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10 Different Types of Clownfish (+Designer Crossbreeds)

types of clownfish header
These popular saltwater pet fish are mostly famous for their orange bodies, white stripes, and amusing personalities.

But not many beginners know that there are actually different types of clownfish.

All of them vary in coloration, patterns, size, and temperament.

There are around 30 clownfish species and even more designer varieties, that are the result of selective breeding. In this article, I’ll go over the most common clownfish types and share some basic knowledge about their personalities and looks.

Furthermore, I’ll introduce you to some rare clownfish species that aren’t as widely spread in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

From the peaceful Ocellaris Clownfish and its color morphs to the aggressive, yet beautiful Tomato and Maroon Clowns – you will find the saltwater pet fish that suits you best.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

10 Different Species of Clownfish With Designer Crossbreeds Included

Apart from the main clownfish types that represent a certain species, in this list, you will get to know a bit more about different designer varieties that are captive-bred.

Clownfish species are actually divided in 6 basic complexes:

  • Percula Complex;
  • Maroon Complex;
  • Saddleback Complex;
  • Tomato Complex;
  • Clarkii Complex;
  • Skunk Complex.

What all types of clownfish fish have in common is their ability to form a symbiotic relationship with anemones. Clownfish adapt to a suitable host anemone through a process, known as acclimation.

All the different clowns could live among the tentacles of their host, staying protected from predators.

Most Clownfish don’t need an anemone to live a healthy life, but they sure feel happier and less stressed if they have a host because of the extra protection and shelter.

With that being said, let me show you the types of clownfish that could go in your home aquarium:

1. Ocellaris Clownfish – Amphiprion ocellaris

ocellaris clownfish

by greekspec2

Maximum body size: 3.5 inches (9 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 20-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)
Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
Giant Carpet Sea Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantean)
Merten’s Carpet Sea Anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii)
Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica)
Temperament: Mostly peaceful
Care Level: Beginner

The Ocellaris is the most popular clownfish species in the saltwater aquarium hobby, and it’s often the go-to choice for beginners.

The Common Ocellaris Clownfish has an orange body and three white stripes with thin black outlines.

This type of clownfish is also known as False Percula, but most people would immediately associate its appearance with the main character of the movie “Finding Nemo”.

The Ocellaris Clownfish is undoubtedly one of the best saltwater aquarium fish for beginners for several reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t require a huge aquarium.

Having a maximum body size of around 3.5 inches (9 cm), this is a dwarf clownfish that remains relatively small, with females being slightly larger than males.

A 20-gallon nano tank is perfect for 1 to 2 Ocellaris specimens. In fact, I’ve listed the Ocellaris in my idea list for small saltwater aquarium fish.

Anyway, the second reason these fish are great for starters is also that they are easy-to-feed omnivores.

They are most happy when fed a balanced diet, consisting of frozen or live meaty foods, pellets, and flakes.

Furthermore, the Ocellaris clownfish are a breeze when it comes to caring, and most importantly – they are peaceful.

They would rarely become hostile toward each other or other non-aggressive tank mates.

false percula

by Snake132

Consequently, the False Percula Clownfish are relatively easy to breed in a home aquarium.

For this very reason, as a result of selective breeding, there is a vast variety of the so-called fancy Ocellaris breeds which all have outstanding appearances, patterns, and colors.

In other words – there are many types of designer clownfish that you can choose from within the Ocellaris Clownfish species.

You can be quite selective with your aesthetic preference and liking.

The good news is that they’re all compatible, which means that you can have a variety of color morphs from the Ocellaris strain in the same tank.

Of course, if you are to keep more than one False Percula Clownfish in the same tank – be it designer or not – you should get them and introduce them to the tank while they’re all still young. This way you will minimize the chances of conflict and territorial behavior.

Other than that, designer Ocellaris breeds have the same care requirements as the common Ocellaris Clownfish.

With all being said, many beginners would start their first saltwater aquarium with a regular False Percula clownfish because it’s one of the least expensive types.

After all, some more exotic-looking designer varieties can reach $200 in price.

