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FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones, Hosts 10

Related FAQs: Clownfish/Anemones 1, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Hosts 4, Clownfish/Hosts 5, Clownfish/Hosts 6, Clownfish/Hosts 7, Clownfish/Hosts 8, Clownfish/Hosts 9, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases, Brooklynellosis Breeding Clowns,

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

Sexy and Anemone Shrimp; incomp. w/ clowns/anemone already established       4/24/14
Dear Wet Web Crew,
Hello again, many thanks for all that you do so generously. I have a curious situation I would like to share with you all. Upon shopping at my local fish store, I found two little critters that caught my attention. A Sexy Shrimp, and an Anemone Shrimp. Now throwing caution to the wind I immediately purchased them both. With jubilant excitement I added both to my tank thinking this would be a great addition to my Rose Bubble tip Anemone. How wrong I was. First was the Sexy Shrimp, upon entering the Anemone he seemed to struggle against the tentacles, eventually settling in between the tentacles on the flat part of the skin. Well my two clowns (Ocelarus) did not take well to this intruder and quickly chased the poor little guy to a crevice deep within the live rock. The Anemone Shrimp was then added hoping it would go better since he was bigger. This went horribly wrong as the poor shrimp got immediately wrapped up by the Anemone to be consumed. Now I question if he really was an Anemone Shrimp in the first place,
<Do you have images? A species name?>
but all my research shows that it was. I have no picture but I describe him as being 3/4 inch long, almost all clear with 2 white spots on his abdomen and 2 more on the tip of his tail. He also had slender pincers with a purple hew to them.
<... could be one of many Periclimenes spp.>
I know this is vague as descriptions go, but why did he get gobbled up so quickly. Is it possibly because of the type of Anemone (Rose Bubble Tip).
I can ad that it is in a 90 gallon tank, with the Anemone being 14-16 inches across hosted by 2 Ocelarus clowns. I assume to never see the sexy shrimp again. Any insights, thoughts, or info to make sense of what happened would be greatly appreciated. I was also hoping to ad a porcelain crab to the Anemone, but now am second guessing.
<I wouldn't be adding any more symbionts for this BTA. Bob Fenner>
Thank you all.

Clownfish behavior... 30 gal. w/ a carpet anem...      3/21/14
I need a little advice if I can, I have two Ocellaris Clownfish that I have had in my 30 gallon nano for about 3 months. I bought them with the LPS
<... from the LFS? Fish store>
saying they were a pair. They have been together all time since I put them in and they started hosting with a carpet anenome
<... Oh my... a Stichodactyla sp. is not likely to live in such a small volume... >
about 2 weeks later. They have lived in there continuos until a couple of days ago. I came home and the larger one had a nip out her tail, I assume she is the female, she is slightly larger, and will not go in the anenome any longer. She is still eating well, but just hangs out at the front of the tank close to the top. The smaller one still inhabits the carpet all the time. My water parameters are great and there are no aggressive tank mates, they were even the first to be in the tank. Is there something going on that I should be doing or is this so e sort of natural thing going on. Thanks in advance for your response and I really enjoy your website.
D. Reynolds
<Likely natural... and not problematical that the chunk in the fin is missing... perhaps a nip from the other Clown, a trauma; perhaps even resultant from the Anemone... Do read here:
and the linked files above. I would be returning this anemone to the LFS.
Bob Fenner>

Plastic Anemones.       3/13/14
Hi Bob,
I am glad to report my Emperor and all other fish are doing fine.
<Ah good>
I have two Ocellaris clownfish and want to treat them to plastic anemones.
Have you heard of any reports of them polluting the water as they must be heavily dyed.
<I know of folks (the Smiths of WSI/Nature's Image, Marty Beals/Tideline...) that made ones that are chemically inert. Can't/won't vouch for the safety of all. You can/could make your own...>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Obsessed with new Feather Duster!       2/4/13
Good Evening WWM! I have written in once before and have gotten wonderfully adept at reading before asking. ;) However, on this issue I am at a loss.
My tank is 29gal. Param.s are reading beautifully. Test today : ph 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5.0, phos .25. Calcium 420, dKH 12( 214.8).
Salinity is at 1.024 and temp is 78°. Tank has been up since June 2012.
Running HOB filter with modified media. Rowaphos, Purigen, Bio rings(Fluval) and sponge. Now,  the hard part. Explaining the situation. I have had these two clownfish for a year and a half( first residents of first reef tank) and unfortunately had split my tank with a divider to house a third clown that I "saved" from our local, very poor condition lfs/ now closed pet store. Bob told me way back when during some newbie problems I had encountered, that three clownfish would inevitably not be able to stay housed together. But ( Like all women. Haha :) )I thought if I could just Love him enough... LOL Needless to say after 6 months of technically, although divided, living peacefully, my pair of clownfish are so aggressive I can't even get a hand in for cleaning.
<Oh yeah!>
That part isn't new, but is has definitely been worse as time has gone on."Now, I added the Featherduster to the pairs side of the tank a week before Christmas. He is the most amazing worm, and has quickly become my most beloved of inverts. The female clown picked on him about a week after intro and I decided then to give my 'third wheel' clown to the new, but on the right track lfs( where I am actually helping out) so he could make friends and hopefully become someone else's reason to start a reef tank. :) I also hoped this would help curb some of the clowns aggression. When I got rid of my smaller Nemo, I removed my clowns to quarantine for a week to rearrange and add rock I had curing to the tank. I removed a crushed coral substrate and left behind maybe, an 80/20 mix. Mostly sand. I added the new live rock, I only had a few pieces and most of my tank was "Decorated". I now have maybe 45 lbs live rock, 1/2 inch sand bed, a tree for my cbs and my clowns have a vase that they obviously host defensively with no anemone in the tank. I attempted to place the feather duster under cover. I have the best rock with a tunnel through it, so as not to squish him and still protect his over all tube. I have him buried in the sand with a 1/2 inch of his tube out. He is awesome and really happy, until my clowns get in. And about a week later, she can't lay off. I have him a good foot away from their vase, under shelter of a rock, and now with a piece of clay pot, another rock( securely placed in case of collapse) and a pile of Large shells to cover bigger entrance areas she might squeeze through, and  She is still trying to get at him. She isn't vicious, but it does seem very incessant. I know about their particular aggression and the fact that clowns do not like change.
<You're so right here>
I am doing everything I can to reduce the need to have my hands in the tank. The same time I added the feather, I also purchased my first corals. Since adding them, the Nemos have not messed with, nipped at or rubbed on them. I am having a hard time understanding what her prerogative is.
<Obsessive eh?>
I know all fish
have their own personalities and that Clowns can be pretty snotty after they pass adolescence and this may just be who she is. However I love this darned worm and would hate to have to give one up, or put the divider back up just for his safety. Any advice would be So very appreciated!!! Thank you all, Wet Web Crew!
Alamogordo NM
<Well; it seems your choices come down to using the separator to keep the worm/clown apart, or moving one or t'other elsewhere. If you introduce a/nother suitable commensal (perhaps a cultured BTA, hint hint), the Clown may leave the Polychaete be... Bob Fenner>

