Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about the Clownfishes 3

Related FAQs: Clownfishes 1, Clownfishes 2, 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: ClownfishesMaroon Clowns, Brooklynellosis

Some tank-bred A. polymnus in a BTA.

In-depth resources   6/29/09
Hi! I'm looking for some in-depth reading on clownfish husbandry. I think I'm qualified to care for them by now, as I've done a lot of research, but I can't take them on for a couple of years, so I thought I'd take advantage of the time I've got to do as much reading as possible. I'm especially interested in true and false Perculas and maroons, as well as anemones and corals that they will host in. I'm more interested in the husbandry side of things, rather than the biological side, except for what I would need to know to understand them Either online or print sources would be great.
<Why not simply use the Contents page? It's easy enough. Start off at the second Marine Fishes section, scroll about four-fifths the way down, and there's a whole battery of articles about the subfamily Amphiprioninae.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: In-depth resources   7/11/09
Dear Neale,
I wrote a while ago about in-depth reading on clownfish. I read all the links you pointed me towards. Do you have anything else?
P.S. I'm getting Joyce Wilkerson's book "Clownfishes" in a couple of weeks, so you can scratch that one off the list. :)
<Clare, I think NealeM placed your query in my in-folder... There are many in-print resources re the Amphiprionae... Perhaps a visit to a college library, help from a reference librarian re computer search bibliographies... An amazing experience. Please read here re:
Bob Fenner>

Re: In-depth resources, Clownfishes   7/12/09
I've been through my college library's entire collection, and found nothing (seven books on aquaria, all from the seventies and eighties), but I may tootle over to the nearest university library instead. Thank you for the link!
<I would... there are several hundred articles in print at least on this subfamily, its members physiology, ecology... Practical husbandry. BobF>

29g saltwater tank stocking question 2/23/09 To whom it may concern: <Hi> After reading your website about keeping fishs feature in the movie Finding Nemo. I started a saltwater tank. It has been running for 6 month now and everything seem to be working fine. I have a Remora skimmer, 20 pounds of live rock, an air pump, a compact florescence light with 6000k and 10000k tubes and a power head for water flow. I have a small crown fish and a quadcolor anemone. <Do realize that anemones are difficult to keep, and not necessarily for beginner hobbyist.> I have recently added a refugium and am ready to add more fish into the tank. The clown fish is about 1.5 inch long, I believe it is a mix breed clown fish. It is a false ocellious clown, <Ocellaris> it's orange color with white strip, but as it get bigger, it turns half black on it's back. <Fairly normal coloration.> I originally purchased two, and the other one got pick on so much that it eventually die. I wanted to add more clown fish in the tank, but I am worry that it might get bully and suffer the same fate. <Possible, but they normally pair up fairly easily.> I was wondering if there is anyway I can ensure it does not happen again. <Not really, just make sure you have good water conditions and hope for the best. But Amphiprion ocellaris generally are not too picky about their mates.> What if I over stock my tank, and keep up with the water quality, will it make my clown fish less aggressive? <Probably have the exact opposite effect.> All I wanted in my tank is clown fishs and anemone, I don't want anythings else. <Ok, but only 1 pair in this sized tank.> Please advice. And thank you for your help. <Welcome> <Chris>

Clowns! 05/30/2008 Hello there! <<Good Monring, Andrew today>> I just bought 2 true percula clowns, a six line wrasse and a cleaner shrimp yesterday. I am running a 55 gallon salt-water tank with a fluval fx5. I accidentally switched the intake tubes up. Long story short, one of my clowns got sucked into my filter. <<Woopsy>> It was after at least 5 hrs before I rescued him/her out of my fx5. After it got out, it sunk to the bottom of the tank and didn't really move. I figured that it got pretty stressed out from the whole ordeal. <<Agreed>> This all happened the first day they got in the tank. I added some stress coat into the water, is that enough? <<I personally never use it>> Both clowns seems to be eating and swimming. Also, how long should I wait until I add another fish in there? <<A couple of weeks at least>> I want to add a baby (small) hippo tang in there. <<Your tank is too small to house a Regal Tang, a tank at least twice as big as yours would be required>> I am going to wait till this weekend to do so, is that enough time? Also, the clowns are the first fishes in my tank. The tank's been cycled for at least 1 month and a half, maybe two before the clowns came in. <<As mentioned above, leave a few weeks before adding more. This will give time for the tank to adapt to the new bio levels>> How long should I wait till I get the coral? <<You can start slowly adding corals now>> Also, maximum how many fishes should I keep in there to make sure they all get along and happy? <<About 6 - 8 small to medium fish>> Lastly, how do I know if my clowns matures into a mated pair? <<A good indicator if this, is that they become inseparable>> My clowns are still pretty much the same size. <<One will become the dominant one, and be larger than the other>> They are not as orange as they should be, but my LFS said that they will turn orange later on, is that true? <<Sometimes, their color does become a little faded, especially when stressed, don't think its anything to worry about>> My clowns swims together eat together, I haven't observed their sleeping habits yet. How long does it take for them to mature to a mated pair.? <<My current pair became inseparable after about two weeks of being together, and they came from separate tanks at the shop>> That's it. Thanks a lot! Allison the fish amateur <<Thanks for all the questions, I hope this helps. A Nixon>>

clownfish... repro., reading  10/27/07 hi, I have a pair of ocellaris clowns. These fish are in a 90 gal. corner tank, no other fish, & they have decided to reproduce. Will I need to change my filtration , I am currently running a 350 magnum, to an air stone (less current)? <Change your filtration? No> Will this be enough for the parental fish? <... should be> I have covers over the filters to keep anything from being sucked into the filter. Will I need to separate the parents & the babies or will they be ok together? <Posted...> Also I need to know if I will need to purchase an anemone for the tank? <... ditto. No> All research I have done is geared towards breeders or tanks with other marine life in the tank. I have had these fish for two years & only have coral in the tank, no live rock. I would also like to know if there are any special foods I should purchase for the babies. All info is greatly appreciated----- thanks Keith Ayers <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaq3.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Could you send me Joyce Wilkerson's e-mail?   6/22/06 <Would BCC her if I had a current addy. Maybe try Microcosm. BobF> Your employee, Salty, suggested you might. <Don't have employees and he is incorrect. Joyce moves quite a bit and I've lost touch. RMF> Re: Clownfish, Anemone in a 20 Gallon Tank?   3/18/06 Hello Again!   <Howdy> Thanks so much for replying.  When you email someone over the web on a site, you can never expect a reply :)  The information was useful that you gave me but I do have  a few more questions to ask if you don't mind... <Fire away!> 1) With my 20 gallon tank, how many watts would keep the clownfish happy? <Watts of... light? Heat? Posted on WWM> 2)I would like to get some coral, but I know they require lots of light. Will my clowns be ok without it?   <Mmm, yes> 3)At present, I have 20 lbs of LR in my tank.  When would be a good time to get a cleaner shrimp?  I was told that it would starve in my tank. <Mmm, a smaller species might do nicely> 4) I can't seem to keep the algae under control in my tank.  I have my LR stacked up the back wall and it seems like the algae collects because my filter isn't getting to the part of the tank in front of it.  Should I move my LR away from the filter and off to the side? <Maybe... but there are many more things to consider here... again, posted> 5) Will clownfish mate without an anemone? <Yes... are produced commercially w/o> I have a rock with a little cave in it that would be secluded. I guess that's about it for now.  I really appreciate that you have this site and answer your emails.  Very kind :)  The saltwater tank experience has been quite a doozy for me.  So much mixed information and lots of things you're not told when you're setting up the aquarium.   Angela <Ah yes... An ever-opening universe of experience, contemplation, learning... and sharing/fun. Bob Fenner>

