Clownfish Care


Ocellaris Clownfish

The Ocellaris Clownfish is perhaps the most popular aquarium saltwater fish of all time. It is also one of the least demanding and easiest fish to care for in the saltwater aquarist world. Captive bred specimens are very hardy, easy to purchase and are reasonably priced compared to other saltwater fish.  These strikingly patterned clownfish are peaceful and are a welcome addition to virtually any community saltwater aquarium.  They are not very particular about water requirements, but will benefit from stable water parameters:

Temp:  74-78 Degrees Fahrenheit

Tank Size:  20-30 gallons

DKH: 9-12

PH: 8.0-8.4

sg.  1.020-1.026 (as close to 1.025 as possible)

Nitrates: < 10 ppm

Nitrites: undetectable

Diet:  Omnivore

Reef Safe:  Yes

Max Size:  3-4 inches

related:  Is Specific Gravity & Salinity Important? 

Ocellaris Clownfish

One common misconception is that clownfish need a host anemone to survive.  In reality they will do just fine without one and might form a symbiotic relationship with an LPS coral such as a Torch or Frogspawn.  They generally do better in pairs although several species of clownfish can coexist as long as they are introduced at the same time. Some other common fish that are good tank mates for the Ocellaris Clownfish include;

  • Yellow Tang
  • Dwarf Angels
  • Wrasses ( my favorite is the Six-Line Wrasse)
  • Blennies
  • Gobies
  • Cardinal Fish
  • Firefish

Don’t be surprised if your pair of Clownfish breed in your aquarium.  The female will be the larger of the pair and lay eggs, which will hatch in one to two weeks depending on water conditions.  If you want to keep the fry they will have to be raised in a separate aquarium and fed rotifers, copepods and then graduated to baby mysis or brine shrimp.

Overall, the captive bred Ocellaris Clownfish is one of the most well rounded fish anyone can keep.  With its beautiful color pattern and easy going personality it’s easy to see why “Finding Nemo” is the most popular saltwater fish of all time.

Ocellaris Clownfish
photo courtesy of Aquatic Dreams




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