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FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones, Hosts 9

Related FAQs: 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 10, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases, Brooklynellosis, Breeding Clowns,

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Clownfish & Anemone Compatibility By James Gasta, Maroon Clowns, Anemones,

Rock Flower Anemone Questions 7/13/10
Hey James.
I searched your website, and I haven't found anything on what I'm trying to figure out. So I have a clarkii clownfish that hosts in a Condy anemone in my 10 gallon reef,
<Too small a tank for that combo.>
and in my 37 gallon I have an ocellaris clownfish pair that are very aggressive and won't let me add any fish to the tank (new fish are almost always dead the next day from the clownfish attacking them).
What I want to know is whether or not there is a chance that if I switched the clownfish whether or not I could add a rock flower anemone that the clarkii will host. The clarkii is wild caught.
<Is unlikely that your clarkii would host a rock anemone.>
I also want to know whether or not the lighting I have on the 37 gallon is enough, it's a FOWLR with 65 watts of
PC (50/50 bulb). I've read in a ton of places saying that my lighting would be fine if I kept the bulb fresh, but I've also read that it isn't enough. I'm not sure but any help would be great.
<Is not enough lighting for any of the anemone species your clarkii would host. Except for the Bubble Tipped Anemone (BTA), all will require intense lighting.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Rock Flower Anemone Questions 7/13/10 - 7/14/10

So your <you're> saying that a buble <Bubble> Tip Anemone would do fine in a 37gal with 65 watts
of PC?
<No, I said that of all the anemones clownfish would host, all but the BTA would require intense lighting. One 65 watt lamp would be border line at best for the Bubble Tip Anemone. Twin 10-12K lamps should provide the light intensity they require.>
I know that most anemones need intense light but I've been told that Rock Flower Anemones will adapt to very many light intensities and usually don't need high light at all.
<You are correct, Rock Flower Anemones (Epicystis crucifer) do well under moderate lighting. My point was that it is unlikely that your clownfish would host this anemone species.
James (Salty Dog)>

One Clownfish Hosting TWO Anemones/Clownfish Compatibility 7/12/10
Dear WWM Crew,
I apologize if this has already been addressed in another thread; I could not locate anything and you all have been so helpful in the past! I have 4 clownfish - 1 is a Maroon and 3 are False Percula - (they all get along even though I've been advised against having them in the same tank, they have lived together for quite some time peacefully) and I have one Green Bubble Tip Anemone and one Rose BTA, each on opposite ends of the tank.
My question is rather or not I can do anything to encourage my Perculas (at least one of them; I'm not sure if more than 1 fish will host the same anemone?) to host one of the anemones.
<It's not unusual for more than one clownfish of the same specie to host an anemone.> For now, my Maroon has decided that he needs to host them BOTH! Lol. Since the Maroon has began hosting them, the other three clowns have moved into a corner of my tank near one of the anemones (the one the Maroon most often hosts) and cuddle every night like a little family.
<The Maroon Clownfish can be aggressive and are very territorial, and obviously his territory includes both anemones. If it were me, the Maroon Clownfish would go.>
Other than my Maroon 'hogging' the anemones, my fear is that, being a more aggressive breed, he will begin to try dominating the tank, as he is quite protective of "his" anemones and by hosting two, he will feel he has to protect the entire aquarium.
<Very likely.>
Here is some information about my tank:
75 Gallons (48" long), 3 (only using 2 at the moment) 1050gph Korella <Koralia> Power Heads, 90 pounds live rock, 80 pounds live sand, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites,
<.05ppm phosphates, 490ppm calcium, oxygen is good (according to test kit; don't know the numbers off hand), 9dkh, Red Sea Venturi skimmer, 140 gallon sump, UV, carbon filter, undetectable iron.
For livestock, I have about 10 snails, 4-5 hermit crabs with plenty of empty shells, 1 large feather duster (more sprouting up in the tank than I can count on my live rock), 1 gobby <goby>, 2 cleaner shrimp (who go everywhere
together), 1 Blue Chromis (damsel), 1 Yellow Tail (damsel), my clowns, 1 small blue sponge (doing very well) and 1 red sponge (having some problems).
Since I am writing, and if you don't mind giving further advice, my red sponge appears to be disintegrating toward the top; the base of the sponge looks fine, but the upper portion looks like it's white string instead of red sponge. He has plenty of current IMO (but would love yours too)
and I make sure that if I ever see sand on him (he is perched on a rock), I clean him off with a syringe. Should I cut off the "dead" parts to try to aid in its recovery?
<No, and do read/learn here and linked files in the header.
Thank you for the valuable advice I know you will offer me!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Hi Bob,
I have a full stocked soft coral reef tank, it is a 4x2x2 and everything seems to be doing well. My water parameters are; Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 15 temperature of 26° and salinity of 1.025ppm.
I have a pair of common clownfish which seem to always swim around the top of the aquarium, it is quite frustrating for me as a lot of the time they are not in view and it sometimes seems pointless having them!
I would like to buy them an anemone as I think this will help them feel more at home and possibly be more 'active' members of the tank. Which anemone do you think would be best in my reef tank? And are there marked differences in aggressiveness between different species?
Thank you in advance
Thomas Duffel, Bristol

