Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus)

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Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish
Premnas biaculeatus
Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus)
Name Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish
Name Lat. Premnas biaculeatus
Synonym Premnas epigrammata
Family Damselfishes
Family lat. Pomacentridae
Order Ovalentarias
Order lat. Ovalentaria inc. sed.
Origin Breeding variety
Habitat Lagoons, coastal reefs
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Territorial
Keeping Pair with host anemone
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Easy
Life Span 10-20 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 15 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 300 l
US Units
Size 6"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 80 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of Premnas biaculeatus extends from the Indomalayan Archipelago through Australia to the Philippines and Melanesia, where they live in lagoons and on reefs of protected coastal waters in symbiosis with host anemones. In addition to offspring from fish farms, breeding variants are also offered, which differ in coloration and patterning.


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.


The diet consists of a combination of live and frozen foods, such as small mysis, krill, gammarus, cyclops and artemia with small cut squid and mussel meat, as well as a commercially available vitamin-enriched frozen food mix for planktivores. In addition, they need vegetable food, such as algae leaves (e.g. spirulina) or seaweed. High-quality dry food in flake or granule form with vegetable ingredients is also usually well accepted

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (2-3 times). Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They must be kept in pairs with at least one host anemone, such as Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis crispa or Heteractis magnifica, with which they live in symbiosis. To avoid ranking fights, two different sized or juvenile animals should be introduced into the aquarium at the same time. The dominant, larger animal always develops into the female. Except for pairs, they are aggressive within species and against 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 spawn is deposited on a flat rock, usually at the base of the anemone. Both parents perform brood care. The fry hatch after 8-11 days.


Care must be taken when catching them, as they can get caught in the net with their cheek spine!

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 of 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: petdata; 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