Who does not know which fish is the protagonist of the movie "Finding Nemo"? Nobody! Everyone knows that Nemo is a clown fish, also called anemone fish (Amphiprion ocellaris), which lives in the tropical waters of the coral reefs of the Indian-Pacific Ocean and can live up to 15 years. Since the movie came out, this colorful orange fish with black and white stripes is increasingly seen in the world's aquariums for its beauty and the relatively easy to maintain What are they.
If you want to know how to care for a clownfish, keep reading this article from Animal Expert where we will explain exactly what the clown fish care, so that if you adopt one, you know at all times what your marine partner needs to be a healthy and happy fish.
The clown fish aquarium
To care for a clownfish properly, it is necessary to prepare a good habitat to live. Therefore, if we are going to adopt a pair of clownfish we will need at least one aquarium with 150 liters of water and if we only have one, an aquarium with 75 liters of water It will be enough. Keep in mind that these fish are very active animals and they do not stop swimming from top to bottom in the aquarium, so they need enough space to move.
On the other hand, the water has to be between 24 and 27 degrees of temperature, since the clown fish are tropical and need the water to remain warm and clean. To do this, we can put a thermometer and a heater in the aquarium and make sure every day that the water is at the corresponding temperature. We must also note that the water is within the corresponding salinity parameters for a saltwater aquarium.
Clown Fish Aquarium Decoration
Other important care of the clownfish are the things to include in your aquarium. In addition to being part of their diet, the anemones are essential animals for these fish, since apart from feeding on the parasites and food waste they contain, they also serve them for fun and shelter from other fish. As we have already mentioned, clown fish with very active and need places in the aquarium where to distract or hide from other fish, but be careful because they are very territorial and hierarchical, so everyone needs an anemone for himself and if he does not have it , will fight with others to get it. For something it is also called "anemone fish."
Also, we can place other animals and plants by the aquarium and for the bottom, it is recommended place coral beads Because clown fish are the quintessential inhabitants of the coral reefs of tropical waters and place them in your aquarium, will make them remember their natural habitat.
The feeding of the clownfish is another factor to take into account for their care. Taking into account that They are carnivores, these fish need a specific daily feed of pellet food, but it is also advisable to occasionally give them live or dead without stopping the aquarium water currents, since being predators, their hunting instinct makes them chase their food to catch it.
Apart from the symbiosis with anemones, clown fish can eat in their natural habitat from small crustaceans such as peeled prawns or prawns, through squid or octopus, to some mollusks such as mussels or cockles. However, also they need a vegetable contribution in your diet, so giving you dry or dehydrated quality meals once a day, we will cover all the nutritional needs of the clownfish.
Being so territorial, you have to keep in mind that clown fish they don't usually get along with others of the same species and can even become aggressive when a new one is put in the aquarium and there is already an established hierarchy. Normally, mixing clown fish species is not recommended unless there are very large aquariums (300 to 500 liters of water).
In spite of everything, they are small and relatively slow when swimming, so, to favor the care of the clownfish, it is not recommended to place them with other larger species or aggressive carnivorous fish such as lionfish, since the chances of surviving anemone fish would be reduced exponentially. What we can do is place them together with other tropical fish for an aquarium that are related to clown fish how:
- Surgeon fish
- Gramma loretos
- Fire darts
- Marine invertebrates
If you want to read more articles similar to Clownfish care, we recommend that you enter our Basic Care section.
Classification and characteristics of the clownfish
The clownfish belongs to the order of the Perciformes, the Pomacentridae family and the Amphiprioninae subfamily. It is also known as the Anemone fish. This middle name is because, in order to survive in natural environments, you need to work together with anemones.
Have been found so far 30 different species of clownfish and all the species that belong to the Pomacentridae family are called Anemone Fish because of their symbiosis.
These fish have a length of between 10 and 18 centimeters. The females are bigger than the males. Not all clown fish have the same color and the same alternate bands in orange and white, but there are many colors such as yellow, red, pink and even darker tones.
The color of this fish is divided into three stripes that start from the head. The edge of the fins is usually black.
By developing along with anemones and working together to survive, clown fish have developed a skin that contains stinging cells covered by a layer of mucus. This foot helps them protect themselves from anemone poison.
Life expectancy in a natural state can Be between 5 and 10 years.
Habitat and food
The natural distribution area of the clownfish is in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. It is also found in the Great Barrier Reef and in the Red Sea. They are usually scattered around these areas, since they do not need much depth and look for coral reefs that are not very deep and where the anemones are.
The clownfish looks for anemones because it has been established throughout evolution A relationship of mutualism. That is, a symbiosis relationship in which the two species win. Depending on the species of clownfish that we find, they have a preference or another for several species of anemone in particular.
These fish benefit from the tentacles of anemones, as they are great for protection and survival. The tentacles of anemones are toxic and, having developed a mucosa that protects them from their venom, they are not affected. To thank the protection of anemones, the clownfish is responsible for eating the possible parasites, algae that can harm it and the residues that may remain in their tentacles after feeding. In addition, the fecal waste of the clownfish supposes an extra supply of nutrients for the anemone.
Not much is known about the mucus that protects the clownfish so that it does not affect the venom of the anemone, but it is known that one of its main characteristics is to lack a substance that causes the action of the nematocysts is triggered.
This is not always the case. As they are born and grow they develop the mucosa and become immune to the toxins of the anemone and adapt to the soil. In addition, for the relationship to be established, the fish has to swim gently throughout the anemone as a dance, so that the anemone gets used to it and does not try to bite you continuously.
The feeding of these fish is omnivorous. They eat a variety of foods of all kinds as small mollusks, algae, zooplankton and crustaceans. Being immune to the poison of anemones, many clown fish eat the pieces of tentacle that come off the anemones.
The clownfish is very territorial and aggressive. Therefore, it is largely able to protect the anemone in the mutualistic relationship. In society, clown fish live in a hierarchy where the female that is larger and more aggressive is the one in charge. If the dominant female dies, the larger male replaces her by changing sex.
These fish are monogamous, so the only ones that reproduce are the dominant male and female. When the male changes from sex to female because she dies, the second largest male acts as the new player.
The clown fish is oviparous, that is, it is born through eggs. Fertilization between the dominant female and the largest male occurs externally. The two release their gametes to the environment where fertilization takes place.
Reproduction is very vulnerable to temperatures. If the water temperature rises, they begin to reproduce. Being fish of tropical waters and are all year or so at high temperatures, they reproduce throughout the year.
Before beginning the act of fertilization, the male cleans and prepares an area near the anemone so that the female can subsequently lay the eggs. When the female lays the eggs, The male is responsible for spraying his sperm on them to fertilize him. During the incubation process, the male is responsible for oxygenating the eggs by shaking the fins near them to create currents. If an egg is not in good condition, the male eliminates them. To protect them during incubation, the male fish becomes very aggressive against any invader.
Diseases and prices
Clownfish can suffer from typical marine fish diseases such as tuberculosis, cysts, vermes, velvet, white point and other bacterial diseases.
To prevent our fish from getting sick, we should always keep the aquarium clean, change and clean the filters, maintain the temperature correctly, clean up the remains of algae and if any fish dies remove it immediately. It is advisable to have a hospital aquarium for when a fish denotes a disease, remove it and treat it there.
As for prices, they vary depending on the color. You can find them between 16 and 26 euros the copy.
Now you know more about these beautiful fish and how to keep them healthy in your fishbowl.