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Clown fish (amphiprion, Nemo fish)

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Amphiprion Clown Fish

This rather extensive genus (various sources number from 12 to 28 amphiprion species) belongs to the Pomacentridae family. In aquariums, they most often contain Amphiprion ocellaris, A. clarkii, A. perideraion, A. tridnctus, A. melanopus.
One or a couple of amphiprions maintains a constant symbiosis with one or several sea anemones, chosen by them as “home”. Before the symbiosis of amphiprion and sea anemone takes shape, the so-called “acquaintance” takes place. Amphiprion is slowly accustoming actinium to its society. "Acquaintance" lasts 2-3 minutes, and after this anemone no longer shows any aggression to the amphiprion. During this process, the fish perceives a protective substance that forms in the glands of the sea anemone and enters directly into the stinging cells of the tentacles, and develops immunity to it. This substance also protects the sea anemones themselves from their tentacles and, in addition, allows them to organize their territory. Clown fish mix this “chemical camouflage” with their own mucus, and anemone ceases to perceive them as a food object. Naturally, the chemical composition of the skin mucus of amphiprions becomes individual after such manipulations and varies depending on which sea anemone he is “friends with”. If the fish are deprived of this protective film, they will immediately become easy prey for "their" anemone.


Amphiprion can safely be recommended to beginner marine aquarists as one of the easiest fish to keep. "Clown fish" are unpretentious in feeding, quickly eat up, do not spit out food, do not leave behind half-eaten pieces that can spoil water (they are eaten by sea anemone). Waste from the amphiprion is minimal, so the water purification system can be somewhat simpler than for other inhabitants of the coral reef. Amphiprions are very picky about the composition of the feed and eat almost anything edible that crawls into their mouths. Food should be given in small amounts several times a day.

The popular opinion that the amphiprion specifically feeds its sea anemone is rather from the field of legends. This myth is caused by the food behavior of the amphiprion: grabbing a piece of food, he immediately hides in the sea anemone, where he eats it. But those pieces that remain after his meal, what falls out of his mouth - gets anemones. That is, feeding anemone with clown fish is an act, rather, unintentional. But sea anemones are, of course, all the same, and in this way they also receive their benefit from symbiosis. Another benefit is that due to the movement of amphiprions among the tentacles of anemone, a stream of water is created to remove detritus and secretions from its oral disk.
The species of sea anemone (and the diversity of these coelenterates on reefs is simply colossal) is also of no small importance for amphiprion. As a home, they prefer sea anemones from a group of giant anemones with long, thick, densely arranged tentacles, which are more convenient as shelters.
It is interesting to observe the fearless amphiprions in the arms of perhaps the most toxic of all the anemones contained in the aquariums - the green carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni). This sea anemone can kill even very large fish, but it will never touch its amphiprion. Carpet sea anemone, unlike most other sea anemones, can kill fish not only in direct contact with tentacles, but also at a distance, throwing its stinging cells at a distance of 10 cm. There are cases when fish (even quite large), swimming past the carpet anemones at a considerable distance, within half an hour, died from the action of its stinging cells. A person touching a carpeted sea anemone feels akin to a nettle burn, but its poison does not pose any danger to a person. One of the few natural symbionts of carpet anemones are anemone crabs (Petrolisthes ohshimai, Neopetrolisthes maculatus and other related species). Of course, they, like amphiprions, also prefer a less poisonous symbiont, however, green carpeted sea anemone quite suits them as a place of residence.


If there is no sea anemone in the aquarium with amphiprions, they are able to choose another sitting invertebrate, more or less similar to it, for example, hard coral - goniopora (Goniopora lobato) or mushroom-like leathery soft coral (Sarcophyton). Amphiprion ocellaris can live even in the folds of the mantle of a large bivalve mollusk - tridacna.

