There has been an increased demand for Clownfish over the past decade, thanks to Pixar’s movie “Finding Nemo.” It’s a beautiful and fascinating fish, known for its unique ability to host anemones and various other corals. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, it is no wonder this fish has found its way into the hearts and homes of saltwater aquarists. Each species is unique and requires special care to maintain their good health.
Difference Between Ocellaris & Percula Clownfish
With approximately 30 different species of clownfish, it can be hard to know what you are looking for. The two most popular clownfish are the Percula and Ocellaris, also known as true and false clownfish. Both are very similar and the untrained eye would probably have a hard time telling them apart. The easiest way to differentiate between the two breeds is to look for a thin band of black between the orange and white. The Ocellarish False Clownfish typically has very little black outlining its white stripes. It also has blacker eyes than the true Percula.
What are Designer Clownfish
While clownfish can be an inexpensive fish for beginner aquarists, designer clownfish typically cost hundreds of dollars. They come in red, yellow, black, brown, and multi-colored with unique stripes and spots. All of the designer clownfish species have been bred and developed over time from just a handful of clowns with distinct markings. Sought-after by the advanced aquarist, these designer patterns and colorations can be seen in the picasso, snowflake, naked, midnight, black & white, and platinum clownfish to name a few. A pair of any designer clowns will make for a unique addition to the home aquarium and are especially beautiful when coupled with an anemone.
How Clownfish & Anenomes Work Together
Clownfish are known as anemonefish for their special symbiotic relationship with anemones. They have evolved to become resilient to the harsh sting of an anemone in order to protect itself from predators. In return, the fish provides the anemone with nutrients and also wards off other inhabitants. Additionally, the fish actively moves and aerates the anemone by encouraging the flow of water. This is one of the most icon partnerships of the animal kingdom. Although the clownfish is known for hosting anemones, they can also be found hosting other corals such as frogspawn corals.
Caring for Your Clownfish
Clownfish are typically friendly fish but can be aggressive when fighting for dominance. Due to this nature, they do best alone or in mated pairs. When introducing a new clownfish into an aquarium, add one that is larger than the current clownfish to avoid aggression. They can be very territorial, especially when they host an anemone or coral in the tank. On average, a 20-gallon tank or larger is recommended by you should check the requirements for each breed. Fed a diet of zooplankton or frozen foods, this fish will thrive and always be a hit with the kids just “Nemo.”
Learn more about caring for Clownfish