Clownfish don’t always clown around

27 Mar

I have two Ocellaris Clownfish. I bought them over 4 years ago and they are going strong.

The most commonly  kept saltwater fish such as Clownfish and Damsels can be aggressive and territorial. They are similar to keeping freshwater Cichlids, such as the South America Firemouths and Convicts, or the various African Cichlids.

In this video clip you see my two Clowns tussling over a dead minnow. The minnow wasn’t dead about 30 seconds before this video started. The first Clown to grab it nearly tore it in half. I don’t recall Nemo the Clownfish tearing another fish to pieces in the movie.

When you put your saltwater fish together keep a close eye on them for awhile until they work out their differences.  If the fighting doesn’t settle down in a few days, you will have to decide what fish to remove.  Do you remove the most aggressive one, the most or least expensive one, or the prettiest one?  It’s  up to you.

If you add a new fish to your tank, give it a chance by re-arranging the decor of your tank so your old fish think they are in new surroundings, too.

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2 Responses to “Clownfish don’t always clown around”

  1. fishblogger April 4, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    That is exactly right! Clownfishes are territorial. They only look cute outside, but they can really become so aggressive if they need to. Maybe if the tank is large enough, the clownfishes might leave the new fish alone.

    I also remembered that it is not a good thing to keep two males of those in a single tank. Sooner or later, one of the two will get killed.

    I have tried flowerhorn breeding, goldfish breeding, etc, but I don’t know if it is possible to breed clownfishes in captivity.

    • fishtanx2011 April 4, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      I got my Clownfish when they were fairly small and one stayed small, the male, and the other developed into the larger female. Here is an explanation of that process from Wikipedia: The Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning that they develop into males first, and when they mature, they become females. If the female clownfish is removed from the group, such as by death, one of the largest and most dominant males will become a female. The remaining males will move up a rank in the hierarchy.
      My Clowns are always dancing around each other and cleaning out a shell but I have never seen eggs. The Ocellaris Clowns for sale are almost all captive-bred now so I would recommend buying them instead of wild-caught fish.

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