Maroon Clownfish

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Species group:

Other common names: Maroon Anemone Fish; Spine Cheek Anemone Fish; Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish; Yellow Stripe Clown Fish; Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish, Lightening Maroon Clownfish, Orange Jaw Purple Maroon Clownfish

Scientific name: Premnas biaculeatus

The basics:
Among the largest of its family, the Maroon Clownfish is also considered by many to be both the most beautiful and pugnacious – quite a feat among a group of beautiful fish with “attitudes”! Extremely hardy and with a very spunky nature, these spectacular fish have topped 30 years of age.

The Maroon Clownfish ranges throughout much of the Indo-Pacific Region, where it frequents sheltered rocky habitats and inner coral reefs.

Appearance / health:
The deep red to brilliant maroon body of most individuals sports 3 broad, vertical white or yellow stripes. Some, however, are bright orange or purple-brown in color. Individuals with “zig-zag” or “lightening” stripes have also been collected and selectively bred for that trait. Their cheek spines are unique among the Clownfish. Adult females reach 16 cm (6.3 in) in length, with reports of larger individuals.

Maroon 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:
Maroon Clownfish will defend a favored cave, anemone, 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 many larger tank mates. Other than in very large aquariums, they are best housed alone or in pairs.

The Maroon 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 Maroon 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.

Maroon Clownfish should be provided a varied diet that includes a good deal of fresh and dried algae, as well as chopped clams, mussels, and prawn, live and frozen Mysis, and flakes/pellets designed for omnivorous and herbivorous marine fishes.

Maroon Clownfish breeding is not for the faint-hearted (or cash-strapped!), as females may kill potential mates that are not to their liking! 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


favorite anenome, colorful fish, cartoonlike body, inexperienced aquarirsts, Beautiful maroon clown


mean clown, aggressive, tankmates


meat eating fish, caves, frozen blood worms, big rounded fins, good hiding place, mating season arrive

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