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FAQs about the Maroon Clownfish 1

Related FAQs: Maroon Clowns 2, Maroon Identification, Maroon Behavior, Maroon Compatibility, Maroon Selection, Maroon Feeding, 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

A "Pair" of Maroons in a wholesalers cubicle.

Hanging by a Xenia! And...the Homeless Clownfish Hello Crew, <Scott F. here with you> I had purchased a Xenia from Liveaquaria.com, and it came in today, but I noticed that one was hanging by a limb.  What should I do?  It's just a small Xenia, about half an inch tall.  Should I cut it and rubber band it together with 2 small rocks, leave it, or do you know of a better way? I'm scared to cut it because of its size, and due to the stress of shipping, I don't think it will be able to recover from a propagation attempt. <Well, if it were me, I would leave it be for a couple of days.  If it does not appear to recover, you may want to excise the damaged portion and leave the remainder in an area of the aquarium where it can recover.  Xenias are extremely hardy (kind of the weed of the coral world!), and usually can recover from such traumas given time and good conditions.> Also, I have another question, too.  I had purchased a bubble-tip anemone for my Perculas because they were not happy without their own anemone like my Maroon clown. Well, the Maroon wanted more property and took to both bubble-tips.  Is this normal? <Well, Maroons can be quite territorial, and can certainly take over a given area, including the anemones.> Is there any way that I can make him leave so my perculas might have a chance in having an anemone?  Thanks, Chris. <Short of removing him from the aquarium, probably not.  This is one of the reasons why we generally advise against mixing various clownfish species in one aquarium, particularly the Maroons as they can be quite nasty.  Well, keep a close eye on things and maybe the social order will settle down and everyone will be happy.  Good luck!  Scott F.>

Two New Maroons I am quite concerned about the behavior of our two maroon gold stripes recently introduced to our tank about a week ago.  We have a 45 gallon tank with all the filtration and lights required to grow a nice reef tank.  No other fish in the tank, a few (3) turbo snails, some hermit crabs and one cleaner shrimp. <I would likely not add any other fish to this system... the Maroons are territorial, and can be real terrors in small systems they occupy initially>   The two fish are a tank raised pair.  Up until last night they were eating quite regularly (although the larger fish didn't seem to have the same appetite as the smaller fish), and were highly active during "daylight" hours.  They camped out in a live rock "cave" after the lights shut off.  Last night, the larger maroon clown was backed up in the upper corner of the tank - very still and essentially vertical.  The smaller clown was right with him.  The two fish remained there for through the night, and were still like that this morning.  They were not at all interested in food this morning. <Mmm, not atypical behavior for the species when new...> The two appear healthy (no changes in color or appearance) and up until last night were quite active.  I don't want to be too sensitive to changes in behavior, but thought this was odd.  Any thoughts you have would be very helpful. Christine <I would just wait/see what happens at this juncture. Bob Fenner> Re: Two New Maroons Thanks for your thoughts.  Unfortunately one of the clowns died last night.   We are heartbroken.  All of the water tested fine this morning.  There were no obvious signs of illness.  From some of the posts on your website, it sounds as if this is not entirely unusual. <Sorry to read of your loss... Anomalous losses of wild-collected Clownfishes is very common as you state. If you can locate a much smaller individual (than the survivor) they may "mate"... I would not wait more than a few weeks to introduce the new one. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish and anemones Hello, <Howdy!> a few questions could you please answer I have just got a bubble tip anemone and a pair of maroon clowns one is about 9 cm long and the other is only 2-3 cm long I was wondering will they mate if so then when?<They probably will, I couldn't tell you when as there are many factors that effect this from the fish themselves to their environment.> What factors are they? <<The size of fish, tankmates, size of tank, how long they have been together, water quality, if they have a anemone or not...>> The bubble tip anemone keeps moving around, is it normal what is wrong, also how can I stop it from moving? <Do you have enough lighting? If so just let him be and he will find a place that he likes.> I have 2 actinics and 2 daylights is that enough and is that alright? <<What size of tank do have, what kind of bulbs and what wattage?>> I have a 5 ft tank and 4 ft lighting with 2 40w actinics aqua coral and 2  36w daylight Sylvania <This is not nearly enough lighting for these guys. You will either need to return him or invest in some more lighting. Again you can find tons of info at our site mentioned below.> Should the anemone be on rocks or is it ok for it to be on sand?  They usually climb up onto your rockwork. Cody> The anemone is half on a rock and half on sand, is that ok? <<Sure. You can also find lots of info on our website: www.wetwebmedia.com.>> Is there a problem if the anemone doesn't stop wandering?<It is probably still wandering because of the shortage in lighting. This guys needs to be moved into a more suitable environment quick or his needs to be improved upon. In the future please research all purchases before you buy them and don't just listen to the fish stores advice as unfortunately many are just out there to make money and don't care about the animals they handle or are not very well educated. Cody>

Maroon Clown Attacking Flowerpot Coral 2/5/04  Hello,  I have a 55 gallon reef tank, with 5 small Chromis, 1 2-inch maroon clown and a cleaner shrimp.  Recently the maroon clown has been getting more feisty, most alarmingly he has started to attack the flowerpot coral going so far as biting off pieces of it. The clown has a bubble tip anemone host, which I have just gotten recently but his aggression seems to have gotten worse if anything. Water conditions are great, the flowerpots were thriving until these attacks started.  <Having a well defined territory often does paradoxically increase aggression, probably because they have something concrete to defend. I assume you have tried moving the coral?>  I always heard that Clowns were reef safe, and this doesn't seem to be the case with mine.  <I have always taken issue with the term "reef safe". Almost any fish can engage in some kind of destructive behavior. Clowns are generally well behaved, if not a bit territorial, but maroons are about the worst.>  I am planning to get a flame angel, would this do anything to calm the clown down?  <Yikes! No! It would probably make the clown worse if anything, and flame angels are very risky with corals.>  Or do you have any other advice? I definitely want to keep coral in my tank, and would like to keep a clown or two, as well. Should I try another species of clown or maybe I have a particularly aggressive maroon clown??  <Particularly aggressive maroon clown is a redundant statement. These fish can be down right belligerent and are known to knock over live rock and corals, harass tank mates and draw blood from careless aquarists! If you really like the fish (some folks admire such tenacity!), finding it a mate may help (do find a much smaller specimen so that dominance is quickly established, or they may beat each other to death). If you don't like the fish enough to tolerate it's attitude problem, you may find A. Ocellaris or A. Percula to be much less obnoxious.>  thank you for any advice, Andy Arett <Always a pleasure! Adam>

Anemone biting clownfish... ouch! 1/21/04 I have a yellow striped maroon clown who bit off the tips of its host anemone.   <yikes... swap the garlic with Xanax in its food mix and put on a Nemo DVD... perhaps chant "find a happy place, find a happy place."> She spits them out and catches them again.  Then when she drops the tips goes after another one.   <yeah... that's gonna leave a mark> The anemone does not close up or seem bothered by the behavior.   <that's because they don't have lips... or vocal cords. You cannot here them scream> Is this normal and will the anemone suffer because of it? <ahhh... no, and then yes. In that order. Please do separate that cheeky clownfish from the poor anemone (be sure to leave the anemone in place as a move right now could accelerate an infection fro the stress... and all of those open seeping appendages> Thank you. Nicole in Albany, Oregon <best of luck my friend. Please do peruse our extensive archives on the subject too... much to be gleaned therein at WetWebMedia.com. Anthony>

- Maroon Clown Behavior -  Hello Crew,  Visit your site daily. Quick question. I have a pair of yellow striped maroon clown fish. Female about 2X size of male. Both share a BTA. They have been in my reef for less than 2 weeks. (tank is a 65 gal AGA with 2 corner overflows, 5+inch DSB, 100 lbs LR, 384 watts PC 10,000k and 03 actinic, 30gal sump/refugium with "MUDD" 24/7 light on refuge, Aqua-C remora hang on skimmer, 20+X water turnover).  Multi LPS, some SPS frags, Xenia, Ricordea and softies. 2 other fish - Purple Tang and a red headed goby. My question is about the behavior of the female clown. Over the last several days it has been "sweeping" the DSB from around its territory. It has swept at least an inch of the aragonite away with its tail fin. Does not appear to be cleaning any rock around the BTA for possible spawning. I have been keeping SW/REEF aquariums for over 30 years. (Built my own all glass tanks when the only available tanks were MetaFrame). I have had clowns spawn before but never so soon after introduction to the system and never noticed this behavior. Is this common or is its behavior something other than pre-spawning setting up house. <I'd go with something tied to spawning... setting up house as you mention. Hard to imagine what else it would be, but then again fish sometimes do things without explanation.> Thank you in advance for your opinion.  Tom  <Cheers, J -- > 

