Adding Amphiprion Ocellaris to a Tank with an Existing Amphiprion Ocellaris
For our reef tank we bought Amphiprion Ocellaris clownfish pair that we bought 14 – 16 months ago. The fish were wild caught which was my first mistake, but they were nice size and seemed to be doing well in the dealer’s tank. In a short amount of time I discovered that one of the clownfish was not eating, and we tried various things to get him going, but never had any success. We tried live food, fresh seafood, to all the frozen and flakes to no avail and he soon wasted away.
Due to other commitments I have never been a fan of keeping fish in my reef tank. It just makes tank maintenance so much easier but when you have kids they want to see Nemo, and why would you have a reef tank if you were not going to keep Nemo?
So for all this times, are remaining clownfish, now named Nicole has had the tank to herself. She swims around, eats, and has become very personable. But lately Nicole has seemed a little listless, and the water parameters are good, the corals are thriving, and she continues to eat, but she just does not seem to be the fun fish she had been. This got me to thinking that since she was wild caught that being alone in this tank and without the stimulation of other fish might be the problem, but what to do.
Scouring the Internet for information on adding another Ocellaris turns up all sorts of advice from adding another to not adding another.
What I seemed to discover was that the key was to get another Ocellaris but it has to be as young, and as small as possible, and fortunately for the hobbyist aqua cultured Ocellaris are available and can be found really small.
We found Nemo 2 swimming with ten other Nemo’s in our dealer’s tank, at the right price and we picked out the smallest one.
We also picked up a tablespoon of live brine shrimp to put into the tank at the time of release to keep Nicole from focusing on Nemo.
We left Nemo in the bag and floated him so Nicole could see him for a while and they seemed to be checking each other out, and after acclimating the temperature, pH, and salinity in Nemo’s bag we added the shrimp to the tank. While Nicole started pursuing the shrimp we took Nemo from the bag and placed him into his new home.
They seem to hit it off with Nemo following Nicole around and trying to eat the live brine shrimp as they blew about the tank.
We kept tabs on them throughout the evening and it seems Nemo is tagging along with Nicole who already seems to be reenergized.
So as of today the addition of the smaller Amphiprion Ocellaris seems to have worked, but we will have to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.
I still have some questions about this situation that seem to be impossible to answer.
Does the larger Amphiprion Ocellaris, in our case Nicole, just not care about the new Amphiprion Ocellaris (Nemo) because he is so small? Nemo is maybe ¾ of an inch where Nicole is close to 3”.
Is Nicole a female? Because she was alone without other Clownfish is Nicole a female? If she is not is Nemo big enough for her to begin the process of turning into a female?
More information on keeping Amphiprion Ocellaris: