Clownfish Bullying Blue-green Chromis.

CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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In my 10 gallon nano reef, my Occelaris Clown occasionally darts at my Blue-Green Chromis. The Chromis usually follows the clown, but then the clown pushes the Chromis out of the way. I cannot get another tank, because my parents won't let me get another tank until next year. What should I do?

My current options are:
Give away either of the fish to an LFS.
Persuade to get another tank.
Let "nature take it's course" and watch the poor fish get ich.
Get another Chromis for the current Chromis to school with.

Fish Info:
Blue Green Chromis- 1 inch long. Unknown Gender. Purchased at Petco.
Occelaris Clownfish- 1 1/2 inches long. Unknown Gender. Currently not hosting anything. Purchased at Petco.

Tank Info:
10 Gallon Tank.
Hagen Aquaclear 20 Power Filter
Aqueon 50 watt Heater
Fluval Halo Lamp
Live Rock
Aragonite Sand
4 Trochus Snails
5 Zebra Hermit Crabs
Zoanthids (unknown morph)

Last Test read 0ppm Ammonia 0ppm Nitrates 0ppm Nitrite
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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UPDATE: I don't know if it's bullying or not. The clown, as of right now, usually stays near the corner of the tank and occasionally swims off, but always comes back. It also occasionally rubs its face on that one spot. Also, when the chromis gets close, the clown acts kind or defensive. Is it just defending its territory?
 

Jesterrace

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All Clownfish are territorial to a degree and in a 10 gallon tank this doesn't surprise me as both will be cramped in a 10 gallon long term. Adding another Chromis will only make things worse as Chromis will pick each other off in a tank of that size and the clown will go after both of them as any other fish that enters it's space is viewed as a threat. One of the greatest lies/myths told in the hobby is that Ocellaris Clownfish are Peaceful, when they are all semi-aggressive/territorial to some degree. That's one of the reasons why I don't recommend ANY clownfish for anything smaller than a 20 gallon long as they need space to mark out their turf. What you are seeing here is that your clown has marked off it's set area for turf and anything that ventures into it will be a target (it will likely bite your hand at this point if you stick it in the tank around it's area). Personally I would swap the Clownfish for something like a Green Clown Goby as it will be a much better tank mate and is better suited for a tank of this size. Or you can remove the Chromis and just dedicate the tank to the single clownfish and call it good.
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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Okay! I never knew that Occelaris were territorial! The clown does seems stressed a lot by that chromis, BTW. I might think about giving one of the fish to an LFS or something. I usually see clowns by themselves in tanks, most of the time.

I might give the clown to an LFS, but I don't know because HE'S TOO ADORABLE. But it might be the best option, as I still want this tank to be a community tank. Also, the Green Clown Gobies are really colorful!

Thanks for the advice!
 

bettaf1sh 7789

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Agree with the above. IMO if you want a community tank in a 10 gallon, I would rehome the clown or just keep the 10 for a clown or maybe a pair of clowns. In something as small as 10 gallons, you’d be better off keeping only peaceful fish as a community. How is your chromis doing? For some reason I can never have success with those fish… bummer because they’re quite pretty.
 

coralbandit

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Clowns are in the Damsel family..They are friendly fish too also huh ?
I agree with Jesterrace 100%
Let him bite you before you re home him for fun !
 

Jesterrace

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Another fun fact is that Chromis are members of the Damsel family as well. Personally I don't feel that they are well suited to a 10 gallon as well. For 10 gallons I generally recommend sticking to the following:

Firefish
Possum or Pink Streaked Wrasse
Small Gobies
The smallest blennies (ie Tailspot)
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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Okay! I just need to talk to my mom,
bettaf1sh 7789 said:
Agree with the above. IMO if you want a community tank in a 10 gallon, I would rehome the clown or just keep the 10 for a clown or maybe a pair of clowns. In something as small as 10 gallons, you’d be better off keeping only peaceful fish as a community. How is your chromis doing? For some reason I can never have success with those fish… bummer because they’re quite pretty.
My chromis usually follows the clownfish (which leads to the clownfish's territorial behavior). When he isn't following anyone, he circles around the tank.

Jesterrace said:
Another fun fact is that Chromis are members of the Damsel family as well. Personally I don't feel that they are well suited to a 10 gallon as well. For 10 gallons I generally recommend sticking to the following:

Firefish
Possum or Pink Streaked Wrasse
Small Gobies
The smallest blennies (ie Tailspot)
I'll think into these fish .
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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UPDATE: My chromis got too close to my clown, so the clown started chasing the chromis with his mouth wide open. Then the clown began marking his territory. Now, the chromis is afraid to go close, and if he does, the clownfish gets mad and he swims away.
 

Jesterrace

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It's time to get rid of one or both of them. No way a Chromis is going to be happy as a fish relegated to one side of a 10 gallon tank and the clown is going to be an absolute butthead to any other fish you try to add. Too bad I can't loan you my Melanurus Wrasse for a few days. It would be more than happy to give that little brat an attitude adjustment. I had a Snowflake Occ clown that made the mistake of bullying it one time too often and an otherwise peaceful fish took off the gloves and declared an all out war for an entire day. The Wrasse even managed to grab it by it's tail and shook it like a ragdoll. After a day it backed off, it just gave it the occasional reminder nip. Normally it breaks my heart to see such aggression but I have to confess I took great joy in the Clown's plight as it had it coming and then some. I ended up giving it the boot from my tank as it contributed to the death of my Scissortail Dartfish and possible death of my Purple Firefish. Needless to say I gave Live Aquaria an earful for their claI'm that the fish is peaceful.
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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Jesterrace said:
It's time to get rid of one or both of them. No way a Chromis is going to be happy as a fish relegated to one side of a 10 gallon tank and the clown is going to be an absolute butthead to any other fish you try to add. Too bad I can't loan you my Melanurus Wrasse for a few days. It would be more than happy to give that little brat an attitude adjustment. I had a Snowflake Occ clown that made the mistake of bullying it one time too often and an otherwise peaceful fish took off the gloves and declared an all out war for an entire day. The Wrasse even managed to grab it by it's tail and shook it like a ragdoll. After a day it backed off, it just gave it the occasional reminder nip. Normally it breaks my heart to see such aggression but I have to confess I took great joy in the Clown's plight as it had it coming and then some. I ended up giving it the boot from my tank as it contributed to the death of my Scissortail Dartfish and possible death of my Purple Firefish. Needless to say I gave Live Aquaria an earful for their claI'm that the fish is peaceful.
Yikes! That's a crazy tale you got there!
 
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CHAMELEON_BREEZE

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UPDATE: The clown and the chromis seem to be getting along now. I think I'm going to keep them, but, as they can both get pretty pig, I might upgrade to a 30 or 29 gallon soon.
 

Jesterrace

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It would definitely be best. As neither of those fish will do well in a 10 gallon long term.
 

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