- Maroon Clown Behavior, Follow-up - Thanks for the quick reply. <My pleasure.> Quick follow-up question.  So far the clown has "swept" away the aragonite down 3" in depth. Is there any major harm being done to the DSB? <Major? No... is there some affect, yes.> Total depth of DSB is 5-6 inches. Also I noticed the deeper layers to be solidified in spots. Is this normal? <Hmm... depends on what is hardening the sand - in my own sump, I have a mysterious sponge-like growth that is aggregating the sand in places... appears solid but can be broken apart. In some systems where calcium and alkalinity are out of balance or too high the sand bed can solidify... essentially turning into calcium-based rock. A careful examination of your calcium/alkalinity and the nature of clumps should reveal the source.> Thanks. Tom <Cheers, J -- >

Maroon Clown Query <Hello! Ryan with you today> First thanks for your reply and for the excellent info your site offers. <Surely> I am buying a 72 gal bow front and need new lights. <Great> I am looking at doing 2 pendant lights. Is this enough to keep my crocea clam, Green star polyps, waiving hands, green anchor, blue mushrooms, green horn, toadstool, pagoda, red brain, green buttons and bubble tip anemone alive? should I run some actinic as well? <You should certainly run actinics as well.  I'm not a big fan of pendants at all.  I recommend a hood with both built in, around 450 total watts.  For more, see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lgtmarinvfaqs.htm> Any advice is appreciated. It is time to rid myself of that boring tiny 30 gallon and get a neat larger tank. Now I also could use some transfer advice. What do you recommend I do? Add a little say 15 gallons of the old water along with the crushed coral to the new tank? <No, I would cycle the tank from scratch.  You'll need to run both systems for at least a few months, and slowly add your livestock from most hardy to least.> I have a small CPR zone refugium as well. Should I just use this and my live rock to cycle the new tank? <I assume you're getting more live rock?  Cure this in the new tank, and let the refugium support your corals in the smaller tank.> Or can I pretty much skip that by transferring filters ref. and skimmer all at once along with the live rock and crushed coral? <See above, and research charge:http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsetupii.htm> Last I bought a second maroon clown. I want to get them to be buds but so far not so good. I bought a much larger one to add but as yet my old one beats it up. I have been keeping the new one in a specimen cont. in the tank and releasing like once per day for a few minutes. I do not want a huge fight so I put the new one back into the container within a few minutes of fighting. Should I just continue this till they get along? Or release him to just get whooped? (please don't say this one lol)<Actually, I think you should return the fish, and do more research the next time around.  Maroon clowns are notoriously "grumpy," and seldom act well in the presence of their own genus.  I have seen maroon clowns paired in the tank of experts, but it's certainly not an easy task.>  Well as I said thanks in advance. I appreciate the info and sorry I had to ask. <We wouldn't be here if this way easy!> I tried to search for a while but didn't see a whole lot on these subjects that helped as everyone has different circumstances. <Good luck! Ryan> Shane

Maroon Clown Query Follow-Up <Ryan with you again> Some how I forgot to mention in here that I was looking at 2 175 watt pendants . Should I still get these and run my 65 watt PC with an actinic bulb? That would be 415 watts. <That would work nicely, be a little easier on the wallet>  Next I did research the maroon and I have heard that they have a chance if the new one is larger. None the less I just put him in a different tank and he has gotten along great with the other fish in the 38 gallon all fish tank. <Good> Well with the usual cleaner inverts too. Last the only problem I have with running both tanks is I need to use the old tanks filtration on the new one. When I set up the 30 gallon I over did filtration and got a filter and skimmer both rated for 100 gallons.<Good> Yes I will be getting a little more live rock as well as making some and taking some from the 38 gallon. I will be shutting down the 30 gallon and moving the 38 gallon to another room. Then putting most of the 38s inhabitants into the new tank. I do not have the lights to run coral in the 38 gallon tank though so what do you recommend? <If it's only temporary, place the tank in an area with some natural sunlight.  Sunlight is the best free resource that many aquarists forget.  In fact, I have seen tanks that run SOLELY on sunlight.  Take it slowly, and try not to stress your livestock.  If you have a specimen container, please use it in place of a net.  Good FAQs here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movaqfaq.htm Good Luck! Ryan>

Strange Bedfellows? (Clown/Brain Coral Relationship) Good evening Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> I've searched the sight and have not seen this question asked. I have a Green Open Brain (Trachy) in my 75G reef. About 3 weeks ago I introduced a Maroon Clown to the tank (after 4 wk QT). A couple days ago I noticed the Clown has taken up residence with the Brain. They both seem to be enjoying one another's company. To date, I've not read anything on Brain/Clown relationships. Is this common or an anomaly? Any enlightenment on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Greg, Chicago <Well, Greg- this is an unusual, but not unheard of behavior for the clown. I've seen and heard of these guys inhabit everything from Feather Dusters to Elegance Corals, and lots of stuff in between. It's pretty cool to see! Clownfish often like to have a "host" of some sort to call "home base". It provides them comfort and  As long as the Brain Coral is not being irritated excessively by the Clown, you should just enjoy this strange relationship! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Strange Bedfellows? (Pt. 2) Thanks for the quick reply Scott. Don't you guys ever take a day off? <Well- this is what I like to do on my days off! We Never consider this "work"...it's too much fun!> I figured if this is not that common an occurrence, I'd send along a pic of the relationship. See attachment. Greg Berkeley, IL <Excellent photo of a neat relationship! Thanks for sharing! Regards, Scott F>

Maroon Clown in Need Hi, <Hello! Ryan helping you today> I have a sick maroon clown that I need help with. The local dealer, who has been quite helpful and seems knowledgeable, has run out of ideas. <I see> A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the clown looked dirty. His white stripes had turned brownish, as had the rest of his body. Several days later he developed a bump on his body between his tail and second stripe.  The bump is almost like a pimple, but it's pointy and somewhat asymmetric, almost like something is trying to poke out toward the back of his body. <OK> But it doesn't look raw or inflamed. Other than the color and the bump his behavior is pretty normal, though he's shy. He's eating regularly, not scratching or swimming erratically, etc.  He's presently the only fish in the tank.  I've done several water changes and all the levels look good (they did  even before I started the water changes). Any ideas/pointers? I'd greatly appreciate any help. <Body ulcer would be my guess.  These are caused by bacteria or chemical reactions, and are often related to water quality as well.  You mentioned that all the levels look good, is that a change?  It could be a stress response of some kind.  Keep water quality high, and keep him closely monitored.  If this breaks the skin, it will need to be treated.  Please, research quarantine procedures and don't medicate the display tank.  If you do a search on the FAQs, you'll see plenty of success against bacterial infections...time and patience usually win.  Best of luck! Ryan> thanks - JC

- Maroon clownfish and Carpet Anemone - I know the carpet anemone is not the preferred home of the carpet anemone. <I'm guessing by the title of your email you meant that the carpet anemone is not the preferred home of the Maroon Clownfish... yes?> But I would like to encourage the behaviour anyway. <No guarantees it will work.> I know Bob Fenner has some advice how to do it, but I can't find it on the site. <You've got me there. I just asked Bob and he has no recollection of such advice. You never know... if this is the only choice the fish has, it may very well take up residence in your carpet anemone. Cheers, J -- >

-Bad maroon, bad maroon!!!- I had a bubble-tipped anemone.  For some reason, it died very suddenly. <Ooo, not cool.> Ever since then (about a week) my maroon clown has tried taking to my bubble coral.  I think it keeps getting stung, and its fins keep getting torn. Also I don't want it to harm my bubble coral, which I have had for 4 years now!  Is there anything I can do?  <I would suggest moving the maroon to a quarantine tank to 1) separate it from doing any harm (or getting harmed) by the bubble and 2) to watch for any potential infections from the torn fins.> Buy a new bubble tipped anemone? <Well, if you can rule out that your tank was the problem that caused it's demise. Run a full series of water tests (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, salinity, alk), do a good sized water change (test before this!), and maybe run the spec's of your tank by us.> Remove the fish from the coral, or vice-versa?  Please help before one or both dies on me! <Get that clown out! Hope this helps, -Kevin> Thanks!

