Three Band Anemonefish

Three-band Clownfish, Tricinctus Clownfish, Three Striped Clown

Family: Pomacentridae Three Band Anemonefish, Amphiprion tricinctus, Three-band ClownfishAmphiprion tricinctusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Alex Pilnic of ORA
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These are fantastic fish especially the black clowns but they are really rare.  aelun

Three-band Anemonefish are sturdy clownfish that can get quite large, adults can reach over 5 inches!

The Three-band Clownfish Amphiprion tricinctus is a good, hardy anemonefish. It's a member of the durable Clarkii Complex, a group of 11 clownfish species with prominent band patterns. These clowns are favored by aquarists for their ease of care. This fellow is especially great for beginners because it is the least aggressive member of the group.

The Clarkii group is geographically widespread so a number of species are regularly available to aquarists. This particular species is fairly localized however. It is found in the somewhat deeper waters around the Marshall Islands in Micronesia and further south at New Caledonia Island to the east of the Coral Sea. Fortunately they are bred in captivity and so are occasionally available singly, though pairs may be harder to come by. Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA) has also aquacultured a hybrid between a Threeband Anemonefish and its close relative, the Clark's Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii.

The Tricinctus Clownfish is notable for its color, which can vary from golden yellow to black and everything in between. They usually have three white vertical stripes which can vary in width, especially the black morph. A few specimens may only have two stripes, but all variations have dark tail fins that are a little longer than on most clowns. The Threeband Anemonefish has a similar appearance to the Clark’s Clownfish, especially those varieties that lack the third bar at the base the tail. It can be readily differentiated though because it will always have a dark brown to black tail fin while the Clark's tail fin  will be yellow or white. All clownfish make audible chirping or popping noises but some species are louder than others and each species has its own dialect.

The development of different colorations in this species is believed to be dependent on the type of sea anemone the fish is associated with. The orange color morph is found associated with the Bubble Tip Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor, Beaded Sea Anemone Heteractis aurora, and  Sebae Anemone Heteractis crispa. The black morph is only found hosted by the Merten's Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla mertensii. In the aquarium Oorange varieties will adopt a Merten’s Sea Anemone as host as well if placed within it and there are no other anemones are available. Though not a common occurrence, it was also reported that in Allen (in 1972) observed a large number of juveniles (37) in a Giant Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla gigantea.

This is an active fish that needs a 30 gallon tank or larger, with live rock and hiding places. They don’t need a host anemone in captivity as they will happily choose a surrogate such as filamentous algae, certain corals, or even a power head. To keep them with an anemone, the aquarist should provide a tank that is at least 55 gallons or more, depending on the anemone's tank requirements, and should provide appropriate lighting. If they are an adult pair, they will defend their host anemone or coral fiercely, especially when eggs are present. Two juveniles will eventually result in a male and female pair. All clownfish are undifferentiated when born but they are sex switchers. With certain social cues they change into juvenile males and then as they mature, the larger more dominant fish will turn female.

They can be kept in a community but they are quite active and semi- aggressive, so the best tank mates selection will depend on the size of the aquarium. In smaller 30 gallon tanks, do not house them with very aggressive fish like Dottybacks or with peaceful fish. A tank that is at least 55 gallons would be necessary for peaceful conditions to exist between the clownfish and docile fish. Keeping clownfish from the Clarkii complex with other types of clownfish is not recommended. Also, don't ever house them with any fish that can swallow them whole.

For more Information on keeping saltwater fish see:
Marine Aquarium Basics: Guide to a Healthy Saltwater Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Amphiprion tricinctus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Pomacentridae
  • Genus: Amphiprion
  • Species: tricinctus
Three-band Clownfish

Report Broken Video
The Tricinctus!... a Three-band Clownfish (Amphiprion tricinctus) pair adoring their anemone.

The Three-Band Clownfish seen here is in its common colors. They also have an all black coloration, as it seems many clownfish have. They are protecting their very large anemone in this small tank. Anemones, depending on size, can make as much waste as 2 to 5 regular sized fish! In a tank under 55 gallons it will need to have frequent water changes of at least 10% a week.