<Thank you for writing so well; that is, clearly and thoroughly Thomas. I do indeed have strong feelings re the use of Anemones in our hobby interest and there definitely are better choices amongst what is available'¦ and their handling. For general use and for pairing with any species of Clownfish the best choice is the Bubble-tip Anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, in particular, the more and more readily available asexual clones of this species that arise from individuals fissioning themselves in captivity. Bubble-tips are the hardiest, most adaptable species of Actinarians that are naturally symbiotic with the Damsels we call Clowns'¦ and happily, on the lower end of likelihood to have 'wars' with other types of life, especially other stinging-celled life (e.g. 'corals') that hobbyists keep. This being stated, there are still some important caveats to list re the appropriate use of this species'¦ indeed with all Anemones. First off, they are NOT compatible with other Cnidarians, and will fight them chemically and physically to a degree under any set of conditions. Lessening the likelihood of this negative interaction is your job'¦ To wit: having a larger, less-crowded set up, that is well-established, stable is important to the extreme. Placing the anemone well away from other stinging-celled life (a good twenty cm.) and being on your guard should it move about is a chief concern as well. Now, a few words that are rarely discussed concerning a very important technique for properly 'introducing' new Cnidarian (Coral, Anemone'¦) life to an established system. It is a VERY good idea to initially house new acquisitions in a separate (isolation, quarantine) system'¦ and add water back and forth twixt these two systems every few days for a few weeks time, ahead of physically moving all into your main/display. This water-mixing allows for a goodly amount of 'smelling' of parties and their getting used to each other gradually, rather than outright adding them where they can greatly harm each other. Of course, one wants to wait at least a few days with new arrivals in isolation to begin this process'¦ to prevent spread of disease, pests'¦ but scooping, pouring a few pints of water twixt each goes a long way to reducing aggressive behaviour initially.

Should you find it difficult to find a cloned Bubble-tip, a wild-collected one is your second best choice'¦ A third would be a Leather or Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)'¦ Neither of these are found in close association with the common Clown (Amphiprion ocellaris) in the wild, but this relationship is often formed in captive circumstances. >

