Thanks to the big explosion of data, and all types of screens to show that data, I significantly doubt that there are lots of individuals who have no idea what a clown fish is. It is, in fact, “Nemo” from the well-known film “Finding Nemo.” The little orange/crimson fish with the broad white stripes is immediately recognizable by plenty of individuals, and has executed an excellent deal to popularize the fishkeeping interest, particularly with youngsters.
The Nemo craze additionally had some drawbacks – just like the time I used to be delivering fish to a superb retailer in Rhode Island. I at all times inspected each bag of my fish, and made certain that the fish room supervisor was happy with them. A younger lady came visiting to us, being dragged by her child who was about three or four. They had a 2 gallon squat glass bowl, and requested us whether or not this was adequate to maintain two “Nemos” in. I regarded away, with a type of “be careful what you wish for look” whereas the fish room supervisor defined the minimal necessities to maintain two clown fish.
Captive-bred clownfish are a lot simpler to feed in aquariums as a result of they’re already used to consuming aquarium meals. Shown is an Amphiprion percula. Photo by Aaron Norman
Who is Nemo?
This might not be as foolish a query because it appears, as a result of there are two very carefully associated fish that most individuals consider as Nemo. Both are within the genus Amphiprion, with considered one of them having the species title of ocellaris and the opposite percula. There shouldn’t be loads of distinction by way of how the fish look; if you already know what you’re on the lookout for you’ll be able to inform the distinction. Both are small (females to three” or so, males smaller) and they’re each orange/crimson fish with three broad white bands going vertically by means of the physique. One band is behind the pinnacle/gill cowl, the second band in the course of the physique, and the third the place the tail meets the physique. The “true” percula clown fish has black borders on the perimeters of every of the white stripes, whereas the ocellaris doesn’t have these black borders on the white stripes. Suffice it to say that for many hobbyists who need to hold a few Nemos, the ocellaris (captive bred) will do exactly nice. True arduous core fish geeks could need to insist on percula clowns.
Depending on which supply you place your belief in, there are as many as 30 completely different species within the genus Amphiprion. The species you will note most frequently, apart from the Nemos (percula or ocellaris) embrace the skunk clown fish (A. akallopisos), the tomato clown fish (A. frenatus), and the Sebae clown fish (A. sebae). There is also one other clown fish that has its personal genus – it’s the maroon clown fish (Premnas biaculeatus).
Taking Care of Nemo
Most clown fish are good residents, and can get alongside in a marine aquarium with out bothering any of the opposite denizens of the tank; this consists of invertebrates, though a few of them might not be ready to withstand a nip at a coral or such. The maroon clown is the one clown fish that may current a serious drawback. The dominant maroon clown fish will at all times be a feminine (extra about that later), and normally will get fairly massive (as much as a really chunky three” – four”). A feminine maroon clown fish will be the poster fish for a nasty buyer. For most hobbyists will probably be unattainable to take care of a maroon clown fish in something however a really massive aquarium, and attempting to maintain a pair will normally find yourself with the smaller male on the quick finish of the stick. Maroon clown fish are attractive fish, however it’s worthwhile to be forewarned about their temperament.
All clown fish will do nice on a wide range of good high quality ready dry meals, with some frozen or freeze-dried “meatier” meals additionally supplied frequently. Depending on how a lot area and cash you’ll be able to commit to them, and the way tolerant your intimate different is about fish tanks, you’ll be able to have clown fish in something from two fish in a 12 gallon tank as much as a lot of them as glad members of a reef group in as massive a tank as you may get away with.
“Designer” Clown Fish
More captive-bred clownfish have turn into out there to hobbyists. Shown here’s a snowflake ocellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris) which is alleged to be a hard and fast pressure offered within the United Kingdom. Photo by Aaron Norman
Clown fish will breed pretty simply in a house aquarium, and since we now know what meals the fry want on the completely different levels of their growth it’s nicely throughout the capabilities of a hobbyist to get them to ship infants. They breed very very like cichlids, laying massive numbers of eggs on a flat floor, with the mother and father (largely the male) guarding them. Clown fish typically have mutations, or “sports” and a lot of these varieties have been developed into true strains by some industrial breeders. There are clown fish which might be virtually pure white – referred to as normally “snow flake” or some equally inventive title – and people with misbarred patterns. One breeder I do know has developed a pressure of “miniature” clown fish that high out at somewhat over an inch.
Clown Fish and Anemones
While the picture of a bunch of orange and white clown fish fortunately dwelling in and round a sea anemone is a stunning one, most clown fish you will note on the market in your native fish retailer won’t ever have been wherever near a sea anemone. They don’t must be. In truth, the anemones most frequently related to clown fish are carpet anemones (Stoicactus) and they’re much harder to keep up than the clown fish. Yes, it’s a good scene of clown fish of their anemone – however it ought to solely be tried by superior hobbyists.
Should You Keep a Clownfish?
The commercially aquacultured clown fish (or fish raised by a hobbyist from a single pair) are as near being “bullet-proof” as something within the marine facet of the interest will be. They don’t want any particular meals, are very tolerant of water situations which might be lower than good, and are at all times colourful and energetic. Two clown fish will do exactly nice in an aquarium package, with no protein skimmer or some other fancy marine tools. The solely catch is that they do require common partial water modifications, and you must premix the water to verify it’s the proper salinity and temperature. Not a giant drawback, not less than to my mind-set, to maintain a few “Nemos” in your house. Just spring for an actual aquarium – not a glass bowl.