Maroon Clownfish Troubles >My husband and I are new to the marine aquarium.  We have a 36 gallon bowfront fish only tank. Our tank has been running for 4 months now.  The first fish we bought was a yellow striped maroon clownfish, the fish store told us he would be a good start.  We love him, he has been a lot of fun,  no anemone, which we were told was not necessary.   >>This is true. >A few weeks later we bought a one spot Rabbitfish.   >>I'm going to assume this is Lo vulpinus, an animal that can reach 7"+, FAR too large for an aquarium of this size. >He was so shy, but our clown loved him.  The clown followed him everywhere and seemed excited to have a buddy.  Then a few weeks later we purchased a flame angelfish.   >>Hhmm.. nowhere do I see quarantine mentioned.. >The clown chased him around a while and then all settled in.  After a week of all seeming fine, Our clown had a injury on his cheek. He then stayed hidden for a day, and acted fine after that.  We assumed he hit a rock or something.  Well today, he now has a small cut on his lower lip.  I was baffled as to how he was injuring himself.   >>Not if you take a close look at the weaponry all three fish have at their disposal; both the clown and the angel have cheek spines, and the Rabbitfish has dorsal spines that can pack a PUNCH (they're slightly venomous as well). >I watched the fish for about 20 min. when the clown darted at the Rabbitfish and the Rabbitfish put up his spiny fins and pointed them at the clown, getting close enough to strike him.  The clown then would go at the Rabbitfish off and on throughout the day. >>All is no longer well in this tiny piece of the ocean, and if they haven't settled this by now, chances are they won't. >Why has he become so aggressive to this peaceful Rabbitfish?? >>Space and territory.  Also, the shop didn't happen to tell you that Maroon clowns are KNOWN for their aggressiveness, did they?  If not, know that they are notorious and infamous, and when larger can draw blood. >The clown seemed to like him so much in the beginning, what is happening???  Your help is much appreciated.  Kim >>This tank, small to begin with, is grossly overstocked.  It's time you chose which of the three of them can stay.  From there you can choose a few other SMALL fish, my first suggestion is going to be neon gobies, as they remain quite small and actually perform cleaning duties.  No matter what, this tank is FAR too small for the Rabbitfish, no matter who else is in this tank.  The Maroon can top out (biggest I've seen, at least) at around 6", and I feel this is pushing it, but they aren't great swimmers, which makes them a more reasonable choice for this system.  I would expect the flame angel to end up pacing the tank like a racehorse, though.  There are many other small fishes from which to choose that would neither encroach upon the Maroon's territory (I get the feeling you're most fond of him/her), nor garner his special brand of attention once he attains full adult size (by which point we can expect that he has morphed into a she).  Beyond this, I strongly suggest BOOKS, books, and more books.  Marina

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.

- Green Fungus on Maroon Clownfish? - Hello WWM Crew, <Hello to you.> I have a question about a strange green "fungus" growing on the anal fin of a friends Maroon Clown.  It is only on his anal fin, but his pectoral fins seem to be "ripped" or separating in sections.  I am not sure if it is a fungus or bacteria of some kind.  It is not a big mass, more like a thin surface layer on the edges of the fin.  Any ideas? <Hmm... only thing that comes to mind is that there is some algae trapped in the mucus layer that all fish have - perhaps brushed up against something... how long has this problem persisted?> There are no other fish in this 50 gallon tank, setup for over a year. <So this fish has had this problem for a year?> The clown is hosted by a Long Tentacle Anemone that appears to be in good health.  I have no clue what it is, and sorry I have no pics, tried to get some but the camera wouldn't zoom in enough to even get a decent view of this green stuff. Thanks for your time, Chuck <A curious item... will do some research to see what I can find. In the mean time, if it's not too hard to catch this fish, I'd just try to wipe it off. Cheers, J -- >

Maroon clown question. I love your site. Thanks in advance for any help. I appreciate all of your help. So my question is are white stripe maroons and gold stripes the same fish? I have searched and searched but have come up empty. I know they have the same scientific names but can they breed?<From what I have heard and seen they can and will breed> Thanks again, Shane<IanB><<Are indeed the same species, can change, inter-breed. RMF>>

Question on tank raised yellow striped maroon clownfish >Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with my poor fish I had gotten 5 yellow striped maroon clownish and have been having problems with them they don't eat  and they seem to have trouble swimming they seem to be sitting on the floor of the tank if they try to swim it a struggle one seems to be fine its eating a little but the rest don't look good one has died and the other 3 still look bad any info you could give me would greatly be appreciated thanks Jon >>Hi Jon, please understand there is little I, or any of us, can do to help you without MUCH more information.  We need to know how long you've had them, did you quarantine, what your tank parameters are, and so on.  Also, PLEASE, please, please use proper capitalization and punctuation to save us a great deal of work.  If you can get me that information then I may be able to help you figure out what's wrong.  Marina

Yellow Striped Maroon Clowns >Hello Marina, I am correcting my son's e-mail to you and adding some information.   >>Hello Adriana, thank you, and let's see if we can sort this out. >He is very concerned about his tank and although I don't think an e-mail can solve the problem I will make the attempt to correct it and add the information you might need.  Hope that you might be able to guide him in correcting this problem so that he can enjoy his tank. >>I do, too. >Re: Question on tank raised yellow striped maroon clown fish >Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with my poor fishes. I purchased 5 yellow striped maroon clownish from a Marine Aquarium shop and have been having problems with them.  Of the 5 fishes I purchased, only 3 remain.  Two are not eating.  They seem to have trouble swimming.  All they do is swim in place and or sit on the floor of the tank.  If they try to swim it is a struggle, they open and close their mouths and gills as if they were stressed - this is only happening to two of the remaining 3.  The other one swims fine, eats fine.  The two smaller ones don't look good, two have died.  And the other 2 (smaller ones) still look bad.  I had a 45 Gallon salt water which contained 1 fire fish, live rocks, and a Maroon Clown.   >>They do seem stressed, and I am guessing at a couple of options here, if they were koi I would say they were suffering from ammonia burn, low oxygen saturation (though reading further on I doubt this), or pH shock (which shouldn't be occurring several days later--it kills quicker than that). >I had these fishes in the same tank for 3 years without a problem.   >>You had a VERY low "bioload" in that tank, far better that way.   >I recently upgraded to a 125 gallon aquarium, housing live rocks, live sand and what was sold to me as an iron stone.   >>Uh oh, I don't like the sound of "iron stone".  Please remove it immediately. >The bioballs from the 45 gal. wet/dry were transferred to the larger system and I added some new ones to fill in that section.   >>I would do the same, and allow for "seeding" (growth of bacterial culture) before adding too much stock.  This is causing me to lean towards ammonia burning of the gills.   >The wet/dry is powered by 2 - 2500 Rio systems and I have installed a protein skimmer, which my previous tank did not have.   >>FYI--the larger Rio pumps have an AWFUL reputation, I strongly suggest you replace those (Mag pumps are quite popular and reliable) with other pumps.  When a Rio goes it goes out with a BANG, and quite often pollutes everything within the system. >The water from my 45 gals. was transferred to the new tank and did water changes as the fish place told me going through my old filter and transfer to the new tank....time consuming, but I got it done. >>Not sure what, exactly, they told you to do here.  It seems to me that all you really needed to do was use the water (not recommended, but it can be done) from the previous system, and add water to the new to fill properly.  Water changes at this point makes little sense. >Transferred my two fishes, and they died--one the same day (the fire fish), the Maroon Clown died two days later.   >>I would surmise that a good portion of your nitrifying bacteria died off, and I am quite suspect of those Rio pumps.  A 125 system should have enough volume to "buffer" the quick buildup of nitrogenous wastes (ammonia, then nitrite, then nitrate) that would kill these fish. >Upon making the change, we kept the salinity at 1.20 - 1.21.  The pH seemed to be fine, took the water in to be tested at the local store and was told it was okay. >>I HATE that.  What, exactly, is "okay"?  They should be telling you what your EXACT readings are, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if they're using a cheap, old test kit, too.  I strongly suggest you go online and purchase a quality, fresh kit--I like SeaChem best, but also Salifert, or even LaMotte ($$ for LaMotte, but you get what you pay for).  Then test your water and know yourself what the exact parameters are.  Log this, and log all tests (great science stuff, too) to keep a handle on things. >Had some bristle worms and was told that might be killing my fish - so I fished them out.   >>Oh dear Lord.  No, bristle worms do NOT kill your fish.  They are an indicator that you have an excess of available nutrients in the form of detritus and other physical matter.  This lends credence to the idea that there may be a water quality problem causing trouble for the weaker fishes. >I took the water in to be retested the next day and they told me to add Bacter Vital.  I also added Reef builder which is supposed to raise the alkalinity.   >>If your pH is not changing, and you aren't keeping any invertebrates that require calcium (reef building minerals) availability, there is little use for this.  If your pH is low, then additives will only help in the short-term, and it will drop again, causing further stress and death (pH shock kills very quickly, btw).  A better "fix" would be to use crushed coral, or aragonite sand (I think the crushed coral would serve your purposes better, let's leave the more complicated issues for later).  The coral would help tremendously, and wouldn't require regular additions, unlike this Reef Builder additive.  I am wondering if you're experiencing a daily change of pH, as little as .1 (that's two tenths of a point) can easily stress fish enough to kill weaker individuals.  Stop using this additive. >They told me to wait 3 days and bring in a sample to be tested so I can add fishes to recycle my tank.   >>Oy!  It is no longer "in vogue" to cycle the tank using fishes.  If one were to cycle using fishes, one would be much better off using properly quarantined, and acclimated black mollies (a brackish fish that "swings both ways").  However, what is much better (on your pocketbook and on the fishes) is to cycle using a bit of raw shrimp or some fish food create the nitrogenous wastes that the bacterial cultures will require to get going.  Oy.   >Water was taken in - tested okay.   >>Again, just the term "okay", they're not telling you what your actual readings are, which *should* be "okay" because you haven't begun the cycle yet.   >Purchased 5 tank raised clowns - now down to 3. >>Too many at once, even with the media from the previous tank. >I purchased the 5 fishes on Saturday, July 19th in order to recycle my tank instead of purchasing the damsels.  Some of these fishes were swimming in place at the bottom of the tank at the shop, when they were fished out, I don't know if these were the ones hovering at the corners.   >>You must observe all fish you plan to purchase for several days at least, then they must be quarantined to avoid infecting your display tank with anything.  More on this another time, though.  However, if they were behaving this way, this shop had no business selling you these animals for a new tank. >I called the store, they told me to bring a sample of water tomorrow for testing.  I did not quarantine them, due since I did not have any fishes in that tank to start off with. >>This is not why we quarantine.  More on that another time. >My tank has glass tops which I keep closed and have 2 -  4 ft. lights which I was informed needed to add additional lights.   >>Why?  If you're not keeping any photosynthetic invertebrates (which I would strongly doubt, their care requirements are much more stringent), then you only need enough light to see them and to simulate daytime.  This shop is more interested in getting your money than ensuring your success. >The water system was tested and the salinity level is 1.22.  Any information you could give me would greatly be appreciated.  Thanks, Jon >>This is the only hard number you were given.  If you possibly can, DO get your own test kit as suggested above.  Also, make best use of this site.  (And keep a dictionary close at hand, I keep TWO!) >P.S. Marina, I have gone on several web sites trying to find out information on this "iron rock/stone"  which my son purchased.  He did this to add to the tank so that the fishes could have room to hide from other fishes.  Any info on this? >>From what I can find on it  (a real pain when Googling this stuff!  You get all KINDS of hits that have nothing to do with actual ironstone rock) it is a substance I would NEVER put in a marine tank.  It can be found in areas or in association with limestone (calcareous because it is usually ancient reef formation), but the potential for mineral leach, by my assessment is HUGE.  I would rethink the wisdom of following this shop's advice, some of the things you've told me lead me to believe that they are to fish shops what part changers are to automotive repair--people who don't necessarily know what they're doing, but know enough to try and throw a "fix" at it, and it's always one that costs you money.  If you're not using crushed coral for a substrate, please do so, it will provide BOTH alkalinity (in terms of water buffering capacity) and alkaline pH readings.  No other additive is necessary.  Remove the ironstone immediately, get more live rock (but not from that shop!), stop using the additives they've sold you, go online and buy a quality test kit, as well as some good books on the subject.  I will first point you towards Bob Fenner's "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", as it is well-written and easily understood by most.  I'm very sorry your son is having these troubles, and the best way to get a good handle on them is to take charge yourselves and don't leave the important decision-making to folks who have a vested interest in your pocketbook.  Best of luck to you, Jon.  Marina