Artificial Anemone 6/8/10
Dear Crew,
In a nutshell, I'm wondering if there are any lifelike artificial anemones that would make a suitable home for my two pink skunk clowns (Amphiprion perideraion)? They lived happily in a beautiful Heteractis crispa anemone for around 12 months before the poor anemone died - entirely my fault I'm sorry to say, I should have known better after 10 years of fish keeping than to buy an animal out of pity! The anemone had suffered bleaching but we managed to nurse it back to life for a while, however either I didn't feed it sufficiently/correctly or something wasn't right in the tank for it as it eventually faded and died.
<You must have done something right to nurse a difficult anemone to keep back to health and have it survive for a year. Have you ever read here?
I would love to keep an anemone again, however (partially out of guilt for previous 'nem) I don't think I can bring myself to do it out of the knowledge that these amazing creatures out-live humans on the reef however show such a poor survival rate in captivity.
<They are relatively hardy, problem is the stress/damage they encounter from the reef to your LFS's display tank.>
The second major reason being that I've since downsized to a 60 US gallon system from the previous 150 US gallon tank. If size wasn't an issue I'd go for a captive raised Bubble Tip Anemone, however although many people keep these is systems even smaller than mine (bear with me while I get off my soap-box and take a nice, calm breath... better), I think it's size would be an issue as I intend to keep sps in the not-too-distant future (once I've finally gotten my hands on a nice new Deltec MCE600 skimmer.
<Not a good idea to mix the two, has been done frequently and I presently have a BTA with LPS, SPS, and softies. The initial problem lies when the anemone is first introduced....they rarely will stay where you put them and
will sting corals and/or sessile invertebrates while moving. I kept a good vigil on mine until he found a place to his liking and has remained there since, although a watchful eye is always present.>
OK, apologies for rambling :D Back to the issue - while the clowns will be perfectly happy without a host 'nem, I'd still like the look of having one in the tank without actually risking the life of one of Gods most amazingly beautiful animals. Any suggestions?!
<May want to get a couple of these artificial anemones. Take a look here.
Many thanks,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Clownfish Sores 6/7/10
Good Evening,
<Good morrow to you Adam>
Where to start... I moved a pair of clownfish that I had, had in my possession for several years into a new 120G tank (with 60G fuge in the basement, and 40G sump in the basement), after proper cycling etc. Shortly after moving them in, they started to get these white sores on the sides of their bodies / fins, which would eventually slough off exposing the muscle underneath. They would then heal, and the clowns would get new sores, rinse and repeat. None of the other fishes were effected.
A purple tang I also had in my possession started to show signs of ich, so I took all the fish out of the 120DT and treated them all with hypo. This was the first time I had tried hypo and unfortunately I killed all of my fish save a couple which I gave away because, as far as I can tell, the pH dropped rapidly (less buffering capacity in hyposaline conditions), hard lesson to learn.
<Yes... much more than "salts" lost utilizing this technique
(hyposalinity); carbonate, bicarbonate among others>
Fast forward 3 weeks later, I bought two new clownfish and a mandarin.
Since I did not have any fish in the tank I did not QT, as I can get the clowns out if need be. If you are wondering about the mandarin, the tank is now close to 3/4 of a year old, and there are plenty of pods for him, he is significantly plumper now than when I purchased him, and there are still plenty of pods for him to eat.
Now to the problem. The new clowns I purchased started to show signs of this ulceration that my old clowns suffered from. There is no change in their behavior, no change in appetite, no change in breathing, no signs of disease except they get these nasty sores. I would have taken them out a while ago and treated them in QT, however, my research has no been able to come up with what exactly I am treating. Whatever it is, is not fatal. The sores seem self limiting, however like I mentioned before, once one heals usually another starts. Initially there appears to be a cottony growth, which loosens, and then falls off. If the sore is on the body, the muscle is exposed, and if it is on a fin, the whole part of the fin ends up missing.
Does not look like ich, velvet, or brook.
More details about my tank. It is a 5 foot 120, lit with 3 MH, two Vortechs, apex controller, dose bulk reef supply 2 part with Mag, have a Deltec and octo skimmer, all of my parameters are those to be expected of a successful reef tank. Undetectable ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate.
450 Calcium, 9 Alk, temp is 77, salinity is 1.025. Corals are doing great.
Mandarin is also apparently disease free.
<All good data>
Picture CF1 shows the female with an early sore on her tail. Then CF2 shows
its progression. CF3 shows the female with an end stage lesion where it is no longer getting any bigger. CF3 also shows the male with a lesion at the base of his tail, and then another starting on his tail.
OCF1 is a picture of one of my old clown fish that had a sore on his body.
Same type of sores that these are getting.
Thank you for your time,
<These marks look to be sores... from burns/stings, likely from the Euphylliids in your photos, kept in the same system. Either your Clowns will "make peace" with the Euphyllia, Catalaphyllia present, or perish from them. Mmm, do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanmf7.htm
and as much of the linked files in the series (above)... Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish Sores 6/7/10
Hi Bob,
<Yo Adam>
Your theory seems quite sound, when my old clowns moved from the old 60G, to the new 120, they were hosted by a torch as opposed to the frogspawn that had previously hosted them (torch has a much stronger/stickier sting).
The new clowns are hosted by a rather large and mean elegance (the elegance regularly eats my snails).
<I saw this in your excellent photos>
I do have a bubble tip anemone, however it lives on the other side of the tank, I do not see the clowns finding it on their own.
<Perhaps in time>
There is an easy way to test this. I will put the two clowns in my fuge/frag tank in the basement, which shares the same water from my display.
The only difference being there is a complete absence of Euphyllids.
I will get back to you and report if there is any change.
<I thank you>
Thank you for your time. As usually you have been incredibly helpful.
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

