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Clownfish Identification


shubunkin lover

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Hey, everyone. I'm new to clowns and to saltwater fish in general. I have a question about clown identification. I tried posting this on a marine/saltwater forum but no one replied so since I'm a member here already I thought I'd see if my luck improves here. Here goes.......

Currently, I have two clowns in my tank which I purchased at two different LFS within days of each other.

Stupid me didn't pay enough attention to their markings because they both look like the 'Nemo' type clowns. I'm assuming false percula's??? Forgive me for not having a camera to post pictures with but I am noticing some sublte differences now that they are together.

The one clown(#1) that I have looks very much like pictures of false percula's I've seen but the second one(#2) is a much more vibrant, deep orange by comparison. The white/black band around the head of the second one(more vibrant #2)doesn't circle under the chin like on the other one(#1)which I would describ as more of a yellowish orange then deep orange. The white at the base of the tail(#2) is more like a horseshoe then completely circling it like clown number #1. Also, the top fin on number #2 is notched.

I don't know if these are wild caught or captive raised fish but the vibrant, deep orange one(#2)that I brought home first is more territorial but not excessively so. At one point, I thought the two of them were bonding because they swam side by side and defended their territory from Damion the Damsel fish. That is until I started messing with the lay out of the tank and moved some things around and now it appears I've broke the bond. Now the second fish(#2)refuses to let the other clown(#1)near it's rock/territory. I will add that Clown number #1 is less aggressive but doesn't coward to the number #2 clown.

I know it's harder without the pictures but can someone help me determine if I have two different species of clowns. Both are the same size and both are juveniles(1 1/2 inches).

Thankyou

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Here's a link of the kinds there are...maybe this will help me to help you :)

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/clownfish/

As for them fighting after you moved rocks. They will do this even if they paired off for a while, reason for them doing this is that they do and will bond with things like mushrooms, when they do this they get aggressive. So when you introduce them in a tank, dont move things and also try to get them at the same time... :)

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Thanks for the link. I have been to that site before coming here and it wasn't much help. Clown #1 looks like the Ocellaris/Percula(frankly I can't tell the difference between the two)and so does Clown #2 except for the subtle differences I mentioned in my first post.

I notice that they're very protective of their rocks. They even come after me when I get near it and try to move it. LOL I'll stop moving things around and see if that doesn't settle things down for them. But I was mislead by my local pet store. They said clowns were peaceful and damsels were little holy terrors so I named my four stripped/black tailed damsel Damein. The clowns seem to be more of a terror then the damsel.

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Unless you paid over $20 each for them, they are likely wild caught. Sometimes they have patterns called "misbars," where the stripes don't go all the way around or are irregular. Usually this is more common in captive clowns, but not always.

They may be from different areas, too, which may explain why one is brighter than the other.

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In general, Amphiprion percula have faint black margins to their white saddles while Amphiprion ocellaris have none. Sometimes, this thin black stripe becomes exaggerated in certain percula individuals as to make "black saddles" or even totally black-and-white fish.

Not a completely foolproof distinction though as captive-bred perculas can have widely differing color variations as well, even completely orange fish with no stripes whatsoever.

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Thanks, everyone for trying to help me. Again, I apologize for not having a camera so I could share pictures. I realize this would make id so much easier. I do notice that one clown has thinner black strips then the other and has clear edges to fins while the other does not. Fin shape differ a little too. The more vibrant, orange one that has the notched top fin also has more pointed bottom front fins(Sorry, I keep forgetting the names of the different fins on fish :oops: )

If price determines whether a fish is WC or CB then these must be WC. I paid $12.95 for the more vibrant, orange one at my locally(non-chained)owned pet store and the other I purchased at a big named(P****)chained store and paid $15.

I know some may be upset by my purchasing of WC fish and frankly so am I. I would much rather buy CB fish instead but I guess the only thing I have in my defense is stupidity and being to niave and trustful that what I was purchase was breed in captivity. I'm so use to buying goldfish that sometimes I forget that not all fish are raised by hand.

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Yeah some places you can get tank raised guys. :(

As for them being so aggressive, sometimes when you get them from different places and arrange the rocks around they get very protective of there homes. This is due to the fact in nature they protect there Anemone, so when you get them in a new tank and you move things they are trying to establish territory. They will attack the hand that feeds too. Mine did and then attacked the other clown.

How big is the tank?

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The tank is a 29 gallon. I know that that isn't big enough for the number of fish I have in it but I already had this tank at home before I decided to go marine and I didn't want to invest in another tank before I found out if I'd be good at saltwater fish. I know they have alot different requirements then goldfish and possible even a little harder to take care of then goldfish but I felt up to the challenge. I just wanted to start small and with the hardiest and cheapest fish possible.

Oh, and one thing I discovered while trying to test my water for salinity is that clownfish can fly. I dipped the hydrometer into the tank and something came flying out at me and to my horror is was one of the clowns!! :yikes I got him back into the tank quick enough and I'm watching him swim at the bottom of tank. I turned the tank light off to reduce stress. Poor little guy. I didn't even see him near the surface when I opened the tank lid. I really hope he makes it. :(

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Well one thing I learned about the salt water is that the size of the tank is really how much you want to spend time taking care of it. See the bigger the tank the more stable it is with less fish. Is this a reef tank or a fish tank?

I think the clown will make it they are a very hardy fish. Oh I know they can jump really far....I will send him some good wishes :)

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Thanks. The little bugger is doing just fine, defending his territory and eating well. I think he got lucky. He landed on some plastic baggies on the floor rather then the carpeting so that may have saved his slime coat from rubbing off and he was probably out for about thirty seconds.

This will be a fish only tank. I've love to do corals but that involves more work and money then I can afford right now. I first want to find out if I'm good at keeping these guys alive before going advanced.

Should I try to develop a healthy growth of algae in the tank? Not that brown crud you see show up in FW tanks but purple and I'm not sure what the other color is. I do have live rock and I hear algae lives on those and wouldn't this be good for like the crabs?

What's your opinion on ZooPlex?

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That stuff is more for the Inverts that are coral and cant move. Your crabs will be happy with the stuff on the rocks and left over pieces of food. I dont think you need it hun :)

The purple stuff is call coralline made by the calcium in the water, if you want to promote it more make sure your calcium, magnesium and alk are up there. It will show up light green at first then it will change to purple pink color. If you have a rock that has alot you could gentle brush it in the tank with a toothbrush let it fall around the tank, turn off the lights and let it sit for 4-5 hours..

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