Snowflake Clownfish Care Guide

snowflake clownfish

Last updated on September 30th, 2022 at 04:05 am

Named for its unique white and black patterning, the snowflake clownfish is a relatively new species of reef fish. They are yellow-orange in color and have blue spots on their body, with the exception of white stripes on their head and tail fins. The genus name Amphiprion comes from two Greek words: amphi meaning “on both sides” and prion referring to “saw-shaped nose.”

Snowflake Clownfishes are found in waters around Christmas Island, an island that belongs to Australia and Indonesia. The population has declined severely due to invasive species like the Crown-of-thorns starfish, from levels as high as 20% down to just 0.15%. As a result of this decline, the Snowflake Clownfish is now a vulnerable species.


The snowflake clownfish is a relatively new species of clownfish. It was first discovered in 2008 and has only been seen three times since then, the most recent sighting being this year off the coast of Madagascar. The snowflakes were found at around 200 meters below sea level; they are assumed to be able to live there because of their tolerance to low temperatures.

The snowflake clownfish is a species of anemone fish that resides in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The marine biologists at Yale University believe it was first discovered by Indonesian fishermen over 100 years ago and has remained relatively unchanged since then. It now lives along the Great Barrier Reef, where they can be found in both warm water and cold water areas.

Some scientists believe that the snowflake clownfish is a descendant of the southern anemone fish. This hypothesis has been supported by recent DNA analysis, which found that their genetic makeup was more similar to other species in this family than any other group. However, they still have distinct features from these relatives and cannot be classified with them as yet.

Scientists have studied the snowflake clownfish extensively to better understand their behavior, including how they react to different types of anemones. They were found to be more aggressive towards other species that tried to invade their territory and would even strike at them with their tails if necessary. However, when it comes to the time for mating season, this type of behavior is turned off and they become more docile.

The snowflake clownfish are typically found in pairs, with one being male and the other female or two females that have bonded as a result of being raised together from birth. They can be differentiated by their coloration – males are bright white while females are yellowish-brown on their dorsal and flank. The males are typically larger, with a body size of about 0.87 inches or 22mm, while females tend to be much smaller at around 0.31 inches or 8 mm in length.

Species profile

snowflake clownfish

The snowflake clownfish is a species of marine fish from the family Pomacentridae. This particular type of clownfish has seven different color morphs that are each distinctly unique and identifiable by their own characteristic patterning over its body, head, tail, fins, and mouth. The most recognizable feature of this species of clownfish is the snowflake-shaped patterning on their heads.

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The snowflake clownfish is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans but has been introduced into the Atlantic Ocean as well. The species predominately inhabits reefs in areas with high water flow where they can find shelter amongst seaweed or corals for protection against predators such as other fish or sea urchins.

The diet of the snowflake clownfish consists mainly of zooplankton but their feeding habits vary depending on which color morph they are, with some species eating more filamentous algae and others feeding almost exclusively on copepods. The most common predators for this species include large fish such as sharks and tuna.

Color and appearance

Snowflake clownfish are typically dark blue with white spots. These patterns vary in intensity, and it is not uncommon for some individuals to be solid black or brown on their dorsal surface.

The coloration of the snowflake clownfish serves as an excellent camouflage when they swim near coral formations, this helps them avoid predators like moray eels. This also makes them difficult to spot when they’re near the surface.

An interesting characteristic of snowflake clownfish is their ability to change coloration depending on their mood, social status, and gender! All females are born with a white or pale yellow base color. As they mature, some will gain more pigment toward blue tones while others will turn black or brown. The males change from pale yellow to dark blue when they reach sexual maturity.


Snowflake clownfish are primarily found on the Clownfish Islands, which is where they got their name. They can be observed swimming in schools near the surface of coral reefs during daytime hours. These areas provide a bounty of food for them to eat! You will often see this fish hunting down small crustaceans and other invertebrates.

Snowflake clownfish are an easy fish to care for in captivity! They need a saltwater aquarium with plenty of room and live rock. The water temperature should be set at 72°F, and they will feed on small krill or shrimp pellets as well as pellet foods like spirulina flakes. Snowflake clownfish typically grow to a maximum length of six inches and should not be housed with other similarly-sized fish.


Snowflake clownfish have an average size of about five inches in length. Their bodies are long and slender like the other clownfishes, but they also feature a white stripe all along their sides that create a snowflaked pattern. They usually live near coral reefs with shallow water and sandy bottoms. There can be anywhere from one to five snowflake clownfish in each school, but these schools are typically made up of one male and multiple females.

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Life cycle

Snowflake clownfish have a life cycle that is a little different from some other types of clownfishes. These fish are capable of living in both salt and fresh water, which means that they can also move between the two bodies of water if need be. This gives them an advantage when it comes to finding food because their habitats vary depending on the season. They usually mate around November, and they can lay eggs in both fresh water and saltwater.

Are they peaceful or aggressive?

Snowflake clownfish are not aggressive. They will only attack if they feel threatened or their eggs and fry are in danger. The snowflake clownfish is also a territorial fish, so it’s best to keep them singularly rather than with other species of marine life that may be seen as threats.

Snowflake clownfish care

snowflake clownfish

What they eat

Clownfish are omnivorous. They eat a variety of small invertebrates like zooplankton, copepods, and brine shrimp as well as plants.

The snowflake clownfish feeds on crustaceans such as polychaete worms and amphipods (small crabs) in its natural environment.

