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FAQs about Maroon Clownfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related FAQs: Maroon Clowns 1, Maroon Clowns 2, Maroon Identification, Maroon Behavior, Maroon Compatibility, Maroon Selection, Maroon Systems, Maroon Disease, Maroon Reproduction, 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: Maroon Clowns, Clownfishes

Entacmaea and Premnas.  N. Sulawesi pix.

maroon clown swimming weird? -- 03/18/10
Hello, I have recently acquired a 75 gallon saltwater tank from a friend that moved and no longer had room for it in their house. it has a ton of live rock, a decorator crab, hermit crab, a few snails, a blue damsel, a blue streaked damsel (I think that's what it is) and a pair of mated maroon clown fish...shortly after I got everything set up the two clown fish started "digging" in the sand in one of the front corner of the tank.
<Natural behavior>
I've recently noticed that the female clown is swimming with her head up, tail down and swims in place. The male does most of the digging and moving of rocks while she watches. I have done some reading but haven't really seen
much on this behavior...not sure if it's anything to be concerned about or not.
<Not likely>
Also, none of the fish besides the blue damsel goes to the top of the tank when I feed them, seems like they are too scared to make the trek to the top of the tank for some reason.
<Going to the surface in the wild is a poor idea... predators>
I have resorted to putting the food in a syringe with a tube attached and injecting it into their general vicinity. When I do this, they eat fine. I don't know if they're just too lazy to swim up to the top of the tank or what. I'm used to my freshwater fish that practically beg for food every time I walk up to the tank.
Should I just put the food in and not worry about it?
<Mainly, yes... can be trained... but I'd use foods that sink... Spectrum brand is a good base>
Their diet consists of two kinds of flake food, some dried Mysis shrimp and micro crab granules.
for your help!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Will Maroon Clowns Eat Macroalgae? -02/22/08 Hello again WWM Crew, After realizing that flasher wrasses get to nearly 6" long (as opposed to Live Aquaria's statement of 3"), the prospect of having a harem of wrasse in an 86g was unreasonable, so I've decided to get back into clownfish. I'd like to have a pair of maroons, a BTA, and some macroalgae. Here's a list of the ones I'm interested in: Chlorodesmis fastigiata Botryocladia Red Flame Macroalgae (LAReefs.com) Neomeris annulata Of course if you have macroalgae, you can't have herbivores or even omnivores if they eat such protists. So, I first went to FishBase.org, which says that they eat "benthic algae". I also saw your Maroon Clown Article that also suggests that they eat macroalgae. However, I found the following FAQ that contradicts your article: <I'm sure they nibble on *some* types of macroalgae sometimes. The real question is if they will eat this type, this "Red Flame" macroalgae; and if they will eat enough of it to significantly prohibit its growth. I highly doubt that clown fish will eat this macroalgae. Even if they nibble at it from time to time, I just can't see them eating significant quantities of it. But I guess you never know for sure (even within the same species, fish can be quite different from individual to individual)... so, maybe you can try it and tell us what happens. :-) Best, Sara M.> Macroalgae 11/4/03 Hello Anthony! <cheers to Greece> My 80-gallon reef tank is two months old now. It is fully cycled (Ammonia, Nitrite is zero and Nitrate is approx. 5ppm). The hair algae (green and brown) gets less every day, as there are a few species of macroalgae growing on the LR (Halimeda, Padina, Dictyota). There was a lot of Caulerpa during the first month, but turned white and I believe it went through the Sporulation phase. Now there is not much of it on the LR. I do not worry though, because I have the other species of macroalgae, which are more problem-free. <yes... exactly. Fascinating to watch the progress of species in algal succession> There are also some fan worms which I feed with plankton several times per week. RedOx is 420, pH is 8.1 (I am trying to raise it now by aerating and buffering the water (3 liters per day) of evaporation. alkalinity is 11 dKH. <all good> I have some problem with my calcium test kit, so I am not sure of the calcium level. <they can be difficult to read> I use B-ionic as a Ca and buffer supplement. The Remora is doing quite a good work. I have been thinking of adding the first clean-up crew and fish but in the meantime I read in your book that it is better to leave the tank without fishes for 4 months, so that some other types of macroalgae will be given the opportunity to appear and grow, which would never do so if there is a fish in the tank. <yes... necessary if you wish to enjoy a good growth of macroalgae and plants> My target for the time being is this, to give place to any kind of macroalgae to grow and not to disturb it by herbivorous snails or fishes. Do you think this is a right approach? <indeed, yes> If yes, then what do you think about adding a fish that is not herbivore, for example two ocellaris Clowns? Will they also eat any of the desirable forms of macroalgae? <they will not touch your macroalgae... but will be a slight burden on the zooplankton (amphipods). A small concern though... they are generally a fine and safe choice> Thanks, Thanassis <kind regards, Anthony> Please explain. TIA, Random Aquarist

