Maroon Clownfish

Maroon Clownfish; A Precise Guide on Care and Tank set-up

Maroon Clownfish

Maroon clownfish is one popular species of clownfish, gorgeously pretty yet can be most aggressive! Premnas biaculeatus is difficult to confound with other clownfish species. It’s recognized by the names Maroon Anemonefish,  Spine-Cheek Clownfish, and Spinecheek Anemonefish, White Stripe Maroon, Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish, Yellow Stripe Maroon Clownfish, Spine-Cheek Anemonefish, Gold Stripe Clown, Damselfish and In Australia, it’s even referred to as Tomato Clownfish.

These ‘species’ females are among the largest Clownfish. It is an excellent fish for novices because it is extremely robust, but it can grow to be quite bigger and more aggressive. In captivity, they can live with any saltwater fish, and adequate water quality is important for their wellbeing. In comparison to other clownfish, they are more difficult to pair up. These females are far more selective in their mates, towards the idea of killing an unsuitable choice. Continue reading to gain knowledge of “their particular behaviour, aquarium care, reproduction, and diseases they could have in a poor aquarium environment.” 

Background: It was first named “Chaetodon biaculeatus” by ‘Bloch in 1790’.

Scientific Name: Premnas biaculeatus

Family: Pomacentridae

Habitat/Range: These clown fish can be found in India, New Guinea,  Indonesia, the Philippines, Northern Queensland Burma, Thailand, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Vanuatu, and New Britain, as well as the Indo-West Pacific and the Australian Archipelago.

The appearance of the Maroon Clownfish

There are two features in their appearance that could be distinguished them from other clownfish species. One is that they have ‘spines’ on their cheeks region and the other one is the ‘size of their scales’ that is a bit smaller than others. Their first stripe is at the back of his eye, the second is in between the two dorsal fins and the 3rd is the base of the caudal fin. 

Colour of Maroon Clownfish:

Their colour is consistent throughout, together with their fins. It comes in a variety of colours, bright orange”/red to a dark-brownish purple”. Males have a bright-red colour than females. They’ll have three thicker-yellow vertical bands and three thin-white vertical bands.

Size of Maroon Clownfish: 

  • Females can grow up to 6.3″ (16.00 cm)
  • Males are relatively small, reaching a maximum length of 5.11″ (13 cm).

Difference between males and females of Maroon Clownfish:

Males are around one-third the size of females, growing to a little more than 5″ in length. Females are bigger, reaching sizes of over 6″. Several have claimed to have an 8″ female in captivity, which is feasible.

Similarities with other Clownfish:

Gold stripe clownfish have a more compressed-oval body than “Clarkii clownfish”, which have a higher back, although these fish are remarkably similar in body shape to the Orange and Common Clowns of ‘Percula Complex’, featuring the “double dorsal-fin”.

The life span of Maroon Clownfish:

20 years – Though they are said to have a life of twenty years, they may survive considerably longer in captivity if properly cared for. ORA has a breeding couple that is thirty-five years old.

Behaviour and Temperament:

The most violent of all Clownfish is the Maroon Clownfish. These clowns can be kept in both fish and reef settings. They can, however, be assertive and territorial. When two juveniles are kept together to pair up like other clownfish, they become assertive and fight together resulting in the death of one. So a fishkeeper has to choose for getting better results and continuously observing the female hostility. Therefore, the male will not end up dead. 

Care level of Maroon Clownfish: 

These clownfish are very hardy and fairly easy to keep.

Conservation Status of Maroon Clownfish:

Though spine cheek anemonefish will not be threatened for populaces and reef settings. The world’s-reefs 15%-30% have been mislaid as a result of the final technology. Anemonefish sales have increased after the release of Disney’s “Discovering Nemo,” which features an anemonefish as the main protagonist.

READ  Clarkii Clownfish - A Comprehensive Guide

Spinecheek Anemonefish Feeding Guide


Spinecheek Anemonefish are omnivores. They eat mostly zooplankton and various types of algae in nature. They’ll eat all kinds of frozen, live, and flake foods in the tank. These will also eat the algae that are normally growing in the tank. If there’s not a lot of algae in the tank, use goods that have Spirulina added to them.

