Clownfish, Amphiprion Ocellaris
- Scientific name: Amphiprion ocellairs
- Common name: Clown fish, Anemone fish
- Aquarium size: 150 to 200 liters
- Temperament: Calm
- Temperature: Between 26ºC and 27ºC
- pH: Above 8
- Diet: Omnivore
- Length: Between 9 and 11 centimeters
Characteristics of the Clown Fish
The Clown fish or Clownfish (Clown fish in English), is also known as Anemone fish, for its particular symbiosis with sea anemones . Among the characteristics of the Clown fish, it is world renowned for its spectacular orange and white coloration, as well as being an animated drawing.
It is important not to confuse the Clown fish with the Botia Clown fish … considered the freshwater Clown fish . They are two completely different species, since the Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) is a marine species, while the Botia Payaso is freshwater.
Among fans of marine aquariumsit is one of the most appreciated species. The reasons are several, such as that they adapt easily, they are resistant and because it is one of the few species of tropical marine fish that can be reproduced in captivity.
Not that it’s easy, but an experienced aquarium hobbyist can do it.
The Common Clownfish is orange in color, with three white stripes delimited by thinner black stripes. The fins are edged in black.
Its dorsal fin has 11 spines and it is used to distinguish Amphiprion Ocellaris from Ocellaris del Percula, two very similar varieties. The Percula only has 10 spines on its dorsal fin, its colors are brighter and the black stripes that border the white ones are somewhat wider.
Within the group, the dominant female is larger than the male and usually measures about 11 centimeters.
Types of Clown Fish
You will find that there are many fish, some really surprising. These are the most common aquarium varieties:
- Amphiprion ocellaris
- Amphiprion percula
- Amphiprion clarkii
- Amphiprion akindynos
- Amphiprion bicinctus
- Amphiprion allardi
- Amphiprion chrysopterus
- Amphiprion chrysogaster
- Amphiprion latifasciatus
- Amphiprion ephippium
- Amphiprion barberi
- Amphiprion frenatus
- Amphiprion mccullochi
- Amphiprion latezonatus
- Amphiprion polymnus
- Amphiprion sebae
- Amphiprion akallopisos
- Amphiprion nigripes
Distribution and habitat
The Clownfish , like all Pomacentrids , is native to the tropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans , where they live on coral reefs.
One of the characteristics of the entire Clownfish family is its symbiosis with anemones.
The Clownfish and the anemone are an indissoluble pairing. In nature, the two species provide protection. The Clownfish protects the anemones from other predatory fish and prevents infections, in turn, the anemone provides protection to the Clownfish. And if we want to have healthy Clown fish, we must add an anemone to the aquarium.
Curiously, anemones are toxic, but Clownfish are immune, due to a mucus that protects their skin from direct contact.
Currently, as many Clownfish are raised in specialized tanks and no longer come from nature, anemones can be substituted for another type of protection, such as corals.
Curiosities of the Clown fish: the Clown fish and the anemone
In the animal world it is common to see how some species coexist in symbiosis, depending on each other, for their survival.
This is the case of the Clown fish and the sea anemone, it is one of these curious cases of symbiosis that occur in nature.
But … even though we think that all anemones live with Clown fish, it is not like that. Of the 1,000 different species of anemones, only about 10 species coexist with the 26 different species of tropical Clowfish.
Basically coexistence is based on mutual protection. The Clownfish prevents the anemone from being attacked by its natural predators, such as the Butterflyfish and also provides it with nutrients in the form of waste.
Clownfish benefit from a safe haven from most of their natural predators, thanks to their developed natural protection against stinging anemone stings .
The aquarium to keep a Clownfish (several) should be between 150 and 200 liters, although they can thrive in smaller aquariums, it is not recommended.
Clown fish appreciate frequent water renewal, which is a source of well-being and also favors spawning.
It is important that the aquarium contains an anemone, around which it usually swims and serves as protection. In fish raised for sale, and that do not come from the sea, it can be replaced by a coral.
They can also be decorated with rocks, which provide them with the shelter they need.
For the Clownfish to be in its original environment, the aquarium water must maintain the following parameters:
- Temperature: Between 26ºC and 27ºC
- pH: Above 8
- Density: 1.025
Ideas for setting up your aquarium
- Best complete aquariums
- Best Small Aquarium
- Best external filters for aquarium
- Best aquarium heater
- Best Aquarium Oxygenator
- Best Aquarium LED Display
- Better sand
- Best substrate for aquarium
- Best compost for plants
- Best Aquarium Stones
- Best aquarium logs
- Best Aquarius Test
- Best Ph meter
- Best fish food
- Best Fish Food Dispenser
You are probably wondering what Clownfish eats . I will tell you that they are omnivorous fish, they feed on small crustaceans and plants, as well as the zooplakton present in the water.
In the wild, they can feed on microorganisms present in anemones, including some of their tentacles, which are shed.
Logically, when we have our Clownfish in the home aquarium it is difficult to provide them with the food they consume in the wild. There are specific granulated preparations for Clownfish, as well as frozen food, such as brine shrimp.
Behavior and compatibility
Generally speaking, it is a calm fish suitable for a community aquarium. It usually gets along well with other species, and with individuals of its own species, living in small groups of between 2 and 8 individuals.
Within the group there is a hierarchy in which the female dominates, showing a certain aggressiveness towards the male, so that it does not develop female organs (now we see it in reproduction). In turn, the larger male controls the smaller ones so that they do not fertilize the female.
How long does a Clownfish live?
The life expectancy of these individuals is between 2 and 6 years, although it is known that some specimens have lived up to 12 years in captivity.
Within the group of Clownfish there is always a dominant female. The moment the female disappears, the larger male has the ability to become a female, a process that is irreversible.
For the laying of eggs they seek refuge in an anemone, which provides them with protection.
In a first phase, the Clownfish pair clears the chosen place for laying, they are even aggressive in the face of any intruder who approaches the nest site.
About three or four hours after preparing the place, the laying begins, which lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
The female lays her eggs, which are fertilized by the male, and protected by the couple.
On the eighth or ninth day after laying, the eggs hatch «at night».
In their early stages, fingerlings need to feed on marine plankton to survive.
Currently it is possible to find Clown fish that come from captive breeding. It is preferable to buy these specimens bred in captivity, although the price of the Clownfish is higher.
It is important to prevent these fish from disappearing in their natural state.
When buying specimens for the aquarium, you must make sure that you do not buy two females, especially since they are too territorial and would be disastrous.
As I have told you, if you buy two males there would be no problem, one of the two acquires the role of female and nothing would happen.
What is the price of the Clownfish?