Re: Clownfish Sores 6/13/10
Well done Bob!
<Medium rare please!>
Already less a week in the fuge and my clown fish are healing well. No new signs of sores, and all the damage done is repairing itself.
<Ah good>
Would it be worth while to try the clowns in the elegance for a while longer? Or shall I just bite the bullet and sell the elegance?
<It looks like a very nice specimen... How about moving it (the Catalaphyllia) to your refugium? This species can "get by" just fine w/ not much light (along with regular foods/feeding)... or another system entirely?>
Thanks again,
<Congratulations on your success. BobF>

Skunk Clown Has Problems 6/5/10
We've had our pink Skunk Clown for several months now. He's been hosting in a Condylactis anemone
<Mmm, can "work out", but not always... Not native partners as you know>
and has always been active and "normal". About 2 weeks ago, he stopped hosting (the first thing we find strange) and now floats/swims at the top of the tank on his side (weird but normal swimming behaviours for clowns, I
know). As of yesterday he has developed a bubble on only one of his eyes and it appears to be red in the center. Any thoughts? advice?
<Some sort of injury likely... physical most probably... Only time (not moving, medications) will improve. Perhaps read here:
Bob Fenner>

Clarkii Clown And LTA 5/16/10
<Hello Jennifer>
Hopefully you can help us out. My husband and I recently started a saltwater aquarium, and love the new hobby. I purchased a Clarkii clown and a LTA at the local store yesterday. These two were together at the store and hoped it would be the same at home. The clown has still taken to the LTA at home, but the LTA hasn't had a chance to foot in the sand because the clown keeps bothering it. Does it or can it hurt the LTA if it doesn't foot somewhere? Any suggestions on helping it foot somewhere safe? Please help...
<Yes, it is best to allow the LTA to get a foothold before introducing a clownfish. The simplest way is to place an egg crate plastic divider in the tank separating the two until the LTA settles in.
The egg crate material is available at Home Depot or similar stores and can be found in the lighting
department. You may want read/learn about your LTA here.
thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