Help curing clown   3/18/06 Hey guys, <Not all>             Recently against my better judgment I bought a new Ocellaris clown and he seemed fine so I skipped over the QT process (yeah was I wrong). <Beginning of a great mystery> Both the new guy and the veteran Ocellaris clown have now come down something bad! Since then I've taken them both out of the main tank (they were the only fish in there) and have put them into a 10gal QT tank. As of this morning the new clown passed on and the veteran clown isn't doing so hot w/ symptoms of rapid gill movement, white stringy feces, and little to no movement during the day (kinda sounds like internal infection but you guys would know more then I). What is the best course of action I can take to try and save this clown? I've had him for about a 1? years and to lose him would be devastating. Please WWM crew help me out! JohnR. <Help yourself. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the files in the series... linked above. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Reproduction   2/22/06 I have an ocellaris related question. I have a 30 gallon tank with a tank raised ocellaris pair, a pygmy angel, and a blue-green Chromis. I've had the ocellaris pair for about 7 months now, I bought them from an LFS (they bred and paired them). All of the little guys seem to get along well. I was wondering when the ocellaris might start trying to reproduce. Do they have to reach a specific age? <Yes.> Tank conditions are pretty darn near optimal, no nitrates, water quality is near pristine, there is a bit of a minor Cyanobacteria issue but I'm taking care of that with water changes and physically removing the Cyanobacteria. Are there any steps I should take to get them in the mood? <One thing you will need to do if interested in breeding the clowns is to provide a dedicated tank for them otherwise the eggs will just be eaten.  Read FAQ's here for more info.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Black Clown stripes 01-03-06 Hey guys love the site. <Glad to hear it.>     Sort of a simple question; <My favorite kind.> I have two true black percula clownfish. <There is actually no such fish, only a black variant of Amphiprion Ocellaris (false percula). They are both juveniles. Their stripes do not meet yet, is  this a thing that happens with age? <If they are under 1/2 and inch it is possible the bars will continue to grow. Odds are that unless you got them directly from a breeder the bars are done and your clowns are mis-barred which will be permanent.> Also when does the transition of male to  female occur? <As soon as one clown establishes dominance. You will see it happen in their behavior and one clown, the female, will show a quick growth spurt.> Does anything have to be set up correctly? <You need to keep everything stable especially water parameters and light cycles.>     Thanks for all your help         -Nick <Good luck with your new pair, Travis> Moving - 12/20/2005 Hello, I have a 46g bowfront with 2 false clowns that have been mating for about 10 months. At the beginning I tried to hatch them but soon discovered that I didn't have the time required for them. My tank has been up and running for about five years. I have moved the tank about five times without a problem. This move is about 6.5 hours and I'm worried this might be too long? <Imagine the import/shipping process to get livestock to stores.> I have also thought about selling. Is there a possibility that I could sell my fish as a mating pair? <Maybe.> If so how much are they going for? <Depends, most prices vary from place to place. Take a survey of local stores and internet sites.> And how do I go about this? <Personal ads, contacting aquarium clubs...> If moving them that far is ok, do you have suggestions for the move? <Sure, good inf. here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movingaq.htm and the links above.> Thank you for your time. <Glad to help. - Josh> Sebae Anemones and Mixed Clowns  11/18/05 I have a 40 Gallon FOWLR with both a 2.5 inch A. *melanopus *Clown*  and a .75 inch A. *ocellaris *Clown. The two fish seem to swim around together, share food, and sleep in the same area of the rockwork. I was interested in putting anemones in for them, since the other fish in the system (*Valenciennea puellaris, *Neoglyphidodon oxyodon, Synchiropus ocellatus, Pseudochromis paccagnellae) are by most counts considered reef safe. <The goby and mandarin may be consumed by the anemone/s> As for lighting on the system, I'm using a Jebo 110W PC (50/50) a 20W Actinic NO, and a 20W 10K NO on a tank that's 24" deep. <Not enough light...> There is about 30 lbs of rockwork in the tank.  I was thinking at 3.75 Watt Per Gallon that it might be on the low side, but wanted to double check. I was thinking of using a Sebae Anemone, since I have the melanopus in the tank, but wondering if I do put it in, will the two clowns share it, or will they require one for each? <Only way to tell... is from direct experience. May inspire conflict...> That being said, I also have a cycled 10 gallon that has rock, but no livestock in it. If I was to transfer the 110W PC to that tank creating 11 Watts over a 12 inch tank, would that be a better option for anemones? <Yes, but too small a volume...> I've tried using a variety of artificial anemones, rubber band DIY anemones and rubber coral decorations for the clowns, <Neat!> but neither of them will use it as a host. I'm trying to give them a sense of security, especially for the melanopus, since he was wild caught. Any thoughts on this? <Am glad you have the ten to move one of the clowns to... should trouble ensue here> Thank you guys for being a fish keepers best resource. <An interesting experiment awaits you. Thanks for writing/sharing. Bob Fenner>

10/9/05 - Clownfish Question 10/10/05 Hi All, <<Hello,>> Sorry Again to keep sending emails. <<It is always better to ask questions than to make needless mistakes.>> I've been looking through the Clownfish behavior articles on the site but haven't found anything to related to my issue. When I got my two percula clownfish, they were happy, ate swam together etc... Now, the clowns seem a bit less "funny" than usual. <<You know what you call a clown that has lost it's sense of humor don't you? A mime!>> Call me an overprotective parent, but the female for the most part is still happy and eats and swims around. <<That is good.>> However, my male whom I had thought had a parasite or sickness, which I have concluded he does not because I have no visible evidence to believe so, just seems kind of depressed. <<As far as "visible" evidence are you referring to rapid breathing, sunken stomach, white stringy feces, or what were you looking for exactly?>> He actually wont eat the Tetra marine flakes I offer and I'm not sure when he decided to stop eating. <<Have you tried live or frozen foods?>> He really only hangs out by the fake anemone, isn't really as active with his partner as before, stays kind of away from her and just seems upset. <<Is she picking on him or leaving him be?>> He wont even dart around the tank like he would occasionally. Everything seems to be in this slow depressed style with my clown. I just want him to eat something because I would be awfully upset if I lost him. My two yellow tailed damsel fish are no longer in the tank. So attendance is: 2 Perc. Clowns 1 Pink Damsel 1 Cleaner Shrimp 1-Chocolate Chip Starfish I have searched and searched and I apologize if there was something related to my situation, but I couldn't find it. <<Keep your chin up. TravisM>> 

Clown of A Different Color? Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I purchased two juvenile percula clowns via mail order. I have had them 1 week. They are brightly colored, very active, and eating normally. I noticed the day after they arrived that one of them has a small round white area in the middle of the top fin. It is not a lesion , nor does it look like a grain of salt or a bump, or any of the other commonly described diseases. It looks like its internal (under the skin). It almost looks like a color variation. Does this occur with percula clowns? There has been no change to the spot or in the behavior of either fish for the entire week. Any thoughts? Thanks, Laurie <Well, Laurie, it is entirely possible that this is simply a random genetic color variation. Many of the clownfish sold in the hobby are captive-bred, and such "sports" or "anomalies" do happen from time to time. As long as your a convinced of the health of the fish, It should be fine. I would not, however, allow a fish with such a color anomaly to breed, so that the "integrity" of the species' gene pool is maintained. Enjoy! Regards, Scott F.> - Can I Add More? - Hi, I've read your web site on clownfish (which is great) but I have some very specific questions about my situation.  I have a 16gal bow front take, with live rock, cleaner shrimp, and bulb anemone.  My percula is happy and the water is great.  My clown has been there for about a week and I was wondering if it would be ok to add another percula (mind you I don't want to breed)? <I would not add anything else to this tank - the clown and the anemone speak for the entire capacity of this tank.> I know my tank is small by marine sizes go, so I want to be safe and do not endanger any species. Thanks for any advice you can give. Greg <Cheers, J -- > The Color of Clowns >hi. >>Hello. >i would like to say i really appreciate your site, it is very helpful for all of my questions. >>You're very welcome, and we do our best, but do also kindly request that folks submit their questions using proper punctuation and capitalization.  I would normally send this back to you, but I want others to read the following - please know that we, as an all-volunteer crew, don't have time to retype all the queries that are submitted in this form.  Brian, please know that this part is not directly only at you, but to everyone who sends in queries like this. >i tried searching for what my questions are but i couldn't find the answer. so i figured i would try and ask. >>And ask you have!  Let's hear it. >i have a couple so bare with me. >>Number of questions is not a worry. >i have 2 percula clowns in a 30 gal. tank with 30 lbs of live rock. one clown looks like a normal percula clown, while the other looks to be a different shade of orange. the shop i bought them at said that they were a pair, and they do swim around and sleep together, but do perculas vary in their shades of orange? >>Oh yes!  Not just shades, but coverage of orange as well as black.  AND (important to note here), we see MUCH greater variability in coloration in TANK BRED clowns than wild caught.  So, you might want to ask the shop owner if s/he knows whether or not these fish were indeed captive bred.  This could lead to a whole discourse on coloration variances seen in all domesticated animals, and why this unexplained tendency led to (fur) foxes not being successfully raised in captivity for this very same issue.. but I would be too far digressing. >they are younger clowns, probably an inch and a half. on another note, i was feeding them 2 times a day, but they didn't seem very enthusiastic after a couple of bites of food, so i cut it down to 1 time a day. >>I would scrutinize *what* they're being fed, and at what amounts, rather than how often.  It's much more natural for them to graze throughout the day.  What's being fed may be more important at this time. >now i occasionally see the smaller of the two nip at the larger one. is this because i reduced how often i fed them? finally, will clowns allow a cleaner shrimp to clean them if they are dirty? >>Dirt doesn't play into cleaning, dead skin, injuries, and other creatures finding refuge on the surface of the fish in question does.  The smaller one nipping at the larger one is interesting, it should be reversed, but whichever one is DOMINANT will be the one to go female (assuming that hasn't happened already - I doubt it, but you never know).  It has little to nothing to do with feeding schedule (unless you're observing a direct correlation). >one of my clowns has what looks like black chalk dust on him. i didn't know if it was his coloration or something else, so i figured i would add a cleaner shrimp because i wanted to get one anyways. thanks for all the help. Brian Wilson >>With the clowns being so small I wouldn't expect them to hang for a cleaning with a shrimp at this point, but the shrimp will probably clean your fingers for you.  It does need feeding as much as the fish do, especially in a newer system.  The black dust, if not discernibly raised or of different texture from the skin is most likely another color variation.  If they otherwise appear and behave normally, again, it should be no worries.  I think they're probably fine, but do be sure to offer a good variety of foods, as well as fresh seafood on a regular basis.  Marina

