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FAQs about the Clownfish Compatibility 2

Related FAQs: Clownfish Compatibility 1, Clownfish Compatibility 3, Clownfish Compatibility 4, Clownfish Compatibility 5, & Damsel Compatibility, Clownfish 2, Clownfish 3, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Maroon Clownfish, Clownfish Diseases 1 & Clownfish Diseases 2Clownfish Diseases 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Brooklynellosis, Anemones & Clownfishes, Breeding Clowns, Maroon Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfishes, Maroon Clowns, Marine Disease

Clownfish compatibility 7/22/05 Dear Bob, <James for Bob today, Sam> I always have loved clownfish and keep several tanks with different species. <A beautiful fish and easy to care for.>   About 3 months ago I purchased a 110 gallon aquarium.  I planned on keeping one pair of True Percula Clownfish with a few other tankmates...to make a long story short I was wondering if I could keep a pair of Tomatoes in the tank as well.  I have been looking on the website and you hint at it is possible with a larger tank 100gallons+. <I wouldn't recommend it.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Tomatoes can be pretty rough customers and perculas can't really hold their own.> They would be added at the same time, or Perculas first.  Also should I get two LTS anemones for them or will the Tomatoes hog both anemones, my tank has the right lighting and water quality.  I won't be adding them for a while and was just curious what you think. <If you decide to try this, tomatoes really prefer different anemones than the clowns.  Tomatoes generally prefer the Bubble Tip, Long Tentacle, and Sebae anemones while the perculas like the Carpet, Ritteri, Saddle and, along with tomatoes, the Bubble Tip.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank You, Sam New Clownfish Introduction 7/13/05 Dear WWM, My current setup includes a 30g SW tank with 30lbs of LR, and excellent water parameters. I had one true percula introduced first and has been doing quite well. It has been alone for about three weeks. Recently I purchased another, slightly larger true percula. After quarantine for 2 weeks, I introduced the new clown to the tank. For the first day or two, they seemed to get along great, and then this morning I saw them battling. The smaller, already established one was completely bullying the larger one. <Typical in such a small system> Now the larger is staying at the top and refuses to leave the top. I rearranged the rocks a bit to "disturb" the territoriality, but it did not seem to help. Is there anything I can do, or just let them figure out the dominance? <Uh, no... remove one of them, pronto... else it will likely be dead> On another note...I have a bubble tip anemone, that was dark tan when purchased. After a run in with the impeller, it has seemed to have recovered. It looks healthy, and even split recently, however the color is pale. Is there any way to encourage the proliferation of zooxanthellae/ regain pigmentation? <... please read on WWM re... this system is too small, unstable, new for this animal> Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks and keep up the great work John <Am trying to. Bob Fenner>

Tang and Clown Questions... 7/12/05 Crew, I have a 90 gallon tank, with a small Naso Tang, maroon clown, black and white damsel, 2 cleaner shrimp, 3 small hermit crabs.  Please help with some questions... Will a Pacific Yellow Tang be ok to add to this complement? <Likely so> If not, what about a Threadfin butterfly? <Would likely fit> I read some WWM info and it says that they eat (worms, snails, crustaceans),  would my small hermit crabs be eaten? <Not likely... the most probable source of trouble will be interaction with your Maroon> I am considering buying another Maroon clown since I have seen some pairs in my LFS, but I have read that they can be aggressive towards other clowns.   <And other life> Is it common to add a larger Maroon to create a pair or are they caught as a pair? <Best to purchase small... tank bred and reared... and have grow up together... Unless in very large systems, there is often behavioral trouble with adding another. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Nathan

Clownfish Query 7/4/05 Happy fourth of July!! <Thanks! Same to you!>   I have a quick question for you. I have one Ocellaris Clownfish in a 125 gallon tank. His buddy died about a month ago from unknown illness. All other fish have remained healthy. I wanted to get him a friend, actually I am now contemplating having 2 pair. I am not so much concerned about all four being in the 125 [I presume they will pair up]. I am more concerned about having 3 in a 30 gallon qt for a month. I know that eventually 2 would pair up and the odd one could possibly be killed. <A possibility...But I wouldn't be overly concerned...Easy solution...purchase young (i.e.; juvenile) specimens. Besides, I don't think that the pairing off process will occur quite that fast.> I have a divider around somewhere, if you think it would be good to separate the third. And I wanted to double check on having 4 in the main. The one I have now is quite feisty. He attacks the algae strips I place in the tank for 5 min. [maybe he is offended by the 'Nemo' clip] and has also bit my gloved hand.  lol ,I love Clowns!! <Well, these fishes can be a bit feisty at times, but in a tank of this size, I would not be too nervous. They will ultimately form a natural pecking order and pair off in good time.> Anyway, let me know what you think. Okay, this wasn't that quick, but it was quick for me. Thank you as always, Kim <Glad to be of service, Kim! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Clown compatibility/behavior and snail repro. 29 Jun 2005 2 questions FYI - Water parameters check out fine. <No crystal ball here> Low bioload. No problems apparent. <No fish cam either> Preferably is it better to keep percula clowns in pairs? <Doesn't matter> Can they be happy alone because mine seems to trace glass where he can see his reflection.   <Does happen> Secondly, my turbo snails seem to have mated and there is now a little snail baby crawling around, my question is, Is there anything that I should be doing to help in the cycle, or can they complete it all on there own?   Thanks for your time Trav <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailreprofaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Evil Clarkii - 06/28/05 Hello, <<Hi!>> My husband and I have a 90 gallon tank.  We have had the setup for about a year now.  Recently (about a month ago) our Clarkii started becoming extremely aggressive. <<Tis a damsel...after all.>> He used to hang together with our Percula clownfish (we got them a couple of months apart, the Percula first) and now he chases him and nips him. <<Common as they mature.  Not a good idea to mix clown species except in very large (hundreds of gallons) systems, if even at all.>> He chases any new fish that we get unless they are bigger than him. <<Many people are not aware what bullies clownfish can be.>> We are desperately trying to get him out of the tank but he is wearing us down. <<Don't doubt it at all.>> Is there anyway to get him out of the tank without taking out all of the rocks? <<Maybe not...but a few things you can try.  Anthony Calfo favors putting a few live brine shrimp in a very small sealed plastic bag as a fish attractant, placing this bag in another larger plastic bag in the tank, and once the clown goes in, snatching the larger bag out before the fish finds the opening in the "clear" bag.  Another method I have found effective, particularly with aggressive bullies, is to use a very small "barbless" hook and fine (2lb) monofilament line...a small piece of table shrimp on the hook usually gets the job done.  Surprisingly, this can be/is less traumatic/damaging than chasing the fish around with a net for hours on end.>> Thanks for your time. -Kim <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Wrong Clowns I have a 12 gallon nano tank that has been running for 7 weeks and until today had only live rock and sand, 2 Nassarius snails, 1 scarlet hermit crab and some zoanthids. <Too toxic... especially in such a small volume> Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all zero.  I purchased what I thought were 2 small false percula clowns today.  Now that they are home, I can see that one is a true percula and the other a false percula clown.  They are getting along so far but I am afraid they will not pair if they are not the same species and the tank is too small to support two unpaired clowns.   <Interesting question... actually, in this set of circumstances they'd get along about as well as if they were the same species> In addition, the false percula has a "jagged edge" to one of the ventral front fins and the true percula appears to have something white and stringy hanging from its ventral surface (a tapeworm, etc??). <Yikes...>   Please give me some advice.  Should I keep either or both of these fish?  Thank you for your help, I have already learned so much from your site! -Becky Niedfeldt <If you feel uncomfortable re their health, your having an apparently mis-matched pair, I'd return these two... And I strongly encourage you to acquire only tank bred and reared specimens... and to looking for a larger system... Bob Fenner>

Re: Wrong Clowns Thank you for the response.  I did return the 2 clowns and am waiting on a shipment of tank reared true perculas.  I am confused about the comment that my system is too toxic.  I thought I had read that it was appropriate to have 1 snail per 5 gallons of water and 1 crab per 10 gallons of water.  Is it the zoanthids that are too much?   <Yes, sorry for the confusion> Everything is thriving in the tank so far.  I do weekly 1 gal water changes and am very particular about proper maintenance of the tank. <Good practice> Please clarify so that I may mend the situation.   Thank you again, Becky N. <Do take the time to search (on the site, the Google tool) each of your organisms for care, compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Companions For Percula Clownfish Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have just set up a 40 gallon tank and plan to keep a pair of TMC tank bred Percula Clownfish. <I have had a pair of TMC Black Ocellaris Clowns for several years...Excellent, beautiful fish. A great source for livestock!> I have read Bob's book which is excellent and would really appreciate some advice on companions for the clowns (which I haven't purchased yet - I've resisted the urge until I know the tank is perfect for them!). <An excellent demonstration of necessary self-control!> The tank is a Juwel Rio 180 which has a built in internal sponge filter which I plan to use for mechanical filtering and carbon. I have added 44lbs of premium fully cured live rock from one of the most respected suppliers here in the UK and the rock was out of their tank and in mine tank within 2 hours of purchase. I have added 2 1000lph power heads for circulation and a Deltec MC500 protein skimmer (rated up to 120 gallons). <Sounds great so far!> How soon will it be safe to add the clowns - the rock has been in the tank for 3 days and ammonia and nitrite have been a steady zero? <It's hard to say, unfortunately. Even with "cured" live rock, the tank may still go through an ammonia and nitrite peak. My best advice would be to simply continue monitoring ammonia and nitrite for about two weeks, "feeding" the tank lightly with some prepared food once or twice. If there has been no detectable ammonia or nitrite after that time, I'd be inclined to add the Clowns. Any additional fishes should be added slowly and in small numbers, to allow the system to adjust to increases in bioload.> My main question is what companions would be ideal for the clowns - I would really value expert advice rather than just rushing out and risking buying something unsuitable. I want to keep the tank fish only and really like Flame Angels, Wrasses, Dottybacks and Damsels, what would you recommend and how many? <All of these fishes that you mention are good choices. However, I'd be inclined to avoid the Damsels, for their aggressive tendencies. The tank may be just a bit small for the Flame Angel, but if you're willing to add one or two less of the other fishes on your list, it could work. As far as Wrasses are concerned- I'm a big fan of the "Canary Wrasse", Halichoeres chrysus. It stays reasonably small, is very sociable, and is quite attractive! You could probably add three of them. Finally, I would be more inclined to have a blenny or two, rather than a Pseudochromid, just because Pseudochromis have a tendency to adapt a "this tank is mine" attitude in smaller systems, unless added last. If you really want a Pseudochromid, P. fridmani would be the nicest choice, IMO> Also could I add a few shrimps (blood or cleaner)? <Sure.> Thanks for your help - I just want what is best for the fish so that I can enjoy then for a long time. Regards, Matt <Sounds like you've already taken the first steps in that direction! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> - Adding a Second Clown to Make a Pair - Dear WWM, I would like to start by thanking you for providing such a great website where there are as answers as there are questions. My current setup consists of a 30 gal. SW. with 30 lbs of live rock. the tank has been up for over 4 mo. now and the levels are all zero with a s.g. of 1.023. almost perfect right? <Sure, why not.> anyway, right now I have a BTA and a true perc. The percula is about an inch long now so I assume that it is close to a year old. I would like to establish a mated pair. Right now the perc is in the BTA, and I am wondering if there is a good way to introduce a smaller, "male" without too much competition or rejection. <I'd just make sure the second clown you add is markedly smaller than the one you have now. If your existing clown is really not all that old, then its quite possible it has not been through sexual determination yet, although adding the second clown may begin this process. No worries either way - true and false percula clowns are among the most easy going of clownfish and you'll likely do fine.> Any input would be appreciated. John <Cheers, J -- >