Maroon Clown Compatibility I've been trying to find a fish that would fall into these categories: -must go in a 20 gal with a maroon clown -must not eat inverts and I'd rather not pick one that is a ground dweller (got plenty of those). I've tried to look everywhere for something but I just don't know anymore, maybe you guys can help? <Since the maroon is going to be around 6" in length when adult, I would not recommend any fish be added to this tank. Don> Nick

Maroon Clownfish Question Hi, I currently have a maroon clownfish in my 20 gal tank, and I heard that if I want to add another clownfish it could only possibly be another maroon. Do you think this is possible or is any other clown (say a clarkii or tomato) would do? Nick <Mmm, actually, the twenty is too small for even another Maroon Clownfish, let alone risking interspecies problems. Your choices for other livestock will be limited as well with the Maroons growth. I would look to trading in this fish for (if you want Clownfishes) a couple of tank-bred ocellaris perhaps. Bob Fenner>

Dascyllus trimaculatus and Premnas biaculeatus Hi, is it possible to keep a pair of Dascyllus trimaculatus and a pair of Premnas biaculeatus with Entacmaea quadricolor in a 50 gallon tank? Is the tank to small? Or are they to aggressive for one tank? <It may work for a while but one pair will probably eventually overthrow the other. Also make sure you have very good lighting for that anemone. Cody> thanks, Thomas

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>

Marooned? (Forming A Maroon Clownfish Pair) I have a 3.5" maroon clown. If I were to get a much smaller one, what are the chances of creating a mated pair? Is this a crazy idea? Will the larger one just tear the newer one to shreds? Thanks, Eric <Well, Eric- there is no guarantee with Maroon Clowns (or any other clownfish, for that matter). I am a firm believer that this "pair forming" technique is  the most viable one with Maroon Clowns. The technique usually works, as the smaller fish, if not overly intimidated by the larger one, will generally submit and a pair will form. Do keep an eye on these fishes, to make sure that the little guy doesn't get shredded...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Pairing Off Clowns Hello: <Hi there! Scott F. here!> Thank you guys for being the finest source for salt water fish information on the web. I don't know where I'd be without you. <And we would be nowhere without you! Thanks for the "props"!> I have a 2.5 inch maroon clown that's done well by his/her self for a year, but I'm thinking of getting a mate. I'm guessing it's a male, because of the size and the lack of grown since I obtained him. What would be the process of doing that? Can I just buy another maroon and  one will naturally become a female? It's a very dark maroon color phase with pale yellow stripes, if that makes any difference. <Not really, actually- color is not as reliable as size, in most instances> It lives in a 65 gallon semi-reef with a couple of wrasses (fairy, six-line), a Royal Dottyback, a Rusty Angel, and a Scopus tang. It spars with the Dottyback occasionally, but so does everybody else. The clown has made its home in an Atlantic Anemone. Thank you-Ian Berger <Well, Ian, Maroons are a bit different than most other clowns, in that they can't simply be allowed to pair off by growing up together from juveniles. These fish will beat the *@$#%& out of each other in most cases! A better way with these guys is to attempt to pair a much smaller fish with your larger one; the thought being that the smaller fish will submit to the larger one. However, you need to be prepared to remove the smaller one if the big guy attacks him and threatens his life. Also, provide a place of refuge within the tank for the little guy. Your sign of a pair being formed: When the little fish stays next to the large one, and trembles in her presence (without freaking out and running for cover). You just need to be patient and keep a really close eye on things. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Maroon Clownfish info - 2/15/03 Do you have any major information on Maroon Clownfishes? I need to know what they hunt for prey. What hunts them for prey. What do they use for defense against their predators? Etcetera.... If you can email me back some answers or even direct me to a site that would be great, thank you. -Lauren <we have a lot of information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm be sure to follow the many pages of links at the top. Also, consider buying Joyce Wilkerson's book of "Anemonefishes". Best regards, Anthony>

Interesting event (E. quadricolor Anemone and Maroon Clown) Hey there!  Hope all is well with everyone from WWM.   <thanks kindly with hope for you as well> I have an experience I'd like to share that you and others might find interesting and hopefully informative. <much appreciated... will post> Today I purchased a small E. quadricolor.  In full lighting it is a creamy white color with some brown in the tentacles and pink tips.  It had been there for a week and has been healthy the whole time.   <hmmm... not healthy at all.. the color indicates a typical import: stressed and bleached> I've kept an eye on it since they acquired it and since it was doing well voila, I've got it at home now.  Anyway, the interesting part is what my Premnas biaculeatus did.  After about an hour it joined the anemone and is now very much living with it.  Before I put the anemone in, the clown had intermittent bits of ich on him, and a cut from swimming around rocks on his left flank had not completely healed.  Within 5 hours of joining the anemone, he has no white salt dots at all (he had two or three this afternoon), the wound on his flank is almost totally healed, his color is brighter, his personality is more "buoyant" and strangely his fins are losing their black coloration, going from almost totally black to nearly matching the rest of his body in the 5 hours he's been with the anemone.  He was healthy before, eating voraciously and being quite active, but I can say with complete confidence he is twice as healthy now and probably happier to the tenth power. So to those who underestimate the effects of stress on livestock, don't!  I hope that this might help to really bring out the importance of proper handling of livestock to anyone who might be less than careful. Sincerely, R. Vincent McCarthy <appreciated, my friend. But please look into the needs and natural pigmentation of a healthy E. quadricolor. No such thing as white (other than the bleached and soon to be dead). To save this anemone, you will need to feed it very fine meaty foods (never more than 1/4" although they will take it). Never feed adult frozen brine... but do offer mysids, Gammarus and plankton/krill. If your anemone survives, it will turn solid, rich colored brown, green or rose colored most likely. Best regards, Anthony>

