orange clownfish

Scientific name Amphiprion percula
Descriptor Lacepède
Year of description 1802
IUCN category (World) LC
Family Pomacentridae
Genus Amphiprion
Amphiprion percula Amphiprion percula


The Pacific orange clownfish, A. percula, is similar to the clownfish A. ocellaris. It is only distinguished by its number of dorsal spines: 10 for the former, 11 for the latter. It has the same color pattern as the famous fish "Nemo".

It is sometimes called the "true clownfish", while A. ocellaris is referred to as the "false percula clownfish". Unlike its close cousin, it is exclusively found in the region of the Great Barrier Reef and lives at shallower depths.

Following the release of the movies "Finding Nemo" and then "Finding Dory", the demand in the aquarium sector has greatly increased and sometimes put pressure on wild populations of this species. Today, most clownfish available in the trade are from breeding. These fish are often the result of hybridization between A. percula and A. ocellaris.

Who is it?


  • Type
  • Average size
    8 cm
  • Maximum size
    11 cm
  • Longevity
    30 year
  • Shape
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes
  • Type
  • Average size
    8 cm
  • Maximum size
    11 cm
  • Longevity
    30 year
  • Shape
  • Pattern
    vertical stripes

How to recognize the orange clownfish ?

The orange clownfish percula is recognizable by the three white bands that cover its bright orange body. The first one is located just behind the eye. The second is vertical and positioned in the middle of the fish. The last one is near the caudal peduncle. The fins are bordered with a thick black trim.

This species is very similar to Amphiprion Ocellaris. It differs by having lighter eyes (in more orangish tones), a lower number of rays on the dorsal fin (10 compared to 11), and thicker trims around the white bands on the body.

Sexual dimorphism

In this species, the female is larger than the male in adulthood. It can reach up to 11 centimeters in length. There is no color distinction between the two genders.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    omnivorous with carnivorous tendency
  • Sociability
    living in colonies
  • territorial
  • Way of living

Like its relatives, the Pacific orange clownfish lives in colonies, organized around a dominant breeding female. It is accompanied by a breeding male, and some immature males of smaller size.

The hierarchy is based on size, which avoids potential tensions within the group. When the female dies, the largest male changes sex and takes the lead of the hierarchy. For their size, clownfish have a long lifespan. It is estimated that the oldest females studied in the wild live over 30 years.

This species can be found near other clownfish, including its very close relative A. ocellaris. It lives in association with the anemones Heteractis crispa, Heteractis magnifica, and Stichodactyla gigantea.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert
  • Hermaphrodite

Reproduction occurs year-round and is done in pairs. The spawning is aerated and cleaned by the male. The eggs adhere to the substrate and are laid on an open area in or very near the protective anemone.

Harmless species

This species does not pose a particular danger to humans in case of encounter in its natural habitat.

Where to find it?

Geographic distribution & Conservation

The Pacific orange clownfish is found on the Northeastern coast of Australia, in Queensland. It is observed throughout the Great Barrier Reef, north of New Guinea, in the Solomon Islands, and in the reefs of Vanuatu. It appears to be absent from New Caledonia and the Fiji Islands.

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    26 - 28 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 15 m

Biotope presentation

The Pacific orange clownfish is most commonly found at depths of less than 15 meters. Adults live in lagoons and outer reefs.

Species of the same biotope

Main recommendations for fishkeeping


In order to preserve wildlife, if you acquire this animal, it must not be released into the wild. See also, the Fishipedia charter.

Fishipedia supports the practice of responsible and environmentally friendly aquarium keeping. We encourage maintenance if it is motivated by a desire to understand the biological functioning of living things and if it is done with respect for animal life.

We believe that aquaristics is an opening to the discovery of aquatic environments, especially freshwater, and that this knowledge is necessary to better protect and respect these environments. Logically, we refute the compulsive purchase of animals that would not find a sufficient and / or adapted place in the host aquarium.

Our recommendations

  • Min volume
    200 liters
  • Population min
  • Temperature
    26 - 28 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    8.2 - 8.4


  • Difficulty breeding
  • Robustness
  • Behaviour
    moderately aggressive
  • Availability

General reminders

It is strongly advised to read the complete dedicated file and to get information on the feedbacks of maintenance of the envisaged animal, this to avoid any potential conflict whose end result is generally the death of the individual (or the other inhabitants). It is important not to overload your aquarium to limit pollution. This will make maintenance easier.

