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Anyone have a clown eat another fish

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bwinberg23 View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 14 2016 at 7:19pm
Has anyone ever had a clownfish eat another fish in their tank? I'm fairly certain my clown ate the Yellow Watchman Goby that I put in there on Saturday. I knew they could be territorial but I didn't think they could swallow a whole fish.
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 12:07am
Just because it cannot be seen does not mean it's dead. That Goby can remain under a rock, unseen by the hobbyist for weeks or months. I recently did some maintenance and added more sand to a client tank where, to my surprise, a Yellow Watchman Goby appeared that I had never seen in that tank. My thought is that the additional sand covered it's home so it came out to see what was going on.

Clownfish the predator? Not likely. Clownfish eat zooplankton but don't eat grown fish, dead or alive. More likely would be that the new fish died and then was consumed by the cleanup crew. The cleanup crew that consumes dead fish is not just Hermit Crabs. It's a host of worms, the most common being the [lovable] Bristleworm and a whole lot of bugs, the most common and largest bug being the Amphipod. Surprisingly, these organisms also eat the fish bones, usually in one night. Approve The cleanup crew is a normal part of the natural ocean environment - it's part of the circle of life and usually exists, though visible only at night, in a healthy reef aquarium.

Let's hope the Goby is just hiding. Eventually, it will come out for a peek. Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug



Edited by Mark Peterson - June 15 2016 at 12:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1stupidpunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 5:43am
I agree. Clownfish are territorial and can pick on and perhaps (but not likely) kill another fish (especially other clowns) but I highly doubt your clown ate the goby. Watchman gobies love to hide in nooks and crannies so I would assume he is hiding someplace.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bwinberg23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 7:55am
The clowns belly is swollen and I swear I see the goby's eye in there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1stupidpunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 9:43am

I had a really mean clownfish once... does yours look like this?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bwinberg23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 10:24am
Almost identical. Lol
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 10:40am
Sounds curious. 
Geek
Is the clownfish alone in the tank? How deep is the sand bed, how old is the tank and may we see a tank pic?

Aloha,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote love2skiutah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 12:43pm
In my 120, I used to feed my triggers guppies and live ghost shrimp.  Anthias, Clowns, everything would gobble them all up. If it can fit in the fishes mouth, they could eat it.

PS, I don't recommend this because it adds a ton of excess waste and makes your fish aggressive.  


Edited by love2skiutah - June 15 2016 at 12:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1stupidpunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 12:46pm
I've seen some pretty small watchman gobies, but still skeptical that the clownfish ate it. what species clown are we talking about?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote love2skiutah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 12:52pm
Yeah, I agree.  I doubt the clownfish ate it.  In my situation, they learned to do it from the other fish, because they didn't touch the guppies in the beginning.  A goby that small could pass away at noon and between it rotting and other fish/inverts moving it around and feasting on it, you could have zero trace of the goby by the time you got home from work. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bwinberg23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 9:38pm
The clowns has been alone in the tank. I picked him up off of the forum and I've decided he's to big for my 24 gal JBJ Nano. He's about 3 inches. I added the watchman goby and a Cardinal fish on the same day. The clown immediately went after the goby and had the rear 1/8th of him in his mouth before I intervened. He finally built a little cave and I thought he was going to be ok.
The tank has only been up and running for about a month and a half. The sand bed is about 2 inches. Let me see if I can figure out how to attach a pic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bwinberg23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 9:46pm
Here's the tank.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2016 at 9:50am
sounds like have a rogue clownfish on our hands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2016 at 1:23pm
We don't know what bad habits the Clownfish picked up before it came to this tank, so predation is still a remote possibility, but my guess (my hope) is that the Goby is hiding or was a meal for the cleanup crew. I am leaning toward this explanation especially because of the interruption when Nemo had grabbed hold of the Goby's tail. Intervention is an effective teaching method and Nemos are good students. Also, as related, the clownfish could fit only the Goby's tail in it's mouth. In my opinion, a 3" clownfish throat is not large enough to swallow and does not have a stomach that is large enough to hold a Yellow Watchman Goby of the size usually found for sale in the hobby.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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