted peacefully for 3 weeks. I decided to buy them a BTA which after only 15minutes in the tank they found and darted in and out in what seemed like jubilant glee. Then things changed, the female chased the male away and he stayed at the other end of the tank for three days and when I came home the other day the roles seemed to have reversed, the male was in the anemone and the female had a busted lip and nipped fins. Yesterday I noticed them swimming together but would seem to occasionally have a head to head stand off with no physical contact and then seem to stand on their head and shimmy close to one another. At this point they seem to pay very little attention to the anemone and haven't gone after my coral beauty (the only other fish I  in the tank) when it swims by it. Can adding an anemone bring out aggression or is this typical courtship behavior. This makes me wonder if they were even an established pair to begin with! Some advise please! "Your website is a wealth of Knowledge that I will return to again and again!" <Sarah, what you're seeing is typical.  A pecking order is being established. It should subside in a few days. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks <You're welcome.> Sarah

Major Clown Crisis ?  2/22/06 Hello,   I have a pair of false perculas in my 70 gallon tank that have been with me for about 9 months and I have 2 anemones. <... not easily kept> The problem started when I placed an order for invertebrates on-line and the company accidentally sent me someone elses order. In the order there were 2 false perculas and 2 black perculas (tank raised). I have them all together in my sump while I figure out what to do. I have decided that I would like to keep them all, but I definitely want to keep at least the black pair and 2 of the false perculas whether or not they are the new clowns or my original clowns. I need to know if this is possible and if so how to go about it. <These can co-exist in a system of this size... are both likely Amphiprion ocellaris... if not, close enough to get along> I need to take care of this before the 4 clowns in the sump get established. Someone told me that if I take my 2 perculas and place them in the sump with the other 4 new clowns they will get along, is this true? <Likely so, yes> Please help me figure out this crisis. Thanks in advance for all the wonderful advice. <I would try floating the new fish in the main tank in a plastic colander for a few to several days to allow visual inspection, before introduction... Bob Fenner> No I wont marry you, Clownfish Rejection  - 01/24/06 Hello Big fan of the site thanks for all of the crews time and effort. <Glad you enjoy it, thank you.> Recently I added a second tomato clown to my 29 gallon reef. I bought what I thought was a smaller fish but when I arrived home I realized that my new fish was in fact a bit larger than Leika the resident clown. Chaos has erupted in the tank and my resident fish is getting harassed by the newcomer. <Im not surprised, clowns can be quite fickle when it comes to getting along with their own species, in a tank of this size I would have left the original as a single inhabitant.> Would it be possible to add 2 juveniles (three stripes I believe...) <I would not add any more fish to a tank of this size, a pair of tomatoes alone will outgrow it.> Is it possible for them to eventually pair? <It is possible, they are both quite small, likely still males but it (the pairing) as with humans, doesnt always work out, even if they are compatible on paper.> It has been a week and a half and I think if I remove one fish now I will be ruining their courtship... <Or you may save one of them..> Leika's not dead yet... <Yet is the operative word.> One fish is 1 1/2 inches the other is slightly smaller would it be possible that both have reached sexual prime (female) And in that case will just kill each other. <Doesnt sounds like they would females at this size, though it does sound as if you should remove one or the other.> I also have read that a partition (strawberry basket) can help this process. <May or may not, worth a try as these individuals need to be separated at any rate.> Thanks. <Welcome.> POC <Adam J.> Mixing Clowns of different Species..No-No!   1/13/06 Hi first timer my question is I have a sebae clown around 3in that I have had for around 3 to 4 months. He or she hosts in a long tentacle i just bought a yellow striped maroon 4 to 5 inches with a green long tentacle will they get along or am i going to have problems <You WILL have some problems, the clowns more than likely will quarrel to the death.  If they dont now, just give it timeespecially when that maroon gets older/bigger.> I should also say that the sebae is making popping noises when the maroon gets close <Sounds like a war call to me.> my tank is a 125gal with about 100 or so pounds of rock thanks <I would remove one or the other, Adam J.>

Re: Long-range planning for 55G aquarium 01-09-06 Thank you very much for your reply. This is the first time that I've heard not to have three clown fish together. I've read several different books that say that clowns are best in groups! I'm glad to know that two would be better. <Clowns do live in family units in the wild, but in our small glass boxes you will have a much higher probability of success with a pair.> As for the star fish, how long after a tank has been cycled is it safe to add one? <I would like to see you wait a few months to get the substrate and live rock seasoned. This will increase the amount of available food for your starfish.  Waiting will also allow you to get into a regular tank maintenance schedule.> Thanks so much, Heather <Glad to help, Travis>