Amphiprions are hermaphrodites. In nature, a pair of adult fish and two to three small ones usually live in one sea anemone. The largest fish is a female, the next largest is an active male, while small fish do not have a certain gender. In the case of the death of a female, a male takes her place, which changes the sex and quickly increases in size. The active male is one of the small fish. In the case of the death of an active male, one of the small fish also takes its place. This feature of amphiprions can be successfully used in aquarium farming: it is enough to plant two individuals of different sizes in the aquarium, and eventually you will get a male and a female. By the way, amphiprions are one of the few marine fish whose breeding has been successfully mastered by amateurs. In our country, amphiprions have been successfully bred for almost a quarter of a century. The pioneer of this case was the famous specialist of the late XX century, the author of the classic work "Marine Aquarium at Home" Dmitry Nikolaevich Stepanov (see "Fish farming", 1985, No. 4). colored sand anemones from the genus Radianthus, amphiprions, as a rule, do not settle. Amphiprions of symbiosis are also avoided with Atlantic anemones, for example (Condylactis passiflora), proving the fact that the Atlantic is not a habitat for clown fish.
The content of amphiprions is not difficult. The density of water should be about 1,022, and the salt content should be at the level of 34.5 r / l. Since clown fish and sea anemones are residents of warm tropical seas, they prefer a temperature of 26-30 ° C. The aquarium with amphiprions should be provided with a high-quality biological filter. Soil - coral sand with a particle diameter of 3-5 mm, located at least 7 cm thick. The flow of water from the outlet of the filter should be directed to sea anemone, which will create favorable conditions for it. In order for algae to grow well in the aquarium, you need strong lighting for 12-16 hours a day. At least once a month (and preferably weekly), it is necessary to replace 20-25% of the water with fresh artificially prepared sea water of the same composition, density and pH as that located in the aquarium. The aquarium should be kept clean by siphoning detritus from the ground on time.
Often amphiprions are kept in marine aquariums of small and ultra-small volume - 150, 120, even 80-100 liters. However, we do not advise beginners to do this. Such a small aquarium, in comparison with a reef aquarium of a “traditional marine” volume (from 300-350 liters or more) requires more thorough care and attentive attitude. Water parameters (temperature, salinity, pH, nitrogen content in various forms, macro- and microelements) in it are easily shifted in one direction or another from the norm; equilibrium in a small volume is unstable. However, if everything is done correctly, amphiprions will not experience any inconvenience in a small aquarium, and you will be able to enjoy with your children the interesting behavior of the Nemo fish living in tentacles of anemone.

Amphiprions

Brightly colored amphiprions are the “living jewels” of coral reefs. They swim among the burning tentacles of anemones, which do no harm to them.


Row - perch
A family - Pomocenter
Genus / Species - amphiprion

Basic data:
DIMENSIONS
Length: depending on type, 6-12 cm.

Propagation
Spawning: in tropical waters throughout the year.
Caviar: a large number.
The incubation period: 4-5 days.

LIFESTYLE
Habits: keep in pairs, symbiosis with sea anemones.
Food: the remains of fish eaten by sea anemone.
Life expectancy: 3-5 years.

KINDS
The most common types of pomacenter are clown fish (Amfiprion percula), perch-like amphiprion (A. ocellaris), two-lane amphiprion (A. bicinctus), pomacenter (Romacentrus coeruleus) and many others.

Amphiprions belong to the group of small brightly colored fish called “coral.” In these inhabitants of the coral reefs developed a special, rather dangerous symbiotic relationship with burning anemones.

Amphiprions live near sea anemones and are in symbiotic relationship with them. Sometimes they leave the safe tentacles of "their" sea anemone and go on a short trip along the coral reef. Nevertheless, they never go far from their protector because their bright color quickly attracts the attention of other fish that begin to hunt them.

The fish, fleeing from the pursuer, rushes “into the arms” of “her” sea anemone. The pursuer, who is swimming for escaped fish, usually becomes a victim of sea anemone, which immediately paralyzes him with his poison. Then, anemone digests the fish, and the amphiprion already feeds on the remains of this prey.
In addition, amphiprions also eat planktonic crustaceans and algae growing on coral reefs. These fish cleanse sea anemone from waste and debris, remove dead parts of tentacles and other impurities.

AMPHPRIONS AND HUMAN.

