The pretty Tomato Clownfish is a tenacious anemonefish, both in durability and its attitude!

The Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus is one of the most durable of the anemonefish. It is easy to care for and doesn’t need any special or complicated set ups to make it happy. This species is one of the most frequently seen and readily available, and it is moderately priced as well. It makes an excellent choice for the beginning saltwater aquarist due to its hardy nature. However it will be scrappy towards other fish, especially as an adult, so will need equally tenacious tankmates.

Their colors range from burnt orange to tomato red, thus the common names Tomato Clownfish, Tomato Anemonefish, Red Clownfish, and Red Tomato Clown. Males will maintain their bright hues for their entire lives but the females will turn dark brown on the sides as they mature. Juveniles are marked with three bright vertical stripes, but the two on the body fade as they mature, leaving the adult with just one stripe on the head. There are two color strains, a blue-striped and a white-striped, though the blue coloring can be difficult to detect when they are young. Some other common names derived from the adult color patterns are Onebar Anemonefish, Bridled Anemonefish, and Blackback Anemonefish.

The Tomato Clownfish belongs to a group of five anemonefish known as the “Tomato Complex”. All mature members of this complex have a single stripe behind the eye area, with the exception of the Red Saddleback or Fire Clownfish Amphiprion ephippium, which has no striping. The Tomato Clownfish is one of the largest members of this group, females can reach up to 5 1/2″ (14 cm) in length. Yet all members are large, with an oval, deep-bodied shaped and a strong build. These fish are the most aggressive of the clownfish complexes, and are especially scrappy in smaller tanks. They will attack other passive fish and smaller anemonefishes. They will also fight with their own kind unless it’s a proven pair, so are best kept singly.

These are great fish for beginners all the way to expert! The “bulletproof†Tomato Clownfish can hold its own in a large aggressive reef or fish only tank because of their cantankerous attitude. It is picky about its anemone, only being found in Bubble Tip AnemonesEntacmaea quadricolor in the wild. Pairs, especially females, will adopt only host anemones that are proportionate to their size. They have been bred in captivity and are often available singly or as a pair. They are one of the easiest of the clownfish to raise through the larval stage, and the hatch rate is also high.

Provide them with a tank that is at least 30 gallons for one. 40 gallons or more will be needed for a pair or if you are going to want to add other fish to the tank. With or without an anemone, they will need live rock, properly sized power heads, a skimmer is also suggested on a larger tank. and regular water changes. These are durable clownfish that have been known to survive tank crashes! Yet although they are forgiving of the new saltwater hobbyist, they still need good water quality and proper tank mates.

They can be housed with aggressive fish like triggers and large angelfish, but adding the Tomato Clownfish first is advisable. Tangs, peaceful angelfish, and dwarf angelfish make good tank mates as well. In smaller tanks they will harass peaceful gobies and other similar fish. They can be kept singly or as a proven male/female pair, but it is not a good idea to keep them with other clownfish as they are generally intolerant.

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

Tomato Clownfish

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Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus) laying eggs!

This Tomato Clownfish pair shows why it is so easy to breed clownfish in aquarium. This female laid 100 eggs within 10 minutes, and she was not quite done, but you get the idea! These are almost everyone’s first clownfish since they are very easy to care for. The trick is not to get them to lay and fertilize the eggs, but to get them to hatch, then feeding them rotifers and performing a TON of water changes in a breeding tank. When they lay the eggs in a reef, they typically do not make it past the hatching stage due to the number of predators in the tank.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Pomacentridae
  • Genus: Amphiprion
  • Species: frenatus
Tomato Clownfish – Quick Aquarium Care
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L)
  • Size of fish – inches: 5.5 inches (14.00 cm)
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8&deg C)
  • Range ph: 7.8-8.4
  • Diet Type: Omnivore
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus was first described by Brevoort in 1856. They are found in the Western Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of Thailand to southwestern Palau then northward to the southern tip of Japan and south to Java, Indonesia. They have not yet been evaluated by IUCN Red List for endangered species.

