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DD wants a clownfish for her birthday. Are they very difficult to keep?

(12 Posts)
Ceolas Tue 12-Aug-08 15:04:41

We have had a few goldfish lasting a couple of years each. Not an amazing fish-keeping history hmm

What do we need? I understand they're marine fish and not tropical so it's salt water. Will it be expensive to set up the tank? Can I just have one little fish swimming about on its own or will he need some pals?

Also, I had a quick look in the pet shop this morning and what was labelled clownfish was miniscule and looked nothing like Nemo. Do they grow into their appearance?

Grateful for any advice/tips.

TooTicky Tue 12-Aug-08 15:05:50

I think it's tricky keeping the salt levels right.

bamzooki Tue 12-Aug-08 19:37:38

Marine tanks are WAY more hard work, tricky and expensive, and while I think you could have just one in a tank, I think you would need to have coral etc in there for it to live on/in, but don't quote me on that bit.

But seriously - do some research on what is involved in maintaining a marine tank before you decide. It is a whole different kettle of fish to tropical.
One place to start
I have tropical, and think marine tanks are amazing, but a) can't afford one, b) am not not prepared to spend my life monitoring water parameters.

Smithagain Tue 12-Aug-08 19:43:29

In a nutshell, yes they are difficult and yes, it will be very expensive to set a tank up.

Could you talk her into some easier fish and set up a little tropical freshwater tank for her? Go to a decent aquarium stockist (like a big garden centre with fish outlet) and ask for advice about a starter kit for a tropical tank.

Ceolas Fri 15-Aug-08 08:58:56

OK the fish in the pet shop was a clown loach. Is that the same thing?

AlexanderPandasmum Fri 15-Aug-08 09:03:30

No, a clown loach is a tropical fish.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 15-Aug-08 09:03:34

clown loach are tropical, lot easier to look after.

AlexanderPandasmum Fri 15-Aug-08 09:07:30

Looks quite similar though. I had clown loaches in my tropical tank when I was young - go OK with other tropical fish too.

A clown fish

A clown loach

ChopsTheDuck Fri 15-Aug-08 09:09:31

Only thing is though, clown loach can grow to 6-7" and you need a group of them so you'd need a bigger tank than you probably want for your dd. I have a pair, about 4 years old now in a 220l tank.
I'd look at something like some of the more robust tetras or a siamese fighting fish (very attractive) that would be happier in a small set up and are fairy hardy.

goblinvalley Fri 15-Aug-08 09:24:58

Marine fishkeeping is very expensive, time consuming and difficult to keep the water stable.

It can be a great hobby smile I kept marines for 5 years.

You will need a big tank, at least 48" long. The bigger the tank, the more stable the water conditions. Smaller tanks deteriorate very quickly in water quality.

Corals are very hard to keep - they require almost perfect conditions - more filtration, protein skimming, etc.

I would try and dissuade her. Maybe set up a tropical tank - there are some lovely colourful fish you can get.

bethoo Fri 15-Aug-08 09:40:34

cant you get clown fish that are either salt or tropical?

Ceolas Fri 15-Aug-08 10:49:56

Thanks all. We just looked them up on wikipedia. Don't reckon we are up to the maintenace of a marine tank yet and I'd hate to fork out all that money and kill the poor fish in a few weeks.

I think I might have persuaded her towards some fancy goldfish!

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