Here are a few of the most popular types of designer Ocellaris clownfish:

  • Snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish. There are a few types of Snowflake Clownfish:
    snowflake ocellaris clownfish

    by Steventomas

    • Regular Snowflake Ocellaris – irregular white markings on the body;
    • Premium Snowflake Ocellaris – 2 of the white stripes are joined, making the fish mostly white with some orange;
      premium snowflake ocellaris

      by Tmm87

    • Black Ice Snowflakes, also known as Black Ice Clownfish – this is a crossbreed between the Black Ocellaris and the Snowflake Ocellaris. The black lines of this variety are much thicker. There is also a Premium Black Snowflake Ocellaris that is mostly black with white irregular markings, typical for the Snowflake Variety.
      black ice clownfish

      by js_marra

  • Wyoming White Clownfish – a result of selective breeding, a type of Ocellaris Clownfish, famous for its all-white body and dark fins;
    wyoming white clownfish

    by joshporksandwich

  • Frostbite Ocellaris Clownfish – a cross between premium snowflake clowns and Wyoming White Clownfish. Their bodies are mainly white with a few dark orange/black spots on them;
    frostbite ocellaris clownfish

    by kev.2013

  • Gladiator Clownfish, also known as DaVinci or Fancy DaVinci clownfish – a result of crossbreeding Wyoming white clownfish and the regular Ocellaris clownfish. There are different grades:
    gladiator davinci

    by Rjramos

    • Grade B Gladiator Clownfish – Deep orange body, the three white stripes are thicker with irregular wave-like shapes. Sometimes 2 of the stripes are joined;
      davinci grade b

      by Krzydmnd

    • Grade A Gladiator Clownfish – at least two of the white stripes are connected on both sides of the body;
      davinci grade a

      by Elmervc15

    • Extreme/Premium Gladiator Clownfish – all three of the irregular-shaped white stripes are connected on both sides of the body.
      extreme gladiator

      by MrObscura

  • Darwin Black Ocellaris – it is found naturally and its white stripes are against an all-black or black and dark-orange body;
    darwin black ocellaris

    by SashimiTurtle

  • Phantom clownfish – cross between Super Black Darwin Ocellaris clownfish, Snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish, and Black Ice clownfish. There is also a Longfin Phantom Clownfish variety that is a result of selective breeding. It is quite expensive and can cost around $200;
    phantom clownfish

    by mainereefer

  • Misbar clownfish – a naturally occurring type of Ocellaris Clownfish that has an infinite center stripe;
    misbar clownfish

    by i cant think

  • Domino Ocellaris Clownfish – it is all-black without any stripes and has a white round marking over its gills;
    domino ocellaris clownfish

    by Jaysushi

  • Black Storm Clownfish – a cross between the Gladiator Ocellaris and the Black Ocellaris Clownfish. There is also a longfin variety of this type of Clownfish. It’s black and its white irregular-shaped stripes are connected, resulting in a fascinating pattern;
    black storm cownfish

    by bReefedBaker

  • Snow storm clownfish – a cross between the Black Storm Clownfish and the Phantom Clownfish. It has a white body with black lips and fins;
    snow storm clownfish

    by Lulu_Lunette

  • Nearly Naked Clownfish – this type of Ocellaris has no stripes, an orange body and dark fins;
    nearly naked clownfish

    by andrewkw

  • Mocha Ocellaris – its body has a darker coffee-like shade of brown. There is also a longfin variety.
    mocha ocellaris clownfish

    by jgirardnrg

2. Orange Clownfish – Amphiprion percula

orange clownfish

by Philipgonzales3

Maximum body size: 3 inches (7.62 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 20-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
Haddoni Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)
Temperament: Mostly peaceful, more aggressive and sensitive to water parameters compared to an Ocellaris
Care Level: Beginner

The Orange Clownfish, also known as True Percula Clownfish is the second most popular type of nano clownfish in the aquarium hobby.

These saltwater pets are pretty similar to the Ocellaris Clownfish.

Nevertheless, there are some differences that set the species apart.

The Orange Clownfish has thicker black lines and more orange in its eyes, compared to the False Parcula, which has more black in its eyes.

Furthermore, the True Percula Clownfish has only 10 dorsal fins, whereas the Ocellaris has 11.

The Orange Clownfish are somewhat less hardy and more sensitive to water quality.

picasso clownfish

Picasso Clownfish by trekman01

Also, in terms of temperament, the True Percula Clownfish are somewhat more aggressive than the Ocellaris Clownfish.

However, compared to other types, such as the Maroon Clownfish, Orange Clowns are much less aggressive and are considered relatively peaceful and novice-friendly.

No worries – you can keep more than one Orange specimen in the same tank.

They will get along pretty well as long as you add them together as juveniles.

True Percula clownfish can also share an aquarium with other non-aggressive species, including the Ocellaris Clownfish.

Furthermore, even though they’re representatives of different species, the Orange Clownfish and False Percula Clownfish can breed together.