Adding Clowns to Established Pair First and foremost, thanks for having the best website dedicated to aquarists, certainly helps all of us in this highly enjoyable, and sometimes frustrating hobby. <<Well, first, but I don't know about foremost, but you and all are welcome.>> I have a great pair of True Percula Clownfish in my 75 gallon fish only tank (only other inhabitants are a royal Gramma, algae blenny, flame angel and some crabs). <<Ok.>> Can I get another true percula (or two)? From my experience, perculas are some of the least aggressive fish out there (unlike maroon or tomato clowns) and I would really like to have 3 or four in my tank rather than just the pair (the male is very small, the female is around 2.5-3"). <<Well, you *could* try it, but I would not expect the original pair to accept the newcomer(s). If it were me, I would add a small group of three, and expect those three to form their own group.>> Would adding another percula affect the original pair? <<I think they would affect them by bringing out conspecific aggression. I would not expect the original pair to accept them. It MAY work if you added substantially smaller fish, but in that situation there's a much greater risk of death to the newcomers. However, with such a large tank so lightly stocked, they would likely be able to escape to safety.>> Or are they like hippies, the more the merrier? <<Hmm.. hippie fish.. no, I wouldn't expect that unless it started out that way. Sort of a situation with the pair of "Once you've crossed over, you can't come back".>> Many thanks Chris Luth (devoted fan) <<You're welcome. You may want to try some of the reefing boards, see if anyone else has done this (I haven't outside of a retail setting, and then there are so many fish that there is good displacement of aggression), with what success. You'll have better luck with A. percula or A. ocellaris than you would with just about any other clown species I can think of. Marina>> 

Clownfish Compatibility (4/22/05) Hello Crew! Let me start by saying your website is great!  <Thanks. It's a pleasure to play a small part. Steve Allen with you tonight.>  I am new to the hobby and I am always looking for information. I have a 29 gallon tank which at the moment has live rock and a cleaning crew of various snails and crabs. I am ready to purchase my first fish and I am in the process of setting up my quarantine tank.  <Very wise>  I would like to purchase clownfish as I was told they are hardy and do well during the cycle process.  <Do not cycle with fish. It is cruel and unnecessary. Read on WWM about "fishless cycling.">  I would like to purchase a True Black & White Clownfish and an Ocellaris Clownfish. I was told by the LFS that people have put the two together and they have mated as they are the same species. Is this true?  <Yes, the black ones are simply very dark color morphs selectively bred to be that color. The two may pair up if you set things up properly. Make sure one is substantially bigger than the other and it should become the female. Read more about pairing on WWM. If you really are interested in Clownfish, get Joyce Wilkerson's "Clownfish" book.>  I also would like to know if I could add a mated pair of Banggai Cardinals later.  <With these four fish, I would consider the tank full. Maybe one bottom-dwelling Goby such as a Yellow Watchman if you have deep sand.>  Would the pairs get along?  <Should be fine.>  I'd appreciate any information. Thanks  <You/re welcome. Hope it helps.>

Clownfish 'orientation' questions - Repeat Offender Hi, If there was only a BTA and a few other fish in the tank what are the chances that the A. ocellaris (true Perculas) <*ahem* 'false perculas'> would accept the anemones and what other factors would contribute? <All depends on the clowns, not really any other contributing factors>  Is it possible to have 2 ocellaris and 1 maroon in a 5ft tank together? <Mixing clownfish species in anything but a very large aquarium (larger than yours) is not a good idea, and will lead to the deaths of one or both species, in the long run> How can I tell besides size if it is a female? <If it asks you "does this make me look fat?" ;) Seriously, any clownfish purchased as a juvenile and raised to adult size by itself will be female, if this helps any - M. Maddox>  <<Dana, you have asked this very same question (though worded slightly differently) at least three times.  If you are not happy with the answers you are receiving, please go elsewhere.  Marina>>

Send In The Clown(s)? (Adding Additional Clownfish) Hi, two more clowns you say I thought that you could only have 2 max. Why do you say 2 more, will one get left out? <Actually, the maximum number you could have is dictated by the size of the tank. I recommend two more because the existing clown may be a bit rough on the newcomers, and aggression may be more easily dispersed among two other fishes. You can always get another clown for the "odd man out" down the line!> Also would there be a problem with the bracing getting two hot because there 400 watt metal halides? <There could be. Again, my advice is to consult the tank manufacturer on this one. You don't want to risk problems.> What other options do with the light it's 26inch deep? <Well, I like 250 watt halides, myself (the double ended variety). They do pack a lot of punch and can do a pretty good job in a 26 gallon tank for most of the corals that we keep, save a few very demanding ones.> Thanks <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.>

Clownfish Mixing Question Is it possible to keep a Black Percula Clown along with a Ocellaris Clown in a 75- gallon tank.  <Yes. James (Salty Dog)>

Clownfish Aggression (3/22/05) Ladies and Gentlemen,  <Steve Allen with you tonight.> I've found your FAQs to be great reference material, and have learned a lot. I hope that you can help answer my questions. After much thought... On Saturday (three days ago), I bought two clownfish and a green-tipped anemone for my 20gal tank. The larger clown was about 2 inches, the smaller one about 1.5 inches.  <This can be a bad combination. Pairing can be difficult and is best accomplished if one clown is significantly larger that the other. The smaller becomes the male of the pair.>  The tank had been running for six months with nothing but two damsels, two little crabs and two tiny snails. My LFS accepted the damsels back for store credit, and sold me the anemone and two Cinnamon Clowns that had been in the store for two weeks.  <I hope they explained to you about how difficult it is to keep an anemone. They require special conditions, including a LOT of light. I'd suggest you read the FAQs about anemones.> Since the tank was essentially empty but established (and my QT tank has a bunch of freshwater fry)... after acclimating them for 2 hours (temp and water), I put the trio into their new home. One clown and the anemone seem to be doing well. They're fast friends.  <Apparently enough so that it won't let the other one in.>  However, the smaller of the two clowns seems to be wary of the larger and the anemone. Is there some territoriality going on?  <Most definitely.>  When neither clown would eat the first day, I attributed it to stress. It's now the third day, and either of them will accept flake or granule food.  <Try frozen Mysis shrimp.>  They seem to try it and then spit it out.  Also, I've noticed something with the smaller clown. Small white spots maybe  <ick?> .. or maybe areas where the fish had been nipped, and the scales were pried back a bit.  <Sounds like the bigger one is picking on it.>  I'm very concerned. I've never heard of clownfish fighting, and haven't observed either of them going after one another.  <Odd that you have never heard of this very common aggression. You will find all sorts of posts about on WWM. Clowns are actually highly territorial and often aggressive. Some species are more so than others. Cinnamons would be among the less peaceful.> I'd like to treat the tank with Melafix. Could this harm my anemone?  <Possibly. It is never wise to put any medication in a display tank. I think you need to remove one or both clowns. Otherwise, the smaller one is probably doomed. If you want to make a pair, you should read more about pairing and try again. It is best that one be much bigger than the other (maybe 2X). Also, Cinnamon clowns grow to about 5". I would consider a 20G with a pair of these and an anemone to be fully-stocked.>  Lawrence K. Bonkoski  <I hope this helps.>

Tomato & Clarkii Salad >Hey Guys, Your site is amazing. >>Hello, Marina tonight, amazed as well. >I am sorry if this has been answered before, I've searched for the answer and couldn't find it. It's an easy question - "Can you mix a single tank raised percula clownfish with a single tank raised Clarkii ?" >>For a little while, and then the fun will begin. Of course, there are many qualifiers to this: size of tank, age of establishment, age WHEN established. But know this, whether tank-raised or not, the A. clarkii is decidedly the more pugnacious of the two species!  >In the stores, they sell them mixed together but I've tried not to trust solely where the fish stores place their fish as to someone with true knowledge of the subject. >>What the stores do is fine, they have a large turnover of fish, and when you put sufficient numbers there occurs something called "displacement of aggression". This means that, because there ARE so many fish in the tank, no ONE fish will receive the brunt of the aggression. Also, there's not much chance in most instances for territories to be established. >Thank you, Ryan in Philadelphia! >>And you are WELCOME, Marina in Buckhorn, CA in the Sierra Nevada mountains

Clown Compatibility - Tomato and Percula Salad, Anyone? Hello, Love your site!!! I have a very happy and well balanced 180 reef tank. I have 2 true Solomon island perculas in there right now. I recently saved 2 Tomato clowns from a LFS that had no idea how to handle Salt water fish. My question is, since I have a large tank, would it be ok to put the Tomato clowns in with the Perculas?  <Joe, I don't think it would be a good idea.  James (Salty Dog)> Best regards, Joe 

