Blue-Band Clownfish ~ Oman ClownfishAmphiprion omanensisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Pavaphon Supanantananont
The Oman Anemonefish is one of only two clownfish that has a distinctly forked tail fin!
The Oman Anemonefish is one of the clown fish species in the Clarkii Complex. but it is a very distinct clown fish because of having a forked tail fin. This is one anemone fish that is also scarcely available in the aquarium trade. If you are able to obtain one, it will be very pricey.
It will be easily kept in a home aquarium. The Oman Clownfish doesn't have any special care requirements so would be a good, hardy choice for both beginners or more advanced hobbyists. It will need some open space for free swimming along with a place to retreat that also gives shelter to juveniles.
This fish will do well in a either a coral-rich tank or in a fish only tank. The Oman Anemonefish is fairly reef safe but adults may chew on the polyps of some live corals. Provide it with an anemone host or other invertebrates in a reef tank or some rock structures in a fish only aquarium. Though in the wild they are associated with anemones they will readily adapt without one, and may even adopt a rock structure or other invertebrate as a substitute host.
The Oman Clownfish is also known as the Blue-Band Clownfish or the Oman Clownfish. It has many of the same features of the common Clark's Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii, but its color and patterning are different. It is lighter in body tone and doesn't have a white tail fin, and unlike the Clark's Anemonefish, its tail fin is forked. They are just about as robust but they are rarely available.
For more information on keeping saltwater fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Habitat: Natural geographic location: The Oman Anemonefish Amphiprion omanensis was first described by Allen and Mee (with Allen) in 1970. They are found on the Arabian Peninsula, the typical locality is Barr Al Hikman, on the east coast of Oman. They occur in small aggregations on inshore reefs at the shallower depths between 6 - 33 feet (2 - 10 meters).
Description: As an adult the Oman Anemonefish is a reddish brown with two vertical dark-edged white stripes on sides. The head is paler, almost tan. The second stripe is narrower than the first and the abdomen can be darker. The fins are brown to black, except the caudal fin which is whitish. Juveniles are light brown though yellow ventrally with two white bars on the sides. Their dorsal fin is light brown, and their pelvic and anal fins are yellow on the top and darker towards the bottom. Their caudal fin is yellow with black in the center with a white stripe on the upper lobe.
This fish is distinctive with its almost black pelvic and anal fins, but an even more unique characterisitc is its strongly forked caudal fin. The only other species with a forked caudal fin is the Madagascar Anemonefish Amphiprion latifasciatus. The Madagascar is found in the the western Indian Ocean from Madagascar and the Comoro Islands, and it has a much broader mid-body stripe than the Oman Anemonefish.
Maintenance difficulty: The Oman Anemonefish, like all Amphiprion members are very hardy. They are generally easy to keep and can be recommended for beginners. No special care is needed to feed this fish as it will take a variety of foods. It does need some crevices to retreat into, and also lots of open space to swim freely.
Amphiprion members are very hardy. They are quite resistant to most infectious diseases and seldom suffer from infections. They can be safely treated with medicine or copper drugs if infected.
In the wild a cleaner wrasse (Labroides sp.) will help them by taking parasites from their bodies, however these wrasses are extremely difficult to sustain in captivity. Alternative fish such as Neon Gobies (Gobiosoma spp.) can help them by providing this cleaning service in the home aquarium.
For more information see Fish diseases.
Foods: The Oman Anemonefish are omnivores. In the wild the Amphiprion members eat plankton, and will also pick at the dead tentacles of their host anemone. In the aquarium no special food is necessary. This fish will readily accept a wide variety of foods; including live foods, frozen and flake foods, algae, meaty foods, shrimps, and may feed on tablets. Finely chopped meaty foods (like brine shrimp) can be fed regularly. Feed at least twice a day, whatever they will consume in about 3 minutes. It does not generally harm live corals or small inverts, but large adults may attack ornamental shrimps.
Maintenance: Clownfish can be kept in either a saltwater aquarium or a mini reef. In the wild they are associated with anemones, but they don't need an anemone host in the aquarium. They will readily adapt to a salt water tank without one. Often they will use a coral or other invertebrate, or even a rock structure, as a substitute.
