Should I separate my clownfish?

MajikalKhat

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I recently got two juvenile clownfish (probably about 1 inch or a little more long) for my 10g tank.

They are my first saltwater fish and I've never been happier. I'm slightly concerned because one of them is an absolute aggressive pig! The first few days were fine, but then the aggressive one started chasing the other one around sometimes. Whenever I try to feed them, the aggressive one will chase the other one to the bottom if it tries to approach the surface for food. Now, the one getting pushed around stays closer to the bottom of the tank, near the rock work and substrate. I've still been able to feed both of them so it hasn't been a problem food wise, but is this behavior normal? If it's not feeding time, the aggressive one still chases the other one sometimes but they're a lot more friendly than when food is present (they can swim near the surface and in close proximity to one another with no issues).

Is this normal behavior or should I be concerned? Should I separate them? I really want to believe I'm just being anxious because I'm a new reefer. Please help!
 

homer1475

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Maybe I should clarify.....

All clownfish are born male, as they grow, a dominate one will emerge, and turn into a female. The female is always the more dominant. If a dominant female dies, the dominant male will become female(in a harem), and the sub dominate male will become the dominate male.

As they transition, they may chase each other, fight, drag each other around by the mouth, and even float to their side and quiver in the presence of the more dominate one(this shows submission). It's all part of the process.
 
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MajikalKhat

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Maybe I should clarify.....

All clownfish are born male, as they grow, a dominate one will emerge, and turn into a female. The female is always the more dominant. If a dominant female dies, the dominant male will become female(in a harem), and the sub dominate male will become the dominate male.

As they transition, they may chase each other, fight, drag each other around by the mouth, and even float to their side and quiver in the presence of the more dominate one(this shows submission). It's all part of the process.
Thank you so much! Yes, I've done my research, I guess I'm just very anxious. I've heard people have to separate their clownfish sometimes because of aggression, but I don't really know when that point is since this is my first tank. And, pardon me for being morbid, I would be crushed if one of my clownfish got killed by the other after a few weeks of keeping them. They should be fine because they are juveniles right?
 
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homer1475

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They should be fine as they are young and just figuring it out.

What you read about separating is usually on more older established fish, and trying to introduce a new one. Sometimes they will accept a new mate, and sometimes they won't.

You may even see some torn fins, and lesions on their sides. As long as they are eating, and swimming around(clownfish will usually pick a spot and not stray too far from it), they will be fine.
 
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Reef.

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Just make sure you are feeding enough as if you are limiting the food this will cause more aggressive behaviour, clowns can do damage and even kill so whilst aggression is normal you need to try and not add to it.

Maybe try feeding more so the female doesn't feel it needs to protect the food, also try frozen foods, keep the powerheads on, the food will go around the tank, this will help the male clown get food and not have to go to the food where the female is.
 
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homer1475

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Just make sure you are feeding enough as if you are limiting the food this will cause more aggressive behaviour, clowns can do damage and even kill so whilst aggression is normal you need to try and not add to it.

Maybe try feeding more so the female doesn't feel it needs to protect the food, also try frozen foods, keep the powerheads on, the food will go around the tank, this will help the male clown get food and not have to go to the food where the female is.
Agree 100%
 
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Reef.

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Thank you for the help everyone!

Just to add, with the tank being only 10g the male clown doesn't have anywhere to hide if it needs to get out of the way of the aggression so it's important you try and reduce the stress of the fish as stress can kill too, as said feeding more will help.

Sounds as if you feed flake, that has a lot of nutrients so you need to watch your tanks parameters, frozen has a lot less nutrients so won't increase the tanks lvls as much, maybe try both.
 
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