- Do Clownfish Eat Hermit Crabs - Dear WWW crew; I currently have a 45g corner tank.  I have 2 questions.  First I think my tomato clown ate my hermit crabs.  The crabs were rather small (the shells were less than the size of a pencil in diameter and about 1/3'' long) blue-legged hermit crabs.  Shortly after I added them, the clownfish would pick the shells up and drop in another part of the tank.  He seemed to be having a lot of fun. I moved them and tried to hide them from the clown, but I never saw them again. <You may want to check your tank at night... often once the crabs know they have predation pressure, they will go into nocturnal mode.>  There is also a bi-color Pseudochromis in the tank who was quite interested in what the clown was doing.  Could either have eaten them? <Anything is possible, but this isn't a known staple of either's diet.> I'd like to add a couple more but I'm afraid it would just be an expensive snack. My second question is what can I add to the tank.  I tried a 6-line wrasse.  I had it for about 2 weeks and it died suddenly in the QT tank.  The QT tank is 2.5g. <Much to small for quarantine.> I was replacing the water with tank water every day or two.  The water is: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5-10ppm nitrate (I can't seem to get rid of it), salinity 1.0235, PH 8.3.  The tank has been set up for 6-7 months.   I'm afraid to try another, because I don't know if it was a bad fish or I killed it. <Well... tank is so small that even water changes represent drastic chemical changes... would advise you use at least a 10 gallon tank to quarantine such a fish.> The clown is about 2 1/2" and the Pseudochromis about 1 1/2".  There are still 2 red reef hermit crabs that are about 1/2" to 3/4" and apparently able to fend for themselves. Is there any other small fish that are good for beginners (my first saltwater tank) that I can add? I was thinking either bi-color blenny or algae blenny. <Would be a good choice.> Should I try another 6 or 8 line wrasse or is there a better choice? <Well... given the size of this tank, you may find a six line wrasse gets a little grumpy in time.> What are your thoughts about 3 green Chromis? <That would also be a good, peaceful choice.> I plan on adding these one at a time over a couple of months, except for the Chromis of course.  I'd like to have around 4 small fish in the tank. <And that would be a good place to stop.> Thanks so much in advance, Dawn <Cheers, J -- >

Clownfish/cleaner fish Hi, yesterday we bought 2 cleaner fish. <What type?>   When we added them to our 90 gal tank, the clown fish we have instantly started picking in them.  A few hours later we found an antenna in one of our button polyps and knew one of the shrimp was a goner, and 24hrs later have not seen it, except for a few more antennas.  Now the other shrimp we bought I can still see hidden in some rock, but the clown fish seems to be staying near by just waiting.  Is there a problem with these two compatibly, Is the clown killing them?     Thank you <No, thank you... for finding your own answers using the search tool on the homepage of www.WetWebMedia.com You state cleaner "fish", then go on to chat about shrimp... look these names up on WWM... and Clownfish et al. "Compatibility". Bob Fenner> Follow up: Maroon Clown vs. Percula 11/27/04 So overall, would a maroon clown be a bad idea?  I do also like the appearance of the Black and White Percula you were suggesting. Thanks a ton for the quick reply! <AdamC. Here today.  I agree that the Maroons would be a bad choice.  In addition to their aggression, they require more space than your tank will provide.  Perculas or Ocellaris (both are available captive bred in black morphs) are a much more suitable choice.  AdamC.>

Maroon Clownfish and Yellowtail Damselfish Compatibility (11/23/04 Hello, I currently have an all glass 30 gallon tank.  It has about 55 pounds of Premium Fiji Live Rock, and a 1.5" sand bed.  It has been cycling for 1 month (it will be 1 month on Thanksgiving) and I have one Yellow Tailed Damsel that has been in there since the beginning (I know its not the best idea to cycle with a fish).  But my question is,  I really was thinking of getting a pair of Maroon Clown fish but I have heard that they will gang up on my Damsel and kill it eventually.  If they will do this, can you give me some information on what type of clown I should get that would be compatible with my current setup?  <Sure.... for starters your Yellowtail Damsel has a maximum adult size of 8.3 inches and a minimum tank size requirement of 55g. The adults are even more aggressive than the juveniles and should be kept with larger aggressive fish. <Think Leslie has this fish identified as one of the giant damsels... Microspathodon chrysurus... it is likely one of the small Indo-Pacific species though... likely to be beaten up by Maroons. RMF> This is not an appropriate tankmate for clownfish. In your current set up a pair of Amphiprion Ocellaris (False Percula Clownfish) or Amphiprion Percula (Percula Clownfish) would be appropriate. My personal favorites are the captive bred black and whites. In addition you could keep a small algae eating blenny like the bicolor. They are a great little utility fish and will help to algae under control.> Note, that my water parameters are perfect, < That's great, for future reference when referring to water parameters numerical values are much more informative than descriptive words.> I am planning on getting an AquaC Remora HOB skimming in a week or two.  <Excellent plan. > Thanks for all your help! <Your most welcome! > Have a great day. Chess Mizell <Thanks, I am. Best of luck with your new aquarium. Enjoy it! HTH, Leslie

Percula Q's Hello Bob and crew.  <How goes it, Michael here this evening>  Can you tell me if it is possible to have multiple true Percula clowns in a 30 gallon tank?  I currently have two.  They've been in my tank for about two years.  They don't fight, but they don't seem like they're a mated pair.  They're very indifferent toward one another.  <Do they occupy the same area of the tank, or do they have their own distinctive territories?>  Would it be possible to add more perculas.  If so, how many? <It's usually best to have an odd number if you don't have a mated pair.  Seeing as you don't have a mated pair, it may be possible.  However, if the fish have already staked a territory, it will be more difficult.  Totally re-arrange the decor if possible before adding another, and make sure they're both well fed.  It should be possible, but some fin nipping may occur>  (on behalf of all fish) Thanks for the advice. <Anytime - M. Maddox>

Maroon clown fights I bought two maroon clownfish about a month ago and introduced them into the tank at the same time.  <Bad idea unless they were a mated pair when you bought them - pairing maroon clowns requires a very specific process that takes time and patience, and must be adhered to> One was bigger than the other so the pairing up process would go by faster, things WERE looking good but I recently added a LT anemone <Make sure you have the proper lighting and education to care for this anemone.  For more information see the Reefcentral Anemone and Clownfish FAQ @ http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=282136> , which the little guy seemed to enjoy but the big guy <girl, most likely, or will at least become one> wouldn't touch it.  However, just last night I saw the bigger one flirting with the anemone, just rubbing against it and then swimming off. When I wake up he's in it! I was very happy but when I looked at my little clown, he was ripped up badly, not a fin un-shredded.  <Now that the female or potential female has something to be territorial of and has adjusted to your aquarium, her attentions are going to turn to driving off the male> and the side of his body looks like ich.  <Could be, and it will be exacerbated by the abuse from the female - did you quarantine the fish before placing them in your display aquarium?>  I'm not sure if he has ich or if its just welt marks <Keep an eye on them, and meanwhile read our archives regarding crypto> My main question: should I remove the little one or bring back the big one. I was going to bring the little one to a friends smaller tank and nurse him back to health but when I re-introduce him I'm afraid he'll get torn up even worse. <Definitely move the smaller one to your friend's aquarium as soon as you can, but make sure it doesn't have crypto first.  Isolate it in your aquarium and keep an eye on it until you can be sure.  After you move the small one out of your aquarium, take the next several months it's going to require for your larger one to become female and to familiarize herself with her surroundings to  do a lot of reading about pairing clownfish.  See our archives on maroon clownfish pairing (which is different from any other clownfish species) and definitely read the archives and FAQ pages on the Reefcentral Anemone and Clownfish boards @ http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=11536cd0450218af4b8d84bed0446459&forumid=36.  There is a lot of good information there on clownfish and host anemones.  Please take the time to educate yourself on the subject.  Also, when you email us please use proper grammar, sentence construction, and capitalization, because these Q&A's are archived for future reference.  Good luck.  M. Maddox>

Tankmates Do you have any suggestions for tankmates for 2 ocellaris clownfish? <How large is the tank? Are these the only fish in it?> thanks Clownfish Aggression Query <Ryan here> I have a 55 gal tank, had it two years now. I have had the same three false clowns and a maroon gold, not to mention a few other fish. Well I just purchased a rose colored bulb anemone and the Maroon loves it. The false are farmed raise so they show no interest. But the maroon is showing signs of agro. It's only been a couple of hours so it may wear off but do you think he will start being nice again to the other tank mates again. They all got along great before. <It's a toss up, to be honest.  Be prepared to remove the false clowns if they're being battered.  Good luck, Ryan> Travis

Clownfish Aggression Query Part 2 Thanks for responding so fast, two of my false clowns were serious thrill seekers and jumped w/ no bungee. <Sorry to hear that...Perhaps a tighter fitting lid is in your future.> So I lost two of them :( The maroon has started being nice but a little too late. My anemone has moved to the back of the tank :( I tried to lure him out w/ a flashlight but no luck, he gets no light where he is. Also I have a 55 gal. and I have 6 x 54 T5 HO lights. I usually only have four on at a time for 4 watts per gallon but I changed it to all 6 because my LPS Hard Corals aren't coming out anymore.  I put in every chemical I can so I don't think there is a lack of that. <Oh my that's a scary statement!  What chemicals have you added, and for what purpose?> Are these lights good or are Metal Halides a necessity for hard corals and anemones? <No, not at all.  Your lighting should be sufficient, it's likely a water quality issue.  What are your current test results?> Thanks again for all the help, Oh by the way, my first question to you 1 1/2 years ago about my Dragonet (psych) is doing fine. Everyone in the tank is very nice to him. <Great.  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks again. Travis Clown and Damsel    <Hi Taylor MacL here with you tonight>  just got into nano reefs  <Congratulations> and I'm only 14 years old and I spent 22 on this false clown fish and I just bought  it  2  days ago and when I first put him in he swam a round. then last night I went in and saw my blue damsel attacking him I freaked out and check on them every half hour. they seemed to be doing ok. But today he stays at the back of the tank till I turn the light out and the blue damsel hides then he swims about the tank. Also he will not eat that much and I have tried to feed him Omega <Damsels and clowns are in a similar family and often won't get along in a small tank together. What size is your nano?> 1 marine flakes and brine shrimp but he will only eat a little bit and also they are very small pieces. does this have anything to do with the fact that he lived in a  tank with a lot of other clown fish or that he is a         <A?????? what???? Let me know. MacL>>     Clown/Reef Tank Query Hey there and I thank you for such a great site of information and knowledge. I'm fairly new to the hobby and have only had a reef tank for 7 months. 70gal Hex. Tetra Tec 250 filter Sea clone 100 Skimmer and 4 Rio 200's and a Rio 600. My lighting consists of a 175 watt 10k MH lamp hanging about 5" over my tank and some blue LEDs for moon lighting.  I currently have 2 cinn. Clowns, 1 yellow tang, I Midas blenny and a Female Lamarck's Angel fish. I currently add Kent tech parts A-B and some Kent Lugol's Solution. That's it. My questions are simple and I am looking for some reassurance on what I'm doing is ok (seems to be working). Water parameters are all well and I perform weekly water changes of between 10-25% using Ro water mixed with salt and aerated overnight. My live rock is starting to develop good coralline algae and I have some tube worms and a Button Polyp of some sorts thriving well (I think). Fish are all well, Angel fish had cotton ball out break but after reading about it on your sight I refrained from any treatment and it went away on its own. Small clown gets picked on by Blenny and Angel and Bigger Clown ( introduced at same time) and I'm wondering if I should trade him in? He mostly gets chased around ( feeding time mostly) and has a small spot missing from his tail. Sometimes he shakes a lot (like he's mad and warning the others away) but for the most part he hold his own.. Sorry about rambling on, any advise you can offer would be most helpful. Do I need to add any more supplements? Need more lighting? Or advice on anything.. Thank you again You guys make my hobby a lot easier. JEFF WAY >>>Greetings Jeff! For starters, ease up on the water changes. 20% a month is plenty on most reef tanks. Secondly, the smaller clown is a male in all likelihood, with the larger being a female. Clownfish (and all damsels) are protandrous hermaphrodites, developing into males first. The dominant fish becomes female. Clown pairs are entertaining to watch, but they do best when a host anemone is present. I'd give him a bit more time and if the problem persists, then consider taking him back. I can't answer your lighting questions as I have no clue what you're planning in keeping in there as far as inverts go. A 175w 10k mogul setup is fine for many things, more light demanding corals and some clams excluded. Don't add supplements outside of what it needed to maintain calcium and alk levels. Anything outside of that is just lining the LFS's pockets. Cheers Jim<<<

