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True Percula Clownfish

(Amphiprion percula)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 3"
• 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, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands
• Family: Pomacentridae   • Species: Clownfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

True Percula Clownfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The True Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula) is possibly the most recognized and popular marine fish species found within the aquarium hobby. Their bright coloration, ease of care and peaceful disposition have made them one of the most popular fish species within the marine aquarium hobby for decades. Their inclusion in movies, commercials and countless publications has made the True Percula Clownfish widely recognizable by both aquarium hobbyists and the general population as well.

In addition to their attractive and recognizable color patter, True Percula Clownfish also have an interesting swimming style that is produced by rowing their pectoral fins instead of flapping them like most other fish species. Percula Clownfish are excellent additions for reef aquariums, peaceful community aquariums and larger nano reef aquariums.

When describing True Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula) it is important to cover the distinction between this species and the similar False Percula (Amphiprion ocellaris). True Percula clownfish generally have 10 dorsal spines with three white bars, with the middle bar having a forward projecting shape. True Percula also have well defined black lines separating the orange and white areas of the fish, often the black areas can be quite thick.

The False Percula will typically have 11 dorsal spines and a taller anterior dorsal fin with either no black areas between the orange and white or very thin black outlines separating the orange and white areas of the fish.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep True Percula Clownfish in the home aquarium.

Percula Clownfish are highly specialized reef fish, who will spend their entire life in a relatively small area on the reef provided that they have a host anemone and adequate food source. Their slow swimming style and ability to live happily in a relatively small space has always made Clownfish ideal for aquarium life. An ideal aquarium setup for Percula Clownfish would include an aquarium of 20 gallons or more, live rock, sand, moderate water flow, peaceful tank mates and a sea anemone host.

At a minimum Percula Clownfish should be provided with quality water conditions and peaceful tank mates in order to do well. Percula Clownfish do well in pairs, in small groups of 4 to 6 individuals and singularly. When kept in small groups the two dominant specimens will form a male/female pair, while the rest of the group will stay much smaller in size and will remain asexual. If one of the dominant pair were to be removed or die, one of the asexual members of the group would change their sex to become the male of the mated pair.

Clownfish are also commonly referred to as Anemonefish do to their ability and desire to live with a host anemone. Percula Clownfish have established a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones in order to provide them with shelter and protection from reef predators, while providing supplemental food sources for the anemone in the food that they will bring back to their host.

Their preferred host anemones are those that are found in their natural reef habitats that range from the Indo-Pacific ocean to Australia in the south and southeast Asia in the north. Some of the best choices for compatible host anemones for Percula Clownfish include: Heteractis magnifica, Stygiomedusa gigantea and Stichodactyla mertensii. In the adsense of a suitable host anemone, some Percula Clownfish will host in some species of corals like Duncan Corals, Torch Corals, Mushroom Leather Corals and other similar species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for True Percula Clownfish.

Wild True Percula Clownfish feed mostly on zooplankton that are present in the currents above the reef and small crustaceans that are found living on the live rock and sand near the Clownfish's host anemone. Wild caught Percula Clownfish adapt quickly to commercial aquarium foods including flake, mini-pellet, frozen and freeze-dried preparations.

Also many True Percula Clownfish available within the aquarium hobby trade are from breeders, thus have been fed commercial fish foods their entire lives. It is best to feed them multiple times per day and to vary their diet to include a variety of meaty foods and marine based plant and algae material.

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