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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Clownfish Staying In Same Spot..


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So.. after my water test readings being 0 for the past two weeks.. and seeing as my tank cycled quite quickly (its now four full weeks, already had a brown algea bloom.. and as soon as the tank was filled it had some very lively live rock added as well) i was told by my LFS (quite knowledgable and they will tell you when you screwed up.. and when to not add a fish..) that i'd be fine to add a fish in in the next few days.. so i decided to go to another LFS i knew of as they had Hermits and my usual one doesn't carry them.. and i ended up buying a clown..


So my question now is.. the clown looks healthy other than having a nipped underside fin (don't know the proper name..) and is eating fine when i mix up some mysis shrimp in a cup and pour it in.. it'll swim about 3 inches to get food and then return to the corner next to the heater and is constantly right at the top.


Is this normal? And seeing as theres only one clown.. could that be why? I do realise clowns have quite an unusual behaviour about them but my folks seem to think its got something wrong with it.

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For the first week or so that might be normal as most fish or shrimp are quite shy the first days when they are in a new tank.


In nature, too, clownfish stay in a confined space around their anemone and leave this safe area only when looking for food. This behaviour is the main reason to keep them in relatively small tanks like nanos.

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Ah ok. I knew about their natural behaviour but wassn't sure if it was ok in my tank or not.


I'll end up gettin a second one for sure.. probably end of the week or something. The little fella has occasionally wandered from one side to the other though.


A mate just suggested to get an anemone before i put anything else in the tank.. but i don't wana rush it. Good idea or bad?


Edit: Just remembered readin that anemones shouldn't be placed into a tank unless its been set up for quite some time and is doing well.. Hmm.. Bit hard to put one in once the entire tank is stocked.. but also don't wana leave it 6 months with just two clownfish aha. Also i know that they aren't a necessity.

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My guess is that the majority of clowns in aquariums live without keeping an anemone as their home.


My clown (ab)uses a small colony of Zoas to feel safe in there.


Anemones need some attention and a mature tank. Also, it may be difficult in a nano. You would need to leave some extra space for it.

It's surely not impossible as some funny experts tell. One anemone guru makes the ridicolous statement on her Web site that you would need more than one powerhead and a nano couldn't have more than one, :lol:


I got only five powerheads in my 60L/15G nano. :P Two Maxi-Jet 600 and two Marea 2400 liters/hour and an upwards streaming little pump. (Maybe I'll take the Maxi-Jets out.)


Another point with those clowns is that they become more confident, bold or even nasty if they are a pair. So, I would suggest to let be a pair of clowns the only fish in a nano.

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I see. I definately don't want JUST clowns in my tank.. but granted i've set up the rock specifically to accomodate more than just two small fish. Instead of a rock pile in the middle.. i've got a lot of thin but big peices on the back glass as a i guess "background" as such.. so there is a vast amount of room in the tank for them to swim.


Oh.. the tank is a 2ft / 16g / 63L tank.. plus another litre from the fuge..


Also.. i've got ONE clown. Not a pair.. just incase that wassn't obvious in my previous posts.


Being that there is only a single clown.. is it alright that its just sittin in one top corner? Would a buddy clown make it feel more comfortable?

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It's difficult to say what's exactly up with a clown that is new in a tank. At least, some are very shy and almost don't move, others don't eat for a few days without being sick.


At night, they often keep on one side on the top of the tank beneath the surface and swim in a strange way so that often people thought their clowns would be sick or even dead.


Only keep in mind that clown and the far relative damsels are fish that often harass other fish. Overall quiet, small, and shy fish get harassed.


But all depends on the particular character. I got one clown and one damsel. They were both introduced as very tiny fish and both keep a distant but friendly relationship and often stay together even during feeding. But that's maybe a rather rare situation.

Many people report clowns (and overall damsels) as not only aggressive but mean and nasty.


If you don't want to take out some fish later you should maybe get some more info and other opinions, too.


Another point is stocking density. The more fish the more skimming or water changes or phoshate remover or so.