Re: Cycling / Maturation; clownfish beh.     12/1/13
Hello Again,
Well, I'm not very patient so I went ahead and got 2 Ocellaris Clownfish.  They are absolutly adorable.  They'll come to me when I approach the tank and I've almost got them eating out of my hand.  My LFS suggested I get them an Anemonie (to help calm them)
<Not necessary; nor advised. Search, read on WWM re>
but I have 2 concerns with that.  1) my water conditions. This is an extremely new tank. I'm gravely concerned that it is to unstable to support an Anemonie. 2) At this point I only have a FOWLR, I'm not at all set up or ready for that matter to have a Reef.
 <Don't do it>
I research a lot before I do anything and my research suggests that the Clowns do fine without an Anemonie. Here again are my concerns...
1) Both of my new kids don't seem to ever sleep. (the Damsels do) They have not found a "hidey hole" in the tank. (there are many so don't get it)
<This is where, how they "sleep">
2) They "race" from one end to the other constantly. Never seem to rest.  At first I thought this might just be excitement to get into a bigger environment, now I'm worried that it's anxiety. Are they searching for an anemonie?
<Just searching period>
Thanks again for all your help and advice.  It's much appreciated.
<A subtle difference: I/we don't "give advice"; rather, just state what we might do under similar (stated) circumstances. Bob Fenner>

ocellaris clownfish/bubble tip anemone    8/24/13
Hi guys! (and gals!)
Hope all is well, I recently (two weeks ago) moved my ocellaris pair (female is "naked", male is black and white) from a 65 gallon--they have been there 4 years--to a 90 gallon. In lieu of the xenia they had been hosting in, I placed a bubble tip anemone (it had split off from one of mine hosting a maroon clown in another tank). Not only were they not interested in the bubble tip, (I guess not that surprisingly), they have now apparently decided to host in a large toadstool coral. What will be
will be, but now I have a large bubble tip that is moving all over the tank and can't decide where to place itself.
<I'd be moving, pronto>
I would almost rather not deal with it bothering all the other corals and popping up in a variety of places.
Should I just pull it or is there the possibility clowns will eventually discover the anemone and we will all just get along?:)
<I'd pull>
 I know ANYTHING is a possibility but interested in your experience once the clownfish have chosen their host, is that typically a done deal?
<Clowns are... "funny" re host selection; but I'd not have a wandering Actinarian in a system w/ other Cnidarians>
Thanks for your help as always!
<As often welcome. Bob Fenner>

clown fish breathing heavily... Host f' as well 8/15/13
I have a pair common clown for almost 19months, many times spawn, never able to save the fry.
<... easy to do>
actually I have upgraded my tank to 100g tank and have placed a torch coral which is big with ten heads and tentacles extend about 4-5 inches each (approx) so it looks huge. now my male clown is attracted to this torch and some times leaves his anemone and dives into this torch coral and most time nipping and sucking it tentacles.
now what I have noticed that this clown has started breathing rapidly and appetite is also reduced but his movement, activity level seems ok, all the fins are fully opened, his eyes seems ok (not cloudy), fish is not rubbing or scrapping, only thing is heavy breathing which is worrying me a lot, is it toxicity of torch coral which is causing or Brooklynella,  what should, I do I love this Pair of clown, these are my 1st pair of salt water fish that I bought and when I started please help.
My Yellow Tang, All other Corals Seems Fine and Happy
Water Parameters
Temp 26 deg Celsius
Ammonia:0, NO2: 0, NO3: 5PPM
Cal: 380 PPM, PO4: 0
<Likely just "getting used to" the new Euphyllia. I wouldn't be overly concerned. Bob Fenner>

Anemones/Systems 12/4/12
<Hello Sarrah>
I have a 46 gallon bow front running a Whisper 40 and a Whisper 60. I had originally set up a 20 gallon saltwater tank (running the 40) and switched everything over around a month ago. The 20 had been established for 6-7 months, and everyone was doing well. In starting, I lost a brittle sea star and 2 yellow tailed damsels (as soon as I put them in...thinking bullying. First fish.) all that being in the first two months. I lost a sea urchin around the 4 month point. When I switched, I lost my fire shrimp, and I believe that was because he got his tentacles caught in the filter.
<Unlikely, most likely starved to death or an ammonia spike.>
We have (and have had for 6 months) 2 yellow tail damsels, 2 blue fin damsels, 2 domino damsels, 2 four stripe damsels, and a Neon velvet damsel.
<Yikes!  The Dominos and Four Stripe Damsels are bullies.  Tank is much too small to house all these bullies together.>
Also we have a Coral Banded shrimp, hermit crabs, an emerald crab, and a pink and green sea cucumber.
<Ah, if you had the Coral Banded Shrimp when you got the Fire Shrimp, the Coral Banded Shrimp killed/ate it.>
After testing the water over a several day period, everything tested at 0.
So we went to the pet store and purchased a pair of mated sebae clowns and their host anemone, a Haitian Condylactis.
<Oboy, you've got yourself in a mess now.  Tank is too small for all of this.  The Haitian Condy is not their host
anemone.  They aren't found where Sebaes are found.>