Tank mates

Snowflake clownfish can be kept with other snowflake clownfish in a bigger tank. They are compatible with some damselfish and gobies like the bicolor dottyback, but not all of them.

Beware: they will harass any anemones or corals that are near their territory!

Water condition

Clownfish are adaptable to a wide range of water conditions. They can survive in salt or fresh water, and they’ll even tolerate low levels of ammonia and nitrites better than most fish will.

They do best at temperatures between 68-78°F (20-25°C), but you can adjust the temperature according to your preference.

Aquariums need to provide plenty of hiding places and live rock for the clownfish, preferably with an area that’s protected from other fish.

Clownfish will be stressed in a tank where water quality is not maintained or if they feel threatened by their surroundings – so it’s important to keep them comfortable.

The snowflake clownfish is an omnivorous fish that can eat a variety of invertebrates as well as plants. They also need to be kept in the right water conditions, with adequate hiding spaces and live rock.


Snowflake clownfish are slow to mature and long-lived. They can take up to two years before they’re sexually mature, and their lifespan ranges from five to fifteen years.

Their natural age of maturity is about six months old, but it can be delayed by poor conditions or if the fish were born in captivity. A healthy snowflake clownfish will only breed during the warmer summer months.

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The first step to breeding this fish is finding a suitable tank. A small, bare-bottomed tank should be at least twenty gallons and have an air stone or power filter for water circulation. One hundred and fifty pounds of live rock should also be placed in the aquarium along with about five inches of substrate that’s been prepared by boiling it for thirty minutes. You’ll also need a heater and thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water, which should be maintained between seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit during daylight hours with an average minimum nighttime low of sixty-six degrees.

You will also need two male clownfish for every female you want to spawn. The males should be at least six inches in length and have been living in the tank for thirty days. Saltwater should be mixed with clean, freshwater so that it has a level of salinity at one-thousandths more than natural seawater (i.e., if salt is added to make 100% seawater you will need to add twenty milligrams per liter of salt to your tank).

With the two males and one female in the same tank, a bubble nest will form and grow on the surface. Once it’s about five inches in diameter, lay an egg-shaped pebble or flat shell at its center for her to lay eggs on. The male clownfish will fertilize them when he swims over the nest and then gathers them into his mouth to carry back to the female. Once she releases her eggs, he will release a cloud of sperm that fertilizes all of them in one shot.

The next step is waiting for up to two weeks while they develop inside their egg sacks before being born as fry!


snowflake clownfish

Snowflake Clownfish lifespan is usually about five years long, but it varies based on how old they were when they were captured or if their water conditions are not good enough. If you want your snowflake clownfish to live longer, keep them comfortable by providing the right water conditions with plenty of hiding spaces like a live rock!

Parasites and diseases

Snowflake clownfish can be affected by several parasites and diseases, including:

  • Aiptasia Anemones (Sepsina) – An anemone is a type of sea animal that attaches itself to coral reefs or rocks. It feeds on plankton which it catches with its tentacles. They are capable of reproducing asexually and will often do so.
  • The Chloride Anemone (Amphipholis) – This animal attaches to reefs and rocks, where it feeds on plankton by catching the prey with its tentacles. The main defense of this anemone is that when threatened, it will close its body tightly around itself and withdraw into a tight ball.
  • The Crown of Thorns Sea Star (Acanthaster Planci) – This type of starfish is known as the most venomous sea creature in the world and is found mainly on coral reefs, rocks, or dead corals. They can grow up to 20 inches across with white spines that cover their outer surface and feed primarily on corals.
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Predation of clownfish is a common occurrence in the reef aquarium. The most prevalent predators are members of their own species, but other predatory fish such as tangs and wrasses will also eat them on occasion. Fish that prey upon young or small individuals include large-eye tetras, neon gobies, cardinalfishes, pencil fish, and threadfin.

Does it make good pets?

Clownfish are not considered to be good pet fish because they often die within six months of being placed in the home aquarium. This is usually due to poor water quality or other health problems with underlying causes that cannot be diagnosed by an aquarist without equipment and experience far beyond those typically found in hobbyist homes.

Snowflake clownfish, like other members of the genus Amphiprion, have a symbiotic relationship with anemones in the wild. The protection afforded by these stinging animals is thought to provide some degree of added safety from predators to this species in particular.

Signs of a healthy fish

snowflake clownfish

A healthy fish is usually:

  • Active and alert,
  • Appears to have a good appetite,
  • Clear eyes without any visible parasites or other signs of infection. These are the most important things you can do for your new pet!

Summary – Quick tips

  • Snowflake Clownfish live for about five years, but the lifespan can vary depending on conditions like temperature and food availability.
  • Snowflake Clownfish have no natural predators other than humans and the red lionfish (Pterois volitans). Other animals in their habitat include spiny lobsters, blue-ringed octopuses, and green turtles.
  • Snowflake Clownfish are not often kept as pets because they’re hard to care for.
  • A healthy snowflake clownfish is active, has a normal appetite and color.
  • Snowflake Clownfish are great fish that can also eat a variety of invertebrates and plants, but they need clean water conditions with plenty of hiding spaces like a live rock.
  • They are slow to mature and can only breed during the warmer summer months in captivity!
  • Snowflake Clownfish can be kept in a bigger tank and should have clean water conditions as well as adequate hiding places for them to feel comfortable and happy while they are living.
  • Their lifespan is usually about five to six years, but it can vary depending on the conditions they are kept in and how old they were when captured!