Anemone potential problems? Thank you for your quick response.  Well I answered my own question with the missing perc.  He was inside one of the rocks the whole time and eventually came floating out. :(  We did purchase the buffer you recommended we've been using it for 4 days and the ph is now a 7.8 dropping to a 7.6 in the morning after the lights first come on.  Is it safe to keep adding the buffer or will that cause other problems in the tank?   <Yes, continue using it. You may want to add slightly more buffer to the aquarium and hopefully raise the pH slightly more than you are now. It's important not to overdose on any of the products, especially since pH swings can often be fatal so some of the more sensitive invertebrates. I recommend adding the buffer in the morning, when the pH is lowest. I would also keep a close eye on the pH when dosing the product. It's extremely important to test for everything you dose.> Now for the anemones, since I last e-mailed you, the Condy hasn't fully inflated, it is partially inflated, but not like it should be, it's tentacles are rather dark, which I guess is normal when it's not fully opened up.  The BTA seems rather healthy, and moves around all the time.  I'm still unsure as to whether I should bring back the Condy. What would you recommend? <It would be interesting to point out that a healthy anemone is not one that moves around the aquarium. An anemone that constantly moves means that it's searching for an environment which fits its need properly. If it doesn't such an environment, it will continue moving until it eventually dies. If it does not eventually find a spot (The E. quadricolor usually prefers wedging its foot between the rocks and having only its oral disc exposed), I would recommend returning it. Anemones generally do not have a high survival rate in captivity and should be left for the more experienced aquarists.> Chances are if I lose both anemones, we will not purchase another, after all of the research I have done, I have earned a whole new respect for them and I would rather they stay in the wild where they are guaranteed to live.   I have heard that the Percs can host with something else, is this true?   <Yes. Clownfish will often host with many other invertebrates, not only anemones. I've actually seen some clownfish host in zoanthids, Tridacnid clams, xenia, and empty shells! If you want something for your clowns to host in, I would recommend a Toadstool leather (Sarcophyton sp.) for your clownfish. These will make perfect hosts for the clownfish, and often will resemble an Anemone. Many other types of leathers including the Devils Hand (Lobophytum sp.), Spaghetti Leather (Sinularia flexilis) and Finger Leather (Sinularia sp.) will also work fine. Other good hosts include the Colt coral (Cladiella sp., or, Alcyonium sp.), Kenya Tree (Capnella sp.-should be added to a mature aquarium), Alveopora (Alveopora sp.), Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens), Hammer Coral (Euphyllia ancora), Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sp.), Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp.), Xenia (Xenia sp.?), Frogspawn (Euphyllia sp.), etc. There were many I never mentioned, only due to the care level required for them, and the difficulty of keeping them successfully alive. Some of these include the Flowerpot (Goniopora sp.), Plate Coral (Heliofungia Actiniformis), and Elegance (Catalaphyllia sp.) to name a few.> One more thing, I would really like to get another clown, but don't know if it is a good idea.  We only have one fish in the tank now, if we do get another clown, what are the chances of them pairing up, and is there a certain fish I should look for perhaps a bigger or smaller fish?  The bigger of a pair is usually the female correct?   <Buy another clownfish only if you're willing to take a risk that they won't pair up. If you do decide to buy another clownfish, make sure you buy the biggest percula specimen available. Percula clownfish aren't extremely aggressive which is why I'm not too worried about adding another clown to the aquarium, although there is always going to be some risk involved.> Although I know they can change their sex. Oh what to do Oh what to do?  Thank you again for any advice you can give.  This is wonderful being able to ask somebody questions who actually knows what their talking about and not just trying to sell you something.  It's hard finding somebody you can trust.  You guys rock!! <Thank you very much for those great comments! I hope this helps and take care, Graham.> -Kim

Clownfish Hi <Howdy!> my friend Eun Young has just got a clown fish for Christmas. she doesn't know much about fish, except when to feed it. but that's basically it. can you help her?<You can find tons of info on our site: www.wetwebmedia.com.  Cody>

Honey, your clownfish are clicking again. Hi folks,    I've been trying to find out exactly how my Clarki clown makes that clicking sound. I've found plenty of web sites that affirm, "Yes, they make noises.", but none that explain how they do it. Special click organ? Grinding teeth? Biological proton acceleration? As you can see, I'm really scrounging for answers. Happy Holidays, Craig <Hee hee! It's... their teeth grinding... using their gas bladder to add volume (as a resonator)... other fishes generate sound with articulated bony body parts (e.g. triggers), stretching muscles along their bladder (e.g. croakers)... Bob Fenner>

- It's Not Unusual... - My friend recently got into the keeping saltwater fishes after seeing my tank. He used an Ocellaris Clown to cycle his tanks and it is a rather large one so he wanted to keep it after he got a baby Volitans Lionfish. I wouldn't do this...I love the clowns and would be quite disturbed to see it eaten by the lion. So the clown avoided the lion for a day or so and now is swimming into its stingers like it would an anemone without getting stung... have you ever heard of anything like this? <Yes.> Does the clown avoid being stung because it is immune to the anemone sting? <No, the lionfish spines are really only venomous to those who are impaled on the ends of the spines, they are not at all similar to anemone spines. The clownfish is just keeping out of the way.> Just thought I'd ask. Thanks again. <Cheers, J -- >

Teacher needs help! I've been searching our local university library, the web, article databases....and haven't been able to find anything. Can you direct me to a source of information to answer one of my gifted student's project questions..."How do clownfish communicate?" Any guidance would be appreciated! Michelle Sarabia, M.A. Resource and Enrichment teacher Memorial Elementary Deming, NM <Mmm, don't have a website referral (per se), but do know that both visual and acoustic (yes, they make sounds... by "gritting" their teeth, articulating their pectoral girdle, using their gas bladder as a resonator...) posturing, gesturing... Suggest a visit to a large/college library, using their computer search bibliographic tools. Please refer to this brief exposition on such searches: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm Bob Fenner> Special education news

Re: teacher needs help! Wow! Fast reply!  Thanks!  I'll use some of the terms you used for additional searches. :o) <Real good, Bob Fenner> Special education news

Twitching twits? Clowns who don't read our books. 6/15/03 Hello All, <Hi Joe, PF here tonight> Great site and lots of fun. Thanks for keeping it so up to date:) I have a 12 gallon eclipse system that's been up for about three months with 3 inches coral (live) sand and 12 lb.. of beautiful Brazilian live rock. Water conditions are very good. Bioload is six blue legged hermits, eight turbo snails and two true Percula Clowns, both captive bred. I've had them for over a month and every now and then I see one of them twitch quite a bit and almost swim backwards. Behavior appears normal in all other respects, they eat like horses with a varied diet and are quite active all day. Color is excellent. Sorry, but I read all the clownfish things I could find on your site and did not come across this. <Fish don't read the same books and articles we do. Clownfish especially. They do all kinds of weird things, often to freak us out (for example, standing on their head's, hosting to power heads, etc.> Any thoughts? Also, about two weeks after I put this rock into the tank I noticed this polyp looking thing growing on the rock, It's now about 3/4 inch tall on a short stalk and if you watch closely you can see it feed itself. It's pale green with a center disk that slopes slightly down to the mouth, it has about 15-20 tentacles around the rim which are green with brown bands. Any Thoughts? <Well, check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm and see if you can find a picture of one online to compare it to. If it is, go to the main site ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com and do a search on removing pest anenomes> Thanks a bunch. My 75 gallon reef tank will be here any day! <Have fun moving your charges, and have a good evening, PF> Joe