When I got home, i tested again
PH was 8.2, Ammonia was undetectable, Nitrites were less than .25 ppm,
<Should be zero.>
 and the Nitrates were less then 20 ppm. Since nothing was CRAZY high, I added everyone. At first, the anemone was closed up. He opened up over the course of the night. Yesterday morning he had shriveled up. After the lights came on, he came out and looked GREAT all day.(including immediately after a 10% water change.) About an hour before I went to turn the lights out, he was shriveled again. This morning, i tested the water again. PH 8.2, Ammonia was undetectable, Nitrites were undetectable  and the Nitrates were 40 ppm. (really confused on that one...did a water change and it went UP, while everything else went down?)
I use tap water that I treat with a dechlorinator. I also add trace elements once a week and PH buffer when necessary. This morning, I have had the light on for nearly 2 hours and he is just now puffing up and coming out.
The one thing I haven't yet mentioned is my light. I have a Solarplex HE Deep Blue 24" light with 4 led moonlight on the tank right now, so almost 50 watts. I know that's a watt per gallon, but it is directly over the anemone.
<Not the right lighting for this anemone.>
half the tank isn't lit, so its more like 2 watts per gallon.
I intended to get a new light at Christmas ..(well, my mom is buying me one.) the guy at the pet store said that we wouldn't need to worry about lighting...I am just concerned about the well being of the anemone and wondering if he will make it another 19/20 days until Christmas or if I should tell my mom to get me something else and go get the new light myself...this is the light i plan to get:
<That should work fine but unlikely the anemone will make it till Christmas.>
What will happen if he does pass?
<It should be removed immediately or it will pollute the tank.>
 He's still stuck firmly to the rock, and
is just now starting to puff out for the day. I know i need to get him out asap if that happens  But what will the clowns do? Will they host another anemone?
 Also, would putting some macroalgae help my Nitrates problem? I can go get some later this afternoon.
<May help some but you need to reduce your livestock load, that is the major problem right now.  You do not mention the use of a protein skimmer.  This is a necessary piece of equipment for keeping marine animals and will help immensely in reducing nitrate/phosphate levels.>
Sorry this is so long winded  we really got into saltwater not knowing much about it because the guy at the pet store said it was easy, (which its not been bad) and now we are hooked.
<Yes, sounds like you dove in before you knew how to swim.  Never take one persons word in this hobby, get more than one opinion.  Do search our site and read/learn as we have just about everything you would want information on.  I will provide you a link to our marine index. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm>
 Unfortunately  we have two young children and don't have a disposable income to spend thousands on this system.
<I understand you in that regard.>
Thanks in advance!!!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Anemones/Systems 12/11/12

Ok, so you were right. The anemone not doing well. When my boyfriend gets home, i plan to take him back where i got him. Hopefully they can nurse him back to health.
<Possibly and better in their tank than yours.>
But now I am concerned about my clowns. Every time the anemone closes, the clowns go hide in the back. The female especially. She seems depressed.
What should I do for her?
<She is not depressed.  Clownfish do just as well without an anemone.  Your female clown is just placing herself in a secure location.  I have had two clownfish (no anemone) for over a year now and they stake out the back of the tank and defend their area quite well.  I'd would like you to read this also.
James (Salty Dog)>

Yellow Tangs in a group/Tang Compatibility/Perculas Behavior   7/30/12
Hi Crew,
<Hello Ranjith>
Are 3 yellow tangs in a 4’x4’ too much?
Total fish are
1x Blue Tang
3x Yellow Tang
1x yellow tail Anthias
2x Perculas
I see territories being assigned with 2 individuals assigned a corner each and the third roams around the place.
<The Alpha fish.>
If they come out, he charges them. Once in a while one of the corner boys refuse to get dissuaded by his charges and he does not really bite them. A little bit of a peck though.
Am a little concerned because one of them is assigned a corner there the skimmer outflow is there and it keeps getting bubbles all over its body.
<Remove two of the tangs or you will eventually have one.  This scenario only works out in very large systems of 500+ gallons and even then there may be issues.>
Please share your thoughts.
<I've tried this many many years ago in a 240 gallon tank and like your case, the Alpha fish hunts down the weakest preventing it from eating and it soon dies, then it's on to the next least dominant tang, and on and on.>
Also, my 2 Perculas do not seem to want their BTA. Anything I can do to persuade them?
<Not really, if the fish are tank bred/raised, it's very likely they haven't seen an anemone and will never associate with one.  If they are wild caught, the BTA may not be acceptable to them as their favorite anemone in the wild are Carpet Anemones and these are very difficult to keep for any length of time in a captive system.  James (Salty Dog)>

