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Old 02-21-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default cleaner wrasse vs jawfish

hi all, firstly just like to say that i hope i have this in the right catergory,as it does regard my fish.

i thought i would share this little problem/ dilema out with you all. heres the scene. i have a 3ft tank,mh,2 skimmers 2 external filters etc. i have 3 blue damsels,2 clown fish, 1 regal tang,1 cleaner wrasse,2 jawfish...1 big brittle star 6-7",4 hermits,lots of coral.
my problem/issue has been this.

2 weeks ago i bought 2 yellow headed jawfish from my lfs. after just 2 days, i found one of the jawfish in a very bad way. i took him back to the lfs, who informed me that he was "beaten to a pulp by another fish" sadly it died that day. we both assumed it was the other jawfish, possibly because of territory. that same day, i fed the fish in the evening and witnessed something rather nasty. my cleaner wrasse was "seeing off/attacking" the 2nd jawfish. as i started watching it(observing over the next couple of days),it was more and more apparent that the cleaner wrasse had it in for the 2nd jawfish, as every time he emerged from his burrow the wrasse would "fly" over the top of him,sometimes darting at him and literally biting him, forcing him to retreat back in!!!! i have just today taken the wrasse back to my lfs as i noticed a few marks/nipping on my jawfish this morning.(who was unusally shy/hiding most of the day).

my question is this,with the information i have supplied is my tank over stocked,did i just have a aggressive cleaner wrasse, or do you think i could be something else attacking the jawfish,maybe the brittle star??? also is this sort of thing a common occurance or a rare one?? i only ask as im sure the guy at the fish shop didn"t believe me when i explained what was goimg on!!!!!
thanks for any help, very much appreciated
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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i would not say brittle star, and cleaner wrasses have a powerfull jaw, so i'd say its quite possible, now you have taken him out, you'll see if it was him because the jawfish will come back out
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by vanpyre View Post
i would not say brittle star, and cleaner wrasses have a powerfull jaw, so i'd say its quite possible, now you have taken him out, you'll see if it was him because the jawfish will come back out
yes indeed, got to confess that in the last couple of hours he has started to hover above his burrow,instead of hiding in it. who would of thought it though, a cleaner wrasse with attitude!!!lol
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jeth1979 View Post
yes indeed, got to confess that in the last couple of hours he has started to hover above his burrow,instead of hiding in it. who would of thought it though, a cleaner wrasse with attitude!!!lol
i had a boxer, he was taking fish out ten times his size
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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i think though you are about at your limit on the fish side of things
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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Your overstocked IMO. In a 3 foot tank, I would think that just the 3 damsels, 2 clowns, and jawfish would be enough. However, having the regal tang puts it over the top. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a 3 foot tank is too small for any but very small regal tangs. You will need to upgrade or find it a new home. The fact that you are running two skimmers makes reduces the stress on the system somewhat. The cleaner wrasse could be the culprit, but clownfish and damsels are also/can also be very aggressive. However, if the goby is coming back out w/ the CW gone, than that would be your culprit. The brittle definitely isn't at fault because if he were to attack someone it would be in the form of trapping and eating, bot beating up.
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