These fish were too small for a person to be interested in as a food source. For many millennia, they have been swimming peacefully among coral reefs. Recently, amphiprions have become popular among aquarium lovers. In Europe and America, collectors pay a lot of money for them, preferring brightly colored species. One of the most numerous species is the clown fish (Amphiprion percula). This is the smallest of amphiprions. It reaches only 6 cm long. Clown fish - orange with three white stripes with a black border. It is interesting that the mucus of clown fish has an effect on jellyfish - they immediately “turn off” their strekal cells. In places where fishermen “visit” large colonies of these fish, they catch the most expensive species, almost everywhere on the whole reef. Sea anemones are destroyed, they gave them shelter. Today, in many countries, the catch of these fish is prohibited. Although the amphiprions are small, they attract scuba divers: tourists and nature lovers. Perhaps, thanks to tourism, these beautiful fish will be saved.

REPRODUCTION.

Most amphiprions spawn on coral reefs near their “own" sea anemone.
Amphiprions spawn on coral cliffs or at the bottom of the sea, if possible, along with their “own" sea anemone whose tentacles provide reliable protection for their eggs. Sticky eggs stick to the stones in heaps. The father is already taking care of their safety. In some types of amphiprions, the father is engaged also the “upbringing” of fry until they mature enough to find their own sea anemone. Otherwise, juveniles are tidal to the coast, where they remain until they reach puberty.

FEATURES OF THE DEVICE.

Previously, scientists believed that clown fish and other representatives of this family simply have innate immunity to the poison, which is secreted by the tentacles of sea anemones. But studies have shown that such immunity is produced and retained in a special way only to one specific type of sea anemone. When the fish approaches the tentacles of the polyp for the first time, it gently touches them and immediately swims away. This process is repeated several times. During this “training” the fish’s body becomes covered with a layer of sticky mucus, becoming insensitive to its stinging cells. When, thus, the fish gets used to one sea anemone, it does not burn, swimming in the middle of the tentacles. On the contrary, it tries to rub against them every time. But if the fish is among the tentacles of another species of sea anemones, then it can die immediately.


AND YOU KNOW THAT.

Amphiprions are raked by pectoral fins, not only when they are swimming forward, but also during backward movement. If the protective layer of mucus on the body of the fish decreases, the stinging cells of the tentacles of anemone will scorch it. The name clown fish owes its color: white stripes with black border on an orange background. Most amphiprions live only among the tentacles of anemones, for example, from the genus Stoichactis or Discosoma.

AMPHPRIONS AND ACTIONS.

Amphiprions: that spend most of their life among tentacles actinium, attract to them other types of fish, which sea anemones feed on.
Amphiprions drive away from sea anemones other fish, even representatives of their family. Driving away butterfly fish Chelmon rostratus, anemones provide a huge service. This fish is a threat to them because it bites into the tips of the sea anemone tentacles.

Living in nature

Coral reefs off the coast of Papua New Guinea and other places in the Pacific and Indian Ocean give the clown fish a house, food and protection. There are especially many of them where sea anemones of sea anemones live, with which amphiprions are in symbiosis: bright colors attract predatory fish, sea anemones feed on them, and clowns pick up the remains.

Description

This is a small fish with an elongated body and soft rounded outlines. Her body is dense, covered with an even clear pattern: white spots with a black border on a bright orange or red background. The clown fish has well-defined fins, especially pectoral, elongated tail. The muzzle is also round, the mouth is located in the middle, the lower jaw seems more massive than the upper. In the description of the appearance, you can read that the muzzle resembles a frog: the same rounded with slightly convex eyes. The size of an adult in captivity usually does not exceed 12 cm.

Types of amphiprions

All species differ in color, fin shape and body size:

  • Tomato clown (red) - an orange-red background over which a wide white strip with a thin, barely noticeable black edging runs in the area of ​​the gills. The eyes are black. Fins in body color, spinal stretches from head to tail. Fish grows up to 11 cm. In nature, it lives among such anemones, which are extremely difficult to keep in a home aquarium, therefore tomato clowns are lodged in grottoes,

  • The Moorish clown - the color of the body is maroon, three distinct white stripes pass across: along the gills, in the center and around the caudal fin. The size of adult fish is up to 14 cm. In the aquarium, he prefers to live with anemones of any kind,

  • Variegated amphiprion - usually light orange fish with a white stripe along the back from the upper lip to the caudal fin. The lateral and spinal fins are translucent, dim. Females are larger than males - 11 cm and 5-7 cm, respectively,

