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FAQs about the Clownfishes 2

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

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Maroon Clowns, Marine DiseaseBrooklynellosis

A Clark's Clownfish in a Heteractis aurora anemone in Fiji.

Clownfish Behavior Hello Kids- <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> Thanks for all the great advice so far. Your expert opinion is needed once again. I had 2 percula (true Percs) clowns but one ended up taking flight through the smallest of openings on the top of my tank. Unfortunately he did not make back in. <Bummer...> So currently my remaining clown, which was the dominant female, does not have a friend. Since I only wish to buy tank raised fish now, would it be wise to add one or two small Ocellaris Clownfishes? <You mean Perculas, right? Yep- I'd add two or three...Helps disperse aggression...> The other question that I have is why do clowns swim sideways at the top of the tank and not seem to ever sleep? <Just typical clownfish "swimming behaviors"...nothing to worry about> Thanks bunches, Miguelito Arias <My pleasure, Miguelito! Regards, Scott F.>

Clown Behaviour >Greetings, >>Greetings. >Great site that has already helped immensely with a number of my questions.  I was wondering if you can help out with a question I have regarding fish behaviour after introduction to a new environment. >>Can certainly try. >After four or so years of successfully keeping American and African Cichlids (I still have an African tank) I decided to take the plunge and convert my 500 litre set up to marine (FOWLR). I'm running the original pair of Eheim canister filters and added a venturi skimmer. The tank was cycled with approximately 40 kilos of live rock.  Three days ago I added the first fish inhabitants, two Melanopus Clowns. On the first day they swam around a fair bit and one in particular scouted out the whole tank, but since the second morning they gone into hiding (and seem really stressed when I approach the tank). All of the water parameters are still ok so I'm guessing this is fairly normal behaviour given the stress of transportation from LFS and introduction into the new surroundings (not to mention the transportation to get to LFS). >>It can be, yes.  Though I'm curious if you're skipping quarantine, as this is quite important, especially with saltwater fishes.  30 days is the usual protocol. >How long can they remain this way before I should get worried? (cichlids can go for days to weeks without food are marine fish the same?) >>I would allow them at least a week.  If you have no photosynthetic invertebrates or the like to worry about, I would also reduce lighting till they feel more comfortable.  Also, offering fresh seafoods may induce feeding response (chopped appropriately).  Best of luck, Marina >Regards,  John

Wholesale Quarantine (actually acclimation) Protocol Questions Hi Bob, How do you quarantine clowns upon arrival? <When I was engaged in this part of the industry, yes. All wild caught Clownfishes were quarantined... with/in the invertebrate systems for such> I have headache with frequent massive death for Fire Clowns. Sometimes Percula Clowns do die in mass too. <Yes. They do here as well> Currently I'm using made in Japan yellow powder in packet form to quarantine clowns before putting them into my main tanks as suggested by some fish shops. <Likely a Furazone compound. Useful> Is this the correct method? How about quarantining clowns in controlled PH (8.0 to 8.4) fresh water with Methylene blue instead? Which method is best? <A blend of both... reduced spg, the "yellow powder" and Methylene blue... a bit more of the chemicals and pH-adjusted freshwater bath/dip on arrival as well. These matters are covered on WetWebMedia.com> Can those sensitive fishes like Emperor Angel be quarantined the same way in controlled pH fresh water with Methylene blue before putting into main tanks? <Yes> Sometimes I have Emperor Angels having redness on the top fin. What really happen and is it being 'burnt' or suffering cut? <Very likely a "burn" from poor water quality during transit/shipping... and possibly a bit from rough handling, poor conditions before> Pls advise. Thanks for your help in advance Charles <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Clown fish in 55 (8-28-03) Ok, I'm planning on getting Clownfishes I have a 55 gallon tank and I wanna know how many Clownfishes I can have in that tank? I'm  buying baby Clownfishes, are they going to survive in a big tank (55 gallon)? <The most I would go with is a pair and stay away from maroons as they get bigger.> what kind  and what size anemone should I buy? What lighting would you prefer? And what kind of filter?<I would go with a bubble tip that is lager than 3" diameter.  As for lighting I have T-5's on my tank and have been very pleased.  Some other options would be VHO, metal halide or power compacts.  Do a ton more research before buying any anemones as they have proven to be pretty temperamental.  You can find info on all this on our site:  www.wetwebmedia.com Cody>