Three-band Clownfish - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L)
  • Size of fish - inches: 5.1 inches (13.00 cm)
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Temperature: 74.0 to 82.0° F (23.3 to 27.8° C)
  • Range ph: 7.8-8.4
  • Diet Type: Omnivore

Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Three-band Anemonefish Amphiprion tricinctus was described by Schultz and Welander in 1953. They have a fairly localized distribution in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. They are found in the deeper waters of the Marshal Islands, and are also found further south at New Caledonia Island east of the Coral Sea.

This species has not been evaluated by IUCN Red List at this time. They are known as the Tricinctus Clownfish as well as several similar common names that describe their coloring or markings; Three Striped Clown, Three-band Clownfish, Three-Banded Anemonefish, Threeband Anemonefish, and Three Striped Clownfish. Fishbase also lists them as the Maroon Clownfish, though this common name is usually associated with the Maroon Clownfish Premnas biaculeatus.

They are one of 11 clownfish in the Clarkii complex, which are typically less reliant on their host anemone for protection. This is demonstrated in nature by their being found over 6 feet away from their host anemone. The Clarkii complex have some of the best swimmers within the clownfish family. They are closely related to the Clark's Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii, and hybrids of these two have been aquacultured in captivity by Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA).

They are found on outer reef slopes, lagoon patch reefs, and fore reef slopes at depths between 10 to 130 feet (3 - 40 m). They are known to associate with different sea anemones, according to color. The black color morph is only found hosted by the Merten's Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla mertensii. They orange color morph will also be hosted by this anemone if placed near it in the aquarium, but in nature it prefers the Bubble Tip Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor, the Beaded Sea Anemone Heteractis aurora, and the Sebae Anemone Heteractis crispa. Though not a common occurrence, in 1972 Allen also reported seeing 37 juveniles in a Giant Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla gigantea. Clownfish have also been observed within certain species of large polyped stony corals (LPS), soft corals, and mushroom corals (corallimorphs).

They can be found in adult pairs accompanied by two or three non-breeders, some sub adults and juveniles. They can also be found as a single female adult with multiple non-breeders, as groups of one or two sub adults, or as a group of just juveniles. They have been seen with up to 10 individuals in one social unit, and some reports have shown higher numbers within social units dwelling in very large anemones, with up to 37 juveniles. In the wild they seem to favor copepods and algae, but will eat barnacle appendages, crustacean fragments, worms, sponges and tunicate larvae.

  • Scientific Name: Amphiprion tricinctus
  • Social Grouping: Groups - Pairs, usually accompanied with two or more non-breeders.
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed

Description

The Three Band Anemonefish is a deep bodied clownfish from the Clarkii Complex. Their long dorsal fin dips lower in the middle in some specimens, almost giving the appearance of two dorsal fins. The tail fin has a shallow fork.

This species can reach just over 5 inches (13 cm) with the females being the largest. The lifespan of this species is known to be at least 15 years. A male/female pair at Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA) are at least 15 to 20 years old according to one representative. A 2012 study conducted under the Alabama Marine Biology Program suggests the potential lifespan for anemonefish could actually be very long, up to 30 years.

They can vary in body coloration ranging from golden yellow to all black, but the most common coloration is orange. They usually have three vertical white bands or stripes which can vary in width, especially on the black morph. These stripes are located just after the eye, mid body, and at the base of the tail fin. They are trimmed in black and on different variations and older clowns, the black color may extend into the top back part of the body, typically after the second stripe. Generally a small part of the belly between the first and second stripes remains orange.

Here are most of the color variations:

  • All black body with three white stripes, no orange present.
  • All orange with three white vertical stripes (some may only have 2 stripes) trimmed in black, and a dark tail fin.
  • Orange with three vertical stripes trimmed in black but dark brown in the upper back and the last half of the dorsal fin, which comes after the second stripe. They still have an orange belly between the first and second stripe.
  • Muddied orange coloring with orange to brown face. There is orange between the first and second vertical stripes with spattering of brown blotches and speckles. After the second stripe, they are dark brown to black towards the back, with an orange belly and more splattering of dark coloring over the belly.

With the exception of the all black color morph their pectoral, pelvic and anal fins are generally orange. In darker specimens the back part of the dorsal fin has more brown to black, and in some specimens there can be dark coloring on the tips. The tail fin is generally dark. The orange color morphs have an orange iris while the black color morphs have a more dusky color iris. As adults they all retain the same first two vertical white bands, and most have the third tail fin band, yet all have a dark tail fin.