Moving A Senior Clown.... No Joke!!!   6/10/03 Hi,<Hey Wazz up????  Phil here!>  I have a 15 yr. mated pair of false clown fish in a 75 gal reef tank.<15... wow almost as old as me!!  Good job on keeping them alive so long!!>    My friend had them for 7 yrs. and I have had them for 8 years. I also have four bulb tip anemones.<Kool!  Always wanted anemones, but I'd rather let them live in the sea.>  I started with one and it split 3 times!<Kool>   Unfortunately, I want to break down my tank.  I want to give the pair to a friend that has a 125-gal reef tank.  She moved her tank (without my help!) and lost everything but 2 bubble corals  and 4 aggressive green Chromis.<That's too bad!>  Two weeks ago, she decided to re-stock her tank.  Her water quality is excellent.  She bought 2 small (2") percula clowns (although one is a false clown), a Kole tang, blue tang, yellow tang and a fire goby.<Hmmmm lots of tangs for a tank this size.....>   If I give her my pair, will all four clowns exist well together?<Mixing two different types of clowns in almost never a good idea, even in a large tank.  I would hold off on this, it would be a shame to see clowns that have lived for 15 years die in such a manner.  Know what I mean?>  Will the two small, non-paired percula eventually pair up or will my pair bother the two smaller ones?<Very possible>  My pair is non-aggressive and stick to their choice of 4 anemones?<If you move tanks, the clowns might move anemones.>  Also, even though my friend has excellent water quality and does water changes weekly (I tell her she keeps her tank too clean, if that is possible!)<As long as everything is in order, it's probably ok.>   she has killed every anemone she has had.<Houston we have a problem.>  She has power compacts.<She's gonna need Metal Halides, might wanta tell her not to take the anemones.  Give them to someone who can keep them alive.> I really love my fish but do not have the time to spend any longer (I usually do water changes every 4- 6 months).<wow... I do mine, every 1-2 weeks.  LOL...>  I have no idea why I have had so much success with anemones multiplying and coral growth??<Maybe it's the time difference between water changes?> Thanks in advance!!! Jordan <No problem Jordan, and good luck!  Once again good job on keeping the Clowns alive for so long!  Phil>

Finding Nemo...or....Put that fish back where it came from or so help me! - 6/10/03 Hey WWM crew <Hey Dude> I went and saw Finding Nemo, great movie for us reef aquarists <totally agree. I've seen it three times!> but, the thing that really angers me, is when kids and parents go to watch it and the kid goes "I want a Nemo" (percula clown) So the parents hear it all day/night till they go and get one! They know nothing about saltwater and end up putting them in bowls!! Salinity shock!!! Just thought I'd like to get that out. <I too, thought about this upon the completion of my initial run through of the movie but I thought the true message rang out fairly clear regarding conservation and the human factors involved in the plight of the ocean. If anything, I feel this a chance for true marine aquarist to show their involvement regarding the education of those in need of it. If you are at a pet store and hear of the above scenario being played out, then maybe it would be a good idea to help educate the future owner of the proper needs of the inhabitant to be. GARF had a wonderful piece on just this subject. I hope all will find merit in it at one level or another. http://www.garf.org/trever/NEMO/NEMO.html Thanks for your comment and view, Jerry. A very important aspect to being a Conscientious Marine Aquarist. And remember: Fish are friends, not food, DUDE! Paulma headin' to the EAC for some totally sweet thrills. Rock on, dude!>

Finding Nemo and the masses >Hey WWM crew, Greetings Jerry. >I went and saw "Finding Nemo", great movie for us reef aquarists. >>I envision you saying that with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. >The thing that really angers me is when kids and parents go to watch it, and the kid goes, "I want a Nemo!" (percula clown) so the parents hear it all day/night till they go and get one, and know nothing about saltwater. >>Ah, my friend, don't EVEN get me started!  This has all the potential of recreating a fishy "101 Dalmatians"!  (Grrrr..!!)  Please see http://www.reefs.org - on the discussion boards, go to "The Industry Behind the Hobby".  Some eye-opening stuff.  Shall I direct anyone to Bob's "MACAttacks"?  Do a search on our site if you're interested in the birthing pains of what has grown into MAC. >They end up putting them in bowls, salinity shock, sometimes putting them in fresh.  Just thought I'd like to get that out. >>Indeed, you're not the only one, mate!  Marina

Mainly clowns >I feed them seaweed every day -- they all eat it like it's going out of style.  Is this ok / enough? >>Good afternoon Elizabeth, Marina here.  Yes, as long as the fish appear fat, it's definitely alright.  As far as enough, I would never rely solely on one food product for anything but obligate feeders, which we don't normally keep in our systems anyway (with success, that is).  Since I don't know who or what "they" are, nor what growth you are or are not experiencing, I cannot really comment any further. >Also, if I were to get a juvenile of the same species for clown wouldn't that upset the wrasse (I've named him Jack -- short for Jackass!) :) even more?   >>Let me read your previous query here.  Ok, there is not enough information included with this message for me to address the wrasse, I'd need to know what the original problem was, what species of wrasse he is, tank size and parameters, and degree of cover. >Also, since he would be smaller wouldn't Jack harass him and most likely kill him? >>Again, need this information to answer your question. >Also, are you saying that I can't add the Angel until I get 100+ lbs of liverock?  Because I already have him in the quarantine.  He's ready to go in the tank today!  I can't see waiting until I can afford to buy 70 more lbs!   >>You must have a good sized system to want 100+lbs of live rock.  What species of angel do you have?  There's nothing wrong with leaving a fish in quarantine, however, I'll assume that the animal is being housed in q/t without l/r, yes?  If so, it makes little sense to me that you MUST have a certain amount of live rock to put the angel in the main display if its already undergone 30 day q/t.  However, this is not knowing the basics I outlined above.   >Adding a piece every two weeks would be detrimental?  Having only 35lbs is detrimental? >>Here's the thing with live rock, it MUST be cured before going into your display, you want to q/t it for several reasons, not the least of which is watching for those mantis shrimps!  Now, if you can afford to buy a bit of live rock every couple of weeks, why not just save up the money till you have enough to buy some bulk (which can give you bargaining power as well--make a deal!) and cure it all at once, then put into your display?  That makes more sense to me, and it gives *you* more control. >>If you don't mind, since I'm now receiving your queries, I'd love to get "your basics" of tank and stocking information.  Oh!  One other thing I would like to correct; you mentioned wanting to make a clown pair, all clownfish start out life as MALES, not females.  The harem actually consists of subordinate males, one dominant male, and the clearly distinguishable female (she's the HUGE one of the group, he's #2).  Now, as long as they're juvenile you have nothing to worry about, but once they've changed into female (and necessarily the alpha) you can do nothing, they won't change back.  With me so far?  Ok, so, the best method for making a pair is to obtain a *group* of at least 4-6 juveniles, then allow the dominant female to choose her mate.  As far as anemones, yes, they are tricky (I just read some dismally poor success rates for anemones--on the order of 1 in 13 living to 5 years, NOTHING in terms of lifespan of anemones), go to the marine aquarium articles section in the site, then non-vertebrate life and scroll down, we have LOTS of information on anemones.  BTA's (bubble tip anemones) are your best bet, but get everything else nailed down before you try anemones.  Clowns do not require an anemone to feel at home or to host, nor do they require them to breed.  However, I'll let you know that rearing fry is a real pain, do your research.  However, as food for the system they'll be fantastic!  In the meantime, good luck!  Marina

Clown behaviour Hello again Bob. <Hi Tony, PF here early in morning> Not much has changed with my system <That's good, remember, in reef keeping, nothing good ever happens fast.>, however currently my female maroon clown fish (she is about 1.5 inches long and at least 7 years old) has started acting very strange. <They're called clowns for a reason.> All of the standard water tests show the water is OK. She is lying at the bottom of the tank for fairly long periods of time. Without more information I am sure you cannot diagnose her illness, however I was wondering first:  Is a seven plus year old clown fish reaching old age? <Well, I have heard of clowns living 20+ years in captivity. 3 - 5 years is the given age from some sources, but those are for wild animals. It's a lot easier not to get eaten in a reef tank than on an actual reef. I suspect your clown is just acting squirrelly, the name is very well deserved.> I've not seen much on clownfish lifespans. <Doing a google search on "clownfish lifespans" will fix that.> Also, are there any other obvious problems you can think of? Thanks, Tony Jopling <You're welcome Tony. Do keep a close eye on her just in case it's not a case of a clownfish clowning around. From what I've read, it sounds like you're doing a good job. Have a good day, PF>

