Creature Feature : Clownfish

Creature Feature : Clownfish

Clownfish–Nemos in kidspeak–are a perennial favorite. You can visit several species in the store, including true Nemos (Amphiprion ocellaris)  and their relatives such as tomato clownfish, maroon clownfish,  clarki clownfish. among many others.  We also have many hybrid varieties of clownfish such as black storm ocellaris, mocha vinci ocellaris, and chocolate mocho occelaris.

Most clown species inhabit shallow reefs and lagoons in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. (Ours come from breeders, which is more sustainable than taking from the wild). Clownfish change sex as they age, developing first into males and then maturing into females. They’re hierarchical, and the biggest and most aggressive female dominates the clown group. Only the dominant female and her partner reproduce; spawning happens around full moons, and the male guards the eggs. When the dominant female clown leaves her group, one of the more dominant males turns female and takes over.

Clowns are also called anenomefish because they like to hide in the tentacles of sea anenomes. They scavenge the food anemones drop (and the occasional dead tentacle), and their bright colors may help lure smaller fish close enough for the anemone to sting. How clowns resist stings is a mystery; it may be that their special sugar-based mucus coats trick anemone into thinking they’re something besides fish.

Once formed, the clown-anenome bond is strong; a clown will defend an anemone it’s “adopted” from predators and parasites. 

Clowns can survive without anemone friends, but why not help your clowns feel more sheltered and add beauty and variety to your tank? Aquatica stocks clown-friendly anemones like bubble tip, carpet, and condylactus.  You can special-order anything you like. Please stop by or get in touch so we can help with matchmaking; there are many kinds of clown, anemone and coral, and some pairings work better than others.

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