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FAQs about the Clownfishes & Anemones, Hosts 8

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 9, Clownfish/Hosts 10, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfish Diseases, Brooklynellosis, Breeding Clowns,

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

Pink Skunk Clownfish Hosting In Goniopora -- 08/11/09
Hi there,
<<Hey Jeanne!>>
I hope I can be brief (unlikely, but I can hope!).
Despite a lovely Sebae anemone in my 66 gallon reef, my two aqua-cultured pink skunk clownfish have decided on my Goniopora.
<<Does sometimes happen'¦often to this coral's demise>>
Although I have heard of this working out for others,
<<Mmm, not in the long term'¦this coral is difficult to keep at best'¦the added 'irritation' from the Clownfish can only exacerbate the situation>>
so far not so good. The coral is definitely irritated.
Wilkerson's Clownfishes states that a clownfish will choose a Goniopora over even the "right" anemone and you can have a Goniopora or a clownfish but not both.
Of course the suggestion (there and on your site) is to get rid of the (dicey) Goniopora, but with 17 years of experience now and a tank designed for keeping corals, I would like to give it a try.
<<Then it would seem the Clownfish will have to go>>
So, I have read over your site and realize there are a variety of opinions here,
<<Many such>>
but is there any consensus?
<<You tell me>>
Is it the coral or the fish?
<<Logic would dictate that if you wish to 'keep' the coral, then the fish (Clownfish) will have to go>>
If I remove the clownfish, should I remove the anemone as well?
<<Ideally'¦yes. It is best to keep such motile invertebrates in systems designed just for them>>
(I wish I could move them to another tank, but I have maroons and Perculas in my other tanks.)
<<Sounds like you have that excuse for another tank [grin]>>
Thank you for your time and patience.
<<A pleasure to share>>
Jeanne Brown
<<Eric Russell>>

Re: Pink Skunk Clownfish Hosting In Goniopora -- 08/13/09
Dear Eric,
<<Hello Jeanne>>
Thank you very much for your prompt response.
<<You are most welcome>>
It is sometimes difficult to create proper inflection in e-mails.
<<I heartily agree'¦ Our sometimes seemingly terse responses can often be put down to this very limited medium>>
I didn't mean is it the coral or the fish--which do I choose--I meant, I guess, do I HAVE to decide BETWEEN the coral or the fish, I mean, does one of the two have to go
<<Ah, I see>>
.....but it appears you answered that anyway.
<<Indeed'¦ The 'stress' from the attentions of the/any Clownfish most always causes these corals to not fully extend polyps to feed/shed metabolites'¦and the 'rubbing' from the fish may even cause tissue damage opening the way to bacterial infection. There are always exceptions, but odds are continued cohabitation will cause the demise of this difficult to keep coral specimen>>
I get the strong sense they won't give up the flower pot now. Thanks again.
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>

Clownfish / Anemone changes 7/21/09
<Good morning.>
I have had two Percula clownfish for about four years know, they started out in a 33 gallon tank with a bubble tip anemone that they have lived with since about a year ago I decided to move the clown's and anemone into my 75 gallon tank which was a fish only tank, with live rock, a protein skimmer, and a refugium setup. Of course I increased the lighting also, but recently I noticed that one of the two anemones started to move around, I say two because the other one split. My question is, will these clownfish do okay
without an anemone after all this time being with an anemone.
<Yes they will.>
I am concerned that the anemone will sting my golden angel, or my leopard wrasse, and these fish have been in the tank for over a year.
<This anemone likely won't be a threat to either of those fish.>
So I thought I would either remove the anemone or give the clowns to my uncle without the anemone, he has a 58 gallon reef tank with soft coral's.
<The clowns will be fine with the anemone, but without knowing the parameters of your aquarium, I can't say that the anemone will do well in this fish only tank. The anemone splitting and wandering is likely the
result of stress.>
<Your welcome.
Josh Solomon.>

Duncans and Clowns, 5/15/09
Hello Crew,
I have a pair of Picasso Clowns and a large colony of Duncans in my tank. Clowns recently ditched their RBTA for the Duncans and beat them up to the point where they only open about half way.
They refuse to leave them even when RBTA is moved within inches of the colony. Clowns bite fingers etc. , very aggressive about their territory - I know this is normal but isn't an anem preferred over coral typically?.
<Clowns are rarely typical anything.>
I am wondering if there is any method to encourage them to host in the RBTA - so the Duncans can return to normal.
<Only permanent separation most likely, clowns can be very persistent.>
I really like both and don't want to either to have to go. Is this behavior damaging to the Duncans?
<Definitely can be.>
They appear to be fine aside from not fully opening from the constant smothering.
<Stress will take its toll.>
Thanks again,