In a reef setting you can provide a host anemone to provide a rich naturalistic environment for your clown fish. While other fish avoid the anemones stinging tentacles least they become its food, your clown fish will spend most of its time nestled down in it. Though sea anemones are a striking addition to any reef aquarium, they are more challenging to keep. If you decide to keep an anemone you must make sure its special needs are met.
The relationship a clown fish and a sea anemone have is known as symbiosis. Clown fish stay with certain anemones in the wild. In these symbiotic relationships, clown fish and sea anemones live together, each benefiting from the others company. Immune to the sting of the anemone's tentacles, the clown fish is protected from predatory fish and gets to snack on the remnants of any meal the anemone has captured. In return the clownfish will defend its host by tenaciously chasing off any intruders. It will also feed the host anemone and clean it, removing pieces of detritus picked up from the substrate.
Host Anemones the Oman Clownfish is associated with:
- Bulb-tipped or Purple Base Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
- Sebae Anemone, Long Tentacle Anemone, or Leather Anemone Heteractis crispa
- Saddle Anemone or Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla haddoni
For a saltwater tank a normal water change of 10% biweekly or 20% monthly is necessary. For more information on maintaining a saltwater aquarium see: Saltwater Aquarium Basics: Maintenance. A reef tank will require specialized filtration and lighting equipment. Regular water changes of 15% bi-weekly will help replace the trace elements that the fish and corals use up. Learn more about reef keeping see: Mini Reef Aquarium Basics.
Aquarium Parameters: The Oman Anemonefish is always very actively swimming, and will venture to the surface for foods when it is well acclimated. This fish needs open space for free swimming, but it also needs nooks and crannies to retreat into. It will appreciate a host anemone or an other invertebrate or rock structure to adopt as a substitute host. A saltwater aquarium well decorated with rocks/ corals will providing it with many places for retreat.
Minimum Tank Length/Size: A minimum 30 gallon (189 liters), or larger.
Light: Recommended light levels It has no special lighting requirements though if kept with a host, the anemone will need strong lighting.
Temperature: This species lives in tropical areas and their natural habitat is generally about 80° F (26.7° C). In an aquarium, water temperatures between 70 - 79° F (21 - 26° C) work best.
Though optimum spawning occurs between 77 - 85° F ( 25 - 28° C), temperatures higher than 82° F (28° C) or below 66° F (19° C) would not be desirable for normal maintenance. Extremes above 90° F (32° C) or below 64° F (18° C) would be beyond their tolerance.
Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong Water movement is not a significant factor, but it needs at least a slow circulation in the tank to feed.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom They will spend the majority of their time with a host, but will also swim in all parts of the aquarium.
Social Behaviors: The Oman Clownfish is moderately assertive. This fish will do well in a either a coral-rich tank or in a fish only tank. It is mainly reef safe but adults may occasionally chew on polyps of some live corals. Like all anemone fish they can be territorial and aggressive, especially as they get older. They can get along together with a variety of fish that are assertive but not so aggressive, providing the aquarium is large enough to provide them with a place of their own to defend.
Clown fish can be kept together with small or non-aggressive fish species. Larger butterflyfishes, angelfishes, wrasses, and non-aggressive damselfishes of some genera (not those of the same genus) would also be okay. The very territorial fishes such as dottybacks or sea basses that will eat anything should be avoided. You can introduce one or more young specimens of this anemone fish in the same tank if there are host anemones. This clown fish is associated with the anemone species Entacmaea quadricolor and Heteractis crispa and these anemones are generally available.
Breeding/Reproduction: Though many clown fish species are now being captive bred, the Oman Anemonefish has not yet been reported to have been bred in captivity. No record for aquaculture at any laboratory is known. See general breeding techniques in the Breeding Marine Fish page.
References: Fautin, D. G. and Allen, Dr. G.R. , Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones, Voyageur Press, 1994
Randall, J., Coastal Fishes of Oman, University of Hawaii Press, 1996
Dr. Gerald R. Allen, Damselfishes of the World, Aquarium Systems, 1991
Wilkerson, J., Clownfishes, TFH Publications, 1997
Kuiter, R. & H. Debelius, World Atlas of Marine Fishes, Hollywood Import & Export, Inc, 2006