By Bob Goemans
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Amphiprion ocellaris

Cuvier, 1830

Ocellaris Clownfish, False Clown Anemonefish

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, east to the Moluccas and Palau, north to Southern Japan, and south to western Australia.

Size: 4 inches (9 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow coastal reefs, bays, reef flats and reef faces at depths between 3 to about 50 feet (1 – 15 m) and usually found in small groups inhabiting various anemones where it feeds mainly on filamentous algae, small shrimp, planktonic crustaceans (copepods, mysis, and shrimp larvae).

General Husbandry: Quite common in the trade, and very hardy, peaceful and an excellent tankmate for most peaceful aquariums. Has a orange body with three white bands, one one the head, one mid body and the third at the base of the tail. Other varients exist, having a black body with three white similarly located bands.

Best maintained in aquaria having live rock, hiding places, macroalgae, peaceful tankmates, and with or without a hosting anemone. And should a hosting anemone be offered, this species becomes somewhat aggressive to species in other families, as it is protecting its home.

As to diet, will eat most regular aquarium foods, e.g., live fortified brine shrimp and/or finely chopped various frozen or fresh meaty foods such as mysis, squid, fish flesh, shrimp, clam, etc., and plant material, e.g., flake foods, especially those containing Spirulina and should be offered once or twice daily.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Labroidei

    Family: Pomacentridae

    Subfamily: Amphiprioninae

    Genus: Amphiprion

FYI: In the wild, its hosting anemones are: Heteractis magnifica, Stichodactyla gigantea, and Stichodactyla mertensii.

If maintained with a hosting anemone, aquarium size should be >50 gallons.

Does not bother other clowns in the same aquarium.

Females are larger than males.

If the female is removed, the male will change sex and one of the juveniles will become the new functioning male.

May be kept in small groups, yet one will dominate the entire group.

Placing two juveniles into the same aquarium will, in about 60 days, result in a male-female pair.

A member of the Percula Complex.

Captive bred specimens available and are far hardier than wild caught specimens.

Experience Level: Beginner

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Temperature Range: 74 - 82°F (23 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Amphiprion ocellaris  (Ocellaris Clownfish, False Clown Anemonefish)
Photo © Craig Dolphin
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