Clownfish Pairing Question

Aaron Soliz

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hi all!

I’ve had my pair of clowns for 2.5 months now and they always got along. One is 1.5 inches and the other is about an inch.

i understand that the pairing process can be brutal for the smaller which it has been for my clown. Fins are nipped up as the bigger has messed with it some of the day to where i felt she needed a timeout and put her in a breeder net for 5-6 hours today.

the smaller clownfish has ate a lot today to make sure it’s not too stress out. I find it odd that the bigger one is twitching a lot more than the smaller.

is that normal? I always thought it was the smaller one that twitched a lot more but the smaller twitches every so often while the bigger has twitches way way more.

still normal?
 
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Which species of clown fish?
You should put the smaller one into timeout instead of the larger one. Basically you should give all the advantage to the larger fish so the smaller one give up quickly rather than draw it out.
Every time you put the larger one into timeout you encourage the smaller one to fight on.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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Which species of clown fish?
You should put the smaller one into timeout instead of the larger one. Basically you should give all the advantage to the larger fish so the smaller one give up quickly rather than draw it out.
Every time you put the larger one into timeout you encourage the smaller one to fight on.
Ocellaris.

I’m surprised the smaller hasn’t done much of anything but run away lol. It’s fought back but rarely it has. What confuses me is that i thought the smaller one usually shakes and submits. Not the bigger one lol
 

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That twitching, shimmying and rolling behavior is a clowns way of communication about who’s going to be the boss and who is going to be submissive and putting up with the attitude that the boss is dishing.
Are these clowns using the same cues? Well they might be, but they may not be if they aren’t the same breed?
The other part of the social dance party involves the preferences of the larger fish. If they are not happy with the smaller fish because he’s not throwing the proper cues, or he’s a poor specimen for a mate in the larger fishes understanding, or because he’s a dweeb that can’t dance the clownfish shuffle without his pectoral fins drooping when they are supposed to be flared then the big girl is going to kick his sorry vent to the curbside of the reef. She doesn’t need him and may never accept him, too much or not enough shimmy and twitching could be fatal for the little guy if momma’s don’t want him shaking his goofy head, face, and caudal fin in her dwelling space.
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hi all!

I’ve had my pair of clowns for 2.5 months now and they always got along. One is 1.5 inches and the other is about an inch.

i understand that the pairing process can be brutal for the smaller which it has been for my clown. Fins are nipped up as the bigger has messed with it some of the day to where i felt she needed a timeout and put her in a breeder net for 5-6 hours today.

the smaller clownfish has ate a lot today to make sure it’s not too stress out. I find it odd that the bigger one is twitching a lot more than the smaller.

is that normal? I always thought it was the smaller one that twitched a lot more but the smaller twitches every so often while the bigger has twitches way way more.

still normal?

Sounds perfectly normal.

Small one will twitch more - once he matures as a male and learns how he needs to behave as a male.

They both start as juveniles, play together on an equal setting, from this setup I imagine no one wants to become the subordinate voluntarily, so future male needs a major stress, scared for life etc to accept it.

Seems like your female starts maturing and pressuring him, sooner or later he has to accept reality AND learn how to behave, twitch etc, once both are done they will form a couple and fighting stops.

Of course exceptions and accidents can happen...
 
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reef_1

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Ocellaris.

I’m surprised the smaller hasn’t done much of anything but run away lol. It’s fought back but rarely it has. What confuses me is that i thought the smaller one usually shakes and submits. Not the bigger one lol

His childhood friend on equal footing suddenly became mean on him, and wants him to be her subordinate, it needs time and some major stress to move him towards the male role.

Then he still needs to learn his role for example how to use the twitching to this particular ladys liking, dont forget that they cant look it up on youtube what and how they are supposed to behave.

When I see the big one twitching in a similar setting I always think she tries to teach/tell him the signalling moves, what he needs to do to please her.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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His childhood friend on equal footing suddenly became mean on him, and wants him to be her subordinate, it needs time and some major stress to move him towards the male role.

Then he still needs to learn his role for example how to use the twitching to this particular ladys liking, dont forget that they cant look it up on youtube what and how they are supposed to behave.

When I see the big one twitching in a similar setting I always think she tries to teach/tell him the signalling moves, what he needs to do to please her.
Makes senses to be honest because last night the bigger one did it a lot around the smaller one and the smaller looked like it was catching on because it would twitch but it look like it didn’t know how. Hopefully today the smaller has learned a bit more to please the bigger.
 

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Makes senses to be honest because last night the bigger one did it a lot around the smaller one and the smaller looked like it was catching on because it would twitch but it look like it didn’t know how. Hopefully today the smaller has learned a bit more to please the bigger.

If he is already trying to twitch then I think he will get it soon, max couple of weeks - a month.

I've seen exactly the same, small one first doesnt know what the heck is this agression, fights back etc, then realizes she is stronger and pressures him constantly so starts twitching infrequently, not so well, then becomes better in it in a couple of weeks and learns he can void punishment if he accepts role and does it frequently at the right time.

Once bonded another sign is that he swims next to her and sometimes moves her nose under her pectoral fins. Normally they say this for maroons, but I see this on ocellaris as well.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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If he is already trying to twitch then I think he will get it soon, max couple of weeks - a month.

I've seen exactly the same, small one first doesnt know what the heck is this agression, fights back etc, then realizes she is stronger and pressures him constantly so starts twitching infrequently, not so well, then becomes better in it in a couple of weeks and learns he can void punishment if he accepts role and does it frequently at the right time.