Three Band Anemonefish with lifespand of 15-20 years
Three Band Anemonefish 15-20 years old
Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy Alex Pilnic
  • Size of fish - inches: 5.1 inches (13.00 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years - The Tricinctus Clownfish male and female pair at Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA) are at least 15 to 20 years old according to one representative.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Three Band Anemonefish are very easy to keep and make great fish for the beginner. These clowns are very easy to maintain, just make sure when purchasing a fish that is eating. You can ask the store to feed the tank just to be certain. A specimen should also be alert and have no white slime or spots are on its body.

It does best in a tank that is at least 30 gallons (114 l) or more. For those wishing to keep it with an anemone, a 55 gallon tank or more is recommended. Actual size is dependent on the anemone's requirements, and you should also provide appropriate lighting. Although they are tolerant of less than perfect water quality, prolonged poor water quality will result in illness and disease as with any saltwater fish.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

Foods and Feeding

The Threeband Anemonefish are omnivores. In the wild they feed mainly on copepods and algae, but will also eat barnacle appendages, crustacean fragments, worms, sponges and tunicate larvae. In the aquarium they will eat a wide variety of live, frozen and flake foods. They will also consume naturally growing algae in the tank and will have an affinity for copepods.

It is important that you feed a wide variety of fish or shrimp flesh that's finely chopped, along with mysis and brine shrimp. Also provide a variety of vegetable source foods in pellet and flake form. It's best to feed small amounts several times a day. Feed 3 to 4 times a day as juveniles and twice a day as adults. In a reef situation they don't really need to be fed as often but they do love copepods. So it's wise to feed them a few times per day so they don't decimate your tank’s population of copepods. Provide an area in the tank where the water is not too strong, so they can feed easily.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet - Live foods can be fed as a treat periodically or when conditioning to breed.
  • Vegetable Food: Half of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Half of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - Feed twice a day as adults and 3 to 4 times as juveniles.

Aquarium Care

These clownfish are hardy and fairly easy to keep. They do well when provided good water conditions and a well maintained tank. Guidelines for water changes with different types and sizes of aquariums are:

  • Fish only tanks:
    • Nano/Small tanks up to 40 gallons, perform 15% water changes bi-weekly.
    • Medium sized up to 90 gallons, perform 20% to 30% monthly depending on bioload.
    • Large Tanks 100 gallons and over, once water is aged and stable can be changed 20% to 30% every 6 weeks depending on bioload.
  • Reef tanks:
    • Nano/Small tanks up to 40 gallons, perform 5% water changes weekly.
    • Medium sized up to 90 gallons, perform 15% bi-weekly.
    • Large Tanks 100 gallons and over, once water is aged and stable can be changed 10% bi-weekly to 20% monthly, depending on bioload.

For more information on maintaining a saltwater aquarium see: Saltwater Aquarium Basics: Maintenance. A reef tank will require specialized filtration and lighting equipment. Learn more about reef keeping see: Mini Reef Aquarium Basics.

  • Water Changes: Bi-weekly - Standard maintenance is bi-weekly water changes of 15% every 2 weeks or 30% a month or if there are corals in the tank then 5% weekly to 15% every 2 weeks, depending on the tank size.

Aquarium Setup

The Three Band Anemonefish is a good sized, active clown that requires a minimum tank size of 30 (114 L) gallons. It is a bold fish that will swim to the surface to eat once it becomes accustomed to its home. Provide it with plenty of open space for free swimming. It also needs rocks that provide lots of nooks and crannies for it to retreat into. Although it will appreciate a host anemone, having an anemone isn't essential. This clownfish will adopt another invertebrate or rock structure as a substitute host just as readily. They will spend the majority of their time with their host, whatever it is.

If housing this clownfish with an anemone, tank size and needs should be based on that particular anemone. The clown has no special lighting requirements but if kept with a host, the anemone will need strong lighting. Water movement is not a significant factor but this clownfish needs a slow circulation in some areas of the tank to feed.

