The Pink Skunk Clownfish is one of the most unique anemonefish, pink with a white “skunk” stripe and a winning personality!
The Pink Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion perideraion is an unusual anemonefish in appearance, size, and personality. It has a pretty pink or orangish pink coloration with a white “skunk” line extending along its back and a white head bar. Reaching only about 4.3 inches (11 cm) in length, and having a relatively peaceful disposition, it works well in a smaller aquarium or in a community tank.
This clownfish belongs to a group of anemonefish known as the “Skunk Complex”. They are the smallest in size but with a streamlined body, similar to the Ocellaris and Percula Clowns. Their body length of is 2 to 2 1/2 times longer than the body height. There are number of descriptive common names the Pink Skunk Clown is known by including Pink Anemonefish, White-maned Anemonefish, False Skunk Striped Clown, Whitebanded Anemonefish, and Salmon Clownfish. There is also a beautiful captive bred variety that has a rosy reddish pink hue with magenta margins on the fins which is called the Rose-Magenta Skunk Clownfish.
In the wild the Pink Skunk Clownfish are very dependent on their host anemone and seldom leave the protection of its tentacles. They will usually only venture 4â€ to 8â€ away to feed, and only on rare occasions go after a morsel up to 20″. They only associate with a few species of sea anemone, and unlike other clownfish, studies have shown they are not innately protected from the sting of other host anemones. Their preferred host is the a Magnificent or Ritteri AnemoneHeteractis magnifica, but they will also associate with the Sebae AnemoneHeteractis crispa, Long Tentacle or Corkscrew AnemoneMacrodactyla doreensis, and Giant Carpet AnemoneStichodactyla gigantea.
Although they are hardy, they are more delicate than other types of anemonefish. They are poor shippers, sensitive to poor water quality or sudden parameter changes, and tend to be nervous and edgy. They require a stable tank with good water quality, and relatively peaceful tankmates. They are a great choice for intermediate and advanced aquarists. They can be suitable for beginners as well, but because they are not as forgiving as other clownfish, the water quality must be dutifully monitored. They are also not the best choice for beginning breeders as they are difficult and unreliable spawners in the aquarium.
They do as well in a fish only aquarium or a reef tank. These more delicate clownfish will be okay in a 20 gallon tank, but due to their extreme sensitivity to water parameters, a larger tank would be best as they offer more stable water parameters. Provide plenty of rock work with lots of hiding places if there is not an anemone present. They don’t have to be kept with an anemone, but do tend to be less nervous with a host. If keeping then with an anemone, the tank size and lighting should follow the needs of the specific anemone.
The Pink Skunk Clownfish is one of the most mellow clownfish and are known to fall ill when other fish bother them.. They will get along with several of the other more peaceful clownfish, but not the Maroon Clownfish or clowns from the Clarki and Tomato complexes.. All other fish that are peaceful to smaller semi-aggressive, like fairy and flasher wrasses, make good tankmates. However this clown should be one of the first fish added to the tank so they have a chance to acclimate. Without an anemone, they should not kept with rambunctious pesky fish like Bird Wrasses and large Thalassomas or other large wrasses. Do not keep them with fish like dottybacks, or with groupers, larger eels or other fish that could swallow them whole.
For more Information on keeping saltwater fish see:
Marine Aquarium Basics: Guide to a Healthy Saltwater Aquarium
Two mature Pink Skunk Clownfish are having a go at parenthood! While clownfish generally will spawn in captivity, it takes specialized efforts to bring them to a viable selling age. The eggs will disappear in a few days, and if ever any did hatch, sadly power heads will provide a quick end to their larval stage. Pink Skunk Clownfish are probably one of the most mellow of the clowns and can be kept in the same tank as a Percula Clownfish as long as there is at least 2 feet between host anemones.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Perciformes
- Family: Pomacentridae
- Genus: Amphiprion
- Species: perideraion
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
- Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gal (76 L)
- Size of fish – inches: 4.3 inches (11.00 cm)
- Temperament: Semi-aggressive
- Temperature: 74.0 to 82.0Â° F (23.3 to 27.8° C)
- Range ph: 7.8-8.4
- Diet Type: Omnivore
- My Aquarium – Enter your aquarium to see if this fish is compatible!
Habitat: Distribution / Background
The Pink Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion perideraion was first described by by Bleeker in 1855. The species name was A. perideraeus prior to A. perideraion.They are found from the Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands and the southeastern part of Thailand, then east to Samoa and north to the Ryukus Islands, then from there south to New Caledonia and the Great Barrier Reef. They have not yet been evaluated by IUCN Red List for endangered species.
