FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones, Hosts 10
Clownfish/Anemones 1, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Hosts 4, Clownfish/Hosts 5, Clownfish/Hosts 6, Clownfish/Hosts 7, Clownfish/Hosts 8, Clownfish/Hosts 9, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases,
& Anemone Compatibility By James Gasta, Maroon Clowns, Anemones,
Sexy and Anemone Shrimp;
incomp. w/ clowns/anemone already established
Dear Wet Web Crew,
Hello again, many thanks for all that you do so generously. I have a
curious situation I would like to share with you all. Upon shopping at
my local fish store, I found two little critters that caught my
attention. A Sexy Shrimp, and an Anemone Shrimp. Now throwing caution to
the wind I immediately purchased them both. With jubilant excitement I
added both to my tank thinking this would be a great addition to my Rose
Bubble tip Anemone. How wrong I was. First was the Sexy Shrimp, upon
entering the Anemone he seemed to struggle against the tentacles,
eventually settling in between the tentacles on the flat part of the
skin. Well my two clowns (Ocelarus) did not take well to this intruder
and quickly chased the poor little guy to a crevice deep within the live
rock. The Anemone Shrimp was then added hoping it would go better since
he was bigger. This went horribly wrong as the poor shrimp got
immediately wrapped up by the Anemone to be consumed. Now I question if
he really was an Anemone Shrimp in the first place,
<Do you have images? A species name?>
but all my research shows that it was. I have no picture but I describe
him as being 3/4 inch long, almost all clear with 2 white spots on his
abdomen and 2 more on the tip of his tail. He also had slender pincers
with a purple hew to them.
<... could be one of many Periclimenes spp.>
I know this is vague as descriptions go, but why did he get gobbled up
so quickly. Is it possibly because of the type of Anemone (Rose Bubble
I can ad that it is in a 90 gallon tank, with the Anemone being 14-16
inches across hosted by 2 Ocelarus clowns. I assume to never see the
sexy shrimp again. Any insights, thoughts, or info to make sense of what
happened would be greatly appreciated. I was also hoping to ad a
porcelain crab to the Anemone, but now am second guessing.
<I wouldn't be adding any more symbionts for this BTA. Bob Fenner>
Thank you all.
Clownfish behavior... 30 gal. w/ a carpet anem...
I need a little advice if I can, I have two Ocellaris Clownfish that I
have had in my 30 gallon nano for about 3 months. I bought them with the
<... from the LFS? Fish store>
saying they were a pair. They have been together all time since I put
them in and they started hosting with a carpet anenome
<... Oh my... a Stichodactyla sp. is not likely to live in such a small
about 2 weeks later. They have lived in there continuos until a couple
of days ago. I came home and the larger one had a nip out her tail, I
assume she is the female, she is slightly larger, and will not go in the
anenome any longer. She is still eating well, but just hangs out at the
front of the tank close to the top. The smaller one still inhabits the
carpet all the time. My water parameters are great and there are no
aggressive tank mates, they were even the first to be in the tank. Is
there something going on that I should be doing or is this so e sort of
natural thing going on. Thanks in advance for your response and I really
enjoy your website.
<Likely natural... and not problematical that the chunk in the fin is
missing... perhaps a nip from the other Clown, a trauma; perhaps even
resultant from the Anemone... Do read here:
and the linked files above. I would be returning this anemone to the
I am glad to report my Emperor and all other fish are doing fine.
I have two Ocellaris clownfish and want to treat them to plastic
Have you heard of any reports of them polluting the water as they must
be heavily dyed.
<I know of folks (the Smiths of WSI/Nature's Image, Marty
Beals/Tideline...) that made ones that are chemically inert. Can't/won't
vouch for the safety of all. You can/could make your own...>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Clownfish Obsessed with new Feather Duster!
Good Evening WWM! I have written in once before and have gotten
wonderfully adept at reading before asking. ;) However, on this issue I
am at a loss.
My tank is 29gal. Param.s are reading beautifully. Test
today : ph 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5.0, phos .25. Calcium
420, dKH 12( 214.8).
Salinity is at 1.024 and temp is 78°. Tank has been up since June 2012.
Running HOB filter with modified media. Rowaphos, Purigen, Bio
rings(Fluval) and sponge. Now, the hard part. Explaining the
situation. I have had these two clownfish for a year and a half( first
residents of first reef tank) and unfortunately had split my tank with a
divider to house a third clown that I "saved" from our local, very poor
condition lfs/ now closed pet store. Bob told me way back when during
some newbie problems I had encountered, that three clownfish would
inevitably not be able to stay housed together. But ( Like all women.
Haha :) )I thought if I could just Love him enough... LOL Needless to
say after 6 months of technically, although divided, living peacefully,
my pair of clownfish are so aggressive I can't even get a hand in for
That part isn't new, but is has definitely been worse as time has gone
on."Now, I added the Featherduster to the pairs side of the tank a week
before Christmas. He is the most amazing worm, and has quickly become my
most beloved of inverts. The female clown picked on him about a week
after intro and I decided then to give my 'third wheel' clown to the
new, but on the right track lfs( where I am actually helping out) so he
could make friends and hopefully become someone else's reason to start a
reef tank. :) I also hoped this would help curb some of the clowns
aggression. When I got rid of my smaller Nemo, I removed my clowns to
quarantine for a week to rearrange and add rock I had curing to the
tank. I removed a crushed coral substrate and left behind maybe, an
80/20 mix. Mostly sand. I added the new live rock, I only had a few
pieces and most of my tank was "Decorated". I now have maybe 45 lbs live
rock, 1/2 inch sand bed, a tree for my cbs and my clowns have a vase
that they obviously host defensively with no anemone in the tank. I
attempted to place the feather duster under cover. I have the best rock
with a tunnel through it, so as not to squish him and still protect his
over all tube. I have him buried in the sand with a 1/2 inch of his tube
out. He is awesome and really happy, until my clowns get in. And about a
week later, she can't lay off. I have him a good foot away from their
vase, under shelter of a rock, and now with a piece of clay pot, another
rock( securely placed in case of collapse) and a pile of Large shells to
cover bigger entrance areas she might squeeze through, and She is
still trying to get at him. She isn't vicious, but it does seem very
incessant. I know about their particular aggression and the fact that
clowns do not like change.
