Hey Clown, You Want to Hook Up


So in my 70-gallon double decker tank, I had a Clarkii  Clown which I felt was an awesome fish but he was become more and more aggressive. If you put your hand in the tank, my Clarkii clown turned into a Paraná. After a little bit of research, I found out that if you add a second Clarkii Clown, it can help with a clown that is becoming aggressive.

OK, this sounds good to me, I enjoyed my clown fish so why not add a second one. I was convinced, so I run out to my closest LFS which always has Clarkii's... which they did not have... so the only other logical thing to do was not to call the LFS but to go on a LFS crawl until I found a Clarkii so 3 LFS later and a half a dozen other goodies I found my Clarkii Clown. I’m now itching to get home to add him to my tank.

I get home I acclimate the tempter and then the water and now I’m ready to put him in the tank (Yeah I know I should quarantine him, but I didn't). I let him free in the tank, the new Clarkii sets eyes on other Clarkii and it was love at first sight... well I wish it was like that. The new Clarkii started to move towards the other Clarkii and the old Clarkii said HELL no, this is my home. He immediately starts to attack the new Clarkii aggressively. I am freaking out trying to catch one of them and there is nothing I can do, the old Clarkii is taking bites out of the new Clakii and spitting our scales and there was not much I could do about it. The only option I could think of was to pull live rock and start destroying corals... not an option.

I decided I would wait until it was late in the night to take him out of the tank (this is the best way to get a clownfish out of your tank, while they are sleeping late in the night reach in and grab them). Of course this is pointless unless the new clown make it trough the night.

An hour later, the search party started, I bust out the flashlight and I am looking in all the tank through all the little caves everywhere. No sign of his. I wait another hour and do another search, still no sigh of him. I start looking for my two large serpent stars to see if they had a dead clown, I could only find one. I did not see any nassarius snails coming out of the sand so at this point I am still hopping he was alive. A couple hours pass and I do another search, no luck. By this point I feel like I made a huge mistake. I start to do more research on what I did wrong and it turns I added the Clown to the tank the wrong way. Now I really feel bad.

I did not take the original clown out of the tank how there was no signs of the new clown. After each day passes I am searching the tank in hopes that the new Clarkii Clown was still alive. By day 4 or 5, I gave up the search, I assume he is gone, I did not see him during feeling or around any of the rock.

Three weeks pass, I will never forget, my wife is giving my son a bath and I am sitting in the couch and at that point, I see the ghost of the new Clarkii haunting me. For real, a fish about the same size as the Clarkii keeps popping up and down from the cover of a rock in my tank. I run over to see what was in the tank and I it’s the Clarkii he is alive, but it was entirely white and almost all of his fins have been bitten off plus he was missing the majority of its scales. I was amazed at the fact that he was still alive, the original Clarkii was still not friendly to him but he was not agressivly attacking him anymore.

During the next week, the two clowns seem to become less and less aggressive and the old Clarkii seems to be getting larger. The deed is done, the original Clarkii had bonded and transformed into a female and the two where like two pees in a pod after that. I was lucky, the second Clarkii survived, I spoke with many people who their clown was not so lucky.

So now many years past and my dominate clown passed. I knew I wanted to add another Clarkii Clown to the tank but I want to have the type of experiance as last time.

I did a bit of research, but I never did add another one. A few more years pass and I am now moving, I needed to take what I wanted to keep to my father in laws house who is also in the hobby. The thing was he already had a Clarkii and it was small and mine was huge now compared to his, so I told him it was up to him if he wanted me to put the Clarkii in his tank. I told him the story and I explained that I would introduce them in a different way this time, to hopefully prevent a major UFC battel between the two, but in the end it was his choice. 

He wants me to add my Clarkii to his tank. 

So I bring my Clarkii to my Father In Laws house, I have a clear isolation container that is attached to a heavy duty magnets. I set it in the tank and I place my clown in the isolation box, high enough so that the top is out of the water. I placed a piece of clear plexi on top to make sure he does not jump out. He was put in there around noon, feeding time comes around, I feed him in the isolation box. Once the lights go out, my Clarkii is asleep in the isolation box and the other Clarkii is lightly sleeping. Its time, using the magnet I tip the isolation box over and my Clarkii Clown is lose, it’s on like Donkey Kong. I see my Clarkii Clown moving slowly towards my Father In Laws Clarkii, he is seeing this giant clown heading his way and make a run for it.

I am thinking not again, well my Clarkii chases him just a little, maybe for a couple of seconds and then... it was over. literally it was over, my Clarkii stop chasing the other Clarkii and they were friends. That was easy... much easier and both Clarkii look great. Absuluty no signs of aggression. 

How was your experience when adding a second clown to your tank of the same species? How did you add your clown and what was your experience?

About author

I got into the aquarium hobby in 2004 after I went diving for the first time I knew I wanted a small piece of the ocean nearby to admire at home. I have a tech background, so I enjoy gadgets and automation. I plan to do a planted freshwater tank and play


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