Species group: Clownfish
Other common names: Fire Clownfish; Cinnamon Anemonefish; Black Anemonefish; Red and Black Anemonefish; Black Fin Clownfish
Scientific name: Amphiprion melanopus
The Cinnamon Clownfish is often recommended by old-timers as the perfect “starter fish” for moderately-sized aquariums. Extremely hardy and with a spunky nature that belies its modest size, these reef beauties may top 15 years of age when given proper care.
The Cinnamon Clownfish ranges from Australia to Bali and the Philippines, where it frequents rocky habitats and reefs that are well-populated with sea anemones.
Appearance / health:
The red to reddish-brown body sports a single broad, black-edged white or blueish stripe just after the head. The color shades to black towards the rear of the body, and the tail is yellow. Adults reach 14 cm (5.5 in) in length.
Cinnamon Clownfish are exceedingly hardy, but in common with related species are somewhat susceptible to Brooklynellosis, or Clownfish Disease. As with all fish, poor water quality or other stressors will leave them open to attack by fungi, bacteria and parasites.
Behavior / temperament:
Cinnamon Clownfish will defend a favored cave or rock, often to the point of biting at a hand placed in the vicinity! The will attack other Clownfish, and may harass docile fishes of other species, but can hold their own with somewhat larger tank mates. When provided with an acceptable sea anemone, they may confine aggression to the immediate area of their home base. Other than in very large aquariums, they are best housed alone or in pairs.
The Cinnamon Clownfish fares best in a well-filtered 113 liter (30 gal) or, if kept with a host anemone, 208 liter (55 gal) aquarium that is provisioned with numerous rock/coral caves and host sea anemones (they can be kept without anemones as well). Live sand and live rock should be included if possible.
Like all family members, the Cinnamon Clown’s mucus mimics that of specific sea anemone species, and it is thus able to live within their stinging tentacles. Favored anemones include the Bubble Tip, Entamacea quadricolor, Magnificent, Heteractis magnifica, and Sebae Anemones, Heteractis crispa.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 23.3-28 C (74-82 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.0-8.4.
The diet should be varied, and include chopped prawn, mussels, and other invertebrates, live and frozen brine shrimp and Mysis, and flakes/pellets designed for omnivorous marine fishes.
Several Clownfish species are regularly bred in captivity. All hatchlings are males, with dominant individuals becoming females. The eggs are deposited on a rock that has been cleared of algae and debris by the parents. Males guard and aerate the eggs. The fry fare well on live rotifers, and are most easily reared in their own aquarium.
Written by Frank Indiviglio