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Old 11-02-2004, 08:37 PM   #1
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Clownfish Agression Question.

I got myself two very healthy Ocellaris clowfishes about three weeks ago. They have been stellar with each other, swimming around, peacful, happy.

All of the sudden, about two days ago, they are ALL over each other. The larger fish (female, I am assuming) is constantly (and I mean, after hours of watching, they don't stop for longer than a minute) chasing the poor smaller fish (male, again, assuming). The smaller fish now is getting a ragged back fin.

I've been on the hunt for a Ritteri Anemone for these fish for a while, but the LFS I get them from always sells out of them within a day, and they (rumor has it) don't ship so well.

Would an anemone help lessen the agression? Are they trying to mate? Are they fighting? How long can the little fishie last before he gets too stressed?

Thank you, in advance, for any replies
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:03 PM   #2
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Battered husband syndrom? Perhaps he needs to get in the mood so she'll leave him alone...What size tank? How much of a size difference between the fish?
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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Most times when this happens it will subside. Hopefully the smaller fish doesn't get damaged beyond repair. Someone with more expertise might chime in but I don't know if there is anything specific that you can do just hope it doesn't last long
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:19 PM   #4
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It's a 29 gallon tank. The size difference is minute. Perhaps..less than a half an inch, at most. But the female is 'bulkier'.

Gracious, LMW80, did some research for me, and her findings suggest a dominance issue for the lady. And that a larger, more dominant female may be the fix to this problem. I'll give it another day and see how it goes. Just worried about the little guy. I heard that it wasn't good to keep clowns in odd numbered groups??? Is that true?

Will an anemone (thinking they are trying to couple, here) lessen the agression any? Give them a place to chill for a while?
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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Are you thinking of adding another one? It is ill advised to add any clownfish after you already have some in your tank. This will cause many fights and probably some dead fish.
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Old 11-02-2004, 10:45 PM   #6
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Hmm...

So, if this persists....what should I do?
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:32 AM   #7
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Clowns do not need anemone hosts to do well nor will it quell any part of the females aggressive behavior. I would under no circumstances suggest you add a Ritteri anemone to a tank as small as a 29 gal. They get far too large and it could easily span the entire tank.

What you are seeing in the clown behavior is typical mating/pair bonding behavior. With many clown species once a territory is claimed it is quite common for the female alone to "occupy" that area chasing out all animals that invade including the chosen mate. Once the pair bond becomes solid and some time passes they will seem less aggressive towards each other but the female will still give chase on and off. Give it some more time to see if it works itself out. As long as the smaller clown does not develope and serious injuries, simple torn fins will heal easily enough if water quality is up to par.

If you do decide to "exchange" the male, best to get one ½ the size of the female. This will help ensure the newly added male/nueter is not seen as an aggressor but rather a suitor. The closer in size the two fish are, the more likely the aggressive behavior and more intense. Once the dominant fish has clearly established itself, it will subside.

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Old 11-03-2004, 11:46 AM   #8
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I had the same problem with a pair of clowns I had. I took the aggressive one back to the lfs, traded for another, and they have lived happily ever after.....so far.

PS. You should understand that Women are far more aggressive, I meam female species! 8O (wife walks in and slaps revhtree in the back of he head)
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:55 PM   #9
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Devilishturtles, I think steve-s is giving you great advice. My two ocellaris went through the "bickering phase" for about a week and now that the female has let the male know who's boss, she only runs at him once in a while to remind him
As I understand it from my reading, the aggressive phase can last weeks or several months but it's a normal part of the pairing process and unless the guy is really in bad shape, let it be. Has he started "quivering" yet? (You'll know it when you see it.) That's a submissive behavior that indicates things are moving along.

And--if I read right and you are thinking about adding another female to have three total--please don't! Again from my reading (not experience) two females will basically fight until one of them is dead.

Here's a thread from reefcentral that helped me:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hlight=pairing

HTH!
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:04 PM   #10
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Thanks alot everyone. So many places say different things, it's good to get actual advice. They are actually seeming a little better today than yesterday, but still chasing. The male's back fin seems less damaged, and looks to be healing a bit.

I'd like an anemone host in the tank, for the clowns, but is that possible with a 29 gal tank? The folks at the LFS recommended a carpet or ritteri anemone, all supposedly fine for a 29 gal.

Or, should I go without an anemone? I just heard (wrong, possibly) that the clowns like it....

Thanks for all your help!
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