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Old 02-10-2008, 05:42 PM   #1
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Clowns not doing so well...

Hey all,

I usually don't post because I can usually find my answers by browsing/searching the forums but this is a pretty case specific problem. So, I got my tank up and running, everything doing very well, got a pair of small clowns and threw 'em in (not literally, lol). Anyway, they were doing great.

Now, however, they have commenced fighting everyday almost all day. I figured this was part of the normal setting up of their hierarchy, and I still believe it to be. But over the course of this fighting the past few days, they have both started to develop white around/on the mouths. One of them is not so bad, I'm not really worried about that one, it's the other one, who looks like every time they lock jaws during their fights, he/she is on the losing side.

I don't know, it's mouth just looks really ripped up. I don't really think it has anything to do with disease, but I'd imagine it could lead to it if given the right circumstances. Today they are actually not fighting...yet. When the lights came on, they looked at each other from either side of the tank, then approached each other slowly. They have just kinda been hangin' out together...they look to tired to fight lol.

Anyway, my questions are:
Should I be worried?
Should I separate them?
How long does the mating process usually take?
Does anyone else have a girlfriend that will kill you if the fish they are attached to die?

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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Were they mated at the lfs or didja get a larger and smaller one from separate tanks?

I do hope they aren't the same size from different tanks. Could be the same sex and one could die if that were the case.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:28 PM   #3
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Clowns will certainly battle it out if not a mated pair. I would be concerned about the injury and QT the infected animal. I too am interested in Ray's questions...
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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How small (or big) are these clowns. That does not sound like juvenile behavior. How long have you had them in your tank?
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:43 PM   #5
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Assuming that both are the same specie and of relative size (either one larger than the other or both similar in size), this behavior is quite common. Prior to pairing, flashing tends to kick off the "romance" and the aggression will usually heighten from there. As in cichlids, lip biting can occur in sw fish. If both have calmed down and they are beginning to favor each others company, keep a close eye on the damaged lip. I would hesitate to move the fish to qt or perform a water change as this might disrupt their pairing and territorial aggression commencing once again; however, if the lip does not begin to heal I would move both into a qt and medicate with an anti-bacterial.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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What austinsdad said...
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innovator View Post
Assuming that both are the same specie and of relative size (either one larger than the other or both similar in size), this behavior is quite common. Prior to pairing, flashing tends to kick off the "romance" and the aggression will usually heighten from there. As in cichlids, lip biting can occur in sw fish. If both have calmed down and they are beginning to favor each others company, keep a close eye on the damaged lip. I would hesitate to move the fish to qt or perform a water change as this might disrupt their pairing and territorial aggression commencing once again; however, if the lip does not begin to heal I would move both into a qt and medicate with an anti-bacterial.
That's what i was thinking, I didn't want to separate them for fear of disrupting their natural cycle, but at the same time, I didn't want one or both of them to die.

No they were not mated, however I did get them out of the same batch (in the same tank). They, with many others, were shipped together. I tried to get the smallest of the entire bunch. They are approx. the same size. The fighting (and consequently, the lips/jaws) is getting better. I only see them nipping at each other a little here and there now; nothing like what they were carrying on with before.

I have, and will continue to keep a close eye on them. What worries me at this point is infection of their healing lips/jaws, and the fact that they are somewhat less active from before. I think as far as infection goes, this is unlikely, just because these two are the first fish ever in the tank (as of the new setup), and I have been feeding them a veriety of foods (including some with garlic), so that their immune systems can better handle what may be to come.

Their activity level concerns me more. They still waddle back and forth, but at a much slower rate. They don't really swim around the tank a whole lot more, but seem to stay to the right side, where there is considerable less water flow/current. The sleep in the same two places every night. Sometimes, the will sleep together in one of their homes, other times, apart and bickering. I'm hoping they will start becoming more and more accustomed to each other and work out just who wears the pants in the relationship, so that we can continue on in aquatic bliss

Anyway, let me know what you guys think. Oh and sorry for the long reply time, I just got assigned another research paper and this time it has to be 14 pages. Many of you may be joyed to hear that I am writing it on the conservation of coral reefs and how the reef aquarium hobby can aid in the process. Anyway, have to get back to writing that
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:33 PM   #8
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Folks normally get one smaller than the other. Helps them sort out who's boss better. At the same size, I'm just worried they'll fight more intensely.

Add some Zoe to the food mix in the meantime too. It's vitamin.
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