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bobo 03-05-2008 11:49 AM

Clowns and anemone
I have 2 clarkii clowns, and from the second i put them in they paired up - and one is now much larger then the other (i`m guessing the female)

so they always swam together until my friend gave me his carpet anemone. My tank being too small to house it, i decided to keep it only for a while to see how the clowns interact. My main concern however is ever since the clowns housed the anemone, the female is far more aggressive towards the male? any reason why?

bettababy 03-05-2008 07:00 PM

Could be a few reasons for the sudden aggression level, and the anemone may only be part of the cause. How big of a tank is this? Is there another place in the tank for the other fish to claim his own territory? How long has the tank been set up? If these are mature fish and in an established and healthy tank, they could be going through spawning behavior.

Keep an eye on them, you may find you will need to seperate the fish or remove the anemone to change the aggression level. Possibly a different anemone would help. A smaller anemone would work better to define specific territory, which means the female may not claim as much space for herself and may not protect it the same way.

The larger of the 2 clowns is your female. This species of clown is known to be somewhat aggressive, so some of this behavior is normal. It is also possible that 1 fish is ready for spawning and not the other.

The more info you can tell us about your tank, your fish, etc, the more we can help.

bobo 03-06-2008 12:29 AM

my tank is a 32 gallon - i know its small for the carpet thats why i`m not keeping the carpet long term. It was just an experiment to see how the clowns interact.

Other tank mates include 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, 1 camel shrimp and a cleaner wrasse. I had a toby but he was a fin nipper and so had to go.

The aggression isnt really dangerous, once the female clown goes up to the male, they sort of exchange a few words type thing by literally rubbing their heads together in some sort of acknoledgement and then the female returns to the anemone surface, allowing the male to circle around it.

They both feed the anemone and the female has grown really large really fast. the tank has been set up for almost 2 months now. Shrimp went in after 3 weeks, fish went in a week after, anemone went in last week.

There is plenty of live rock for the other fish, but the male seems more interested in following the female around rather then being attached to the anemone!

bettababy 03-06-2008 01:15 AM

I honestly am not hearing any kind of aggression problem in your description. This sounds like a healthy tank with a healthy, mated pair of clowns. Clown behavior can sometimes get agressive between a mated pair, and it can also "appear" aggressive if they are going through spawning behavior.

Is she causing any actual damage to the male? Have you seen torn fins, sores, wounds of any kind?

If not I would say to just watch them, and yes, please move the anemone to a much larger tank. Have you considered adding a torch coral to your tank instead? I have found over the years that many clowns will adopt the torch in place of an anemone, and then you don't have the size issues with growth quite like the anemone. And I have also found that it isn't specific species of clowns that will adopt the torch, as with the anemones where they are selective about which clowns mix with which anemones. I haven't seen a healthy pair yet of any species that won't do it except maybe the cinnamons.

bobo 03-06-2008 04:44 AM

i was actually planning to go anemone / coral free till i hit the 6 month barrier. i will however look at the LFS for some torch coral!

there are absolutely no wounds, and no tail nipping. its just sort of setting him in the right place behaviour. Some days she even lets him come to the surface of the anemone. others she forces him away. her initial attack looks violent but when she recognises who she is attacking she relaxes it.

Also is rubbing their bodies against the anemone normal? The female does it alot, almost like she is leaving her scent on it (i dont think thats actually whats happening though : P)

bettababy 03-06-2008 12:53 PM

Yes, that is also normal. Have you seen the movie Saving Nemo? There was a lot of factual information in that movie!
It sounds to me as if you have a happy, healthy, pair of clowns.
Stop fretting and enjoy them.

bobo 03-06-2008 06:01 PM

alright last question :D

Will there be a negative impact on the clowns after i remove the anemone?

bettababy 03-06-2008 09:10 PM

You may notice some change in behavior, but there should be no negative impact on them overall. They will likely just find something else to claim for territory, and this is why I suggested a torch coral. I have seen clowns choose a piece of rock, and even some other types of corals for territory. Clownfish don't need an anemone to be healthy and happy. Tank raised clowns don't often even understand what to do with an anemone, and even with one in the tank, a tank raised clown will typically ignore it unless they were raised with parents and anemone where the parents had the chance to teach them.
Overall, they should be just fine.

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