Clownfish eye problems      6/26/12
Hello Mr. Fenner,
I have an ocellaris clown that is having some troubles with it's eyes that first started 5 days ago.  I noticed a white pimple like bump on the right eye of the fish with some slight cloudiness.  This bump stuck out noticeably when looking from the front or top of the fish.  After reading on your site I figured this was an injury since it was only on one side of the fish, so I did a %15 water change and waited it out.  The eye cleared up on its own after 3 days which made the injury theory seem more likely.  However on the 3rd day I noticed the same type of white pimple looking bump on the fishes left side about half way down below the second dorsal fin.  I have seen Ich and Oodinium before and this looked much larger and stuck out noticeably from the fishes side.  The white part of the bump was gone the next day with just a slightly raised area left however there was another bump right next to it on the side.  This one also cleared to only a small raised area in about 12 hours.  Then this morning I woke up to find both the eyes have this same white bump with the right eye cloudy and the
left eye clear.  I am now confused as to what this might be.
<I agree closely w/ your observations and speculations thus far...>
 I wanted to get your advice before I start any treatment.  The reappearance of this makes me think it isn't just an injury and that there is something else in play here.
<Might be... what else is in this tank?>
  I have had this fish and its female mate for over a year now.  They both went through a quarantine as well as all my other fish and corals
 and I have added nothing to my tank for over 3 months and about 6 month since the last new fish.  All other fish have no signs of any problems and the tank parameters check out good.  Nitrite and ammonia undetectable, nitrate around 1 ppm.  I have a wide range medications on hand but am hesitant to treat anything unnecessarily.  Could this be coming from the
torch coral that the clowns host in?
<Oh yes>
 Or just some sort of injury?
<The same in this case... a sting, burn to the eyes by the Euphyllia>

 Or is this more likely an infection of some sort?  I have attached a few pictures of the eyes so you can see what I am referring to.  In the picture you can
also see a little bit of a damaged pectoral fin.  Could this be part of the same problem?
<VERY nice images>
  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<Mmm, well, I would move these clowns to another established system if you had one... but otherwise, the eyes should clear up on their own in time; as the clown and host "get to know each other better".>
  Thank you for your help.
P.S.  I really enjoyed your talk a few months back at the Southern California Reef Keepers meeting.  I hope they get you to come back to talk to us again sometime.
<Ahh, I as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/7/12
Dear WWM,
<Hello Jillian>
Thank you for your wonderful website and service! It has been a blessing to me!
<You're welcome.>
My question today is in regards to Bubble-Tip Anemones and clownfish hosting. I have a 75 gallon Anemone tank with a beautiful 6" Rose Anemone. The tank is set up with reef parameters but only has a handful of small Zoanthids, mushrooms, and Ricordeas. I know that these are somewhat toxic but there are so few of them, that I'm sure very little allelopathy exists
in the tank.
<Zoanthids and mushrooms can multiply quickly and allelopathy will increase proportionately.>
I wanted the emphasis to be on the clownfish/anemone relationship.
<I'd just include Ricordea in this system and place in a low flow area of the tank.  They aren't quite as allelopathic as the other two.>
The tank has been set up for about 1.5 years and the anemone has stayed in its spot the entire time, growing wonderfully.
 I have had wonderful success with it but have found great difficulty in finding a mated pair of clowns to host with it.
<Not unusual.>
My first attempt was a wild Clarkii that hosted but would not accept a mate. The second was 2 wild Clarkii pair that began to fight horribly with the result being the smaller dying. The third attempt was a pair of Ocellaris clowns that although fought on occasion, eventually became a mated pair but refused to host with the anemone.
<Do not host with a BTA in nature.>
 I had them for about 6 months.
 <Then what?>
The tank is now without clownfish (I only have  a small school of Pajama Cardinals). Any suggestions on finding a mated pair of clowns (any species) that will host with the BTA? My next thought is to purchase 4 tank-bred Clarks that will surely host and hopefully pair off.
<Mmm, scrolling down in this link you will find a chart which shows which species of clownfish will naturally host (in nature) with a specific species of anemone.
May also want to read here as well.
Thanks for you help!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Clownfish/BTA Anemone Hosting 3/8/12

Thank you so much James for your expertise!
<You're welcome Jillian.>
I will take the tank-bred Clarkii approach.
<The desirable trait of tank bred clownfish is that they are not nearly as aggressive as wild caught, and hardier. Because these clownfish are raised in a group without host anemones, they usually do not develop territorial aggressive tendencies.  The down side is that tank bred clownfish will not always host with an anemone.>
I was planning on purchasing 4 and will give a new home to the ones that do not pair up.
<Sounds good.>
Any other suggestions on making this work? I've read on WWM that often times, purchasing clowns of dramatically different size will increase the odds of pairing. Any special features or details I should keep my eyes open for?
<No, let nature take it's course.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

BTAs and clowns 2/8/12
Hello WWM crew!
<Hello Tatyana>
I am a happy owner of a pair of false perculas, one black and white and one orange. I bought them when they were relatively the same size, and now the orange one has definitely undergone her sex change and is much bigger.
I initially bought them an RBTA thinking that they will be very happy in their new home. However, the female is extremely aggressive and wont let the male into the anemone, no matter how many shakes he does.
<Not unusual, the "female" hasn't accepted the male.>
I then bought another anemone, a GBTA this time to try and get the male out of his tiny corner up top that he is confined to by the female. After a day or so of happy hosting by the male, the female found the new anemone and now has taken ownership of both of them, again confining the black & white male into a tiny corner space at the top of the tank.
What do I do? Ive had these clowns for about 8 months now and they started out as nano-size (real tiny babies), Id really like to solve this aggression and get my black fish more comfortable, as he gets picked on by my Yellow Tail Damsel (the only other fish in the tank) when he is not in an anemone.
<In a species related tank such as you have, I would only keep the clowns as the only fishes along with the anemones. The damsel is just adding to the stress the male is going through. After removing the damsel, see if things change. If not, you may want to add another False Percula Clownfish to the system. Doing this will sometimes calm things down and/or the female may accept the new fish and you can remove the other from the system if aggression continues toward it. If you have another tank set up, try removing the female for a few days and re-introduce to the tank. If you do not have another tank, an acrylic divider can be used to keep the female away from the anemone and male clown. After a few days, remove the divider and observe. Your local hardware store or Home Depot sells inexpensive acrylic sheets and they can cut it to the size you need. I'd try the hardware store first as they likely have smaller pieces lying around from previous cuts which would be much cheaper than buying an entire sheet.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
<Hello Sharon>
I have had my Sebae for several months and it has been doing great.
Started out white and began getting a nice color like I have read on your site. Thanks for all the info! After about 4 weeks my 2 clowns became its best friends. I think they are 'loving it' to death! I removed the clowns a few weeks ago and the Sebae seems to be doing better (sometimes I think yes and other times not so much). She used to eat but now is bulimic. I'm afraid to put my clowns back in with her but they can't live in my QT forever! Any suggestions? Please be gentle with me ;)
<Sharon, not enough info here for a helpful response. Size of tank, type of light/wattage/water parameters, etc. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12