The common names it is known by are primarily derived from their coloring and white striping. Others include Pink Anemonefish, Salmon Clownfish, White-maned Anemonefish, Whitebanded Anemonefish, False Skunk Striped Clown, False Skunk-striped Anemonefish, False Skunk-striped Anemonefish, Pink Skunk Anemonefish, and Pink Skunk Clown.
This clownfish belongs to a group of anemonefish known as the “Skunk Complex”. This complex current consists of six species, though two (A. leucokranos and A. thiellei) may prove to be intrageneric hybrids. The type species are the three “Skunk Clownfish” distinguished by a white line running along the base of the dorsal fin. These include this clownfish, the Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion akallopisos, and the Orange Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion sandaracinos. The other three species favor them in appearance but are without this white “skunk-like” line. These are the White-bonnet Clownfish Amphiprion leucokranos, Maldives or Blackfoot Clownfish Amphiprion nigripes, and Thielle’s clownfish Amphiprion thiellei.
The Skunk Complex members are the smallest anemonefish. They have a streamlined body shape, similar to the Ocellaris and Percula Clowns, with a body length 2 to 2 1/2 times longer than the body height. Though hardy, they are more delicate than other types of anemonefish. They are poor shippers, sensitive to poor water quality or sudden parameter changes, and these fish tend to be nervous and edgy.
In the wild the Pink Skunk Clownfish are generally found in lagoons and shallow reef areas on the fore reef slopes, and reef faces. They prefer calmer waters so stay below the surge zones at depths of 10 feet to 98 feet (3 to 30 m). These clownfish only associate with a few species of sea anemone, and unlike other clownfish, studies have shown they are not innately protected from the sting of other host anemones. Their preferred host is the a Magnificent or Ritteri AnemoneHeteractis magnifica, but they will also associate with the Sebae AnemoneHeteractis crispa, Long Tentacle or Corkscrew AnemoneMacrodactyla doreensis, and Giant Carpet AnemoneStichodactyla gigantea.
They are found in a variety of groupings ranging from a group of juveniles to a mixed group of sub adults and juveniles, or a dominant pair with juveniles and sub adults. The male and female pair will share their anemone with up to 8 other non-breeding individuals, who generally occupy the edges of the anemone. They are also likely to share an anemone with other clownfish species, and are regularly found occupying the edges of an anemone that has the more aggressive Clarkii ClownfishAmphiprion clarkii, though they will not spawn when that anemonefish is present. They are known to hybridize with the Skunk Clownfish A. akallopisos.
These clownfish are very dependent on their anemone host and seldom leave the protection of its tentacles. They will usually only venture 4â€ to 8â€ away to feed, and only on rare occasions go after a morsel up to 20″. They very rarely migrate to other anemones to start new families, but stay with their host for their entire life time. The adult pairs of this species are one of the few anemonefish that will allow sub adults and juveniles to live on the edges of their anemone. If the female of the pair dies, the male becomes female and the largest sub adult then becomes the active male.
Pink Skunk Clowns feed on algae, worms, amphipods, tunicate and crustacean larvae, very small crabs, barnacle appendages, isopods, gastropod fragments, and spoiled eggs from their clutch. They tend to consume more algae than most clownfish. This can be the majority of their diet at times, depending on the availability of suitable prey foods. To a lesser degree they will nip at the tentacles of their anemone for waste products and planktonic food items. Although this does not hurt the host, one study showed tentacle pieces at about 5% of the stomach contents.
- Scientific Name: Amphiprion perideraion
- Social Grouping: Varies – They are found as a group of juveniles, a group of juveniles and sub adults, or as dominant pair with up to 8 non-breeding members.
- IUCN Red List: NE – Not Evaluated or not listed
The Pink Skunk Clownfish is not as deep bodied as members of the Clarkii complex. It has a more streamlined body, similar to the Ocellaris and Percula Clowns, with a body length that is 2 to 2 1/2 times longer than the body height. This is one of the smaller clownfish, with adults reaching a maximum of 4.3″ (11 cm) in length. They are known to have a lifespan of over 21 years in captivity.