Pink skunks, QT and a nem, 3/15/09
Dear All,
Just a quick one this time (!) - Will time in QT affect how rapidly the clowns will adopt an anemone?
<Not really.>
I'm due to pick up a pair of pink skunk clowns in a few days time and will be putting them in QT for 4 weeks on arrival home. They're currently happily in residence within a large sebae anemone at the LFS, the hope is that they'll adopt our large sebae anemone in time.
<I would give this good chances of happening since they seem to already be interested in hosting.>
Many thanks - I'm loathed to not QT these as I had a nasty white spot scare a month or so ago so want to give them the best possible start (a regal developed white spot even after time in QT, however all residents are fit, healthy and showing no signs of the infection despite the inevitable low level of white spot that is certainly now present).
<QT would be best here, give them time to toughen up before exposure.>

Re: Ocellaris clownfish aggression, 3/11/09 Thank you for answering so fast. <Welcome> I wanted to mention something I find very interesting. My clowns have found a host in the 3 feather dusters we have. The feather dusters stay open for the clowns to rest and flutter in them. But they close as soon as something else touches them. <Interesting> I was going to purchase a carpet anemone for them but someone at my LFS told me that once a clown have found a home they will not abandon it and buying an anemone will be in vain. <Generally they will move if they prefer the new host more, but they will be quite happy without an anemone.> Here's a pic. Brion

Anemone/Clown Compatibility 3/5/09 Hi guys and gals <Hello Daniel> I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading all the information that you provide. <Nice to hear, thank you.> I have asked a few questions in the past with <a> very quick reply to all of them. They were very helpful in the end. I had a quick <question> about my LTA and False Black Percula. I have downgraded my tank since we have last talked. 135rr to 47 tall. Dimensions on the 47 are 20�x 18�x 30 tall. <Mmm, not much square area there.> Sand and LR come straight from the 135 all that I could jam in there and make it look nice ha. Light is a 400 watt DE 14,000k Halide. Filtration/water movement Fluval 405 and 2x Korila <Koralia> stage 3 for a total of 1900 gallons per hour. The LTA once put in took an hour to attach to its current spot in the sand next to LR. During the day its stays about a 1ft across and when the light comes on in the morning it is about 1ft ? across. The Perculas have yet to go in or to even check it out. Is there a possibility that they will eventually go in? <Did they enter the anemone in the old system? If so, it may take a while for this to happen, new surroundings, change in water parameters, etc. If they are new to the system, the clowns may be tank bred/raised, and if so, may never enter the anemone, as they don't know what it is, never been raised with one present. If they were not tank raised/bred, but new additions to the system, the LTA (Macrodactyla doreensis) is not their preferred anemone, not to say they wouldn't enter it, but favor Stichodactyla sp (Carpet Anemones), and Heteractis magnifica (Ritteri Anemone) and possibly the Crispa, another Heteractis sp. > Thank you ahead of time. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Anemone/Clown Compatibility 3/6/09 I apologize for the misspellings in the previous e-mail. <Thank you, much easier on us if we do not have to correct before posting.> The LTA is new all together but the clowns have been in the system for a year. I put a BTA (this has since died it became stuck in the overflow) in the old system and it took them about 2 weeks to find it. I believe that these are tank raised clowns from what the LFS said when I purchased the pair. From what you have said and others is I probably do not have room for another anemone for the tank due to square area being small. Should I just stick with the LTA and hope one day they will go into it? <Being the clowns are tank bred/raised, they may never go into any anemone. I would not add another. If your clowns were interested in an anemone, they would likely at least investigate the LTA, hang around, etc.> Aren't Heteractis magnifica (Ritteri Anemone) more of a cooler water anemone? <No, (tropical) Indo Pacific, but they are difficult to keep alive for any length of time as they do ship poorly. James Gasta (Salty Dog)>