Maroon Clown not feeding and Tang Ich  9/20/07 Hi Crew I have a problem with a maroon clown I was hoping you could help with? <Will try> He stopped eating Saturday. I have had him for over 2 months and has always ate like a pig. Now he just swims around the top all day going around the whole tank. He's in a 125 gallon with a 1 inch damsel and a 4 inch Coris wrasse and a 3 inch asfur angel. All other fish are great and eating and I watch the tank and no one has any interest in him so he's not being bullied? I'm stumped. I was thinking internal parasites and bought some gel Tek but haven't used it plus he wont eat so I doubt he will eat this. My ammonia nitrites are zero and nitrates around 20. <I'd keep them below this. Perhaps this Clown has eaten a "bug" that flew into the tank... do you have another system to move it to? I would not be concerned at this point... if the fish does not resume feeding in a week, or appears thin... I would try adding an appetite stimulant to foods and directly to the water... e.g. Zoecon> He shows no signs or parasites but I did give him a fresh water dip last night to see if that would change his behavior but he's the same. His color is still great? My girlfriend loves this fish and I hate to loose him. I read your clown fish section and couldn't find anything to pinpoint it on? My salt is at 1.023 and I was told to keep it at 1.017. <Too low> Would that hurt my live rock? <Likely, yes> One last question if I could? This problem doesn't pertain to me right now but it will again in the future. I have had a few tangs in the past. All bristle tooth. A BlueLine a flamefin and a Kole tang. They all did well but would come down with ich? They would be in QT at the pet store for 2-3 weeks and I get them and in 3 weeks they come up with it? I have always had real good luck with formalin dips. Its the formalin 3 by Kordon that I use. <A good source, product> I have found that it kills the tangs? Is copper a safer choice to use on tangs? <Mmm, not really... formalin as a dip is very fine to use here> I don't want to buy another one till I'm more prepared in case the spots attack again. I was told again to keep my salt at 1.017 again. Is this helpful? Thanks for all insights again. <I would not keep your spg this low... please see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Premnas, fdg.    9/11/07  Hi there. I'm writing out of concern for my maroon clown, which I've had for about 5 months now. Last month I upgraded to a 65g, and since this time, it seems that I hardly ever see him eat--especially considering how voracious of an eater he's been in the past. Basically, I rotate feedings of minced raw fish, minced raw shrimp, Tetra Marine Flakes and dried Nori, but the clown just watches the food sink by from the tentacles of it's BTA. The only times I ever see him pursue food anymore is to feed the anemone--I swear I have not noticed him consume anything in the past 2 weeks. The only other fish in the tank is a royal Gramma, who's cave is next to the BTA's nook.  For the time being, he is bigger and dominant over the clown. Being that they feed in the same area, I wonder if the clown is afraid to leave the BTA with the Gramma around? <Haha, I highly doubt it. Maroon clowns are some of the most aggressive marine aquarium fish. And I wouldn't be entirely shocked if once the clown gets bigger it doesn't try to feed the Gramma to the anemone. Not that that's common to see, but it does happen.> The clown appears healthy, but I'm afraid it's becoming malnourished. <If it's grabbing food to bring to its anemone, that's at least a good sign. Are you sure it's not eating this food at a later time? Does it look thin? You could try some Mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon or some live brine shrimp (not the best food long term, but it might stimulate his/her appetite).> There are a lot of pods in the tank, so I wonder if perhaps he's been discreetly picking them rather then taking my handouts, but this is just my hope at this point. <It's possible. Or it might be eating what you put in the tank at a later time.> Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. <Try reading through this for more help: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marclnfdgfaqs.htm> Thanks, Eric. <De nada, Sara M.>