46 gallon tank, 10,000k & actinic lighting.
<Tank a little small for a Heteractis Anemone, parameters can change frequently. You did not give the wattage of your lighting.>
Tank has been just over 8 months, salinity 1.025, ammonia 0, pH 8.4, Alk in 'normal' range, nitrite 0, nitrates 20. I know that is high and I do a 10 to 50% water change weekly because my tank is 'new'. Does that help?
<Somewhat. Suggest you read here, related articles/FAQs found in header.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12

I get an error message when I try your link, any suggestions?
<Mmm, what does the message state? Google our site, Heteractis crispa.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12

It says the page cannot be found, will Google, thanks.
<You're welcome. Likely your browser giving you a problem. I copied/pasted the link below and it worked for me.
Might want to try updating your browser to IE9 or Firefox.>
I have been reading your site all morning, so much info I loose track of time.
<Easy to do, isn't it.>
Both my lights are T5 39 W, one is 10,000k and the other is actinic 420.
Is that not enough light for a 46 gallon tank?
<No Sharon, metal halide/HQI, or if you can afford it, suitable LED lighting. With metal halide or HQI, somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-175 watts. An LED fixture to do the job will be somewhere around $1,000 but there are many benefits to LED lighting.>
I have 2 Pajama Cardinals, Flame angle <Angel>, Lawnmower Benny,
<Did you name him Benny or did you mean Blenny? :-)>
Watchman Goby,
<Please cap proper nouns in future queries such as fish names.>
lots of live rock several inches sand, assorted snails and hermits, a Sand Sifting Starfish.
<This animal will slowly starve to death in your 46 gallon tank.>
Powerhead, Remora skimmer, Penguin bio 350 and baby snails everywhere (is that normal for snails to mate?).
<Does occur.>
I think they are turbo's. Plus my two ocillarios <Ocellaris> (sp) clowns that I have separated. I thought I did my homework setting this system up but knew I was pushing the envelope with the Sebae.
<I think you skipped class on the anemone. Best not to put a stinger in smaller systems with non-compatible fish.>
Any help would be appreciated. Don't want to lose anybody.
<If you do not plan on upgrading your lighting, I'd find a suitable home for the anemone and quickly. Do keep a close eye on it because if it dies unnoticed, you will likely lose everything. Dead anemones can poison the water quickly.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sebae and clown fish/Heteractis Health 1/28/12
Any particular brand of lighting you recommend? There are so many to choose from and it seems I have already made enough mistakes.
<Coralife and AquaticLife are both decent brands and come with supplemental actinic lighting. I'd likely go with the AquaticLife as they use T5 lamps for their actinics while Coralife uses the older technology power compact tubes.
Take a look here.
I'd carefully consider doing this, especially in your size tank. Would be better finding a suitable home for the anemone and save 600 bucks. Getting the lighting is no guarantee that the anemone will live for an extended period of time.
Might want to read this survey conducted by Joyce Wilkerson before upgrading your lighting.
http://www.athiel.com/lib/questions/anemone.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Tridacna derasa and a Premnas biaculeatus, comp. 1/21/12
Dear Crew
I take this opportunity to thank you immensely for the amount of information that you provide which help me every day in my hobby. This is the first time I need to ask you something as normally I find all the answers I need. Here's the dilemma.
Last Monday 16, I introduced a Tridacna in a unpopulated tank (roughly 700lt. system with 1 Zebrasoma veliferum and 1 Premnas biaculeatus).
Everybody seems happy but, today I noticed quite a strange thing. The clown has exchanged the Tridacna for an anemone and she rubs on the mantel and generally behaving in the same way she would with an anemone.
<Yes; happens>
But the even stranger thing is that the Tridacna seems to have accept her. He would react swiftly closing when anything else swim above him but not with the clown.
<I see>
My question is: is it a good idea to let the clown rubbing and resting on the Tridacna's mantel or in the long run that would damage the clam?
<Likely not a problem as long as the Clown is single here... Were there two, a pair, they might over-nip the mantle, damage the clam>
Thank you in advance for your help.
Kind regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Tridacna derasa and a Premnas biaculeatus 1/21/12

Thank you Bob!
<Welcome. B>

Clownfish/Host Separation 11/25/11
Hello. I have a question regarding my Ocellaris clownfish and long tentacled anemone. My anemone has been hosting my clown for 2-3 months now, but I have come to the sad realization that it will soon outgrow my tank. I need to remove it soon. Maybe this is a dumb question because I can't find much about it on WWM or the Internet in general, but, how is my clownfish likely to react when I remove his home?
<Mmm, there's a large range of variability here. Most tank-bred/raised clowns don't have a reaction at all, whereas wild/collected specimens often show behavior of "separation anxiety">
I have heard stories about clownfish becoming very aggressive/depressed after losing their host.
<This is so at times>
I plan on providing a wide array of possible non-anemone hosts such as Frogspawn for my clownfish to try out. Would it be best to put these corals in the tank before removing the anemone?
<No; trouble likely... allelopathy>
What can I do to make this transition the easiest and least stressful for my fish?
<Cold turkey really>
By the way, in case it matters, he is the only fish in my Biocube 29 currently. I plan on adding 3-4 more fish, but I can hold off on this if it would help my clownfish to get settled again.
<I would... this volume is too small... too likely compatibility/territorial issues w/ adding more fish/es here>
Any tips, advice, or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
<Do put your concerns in the search tool on WWM and read at your leisure.
Many people have/had the same sorts of circumstances. Bob Fenner>