<You're so right here>
I am doing everything I can to reduce the need to have my hands in the
tank. The same time I added the feather, I also purchased my first
corals. Since adding them, the Nemos have not messed with, nipped at or
rubbed on them. I am having a hard time understanding what her
I know all fish
have their own personalities and that Clowns can be pretty snotty after
they pass adolescence and this may just be who she is. However I love
this darned worm and would hate to have to give one up, or put the
divider back up just for his safety. Any advice would be So very
appreciated!!! Thank you all, Wet Web Crew!
<Well; it seems your choices come down to using the separator to keep
the worm/clown apart, or moving one or t'other elsewhere. If you
introduce a/nother suitable commensal (perhaps a cultured BTA, hint
hint), the Clown may leave the Polychaete be... Bob Fenner>
Re: Cycling / Maturation; clownfish beh.
Well, I'm not very patient so I went ahead and got 2 Ocellaris
Clownfish. They are absolutly adorable. They'll come to me
when I approach the tank and I've almost got them eating out of my hand.
My LFS suggested I get them an Anemonie (to help calm them)
<Not necessary; nor advised. Search, read on WWM re>
but I have 2 concerns with that. 1) my water conditions. This is
an extremely new tank. I'm gravely concerned that it is to unstable to
support an Anemonie. 2) At this point I only have a FOWLR, I'm not at
all set up or ready for that matter to have a Reef.
<Don't do it>
I research a lot before I do anything and my research suggests that the
Clowns do fine without an Anemonie. Here again are my concerns...
1) Both of my new kids don't seem to ever sleep. (the Damsels do) They
have not found a "hidey hole" in the tank. (there are many so don't get
<This is where, how they "sleep">
2) They "race" from one end to the other constantly. Never seem to rest.
At first I thought this might just be excitement to get into a bigger
environment, now I'm worried that it's anxiety. Are they searching for
<Just searching period>
Thanks again for all your help and advice. It's much appreciated.
<A subtle difference: I/we don't "give advice"; rather, just state what
we might do under similar (stated) circumstances. Bob Fenner>
ocellaris clownfish/bubble tip anemone
Hi guys! (and gals!)
Hope all is well, I recently (two weeks ago) moved my ocellaris pair
(female is "naked", male is black and white) from a 65 gallon--they have
been there 4 years--to a 90 gallon. In lieu of the xenia they had been
hosting in, I placed a bubble tip anemone (it had split off from one of
mine hosting a maroon clown in another tank). Not only were they not
interested in the bubble tip, (I guess not that surprisingly), they have
now apparently decided to host in a large toadstool coral. What will be
will be, but now I have a large bubble tip that is moving all over the
tank and can't decide where to place itself.
<I'd be moving, pronto>
I would almost rather not deal with it bothering all the other corals
and popping up in a variety of places.
Should I just pull it or is there the possibility clowns will eventually
discover the anemone and we will all just get along?:)
I know ANYTHING is a possibility but interested in your experience once
the clownfish have chosen their host, is that typically a done deal?
<Clowns are... "funny" re host selection; but I'd not have a wandering
Actinarian in a system w/ other Cnidarians>
Thanks for your help as always!
<As often welcome. Bob Fenner>
clown fish breathing heavily... Host f' as well 8/15/13
I have a pair common clown for almost 19months, many times spawn, never
able to save the fry.
<... easy to do>
actually I have upgraded my tank to 100g tank and have placed a
torch coral which is big with ten heads and tentacles extend
about 4-5 inches each (approx) so it looks huge. now my male
clown is attracted to this torch and some times leaves his
anemone and dives into this torch coral and most time nipping
and sucking it tentacles.
now what I have noticed that this clown has started breathing rapidly
and appetite is also reduced but his movement, activity level seems ok,
all the fins are fully opened, his eyes seems ok (not cloudy), fish is
not rubbing or scrapping, only thing is heavy breathing which is
worrying me a lot, is it toxicity of torch coral which is causing or
Brooklynella, what should, I do I love this Pair of clown, these
are my 1st pair of salt water fish that I bought and when I started
My Yellow Tang, All other Corals Seems Fine and Happy
Temp 26 deg Celsius
Ammonia:0, NO2: 0, NO3: 5PPM
Cal: 380 PPM, PO4: 0
<Likely just "getting used to" the new Euphyllia. I wouldn't be overly
concerned. Bob Fenner>
I have a 46 gallon bow front running a Whisper 40 and a
Whisper 60. I had originally set up a 20 gallon saltwater tank (running
the 40) and switched everything over around a month ago. The 20 had been
established for 6-7 months, and everyone was doing well. In starting, I
lost a brittle sea star and 2 yellow tailed damsels (as soon as I put
them in...thinking bullying. First fish.) all that being in the first
two months. I lost a sea urchin around the 4 month point. When I
switched, I lost my fire shrimp, and I believe that was because he got
his tentacles caught in the filter.
<Unlikely, most likely starved to death or an ammonia spike.>
We have (and have had for 6 months) 2 yellow tail damsels, 2 blue fin
damsels, 2 domino damsels, 2 four stripe damsels, and a Neon
<Yikes! The Dominos and Four Stripe Damsels are bullies.