E. quadricolor Anthony I did read Bobs book (CMA) and FAQ and must have missed something as far as the coloration goes.   <hmmm... truth be told, we are deficient in field survey information here. But, to some extent, common sense also tells us that a symbiotic cnidarian cannot have any significant degree of white color: the lack of pigmentation. As such, bleached or partially bleached anemones are starving for lack of zooxanthellate symbiotic activity (feeding/translocation of carbon). There really is no such thing as a white anemone... at least not a healthy one. No worries though... you sound sincere and dedicated. Continue to feed and care for this specimen well... it will get greener in time as you have noticed.> It ate well at the LFS and was fully expanded there, for the whole week.   <heehee... and then another 4 weeks at home in  proper quarantine and we have a responsibly imported and held animal <G>> No tears, no abrasions etc.   <all good> It is fully expanded here as well most of the time (generally right after it eats it stays scrunched up for awhile).   <understood my friend> Well it is starting to turn more brownish-green, and in straight actinic is very, very green.  Also it eats very well - it is taking the Sweetwater zooplankton I feed it with gusto. <excellent to hear!> I hope all will be well with it! <I wish you the very best! Anthony>

Pale Anemone Anthony, Thank you for the prompt replies and honest advice!  The common sense regarding coloring of creatures containing zooxanthellae is true, and makes me go DUH. <no worries... I/we have had many of those moments <G>. We learn in time> I appreciate the frankness and the courtesy!   <its our trademark here at WetWebMedia. Oh, ya... and some sarcasm disguised as wit sometimes too :)  > Often frankness and advice is given in a scoffing manner to those newer to the hobby. <understood and agreed my friend... we appreciated the sharing of your story very much. It made a great point and we posted it promptly the next day. Just the mention of the color of your anemone and this common problem prompted me to mention it to you> Thank you for the encouragement! One short question, while it is recovering from being kept at the LFS, how often should I feed it?  I was planning on 3x per week, but want to know if more or less often right now would be better. Cheers! RVM <actually... 3X weekly with very fine foods (minced 1/4 or smaller) sounds very fine to me. There is a fine line to walk here. No feeding will kill an anemone in 6-12 months for most. But overfeeding (especially with large chunks of krill or silversides/feederfish) will kill it just as fast. Never feed adult frozen brine shrimp (to anything!) but offer tiny high protein ocean meats/plankton. Shell on is best. Mysis and Pacifica plankton top the list. Best regards, Anthony>

Maroon Clown fish Hey Guys <<And hello to you, JasonC here...>> I have a 2.5-inch maroon clown fish that has started to get a chalky white film on his body and has been rubbing its self on the rocks frequently. <<Uhh-ohh...>> There are 5 other fish in the tank that are not showing any sign of the same symptoms. My questions are what do you think this is from if it is an ailment how do I cure it and do you think it could spread to the other species in the tank? <<Well... clownfish in captivity quite often come down with a funk known as Clownfish Disease, of all things... it's rather common and also quick to take effect and often doesn't bode well for the fish. You will need to take rapid action to deal with this if you want to save the fish. Do read the following URLs which will detail the problem and course of action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm As to your other question about the problem spreading... there is always that chance. Don't waste any time dealing with this and quarantine this fish.>> Oh also this fish's stripes have not yet changed to a gold color like the guys at the fish store said they would is this a problem or is this fish supposed to have white stripes? <<I have seen these fish in both white and yellow strips - not 100% sure why this is, but my guess is it will depend on the broodstock if captive raised or perhaps the region it was collected if not.>> Thanks Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Maroon Clown fish Hello again, <<And hello to you...>> I had read about marine ich both symptoms and cures it was my first suspect for this situation. "I do not want to argue with your expertise". However this fish is not showing signs of this disease he acts more then fine other then the white chalky tone and his persistent rubbing. <<The chalky tone and persistent scratching are both what I would consider serious preliminary symptoms. The ball is in your court now.>> There is no sigh of him gasping or staying towards the top of the tank, in fact he is very persistent in staying in his territory and not letting any other fish in the area. The only time that he comes near the top of the tank is when I feed flakes to the lot of them. So would the diagnosis still lean towards marine ich? <<I was never leaning toward ich [Cryptocaryon irritans], but towards Clownfish disease [Brooklynella hostilis] which is a combination of problems of which ich is not one of them, but still parasitic.>> Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

Condylactis host question I have a 37 gallon aquarium that I plan on being a reef tank with maroon clowns being the show fish. Right now my lighting is in order. Showing a lack of patience and a large interest in anemones, I purchased a Condy pink tipped tubes with a white body. Now the question is will any fish host with this anemone? <No natural hosts. Some captive raised clownfish will host in just about anything.> One more side question, what will be my best choice host for the maroon clown? <E. quadricolor. Please read up on anemones and their care. Here are three articles you should read: http://trickstr.tripod.com/survey_r.htm http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen8.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm Sincerely, Steven Pro>

Maroon Clown Boxing Match  Dear BOB, <Howdy> I've had a Maroon for a year now. She (which I'm sure she is because I bought a pair and she grew to be the female, unfortunately the other one died trapped in the powerhead) lives in her Bubble Tip Anemone. <Okay> One week ago I found a gorgeous Maroon with her anemone mate. I fell in love with it and after asking the store keeper about having two maroons (possibly both females though I'm not sure with the second one) in the same aquarium, he said yes, go ahead, since each one has her own anemone there shouldn't be any problem. <Umm, hope the system is very big...> Just a few hours after introducing the second maroon and the anemone, my first maroon drove it out of the anemone and almost killed the new maroon. <Not unusual> I had to isolate the new maroon. I don't have a quarantine tank so I decided to buy some sort of Betta's Box that fit inside the aquarium and I have put my first (the one that lived already in the aquarium) maroon inside for a few days in hope that once she comes out, she loses her aggressiveness. The second one is getting better each day and I'm hoping for a miracle once I let the other one out. <Not likely> Am I out of my mind? I would love to have two of them. I have two anemones. Could this be possible? <How large is this system? Needs to be hundreds of gallons... to give you, them much chance of cohabiting. Bob Fenner> HELP ME PLEASE, I'M DESPERATE. TY, Carlos (from Mexico City)

Re: Maroon Clown Boxing Match  Dear BOB, TY for your quick response. Unfortunately my system is only 50 gallons. What do you suppose I should do now? Any suggestions? Take the second one back to the store? <Yes my friend, this is best. Bob Fenner> Thanks again.

Maroon Clown & BTA Relationship Hello, I have a large maroon clown that I have owned for at least 10 years. Over the years she has been with a wide variety of tankmates but never with an anemone. A few months ago I moved her to a new 140 gallon reef setup and now that I felt comfortable with the tank conditions I decided to add a BTA for her. Well the BTA went in the tank about an hour ago and my clown immediately proceeded to attack the anemone and ingest huge mouthfuls of tentacles. <Were there actual tears or was this merely mouthing?> I actually tried protect the anemone with my hand and she attacked my hand in order to get another mouthful. This continued for about 15 min and then she ignored it for about 10-15 min. Now she is in the BTA and as happy as can be. I have never read of this type of behavior so here are my questions: 1.) Have you ever seen/heard of this before? <Yes> If so, what is the purpose of ingesting the tentacles? (To gain immunity perhaps?) <I have seen clownfish manipulate new anemones to position them. They do not have hands, so they must grab things with their mouths.> 2.) What are the chances of the BTA recovering from such a brutal introduction? <I do not think it was an attack.> 3.) My clown now seems to be showing some slight aggression towards her only tankmate, an Atlantic blue tang. Are maroons more aggressive in the presence of an anemone? <Generally aggressive regardless. Perhaps the anemone change the territories.> Despite maroons reputations, mine has never shown any aggression towards any other tankmates. Up until an hour ago the maroon and tang spent most of their time swimming around side by side and the tang looks very distressed at losing it's buddy. Thanks, Richard <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Maroon Clown & BTA Relationship Follow-up Thanks for the reply. Yes, there were actual tears. The clown would grab a mouthful of tentacles and tear them off with a couple of violent shakes. She would then swim around with a mouthful of tentacles, swallow the tentacles and go back for another snack. <Wow! Truly strange behavior.> Today the clown is ignoring the BTA, which looks to be in pretty sad shape. <Sorry to hear about it. Try to feed daily and hope that the anemone is able to fight off any secondary infections. -Steven Pro>