Snoozing Clownfish Muchos Gracias~ <Well, you're quite welcome!> Every time I walk into my room...where the aquarium is...late at night...one of the clowns sleeps on the sand, on his/her side...Is this normal? <Yep- It's completely normal- nothing to worry about> I always double check and he springs back to life...any articles about the sleeping habits of Clowns on WetWebMedia?  Steve <Well, as one of the clowns on WetWebMedia, I can tell you that I don't get enough sleep...Oh- you mean fishes? LOL...Actually, I am not aware of any FAQ on this topic...Perhaps you could contribute something? Sharing is what this site is all about! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

2 New False Perculas >First off I would like to thank you for the very valuable and unmatched info you have provided to all willing to ask!   >>You're most welcome, as are all.  Marina today. >I am about 8 weeks since setting up my 45gal, LR, LS, setup.  I am using a AquaC Remora skimmer, and Magnum 350 canister as my only (plug-in) filtration, and a power head inside the tank for a little extra water movement.  Lighting is a 7hrs. on a day Coralife VHO 96W 50/50 fluorescent (all-in-one-system) Currently established in the tank are 1 Peppermint shrimp, 2 chocolate chip stars, about a dozen or so scarlet and blue leg crabs, one emerald crab, couple snails, 1 queen conch...and this week put in the 2 new clowns (false Percula)  they are supposedly tank raised, and they look very healthy.  They have been in the tank 2 days now, and have been very active after about 5 minutes of getting used to the aquarium.  They always are hiding in the corner till I walk into the room...then they come up to the front of the tank to see what's going on.   >>That sounds captive bred to me. >I have been feeding them, and they have eaten graciously "Formula One marine pellet" by Ocean Nutrition.  It has been the only thing I have been target feeding them.  I noticed they are stealing scraps of frozen clam I am feeding to the stars.  Should I be trying to diversify their food better? And if yes, with what?   >>Yes, and the clams are a good start.  Soak it in Selcon a few times a week for best nutrition.  Also, squid, octopus, and raw shrimp are all good choices for variety.  Frozen Mysis shrimp will only add to the variety.  Treat them as you would yourself, variety is key to a healthy diet.  Do know that you will not be able to keep many soft corals/polyps with the chocolate chips stars.  Also, if you set up a sump/refugium, you will be able to eliminate the Magnum 350, and then set THAT up with the diatom filter for fast water polishing. >They never seem to sleep, is this normal?  They seem to have paired up well from the start...one smaller than the other, and I am planning on putting in an anemone in a month or so.   >>You will not be able to keep many anemones well with the lighting and filtration you have described.  Also, many relate that captive bred clowns are not as eager to adopt anemones, they seem to not know *what* to do with them.  Please check these links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm -- DO follow ALL the links you can find within these three, more will ensue, and soon you'll find that there is a VAST amount of anemone-related information here. >Sound like a good idea?  I have been having trouble finding a good first anemone both for me and the clowns (false Percula) that will be easy to keep.   >>This is because there is effectively no such thing.  Unless you count Aiptasia, but the clowns will have no use or affinity for them. >I have not decided yet on any more livestock after this because I am very worried about overstocking the tank.  All water parameters seem good with the exception of a very consistent 82 degree temp reading.  Never budgeted a chiller into the equation, and I hope I won't have to.  Any other thoughts concerns or info into what I may be doing wrong would be incredibly appreciated.   >>I'm operating from the assumption that you are endeavoring to do things RIGHT, and the only suggestion I have for you is to make use of muffin fans--set them up (installed in the hood/canopy is the most visually appealing) blowing across the surface of the water and you should see the temp dropping a few degrees. >Thank you for reading this over in advance. >>You're quite welcome, and I do hope this helps.  Best of luck, Marina

Re: 2 New False Perculas >Thanks for your well wishes...and my sincerest apologies for asking questions already answered in the FAQ sections. Steve >>You're welcome, and no worries.  ;-)  Marina

Tetra = marine torture??? Have you guys heard about this? http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=201848&perpage=25&pagenumber=1 <Yes, thank you. Posted today on WWM's Daily FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Don't Mix Clownfish Are these two different species ok with each other in the tank? Will they accept the same anemones and for form a family?<Probably not, I would not advise the mixing of two different species of clownfish, IanB> Thank you, Luke

Clownfish How can I distinguish between  Amphiprion ocellaris clownfish and  Amphiprion percula ? They seem the same to me :-( <Do look over this link and look at the two species http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm > Thank you,<IanB> Luke