True to their name, in color their bodies are pale pink, peachy, or pinkish yellow. The fins are translucent, though males have pink or orange along the borders of their tailfin and soft dorsal fins while females have whiter fins. There is a white skunk-looking line running along the back that starts at the mouth and extends to the base of the tailfin. There is a a narrow white band on the head behind the eyes, a distinctive feature that others in the Skunk Complex usually do not have. It starts a few centimeters below the white dorsal stripe and ends at the chin area. Males have pink borders on their tail and soft dorsal fins while females have whiter fins.
This species is most similar its close Skunk Clownfish relatives:
- Orange Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion sandaracinos: This species is orange or apricot in color and it does not have a vertical head bar behind the eyes. Its dorsal stripe is bold and broad, starting bluntly on the mouth and reaching all the way to the tail.
- Skunk Clownfish Amphiprion akallopisos: This fish is similar in color to the Pink Skunk Clown, but it also lacks the vertical head bars behind the eyes. The top stripe is narrow on this species and it forms a point that ends shortly before the mouth.
In the wild, Pink Skunk Clownfish are known to hybridize with the Skunk Clownfish A. akallopisos.
- Size of fish – inches: 4.3 inches (11.00 cm)
- Lifespan: 21 years – These are long lived anemonefish, known to have a lifespan of over 21 years in captivity.
Fish Keeping Difficulty
These clownfish are hardy, but are more delicate than other types of anemonefish. They tend to be nervous and edgy and are sensitive to poor water quality and sudden changes in water parameters. They are a great choice for intermediate and advanced aquarists, and can be suitable for beginners as well. But because they are not as forgiving as other clownfish, the water quality must be dutifully monitored and their tankmates carefully selected to prevent illness and disease.
Pink Skunk Clowns are very susceptible to Brooklynella compared to other clownfish. This disease is common in water conditions that are poor are when they are kept with aggressive and/or inappropriate tank mates that are large and hyper. These fish have been bred in captivity and these are the best choice. Wild caught specimens are more delicate and have a high mortality rate. They should be freshwater dipped and treated for Brooklynella as a precaution. Tank bred specimens are better, but are still sensitive to water quality and parameter changes.
They can be kept without an anemone and will find refuge in the rockwork, but having a host will help to reduce their nervousness. If keeping with an anemone, provide a tank large enough for the particular anemone and proper lighting. it is best to 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. Once bonded with an anemone, this clown will feel more secure.
- Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy – Not as forgiving as other Clownfish when it comes to water quality, water parameters, and tank mates.
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner – This clownfish is a great choice for aquarists that have experience with maintaining water quality, but can be suitable for a beginner dedicated to monitoring water parameters regularly.
Foods and Feeding
The Pink Skunk Clownfish are omnivores. In the wild they feed on algae, worms, amphipods, tunicate and crustacean larvae, very small crabs, barnacle appendages, isopods, gastropod fragments, and spoiled eggs from their clutch. They tend to consume more algae than most clownfish. This can be the majority of their diet at times, depending on the availability of suitable prey foods.
In the aquarium provide a diet that leans more towards a vegetable foods. Feed flake foods and pellets with Spirulina added, especially if there is not enough algae in the tank for them to feed on. Also include a variety of meaty foods such as frozen mysis and brine shrimp, finely chopped fish and shrimp flesh, and any frozen/thawed prepared foods. As an occasional treat you can feed them live feeder shrimp you have filled with nutritious foods to first.
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, especially if there is not enough algae for them to graze on in the tank.
- Flake Food: Yes
- Tablet / Pellet: Yes
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet – Can be given to wild caught specimens or given to a breeding pair to condition them for spawning.
- Vegetable Food: Most of Diet – Pink Skunk Clownfish have a higher need for vegetable foods.
- Meaty Food: Some of Diet
- Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day – Feed adults twice a day and juveniles 3 to 4 times a day..
These clownfish are hardy when provided good water conditions and a well maintained tank. They are less tolerant poor water quality or sudden changes to water parameters. These will result in illness and disease. Regular water changes done bi-weekly are needed to maintain quality and 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.
These clownfish can be kept in either a saltwater aquarium or a mini reef. Provide a minimum tank size of 20 gallons for one Pink Skunk Clownfish, but make sure water quality stays high by performing frequent water changes. If you want a pair or want to add other fish, 40 gallons minimum is suggested. Provide live rock for this fish to hide in and forage from, with plenty of algae attached. If there is a lack of algae, provide good quality foods that have Spirulina added. Water movement is not a significant factor, but the tank needs at least one area with slow circulation for this fish to feed.