  • Orange amphiprion - similar to mottled and color, and size. But the orange clown’s strip on the back is a little wider and brighter, and there is also a white tail,
  • Clarke’s clown, chocolate amphiprion is a fish of the classical form: an oval elongated body, massive fins, the dorsal is as if divided into two: in the middle, the rays are shorter than at the edges. The main body color is black with a yellowish tint, which, under certain lighting conditions, acquires a hue of dark chocolate. The fins and face are yellow. Three white stripes run across the body: just behind the eyes, in the middle and at the tail. In an aquarium grows up to 10 cm,

  • Clown Ocellaris - the same Nemo from the cartoon, this color is considered a classic amphiprion. On an orange-red background are three white transverse stripes, each with a black border. The spinal and anal fins have shortened rays in the middle (it is along them that the middle white strip passes). On the edges of all the fins there may be a black edging. Sometimes white stripes merge into spots, this is one of the color options. Adult fish sizes - up to 12 cm,

  • The perculus clown is almost identical to ocellaris, there are slight differences in the number of rays of the dorsal fin and in the shape of the body: the percules have a slightly more rounded back. Sizes - up to 11 cm.

All clowns have an enviable life expectancy: up to 10-11 years. How many amphiprions live in an aquarium depends on the conditions of detention: usually 5-7 years.

Aquarium arrangement

  • The volume of the aquarium is from 100 liters per couple of fish. In marine aquariums this is considered an extremely small volume, since it is extremely difficult to maintain the correct parameters on such a scale. Beginners are recommended to start with a volume of at least 300 liters and flocks of 5-6 amphiprions,
  • Soil - coral sand with a fraction of 3-5 mm,
  • The biological filter must be powerful enough to create a flow. If there is anemone in the aquarium, the flow of water should be directed to it,
  • Aeration - air must come from a special compressor in sufficient quantities around the clock,
  • Lighting - special lamps for marine aquariums (marina glo and others) will be an ideal light source for a biotope. Lighting should be intense for good plant growth and development,
  • In a marine aquarium, a semblance of a reef is equipped: corals and sea anemones are settled on the base. For each type of clown you need to choose the right anemone. For example, for the popular Nemo, anemone bubbly, carpet giant, carpeted haddoni are suitable. If this is not possible, instead of anemones, grottoes, shelters, minks are installed,

Maintenance and care

  • Weekly replacement of 20% of the water with water prepared in advance (monthly is allowed, if the condition of the aquarium allows). It is very important that the new artificial sea water is identical in parameters to the one in the aquarium,
  • Accurate cleaning of the soil with a siphon once every 1-2 weeks,
  • In the presence of sea anemones and other inhabitants, it is necessary to ensure that everyone gets food. In some cases (for example, if there is shrimp) you need to feed the sea anemone separately.

Feeding

For the fish to grow harmonious and healthy, feeding should be varied:

  • Special dry food to maintain color and vitamins,
  • Live and frozen food: pollock fillet, shrimp, squid and other marine life (artemia, krill).

Clowns are omnivorous and unpretentious in food. It is only necessary to monitor the amount of feed, as uneaten food upsets the water balance.

Behavior and Compatibility

Since the clown fish are peaceful and calm, and in the conditions of the aquarium they are also inactive, it is better to keep them in a monovid aquarium. You should not mix several types of amphiprion with each other in order to avoid fights for the territory. Each fish has a high cost, so the owner should take special care of its health.

Clown fish are divided into pairs, each chooses its own sea anemone. If there are no anemones, the clowns choose a suitable grotto, coral or cave. If there are several pairs of fish in the aquarium, and the sea anemone is smaller, the weakest will remain without housing. This must be monitored in order to equip the biotope with additional shelters in time.

Non-aggressive representatives of the sea depths are suitable as neighbors: shrimps, small peaceful fish.

How to determine the gender

Initially, all amphiprion clowns are born males. In the process of life, some change sex, becoming females. If in the biotope the females suddenly become lacking (for example, one of the couple died), the male can change sex and find a new partner. Usually the female is several times larger than the male. The male producer in the flock is larger than the rest of the males, but if he dies, the fish taking his place begins to grow rapidly.

Breeding and breeding

Clown fish can breed in the home aquarium. This process is quite intense, young growth takes place in 3-4 weeks.