Host for Clownfish 11/5/11
I was wondering if you knew of any type of soft or lps coral that might be able to act as some kind of host for my Ocellaris Clownfish.
<Some have chosen thus>
I will be removing his anemone but I have heard of clownfish "hosting" all sorts of different things. I have a Biocube 29 that will have 72w of PC light and 40w of LED light for a total of 112w for my 29 gallons. Any suggestions? I have heard of maybe frogspawn or torch corals but aren't these kind of aggressive?
<Can be. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ClnfshHostsF10.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Frogspawn Host for Ocellaris Clownfish
I have to take away my clownfish's anemone so for a substitute I was thinking of a Frogspawn Coral. Would 112w of PC and LED light be enough for it in my Biocube 29?
<Should be... for a specimen/colony adapted to about this amount of PAR>
I know that it can sting corals but if I separate it a bit from other corals would it be okay?
<Maybe... Best to slowly acclimate (through water interchanges twixt two established systems) for a month or two... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/carycompfaqs.htm
Also, what are the odds that it would sting my clownfish?
<The Clown/s will likely avoid being stung... "make a deal" w/ the Euphyllia IF they are going to be symbionts>
I have heard some people say that they will sting clownfish attempting to host the coral. How likely is this and would it have any bad long-term effects?
<Not very likely>
Also, does it have a powerful enough sting to kill other fish, shrimp, crabs, snails, etc.?
<Can, yes>
What would be the likeliness of my clownfish harming the Frogspawn?
<For the species mentioned; not much. A low calculated risk>
He was fairly gentle with his last host, not using it much during the day but sleeping in it at night. Overall would you suggest this coral as a host for my Ocellaris Clownfish?
<... please use the search tool (on every page on WWM) and search re these two species together>
If not do you have any other suggestions for non-anemone hosts that would thrive in my aquarium?
<Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ClnfshHostsF10.htm
and the linked files above?>
I know that it is a toss-up but do you think a Frogspawn would be likely to host my clownfish? Any information, opinions, concerns, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help.
<Please... learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM. Your input and much related information is archived, gone over and over t/here. Bob Fenner>

Anemone for my Percs 10/10/11
<Howdy Ken>
I have a pair of Perculas that I paired up. The male is a wild caught percula and the female is a Snowflake. I wanted to get an anemone for them but I am not exactly sure what is the natural host for them.
<Mmm, posted in several places. Here on WWM:
Someone had told to that a Mertensii Carpet or a Crispa.
<Mmm, not the Mertensii...>
I think the carpet would not be a good choice unless there was one that was small (and wanted to stay small)
<Carpet spp. are not easily kept... search/read on WWM re>
I am unclear about the Crispa. Is that also a Sebae anemone?
<Yes it is...: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.htm
Are there other nems that work?
<... yes; please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM>
Btw, I do have a small RBTA now and they do not go in it at all. I had heard that this is not a natural host for these clownfish.
<... is not a "natural" one, but does often suffice/work>
I have had a RBTA in the past in one tank with a Maroon Clown, as well as a Sebae nem in another tank with a pair of Sebae clowns with excellent success for the nems and the fish.
<Unless this system is huge, and/or you're a big risk taker, I'd remove the Entacmaea if trying another Actinarian species. Bob Fenner>
Re: Anemone for my Percs
Hi Bob,
Thank you for your response. I will read through the links you sent.
<Please do>
Yes, the RBTA is coming out of the tank prior to getting another anemone.
<Ah good>
<And you, BobF>

clarkii anemone and coral question... Comp. f' 9/22/11
Hi guys,
I have written before and your advice has always been very helpful.
<Ah good>
I have a simple question now.....
My Clarkii clown fish (a new endeavour for us) has taken up my brown button polyps has a host "anemone". Is this common?
<Not unusual... "any (Cnidarian) port in a storm". You can/could search WWM re many such instances of other-than-anemone matching>
He doesn't seem to be harming them.
<Likely fine. Bob Fenner>

clown fish abandoning anemone 9/17/11
I purchased a 55 gal hex tank that came with 2 Nemo clown fish and a large anemone. Both clown fish hung around the anemone especially the larger of the two and at night the would sleep in it or just under it. Two days ago my clown fish abandoned it. The smaller of the clown fish started hanging around the bottom of the tank and then the larger one followed, by the evening hours the smaller of the clown fish had died.
<?!... something amiss>
Today I noticed the surviving clown fish looked like he was shedding his skin. My son advised to put him in a copper bath.
<Mmm, I wouldn't treat Clownfishes w/ copper compounds... too toxic for them>
I did so for about an hour and a half with oxygen and circulated water and his skin returned to normal. He was placed back in the tank. Now he is staying at the bottom of the tank and did not eat when I fed the fish.
Is my clown fish sick?
<At least stressed from the poison exposure>
Or do they just randomly leave their hosting anemone. Anemone looks good.
<Sometimes Clowns do leave their symbionts... There are folks who have speculated that the Anemone hosts may actually chemically "toss out" the Clowns... for whatever reason/s... Bob Fenner>

