Ocellaris Clownfish Care Guide

ocellaris clownfish

Last updated on September 8th, 2022 at 05:58 pm

The ocellaris clownfish is a very common type of marine fish. They live in the reefs and shallow water areas across tropical zones, from South Africa to Japan. The name “ocellaris” comes from its large bright orange-red eyespots on either side of their head which make them look as if they are wearing makeup around their eyes.

The ocellaris clownfish is a beautiful fish that displays many different colors. They are most commonly found in the area of the Western Central Pacific Ocean around Australia and New Zealand, but strangely, they can be seen as far north as Japan. The name Ocellaris comes from their bright yellow-orange eyespot on each side of their head which resembles the eyes of a peacock.

The ocellaris clownfish is one of the only species to be born male and change gender later in life. This process can take up to two years, but when this does happen it will become female which could have an effect on its coloration as well. The average lifespan for these fish varies, but it is usually between five to fifteen years.

When they are born, ocellaris clownfish have a dark blue-green color with light stripes which resemble the markings of their parents. They can change this pattern at any time throughout their life and as they mature, some will turn into solid colors such as yellow or white. These colors are more frequent in females than they are for males.

They are peaceful fish that lives within groups called “pods” and because of this, they thrive best when kept with other individuals of their species.


Ocellaris clownfish are native to the Western Pacific Ocean, particularly in Papua, New Guinea. In the wild, these fish live at depths between 18 and 56 meters (60-180 feet) down.

In captivity, they can live at depths of up to 18 meters (60 feet) down with the right tank conditions and have a lifespan between 5 -15 years.

Species profile

ocellaris clownfish

The ocellaris clownfish is a saltwater species that live near coral reefs or rocky surfaces with little sand, as they need to be close to their host anemones. This fish can live at depths of up to 18 meters (60 feet) down in captivity and has a lifespan between 5 -15 years.

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Color and appearance

Some ocellaris clownfish can be quite bright or have a white stripe running along the length of their body. The color will depend on what they eat and where they live. It is believed that there are four main types: red, blue, black, and yellow-orange. They typically change colors to match whatever environment they’re in at the time.


The Ocellaris Clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris, is found in the oceanic waters of the Pacific Ocean. They are a reef-associated species and can be found at depths from 0 to 250 meters (0 – 820 feet). The fish often live near slopes or channels where they can feed on plankton, mollusks, and other small invertebrates.

The Ocellaris Clownfish is often found in schools of six to ten individuals. The fish are omnivores and will eat a variety of things including plankton, marine worms, sponges, algae, mollusks, and crustaceans. They have been seen eating small shrimp, tunicate anemones, and their own eggs.


They are small fish that can reach lengths of up to four inches (ten centimeters). They have a broad head with black eyes and yellow “eyebrows” over the eye area; a white body marked with blue vertical bars or ocelli, and a white “tail”.

Life cycle

The Ocellaris Clownfish is a sequential hermaphrodite and develops as male, then changes sex to female when the population becomes skewed.

Male: The male clownfish grow larger than females in some species such as Amphiprion percula.

Female: In other species of clownfish, only one individual is male during a spawning season and it may be one of the smaller fish.

Spawning: The Ocellaris Clownfish mate in pairs, with the female laying about 1400 eggs which are fertilized by the male’s sperm.

The larvae can hatch after up to eight days from when they were laid and take around two months before developing into a juvenile fish that can grow up to four inches in length.

The Ocellaris Clownfish is an omnivore that will eat plankton, marine worms, sponges, algae, and crustaceans such as small shrimp and tunicate anemones. They prefer to swim in schools of six or ten individuals most often near the slopes or channels where they can feed on these items. They are often found in a variety of colors, with the most common being white and blue-green vertical bars or ocelli over its body.

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Are they peaceful or aggressive?

The Ocellaris Clownfish is generally a peaceful species of clownfish that does not harm other types of marine life with the exception of their own eggs.

Ocellaris Clownfish care information

ocellaris clownfish

What do clownfish eat?

Ocellaris clownfish are omnivores. They eat invertebrates and algae, as well as some plant matter from the substrate. Invertebrates that they have been documented to take include sponges, tunicates, hydroids, bryozoans (Bryozoa), sea anemones (Actiniaria), and corals (Anthozoa).