Under decent conditions, the amphiprions reproduce themselves. From an aquarist, you only need to initially select individuals born in captivity: so the chances of breeding will be higher. The female lays eggs, and after fertilization, the future parents guard them until the fry appear (8-10 days). Young growth can be put away, or left in the care of a male who, as he can, will guard them until he grows up.

Disease and Prevention

Basically, amphiprion diseases are related to water quality. It could be:

  • Ammonia poisoning: inflamed gills, lack of oxygen,
  • Poisoning with nitrates and nitrites: lethargy, lying on the bottom,
  • Bacterial infections (for example, ichthyophthyroidism or oodiniosis, which are also common among fresh fish): scales grow brisk, the fish swells, uncharacteristic whitish spots on the body, itching, etc.
  • Erosion of the head and lateral line: the appearance of dents on the head and in the middle of the body, which in advanced cases penetrate deeper and deeper under the skin, forming deep ulcers-holes.

  • Regular monitoring of water parameters,
  • Compliance with the rules for caring for a marine aquarium,
  • Compliance with the feeding regimen,
  • When restarting or creating a new biotope, you need to wait until the water goes through the nitrogen cycle,
  • Additionally, you can put doctor shrimp in the aquarium with amphiprions, which destroy the causative agents of certain diseases.

Conclusion

The natural population of clown fish is declining. This is due not only to uncontrolled capture for sale. Human influences, water pollution and global warming lead to the extinction of entire coral reefs along with sea anemones. In other conditions, it is more difficult for clowns to organize their life and safety; they become easy prey for predators. Careful care is required by all amphiprions: both natural and aquarium. Despite their unpretentiousness, clown fish remain tender and fragile creatures.

Lifestyle & Habitat

First clownfish It was described in 1830. The genus of marine fish under discussion is widespread. Some species are found in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, others in the eastern Indian waters.

So, you can meet ocellaris off the coast of Polynesia, Japan, Africa and Australia. Bright representatives of the sea kingdom prefer to settle in shallow water, where the depth does not exceed 15 meters, and there are no strong currents.

Clown fish lives in quiet backwaters and lagoons. She hides in the thickets of sea anemones - these are sea creepers, belonging to the class of coral polyps. It is dangerous to approach them - invertebrates secrete poison, which paralyzes the victim, after which it becomes prey. Amphiprion ocellaris interacts with invertebrates - cleans their tentacles, eats up the remains of food.

Attention! The clown is not afraid of sea anemones, the venom of stewards does not affect her. Fish learned to defend themselves against deadly toxins. Ocellaris allows you to slightly sting yourself by touching the tentacles. Then his body produces a protective mucous secretion, similar in composition to that which covers the sea anemone. After that, nothing threatens the fish. It settles right in the thicket of coral polyps.

Symbiosis with bowing is useful for a clown. Poisonous sea anemone protects the motley inhabitant of the sea from predators and helps to get food. In turn, the fish helps to lure the victim into a death trap with the help of a bright color. If it weren’t for the clowns, the strikers would have to wait long for the current to bring prey to them, because they can’t even move.

In the natural environment, three-ribbon ocellaris are able to live without anemones. If the latter are not enough for all fish families, then clowns settle among sea stones, in underwater rocks and grottoes.

Aquarium clown fish does not need acutely in the vicinity of bowheads. If other marine life is in the aquarium with it, then ocellaris will be more comfortable in symbiosis with sea anemone. When the orange family does not share its water area with other marine inhabitants, it feels safe among corals and stones.

Connoisseurs of clown fish, experienced aquarists, warn that a cute orange pet is aggressive, protecting the anemone in which it lives. You need to be careful when cleaning the aquarium - there are cases when fish bite to the blood of their owners. They are fearless when they fear losing their safe home.

In a marine environment, an adult couple inhabits one anemone. Females do not admit other representatives of the genus to their shelter, while males drive out males. The family tries not to leave the house, and if it sets sail from it, then to a distance not exceeding 30 cm. The bright color helps to warn their brothers that the territory is occupied.

Attention! It is important for a clown to constantly be in close contact with his sea anemone, otherwise the protective mucus will gradually be washed off his body. In this case, the amphiprion runs the risk of becoming a victim of its symbiotic partner.

