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Old 02-15-2022, 07:37 PM   #1
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Clownfish faded color

Hi! Iím a bit worried about my clownfish, one of them seems to be doing very well, but the other one seems to be doing more poorly. His color seems to have faded a bit. Iím not sure if itís because of stress. Hereís some info about my tank:

1- I have had my clownfish for a little over a year now, and I believe they are tank raised.

2- Theyíve been in the tank for about a year (since I got them, they were probably around 2 months old). The only tank mates are 3 turbo snails and they donít show any aggression towards them. But my girl does show aggression to my boy by biting him and they fight each other often. (I believe they havenít fully established dominance yet)

3- Yes they eat, they eat little pellets by the brand Hikari and they seem to like it. I donít feed them anything else.

4- Iím using the API Saltwater testing kit to test the water parameters. Last time I checked their water, everything was at low levels with a pH ranging between 8.0-8.4, they only thing that gets high is the nitrates. (I donít remember the exact number, but it usually gets to around 5-20ppm and I change the water biweekly.) The salt level at the moment is 1.024

5- Iíve recently noticed that my little boyís color seems to be fading and he lays around at the bottom of the tank more often. Iím not sure if this is stress from establishing dominance, but my girl seems to be bigger in size, bright in color and acting normally.

6- He only seems to be hanging out at the bottom of the tank, and opening and closing his mouth often.

7- He does swim around sometimes at the other end of the tank where my girl usually doesnít hang around, but he mostly is around his castle (where he usually rests) and doesnít move much. (Stays at bottom of tank)

8- Iíve never quarantined them or added anything to the water for treatment.

9- I acclimated the fish to the water by leaving them in their bag and I placed the bag into the water. I left them like that for about 15 minutes and then let them into the tank. (I now know that I couldíve done this in a better way!)

10- My tank is 20 gallons, my substrate is sand, and my filtration is aqueon 20 gallon flow. (When I do water changes, I either clean the filter by rising it off a little in the old salt water, or by putting in a new cartridge)

11- Iíve never used additives or meds in my tank.

I just want to know whatís going on- and if itís best to just leave them alone to sort out their dominance. Iím just a little worried
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Old 02-15-2022, 08:44 PM   #2
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Iím confused how long have you had the clowns? Is it a year or you just got them? If itís a year they should have definitely established dominance by now. Also acclimation shouldnít matter now if youíve had them that long. It does sound like the female is beating the male from what youíve described though and thatís the cause for the males decline. Do they both still eat?
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Old 02-15-2022, 11:43 PM   #3
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Iím confused how long have you had the clowns? Is it a year or you just got them? If itís a year they should have definitely established dominance by now. Also acclimation shouldnít matter now if youíve had them that long. It does sound like the female is beating the male from what youíve described though and thatís the cause for the males decline. Do they both still eat?
Yes Iíve had them for a year, and they still both eat. But Iíve noticed that sometimes when I feed them, my bigger clown tries to scare the smaller one off to take more food.
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Old 02-16-2022, 09:47 AM   #4
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Yes Iíve had them for a year, and they still both eat. But Iíve noticed that sometimes when I feed them, my bigger clown tries to scare the smaller one off to take more food.


Add more food. If your female is bullying your male due to dominance, the last thing you want is creating an even more hostile environment if thereís not enough food. Iíd also vary their diet. Get a nice varied frozen blend and put in enough to make sure both fish are being adequately fed and nourished.
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Old 02-16-2022, 02:30 PM   #5
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Add more food. If your female is bullying your male due to dominance, the last thing you want is creating an even more hostile environment if thereís not enough food. Iíd also vary their diet. Get a nice varied frozen blend and put in enough to make sure both fish are being adequately fed and nourished.
I will give that a try! Thank you very much
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Old 02-16-2022, 07:18 PM   #6
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Update: My male just passed away and I removed him from the tank. I’m still not completely sure why- I checked the parameters, salinity and temperature, but there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary. He seemed fine and swimming this morning, so I’m led to believe that it was conflict with the female. : ( I can’t help but feel like I did something wrong.. not sure if this gives much info, but if anyone thinks they may know why, please let me know!!
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Old 02-17-2022, 07:56 AM   #7
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Update: My male just passed away and I removed him from the tank. Iím still not completely sure why- I checked the parameters, salinity and temperature, but there seems to be nothing out of the ordinary. He seemed fine and swimming this morning, so Iím led to believe that it was conflict with the female. : ( I canít help but feel like I did something wrong.. not sure if this gives much info, but if anyone thinks they may know why, please let me know!!


You didnít do anything wrong. Clowns are mean and territorial by nature and sometimes they turn on each other. I thought my female was going to kill my male a few months ago after living peacefully for about a year. Fortunately it worked out, but sometimes it doesnít.

If you replace him, find the smallest one you can find, it may expedite the dominance factor in the new relationship.

Good luck.

PS- I woke up to my Harptail Blenny on the floor this morning. Not trying to sleight your situation, but Itís all part of the hobby.
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Old 02-17-2022, 08:19 AM   #8
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You didnít do anything wrong. Clowns are mean and territorial by nature and sometimes they turn on each other. I thought my female was going to kill my male a few months ago after living peacefully for about a year. Fortunately it worked out, but sometimes it doesnít.

If you replace him, find the smallest one you can find, it may expedite the dominance factor in the new relationship.

Good luck.

PS- I woke up to my Harptail Blenny on the floor this morning. Not trying to sleight your situation, but Itís all part of the hobby.

Thank you very much for your response, I was checking my parameters and salinity like a crazy person because I thought I was doing something wrong. I really donít want her to be alone, so I think I will try to get her a partner. Itís good to hear that your clowns are doing well, and Iím sorry to hear about your Blenny

Thank you again
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