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Old 09-19-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
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Clownfish: eggs or sick?

I have a 33 gal flatback hex- it's been set up for @ 3 mos.- seeded with sand & water from my 10 yr. old 50 gal tub... It contains 2 young clownfish, a watchman goby, pistil shrimp, fire shrimp, a few snails, hermit crabs, xinia coral & liverock. The smallest clownfish (He) was tiny when I bought him in a 2 gal fluval for my mom for mother's day. I'm guessing he is @ 5 mos. old with other clown (She) only slightly larger-I'll guess 6 mos. old. I'm hoping they will be a pair.... I've been reading up but other than that don't know too much about this.
They have gotten along nicely since I in put them in the tank. It seems obvious that she (the larger of the two) is dominant especially when I turn the tank light off. She nips at him unmercifully for @ 5mins. He hides behind the filter & she swims off... I think she sees herself in the tank walls, gets aggressive and takes it out on him. Then she finds him again & nips some more. He hides, does the "seizure thing" she swims away and the routine starts again until they both end up "sleeping" in the top corner of the tank... kind of laying on their sides. Anyway, this has been the routine for the last few months and still is. Tonight I noticed that the smaller little guy, who I assumed was the male, has a very round large tummy. I'm a bit confused about whether this could be eggs... which would destroy my theory that he is the he.... or if he could be sick. He ate and acted normally. The only unusual behavior was his swimming which was more wobbly due to the big tummy. I'm really worried he could be sick.... we got really attached to the little thing... obviously, since he now owns his own 33 gal tank. Anyway, I've attached a few pictures which really don't show how extended his tummy is.... but is the best I could get on camera. If you have any ideas I'd appreciate the advice. If he is sick & I can do anything to save him I really would like to. If the "male" can lay eggs before he is the male or if I'm just going to have 2 females, I'd like to know that, too.... Anyway, let me know your thoughts, if you have any.... especially those of you who have raised babies (clowns). Thanks
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:29 AM   #2
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I don't think those are eggs. 'he' would look like he got fatter in width. I'm thinking that they may both be females, with one being more dominant. My clowns have never acted that way, with the exception of my maroon lol...
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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He actually was very fat width-wise... but this morning he was normal again. Either he laid eggs-which there are no sign of- or he just ate too much. I didn't realize fish would eat that much but he seems fine now.... still hoping they become a pair
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #4
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Maybe he was constipated? Lol
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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They are too young to lay eggs yet,they will also clean off part of the rock/tank,this you would notice,they wouldn't nip at each other either,I would say he was greedy at feeding time,the fish which is nipping will become the female as its always the most dominant.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
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My clown fish act the same only she pushes the small male wherever she wants him. The small one (male I guess) spends most of his time under the filter rim while she swims around the upper portion of the tank then they both sleep at the top on their sides. I thought they were dying for a long time until I read how strange clowns can be. They eat well and are growing and the little one swims down in the tank sometimes and seems fine. I don't know if that helps or not. I'm new at this too.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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i would get the bubbler out of the tank. just use a couple power heads for flow and gas exchange.
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