The realization of a seawater aquarium requires certain knowledge beforehand. Seawater is generally synthetic, consisting of reverse osmosis water and synthetic salt at a level of 33g / liters. It is also possible to take seawater directly (after making sure that the water is not polluted). The operation of a seawater aquarium is done in three phases: the installation of a living stone decoration, the introduction of invertebrates one month later, and the introduction of fish 3 months later. It is essential to wait as long as possible before to introduce the animals so that the micro-fauna has had time to develop well. The balance and the physico-chemical stability are fundamental for the success of this type of tank.

General reminder on maintenance datas

Le démarrage d'un aquarium est une partie primordiale pour l'équilibre et le bien-être des poissons. Lorsque l'on met en eau un aquarium, l'eau passe naturellement par un cycle biologique : le cycle de l'azote. Celui-ci dure environ trois semaines. Tous les 2 jours, nous vous conseillons de tester votre eau jusqu'à ce que le taux de nitrite soit à zéro pendant plusieurs jours d'affilée.

Pour accélérer ce cycle, vous pouvez utiliser un activateur de bactéries comme JBL Denitrol. Cette solution riche en bactéries vivantes et enzymes permet une mise en place rapide du cycle de l'azote. Les poissons peuvent alors être introduits plus rapidement.

Il est important de tester l'eau de son aquarium régulièrement pour maintenir un environnement sain pour les poissons et les autres habitants. Les tests d'eau permettent de mesurer les niveaux de différents paramètres tels que le pH, la dureté totale, ainsi que les taux de nitrates, de nitrites et d'ammoniaque.

Pour réaliser ces tests, vous pouvez utiliser des produits d'analyse spécialisés tels que JBL ProScan qui permet de réaliser un diagnostic de l'eau directement via un smartphone. Il existe également des coffrets de tests plus classiques de bandelettes, comme JBL PROAQUATEST.

En cas d’usage de l’eau du robinet, vous pouvez utiliser un conditionneur d’eau de type Biotopol de JBL pour éliminer les substances nocives comme le chlore, le cuivre, le plomb et le zinc. Les conditionneurs d'eau garantissent une meilleure santé aux poissons et une meilleure croissance des plantes.

Chlorine and chloramine are dangerous for the health of animals. Used to disinfect water, these agents are present in significant quantities in tap water. We recommend using an anti-chlorine agent every time you change the water. In addition to chlorine, treatments and medicines sold for aquarium use sometimes contain dangerous heavy metals in high doses.

Specific needs for the orange clownfish

The orange clownfish is a marine species which lives naturally at a temperature between 26 °C and 28 °C. For proper maintenance, the temperature should never exceed the 31°C for long periods. Nitrate levels should remain below 50mg/L. To keep the water clean and unpolluted, plan on changing 20% to 30% of the water volume each month. In seawater, it is also possible to remove nitrates using one of the following methods: Jaubert, denitrator on sulfur, biopeletts, vodka method.

The breeding of this species is accessible on condition of being well informed about its needs in aquarium . Any cohabitants must be chosen with care to avoid the loss of animals.

Cohabitation & Environment

Being a living in colonies fish, it is advisable to install at least 2 individuals in an aquarium of 200 liters minimum (for 120 cm of frontage). Group maintenance is a prerequisite to ensure their well-being. Lonely individuals tend to quickly become stressed and become especially susceptible to disease.

The orange clownfish has a strong character. Its maintenance with territorial neighbors in an inadequate volume will generate stress. ndeed, it will not hesitate to fight to protect its territory and to dominate its neighbors. It is important to think carefully about the constitution of the future population to avoid this kind of inconvenience. The aquarium should be arranged so that each species can comfortably define its own territory.

Tips for feeding

The orange clownfish is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency.

This species can eat dry food (flakes, pellets), fresh food and frozen food. To avoid deficiencies, it is recommended to vary the types of food.

You should not overfeed your residents to avoid polluting the water. For most species, it is better to feed a few small portions each day rather than one large meal.

Reproduction protocol

  • Maintenance difficulty
  • Spawning cleaning
    Female & Male
  • egg-laying protection
    Female & Male
  • Fry protection

Hybridization risks

In general, it is advised not to mix several species of the same genus or different varieties of the same species, to avoid the risks of hybridization.

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To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Template and content © Fishipedia - Unauthorized reproduction without prior request - ISSN 2270-7247 - Last modification 13/11/2023

Where to see this species?

Scientific partners

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Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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