2 ? weeks ago I got a percula clown  <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> 2 ? weeks ago I got a percula clown from a mail order company along with other fish that have been fine. The clown has swam poorly from day one. He is constantly near the surface, bobbing up and down, with obvious respiration problems, and has eaten very little.  <<What are the obvious respiration problems? With the exception to the "eaten very little" part, these fish have an unusual way of swimming, a sort of undulating and often times, whether stressed or not, will stay in one spot, which is sometimes right near the top of the tank. I've had one for almost two years that does this all the time for days on end, with the exception of meal time.>>  He has no visible marks on him or spots. Water quality is OK. Other fish have been moved out of the quarantine tank - but I still need to get him healthy first. Any thoughts on what is causing his troubles? Thanks, Diggy <<I'm not convinced the fish is having troubles... you might try feeding some other things... the same clown I mentioned only ate flake food when I first purchased it and put it through quarantine. This continued for a couple of months - you need to take a kitchen sink approach and try everything you've got and something's you don't have yet to encourage this fish to eat. Stick with the good idea to wait until it is eating well before moving into the display. Cheers, J -- >>

Clownfish color worries Hi Bob, <<Hello, JasonC here...>> We have a juvenile cinnamon clownfish and the white striping at the front of his head seems to be breaking up. It's not as solid as it was before. Is he changing color or do I have a disease going on?  <<Or perhaps neither. Could also be an abrasion.>>  It doesn't look like ich or spots of any sort. We introduced a slightly bigger/older cinnamon clown a few weeks ago and thought perhaps they're figuring out their roles sexually and perhaps that's what could be part of the change.  <<Also a possibility.>>  I do know that color changes occur in clowns, but just want to make sure this kind of change makes sense.  <<I wouldn't be too concerned, just keep up the observations, feeding, etc.>> Any help would be appreciated....thanks, Paul <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Clownfish Territoriality * My cross-examinations are enclosed with asterisks below. --TR * <<And my second responses in double arrows. -SP>> Hi Bob, I've just added a Heteractis magnifica, and 4 juvenile tank-raised "Australian Black" Amphiprion ocellaris to my well-established 55-gallon system (only other fish species are one each of Zebrasoma flavescens and Labroides dimidiatus [I know those are best left in the wild, but I hadn't read your article on them when I bought it along with the Tang---fortunately, I have been able to keep it eating frozen foods and healthy]). My question is this: All seemed peaceful for the first 24 hours after the clowns were introduced---they took to the anemone almost immediately---but then they started acting very aggressively toward one another. <Typical> It looks like a battle for dominance. <Correct> I'm just concerned that perhaps I made a bad decision in buying too many of them with only one anemone to share <The anemone has nothing to do with it, it is the size of the tank that is the deciding factor.> * Really? You don't think they would be less violent if there were two anemones, one for each of two pairs (although none appear to be paired yet)? <<There is nowhere for the other potential pair to escape to. One pair will eventually claim the entire 55 gallon tank.>> * None of the four fish (all less than 1.25" long) have moved more than 4 inches away from the one anemone I do have since they moved in. Do you think that if this same situation existed (1 anemone, 4 clownfish) in a much larger tank (say 150gal) it would be placid? * <<Again, there would be somewhere for them to escape the onslaught on the other pair.>> so far frayed fins have been the most serious injury. Would the anemone consume an overstressed individual if it's slime coat is sufficiently depleted? <Possible, I guess.> Should I worry that one or more of them may be killed by the others in this supremacy feud? <Much more likely, highly probable in fact.> If so, I can sell one or more back to my LFS or another hobbyist. <A good idea.> * At the very least I should try to separate them rather than letting this dominance phase play itself out, yes? * <<Yes, pick out two that look like them could develop into a pair, the biggest and the smallest would be a good guess.>> Thanks for your input, Tyler Reynolds <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Disappearing clownfish I have a 110 saltwater tank that has been up and running for about 3 months. I have 120 pounds of live rock and all water parameters are good (ammonia = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = 0, pH = 8.4, temp = 76-78, specific gravity = 1.025). Recently I purchased 2 clownfish and a long tentacle anemone that were together in a fish store and one of the clownfish was using the anemone in the store tank. They had been in the store about 1 week. I brought the clowns home and put them in quarantine for two weeks after doing a freshwater dip. The anemone was added to the main tank after acclimating and rinsing in system water. The tank contained a Blue Devil Damsel and a Yellow Tail Blue Damsel, A Flame Angel, 2 Sally Light Foot crabs, 9 Turbo snails, a Fire Shrimp and an Eel Cleaner shrimp. Everything was looking good and so I added the clowns the other day after lights had went out (1am). the next morning, one of the clowns had disappeared. after looking everywhere for the clown, I was still at a loss as to what had occurred but decided to wait and see. the other clown looked great. the next morning, the second clown had also disappeared. I really can not image what happened. I checked all filters and powerheads, under rock, etc. it seems to me that the only possible thing that could have consumed the clowns would be the anemone. However, I realize this sounds crazy as they are supposed to protect one another. Could this have possibly happened?  <<It is possible, but not probable... or should I say highly unlikely.>>  If not, any ideas on the missing clowns.  <<Well, for starters, there aren't many crabs that I trust much farther than I can throw them, and Sally Lightfoot crabs are notorious for making midnight snacks out of small fish. That being said, they rarely do so without evidence. You might also check behind the tank just in case the fish leapt out, although it would be odd for both to perish the same way in such a short time. Lastly, and most hopefully, you didn't actually disassemble your tank which means they could still be hiding. Let's hope for the latter.>> Thanks so much for your help and the invaluable information on the web site. Abby <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: 25 Hello Anthony, how are you today? <Steven Pro in today with the follow-up.> Maybe I'm a little impatient, but now the clown not only does not eat, it stayed all night and until right now (9 am) hidden behind one of the powerheads in the upper corner very close to the water surface, barely moving. <Very normal for a fish to hide at night.> To me, this is a sign of a lot of stress. <Nope> But right now it is the only fish in the tank, there is the anemone (Condy) a few snails, and a starfish. How can I make the clown feel better in the tank? <Be more patient.> Should I leave the lights off for a couple of days? <No> I gave the anemone a small piece of shrimp. It looks like it has eaten the shrimp, the "mouth" looks like "kissing". <Talk to you later. -Steven Pro>