Aquarium clown fish compatible with almost all varieties of their own kind, with the exception of predators. Guests from the tropics can not stand the close space and close proximity with representatives of their kind. In such conditions, competition begins between the inhabitants of the water area. Each adult must have at least 50 liters. water to make the clowns comfortable.

Nutrition

In the natural environment, ocellaris eat the remains of their sea anemone. Thus, they clean its tentacles from pollution and decaying fibers. List of what the clown fish eatsliving in the ocean:

  • animals living on the bottom of the sea, including crustaceans, shrimps,
  • seaweed
  • detritus
  • plankton.

The inhabitants of the aquariums are unpretentious in terms of nutrition - they eat dry mixes for fish, which include tubule, bloodworm, daphnia, gammarus, nettle, algae, soy, wheat and fish flour. Of the frozen food, clowns prefer shrimp, brine shrimp, squid.

Feeding is done 2 times a day at the same time. During breeding, the frequency of distribution of food is increased up to 3 times. Fish can not be overfed - excess feed can deteriorate in the water. Having eaten them, clowns can die.

Reproduction and longevity

All amphiprions are protandric hermaphrodites. Initially, young males are males by default. However, if necessary, some change their gender. The incentive for changing sex is the death of the female. In this way, the pack retains the ability to reproduce.

Ocellaris create families or small groups. The right to mate belongs to the largest individuals. The remaining members of the pack are waiting for their turn to contribute to the continuation of the clan.

If a male dies from a pair, another one that meets the requirements takes its place. In the case of the death of a female, the dominant male individual mutates and takes its place. Otherwise, the male would have to leave a safe place and go in search of a partner, and this is risky.

Spawning usually occurs during the full moon at a water temperature of + 26 ... + 28 degrees. The female spawns in a secluded place, which cleans in advance, removing all unnecessary. This process takes no more than 2 hours. The male fertilizes the eggs.

Care for future offspring lies with the males. For 8–9 days, he looks after the eggs and protects them from danger. The future father actively waves his fins to remove specks and increase the flow of oxygen to the masonry. Having discovered inanimate eggs, the male gets rid of them.

Soon fry appear. To survive, they need food, so the larvae rise from the bottom of the ocean in search of plankton. Interestingly, a contrasting striped color, a hallmark of clown fish, appears in the fry a week after birth. Gaining strength, the grown fish are looking for a free sea anemone. Until this moment, they are not protected from danger - other marine inhabitants are not averse to feasting on them.

When breeding clowns at home, newly-hatched fry from the eggs of the fry are immediately planted. This recommendation is relevant if other species of fish live in the aquarium besides ocellarises. The younger generation eats the same food as adults.

The average lifespan of amphiprions in the deep sea is 10 years. In the aquarium, the clown fish lives longer, up to 20 years, because here it is completely safe. In the wild, ocean dwellers suffer from global warming.

An increase in water temperature in the ocean negatively affects the development of anemones, their number is reduced. As a result, the population of clowns decreases - without symbiosis with sea anemones, they are not protected.

Residents of the deep sea suffer from an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the water. Its pollution is closely related to changes in acidity. A lack of oxygen is especially dangerous for fry - they die en masse.

With a high pH of the environment, the larvae of the clown fish lose their sense of smell, which complicates orientation in space. Randomly wandering in sea waters, fry are at risk - most often they are eaten by other living organisms.

Ocellaris - fish with an original appearance, hardy, viable. You can watch them in the aquarium for hours. Their relationship with anemones is especially touching. It is a real miracle that clowns learned to develop immunity to toxins secreted by sea anemones and use them as a refuge.

One of the advantages of amphiprions is resistance to various diseases. If the owner of the aquarium carefully monitors the purity of water, its temperature and follows the rules of feeding, clowns will delight him with their beauty for many years.

Oxygenation and photosynthesis

The clown also gives the anemone another fundamental advantage. The tentacles of the anemones are saturated with oxygen due to the swimming of clownfish around them.

Indeed, coral reefs are full of oxygen throughout the day, but at night these levels can be significantly reduced due to the fact that photosynthesis stops. Thus, anemone tentacle fish fan with its fins, which helps her breathe.

Clownfish and anemone are examples of how two different species can not only live together in close space, but also offer a kind of mutual support of life even for their survival.

