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holy carp

Clownfish fighting tail fin damage

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holy carp

So I know this has come up countless times in the past, but I'm trying to get a little more of a gameplan...

 

The She (about 1.5-1.75" Phantom ocellaris currently in breeder box jail):

24g98v4.jpg

 

The He (about 1"-1.125" Snowflake ocellaris currently free in tank):

311l2jt.jpg

 

So I am trying to get an idea of the following:

 

Does the Phantom (bigger and apparently more aggressive) belong in jail?  Or should I put the smaller injured Snowflake into isolation?

How long do people recommend to keep them separated?  So far it's the second day of separation.

Is it better to separate for a long period and reintroduce, or do it multiple times for shorter jail time?

How long do tail fins take to heal up?  I imagine it would not be worth waiting that long to reintroduce the Phantom.

 

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burtbollinger

fins take a long time and the pairing may not ever work.  been there, done that...multiple times...never, ever ended well.   Personally, I'd return both to the LFS and start from scratch.  others may disagree...good luck

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Tamberav

I see a small nip in her fin too. 

 

Was he trying to submit? Was there any lip locking? 

 

Want to be sure that he is really a he. 

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holy carp

They were both doing some twitching, so I really thought the bonding/pairing was going normally. They had been together for a month pretty peacefully and frolicking about prior to the aggression escalating.  Then this damage happened over the course of 2 days.

 

There was presumably some lip locking.  I didn't see it first hand, but the small male has some damage around the mouth.  It's mainly the lower jaw where you can see a bit of bruising and maybe a little skin missing.  I'm not sure what the lip locking indicates, though.

 

The size difference is pretty significant when you see them next to each other.  I never saw the small one trying to be dominant.  

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OPtasia

It's hard to pair them sometimes. I would also take them back to the LFS and try again. If there's a bonded pair already at the LFS, you can try them. Aggressive females are picky about their potential mates. 

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holy carp

My LFS sucks a bag of aragonite.  They won't take anything back unless you 'donate' it to them.

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ajmckay

+1 to what's been said...  This has happened to me and both times the smaller fish died. 

 

If you want the smaller fish to fully heal you need to plan that they be separated for probably 3-5 weeks.  It's not really practical to keep one in the breeder box that long so you'll have to set up a hospital tank.

 

Re-introduction is a crap shoot.  Didn't work for me even after the smaller fish healed up.  But the only other choice (assuming you keep both fish) is to put them together again which will certainly end with the smaller getting killed.   None of the LFS by me will trade in fish either...

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holy carp

After 3 days in jail, I released the She the night before last.  I was working from home yesterday and figured I could intervene if I needed to separate them again.  So far there has been no significant chasing or aggression.  And there has been a lot more twitching response from the He.  Keeping an eye on them but keeping my fingers crossed as well...  Will post updates as this plays out.

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holy carp

So far, 3 days in the clink seems to have remedied the aggression.  Since releasing the female, she has not acted the male.  She just does the little darts at him and he twitches in response.  It's been just about 3 weeks now and no further fin damage.  The tail seems to be healing nicely.

 

2hp50uh.jpg

 

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