In nature this species lives in tropical areas, so maintain aquarium water temperatures between 72°F to 82°F (22 - 28°C). Extremes above 90° F (32° C) or below 64° F (18° C) would be beyond their tolerance. Optimum spawning occurs between 79°F to 83°F (26°C to 28°C). They can tolerate a pH range from 7.8 to 8.4.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L) - A minimum 30 gallon tank is recommended for a fish only tank, but a larger tank, 55 gallons or more, will be needed if keeping it with an anemone.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: No
  • Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Any
  • Temperature: 74.0 to 82.0° F (23.3 to 27.8° C)
  • Breeding Temperature: 79.0° F - Although they will spawn between 72° - 88° F (26° - 28°C), it has been demonstrated that the best quality eggs and larvae happens when the temperature is between 79° F - 83° F (26° - 28°C).
  • Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
  • Range ph: 7.8-8.4
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Any - Provide an area in the aquarium with slower moving water so they can feed easily.
  • Water Region: All - When kept with an anemone or coral host, they tend to stay in the same vicinity.

Social Behaviors

The Tricinctus or Threeband Anemonefish are semi-aggressive. They can be kept in a reef setting or a fish only setting. but like all damselfish they can be territorial and aggressive, especially as they get older. They can be kept with other fish but the aquarium size and set-up will influence compatibility. In a smaller 30 gallon tank docile fish would be harassed by this clown while aggressive fish like dottybacks can threaten it. If attempting to keep them with other fish that are either very passive and docile or more aggressive, provide a tank of at least 55 gallons. When kept with an anemone they can tolerate other semi-aggressive fish. Avoid fish that are large enough to swallow them whole.

  • Compatibility with other Clownfish:
    Due to their aggression towards other clown species, the Tricinctus shouldn't be housed with other types of clownfish. There are about 29 species of clownfish known for their “singing”. Singing consists of chirps and pops made with their teeth and amplified with their jaws. They use various combinations when they are being attacked or are attacking.

    The behaviors between the same species of clownfish are very interesting and easy to identify. Constant dominating displays by a female prevents a male from changing sex. An aggressive clownfish will displays "agonistic behavior" while the subordinate clown will display “appeaser behavior.” The aggressive fish has specific actions in which the subordinate clownfish reacts to:
    • If the aggressive fish, typically the female, is chasing and chirping, the subordinate clownfish, which can be a male or sub adult, will rapidly quiver their body as they drift upward and they will produce clicking sounds.
    • Jaw popping by the aggressive clownfish results in the subordinate clownfish shaking their body or head.
    • Ventral leaning by the aggressive clownfish results in the subordinate clownfish quivering.
    • An aggressive clownfish displaying a dorsal leaning results in the subordinate clownfish performing ventral leaning.
       
  • Compatibility in a mini reef:
    In a reef setting this clownfish will typically not bother any corals, with the exception of picking algae off the base of a coral that they have adopted as a host. They have been known to adopt alternate hosts, such as certain large polyped stony corals (LPS), hairy mushroom corals, or even filamentous algae if present. Invertebrates are usually not going to be threatened by a Threeband Anemonefish. There are some in the Clarkii complex that have been known to purposely knock or drag non cleaner shrimp into their host anemone, so monitor these shrimp. Copepod populations may be at risk if you do not feed your clownfish several times a day.
     
  • Compatible host anemones:
    The relationship between a clown fish and a sea anemone known as symbiosis, where they provide benefits to one another. Clownfish stay with certain anemones in the wild, protecting them from anemone eating fish. In return the anemone protects the clownfish from predators, keeping them away with their stinging tentacles. Clownfish become immune to the sting of the anemone's tentacles. Feeding is another benefit, the clownfish gets to snack on the remnants of any meal the anemone has captured. The clownfish will also perform housekeeping duties by removing pieces of detritus picked up from the substrate. It is also thought that the anemone is nourished by the waste of the clownfish.

    Host Anemones the orange color morphs are associated with are the Bubble Tip Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor, the Beaded Sea Anemone Heteractis aurora, and the Sebae Anemone Heteractis crispa. The black morph is only found hosted by the Merten's Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla mertensii. Orange varieties in the aquarium will adopt a Merten’s Sea Anemone as host as well, if placed within it and there are no other anemones are available. They may also accept the Giant Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla gigantea.

