The clownfish is a perennial favorite. The name derives from the brightness of their coloring, with bands of white used by clowns to color their cheeks. It is loved for its bright colors, its amusing way of swimming, and its relationship with sea anemones. There are about 27 species of clownfish living in association with 13 species of anemone and are never found without an anemone. The anemones that fish live in are unable of catching fish of any species. Besides, the clownfish are protected by a thick mucus layer and, therefore, run no risk from the anemone's tentacles. Clownfishes also derive benefits from their hosts by consuming regurgitated anemone waste, and occasionally some of the tentacles, which does not appear to harm the anemone.

Clownfish are very brave, especially when the female lays her eggs at the base of the sea anemone. Males even do not hesitate to attack divers with harmless little bites.

Clark's Clownfish
Clark's Clownfish ( Amphiprion clarkii)
Photo by Larysa Johnston

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The Clark's Clownfish, also called yellow tail clownfish, associates with giant anemones and is widely found from the western Pacific to the Arabian Gulf and from Japan to Australia.This species doesn't live well when alone and should be maintained in pairs. It will readily accept a variety of chopped frozen foods, green food and may even accept flake. The Clark's Clownfish is a hardy and peaceful community fish that can live without an anemone. Captive propagated clownfish adapt better to the tank than the wild-caught stock.


  1. Clownfish and Sea Anemones. John Tullock
  2. New Scientist
  3. Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies. Gregory Skomal
  4. The Biology of Reefs and Reef Organisms. Walter M. Goldberg
  5. Fish of the Maldives. Andrea Ghisotti

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