HELP -- need advice! Thanks for the advice.  It troubles me to hear that you are surprised with their size.  Should they have grown more?  Am I doing something wrong?  I feed them every day (variety of foods high in protein) <Are you feeding them veggies? Sushi Nori is now available at many grocery stores, and you can find it at Oriental Markets if worse comes to worse. Some fish food makers are selling it as prepackaged fish food, for about 5 times the price of sushi Nori (and it's the same stuff!) and they look very healthy -- brightly colored and definitely not skinny. They are also all very active fish -- acting content with their surroundings. <Well, then I wouldn't be too worried.> Also, how do I find a mate for the clown? <Buy a juvenile of the same species, after some squabbling (and maybe not even then) he'll change into a male, your female has already established her place.> I've tried an anemone but didn't have any luck. <Anemones are generally hard to keep, and can live for decades, if not centuries in the wild. Please research them thoroughly before trying that again.> Plus she never would come out of it! <That's called hosting and is what clowns do in the wild. Prevents them from being eaten and their host anemone is protected from predators too.> How can I get a mate for her?  I would love to do that. One more question.  I have about 35lbs. of live rock in the tank right now. Should I add more with the new angel coming?  Could I add maybe one new piece every two weeks or so? <Most angels are nibblers and need a lot of LR. Getting a 100lbs+ wouldn't be out of line. Cure it in a separate container and add it to the tank once it's cured. Even then, you should wait a few months (at least) before adding the angel. Here's the info on LR: www.wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm  > Thanks so much!  You all are lifesavers! :) <You're welcome, and we try out best.>

What A Clown! (Clownfish Behavior) Hi guys, <Howzit? Scott F. with you today!> We have a lovely, healthy maroon clown fish. But lately he has been almost lying on the bottom of the tank. When we go over to him he swims up and seems very happy and healthy. He Eats and looks very good. Do clown fish burrow or rest on the bottom? We have a fish only tank so there is no anemone for him. Thanks, David and Christy <Well, guys- clownfish certainly engage in some endearing behaviors, don't they? The bottom line is- they are really lousy swimmers, and tend to "tread water" a lot, and yes, they do "lie down" at times, much as they would do in an anemone in nature. They do not need an anemone to thrive, however (as you are discovering). Like with any fish, if the animal is eating, reactive, and appears otherwise healthy, I wouldn't be overly concerned about this behavior. Just keep observing and be prepared to react if something goes wrong. Enjoy this little character! Regards, Scott F>

Picture of Amphiprion chagosensis Hello from Austria, <Mein Herr!> I saw that you are missing a picture of the Amphiprion chagosensis on the website, which I find very good and visit frequently to get information. <Thank you/Danke> Just recently I received the new "Koralle" (German magazine published by NTV; edited by Daniel Knop) where Dr. R. Charles Anderson/UK wrote an article about an expedition to the Chagos Archipelago and he has also there a picture of this fish. Maybe you can get the allowance to use his picture. If you do not have the contacts: http://www.ms-verlag.de/english.html email: redaktion-koralle@ms-verlag.de or you contact Daniel Knop for the contacts to Dr. Anderson Best regards Markus K?hle Moosau 1 6176 V?s Austria <Thank you for this. My wife is the North American distributor for Daniel's products (Knop), and I have spoken with him re Koralle and its possible reproduction in English, distribution in the U.S. I will ask him here for permission to use and cite the photograph/er. Bob Fenner>

Picture of Amphiprion chagosensis Hello Bob, glad I could give you a hint to make your website more complete regards Markus <Danke shoen. Bob Fenner>

Home sweet home, clownfish style (03/31/03) Hi Bob, <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have a Maroon Clown in my fish only tank. He's a great specimen but he's picked out a portion of the tank (kind of hidden from view) which is his; cleans out the substrate to create his "home," and guards it. I've changed the locations of the tanks' decor in hopes it would change his behavior and have him swim throughout the tank but it didn't work. Is this normal behavior? <I've seen baby maroon clowns doing this in tanks at various retailers.> I'd like to have him become more visible without putting any undo stress on his him. Is it possible? What do you think? Rich <I suspect that once the clownfish has picked out a spot, you aren't likely to get the fish to leave it without somewhat drastic measures. You may need to completely rearrange the tank, or put something large and immovable in the way. It would cause him some stress, but probably not more stress than being moved to a new tank (that is, from the fish store to your tank).  --Ananda>

Tank raised Clownfish Hello I'm a newbie and have recently purchased a true tank raised percula clown from the LFS. I have a Nano reef that is twelve gallons that consists of: 2 turbo snails, 3 Astrea snails, 2 Blue legged hermit crabs, 2 bumble bee snails, 1 peppermint shrimp, 1 emerald crab, 15lbs. LR, 18lbs. LS. I have currently no filtration or skimmer and am relying on the LR & LS for filtration. <EEK> I perform a 25% water change weekly for exporting excess nutrients. Since purchasing the clown, he stays in the upper corner most of the day and looks to be "catching up" with the current constantly. The clerk at the LFS store said he is about 3 1/2 months old. It hasn't even developed it's white stripes yet. My question is, for such a young clown, should they be housed under special conditions? I also have 2-32watt lights running for about 10 hours & a mini maxi jet powerhead. I also noticed at night it seems to be a lot more active. Thanks! <I would seriously consider adding some filtration to the tank, a skimmer would be awesome.  With such a small tank you will need to keep a close watch on your water quality and your water temperature.  It is easy for the temp to fluctuate in small volumes of water, temperature swings are really good at allowing fish to get sick.  Check out the link below for an article on clownfish and the links at the top of that page for a wealth of information on clownfish. -Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm >

Re: clownfish sir, how much clownfish is being imported in to the "US". what is the value in weight and dollars. Vijay Kumar  <Just a guess, but I'd say about 100,000 pieces (individuals), and with water weight, boxes... 1,000 pounds or so. Many more (likely twice or more as many) Clownfishes that are used as ornamentals are cultured (mainly in the U.S.) rather than wild-collected currently. Bob Fenner>