Clownfish environment Hi I have a 45 gallon tank with about 30lbs of live rock two orange clownfish with black just around the outer fins also in the tank are 3 cleaner shrimps 2 skunk and one a blood shrimp one of the skunk shrimps has green eggs on its under side where those little swimmerets are there were to snails but now there's about 35 little babies moving around and about 9 hermit crabs. I was wondering what kind of fish, corals and inverts I could put in the tank for a natural environment for the clowns. <An important question... as what you have already, the size of the tank limits your choices. Perhaps some other smallish fishes (grammas, microdesmids, blennies, gobies...) and a smattering of easier-mixed cnidarians... these are covered on WWM> My lighting is two 65w pc lights and filtration is built into the tank its basically a pump that sucks water up and sprays it over a filter pad with some Algone and some bio media. Thanks in advanced --Sbatiste <Keep reading, cogitating furiously. Bob Fenner> Monti cap being eaten by perc  12/16/05 Hello, <Hello Dan>      I purchased a frag of a red Montipora Cap about a month ago. It has been doing great and has doubled in size. The last few days, the rim has been all messed up looking, like it fell and crushed a little bit. Then the other day I saw my percula swim up and latch on with his mouth. He wriggled around a bit and then swam back into his sebae anemone about 4 inches away. Upon further examination, I found bite mark in the shape of the Perc's mouth taken right out of the rim. I thought these guys were supposed to be reef safe.... Is the clown going to stop or should I move the coral? <I'd watch it for a while, if the clown still nips, then move the coral.  Unusual behavior for the clown to say the least.>       Also, I have asked this question a couple times now and haven't really got the answer I was looking for. Is it better for my coral to have light from a 265 watt power compact light fixture from CoralLife with 2 day and 2 actinic, or 440 watts of VHO from a icecap 660 ballast with 2 day and 2 actinic. I was thinking obviously the 440 watts, but I have gotten mixed answers every time I ask someone. So if possible, just tell me which one my coral will like more. <My choice would be the Icecap system.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for any help you can give me <You're welcome>

A. ocellaris...adding to an established pair, not the best idea 12/1/2005 Hello crew! <Hello Dan the man! Can I call you that?> I have visited your site many times, not only to help myself, but others as well--I am a manager at a major national pet retail store. <I am glad you have found it useful.> Your wealth of knowledge has helped me guide others to become successful reef keepers.  I keep a 45 gallon with approximately 60 lbs. of Fiji live rock. I do about a 20% water change once a week and a 50% water change every 2 months. I keep added carbon in the filter. Ammonia 0, nitrates 20 ppm, nitrites 0, pH 8.2, and specific gravity ~1.026.  <The nitrates are this high even with such a water change regime? I see no mention of a protein skimmer, so you have one? Possible detritus accumulation somewhere in the tank?> Livestock includes an expanding colony of pulsing xenia, very small colony of clove polyps, colt leather, Hawaiian feather duster, and a very dark earth toned bubble tip anemone on an isolated rubble pile. <Glad it is isolated for now, they (anemones) are not great tank mates for sessile inverts.> The latter is the home of my 2+ years pair of orange tank-raised, ocellaris clowns. There is also a flasher wrasse, coral banded shrimp, and about 10 Turbos <Quite a few Turbos for this tank size, usually only one per 20 gallons of water volume is necessary.> and only a few blue-legged hermit crabs. By the way, the coral banded has certainly surpassed quadrupling in size since I got her 2 years ago (at least 7 inches from one antennae tip to the other)--I am a bit weary of keeping her, as I see her lash out at my clowns sometimes. She is quite formidable now. It is hard to trade her in though, she's extremely beautiful and her "grumpy" antics are quite amusing for the moment. <Sometimes they become predatory, especially at larger sizes like the one you have. Keep an eye on her/him.> Anyway, to get to the point, we recently started stocking the black version of the tank-raised ocellaris clowns in the store. I attempted researching their compatibility with the orange ones to no avail. <They are a variance of A. ocellaris and I have seen them paired up with the orange variety when young, but I would not introduce them to an established pair such as yours. Of course pairing one on one even when young is difficult. The best way is to do it in groups, hopefully a pair forms and then you can remove the odd men out.> I assumed (not always the best thing to do) that since they were the same species they would be fine with my established pair.  <No , I would not do that. It could work but the risk is to large in my opinion.> I QT (yes even from my own store [hint of caution to others, from the source your retailer, in support of this site's teachings, haha]) a black pair that were of similar size. About a week ago I recently introduced them into the main system and my largest orange clown, "Queen," harassed them just a bit at first, as I anticipated, but fortunately "stopped" soon enough. However, it seems the orange pair keep to themselves near their anemone while the two black ones have taken residence on the complete opposite end of the tank. <This sounds like a territory issue which could improve or get worse over time.> <<Would improve with the deaths of the black clowns.  MH>> Ideally, I was dreaming of a inter-colored colony, but it seems to be far from it. <Yes this is expected, your new clowns were likely forced into the spot they reside in nowI doubt they chose it.> Sometimes Queen will chase them around during feeding, otherwise the two pairs mostly keep to themselves. Is it possible they don't recognize each other as the same kind, although I thought this focused aggression would have confirmed they actually did?!   <As humans we are the same species but do you get along with every other human? No of course not. Its quite common and expected for established fish to not accept new fish of the same species. They are seen as intruders and treated as such.> <<Also, these fish are "haremic", and essentially grow up together in the wild.  When the dominant female dies, the next dominant male morphs, and this can go on indefinitely (especially considering the lifespan of their host anemone).  Marina>> Any chance they will become a whole colony or are they already in a sense a colony, hence the black pair will stay stunted, and this space between them is normal? <They are not living in harmonious community with each other by any means.> Or is it possible they may just form separate pairs--if so, is that wise in a 45 gallon environment?  <No.> <<Try a couple of hundred gallons, then there might be a good chance.  MH>> I don't want pairs killing each other over prime real estate! <This could be the case, monitor them and be prepared to remove one of the pairs.> On a side note, when I got my second orange percula for Queen, he never had to acclimate to the bubble tip anemone like she did, he just dove right in the second he saw her laying there! Must've been love, haha. <More like monkey see, monkey do.copied/learned behavior from the other clown.> As always, I appreciate all your help! Happy Holidays crew! <You too.> Danny N. Tampa, FL <Adam J.>

