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Old 04-22-2010, 01:53 PM   #1
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Clownfish sick and wants to fight?

I've heard this time and time again, "Clowns will be clowns," but this behavior is very odd to me. I'll give you a quick summary of what has happened over the past few weeks. I recently broke down my tank last month and moved it three hours away. I had planned everything perfectly until my friend didn't show up to help me move and the live rock got stuck in a container in some cold temperatures for quite a few hours. The fish and a few pieces of live rock were put in a heated/aerated container for the duration of the trip.

I think my tank is going through a mini-cycle and that might explain why the clown is sick. I also have a male clown, firefish, yellowtail damsel, gramma and a handful of inverts. For most of the day, she seems to rest vertically at the bottom of the tank in her corner. Her mate usually stays by her side, but occasionally ventures out into the open himself. The other fish seem to be acting normally as they were before the move. The behavior that I find really odd is when the female clown actually comes out of her corner. She seems confrontational towards the yellowtail damel now. The yellowtail has always had his own territory and nobody ever really bothered him. Now, the female clown goes out of her way to invade his space and does a little "dance" in front of him. There has never actually been a fight, just a lot of fins extended and odd movements.

I'm not sure if her acting sick and lethargic has anything to do with her new found aggression, it could be totally coincidental. I'm just hoping that she snaps out of feeling sick. Oh yeah, her color is exactly the same as it was before and she eats just as much as before.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:07 PM   #2
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Clowns are Damsel fish just like your yellowtail and can be pretty nasty on occasions too. As long as she (the bigger of the two) has her color and is eating I see nothing to worry about.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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I did receive a message after posting this from a member talking about establishing territories. That does make perfect sense considering I added a few base rocks in order to give the rock work more depth. It's kind of funny that this little tiny fish thinks he's the king of the tank. I had two of them, but the larger one was a nasty guy and I had to give him away to a LFS. Now, the smaller one is acting much more dominant towards the other fish since the larger one is gone. I'm guessing that the female clown fish is just showing him who the real boss of the tank is. The part that's not funny is that I might have to get rid of him too because I just noticed that the royal gramma has some badly nipped fins and the yellowtail is literally attacking him as soon as he goes out into the open.

I'll just monitor the clown fish and water parameters just in case.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:57 AM   #4
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What size tank do you have? how old is your tank? what are your water parameters. Your larger clown was the female and normallly the more territorial. When you took the female back you broke the hierachiery of the fish in your tank.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:24 AM   #5
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Just wait, your clown will become sadisitic! Mine bites my hand over and over again when it gets into the tank. Hurts a bit too! Its so aggressive that it launched out of the tank and onto the carpet trying to bite me!

It even bullies a strawberry baslet (which im told is a demon fish). Poor thing isnt allowed out of the rocks...

The female clown attacks me and then looks at the male as if he is being told to take part. (He just stays back and looks scared).

Matt
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