10 What Basic Functions Must Animals Do To Stay Alive Tips on Clownfish Care and Spawning

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Tips on Clownfish Care and Spawning

Clownfish are classified in the Pomacentridae family. Clownfish are among a group of species commonly referred to as small fish. There are 28 known species of clownfish. Of them, 27 belong to the genus Amphiprion. Clownfish are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Their natural habitat includes the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea.

The color palette varies between clownfish depending on the species. They can be found in orange, reddish orange, maroon, yellow or black. Most species have the characteristic white stripes with black trim on their bodies for which they are named. These black and white stripes contrast with the color of the fish’s body, making them look like they’re wearing a clown costume. Clownfish grow from 4-6 inches depending on the species. Their lifespan varies from 3-6 years.

Clownfish are known for the symbiotic mutualism they share with the sea anemone. The co-evolution of these two animals creates one of the most interesting symbiotic relationships found in nature. Sea anemones are highly toxic to most marine life. This exotic creature paralyzes its prey with powerful neurotoxins. It then uses its tentacles to pull prey into its gastrovascular cavity for digestion. This single cavity functions as both mouth and anus. The digestion process results in semi-digested matter floating around in the immediate vicinity of the anemone. Clownfish ingest this material as a source of protein. They then excrete faecal matter which is an additional source of protein for the anemone.

Clownfish have a mucous membrane surrounding their body that acts as a natural barrier against the anemone’s poisonous nematocysts. Scientific experimentation has resulted in the death of clownfish exposed to these neurotoxins after their protective mucous membranes have been removed. This mucus allows the clownfish to seek shelter from predators within the protection of the anemone’s tentacles. It is common for the clownfish to stay within 2-4 inches of its host its entire life. This symbiosis has led to the clownfish being commonly called an anemone fish.

Clownfish are brave and docile creatures. They make an excellent choice for amateur aquarists. They are also the perfect addition to a marine reef tank. Conservation of sea anemones presents more of a challenge. Fortunately for beginners, clownfish can be kept without the presence of their natural pets. Just make sure you provide them with suitable hiding places and avoid mixing them with more aggressive species and you’ll be fine. As you become more experienced, you may choose to add an anemone to your aquarium. Be sure to check for compatibility with your local fish store or online retailer. Individual species of clownfish are compatible with different sea anemones.

Despite their shy nature, clownfish will display territorial behavior towards other clownfish, especially clownfish of the same species. It is best to keep a clownfish or a pair.

Clownfish are commercially bred in captivity. When buying any fish that can be bred in captivity, you want to buy captive-born and not a wild-caught fish. You will have a happier and healthier fish that is much more likely to adapt to its new environment. And tank-raised fish are generally more disease-resistant than their wild counterparts.

Clownfish are omnivores. A clownfish raised without the presence of a sea anemone can be fed vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, or zooplankton in combination with frozen marine foods formulated for omnivores.

Clownfish Spawning Unlike most hermaphrodite fish species, clownfish are successive hermaphrodites. All clownfish are born male as opposed to protogenous hermaphrodites which are always born female. If there are two clownfish in an aquarium together, the larger dominant of the two will turn into a female.

You will want to use a breeding tank if you are trying to breed clownfish pairs in captivity. Place a piece of PVC pipe at the bottom of the floor of your aquarium to use as a breeding chamber. The eggs will be deposited either at the bottom of the tube or on the surface of a nearby flat rock. The rash will hatch 6-10 days later.

Fresh fries are very small. They should be fed with rotators until they mature. Once they get a little bigger, they can be fed freshly hatched brine shrimp or dry powdered food.

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