How Many Clowns Make a Circus (9/5/04) Hi WWM crew <Hello. Steve Allen with you tonight> I have a 45 gallon tank with approx. 20-30 lbs of live rock. Setup is fine and live stock includes 1 porcelain crab 3 blue Chromis  (not sure on spelling) 1 coral beauty 2 turbo snails 1 true Percula clown 4 blue leg hermit crabs I'd like to pair my current one up with another clown but how many pairs can I maintain? will they fight the other pairs? <I strongly recommend against more than one pair of clowns in this size of tank. And please do not even think of a threesome or of adding another species of clown. The tank is too small. Real-life clowns may be jolly, but Clownfishes are actually quite territorial and prone to belligerence. To pair up your current clown with another, choose one that is smaller. Search the clownfish FAQs for more tips for a successful pairing.> Thanks <Hope this helps.>

Maroon clowns and? Hello Bob, <Adam> I Have a 6 foot, approximately 75 gallon marine tank which houses a pair of gold-striped maroon clowns. The tank looks a bit empty so I would like to add another pair of clowns. In the past I have kept pairs of Clarkii and rubrocinctus clowns together with out much trouble so would it be ok to put in a pair of either of these with the maroons? <Not likely a good idea... Maroons are on the high end of pugnaciousness when it comes to Clownfishes... and this size, volume tank is full up clown-wise> I would prefer to get clarkii's because I can get some that are tank raised but I know the rubrocinctus grow larger and are much more aggressive. I plan to add anemones, namely bubble tips for the maroons and possibly rubrocinctus and Malu's for the clarkiis. Would the clarkiis be a better option because they host with another species? What would you recommend? Are either of these choices possible? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Adam Harbeck <I would not add any other Clownfishes... maybe another family group member...? Surgeonfishes? Rabbitfishes?... Bob Fenner> Mixing Tank bred Clown Fish? I would fist like to say that this site has been a huge help to me and to my fish tank. <Thank you!  that is what we are here for.> You guys have been able to answer many questions that I have not been able to find answers to anywhere else thanks for providing this wonderful resource. I have been getting mixed answers on this question and would like to know if it is ok to mix certain species of TANK BRED clown fish? <Sadly mixed answers is quite common in the hobby.  With mixing almost any fish, especially clowns, it's really depends on the size of the tank.> I know that it is not ok to mix wild clown fish but would it be ok to mix a young pair of tank bred Ocellaris Clown fish orange and white with a young pair of tank bred Black and White Percula Clown fish. I have been to a few mail order sites (LiveAquaria.com and Saltwaterfish.com) that say its ok to mix these tank bred fish if they are introduced into your tank at the same time.   <Introducing fish at the same time gives them all a chance to set up their territories without the worry of fish already in the tank having pre-established turf.  As for these fish I have seen tanks with the B&W Percs in with Ocellaris, but these tanks were over 90 gallons in size with lots of Live rock.> I have a 55 gallon tank with 80lbs of live rock and 50lbs of live sand. I have had the pair of Ocellaris in my tank for 2 weeks. Any info would be a huge help. Thanks Brendan <In my opinion a 55 gallon tank is really not the best choice for this amount of clowns.  Clowns are nutty little fish.  They are very territorial, and have no problem pushing other fish out of the way for food.  So, the idea is that you can't have too many in a tank without someone having problems.  I would say that 2 pairs wouldn't really work in a 55 gallon tank.  I have a single pair of Ocellaris clown in a 55 and couldn't imagine them sharing it with other Damsels.  There are always stories of this set up working for someone, but I think dealing with saltwater fish it is better to go with less fish for safety.   Good luck with the saltwater tanks, and with the clowns, they quickly became some of my favorite fish! -Magnus.>

Damsel Compatibility (8/19/04) Hi, I was wondering if clownfish and yellow-tailed damsels would get along. <Both can be aggressive, though the yellow-tail has a reputation as one of the mellower damsels. It depends on tank size (smaller is worse) and which sort of clown you are choosing. Some, e.g. Maroons, are more aggressive than others, e.g. ocellaris. I have this combination in my 80G reef with lots of LR, they seldom even interact in any way at all, ant there has been no aggression. That said, there are never any guarantees. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Nemo vs. Yellow-Tail Follow-up (8/23/04) Thanks for your help. <No problem.> I don't know the name of the clown fish but by the name of "Nemo". <Probably Amphiprion ocellaris.> I have a 30 gallon tank, and I had a healthy tank with 3 of the "Nemo" fish and everything died including my live rocks, <ouch!> I started over and this yellow-tailed damsel has been in the tank all by himself for 3 months and I wanted to add more, so I added some more yellow-tailed damsels and he attacked them often, well he finally stopped but I was worried about adding another Nemo. <Having been alone for 3 month in a smaller tank, this damsel will not likely accept any tankmates. Two options: (1)get rid of him entirely--most LFS will give a credit--or (2) rearrange the decor hen you add a new fish so that he may lose his bearings and feel new himself. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Nemo and Yellow-Tail OK Together (8/25/04) Thanks Steve, I did as you said and rearrange everything, then added the "Nemo" I watched the tank non-stop for an hour or so, and he didn't touch the fish.  Your idea worked thank you so much!!!! <Glad to hear. Hope it stays that way.>  If you don't mind could you give me some extra points on how to NOT kill everything again! HA! <The best I can give you on that is to carefully analyze the event for contributing/precipitating factors and try to learn from any errors. Good luck! Steve Allen.>

Eviction Notice for a Clown? (7/25/04) Hi Ya'll <Steve Allen tonight.> Absolutely LOVE this site and all you guys and gals - mucho info - spend hours -reading! <Me too.> So far haven't seen this question - here's SW Tank Info: quest. near end (LOL) TANK AGE: 1989 SIZE: 120 G (5'L X 2'W X 3 1/2'H) w/skimmer and auto evap. and SW/FW replacement sys.- its awesome Mag pump - 200 GPH w/lots of circulation has 6 extension arms ORIGINAL TANK INHABITANTS: 2 - Choco chip stars ( 1 1/2" & 2 ") named: Chewy & Crispy 4 - Feather Dusters 1 - Hawkfish ( 3 1/4") - friendly let's me measure him - named: Rocky 1 - Pomacentrus (alleni or coelestis - can't tell - he's 2 1/2" very social - comes when called named: Blue Guy 1 - Coral Banded Shrimp - 3 +" named Crusty 1 - Heteractis Malu - named: Rover - cause he likes to roam all over 2 - Finger Corals - over 6" well spaced apart (LOL) 2 - Distinct groups of Purple Mushrooms  - they pretty much move on their own (LOL) 50 Lbs. Live rock 1 1/2" crushed coral Live Grass and Live Kelp - keep them both mowed NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Added 1 yr ago 1 - Astropecten articulatus (beaded sea star) 3" named: Tiki - she's a beautiful deep purple 1 - Thalassoma lucasanum (male) - 4" my final tankmate - named: Phllippe likes to be hand fed and touched - great wonderful dog - I mean fish - very tame - was able to visit him in Fish Lady's quarantine for a month before I brought him to his new home - and here lies prob he's been home for 8 months - no problem BUT .... 3 - Amphiprion bicinctus (real clowns) (1)- 3" & (2) - 1 1/2" all were from same family - named: Sampson, Delilia and Chip <interesting name combination> - and all of a sudden Sampson is being a butthead bully - his name fits - Delilia and Chip ignore him - period - as much as I love my Sampson - I think he needs to move to a new home - he picks on him (Phillippe) - thank goodness Phillippe has plenty of places to hide - and likes to play w/us - otherwise he would have gone nuts along time ago. OK here it is: (2) parts: Should I evict (sigh) Sampson? (My Fish Lady wants him big time - said he's a primo fish) -  if so how? He is a wily rascal. OR (hope) Try to keep Sampson busy with a new toy? and not Phillippe. OBTW - all sys. are go - no spikes - no drops - absolutely beautiful tank probably due to my  and my honey's diligent maint. - my friends each have a well rounded vitamin packed variety diet - they each better than us - suited to each one - some times they cheat and share. (LOL) Sigh - I am at a loss - HELP - SOS - can I keep him or let him move away from home - Alane <Are you writing from Europe? I checked every aquarium book I own--and I own just about every current US saltwater book--and could not find this species. An internet search shows it to be form the Red Sea, and thus apparently not common in the US trade. I did happen upon a study on the internet, written in Swedish, which I read/speak, that says they are aggressively territorial to any perceived threat. Like all Clownfishes, it lives singly or in pairs, not in threesomes, which are always a bad idea. Perhaps Sampson is odd man out and is taking out his frustrations on the Wrasse. Or maybe he finds the wrasse, a very active fish, to be threatening in some way. In any case, 3 clowns aren't likely to work out in the long run. In your shoes, I'd reduce to two, and it sounds lick Delilah and Chip have already paired up. For info on how to catch him, search WWM for "capture" or "catch" and "fish," etc. Good luck.>

ANEMONEFISHES FIGHTING/COMPATIBILITY I had a pair of tank raised BW false Percs. and the female jumped out and was lost.  I have a small 25 gallon reef tank, I recently tried to add a smaller tank raised BW false perc.  The bigger and remaining male is beating up on the new one. << Unfortunate, but common. >> Will they ever be able to live happily ever after?  << I doubt it.  Pairing anemonefish is a crap shoot in my mind.  It is unfortunate that you lost your larger female.  If you add a small enough fish, you may luck out and have them pair up still.  However it is risky. >>  What do you suggest to coax them into getting along? How do you feel about putting the bigger one in a breeder tank or QT within the tank for awhile to see if it will settle down, is this effective or will it cause more problems? << Removing the larger fish for a week may help.  At least it will help the new fish have time and a chance to settle in. >> If this is effective how long should I leave him in there? I also recently added a tank raised rose tip BA that was doing amazing.  The original male never goes in it, the new false perc. is going in it to get away from the beatings, the BTA is very mad and is all shrunk up it has even unattached itself from the rock does it not like all the attention it is getting from the new false perc. or is it taking a beating too?  << Not sure what would cause this, but one option is to add a screen (like a strawberry basket) over the anemone to prevent the fishes from harassing it. >> Thank you << Hope that helps, Blundell >>

