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Thread: Amphiprionidae (Clownfish) Workshop

  1. #1
    Clownfish

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    Amphiprionidae (Clownfish) Workshop

    Hi all. "mojoreef" (mike) has asked that I should do a workshop on these wonderful family of fishes. I I am excited to be able to do a workshop on something that is commonly seen in this wonderful hobby--fishes from the family Amphiprionidae and of course, the Premnas--otherwise known as anemonefishes or clownfishes.

    From this point onwards, I will refer to them as clownfish, as they are normally referred to as that. I will ask that during this workshop, to please refrain your question until i have finished discussion of a topic. I will signify this by posting a new post, with "***Topic Finished***". In my opinion, this will keep the thread clean, and will allow people to ask questions after all is presented.

    So in the next couple of weeks, I will discuss some main topics regarding this group of fish, mainly,

    1. Selection of Species

    2. Sexing of Clownfish (Gender Determination)

    3. Purchasing/Buying Clownfish

    4. Differences between Tank-Raised and Wild Clownfish

    5. Forming Your Own Pair

    6. Defining Clownfish Lingo (i.e. via a Webster's approach)

    7. Creating the 'right' environment

    8. Feeding Your Clownfish; Conditioning Your Clownfish

    9. Seducing/Encouraging Clownfish to Spawn

    10. Discussion on Myths about Clownfish

    11. Discussion on Caring for Baby Clownfish (fry)

    12. (Acclimation - Diseases - etc) - will be towards the end because this is
    common with all marine fish, with some diseases prone to infect/injure
    clownfish

    .....possibly a lot more...


    Best,

    Ilham
    Last edited by Elmo18; 09-05-2006 at 06:32 AM.
    Looking for Stichodactyla gigantea in blue, purple, or green.

  2. #2
    flea whisperer
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    OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY !!!!
    I'M SO EXITED !!!!
    this is gonna be the most awesome of all awesomes workshop !!!!
    i can't wait to start reading about all the clown stuff ....(gaby is still freaking out )

    LET'S GET CLOWNING !!!
    why don't you love me sexy??
    Come on girl, yeah..itís me Jackie Moon.
    Donít gimme that look, thatís right, letís get sweaty, letís get real sweaty
    Iím talkiní rainforest sweaty, Iím talkiní swamp sweaty.
    Letís fill the bathtub full of sweatÖalright Hidden Content .

  3. #3
    Anthias
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    Fantastic Ilham, sounds like a labor of love. Look forward to getting into your mind...
    Ken Hidden Content

    When the ebbing tide retreats
    Along the rocky shoreline
    It leaves a trail of tidal pools
    In a short-lived galaxy

    Rush

  4. #4
    Nurse Shark
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    Just waiting on you. Thanks Elmo.
    75g. 20g sump and fuge DIY, quiet one 6000 return, 1" seaswirl, 2 tunze 6100 with two singletrollers, ebo jager heater, phosban reactor, asm g-3 skimmer, cpr overflow with aqualifter. 2x 250w icecaps with 20,000k bulbs. Lots of Fun!!

    Dead tank. Killed by Tiffany D. with a tea glass aimed at me. She missed and hit the tank.
    Not so much fun!! LOL

  5. #5
    Blenny
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    stop clowning around and getter done...my bad...couldn't resist. lol
    Can't wait to see the progress on this one

  6. #6
    Clownfish

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    First topic will be up tomorrow.

    Best,

    Ilham
    Looking for Stichodactyla gigantea in blue, purple, or green.

  7. #7
    RF STAFF
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    Good job Elmo!...I'll be tagging along. I have 3 questions though...SIKE!
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    Have you helped a fellow reefer today??

  8. #8
    Clownfish

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    *Takes a seat in the back of the room so I can clown around.*
    Ron

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    Yea I have a tank still. Gimmi, a few month's Geez!

  9. #9
    flea whisperer
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    today is the day !!!
    i can't wait Ilham !!
    let's get clowning
    why don't you love me sexy??
    Come on girl, yeah..itís me Jackie Moon.
    Donít gimme that look, thatís right, letís get sweaty, letís get real sweaty
    Iím talkiní rainforest sweaty, Iím talkiní swamp sweaty.
    Letís fill the bathtub full of sweatÖalright Hidden Content .