Other common names this species is known by include Red Clownfish, Tomato Anemonefish, Red Tomato Clown, Fire Clown, Red Clown, Onebar Anemonefish, Bridled Anemonefish, and Blackback Anemonefish. These names are descriptive of the color or physical characteristics on their bodies.

The Tomato Clownfish belongs to a group of six described anemonefish known as the “Tomato Complex”. Besides the Tomato Clown, four other longstanding members of this complex are the Red Saddleback or Fire Clownfish Amphiprion ephippium, McCulloch’s or Whitesnout Clownfish Amphiprion mccullochi, the Cinnamon or Red and Black ClownfishAmphiprion melanopus, and the Australian or Ruby Clownfish Amphiprion rubrocinctus. There is also a newly identified species originating from Fiji. They were once regarded as an aberrant red color form of the Cinnamon Clown A. melanopus but are now have the recently validated scientific name of Amphiprion barberi, with the common names of Fiji Barberi Clownfish, Barberi Clownfish and Fiji Clownfish.

All mature members of the Tomato Complex have a single stripe behind the eye area, with the exception of the Red Saddleback or Fire Clownfish, which has no striping. All members are large, with an oval, deep-bodied shaped and a strong build. These fish are the most aggressive of the clownfish complexes.

The Tomato Clownfish prefers lagoon reefs and recesses along the coastlines that form bays or embayments. They are found from depths of 3.3 to 39 feet (1-12 m), though most commonly at 7 feet or 2 m. They feed on filamentous algae, planktonic copepods, and benthic crustaceans which include small shrimp, planktonic fish eggs, and crustacean larvae.

The Bubble Tip AnemonesEntacmaea quadricolor Is the only anemone host they associate with. Sub adults and juveniles live solitary lives and on rare occasions share a very large anemone with an adult, although occupy the outer edges, mostly out of sight. They are known to hybridize with the Cinnamon Clownfish A. melanopus and Fire Clownfish A. ephippium.

  • Scientific Name: Amphiprion frenatus
  • Social Grouping: Varies – An adult pair will occupy an anemone, while sub adults and juveniles live solitary lives and only on rare occasions occupy the very outer edges of an adult occupied anemone.
  • IUCN Red List: NE – Not Evaluated or not listed


The Tomato Clownfish has a deep bodied oval shape, similar to the Clarkii complex. This clown will also grow as large as most of those Clarkii complex clowns, eventually reaching 5.5†(14 cm). Females are .4†to .8†larger than males. These anemonefish are members of the Tomato Complex, in which all species with the exception of the Fire Clownfish, have a single wide, white band behind the eye area that reaches from the top of the head to the chin. The Tomato Clownfish has a reported life span of 17 years.

The males colors range from burnt orange to tomato red overall, and they maintain their brilliant hues throughout their lives. Females are similarly colored but will turn dark brown on the sides. There are two color strains, a blue-striped and a white-striped, though the blue coloring can be difficult to detect when they are young. Neither sex will have any black pelvic or anal fins. Juvenile Tomato Clownfish will have 3 stripes when young, but the two stripes on their bodies will fade as they mature, leaving just one by the head.

The Tomato Clownfish is most often confused with two of its close relatives in the Tomato Complex::

  • Cinnamon or Red and Black Clownfish A. melanopus: The only distinctive coloration difference between the two species is that the Cinnamon will have black anal or pelvic fins. On the Tomato Clown, although females have a darkened body, the these fins will never be black.
  • Red Saddleback or Fire Clownfish A. ephippium: This fish does not have a white stripe by the head and has a very dark saddle. Some color morphs of Tomato Clowns may not have the white band, but Tomato Clowns do not have a dark saddle.

This species is known to hybridize with both the Cinnamon Clownfish and the Red Saddleback or Fire Clownfish, causing color morphs that can be confusing! A fish labeled as a Tomato Clownfish may have a little black on their upper back or mid body, which is characteristic of older fish or large females, but can be mistaken for a Cinnamon Clownfish.