Clownfish Compatibility Hello, <Hi Aaron.> thank you for all of your help in the past, I'll be as brief as possible, I know you guys get hammered with questions so here goes. <All questions welcomed.> Tank:  20 gallon Nano Reef setup 1/10/04 with 30 lbs live rock (4 large holey pieces) aquascaped with about a dozen caves.  72 watts pc lighting 1 6700 light 1 actinic blue 1 powerhead connected to a diy diffusion intake drawing water from bottom and ejecting along the top approx 100 gph.  1 powerhead drawing water from bottom to mid level ejection and one large TetraTec filter that fills and empties (bought if for the internal heater), but the wave action is pretty nice, if constantly fills then empties in a rush of water, almost a gallon at a time- this draws form the middle and ejects at the surface and also houses the heater.  5" of live aragonite sand.  temp 76 density 1.024 PH 8.2 Kh 8 Calcium 450 with no supplements (aragonite substrate I guess).  Nice coralline algae formation after just a few months- water motion I think.  Whole rock structure is purple with some lime green spots here and there- I do believe red legged hermits eat coralline in nutrient poor systems, so I don't use them. 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite Under 10 ppm Nitrate. The live rock was uncured when I got it, I noticed 4 patches of button polyps and 3 clove colonies after a few months of running, some buttons fell of hear and there but they reattached in other locations.  I added 10 blue legged hermits and 10 Nerites after about a month.  In march I added what I thought was an algae blenny- was told it was anyway, turned out to be a scooter dragonet- but he adapted nicely and is a real joy, so I never got the algae blenny- I thought since they look a little alike they might have problems? <Scooter blenny's generally tend to eat pods. Algae blenny's generally algae.>  True?  Anyway I add a small Linckia star and a coral banded shrimp in April.  The coral banded shrimp will sometimes grab the dragonet, but doesn't seem to hurt him- so I left it be.  When I bought the inverts I picked up two Tomato clowns, tank raised and QT'd them in a 10 gallon with some old live rock.  They where small, about 3/4 of an inch and seemed to get along just fine in QT.  Well, I happened upon a bubble tip in May- beautiful specimen, white and brown with a florescent green tint under actinics, was firmly attached, tight mouth and responded well to external stimulus.  I qt this in a separate tank, 10 gallon with crushed gravel substrate so he couldn't get too stuck, 20 watt 50/50 which seemed ok, I removed him from qt after 2 weeks, he was eating well and his expansion was impressive.  I put the BTA in the 20 and it has stayed in a spot where one of the caves forms between 2 large pieces of rock.  Again, all seemed normal so after I few more weeks I introduced the 2 clowns- here's where things get funny I guess.  Ok, they stayed together in the qt always, I figured it was a shoaling impulse as they where way too young to pair off.  For about 10 minutes they stayed together in their new home. Then one of the clowns sees the BTA and jumps in, the other does the same and for one night I had them both in one Anemone playing happily and things where good.  The next morning one of the clowns is out and the other is in (the anemone, not the tank)  So I observe the one in stays in, won't come out, not at all, the other approaches, but won't get further than the edge before it does its weird epileptic submission thing and swims off.  Ok, so it's a strange love triangle now, but the weirdest part is yet to come.  I feed once a day.  The pumps go off for 5 minutes and I drop in Selco soaked blood worms mixed with shrimp pellets and formula one.  The 'in clownfish' would only take the food that fell near the anemone, and gave some to its host, the other free swimming 'out clown' would eat a bunch and the scooter would take what fell a little further in th column.  I had a hypothesis at this point.  The out clown was going to get bigger and stronger, more food, and would soon evict the in clown.  This process took about a week and was a little disturbing when it came to blows.  They locked jaws and fought, the in clown suffered a tear in the left dorsal fin, the out clown suffered a split tail, both had marks around the jaws.  I contemplated taking them out at this point, or one anyway, but since it was the weekend I just observed the behavior over a few hours, net in hand of course.  Anyway, in clown got kicked out and the out clown, the lesser aggressive of the two became the in clown.  With strong feelings of inadequacy the ejected clown went to a remote corner of the tank and stayed there for a number of days.  They both healed well from the experience and there is no fighting now, just the shuddery thing from the once in clown now.  The clown currently in the BTA would now allow the other to stay at the edge of the mantle and do some brushing but the fighting was over, at least I thought.  A new type of fighting, chasing thing started happening, but this was much quicker and less aggressive and they would actually chase each other, rather than just one chasing the other.  The clown that resides in the BTA became a little larger and the tiffs became centered in a small cave near where the edge of the BTA touches.  Today there where a clutch of reddish orange eggs in a mass on the rock that makes up that cave. <Congratulations> Neither clown seems very interested in it - perhaps first time spawn stupidity?  Don't know, but I don't have the means or the time to raise clowns, so I think the situation will correct itself.  I figured I would pass this info on to people who may be interested in the pairing process- it's often a little disturbing to watch this take place, but perhaps under the right conditions, i.e. lots of caves and a host anemone, they won't actually kill each other- one will probably stay in the host, allowing the other free reign of the rest of the column- any more than two and you can count on someone dying unless you have two anenomes- and I wouldn't do this, too many dangers, power heads, heaters, ideal locations, just too much to deal with.  Also if you are looking for clowns to pair up, and breed regularly, the Tomato clown is ideal.  Although less popular than percula or ocellaris, its host anemone is much hardier and its sting usually doesn't hurt other fishes too bad, a carpet will likely kill a scooter but the BTA just makes him run if he gets too close, looks like it does hurt him though if he's being careless.  Also, tank raised clowns are more used to being around other clowns because they are usually reared in a common grow out.  But the pairing process is indicative of other animal's fight for dominance, like wolves, the stronger animal is going to lead, and a fight is almost inevitable and squabbles happen from time to time that can and do result in fish injury- Before you go and buy two beautiful gold or white bar maroons and throw them in a tank, be forewarned that these squabbles are very often deadly and even the mating process is quite deadly for these temperamental beauties.  High quality nutrient poor water is a must as these injuries can easily become infected.  Breeding for most is out of the question, for me at least, I simply don't have the knowledge, but the pairing relationship is fascinating and I believe beneficial to the health and welfare of the animal.  Both my clowns will now feed the anemone, I don't have to worry about it.  They both clean it, although the center part is reserved for the female, the male is allowed to approach and brush the edge of the mantle.  I believe the fight for dominance is triggered much more strongly when a suitable host anemone is present, which in turn determines the role of each fish.  Pairing will happen anyway, but it may take longer.  I'm sorry I got away from the questions I was going to ask, here they go: 1)  I can tell the male REALLY wants to be in the center of the anemone, he also seems to want it for himself- is this normal? <Yes. Anemone's represent protection.> He sometimes goes in, the female lets him actually, but then he runs out to the edge again.  I think if the female wasn't there, he'd get in, but when she leaves, he follows her.  Is this typical of most clown species, I mean the behavior/obsession with the anemone? <Yes, in my experience. I think also that as the anemone gets larger there will be room for both of them.> 2)  I mentioned that the cleaner shrimp sometimes grabs my scooter and holds him- doesn't hurt him I don't think, no marks, and the scooter seems to not really be upset by this, ever hear of this, he never bothers the clowns as they gang up on him if he gets too close to the anemone. <I have heard of them becoming cleaner when they are small but as they get larger this might possibly change.> 3)  The scooter is allowed near the anemone, the female will sometimes push him a little out of the way, but for the most part, they don't bother him. <Lots of times its dangerous for scooters and mandarins to be near anemones, they don't know what they are and can get eaten if the anemone is large>  He's docile- do they recognize that he is no threat?  They will pick up hermits and drop them other places if they get too close, Ceriths too- a rock near the anemone they use for breeding is so off limits its got algae on it, the only place in the tank.  Normal? <The breeding site is off limits to everyone and everything.  Very normal.> 4)  I don't use a skimmer, I do water changes every other day.  I have two five gallon containers filled with sea water. and change a gallon or two every other day.  If I used a skimmer would I then be able to wait longer for water changes? <That really depends on your water quality. Are you doing the multiple water changes because it needs it or because you like your tank very fresh?> I refill evaporation with ro water every day, but I don't use ANY chemicals.  The button polyps that came on the rock are thriving, I have mostly brown ones but there are a few purplish ones too.  And the clove polyps too seem good.  On a nano like this, are water changes better than using a skimmer- I mean the smallest skimmer I can find is for like a 100 gallon tank- isn't that over skimming? <There are some smaller models out there and some people use modifications of skimmers for a nano.  I think just doing the water changes seems to be working for you.  Skimmers however take chemicals out of the waters (such as what the polyps and cloves are putting into the water) that you might not be getting out otherwise.> 5)  I was once told that my lighting wasn't strong enough for a BTA, so when I placed him, I placed him on a rock and turned the powerheads off.  He moved to the bottom of the tank.  Are Power Compacts stronger (per watt) than normal florescence?  I hear this 4 or 5, even seven watts per gallon thing all the time, but honestly I don't buy it. <Seven watts per gallon is based on SPS and a lot of the other anemones. A lot of it depends on the spectrum of lighting. Power compacts do provide the actinic spectrum and since you mentioned actinic it appears your anemone is getting what he needs.> Isn't it more dependant on type, proximity, color?  I mean if I put a 250 MH light over one side of a 6 foot tank that's only 100 gallons, that's only 2.5 watts per gallon, but I bet you could grow Acropora on that side- no? <Depends on the type of coral.  As a general rule its a good idea to provide the correct lighting for the coral and or anemone.  To do the research necessary for both.> And probably low light mushrooms or soft corals on the other side?  Off topic but interesting none the less.   6)  I QT my bubble tip, was this potentially dangerous due to the removal process? <Very smart> IE they tear really easy- I thought because it contained LFS tank water, in it's flesh, I would run the risk of  contamination- is it better just to acclimate them in the main system? <Quarantine is always better. There is always the possibility that there is something wrong with them and they might not do well. So best to make sure they are healthy and okay BEFORE they go into the tank.> Small risk?   7)  I was thinking of doing a pink skunk species tank- I know that the natural host is Stichodactyla mertensii but I hear they will sometimes go for long tentacled, Macrodactyla doreensis.  Is this true? <Depends on the fish.> I know its MUCH easier to care for-  I do hear horror stories about carpets all the time- with a little knowledge and a good specimen it's not impossible is it?  I was thinking a show tank with some strong pc lighting, and just the carpet and one pink clown (don't ever want to do the paring thing again really). <I'm thinking that carpets might need a bit stronger than Power compacts.> Anyway I would like to see a species tank with a huge Macrodactyla doreensis specimen and some nice coralline covered rock, perhaps some macro algae, but if its natural host is the carpet, I would like to do, don't know if I will, but I'd like to. 8)  I observed scarlet hermits eating coralline algae in an 11 gallon nano. This one is skimmed and strongly lit. Very nutrient poor. I have to feed the corals or they don't do well at all. 36 watts pc and colony and soft corals. I notice when the coralline grows on the pump, crabs will climb up there and eat it. There is little or no hair algae, so I started dropping in algae wafers. There going on a year old so I don't think they got much longer-<Can live a very long time. Have friends with some three years old.>  Have you witnessed this before? Crabs eating coralline algae? <Crabs will eat anything.> The red legged ones that are a little over an inch, the Mexican variety Clibanarius perhaps?   Sorry this is so long, thought some of the information might be useful to people trying to pair clowns- I failed many times with ocellaris clowns, gave up and took them back when they fought, percula's too. <In my experience they will pair off given time. They don't always have to have an anemone.>  Maroons- no way, so I was thinking of trying pink skunks- I believe they are one of the prettiest marine fishes-  will an anemone benefit or hinder a pair?  And since their natural host is so difficult to care for, should I go anemone less. <They will be just fine without an anemone.>  Perhaps some big Ricordea?  Just wondering because I've only been successful with the anemone. Thanks for your help and have a good one. <Nice letter Aaron, and good experiences. Clownfish really don't have to have anemone's to be successful in a tank.  Personally I would try the pink skunk without one.> Aaron <Good luck, MacL>

