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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking back at pictures from almost a year ago, I noticed that most of the black has left both of my black onyx clowns.

The only change I can think of is the addition of a red bubble tip anemone. Anyone else had this issue?

Before:


Now:


 

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It's a somewhat common occurence with "Onyx" clowns. There are a few of theories on why this occurs. One of them is that it's based on the origin of the clown.

Looking at your original pics, your clowns don't look overly "Onyx" to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The larger is tank bred and the smaller is a very young wild caught. Both definitely onyx.

The pic in my avatar is the larger one from about 5 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Understand.

I have heard of them losing their color. Just seemed extreme.

I would just remove the BTA but the female has a tendency to stay at the edge of the top at night. She has had two close calls hitting the floor and many more times in the overflow.
 

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Buy them a haddoni. They'll turn black.

In the strictest sense, those aren't "Onyx". The term "Onyx" was first used by the wife of Bill Addison (the owner of C-Quest), to describe the very few perculas they were producing that had more black than their siblings. They were offspring from regular orange perculas. Bill addison began pulling these darker perculas and selectively breeding them. Many generations later, they produced a line of perculas that are largely black. Including the hard dorsal fin. So, the really strict clown fish people only consider this line of perculas to be "Onyx". There are other melanistic perculas, but their offspring typically aren't as dominantly black, as the C-Quest line. Odds are that a wild caught melanistic percula had at least one orange parent, and maybe both, so it's offspring will have a large percentage of orange individuals. The C-Quest line of Onyx have been selectively bred, black clown to black clown, for so long that very few of their offspring will be orange. So technically speaking, there is a difference between your basic melanistic precula, and an Onyx percula. Most people really don't care though, and call any percula that has black on it "Onyx".
 

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Thanks for the education EC!

So the lose of pigment is due to the anemone they are hosting isn't it? I have read that certain types of nem's could make clowfish lose their black, but never had actually seen it documented as well as Scruffy has!
 

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I have a pair of Onyx clowns. They use a variety of coral/anemones in my tank as hosts. Whenever I sell one, the pair just moves on to another. I have not noticed any loss of color in the 2+ years that I have had the female. The young male was added to replace the first male who jumped. His body was fully black (even as a juvenile) and the color has stayed despite varying hosts.

Here is the female in her current host choice, a goniopora.

 

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Thanks for the education EC!

So the lose of pigment is due to the anemone they are hosting isn't it? I have read that certain types of nem's could make clowfish lose their black, but never had actually seen it documented as well as Scruffy has!
You're welcome.:beer:
The species of anemone can effect the melanisum of some clowns. No one is sure exactly how, or why, this is. Many people were having trouble with "Rod's Onyx" fading while living in quadricolor/BTA. Including Rod himself. All of them didn't show this problem though.:confused:

Other environmental influences like light, and diet, can effect the melanisum of clowns as well. Here's my melanistic clarkii under MH's. Check out the black dorsal fin.


Here's the same fish under one small T5. Now her soft dorsal is yellow and she has faded quite a bit.


Here's my wild caught Solomon Island perc's.


Here's the same fish after a few months of living in a haddoni.
Don't pay attention to the haddoni. It was recovering from a power outage, and is now fully recovered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Has to be the host anemone. I am using the same food as I was when they got to their darkest state.
 

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Has to be the host anemone. I am using the same food as I was when they got to their darkest state.
That would be my guess as well. Are you going to do anything about it, or just live with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Most likely just live with it. If I remove the host anemone, the female hangs at the top and often ends up in the overflow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Between the clowns color and the fact that the RBTA was wreaking havoc on my sps, I traded in the RBTA and purchased a haddoni. It should be here on Wednesday.
 

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What other fish do you have in the tank?
 

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Cool! I was sweating there for a minute. LOL You'll really have to be selective on your fish purchases from now on. Any slow swimming, bottom dwelling fish will most likely become haddoni food. As long as you don't crowd them, most strong swimming fish can learn to avoid the anemone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I try to keep this pair all by themselves. They were laying eggs for a few months but stopped for some reason. Of course, they may have just been putting them in a new place or eating them right away.
 
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