Life of Sea | Clownfish | Clownfish are saltwater fish which are also known as Anemone fish . You know them from the movie "Finding Nemo". Clownfish live at the bottom of the sea in sheltered reefs or in shallow lagoons. The natural Clownfish habitat is in the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean, but not in those of the Caribbean. The Clownfish habitat is found in the coastal regions that extend from the Japan to the Great Barrier reef in northwest Australia. The sea around the Ryukyu Island, the coasts of Malaysia, especially the Indo-Malaysian region and southeast Asia offers favorable conditions for the clown fish habitat. The Red sea is also a known Clownfish habitat.
There are many species of the Clownfish. For instance, Allard's clown fish, Cinnamon clown fish, Maroon clown fish, Sebae clown fish, Tomato clown fish, True Percula clown fish, Three-Band clown fish, Saddleback clown fish, Oman Anemone fish, Common Percula clown fish and Banded clown fish. Clownfish are omnivorous. In wild, Clownfish eat algae, copepods, isopods, zooplankton and leftovers from the anemone. Clownfish also eat the anemone's dead tentacle. In captivity they can survive on live food, fish flakes, and fish pellets.
Clownfish can grow to be from 2 to 5 inches long. The males are smaller than the females. Depending on species, Clownfish are overall yellow, orange, reddish or blackish, and many show white bars or patches. Some clown fish sport a bright red colored coat, with white colored strips on head, in the middle and on their tail. This attire and their waddle like swimming, reminds us of the makeup put on by clowns along with their waddling walk which they affect at the time of performance, has earned this fish the title "The clown of the sea". The largest can reach a length of 18 centimetres, while some barely can reach 10 centimetres. In captivity, the clownfish can live from 3 to 5 years. In the wild, they live 6 to 10 years.
Clownfish have a symbiotic relationship with sea anemone. They are the only fish that do not get stung by the tentacles of the sea anemone. Clownfish have a slimy mucus covering that protects them from the sea anemone. However, if this covering is wiped off of a Clownfish, it will get stung and possibly be killed when it returns home to the anemone. The Clownfish and the sea anemone help each other survive in the ocean. The Clownfish, while being provided with food, cleans away fish and algae leftovers from the anemone. In addition, the sea anemones are given better water circulation because the Clownfish fan their fins while swimming about.
All clownfish are born males, but as they mature they turn into females. When the dominant female dies, the superior male will turn into the dominant female. However, The temperature of ocean habitats is rising and this causes algae in the anemones to die. As the result, it affect the number of clownfish in wild.