Surrogate Anemone for Clowns - 2/13/03 Mr. Fenner, sorry to bother you. I am sure you are quite busy. <not at all... he's in Hawaii! Lucky bugger. Anthony Calfo in your service> I posted a question in the chat forum, but it is getting a little more serious. Zo gave me an answer already, and I truly value his opinion as he is a very intelligent man, but I am hoping there is some other way. <OK... lets have at it> Anyway, here is my problem: <just one <G>?> I have a Paracanthurus hepatus (hippo tang) that is about 3 or 4 inches. I have had him for over 28 months. <Cool... and as inspiration.. I am aware of a 26 year old specimen... seriously. How cool is that!> For the past 26 months he has had one spot in the tank that is his. And he guards that spot with his life. He pushes snails and crabs out of the way, he chases fish out and flicks his tail at us when we clean anywhere near his rock. He has a few other spots he "likes" but this is his safe haven. <Indeed... quite natural with this surprisingly territorial species> He goes here when he is scared and sleeps here EVERY NIGHT! Well, I have a pair of true perculas that have been hanging out in the bubbles at the top of the tank since we got them DEC 2001. For the past 5 days the female has been trying to take over my hippos spot. <Ha! Gutsy> At first she would just swim near it and dart away when she saw his big blue face or flicking yellow tail. Then she got a little braver and started to go down inside his rock. Well, he turns BRIGHT blue and either flicks his tail at her or snaps at her and she darts away only to come back a few minutes later. She is even now trying to bring her mate down there with her. We thought the hippo was just chasing her, but she now has a few bites taken out of her fins. And she STILL goes back for more. Is there anyway possible that she will give up or is it going to have to come to the hippo seriously hurting her before she realizes that he is NOT going to give up his spot. It is very strange because these clowns have never gone inside the rocks (any rocks) since we got them now all of a sudden she wants HIS rock. Zo suggested moving all the rock around. Which makes sense, but the last time I moved the hippos rock he would not eat for almost a week and he gets really stressed out. <Strange indeed... and I'm not convinced the behavior will stop. Let me suggest that you strategically place a surrogate anemone for the clown. Many breeders do this (never use a live anemone). Take a small bit of rolled plastic and snip long cuts most of the way down to the tied base like cutting a folded paper doll... to make tentacles. Then take this shredded plastic pom pom and fish it through a hold in a shell or small flower pot and place it in the aquarium in a nook or corner. You might also shine a pinpoint light on it at night (fishes/clowns are attracted to the light for plankton/like larvae)... I'll be surprised if she doesn't take it in days> Plus, I have a Desjardinii Sailfin... <A beautiful but dreadfully mean fish... really not suited for these clowns or even the blue tang unless the tank is huge (over 150gall?).Long term problems here with this species likely> who has staked claim to the rest of the tank, so I am afraid if I move things around and force the hippo to find a new spot he is going to end up in battle with the Sailfin (who can be very brutal). <agreed... this really is a separate and "incompatibility" issue> Plus, Life is a lot easier when that hippo is happy.  I can't afford to upset him and have him get ich or pop eye again. <they are ich magnets indeed> Please tell me that this clown is going to give up. <I would not put money on it> Do you have any idea why all of a sudden she wants to battle with this fish that is clearly 6 times larger than her? <her gender <G>> Don't they have fake anemones or something else to entice her to go somewhere else? <as per above... DIY> Basically I am saying I can't move that rock. <understood and agreed> So, with that said, what else can I do here. I don't want to lose any of my babies. Please help! I am vert afraid he is going to take about all he can and then use his tail on her. And if he does swat her, will he do it to scare her or kill her? I love them all and don't want anything to happen to ANY of them. Thanks in advance Mr. Fenner. In case you don't know, I am Freckleface the crazy hippo tang lover from the chat room. <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Surrogate anemone for clown - 2/13/03 THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! But...I don't understand the plastic thing. To me plastic is hard, so how can this act as a host? How can she "play" around in it if it is hard?  I understand how it can entice her as she loves to play in the bubbles (uses them like a host). But I don't get the plastic thing. Unless I am letting my blonde hair show right about now. Can you give me a better idea of what type of plastic, exactly I could use with this??? Because I am picturing that it will hurt or cut them...I am sure I am going to feel like an idiot when you tell me what kind to use. <It's really as simple as it sounds... rolled sheet plastic like a rolled garbage bag. Very soft/supple and wavy when shredded. I heard Martin Moe first suggest it> About the Sailfin and hippo???? I am upgrading to a 125 in about a month-have a 60 now. <holy cow!!! A 60 gallon?! You are lucky the aggression is not worse> Will this not work for them? <Ahhh...no. The adult size of a blue tang is 31 cm (about a foot long)... the adult size of a Sailfin tang is 40cm (16"). The reason that fishes do not reach full adult size in captivity is because they don't have optimal food or swimming space. Its not a crime (perhaps should be <G>)... but it is what it is. Stick a human in a closet and feed it poorly and you can't expect to be growing basketball players or football players in there :) Now... putting the aquarium-Nazi in me aside just for a moment (Ha!), lets safe we only can grow your tangs to half size, and there are no other fishes in the aquarium with them, that still doesn't seem like a lot of room for two beefy and scrappy fishes. The move top the 125 will be a huge help. Tell your spouse though that WWM said you need a 300 gallon in the 5-10 year plan for all of your fishes <G>> http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Paracanthurus&speciesname=hepatus http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Zebrasoma&speciesname=veliferum The Sailfin is very friendly to the clowns and even runs interference sometimes between the female and the hippo. <It also has not reached sexual maturity yet. Like parrots, raccoons, and so many "docile" pets... everything seems fine when young. In this case, though... you've realized already that your Sailfin "rules the tank"> Just don't go too long with out giving him seaweed selects or he gets grumpy and swims around all day with his sail up! LOL... Surprisingly, my Sailfin is my mellow fish (aside from the occasional flick the hippo gets, just because). <I'd like to say it'll be OK... but he's not going to get nicer with age.> A 26 year old Hippo....I AM SO EXCITED! I am sure you have read all the posts where I am a serious Hippo NUT! My dream in life is to scuba dive with a school or two of hippo tangs! Though a nice school, not one with bad attitudes like mine. haha <Ha!> Thanks again, I feel a lot better now! And just so you know, when we upgrade our tank, we plan on keeping one side exactly like we have our tank now, so we don't throw the hippo off too much. <excellent idea!> Pop eye is a bummer to cure when he gets mad!!! <You use Epsom salt to treat it promptly, yes? If no... read about it in the archives here> His favorite thing to get.... <best regards, Anthony>

Re: black clownfish hello ... you've probably answered this a thousand times, but I didn't see any posting on it. I have 2 new residents added to my 75 gal reef, 2 black perculas. I bought both at the same time and they seem really paired  up (close buds). besides there orange face, the bigger clown is starting to turn orange under his/her neck and the color change seems to be moving towards the rest of the under belly. my question is ... will the fish completely turn orange as a regular percula or is that a sign maybe changing gender? <Maybe both, but they rarely change to all orange and white bands from the dark varieties> also is there any corals that will host clowns? I really don't wanna go the anemone route. any info is greatly appreciated. thanks in advance Gary B <All sorts of "corals"... like frilly mushrooms, Sarcophytons have been used as hosts. Much more posted on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ re. Bob Fenner>

Percula Clowns I'm presently cycling my 90gal tank with 60 lbs of live rock, and I'm trying to do some research on what fish to add to the tank first.  <Congrats, this is the best way to start any addition!> I've heard good things about clowns and their hardiness, but I've also read a few warnings regarding them. Some say they should not be the first fish you add because they are more likely to be more territorial when they get older if you do so.  What is your opinion of this statement?  <I agree with the statement for the most part. Changing landscape can help> The other thing that's holding me back is that I've heard that having more than one kind in a tank of this size would be an exercise in futility, <Most likely they will pick on each other, possibly to the death, unless you get a pair. I'd recommend one> and I haven't yet decided if I'd rather have a maroon or a couple of Clarks Anemonefish. I ask because one of the local fish stores near me has 5 1.5" true percula's, and two of them seem to have paired off... dancing around each other.  Do you think this may be a mated pair?  <could be, this is certainly a sign> Do you think they would be appropriate first additions to the tank?  <Depends on what else you are adding. If you are planning any less aggressive, then no> I plan to set this tank up as a reef, and would like to (eventually, and slowly) add a couple of angels <Multiples of these are known to have the same problems as above. Angels are known invert/coral eaters, not a good choice for reefs. BTW have you got the equipment you need for a quarantine tank? Look here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and the links at the top of the page for more> <Go slow, research and learn, and have fun! Don> Jeremy

Clown Antics                                    Hello Crew! <Howdy Bryan, Don with you tonight> I have a 37 gallon tank with 70lbs of live rock, 25lbs live sand + 10lbs crushed coal substrate, 2 Ocellaris Clowns, Coral Beauty, Six line Wrasse, Yellow-tail Blue Damsel, Neon Goby, various mushrooms, Brain Coral, Plate Coral, Star plops, Bubble Tip Anemone, 2 serpent stars, snails, and crabs. <OK> The clowns have been in the tank for over a year, introduced as juveniles, and were tank raised.  They are wonderful fish but the female showed some strange behavior tonight as I performed weekly maintenance.  She swam very close to my hand and actually nipped me twice.  I chased her with my finger and she turned sidewise and displayed as I have seen her do with the Damsel or Wrasse chased her.  She was very aggressive towards me while I was working in the tank.  She is to small to hurt, but I am wondering if this is normal (or frequently abnormal <G>) for Ocellaris Clowns? <IME Yes, I call mine (about 1.5") Chomp for this reason.<G>> Thanks! <Count your fingers and make sure you have a phone ready!> Bryan

Clownfish culture biz First let me say that your site has the best information on it and read it regularly. I love how frank and candid your answers are and seem to answer all the questions posted. Now for my question. Do you have any idea how much fish stores buy their stocks of Clownfishes for. A round about price without shipping cost would be helpful. <Somewhere in the handful of dollars per on the low side for both wild-caught and captive bred small specimens... to a few tens of dollars for larger, harder to come by species.> I am interested in breeding clownfish but can't seem to find anything online about this. I'm sure it's a competitive thing. I'm interested in the more popular clowns that sell. If you can help me in any way, I would be deeply appreciative. Thanks. <Do consider however retailers and etailers "net-landed cost"... the expense of shipping, boxing, possibly customs, CITES... as well as handling, acclimation, incidental losses compared with your "right here, right now" potential. If you're located near a marine livestock wholesaler or good sized retail outlets you may be able to ask them how many of what species, size they might buy from you. Bob Fenner >

Re: sebae, clowns and a need for good direction Hello and thank you very, very much for offering a forum for great advice not tied to the purchase of products. <Our goal is helping aquarists keep their critters healthy!> I have a reef system in a 55 gallon aquarium which has done very, very well losing only one fish in all its time with good ongoing water quality.  I recently purchased my first anemone (I actually ordered two at the same time but have only received one) which was a sebae.   <These guys have a very poor survival rate and they are subject to over harvesting> The anemone arrived with its mouth a bit bulging and a range of color from white to brown.  (I thought the white was good until I read through your FAQs) <You have a possibly damaged and  partially bleached anemone> I called the merchant after receiving the anemone to ask about health, etc and they told me everything was fine .... sigh.   <They sold you an anemone didn't they...HA!> The sebae has now turned mostly brown but it hasn't really attached to anything and my tomato clowns are avoiding it (it also has some small yellow markings on the bottom of its foot).   <The clowns may never accept it and it may never settle down> It moves around a bit, but basically lies in the sand and opens and closes between day and night and rolls around a bit.  How long should it take to plant itself?   <It's the anemone's choice. Some anemones never settle...some settle fast> How long should it take for the clowns to go to it?   <Clowns don't read. They may or may not accept it. They certainly don't "need" it in captivity> I have a bubble tip still coming ... is this too much for the tank and should I cancel the other anemone before I create a war zone? <Cancel the Bubbletip and look for an online company that sells cultured bubbletops if you must have one. This will increase your chances of success tremendously...assuming that you have enough light in your tank> Are there any fish to avoid when I think about adding a few fish a month or so? <Because of the anemone's presence? Most fish will be alright but butterflies are really bad...except for the longirostris or flavissimus species> Thanks for your help and a truly valuable place in cyberspace, M. Ross <Thank you for the compliment. We enjoy our work. David Dowless>

No Clowning Around Here! Hi guys, <Hi! Scott F. here today!> I am planning on getting a pair of percula (or maybe ocellaris) clownfish this weekend and I want to be prepared so I just want to make sure of some things. After acclimatizing them I will dip them in freshwater and Methylene blue (is this OK? How long should the dip last? <Minimum of 3 minutes, up to 7 minutes works well for me. Try shooting for 5 minutes> With or without the Meth. blue?). <I like to use the Methylene blue> I will then QT them in a 10 gal.: for 2 weeks or 4 weeks? <3 weeks minimum- ideally- 4 weeks> As prevention, should I add anything to the QT water? Your articles recommend Maracyn II, what do you think? <Nope- I'd just keep the water clean...no need for medication unless treating a specific illness> If you agree, should it be for the whole time they will be in QT (i.e 2 or 4 weeks?). <As above> BTW, what is the difference between Maracyn I and II? <Do consult Mardel Labs' website for specifics. Good company and products, IMO> Now if they do break out with some king of parasitic infection what should I do?  Is copper (for ick or velvet) safe for clowns? <Yes- if used according to manufacturer's instructions concerning dosage and duration> How do I tell the difference between ick/velvet and Brooklynella? <In summary: Ich looks like little white salt grains on the fish, Amyloodinium is harder to recognize- usual symptoms are rapid breathing, lots of scratching, and lots of blemishes on the fishes bodies. Brooklynella usually causes fish to exude thick whitish mucus, causes lots of "gasping", and the affected fish usually lies on the bottom of the tank. See the wetwebmedia.com site for much more> If it is the latter, how do I treat it since copper is ineffective for this parasite? <Freshwater dips and Formalin preparations usually work on this one> Also, I have a cleaner shrimp in my main tank should I put it in the QT to help out the clowns (of course not with the copper)?   <Not advisable> Even if you choose to recommend the Maracyn? <As above- no need> Finally, after the clowns will have been in QT for 2 weeks, I will have to take a one week trip and there will be nobody to take care of them everyday.  How often should I ask somebody to come and feed them?  Is it better to leave them in the QT or should I introduce them to the MT before leaving? <Definitely leave them in the qt. Someone could feed them every other day at a minimum, IMO. Although they can go longer- I'd advise against it.> Thanks for the help.  Have a great one! Steve <Your welcome, Steve! Do look up more on these procedures on the wetwebmedia.com site! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Nitrates and help with Mad-Clown Can't believe how much I have learned since I have found your web-site. I thought I had eased myself in to the hobby with reading about it for 6 months / hovering around LFS's etc.. before laying out my cash. Disappointingly, I have found that my LFS's give conflicting advice and with retrospect am dubious of the set-up I have been sold. However, to date (the tank has been set-up for 8 months) I have a 55g tank with approx 60Ib's of live rock and some soft corals. All readings are ok with the only concern being a nitrate fluctuation that creeps up to 10ppm (normally about 5ppm). For filtration I have 1 internal filter (PolyFilter & carbon), 1 external Fluval 404 with half the chambers containing biological media, a quarter containing the Kent Nitrate reducing product and the last chamber containing filter floss. My question is, is the bio-media in the Fluval doing any good? It always looks so clean, should I replace this with something else (bearing in mind the live rock)? <I would chuck the biomedia altogether and use nothing but carbon, changed regularly. I suspect your biomedia is the source of your nitrates. Increase LR and live sand to naturally reduce nitrates.> I use a Prizm skimmer which I find works quite well (dark gunk coming out!). Additional water movement is made by 2 internal mini-jets. Turnover should be ten to twenty times tank volume. IOW, for a 55, 550 GPH (minimum) total for all the powerheads.> I have some soft corals in the tank that have grown and look incredibly healthy and to date the only casualty has been a snail, which just seemed to have disappeared! The fish in the tank are: - 2 Ocellaris Clown (1in and 1.5in) - 1 Bi-Colour Angel (3 inches) - 1 Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (2 inches) - 1 Yellow Tang (4 inches) Besides the questions concerning the filtration above, I would really appreciate your help with the below: - Do I need to supplement the oxygen from the skimmer with an additional air stone? <No. If it's cleaning dark skimmate it's fine.> - The yellow tang is a new addition and has just come out of quarantine. He has been in the tank now for 48hrs. However, the larger clown has taken a strong dis-like to it and it tormenting it non -stop. The poor tang (a giant beside the clown) is cowering under a rock and will not feed (feeding fine in quarantine) <Re-arrange the clowns digs some to throw him/her off and add some well cycled live rock. This will change territories and add to your nitrate reduction capacity while removing the biomedia from the Fluval, etc.> - Any additional advice on keeping the nitrates down. <Less nitrifying outside biomedia and more natural de-nitrifying LR and LS.  Regular cleaning of sponges, any other filters.> I have a Aquamedic R/O unit at home and do regular 15% water changes every week. The sand base is just under an inch and is vacuumed / disturbed once a week using a Eheim device which doesn't suck in sand. Look forward to your responses. Bill <Ah....stop this, add more LS, (slowly over days), get some  detritivores to keep your sand in shape....stop vacuuming, it disrupts the natural sand processes, even in thin sand beds. Your thin sand bed could also be nitrate source, especially with disruption. Should be fine with enough rock or by adding more LS. Hope this helps!  Craig>  

Tomato Clown is clearing out sand bed? Hey Guys, I've got a question about my tomato clown. As of the last week he has been using his tail to sort of dig a hole into the sand bed. I was wondering if he's trying to tell me something or maybe this is just something they do? Thanks for your help once again amigos! Ray <Just something they do Ray, and they can be quite determined about it too. Roll with it and make sure there is no undercutting of rockwork, covering of desirable inhabitants, etc. Craig> 

Mixing Clownfish Hello, I currently have a 65 gallon saltwater set up, with a 25 gallon Miracle Mud Sump, with pair of Percula Clowns. I am in the process of adding three 36 inch VHO lights to the tank in the hope of keeping a few basic anemones. <This should be ok for a bubble tip anemone, E. quadricolor.> I would also like to add a pair of pink skunk clowns. <It is not a good idea to mix clownfish.> I was curious to see if you think they would co-exist if each had their own anemone? <No> Also, I have a Long Nose Butterfly in the same tank. <You will have to make a choice, between the Butterflyfish and an Anemone.> Do they generally bother anemones? <Yes> Thank you, Steve Thornton <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Clownfish Dear Bob: <Hi Constance!> I had a very small clownfish in quarantine for a little over four weeks. I put him in the main tank today with my other clown and found that the little one had lost almost all his color. He is only faintly orange and he used to be very bright. Was it the lighting (low) in quarantine and will the color come back? He ate the same foods served in my main tank. Is there anything special I can give him? <Did he lose color in the QT or upon being put in the main with the other clown? When did you notice? Is this clown larger than the one in the main? This could be different conditions, food intake, nutrition, color change relating to the other clown and sexuality/mating or possibly trying to be less noticeable in a new environment. Now that he/she is in the main the conditions will be identical, so keep an eye out for changes in color and behavior.> Best wishes to all of you. <Thanks and to you too! Craig> Connie Cavan

Re: Clownfish Dear Craig: Thanks for a quick response & welcome to the Fenner fixer-uppers. <Thank You so much Connie!!!> The clown in the main tank is still a juvenile. The small one from quarantine is really small - half the size. Neither one is ready for mating as yet. The little one jumped out of his container and landed on the floor in transport to large tank. I didn't notice color change until I compared him with his bride-to-be (distant future that is). He is eating well and very active. He was in quarantine with some Chromis and they are all well. I thought it might be possible that stress would do it but I am not that knowledgeable. Each fish has the same water from the main tank and the same food and vitamins. I went to your saltwater fish info and the only reference I found was to Brooklynella (sp ??) I should add that the lighting in the qt is dimmer compared to reef tank and I might not have noticed before, but it sure is obvious now. Thanks for any input you may have, Craig. Connie Cavan <If he is active and not hiding or bullied I would just keep an eye on him. Maybe some treats like Mysis soaked in Selcon. (Enough for everyone so he's not singled out) Likely stress from the QT, the eventful move, and then stress again in the new tank. Ever notice how overtly confident animals get puffed up and assertive, and stressed less than confident animals "turn it down"? It takes a while to overcome this. I would give him some time and keep an eye out. Let me know how he does! Craig>