Maroon clown... death...   9/23/07 Hi, well just to update, the GSM finally "bit it." <Sorry to hear that. :(> Thing is, I have no idea why--parameters are where they're supposed to be, all other life in the tank--softies, BTA, Gramma, blenny...look great. I did try to induce it to feed with live brine, but to no avail. It just sat in the BTA, seemingly for weeks, not eating anything i offered. My hope was that it was eating something, perhaps pods or something, all ready in the tank, but apparently this wasn't the case, and it indeed seems to have starved to death. <Starvation may have likely been secondary to some other disease/infection. It sounds like the little guy may have had some kind of internal parasite like a cestode (kinda like tape worms). See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> Actually, I saw the moment too, last night--it just suddenly darted out from the BTA, swam erratically for a while, and then went limp, still breathing though. I caught him in a container and put him in QT, but didn't have any kind of "meds" on hand. By this morning he was gone. Another baffling thing is he actually didn't appear unhealthy--color was there, breathing seemed normal, just a bit lethargic. Anyway, before I think of replacing him with another GSM, I'd like some insight as to what might have cause his death. <It's hard to say specifically without doing a thorough examination of the fish. But take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndissucc.htm> I had him for maybe 4 months. When I got him he was about 1 1/2", and I believe he was wild caught. <Did you quarantine?> Initially he ate well too, but then just stopped. Maybe a tank raised specimen would be better, <They tend to be better in many ways.> and I'd prefer that for the sake of conservation anyway. Any words of wisdom here though?? <...just to always quarantine your new arrivals. Sometimes these things happen and there's not much you can do about it. But quarantining everything certainly helps.> Thanks, Eric. <De nada, Sara M,>

Maroon Clown Not Eating  - 3/12/07 Hi there to all, <Hello.> Could someone please answer the following question for me? <That's what we do.> I purchased a pair of maroon clowns about a week ago. The female is about 12 cm big, the male about 4cm. They came from Cairns/Australia, about a 2 hour flight to where I live on the coast (so not too long on the road). The female took long to adjust to tank-life. <Larger fish usually do have more trouble.> For the first three days she seemed pretty lost in my fairly big tank, <Is this a display aquarium or a quarantine tank?> cruising on the surface of the water best part of the time or against the glass. <Normal for new acquisitions to be "flighty."> The male seemed more at ease. Finally on the fourth day  she decided to adopt the anemone and the male followed straight away. <Good, more natural behavior.> However, she is not eating and it has been now over a week. <Would not panic yet with his amount of time.> While the little male is taking anything I offer (brine shrimps, Nori seaweed and different types of spectrum foods) the female was not interested at first. The last 2 or 3 days she makes an attempt to eat but then spits the food out again. She looks completely healthy, not a spot on her. What can this be, does she want to eat and cannot? <No, just being "difficult" in her transition. I would stop with the brine shrimp, they are worth nothing nutritionally. The Nori and spectrum is good stuff but I would prefer to see some more meats of a marine origin offered.  Try some krill, small pieces of squid, Mysis, mysids and so on.  I would also attempt to get a vitamin/fatty acid supplement to soak the food in, try Selcon or Zoecon if you have it there.> Is there something that happens to them that makes them unable to swallow? How long can she go like this and is there anything you can suggest I can try out. <I wouldn't stress yet, just see my above notes.> Thanks in advance for your help, regards, Jana <Adam J.>

