Clarkii Clownfish

How to take care of Clarkii Clownfish

Because of the popular children’s cartoon Nemo, the Clarkii clownfish is enjoying unprecedented popularity right now.  The cartoon has given this wonderful and colorful fish, with its trademark stripes and active lifestyle, the spotlight that it well deserves.  Before you run out to buy one, however, you should get to know the Clarkii clownfish a bit, as it is not as easy to care for as a goldfish.  The Clarkii will require more of your time and care.  Here is what you need to know:

Clarkii Clownfish Tank Requirements

The Clarkii clownfish is a saltwater fish, which means that you will need a functional saltwater tank equipped with a filter and adjusted to the proper salinity.  That means that you will need a separate tank from your freshwater tank and that you will want to make sure that even if you have a saltwater tank that the fish in it are compatible with the Clarkii.  Some fish may prey on the Clarkii or be preyed on by it, while others simply require a different tank environment.  Check with your local aquarium before combining fish.

Clarkii clownfish are also very active fish.  They love to dive deep, dart, and frolic about the tank.  In order to do this, however, they must have a tank that is big enough.  The minimal requirement should be a 30-gallon tank, but if you really want to you’re your Clarkiis happy, you should try for at least 50 gallons.

Clarkii clownfish also require specific temperature and salinity levels.  You should keep your tank at about 78 or 79 degrees and not allow it to ever fall below 76 or rise above 82.  This, of course, means that you will need a dependable heater.  Just as important is the salinity level.  You should keep your tank between 1.021 and 1.026.  If you are new to saltwater tanks, you should seek the help of someone who has had experience setting these tanks up, as they can be a little tricky at first.

Your tank will need to be set up well in advance of introducing your Clarkiis.  This process can often take a week, so plan ahead.

Clarkii Food

Clarkiis require a range of food.  These fish are omnivores, just like us, so they require shrimp, brine, and the usual fish flakes.  You should feed them in small amounts three times per day, which does not make them the ideal fish for someone who only checks in with them once a day or who is often out of town.  You can buy brine frozen from the store and then thaw it out although many Clarkii owners prefer to raise their own brine in a separate tank so that their Clarkiis can have fresh food.  All this means that you will have to be prepared to invest a fair amount of time in your Clarkii.

Anemones and Cleaning

Although Clarkiis do not require anemones, they do prefer them as they mimic their natural environment.  You should buy your anemone at the same time as you Clarkii so that they can habituate to it right away.  Clarkiis can become quite territorial so be sure to introduce new anemones with new Clarkiis.

You will also need to clean your tank periodically so that it does not become a danger to your Clarkii’s health.

Finally, avoid overcrowding the tank.  Clarkiis really like to have the room to stretch their fins.  If you have too many fish, you will make your Clarkii experience stress.  Remember that in its natural environment the Clarkii has many predators, so overcrowding your tank will just make your Clarkii nervous.