Peculiar Percula  6/14/04 Hey guys!  I hope everyone is doing well. <Thanks!  You too!> I am writing to follow up with you from my earlier e-mail about my clownfish having Brooklynella.  I think I've pulled him through the ordeal but I'm worried that his appetite isn't back to normal.  Also, they are still not very active in the QT. <Probably all normal after a bout with disease.  Do experiment with a variety of high quality foods, including some that contain marine algae (I am a fan of Ocean Nutrition's frozen Pygmy Angel formula).  Piscine Energetics Mysis is also a good choice for energy dense, quality and irresistible food.> I'm worried about putting them back into the main tank and being harassed by the other fish. <I would suggest that the fish stay in quarantine for at least six weeks.  If it has been less, I would not move them back.  If you have other fish that are likely to harass the ones presently in quarantine, then you need to rethink your stocking choices.> I have a pair of B& W O. Clownfish and my two O & W P. Clownfish.  I was told by two LFS that they would be fine.  Will these two different types get along?  I noticed the O & W went downhill shortly after the intro. of the B &W's.  I'm worried that they will be harassed if they think the O & W are less than healthy. <It's possible, but your 90 should have plenty of space for these fish to stake their own territory.  Careful observation will tell you if they are getting along.  Sometimes this requires observing from a distance since the fish will go into "feeding mode" when you approach the tank.  If their is aggression, you will have to make a choice.> They have been in my QT for approx. a  month. Do you think the lack of activity comes from them being unhappy in a 10 gal QT?  I appreciate your advice. <I would keep then in QT for at least another two weeks to ensure that they are disease free and eating well.  As long as the water quality in the QT is decent and you have some cover to avoid stress, 10gal should be fine for temporary quarters.  Best Regards.  Adam>

How Many Clowns Is Too Many? (5/29/04) Just a quick question. In a 240 gallon tank with lots of live rock could I mix in few percula clowns with a maroon? I currently have one percula in the tank, just purchased a maroon which in quarantine.  Assuming these two live happily should I not risk buying anymore perculas? <This is a tricky situation. Maroons tend to get very aggressive with age, but you have a nice big tank. It's possible that a couple of Percs would pair up and that they and the Maroon will steer clear of one another, but impossible to be sure. You would have to keep a close eye on things and be prepared to remove the Maroon.> Thanks <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Not "He", "She" - Clownfish aggression >Can't find the answer I'm looking for on the message board or archives. >>That can be interpreted in a number of ways. >I am a devotee of Bob Fenner, even bought the book. >>More than one, mate! Check that home page! >Your site has allowed me to flourish in my new hobby. Here's my story. I had two 1" happy Ocellaris Clownfish (Tank Bred) they are the only fish I have. One jumped out and died. >>Argh, they tend to do that when left out of water. >I bought another, of equal size, quarantined it, and added it to the tank. >>Alright. >On the first day my old fish seemed to love the newcomer. They swam and fed great. They showed no aggression. However, when the lights went out the newcomer went to the same sleeping corner as the old guy and both fought something fierce for over half an hour before I pulled the new guy, put him back in quarantine and returned him to the store. >>Was one of them clearly winning? Was there enough physical damage (beyond some torn fins) that led you to believe they couldn't sort it out themselves overnight? Not saying it's the best thing to let them be, but sometimes when you've got one that has the moxie to hand it back to the established fish it can be worth letting them have their row and get over it. >Is this normal? >>Most especially if the established fish has been the dominant fish in the tank, and even MORE especially if this fish has undergone, or begun to undergo, its sex change from male to female. Once this happens it can be a very tough situation for a single new fish in a small(er) tank (I'm talking horizontal territory here, less than 6' in length, roughly). >I want to add another clown but don't know if I should add a smaller one or a bigger one than the old guy. I love my old fish and won't get rid of him. He even has a small fin like Nemo. >>That's tough, my friend. It very well may be too late. Do NOT add a fish larger than this one at this point. Honestly, if I were going to try it, I would add a group of 3-5 smaller males, all at the same time. The feasibility of this is really quite dependant upon tank size. >P.S. I have had this clown for 7 months. The tank is established, rock only, for 10 months. Also, the clown never leaves the right top corner of the tank except when I added the new clownfish, then he was all over. >>She, I'm afraid, or "super-he". In the clownfish world, women rule the roost. >Any help is appreciated, Jim >>Jim, if your system is 72 gallons or more, then I might consider trying the small group trick. Otherwise, I think you're going to have to consider entirely different species (I don't think you mentioned the species of clown here, there are many that are QUITE difficult to work with because of their tendency to aggression - damned damsel relatives!). I hope this helps answer your question better, and you may want to do more research into female/male aggression and housing. Marina 

Clownfish aggression Follow-up >Thanks Marina. >>You're welcome. >I will try a smaller clown. The species is Ocellaris. >>Then you have a better chance of success than with, say, a maroon. >The surviving clown is not the most aggressive of the two and she is probably a he as the clown that died was only a fraction larger, if at all. >>Alright, there *may* be a chance here, but remember, if the change of sex has already taken place, then ONLY a smaller fish will have any hope.  Even then, it can be iffy and a divider may be in order for a while.  There are other methods of introduction, which include removing the established fish to another tank for anywhere from a few days to 2-3 weeks. >I may be on the border line of successfully adding another mate. My tank is only 15 gallons. I may have to deal with one clown and perhaps one other species of tank raised fish. It's sad seeing two fish duke it out. There was a lot of lip biting and tugging going on. >>As long as it's THAT, and not one fish being driven relentlessly into a corner with no "fight" in it, then there's a good chance for success. >Thanks, Jim >>Best of luck, Jim, and don't forget the "time-out tank" method.  Marina -False Percs- Hi ya. <Heyyy, Kevin here> I have a 190 Litre tank. with 40Kg Live Rock, 300w Metal Halide with twin T5 Actinic, 2 x Power heads and Eheim External filter fitted with Marine Media. Live stock = One Purple\Pink Dotty Back, 1 x Purple Sea Urchin and 2 x Ocellaris Clownfishes. <ok> The problem seems to be with the Ocellaris Clownfishes, When I purchased them (about 2 weeks ago, they came with the 40KG of live rock and the former keeper has had them for a couple of years) they were lovely, always hanging together and looked like they were inseparable. Over the past couple of days I have noticed the smaller one is being got at by the larger of the two on quite a regular basis. <Welcome to the world of clownfish 'love'> It appears that the larger female is swimming towards the smaller male and goes to take a bite out of him (sometimes doesn't make contact) the male responds by curving it's body and twitching before swimming up behind her. <Ooo, sounds like it may be spawning behavior!>  Today I noticed what looks like a single white spot on the bottom of its mouth, although have no concerns in this being white spot as he still has his appetite and is feeding well and my LFS said it was probably a battle scar. <Likely, they don't always play nice.> I understand this behaviour may be the result of the female trying to show dominance over the male and wondered if this will continue for long ? <The dominance issue will last their entire lives. If the two clowns were incompatible, the female would likely have torn up the male by now.> should I be concerned for the male ? Also I have not as yet added any Anemone's or Mushrooms, should I consider adding some soon, would this help calm this behaviour ? It would be a shame to have to separate them as they look so nice together when they get on. <I don't think there's a problem here, but keep an eye out for torn fins. Should the male begin to look ragged, you should separate them, otherwise light some candles, pop in some Barry White, and dim the lights because I think some other stuff is about to go down.> I cant understand why they are doing this when they have been living together in previous keepers tank for a couple of years quite happily, surely they would have established who is the dominate one by now and know each others place... <I'd pick up the aptly titled book by Joyce Wilkerson 'Clownfishes' which has excellent information about breeding these critters, which may just happen to you! Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you for you time.