Maroon Clown Diet  - 02/15/07 I've heard mixed answers to this question: what do maroon clowns eat in the wild? <Primarily pelagic Zooplankton, though they are known to supplement with macro-algae at times.>

Clownfish Diet In The Wild 2/19/07 Hi, <Hello CCS> I already asked this question a few days ago, but I guess the email malfunctioned or something because I haven't gotten a respond. Anyway, what exactly do maroon clownfish eat in the wild? I'm thinking about growing turtle grass in my tank so I can grow a lot of pods. Do they normally eat a lot of pods in the wild? <That and similar critters, worms, anything that floats by small enough to eat.  They do not venture too far from their host anemone, so they take what they can get.  Mmmm, seems to me I've answered this already.> What else do they eat? Thanks in Advance, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> CCS Fasting Maroon Clowns (Update, and a good one at that) 10/11/05 Hi Adam <Hello again Ai Kun! Hope all is well with you and your new residence.> Thanks for your advice.  <Your Welcome.>  I soaked their favorite pellet with Zoecon and they took a few.  <Awesome!>  It seems like they are getting back to normal and have started eating more the last two days. Thank you so much for your reassurance. <No Trouble, I am very pleased to hear of your success.> Regards. Ai Kun <Always Happy to hear good news, Adam J.> 

Maroon Clowns 8/28/05 Hey Everybody, The tank is a couple of months old, and the other fish are all doing very well. The female Maroon still is not eating, I tried soaking the Mysis in Selcon tonight, but she still did not eat. She still looks great, is still very active, and even swimming like normal. Is there another food that I need to consider or is patience the best treatment at this point? You guys

are the best. <I'd try some live adult brine or frozen.  Not a lot of nutritional value but this may trigger it's appetite.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again, Tate Re: Maroon Clowns  9/2/05 James, She started eating and she has a pretty big appetite now. I tried frozen brine and I decided to give one of the other fish some small chunks of frozen krill and she ate it before they even had a chance. She did not even like krill the last time I tried to give it to her. Thank you guys so much. I also wanted to tell everybody that I had my first encounter with an anemone sting last night. I was trying to get my LTA to settle down yesterday and I put a light plastic net over it, went to work and felt a little spaced out all day, a couple of people asked me if I was alright and I didn't know any better at that point so I thought I was okay. I also decided to go for a 7.8 miles long bike ride and felt a little more sluggish than usual afterwards. Last night at 4:30 AM I woke up and had a panic attack, was covered in hives, and felt like my skin was on fire from the inside. I was beyond terrified at this point, and after a little research found that soaking the affected area in Vinegar for 30 minutes and taking some Benedryl the panic attack and hives went away. There were about 30 little white things that I could see floating in the Vinegar after I was done soaking my hand in it. I'm going to invest in some really good gloves now. Just thought that might be useful to let anybody interested in keeping anemones know about the prospective dangers involved. I did not even feel it sting me. You guys are the best resource available in this hobby. Thank you for what you do.   <Tate, glad to hear the clown is eating.  Your reaction to the anemone sting is not a common occurrence.  You would probably have a similar reaction to a bee sting.  Some people are much more sensitive to stings than others.  James (Salty Dog)> Tate Maroon Clowns 8/25/05 Hey Everybody, <Hi> I have two maroon clowns that get along very well and two and a half days ago I moved them from a 29 gallon tank to a 180 gallon. I have not been able to witness the larger of my Maroons, about 3.5 inches, eat anything since he was moved, the smaller Maroon, about 2.5 inches, started eating a little bit last night. I have tried Mysis and Brine so far, I have not been able to find my flake yet. The other inhabitants of the 180 are a Vlamingi that is about 4.5 inches, a Kole that is about 3.5 inches, a Nine Bar Goby that is about 4 inches, and a Pearly Jawfish. I suspect you might tell me to be patient and he will start eating again, but I would rather ask and be right than not ask and be wrong. I have had the Maroons for 5 months and they have been very healthy the entire time. Thanks in advance, let me know if there is any more information I can provide. <Tate, was the new tank already in existence or is it a brand new setup?  If new, I suspect mild shock from differences in water quality, ph, etc.  Maroons are relatively hardy and things should get back to normal soon.  James (Salty Dog)> Tate