What are amphiprions

The clownfish, like all representatives of the Pomocenter family (Percussion order) has a laterally compressed, slightly elongated tall body and pectoral fins located above the ventral. How many amphiprion species exist in nature? In different sources you can find various numbers - from twelve to 28. These are always brightly colored fish with the presence of stripes (white or black) and spots. After the release of the children's cartoon, where the main character was a nemo fish, the amphiprions gained unprecedented popularity among aquarists. Of course, not all species can be found in amateur aquariums.

Percussion Clown (Amphiprion percula)

Orange amphiprion or clown percula (lat.Amphiprion percula) is the most popular and famous clownfish:

  • He lives in the eastern waters of the Indian Ocean and the western parts of the Pacific, spread to the north to the island of Taiwan and the Japanese island of Ryukyu.
  • It is found on coral reefs most often at a depth of 3 to 15 meters.

This is one of the most favorite fish for aquarists. This clown fish is artificially bred in Florida for sale in saltwater aquariums to meet the growing needs of bright sea fish enthusiasts. Its cost in comparison with other amphiprions is the highest.

Features of the color of the clown-perkul:

  • the color and pattern on the body do not change with age,
  • the main color is orange,
  • the body is decorated with three thick white stripes located behind the head, on the sides and in front of the caudal fin,
  • in addition to white stripes, the orange amphiprion is also decorated with thick black stripes that border and sometimes connect white,
  • on all fins except the first dorsal, there is a noticeable black border,
  • the iris is bright orange in color, which helps to visually reduce the size of the eye.

In the photo of the clown fish Amphiprion percula, all these color features are very clearly visible, and the fish got its name, probably due to the abundance in the color of orange (right up to the eyes).

Orange amphiprion or clown perkula (lat.Amphiprion percula)

Anemone Amphiprion Ocellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris)

No less popular among aquarists is the anemone amphiprion (lat. Amphiprion ocellaris) or the clown ocellaris. It is he who is that nemo fish, which is the protagonist of the famous cartoon.

This amphiprion is well recognized by the picture:

  • The body has a rich orange color,
  • Three transverse white stripes are located on the sides: on the caudal stem, immediately behind the head and in the center of the body, starting from the space between the dorsal fins. The body strip is triangular in shape.
  • Each white strip has a clearly visible, but rather thin black border.
  • Black edging is noticeable along the edge of each fin.
  • The iris is grayish-orange.


This clownfish is not attached to a specific type of sea anemone and can live in symbiosis with several sea anemones, for example, Stichodactyla mertensii, Heteractis magnifica or Stichodactyla gigantea.

Anemone amphiprion or clown ocellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris)

Which of the amphiprions is Nemo's fish in the cartoon?

The clown ocellaris in color and arrangement of stripes looks almost the same as the orange amphiprion (clown percussion). With careless consideration, they are very easy to confuse. But, if you pay attention to the amount of black in the color of each species, then their difference from each other immediately becomes obvious. And we can already say with confidence that dumb - this is not an orange amphiprion (percussion), but an anemone amphiprion (ocellaris).

In the color of the clown, the percules (Amphiprion percula) are much more black due to the wide black stripes, which occupy a lot of space on the sides of the body. Amphiprion ocellaris has only very thin black fringes around white stripes and fins.

Look at the photo of the clown fish, which is located above and pay attention to the dumb fish: in its color, black is represented only by thin lines of contours.

These two types of amphiprions are small: males are usually no more than 6-7 centimeters, and females are much larger - up to 11 centimeters in length.

Chocolate Clown (Amphiprion clarkii)

Clarke clark (Amphiprion clarkii) is a relatively larger fish compared to the clowns discussed above. The length of the males is up to 10 centimeters, and the females are correspondingly larger - up to 15 centimeters.

Sometimes they are called yellow-tailed clowns or chocolate clowns. Such names are associated with the color: yellow caudal fin and dark brown body color. We have already met with chocolate gourams, who also received this name due to color. But you should not think that the clark clark always has a brown color.

Features of color and pattern

A unique feature of a chocolate clown is the change in its color as it grows and grows. Young individuals are often colored in an orange-yellowish color and all fins are also of the same hue. This can be seen in the video, which shows fish of different ages and, accordingly, with different colors.