A pair of clowns with a pair of anemones 2/27/09 Hi there, <Debbie> Been browsing through the net and going through your site intently for past few days in the quest to 'answer' a particular curiosity. I have pair of false percula clowns which I have kept over 2 years. They've been hosting a decent size Red Bubble Tip Anemone, but the female tends to chase the male away. <How large a system?> She doesn't like to share obviously. But the male will still be swimming very close by... occasionally, he naps by the side of the anemone. <Common behavior> There's no other clown fishes currently present in the tank, apart from these two. If there is a present of another BTA, would it be highly likely for this male clown to host this new anemone? <Mmm, maybe... but I would not go this route> The main question is... if he chooses to do so, would it turn him into a female - simply because he host a different anemone from the female? <If this system were large, even "long" enough, there is this possibility, yes> I don't plan to add anymore clowns since I'd like them to remain as a pair. They've been good as a pair - apart from the slight chase away from the anemone... else, they've been friendly too all new fishes and all the new fishes are also friendly with them. But I do intent to add the new BTA (coz it's actually a gift and it's really quite 'hard' to say no since it's going to be a beauty). <Do acclimate the two anemones to each other by "mixing" water back and forth through/between separate systems for a few weeks> Shall I host it with some sexy shrimps instead just to keep it 'occupied' so that the male will be uninterested? <A worthwhile trial> My tank details: The main tank is 4ft x 2ft x 2ft with 6x T5 lights setup and standard corner overflow. There are plenty of live rocks and a thin layer of live sand (just enough to cover the tank base). The sump is 3.5ft x 1ft x 1.5ft running through a layer of sponge, BK sponge, Eheim return pump and an external chiller to keep temperature at 26C... and a mixture of macroalgae and Chaeto in refugium. Water Readings: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate = 0. Feeding: Daily = 2-3 times a day, each time with a 15ml liquid food mixture (fresh made saltwater with Cyclop-eeze powder, Phytomax, Vitamarin C and zooplanktos-M + 10-15 drops of live oyster eggs by Reef Nutrition. Twice a week = chop fresh market prawn for the plates / Mysis shrimp for the suncorals. Coral stocking = Moderate pack - LPS (variety of plates, Candycanes, moon corals, Goniopora, hammer coral, brain), few small rock piles of Zoas, buttons & mushroom, 2xSPS frags, 1xblueberry sea fan, 2xsuncorals, 1xChristmas Tree+Porite rock, couple of feather dusters, 1xblue clam. Fish & Invertebrate stocking = 2xclowns, 1x filament flasher wrasse, 1x lawnmower blenny, 1xblue mandarin, 1xscooter blenny, 1xcleaner shrimp, 1xfireshrimp, 2xfirefish goby, 3xpajama cardinal, 1xyellow clown goby. Future fish stocking = 3xblue Chromis (currently in quarantine tank) and possibly a female blue mandarin (at a much later stage). Thanks for your time, and keep up with the fabulous work. Your site has the most intensive collection of case studies which is great since everyone experiences something slightly 'different'. Regards, Debs <Ah, yes... and thank you for writing so well, sharing. If it were me, I might well try the other BTA here... acclimating it as stated, at the far end away from the present specimen. Bob Fenner>

B&W Clowns won't host, 2/25/09 Hello, <Hi> I recently purchased two B&W Ocellaris Clowns and they refuse to host with any Anem. I purchased a Sebae and they wont go near it. So then I purchased an RBTA.. they are completely uninterested. <Not uncommon, especially with captive raised clowns, they may never show any interest in an anemone.> I have another pair of clowns that host in a bubble Anem and do fine and everyone gets along well but they refuse to host. Is there anything you can do to coax them into hosting into the RBTA? <Not really besides give them some time, but they may never host.> I would really like if I could see them in their new house! <Having trouble with the financing maybe?> On a side note they seem to only want to bubble Anem that belongs to my other pair? <This may play a part too, perhaps they are not a pair, but waiting to move in on the female hosting in the bubble.> Sometimes they are let in by the clowns but other times chased off. <While it is a rather large tank there is still a chance whenever trying to mix clown pairing that you end up with only the strongest pair, the other harassed to death.> Any suggestions would be great! Thanks, Cassidy <Not much to do here other that hope and be patient, if they want to host they eventually will.> <Chris>

Heteractis crispa And A. perideraion, pairing 2/16/09 Dear All, <Hello Carolyn> Just a quickie - recently bought an anemone that I think is a h. crispa that has had some bleaching (it's a very pale tan colour, not fully white, with purple tips although haven't been able to see if there are any marks around the oral disk) - it happily accepts chopped meaty food (appears to like cockle most) and is happily settled in the middle of the tank by a reef wall, foot firmly stuck in the sand. <Mmm, I'm curious as to your tank size and lighting here.> I have two tank-raised black/white false Percs who show no interest in the anemone at all (am I right in thinking they wouldn't usually accept this one in the wild?) however am reading conflicting information regarding a second pair of clowns, the pink skunk clowns (a. perideraion), some sources claim they will happily host h. crispa, others including your lovely selves don't actually specify that they will associate with it, although there are images of the two together. <Tank bred clownfish will rarely associate with an anemone...they don't know what it is, haven't been raised in the company of one. If the young clowns were collected associating with an anemone, but tank raised to a sellable size, you may have a good chance of them bonding with the anemone.> Finally, the question (!) - is an association between H. crispa and the pink skunks a 'natural' one? <They usually associate with Heteractis malu and magnifica, but I've seen the crispa hosting them as well. No guarantees here.> Many thanks - after years of planning/waiting and much help and guidance from yourselves and others my beloved tank is starting to look truly awesome and I can't thank you all enough (ps Bob - ever need a dive partner from the UK?!)! <You're more than welcome, Carolyn and have you read here and related articles/FAQ's? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/heteraccrispa.ht m James (Salty Dog)> Carolyn

