I have a pair of Clownfish in my 20 gallon quarantine tank right now, doing everything right. . . sponge filter, mesh bag of main tank substrate for bio filter. Strong powerhead for movement and oxygenation. Water parameters are good (nitrite's a little high at .25, but ammonia is 0). I am currently treating with Cupramin to ward off any Ich they might be hosting, which I have heard can cause fish to temporarily lose their appetite.
I started out feeding Mysis shrimp since they are more nutricious than the traditional starter food, brine shrimp. I also add several drops of Boyd's Vita-Chem to the thawed food when I feed. The male has eaten voraciously since day-one, but the female refuses. She eats the food, holds it in her mouth for a few seconds, and then spits it right back out! What's going on?
Today I bough some of the loathsome brine shrimp to mix in with the Mysis in hopes that she would at least eat something, and get some nutrition from the Vita-Chem (about 1/4 Mysis and 3/4 brine plus the Vita-Chem), and again, the male took the food readily, while the female continued the same behavior of taking the food, holding it, then spitting it out.
I am completely perplexed by this behavior and hope someone has some insight as to what is going on here. I bought the pair at a very reputable LFS
and asked to see them eat before the purchase. The associate dropped a few fingers full of pellets into the water, and all (or maybe most. . . there were probably 20-30 clowns in the tank, so it was hard to make sure they all got a piece!) went crazy over the food. I'm thinking about calling them tomorrow to see what they were feeding, but I would think that the a, frozen organism like Mysis or brine shrimp would be much more appealing to a Clownfish than a dry pellet.
She doesn't look too skinny yet, but I'm afraid if she continues to refuse to eat, she may succumb to some illness or simply die of starvation.