Clownfish are the most popular family of saltwater fish and are part of the damsel family. They are naturally found around coral reefs. Clownfish are very easy to keep in a saltwater aquarium and a great choice for beginners. Females grow to about 12cm and males to 8cm.

Clownfish do not need an anemone to be kept in an aquarium, but have a special relationship with anemones. The clownfish provide food, cleaning services and protection for the amemone and the anemone provides protection for the clownfish. Clownfish have a special bodyslime that stops them from getting stung by the poisonous anemones. Particular type of clownfish often require particular types of anemones. Some clown fish will go into any anemones while others are very fussy toward what type of anemone that they require. Some times a clownfish will live happily in an anemones for months and then decide to never go near it. Some clownfish never go near an anemone for months and then decide that they never want to leave it. Some clown fish will treat various types of corals as anemones and often end up damaging them.

Clownfish are best kept in pairs in an aquarium. The small one is the male and the large one is the female. Clownfish can change sex. If you have a group of clownfish the largest one will commonly be the female and all the rest will remain male. If the female of a group of clownfish die the most dominant male will change to a female. Clownfish can become aggressive mainly to other clownfish. Once you have some clownfish in your aquarium it is risky to add more clownfish to the tank, because the old clownfish will often become territorial to the new clownfish. The aggression displayed by the old clownfish will often result in the death of the new clownfish.

Clownfish are best kept with a temperature of 25 degrees celcious , pH of 8.4, salinity of 1.024, ammonia 0, Nitrite0 and low nitrate and phosphate levels. Clownfish are easy to feed in an aquarium. The best food for clownfish is New life spectrum pellets. Clownfish commonly breed in aquariums. Clownfishfish eggs don’t all get to hatch in an aquarium with live rock because lots of worms, crustaceans and organisiums feed on the eggs at night. The Clownfish parents will defend the eggs with all their might, they will even bite your hand if you go near them. If any eggs to get to hatch the fry will swim up towards the light to become planktonic. During this time the other fish and invertebrates in the tank will eat the fry or they will get sucked up by the filters. If you wish to breed clownfish you have to have them in a separate tank run only on a sponge filter. The baby clownfish will require zooplankton suck as rotifers to feed on. The zooplankton will require phytoplankton to feed on. These types of food take time to prepare and can often be sourced from science based universities.

Good luck and enjoy,

Paul Talbot