The platinum clownfish, also known as the false percula clownfish or glittering percula fish, is a small species of marine fish in the family Pomacentridae. It was first described by zoologist Sven Olin Andersson in 1776. The true “percula” clownfish, Percula petricola, is one of the most familiar and popular marine aquarium fish.
The platinum clownfish is found in Indo-Pacific oceanic waters from Java to Australia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. It lives on seaward reefs at depths down to 100 meters (328 feet). The coloration differs depending on where the fish is found. The lower half of the body, below the eye, and belly are bright yellow or white with a black border pattern; it can also be dark brown to blue-green in color (though not as intensely colored).
The back and top parts of their bodies from behind the head to the beginning of the tail fin have alternating bands of black, yellow, and white. The fins are usually a shade of orange to red.
The platinum clownfish can reach up to three inches (eight centimeters) in length when fully grown but they typically grow around six-seven centimeter lengths. They feed on algae and small invertebrates like shrimp, plankton, and crabs that live along the reef.
The platinum clownfish is a social species and lives in groups of ten or more with an alpha male holding the dominant position. The female holds territory near her nest while defending it from other females who will try to lay eggs there, too. The fish are sequential hermaphrodites meaning they start their life as males but can change sex to female if necessary.
Origin and description
The platinum clownfish is a stunning fish with dark blue stripes on its body and fins. They are found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and Japan. The only way to tell this species apart from other types of clownfish is by looking at their fin pattern where they have either two or three bars.
The platinum clownfish is a carnivorous fish that eats invertebrates, such as crabs and sea urchins. They usually live in groups of five to fifteen individuals with one dominant male/female pair. The group will share the burrow they’ve made for themselves by digging into sand or rubble; sometimes these burrows are close to other fish or even sponges.
The female will lay her eggs inside the burrow and then defends them until they hatch. The male is responsible for keeping watch outside of the burrow, which can be dangerous due to predators such as damselfish that may try to steal their eggs. Once hatched, planktonic larvae drift until they settle on a hard surface, then the cycle starts over again.
It is important to note that they are very hardy and able to tolerate a broad range of water temperatures, salinity levels from freshwater all the way up to seawater, pH levels, dissolved oxygen content in water (no less than 25% saturation), carbon dioxide concentration, ammonia level or nitrite concentrations.
The platinum clownfish, or Amphiprion ocellaris, is a fish found from East Africa to the east coast of Australia. They are typically silver in color with white dots forming stripes on their body and fins. The most distinguishing characteristic of this species is that they have no black spot at the base of their tail fin like other clownfish. They are generally peaceful fish that can be found in large groups of up to 100 individuals, but they will create smaller schools within these larger ones.
The scientific name for the platinum clownfish is Amphiprion ocellaris. This species originally comes from Australia but has been introduced to other tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean as well as Fiji and Japan.
The natural habitat of these fish is in shallow waters with a lot of algae growth where they can find plenty of invertebrate prey.
Color and appearance
The platinum clownfish is a deep, metallic silver color with occasional red specks. Their body has some blue-green iridescence in sunlight which looks especially beautiful when contrasted against their light silvery body.
They are usually reserved for aquarists who want to maintain some of the beauty and mystique that was lost when captive breeding took over as the main way to keep them around.
Even though they can be seen in aquariums or pet stores, they are very expensive. They can often cost upwards of $4000, and that doesn’t include the tank set up to house them.
Platinum clownfish have a bright, white base color with black spots and they are sometimes fawn in appearance. The fins may be red or pinkish-white with some pink edging on their dorsal and anal fin rays. They have an elongated head but no visible mouth.
The Platinum Clownfish is endemic to the Philippines. They live in a freshwater environment and are only found near Palawan’s rivers, lakes, streams, and creeks.
They have been seen living at depths of up to 12 feet below surface level so they may be able to tolerate seawater as well.
Their habitat consists of freshwater or brackish water. The depth range from which they are usually observed to be living is from 0 meters to 12.
- Palawan Province: rivers, lakes, streams, and creeks
- Quezon Province: freshwater river banks
- Laguna de Bay Area: near the shoreline of a lake or reservoir
- Mindoro Island: rivers that are in contact with seawater for long periods of time
- Camiguin Island: rivers near seawater.