Clowns I believe I received some bad advice from my local pet store who told me I  could add a 2 inch saddleback to my 75 gallon aquarium which has a 2.5 inch Clarkii already inhabiting it.<Bad advice indeed>  There's ~ 80 #'s of liverock and only 1 green Chromis in the aquarium.  The Clarke had only been added about 3 days earlier.  It has been chasing the new clown frequently but without much aggression.<It will become more aggressive>  Do you think these can cohabitate or would you just separate them now?<Separate the two species of clownfish ASAP>  Thanks for the advice.<IanB> Jeff

Painted Sweetlips, maroon clown aggression follow up 3/13/04 Hi Adam, I really appreciate your advise! <Glad to!> I did not realize the maroon clown was so aggressive-- I am finding him almost too aggressive! He is really bullying the Rock Angel. Will look for appropriate food! Nonetheless, I have found a guy who works at a salt water fish store and will be visiting to keep my tank and give advice about the fish--hopefully, this will help. I lost my Sweetlips to aggressive behavior--I think-his fins became frayed and he wouldn't eat! I just hate this!! <Sorry to hear of your losses.  Maroon and tomato clowns can be down right vicious, especially females!> I hate to get rid of the clown---this has been his home for years--I was told at least 6yrs!!! Any thinking on your part about this? Thanks, Kass <It's all about choices.  You could pair the maroon with a much smaller one, and likely form a mated pair.  Other than that, your choices are somewhat limited to fish that would be ignored or are fast/aggressive enough to hold their own.  If you choose to give up the clown, do check with your local aquarium society.  That way you can meet the person who is getting your fish and sleep well at night knowing it is being well cared for.  Best Regards, Adam>

Clown Question Hello I have a 180 gal reef tank, with 200lb of live rock. the only thing in it right now is 2 false clowns (have had them four 5 years), very large sebae anemone, several hermits and snails. I really like the clowns and I would like to put more in there, but there is so many different opinions. I also am getting ready to add a lot of coral, more anemones, etc...how many clowns can I getaway with? <I would not add any more clowns nor would I even contemplate adding another anemones...> and is there any possibility of adding any different breed of clowns (maybe sebae, tomato or pink skunk). <NOPE, IanB> thanks!!!!! Bob P A Nice Compromise <Hello! Ryan with you today> my husband recently got a 30 gallon salt water aquarium. there are no fish in there yet. he is still setting up and deciding exactly what fish to put in. he says that I can pick one fish that goes in there. I fell in love with the yellow striped maroon clown fish. but my husband can't find which fish are compatible. if you could help me out I would be absolutely thrilled. <Yellow Striped Maroon Clownfish are notoriously territorial.  He'll likely torment anything he shares such a small space with.  I would recommend a better beginner's clown: Tomato or Percula.  Tank bred, of course.  In a 30, you could comfortably house a pair of either, but not both.  Good luck! Ryan>

-Possessed clownfish?- Greetings! <Hi there! Kevin here, Q&A in between lab reports on a Saturday night! wooohooooo!> Thanks again for putting up a great site.  I only wish I found it months BEFORE I started up my marine tank (would have made fewer errors). <Doesn't everyone!> Now that I have found it, I am much more informed. Anyway, this is more of an observation question rather than a problem.  I have a 55gal future mini reef (already have anthelia in there and getting green star coral tomorrow) and I have noticed some strange behavior in my percula clownfish that I am wondering about. <Let's hear it> I added two new percula clowns to my tank to go along with one percula that had been in there for several weeks <Two's a couple, 3's a crowd. 2 of these clowns will pair off, likely beating up and/or potentially killing the third.> and was getting along great with the other 3 fish.  I had learned (through research) that it is better to add two clowns rather than one to an established tank with a clown in it. <I don't think you have enough room for a pair and a single clown to not be at each others throats 24/7> Well, for the last week, I have noticed that Krusty (the old clown) <haha, aptly named> has been acting strange.  He has been swimming up in front of the new clowns, orients his body vertical, and then seems to have a little "seizure" by shaking his body without swimming. <That's the courtship dance, you see that a lot when they're ready to do their thaang.> It  only lasts a second or so, but I have seen him do this several times in front of both clowns.  Other than that, they are getting along fine, are eating (like my black lab does) and are huddling together at night in one corner among the live rock. <They must be young, once 2 pair off you're in trouble.> I have not seen any of the clowns nip one another and nobody seems to be dominant in my happy little tank.  Is this some sort of mating ritual among clowns or is Krusty (the clown) just asserting that he really is in charge?  Could he be sick (no spots, eating good, no discoloration)?  Or do I need to call a fish exorcist? <Not unless it's head spins around while spewing green vomit. I'd suggest a water change after that :) > I am just curious about this as I have not found anything about Percula Clown behavior anywhere.  I am also adding a sebae anemone tomorrow so perhaps I will give them something else to entertain themselves.....or fight over (hope not). FYI some specs are Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0, pH 8.3, SG 1.024, dKH 10 Anyway, just hoping you had some insight into this.  I'm mainly curious because my girlfriend suggested that perhaps we should be expecting baby clowns soon.....which is the last thing I need right now to tell you the truth. <Haha, no worries. You need an established, adult, pair to do the make babies thing. I'd suggest picking up Joyce Wilkerson's clownfish book as it's an excellent clown, anemone, and clownfish breeding book.> Thanks again and I look forward to reading the daily Q&A every evening (definitely more interesting than politics lately!). <You can say that again! Good luck, -Kevin> -Ray Springfield, Illinois Percula pair... one died 2/22/04 Hey guys, I have a pair of tank raised percula clowns for about a year, they were so tiny when I got them. Went through the male/female bully stage and they settled into a comfortable/happy couple. Thought I was close to having a mated pair when they started to really get comfy with each other (shimmering together then dart down to a spot in the corner together. happy little dance) Today  woke up to find one dead on the floor. (Heavy hearted today for sure). Question is ..is it a good idea to replace the departed mate with a new tank raised percula a little smaller (remaining one is 2") or am I asking for trouble and subjecting the new one to needless bullying? <Adding a second perc should be fine.  Bullying will be minimized if you choose  a significantly smaller fish, since it will quickly submit to the larger one.> It is a 10 gal mini reef tank, they are the only fish besides a lawnmower blenny. <This sounds a bit crowded for a 10g.  Do beware of stability issues.> Thanks Pete (ps: surf has been UNREAL this week YAHOO!!!) <Thanks for rubbing it in for those of us that are land locked!  Best Regards.  Adam>

Nippy Clowns (2/18/04) Hi, <Howdy, Steve Allen here.> I have a gold stripe maroon clown fish in my 60 gal tank. The clown has been there for about a year. Recently I added 2 feather dusters. At first none of the fish in the tank bothered the feather dusters. After the introduction of an anemone the maroon clown is now nipping at the feather dusters. The feather dusters aren't being damaged due to their quickness, however they spend a great deal of time inside the tube and I am afraid that they may not be getting enough to eat. <A legitimate concern.> Can this be a problem and what suggestions may you have to help? The maroon does defend the anemone from other fish but what threat does he feel from the feather dusters? <It's probably not a matter of feeling threatened. Clowns just get nippy sometimes. If you can move the worms farther away from the anemone, this may help. the clown may also lose interest. Otherwise, there's not much else to be done--very unlikely that you can change this fish's behavior in this regard.> Many Thanks <Hope this helps.> Rick

Sebae Clownfish Hello.  I have 4 sebae clownfish in a 55 gallon tank.  I was wondering if this is too many?  The only other inhabitants are hermit crabs and a serpent starfish.  They are all getting along fine, as of now.  In case it matters, they were all raised together. Thanks for your help and for being there! <if they are not fighting as of yet, then I believe the odds of the clownfish getting along are in your favor, Good luck, IanB>

Aftermath of Moving a Tank (1/30/04) I have 29 gal. tank. It was up and running at my house for about 4 months. I have recently moved the tank. Prior to the move I had a blue star fish that died. I also had a deep green algae, and a scooter blenny that stopped eating 1-2 days before the move. When we moved the tank we vacuumed as much of algae we could. Was this bad? <No> and did a 20% water change <good>. After this water change the pH dropped to about 7.8 and we had the water checked at a local fish store and the nitrates were at about 20ppm, the water was also really cloudy white. <Has the cloudiness gone away yet?> This was the first time anything besides ph and salt were checked. Since I have performed 2 five gallon water changes with RO water <good>, and checked all parts of the water. my new readings are salt 1.022, ph 8.3, ammonia .5 <still to high>, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. Is there a way to drop the ammonia or should I wait, can I add something to help? <It just needs to cycle again after the biofilter was disturbed by the move. You might be able to speed this along considerably with Bio-Spira Marine if you can get it from an LFS.> Also I moved all my fish to a buddies tank so they are safe I have 1 maroon clown, 1 tomato clown, 1 4 striped damsel, 1 domino. <A very aggressive mix> Is it safe to put them back? <I wouldn't do this until ammonia is zero. It would also be preferable to not add back all of them at once.>Is this too many fish? <Not so much too many as a bad mix of mean fish. I would expect the Maroon Clown to kill the Tomato eventually, although perhaps the Tomato will prevail. Maroons get meaner as they grow and get up to 5 inches or longer. The Damsels are quite mean as well. Very likely to quarrel.> Also just a question about a yellow tang, they say 50 gal min <That resource is wrong. Minimum 75--more is better. You should snorkel in Hawai'i sometime. It will transform your entire perspective on this hobby.> Would it die in a small tank? <Would you die if confined to your bedroom for the rest of your life? Likely not, but you would not thrive either.> Can I get one and move it to a larger tank later on? <Bad idea. How do you know you'll ever get a bigger tank? Circumstances change. Always buy only fish that will fit into your current tank. Get fish that get bigger only after you get a bigger tank. Hope the info helps, Steve Allen.>

Clownfish Questions (and a bit of retyping)  >Hello there... >>Hi.  We'd like to kindly request that an attempt at proper capitalization and punctuation be made when submitting queries, as it otherwise leaves our all-volunteer crew to do a large amount of correction, and, as you can imagine, we get a very large number of queries each day to answer. >I have a few questions on some clowns.  I have a 75g tall tank that I'm planning to stock pretty heavily with corals, mainly zoanthids, xenia, mushrooms, and some SPS corals.  So far I have two damsels in there, one black and one that I can't identify.  I'm looking to add two true Percs and a Sumatra clown (Amphiprion ephippium).  I know this has the potential to be a huge problem.   >>Oh yes it does, especially considering those damsels. >The guy at the LFS said if I introduce them all at the same time I should be fine.  I figure that the two Percs can hold their own against the more aggressive tomato.   >>Why?  They're nowhere nearly as aggressive, and it's not as though they're going to look at each other and say "Hey, we're on the same team!" and help each other out.  In the fish world, especially in such an unnatural situation, it is every fish for him/herself.  Expect the tomato and/or the damsels to lord it over the perculas.  I recommend strongly against this combination. >I eventually plan on adding a flame angel or a Copperband butterfly to the tank once corals are up and some sponges take hold for it to eat (if this is a good idea...it'll be going in last after the clowns have established their territories??) >>Which will be going in last?  The angel or the butterfly?  The butterfly is the LEAST aggressive of this mix, and doesn't require sponge growth to be healthy and fed.  In fact, if you grow a few Aiptasia anemones it may likely enjoy those. >Another question is one of the Sumatra clowns at the LFS has some sort of white coating on the very tip of its forehead.   >>Heh.. Brooklynellosis anyone?  Sure isn't a good sign! >The guy said its some sort of malnutritional aspect.. >>Oh yeah RIGHT.  The fish is sick, and any OTHER fish within the same system are currently being exposed.  Save yourself the heartache, my friend. >..however I think he's full of it and wants me to buy   >>You think right.  ;)  Stay smart. >There are other Sumatras there that look healthy but they're all in the same bank as the infected one.  ANY sort of suggestions or answers will be greatly appreciated. >>STAY AWAY from those fish and any OTHERS that are on the same filtration system (this is key) like the PLAGUE.   >I've been to many LFS and get mixed answers all the time. >>You know, go to many fish boards and you'll find exactly the same thing, with one important difference - no one on the boards has anything to sell you but their opinion.  It takes a great deal   ( ...thanks a million ill be looking into my email daily for a reply  : ) >>You're very welcome, and I don't mean to bust (just) your chops for the all lower-case message harshly.  Please understand that we're absolutely inundated with messages every day, and it can take a great deal of time just to answer, let alone retype for proper archiving (all queries are archived on our site).  Thanks, Marina