Re: 25 Hello Anthony, I forgot something, my water temp is between 76 and 78. Thank you very much. ~Julio. <A little on the cool side, 78-80 would be my preference. -Steven Pro>

New Fish Hi Anthony, I really want to thank you for all the help you have given to me. Thanks.!!!! <very welcome my friend> Good news, the Sgt. Major Damsel is out. But the clown has not eaten in all day, (he arrived yesterday at 6pm) <sometimes new fish take several days to settle in. In a few cases more than a week> I thought he could be still stressed about the Damsel an the "procedure" to take her out this afternoon. <yes... agreed> My LFS tells me the Clown is a voracious fish and that no matter what it should be eating, <not true at all... even with known hardy species like this clown, there are sometimes shy individuals. Still... do look for signs of stress or disease in the coming days just the same> What is your opinion, I am attaching the picture of the clown and the anemone. <although the picture is a little bit dark, the fish seems to be well. No clamped fins or turbidity to the skin to suggest infection. Most likely it will be fine. Perhaps just a couple days more and patience, my friend> Thanks.. Julio <best regards, Anthony>

Newcomer Clownfish Question Hi There I'm from South Africa and I just want to say how impressed I am with your website and everything you do here. Your willingness to help so many people for free is amazing. So thanks from my side for all the hundreds of questions you answer here every month. <Thank you for the kind words!> I have just gone through a 5 week "Fishless Cycle" on my new marine aquarium and finally added my first fish 2 days ago - 2 Yellow tailed damsels and 2 (small) common clownfish. My tank is about 68 Gallons and there are lots of space with lots of hiding places for the fish. My Ammonia/Nitrites are staying at 0 and my SG is about 1.022 and my fish seems to be healthy and enjoying their new home. I have found answers to many of my question on your site so far and my question below is the only thing that I am no sure about yet. I have a question about the behavior of my two clowns: My clowns don't seem to be very active. I don't have an anemone and both clowns immediately became very "close" with the rocks in my tank. Each of them picked out a "favorite" rock/spot and spends most of its time "hovering" around this area. To me it looks like they are using the rocks as a substitute for an anemone and they seem to find comfort and safety when they are close to or touching the rock itself. They also seem a bit aggressive towards each other every now and again. When I feed them they both come out of their hiding places and eat well, which I think is a good thing. But otherwise they just waggle-waggle around close to their "comfort zone" and venture further away only occasionally. It looks very funny/clumsy when they sort of waggle around in one spot, almost as if they cant swim very well, but when they feed I don't see any swim problems. I have done a lot of reading about this and have come to the conclusion that they feel threatened by each other/their new environment and they are busy establishing their territories and "checking out" their new surroundings. I don't see any spots or other signs of physical distress. Do you think I'm correct in assuming that they are just shy/afraid at the moment? <Yes, sounds like pretty normal behavior after being introduced a few days ago. It will take time for them to get used to their new home. -Steven Pro> Kind Regards, Chris Cronje