These are nervous, edgy fish and they will appreciate a host anemone. However, they can be kept without one as long as they have plenty of places for refuge and the tankmates or not aggressive or hyper. The clownfish has no special lighting requirements though if kept with an anemone there will need to be strong lighting. If attempting to keep with an anemone, a tank that is 55 gallons or larger will be needed, depending on the requirements of the particular anemone. Anemones also need good water quality and the tank should be well established, meaning 6 months to a year old. These clowns will swim on all levels of the tank, but if they have a host anemone they will spend the majority of their time in it or close to it.
This species lives in tropical areas, so maintaining aquarium water temperatures between 74Â° to 82Â° F (23 – 27Â° C) works best. Extremes above 90Â° F (32Â° C) or below 64Â° F (18Â° C) would be beyond their tolerance. Optimum spawning occurs at temperatures between 79Â°F to 83Â°F (26Â°C to 28Â°C). They can tolerate a pH range from 7.8 to 8.4.
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gal (76 L) – A minimum of 20 gallons is needed for one, with 40 gallons or more suggested for a pair. If keeping it with an anemone a larger tank of 55 gallons or more will be needed.
- Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes – hey are more sensitive to water parameter fluctuations so need at least a 20 gallon tank that is well maintained.
- Live Rock Requirement: Typical Plus Hiding Places – Rock structures with hiding places are very 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 anemone will need strong lighting.
- Temperature: 74.0 to 82.0Â° F (23.3 to 27.8° C)
- Breeding Temperature: 79.0Â° F – The optimal temperature for good quality eggs and larvae occurs with temperatures of 79Â° F to 82Â° F (26Â° – 28Â°C).
- Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025 SG
- Range ph: 7.8-8.4
- Brackish: No
- Water Movement: Any – Provide at least one area of slower water movement in the tank to enable them to feed.
- Water Region: All – If they have an anemone they will stay with it no matter where it is located.
Pink Skunk Clownfish are perfect for a peaceful reef setting, but also do well in a fish only set up. This is one of the most peaceful clownfish. They are considered semi-aggressive, but from a â€œclownfish aggressionâ€ scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most aggressive, this clownfish is only about a 1 or 2. The aggression level climbs to about a 3 or 4 when there is an anemone present.
The Pink Skunk Clownfish is typically the one harassed in a community tank, and tend to fall ill under stress. This should be among the first fish to be added to the tank. They can be aggressive among themselves, and will actually establish a “pecking order”, yet they are easily intimidated by rambunctious tankmates. .
They work well with other mellow clownfish like True Percula Clownfish. Do not keep then with aggressive clownfish, especially those from the Clarkii, Tomato, and Maroon complexes. You can house them with most peaceful, non aggressive fish except those who are large enough to swallow them. Dottybacks should never be in the same tank, nor large angelfish, triggers, perches or other territorial smaller fish. The only invertebrate threats are some occasional copepods if they are not well fed.
- Compatibility with other Clownfish:
There are about 29 species of clownfish known for their â€œsingingâ€ 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 â€œappeaser behavior.â€ 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.
These clownfish only associate with a few species of sea anemone, and unlike other clownfish, studies have shown they are not innately protected from the sting of other host anemones. Their preferred host is the a Magnificent or Ritteri Anemone Heteractis magnifica, but they will also associate with the Sebae Anemone Heteractis crispa, Long Tentacle or Corkscrew Anemone Macrodactyla doreensis, and Giant Carpet Anemone Stichodactyla gigantea.
Though sea anemones are a striking addition to any reef aquarium, they are more challenging to keep. When kept with an anemone, the Pink Skunk Clownfish will not venture far from their host. In the wild In they are very dependent on their host anemone and seldom leave the protection of its tentacles. They will usually only venture 4â€ to 8â€ away to feed, and only on rare occasions go after a morsel up to 20″.
Do not add Condy Anemones Condylactis gigantea to a tank with these clownfish. These are very mobile, predatory anemones, and are not a â€œclown hosting anemoneâ€. Their sting is much stronger than clown hosting anemones, and there is a risk to any clownfish who is foolish enough to engage. Condylactis anemones will sting the Pink Skunk Clownfish to death.
- Venomous: No
- Temperament: Semi-aggressive – They are only about 1 to 2 on a clownfish aggression scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most aggressive, but will increase to 3 or 4 when an anemone is present.
- Compatible with:
- Same species – conspecifics: Yes – A male/female pair will allow up to 8 sub-adults and juveniles within their anemone. Sub-adults usually occupy the outer edges.