Tank is much too small to house all these bullies together.>
Also we have a Coral Banded shrimp, hermit crabs, an emerald crab, and a
pink and green sea cucumber.
<Ah, if you had the Coral Banded Shrimp when you got the Fire Shrimp,
the Coral Banded Shrimp killed/ate it.>
After testing the water over a several day period, everything tested at
So we went to the pet store and purchased a pair of mated sebae
clowns and their host anemone, a Haitian Condylactis.
<Oboy, you've got yourself in a mess now. Tank is
too small for all of this. The Haitian Condy is not their host
anemone. They aren't found where Sebaes are found.>
When I got home, i tested again
PH was 8.2, Ammonia was undetectable, Nitrites were less than .25 ppm,
<Should be zero.>
and the Nitrates were less then 20 ppm. Since nothing was CRAZY high, I
added everyone. At first, the anemone was closed up. He opened up over
the course of the night. Yesterday morning he had shriveled up. After
the lights came on, he came out and looked GREAT all day.(including
immediately after a 10% water change.) About an hour before I went to
turn the lights out, he was shriveled again. This morning, i tested the
water again. PH 8.2, Ammonia was undetectable, Nitrites were
undetectable and the Nitrates were 40 ppm. (really confused on
that one...did a water change and it went UP, while everything else went
I use tap water that I treat with a dechlorinator. I also add trace
elements once a week and PH buffer when necessary. This morning, I have
had the light on for nearly 2 hours and he is just now puffing up and
The one thing I haven't yet mentioned is my light. I have a Solarplex HE
Deep Blue 24" light with 4 led moonlight on the tank right now, so
almost 50 watts. I know that's a watt per gallon, but it is directly
over the anemone.
<Not the right lighting for this anemone.>
half the tank isn't lit, so its more like 2 watts per gallon.
I intended to get a new light at Christmas ..(well, my mom is buying me
one.) the guy at the pet store said that we wouldn't need to worry about
lighting...I am just concerned about the well being of the anemone and
wondering if he will make it another 19/20 days until Christmas or if I
should tell my mom to get me something else and go get the new light
myself...this is the light i plan to get:
<That should work fine but unlikely the anemone will make it till
What will happen if he does pass?
<It should be removed immediately or it will pollute the tank.>
He's still stuck firmly to the rock, and
is just now starting to puff out for the day. I know i need to get him
out asap if that happens But what will the clowns do? Will they
host another anemone?
Also, would putting some macroalgae help my Nitrates problem? I can go get
some later this afternoon.
<May help some but you need to reduce your livestock load, that is the
major problem right now. You do not mention the use of a protein
skimmer. This is a necessary piece of equipment for keeping marine
animals and will help immensely in reducing nitrate/phosphate levels.>
Sorry this is so long winded we really got into saltwater not
knowing much about it because the guy at the pet store said it was easy,
(which its not been bad) and now we are hooked.
<Yes, sounds like you dove in before you knew how to swim. Never
take one persons word in this hobby, get more than one opinion. Do
search our site and read/learn as we have just about everything you
would want information on. I will provide you a link to our marine
Unfortunately we have two young children and don't have a disposable
income to spend thousands on this system.
<I understand you in that regard.>
Thanks in advance!!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Anemones/Systems 12/11/12
Ok, so you were right. The anemone not doing well. When my boyfriend
gets home, i plan to take him back where i got him. Hopefully they can
nurse him back to health.
<Possibly and better in their tank than yours.>
But now I am concerned about my clowns. Every time the anemone closes,
the clowns go hide in the back. The female especially. She seems
What should I do for her?
<She is not depressed. Clownfish do just as well without an
anemone. Your female clown is just placing herself in a secure
location. I have had two clownfish (no anemone) for over a year
now and they stake out the back of the tank and defend their area quite
well. I'd would like you to read this also.
James (Salty Dog)>
Yellow Tangs in a group/Tang Compatibility/Perculas Behavior
Are 3 yellow tangs in a 4’x4’ too much?
Total fish are
1x Blue Tang
3x Yellow Tang
1x yellow tail Anthias
I see territories being assigned with 2 individuals assigned a corner
each and the third roams around the place.
<The Alpha fish.>
If they come out, he charges them. Once in a while one of the corner
boys refuse to get dissuaded by his charges and he does not really bite
them. A little bit of a peck though.
Am a little concerned because one of them is assigned a corner there the
skimmer outflow is there and it keeps getting bubbles all over its body.
<Remove two of the tangs or you will eventually have one. This
scenario only works out in very large systems of 500+ gallons and even
then there may be issues.>
Please share your thoughts.
<I've tried this many many years ago in a 240 gallon tank and like your
case, the Alpha fish hunts down the weakest preventing it from eating
and it soon dies, then it's on to the next least dominant tang, and on
Also, my 2 Perculas do not seem to want their BTA. Anything I can do to
<Not really, if the fish are tank bred/raised, it's very likely they
haven't seen an anemone and will never associate with one. If they
are wild caught, the BTA may not be acceptable to them as their favorite
anemone in the wild are Carpet Anemones and these are very difficult to
keep for any length of time in a captive system. James (Salty
Clownfish eye problems
Hello Mr. Fenner,
I have an ocellaris clown that is having some troubles with it's eyes
that first started 5 days ago. I noticed a white pimple like bump
on the right eye of the fish with some slight cloudiness. This
bump stuck out noticeably when looking from the front or top of the
fish. After reading on your site I figured this was an injury
since it was only on one side of the fish, so I did a %15 water change
and waited it out. The eye cleared up on its own after 3 days
which made the injury theory seem more likely. However on the 3rd
day I noticed the same type of white pimple looking bump on the fishes
left side about half way down below the second dorsal fin. I have
seen Ich and Oodinium before and this looked much larger and stuck out
noticeably from the fishes side. The white part of the bump was
gone the next day with just a slightly raised area left however there
was another bump right next to it on the side. This one also
cleared to only a small raised area in about 12 hours. Then this
morning I woke up to find both the eyes have this same white bump with
the right eye cloudy and the
left eye clear. I am now confused as to what this might be.