Getting clownfish to move to a new host 8/28/11
Hello, I have a full reef tank with 3 flowerpot corals,
<Interesting... Gonioporas are not generally easily kept>
1 Derasa clam and a Psammacora (SP.) <corr'd>. It's a 40 gal, excellent water parameters. I have a small yellow assessor, 6-line wrasse, pajama cardinal and a male / female pair of false Percula clowns. My flowerpots, surprisingly, do very well.
<As stated>
I've had a pink colored one for well over a year. I got the two false Percula clowns, baby tank raised, about a year ago. They used to just hover over my largest flowerpot but now one of them is getting too close and aggressive so coral is closing up and probably getting damaged.
My question is this: Can I add an anemone to the tank or maybe a frogspawn or other coral that the clowns might move to and then leave my flowerpot alone?
<Mmm, not likely here, in such a small volume... Too much chance of allelopathic problems... twixt the established Cnidarians and Anemone, and even more so w/ Euphyllia/s>
I was hoping if I put something more enticing to them that they would take up a new host.
<Sometimes works... though, such associations are learned traits, and your Amphiprion may have already become fixed on the Flowerpot>
Also, if I add an anemone, will it eat my other fish or move up the rock and bother my corals?
<Could very well do both>
I'm not sure what kind I'd get so I'm sure that's a factor as well. Thanks for your help! David
<Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnfshanmf7.htm
and the "Compatibility FAQs" of whichever species of anemone/s you have in mind. IF it were me/mine, I would not add more stinging-celled life here... I would either move the clowns to another system (with suitable tankmates) or trade them in. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Behavior 7/18/11
<Hello Morgan>
First off I want to say how much I appreciate your website and all of the information I obtain from it. Well on to the question I suppose, at the moment I have a 30 Gal tank that contains three live rock, two Green
Chromis, a Condylactis Anemone, One Clarkii Clownfish, two Turbo Snails, And a large Brittle Star (his legs are about four inches with a quarter sized body). Unfortunately my Clownfish will not accept the Anemone as a host, instead he adopted a jar that is in the tank as his host.
<Not unusual, Condys are not the anemone of choice and your tank is a little small for keeping anemones.>
When we moved the jar he seemed to slip into a depression, and he made a small nest in the sand under one of the rocks. Is this normal?
<Not unusual at all. Might want to learn more about clownfish here.
I can send pictures if necessary. Thank you in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Funny Clown video. Symb. beh. 2/7/11
WWM Crew,
Thanks for all the good info you folks supply to the masses, my fresh and salt worlds I love so much are very grateful that I strive to learn how to do what is best for them.
I managed to capture my clowns playing capture the meaty morsel with a Tang...I don't understand why they choose to host that coral but it is fun to watch... are they just un-smart?
<Mmm, I wouldn't say so... This close association (Anemonefishes with Actinarians) serves them very well in the wild... and its aberrations in captivity?>
This is a 2 part video of two peppermint shrimp taking down a worm, not pretty but part of the cycle of life I guess.
Thanks again and hope the clown video puts a smile on a face today in your camp,
Scott Vitelli
Atl, GA
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner, San Diego, CA>
Re: Funny Clown video 2/7/11
Actually, they have always steered clear of the "Curly Cue" Anemone
>Mmm, yes... would sting them badly, likely consume your clowns... This is NOT a symbiotic species<
and are hosting the Candy Cane Coral (Caulastrea furcata) for some reason.
Is that normal?
<Not atypical... Should I refer you to our/WWM FAQs? B>
Thanks again!

please ease my mind 1/31/11
I attached a picture of my female onyx. I tried to get the best picture I could for you to see the new spots on her white areas. I darkened the picture in hopes that you can tell me what this might be?
<Looks to be "just irritation">
In the picture they look like dark areas but they are really a brownish red. She does rub a ton in the bubble anemone and I know they can do this but I thought if she is doing it all day, I didn't know if it might start effecting her..??
<Apparently so>
She is also sucking on the anemone's tips (she just started doing this) ...kind of weird to me but I don't know. Eating great... cleaning off a spot to lay eggs. Parameters are all great. I love this pair and hope you
can help me with a treatment if necessary.
<May turn out to be too exuberant for the/this anemone. Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/ClnfshHostsF9.htm and the linked files above... or learn to/use the search tool on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Fw: please ease my mind 1/31/11
I was having trouble sending my first pic and it looks as if I sent 4.....
so I apologize if this happened. I needed to add that the reddish brown spots are kind of raised as if the scales are lifted or infected... hard to describe. I also noticed on the black area is whitish dots but not Ich.
Thanks again!

Re: please ease my mind. Cln/Anem incomp. 2/1/11
Thanks Bob... you really did ease my mind. That's what I thought it was.
Do you think I should take out the anemone so the areas won't get a secondary infection?
<Mmm, a tough decision... on the one hand the Clown/s may bring about the demise of this anemone... on the other, it does likely bring them comfort>
They are by themselves in a breeding tank and if you don't think I need to disturb the situation, I will follow your advise.
Thanks again!
<This being the case, I would at least separate the parties... if not move one to another system entirely. Cheers! BobF>
Re: please ease my mind
Do you think taking the anemone out will stress the breeding situation any? 2/1/11
<Minimally... these clowns have been bred in captivity in successive generations w/o anemone symbionts. B>
I don't want to mess up the balance of they're breeding.
Re: please ease my mind, clown, symb. comp. 2/1/11

Thanks for all your help Bob... I know you and your site have the best knowledge out there and are always a great help to us rookies!
Take care!
<A pleasure, indeed honour to serve, aid your success Tam. B>

Washing off a clown's adaptation? 1/27/11
Wondering if anyone has experienced this.
<Let's see>
Last weekend I picked up a bubble-tip anemone at the LFS and decided to purchase the ocellaris clown that was already hosting it. On the way home and during drip acclimation, the two shared the same bag and the clown hid in the tentacles with no apparent discomfort. Before transferring into the quarantine tank, the clown got a 5 min freshwater/formalin dip. Once situated in the tank, the clown hovered over the BTA but did not enter.
After 4 days of attempts to enter and appearing to get nettled, he is now back to comfortably nestling in the tentacles.
Did the formalin dip "wash off" the protective mucus or otherwise destroy his previous adaptation to the BTA?
<I do think you may be right here. Such "wiping" has been demonstrated scientifically. Bob Fenner>
Re: Washing off a clown's adaptation? 1/27/11

