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Old 01-25-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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Clownfish/firefish trouble

I've had a tank running since October of 08, things have been going well for me so far (besides with trying to keep Pygmy Angels)

I bought a set of False Percula Clownfish. Unfortunately one of them jumped out of the tank. So I was down to one for awhile. A little later I added a fire fish and they got along great!

Unfortunately the fire fish also made an exit out of the tank, I think one of my peppermint shrimp scared it. The clownfish was back by himself for awhile. Yesterday I added a Bangaii Cardinal. The clownfish chased him a little bit but stopped promptly they are doing well now.

Then today I purchased a Blackcap Basslet and another firefish. The black cap is doing well he pals around with the Cardinal. But the fire fish....everytime it comes out my clown fish chases it right back down into the hole he hides in in the live rock. He never ever did this to any of the other fire fish....is there anything I can do to stop this? I just don't understand why this fire fish is so much more of a threat to him. He got along fine with the other one, the only difference is the other one was just a little bigger.

It's a 33 Gallon tank with a total of 9 pounds of live rock so far (I'm waiting to get more, I was battling aiptasia and want to make sure it's cleared up before adding more rock) Bio-wheel filter, no protein skimmer, I do extra on my water changes to keep up with that. Half white sand half coral argonite substrate.

Maybe add another fire or clown fish?
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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In my opinion, you're already adding too much fish in a short period of time. The fishes haven't got time to adjust with the new one and you already bought another. Generally speaking, usually with saltwater is better to add fish one per month, not one per day. Maybe some experts can chime in to help you.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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I know about adding the fish but unless one more will balance out the tank with the clownfishes chasing habits I'm not adding any more. I'm keeping very close watch on the water levels. The clownfish doesn't chase anything but the fire fish.

I replaced the fire fish that had died last week with this one so I didn't think it would bother the system that much.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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You are seeing the typical behavior of a damselfish. Once they have established their territories (sometimes they think the whole tank is theirs) they harass and weaker/more docile fish. I have a feeling the shrimp didn't cause the firefish to jump, it was more than likely the damsel, when you weren't looking.
How many firefish have you lost? I count two and you are on your third correct?
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Ummmm I don't have a damsel.....never have. I cycled my tank and started with the clownfish.

It's a False Percula Clown which I've been told by various hobbyists that they are supposed to be a calmer variety.

Yes this is the third fire fish....the second one was killed by a hitchhiker crab. That has since been removed.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:10 PM   #6
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clown fish are closely related to damsels, some call them damsels
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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Put eggcrate or Search the forum for a post I made on a clear mesh you can use to form a top to keep fish from jumping. All new inhabitants will be picked on until the pecking order is situated so as long as you have enough liverock to allow for visual barriers and hiding you should be ok. Most pecking orders will be solved within 7-14 days. You can use food as a distraction or just smack it on the nose with a firm "no!" More than likely the firefish is in the clownfishes territory when it exits from hiding.
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