Darwin Clownfish - East Pacific

Amphiprion ocellaris


(1 Reviews)

Darwin Clownfish - East Pacific

Darwin Clownfish - East Pacific

Amphiprion ocellaris


(1 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Pacific Ocean
Acclimation Time: 2+ hours
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Max Size: 3 inches

The Darwin Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) has a pitch-black body with solid white stripes; juveniles have orange faces and underbellies, but develop darker colors as they mature. Wild populations only exist off Darwin, in North Australia, where they thrive among the reefs. They are omnivorous by nature, requiring a mixture of meaty preparations, as well as plant fiber and seaweed. These fish will accept most fish foods and are perfect for reef tanks. More than one can be kept in the same aquarium and they prefer to be kept in groups.

Clownfish have a very distinct swimming motion that is different from most fish. This is likely passed on through their genetic makeup from centuries of wiggling within the tentacles of Anemones. As the Clownfish wiggles within the stinging tentacles the Anemone's mucus is likely smeared over the Clownfish's body, which then protects it from additional stings. In the wild they live in small groups with one large dominant female, one smaller sexually active male, and a handful of smaller males and juveniles. When the female is lost the largest male will then change sex and become the dominant female with the other Clowns moving up the ladder behind it.


The Darwin Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris): A Charismatic Gem for Saltwater Aquariums

The Darwin Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) is a captivating and charismatic species that adds color and personality to saltwater aquariums. Known for its striking appearance and engaging behavior, this clownfish has become a sought-after choice among marine enthusiasts. Let's explore the Darwin Clownfish's habitat, reef-safe nature, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture options, compatibility, suitable tank mates, symbiotic relationships, tank requirements, other common names, and compatible tank mates.

Darwin Clownfish Habitat

The Darwin Clownfish is native to the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, ranging from the eastern Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean. In the wild, they inhabit shallow lagoons and reef areas, often seeking shelter among the tentacles of sea anemones.

Reef-Safe Nature of the Darwin Clownfish

The Darwin Clownfish is reef-safe and poses no threat to corals or other invertebrates. They form a unique and beneficial symbiotic relationship with certain species of sea anemones.

Darwin Clownfish Size and Lifespan

Darwin Clownfish can grow to be about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) in length. With proper care, they can have a lifespan of up to 10 years in a well-maintained aquarium.

Diet and Feeding Habits of the Darwin Clownfish

Darwin Clownfish are omnivores in their natural habitat, feeding on various small organisms, including plankton, algae, and small crustaceans. In a home aquarium, they readily accept a diet of high-quality frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and marine pellets.

Aquaculture Options for the Darwin Clownfish

The Darwin Clownfish is widely available in the aquarium trade, and captive-bred specimens are readily accessible. Breeding and propagating this species in captivity have been successful, making it a sustainable choice for marine aquariums.

Compatibility and Suitable Tank Mates for the Darwin Clownfish

  • Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica): These small and peaceful fish share a compatible tank environment with the Darwin Clownfish.
  • Gobies (e.g., watchman gobies or neon gobies): Peaceful gobies can coexist harmoniously with the clownfish, adding diversity to the tank.
  • Pseudochromis (e.g., dottybacks): Certain species of pseudochromis can coexist with the clownfish, adding color and personality to the tank.
  • Blennies: Some species of blennies are suitable tank mates that add character and charm to the aquarium.
  • Cardinalfish: Peaceful and colorful, cardinalfish make compatible tank mates for the Darwin Clownfish.

Symbiotic Relationships of the Darwin Clownfish

Darwin Clownfish form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with certain species of sea anemones. They live among the anemone's tentacles, gaining protection from predators while providing the anemone with food and nutrients.

Tank Requirements for the Darwin Clownfish

To provide a suitable environment for the Darwin Clownfish, the aquarium should mimic their natural habitat with plenty of live rock, hiding spots, and open areas for swimming. A suitable sea anemone is optional, as captive-bred clownfish can thrive without one.

Other Common Names for the Darwin Clownfish

Besides the name "Darwin Clownfish," this species is also known more generically as the "Ocellaris Clownfish" or "False Percula Clownfish."

In conclusion, the Darwin Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) is a charismatic and delightful addition to saltwater aquariums. Its vibrant colors and engaging behavior make it popular among marine enthusiasts. Aquarists can enjoy the beauty and charm of these captivating clownfish by providing them with a suitable environment, compatible tank mates, and proper care.

For the entire order: I was very impressed with the service. The fish are what I was told to expect, active, eating. Will be placing another order shortly.


Reviewed by: Richard Walker on Aug. 8, 2023

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