The Clam Swallowed my Clownfish!  The Case of the Missing Clown - 11/30/05 Hello, <Hello Wendy> Just want to say I love your website, very informative. Now here is my predicament, I purchased my first fish (Percula Clown) 2 days ago. The other morning the clam (hitch hiker from live rock, who has never moved from his spot under the live rock for 5 weeks) is out in the middle of the aquarium sitting in the sand with the fish hovering over top of him. I thought this was kind of strange  <Me too> but the Clown did not look stressed so I went to work. When I got home from work the Clown was gone, I searched for 2 hours and could not find a body anywhere. Since there is nothing else in the tank beside dime size crabs, it had to be the clam. <Not entirely convinced here.... I've seen a clam briefly trap a slow/unwary/not-too-bright fish, but not consume. Clams are filter-feeders, not piscivores.  <<But John, haven't you seen those movies where the clam clamps down on the diver's leg, thus ensuring that he will drown once his air runs out?  Marina>> I assume you checked behind, under, in rocks for signs of your clown? Or on the floor around the tank? Perhaps your clown expired and was consumed by scavengers (crabs)? Or, possibly, an as-yet-unseen predator could be at work. Perhaps the same one that moved the clam?> <<Or the carpet.. could have gone a-carpet surfing!  MH>> I tried to open up the clam but could not without doing damage. Do you know how to do this without hurting the clam? <I don't think you can.> Regards  <Kind regards, John> Wendy Worman 

The Clam, It Swallows my Fish!  Don't Blame the Clam  12/1/05 Hi John, Thanks for your response. To answer your question, when I said I searched for 2 hours I wasn't kidding, all rock was taken out, all hoses, filters and skimmer searched. I also know that Clown fish are jumpers so yes I looked all around the outside of the tank. I am thinking any predator in my tank is very tiny, no way could they consume an entire fish in 8 hours. <You'd be surprised. Do a search through WWM for Mantis shrimp. Not saying that is definitely your issue here, but it serves as a good example.> I know a clam swallowing a fish sounds crazy, but that is the only conclusion I can come up with. Is there any other type of shell fish that could possibly consume a fish? I do not want to put any more fish in the tank until this mystery is solved, any other suggestions would be welcomed before I open up the clam. <I'd be willing to wager you find nothing. At any rate... a day on from the event, no benefit to prizing this filter feeder open.> Thanks again,  Wendy  <You're welcome... I hope you solve the mystery. John>

Adding second ocellaris clown to new tank  11/19/05 My husband and I have recently entered into the exciting world of marine fishkeeping and love your website! As we are finding mixed answers regarding this question, we thought we would ask the experts... <Okay...> We have a 75 gal tank, cycled with live rock, about 2 months old. Over the last few weeks we have introduced 3 green Chromis and an ocellaris clown. We were hoping to add a second ocellaris clown, but one of the guys at our local retailer told us this introduction probably would not fare well for one of the two. (Would it have been better to buy two at once?) <Mmm, yes, but in this size (good) system, they should get along fine introduced now> However, after researching your site, we are wondering if we could do it if we bought a smaller one. <Likely so> From our initial planning, we are hoping to end up with a pair of clowns (and maybe an anemone someday when we have more experience and better lighting), 4-6 green Chromis, a blenny, a yellow tang, a couple of cleaner shrimp ,and maybe a flame angel down the road. If we can do the pair of clowns, when would be the best time to introduce #2? Thanks, Tisha <Anytime. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Clownfish aggression! Mis-mix, garden approach to problem causing  11/12/2005 Hi guys, <Joe> I have a 55 gallon reef tank with 2 percula clowns, a large Clarkii or sebae (not sure but maybe blue stripe because I see like a bluish teal color on the outside of the white stripes), <Sebaes are exceedingly rare... not good to mix clown species in small volumes> small hippo, sixline wrasse, flame angel, and a scooter blenny. <The tang and angel need more room> Inverts are a nice sebae anemone which was bleached and now is brown, and corals. <Troubled mix> The 2 perculas were the first to enter my tank. They are now hosting in my green star polyps. I added the anemone and sebae clown together as a matched pair about 2-3 months after the first clowns. Now it has been about 2-3 later and I recently added the hippo, sixline, flame, and blenny to the mix from Live Aquaria. Results with the new fish are great but the Sebae clown is chasing some new fish occasionally and bites my hand when I try to clean the tank. Worst of all my perculas are taking the worst of it.  I saw him chasing and nipping at the fish a couple of times( the Percs are half its size) and one morning I saw him grab the perc by its tail and take him halfway down the tank still with the tail in his mouth trying to rip him apart. Now my perc is hiding inside a cave that has star polyps covering it and I can't even see until the polyps retract.  My other perc which I assume is the female due to the bigger of the two is hiding in the corner behind the heater and outlet pvc pipe for the closed-loop. Is there anything I can do or do I have to give him away. I would hate to because the whole anemone-clownfish deal going on. Will the anemone do worse without it around? Thanks Joe <... you need another tank, or to re-think/revisit what you're doing stocking the one you have. The loss of color of the anemone is concerning... lack of light? Nutrition? It's presence with "corals" is problematic. I encourage you to invest your time reading (on WWM and elsewhere) re the compatibility of all this life, and the troubles you're inducing. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Clownfish aggression!  11/12/2005 No when I bought the anemone is was bleached now it regained its color.  Should I give away the sebae clown if it continues to harm the other fish? <Yes, I would> Will this cause the anemone harm? <No> thanks Joe <BobF> 