<I agree closely w/ your observations and speculations thus far...>
I wanted to get your advice before I start any treatment. The
reappearance of this makes me think it isn't just an injury and that
there is something else in play here.
<Might be... what else is in this tank?>
I have had this fish and its female mate for over a year now. They
both went through a quarantine as well as all my other fish and corals
and I have added nothing to my tank for over 3 months and about 6 month
since the last new fish. All other fish have no signs of any
problems and the tank parameters check out good. Nitrite and
ammonia undetectable, nitrate around 1 ppm. I have a wide range
medications on hand but am hesitant to treat anything unnecessarily.
Could this be coming from the
torch coral that the clowns host in?
Or just some sort of injury?
<The same in this case... a sting, burn to the eyes by the Euphyllia>
Or is this more likely an infection of some sort? I have attached a
few pictures of the eyes so you can see what I am referring to. In
the picture you can
also see a little bit of a damaged pectoral fin. Could this be
part of the same problem?
<VERY nice images>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, well, I would move these clowns to another established system if
you had one... but otherwise, the eyes should clear up on their own in
time; as the clown and host "get to know each other better".>
Thank you for your help.
P.S. I really enjoyed your talk a few months back at the Southern
California Reef Keepers meeting. I hope they get you to come back
to talk to us again sometime.
<Ahh, I as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/7/12
Thank you for your wonderful website and service! It has been a
blessing to me!
My question today is in regards to Bubble-Tip Anemones and clownfish
hosting. I have a 75 gallon Anemone tank with a beautiful 6" Rose
Anemone. The tank is set up with reef parameters but only has a handful
of small Zoanthids, mushrooms, and Ricordeas. I know that these are
somewhat toxic but there are so few of them, that I'm sure very
little allelopathy exists
in the tank.
<Zoanthids and mushrooms can multiply quickly and allelopathy will
I wanted the emphasis to be on the clownfish/anemone relationship.
<I'd just include Ricordea in this system and place in a low
flow area of the tank. They aren't quite as allelopathic as
the other two.>
The tank has been set up for about 1.5 years and the anemone has stayed
in its spot the entire time, growing wonderfully.
I have had wonderful success with it but have found great
difficulty in finding a mated pair of clowns to host with it.
My first attempt was a wild Clarkii that hosted but would not accept a
mate. The second was 2 wild Clarkii pair that began to fight horribly
with the result being the smaller dying. The third attempt was a pair
of Ocellaris clowns that although fought on occasion, eventually became
a mated pair but refused to host with the anemone.
<Do not host with a BTA in nature.>
I had them for about 6 months.
The tank is now without clownfish (I only have a small school of
Pajama Cardinals). Any suggestions on finding a mated pair of clowns
(any species) that will host with the BTA? My next thought is to
purchase 4 tank-bred Clarks that will surely host and hopefully pair
<Mmm, scrolling down in this link you will find a chart which shows
which species of clownfish will naturally host (in nature) with a
specific species of anemone.
May also want to read here as well.
Thanks for you help!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/8/12
Thank you so much James for your expertise!
<You're welcome Jillian.>
I will take the tank-bred Clarkii approach.
<The desirable trait of tank bred clownfish is that they are not
nearly as aggressive as wild caught, and hardier. Because these
clownfish are raised in a group without host anemones, they usually do
not develop territorial aggressive tendencies. The down side is
that tank bred clownfish will not always host with an anemone.>
I was planning on purchasing 4 and will give a new home to the ones
that do not pair up.
Any other suggestions on making this work? I've read on WWM that
often times, purchasing clowns of dramatically different size will
increase the odds of pairing. Any special features or details I should
keep my eyes open for?
<No, let nature take it's course.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
BTAs and clowns 2/8/12
Hello WWM crew!
I am a happy owner of a pair of false perculas, one black and white and
one orange. I bought them when they were relatively the same size, and
now the orange one has definitely undergone her sex change and is much
I initially bought them an RBTA thinking that they will be very happy
in their new home. However, the female is extremely aggressive and wont
let the male into the anemone, no matter how many shakes he does.
<Not unusual, the "female" hasn't accepted the
I then bought another anemone, a GBTA this time to try and get the male
out of his tiny corner up top that he is confined to by the female.
After a day or so of happy hosting by the male, the female found the
new anemone and now has taken ownership of both of them, again
confining the black & white male into a tiny corner space at the
top of the tank.
What do I do? Ive had these clowns for about 8 months now and they
started out as nano-size (real tiny babies), Id really like to solve
this aggression and get my black fish more comfortable, as he gets
picked on by my Yellow Tail Damsel (the only other fish in the tank)
when he is not in an anemone.
<In a species related tank such as you have, I would only keep the
clowns as the only fishes along with the anemones. The damsel is just
adding to the stress the male is going through. After removing the
damsel, see if things change. If not, you may want to add another False
Percula Clownfish to the system. Doing this will sometimes calm things
down and/or the female may accept the new fish and you can remove the
other from the system if aggression continues toward it. If you have
another tank set up, try removing the female for a few days and
re-introduce to the tank. If you do not have another tank, an acrylic
divider can be used to keep the female away from the anemone and male
clown. After a few days, remove the divider and observe. Your local
hardware store or Home Depot sells inexpensive acrylic sheets and they
can cut it to the size you need. I'd try the hardware store first
as they likely have smaller pieces lying around from previous cuts
which would be much cheaper than buying an entire sheet.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
I have had my Sebae for several months and it has been doing great.