White growth on percula clown 04/18/10
<Morning John>
I'm a big fan of the site, visited many many times over the years, and I usually can find the information I need by simply searching through your site. This time I need a little more help if you can spare it.
<I can>
My percula clown has developed a rounded white growth just above his gills on the side of his body. I just noticed it a few days ago. I took some photos on Wed when I noticed it (attached) and now on Sat (attached), and it has grown quickly. The lesion is mostly white, with an irregular surface, with some component under the surface of the scales, grown from about 2 mm 4 days ago to about 3 mm today, and raised about 2 mm or so.
There may also be a tiny new lesion close to the dorsal fin now that wasn't there Wed.
He is a few years old, not a recent member of the tank.
<Is the Euphyllia new?>
I have a 45g reef tank with healthy coral and invertebrates, and my water parameters are good. As far as I know he has not been injured recently, and his activity level/feeding are normal. However, he has had a major stressor in his life, since his beloved years-old anemone disappeared a couple of weeks ago, and he has taken to hanging out with some hammerhead coral instead.
Reading through your site and others, I was thinking this could be viral Lymphocystis (cauliflower disease), or possibly a parasite, epitheliocystis, or a reaction to injury.
What do you think?
<The last>
He is not in quarantine at the moment. Clearly the treatment, prognosis, and infectiousness are different depending on the diagnosis. What would you recommend?
<Mmm, either trying to be patient, removing the Euphyllia or replacing the lost Anemone>
Thanks in advance,
John V
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: White growth on percula clown 4/18/2010
Hi Bob,
<Hey John>
Thank you for the quick reply. I really appreciate your opinion. I am relieved that it probably isn't an infection of some kind.
<I'm very confident that this injury is resultant from sting, irritation here>
The Euphyllia has also been in the tank for a few years, and the clown has previously gone to it many times, when the anemone would retract for example. I would rather not remove the Euphyllia since it seems like a good citizen otherwise (and because I have 5 heads of it). I will try to have some patience to allow the sore to heal, but it isn't easy. I will look into getting a new anemone as well.
Thank you for your help,
<Welcome. BobF>

False Percula Clownfish & Long Tentacle Anemone/Clownfish/Anemone Compatibility -- 4/4/10
hey crew,
<Hey Caleb>
I have a 29 gal biocube and I recently purchased a False Percula Clownfish and an Long Tentacle Anemone at Petco, at Petco there was a Cinnamon Clown already bonded with the anemone but I desired the false percula instead hoping that it would bond with the anemone instead. After two days it does not go anywhere near the anemone it just stays close to the glass and to the surface, should I purchase the Cinnamon Clown so it can lead by
<Won't work, should the Cinnamon Clownfish host the LTA in your tank, it will likely drive the percula away from anemone.>
Is there any way I can help the fish to bond ?
<No. If your False Percula Clownfish was tank bred, it is unlikely that it will host the LTA. Time must also be given for this relationship to occur/develop. A newly introduced clownfish just doesn't jump into an anemone. You may want to learn more about your LTA by reading here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/macrodoreensis.htm >
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Caleb Boyette

Clownfish with welts -- 03/23/10
Good morning.
<G'morrow to you>
I was wondering if it is common for a clownfish to get welts on it's fins when it first starts to host an anemone or coral.
<Yes it is>
I know it isn't Cryptocaryon irritans because I have dealt with that in the past and unlike a sprinkling of pin sized or pin head sized dots these are more like welts/pimples on the caudal and pectoral fins and one close to the dorsal.
I saw these before on another pair of clownfish but only one or two spots (but in the same areas) that to my knowledge never hosted my BTA, but who knows what happens when the lights are out. Since moving those clowns to my frag tank the welts cleared up. My newer clowns spend all day in the anemone for the most part but have only been together with the anemone since Saturday ( after 5 weeks of QT with no incident). None of the other fish (a gramma and a YW goby) have ever had these marks. No excessive slime, no torn fins, no heavy breathing or other signs of illness like flashing either. They have voracious appetites as well ( and even feed the anemone!) I have attached a few pictures. The pictures of the spot by the dorsal shows its "pimpleness" more but the spots on her tail are the same, as well as the few on her pectoral, but harder to get a clear picture of. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<I do think this is likely "getting to know you" reaction markings... though your last image, showing the Zoanthids "next door", may indicate a mal-interaction as well. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish with welts -- 03/23/10
I forgot to mention from my previous email with the same subject line, I have seen the same clownfish with the more prominent welts/ pimples willingly enter my torch coral and give a "ouch I got stung" reaction...but yet still occasionally does it anyway when not in the BTA.
<Ahh! Could well be the explanation here. BobF>