Platinum clownfish are small, with a maximum size of about 12 cm. The males usually grow to be larger than the females. They can live for up to 20 years in captivity, but their lifespan is probably shorter in the wild due to heavy fishing pressure.
The species is considered near threatened by the IUCN.
The life cycle of a clownfish starts from the eggs. When they are fertilized, it will take about two to six weeks for them to hatch depending on their species. The female usually lays her eggs inside a mound which is made by either ocean sediment or coral rubble within the anemone’s tentacles. Once hatched, all of the fries will stay in the anemone’s tentacles until they are ready to leave.
Are they peaceful or aggressive?
They are very peaceful and never attack other fish. They will only use their spikes to defend themselves if they feel threatened or scared, but that’s rare because the platinum clownfish is one of the easiest marine fish to keep in an aquarium.
Platinum clownfish care
What they eat
Platinum clownfish are carnivores. They like to eat shrimp, fish, squid, and plankton.
They also eat algae. They use their long tentacles to grab them off the rocks and plants in their environment.
Young platinum clownfish will sometimes feed on zooplankton, small crustaceans, or other invertebrates that they encounter as they swim around near the surface of reefs.
Platinum clownfish are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. They like to nibble on seaweed while waiting for their next meal to come by. This diet is important because it helps them get the nutrients that they need in order to be healthy. It also gives them a sense of security because they feel like they are “safe from hunger” when there is food in their environment.
They like to have other fish in the tank with them. The best tanks mates are hardy species such as damselfishes and clownfish because they both share similar environments (reefs). They also don’t mind a wide variety of foods, which makes it easier for platinum clowns when looking for food sources.
This type of fish likes to be in big groups, so you should try to have at least three other fish with them.
They absolutely cannot live alone because they are social animals and need the company of others to feel safe.
If there is no one else for this type of fish, then it will become overly stressed and might even die from all the anxiety.
The water needs to be kept clean and stable. It should not have a pH that is too high or too low, as this will stress the fish out. The temperature of the aquarium should be maintained between 24-30 degrees Celsius (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit).
It is also important that you feed your fish regularly and the food should be nutritious for them. Do not overfeed though, or they might end up with problems like ich (white spot disease).
The platinum clownfish can start breeding when they are about 12 months old. The female usually lays her eggs on a rock, and the male becomes very protective of them until they hatch. Sometimes there is an “underground” nest that consists of plants or other things to help cover it up and keep the eggs safe from being eaten by predators.
Possible predators for the eggs could be urchins, crabs, or other fish. Once hatched and big enough to fend for themselves, they will usually stay near their parents until it is time to start looking for a new hiding place. It’s not uncommon to find them “herding” together in small groups of up to 20 individuals.
Breeding usually occurs in the afternoon hours during warmer months. The female will lay her eggs on a rock and then she’ll entice the male to fertilize them by shaking her body near him until he finishes his job.
The average lifespan of a platinum clownfish is six years in captivity and two to four years in the wild.
Parasites and diseases
Clownfish are susceptible to parasites and diseases. Parasites include protozoans, ichthyophthirius (white spot), nematodes, tapeworms, and trematodes.
Parasitism is a common cause of mortality in captive fish because it can affect the immune system of the clownfish. Clownfish are also susceptible to bacterial diseases such as columnaris and ichthyosporidium.
The main predators of Platinum clownfish are urchins, sea stars, and anemones.
Clownfish will also feed on smaller fish such as small crabs or shrimp that live in the corals they inhabit.
Does it make good pets?
No. Platinum clownfish generally are not good pets because they require a lot of care and do not react well to changes in their environment. They also tend to live for only six years, making them unsuitable as long-term companions.
Signs of a healthy fish
Platinum clownfish are usually easy to spot when they’re healthy, but it’s possible for them to exhibit some of these symptoms.
- A swollen belly from an infection or parasite
- Spinning in circles on the bottom of the tank
- An increase in aggression and territoriality among fish who live in the same tank
- Swelling from parasites
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in the anal gland or anus (visible when clownfish are not hiding)
- An area around their mouth that’s red, white, and peeling. This is a sign of stress brought on by social conflicts with other fish or environmental factors such as too much light, a change in water quality, or temperature.
- A thin film on their skin
- Tumors (may be attached to the body)
These symptoms can also point to other problems such as poor filtration systems and polluted water so it’s important to address these issues before attempting any treatment for clownfish.