Started out white and began getting a nice color like I have read on
your site. Thanks for all the info! After about 4 weeks my 2 clowns
became its best friends. I think they are 'loving it' to death!
I removed the clowns a few weeks ago and the Sebae seems to be doing
better (sometimes I think yes and other times not so much). She used to
eat but now is bulimic. I'm afraid to put my clowns back in with
her but they can't live in my QT forever! Any suggestions? Please
be gentle with me ;)
<Sharon, not enough info here for a helpful response. Size of tank,
type of light/wattage/water parameters, etc. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
46 gallon tank, 10,000k & actinic lighting.
<Tank a little small for a Heteractis Anemone, parameters can change
frequently. You did not give the wattage of your lighting.>
Tank has been just over 8 months, salinity 1.025, ammonia 0, pH 8.4,
Alk in 'normal' range, nitrite 0, nitrates 20. I know that is
high and I do a 10 to 50% water change weekly because my tank is
'new'. Does that help?
<Somewhat. Suggest you read here, related articles/FAQs found in
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
I get an error message when I try your link, any suggestions?
<Mmm, what does the message state? Google our site, Heteractis
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
It says the page cannot be found, will Google, thanks.
<You're welcome. Likely your browser giving you a problem. I
copied/pasted the link below and it worked for me.
Might want to try updating your browser to IE9 or Firefox.>
I have been reading your site all morning, so much info I loose track
<Easy to do, isn't it.>
Both my lights are T5 39 W, one is 10,000k and the other is actinic
Is that not enough light for a 46 gallon tank?
<No Sharon, metal halide/HQI, or if you can afford it, suitable LED
lighting. With metal halide or HQI, somewhere in the neighborhood of
150-175 watts. An LED fixture to do the job will be somewhere around
$1,000 but there are many benefits to LED lighting.>
I have 2 Pajama Cardinals, Flame angle <Angel>, Lawnmower
<Did you name him Benny or did you mean Blenny? :-)>
<Please cap proper nouns in future queries such as fish
lots of live rock several inches sand, assorted snails and hermits, a
Sand Sifting Starfish.
<This animal will slowly starve to death in your 46 gallon
Powerhead, Remora skimmer, Penguin bio 350 and baby snails everywhere
(is that normal for snails to mate?).
I think they are turbo's. Plus my two ocillarios <Ocellaris>
(sp) clowns that I have separated. I thought I did my homework setting
this system up but knew I was pushing the envelope with the Sebae.
<I think you skipped class on the anemone. Best not to put a stinger
in smaller systems with non-compatible fish.>
Any help would be appreciated. Don't want to lose anybody.
<If you do not plan on upgrading your lighting, I'd find a
suitable home for the anemone and quickly. Do keep a close eye on it
because if it dies unnoticed, you will likely lose everything. Dead
anemones can poison the water quickly.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
Any particular brand of lighting you recommend? There are so many to
choose from and it seems I have already made enough mistakes.
<Coralife and AquaticLife are both decent brands and come with
supplemental actinic lighting. I'd likely go with the AquaticLife
as they use T5 lamps for their actinics while Coralife uses the older
technology power compact tubes.
Take a look here.
I'd carefully consider doing this, especially in your size tank.
Would be better finding a suitable home for the anemone and save 600
bucks. Getting the lighting is no guarantee that the anemone will live
for an extended period of time.
Might want to read this survey conducted by Joyce Wilkerson before
upgrading your lighting.
James (Salty Dog)>
Tridacna derasa and a Premnas biaculeatus, comp.
I take this opportunity to thank you immensely for the amount of
information that you provide which help me every day in my hobby. This
is the first time I need to ask you something as normally I find all
the answers I need. Here's the dilemma.
Last Monday 16, I introduced a Tridacna in a unpopulated tank (roughly
700lt. system with 1 Zebrasoma veliferum and 1 Premnas
Everybody seems happy but, today I noticed quite a strange thing. The
clown has exchanged the Tridacna for an anemone and she rubs on the
mantel and generally behaving in the same way she would with an
But the even stranger thing is that the Tridacna seems to have accept
her. He would react swiftly closing when anything else swim above him
but not with the clown.
My question is: is it a good idea to let the clown rubbing and resting
on the Tridacna's mantel or in the long run that would damage the
<Likely not a problem as long as the Clown is single here... Were
there two, a pair, they might over-nip the mantle, damage the
Thank you in advance for your help.
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Tridacna derasa and a Premnas biaculeatus 1/21/12
Thank you Bob!
Clownfish/Host Separation 11/25/11
Hello. I have a question regarding my Ocellaris clownfish and long
tentacled anemone. My anemone has been hosting my clown for 2-3 months
now, but I have come to the sad realization that it will soon outgrow
my tank. I need to remove it soon. Maybe this is a dumb question
because I can't find much about it on WWM or the Internet in
general, but, how is my clownfish likely to react when I remove his
<Mmm, there's a large range of variability here. Most
tank-bred/raised clowns don't have a reaction at all, whereas
wild/collected specimens often show behavior of "separation
I have heard stories about clownfish becoming very aggressive/depressed
after losing their host.
<This is so at times>
I plan on providing a wide array of possible non-anemone hosts such as
Frogspawn for my clownfish to try out. Would it be best to put these
corals in the tank before removing the anemone?
<No; trouble likely... allelopathy>
What can I do to make this transition the easiest and least stressful
for my fish?
<Cold turkey really>
By the way, in case it matters, he is the only fish in my Biocube 29
currently. I plan on adding 3-4 more fish, but I can hold off on this
if it would help my clownfish to get settled again.