Re: Heteractis Crispa And A. perideraion 2/17/09 Thanks for the fast reply as ever! <You're welcome.> The tank is 600l total volume, 72 inches long and 24 inches deep. The lighting is all LED solid state lighting that's been designed to give sufficient light intensity for the sps in my tank, plenty of blue for deeper penetrance through the water. The tank is 12 months old and all the water parameters have been stable for at least 6 months - always knew I wanted an anemone but also knew they need a lot of attention and care to do well - the one I've acquired is a tank bred one so am hoping it'll have a better chance of thriving than a wild specimen? <Would give you an edge.> Many thanks for the advice on the clowns - intend to leave the system as it is currently, if the pink skunks don't accept the anemone then so be it, I don't want to risk destabilizing things with new fish! <Sounds good. James (Salty Dog)> Carolyn

Anemone Hosting Fish 1/23/09 Hi Bob (Crew), <Hello Ranjith, James with you today.> Hope you are all fine :-) <Been under the weather lately with bronchitis, but recovering nicely.> One of my fellow refers is resetting (read as giving everything away and setting up again). <A job for sure.> While we were looking for themes, I happened to see a magazine with an Clownfish peeking from an Anemone. Will this idea below work?? We want to have the theme of the display as Anemones and their many symbionts. <Interesting display.> 6' x 2' x 1.5' <135 gallon tank> (water column) with a 3-4 live rock pillars by skewering live rock with PVC. 4" DSB of 1mm beach sand <Coral sand hopefully.> 3x 150W MH for lighting (maybe a clip on LED for moonlight) Filtration & Maintenance AquaC 120EV or similar. <I'd go with the 180EV, the 120EV is designed for 40-120 gallon tanks.> Activated carbon 200grams swapped every quarter. <I would only use as needed. An efficient skimmer should take care of your DOC's.> 5 gal weekly water changes. <I'm in favor of 10% water changes.> Only CA and KH supplemented with KALK and Baking soda on weekends. Auto Top off DIY using level controllers available. Circulation is where it gets tricky and don't know what to do. 1. How do we get the Anemones to not get sucked in through overflows? <Are we talking overflow boxes fed by "U" tubes, or built in overflows? Built in overflows should cause no physical damage. A very coarse plastic screen placed in front of the weirs will prevent the anemone from getting inside the box.> Will it be fine if we drill the bottom and have drain pipes coming up at various locations? The rockwork anyways needs PVC to skewer the rock with. <I'm not a fan of drain pipes used this way. If a leak develops in the bulkhead, you risk flooding the floor with salt water. Built-in corner overflows with drain pipes installed are much, much safer providing a properly sized sump is used.> 2. The return would be 3000 LPH <780gph> from the sump. 3. Power heads are risky with anemones, can I use a Koralia or similar propeller pumps? <Never tried one of these in an anemone system so I cannot comment. May want to post this on a forum.> The Anemone could wander into these as well can't they? Could you suggest some screen of sorts to discourage Anemones from wandering into the power heads? <Yes, back in my anemone days I placed Hagen Quick Filters on my powerheads. These filters spread the intake suction over a large area and should an anemone attach to one of these, no damage to the anemone will result. See here. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+4638&pcatid=4638> 4. Do we even need additional circulation other than the return pump? The outflow would be spread across due to multiple overflow pipes as mentioned above. Would this combination not give adequate non linear flow? <I would incorporate SCWD's (switching current water director) to these outlets. This should give you the non-linear flow you are looking for, but I would strive to maintain a total flow rate at least 10 times the tank volume which in your case would be 1350gph or 5130lph.> Invertebrates: 4 to 5 LTA or 4 to 5 BTA. Can we have 8 to 10 in this volume? <Four to five would be my limit in this system.