If you have watched the famous Disney Pindar movie “Finding Nemo”, then you know what a clownfish looks like. Otherwise known as anemone-fish, clown fish are usually available in shades of orange, yellow or red with black and white patches or bars.
Have you ever seen a clown’s face? The clownfish’s body exactly resembles the clown’s face. It grows for up to 4.5 inches and may live for something between 5 to 10 years. Clownfish live in colorful sea anemones. In fact, before choosing a particular anemone for residence, the clownfish perform an elaborate ritual where it touches different parts of the anemone with their bodies.
Contrary to popular assumption, clownfish are natural omnivores and can eat both plants and animals. Its diet usually constitutes of different kinds of plankton, dead tentacles and any leftovers from the sea anemone. When being kept in fish tanks at home, they are fed with pellets or fish flakes or a variety of other nutrients.
Clownfish are generally found performing a variety of acrobatic activities. They can sense danger and are known to attack divers viciously. They are very poor swimmers and spend much of their time hiding behind sea anemones and water plants. The irony is that they have no specific pattern while doing so, which makes them appear erratic. They mostly stay in one place and may occasionally swim for very brief periods.
Despite their otherwise violent and aggressive nature, clownfish are very caring by nature. He takes care of the eggs that the female lays in their nest and cleans them regularly to remove the debris that may fall on them.
Female clownfish may sometimes lay around a thousand eggs when there is a full moon. The male clownfish takes care of these eggs, all of whom hatch within 6 to 8 days. This is why Clownfishes are often found travelling in groups, also known as a school. A school consists of the offspring alongside the father and mother, and these fishes are very protective about their homes.
Clownfish are often subject to attacks by larger fishes like sharks or stingrays. However, owing to their small sizes and rapid swimming, they are challenging to catch. They successfully escape predators. Their quick and swift movement enables them to move.
School of clownfishes has a stringent hierarchy that must be adhered to at all costs. In case the dominant female dies, the most dominant male in the group replaces her and leads the school. All the other males move up the ladder of hierarchy accordingly.
There are approximately thirty different varieties of this fish that can be found in the environment. Most of them live in the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, all such fishes are born as males and can change their sex to become the most dominating female in a group. This change is permanent. Hurry to get a clownfish in your aquarium today!