Twobar Anemonefish ~ Allard's AnemonefishFamily: PomacentridaeAmphiprion allardiPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
For a beginning marine enthusiast, the Allard's Clownfish is a good, hardy choice.
Allard's Clownfish are readily available, reasonably priced, and fairly easy to keep. Their host anemones are also generally available. These fish have been bred in captivity and the fry successfully reared. The Allard's Clownfish is a bold striking specimen. It is a great fish for a new aquarist.
This fish will do well in a either a coral-rich tank or in a fish only tank. Provide some open space for free swimming along with a place to retreat that also gives shelter to juveniles. In the wild they are associated with anemones but they will readily adapt without one, and may even adopt a rock structure or other invertebrate as a substitute host.
The Allard's Clownfish is also commonly known as the Twobar Anemonefish. These Anemone fish are one of the clown fish species in the Clarkii Complex. They are similar in overall appearance to the Clark's Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii, but lack the distinct white break between the body color and the tail fin that can be seen on the Clark's Clown. They are also just about as robust though they are not always as readily available.
For more Information on keeping saltwater fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
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Allard's Clownfish (Amphiprion allardi) in a Sarcophyton species of Leather Toadstool Coral
A really neat pair of Allard's Clownfish (Amphiprion allardi) with their an adopted host. They show off their beauty in the Leather Toadstool Coral of the Sarcophyton genus, sharing an interesting symbiotic relationship. These clowns are related to the Clarkii Clownfish, except the Allard's has a much prettier tailfin, white at the base and across the top to the tip in most cases. These clownfish are great for all aquarists, beginner to advanced.
The Allard's Clownfish Amphiprion allardi, also known as the Twobar Anemonefish, was first described by Klausewitz in 1970. They are found on the east coast of Africa between Kenya and Durban. They inhabit outer reefs and lagoons and are usually found at depths between 10 - 82 feet (3 - 25 meters).
These fish are not listed on the IUCN Red List.
The Allard's Clownfish is very similar to the Clark's Clownfish. As an adult it can range in color from yellow to nearly black with yellow fins, and never showing any black coloring in either the pelvic or anal fins. They have two bold vertical white stripes across the body. The stripes are wide at the top, becoming narrower and pointed at the bottom. Just like in the Clark's Clown, the frontal stripe is broad, but the mid-body stripe differs, it is narrower.
Another clownfish that is also very similar to the Allard's Clownfish is the Orangefin Anemonefish Amphiprion chrysopterus. This fish is also called the Blue-stripe Clownfish because its white stripes can sometimes have a blue cast to them. If it is lacking the bluish color in its stripes, then it can best be distinguished from the Allard's by the form of its stripes. The Orangefin's stripes are not wide at the very top like the Clark's, but rather widen part way down, and they point forward on the bottom.
Allard's Clownfish adults can grow to 12 cm ( 4.7 inches)
The Allard's Clownfish is 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. It can be bred and the fry raised in captivity.
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.
The Allard's Clownfish 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.
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 Allard's Clownfish is associated with in the wild:
- Bulb-tipped or Purple Base Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
- Beaded Sea Anemone Heteractus aurora
- Merten's Sea Anemone Stichtodactyla mertensii
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.
This fish are very active and will swim to the surface to eat once it is accustom to its home. It 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 20 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.
The Allard's Clownfish is moderately assertive. This fish will do well in a either a coral-rich tank or in a fish only tank. 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 anemonefish in the same tank if there are host anemones. This clown fish is associated with the anemone species Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractus aurora, and Stichtodactyla mertensii and they are generally available.
The female is usually much larger than the male.
Allard's Clownfish have been bred in captivity. See general breeding techniques in the Breeding Marine Fish page.
This fish is frequently available and moderately priced, usually ranging from $18.00 - $ 35.00 USD.