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Old 02-05-2006, 02:41 PM   #1
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Strange acts of my clown fish

Hey everyone I got 2 clownfish in my tank along with 2 sea anenome and today I realized something weird. The clown were biting the ends of my anenome. Is this normal?? And also there is black stuff in the anenome the fish keep taking out of the anenome and eating, then spitting out.
What is going on>?
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:02 PM   #2
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Was the clown actually biting or just mouthing? And where was the clown biting (or mouthing)? do you mean the end of such as the foot of the anemone or a the end of a tentacle? Each tentacle is armed with a venomous stinger and no, clowns are not immuned. Clowns have to prepare their bodies to be able to live among those stinging tentacles...which they do by wiggling through the tentacles building a thicker layer of mucus over their bodie and making themselves smell like the anemone.

These guys are all new and they could just be doing their thing to prepare life within the protection of their anemones. They do feed and clean the anemones. Picking up and spitting out that black stuff is most likely just them cleaning debris. It's cool when they feed their anemones. Offer some pieces of squid once a week and watch them shove it right into the anemone.

Have you inspected this black stuff closely? Any clue to what it is???
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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One of my Perculas "Mouthed" my BTA all the time (to put it gently it resembled a calf getting milk from its mother). Weirded me out at first too...Good explaination TCTfish
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys.
The clown is biting on the end of the tentacles. The black stuff looks like crap. Another thing I noticed was the clown would go near the anenome and start twitching while swimming sideways. Really strange. Thanks for all the help everyone.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Each tentacle is armed with a venomous stinger and no, clowns are not immuned. Clowns have to prepare their bodies to be able to live among those stinging tentacles...which they do by wiggling through the tentacles building a thicker layer of mucus over their bodie and making themselves smell like the anemone.
Although you may be correct, this has not been scientifically proven. To my knowledge, there are about 4 hypothesis as to how anemonefish avoid being stung by anemones. What you have mentioned is, however, probably the most accepted hypothesis.

One this is for certain...the anemone does not recognize the clownfish and therefore does not fire its stinging cells (nematocysts). HTH
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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i have seen my clownfish "mouth" the end of my BTA's tentacles. I'm not worried about it either. Seems like they're just getting use to eachother.
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:21 PM   #7
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Zooz...One of the most recent discoveries of the reef is that other fish are taking up the practice...and not just other damsels either. Hawk fish are one species among a few others that have been seen living among anemones just as clownfish do and I think some gobies were too. This was on a special on one of those documentary channels (Discovery or National Georgraphic types) about the reef ecosystem. This was the same documentary that had mentioned about clowns disquising their scent to smell like the anemone so the anemones wouldn't recognize them. Pretty interesting. They mentioned that with this discovery and that it's a newly observed behavior with other fish that these animals may well have the ability to learn by watching others with their techniques of survival.

Lakersfreak...the twitching and going sideways is fish talk. Usually it's seen in males trying to grab the attention of a female for spawning
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:20 PM   #8
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So I have 2 clownfish, does that mean 1 is a male and the other a female? Mating possibilities???
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:10 PM   #9
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I agree with zooz. I would like to see some scientific data backing any of that theory up.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:53 PM   #10
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lakersfreak...very possbile

Brenden...Zooz was mentioning that none of the hypothesis on clown and anemones have been scientifically proven, however what was mentioned is the most probable. We do know that clowns do have a thicker layer of slime than all other damsels and we do know they like to wiggle through the tentacles that help build this thicker slime. We also know that clowns generally do not get stung. Everything else is guessed. Perhaps the new discoveries of other reef fish taking on the practice may help give scientific knowledge as of how they are actually protected from the anemone's stings. It's a new discovery so it'll take some time to establish scientific data to back up any of the theories.
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