They feed mainly during the day and have a relatively small stomach that can not store much food at once, so they must eat frequently to maintain their energy levels. They typically eat more than twice as often in one day as other species of clownfish do in a week.

Ocellaris clownfish tank mates

Ocellaris clownfish are not territorial and will live peacefully with other species of anemonefish.

They are usually found in a pair or trio but can be seen alone as well.

However, the three most commonly observed groups were one male/two females; two males/three to five females. In another study, the most common tankmates were found to be a pair of clownfish and an anemone, with some other fish species living in smaller numbers.

If ocellaris are not happy about their pairing, they might change partners more often than other Clownfish do.

Water condition

The water should be a temperature of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with salinity levels at approximately 30ppt.

It is recommended that their tank have live rock or other hiding places in order to provide the clownfish with more security, and this fish may get stressed if kept alone for an extended period of time.


ocellaris clownfish

Male and female ocellaris clownfish will often engage in a courtship dance, with the male chasing after the female. The male may then show its fin to entice the female as they swim together. If she accepts him, they’ll start to bite each other’s fins at which point he deposits his spermatozoa into her vent.

For successful mating, the female will choose to lay her eggs inside a preexisting nest or in a crevice on the reef wall. One egg is fertilized and travels down into the oviduct where it remains protected by albumen until it developed enough for release; this process can take up to 12 days of incubation. The female will also release some eggs that are not fertilized before laying the rest of her clutch.

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The male’s sperm cannot continue swimming after mating and so he dies shortly afterward, while the female is able to store fertile eggs for weeks before releasing them back into the water column where they’re ready to be fertilized by another passing male.

Ocellaris clownfish lifespan

The lifespan of an ocellaris clownfish is about 15 years.

Parasites and diseases

The ocellaris clownfish has a few known parasites — but not many. A number of different worms can infest the fish’s mouth and gills, including “Anoplocephalidae,” which is also found in other reef-dwelling species like wrasses and groupers. Fortunately, these are fairly easy to treat with medication, and the fish’s immune system usually does a good job at keeping them in check.

The only serious disease that affects ocellaris clownfish is whirling disease (Myxosporidian parasite). The effects are not fully understood but it seems to be associated with behavioral changes, including swimming against water currents for extended periods of time, even when not feeding.

These fish are monogamous and will pair up for life once they find each other. If one dies the other will remain alone until it too passes away.


Predation is the act of a predator consuming its prey. Many predators have evolved highly specialized hunting techniques to catch their prey, such as camouflage or poisonous spikes and venom.

Predation is one of the most important ecological interactions in the world. It affects both negative and positive feedback loops, such as those seen with climate change or forest fires: predators keep prey populations down to a manageable level so that they don’t starve but if too many are eaten then there will not be enough left for other animals higher up on the food chain, leading to starvation.

Does it make good pets?

Ocellaris clownfish make good pets. If you are an experienced aquarium owner, these fish can be a great addition to your tank because they are relatively hardy and tend not to harass other inhabitants too much. They also do well in tanks with live rocks which many types of saltwater fish enjoy more than traditional glass or acrylic enclosures.

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Ocellaris clownfish are easy to care for and feed, but they do require a bit more maintenance than some other saltwater fish varieties. They also only live about five years in the wild so you should be prepared to replace them regularly if you want your tank to stay healthy.

Signs of a healthy fish

ocellaris clownfish


  • Bright colors and they are swimming rather than just floating at the surface.
  • A full stomach, as opposed to a bloated one. Good appetite. They should eat when offered food every day or two days without it being hand-fed by you (which is best).
  • They swim all around their tank space, not just in circles.
  • They are active and responsive to light.
  • Their skin is tight, not loose or wrinkled from old age (they don’t live very long).
  • No abnormal growths on their body surfaces.
  • Gills aren’t swollen shut. They should be wide open when your fish breathes out water during the day and then close when they breathe in.
  • You can see their eyes, which should be clear and bubble-free (if not the fish may have parasites). They should also blink regularly while awake.
  • Their fins are strong and unfrayed with no broken or missing parts.
  • They sleep at night time instead of all day long.
  • No open wounds or infections.
  • No visible white spots on their body, which would indicate parasites.


The ocellaris clownfish is an amazing fish that comes in many different colors. They are easy to care for and come at a great price, making them the perfect choice for any saltwater tank beginner.