Ocellaris Clownfish are found living in anemones on the reefs of Oceania, the Indo-Pacific, and the Great Barrier Reef. For this reason, they are considered to be anemonefish. This iconic fish has an orange body striped with white bands, outlined in black. Selective breeding has created several recognized variations of this clownfish. (This includes Frostbite, Snowflake, Black Ocellaris, Misbar, Naked, Storm, etc.) The females of this species appear larger and are the more dominant. Ocellaris Clownfish are a hardy member of the Pomacentridae family. They can reach up to 4 inches in length and require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with plenty of room to swim. There is another species of clownfish that looks very similar to this one: Amphiprion percula. The easiest way to distinguish between the two species is to look for these 4 notable differences:
- Ocellaris clownfish have 11 spines in the first dorsal fin, the Percula has 10 spines.
- Ocellaris clownfish have thinner black edging outlining the fins than Percula clownfish.
- Ocellaris clownfish usually have a taller dorsal fin than Percula clownfish.
- Ocellaris clownfish have darker coloring surrounding their eye pupils, whereas, Percula clownfish usually show lighter orange around their pupils.
Ocellaris Clownfish are omnivorous. Their diet should be varied and consist of things like algae, phytoplankton, frozen brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, copepods, pellets, and flake food.
As stated earlier, an Ocellaris Clownfish can reach up to 4 inches and requires an aquarium of at least 30 gallons. Ocellaris Clownfish are generally peaceful fish. These clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites. This means they begin life as males. If a female is not present, the largest male will morph into a female. This new female will be aggressive to the other males to insure her dominance and prevent those males from morphing into females. She will normally not tolerate another female clownfish. If you would like more than 1 clownfish, buying a pair that has already accepted each other and bonded is an option. Or adding a small group when they are small juveniles may also be an option if your tank is larger than 50 gallons. They usually pick a wall and hang out there if they don’t have an anemone to call home. They like to have a safe spot to be able to run to, this could be a cave, an anemone, or crevice in the rockwork. Ocellaris Clownfish have been known to live in Magnificent Sea anemones (Heteractis magnifica), Giant Carpet Sea anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea), Merten's Carpet Sea anemones (Stichodactyla mertensii), Long Tentacle anemones (Macrodactyla doreensis), and Haddon's Carpet (Stichodactyla haddoni). While clownfish do not require an anemone, it’s one of the best symbiotic relationships a reef keeper can watch. If you intend to keep fish, a netted lid is recommended.