This would likely result in a clownfish hybrid with an intriguing appearance.

premium picasso clownfish

Premium Picasso Clownfish by Wesley42079

Anyhow, the True Percula Clownfish is considered the smallest clownfish in the aquarium hobby, as it only reaches a maximum size of 3 inches (7.62 cm).

Therefore, these tiny clownfish can be kept in a small 10-gallon or 20-gallon aquarium.

I’ve noticed that many beginners with smaller aquarium setups opt for this clownfish species.

Another thing I would like to share about the True Percula Clownfish is that it is, in fact, easy to breed.

This is why you can find Amphiprion percula varieties with different colors, patterns, and looks.

There are different varieties of True Percula Clownfish that you can choose from depending on your preferences.

Some of them are the Picasso Clownfish, the Premium Picasso Percula Clownfish, the Onyx Percula, and the Black Onyx True Percula Clownfish.

Just like designer Ocellaris breeds, the aforementioned varieties would cost more than a regular Orange Percula.

3. Saddleback Clownfish – Amphiprion polymnus

saddleback clownfish

by 1979fishgeek

Maximum body size: 4.7 inches (11.9 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 20-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)
Saddle/Haddoni Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Intermediate

From my observations, the Saddleback clownfish has a unique appearance and attractive personality.

The colors of this species vary.

Their bodies can be orange, light brown, or black, depending on the region they’re found in.

The black Saddleback variety is also known as Panda Clownfish.

Saddleback clownfish have wide white bands around their heads and a middle, also wide, white marking that looks like a saddle.

Their fins vary in color from one specimen to another, but all specimens’ tailfins end with a white edge.

Saddleback Clownfish are bigger than the Ocellaris and the Orange clowns as they have a maximum body length of around 4.7 inches (11.9 cm).

For this reason, the Saddlebacks should be kept in a minimum of a 20-gallon tank.

Compared to the aforementioned clownfish species, this one is more dependent on its host anemone. Ideally, they should be kept in a tank with Saddle Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).

saddleback in anemone

by Trex

From my experience, keeping an anemone requires a bit more advanced aquarist knowledge.

Therefore, even though Saddleback clownfish are peaceful, hardy, and easy to feed and look after, they aren’t considered the best clownfish type for beginners.

Anyway, you can get a group of Saddleback clowns and they will get along quite well.

They would gladly share an anemone and interact with each other, which is more than satisfying to look at.

Saddleback clownfish can also be kept with other peaceful tank mates, like the Ocellaris Clownfish.

On top of that, Saddleback clowns are active and have an impressive appetite.

Like other types of clowns, they like a diverse diet that consists of:

  • algae-based pellets and flakes;
  • brine shrimp;
  • other live and frozen meaty foods.

I’m a big fan of the Saddleback clowns.

If you’re looking for a peaceful yet fun to watch clownfish species, you should definitely consider it as an option.

Just keep in mind that this pet fish requires an intermediate level of care.

4. McCulloch’s anemonefish Amphiprion mccullochi

mccullochs anemonefish

by ice28720

Maximum body size: 4.7 inches (11.9 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)
Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Easy

The McCullock’s anemonefish is also known as Whitesnout clownfish and is one of the rarest types of clownfish in the aquarium industry.

It has a dark brown to dark-blue or black body, white bands on each side of its head, a bright tail, and a white or light bluish shout.

The McCulloch’s anemonefish is bigger compared to other clownfish species.

It reaches a maximum size of 4.7 inches (11.9 cm) and should be kept in a 30-gallon tank at the very least.

Since this specimen is quite rare and hard to acquire, I’ve seen McCulloch’s anemonefish that are rather expensive.

Anyway, if the price tag doesn’t stop you, but don’t want to risk it make sure your Whitesnout Clownfish is a captive-bred specimen.

Captive-bred clownfish are accustomed to the home aquarium conditions and are easier to look after.

mccullochs anemonefish clownfish

by Wen

One fine trait of the McCullock’s anemonefish is that they are relatively peaceful.

They can be kept with groups of other clownfish species if the tank is big enough.

You can keep a single specimen, or a pair if you add both Whitesnout clowns as juveniles and at the same time.

These fish are not dependent on having an anemone to live a healthy life, but they’d feel much better if they have Bubbletip Anemones or Sebae Anemones as hosts. McCulloch’s anemonefish would get very territorial over their selected host anemone.

When it comes to diet, the Whitesnout doesn’t differ from most other clownfish.

This pet fish likes a diverse diet of quality pellets, flakes, frozen brine, and mysis shrimp.

One cool thing about McCulloch’s anemonefish is that more breeders are starting to breed and sell it.