> 5- 10 Feather dusters Few small starfish and snails 2 Skunk Cleaner shrimp 1-2 artificial urchins Fish 4 Percula Clowns 9 to 11 Banggai cardinals (or would you suggest Threadfin cardinals?) <I have seen Banggai Cardinals swim and host among anemones in captive systems, but never in BTA's or LTA's. Bob may have observed this in the wild and may inject a comment here. Reading below will give you one individual's insight on this. The item was taken from the February, 2004 issue of Aquarium Fish Magazine. "A number of Cardinalfish will associate with sea anemones, with several common western Pacific species being well known for this. The orange striped Cardinalfish (Apogon cyanosoma) and the Moluccan Cardinalfish (A. moluccensis) occasionally associate with the leathery (or sebae) anemone (Heteractis crispa) and the magnificent sea anemone (H. magnifica). The bridle Cardinalfish is a resident of the Atlantic Ocean that inhabits the curlycue sea anemone (Bartholomea annulata). In some cases, Cardinalfish simply swim near the stinging tentacles. In other cases, they readily contact and shelter within them. The Banggai Cardinalfish was originally reported to shelter among the spines of Diadema sea urchins. In Lembeh Strait, northern Sulawesi, I have regularly seen them swimming near the corkscrew tentacle (Macrodactyla doreensis), giant carpet (Stichodactyla gigantea) and Haddon's carpet (S. haddoni) anemones. It will contact and swim among the tentacles of the leathery sea anemone. With the other three, the cardinals usually swim close but never (or rarely) come in contact with the stinging cells. Once, I also saw a juvenile Banggai swimming around and between (but not contacting) the tentacles of the deadly Hell's fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.). Anemones are not the only cnidarians these Cardinalfish associate with. Juveniles will swim among the tentacles of the anemone like stony coral Heliofungia actiniformis. When these Cardinalfish first started to appear in Lembeh Strait, a single anemone would typically harbor an adult pair of P. kauderni and occasionally one or two juveniles. As the Banggai population increased, the most desirable anemones (i.e., H. crispa) were overrun with these Cardinalfish. The carpet anemones, which seem the less-sought-after host, were still home to solitary pairs of P. kauderni. It's not unusual to see Banggai Cardinalfish sharing an anemone with Anemonefishes. I have seen them living alongside pairs of Clark's Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) and the pink skunk Anemonefish (A. perideraion). One patch of three medium-size H. crispa was home to a pair of Banggai cardinals, a breeding pair of Clark's and a pair of pink skunks. In this and other cases, the Anemonefish paid little attention to the Cardinalfish, even when the Anemonefish were guarding eggs. If you get an individual Banggai or a pair of these Apogonids, there is a good chance they will swim among the tentacles of your sea anemone. I have seen them associate with H. crispa on a number of occasions in the aquarium, as well as in the wild. Curt"> Would adding 1 pygmy angel create problems? (He/she will be just a tourist in the ecosystem:-)) <Would be too risky for the fish with anemones present.> I read on WWM that Banggai Cardinals could host anemones. How often does this happen? <I would say in captive systems, not too often based on my visual experiences and again, Bob may comment here.> <<Some Apogonid species, including Banggai's are found in association (not "hosting" per se) amongst the tentacles... of carpet anemones in the wild... RMF>> Could we add a shoal (6-8) Banggai Cardinals to this setup? Will they host the Anemone? <No guarantees here.> Do I need the artificial urchin with the Anemone? <What for?> Would other cardinals like Threadfins host Anemones? <Again, no guarantees. Dascyllus trimaculatus, as juveniles often host the same anemones as clownfish, but these guys get too large as adults and will be roughnecks. If it were me, I'd stick with clownfish and avoid potential problems ahead.> Are there other fish that host Anemones? Could not find much information even in one of the famous books by Joyce <Joyce> W (I think that is the author). <Yes, Wilkerson.> <This article by Dr. Daphne G. Fautin and Dr. Gerald R. Allen may be helpful too. http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/ebooks/intro.html. Reading here and articles/FAQ's shown below is another aid for you. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Clown_anemone/Clown_anemone.htm> Cheers <Whew, good day to you. James (Salty Dog)> Ranjith