Re: Tomato Clown Gage, Thanks for the response!  <Thanks for the question, your are making brush up on my clown knowledge.>  I've had the clown for a little over 2 years. The main part of the body looks "muddy" in color, normally being a bright orange. Tested tank and have the following results: PH = 8.4 NH3/NH4 = 0.10 ALK = 3.2 Gravity = 1.022 Temp = 78F I have an Eheim 2213 filter and I am using Kent Super Buffer once per week. I have also noticed some algae growth on the 'plants' in the tank, deep green in color. <All kinds of info on algae here  http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm> If the clown does not improve in color in the next day or two, I will take him to my aquatics center. I just thought I might try to correct the problem on my own first (or learn something new) before taking him out of the tank for the trip and stressing him. <I don't think we need to go this far, as long as the clown is still eating and behaving well I suspect that he/she is simply maturing. If possible, you could send us a digital picture and we could tell for sure.>  Thanks much! Sincerely, Charmaine R. Parker

Tomato Clown Love your site!  <Spectacular>  This is my first question, so here goes: I have a 55 gallon tank with 1 tomato clown, 1 Huma trigger, 2 yellow-tailed damsel, 2 hermit crabs, and 6 snails. Today, I noticed that the clown appears very dark in color. It seems to be acting as it normally would, but the color doesn't look good at all. Any ideas on what this could be and what I should do to correct it? <A lot of fish will change color depending upon mood, nutrition, and water quality. Does the clown have dark spots or is it dark all over? How long have you had the clown? I would also test my water to make sure everything is as it should be. Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm> Regards, Charmaine R. Parker

Clownfish identity Hello all!! <cheers... and back from MACNA :) > I was wondering if you can help me identify this clown fish. I was looking through Daphne Fautin's book and I can't seem to find this identity. It looks like it is related to the Amphiprion percula (Melanesia) or A. ocellaris, but its bars aren't right. The only one that I can see that has bars even remotely similar is the A. polymnus (Saddleback). Can this be a hybrid of A. polymnus and either A. ocellaris or A. percula? This was sold to me as a tank-raised ocellaris, but then again the typical LFS isn't always known for their knowledge. Please let me know what you think... Kim <many tank raised clowns have peculiar bars and patterns. A color morph is more likely than a hybrid... but do send a pic for a confirmation if you like. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Clownfish identity Ooops, so sorry. I forgot to attach the pictures. Here is what he looks like. <Ahh, this is Amphiprion ocellaris. Some "come out" with a partial band/s... and sometimes these grow complete with time... other times remaining as shown. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clownfish identity Hi again Bob... <Howdy> Out of curiosity, how can you tell if this is a color morph as opposed to a hybrid??  What clued you in on this fish? <Mmm, really "just experience"... having seen many thousands of these cultured fishes all over the world, bred them myself, am familiar with this variation... there are a few (notorious) hybrids amongst Amphiprion This is almost certainly not one of them. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kim

Sebae Clown Or as it may be, from reading facts, a clarkii clown. Just a quick question about his "sleeping or night" behavior. He has taken to a bottom corner of my tank and literally lays on his side in the corner with his face in the corner.  <Typical of plenty of fish>  This is where he goes about 2 hours after lights out and remains all night and is up and at 'em at first light in the house.  <Better than I manage>  He has scared me a few nights. My question is, is this typical that they lay on their side at the bottom at night? he uses his tail to flip away the substrate so he has like an indent to lay in. like a dog turning circles before laying down.  <My Maroon clown has slept in the bottom/right corner on the sand, in/under a small protective cave of LR, for the last couple of years. No problems.> Thanks guys as always said this site is great. C Pittsburgh, PA  < Welcome & Thanks! -Zo>

Amphiprion clarkii with black patches Hi WWM Crew, <greetings Jeremy> My Clarkii has a couple black patches on his fins, mostly the caudal fin. I am worried that he has some sort of disease/infection. The patch on his caudal fin is large, perhaps a quarter of the fin, the fin is in good shape otherwise. He didn't have the patch when I purchased him several months ago. The patch has been there for over a month now. Is this some sort of disease I can treat or is it just his coloration? <sounds odd... would have expected abrasions/contusions to heal by now> On a separate but related issue... I am considering setting up a quarantine tank.  <nothing to consider... please do it! All new fish should run through QT and it will be ready and waiting for sick fish if necessary> Is it ok to place damsels in the quarantine tank to help maintain it? I don't want a bare tank when not in use for treatment.  <not necessary or helpful> Is there a species of damsel that is peaceful enough to leave a sick or new fish alone?  <exactly the problem... we do not want any established fish in Qt to bully a new one or the new one to sicken another peaceful or not> Domino and blue damsels seem to be readily available. Should these be avoided in a quarantine setup? <no fish is needed to maintain a QT. The QT tank is to remain empty or unoccupied. A biological sponge filter is instead kept running in the main tank at all times: ready and waiting to be called to use in the QT. In the meantime.. it is fed and conditioned to be very strong with the full bio-load of the main display> Thank you for your time and patience, Jeremy G. <our great pleasure. Anthony>

Clownfish in Coral: Problem? HI Bob, Just wanted to show off my flowerpot with perc living in it. Great site, keep up the great work! <Sarah, thanks kindly for your praise. It is a labor of love here at WetWebMedia :) In sharing your picture you have reminded me of a problem that hasn't been posted on the FAQs for some time now. The unnatural hosting of Anemonefish by some (most in fact) scleractinians (stony coral) will lead to the death of the coral in time. It does not happen overnight or even in a few months... but, the repetitive abrasive stimulation of the stonies' polyps will open an infection that can quite possibly take the corals life. Most don't survive clownfish residence more than 18-24 months. I suspect that this has only been occurring in your tank for a couple of months and most likely under a year for certain. You may think the coral looks unharmed by the new and unnatural relationship, but do take our advice... decades worth of experience here: the coral will suffer. Please separate the two ASAP. Best regards to you in your endeavors! Anthony>

Tomato Clownfish Guys, <Hello, JasonC here.> Do clownfish in general, or tomato clowns in particular, have a reputation for jumping out of tanks?  <Well, any fish can pull off this stunt, but on average, I'd say no - they don't have a reputation for it like some others.> 30 minutes ago, I found my tomato clown on the floor behind my tank. I cleaned him off and placed him back in the tank -- but it was too late.  <Ohh, I am sorry about your loss.> This is the second time that this one fish has jumped out in the past two weeks. It was a gorgeous fish, and I want a replacement, but not if they are jumpers.  <Well, just be certain there's not a compelling reason for it to jump out - aggression from other occupants.>  I have no top on my tank (obviously). This is by design, to promote better gas exchange, better heat control (I probably should have a chiller, but we won't go there), and to provide better light transmission.  <Trade-offs in every direction. Consider some egg-crate [the white plastic grid used in those annoying fluorescent office lamps] as a grill over the tank.> Maybe a maroon clown instead?  <Maybe - not really known as a jumper any more than the Tomato clown, but do consider some kind of deterrent to keep them in the tank, it may just be too easy without one.> I ruptured the extender tendon on my left pinky yesterday, and now this. :-( Hey, I know, maybe I'll go out and buy a lottery ticket!?  <Uhh... I wouldn't read the tea leaves that way, but you never know.> Sincerely, Mark Schwartz <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Tomato Clownfish Jason, <Yo!> The tomato clown was the largest fish in the tank (all the fish are small, obviously) and was the 'bully' if anything. The first time he jumped out was during a morning feeding. He simply went nuts -- more so than usual.  <Interesting.> I do not know what precipitated this second, fatal, jump out. <Hard to say.> However, I wanted to let you know that I was quite enamored with your suggestion of using egg crate as a cover for the tank. That excellent idea had not crossed my inexperienced mind. As fate would have it, I purchased a new storm door at Lowe's yesterday. In the same aisle, directly opposite the doors, were ceiling tiles of various sorts -- including white and silver egg crate. I have a funny feeling that the silver might flake off over long term exposure to salt water,  <yeah, don't bother with the chrome stuff.> but I will most definitely purchase one white 4' x 2' tile and cut it down to size. <Good plan.> Thank you very much for the suggestion. I intend to put it to good use! <Even better deal.> Sincerely, Mark Schwartz <Cheers, J -- >

Maldives Clownfish Is there a specific species of clownfish known as the Maldives Clownfish? <Yes, Amphiprion nigripes> I've seen one advertised for sale but, can't find a picture of one with that name. <Do see our coverage of clownfish here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm -Steven Pro>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: