One of the noted benefits of CB clownfish is the guaranteed age of the fish you are purchasing. Due to the social structure of clownfish, it’s impossible to know the age of a fish simply based upon size. In clownfish society, only the two largest, most aggressive fish are reproductively active. The rest of the individuals in the social group are forced to remain small and sexually inactive. For this reason, size is not a good indicator of age — a 10-year-old clownfish in the wild could the be the same size as an 8-month-old captive-raised fish, for example. Captive-bred clowns are often sold at between 6 and 12 months of age. Buying young fish means lower costs, greater adaptability and improved breeding success. Some breeders report that the young of CB clownfish are easier to raise than those from WC parents. As already noted, CB clowns are already accustomed to eating prepared aquarium foods, such as flakes, pellets and frozen diets.
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Do not keep them in a group, but only as a single specimen or as a pair. Buying two young fish will eventually result in a male and female pair. All clownfish are undifferentiated when born but they are sex switchers. With certain social cues they change into juvenile males, and then when the opportunity arises a dominant fish will become female. With this species the change from male to female happens very quickly, in only about 2 months! Once they are an adult pair these clownfish will become very aggressive toward any other clownfish. In very large systems a pair may even decide to oust another pair of other Allard's Clownfish and take their anemone. An adult pair will also defend their host anemone or coral fiercely if laying eggs.
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The release of Finding Nemo years ago resulted in an overwhelming and sudden demand for clownfish at pet stores and aquarium suppliers. Parents wanted to buy their children their very own Nemo, and who could blame them? They're incredible, beautiful, and fascinating fish. But they're also delicate and a bit challenging to care for.
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