Ever since our Scooter Dragonette started eating pellets, our female clown, (a.k.a Mamma Clown) has become increasingly more aggravated with our Dragonette. Every day at feeding time, our Dragonette waits on the substrate under the other fish for un-eaten pellets to drop down to him. He and our cleaner shrimp are the clean-up crew of left over pellets. What has been happening more and more often, is that when the Dragonette gets into position at feeding time, Mamma Clown challenges him. She will swim right up to him, and literally push him with her head to another location. The Dragonette tries to stand his ground, and ever raises his sail fin, but Mamma Clown doesn’t seem to be intimidated by this. The Dragonette will swim away, and come back minutes later, only to be confronted by her again.
I don’t know if she does this because he is in her territory, or if she is competing for food with him. I am thinking maybe a little of both. She does this mostly during feeding time, but I have seen her do it at other times as well, and always on her half of the tank.
There hasn’t been any torn fins or really aggressive behavior, but I have seen Mamma Clown try to bite or nibble on him a bit. At first it was funny, to see Mamma Clown bulldozing the Dragonette, all the while with his sail fin raised, to wherever she wanted to dispose of him. Or, to see Mamma Clown peel out in the sand, throwing sand on him. But, it has been going on for so long now, I’m starting to wonder what the solution will be if it becomes serious. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there.