Maroon Clown "boxing" matches I'm not sure if my clowns are looking forward to the Lewis/Tyson fight tonight - but they sure as heck are trying to mimic it. <has the volatile one tried to bite the other's pectoral fin off yet...maybe the operculum?> They are 2 new guys - we just got them on Friday. Purchased one slightly larger than other (as your book suggests)... the larger of the two is tearing the smaller one to shreds. It is really sad. <indeed... there are no guarantees. Maroons are notoriously aggressive with anything they see fit!> What do you suggest?  <Leave the larger one in the quarantine tank that you have up (surely nobody risks great disease and disaster by putting wild caught fish straight in to their tank?!) <wink> The smaller one can then get established in the main display... which should be a short trip from where he is currently...Ha!> None of the other fish in the tank are getting involved, or provoking the situation. <indeed...they are all afraid of that crazy wench> Will they eventually battle it out? (with an amicable solution) or will the smaller guy just loose it? <when clowns pair in a new tank... the female is most always somewhat aggressive to the male and most other fishes as she stakes out a nest. After she is comfortable, she will then drive the male back into the nest and be more amicable. Chasing is one thing... but if the fin nipping is causing wounds, there may be a bigger problem with compatibility. It SHOULD settle with three days. If it doesn't or is too severe... "HOUSTON... we have a problem."> ~Bill <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Maroon Clown "boxing" matches As always - thanks for the quick response!! <always welcome!> Your suggestions are confusing (or I've gotten too much sun today) - <not too much sun... just my arcane sense of humor <G>> Which is the better option: * Putting the "wench" in a breeder net in main tank - while letting the battered male regain composure & heal his fins (# days?) <good> * Putting the "wench" in a totally separate quarantine - while letting the battered male regain composure & heal his fins (# days? <better> * Leaving the 2 in the main tank in hopes that in a few days they will be friends (or at least not fighting with each other?) <worst> Right now - the wench is in the breeder net in the main tank, and the battered male is starting to swim again, and explore. >in a perfect world... both in a QT from go would have been ideal. Now, I fear the move to QT for the already stressed male does not serve the greater good. However, the female will be better off in a small QT tank than the penalty box... er, breeder net> These 2 were in separate tanks at the LFS... is it possible they could both be male? <alas... no clear way to tell. If they had been held isolate long enough (several weeks) there is a better chance they are both female. Two males would be better if it were so; at least with protandrous hermaphrodites (http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/articles/2002/hermaphroditism.html), an unsexed juvenile can turn into a male and then can then turn into a female (dominant sex), but a female cannot change back to a male. If your two clowns are small/young enough however and had only recently been split from a group (of unsexed or male juveniles)... then you may very well in time end up with a sexed pair> ~Bill <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Maroon Clown "boxing" matches How long would your recommend keeping them separated? <At least two weeks.. no rule. Be sure male seems to be well adjusted, healed and eating aggressively> Thanks ~Bill

Re: Maroon Clown "boxing" matches How bad will the female generally get the male? <she can easily kill him. It happens often> Our guy is pretty bad... eaten fins, hiding in corner, etc... <isolation is still the best route. As mentioned before... chasing is one thing when fish try to establish a pecking order, but actual wounds is an entirely different matter. And none of it is promising if even tolerable after just 2-3 days. Separate them please. Anthony>

Maroon clowns Hi Bob, Anthony and Steven, I ran into your web site the other day and found it quite interesting and informative. I have a question that none of the local fish-people can answer (I doubt they know a whole lot about this), so you guys are my only hope so far: <I shall do my best> I have four maroon clowns, or at least I think they all are. Three are small (one is less than 2 inches, two are just over 2 inches) and one is about 3 inches long.  <the largest is already a female (clowns change sex... they are protogynous hermaphrodites, not unlike some of the entertainers in New Orleans)> I was hoping to pair them up if I can. <you don't have to do anything... the dominant female will stake a site, drive all fishes away, then drive a male into the nest, and then try to kill the other two clowns... in that order> The trouble is, two of them are one color/pattern, two are another. <has nothing to do with the price of tea in China... same species> The smallest and the medium are dark orange with wide white stripes and dark brown fins. The large one and the second smallest are light orange all over the body with very thin white stripes. I am wondering if the different colors are a male/female difference or are they collected from different regions? (The smallest one has been bought locally about 7 months ago, the others came from fishsupply.com in California and are supposedly wild caught).  <yes...color morphs/races> My small one has been alone all these months and the others had been placed in tanks individually at the store (I do not know how long). Is there any chance I have 2 males and 2 females or have they all become female by now?  <by size, it is not likely that they are all females... although if they are, then you are beat. All start unsexed then turn to male. Solitary and dominant individuals (believed) then turn to female. In the event that the female of a pair is killed, the male turns female and the next dominant male in the colony steps up or an unsexed juvenile changes. But a female cannot change back to male as I understand it> (I have heard that if a clown is by itself for more than a few days, it will irreversibly turn into a female). <much longer than days...weeks at minimum... genitalia take some time to throw together properly... hehe> I just got the three today (by FedEx) and placed them in one tank. The two small ones started fighting immediately and the large one ignored them completely. The smallest of the two beat the living daylights out of the larger one. The smallest (aggressive) one was the light orange/thin striped clown, just like the largest one. I removed the victim and now the small and the large one are getting along just fine.  <maroons are very hostile conspecifically... more than two should never be placed together> Could they be a potential pair and if so,  <likely sexed at least> should I try to pair up the other two when the "victim" is healed?  <same tank with a course divider (lie egg crate) will give you your best chance for gender switching> Or should I try to pair up the lighter ones with the darker ones? <a moot point> Also, I can not see cheek spines on the smallest one (my first one)- is it just too young (about 1 year old, I imagine) to have them (or are they small and hard to see?) <I suspect just hard to see> And one last question: do they use cyanide in catching the clowns and if so, how can I find out if mine have been poisoned? Thank you so much in advance, Julia. <more prevalent in Indonesia than the Philippines as it used to be, yes... cyanide is used liberally. Symptoms include unusually stark color in fishes, normal feeding behavior, sudden loss of appetite and then death with gills flared and pale in color (light pink or white... not red). Anthony Calfo>

Disease? hi, I'm afraid my maroon clown may be coming down with something... I'm just not sure what. <sniflly sneezy coughy weezy?> it seems that all the diseases people have written about on WetWebMedia are either growths (cauliflower) or dustings on the body. I have noticed a little hypo pigmented white spot about 3mm in size at the base of the front part of his dorsal fin. this spot is not an ulcer or a growth -- <not even a goiter or a goombah?> it just looks like his skin there has lost its color. he (smaller of the pair=male... right?)  <correct> is eating well, active, and swimming in his usual areas in the tank, no heavy breathing visible. is this a disease?  <alas... too general of a symptom but if it is truly an artifact of pigmentation, then I suspect it is not pathogenic and at least not contagious. Still... isolation would be the best move (to QT for observation)> here is a quick water check: SG = 1.023 Temperature = 78 pH = 8.4 Alkalinity = 3.5 Calcium = 460 Ammonia = 0 (free) 0.1 (total) Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = over 50 (always seems to be no matter how many water changes I do...) Phosphate = 0 <overall very fine... not much to complain about> I've been looking for pictures that match my spot in question, and I can't seem to find any. do you know any good archives of sick fish pics that I can cross reference?  <no but you can find live cultures of most diseases at my LFS...hehe. In all seriousness. The most current and definitive reference on fish pathology is by Noga... see if you can browse a copy. Big and appropriately priced and worth the investment for many aquarists> thanks.-Todd <kindly, Anthony>

Maroon clowns Dear Bob, Anthony, Steve, <cheers, friend. Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob travels Australia... running like the wind, soaring like a bird and drinking like a fish (a saltwater fish, that is, <wink>)> I have had a H. magnifica in my tank for the last 6 months. (120G tank) It seem to be doing quite well and has grown to about 10 inches. About 6 weeks ago I added 2 maroon clowns. One was about 2.5' and the other about 1.5'. They were doing well. No fighting and they seem to hang out together most of the time but they both ignored the anemone.  <yes... not all need or want an anemone> I assumed they would eventually form a breeding pair.  <agreed> Yesterday I added a BTA.  <for future reference... mixing anemone species in aquaria is unsafe for long-term success. The sense each other and slowly exude noxious compounds in allelopathy (chemical warfare) which kills one of the two within two years... the survivor suffers just the same> Within seconds of it being put in the tank the larger clown moved in. <the females always stakes out the nest first and drives out all other intruders including the male temporarily> The anemone had not even opened and the clown was inside pushing it open. The male also tried to get into the anemone and the female chewed him up.  <yes... above reason, but she will eventually drive him back into the anemone after she is settled> All his fins are torn and he looks really sad. He has now moved into the H. magnifica.  <fine> Today the two clowns are avoiding each other. The two anemones are at either end of the tank <yes... above reason... they will "fight"> and the clowns also stay at either end. Occasionally the male will come within 8 inches of the female and wait. The female just chases him away. What's going on? Why would they start fighting after so much time? Can I do anything? Thanks Karun <its normal courtship... leave well enough alone for now. Use lots of chemical filtration (poly filters and carbon) until you can remove one of the anemones. We wont be surprised to see eggs and babies within the year. Kind regards, Anthony>