  • Size of fish – inches: 5.5 inches (14.00 cm)
  • Lifespan: 17 years – These are hardy, long lived anemonefish with a lifespan of 17 years or more.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

These clownfish are very hardy and easy to care for. Beginner aquarists will find success with the Tomato Clownfish as a first attempt in the saltwater hobby. However, even though they are quite “bullet proof”, poor water quality will still cause illness and disease. Doing normal water changes, feeding them a variety of foods and having proper tank mates will keep your anemonefish living a good long life.

These clownfish associate with an anemone in the wild, but they are perfectly content without one in the aquarium These clowns are just as happy finding find refuge in the rockwork. If you are attempting an anemone though, wait until your tank is at least 6 months old before adding this clownfish to gain experience with testing and adding calcium, magnesium and other supplements. They will love their Bubble Tip Anemone, but they will also be come very aggressive towards other tankmates if there is one present.

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

Foods and Feeding

The Tomato Clownfish are omnivores. In the wild, they feed on filamentous algae, planktonic copepods, and benthic crustaceans which include small shrimp, planktonic fish eggs, and crustacean larvae. Provide variety in their diet that includes meaty foods such as frozen mysis and brine shrimp, finely chopped fish and shrimp flesh, any frozen/thawed prepared foods. They will eat some algae in the tank, but not to a great extent. So they should also be fed flake foods and pellets with Spirulina added, especially if there is not enough algae in the tank for them to feed on.

Feed adults twice a day and juveniles 3 to 4 times a day, whatever they will consume in about 3 minutes, even in a reef setting. This is especially important to keep your copepods population from becoming diminished. Provide an area in the tank where the water is not too strong, so they can feed easily.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore – Use products with Spirulina added if there is not enough algae in the tank.
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet / Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – Not necessary but may be beneficial to condition them for spawning. You can feed them very small feeder shrimp that are gut loaded with nutritious food.
  • Vegetable Food: Half of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Half of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day – Feed adults twice a day and juveniles 3 to 4 times a day.

Aquarium Care

These clownfish are hardy and fairly easy to keep. They do well when provided good water conditions and a well maintained tank. Although they are tolerant of less than perfect water quality, prolonged poor water quality will result in illness and disease with any saltwater fish. Regular water changes done bi-weekly will also help replace the trace elements that the fish and corals use up. 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 – Do bi-weekly water changes of 15% every 2 weeks or 30% a month. If there are corals in the tank then 5% weekly to 15% every 2 weeks, depending on the tank size.

Aquarium Setup

Clownfish can be kept in either a saltwater aquarium or a mini reef. The Tomato Clownfish female gets quite large, reaching up to 5.5†(14 cm), so a minimum tank size of 30 gallons (114 L) is recommended for a single specimen. A minimum of 40 gallons or larger is suggested for a pair and when keeping with other fish.

In tanks without an anemone, provide plenty of places to hide. Although it will appreciate a host anemone, it isn’t essential as 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. Live rock is suggested for the fish to hide in and forage off of. Provide an area of slower moving water for them to feed. Aquarium water temperatures between 72° to 82° F (22 – 27° C) work best. Extremes above 90° F (32° C) or below 64° F (18° C) would be beyond their tolerance. Optimum spawning occurs at temperatures between 79°F to 83°F (26°C to 28°C). They can tolerate a pH range from 7.8 to 8.4.