<I would... this volume is too small... too likely
compatibility/territorial issues w/ adding more fish/es here>
Any tips, advice, or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
<Do put your concerns in the search tool on WWM and read at your
Many people have/had the same sorts of circumstances. Bob
Host for Clownfish 11/5/11
I was wondering if you knew of any type of soft or lps coral that might
be able to act as some kind of host for my Ocellaris Clownfish.
<Some have chosen thus>
I will be removing his anemone but I have heard of clownfish
"hosting" all sorts of different things. I have a Biocube 29
that will have 72w of PC light and 40w of LED light for a total of 112w
for my 29 gallons. Any suggestions? I have heard of maybe frogspawn or
torch corals but aren't these kind of aggressive?
<Can be. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ClnfshHostsF10.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Frogspawn Host for Ocellaris Clownfish
I have to take away my clownfish's anemone so for a substitute I
was thinking of a Frogspawn Coral. Would 112w of PC and LED light be
enough for it in my Biocube 29?
<Should be... for a specimen/colony adapted to about this amount of
I know that it can sting corals but if I separate it a bit from other
corals would it be okay?
<Maybe... Best to slowly acclimate (through water interchanges twixt
two established systems) for a month or two... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/carycompfaqs.htm
Also, what are the odds that it would sting my clownfish?
<The Clown/s will likely avoid being stung... "make a
deal" w/ the Euphyllia IF they are going to be symbionts>
I have heard some people say that they will sting clownfish attempting
to host the coral. How likely is this and would it have any bad
<Not very likely>
Also, does it have a powerful enough sting to kill other fish, shrimp,
crabs, snails, etc.?
What would be the likeliness of my clownfish harming the Frogspawn?
<For the species mentioned; not much. A low calculated risk>
He was fairly gentle with his last host, not using it much during the
day but sleeping in it at night. Overall would you suggest this coral
as a host for my Ocellaris Clownfish?
<... please use the search tool (on every page on WWM) and search re
these two species together>
If not do you have any other suggestions for non-anemone hosts that
would thrive in my aquarium?
<Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ClnfshHostsF10.htm
and the linked files above?>
I know that it is a toss-up but do you think a Frogspawn would be
likely to host my clownfish? Any information, opinions, concerns, etc.
would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help.
<Please... learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM. Your input
and much related information is archived, gone over and over t/here.
Anemone for my Percs 10/10/11
I have a pair of Perculas that I paired up. The male is a wild caught
percula and the female is a Snowflake. I wanted to get an anemone for
them but I am not exactly sure what is the natural host for them.
<Mmm, posted in several places. Here on WWM:
Someone had told to that a Mertensii Carpet or a Crispa.
<Mmm, not the Mertensii...>
I think the carpet would not be a good choice unless there was one that
was small (and wanted to stay small)
<Carpet spp. are not easily kept... search/read on WWM re>
I am unclear about the Crispa. Is that also a Sebae anemone?
<Yes it is...:
Are there other nems that work?
<... yes; please learn to/use the search tool, indices on
Btw, I do have a small RBTA now and they do not go in it at all. I had
heard that this is not a natural host for these clownfish.
<... is not a "natural" one, but does often
I have had a RBTA in the past in one tank with a Maroon Clown, as well
as a Sebae nem in another tank with a pair of Sebae clowns with
excellent success for the nems and the fish.
<Unless this system is huge, and/or you're a big risk taker,
I'd remove the Entacmaea if trying another Actinarian species. Bob
Re: Anemone for my Percs 10/10/11
Thank you for your response. I will read through the links you
Yes, the RBTA is coming out of the tank prior to getting another
<And you, BobF>
clarkii anemone and coral question... Comp. f'
I have written before and your advice has always been very helpful.
I have a simple question now.....
My Clarkii clown fish (a new endeavour for us) has taken up my
brown button polyps has a host "anemone". Is
<Not unusual... "any (Cnidarian) port in a storm". You
can/could search WWM re many such instances of other-than-anemone
He doesn't seem to be harming them.
<Likely fine. Bob Fenner>
clown fish abandoning anemone 9/17/11
I purchased a 55 gal hex tank that came with 2 Nemo clown fish and a
large anemone. Both clown fish hung around the anemone especially the
larger of the two and at night the would sleep in it or just under it.
Two days ago my clown fish abandoned it. The smaller of the clown fish
started hanging around the bottom of the tank and then the larger one
followed, by the evening hours the smaller of the clown fish had
<?!... something amiss>
Today I noticed the surviving clown fish looked like he was shedding
his skin. My son advised to put him in a copper bath.
<Mmm, I wouldn't treat Clownfishes w/ copper compounds... too
toxic for them>
I did so for about an hour and a half with oxygen and circulated water
and his skin returned to normal. He was placed back in the tank. Now he
is staying at the bottom of the tank and did not eat when I fed the
Is my clown fish sick?
<At least stressed from the poison exposure>
Or do they just randomly leave their hosting anemone. Anemone looks
<Sometimes Clowns do leave their symbionts... There are folks who
have speculated that the Anemone hosts may actually chemically
"toss out" the Clowns... for whatever reason/s... Bob
Getting clownfish to move to a new host 8/28/11
Hello, I have a full reef tank with 3 flowerpot
<Interesting... Gonioporas are not generally easily kept>
1 Derasa clam and a Psammacora (SP.) <corr'd>. It's a
40 gal, excellent water parameters. I have a small
yellow assessor, 6-line wrasse, pajama cardinal and a male / female
pair of false Percula clowns. My flowerpots, surprisingly, do very
I've had a pink colored one for well over a year. I got the
two false Percula clowns, baby tank raised, about a
year ago. They used to just hover over my largest flowerpot but now
one of them is getting too close and aggressive so
coral is closing up and probably getting damaged.