Be cautious adding Condy Anemones Condylactis gigantea. These are very mobile, predatory anemones, and are not a “clown hosting anemone”. Their sting is much stronger than clown hosting anemones, and there is a risk to the clownfish who is foolish enough to engage it may eventually be eaten. Many who have had clowns hosted by Condylactis have said, “one day the clownfish was gone, and I kept the anemone well fed!”.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive - On a scale of 1 to 10 for clownfish aggressiveness, with 10 being the most aggressive, this clown is about a 7.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes - Can be kept as a male/female pair or as two or more subadults.
    • Peaceful fish (gobies, dartfish, assessors, fairy wrasses): Monitor - Clownfish are territorial and may harass these peaceful fish in a small 30 gallon tank. Only attempt in tanks that are at least 55 gallons and add before the Tricinctus Clownfish.
    • Semi-Aggressive (anthias, clownfish, dwarf angels): Monitor - Do not house with other clownfish. Dwarf Angelfish may be too aggressive. This clown does best if kept with an anemone in the presence of other semi-aggressive averaged sized fish.
    • Aggressive (dottybacks, 6-line & 8-line wrasse, damselfish): Monitor - Should not be attempted in small 30 gallon tanks, as they will harass the clownfish. Dottybacks should be housed alone due to their aggression. Damselfish are okay only if the tank is very large, over 100 gallons and there are plenty of places for the damsels or clowns to hide.

    • Large Semi-Aggressive (tangs, large angels, large wrasses): Monitor - Add this clownfish first and once acclimated you can add these other fish. Clownfish tolerate more aggressive fish when they have an anemone.
    • Large Aggressive, Predatory (lionfish, groupers, soapfish): Monitor - As long as the fish is not large enough to swallow your clownfish whole.
    • Slow Swimmers & Eaters (seahorses, pipefish, mandarins): Threat - They would be too docile for this clownfish.
    • Anemones: Safe - According to color, the Tricinctus Clownfish that are black prefer the Merten's Sea Anemone and the orange colored specimens prefer the Beaded Sea Anemone, Sebae Anemone or Leather Anemone, Magnificent Sea Anemone, Merten's Sea Anemone. Do not house with Condylactis Anemones as these are not clown hosting anemones and may eventually kill and eat your clownfish.
    • Mushroom Anemones - Corallimorphs: Safe - Large mushrooms such as Elephant Ear Mushrooms (Amplexidiscus fenestrafer) can trap and eat juvenile clownfish.
    • LPS corals: Safe
    • SPS corals: Safe
    • Gorgonians, Sea Fans: Safe
    • Leather Corals: Safe
    • Soft Corals (xenias, tree corals): Safe
    • Star Polyps, Organ Pipe Coral: Safe
    • Zoanthids - Button Polyps, Sea Mats: Safe
    • Sponges, Tunicates: Monitor - Sponges and Tunicates have been found in bellies of wild Threeband Anemonefish, but a well fed clown should not bother these creatures.
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Monitor - Some in this complex have been known to knock ornamental shrimp such as pistol shrimp into their host anemone at feeding time!
    • Starfish: Safe
    • Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, Flatworms: Safe
    • Clams, Scallops, Oysters: Safe
    • Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle Stars: Monitor - Copepods are a favorite of these clownfish, but keeping the clowns well fed should help avoid a possible depletion of your population of copepods.

Sex: Sexual differences

Males are typically smaller than females. Sexual maturity is reached at 2.4” to 2.8” in males and 2.8” to 3.1” in females. Their noses lighten as they grow older.

Breeding / Reproduction

This clownfish has been bred in captivity. A hybrid between this species and its close relative, the Clark's Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii has also been aquacultured by Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA). Clownfish do not spawn their entire lives, and will stop spawning several years before their live expectancy is over.

Breeding Pair of Three Band Anemonefish
Three Band Anemonefish
Breeding pair at ORA - 15-20 years old
Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy Alex Pilnic

The Threeband Anemonefish will spawn between 72° - 88° F (26° - 28° C), but the best quality eggs and larvae develop when the temperature is 79° - 83° F (26° - 28° C). Three to five days before spawning the courtship begins. The male exhibits a curious behavior where he bites at the substrate in increasing frequency and intensity. It is thought that the female initiates courtship by either nudging the male, or by biting at the substrate first to encourage this behavior. As the male and female pairs get older, less aggression exists between them during courtship.

Clownfish have several different types of displays when courting. These include leaning away from each other so their ventral surfaces are close, leaning towards each other with their dorsal surfaces close while shaking their heads, or head standing. As the spawning event draws closer, the male and female will soon start to meticulously clean an egg laying site on a rock or coral close to an anemone. This action cleans the area of detritus and algae and provides a clean spot for the eggs to adhere.

