pregnant clown fish?!?

Jan 13, 2015
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#1
Can't seem to find enough info online to answer my questions so I wonder if anyone on here can offer an opinion. I recently added some fish to my saltwater aquarium. 2 large clown fish and 1 small clown fish plus a few others. After a few days I noticed one of the big clowns was sick. I tried quarantining and medicating him but he died along with 2 other fish. A few days later I noticed the other large clown fish was cloudy in his eyes. I got a different medication from big als and have been treating the whole tank. The fish are looking a lot better after 5 days but the last couple days I've noticed my small clown fish getting a lot fatter. Its not an even fatness, only the belly like its pregnant. Today its so swollen it looks like its going to burst. The hole underneath is really open and visible as well with a small white protrusion. From what I've read it sounds like she's getting ready to lay eggs. She's also taken over the anemone ( the big one owned it first) but they sleep together at night. So my question is....do you think its possible that the smaller fish is female. Or had become female since the other one was sick? Could they both be female? The larger one was definitely the dominant one over the other large one that died . Sorry if this is confusing. I just don't understand the switching genders thing that. Clown fish supposedly do. Please ask questions if you need more info. I need to figure out what's going on so I can be prepared to move fish to another tank or seoerate eggs or baby fish if the time comes. Hope someone can help me
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
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Cape Cod
#2
The larger clown is female. Basically all clowns start male, and the most dominant in a group turns female. Once she has started to change, she can never go back and she'll never coexist with another female clown. The next ranking clown she'll pair up with. Any other clowns in an aquarium will be driven off / killed... Only a pair will work out. Once they are a bonded pair, they may well spawn and breed regularly.

Sounds more like an illness or even a parasite. Worms can give that round belly.

Is it a reef tank? Live rock?

What have you treated with so far? The best dewormer is prazipro, which unlike most meds is safe for coral/inverts/live rock. But if you have treated with something else in the main tank you want to be sure to check that the meds are compatible. What were the symptoms of the other fish that died.

Are both the remaining clowns the same species?
 

Jan 13, 2015
3
0
0
#3
The larger clown is female. Basically all clowns start male, and the most dominant in a group turns female. Once she has started to change, she can never go back and she'll never coexist with another female clown. The next ranking clown she'll pair up with. Any other clowns in an aquarium will be driven off / killed... Only a pair will work out. Once they are a bonded pair, they may well spawn and breed regularly.

Sounds more like an illness or even a parasite. Worms can give that round belly.

Is it a reef tank? Live rock?

What have you treated with so far? The best dewormer is prazipro, which unlike most meds is safe for coral/inverts/live rock. But if you have treated with something else in the main tank you want to be sure to check that the meds are compatible. What were the symptoms of the other fish that died.

Are both the remaining clowns the same species?
Yes both are occelaris clowns. Today I saw the smaller one doing the submission shaky dance thingy in response to the bigger nudging him. So I'm, thinking it must be male. I'm wondering if it might be the food that's causing it. I noticed when I put seaweed pellets in for my blue tang the little clown is really gobbling them up and they swell once they're in water for a while. Maybe it might be bloating from being too full. I'm gonna cut back the seaweed stuff and feed less often to see if it goes down. I'm currently still treating the tank with melafix so I don't want to add any other meds right now. The other fish that died had red patches with white stuff. Looked like the mouth was decaying on one and patches on some of the others near the tail and on fins and faces. Lost 3 fish and a flame scallop so far. The last 2 fish that had symptoms are looking a lot better now.
 

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