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Chris O

Odd Clownfish Behavior

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Chris O

This morning I looked into my 10g nano tank and saw some unexpected behavior from my black ocellaris clown. It looked like (presumably she) was cleaning off a rock. the 2 clowns I have usually hang in the corner under the filter, so it was odd to see the clown in the middle of the tank. To give some background:

 

I set up the tank 3 months ago, it's a 10g nano. I had a fish only tank with a blue damsel and a mandarin dragonet years ago. I have some experience with fish but many years ago.

I bought the clowns about 2 months ago. One is orange and one is black introduced at the same time to the tank. The black one is slightly larger than the orange one.

The clowns fought a bit at the beginning and still seem to fight now and then but not like they did for the first month. I bought them each at about an inch in size.

 

My first thought is that the clownfish is preparing the rock to lay eggs, however, it seems way too early for that considering they were purchased a few months ago. The exception being that it might have already been a mature female when I bought it from the store, however, it seems unlikely. Does anyone have any thoughts? I included a link to a video I took this morning and uploaded it to Youtube to get some second opinions. Let me know what you all think.

 

 

 

Best,

Chris

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WV Reefer
1 minute ago, Chris O said:

This morning I looked into my 10g nano tank and saw some unexpected behavior from my black ocellaris clown. It looked like (presumably she) was cleaning off a rock. the 2 clowns I have usually hang in the corner under the filter, so it was odd to see the clown in the middle of the tank. To give some background:

 

I set up the tank 3 months ago, it's a 10g nano. I had a fish only tank with a blue damsel and a mandarin dragonet years ago. I have some experience with fish but many years ago.

I bought the clowns about 2 months ago. One is orange and one is black introduced at the same time to the tank. The black one is slightly larger than the orange one.

The clowns fought a bit at the beginning and still seem to fight now and then but not like they did for the first month. I bought them each at about an inch in size.

 

My first thought is that the clownfish is preparing the rock to lay eggs, however, it seems way too early for that considering they were purchased a few months ago. The exception being that it might have already been a mature female when I bought it from the store, however, it seems unlikely. Does anyone have any thoughts? I included a link to a video I took this morning and uploaded it to Youtube to get some second opinions. Let me know what you all think.

 

 

 

Best,

Chris


looks like preparations for egg laying to me. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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j.falk

Or it could be trying to host that bit of rock.  It's doing the same motion that they do inside of an anemone.  From what I've read, female clownfish have to be 1.5+ years old to reach sexual maturity to breed.  Males only have to be 6 months old.

 

Being that you bought them a couple months ago when they were 1 inch long apiece...I doubt they are that old.  Full grown they would be 3 - 4 inches in size.

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Ratvan
13 hours ago, j.falk said:

Or it could be trying to host that bit of rock.  It's doing the same motion that they do inside of an anemone.  From what I've read, female clownfish have to be 1.5+ years old to reach sexual maturity to breed.  Males only have to be 6 months old.

 

Being that you bought them a couple months ago when they were 1 inch long apiece...I doubt they are that old.  Full grown they would be 3 - 4 inches in size.

I'm with the above, this is what Hantu does before she enters or leaves her Barnacle

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jservedio
16 hours ago, j.falk said:

Being that you bought them a couple months ago when they were 1 inch long apiece...I doubt they are that old.  Full grown they would be 3 - 4 inches in size.

I agree the female is likely just finding a new spot, but they do not have to be full grown before they start mating and laying eggs and you also really have no idea how old they actually are based on size unless they are really, really tiny. In big groups, the sub-males can stay very small.

 

For example, if my female died and my male changed over to female, I'd have a 10 year old female that was only 2" long.

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j.falk
2 hours ago, jservedio said:

For example, if my female died and my male changed over to female, I'd have a 10 year old female that was only 2" long.

I'll have to disagree with you.  From my understanding of clownfish, if your female dies your male will not automatically turn into a female unless another subordinate male is present.  It will stay a male until you introduce a new male to the tank...if the new male is smaller, then your current male will start growing again and turn into a female.  If you introduce a new male and they are the same size, the dominant of the two will gain size and turn into the female...meaning your male may never change at all.

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jservedio
1 minute ago, j.falk said:

I'll have to disagree with you.  From my understanding of clownfish, if your female dies your male will not automatically turn into a female unless another subordinate male is present.  It will stay a male and stay small until you introduce a new male to the tank...if the new male is smaller, then your current male will start growing again and turn into a female.  If you introduce a new male and they are the same size, the dominant of the two will gain size and turn into the female...meaning your male may not change at all.

Which is why I said if. Marine biologists still don't fully understand everything going on with them due to the many factors involved (social interaction, stress, hormone levels, etc.). The only thing for sure is you can't really tell the age of a clownfish just from it's size (especially in captivity), which is all I was trying to say.

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j.falk

Sure you can, just cut them in half and count the rings.  😬

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