No Vacancy?  11/12/2005 Hi guys I have had a 55 gal setup with 2 Emperor 280 and Remora Pro 1200 and 52 lbs of live rock with a Coralife Lunar Aqualight. Per your advice I added a wave maker and timer center for my lights and powerheads. I added a Zoa as my first coral (a month ago) and it's been doing great and my kids love it.  My tank has been up for about 3 years now and since I've spent my lunch hours searching your site over the last few months my tank has gone from frustrating to a real fun hobby. I plan to add a few more corals over the next year or so but my question deals with my fish. As I said its only 55 gallons and I want to know your opinion on additions. Currently I have a Banggai (sp?)  <<Banggai - absolutely beautiful fish.. actually, I love this whole group of fishes.  MH>>  Cardinal who has been in for 2 and a half years. He is my favorite fish and is huge compared to ones I see in the store. My clown is also a little over 2 years and is also quite big.  I also have a Regal Blue tang for about 5 months now and after a rough first month is doing great and starting to grow. As I said I have kids (6, 5, & 1) so you can see the Nemo connection. I also have a blood shrimp (2 years) who blesses us for appearances at feeding time, A Sally light foot (1 year), Choc chip starfish (8 months), and several assorted crabs and snails about 20 total.  My snails seem to die after 6 months except the bumblebees and 2 strong Astreas who are over a year. My crabs do well I have about 3 zebras, 2 blue hermits, 3scarlet and 2 red hermits. They also do well and seem to be happy. To get down to it, I would love to have about 5-6 corals when I'm done and like to add a pygmy angel ( I had a flame for 2 years who died suddenly in the spring) like a coral beauty or another flame or bicolor. <Mmm, this tank is about full-up fishes-wise> I would also like to add a very small clown hoping the big clown won't destroy him (remember the whole Nemo theme, this would make Dory, Nemo & Marlin). Is this possible? <Possible, but will not likely work... if you want to try still, I would "float" the new fish in a plastic colander for a week or two, then switch it for the larger one for a week or so...> I would also like to add a clam eventually and a cleaner shrimp (had one for 2 years and gave to my brother who is starting out). Are my hopes going to blow up in my face by an overcrowded tank? <Mmm...> Or is this realistic? <Well, will need to upgrade the lighting... or perch the clam high up near the present light...> My water is great and I clean my cup in my Remora every day. Or is it possible with a better kind of filter setup and what kind would work best? Thanks for any advice you can give and thanks for making this fun and educational for my whole family. <Well... it is obvious you have patience, careful observation... A commendable hobbyist. Bob Fenner> 

Clowns, Damsels, Generators, and Aggression - 11/05/2005 Hello Again! <Hi, Jon; Sabrina with you today.> Well after an awful hurricane down here in South Florida, I regret to report I lost both my clowns, Chocolate Chip Starfish, And Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. <Ohh, serious bummer, dude. I'm sorry.> Yea Sucks. Even with battery aerator, temperature dropping to 64 degrees was bad. <Indeed.> Next year =Generator.  <Yes.... Our rainy season in the Santa Cruz mountains has shown me how great a generator can be.> Anyhow. I used this time period to recreate the tank a bit since I lost most of the inhabitants except the Pink Damsel and Orange Ridged Starfish. So now I have two new VERY energetic Percula Clowns in the tank. Very active and insane eaters. I am very happy about that. One is a bit larger than the other so hopefully they will pair up.  <Excellent.> Here's my question for you which has been answered to some degree many times before on WWM. Being that the Pink Damsel was the only inhabitant in the tank for a few weeks, He grew a bit territorial I guess. <Certainly.> I added lots of live rock to the tank and built up a reef formation and rid it of the fake decor and dry rock. As any new inhabitant would be treated, the pink Damsel is chasing around the clowns. Now he has lived with clowns before, so I'm guessing that this will subside. Right? <Mm, not necessarily....> I can't have anymore clown deaths because its heartbreaking to watch. Another thing is, I was/am someone who is an overprotective parent and had my hand in the tank WAY to much. So I'm trying to stay out of the tank as much as possible and let things work out naturally on there own as much as possible, so I don't want to take out anyone. <Might be walking into disaster, here.... Damsels can be absolute hellions.... Do please consider removing the offender if this doesn't fix itself in a week or two, or if the clowns sustain much damage....> I will be adding a Royal Gramma and eventually a Goby. Do you think that this will diffuse the aggression, being that the Damsel will have to accept this isn't just his tank and he can't fight with everyone (lol)? <Eh.... Tough to say. I wouldn't bet real money on it, though, especially not knowing the size of the tank....> Any other advice?  <Not as yet.> Thank so much for everything!! -Jon <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Introducing a Clown to a Current (established) Clown 11/3/05 Hi guys. Thanks again for all your great site offers. <Hi Daniel, thanks for the compliments.> I have a 50-gallon tank with the following inhabitants: brittle star, feather duster, 8 hermit crabs (various types), 5 turbo snails, one coral banded shrimp, three peppermint shrimp, one queen conch  <Watch the size of this guy, will get huge fairly quickly.> one BTA  <Not an easy one, hope you did your research on this guy and can meet its needs.> and one tank-bred percula clownfish. 55 lbs live rock. The clown was part of a pair that we bought a few months ago, but his mate died. The surviving perc is perky and was the larger of the two. I'd like to re-mate this perc, if possible.  <Is possible, depending on the personality of the fish.>  Is it OK to just buy another smallish tank-raised perc and put him in?  <Chances are actually in your favor on this one, should work out, if not be prepared to remove one or the other.> Thanks Daniel <Welcome, Adam J.>  <<Better make sure the new introduction is sufficiently smaller, i.e. has NOT undergone sexual change upon reaching apex of clown society.  If this one is part of a harem with an obvious female, your chances of success will be almost guaranteed.  If the current specimen has morphed, and the new specimen has morphed, death of one or the other will likely ensue.  Marina>>

