By Bob Goemans
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Premnas biaculeatus

(Bloch, 1790)

Spinecheek Anemonefish, Maroon Clownfish

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, New Britain, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Northern Australia.

Size: Female - 6 inches (16 cm), Male – 3 inches (8 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits fringing coastal reefs, lagoon patch reefs, and outer reef faces, at depths between 3 to about 50 feet (1 – 15 m) where it lives in pairs and inhabits the Entacmaea quadricolor anemone, and mainly feeds on planktonic crustaceans (copepods, mysis, and shrimp larvae), and algae.

General Husbandry: Generally available in the trade and quite hardy, having an overall reddish body with three vertical white bands, one on the head, one mid body and the third on the base of the tail. Another color form exists, that of a deep red or brownish body with yellowish bands, sometimes called the Goldstripe Maroon Clownfish.

Best maintained in aquaria having live rock, hiding places, macroalgae, semi-aggressive tankmates, and if possible, a hosting anemone.

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: Premnas

FYI: In the wild, its hosting anemone is: Entacmaea quadricolor.

Can be maintained without a hosting anemone.

If maintained with a hosting anemone, aquarium size should be >75 gallons.

Do not house with other species in this family or with very peaceful tankmates.

Females are much larger than males.

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

Recommend it be the last fish placed in the aquarium, and its best to add both the male and female, if wanting a pair, at the same time.

Only member of the Maroon Complex.

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

It is reported (Wilkerson, 1998) that the white striped variety is more aggressive.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Aggressive

Diet: Omnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Semi-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Temperature Range: 77 - 82°F (25 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Premnas biaculeatus (Spinecheek Anemonefish, Maroon Clownfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner (Top) and John Randall (Bottom)
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