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Old 11-28-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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My Clown is bullying (and killing) fish. What to do?

I've inherited a 125 gallon tank about a year ago. I've had inverts, cuc, and a mated pair of ocellaris clowns in there for about a year (the only fish in there so far).

I added 6 green chromis to the tank over the last 2 weeks. Within these 2 weeks the big clown has nipped and nipped and picked off their dorsal fins to where I now have 2 green chromis left. She is now bullying the last 2 as well.

I thought it would end over 3 to 5 days, but it's still going on. So- just curious, would you keep the clown and try with other types of fish, or sell the clown back to the lfs?

As an alternative (last straw), I was thinking of adding a lawnmower blenny (because I'm going to anyway) and seeing if the clown picked at it. If it does- the clown is gone.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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I would rehome the clowns unless you are really really liking them. You will have the same problem with other fish you add most likely as well. Although my algae blenny stays very well hidden so I doubt the clowns would go into the rockwork to find him.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Carey. Would you sell both back to the lfs, keep one, or sell both back to the store and try a new mated pair? I really like the look of clowns...
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
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Have you tried taking the clowns out for awhile and then putting them back in or rearranging the rocks. If the clowns have had the whole tank to themselves for a year, then that's your problem - they've claimed the whole tank as their territory.

Otherwise, I'd just get rid of the female then.

**I have 2 clowns, 1 wrasse, and 1 goby in a 10g tank (QT) right now with no problems, so it is do-able. And another pair of clowns and 1 firefish in a 10g tank (QT) with no problems. Don't wait so long in between new additions **
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Problem is that clowns can be mighty territorial and showing aggression towards "new additions" is not unexpected.

You could try removing the clown for awhile, until you've finished adding new fish, then re-add the clown back into the mix. Moving around rockwork in the meantime could also help. Basically, that clown thinks the tank is his and has labeled each and every gallon of water as "mine mine mine". By removing him and reworking the layout, you may be able to convince him that he's the new guy in a new environment.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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I got 1 clown and it's like a bulldog I put my hand in the tank and it bites me none stop my over fish are fine tho maybe coz they larger
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Scotty09 View Post
I got 1 clown and it's like a bulldog I put my hand in the tank and it bites me none stop my over fish are fine tho maybe coz they larger
Yea I had the same issue with my ocellaris. Used to bite the crap out of me and anyone who helped clean up the tank.

Actually had a service coming in for awhile when I broke my leg, and the little bastich actually drew blood on him.

No more clowns for me
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighabeeb

Yea I had the same issue with my ocellaris. Used to bite the crap out of me and anyone who helped clean up the tank.

Actually had a service coming in for awhile when I broke my leg, and the little bastich actually drew blood on him.

No more clowns for me
Mine has taken to this after they paired up and the larger made the change. She is RUDE, but she doesn't bother my other fish....
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Since it is a pair it you shouldn't really split them up try and find a home for both of them. Clowns get very territorial as they get older and yours decided the whole tank was theirs. My lawnmower actually bullies my clown. It will depend on the fish actually.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by all4wheels2 View Post
Have you tried taking the clowns out for awhile and then putting them back in or rearranging the rocks. If the clowns have had the whole tank to themselves for a year, then that's your problem - they've claimed the whole tank as their territory.

Otherwise, I'd just get rid of the female then.

**I have 2 clowns, 1 wrasse, and 1 goby in a 10g tank (QT) right now with no problems, so it is do-able. And another pair of clowns and 1 firefish in a 10g tank (QT) with no problems. Don't wait so long in between new additions **
Unfortunately, I aquascaped about a month before I added the chromis (and am not going to make changes again- I really like the way I have it now). I also put my large female in my sump/refugium for a couple of days hoping she would relax with the new fish, but that didn't do anything to help.

Also- the reason I waited so long to add new livestock is because I want to go reef, and am just waiting until I can save enough $$ for lights. I know I could have added my livestock in the meantime, but I was just fine waiting. Hindsight- I should have had more fish to begin with.
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