Finding Nemo: What You Need to Know About Clownfish

Finding Nemo, the iconic fish family film, inspired a growing love for clownfish – and understandably so. They are lively and bright companions, and though they don’t tell jokes (as even Nemo’s dad will testify in the movie) or tie balloons or honk their noses, they are ideal beginner fish. Clownfish are hardy and easy to care for, and because they always stay in or close to anemones, they require little space. Provided there are no predators in their aquarium, they typically have a reasonably long life span.

Clownfish aren’t picky eaters, and will readily consume most fresh, frozen, or dried foods. If fed on a consistent, predictable schedule, they add an element of fun to feeding time that’s enjoyable for both adults and kids. Clownfish anticipate and appreciate their dinner, and will swim to the top of the tank to ask for food. Since they rarely swim very far at a time, their swimming style is wobbly and humorous, adding even more entertainment for the whole family.

Clownfish were created with a special layer of mucus on their skin which makes them one of the few species of fish that are immune to the sting of sea anemone. Being able to take up residence in the anemone gives them protection from predators. Though clownfish like to stay close to their haven when living in the reef, anemones require precise tank conditions, and clownfish can live without them in an aquarium. Unless you research well and are able to set up the ideal anemone environment, it’s best to simply decorate your aquarium with lots of nooks and crannies where clownfish can hide if they feel threatened or need some alone time.

Interestingly, all clownfish are born male, but have the ability to change gender. The change is irreversible, and they only do so to mate. When they pair, the larger, dominate fish becomes female. Thus, any sequel to Finding Nemo may have to include an awkward birds-and-bees discussion between father and son about ocean sequential hermaphrodites.

Clownfish are among the cutest and most amusing of our colorful finned friends, and they make excellent pets. As always, before building a home aquarium for any fish species, spend some time getting acquainted with how to care for your new fish. Contact PCH Tanks with any questions and concerns you may have, and to learn more about our aquarium design, installation, and service. We create and maintain Perfectly Clear and Happy Tanks that are designed with style, installed with care, and serviced with integrity. Call PCH Tanks today at (949) 933-8190.

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