Strange clownfish behavior


New Member
Hi everybody.
I started my new saltwater tank this week, and today I put in the first fish: 2 clownfish and a shrimp. One clownfish (Leia) is behaving pretty much like I'd expect, pretty mellow, gently swimming. The other clownfish (Luke) has been paddling pretty hard constantly, and stays facing up at about a 45 degree angle. Should I be concerned, or am I overreacting?
He's the one on the right.


You said you started your tank this week. What did you do and in what order. Knowing what your parameters would be helpful. What size is your tank? I have seen clowns swim in odd ways, but constant behavior as you describe in not common.


New Member
Yeah, it was tested by my local pet store and checks out well.
I bought the water and live sand from the pet store on Monday, and had them test it today, and they said it was perfect. I put in the clownfish and shrimp this afternoon.


Well-Known Member
Did you cycle the tank? If not cycled the water would test as perfect simply due to the lack of sufficient time to accumulate the toxins normal to a new tank. Did you see the clown that is behaving strangely eat at the lfs? Clowns will swim in strange ways, but if it is not eating or is breathing heavily you might be a little worried. Otherwise, watchful waiting is the name of the game. You should also consider starting a quarantine tank for all new organisms. I can personally guarantee that you will wipe out your tank at least once due to an imported parasite if you don't get in the habit of quarantining. It needn't be expensive (tank, small hob filter, heater, piece of pvc pipe for shelter), but will pay for itself many times over.