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, Ill 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 wellno reason to beat you upand I really dont 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 cant 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 Wilkersons book: Clownfish.> Agnes <Adam J.> 

Pseudochromis vs. Clowns 10/18/05 Hi WWM Crew! <Hello Steve!> First, my compliments on your fantastic site...the knowledge contained within its pages has proved invaluable time and again. <Glad you have found us useful.> I was hoping to get your advice on my current situation with my, normally, very peaceful fridmani. Recently, I moved two tank-bred A. Perculas (born June 16)  <Little guys.>  into his, and he's having difficulty accepting the newcomers.  <Not surprising honestly.>  Previously, his only tank mate for over two years, other than the assorted cleanup crew and a cleaner shrimp, was a yellow goby (Gobiodon okinawae) which mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago.  <The fridmani had a territory (tank) to himself the addition of new fish is going to upset him.>  I knew there would be a possibility that he could act aggressively towards newcomers,  <More than a possibility, more like a likelihood.> but convinced myself that the chances would be very slim considering his past behavior, the fact that there's plenty of hiding space in this 30-gallon reef tank, <Its not a physical space issue its a psychological space issue.> and that fridmanis and perculas normally get along admirably. Well, so much for my reasoning!  <Personalities are unpredictable at times with fish and people.> At any rate, the fridmani seems hell-bent on keeping the two perculas trapped in a corner.  <Not pleasant for the percs, could lead to stress or feeding strikes.>  He does sometimes charge into their midst, but I have not observed him actually nipping at them, and don't believe he's making any physical attacks.  <These psychological attacks can be just as damaging over time.>  When I approach the tank, he seems to know instinctively that he's misbehaving and will retreat into his favorite cave. With the fridmani out of sight, the perculas will immediately leave their cover and seem to enjoy exploring their new environment and playing in the outflow from the water pumps. After I've "intervened" and they've been released from hiding, I've noticed that even after I retreat, they will "stand their ground" and not allow the fridmani to chase them back into the corner so easily. They don't actually go after him, naturally, but they do seem to exhibit some teamwork  <There is strength in numbers being in pair is better than being alone.>  and will "stare him down" for a while. Nonetheless, two or three times a day (this is only their second day in the tank), I'll have to come over to the tank to make the fridmani retreat (I don't actually do anything other than walk over to it and stand there for a few minutes). BTW, it was always normal for this shy fish to retreat when anyone approached the glass, even at feeding time. <Yes these are instincts.> Do you believe the fridmani will begin to accept his new tank mates given some time?  <He could but its also possible he could become bolder and begin attacking even more.>  If so, how long should I tolerate this before intervening in a more drastic manner?  <You should be intervening now, I was going to suggest re-aquascaping but I see thats not an option.>  Unfortunately, I can't rearrange the LR, or I would have done that today. Should I pull the fridmani out for a while and re-introduce him later?  <That would be my second choice, move the fridmani to your quarantine tank for at least a week maybe longer.>  Naturally, it would be quite some feat for me to actually capture him (can't really move the structure as I mentioned; LOTS of hiding places; and he's not only fast, he seems to be rather intelligent as well).  <I understand.>  Obviously, in the worst case, I know I'll have to pull the perculas out.  <Yes.>  However, even though when it comes to fish I've always felt that fewer was more, I really didn't want this to become a single fish tank, especially since he is rather shy.  <I understand.>  But, if he can't come to terms with these, I can't imagine him accepting any other fish that I'd be willing to introduce to the tank. <In all honesty the chances of the fridmani settling down are not good, you are going to have to intervene in one way or another.> Suggestions? <You would try your best to temporarily separate the fridmani.> Thanks and Cheers! Steve <Youre welcome Adam J.> 