Once the area is prepared, the pair will then nip at the anemone’s tentacles causing it to retract and expose the cleaned area. The female will then press her belly on the surface and begin to quiver as she drags her abdomen, leaving a trail of eggs behind her. She will continue this behavior until she deposits all her eggs. After this the male immediately fertilizes them. Spawning happens between 9 o’clock in the morning and 3 o’clock in the afternoon and can last up for 2 1/2 hours. The exact number of eggs laid varies depending on species in the clarkii clownfish complex, these can number from 100 to 2,500 depending on the size of the female. With this species not enough research has been done to detemine the number of eggs that will be deposited.

The male will guard the eggs. The eggs are fanned and mouthed to keep them oxygenated and free of debris and fungal infections, with this action intensifying the day of hatching. As the eggs mature they become darker and develop a silver sheen. Most of the eggs will hatch in 6 to 13 days depending on water temperature. Hatching occurs within 2 hours around 1 to 1 1/2 hours after sunset. The larvae then swim into the water column and enter into the planktonic phase, which lasts from 8 to 16 days.

After the young Clownfish is free swimming, past the planktonic stage, their first priority is to find an anemone for protection. Scientists state the possibility of two forms of recognition of an anemone that a young clownfish uses. One is that they are attracted to a specific species of anemone, by the scent that the anemone emits, recognizable to them while developing as eggs within the same species of anemone. The other way is for them to imprint visually while developing inside their eggs, seeing their parents swimming within the tentacles of the anemone.

For more about breeding clownfish, see Breeding Clown fish: Part One, Breeding Clown fish: Part Two, and Breeding Clown fish: Part Three.

  • Ease of Breeding: Moderate

Fish Diseases

Typically clownfish are extremely hardy, so disease is not usually a problem in a well maintained aquarium. However when they do get sick some diseases are quite deadly. Clownfish are susceptible to the same types of illnesses as other marine fish including bacterial, fungal, parasitic or other diseases, and injury. All saltwater fish will get sick if good water quality is not maintained, the temperature fluctuates too much, or the fish is stressed due to inappropriate tankmates. A stressed fish is more likely to acquire disease.

Clownfish are particularly prone to Brooklynellosis or Clownfish Disease Brooklynella hostilis (Brook), Marine Ich Cryptocaryon irritans, also called White Spot Disease or Crypt, Marine Velvet or Velvet Disease Oodinium ocellatum (Syns: Amyloodinium ocellatum, Branchiophilus maris), and Uronema disease Uronema marinum.  All of these are parasites.

The most easily cured of these is Crypt (salt water Ich), but they are all treatable if caught in a timely manner. Marine Velvet is a parasitic skin flagellate and one of the most common maladies experienced in the marine aquarium. It is a fast moving that primarily it infects the gills. Brook kills within 30 hours but the Uronema disease is one of the quickest killers, as in overnight. Uronema is often contracted when the aquarist lowers their salinity to treat another type of illness, but don't lower it far enough. This parasite thrives in mid-level brackish water salinity, which is a specific gravity of around 1.013 to 1.020.

Be sure to treat for any illness at a normal salinity with a specific gravity of about 1.023, or at a low salinity of about 1.009. Quick Cure and other 37% Formalin products will work perfectly well in both salinity ranges, but the lower 1.009 will help with the oxygen level. The amount of oxygen in the water increase as the salinity level is reduced. "I personally noticed when battling Brook or Crypt using the proper hypo-salinity of 1.009, no higher, my clowns almost seemed to breath easier and be less stressed"... Carrie McBirney.

Anything you add to your tank that has not been properly cleaned or quarantined, including live rock, corals and fish can introduce diseases. The best prevention is to take care to properly clean or quarantine anything you want to add to the tank. A few other ways to proactively prevent disease are to provide quality foods, clean good quality water, and proper tank mates. For information about saltwater fish diseases and illnesses, see Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments.

Availability

The Three Band Anemonefish or Tricinctus Clownfish is occasionally available online and in pet stores, but when available can be quite costly.

References

Author: David Brough CFS, Carrie McBirney, Clarice Brough CFS
Lastest Animal Stories on Three-band Clownfish

aelun - 2011-06-12
These are fantastic fish especially the black clowns but they are really rare.

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