Is This Normal for a Clownfish? Hi Bob, <Steven Pro answering questions this evening.> I wrote to you last week asking about the compatibility of the fish in our tank. Thanks for your help. I have another question regarding our clownfish and it's behavior. Is it normal for a clownfish to somewhat bury himself in the sand and shift the sand with his tail like he is trying to dig a whole to reach the bottom of the tank. <Yes, very normal. Can be annoying to the owner of the tank and possibly can possibly cause avalanches of liverock, but completely normal behavior.> Thanks, Fricia <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Clowning Around Hi Guys! I don't mean to pester you with my "weekly" question but it seems that with each week that goes by something new and exciting happens in our reef tank - what a fascinating hobby this is. <Yes, truly amazing the things ones sees.> Our reef tank has been up an running for nearly 9 months now. Our two black and white clownfish have been with us the entire time. One is bigger than the other (presumably female). <Correct> They did have an anemone home some months ago (before we found your website!) Sadly, it died and we will not be getting any more. However, the clowns have been fine ever since. <Sorry to hear about the death, glad to hear you learned from the mistake, and yes, clownfish do quite well without anemones.> Last week, the larger clown started playing with our big colt coral (it's about a foot high and a foot wide - the coral, not the clown!). She has even taken to sleeping in it too. The other clownfish still sleeps on the substrate at the front of the tank. I have read from you web site that clown fishes often find "alternative" hosts and I was wondering if this was the case here. <Does sound like so.> If so, will she annoy the coral or damage it? <Possibly, watch that the coral still has good polyp extension and growth.> It's such a lovely specimen and we've had it so long, we'd hate for anything to happen to it. So far, the coral seems fine. Secondly, will the coral hurt the clownfish? <No> If this new relationship is detrimental to one or the other, should I try the home made anemone mentioned on your site made from elastic bands? <If you see the coral continually retracting its polyps or shrinking, yes.> If I may sneak in another question :) both clownfish still swim around the tank together and play together happily, however, the small (male?) clownfish has recently started vibrating his body on occasions when the female is near. Is this some sort of courtship or just more clown-like behavior these fish are famous for? <Possible courting behavior.> I love these fish! Any insight would be most appreciated. <If you are interested in learning a great deal more, look for Joyce Wilkerson's book "Clownfish". She has a ton of info on care, spawning, and raising.> Thanks very much (yet again!) Lesley <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Determining if My Fish is Sick? I recently purchased two false Percula clowns (1-2 wks) and one of them has begun to act weird. It is swimming in almost a vertical position and is staying in a corner of the tank between some live rock and my overflow kit. The other fish is doing fine. The "sick" fish seems to be still eating, but waits for food to come near it's area. It also chases the other Percula away if it comes near his area. Every once in awhile the fish will leave his spot and swim a lap around the tank and then head back for its spot. Any idea what could be wrong? Is it protecting something? I thought it would be to early to be reproducing and I did not see any eggs. <could be a territorial display as one fish begins to change into a female (dominant gender of this species)> Facts about the tank: 55 gal 2 months old 50 lbs. live rock plenum system-4 inch of sand ammonia - 0 nitrates- 0 pH- 8.4 salinity- 1.023 Temp: 77 degrees. No other fish in the tank, ten snails, 20 hermits, 2 Condy Anemones <fine readings> Any advise would be great. Thanks <do keep a close eye on this fish and be prepared to remove to quarantine for treatment of necessary> Scott Settar <best regards, Anthony>