It seems this is because of this species’ attractive looks and behavior.

5. Sebae Clownfish – Amphiprion Sebae

sebae clownfish

by swannyson7

Maximum body size: 5.5 inches (14 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 40-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Saddle Anemone (Stichtodactyla haddoniquadricolor)
Saddle/Haddoni Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Easy

The Sebae Clownfish is one of the biggest clownfish species as it reaches a maximum size of 5.5 inches in its adult years (14 cm).

This fish is actually the biggest representative of the Saddleback Clownfish complex.

It has a dark brown or black body, a yellow snout, and a yellow/orange tail.

Two broad bands surround its head and a wide white bar settles in the middle of its body.

Captive-bred Sebae Clowns are beginner-friendly since they’re hardy and have a semi-aggressive temperament.

Despite their character, these fish can be kept along with other peaceful clownfish in the same tank. As with all clowns, to avoid conflict and harassment among the different species, it’s best to add your specimens simultaneously when they’re still young.

Since they’re bigger, Sebae clownfish require a relatively large tank that holds 40 or more gallons of water.

Like most clownfish species, Sebae clowns are among the reef-safe saltwater fish. They’re often chosen by fellow reefers, who are looking for a bigger, more unusual type of clownfish that will stand out in their aquarium.

6. Maroon Clownfish – Premnas biaculeatus

maroon clownfish

by USMC 4 LIFE

Maximum body size: 6 inches (15.2 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)
Temperament: Aggressive, may also damage reef corals, so it’s not considered reef-safe
Care Level: Easy, but not recommended fish for beginners, as they’re very aggressive

The Maroon Clownfish is the biggest type of clownfish and it is known for its aggressive temperament.

This clownfish has an outstanding appearance which draws the attention of many aquarists.

Typically, these are people who are searching for cool saltwater aquarium fish that will look great in their home tank.

Maroon clowns have a bright red or dark reddish-purple color body with white stripes.

This fish is undoubtedly gorgeous and its appearance absolutely stands out.

They are also quite intelligent which makes observing their behavior a hobby in itself.

Even though the Maroon clownfish are visually appealing, they are one of the most aggressive species in the saltwater aquarium hobby. My first Maroon turned out to be the embodiment of pure evil…

For this very reason, though they’re easy to take care of, Maroon clownfish aren’t considered a beginner-friendly stocking option.

They would kill each other and harass other species to death, so it’s very hard to find compatible tank mates for them.

It’s even hard to keep a pair of Maroons in the same tank.

More often than not, the female would kill the male within a few days.

gold stripe maroon clown

by Hozat24

The easiest approach here would be to keep only one Maroon Clownfish in your tank.

If you want to keep it with other clownfish species, you could add the Maroon clown last.

This way its tank mates would have already gotten to know the fish tank environment and its best hiding spots.

This increases their chances of getting away from the monster that your Maroon would become once inside.

Probably because of their aggressive nature, Maroon clownfish aren’t expensive.

I’d even say they’re cheap, considering their outstanding looks.

But I guess, even in the aquarium hobby, it’s not all about the looks.

Anyway, there is also a popular variety of the Maroon clownfish that has yellow stripes and is known as the Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish.

This species reaches a maximum size of over 6 inches (15.2 cm).

You should keep a single specimen in a 30-gallon tank at the minimum.

You should also keep in mind that, unlike other clownfish types, the Maroon Clownfish aren’t reef-safe.

Therefore, avoid getting them if you have invested in aquarium lighting designed to grow corals in a reef aquarium. Therefore, avoid getting them if you have invested in reef aquarium lights and plan to grow corals.

7. Maldive Anemonefish – Amphiprion Nigripes

maldive anemonefish

by adtravels

Maximum body size: 4.3 inches (11 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis Magnifica)
Saddle Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Intermediate

The Maldive Anemonefish isn’t as popular in the aquarium hobby as other clownfish listed here.

It has an orange body and a single vertical white stripe next to its eyes.

The representatives of the Amphiprion Nigripes species reach a maximum size of 4.3 inches (11 cm).

They are relatively peaceful and tend to get aggressive only when trying to defend their host anemone.

Initially, Maldive Anemonefish appear a bit shy, but once they get used to their environment, they start to show off their fun personalities and are quite intriguing to observe.

If you’re looking for an unusual and cool type of clownfish, the Maldive Anemonefish may be perfect for you.

It requires at least a 30-gallon tank and it’s reef-friendly.