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I ended up turning all the lights off.. and then came back in with a torch and found it swimmin around normally..


It woulda been fine if it haddn't jumped through the ridiculously tiny gap between the tank and lid during the night though..



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Clown fish are generally non-mobile. If it sits in one spot I would think that's pretty normal....

Introducing a new clown might be a bad idea, as they are territorial.

Do a search here and you'll read stories of one clown that had its own spot attack the new fish.


One trick that made sense though was to take out the old fish, re-arrange the rock, then introduce both fish at the same time. It'll cause the old fish to have to re-establish its territory while the new fish does the same thing....


But yes, if you wanted a fish that swam around alot, you made a poor choice.

Mine swims around more when its hungry....

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There's a chance it wont ever move from that spot, my friends clown has been doing the exact same thing for 3 months now and it's in a 100g tank... He's actually getting rid of it, because it wont swim around.


One more thing, screw the 6 month rule, it's BS. ;)

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Yeah well i'm gona get a new fish on Friday sometime.. don't know if i'll get a clown just yet though.. love the look of em but i duno.. my mates clown fish pair swim around everywhere so.. maybe it depends on the fish. Eh.


Not sure what i'll end up gettin.. guess i'll have to see what they've got there at the time.

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My pair of true percs swim around a lot. They are really only immobile at night, as they take comfort in hiding in my hammer coral. I really think fish act differently even within species. I would honestly study the fish at the fish store before buying.


For example, the first fish I bought was a firefish in which I didnt spend much time studying it at the store because I knew it was the exact fish I wanted before going into the store. So when i got to the fish store I didnt really spend much time looking at its behavior. When I put this firefish in my tank, it hid and never came out. I waited a whole month and never saw the thing, eventually I just deemed it dead. When I got a replacement firefish, I spend time in the store looking at the different ones they had. One hid everytime I approached the tank, while another was happily swimming in open water and was not afraid when a person approached. I bought that fish and it is happily swimming around during the day, only hiding at night...Just my 2 cents, sorry for the long writing

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Both of mine (had a single, it died, bought another single) swam ALL OVER the tank all day long. Only at night did they huddle to one spot and not move.


My new clown is fun to watch when he doesn't know you are there. He just wanders all over the tank looking at things, getting into things, he is very adventurous.


Maybe your's is hosting the heater? I've heard they host all kinds of random things... power heads, pump return pipes, heaters or just an empty corner of the tank.


Watch the back though if he fell through (I am assuming into the rear if you have a cube tank?) That's how my last one died.. he fell into the return pump chamber one night and got sucked into the pump :(

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Thanks for the replies. I've just got a regular two foot tank with a aquaclear 70 hang on thats been converted into a refugium on the side. I'm not sure why he jumped out.. nor which way but theres a gap above the heater.. like its so tiny i'm not sure if it was there.. or the gap where the overflow is from the hang on.. or on the other corner which is also tiny.


Hm. I'll be buyin a new fish tomorrow. Not sure yet.. but definately gettin somethin. Empty tanks suck.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi thought I would post here as its the same subject (hope the OP don't mind I don't mean to hijack the thread but if there is a proplem with asking here let me know and I will start my own)


I have just added two clowns yesterday The tank has been running a couple of month with live rock coral and snails but these are the 1st fish I have added only they have both gone in a large hollow rock and have not come out. They are moving around in there but how can I encorage them to come out

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Interesting great responses id have to say that you need to either do one of two things.

1. give him something to host. Grab an anemone, hairy mushroom, etccc. and put it exactly where he is at right now. When he starts hosting it leave him with it for a week. After a week put his home or the choice of home you gave hi and move it slowly where you want it. Clowns that host will not leave his home. When you move it he wont come out of it. He will stay in it till you plave it wherever you want to place it.


2. get him a friend and allow the friend to find a home id go with option a it works eery time and if im wrong i will be very surprised


i have some onyx's if you want . go to my onyx thread and look at them see ya

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