Thanks for that, Bob.
<Thank you Ed... btw, have seen and even done some "palatability tests" (mine w/ Garibaldi years back), wiping off body slime... and the phenomena you suggest is pretty widespread amongst fishes. Cheers, BobF>

Read and Write.....Please don't act like a XXXX..12/13/10
dear crew,
we recently had a tomato clown of several years pass on after a long term relationship with a very large (11-12 inches across) anemone (Condy? Atlantic? - I forget)
<<Macrodactyla doreensis>>
in our tank picture attached. we then got a new smaller clownfish (percula),,hoping it would connect up with our now lonely anemone.
Instead it has taken a liking to a feather-duster!! ( see photo 2) Is this common?
<Yep, please read before writing.>
jay s
<I am sorry. Some XXXX in the crew worse then me sent this to spam.
Really it should be referred here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm Scott V.><<What? RMF>>

Clownfish/Anemone System 9/28/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<Hi Casey>
After much research and thought, I would like to create a dedicated clownfish/anemone tank. I'd like to run my plan by you for your input. I already have the following equipment that I would like to use:
55 Gallon, single overflow tank with 20 gallon sump/refugium.
700 gph return pump. I'm assuming I need more flow.
<Your Koralias will provide that.>
I know that powerheads can be dangerous to anemones. Do you know of a way to modify Koralia powerheads to make them safer for anemones? If not, what brand or type of powerhead do you recommend that could be made anemone safer?
<The Koralias should be safe. They actually are not a powerhead but more of a propeller type pump with a large intake area which greatly reduces suction risks to anemones.>
Current Nova Extreme 6x54 watt. It has 3-10,000K T5 HO Slimpaq bulbs and 3-T5 HO Slimpaq actinic. From my research on WWM, I realize that the actinic bulbs are mostly aesthetic and don't add to the usable light, so I plan to replace one or of the actinic with 6,700K or 10,000K. Which would be better?
<Just keep one actinic and replace the other two with 10K lamps.>
Will this be sufficient light?
<Yes, for BTAs.>
Should I replace one or two of the actinic bulbs?
I am planning on a 6' sugar-sized deep sand bed and about 60 lbs. of live rock.
<Mmm, what is your reasoning for the deep sand bed?>
I plan on placing the live rock and sand, and letting the tank establish for 4-6 weeks. I have read that the tank should be established for at least 6 months before adding anemones. Since about half of the liverock and water will be added from my existing reef tank, should I still wait 6 months to place an anemone?
<I'd wait at least a month or two.>
I want to use Bubble Tip Anemones in my system for a couple of reasons. Several local reefers have captive produced anemones for sale, and from what I understand, they are more hardy and less like to sustain trauma because they wouldn't be shipped. Also, I prefer not to remove things from the ocean. One local reefer has Rose BTA's and another has green. From my research, I understand that mixing anemones isn't good, but does this mean I can't have two different colored BTA's, or that I can't keep BTA's with another species of anemone, for example, a Ritteri?
<Mixing BTAs will be fine but would not mix BTAs with other potent stinging anemones.>
I am struggling with fish selection. I have read that 'if introduced to the aquarium at the same time, many varieties of tank raised clowns can be maintained together in the aquarium.' Of course, this quote came from a fish seller's site, and it made no reference to tank size.
<Not entirely correct. I for one would not mix Tomato Clownfish and/or other large clownfish with Ocellaris, Perculas, and Pink Skunk Clownfish.> I am considering the following:
1. Four or five juvenile black Ocellaris Clowns OR
2. Two black juvenile Ocellaris Clowns and two orange juvenile Ocellaris Clowns OR
3. If I can't keep more than a pair of clowns, how about two Ocellaris, a Purple Pseudochromis, and a Longnosed Hawkfish (who should be placed when?) OR
4. Two Tomato Clowns and a Purple Pseudochromis or Longnosed Hawkfish (if the Hawkfish or Pseudochromis won't work, what would?)
<Number one would be my choice.>
Finally, when it's time to buy and place the fish, if I am buying only captive bred clowns who were housed in the same tank together, can I just place them in the display, or must I still quarantine them for 4-6 weeks?
<If you feel comfortable with the health of the fish and no other fish are present in your tank, I'd place directly in the display tank. There is a better than average chance that captive bred clownfish will not always host an anemone. Do keep in mind.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Clownfish/Anemone System 9/28/10

Hey James (Salty Dog),
Thanks for your feedback. I'm really excited about this tank.
<I'll bet.>
You asked, "Mmm, what is your reasoning for the deep sand bed?" I plan to use it for nitrate reduction and aesthetic reasons. I have a DSB in my reef tank, and have no measurable nitrates. Do you think it is unnecessary or bad in the clownfish/anemone tank I've described? If so, I may reconsider.
<You've answered my concern, you are familiar with DSBs and how they work.>
Also, you stated "I for one would not mix Tomato Clownfish and/or other large clownfish with Ocellaris, Perculas, and Pink Skunk Clownfish." Does this mean I COULD mix Ocellaris, Perculas, and Pink Skunk Clownfish (a pair of each placed as juveniles) in the system I've described?
<Yes, but would be best adding them all at the same time.>
If I do go with four or five juvenile black Ocellaris Clowns, is it likely that one will become the female in the others will remain male or that they will form pairs?
<Generally, the most dominant male will become a female in each species.>
Do you foresee any violence or problems with either of the scenarios presented above?
<If adding the clowns at intervals, you may experience some minor territorial issues that should calm down in a few days.>
Finally, you stated, "There is a better than average chance that captive bred clownfish will not always host an anemone.
Do keep in mind." Do you think it would help to add one or a pair of clowns from the sea to act as role models and the rest captive bred?
<Mmm, not so sure that would do it. If your role model jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you follow? If you want to ensure a good chance of hosting, I suggest going with wild caught fish or captive bred that were raised with anemones present in the system. These of course may be difficult to locate. Have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Clown_anemone/Clown_anemone.htm>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

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