Re: clownfish with welts 3/23/10
<I do think this is likely "getting to know you" reaction markings... though your last image, showing the Zoanthids "next door", may indicate a mal-interaction as well. Bob Fenner>
Mmm yeah. ha ha ha, Needless to say where I initially placed my BTA and where it decided to be is a far cry east, however it has stayed there now for several weeks. I will watch for interactions and possibly frag/move the Zoas. Thanks so much for all your help I greatly appreciate your time.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Is my Clown going to love my Anemone to death? - 01/18/2010
Good afternoon Crew!
<Mornin' Cilla>
Because you all are so comprehensive I am sure the answer is in here somewhere, but alas, it has eluded me and I trust hardly any source but my beloved WWM recently. I have been reading through "FAQs on Anemones and Clownfishes" et all, because I have an overly attentive clown I fear is doing more harm than good. Let me give you too much information which I promise I'll try to keep succinct, but I'll fail at...
<Let's see...>
My husband and I have a 72G bow front we acquired via Craig's List two years ago which we have added to over the months slowly. Last month we had 1 Scopus <affectionately named Ting Ting>, 1 six line wrasse <Sassafras>, 2 tomato clowns <Phil Jr. and Chris Jr.> and 2 yellow tailed damsels <Maxwell and Agent 99> with assorted cleaner critters. We were having our floors re-done and our floor guy was talking about how he had a saltwater tank, which he hated, and was planning on flushing his inhabitants later that week. Of course we promptly adopted said mystery fish, which turned out to be the largest Tomato clown you have ever seen <Big Momma>. For the time being everyone is playing nice, we will promptly take action if this changes. Two days ago after some research we decided to add a Bubble Tip to our soap opera, and he charged around the tank for about 3 hours until he found the perfect spot. About three hours after that Big Momma discovered the anemone and it was love at first sight. Except she is too loving I fear. Every time I try to feed the anemone a krill he starts to close in around it, but Big Momma steps in and pulls it out in an attempt to "clean house" I think. She also shoves herself so violently in and round his tentacles I'm afraid she is doing damage.
I realize it's early in their relationship and I do need to let it play out a little bit more, but at what point in time do I become concerned?
<When the BTA is apparently damaged, or not opening>
My LFS says "If I were him" I'd remove the Tomatoes and other Damsels "before I even put them in" because they are just too mean, but I named them and now I'm attached (silly females). Or am I just completely over reacting and she is supposed to do bizarre things like the aforementioned?
<Hard to judge from here>
I hold you all in the highest regards and hope to hear from you soon!!
<Do keep a "strawberry basket" handy to cover over the anemone if it isn't opening... or a plastic colander to float the Tomato otherwise... Bob Fenner>

False Percula hosting Trachyphyllia? 1/6/2010
Good evening all.
I have been searching your wonderfully awesome site as well as the net in general for the past three hours, and have not been able to find much regarding my question. I apologize if the info I'm requesting has been right at my fingertips and I've missed it. We have had our 125gl all glass tank for a year and thanks to all of you gents and ladies have had wonderful success. Your site has been an invaluable resource for us.
I'm just wondering if it's common for our female False Percula to be hosting our Trachyphyllia geoffroyi.
<Not uncommon. Clownfish are pretty adaptable, especially tank-bred specimens that have instincts rather than experience.>
We've had the 2 clowns since the tank was set up and the brain for about 4 months. I noticed a week or so ago that the female clown was spending tremendous amounts of time laying in and rubbing the brain.
<To develop their immunity to the stings, Clownfish will rub themselves against the host Cnidaria repeatedly, initially only gently and then more and more seriously. The biology is obscure, but Clownfish to need to acquire their immunity and aren't born with it.>
The male doesn't venture near it. The brain seems to be in good health...opening and eating well. Should we have any worries?
<Provided the coral can feed normally and isn't showing signs of irritation, then no, there are no particular worries. It's not like you can do anything to dissuade the Clownfish.>
Thanks for all you do...you are all very much appreciated!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re Saltwater Aquarium Stocking Questions 12/8/09
Is there any chance that the clownfish might try to nestle into the mushroom anemones? I've had a clown before and it tried nestling into hair algae so I'm concerned it might do the same in this situation and the mushrooms might consume them.
<Is unlikely for a clown to take to mushrooms although they have been known to host Elegance and similar corals. No danger of the commonly kept mushrooms (Discosoma and Rhodactis) consuming a clownfish unless you happen to get a Giant Cup Mushroom (Amplexidiscus spp.) as these guys are known fish eaters. They can expand somewhere near 12 inches in diameter. James (Salty Dog)>