More on the Clown with... *ahem* issues Jason, I am feeding frozen Formula One on the initial feed. Flake or freeze dried is fed as a second and sometimes third course. I've been breeding clown for the better part of 5 years and this is something I have never seen before.  <<fascinating, albeit unpleasant I'm sure.>>  It is definitely not lymphocytes. I took the clown out, which I hate to do, and the swelling seemed to go away as a result of the stress and chase. The clown is constipated or has some kind of blockage. It swims a little off as if it were trying to grunt something out. Any suggestion on a remedy? <<Zoinks - this is definitely the sort of think I'd hate to say, we'll wait for Bob... he'll be back in a week. I do recall reading something about using Epsom salts [which are a natural laxative in humans] in marine tanks, for the reason I can't recall... went away and looked for it, found it: pop-eye of all things - to help the fish move fluid better internally and help swelling in eye - you should check this one out perhaps: WetWebForum Thread  I think I would try this, sounds like a good possibility anyway. Do let us know how it goes. Good luck, J -- >>

Maroon Clownfish and Old Age Hello Mr. Fenner - <Anthony Calfo in your service> My favorite fish died last night, a beautiful maroon clown I purchased in 1993.  <sorry for the loss, but a good run, kudos to you!> I'm assuming it died of old age. What happens to a fish when it gets old? <they generally get cranky, nag at the other fishes and flatulate> My clown seemed to have trouble eating. I had been hand feeding this fish bits of shrimp for the last two or three years. Occasionally if the piece of shrimp was too large, the maroon would drift like a falling leaf to the bottom of the tank. <hmmmmm> Sometimes the shrimp would come back up out of the clown's mouth and then the fish would be able to swim again. Other times it seemed that the clown would just rest on the bottom of the tank until the shrimp passed along into its system. <did it ever cross your mind to feed smaller bits...<smile>> A year ago, when the clown looked like it had a bit of a bacterial infection and wasn't swimming around the tank as much-choosing to hang in one place most of the time and it seemed blind.......I removed the clown from my 125 gal tank and put it in a 30 gal. with some live rock, two cleaner shrimp, and some anemones. The clown seemed to thrive with an anemone....... <lovely to view, but hardly necessary.. a great many live in the wild naturally without an anemone host and ALL commercially bred clowns are done so without anemones> Then several days ago I thought that the clown wasn't swallowing even the smallest amount of shrimp. <esophageal fatigue <wink>> The clown would take the shrimp from my finger, hold it in its mouth for a bit and then spit it out. <like smoking...old habits die hard> I noticed it looked thinner and there were depressions behind the pec fins. Yesterday the fish stayed on the bottom of the tank. and tried to keep itself upright by wedging itself between the side of the tank and a rock. Also the fish was breathing quickly. <yes'm. organ failure, perhaps simply old age. We have no idea how old the fish was when it was captured. I'd say you did a fine job at nine years old!> How long can maroon clowns live? <One record holder (pair) in France (Nancy Aquarium) was well over 20 years old...but rare indeed> What has been your experience with fish and old age? I estimate that my fish was around 9 years old. <there is a great longevity chart for marine fish in [public and private hands in "The Marine Aquarium" by Tetra Press/Dick Mills. Anthony> Sally <with kind regards, Anthony>

My clownfish is mad at me! Fellas, I was cleaning the algae off of my tank yesterday and I noticed the clown fish (percula) didn't duck and cover like the rest of my fish (flame angel and yellow tail damsel). He just kind of hung out while I cleaned away. Then, without warning, he decided to bite me! It's not like it hurt or anything but it's behavior I've never seen before. I moved my hand to the other end of the tank and he followed right along and took another shot at me! I stopped cleaning for a few minutes and then resumed and he started going after my fingers again. Anyways, I don't recall this being normal behavior for this type of fish. Maybe he was having a bad day? He usually stays far away when I'm cleaning. -Tom <I have had many fish try to eat the hair on my arms. I think they were hungry and thought the hair might have been worms or something. If you have a pair, perhaps they were about to or had spawned. Fish get much more aggressive/territorial when protecting eggs. -Steven Pro>

Entertained Fish Hi Mr. Fenner, I have my 55 gal. tank set up in my living room. It has already cycled. Tank parameters are: SG = 1.023 ph = 8.0 ammonia = 0.0 nitrite = 0.0 nitrate = somewhere below 10 (not sure, using fastest kit the lowest possible reading on the colored chip is 10 and my water doesn't even to compare to that) I'm planning to add a pair of percula clowns today. Are they better in pairs or in odd numbers? <Two are almost always ok together. Sometimes with three, a pair develops which then picks on the odd man out.> I occasionally play music and watch DVD's are they and other fish sensitive to loud music and such? <Hopefully, if you can tolerate it and not go deaf, your fish should be OK.> Thanks and have a good weekend!.. <Thank you. -Steven Pro>

