Please Help! Clowns attacking!


New member
Really need some advice. I have a 125g reef tank, established for 5 months. It is pretty much fully stocked, no new plans to buy anymore fish.
I originally had a "nemo" Oscellaris clown in a 40g and then moved him into our 125g after it had cycled. Went to my LFS and they talked me into buying 2 paired Black Oscellaris and 2 Snowflakes that we were also paired.
He ASSURED me that there would not be any problems with this variety of clowns being together in a 125g and up to yesterday, no problems at all.
What I have noticed is that "Nemo" goes back and forth to the 2 pairs, which live at opposite ends of the tanks. I have not seen any fighting whatsoever until today. And oh boy, bar room brawl!!
IT was like a switch went off last night and they started attacking each other. From what I can see, as long as Nemo stays with the snowflakes, all is well. But now when he goes down and hangs with the black's, the larger snowflake goes nuts and starts attacking the blacks. Then it becomes a standoff between the larger white and the larger black.
I have also seen the smaller snowflake move down with Nemo and the black's and hang with them while Butthole is left at the other side of the tank. Weirdest thing.
Any advice? I have had several thoughts on this.
1) I should not have left Nemo without a mate. Maybe it is a jealousy type thing?
2) Hormones are changing and everyone is going nuts?
Please help!


New member
General rule is 2 clowns per tank, until you get upwards of 300-400 gallons, and even then its not "guaranteed".
They have either paired up or reached a comfort level/maturity that has them on their way to pairing.
Your best bet is to remove all but two. If you don't, the most likely outcome is that the strongest pair will eliminate the others... with a possibility that you lose them all due to the damage and wear the fighting will take on all of them.


New member
That is kind of what I figured. Now I am looking at the tank and they are all together on one side swimming happily. But I do think that they are starting to mature and that is probably the problem. Darnit