My question is this: Can I add an anemone to the tank or maybe
a frogspawn or other coral that the clowns might move to and then leave
my flowerpot alone?
<Mmm, not likely here, in such a small volume... Too much chance of
allelopathic problems... twixt the established Cnidarians and Anemone,
and even more so w/ Euphyllia/s>
I was hoping if I put something more enticing to them that they would
take up a new host.
<Sometimes works... though, such associations are learned traits,
and your Amphiprion may have already become fixed on the
Also, if I add an anemone, will it eat my other fish or move up the
rock and bother my corals?
<Could very well do both>
I'm not sure what kind I'd get so I'm sure that's a
factor as well. Thanks for your help! David
<Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanmf7.htm
and the "Compatibility FAQs" of whichever species of
anemone/s you have in mind. IF it were me/mine, I would not add more
stinging-celled life here... I would either move the clowns to another
system (with suitable tankmates) or trade them in. Bob Fenner>
Clownfish Behavior 7/18/11
First off I want to say how much I appreciate your website and all of
the information I obtain from it. Well on to the question I suppose, at
the moment I have a 30 Gal tank that contains three live rock, two
Chromis, a Condylactis Anemone, One Clarkii Clownfish, two Turbo
Snails, And a large Brittle Star (his legs are about four inches with a
quarter sized body). Unfortunately my Clownfish will not accept the
Anemone as a host, instead he adopted a jar that is in the tank as his
<Not unusual, Condys are not the anemone of choice and your tank is
a little small for keeping anemones.>
When we moved the jar he seemed to slip into a depression, and he made
a small nest in the sand under one of the rocks. Is this normal?
<Not unusual at all. Might want to learn more about clownfish
I can send pictures if necessary. Thank you in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Funny Clown video. Symb. beh. 2/7/11
Thanks for all the good info you folks supply to the masses, my fresh
and salt worlds I love so much are very grateful that I strive to learn
how to do what is best for them.
I managed to capture my clowns playing capture the meaty morsel with a
Tang...I don't understand why they choose to host that coral but it
is fun to watch... are they just un-smart?
<Mmm, I wouldn't say so... This close association (Anemonefishes
with Actinarians) serves them very well in the wild... and its
aberrations in captivity?>
This is a 2 part video of two peppermint shrimp taking down a worm, not
pretty but part of the cycle of life I guess.
Thanks again and hope the clown video puts a smile on a face today in
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>
Re: Funny Clown video 2/7/11
Actually, they have always steered clear of the "Curly Cue"
>Mmm, yes... would sting them badly, likely consume your clowns...
This is NOT a symbiotic species<
and are hosting the Candy Cane Coral (Caulastrea furcata) for some
Is that normal?
<Not atypical... Should I refer you to our/WWM FAQs? B>
please ease my mind 1/31/11
I attached a picture of my female onyx. I tried to get the best
picture I could for you to see the new spots on her white areas.
I darkened the picture in hopes that you can tell me what this
<Looks to be "just irritation">
In the picture they look like dark areas but they are really a
brownish red. She does rub a ton in the bubble anemone and I know
they can do this but I thought if she is doing it all day, I
didn't know if it might start effecting her..??
She is also sucking on the anemone's tips (she just started
doing this) ...kind of weird to me but I don't know. Eating
great... cleaning off a spot to lay eggs. Parameters are all
great. I love this pair and hope you
can help me with a treatment if necessary.
<May turn out to be too exuberant for the/this anemone. Read
and the linked files above... or learn to/use the search tool on
WWM. Bob Fenner>
Fw: please ease my mind 1/31/11
I was having trouble sending my first pic and it looks as if I
so I apologize if this happened. I needed to add that the reddish
brown spots are kind of raised as if the scales are lifted or
infected... hard to describe. I also noticed on the black area is
whitish dots but not Ich.
Re: please ease my mind. Cln/Anem incomp.
Thanks Bob... you really did ease my mind. That's what I
thought it was.
Do you think I should take out the anemone so the areas won't
get a secondary infection?
<Mmm, a tough decision... on the one hand the Clown/s may
bring about the demise of this anemone... on the other, it does
likely bring them comfort>
They are by themselves in a breeding tank and if
you don't think I need to disturb the situation, I will
follow your advise.
<This being the case, I would at least separate the parties...
if not move one to another system entirely. Cheers! BobF>
Re: please ease my mind
Do you think taking the anemone out will stress the
breeding situation any? 2/1/11
<Minimally... these clowns have been bred in captivity in
successive generations w/o anemone symbionts. B>
I don't want to mess up the balance of they're breeding.
Re: please ease my mind, clown, symb. comp. 2/1/11
Thanks for all your help Bob... I know you and your site have the
best knowledge out there and are always a great help to us
<A pleasure, indeed honour to serve, aid your success Tam.
Washing off a clown's adaptation? 1/27/11
Wondering if anyone has experienced this.
Last weekend I picked up a bubble-tip anemone at the LFS and decided to
purchase the ocellaris clown that was already hosting it. On the way
home and during drip acclimation, the two shared the same bag and the
clown hid in the tentacles with no apparent discomfort. Before
transferring into the quarantine tank, the clown got a 5 min
freshwater/formalin dip. Once situated in the tank, the clown hovered
over the BTA but did not enter.
After 4 days of attempts to enter and appearing to get nettled, he is
now back to comfortably nestling in the tentacles.
Did the formalin dip "wash off" the protective mucus or
otherwise destroy his previous adaptation to the BTA?
<I do think you may be right here. Such "wiping" has been
demonstrated scientifically. Bob Fenner>
Re: Washing off a clown's adaptation? 1/27/11
Thanks for that, Bob.
