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Maroon Clownfish : A Look At The Large And Aggressive Maroon Clownfish

Updated on January 10, 2010

Maroon Clownfish Overview

Scientific Name : Premnas Biaculeatus

Origin : Southeast Asia, Australia

Difficulty : Easy

Minimum Size Tank : 50 gallons

Temperament : Aggressive

Temperature : 72 - 82°F

Reef Safe : Yes

Maximum Size : 6 Inches

Diet : Omnivore

The Maroon Clownfish is the 3rd most popular member of clown fish family behind the Ocellaris Clownfish and the Percula Clownfish. In my opinion, juvenile maroon Clown Fish are the most beautiful of all clownfish.

To the casual observer they look like a red percula clown with broader fins. They are a red throughout their bodies with the same three white (Slightly thinner) stripes percula clownfish have. There is a yellow/gold striped version of this fish that is also commonly seen.

Maroon Clownfish

Maroon Clownfish Pair

They have a spine on their cheeks like dwarf angelfish do. Hence, they are also known as the spine-cheek anemonefish. They are called anemonefish because they share a symbiosis with anemones in the wild. The anemone cannot sting clownfish, it is speculated that clownfish produce a mucus that renders them invisible to the anemone. It should be noted that anemone's are challenging to keep in an aquarium and are not needed for clownfish to do well in captivity.

This fish is heavily collected from South East Asia. Generally more expensive than Ocellaris Clownfish or even Percula Clownfish, smaller specimens can cost up to $25 while very large adults can fetch up to $40.

The maroon clownfish is another marine fish that is heavily bred in captivity. Tank-reared specimens usually cost a few more dollars than wild caught maroons. We should always buy tank-raised specimens as they are hardier and have adapted to aquarium life from a very young age. We should support such efforts as tank-breeding ensures this hobby become sustainable in the long run.

Giant 6 inch Maroon Clownfish

Maroon Clownfish : Temperament

It is with no exaggeration when i say the Maroon Clownfish is the most aggressive member of the clown family.

They are especially aggressive towards members of the Pomacentridae family, which encompasses all clownfish and damselfish.

Highly territorial, they have no qualms about defending their territory from fish larger than themselves, and even us, their caretakers.

They've been known to nip on fingers that stray to close to their territory.

As long as there is enough space in the aquarium, they relatively peaceful with other species of fish.

Angry Maroon moving the furniture around

Maroon Clownfish : Tank Size

While many have kept maroon clownfish in tanks as small as 20 gallons, they really need something larger. This is because in addition to being the most aggressive clownfish in the family, they are also the biggest.

Reaching a whopping 6 inches in captivity, they should be housed in aquariums no smaller than 50 gallons.

Maroon Clownfish : Diet

These fishes are very easy to feed because they seem to able to eat anything you offer.

While they are omnivores in the wild, they seem open to foods that are either meaty or algae based.

They should be fed a wide variety of foods. Some good dry foods to feed are Formula One, Formula Two and Prime Reef. Formula two is mostly catered to herbivores, they have an added amount of algae mixed in while Prime reef is mostly meaty.

The best pellet food on the market are those made by New Life Spectrum. Add in some frozen food like krill or mysis shrimp and you're set.

While frozen brine shrimp seems to be a very popular food, i must advise against it. They offer roughage, which is fiber, and nothing else. Enriched types are much better but why bother when you can feed something nutritionally superior in the first place.

Mysis shrimp is a much better foor than frozen brine shrimp. None of my fishes are fed brine shrimp.

Maroon Pair spawning

Juvenile grow out tank

Maroon Clownfish : Breeding

Maroon clownfish are being heavily bred in captivity. As most clownfish are easy to breed, they are a natural choice for beginners.

Clownfish start out their lives being neither male nor female. They all become a male eventually and only the most dominant one becomes a female.

Sexless ----------> Male ---------> Strongest in the group ---------> Female

They cannot revert back into males once they have changed in to a female.

They lay their eggs on a wide variety of items ranging from flower pots, live rock, and even plastic egg crate.

Rotifers must be available to the larvae for the first few days as baby brine shrimp are too big for them during this time. Baby artemia is introduced later and will be used in conjunction with crushed flakes, cyclopeeze and a variety of larvae food.

For those looking to take up breeding, i'd suggest two books that will make your life much easier.

Breeders Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes. The best book on marine fish breeding. All popular species are covered, including clownfish.

Clownfishes by Joyce Wilkerson. The most comprehensive book on Clownfishes. Covering all species and aspects such as species selection, pairing, mating and larvae rearing.


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    • PirateFX profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Glenn - Buy one big, one small and put them together. The bigger one should immediately scare the smaller one into submission and then you wait until they pair up. Doesn't always work and the small one can get really hurt in the process if it is attacked.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      How can you get two maroon clown s to pair up?

    • PirateFX profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      @Entourage_007 - Greetings fellow fish lover :) While i've never attempted to breed Clownfish, i would say the difficulty lies in maintaining water quality as well as providing proper nutrition to the larvae. But i'm sure you're familiar with such things from your own experiences breeding cichlids.

      There aren't any coloration or visible markings that differentiate the sexes, with clownfish, we have to go with size. The largest ones are always females, always. Putting a small specimen with a large one will invariably bring about a pairing. But even then, getting them to spawn may be tricky from what i've read. What breeders normally do is simulate summer to get them spawning. Longer photoperiods, warmer water and an abundance of foods.

      If you're looking to try your hand at saltwater breeding, you can't go wrong with clowns, they are the easiest. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      10 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Very interesting hub, you have me curious about how easy it is to breed clown fish. I breed Convict cichlids, but that requires almost nothing. How do you know if a clown fish is male or female?

    • PirateFX profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      David - Highly unlikely. I've never heard of such a thing happening in captivity.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      hi can you tell me if a maroon clown can pair up with a ocellaris clownfish or its not possible ????

    • PirateFX profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by Brad :) They really are lovely aren't they? One of my favorite members of the clownfish group.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i've had my maroon clownfish for about 9 months know and he's doing great, he eats anything and is lovly to watch. he moves things around in my tank all the time, he loves his bubble tip anemone. he swims with my blue tang and yellow every morning, there a reall great fish to own. i would recommend one only if you have a large tank though, i keep mine in a 330 us gallon aquarium. they love the freedem to swim around


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