Name: Amphripion percula
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans
The Percula Clownfish, Amphiprion percula, makes a wonderful addition to the marine aquarium. They grow up to 7.5 cm and are hardy, easy to feed, and relatively peaceful, although they're still a little bit more demanding than the Ocellaris Clownfish. They can be kept in nano tanks as small as 40 liters, and can be kept either singly or as a pair. They do not need an anemone to survive. They are 100% reef-safe, and will hardly ever bother any invertebrates or corals in a reef tank. I feed mine flakes, freeze-dried krill, and shrimp, and he likes it all. For tankmates, the best choices are similarly-sized, peaceful fish such as gobies, blennies, chromis, cardinalfish, and larger fish like tangs and butterflyfish. Avoid large, carnivorous fish such as lionfish, eels, triggerfish and groupers. They have been bred easily in the home aquarium.
Percula clownfish are a wonderful addition to any reef tank. They are easy to keep, with simple needs, and contrary to popular belief, they do not need an anemone. These days, percula clownfish are bred in captivity rather than caught wild, so most don't even know what to do with an anemone. These fish also will breed readily in captivity. The female being the larger of an established pair, will clean off a section of rock or coral. If there is an anemone in the tank, they will choose a spot near it for protection against the other fish and invertebrates. When they are ready to mate, the male will stand upright in front of the female and shake, a move commonly known as the 'clownfish waggle' to impress his mate. Within two days, eggs should be laid, and the healthier and more well-fed the female, the brighter orange the eggs will be. As the female ages, her clutches will increase. The eggs will hatch in a few short weeks, and you will have hundreds of little clowns! It is advised that the fry are not kept in a community tank, for they will be easy prey for other fishes. They can be kept in a smaller barebottom tank, preferably circular. They can be fed right away, and they grow fairly quickly, getting their characteristic white stripes, in a matter of about a week. Happy fish keeping!
Percs are a great clownfish though they can be a bit more senstive to water quality. They are a joy to watch. It would be best to have a handle on your water quality before adding them. Like the False Percs, they do good in 75 L or larger aquariums. Add as pair or a single specimen.
The kids love our clown. Tiger was very quick to lay the law with the other fish. The minute he noticed our pillowtop invert (like the one in Nemo) it became his home. He is territorial behind his rock. He is also very active with all the other fish. One suggestion when picking out a clown: pay close attention to breathing and interaction with other clowns in the fish store. I have had bad luck with heavy breathing/loner fish. A great fish to watch with inverts.
I have had 2 Percula Clownfish - Mr. Jester and Mrs. Jester - in my tank for about a year and a half now and they are 2 of my favourite fish. They always stick together, they take food easily, they don't have an anemone and don't like going into the rocks or coral, so they just normally swim around in front of the tank close to the top. They can be a bit aggessive, especially with new fish but they calm down after a while. At night they are normally resting on one of my two powerheads or just sort of treading water at the front right corner of the tank. Easy fish to keep, good addition to a fish-only or reef aquarium and can be recommended to beginners.
I have an interesting story about my 2 percula clowns I've had for 6 years now. They have never been sick, but the larger one of the two, about 2 years ago, stopped eating. The food came near him and you could see he would sort of swim to get it, but couldn't. He would run into the glass, rock etc. We figured it out, he was blind! I trained him to eat with a syringe. He would come to the top of the tank every day when I shut the pump off to feed. I would feed him live brine and frozen through the syringe. We did this for almost a year to the day when all of a sudden, he went after some food floating by him, and has been fine ever since. Cool huh? My clowns are by far my favorite fish, they're great!