<Thank you Ed... btw, have seen and even done some
"palatability tests" (mine w/ Garibaldi years back), wiping
off body slime... and the phenomena you suggest is pretty widespread
amongst fishes. Cheers, BobF>
Read and Write.....Please don't act like a
we recently had a tomato clown of several years pass on after a
long term relationship with a very large (11-12 inches across)
anemone (Condy? Atlantic? - I forget)
in our tank picture attached. we then got a new smaller clownfish
(percula),,hoping it would connect up with our now lonely
Instead it has taken a liking to a feather-duster!! ( see photo
2) Is this common?
<Yep, please read before writing.>
<I am sorry. Some XXXX in the crew worse then me sent this to
Really it should be referred here:
Scott V.><<What? RMF>>
Clownfish/Anemone System 9/28/10
Hello WWM Crew,
After much research and thought, I would like to create a dedicated
clownfish/anemone tank. I'd like to run my plan by you for your
input. I already have the following equipment that I would like to
55 Gallon, single overflow tank with 20 gallon sump/refugium.
700 gph return pump. I'm assuming I need more flow.
<Your Koralias will provide that.>
I know that powerheads can be dangerous to anemones. Do you know of a
way to modify Koralia powerheads to make them safer for anemones? If
not, what brand or type of powerhead do you recommend that could be
made anemone safer?
<The Koralias should be safe. They actually are not a powerhead but
more of a propeller type pump with a large intake area which greatly
reduces suction risks to anemones.>
Current Nova Extreme 6x54 watt. It has 3-10,000K T5 HO Slimpaq bulbs
and 3-T5 HO Slimpaq actinic. From my research on WWM, I realize that
the actinic bulbs are mostly aesthetic and don't add to the usable
light, so I plan to replace one or of the actinic with 6,700K or
10,000K. Which would be better?
<Just keep one actinic and replace the other two with 10K
Will this be sufficient light?
<Yes, for BTAs.>
Should I replace one or two of the actinic bulbs?
I am planning on a 6' sugar-sized deep sand bed and about 60 lbs.
of live rock.
<Mmm, what is your reasoning for the deep sand bed?>
I plan on placing the live rock and sand, and letting the tank
establish for 4-6 weeks. I have read that the tank should be
established for at least 6 months before adding anemones. Since about
half of the liverock and water will be added from my existing reef
tank, should I still wait 6 months to place an anemone?
<I'd wait at least a month or two.>
I want to use Bubble Tip Anemones in my system for a couple of reasons.
Several local reefers have captive produced anemones for sale, and from
what I understand, they are more hardy and less like to sustain trauma
because they wouldn't be shipped. Also, I prefer not to remove
things from the ocean. One local reefer has Rose BTA's and another
has green. From my research, I understand that mixing anemones
isn't good, but does this mean I can't have two different
colored BTA's, or that I can't keep BTA's with another
species of anemone, for example, a Ritteri?
<Mixing BTAs will be fine but would not mix BTAs with other potent
I am struggling with fish selection. I have read that 'if
introduced to the aquarium at the same time, many varieties of tank
raised clowns can be maintained together in the aquarium.' Of
course, this quote came from a fish seller's site, and it made no
reference to tank size.
<Not entirely correct. I for one would not mix Tomato Clownfish
and/or other large clownfish with Ocellaris, Perculas, and Pink Skunk
Clownfish.> I am considering the following:
1. Four or five juvenile black Ocellaris Clowns OR
2. Two black juvenile Ocellaris Clowns and two orange juvenile
Ocellaris Clowns OR
3. If I can't keep more than a pair of clowns, how about two
Ocellaris, a Purple Pseudochromis, and a Longnosed Hawkfish (who should
be placed when?) OR
4. Two Tomato Clowns and a Purple Pseudochromis or Longnosed Hawkfish
(if the Hawkfish or Pseudochromis won't work, what would?)
<Number one would be my choice.>
Finally, when it's time to buy and place the fish, if I am buying
only captive bred clowns who were housed in the same tank together, can
I just place them in the display, or must I still quarantine them for
<If you feel comfortable with the health of the fish and no other
fish are present in your tank, I'd place directly in the display
tank. There is a better than average chance that captive bred clownfish
will not always host an anemone. Do keep in mind.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Clownfish/Anemone System 9/28/10
Hey James (Salty Dog),
Thanks for your feedback. I'm really excited about this tank.
You asked, "Mmm, what is your reasoning for the deep sand
bed?" I plan to use it for nitrate reduction and aesthetic
reasons. I have a DSB in my reef tank, and have no measurable nitrates.
Do you think it is unnecessary or bad in the clownfish/anemone tank
I've described? If so, I may reconsider.
<You've answered my concern, you are familiar with DSBs and how
Also, you stated "I for one would not mix Tomato Clownfish and/or
other large clownfish with Ocellaris, Perculas, and Pink Skunk
Clownfish." Does this mean I COULD mix Ocellaris, Perculas, and
Pink Skunk Clownfish (a pair of each placed as juveniles) in the system
<Yes, but would be best adding them all at the same time.>
If I do go with four or five juvenile black Ocellaris Clowns, is it
likely that one will become the female in the others will remain male
or that they will form pairs?
<Generally, the most dominant male will become a female in each
Do you foresee any violence or problems with either of the scenarios
<If adding the clowns at intervals, you may experience some minor
territorial issues that should calm down in a few days.>
Finally, you stated, "There is a better than average chance that
captive bred clownfish will not always host an anemone.
Do keep in mind." Do you think it would help to add one or a pair
of clowns from the sea to act as role models and the rest captive
<Mmm, not so sure that would do it. If your role model jumped off
the Golden Gate Bridge, would you follow? If you want to ensure a good
chance of hosting, I suggest going with wild caught fish or captive
bred that were raised with anemones present in the system. These of
course may be difficult to locate. Have you read here?
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>