Clark's Clownfish - Clarki Clownfish - Clark's AnemonefishFamily: PomacentridaeAmphiprion clarkiiPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Greg Rothschild
The Banded Clownfish or Clark's Clownfish is a good, hardy anemonefish for any marine aquarium enthusiast.
These clownfish are readily available, reasonably priced, and easily kept in the home aquarium. Having been bred in captivity, the Banded Clownfish can sometimes be purchased in a pair. There are also a large number of host anemones they will accept, and many of them are generally available too. A bold striking specimen, this is a great fish for a new aquarist.
The Banded Clownfish is perhaps one of the most durable and enjoyable of the clown fish species. Not only are they very robust, but are bold strong swimmers and will spend most of their time out in the open. Once settled a pair will vigorously defend an establish territory.
This fish will do well in a either a coral-rich tank or in a fish only tank. 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. A pair will readily spawn and tenatiously protect their eggs, even in the midst of harrassement from other pesky damselfish. The eggs will often be out in the open, but they are quick to hatch, usually within about 30 minutes.
The Banded Clownfish is also known as the Clark's Clownfish or Clarki Clownfish. It is the namesake for the group of anemonefish in the Clarkii Complex. Some others in this group are the Allard's Clownfish and the Oman Anemonefish, along with the Two-band and Three-band Anemonefish.
For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Report Broken Video
Orange-fin Clownfish Amphiprion chrysopterus swimming In Their Anemone
The Orange-fin Clownfish is a good, hardy anemonefish for any marine aquarium enthusiast. These clownfish are usually harder to find but are easily kept in the home aquarium. There are also a large number of host anemones they will accept, and many of them are generally available too.
The Banded Clownfish or Clark's Clownfish (Clark's Anemonefish) Amphiprion clarkii was first described by Bennett in 1830. This is the most widely distributed anemonefish ranging from the islands of Micronesia and Melanesia in the western Pacific to the Persian Gulf, and from Australia to Japan. They inhabit outer reefs and lagoons and are usually found at depths between 3 - 197 feet (1 - 60 meters).
These fish are not listed on the IUCN Red List.
The boldly patterned Banded Clownfish or Clark's Clownfish is boldly can be quite variable in color as an adult. Adults can range from a yellow or brown base color with either two or three white to gray bands. The band on the tail can be missing on some adults. Males tail fins will be yellow or will at least have some yellow on their tail fin, but some females tail fins can change to white as they mature.
Banded Clownfish or Clark's Clownfish (Clark's Anemonefish) adults can grow to 14 cm ( 5.5 inches).
The Banded 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 Banded 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 Banded Clownfish is associated with:
- Adhesive Sea Anemone Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
- Beaded Sea Anemone Heteractus aurora
- Sebae Anemone, Long Tentacle Anemone, or Leather Anemone Heteractis crispa
- Magnificent Sea Anemone Heteractus magnifica
- Delicate Sea Anemone Heteractus malu
- Bulb-tipped or Purple Base Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
- Corkscrew Tentacle Sea Anemone Macrodactyla doreensis
- Gigantic Sea Anemone Stichtodactyla gigantea
- Saddle Anemone Stichtodactyla haddoni
- 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 30 gallon (189 liters), or larger. Clown fish breeding tanks will need 40 to 50 gallons for spawning.
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 Banded 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.
"Breeding Clarkii Clownfish"
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.
This is one of the clown fish species in which the female is not larger than the male, the two sexes are nearly identical in size.
The Banded Clownfish or Clark's Clownfish (Clark's Anemonefish) is being bred in captivity. See general breeding techniques on the Breeding Marine Fish page.
This fish is generally available and moderately priced, usually ranging from $13.00 - $ 65.00 USD. Tank bred specimen are sometimes a bit more.