My crazy clowns Mr. Fenner, I just wanted to give you an update about my 2 true clowns. I wrote to you about a week ago asking for advice about my clowns fighting their reflection in the glass. I am happy to say that they have given up this behavior and have adopted my Green Frogspawn. :) <Ah, good> I have a question if you have the time to look over the attachment I've sent. I have a Del-Ray sump that came with an over flow. It is the box kind that is attached with suction cups and uses a J tube to go down to the sump. I am having problems with it staying attached (the box inside of the tank that is.) <Yes... a poor design> My LFS does not sell these sumps anymore and does not know where I could find out the information about the suction cups used. On a totally different subject I want to purchase another overflow (so I can have one for each corner) and now I cannot find the manufacture (looked on the net and could not find it. I am not a surfer.) Could you please take a look at the picture I have attached and tell me if you know this sort of overflow. and where I might be able to find on like it? <See it... and not made by any extant company as far as I'm aware. Do look at the CPR units... Link on WetWebMedia.com> Also I thought that since I am moving and I will have to take my tank apart, could I use aquarium sealant and glue the box to the wall of the aquarium? <Absolutely... this is what I would do if satisfied with the unit... if not cut, drill the tank otherwise...> I don't ever intend to have them removed, so this seemed like a good idea. What do you think? I haven't found anyone who has done it so I am weary. Have a great afternoon and thank you for your time. ((sorry for the first picture being so blurry)) <No worries... have many more that are much blurrier. Bob Fenner>

Fighting reflection (Clownfish behavior) Hello Mr. Fenner, I need some help with my two A. Percula's. I had to have them quarantined for six weeks because of an outbreak of ick. I placed them back into my system five days ago and they have been acting overly clownish. They fight their reflection in the glass. I really mean fighting! Open mouthed, face to glass smashing brawls. They run endlessly back and forth. The two of them do get along with each other well. One being much larger and darker then the other. I thought my hopes of them mating would far better because of this. I covered the sides (the back is already covered) with black backing but now they go after the front. <Amazing> I am truly afraid they will hurt themselves. I tested my water and could not be more pleased with it's readings 125gallons w/30 gallon sump & refugium Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite 0 pH 8.4 temp 79* SG 1.024 Alk 11dkh Ca 450ppm No phosphates and only soft corals. The only other fish are a neon goby (sp), and chevron tang. I can see how stressed their actions are making my goby. He hides 85% more then normal. Is there something I could do to help? Or will they just give up after some time? <I think the latter... don't know what else than what you've done for the former... perhaps a "dither shrimp" like a Lysmata species would help> Another totally different subject question. I will be changing skimmers soon. I plain to get a Precision Bullet or an AquaC 2002. I am wondering when I look to how many gallons of water the skimmer is made for, do I add my sump amount to the tank 125 + 30, or do you only take in the tank amount? Thank you Mr. Fenner in advance. <Only the tank water volume to consider. I would get/use the Aqua C product. Bob Fenner>

New pair of clownfish Hello Mr. Fenner, We just purchased two very small True Percula Clowns last night. When we out them in the tank they immediately "paired up". They slept on top of each other in a corner and this morning both were hanging out playing in the current at the top of the tank for about an hour. They are never more than a few inches apart. Would it be safe to say that they have in fact "paired" up, or should we still keep an eye out to make sure the dominant one doesn't hurt the male?  <These are very likely cultured (tank bred, reared) specimens, that are associating as they do... Likely for the species, source, they will continue to get along, all through one expressing itself as female> One more question. My Hippo (Paracanthurus Hepatus) has been solo in the tank for about 5 weeks all other tank mates died from Marine Velvet) and he doesn't bother the clowns but he also would not come out to eat this morning. Is this just because they are "new" to him and will he eventually go back to normal? <Likely> How can we tell if he is stressed by his new tank mates? Also, hippo is a fairly large one while clowns are babies. Thanks again in advance, as always your info is appreciated. <By behavior, appearance... no real worries here behaviorally. Bob Fenner>

Re: New pair of clownfish Thank You so much for your quick response. I am currently reading your FAQ on Clownfish, you have some very interesting and informative info on here. Well Done!!! <Due in large part to folks writing in with it! Bob Fenner>


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