Maroon Clowns Hello once again and thank you for the reply to my previous email! My three maroon clowns are in a 10 gallon quarantine tank (two of them have apparently paired up, the third is separated by a breeder trap). I am concerned about their health, though. Two days ago, the female lost her appetite (only ate small bits of food that passed by her rather than going after them) and her dorsal fin was clamped. <hmmm... clamped fins do often prelude a pathogenic/parasitic infection> I was told to give her a fresh water bath, which I did but it did not help: <a good idea but we cannot expect immediate results daily dips for several days in a row are most effective> she hid in a corner and pretty much stayed still at a 45 degree angle to horizontal (head up). The next morning she had small patches of whitish slime (?) on her sides which had increased in number within a few hours. Also, she had a spot on her left side, just below the back dorsal fin (about 3/16th of an inch in diameter, she is bright orange and the spot was just a little lighter orange). I gave her a salt bath (1.030 specific gravity for 8 minutes).  The slime disappeared right after the bath and by evening she became slightly more active and more horizontal, but still not eating. This morning there were a few tiny patches on her, I repeated the salt bath (all three fish for about 5 minutes) and the slime went away again.  <unusual... and unlikely is effecting the parasites. Some incidental response no doubt but ride it out> She did a bit of swimming around today, but now she is laying down on the bottom of the tank, heavily breathing and rocking back and forth. I have noticed just now that the orange spot has turned into a ring (the light color has increased to 1/4 of an inch and the center is dark, it looks like a target. <Formalin or Quick Cure is needed to help cure this infection> I use Instant Ocean salt and the specific gravity is 1.021. I also have a 9 watt CSL Double helix UV sterilizer on the tank just in case. I had my water tested today (after a 20% water change yesterday and 40% the day before). There were small traces of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, and pH was on the "low side of normal" (this is a new tank, and I imagine the water would have tested much worse two days ago before the water changes). I changed another 25% today after the test. The water quality may have been the culprit, <yes, agreed... but good sleuthing> but I now have a very sick fish that I do not want to lose, so PLEASE HELP ME !!!!!!!! And one more question: would it help if I put an anemone in with the sick fish?  <absolutely not... besides the light wouldn't keep the anemone alive... 9 watts is modest to say the least> (I have a decent size green bubble anemone in another tank with a maroon clown, I would hate to deprive him of it but if it would at all help the sick fish I would do it). I am looking forward to hearing from you guys! Thank you sooo much! Julia. <best regards>

Stocking a 46 Thanks for the quick reply! So, is the bottom line that if I really have my heart set on maroons , they should maybe be sole occupants? How about two maroons and a flame angel? Somehow, just two fish seems like an awfully empty tank? <<In a 46 with lots of cover, I think the pair of maroons and the flame would work out.>> But, then I'm coming from years of freshwater tanks, and I know they're different worlds. <<Our fish tanks are not even a grain of sand compared to the ocean, so you've got to think about how to do the best you can... make compromises from the "original plan" that insure you get to keep/enjoy the fish for a long time. Might I also suggest a Percula clown pair? Much more peaceful than a maroon. Cheers, J -- >>

Maroon Clownfish Honeymoon Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I bought a mated pair of maroon clownfish and quarantined them for 4 weeks before introducing them in a 135 gallon tank.  <excellent> They seemed to get along fine at the fish shop and in quarantine. Although the female did occasionally nip at the male, they also never fought. <common for some scrapping to occur as the dominant female re-establishes a nest/territory (driving all fish including the male sometime away) before settling in (and driving the male back into the nest> There were already two anenomes (LT & BT) in the 135 gallon tank. When the clowns were first introduced, they lived together in the BT. A month later, the male moved out and now lives in the LT. The clowns still do not fight, but they also do not seem to have much contact with each other. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to help bring them together again? <actually not at all uncommon and they may very well get back together. Breeding is not the primary instinct/drive. When they do feel amorous again, it will happen> Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Lucy <you can accelerate the event by conditioning with rich fatty foods (soaked with Selcon or naturally). In weeks, months I suspect they will be right back together. Have faith, my dear. Kindly, Anthony>

Sick maroon clown? Hi have read your clown fish FAQs and found them very useful have had a maroon clown for the past 2 weeks. he is roughly 2 ins long. it took him 2 days to settle down in the tank. I have both the long tentacle as well as club anemone,  <wow...it is going to be tough to keep two species of anemone in the same tank in the long run (2-5 year picture)...one usually succumbs to allelopathy (chemical warfare) that is definitely occurring between them, albeit quietly> the clown seems equally comfortable in both. at first he fed very well eating both pellets and flakes. for the past 2 and 1\2 days however he hasn't eaten anything. he hangs around the anemone at the bottom of the tankard refuses to come up during the feeding time. he is the only clown in the tank, other inhabitants include damsels and a wrasse. externally there seems to be no problem (looks healthy, no parasites velvet or anything). am very worried please advice. thank you Adi.  <I'm afraid that it is tough to diagnose without any symptoms. Do consider a medicated food (Tetra) if an until you see improvement or decline for a change of treatment. Anthony Calfo>

Re: diagnosis for a sick clown Anthony, thanks for the advice/I do have a quarantine tank, but, luckily the lesion disappeared as suddenly as it appeared and she's eating/behaving normally so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  <wow! very fortunate and unusual... do consider at least following up with a week of medicated food (Tetra) to play it safe... fine for all fish as well)> Would have been hard to catch her with 70# LR in a 46! <not at all... many tricks and tips for the asking. Could have caught that fish within minutes... Psychology my dear Watson! Anthony Calfo>

Re: maroon clown Hi! I was simply wondering what I could do with a maroon clown fish. I have a 90 gallon with a lionfish and other big tangs and a eel or a 50 gallon reef tank with 2 true Perc in it already in the tank it has a bubble anemone. What are my choices? Miguel <Well, your choices are to put the fish in one of your two tanks or in a new tank. You cannot safely keep the Maroon in the 50 with the other clownfish. If the Maroon is large enough (unable to be swallowed by the Lionfish or Eel) you could house this typically aggressive clown in the 90. Lionfish can eat fish that are fairly large. -Steven Pro>

Maroon clown is cured! Anthony (or Bob, or Steven, whatever is applicable :), I thought you might like to know that the little guy is now swimming quite normally.  <excellent... love to hear success stories!> I went back to my dealer and he said he didn't have a problem with taking the fish back, but first to try catching him and keeping him close to the bottom of the tank with a colander or a plastic cup with holes in it. He said the pressure might cause him to spit up any more bubbles that were in his system causing him problems. I was skeptical at first, but I figured it was worth a try.  <interesting... me too> I cut a few holes in a plastic cup and used that to keep the clown trapped about 3" off of the bottom of the tank. I left him like that for about 2 1/2 hours, until I noticed that he was orienting himself in more of a head-up instead of a tail-up position. He swam up to the surface, spit up a couple of bubbles, and he has been perfectly normal ever since!  <we'll take it any way we can get it (smile)> Well, he still sleeps lying on his side, but I can deal with that :). I just thought I would get back to you and let you know in case you ever got any more e-mails from people with a similar problem. If you know why this worked, I'd be interested to hear that as well! Thank you SO much for your time, Laura Rushing <ingested bubbles are common with boxfish/puffers but not much else. I really can't explain it as a common occurrence, but I'm delighted he's on the mend just the same. Kudos to you for your efforts! Anthony>

Another question (stocking a twenty with a Maroon Clown) Mr. Fenner, Sorry to e-mail you again so soon, but I thought of something else I would like to ask. My fianc?is setting his tank back up (20 gal FOWLR), and he wants a baby maroon clown. What kinds of fish (if any) would be okay in that tank with the clown, or should he stick to inverts with the clown? <Something tough, smart, fast is about all I would "trust" with a Premnas in such a small system. Perhaps a pseudochromid: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm along with the invertebrates, clown. Please ask him to read through the "Selection" and survey articles posted on WetWebMedia.com for much more. Bob Fenner> Again, thank you so much, Laura Rushing

