Fish in a 10g nano not getting along

Jul 20, 2012
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#1
Hello
I have a 10gallon nano tank that I recently added a nano clown, royal gramma, and a yellowtail damsel. All are very very small at this time. I only went with the damsel after a week since I wanted more color and the tank was running with no issues. The lfs said just to add him after the others to avoid an issue. I added the clown and gramma at the same time. Then added the yellowtail a week later. The first week with the clown and gramma seemed fine but the clown would always swim up top and never go down into the rock. Now that I added the damsel he is hiding in the corner of the tank. The gramma is becoming aggressive mostly to the damsel but now towards the clown as well not letting him get anywhere near that rocks still. He looks like he tries to come in closer to the rock but is chased off. I have nearly 10pounds of live rock in there with many places to hide. I really would like the clown to swim freely and the damsel to get some area to move. I know grammas can protect there den area but all the rock :( ?? I was told that a clown and gramma can live together with no issues. Any advice? I was wanting to do a purple fire fish and a clown at the start of my tank but the lfs only had some huges ones and the clowns were super small. Didnt think that would fly. Also they are all eatting fine.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
33
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Cape Cod
#2
I think in that size tank, long term (probably short term if they keep fighting) you would have to pick one of the fish you have. The smaller the tank, the worse any aggression issues will be. In a larger tank, a clown and a royal gramma work well together but the gramma does like to establish a territory (I had that mix in a 45g with no issues). I've seen damsel's referred to as "the devil's spawn" because they tend to be wildly aggressive, even to much larger fish, and they are a PITA to catch once in the tank (in a 10g it shouldn't be too hard, may have to take out some of the rock for a few minutes though).

If the clown is being bullied, you may need to remove either him or the other two pretty soon before the clown is killed. What type of clown? A percula or ocellaris (one of the "nemo" looking ones) would be the best to keep in a 10g for it's lifetime, most of the other clowns get bigger and all get meaner. Any clown will become female eventually and then become more territorial.

Even though there is a bunch of rock in there, the gramma may consider it all his. He will probably get too big for a 10g anyways, although if you wanted to keep him as the only fish in there he would be reasonably comfortable (the clown is better suited if he is a percula or ocellaris). The damsel would also be ok in there as the only fish, but as he settles in he will not want to have any other fish in the tank (he would kill anything else added). I'm actually surprised the gramma is bullying the damsel, must be he has already claimed the rock and entire space. Usually the damsels are the more aggressive of the two.

If you want more than one fish, I think the only way to do that in a 10g with one of the three you have now, is to have the clown fish and another very small, peaceful fish (I like neon gobies, they are very personable). A clown goby would be another choice but I have found neon gobies to be hardier (they are also easier to find and are tank raised, so they eat more or less anything). Not much stays small enough for a 10g. Really even the clown should have a larger space as she grows. A damsel is ok in there size wise for its entire life, but would need to be the only fish due to aggression. A firefish is small enough and could have another small tankmate, but I think one with a clown would probably be too much in a 10g. Firefish are also really good jumpers and have to have a very carefully covered tank - they can fit through some darn small spaces. Firefish are very peaceful so it doesn't matter if they are bigger than another fish - they don't cause any problems, they are just easily bullied.

Any of the fish (damsel, clown, firefish, gobies, royal gramma) would get along with snails, hermits, shrimp, etc (I think a royal gramma may eat very small shrimp, not positive though).

Good luck and don't get discouraged. Once you have just the one fish in there (or another small fish with the clown), and some snails and/or hermits or such, you'll have no more headaches fishwise. Then just resist the temptation to add another and another.... Fill that temptation with cool little critters like snails, shrimp, etc. (Note that aside from hermits, a lot of crabs sold can eat fish - arrow crabs are particularly bad, but almost all crabs will eat one and in a smaller tank like that the fish may not be able to avoid enough. Coral banded shrimp will also eat fish once they have grown, all the other common shrimp are safe (like peppermints/camels, cleaners, fire shrimp)).
 

Jul 20, 2012
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#3
Thanks for your reply. The fish are doing fine now. No issues gramma has his spot and the others are swimming freely. The damsel is more to himself then the clown and gramma. I am going to be removing the damsel just to give the other two more room. The clown btw is a ocellaris. All these fish are and inch or less. I do know over time they will get to big and I will look to re-home then replace with a smaller one. Or if the times right I will get a bigger tank =)
 

tabish

Small Fish
Sep 12, 2012
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#10
11092012178.jpg 12092012179.jpg 12092012180.jpg 12092012181.jpg 12092012182.jpg

and what kind if light would you suggest my tank is only 14 inch deep..
its a 5 gallon tank.
and can i use a carbon power filter in my marine tank.
 

tabish

Small Fish
Sep 12, 2012
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#14
i just have a normal 5 watt CFL bulb....in India marine tank is a new hobby not that developed market so its very hard to find proper lighting material for my anemone...so i feed him every day...
i dnt knw if this light would b available...just in case its nt thn wad should i do...how much watt of light should i use..???