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farfromsea
09/30/2017, 04:01 AM
Hello all

Very sad to discover yesterday evening that my smaller clown is dead. This is in my daughter's 10 gallon FOWLR so please excuse the castle. The only inhabitants of the tank were the 2 clowns. The tank has been established for 7.5 months. In the beginning the dominant clown nipped the fins of the subordinate clown but this eventually stopped. I thought everything was fine after that but perhaps not. Someone suggested to me that the dominant clown attacked the smaller clown because it didn't want to compete for food. The smaller clown ate yesterday. The small clown had always exhibited subordinate behavior, often staying outside of castle they hosted and staying low to the ground but was occasionally joined by the larger clown.

I feed every 2-3 days and give mysis or brine about 1x week. I was under the assumption feeding daily is unnecessary but perhaps I'm wrong? https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170930/0777ee800e45e46cc25cd2f9b3fc13ce.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170930/ddaf8cea84cecf6124b64186281a2c22.jpgThe dominant clown is quite healthy looking.

The dominant clown is still alive and ate tonight. Just as lively as always.

Attached are morbid pictures. As well as a terrible shot of my remaining clown. She is camera shy.

My questions
1) the dominant clown was always a much darker color than the subordinate one. In fact the smaller clown often seemed yellow and/or pale. This was the condition for months and I presumed it was genetic variation. Does this mean the sub was being bullied? The LFS gave me these two initially because they were together in the store tank. Initially the dom was slightly larger and over time their coloration became more black.

2) Is introducing a second clownfish in the future a good idea? If so is a larger one ideal? (My daughter really likes clowns)

3) How can I avoid this in the future?

Thanks everyone


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Small Heavens
09/30/2017, 04:43 PM
Oh, that's sad, I buried the first fish I lost:(

1) without being an oracle, the palenessit could definitely mean that the little guy was just too weak to make it from spawning to old age. It happens to many fish, and there isn't always a thing to be done. Her darkening colour seems normal from the picture, so her friend just didn't make it. They don't get much sleep in the store-tanks, since they are essentially designed for the seller to be able to catch the fish for the customers and not many hiding places are around.

2) Wait a little so you know the female isn't sick and weakening. If she continues to be strong, there is really no reason to suspect any illness to be the cause. If she meets anyone bigger now, she will try to battle the fish away. It pretty much means to meet mouth-to-mouth and keep on doing it until the weaker fish leaves. What you described with fin nipping is normal and stops, and she will do so again with any juvenile fish. Any clown who lives alone, turns into a female really fast so avoid even smaller fish, if they have a tank for themselves, she might reject and hurt those. If they are in a flock, the biggest will be a female, but anyone sub in a flock, can be transferred to your tank.

3) fishes don't have hospitals or pacemakers. This little guy, was too exhausted to make it. The sellers can only wait until someone buys their livestock, but, their tanks does not allow fish to sleep. Look for health and otherwise remember these things spawn unlike animals, and many of their siblings will just become food for predators. Just like the last duck in a line of ducklings, some of these baby fish are the weakest in a million and the wonderful thing is; you tried to give it a full life like what we have, it didn't starve, it didn't get torn to bits by predators and I think you should just continue sharing a wonderful hobby with your daughter!

Oh!
and the feeding schedule seemed completely normal, since the pair didn't lock jaws with eachother, and the normal procedure of nipping and submission is exactly what I have seen in successful pairing, I am sure that is not an issue.

Small Heavens
09/30/2017, 04:46 PM
(*paleness of it*)

farfromsea
09/30/2017, 10:59 PM
The smaller (weaker?) fish was always pale from the time I bought it 8 months ago until its death. Do you think they were really that affected from their short time in the store?


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Small Heavens
10/01/2017, 04:18 AM
It may have been it's natural colouring of course, but, yes I do believe it could have been damaged - those pale tones sometimes mean they can't breathe and it is very possible that the fish have been netted out of the water during transport.

When they get lifted up, most fish remain unaffected but it can collaps their gills.

If you know your water was not toxic when it died, I would assume that the sub fish was too exhausted to recover from all the hassle. Studies show that clowns in the wild have a hard time defending themselves and being the sub in the pair does mean it will always get less food than the Dom.

If you can't place any cause for concern on the water chemistry, then you can't blame yourself for the fish not living into ripe old age. Some of those little fellows will simply be the guy with a weak heart or get a bad "flue".

Fish can lose their colour in minutes and have it return really bright, I think it is weird, but I can't be certain. Perhaps the little guy was just pale, although you said his mate was of the type of clownfish that turned darker. I think the little fish was too weak and just didn't make it.