Showing posts with label Clownfish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clownfish. Show all posts


CLOWNFISH and SEA ANEMONE: Symbiotic Relationship

LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprio...
On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris. Some clown anemonefishes are brave.
When divers close to them, papa anemonefish will swim out to defense. (Looks like very angry!!) But, often they will hide. (papa will hide faster than their babies. haha~) Lovely!!
(Photo credit: 
Clownfish or the anemonefish are small fishes belonging to superclass Pisces and family Pomacentridae. There are about twenty-nine species of clownfish are known all over the world out of which one belongs to the genus Premnas and others are kept in the genus Amphiprion. As their name indicates they form symbiotic mutualistic associations with the sea anemones in the ocean world. 

Depending upon the species these may be overall yellow, orange, reddish, or blackish while others may bear patches or bars. The largest species are not to attain a body length of about 18 centimeters while the normal range of body length is about 10 centimeters. The well known popular movie entitled Finding Nemo by the Pixar/Disney figures out the clownfish as the leading character.

Clownfish are known to inhabit the warmer waters of Indian and Pacific oceans along with the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. The majority of the species are known to dwell in restricted areas while others have a wide range of distribution. They are generally hosting specific but some species also show coordination with other species also. They are known to dwell at the bottom of the seafloor confined in the shelters of lagoons or coral reefs. They prefer to live in pairs. 

They are also distributed in northwest Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and the Indo-Malaysian region but totally absent in the Caribbean region. They are known to feed on small invertebrates otherwise they may cause damage to the sea anemone. The fecal matter released by these fishes acts as a source of nutrients for the sea anemone. They are strictly omnivorous and their gut content has revealed that their diet includes 20-25% of algae. The diet comprises of copepods, algae, zooplankton, and algae. They also feed on small crustaceans and mollusks. When kept under captivity they are provided fish pellets and fish flakes and food. They also feed on the undigested food material of the sea anemones.

Clownfish and certain damselfish are the only known species of fishes which are able to remain unaffected by the poison secreted by the sea anemone. Many theories have been put forward to support this view. According to one view, the mucus coating of the fish may be composed of sugars rather than proteins so the sea anemone fails to recognize the fish as food sources and does not attacks it. Another view suggests that due to co-evolution clownfish have developed immunity against the toxins secreted by the sea anemone. 

It is well known that they tend to live in pairs in a single anemone and when the female dies the male changes its sex to female. This process is known as sequential hermaphroditism. Clownfish are born as males and that is why they are protandrous hermaphrodites. On top of the hierarchy reproducing females is presently followed by the male but if the female dies this hierarchy gets disrupted. The largest member of a group is a female and the second largest one the male. Clownfish are neuter which means that they do not have fully developed sex organs for either gender.

Clownfish prefer to lay their eggs on flat surfaces where they can adhere properly. Spawning generally occurs around the time of the full moon. The male is known to guard the eggs until they hatch after 8-10 days. They lay eggs ranging from hundreds to thousands. They are the first known fishes to breed in captivity. The average life span is of 6-10 years but in captivity, they live up to 3-5 years. They show a special association with the sea anemone. The activity of these fishes results in a greater amount of water circulation around the sea anemone and sea anemone provides them protection from its toxins. Clownfish depends on the sea anemone for its daily food. 

When anemone paralyzes a fish and consumes it these fish eat the chunks and pieces left after the feeding of the anemone. The fish also keeps the anemone free by eating up its dead tentacles and act as a lure by attracting predators towards itself by its bright coloration. This sort of symbiotic association of the clownfish with the sea anemone makes them the most astonishing creatures living underwater. They are known bred in captivity in the marine ornamental farms in the USA. If the anemone of the aquarium dies they tend to live in the soft varieties of corals. The corals may agitate the skin of these fishes and in some cases may kill the corals also. Once they get confined in the corals they defend it. We can conclude that they are amazing fishes showing unique features.


Ocellaris CLOWNFISH - A Guide to Keeping Amphiprion Ocellaris in a Marine Aquarium

Amphiprion Ocellaris - Photo   by       Andreas März   (cc)
When it comes to popular marine fish, the Ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion Ocellaris) is the undisputed king. It shares its title with the Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion Percula) since they look entirely alike to most people. Both the ocellaris and percula clowns are the marine aquarium hobby's greatest ambassadors. Most people might think this is due to the hit animated film, Finding Nemo. They don't realize these clownfish were already popular before the film was released.

The ocellaris clownfish is a staple offering in the hobby. They are heavily collected from their natural habitats in South East Asia, they are the most plentiful ornamental marine fish at the moment. Walk into any saltwater pet store and you'll find at least one ocellaris there for sale. They are also heavily bred in captivity with tank-raised ocellaris priced a little higher than wild caught specimens.

