Okay, I purchased two clown fish 5 days ago. They are the first fish I added in my tank and still the only fish.
One of them seems to be very mean and the other is easy going. The mean one has done things like hit my blue legged hermits off the glass and keep nipping at them when they are on the ground and he also seems to attack the other clown.
Today, as I was feeding them, I noticed the easy going clown went over and is hiding to the left of my over-flow box in between the box and the glass. He stays in there and every so often pokes his head out and when the more aggressive clown sees him, he chases after him causing the easy going clown to go back and hide. He will not come out, he has been doing this for about an hour and I do not know what to do!
What should I do???
Yep. No a whole lot you can do in this situation, short of take one of the Clownfish back to the LFS. The most aggressive one should be returned.
This happens on occasion with Clownfish in smaller aquariums. Until a true Male / Female pair has formed, Clownfish will often be aggressive towards each other.
I just talked to a cousin of mine that has kept tanks before and asked him for his opinion. He said leave them be and they should eventually form a pair but until then they will show signs of aggression.
I bought them at a LFS here that I do not normally shop at and wanted to try them out. There stuff seemed nice but after I purchased I have only heard bad things about his place from other people. The guy won't take the clowns back, and he won't really give me any advice when I call him. So I guess taking them back is out of the question.
I also noticed that they do a weird twitching thing. At first, the larger one did it and then a few minutes later the smaller one did it as well. My LFS once told me that it is normal for them to do that and it shows dominance. Is this true? If so, is it possible that I purchased two females?
What is your opinion, should I just leave them be and let them become a pair? How long does the process take?
Thanks so much for your prompt reply!
what kind of clowns? its possible you purchased 2 different species.
what are you tank parameters? SG, temp, ammonia, nitrite,nitrate,pH,alk,ca,mag,flow,lights,tank size,what you feed,how often,filtration,how many #s of live rock and anything else you can include to be helpful in solving the issue.
They are false percs.
My last test results are, No3: 3ppm, DKH: 8.6, Calcium: 450, Salinity: 1.026.
As far as lights, I have a NOVA Extreme Pro 6x39 Watt T5. Tank size is 30 Gallons. I feed frozen mysis shrimp every other day. I have roughly 70 lbs of live rock.
Thanks for the input, I really appreciate the help!
I have seen that in a pair of clownfish I owned before I moved out west. I had a true mated pair, and the larger (female) clown would occasionally "attack" (not persistant, but more like an outburst) the smaller male, and in return the male would twitch like crazy for a bit. I was told that was the male submitting to the female. The clowns lived happily in my tank for many months until I had to break it down to move across the country, always swimming together with the very occasional "outburst".
However, from the description in your first post, it sounds like this isn't a mated pair. +1 to what Pasfur said, and as you suggested in the quote above, it's very possible that you have two females, or a male and female that were arbitrarily grabbed together and aren't actually a mated pair.
I don't know whether or not the two you have will eventually become a mated pair, and I don't have any advice to give on whether you should take one back to a different store, or ride it out and hope one doesn't kill the other. I guess use your own judgment, if the harassment is really bad between them, then that is not natural and for the sake of your more easy-going clown, you might separate them. Aside from how they act towards each other, you mentioned the aggressive one bothering your hermits and other tank mates, so maybe you should return that one to a LFS or friend anyways.
I just called the store I bought them from. He suggests that I take the bully clownfish out and keep him out for a while and also take the small one out, change the rock layout, release the small one in there with the lights off and keep the bully out still for a while so that he can explore and create territory, then release the bigger one back in. Does this sound like a good idea to you guys? I don't know how much I can really change my rock around, it is only a 30 gallon long so theres not a ton of room in there. Maybe seperating them for a while would help?
Thanks for all of your help, I really appreciate it!
In the wild clownfish live in very large groups, with 1 dominant female, 1 male, and hundreds of "sub-adults". When the female dies, the male becomes a female and the dominant sub-adult becomes a male. In effect, the 2 largest Clownfish are the female and male.
Many pet shops will offer you any 2 Clownfish and suggest that this process will happen in an aquarium. It is generally successful, but not always. I can't explain why.
The LFS has recommended that you try an old (and effective) freshwater trick and try to apply it to a marine aquarium. I think you run a high risk of disease outbreak by applying this recommendation. The stress you create on the livestock is to high. I advise that you remove the dominant female and return her to another LFS. It is unlikely that you will be able to add another Clownfish in the future.
Well I called my LFS today and talked to someone there and asked what I should do about these Clowns and basically she said I am stuck with them and it's to bad, she said she couldn't control their personality and all this. I basically told her, hey let me switch them out for a mated pair or give me store credit or anything, and she said no way. I asked to speak with the Owner, she said there is no point, he will not give me any answer I want to hear. So I brought the more aggressive fish up to his store today, handed it to the owner and said, Hey man this fish is to aggressive, it is going to kill my other fish, they are just not getting along, what can you do for me? He took it without a problem and picked me out another one, the new one is in my tank now and they are getting along great.
Thanks a lot for all of your advice, I'm glad it ended up working out well and I won't have to deal with that crazy clown anymore!
Good for you for taking the initiative and taking the clown back even though the gal on the phone said it was a no go. I'm really glad it worked out for you! :-D
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