Normally, when we talk about pet fishes the popular choice among people tends to be a goldfish, a catfish, a shark, angel fishes etc. But these days clownfish seem to have been the talk of the town. Their beautiful appearance and their miniature size are two key features for it.
Even after the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ its popularity raised in the market. Everyone seems to have been impressed and amazed by its aura. However, we cannot forget that it was just a movie. And that too animated! On the contrary, movies are always larger than life stories. They are not something about real life; it’s all about the reel life.
Well, before thinking of having a clownfish as a pet you must be very much aware about its environment and behaviours. Unlike other pet fishes, a clownfish is not that easy to adjust. They will throw a whole lot of tantrums before getting used to a domestic habitat. But some of these tantrums are natural, and if overlooked at can lead to your fish’s death. There are different species of clownfish like the Tomato clownfish, Clark’s clownfish, Ocellaris clownfish, Maroon clownfish, Cinnamon clownfish, Percula clownfish, Black and White Percula clownfish etc.
There are two categories in which clownfish can be divided into – the tank-raised clownfish and the wild clownfish. From the name itself one can understand the major difference between their upbringings. And this difference leads you to further guidelines in raising the fish.
A tank-raised clownfish is usually quieter and calmer as compared to the wild. He is more used the domestic conditions and survives them very well. As been raised in a tank they are even used to having humans around them and know them. They see towards them as a source of food and hence are usually excited to see them. They have the ability to adjust with other clown fishes in the tank peacefully – whether of their own species or different. They are pretty much easier to handle than the wild one.
On the other hand, wild clown fishes can make you run for your money. These are directly harvested from the sea and have a difficult time adjusting in the new environment. They are so use to their natural surrounding that it becomes uneasy for them to adapt. The survival rate of such fishes depends upon their degree of care taken. They are not even familiar with people and are often scared of them. So you should not be disappointed if your pet-wild-clownfish shows no enthusiasm on your appearance. He is even comparatively aggressive. He likes marking its territory. So make sure when you buy one it’s kept in large tank. And even make it point that he doesn’t have company along with it. That’s for its own good.
A tank raised clownfish usually needs less care as compared to a wild one. A wild one is very sensitive. It needs proper water conditions, food and light. Where as a tank raised is used to it. But this does not mean that you should handle a tank-raised clownfish loosely. Negligence of any type in both the fishes can lead to mortality.
Another advantage with a tank-raised clownfish is that you can spend a long time with it as you get them as infants. Whereas wild clownfish are mostly harvested when adult and big. So the amount of time you get to spend with them is very less. And even raising them from infants is easier as they are calmer and tolerant. Parasites and bacteria’s can be a concern to every kind of fish. It’s just that tank raised are more prepared and prevented from such bacteria. They usually know how to fight it. While the wild have a difficult surviving the same.
Apart from all the behavioural and environmental traits that we have seen, the only good thing that falls in the side of a wild clownfish is that they are cheaper than the tank-raised. Since they have not undergone a lot of work they need not require a lot of money. A tank-raised usually is expensive but later gives you less trouble. They are friendly and adaptive and needs less care and attention.
There have been increasing complaints about the decreasing colour patterns and stripes in the tank-raised species. And one cannot afford this to happen. A clownfish is basically a clownfish because of its wonderful stripes and beautiful colours. Years of observation have shown the dullness and reduction in colour quality. A wild one is usually blessed with bright and vibrant colours with full stretched stripes. However it is possible to enhance the quality of the tank-raised one with good and high quality nutritious food and pristine water conditions. They need to be handled properly.
Thus in short, the moral of the story is that a tank-raised clownfish is a better option as a pet than the wild one. A wild one usually requires more care. A tank-raised is trained and handles the change in the environment quickly and efficiently. So go and now find your ‘Nemo’!