Lighting is a non-issue unless an anemone is present. If attempting to keep it with an anemone, a tank that is at least 50 gallons or larger is needed for the Bubble Tip Anemones E. quadricolor needs. The clown has no special lighting requirements but this anemone will need to have high lighting. The anemone also needs good water qualityandthe tank should be well established, meaning 6 months to a year old. They will swim on all levels, but if there is a host present, they will spend the majority of their time in it or close to it, and they will become very aggressive towards tankmates.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L) – A minimum of 30 gallons is needed for a single specimen, with 40 gallons or more suggested for a pair. If keeping it with a Bubble Tip Anemone a larger tank of 55 gallons or more will be needed.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: No
  • Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places – Rock structures with hiding places are important when there is no anemone present.
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Any – It has no special lighting requirements though if kept with a host, the Bubble Tip Anemone will need strong lighting.
  • Temperature: 72.0 to 82.0° F (22.2 to 27.8&deg C)
  • Breeding Temperature: 79.0° F – The optimal temperature for good quality eggs and larvae occurs with temperatures of 79° F to 83° F (26° – 28°C).
  • Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
  • Range ph: 7.8-8.4
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Any – Provide areas of the tank with calmer waters for feeding.
  • Water Region: All – If they have a hosting anemone or coral they tend to stay in the same vicinity, but will also stray from the anemone to chase other fish.

Social Behaviors

The Tomato Clownfish are considered semi-aggressive. but they can be territorial and aggressive, especially as they get older. From a “clownfish aggression†scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most aggressive, this species is about a 7 or 8. Then its aggression number typically climbs to an 8 or 9 when there is an anemone present.

As with any clownfish, Tomato Clowns are at home in a reef setting, but also do well in a fish only set up. Yet this is one clownfish that cannot share an aquarium with other clownfish. They will attack other passive fish and smaller anemonefishes. They will also fight with their own kind unless it’s a proven pair, so are best kept singly. Also avoid keeping it with damsels unless the tank is very large.

You can house it with most other fish except those who are large enough to swallow it. Dottybacks are an exception and should never be in the same tank with them. If keeping with large angelfish, triggers, perches or other territorial fish, add this clownfish first. The only invertebrate threats are some occasional copepods if they are not well fed, and sometimes smaller shrimp.

  • Compatibility with other Clownfish:
    There are about 29 species of clownfish known for their “singing†which 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 loudest three are the Clark’s Clownfish, Tomato Clownfish, and Pink Skunk Clownfish.

    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, clownfish fit in perfectly, especially with a host anemone. 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. A host anemone will provide a rich naturalistic environment for your clown. 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.
  • Compatible host anemones:
    The relationship between a clownfish and their host sea anemone is known as symbiosis, where they provide benefits to one another. The immunity of the clownfish to the sting of an anemone’s tentacles allows them to dwell in this host, preventing larger fish who would otherwise eat the clownfish from getting at them. The bright coloration of the clownfish may also alert tell the predator that they will be stung if they get too close. The clownfish will, in turn protect its host from fish that eat anemones. In fact, a study was done in the wild, where they removed clownfish from the anemones, and these anemones were quickly attacked by various fish. The clownfish will also clean off debris, snack on the remnants of any meal the anemone has captured and provide the anemone “nutrition” in the form of waste that the clownfish produce.

    The Tomato Clownfish has only been seen hosted by the Bubble Tip Anemones Entacmaea quadricolor in the wild. Though sea anemones are a striking addition to any reef aquarium, they are more challenging to keep. When kept with an anemone, the Tomato Clownfish will not venture far from their host, but these clown are known to be aggressive and will swim out to chase away other fish.

