View Full Version : Clown fish aggression

Deus ex machina
10-30-2016, 11:30 PM
After six years my two clowfish have started to spawn. I've had two spawning events in the past 30 days. My problem is that the female is becoming increasingly more aggressive, harassing a yellow tang almost constantly. I suspect the increased agression is related to the spawning. My tank is 4X2X2 and the clowns spawn at one end but the female now treates the entire tank as her territory. Curiously she doesn't harass any other fish regardless of how close they come to her spawning site.

My question is: is there a cycle to clown fish spawning? Something like X number of spawns in the cycle and then a period of no spawning?

Any insights would be appreciated.

10-31-2016, 01:30 AM
I've only had one pair of clownfish that started spawning and the female became aggressive forever on after spawning.

She would pick on one fish until there was nothing left of them (I would rescue them and put them in the sump when I noticed).

I couldn't even put my hand in the tank without her having a go. Needless to say I got rid of them.

10-31-2016, 03:06 AM
Which species of Clownfish are they?

10-31-2016, 04:37 AM
My clownfish pairs did the same thing. For some reason they do not like the yellow tang and always chases it away but it'll let the tail spot blenny come really close to their eggs.

To answer your question,
Once clownfish start spawning, they do not stop and will keep laying eggs every 2 weeks until the day that they die. There are ways to make them stop laying like rearranging the rocks in the aquarium or changing the light cycle etc. but they usually start laying again once they acclimated.


Deus ex machina
10-31-2016, 11:45 AM
Which species of Clownfish are they?

False Percula

10-31-2016, 01:50 PM
False Percula

As long as she isn't causing damage to the other fish, I wouldn't about it. Ocellaris aren't overly aggressive. She'll probably calm down a bit as time goes on, unless maybe she's just rogue - some individuals are much more aggressive than their species usual. I imagine she's going to bite you lots. :lol: What other fish do you have in the tank? If it's just them and the Tang, then adding a few more fish to help spread the aggression around will often help. If you do add more fish, put a mirror near the Clownfish nest, not right beside it, but nearby so she has to go to the mirror. She will fight her reflection, and the new fish can settle in easier. Also, add new fish in the evening just after the lights go out.

Deus ex machina
10-31-2016, 03:15 PM
I have a number of different fish in the tank (13). Before she started harassing the Tang, which I introduced two days before the first spawn, she must have been harassing my Citron Goby because it became wraith-thin. I never actually saw her attack another fish until she started attacking the Tang. On the other hand, she started attacking the turkey baster at feeding time a few weeks before the first spawn.

Yesterday I set up a turkey baster bobbing near her spawning sight and she was distracted enough to make only the occasional sorte at the Tang.

I think I'll try the mirror trick.

Thanks for your help.

10-31-2016, 03:33 PM
That's tough! I've been contemplating about staying away from clowns this time around as I just can't handle the nipping when I clean the tank.

They can be dicks!

Deus ex machina
10-31-2016, 04:49 PM
I just can't handle the nipping when I clean the tank.

Yeah. I've been nipped few times. Really made me jump :) , now I wear blue gloves and the clown doesn't come near me.

10-31-2016, 06:37 PM
Some of my clients Clown fish draw blood. Grrr!

11-01-2016, 04:09 PM
I don't think I could ever keep those larger clowns like skunks and tomatoes.

Even percs get too big for my liking so maybe I just like juvie fish! :D

Deus ex machina
11-01-2016, 04:25 PM
The female is maybe 4 or 5 inches, not overly large I would say, but I've had her since my very first tank ten years ago and believe me she has been through a lot while I learned about this hobby. She is a survivor. I guess she's earned the right to be a little bossy. :)

11-02-2016, 05:39 PM
I as well got a clarkii for my first fish 4-5 years ago. its huge and aggressive and has drawn blood a bunch of times. I got so mad once that I wanted to huck it out the window but I kept her and I use the gloves also when cleaning

tang daddy
11-02-2016, 10:10 PM
A friend of mine has the same problem with his perc attacked his arm all the time when he sticks his hand, its funny when you're not the person it happens to. I wonder if the hybrid variety like a black ice can live that long....