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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am trying to inquire into courtship behaviors of clownfish. We have a sexually mature female who I beleive has begun to attempt to court a ladder glider gobie we added to the tank last night under cover of darkness. Some back story: we have a sixline wrasse (also sexually mature), lawnmower blenny, nemo, a yellowtail blue damsel and a green clown gobie. The tank is 30 gallons and has a number of corals. About two months ago our neon gobie died and the diamond gobie followed a week or so later (they were really close). We bought a new diamond gobie and found him dead on the floor the next day. The other fish (mostly the blenny) chased him, beat him up and eventually made him commit fishy suicide (jumping out of the tank). Since then we have lost two more in the exact same fashion. We desperately need a sandsifter and we bought the ladder glider gobie yesterday and put him in the tank after the lights were off last night. Now the present: the fish (except for the clown gobie, he doesn't do anything to anybody) were beating him up and chasing him this morning. Sometime during the day, the wrasse and damsel left him alone and nemo tore up some of his tail. When I came home this afternoon, he wasn't really being messed with. The blenny would try his normal **** and try to make him jump, but nemo would jump ahead of him and casually chase the gobie back to the bottom. It was more of a "you don't want to go that way... go this way instead." It was in no way overtly aggressive. So I sat and watched and noticed that Nemo would hover above and around the gobie. It even seemed like she was trying to sift the sand like he does, but she would nip at the algae on the sand not pick anything up. She did get in front of him and shook her caudal fin but not to hurt him. She brushed her sides against the substrate and would even try to lead him back to her side of the tank. Nemo actually did chase away the damsel and the wrasse a few times even though they were just swimming around and got a little too close. She circles him a little and she tries to intimidate the blenny when he gets nearby. A few times she went down to the gobie and kind of "love tapped" or gently nipped at his dorsal fin and back, though she never grabbed him or hurt him when she did it. I want to know if this is courtship behavior because if it is, this sifter may stand a chance of surviving. If he can make it about a week the blenny will leave him alone. Not to mention, we would have a truly "odd couple."
 

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I think the aggression is occuring is due to the small tank size. Each fish needs its own territory. So being the tank is so small this is possible resulting in other fish being chased. I regards to the clown trying to court a none clown I completely unware but possible someone else can chime in on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
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They have only become territorial since they matured. Besides the population density on the reef is at least 5 times greater than what it is in our tank. The only thing I was really curious about was the behavior Nemo is exhibiting. I did some online research yesterday before posting and I searched through all of my texts that are here, but I didn't find much. I thought I might be able to get some additional information that was a little more concrete. I have heard that these are courtship behaviors from a few people at the fish stores and read a little about damsel courtship, but I wanted some additional opinions to be sure.
 
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