Clownfish behavior/disease - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Clownfish behavior/disease

I have a 29 gal Fowlr with 20lb live rock and 40+ lbs of crushed coral and live aragonite substrate. the tank was set up and ran with ls/lr for 3 weeks. after nitrites and nitrates settled to 0 I added two tank raised clowns which had been together. the LPS owner said they were about 6 mo old.

both fish were eating swimming and seemed to be settling in. they were being fed a diet of frozen foods including: marine cuisine, squid, seaweed/vege mix and occasional brine shrimp. they are fed in the morning and at night.

the lights are now on a timer but were not at the begining

On day 7 of being in the tank I went out of town early in the morning for a funeral. i forgot to feed them, and to turn on the light. the only light they had was the little bit of ambient light that shows in my living room during the day. I came home that night to find the larger of the two fish floating nearly sideways in the tank. fin movement and resperation apeared to be normal. but she/he was having difficulty swimming upright and swimming lower into the water column. I turned the lights on for a few hours and fed them. both fish ate normally. After being in the light and eating she resumed normal swimming patterns.

The next morning she was again near the top looking sluggish and swimming sideways. Again she ate and began swimming normally after the lights were on for a while. This pattern has continued for 4 days with her being near the top in the morning when the lights come on and then resuming "normal" swimming patterns after the lights are on for about an hour. I have increased the photo period from 12 to 13 hours since this is when she seems to do well.

testing results:
steady since tank was started
specific gravity 1.022
pH 8.0
temp 76
steady since fish were added
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 0

Does anyone have anything that can help me? What is going on with this fish?
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 05:54 PM
From what I've run into when the fish hang out at the top, its because they are getting picked on. Being at night, they realize they are vulnerable. Is one bigger than the other? the LFS said they had been together in a tank for 6 months? Were they the only ones in the tank? They are goin to get territorial now that they are the only ones in the tank. Unless they are a mated pair, they will stake out their own property. The one hasn't found a sopt as of yet.
Just an observation though.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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at the LFS they were in a tank with another "mated pair" about the same size as these, and yes he said they had been together since birth. This one is the larger of the two.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-31-2011, 08:56 PM
i had the same probelm with my two false clowns (ocellaroius) and i thought it was a problem with there swim bladder. but a couple of weeks later it seemed to straighten itself out. i think reef is right its a dominance thing. clown fish are werid in the fact that they can change there sex depeneding on their enviroment. if they where both males or females the larger one should stay the same while the other is basically forced to change.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-31-2011, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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well both of my fish seem to be doing fine. I honestly havent checked them in the morning to see if that behavior is still occurring. Maybe i will try to get up early in the morning.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-10-2011, 08:18 PM
speaking of werid clown behavour. my larger clown of the pair is acting weird again. he can access all levels of the tank but his kinda swims on a angle at times and then corrects himself. is this just a stupid clown thing or should i be worried? water paramiters are all green so its not chem/ water pollution
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-15-2011, 12:34 AM
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The larger of 2 clowns is always the female. If they were in a tank with another mated pair and all close in size then they were likely male to begin with. Once separated from a group one is going to turn female, that's how it works with clown fish. You can always tell which is which when they start to grow because the female is always larger than the male.

There is another explanation for the behaviors you have described... its called sleeping. Yes, clown fish sleep and they tend to lay on their sides and sometimes flutter around a bit when they sleep. For this to happen at the surface is a little odd, but not unheard of. If everything else appears normal and the behavior is normal during lighted hours, I wouldn't be concerned.

The other thing I would like to mention is that spg of 1.022 is a bit low for clown fish... you should slowly bring that up to 1.023 - 1.025. Most clowns thrive at a spg of 1.025. While that may not seem like a big enough difference to matter, it does. I'm not sure what you are using for a hydrometer, but it would be useful if you can find someone with a refractometer to calibrate it for you, as most of the hydrometers on the market tend to read a bit off, so your spg may actually be lower than what you are reading, which would also explain odd behavior from the fish.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-14-2012, 09:14 AM
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That's clowns' peculiarity I suppose :)) mine act weird all the time and then stop all of a sudden
Weird fishes :)
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