Ocellaris clownfish are entirely orange with three white bands (outlined with black) around their heads, body and near their tail. To the untrained eye, both ocellaris and percula look exactly the same. Yet they are both slightly different physically. Percula clownfish have 10 dorsal spines while ocellaris has 11. Thankfully there's an easier method to tell them apart. Percula clownfish have thicker, more pronounced black outlines while those on the ocellaris are always thin.

One of the cheapest marine fish you can buy, with specimens costing as little as $10. A few dollars more can buy a tank-raised specimen. Given a choice, never go with wild caught specimens as tank-bred ones are generally hardier and better suited to the aquarium.

Ocellaris clowns are also known as the false clown anemonefish and the false percula clown. They are called anemonefish because they share a symbiosis with anemones. They have figured out how to escape the anemones powerful sting, it is thought they have a layer of mucus on their bodies that fool the anemone into thinking there's nothing there. Anemones are not required despite clownfish needing one in the wild.

Generally peaceful, these clownfish get along well with a wide variety of tank mates. However, they do not get along well with other species of clownfish, especially those outside their species. There are three routes you can take when looking for a pair:

* Purchase a mated pair
* Get a large and a small one, introduce them together and pray they pair up
* Purchase two small ones and put them together, eventually one will dominate the other and become a female, pairing up in the process

I cannot give a guarantee that options 2 or 3 will work 100% of the time.

Reaching a maximum of 3 inches in length, they are considered a small fish. All clownfish are site attached, which means they are usually around their territory (a small area) most of the time. Their territory can be anything from a pile of rocks to an anemone. Mushroom and elegance corals have been hosted by the ocellaris when an anemone isn't available. They can be housed aquariums as small as 20 gallons due to this behavior.

These fishes are very easy to feed because they will eat just about anything. While they are omnivores in the wild, they consume both meaty and algae-based food in the aquarium. A wide variety of foods should be given. Prime reef, Formula One and Formula two are some good dry foods to offer. Formula two has an added amount of algae mixed in with seafood while Prime reef is mostly made up of seafood.

The best pellet food on the market is those made by New Life Spectrum. Mix in some frozen foods like mysis shrimp or krill and they will be very happy.

Overall, the ocellaris clownfish is a hardy fish that is a great choice for both beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.


Clown Fish, Tangs and Angelfish

As a marine aquarium enthusiast, you will have you veritable pick of the litter when it comes to species selection for your tank. The only limiting factor in most cases is the size of your aquarium and the size of your budget. Some are common and cheap while others are rare and expensive. Below we take a look at the most popular choices for marine hobbyists today.

LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprio...
LARGER On Black Ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris. Some clown anemonefishes are brave. When divers close to them, papa anemonefish will swim out to defense. (Looks like very angery!!) But, oftenly they will hide.(papa will hide faster than their babies. haha~) Lovely!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At the top spot, we have the familiar amphiprion ocellaris in addition to amphiprion percula. These are most widely recognized clownfish in the hobby in addition to being the most popular ornamental saltwater fish on the market. Some of you might have seen finding nemo, where the species is well represented. However, to most saltwater hobbyists they are simply identified as the false percula and the true percula.

They look almost entirely identical with the difference being the number of dorsal spines present. Amphiprion Ocellaris is a cheap fishes that is a staple in the industry. Amphiprion percula commands a higher price along with is less common than its recognizable cousin. They both do well in the aquarium and are good selections for experienced or new enthusiasts.

The yellow tang in addition to the blue tang fill in the second spot. They are a recognizable choice on posters and a variety of saltwater aquarium products on the market. The blue tang also had some air time on the animated movie, Finding Movie. There, she was identified as the clumsy Dory. Blue tangs are usually cheaper than yellow tangs as they are imported in huge quantities.

They are both great candidates for captive life if they have ample room to swim in addition to are treated for any parasites that came in with them during shipment. Like It must be noted however that all tangs are susceptible to lateral line erosion plus particularly marine ich. Ensure they are given a diet that is rich in greens as they are algae grazers in the wild.

Finally, four angelfish make up the last spot. They are the dwarf flame angelfish, French angelfish, emperor angelfish as well as the stunning queen angelfish. These four always get top demand from the marine community. They are the most costly recognizable fishes in this article. For very large, show quality specimens of queen angelfish, french angelfish plus emperor angelfish, expect to pay hundreds per specimen.

Flame angelfish usually cost less than their larger sized brethren. But that does not reflect on its beauty as it is easily on of the most stunning members of the family centropyge. They should be fed a well rounded diet that includes seafood as well as seaweed plus algae. For the most part, angels are not reef safe so do not house them with corals. However, you're bound to have more luck with the dwarf angelfish family in this respect.

    By Indran Manickam
    Additional information on the popular Clown fish species of fish can be found at the authors hubpage.
    Should you need information on specific fish like the Amphiprion Percula which is the nemo fish, don't hesitate to pay us a visit for a full guide including breeding behavior, care and requirements, photographs and videos.
    Article Source: EzineArticles