Maroon clownfish hosting mushroom corals 11/3/09
Our maroon clownfish has been hosting mushroom corals for a couple of years.
<Does happen>
She has favorites, but is not particular. My question is whether the "hosting" results in propagation of the corals.
<Interesting to speculate. It might>
They just keep reproducing--more so than we can handle. If the maroon is indeed a farmer, I guess we will continue having to find homes for the mushrooms.
Thank you.
<And you for sharing. Do trade some of your surplus out. Bob Fenner>

Table of symbiotic relationship is unclear to me. Clowns... 8/18/09
Could the table at the bottom of
be clarified to indicate clearly that "X" means it does host or does not host?
<"X" indicates the species have been found in the wild to be (naturally) symbiotic>
I am not sure whether the X is good or bad for a particular pairing.
<Which does not mean that they will for sure automatically associate in captivity, nor that pairs not found in such relationships in the wild will not form such bonds in aquarium settings... Read on further on WWM re:
and the linked files at bottom. Bob Fenner>

clownfish/clam/carpet anemone, hosting -- 08/14/09
First of all, GREAT SITE!!! I have had my tank going less than 3 months now and I have spent countless hours reading articles and FAQs.
<Ah, good>
I have a couple of problems and I have searched pretty thoroughly for answers but I still need some advice.
<"Fire away">
My first problem is that I made a rookie mistake of listening to a "salesman" at the LFS. I now have a carpet anemone which was a mistake for several obvious reasons as you know (tank not being established long enough for starters). My tank is 130 gallon with closed loop circulation and 145 lbs of live rock, 3 1/2 inch sandbed, refugium, 2x 250w 14k metal halide lights and everything seems to be going very well. Since cycling I have yet to have any detectable nitrate and haven't lost any livestock. I have a sohal tang, powder brown tang, 5 damsels, coral banded shrimp, peppermint shrimp, 5 hermits, various snails, sand-sifting star and serpent star, Vanuatu clam and the above mentioned carpet and a maroon clown.
I intend to make this a reef tank. I have no plans to add many more fish and I may try to trap and give away the damsels. I want to have a few fish and lots of inverts and corals. I do have a few mushroom corals that are doing well also although I plan to wait several more months before adding more corals. So getting to my dilemma. The anemone seems to be doing well.
With everything I have read he seems to have what he needs and be in an ideal location. I put him in a corner that gets good light and medium flow. He was able to put his foot in a rock crevice and he hasn't moved from where I placed him. I am concerned that one he could eat my fish.
<Mmm, the Maroon will likely "steer" such fishes away... Oh, I see it's in the Tridacnid... Well, most fish are well-aware of anemones...>
2 he can get potentially very big. Theoretically if he is happy where he is he could stay in the tank just fine and not bother anyone. He is out of the way and I can place my corals in many other areas. If I didn't overfeed he could occupy that corner happily for a long time without getting too big. Is this realistic?
<A possibility>
Too much to hope for? Bottom line, should I remove the anemone and give him away or take him back to the LFS even if I don't get a refund? Or should observe and hope?
<I'd likely do the last>
2nd problem. My clown is hosting in the clam instead of the anemone.
I moved the clam as close as I felt safe to the anemone in hopes the clown might switch. So far the fish hasn't been mean to the clam and oddly the clam rarely tries to close up even when the clown really tries to
nestle in. The clam always reacts when other fish get too close but so far the clown doesn't seem to bother him. Is there a way to discourage the clown from trying to host the clam and do I even need to worry about it?
<Not really on both counts>
I don't want the clown to accidentally kill the clam.
Thanks in advance and sorry for the long question.
<Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

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