Paired couple now fighting

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I’ve had a clownfish pair for about a month. Bought from the same tank in my LFS. They have always got along fine. One is slightly bigger than the other and is clearly the more doninant one. They went through the usual stuff, the bigger one nudging it until the smaller one does a sorta seizure sorta thing. The bigger one then sometimes does it back.

However. The last two days the bigger one has been quite aggressively and persistently chasing the smaller one around the tank to the point where the smaller one looks desperate to get away. They’re the only fish in the tank aside from an orange spotted goby which we introduced last week.

It’s quite distressing to watch at the minute.

Is this normal and will it pass or do I have to remove the bigger one from the tank??


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Reply #1

Just to add to the above post I’ve noticed that it only seems to happen when I turn the lights from white to blue. I’ve turned the white lights back on and it’s as if they are best friends again! No chasing or fighting and the smaller one is constantly doing the little seizure dance to the bigger one!

Has anyone else experienced this?


  • Tim
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Reply #2

The female can be quite aggressive to the Male, unless she is biting chunks out of him I wouldn’t worry to much, there just sorting out the pecking order.



  • Graeme
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Reply #3

Agree.  The dance is a submissive thing.  That's normal behaviour.  They may go through phases of this, but as Tim said, so long as the male is not getting badly damaged, just leave them to it, and it should pass. 

Not sure about the lights thing.  It's possible that the whites going off is seen as time to find a place to sleep.  Mine often sleep in different anemones (I had one, but it split and I've kept them both). 
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Reply #4

Thanks for the help! It’s strange as they dont fight at all when the lights are completely off, only when they’re on just blue. No fighting since I’ve kept the lights on full white or completely off! Strange!!!!


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