Clownfish Questions Revisited >Hello there again and thanks for the reply.   >>Hi, you're very welcome. >I must apologize for the bad punctuation on my last letter.  I'm not used to doing that due to AIM lol.   >>Heh.. I'm a chat user myself, I know how it is when you're busy banging something out quickly.  Thanks for taking the trouble to make my "job" easier.  So, how can I help you now? >Either way,  I've decided against getting the Sumatra clown due to the aggressive nature of the fish;   >>They are indeed quite aggressive.  Plus, the signs you mentioned spelled bad juju to me, I think you were very prudent to question what the LFS guy had to say. >I am however going to get the two true Percs and perhaps the angel or butterfly.  I haven't decided which yet.  I would like to know if the two damsels still pose a threat to the Percs (I would imagine so) if it becomes a problem I'll throw one of the damsels in my 50g trash can refugium (good idea?).   >>Yeah, pretty good.  Too bad we don't know what the other one is, but here's the thing; if the Percs are at least the same size or a bit larger than the damsels, they MAY be ok in a tank that size.  If they had the tomato clown to deal with as well, it could be too much.  I would expect what I'm guessing is a domino (Dascyllus spp.) damsel to be the biggest problem, now and in the future. >If the other damsel is still bothering the Percs I'll sell it to the LFS,  and maybe get some less aggressive fish like some Anthias.   >>Good idea.   >I do have a new question on something that I just noticed this morning on the glass in my tank.  It seems as though there are tiny white parasitic looking  organisms "scooting" or "racing" around on the glass.   >>Ahh.. that's great! >I have no clue what these are and would like to know if they're serious.  I'll make it a point to ask the guy at the LFS if he's seen what I'm talking about and if he's got some suggestions. >>No, no, my friend, you have yourself what are known as "pods"!  These are a good thing, the result of having the good sense to have a refugium connected to your system (you can have them w/out a 'fuge, too, if you've got enough good live rock).  These things are food to animals like the damsels, blennies, the flame, and the butterfly.  They'll eat up excess food and become food for the system.  When I say pods, there are arthropods, amphipods, copepods.. Hhmm.. some other kind of pods I think (I really don't recollect all the pods there are in the pod world, but there are a few).  So just go to the LFS and say "I have PODS!"  ;) >Once again thanks for the reply you've helped out a lot.   >>Again, you are very welcome, I'm glad I was of help. >I would have had a handful with that Sumatra (they look aggressive just by the colors hehe).  I'm awaiting your reply...thanks a mil - Chris or as my friends call me - Fishtank- >>And so you shall have it (now that I'm in my favorite environment again).  Marina

Mixing Clowns - >Hey WWM crew, >>Heya! >I am researching a 180 gallon SW tank.   >>So cool to hear "researching"! >There is soooo much info out there.   >>Oh YES there is! >I have been reading for weeks straight.  Your site is very informative.  I want to have several clown pairs in the tank.   Can I have pairs of the following in the same large tank? 2 Amphiprion Ocellaris 2 Amphiprion Percula 2 Black and White Percula clownfish 2 Amphiprion melanopus >>Oh my.. all together?  That is TOUGH, I'm really not sure this system would allow them sufficient territory. >I don't have info on the specs of the tank yet, I just want to know if these clowns will get along together or do I have to downsize.  How many clowns can I have in one 180 gallon tank? >>Well, let's say you chose to keep A. percula alone.  You could easily set up a righteous colony of 10 individuals, established all as youngsters (no sex change) with no other clown species, no problem.  It's the territory that's a problem here. >Thanks in advance for your time.   >>You're welcome, sorry I couldn't be more definitive here.  I think you would ultimately risk at least one pair of breeders here because of territory issues.  Marina

Anemones (1/19/054) Hi, <Hi there. Steve Allen tonight> I am new to the aquarium world. <And should therefore not keep any anemones.> I have been planning a custom tank for my house.  I have spent the last month reading up on all the requirements and supplies.  (An unbelievable amount!)  I found your site and it is by far the most comprehensive and thorough of anything out there.  Way to go. <Thanks. I'm new here, adding my little bit to the vast work of others.> Well here it is.  I am planning a custom tank; 35"L x 45" W x 22" H.  I want to have live rock, some fish (tangs, clown fish and damsels) and anemones.  <Bad idea on the anemones. Too hard to keep. Too likely to die even with adequate light. You need years of practice at maintaining pristine water conditions.> Several questions.   I have been thinking about getting a Hamilton retrofit light with 2- 96watt compacts and one 250 MH. Is this enough lighting for; #1 the tank size? #2  Stichodactyla haddoni?  <Yes, the light is adequate, it's the water quality that will kill them. You need practice.> About how high should it be from the water? <Jut a few inches. Several good articles on WWM about this.> I have been reading several of your posting on anemones and lighting, but as this is new to me, I am still pretty confused.  I want to get the correct stuff the first time.  I would hate to buy the wrong light.  Also, will this light set-up be sufficient for a reef tank if I want to change in the future? I know that you don't believe that it is ok to have different types of anemones in the same tank.  Now is that on any size tank? <Yes. Any tank your average person can fit in their house. Aloe, corals and anemones generally don't mix.> Can I get away with a different type of anemone as well as the haddoni in a tank of my size?  (Aprox 150 to 170 gal?) If not, can I get two haddoni anemones or will they try to poison each other over the years as well? Next, is the haddoni naturally blue, or is it dyed? <Some are naturally blue.> Next; I want to get clowns.  I know, what type!  Well, I was thinking about a pair of sebae.  If I want them to bond with the anemone, should they be tank raised or wild? <Tank-raised is best for a number of hardiness and environment-friendly reasons. There is no guarantee that any clown you put in your tank will take to an anemone.> I also want to get a pair of black and white perculas and a pair of cinnamon clowns.  Is this wise? <No> Will they fight all the time? <Yes, best not to mix except in a very large system> Am I limited to one set of clowns and one anemone?  I would love to have several sets. <Then get several tanks.> I have so many more questions, but I will read what you have already written on those subject before I bug you with them.  I am grateful to have found your site.  It has been a wealth of info.  Thank you for your time in advance.   Please write back.  Dan <I really encourage you to hone your marine aquarium skills on a tank without anemones. After you have a couple of years under your belt, then give it a try. Caring properly for an anemone is a lot of work with attention required more than even once a day. Try something simpler first.>

Clowning Around! Hi, <Hello there! Scott F. with you today!> I am new to the aquarium world.  I have been planning a custom tank for my house.  I have spent the last month reading up on all the requirements and supplies.  (An unbelievable amount!)  I found your site and it is by far the most comprehensive and thorough of anything out there.  Way to go. <Awesome! Glad that you enjoy it! We're certainly happy to bring it to you!>    Well, here it is.  I am planning a custom tank; 35"L x 45" W x 22" H. I want to have live rock, some fish (tangs, clown fish and damsels) and anemones.  Several questions. <Sure> I have been thinking about getting a Hamilton retrofit light with 2- 96watt compacts and one 250 MH. Is this enough lighting for; #1 the tank size? <Depends on the animals you intend to keep. Traditionally, you'd usually use two halides in a tank of this size, but there are no hard and fast rules here> #2  Stichodactyla haddoni? <Okay- get the second halide!>   About how high should it be from the water? <I like 6-8 inches or so> I have been reading several of your posting on anemones and lighting, but as this is new to me, I am still pretty confused.  I want to get the correct stuff the first time.  I would hate to buy the wrong light.  Also, will this light set-up be sufficient for a reef tank if I want to change in the future? <If you are considering the future possibility of a reef tank, you'll definitely want more than one halide in there. As far as anemones are concerned, I'd highly recommend postponing the purchase of an anemone until you have really got the system up and running, and have developed a mastery of the basic skills you will need. Anemones as a whole have one of the most dismal survival records of any group of animals in the hobby, and are unsuitable for the vast majority of hobbyists who keep them. They require extremely high water quality, proper feeding, environmental stability, and excellent lighting, just to mention a few requirements. I certainly don't want to dampen your enthusiasm towards keeping one, but do realize the odds. These are not a readily renewable resource on the reefs. It is thought that anemones can live many, many years in nature (perhaps even hundreds of years), yet a high percentage perish in mere months in captivity. Please spend a lot of time researching there requirements before moving forward and purchasing one. Even then, you might want to start with one of the colorful and much more abundant (not to mention, hardy) Condylactis anemones. Much better choices for a new hobbyist.> I know that you don't believe that it is ok to have different types of anemones in the same tank. <Correct!> Now is that on any size tank?  Can I get away with a different type of anemone as well as the Haddoni in a tank of my size?  (Aprox 150 to 170 gal?) <I wouldn't try this...> If not, can I get two haddoni anemones or will they try to poison each other over the years as well? <I'd start with one, if you are dead set on keeping one. If you can get one to thrive, you won't miss having another one- believe me!>   Next, is the haddoni naturally blue, or is it dyed? <Blue is a natural color variation in this species> Next; I want to get clowns.  I know, what type!  Well, I was thinking about a pair of sebae. <Excellent fishes- with or without the anemone> If I want them to bond with the anemone, should they be tank raised or wild?   <Well, we get many emails from hobbyists who can't understand why their clown won't establish a relationship with their anemone. Many of the clowns available in the hobby are tank raised, and have never even seen an anemone! Even the wild caught ones will not always establish a relationship with an anemone. There's simply no guarantee, short of purchasing an anemone and it's existing clownfish occupants from the dealer.> I also want to get a pair of black and white perculas and a pair of cinnamon clowns.  Is this wise?  Will they fight all the time? Am I limited to one set of clowns and one anemone? <I'd advise against keeping more than one species of clownfish in the same tank. This is not something you'd find in nature, and not a good idea in a closed system, IMO> I would love to have several sets.   <Ok- then get several aquariums! LOL> I have so many more questions, but I will read what you have already written on those subject before I bug you with them. <There is so much to learn!>   I am grateful to have found your site.  It has been a wealth of info.  Thank you for your time in advance.   Please write back.  Dan <Our pleasure, Dan! Don't lose your enthusiasm for these animals. Just study and practice the fundamentals before attempting the anemone. There is no need to rush. Enjoy the experience at every stage! Regards, Scott F>


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