Re: Fridmani Aggression  10/20/05 Thanks for your reply, <Your welcome.> just wanted to give you a quick update and ask for your opinion regarding my latest idea. <Thank you.> The day after I wrote, the situation in the tank improved dramatically. <Glad to hear it.>  The percs are out and about and only seem to irritate the fridmani when they get too close to "his" rock.   Otherwise, he seems to be adjusting to their presence.  He's not exactly ignoring them, as he does swim around to keep an eye on them, but I haven't seen him pestering the pair except under the understandable condition which I just mentioned. <Sounds better, how does it go during feeding time? Are the clowns allowed to eat?.> Although aquascaping the tank as a whole is certainly out, I've managed to rearrange a couple of mid-level rocks on the opposite side of the tank from the fridmani's home so that I could potentially add a few more on top.  <Anything is better than nothing.>  That will all depend upon how successful I am at finding suitably shaped/sized rocks to fit the spot.  The idea is that they would give the percs more cover at the mid- to upper-level of the tank which is where they apparently prefer to swim (the fridmani prefers the bottom levels), but I'll have to be very selective else they could not be placed without harming the corals growing near that location. <More hiding spaces/territory will definitely increase your chances of making this work.> Ultimately, I was also hoping to add another yellow goby (same species as before) to the mix.  He's already been in quarantine, but was purchased about a week after the percs.  Considering the latest antics from the fridmani, I'm now uncertain if/when I should proceed. <Its a gamble and with the size of this tank the odds are against you.>  On the one hand, I was thinking that since it would essentially be the same fish, the fridmani would accept it without difficulty. <Dont rely on that.>  However, I'm somewhat certain that he'd recognize that it wasn't the exact same fish, just the same species.  If that's the case, then if I wait too long, he might go after him as he did the percs. <Might do it anyway.>  Being a single, slow-swimmer which likes to hang in the same lower- to mid-levels (at least the last did) as the fridmani, this might prove to be very unhealthy for him. <Yes hed be an easier target than the clowns, and he would be alone.>  However, if I were to proceed as planned (in the next 2-3 days), then the fridmani might be a little more accepting simply because he's already somewhat distracted/preoccupied with the percs.  Thoughts? <He may be distracted with so many new tank mates to but then again he could choose one of the tank mates new or established tank mates and singly target them, I wouldnt risk it until you are 100% sure the clowns are safe. Its a risk no matter how you cut it, with no guarantee one way or the other. Even though you have the physical real-estate for more fish you have to consider psychological crowding.> What about adding a small school (~3) of green chromis? <That would be to much for this tank.>  There just might be more safety for them all if the fridmani has to divide his attention between a larger grouping of new fish (3-6) instead of letting him focus too much on just the two. As I said, though, he does seem to be calming down in regards to the percs.  Maybe now is the time to complete the additions? <With his behavior towards the clown My thoughts... If the fish perished during the night the Coral Banded Shrimp, large Brittle Star, and or the hermits would have started to consume him??? <Of course. They're scavengers by nature, and a fresh corpse is a rare treat, indeed!> With what appeared to be only a few wounds... I'm thinking the lights came on and the Jawfish became active... Or perhaps the clowns became active and noticed the newcomer? Then the clown attacked?  <Possibly. I'm thinking the Jaw entered the Clown's territory, clown attacked.> Thoughts? Given the additional info... Still think he perished from stress? <Flesh wounds don't develop from stress alone.> Then again, that Jawfish was pretty damn quick and can fit in many of the crevices in my 100lbs of live rock that the percula clown can't fit in. I dunno... <Perhaps a combination of the two?> I just don't want to add anything new if I have a killer clown~ sounds like something from Steven King? <Ah, indeed. Good luck. Mike G>

Multiple Clowns Fighting - 10/9/05 Hi, <<Hello>> I have a question concerning my (4) ocellaris clowns. <<I bet you do.>> I placed them in my tank, all at the same time, although I'm aware that after two pair off there may be fighting. <<Actually it will be worse before they pair off.>> I was told at the LFS that if all introduced at the same time should be o.k.. <<Aren't we all?>> It's weird, when the white lights + blue lights are on, they get along fine, when the moon lights go on, same scenario, but when I have only the blue lights on for dawn/dusk they start to fight, then when I put on the white lights they stop fighting and are fine all day.  My tank specs, 72 gallon bowfront, about 3 months old. Over 100 pounds live rock, 4" DSB, LifeReef sump and skimmer, 4 clowns, 2 yellow tangs, 1 lawnmower blenny, and lots of life brought in as hitchhikers (worms, snails, black urchins, lots of critters, still unidentified). << Four clowns and two yellow tangs... Your tank should be a regular battle royale. You may want to think about removing one of those tangs in the near future as even one will be too big for that tank eventually.>> So why do my clowns only fight when the blue lights (only) are on? <<Clowns didn't get their name because they wear a red nose and big floppy shoes, they do some funny things. Odds are they are fighting at that time because it is the time they would be deciding who sleeps where. It is a "who wears the pants in this family" thing. This is actually a warm up to the struggles for power that you are sure to witness soon enough.>> Thanks, all my (saltwater) education came from reading your site. Dolly <<TravisM>>  True Perc Clownfish compatibility, behavior, and tang f' 9/30/05 Hi Gang: <Ray> I had two True Percs in my 72 gallon system for several months now. A couple of weeks ago, I came home to find the larger one on the floor dead. Oh no a jumper!! Very bummed out at losing this prized clownie. <Happens...> I purchased a new True Perc last night from the LFS and upon introducing him (her) to the tank, the new clownie and the smaller clownie began quarreling heavy. Locking mouths and tugging at each other. <Common... a good idea/technique to separate for a few days in such a way that the new/old can see, smell each other, but not physically interact... an all plastic "breeding net", floating colander...> This went on for a little while and then they seemed to calm down. But they are still both wary of each other and flap tails at each other in passing. Is this their way of establishing dominance and will this behavior subside once they're used to each other? <Up to them... if there's "enough" room... time, not substantial damage... again, better to separate> Another interesting note is that the smaller one that has been in the tank for a long time finally started hosting in my BTA which he has ignored forever. <Yes... related events> Both have been a part of the community for a long time. I've also considered removing the both of them, and re-acclimating them back into the tank at the same time. A technique that has worked for me with tangs in the past. <Ahh! Worth trying. Thank you for this tip> Thanks As Always  ... Raymond DeMartini Jr. <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 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>