Make sure you get a captive-bred specimen, as wild-caught Maldive Anemonefish aren’t accustomed to the aquarium conditions and are less hardy.

These clownfish will thrive when paired with suitable anemones, such as the Magnificent Sea Anemone.

8. Pink Skunk Clownfish – Amphiprion perideraion

pink skunk clownfish

by Trex

Maximum body size: 4.3 inches (11 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)
Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis Magnifica)
Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)
Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Advanced

The Pink Skunk Clownfish is a species from the Skunk Complex that has an unusual, yet attractive appearance.

It has an orange-pink body with a white line along its back that reminds of the line a skunk would have.

It is a relatively peaceful clownfish – more aggressive than an Ocellaris, but much milder compared to a Tomato or a Maroon Clownfish.

The Pink Skunk reaches a maximum size of 4.3 inches (11 cm) and requires a minimum of a 20 to 30-gallon tank for a single specimen.

There are different color morphs within this species, such as the captive-bred Rose-Magenta Skunk clownfish.

The Pink Skunk Clownfish is reef compatible and can be kept with other peaceful clownfish.

It also does well along with other mild-mannered saltwater fish species.

The Pink Skunk clownfish are more delicate when it comes to the water quality in their saltwater aquarium, especially if they’re wild-caught. Even though they can be kept without an anemone, keeping the Pink Skunk Clownfish with a suitable host is better for them.

The protection from the anemone will alleviate their stress levels, which can result in better overall health for the pet fish.

9. Clarkii Clownfish – Amphiprion clarkii

clarkii clownfish

by Trex

Maximum body size: 5.5 inches (14 centimeters)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Not picky, will host virtually any clownfish anemone in captivity
Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) is recommended, because it’s easier to take care of it
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Care Level: Easy

The Clarkii Clownfish is also known as Clark’s Anemofish and reaches a body length of around 5.5 inches (14 cm).

This type of clownfish is quite popular in the aquarium hobby, as its representatives are pretty resilient and do not demand much in terms of care.

Furthermore, the Clarkii is the only species that be get hosted by all 10 types of symbiotic sea anemones for clownfish.

These fish are reef-compatible and can be kept in a mated pair in a marine community tank.

Do keep in mind, however, that Clark’s Clownfish are semi-aggressive and may fight with each other if not in a mated pair.

If I had to make an assessment, they are more hostile than Ocellaris and Orange Clownfish but aren’t as problematic as the Maroon Clownfish.

From my experience, if you keep Clarkii clowns within an anemone host, they will be more peaceful and calm.

When it comes to tank size, a single Clarkii Clownfish should be kept in a 30-gallon aquarium but nothing smaller. These clowns are active and entertaining to observe, so consider them as an option, if you’re looking for stocking ideas.

10. Tomato Clownfish – Amphiprion frenatus

tomato clownfish

by kovfunk22

Maximum body size: 5 inches (12.7 centimeters), but doesn’t usually grow over 4 inches (10 cm)
Recommended tank size: 30-gallon tank
Types of suitable anemones: Bubbletip Sea Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)
Temperament: Aggressive
Care Level: Easy

The Tomato Clownfish is a common type of clownfish in the aquarium hobby.

It has a bright orange or dark red body with a vertical white stripe next to its eyes.

There are some color morphs within the species, such as the Fire Tomato Clownfish, for example.

Fire Tomato clownfish have a brighter red color and look.

Anyway, Tomato clowns can reach a size of 5 inches (12.7 cm) when fully grown but, typically, most specimens won’t grow over 4 inches (10 cm).

Tomato Clownfish are reef-safe but are very aggressive towards each other and other tank mates. Even if you make sure that you provide a suitable host anemone, the aggression won’t go away and they’d still harass their tank mates or newcomers from the same species.

You can add two Tomato Clownfish and try to form a mated pair, but make sure you add them both while they’re still young.

Other than that, Tomato Clowns are not complicated when it comes to caring and are quite tough, especially if captive-bred.

They’d easily form a symbiotic relationship with a suitable anemone, such as the Bubbletip Sea Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor).

As for their tank size requirements, a single Tomato Clownfish specimen should NOT be kept in anything smaller than a 30-gallon tank.

This type of clownfish is readily available in many pet stores and isn’t expensive at all.

The only downside of the Tomato clownfish species is its aggressive temperament.

So take its demeanor into consideration when deciding whether you want one or not.

Final Words

After learning a bit more about the different types within the Clownfish clan, it should be easier to choose what suits your taste and aquarium setup best.

I hope that you found this guide useful. Leave me a comment below and let me know about your personal experience with your selected clownfish species.
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