Adult clown fish of this species can even be completely black in color, which is associated with the habitat. But at any age, they always have three wide, even transverse stripes on their bodies, which in juveniles have a black edging. And of course, the tail fin is yellow.

Sea Anemone Compatibility and Behavioral Features

There is another second unique feature that distinguishes the clark clark from all other amphiprions.

Clown fish Amphiprion clarkia is the only species that can coexist with any of 10 marine anemones that can act as a host for amphiprions.

Being warlike fish, clark clowns can violently attack everything that, from their point of view, can be a threat to sea anemones. Aquarist's fingers are no exception: a large individual can bite even to the point of blood. This must be remembered. It was also noticed that having a suitable sea anemone, a chocolate clown pushes stones away from it. So the fish provides free access to it, and constantly keeps close to its anemone. If the clown fish in the aquarium does not have sea anemone, then it will stay closer to stones or other shelters.

Red Clown (Amphiprion frenatus)

Tomato clown (Latin name Amphiprion frenatus), also called clown frenatus, differs from other representatives of the genus Amphiprion by the presence of only one white strip. This narrow strip is edged with a thin black line and is located on the sides of the head, without interruption in its frontal part. The main body color is red or saturated orange, sometimes even reaching black. Therefore, this fish is often called a red clown. It grows no more than 14 centimeters and today is very popular among aquarists.

Red or tomato clown (Amphiprion frenatus)

Many children brought up on a cartoon with a silent fish do not immediately believe that a tomato clown is also a clown fish. In their opinion, the clown should be with three noticeable white stripes on an orange background and with a more elongated body. But now you understand that amphiprions come in very different colors with different numbers of white stripes and sometimes have a tall body. An example of this is the red clown. The natural habitat for it is coral reefs near the Japanese islands (Ryukyu), Indonesia and Malaysia.

Nowadays, to meet the needs of aquarists, there are special farms on which phrenatus clowns are bred and raised. These fish, obtained by artificial breeding, adapt to life in aquariums much easier than individuals caught directly on reefs in the ocean. And the maintenance of such fish is also easier than their wild counterparts.

Under natural conditions, clownfish frenatus can live in symbiotic relationships with several species of sea anemones (sea anemones), which are animals and not plants (this must be understood). In an aquarium, frenatus can feel fine even without anemone, if there are enough shelters around. But nevertheless, the clown fish in the aquarium looks much more interesting when you can observe the moments of its relationship with “your” sea anemone (how a fish comfortably “settles down” among the tentacles of its symbiotic partner).

Two species of sea anemones most often sit down to frenatuses in an aquarium: anemone vesiculate or vesiculate (Entacmea quadricolor) or crisp (Heteractis Crispa - anemia leathery). In the video above, you watched an aquarium clownfish phrenatus hiding among the tentacles of bubbly sea anemone.

Relationship of clownfish and anemone

The biggest mystery of the Amphiprion fish is their relationship with sea anemones, among the tentacles of which they find a safe haven. The clown fish and sea anemone live in very close contact, but the poison secreted by the stinging capsules of sea anemone and which is fatal for small fish never kills amphiprions.

Such relationships, which scientists call symbiosis, arise gradually and in stages:

  • The first acquaintance with anemone, the clown fish begins with short, as if by accidental touches of its tentacles, first with their fins, then with their sides.
  • And only after such “preparation” does the amphiprion touch its future partner in symbiosis with its entire body.

It is interesting that in time such an “addiction” can take from different clown fish from several minutes to several hours.

What happens thanks to such a “leisurely” acquaintance:

  • During the first touches, the fish perceives small doses of a toxic substance and develops immunity to it.
  • Then, touching the tentacles of anemone with his whole body, the clown fish is smeared with mucus, which is secreted by the anemone. This mucus mixes with the fish’s own mucus, as a result, the anemone no longer perceives its “lodger” as food.

It is important for the fish to be in constant contact with "their" anemone, otherwise the protective mucus from its body will disappear, and the anemone can eat it.

Does amphiprion feed its sea anemone?

It is believed that an aquarium clown fish feeds its anemone. This is due to the observation that an amphiprion with a piece of food tries to hide inside the tentacles of the anemone in order to eat it there. Well, and the remains of his meal, if they appear, of course go to sea anemones. In fact, feeding anemone with a fish still occurs, but she does not do it on purpose.

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