Clownfish hosting algae anemone 1/16/08 Hello, I just love your web site, it has been very useful & informative. I was reading about clownfish behavior, & just wanted to share a picture of my ocellaris clownfish hosting an "algae anemone" as I refer to it. <Neat!> They hang around it most of the time, laying on their side, swimming through it, as if getting the layer of "slime" on their bodies to protect them from the anemone sting. It is quite comical to watch them & they even share with the Royal Gramma at times. I have tried relentlessly to get rid of this algae. I bought a Yellow Tang to eat the algae, but they killed him. They were protecting their "algae anemone". So I have decided to let the algae alone, as it pretty much is kept in one area on the live rock, & home to the clownfish. I even had a BTA anemone in the tank which they showed no interest in. These clownfish are about 1 year old & were tank raised. Or shall I say bred in captivity. Can you tell if the algae is what they call turtle moss, or turtle algae? <Mmm... would you send along a scientific name for the genus you're thinking of here? I don't think this is Chlorodesmis... one genus for this common name...> It is very hard to remove from the live rock, even with scrubbing with a clean toothbrush. It grows to about 3" in length, just swaying in the current, looking like a big green anemone. Thanks for all the great info, you folks are the best. Sue <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish/Hammer Coral and multicolor angel questions 12/30/08 Hello and Happy Holidays - Thank you for your website, knowledge, and assistance! I read, read, read and then can still not believe that I missed an important piece of information or still don't understand something. I guess that's why this is a good hobby for me. Never boring. Always something new. <Agreed> I have been in the hobby 5-6 years and recently revived my saltwater tank after a home remodel - tank ran with a heater, rock, and sand for almost a year. Now I have been re-stocking and re-learning for a few months. My 100 gal tank (black sand, lots of live rock, 30 gal sump, ASM skimmer, very small and young HOB CPR refugium) has good water parameters (SG 1.025, T 79, Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate all zero, PH 8.1-8.2). My two primary questions: 1. I have 2 black clowns (with orange faces) that are in the process of pairing up. Overall, they seem to have settled down, but I still see them nipping at each other now and again. They have elected to host in my Hammer Coral. The Hammer seems quite tolerant of this and looks actually very well. They have been living in this coral constantly for the past 3-4 weeks, took to the coral about a week after it was introduced to the tank. Days 1-3 very happy and in the hammer coral most of the time Day 4 fluffy cotton hanging from both fish Day 5 or 6 cotton resolved Days 6-8 very happy Day 9 Small slits in fins on both fish Day 12 or 13 slits healed entirely Days 13-15 very happy Approx Day 16 both clowns had more severe reactions to the coral. The smaller could not close his mouth. The larger developed a very swollen and puffy-looking face. Small clown moved away from the coral and resided in another area of the tank. Day 18 Smaller clown can close his mouth but has a very puffy face. He has a split lip with red around it. Extra vitamins given in his food. Day 23 or 24 lip heals but face still quite puffy and clown moves back into coral Days 25-27 very happy (in coral constantly, nip at each other occasionally, eating well) Day 28 Split caudal fin with cotton on the smaller clown, face more puffy (1/2 is paralyzed?), moves away from hammer again. Still eating well. Larger clown face still puffy (maybe a little less?), living in coral always, eating well. (Is this too much detail? Sorry if so). <Not too much... good to have complete picture> My thought has been "Hopefully this will sort itself out", <And it generally does... Percula/Ocellaris clowns do establish relations with Euphyllias in captivity... often course through the sort of process you relate so well here> since they are eating well and the smaller seems to be managing his illness to some degree on his own. The swollen faces have been for more than 10 days now. They look very much "allergic" and not infectious. I would like to continue to watch it and hope eventually that this will resolve on its own. Is there a time limit for how long I should allow this to go on? <Mmm, no, not really... Till the two species either "agree" or not to associate> Also - the day of the open mouth and swollen faces was the same day my peppermint shrimp was picking on that coral and pulling on its polyps. Would the hammer have been potentially more toxic that day? <Interesting to speculate...> (I have since removed the pep). 2. My multicolor angel (in quarantine day 11) developed 3 white spots (2 on the caudal fin, one on a pectoral fin). These remained for 36 hours and then vanished. Debating on what to do, I coincidentally broke a heater in the tank and had to remove him in order to clear the tank of glass. Therefore, I cleaned out the quarantine tank and have placed entirely new water in the tank. The angel is in a smaller 4 gal holding tank waiting for the water to fully heat and aerate. (I didn't have quite enough water ready for the whole tank). This angel is extremely skittish, <A sign of good health> and I question whether or not he would tolerate a FW dip as he attempts to jump out of the tank upon any slight stressor, although he really looks well otherwise. (During acclimation, he tried to jump out several times, even with a lid on - also tried to jump out when I had to net him to remove from the QT and clean the class out.) I am on the fence of "Oh no I need to do something" and "Let's see what happens" due to my lack of experience overall. <I would, do default to the latter... non-action in cases of doubt> Trying the minimal approach when possible. Do you have any tips for doing a FW dip in a skittish fish, or would you just skip it altogether? <As you hint at, to be in constant attendance, make sure the dip container is covered...> When I dipped my coral beauty angel a number of weeks ago (since then I killed her with copper despite my attempts at careful dosing, thus my aversion to any intervention unnecessary) I was amazed at the things I saw coming out of her and falling off of her (flukes and such), so I do think FW dips can be helpful. Sorry for the long descriptions. Thank you for your assistance. Lynn M <Thank you for writing so well; completely and clearly... There are some "extra" ideas, methods that might be added to my long-stated dip/bath protocol. For instance, the use of practical anesthetics (akin to "doggy downers" for canines that need to have their nails trimmed let's say)... "Hypno" by Jungle Labs is "over the counter", and there are other materials that might be profitably employed... Bob Fenner>

