Saddleback Clownfish and Firefish Compatibility

Yvarg

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Hello all,

Relatively new saltwater tank owner here. I cycled my tank using Dr Tim's one and only and a pair of black saddleback clownfish. I've since added clean up crew members as needed based on the state of the aquarium. To give you an idea of the size of my tank I have a Fluval Evo 13.5. Within the last week I added a purple firefish, which I know is supposed to be very skiddish. It mostly hid the first week, apart from feeding time in which it would swim out from hiding and peck at the food I fed the clowns. After the first week I thought it had jumped out of the tank or something (it's covered to prevent that, but you never know for sure), because I was completely unable to find it. Lo and behold, it had just buried itself in the sand below some of my rock and came out for feeding time. After some observation, I believe it's mainly doing this because my black saddleback clownfish pair are chasing it into hiding during feeding time. Obviously I don't want to starve the firefish by letting the clownfish dominate it's feeding schedule. My question is: is there a way to train the clownfish to live peacefully with this firefish or will I have to return it to the store?

Currently, just so the firefish can eat, I have placed both clownfish in a breeder container in the tank. I don't like to limit them to such a small confinement, but I'd prefer that to them preventing another fish from eating altogether. I believe the main reason they are harassing the firefish is because they see the entire tank as their territory. I plan on completely rearranging the rock work in the tank to another design so that when I eventually release the clowns, they are not in the same area they claimed as their own territory. Do any of you have any experience with this personally?

Thanks!
 
Zoanthids
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Yvarg

Yvarg

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Saddleback Clowns are some of my very favorite fish— I just love their swim pattern! I have found them to be VERY aggressive, however. I even noticed that when I had a 6’ tank.

They certainly are a very nice pair and I love watching them swim around the tank. However, if they're going to continually be a nuisance to other fish (especially even if transferred to a tank as large as you mention), I don't know if I can keep them long-term. I'm going to try rescaping the tank and letting the firefish get a little better acclimated before I release them again, but I guess I may have to choose between the two if the clowns continue their aggression. Thanks for your input @JumboShrimp !
 
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Yvarg

Yvarg

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Sadly, I could not get the two to work together. No matter what I tried, eventually the clowns kept chasing the firefish into hiding. But it worked out for the best for both my clowns and the firefish. I found another local reef owner who had a tank with docile tank mates to take in the firefish. My clowns have the whole tank to themselves again.
 
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