A short list of the ten best and most beautiful clownfish...
Clownfish or anemonefish are the first type of ornamental fish to be successfully bred in captivity on a large scale. They are the first species of saltwater fish to be successfully raised in aquariums and tanks. They are native to Indian and Pacific oceans where they live in sheltered reefs or in shallow lagoons. There are no clownfish in the Atlantic because of its colder waters. Clownfish are overall yellow, orange, reddish or blackish. In the wild, they live with a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship with sea anemones. They serve to protect each other from predators and parasites and provide food for each other. If an aquarium has no sea anemone, clownfish may settle in some variety of soft corals. Yet, captive bred clownfish may not have the same instinctual behavior to live in an anemone. Furthermore, wild-caught fish are more likely to die soon after putting them in tanks due to stress.
The interest on breeding clownfish became more intent when the fish is featured as the main characters in Disney-Pixar’s Finding Nemo. There are many clownfish species already on captivity. Here are some of the ten beautiful breeds of clownfish.
The Ocellaris Clownfish, or false percula clownfish, is one the most popular aquarium saltwater fish and is closely related to the orange clownfish or “true percula clownfish.” It has orange color with three white bars and black markings on the fins. The fish normally grows to three inches in length. The ocellaris clownfish originally lives in coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The fish Nemo and his father in the popular animated film is actually this type of clownfish.
The Orange Clownfish has bright orange bodies with three white lines. It also has black edging on each fin with varying thickness. The fish is often confused with ocellaris clownfish. The easiest way to distinguish them is that orange clownfish has 10 spines in the first dorsal fin while ocellaris clownfish has 11. The black marking for the latter is also thinner.
The Saddleback Clownfish has dark brown to yellow orange color with a thick white bar located just behind the eyes. A large white saddle shape of slanted white bar can be found across the middle of its body and may extend up onto its dorsal fin. The fish can grow to as long as 12 cm. The saddleback clownfish can be found in the eastern parts of the Indian and the Western parts of the Pacific Ocean. To keep them in captivity, the fish will do best in tanks of at least 30 gallons with live rocks to give them multiple choices for hiding places.
Orange Skunk Clownfish
Otherwise known as skunk-striped anemonefish, the Orange Skunk Clownfish has a very bright orange color, with a white stripe that runs along the dorsal ridge from the mouth up to the dorsal fin. It can reach a length of 5.5 inches. Inside tanks, the orange skunk clownfish is omnivorous and must include shrimp in its diet. It is also best to supply them with an anemone.
Also called as spine-cheeked clownfish, the Maroon Clownfish has dark red or maroon color for female and bright red for male. The stripes across its body are normally white, though others can be yellow. Found in the Indo-Pacific, the fish can reach a length of 6.7 inches. It is also very aggressive towards other clownfish. If keep in aquariums, it is best to house the maroon clownfish singly, except with a mated pair. The fish will “bully” other fishes, and it even has the tendency to “intimidate” people it is unfamiliar with. Moreover, the fish must not be caught with a net because it might get tangled due to its spines. Instead, catching with a cup is recommended to avoid injuring the fish.
Red Sea Clownfish
The Red Sea Clownfish or two-banded clownfish has a yellow-orange color with two black-edged white bands. Its scientific name, Amphiprion bicinctus, means “both sawlike with two stripes”. This fish has a length up to 14 cm, and lives in the Western Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Chagos Archipelago.
The Clark’s Clownfish is also called as yellowtail clownfish. It is widely distributed, being found in tropical waters, in lagoons and on outer reef slopes throughout the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The Clark’s clownfish is a very colorful fish with vivid black, white and yellow stripes. It can host many sea anemones, even in aquariums in captivity.
Also known as bridled clownfish and red clownfish, the Tomato Clownfish is bright orange-red, with one white vertical stripe just behind the eyes. Some varieties have darker colors or dark spots on their flanks. In aquariums, the tomato clownfish will thrive even without a host anemone, and will eat most meat or vegetable food preparations. They are also aggressive so it best to keep them singly.
Pink Skunk Clownfish
The Pink Skunk Clownfish is one of the smaller breeds of clownfish and inhabits in the west Pacific Ocean. They can be found off the Cocos and Christmas Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Indo-Australian Archipelago. The fish is famous for its light pink coloration.
The Sebae Clownfish is a very rare clownfish found in the northern Indian Ocean. It can reach a length of 12 cm. This fish can be very aggressive as it gets older.