  10. #10
    Clownfish

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    SECTION 1: Species Selection

    SPECIES SELECTION

    It is important that discussion of different species of clownfishes is tackled first. Not all clownfish look the same, nor do they act the same. Some are smaller than others, some are different shaped, have different colors as well, but what they do have in common is they share the same Genus -- Amphiprion and Premnas.

    There are 28 recognized species of clownfishes in the world. Twenty-seven belonging to the genus Amphiprion, while the last one belongs in the lone genus Premnas. Believe it or not, politics, can play a game in whether a clownfish is a true species or a hybrid. While I will not bring any of that here, normally, if we take two different mammals--a horse and a donkey, and they mate, a mule is born. Now the mule is sterile. This is not the case with hybrid clownfishes, for they can breed their own offsprings. I will leave it as is, and refer to the known types of clownfishes as species, while intermixing of breeds I will call hybrids.

    LIST OF CLOWNFISH SPECIES

    Amphiprion akallopisos Skunk
    Amphiprion akindynos Barrier Reef
    Amphiprion allardi Allard's
    Amphiprion bicinctus Two-band
    Amphiprion chagosensis Chagos
    Amphiprion chrysogaster Mauritian
    Amphiprion chrysopterus Orange-fin
    Amphiprion clarkii Clark's
    Amphiprion ephippium Red saddleback
    Amphiprion frenatus Tomato
    Amphiprion fuscocaudatus Seychelles
    Amphiprion latezonatus Wide-band
    Amphiprion latifasciatus Madagascar
    Amphiprion leucokranos White-bonnet
    Amphiprion mccullochi McCulloch's
    Amphiprion melanopus Red and Black (Cinnamon)
    Amphiprion nigripes Maldives
    Amphiprion ocellaris Ocellaris; False percula
    Amphiprion omanensis Oman
    Amphiprion percula True Percula
    Amphiprion perideraion Pink skunk
    Amphiprion polymnus Saddleback
    Amphiprion rubrocinctus Australian
    Amphiprion sandaracinos Orange skunk
    Amphiprion sebae Sebae
    Amphiprion thiellei Thielle's
    Amphiprion tricinctus Three-band
    Premnas biaculeatus Maroon; Spine-cheek


    THE COMPLEXES

    The clownfish species can be broken down six different complexes--categorizing clowns that look similar in shape, coloration, and size among those that closely resemble other species. The list below shows the different complexes:

    Percula Complex
    Tomato Complex
    Skunk Complex
    Clarkii Complex
    Saddleback Complex
    Maroons

    (post 1)
    Looking for Stichodactyla gigantea in blue, purple, or green.

  11. #11
    Clownfish

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    You can draw similarities between the species within a specific complex. Let's take the Skunk Complex. Six species belong in this group, including two species that are tougher to get than others due to two species resulting in hybrid offsprings-- Amphiprion leucokranos and Amphiprion thiellei. All clowns from this group are easily spooked, and the Pink skunk is the smallest of all clownfish species. They all have a similar body shape--streamlined with only slight body variations, and mainly color variations that differentiate them between the species.

    Other generalizations can be made on other complexes. For example, eleven species make up the Clarkii Complex. Again, similar body shape and similar, but ever so slightly distinct banding give away different species within this complex. To the clownfish collector, a species within the Clarkii Complex just isn't an ordinary 'Clarkii' clown.

    Similar approaches can be taken with the rest of the complexes. Knowing that they are grouped based on similarities is key. So if down the road you acquire a pink skunk, don't expect it to be like your ocellaris, but probably more like your orange skunk in your other tank (around those stairs...down the basement...behind the sofa, by the bookshelf... )

    Picking a clownfish species for one tank is challenging, especially from the so many varied types one can find at the local fish stores or online retailers/e-tailers. So what will determine this. This is obviously going to be affected by YOU, the consumer. People will have different tastes--in color, or just seeing beauty in one clown, that another person does not see. Second, it will be dictated by your tank size. Clownfishes from the Skunk and Percula Complexes stay rather small, and do not reach full-grown, mature sizes of those from the Clarkii, Saddleback, Tomato, and Maroon Complexes. Ideal tank size for different species, and basic tank requirements will be discussed in a later section.