- Peaceful fish (gobies, dartfish, assessors, fairy wrasses): Safe
- Semi-Aggressive (anthias, clownfish, dwarf angels): Monitor – Do not house with Clownfish from the Clarkii, Tomato, or Maroon Complexes. Dwarf Angelfish may be too aggressive. Best if kept with an anemone in the presence of other semi-aggressive averaged sized fish.
- Threat – These fish are very territorial and will overly stress the Pink Skunk Clownfish, even when the clownfish has an anemone.
- Large Semi-Aggressive (tangs, large angels, large wrasses): Monitor – These fish may overly stress this clownfish, even when it has an anemone. The more “peaceful” tangs and large wrasses that won’t pay any attention to the Pink Skunk Clownfish may be okay.
- Large Aggressive, Predatory (lionfish, groupers, soapfish): Threat – Do not keep with fish large enough to swallow the clownfish whole.
- Monitor – Seahorses should only be housed in their own environment. Pipefish and mandarins may be fine with a Pink Skunk Clownfish in a very large, mature tank with live rock that has plenty of copepods for them. Anemones and similar corals pose a threat to the mandarin, so take that into consideration when planning your tank set up.
- Anemones: Safe – Prefers the Magnificent Anemone, but will also adopt the Sebae, Long Tentacle and Carpet Anemones. Only these 4 anemones will not harm the Pink Skunk Clownfish, do not house them with Condylactis Anemones or any other anemones.
- Mushroom Anemones – Corallimorphs: Safe – Large mushrooms such as Elephant Ear Mushrooms (Amplexidiscus fenestrafer) can trap and eat young very small 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: Safe
- Starfish: Safe
- Feather Dusters, Bristle Worms, Flatworms: Safe
- Clams, Scallops, Oysters: Safe
- Copepods, Amphipods, Mini Brittle Stars: Safe – May eat a larger number of Copepods and Amphipods if not feed several times a day.
Sex: Sexual differences
Males and females of this species are usually similar in size. Males have pink or orange along the borders of their tailfin and soft dorsal fins while females have whiter fins.
Breeding / Reproduction
Pink Skunk Clownfish have been bred in captivity, but are a more difficult clownfish to breed in the aquarium. 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. Clownfish do not spawn their entire lives, and will stop spawning several years before their live expectancy is over.
These clownfish are said to need at least a 40 gallon tank to spawn. It is necessary to condition them with nutritious foods to fatten them up when breeding in captivity. Pink Skunk Clownfish take up to 5 years before they mature enough to lay their first spawn, In the wild pairs will lay eggs about once a month all year round, but in the aquarium they are difficult to breed because they can be unreliable spawners. Some have been known to spawn 2 or 3 times and then stop spawning for months, even years.
Pink Skunk Clownfish spawn when the water is 79Â°F to 83Â°F (26Â°C to 28Â°C). Courtship will begin from 3 to 5 days before spawning, and during this time the femaleâ€™s belly starts to swell with eggs. As the male and female get closer to spawning, they vigorously clean rock or rubble that is near the base of the host anemone. Spawning is known to occur late morning to early afternoon and can last up to 2 1/2 hours.
Right before spawning the pair swim side-by-side with bellies touching. When the female is ready, she presses her belly against the nesting site and the male swims behind her, fertilizing the eggs. The males have been known to come back and re-fertilize the eggs. He also mouths and fans the clutch of eggs, spending 30% to 60% of the daylight hours near the nest.
A clutch averages around 300 eggs. Depending on water temperature, the eggs will hatch within 8 to 10 days. This usually occurs at night from 1 to 1 1/2 hours after sunset. All will hatch within two hours and the larvae then ascends into the water column. See general clownfish breeding techniques on the Breeding Marine Fish page.
- Ease of Breeding: Difficult
Typically clownfish are 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 Pink Skunk Clownfish are moderate in price and readily available from pet stores, breeders, and online. The deep rose colored variation known as the Rose-Magenta Skunk Clownfish will be more costly.
- Animal-World References: Marine and Reef
- Amphiprion perideraion (Bleeker, 1855) Pink anemonefish, Fishbase
- Scott W. Michael , Damselfishes & Anemonefishes, TFH Publications, 2008
- M. L. Wittenrich, The Complete Illustrated Breeder’s Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes, TFH Publications, 2007
- Scott W. Michael, Reef Aquarium Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-Know Species, Microcosm Ltd, 2006
- Robert M. Fenner, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists , TFH Publications, 2001
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