Clark's Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii)

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Clark's Anemonefish
Amphiprion clarkii
Clark's Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii)
Name Clark's Anemonefish
Name Lat. Amphiprion clarkii
Family Damselfishes
Family lat. Pomacentridae
Order Ovalentarias
Order lat. Ovalentaria inc. sed.
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Lagoons, seaward reefs
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Pair with host anemone
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Moderate
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 12 cm
Temperature 22-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 300 l
US Units
Size 5"
Temperature 72-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 80 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Amphiprion clarkii is the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, from the Persian Gulf through Australia and Indonesia to Japan and Polynesia, where they live in lagoons and outer reefs in symbiosis with anemones.


The aquarium should have a reef structure with living stones that act as a biological filter and at least one host anemone that serves as a hiding place, resting place and retreat, as well as sufficient swimming space. Only calcareous, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand of various grain sizes may be used as substrate.

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


They feed mainly on animal food, but also require plant food. The food supply should consist of a combination of small mysis, krill and artemia as well as chopped fish, mussel and squid meat, supplemented with a commercially available, frozen special food mix. In addition, high-quality granulated or flake food with a high vegetable content (e.g. spirulina, kelp). It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (3-5 times)

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They must live in pairs with a host anemone, such as Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis aurora, H. crispa, H. magnifica, H. malu, Macrodactyla doreensis, Stichodactyla gigantea, S. haddoni or S. mertensii with which they live in symbiosis. The dominant, larger animal always develops into the female. They are monogamous and defend their host anemone together. There may be intraspecific incompatibility as well as incompatibility with other anemonefish. They can be well socialized with other peaceful fish.

Sex dimorphism

They are protandrous hermaphrodites, i.e. the females develop from functional males when needed. The female is significantly larger than the male.

Reproduction and breeding

The breeding has already succeeded over several generations. The spawn is deposited at the foot of the anemone and the male performs the brood care.


They find protection in the cnidarian tentacles of their host anemone and defend it against predators. They gain protection from the stinging venom by taking over ('cuddling') body mucus from their symbiotic anemone

If different species are kept together, care must be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements, as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF