Are my Clownfish pairing or fighting?

PoppyD88

I recently bought a Wyoming White Clown and what seems to be a Black Ocellaris. The Black is about 1” and the Wyoming white is maybe 2”-3”, the white is much larger and keeps on attacking the little black clown. So my guess is that the white is trying to dominate for pairing. I’m not sure if it’s getting too rough. It’s been 3days of being together. The black clown isnt fighting back but isn’t hiding either. The black clown has been glass surfing and anxiously swimming. They both came from the LPS but were in separate tanks. I also have a video of the white clown dragging the black clown and yanking it with its mouth. Should I separate them? Is there chunks missing out of the little black clownfish? I’m worried.
 

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FishGirl38

I have a few more questions for you:

What size tank are they in? (does each clown have enough 'territory'
Is this an established reef tank? Are they fighting over an anemone? Or is this a fish only set up?
Which clownfish did you add first?
Do you know if they were captive bred, or wild caught? (most clowns are captive bred now, but I'm not sure about these species - and wild caught fish are a little different than captive bred ones). Are they eating prepared foods (like flake or pellets) readily. - potential indicator.

It COULD be that they're trying to pair but....typically males won't fight with females. Females can fight with other females, but to my understanding, when you have a group of clowns (and you only have 2 of different species so MAYBE you do have 2 females) The largest clown will change it's sex to female IF there are no other females around and it's the largest clown.

Based on the grabbing and dragging comment, I would separate them personally, only because this doesn't sound like normal 'community/pairing off' behavior. BUT, if it's not relentless, (and happens only occasionally), it could really just be the larger clown saying 'this is my spot, know your place' to the smaller one (especially if the smaller was added later on, after the larger). AND, if the smaller guy is a new addition and gets the hint soon enough, the territorial behavior MAY cease. but we can't necessarily predict fish behavior.
 
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PoppyD88

I have a few more questions for you:

What size tank are they in? (does each clown have enough 'territory'
Is this an established reef tank? Are they fighting over an anemone? Or is this a fish only set up?
Which clownfish did you add first?
Do you know if they were captive bred, or wild caught? (most clowns are captive bred now, but I'm not sure about these species - and wild caught fish are a little different than captive bred ones). Are they eating prepared foods (like flake or pellets) readily. - potential indicator.

It COULD be that they're trying to pair but....typically males won't fight with females. Females can fight with other females, but to my understanding, when you have a group of clowns (and you only have 2 of different species so MAYBE you do have 2 females) The largest clown will change it's sex to female IF there are no other females around and it's the largest clown.

Based on the grabbing and dragging comment, I would separate them personally, only because this doesn't sound like normal 'community/pairing off' behavior. BUT, if it's not relentless, (and happens only occasionally), it could really just be the larger clown saying 'this is my spot, know your place' to the smaller one (especially if the smaller was added later on, after the larger). AND, if the smaller guy is a new addition and gets the hint soon enough, the territorial behavior MAY cease. but we can't necessarily predict fish behavior.
It’s a 55 gallon fish only, they were introduced together, they’re fed live food, flakes, and pellets on different days, i always feed them when they’re not near each other. I think they developed territories but they don’t seem that official yet.
 
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kanzekatores

My male mocha clownfish has chunks off his fins too. I thought it was fin rot at first but as the condition hasn’t changed at all since I first noticed it and my goby is now showing raggedy fins I believe the female is being aggressive. My pair isn’t as violently opposed to each other as it seems yours are but give them time and hopefully the other clownfish will calm down
 
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