Anemone (and Clownfish) Display 12/02/08 Hello Everyone, <Francisco> I have a 26 gallon Bowfront that until recently was a reef tank. I have pillaged most of what was in it recently when I acquired a 55 gallon. All that is left is 6 heads of frog spawn, a fan worm, a Sharpnose puffer and a clown fish. There is about 25 pounds of live rock and 4 inches of live sand. I have a #3 Koralia power head in it and it is only filtered by an Eheim canister rated for a 60 gallon tank. The lighting is a 24" unit that has a 250watt Metal Halide and two PC Lights currently with actinic bulbs. The question is... I want to make exclusively an Anemone / Clown Symbiosis display. I'd like two have two or more anemones. <Mmm, too small for more than one> What would you suggest given the size of the tank and lighting. <That you read, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemonelightngfaqs.htm and the linked files above> Additionally how many clown fish would you recommend? <Two only... of a smaller, tank bred-reared species... Likely Ocellaris or Perculas> Cheers, Francisco <Enjoy the process. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone Query... and tank-bred Clown comp. evolutionary speculations 12/2/08 Bob, <Hi there James> Read your response to the subject query today. "...<Two only... of a smaller, tank bred-reared species... Likely Ocellaris or Perculas>" It's been my observation that tank bred species will rarely take to an anemone unless they are bred/reared with an anemone present. I've tried this myself on a couple of occasions with the appropriate clown/anemone combination and the clowns just refuse to enter the anemone...not a bit interested. I've also had a couple of displays with wild caught clowns and they readily enter the anemone. My LFS feels this way also. Are we wrong or have just had stubborn tank bred clowns? James <Got me, but I do concur that as time has gone by, successive generations of tank-bred Clowns have become more disinterested in forming such bonds. Interesting to speculate re... What has happened here? Perhaps there is some "selective pressure" to eschew the obligate relationship that exists in the wild... That is, maybe there is more advantage in avoiding host anemones in captivity... Hmmm. BobF>

Re: Anemone Query 12/2/08 I'm thinking that in the wild, the bonding may not be a natural instinct but more of a survival move. <Mmm, a bit of both by my reckoning> I probably won't know this in my lifetime as I've already been here longer than I'm going to stay. James <Mmmm... interesting stmt. James. B>

Percula and anemone... Comp., and BTA gen. 11/27/08 Hi I just yesterday got a bubble tip anemone just to see if my percula clown might host in it, and I was wondering if you might have any tips on how to get the clownfish to host with the anemone. <Mmm, yes... mainly just patience... some species/individuals do learn to host, even with Anemones they are not naturally symbiotic with in the wild, others never do... Is a learning process for both> My tank is about a year old and I have some coral <... Do read on WWM re BTA comp. with other Cnidarians... many cautions> and some other fish. and my water quality is good and my lighting isn't metal halide but I have a fixture that can hold up to three bulbs. thank you for your help. <... and BTA systems, including lighting, feeding. Bob Fenner>

Gold Stripe Maroon Clown Pairing 11/1/08 Hi, <Hello> I have a problem with my clown fish. I recently bought a 75 gallon tank with 4 fish and 55 lbs of live rock. its been running for a while now and is very well established. I went to the fish store and bought a small gold stripe maroon clown thinking they would become partners and the big one which I attached pictures of is beating him up. <Some fighting is normal until dominance is established> The one I have is I think about 5 years or older. I think it is a female by the size and color but I am unsure. Is there anything I can do to keep them together? I am afraid she is going to kill her and I would optimally like to keep him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <Gold stripe maroon female clowns are notoriously picky and rough when it comes to pairing up. I've seen them kill a few potential suitors before accepting another. I'd suggest removing the male, if you are sure they aren't just establishing dominance anymore. One way that was successful for a friend to pair his gold stripe clown, was to place a male in a specimen cube or some kind of cage for a few days in the tank by the female before he released the new fish into the tank. He could judge how the female would react and also give her some time to get used to the new fish and actually give him a fighting chance.> <Regards, Jessy>

Ailing Pagoda and angry Perculas 10/8/08 Hello! <Hi> I have a small 8 gallon BioCube at my office with some live rock, mushrooms, anthelia, polyps, and a pagoda cup coral. I have 2 false percula clowns, a neon goby and a yellow watchman goby. <That is too much life for such a small tank.> My tank has been up and running for about 1 1/2 years now with all the same fish and corals. Recently, my pH became very low (7.4) despite weekly water changes, and adding buffer. Out of desperation (my first mistake) I purchased a buffering powder that after adding 1/2 of a packet would miraculously adjust my pH to 8.2. Yeah, right. As soon as I added it, my pagoda seemed to shrink before my eyes! <Probably pH shock.> It's polyps retracted and it stayed like this for about a week. I was sure I killed it, however it is opening up again although the polyps are smaller? It's just not the same! So my first question is, what did I do and can it be remedied? <You most likely raised the pH too fast, not much can be done now except maintain good water quality.> My second problem is related to the percula clowns. They made their home in the pagoda cup and guarded it if I tried to get near it. I removed the pagoda to put it in a 58 gal we have at home in order to try to nurse it along. They are ANGRY!!! The female is attacking other corals in the tank now and is not a happy camper. <Is looking for a new home.> I didn't know if I should try to replace the pagoda with another coral in hopes that they might take to it, or if once they have a home they never adapt to another one? <Can find a new home if they find something to their liking.> Do I put the pagoda back in the tank and see if it recovers? <I would leave it in the more stable larger tank.> Another tidbit... I tested the 8 gal. and figured out the calcium levels were too high which was causing the low pH. I have since gotten the parameters back to normal. <Good, but the inherent problem of small tanks, parameters can change radically quickly in small water volumes.> Thanks for your tips! Wendy <Welcome> <Chris>

Clowns hosting in Goniopora 9/28/08 Hello all at WWM, <Lyssa> I have a 55 gallon reef tank. All water parameters are good and established. We get tested every week to be sure. <Mmm, I'd get, use your own kits> My question is, I have 2 clown fish, (amongst many others) a true percula and an Ocellaris that are paired up. I have several places for them to host such as a RBTA, frogspawn, hammer coral, torch coral and so forth yet they choose to host in my most sensitive coral, my Goniopora. <Happens> (I know I know, Goniopora are difficult to keep and usually don't last longer than 6 months, but I've had some success with it in my tank as has my friend with his which he has had for over 2 years) The problem is that they are rubbing it to death. <This also> Do you have any suggestions that I could use to force my clowns to host in a different coral? <If you can't, don't want to move the Goniopora, cover it with something like a strawberry basket (inverted)> I was thinking of putting some drilled up Plexi around it to protect <As long as there are plenty of holes for circulation, feeding each polyp> it from the clowns. What are your thoughts. Thanks so much. Lyssa <Bob Fenner>

Majano Anemones - A pest and a blessing? Amphiprionine hosting -09/03/08 I am still relatively new to this whole marine aquarium thing (3 years experience so far) and realised far too late that the Majano Anemones that were proliferating in my tank and making it look like a thriving live environment were in fact going to cause me so much trouble. I am now suffering with a major infestation - thank you and all of your subscribers / bloggers for the information that I now have about dealing with the problem. I do have one positive side effect that I would like to record regarding these Majano Anemones, however. We all know how hardy they are, in complete contrast to the majority of other anemone species that reef aquarists try to keep in their tanks. I have a breeding pair of Clown Fish (Black and White Ocellaris) who have adopted a particularly dense colony of Majanos as their home. This has led to them producing 4 clutches of eggs THIS YEAR! <Nice!> I have far too little experience and know-how and limited resources (time, money, etc) to make a success of breeding my clowns, but I wonder if a more experienced aquarist might be able to use this information to some advantage. Maybe other Clowns can be persuaded to adopt Majano homes to promote breeding? <Oh yes... Clownfishes will host in a large number of alternative anemones, cnidarians, other sea life, even faux materials> How you would go about getting each clutch of eggs away from hungry Majano Anemones and into a nursery tank is another matter, but if this means that Majanos can give a little back to the Marine Aquarium hobbyist and start to be valued rather than feared and persecuted, then so much the better. <There are a few techniques... but as you state, if you aren't into culturing, selling, allowing "nature to take its course" is likely the route to go here. If some survive...> Thanks once again for all of your help and advice. Stephen Wilkinson Kingston
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, San Diego>

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