Once bonded another sign is that he swims next to her and sometimes moves her nose under her pectoral fins. Normally they say this for maroons, but I see this on ocellaris as well.
Agreed. The bigger has calmed down in aggression today. Will still charge the smaller but doesn’t yank or nip at the fins anymore. I was getting kind of worried. I would hate to lose a longfin mocha storm over this but it’s a chance I was willing to take. The smaller is eating still and the fins are healing from yesterday. Out swimming around instead of being bashed like he was yesterday. Nice to see! Here is a photo for fun :)
4C3A8694-9B8B-4A1B-9F91-FD5015953E15.jpeg
 
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Aaron Soliz

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If he is already trying to twitch then I think he will get it soon, max couple of weeks - a month.

I've seen exactly the same, small one first doesnt know what the heck is this agression, fights back etc, then realizes she is stronger and pressures him constantly so starts twitching infrequently, not so well, then becomes better in it in a couple of weeks and learns he can void punishment if he accepts role and does it frequently at the right time.

Once bonded another sign is that he swims next to her and sometimes moves her nose under her pectoral fins. Normally they say this for maroons, but I see this on ocellaris as well.
Quick update. Little guy is healing nicely. Eating a lot. I think she got to him finally and now the little guy has started to “dance” which has got her to stop attacking him where he can swim around with her and in the open without being bothered. She charges but not serious biting going on. Good to see this.
 

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Quick update. Little guy is healing nicely. Eating a lot. I think she got to him finally and now the little guy has started to “dance” which has got her to stop attacking him where he can swim around with her and in the open without being bothered. She charges but not serious biting going on. Good to see this.
Good stuff!

Fins heal in 2-3 weeks fully. But don't forget fighting will still happen, its a gradual process with ups and downs, some days more fighting, some days less, but based on what you say, I am sure they will get there.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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Good stuff!

Fins heal in 2-3 weeks fully. But don't forget fighting will still happen, its a gradual process with ups and downs, some days more fighting, some days less, but based on what you say, I am sure they will get there.
Bad day today. Got home and she was beating up on him alot to where he wasn’t eating and heavy breathing. Swimming around still but he couldn’t catch a break so i felt the need to take action and put him in the breeder net for a few days so he calms down a bit from the bigger one chasing him all around. Tough to see this. I don’t know what is gonna happen but i don’t know if he makes it.
 

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Are the fish pure bred? or are they cross breed?
Sometime, with tank raise cross breed mutts we have these days, the two fish don't communicate well with each other, like they speak in the same dialect or languages and cannot understand each other. The smaller one may try to signal "I give up" but the larger one understands "I want to fight some more".
That is the problem I have when I try to cross breed, Ocellaris and Percula. Sometime pairing can be rough for the little guys because all these mixed-up genetic causes mixed up in signals also.
Good luck with your pair. Isolate the smaller one for weeks before letting him out.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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Are the fish pure bred? or are they cross breed?
Sometime, with tank raise cross breed mutts we have these days, the two fish don't communicate well with each other, like they speak in the same dialect or languages and cannot understand each other. The smaller one may try to signal "I give up" but the larger one understands "I want to fight some more".
That is the problem I have when I try to cross breed, Ocellaris and Percula. Sometime pairing can be rough for the little guys because all these mixed-up genetic causes mixed up in signals also.
Good luck with your pair. Isolate the smaller one for weeks before letting him out.
Hey there. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate anyone input on the matter. These are the same type of clowns. Got them from sea and reef actually. Both are Ocellaris for sure for sure.

i was afraid i was going to stress the little guy out more which happen but my goodness he was tough to catch lol! It needed to happen, she was just looking for him everywhere. It was bad.

i put a few pellets in there. Luckily he did eat a few so that’s a good sign he will regain his health for a round two with her. Stressful to watch though.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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Are the fish pure bred? or are they cross breed?
Sometime, with tank raise cross breed mutts we have these days, the two fish don't communicate well with each other, like they speak in the same dialect or languages and cannot understand each other. The smaller one may try to signal "I give up" but the larger one understands "I want to fight some more".
That is the problem I have when I try to cross breed, Ocellaris and Percula. Sometime pairing can be rough for the little guys because all these mixed-up genetic causes mixed up in signals also.
Good luck with your pair. Isolate the smaller one for weeks before letting him out.
Good stuff!

Fins heal in 2-3 weeks fully. But don't forget fighting will still happen, its a gradual process with ups and downs, some days more fighting, some days less, but based on what you say, I am sure they will get there.
How long can the smaller clown stay in the breeders net for?
He is about an inch and the breed box is like 7 inches length and 5 inches wide.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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As long as he have good oxygenated water he is fine.
I turned off my powerhead but i added this small little powerhead that’s right at the surface. Hopefully being in there for 5 days will help. I’m doing what i can but i know this is part of the process. Fingers crossed it goes well for the little guy.
 
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Aaron Soliz

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Quick update. Little guy is doing better than yesterday. he is eating a lot which is good sign. It’s just going to take time for him to heal those fins. As you can see the bigger one did pretty harsh damage. Glad i made the move. You can see the bigger in the breeder net in the back. She is eating too. How long should i keep her in there for?
 

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I would put the smaller one in the net and larger one outside. That way you stack up the deck against the little guy and he capitulate quicker.
For pairing purposes always put the little one in prison.
For trying to get two fish of different species to get alone, put the dominant one in prison.
 

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