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Saddleback Clownfish

(Amphiprion polymnus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Pomacentridae   • Species: Clownfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Saddleback Clownfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Saddleback Clownfish is a popular fish species with beginners through reef aquarists alike due to their interesting appearance and relatively hardy disposition. Saddleback Clownfish can be found from the western pacific, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, south to Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, west to New Guinea and the Soloman Islands.

This species is similar in temperament to Sebae or Clarkii Clownfish, and do best in small groups or mated pairs. Tank bred specimens tend to adapt to aquarium life better than wild caught specimens, but both are considered relatively easy to care for by intermediate to advanced aquarists. Saddleback Clownfish tend to be a little less aggressive and territorial than many other Clownfish species, thus tend to do well in the reef aquarium environment (especially when provided a suitable host anemone).

Saddleback Clownfish have a dark brown to almost black body with a wide white stripe behind the eye, another on the middle of the back, which slants backwards slightly (giving the appearance of a white saddle). The caudal fin is mainly the same dark brown color as the body, usually with white areas on the top and bottom of the fin. The body is largest just behind the head area and tapers down as it reaches the tail fin.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Saddleback Clownfish in the home aquarium.

Saddleback Clownfish make excellent additions to both peaceful community aquariums and reef aquariums. While the minimum requirement for this species is a 30 gallon aquarium, they do best in 30 gallon or larger aquariums with live sand and plenty of live rock. In the wild this species generally lives in shallow sandy lagoons with scattered rocks along a sandy bottom or in lower regions of shallow reefs. Providing plenty of live rock in the aquarium envrionment will help create territory for the Saddleback Clownfish and reduce its aggression towards similarly sized fish in the aquarium.

Providing a host anemone (Heteractis crispa; Stichodactyla haddoni) will also lessen any aggression towards other fish in the aquarium and along with caves and crevices in the live rock will provide the Saddleback Clown with a place to retreat to when feeling threatened or when sleeping. This species also makes a great addition to most reef aquariums, as they will not harm corals or invertebrates, and are quite content to hang near their host anemone. Saddleback Clownfish are also successfully captive bred, and have even been known to breed in larger well maintained aquariums.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Saddleback Clownfish.

Saddleback Clownfish are omnivores and will require a diet that contains a variety of meaty and vegetable items, along with marine algae. They will consume flake, freeze-dried and frozen meaty preparations along with live feeder shrimps etc. They should also be offered flake or frozen preparations with plenty of vegetable matter, such as, marine angelfish preparations containing vegetable matter and marine algae. Ideally live rock should be provided to allow for algae grazing opportunities and to provide habitat for other food sources like amphipods, copepods, etc. Overall, this species is a bold feeder and should readily accept most food items offered to it.

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