    For now, you know that clownfishes are grouped in different complexes. General sizes of species within a complex are similar, while sizes between other complexes can differ greatly. It is advisable at this point, to say that for smaller tanks, consider the Percula and Skunk Complexes as possible homes, while leaving bigger tanks for the other complexes.

    I will clarify the different variants of Amphiprion percula. Basically there are three different major strains:
    * Normal (basic type) variant
    * SI (Solomon Island) Black variant
    * Onyx variant

    Normal variant

    This variant found in a large vast area in the SE Asian waters and South Pacific. Mostly, the ones you see at the local fish stores are from Solomon Islands (SI) or Papua New Guinea (close to Irian Jaya, the Indonesian side of the island). The ones originating from Solomon Islands are more orangish/reddish coloration, while the ones from Papua are orange to orange-yellowish. There will be some black bordering the white bars. You can differentiate the normal variant with an Amphiprion ocellaris by looking at the eyes. True percula eyes have a bright orange ring around it. In ocellaris clown, the eyes are muddy with an outer ring that matches closely to the body coloration.

    SI (Solomon Island) Black variant

    Here is where it can get fuzzy, and here I am definitely on the stricter side when talking about the next two variants, for one, because they are much more uncommon than the 'normal variant', and two, because what one person calls a certain variant, may not be what another person believes it is.

    The SI Black has complete black between head bar and tail bar and in between the middle bar. The other body coloration is reddish, reminiscent of true perculas coming from this area. The spiny and soft dorsal fins (anterior and posterior) are not necessarily black and do not have to be black/gray. The face and snout will be of the reddish-orange coloration in addition to the tail coloration, although the black outer areas of the tail will still exist. Again, it is not necessary for black to go into the tail area.

    Onyx variant

    Again, the lines are fuzzy, but I tend to be even more strict. There are similarities between the SI Black and the Onyx variants. The closest similarities are the requirement that the body is all black in between the head bar and the tail bar and the middle stripe. To be strict, and following those who first coined the term 'onyx', the spiny dorsal fin (the first dorsal fin) must be black as well. More often, the face and tail will include black as well, and the snout will remain an orange-yellow color. A difference between the two variants is that the SI Black has a reddish-orange coloration, while the Onyx variant will have the orange-yellowish type. What makes it even fuzzier is the fact that not all reddish-orange true perculas come from Solomon Islands, and not all yellowish-orange true perculas come from Papua New Guinea. So to be sure where your pair is coming from, ask for the origin from your LFS, online retailer, and/or breeder.

    The key thing is ALL black between the white bars. That is the bare minimum for 'Onyx', and is not being 'strict' at all.

    In the next post, we will look at gender and social hiearchies within a group of clownfishes.

    (post 2)
    Last edited by Elmo18; 12-18-2005 at 02:01 AM.
    Looking for Stichodactyla gigantea in blue, purple, or green.

  12. #12
    Clownfish

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    *****END of SECTION*****


    If you have any questions regarding the topic above, please ask them
    Looking for Stichodactyla gigantea in blue, purple, or green.

  13. #13
    Reef Padawan
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    Which ones are the most commonly availible in this area, and what ones do u breed? or is that going to be covered in 3. Purchasing and buying clownfishes?
    Also how do u subscribe without posting, for future reference
    to be updated
    20L and a 55 standard atm

  14. #14
    flea whisperer
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    hmm i think you are gonna have to wait until he's finished meanwhile .. stay tunned .
    why don't you love me sexy??
    Come on girl, yeah..itís me Jackie Moon.
    Donít gimme that look, thatís right, letís get sweaty, letís get real sweaty
    Iím talkiní rainforest sweaty, Iím talkiní swamp sweaty.
    Letís fill the bathtub full of sweatÖalright Hidden Content .

  15. #15
    Wrasse
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    Cheer!!!!!! Elmo,,you're the man.
    Hidden Content once upon tme,,i am a reefer!!!yahooo!!
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