The Ocellaris Clownfish, Common Clownfish or False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) is a popular aquarium fish, even more so after it rose to stardom in Finding Nemo. It is very closely related to A. percula, the Orange Clownfish or "True Percula Clownfish", and often lives in association with the sea anemone Heteractis magnifica, using them for shelter and protection. Generally, Ocellaris clownfish are hardier, and slightly less aggressive than its Percula counterpart. Both species are found in coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the Fiji and Tonga regions.
This clown anemonefish can be recognised by its orange colour with three white bars and black markings on the fins. It grows to about eight centimeters in length. One can differentiate between Percula (true) and Ocellaris (false) by their respective colors and patterns. Ocellaris are usually less vibrantly colored, and have 11 dorsal fin-spines instead of 10, as on the Percula. There is also a rare melanistic variety hailing from the reefs around Darwin, Australia, that is a dark black colour with the normal white stripes. Although not common in the wild, they are becoming more and more popular in the aquarium hobby.
There are no physical characteristics to tell the sex of the fish. In a pair or a group, the biggest clownfish is the female and the next largest will be male. Like other clownfishes, this species is hermaphroditic. If the female dies or disappears, the male will become the new female and another sexually immature specimen will quickly develop into a reproductive male.
Excellent, they will not bother corals or any inverts. Need at least 40 litres, but a 80-litre tank is preferable as this size tank or larger is easier to maintain as a Saltwater tank.
The Ocellaris clownfish will eat most foods offered including flake, frozen, and live foods.
Feed twice daily.
Needs a salinity between 1.020 and 1.026.
Clownfish are territorial and will defend their territory against other fish. Can be kept singly, but a pair or group will show interesting social behaviors. Do not need a sea anemone to thrive or even breed in the aquarium. If an anemone is included they will defend it and often will not stray more than 4 inches away from it unless feeding.