Sebaes in my reef tank, a quick question  9/29/05 Thank you for the quick response)  I know it won't take overnight but I am happy to see that you had not written anything about it being a lost cause.  I am also in agreement with you about the anemones/ corals but thankfully they have stayed put over the last two years.  Back to the clowns for a second though (if you don't mind)  The original in my tank (the one who has been there for 2 years) is a male? <Not necessarily> That means all the others I got are either sexless or male as well? <Probably females><<Actually, if small, are undifferentiated or males. RMF>> With two anemones in the tank, will both be occupied by at least one clown? <The dominant clown, which more than likely will be the original is likely to allow the others in the anemone he will occupy.  Unlikely that there will be two harems controlled by individual males due to the size of your tank.> Sorry for more questions but with your comment, you seemed to have created more for me) Which I like, more to learn)<You will learn something everyday by reading.>  Thank you again and you guys are some of the best! <Thank you.  James (Salty Dog)> Andrew Mixing Species of Clowns?  9/28/05 Hello Chaps <Hello to you as well, Adam J. with you.> Excellent website and a great way to kill your lunch break. <Its also very useful to us insomniacs.> I have a question. I have a 40-gallon, which currently holds a couple of chromis, 2 percs one flame angel and a yellow clown Goby, a few soft corals and a BTA. The two clowns are leaving me for pastures new.  The tank has run smoothly with no problems for years. I was thinking of adding two clarkii clowns when my percs leave. I know these fish grow larger than the percs. Would they outgrow my tank? Being a similar size and shape to my flame angel I am also slightly concerned they will fight. Should I add both Clarkiis together or one at a time. The two in my LFS currently reside alone? Although I have not asked the reason for this as of yet. <I would not add any more fish to your current set-up, let-alone the Clarkiis. Your set-up is really pushing its stocking limits already.  The flame angel will definitely suffer from such confines if it is not relocated eventually. What makes the Clarkiis a less appropriate choice is your two established percs.  Generally clowns do not tolerate other species of clowns within the same tank.  In my experience the Clarkiis would eventually kill your percs.> Any help as always would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards, David Bond <Anytime, Adam J.> Sebaes in my reef tank, a quick question  9/27/05 Hi Bob,   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.<Not a good idea keeping anemones with corals.>  I also have a Sebae Clown (aprox. 3"), 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.  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).  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?  Will they change sex or is a female always going to be a female?  Is this too many for my space or was the pet store correct in telling me this was a sound move?  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 <I believe what you are expecting isn't going to happen overnight.  A hierarchy has to established first, between the clowns.  In given time the dominant one should allow others into the anemone as this will be his harem.  This will take time Andy, have patience.  James (Salty Dog)> <<James... the larger clowns are females... RMF>> Purple pseudo and percula tank raised Help  9/19.5/05 I am a novice, I love your site it has taught me a lot.  i recently added a purple pseudo to my tank, with a percula  I have LR and all that my clown was healthy and happy.  The fish store guy suggested this purple pseudo as a good match but he seems quite aggressive and keeps nipping at my clown his bottom fins are getting torn what should i do,? <Separate them... ASAP> my clown is very friendly and feeds from my fingers.  I feel when i go to the fish store they are only helpful if you know what your talking about,  it's hard to be a novice and get good advice, but I actually love my SW tank and plan to expand to get a rose tip anemone later down the line. After i know what I'm doing.   Can you please help!!!! <Keep studying, thinking critically my friend. You'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

