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matt frizz

Why is my clown fish turning black?

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It seems that the top half of my clown fish is starting to get darker and darker. She used to be all orange and I have just noticed the darkening of the top half. What could be the cause of this?


I am running a 29 Gallon tank with a fluval 205 system. I just set up a protein skimmer and I'm having an eshopps sump modified to run a refugium and a drop in skimmer as we speak. I almost crashed my tank while I was in NY for a wedding from using tap water for the past 4 months. I've had all sorts of bad algae from having too many phosphates from the tap water. When I returned from NY all of my tank walls were completely lime green with hints of rose, purple and orange. All are very bad colors and part of a dying algae cycle according to my LFS. The colors start out a brownish color then turn green, then purple, then orange, and when they are finally done dying off, white.


I have switched to RO/DI and I did a 10 gallon water change yesterday. I started dosing a cap and a half of Brightwell Aquatics Phosphat-E on monday and will continue my dosing next monday.


I was wondering if the bad water quality could have anything to do with my clowns discoloration.


My tank is stocked with:


2 Ocellaris (only one has the discoloration)

1 Bangai Cardinal


1 Peppermint Shrimp

A whole bunch of crabs (blue dwarfs, scarlet reefs, reds)

8 assorted snails



Lighting is T5H0 Sundial

Heater is crappy and will be replaced with the external Hydor heater that attaches to the return piping of my sump.


Overall: Lesson learned and I won't be cutting any corners anymore. Can't wait to have a legitimate sump/skimmer/fuge running. I don't think I'll have many problems with crashing in the future but I wan't to make sure that my clown is fine for now.


Before picture:




Current Pictures:









Pic of my other clown and my zoos. (camera cannot capture the true beauty of the zoos)








Edited by matt frizz

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everyone is going to want to see a picture.. ;)


I figured but my camera is pretty bad. Lemme see what I can do.

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Is the clown "discolored" or is it just changing colors?

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Sometimes clowns change as they age.


And sometimes they darken if they host in corals rather than anemones. This is usually just dark spots though.

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Well that's good then. I was really worried because I never noticed it until my water params took a turn for the worse.

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Well that's good then. I was really worried because I never noticed it until my water params took a turn for the worse.


Haha you couldnt of stated it better.

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Looks awesome.



that looks hot tho i dont kno y u dont like it



I do like it. It just didn't seem normal to me. He looks kinda like a bull now because it's on the top half of his face.

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I am having the same thing happen with my clown except I have a black and orange pair so only the orange one is changing. I went out of town for the weekend and when I came back the top part of him is dark brown/black. Its not even though, it seems to fade off as it goes down. I am hoping it is just his coloring and nothing else. I do have a frogspawn that he could be getting into, but I havent seen him in there and the darkness is only on his top half....very odd.

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My clown got darker once and now it's back to its original orange color. Idk why but he changed back

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