Mate for maroon clown Dear Mr. Fenner, Here is a question I'd like to ask Joyce Wilkerson since I'm getting my information from her book, but I bet you can give me a good answer too. <Okay> My maroon clown, "Jeanine", is 2 1/2" long, lives in a 100 gal tank with 1 powder blue tang, 1 regal tang, 1 Foxface rabbit, 1 firefish, and 5 convict blennies (love those guys). She has become quite feisty, sparring with "Roger Rabbit", who is four times her size. We thought that getting her a mate (to try to raise baby maroons a year or two down the road) might occupy her a little more constructively. Ms. Wilkerson suggests getting a tiny maroon and placing him in the tank with a refuge, such as a strawberry box, that only he can escape to when she gets too mean. Here's the question: My husband wants me to transfer Jeanine to the ten gallon (hospital tank) for a couple of weeks prior to getting her a mate, then introduce them there. Let them get firmly coupled before putting them back into the big tank. That way it would be easier to intervene should any big problems come up between the two. <Joyce's rendition is sound, and the route I would go... Your husband's is worth a try, but only if you can be there to watch what might occur... too much chance of an aggressive encounter> My plan would be to leave Jeanine in the big tank and introduce he new mate and his strawberry box there. I hate the idea of catching her and removing her from her secure and happy home. <Agreed... Very traumatic> We're prepared to go either way, or even wait until she's a bit bigger. We'll go with your opinion. (Sorry this is so long). Thank you very much, Linda >> <No worries... I would use the floating plastic container trick... and be ready still to net out the smaller (male) newcomer should relations go awry. If you're going to add a symbiotic anemone to this set-up, I'd wait till after this "pair" are getting along. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Maroons I have a 3" Gold Striped Maroon clown that has been in the tank for ~3mo. > Over the weekend I tried to introduce a much smaller (~1" ) Gold Maroon > Clown. I was hoping that they would become a mated pair. Some one told me > that these clowns start off male and can become female later on depending on > certain variables.  <My understanding as well> I was told my best chance would be to introduce a smaller > tank mate.  <Generally> Well, WWIII broke out - with the much bigger fish beating the > heck out of the smaller one (who is now in my quarantine "tub" nursing his > wounds with a healthy dose of MelaFix....). Do you think that there is > anyway to introduce another clown and maybe get the pair I'm looking for? <Try a visible barrier... a plastic colander.... or some such... where the two can see each other... but not get to the other... for a week or so before allowing them together> > On a side note I must say I thoroughly enjoy the Daily Q&A. I check in every > day to see what's going on and I have poured over the archives. As a > relative new comer to the hobby, I've gotten a vast amount of information > from them and I dare say that it's saved a fish or 2. Keep up the good > work... > -Mike Harris <Outstanding. Thank you for the query, and the input. Bob Fenner, visiting in the Maldives, Indian Ocean>

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD A GOLD STRIP MAROON CLOWN TO MY 55G. REEF TANK. WOULD IT  DO WELL IF I ALREADY HAVE 2 WHITE STRIP MAROON CLOWNS IN THE TANK, WHICH ARE  A LITTLE SMALLER THAN THE GOLD?  >> Well, all these size descriptions are "relative"... if all the animals are more than two inches, I'd look into another clown or just fish species... In general it's best to add a much smaller (sexually undetermined or male) specimen... Bob Fenner

Rescuing a Maroon Clown Hi Bob, Thanks for the reply. If I decide to give him a shot in the big tank, how much leeway should I give everyone for chasing? I don't want to give up on him fitting in too soon, however, I don't want my two clowns (who are smaller) getting beaten up. Thanks again and Happy Millennium! -Rich P.S. He's happily swimming around in the small tank, and seems little worse for his wear. >> Good news. Some chasing is to be expected when you place the Maroon in with your established Ocellaris Clowns... but no torn fins, bullied into cowering in the corner level aggression... should be tolerated Bob Fenner  Rescuing a Maroon Clown > Hi Bob, > I was at my fianc?s house tonight when I got a call from her brother in > law about a fish which was being harassed to death. It seems like he > went out on a buying binge and picked up a Niger Trigger, a Huma Huma, > two Tomato Clowns, a Yellow Tang, and the Maroon Clown. Seems like the > guy at the fish store not too forthcoming with advice on the selection. > The two Tomatoes have been tag teaming the Maroon who, when I got there, > was hiding behind the overflow. This Maroon is now in my possession. > My options for him aren't terribly good either though. I am currently > acclimating him into my 2.5 gallon tank to try and get him calmed down. > This tank has no fish in it, just the odd crab I catch in my main tank > and the any hermits who I find to be evil. It has a 50 watt heater and > an Aquaclear 100 running it, along with a piece of live rock the size of > two fists (or so). My assumption is that this tank is too small for > the fish who is somewhere in the 1.75 - 2.25 inch range. Would you give > him much chance in this tank? (Too bad I've grown so attached to the > Gold Severum in my 20 gallon tank.) > The other option is to put him in my 55 gallon reef. But of course > there has to be a catch. I have two Ocellaris Clowns in there, (I'd > estimate 1 inch for the smaller and 1.5 for the bigger). I've always > been told that clown species don't mix well at all (as evidenced by the > Tomatoes going after this maroon). What would you say? Its an > attractive fish, and I'd like to give him a good home after all he's > been through, but certainly not at the expense of my two clowns. Torn > fins aside, he seems fairly active, I guess we caught him in time. > I appreciate any advice you can give me. In the past you have been most > helpful. In the meantime, I guess I have some advising to do myself. > Considering this guy wants a reef eventually, I felt the Triggers were a > most interesting choice. Maybe I'll again try to convince him to read > your book. > One last question I almost forgot. If I do keep him in the small tank > for any period of time, would you recommend picking up a cleaner shrimp > to keep down parasites while he heals. I could transfer one from my > main tank, but I have little faith in my ability to catch anything. > (Come to think of it I always caught the least fish on bluefishing or > flounder trips...) > Thanks A lot, Rich > >> > Wow, talk about a Freudian "slip"... ever notice the similarity between the > words "fianc?quot; and "finance"? And thirty strokes with a wet fish net for that > LFS employee! > Well, the Maroon is fine in the 2.5 gallon... I would add a piece of pipe > (PVC), some other material for it to associate with... and yes to the Cleaner > Shrimp as well. Put it in with the Maroon for the quarantine period. > After, I would be tempted to try the Maroon with the Ocellaris... this is > a much better species "match" than the closer-appearing (and meaner) Tomatoes > (probably Amphiprion frenatus)... introduce the newbie in the AM in a day > when you're able/going to be home to keep an eye on them... but not right > now... we probably agree that the added stress and possibility of getting the > tar beat out of it, is too much for the Maroon at this point. > Bob "feliz anno nuevo" Fenner Hello again Bob, I have a Maroon Clown Fish problem. I have recently bought two Maroon  Clown Fish and placed them in my CYCLED 55 gallon tank. They are the  only two fish in the tank. I was told by several dealers that  placing two Clown Fish together would result in the larger of the two  beating up on the smaller of the two until they eventually became a  pair. I was then told by someone else ((the day after I bought the two) it  has been two days) that the success rate of doing this is probably only  one out of 10. Well, so far it has gone exactly as the dealers said it  would. The slightly larger has the smaller of the two confined to one  little corner of the tank. There is an anemone in the tank but neither  of the two ever go near it. The little one is starting to show a little  sign of fighting, he has two slightly ripped fins. Both fish are tank  born and raised so I was wondering if this will effect anything  (positively/negatively)? I was also wondering if there was anything that  I can do to help out the smaller fish/help out the process. I really  don't want to let it die so any "tricks" you know of to help them work  things out would be great. There are plenty of hiding places in the 40  lbs of live/base rock so that is not the problem, and like I said the  "sharing of the anemone" is not the problem because neither one of them  act like they know its even there. Thanks so much for your help and your column, I NEVER MISS IT!! Clint Sires  >> I thought I was the only person who never missed the column... Well, I'd give you better odds... if you had started with two small specimens (less than two inches let's say)... and yes, tank-bred and reared specimens are MUCH better than wild-collected for survivability and congeniality... And yes, I do have some suggestion re the situation: separate the two for a couple of weeks... Either with a plastic divider, breeding trap, large net, or removing the meaner individual (You read that right, leave the smaller, less dominant one in the present system... and move the big, mean one). This will allow the subdominant individual to recover (if it does), and create less stress for it... and disfavor the standing protocol for the more dominant... And before you place/replace the animals together, do add some other fishes... in particular some damsels (if you were going to use them)... these will help diffuse the situation... and give the Clowns something else to pester.

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