Filefish sick, Clowns vs. polyps  9/2/05 Hi guys I am so happy that I have you to ask some questions. <Okay, how do I get a date with Heather Locklear? Oh, you want to ask...> There is so much to know in this hobby. <Perhaps infinite... in terms of human lifetime> Anyways, I have two questions. I have a saltwater tank with 5 blue Chromis, a pair of percula clowns and a dragonet. The largest fish, about 2 inch diameter, is my Tassled filefish "Harry". <Good name> Harry has been fine for one year in this setup. In the last week or two he has slowed down in his activities. Today is the first day he will not eat. All the other fish are and I can not tell anything wrong with them. As I thought back, I did realize that I had to tempt the filefish a little longer to come and eat. He always did though, he always has been a very eager consumer. About one year ago I had three Banggai Cardinals in this setup, that all died from an internal parasite. They all stopped eating, had the telltale white feces and died. Since my filefish has always sifted sand through his mouth to catch little treats, is it possible that he may have ingested this parasite? <Mmm, not likely> I heard the only way a fish can get this internal parasite is by ingesting it. Could it be that that parasite is still in the sand and active after one year? <Again, probably something else at work here... Cumulative nutritional deficiency, perhaps bullying by the damsels...> My other question is this: I have another small saltwater tank with only one pair of tomatoe clownfish. A couple of days ago I introduced a seamat and a yellow polyp rock into the system. Since then the clownfish have attacked both coral rocks, attempting to move them. Is this normal behavior? And is there anything I can do to discourage it? <Remove the rocks, polyps... something about them the fish don't like> Again, thank you so much for being here for us. I am eagerly awaiting your answers. You guys are the best! <For the filefish, a change of tanks? Addition of a refugium (and quick), trial of other (live) foods... If you suspect internal parasites, the use of Metronidazole/Flagyl (see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/metranidazole.htm and the linked files above). Bob Fenner> Widowed Cinnamon Clown- may I add something else? 8/12/05 I used to have two small Cinnamon Clowns and Lawnmower Blenny in a 30 gallon minireef. The Blenny was so cool but unfortunately I did not know that he could not survive on seaweed. After 3 months he starved to death. I've read your Blenny pages and understand their needs better. The clowns paired up and laid lots of eggs etc. Everything seemed great. About a year later though one of the clowns died. So now I only have one fish in my tank (also have a cleaner shrimp and several soft corals). I really would love to have a second fish but I am finding conflicting advice in regards to Cinnamon behavior. The Clownfish book I have is so focused on breeding that I really couldn't find any info in regards to Melanopus and other fish. I would love to have another Blenny. Could I support a Bicolor Blenny in there or would the Clown terrorize him? <Some chance of this...> I don't know much about Gobies but a Goby might be nice, too. Or should I try to introduce another small tank raised Cinnamon? <If another clown, it should be started very much smaller...> What options do I have? Thanks a Bunch! Karin in Texas <Many... at least up to the size limitation/s of the system... and the possibility of removing, remoting the current clownfish should aggression be/come an issue... Please read on WWM re livestock selection... there's a bunch of FAQs files, Clownfish compatibility... Bob Fenner>

Clown pairing question 8/9/05 Hello, I have a few questions regarding my ocellaris clown. But first things first: my tank is a 25 gallon reef with PC lighting. The only other fish is a yellow watchman goby. I also have a brittle star, 6 snails, and a dwarf blue-legged hermit crab, if this matters at all. <All matters> My clown happily swims about in his flowerpot coral <Not easily kept> all day long and seems pretty content in doing so. I've added some other, more active fish in the past and it appears that the clown absolutely loves to play and swim with anyone who is willing. <... is likely not playing> These other fish have sadly died for various reasons over the months. The watchman goby remains, however, and this fish of course prefers to perch in front of his cave and stare at people in the living room. Whenever my clown attempts to play with him, he seems very uninterested. The point being, I wish to find an inexpensive, more active friend for my beloved ocellaris, preferably another clown. <Not easily, likely done... your system is too small, the present Clown too well established> This is where the questions come in. I'd like to get another clown that is a different color than the one I have now. Is this at all possible, or would they have to be the exact same type of clown? If it is possible, then what are some good choices? <Better to be the same species, much smaller in size... but even then, with the best choice, size, not likely to get along> Currently, the clown I have is about 1.5 inches. How do I know what sex it is? <All become females with age, growth...> More importantly, is there a certain size (or sex) that I would need to buy so that they would get along? <Very... should be small... undifferentiated or a male then> And lastly - as I mentioned, I have a flowerpot coral that my clown hosts (and never leaves). I've read that this can be damaging to the coral, although it seems to be holding up just fine so far. I do fear that, should I get another clown, if they begin to share the flowerpot coral, it would likely be much more damaging than if just one clown was hosting it. Is this true? I'd really rather not hurt the flowerpot coral. Thanks for everything and I look forward to a reply! - Andrea <It is very likely your Goniopora will die... and soon... and take much all the other life in this system with it. Please read re these organisms... At least on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clncompfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>
Re: clown pairing question 8/9/05 Dear Bob, <Andrea> Thanks for the reply! I guess I won't be getting another clown for the one that I have. <Best not to in your circumstances> And in response to your advice about my flowerpot coral... I realize they are difficult to keep. Very difficult. I mistakenly trusted someone who works at the LFS I frequent, who told me they were easy to keep (I have NO idea why). Since then I have learned to thoroughly research a coral before I buy it, as well as with other livestock. <Ah, am greatly relieved to learn that you know much re this species... Is still the number one genus used in the marine aquarium trade (worldwide and the U.S.)... and has an absolutely dismal survival history. Sorry to paint such an obviously bleak picture...> I expected the coral to die quickly after I put it in my tank. That was a year ago, and it still expands every day and goes back in at night. It's even a little bigger now. It looks completely healthy (I'm always checking it) and hasn't shown any signs of illness thus far. <Outstanding... as you will find, it is folks who "don't fool" with their systems, and allow them to be "a little funky" that do well with Goniopora> Several months ago I had a peppermint shrimp who ate some of the polyps off the flowerpot, and I thought for sure it would die then. It didn't, and new polyps have grown where the holes used to be. I of course removed the shrimp. I really don't know why it's still alive, it's a mystery to me and everyone else ESPECIALLY with a clown hosting it. So, who knows? I certainly don't. Either way, there's nothing I can do about it now, but I will remove it immediately if it looks like it's health is beginning to decline. Thanks again for the advice. <Thank you for your follow-up, input. Bob Fenner>
Re: clown pairing question 8/11/05 Dear Bob, <Andrea... "Woman of the sea"> I thought maybe you'd want to see this. Thanks again for the advice, - Andrea <Very nice. Thank you for sending this pic along... a very healthy Flowerpot and nice, small symbiotic Clown. Cheers, BobF>


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