Be cautious adding Condy Anemones Condylactis gigantea. These are very mobile, predatory anemones, and are not a “clown hosting anemoneâ€. 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!â€.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive – They are about a 7-8 on a clownfish aggression scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most aggressive, but will increase to 8 or 9 when an anemone is present.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species – conspecifics: Sometimes – Male/female pairs only.
    • Peaceful fish (gobies, dartfish, assessors, fairy wrasses): Monitor – In a smaller tank it may become aggressive towards peaceful gobies and other peaceful fish.
    • Semi-Aggressive (anthias, clownfish, dwarf angels): Monitor – Do not house with any other Clownfish. Dwarf Angelfish may be too aggressive. It’s best kept with an anemone with other semi-aggressive averaged sized fish.
    • Monitor – Dottybacks should be housed alone due to their aggression. Damselfish are okay with Tomato Clownfish 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): Safe – Add the Tomato Clownfish before adding these fish.
    • Large Aggressive, Predatory (lionfish, groupers, soapfish): Threat – Do not keep with fish large enough to swallow the clownfish whole.
    • Threat – These fish are too passive to be kept with a Tomato Clownfish.
    • Anemones: Safe – Only prefers the Bubble Tip Anemone. Do not house with Condylactis Anemones as these are not clown hosting anemones and may eventually kill and eat your clownfish. Caution with Carpet Anemones for similar reasons.
    • Mushroom Anemones – Corallimorphs: Safe – Caution with large mushrooms such as Elephant Ear Mushrooms (Amplexidiscus fenestrafer) can trap and eat young Tomato 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: Safe
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Monitor – Tomato Clowns may eat small shrimp like Snapping Shrimp that are found with Shrimp Gobies or small decorative shrimp like Sexy Shrimp.
    • Starfish: Safe
    • Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, Flatworms: Safe
    • Clams, Scallops, Oysters: Safe
    • Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle Stars: Safe

Sex: Sexual differences

Males retain their vivid orange or reddish coloring overall for their entire lifetime. Females are .4†to .8†(1-2 cm) larger, and though similarly colored will turn dark brown on the sides as they mature.

Breeding / Reproduction

The Tomato Clownfish has been bred in captivity and the fry successfully reared. They are actually one of the easiest if not easiest clowns to breed in captivity as far as hatch rate and survival rate of the larvae go. In captivity, they lay around 400 eggs every 10 to 14 days. These eggs hatch in 7-8 days and their larval period is only 9 days. They fry are 6 to 7 months old when they are able to be sold.

All clownfish are undifferentiated when born but they are sex switchers. With certain social cues they change into juvenile males, and then when the opportunity arises a dominant fish will become female. However these clowns have their own particular twist. The Tomato Clownfish are known to wander further away from their host anemone than other clowns. Males in the wild are known to leave their mates, kick out a smaller male in a nearby anemone and take his female, who in turn does the same thing to the next guy who is smaller!

Clownfish displays performed during courting, depending on the pair, include leaning away from each other so their ventral surfaces are close and leaning towards each other with their dorsal surfaces close. All the while shaking their heads and/or one or both may engage in head standing. Clownfish do not spawn their entire lives, and will stop spawning several years before their live expectancy is over.

The Tomato Clownfish will spawn when the water temperature is 79° F or higher. Several days prior to spawning, the male starts to bite at the substrate in increasing frequency and intensity to attract the female. During this time the female belly swells with eggs and may join him in the substrate biting, but not necessarily.

Once the pair has decided on a spawning site, they will thoroughly clean the surface for proper egg adhesion. The area is generally close to the anemone, which provides the protection of its tentacles. Just before spawning, if the eggs are near the tentacles, the clownfish pair will pick at the anemone to cause it to retract, exposing the full spawning site. The female presses her belly against the surface then quivers and drags herself slowly along the surface, leaving a trail of red eggs and will continue this in a circular pattern until she has laid all of her eggs. The male will then come up behind her and fertilize the eggs.

Spawning occurs two or three hours after the sun sets for the day and will last about 1 1/2 hours with the clutch of eggs numbering on average between 309 to 551 eggs, with an average of 440 depending on the size of the female. The bright red eggs are fanned and mouthed to keep them free of fungal infections, debris, and to keep them well oxygenated as they develop.

Within 8 to 10 days, depending on water temperature, the eggs will hatch 1 to 1.5 hours after sunset. By the 8th day after hatching, they metamorphosis into post-larval fish. Then they start to look like very small versions of their parents. See general clownfish breeding techniques on the Breeding Marine Fish page.

  • 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 tank mates. 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.


The Tomato Clownfish are moderate in price and readily available from pet stores, breeders, and online.


 Tomato clownfish, Amphiprion frenatus (Image Credit: Brian Gratwicke, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)