Maroon clown not eating 9/23/04 Hi my names is Adam. Big fan of your site. <Hi Adam, Adam here.  Thanks for the kind words!> Well ok its been about a week since I've added 2 maroon clownfish to my 25 gallon tank. All has been well except that the smaller and brighter one of my clownfish has stopped eating its been about 2 days and when it comes time to be fed he doesn't touch a thing. <Maroons are among the most aggressive and difficult to pair of all clowns.  I am guessing that you did not buy these fish as an established pair.  The smaller fish may be so intimidated by the larger that it won't risk any interaction.  If this continues, plan on separating them.  Although it is counter intuitive, the larger the size difference the better.  If one fish is much much smaller than the other, it will quickly and completely submit and be allowed to behave normally.> I'm pretty worried I really like my clownfish and I want them to grow up and be very healthy. I've looked around for these white spots that I've heard so much about but I don't see any of that, he swims good, usually hovering around the biggest rock in my tank. any advice would be good. thanks  <As above, if this continues, you may have to separate them.  These fish are very hardy and disease resistant, so disease is probably not the cause.  However, if the smaller fish is constantly stressed and weakened by starvation, disease may result.  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Clown Hunger Strike (4/15/05) Hello,  <Hi. Steve Allen with you tonight.> I have a couple of picky maroon clowns that recently bought, and they are swimming well and they show no signs of disease. The only problem is that it has been three days, and they have hardly eaten.  <It is not uncommon for fish to go on a hunger strike that can last several days to a couple of weeks after purchase. They're under stress.>  So, I did some research,  <good>  and tried garlic to no avail, and then thought about using Mysis shrimp.  <Always a good choice to try.>  I called my LFS, and they recently got a shipment in, so I can buy them quite easily. My question to you is if you could give me some information, or point me in the right direction on how I might be able to house and/or breed these little guys in a spare 10 gal I have. Thanks. Sincerely, Devin O'Dea  <Have you tried frozen Mysis? Were these fish eating in the dealer's tank? They may just need a few more days. It would be very unusual for Maroon Clowns to not start eating eventually. Most will take flakes and pellets in addition to an assortment of frozen foods. As for breeding Mysis and other small crustaceans (amphipods and such), the ideal set up is as an upstream refugium that automatically and continuously feeds them back into the tank. Read more about this on WWM.  A separate breeding tank is the other option. I'd set it up with a heater and a cheap fluorescent light and a hang-on power filter for filtration/circulation. A few pieces of live rock would be nice. A sandy (aragonite) substrate less than an inch in depth might help. These tiny crustaceans will generally thrive in some sort of mesh. Chaetomorpha algae is great, but will require more light. Ulva often works well (check here: http://www.ipsf.com/#anchor45957) . I actually have had great luck with those plastic pot scrubbers from the grocery store. Just be sure to remove any metal ties. Once thriving, you can actually shake scores of them out of one of the pads into a bowl of tank water to pour into your main as food. In the short term, you may need to just put some of the ones you buy into your tank to be eaten right away and use others to establish your breeder tank.> 

Clown not Eating (9-20-03) Hey Guys, I had a quick question.  I just bought a maroon clownfish who has been very active and is in great shape.  My problem is he hasn't been eating in the past 2 days.  I've fed flake and formula one frozen food and he has either not paid attention to the food or has tried some and spit it out.  Is there anything I can do? <I would try feeding a few other varieties of frozen foods.  I like Mysis and most fish will take it.  You could try brine to get him going then wean him onto something else as brine isn't very nutritional.  I wouldn't worry too much though, these guys are tough.  Cody> Thanks a lot, Jon.

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