Flake Food: Yes

Pellet/Tablet: Yes

Live foods (shrimp, fish, or worms): 

Diet – natural foods can be provided to wild captured specimens to encourage them to begin trying to feed, or to reproduce pairs to prepare them for reproduction.

Vegetable Food: 50% of their diet

Meaty Food: 50% of their diet

Feeding Frequency:

Feedings throughout the day – Feed two to three times per day for adults and 3 to 4 times per day for juveniles.

Tank Or Aquarium Conditions

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Tank Set up for Maroon Anemonefish:

Tank size:

For one fish, a minimum of 30 gallons (141 gallons) is suggested. If trying to keep it as a pair, or with an anemone, with other fish,  a larger tank, 55 gallons or more, will be required.

Suitable for Nano Tank: No

Tank Setup: 

The aquarium should be decorated with ocean shells/coral, which seem wonderful, but the reason for this is that Gold-striped clownfish get along with corals.

Tank Lightning:

Lightning isn’t an issue until you have a host anemone. Anemone necessitates a powerful lighting system.

Live Rock Requirement: 

Typical Plus Hiding Places – When there isn’t a host anemone/reef, rock structures are essential. When females are selecting males they also need hiding spots.

Substrate Type: Any

Maintenance of the tank: 

Daily: Monitor the water purifier, surface temperature, particle density, and all other equipment in the aquarium on a daily basis. 

Weekly: Check the water quality at least once a week. 

Monthly: Each 2-4 weeks/as needed, replace up to 10 to 25%  of the entire amount of water. Periodic introduction of new tank mates is also important.

  • Equipment and Tank setting

The Maroon Clownfish is one of the biggest and most active clownfish. Bear in mind that smaller tank sizes cause water quality to become poor more quickly, necessitating weekly water changes of 5%. Despite their tolerance for less-than-ideal water quality, any saltwater fish exposed to it for an extended period of time will succumb to illness and disease.

If trying to keep an anemone, the tank should be sized to meet the needs of the anemone. They’ll spend most of their time with a host, but they’ll also take a dip around the entire aquarium. Although water movement is not important, it does require slow flow in some areas of the tank to eat.

As this species is native to the tropics, keep aquarium water temperatures between 72-78°F and a pH range of 8.1 – 8.4. Maintaining a temperature of 82° F (28°C) in the tank appears to keep them healthier and encourages them to eat more. Extremes of temperature above 90° F (32° C) or even below 64° F (18° C) would be too much for them. The ideal temperature for reproduction is between 79°F and 83°F (26°C and 28°C).

List of equipment that is required for a saltwater aquarium:

  1. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
  2. Power strip/surge protector
  3. Tank
  4. Tank stand
  5. Bio-Wheel Filters
  6. Reverse Osmosis Unit or Deionizer 
  7. Salt mix 
  8. Hydrometer
  9. Digital pH Monitor
  10. Aquarium Photo Background or Paint the background
  11. Test kits
  12.  Buckets, Towels, Rubber Gloves
  13. Substrate
  14. Refugium
  15. Trace Elements
  16. Aquarium vacuum
  17. Live Rock / Decorative rocks or coral 
  18. Heater
  19. Thermometer
  20. Saltwater test kit
  21. UV Aquarium Sterilizers
  22. Lights 
  23. Powerhead and sweeper
  24. Protein Skimmer 
  25. Salinity Meter
  26. Reverse Osmosis System (RO/DI Unit)
  27. WaveMaker and Power Head
  28. Algae Scraper
  29. Media Reactor 
  30. Carbon and GFO

SpinecheekAnemonefish Water Parameters

The following are some critical water parameters for spine-cheek clownfish:

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ParameterSuggested Level FOSuggested Level FOWLRSuggested Level Reef
Specific Gravity1.020-1.0251.020-1.0251.023-1.025
Alkalinity8-12 dKH8-12 dKH8-12 dKH
Nitrate – Nitrogen (NO3)< 30.0 ppm< 30.0 ppm< 1.0 ppm
Phosphate (PO4)< 1.0 ppm< 1.0 ppm< 0.2 ppm
Calcium350-450 ppm350-450 ppm350-450 ppm
Magnesium1150-1350 ppm1150-1350 ppm1250-1350 ppm
Iodine0.04-0.10 ppm0.04-0.10 ppm0.06-0.10 ppm
Strontium4-10 ppm4-10 ppm8-14 ppm

Breeding Temperature: 

 79° F – Temps of 79° F – 83° F (26° to 28°C) produce excellent quality larvae and eggs.

Brackish: No

Water Movement:

Either – it is not important, it does require sluggish flow in some regions of the aquarium to feed.

Water Region:

When managed to keep with an anemone or coral, they spend a lot of time with their host, or they will swim around the fish tank.

Water Hardness: 18 dGH

Frequency for Water Changes: 

Water changes by 15 per cent every two weeks or 30 per cent every month, depending on the tank size, and 5 per cent weekly to 15 per cent every two weeks if there are reefs in the tank.

Cost: $20-$30

Compatibility: Community safe


As long as the water conditions are suitable, Maroon Clownfish are durable and good at keeping. They’re great fish for beginners, but because they’re aggressive, you’ll have a limited selection of tank mates. If you keep a pair of these fish, you should be most concerned. A bossy, assertive female picking on the male would then cause a lot of stress, causing death to one.

It is preferred when having kept two, a bigger tank with a big anemone or a huge amount of rock setting with hideaways that the female cannot satisfy with. Check about compatible tank mates below for the help you pair them up. To stay them with an anemone, make sure you have the right tank size for it, as well as the proper lighting. Keeping an anemone has the advantage of allowing you to grow your tank companions due to the added protection it provides the clownfish towards other fish.

Aquarium Hardiness: Extremely hardy

Prone to Disease: No

Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish Tankmates

Compatible with other fish:

Maroon Anemone should not be kept with many other clownfish species because of their hostility against them. The differences in behaviour between clownfish of the same species are fascinating and easy to spot. A female’s continuous dominance prevents a male from changing gender. A dominant clownfish will exhibit “agonistic conduct,” whereas the inferior clownfish will exhibit “appeaser behaviour.”

The subservient clownfish react to the aggressor fish’s particular actions:

  • If the angry fish, usually a female, is chasing and chirping, the inferior clownfish, which can be a male or a dragonfly nymph, will quickly shiver their body and make clicking sounds as they glide upward.
  • The violent clown fish’s jaw snapping causes the subordinated clownfish to shake their body or head.
  • The hostile clownfish’s ventral lean causes the submissive clownfish to tremble.
  • When a hostile clownfish exhibits dorsal leaning, the subordinate clownfish exhibits lateral leaning.

List of compatible fish

Aggressive: (But need to monitor and don’t place with any-other clown)

  • 6-line wrasse
  •  Damselfish
  • 8-line wrasse
  • dottybacks

Large Semi-Aggressive: (Safe)

  • large angels
  • Tangs
  • large wrasses

Large Aggressive:(Only keep one type of clown in your tank. Mixing clown species is not a good idea)

  • Lionfish
  • Soapfish
  • Groupers 


  • Gorgonians
  • Copepods
  • Feather Dusters
  • Leather Corals
  • Tunicates
  • Soft Corals (tree corals,xenias)
  • Mini Brittle Stars
  •  Oysters
  • LPS corals
  • Mushroom Anemones – Corallimorphs
  • Starfish
  • Organ Pipe Coral
  • SPS corals
  • Anemones
  • Star Polyps
  • Mini Brittle Stars
  • Amphipods
  • Crabs
  • Sea Mats
  • Shrimps
  • Scallops
  • Snails
  • Flatworms

Non-compatible tank mates:

These are possibly the worst tankmates for Spine-Cheek Anemonefish.

Slow Swimmers & Eaters: (Risk-Maroon Clownfish are too hostile to these fish)

  • Seahorses
  • Pipefish 
  • Mandarins
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Peaceful fish: (Risk- Maroon clown is hostile to these fish)

  • Assessors
  • Dartfish
  • Fairy wrasses
  • Gobies

Don’t house a Maroon Clownfish with some other fish in a smaller tank setting because of its hostile and territorial nature. They shouldn’t be housed with peaceful fish, and with other clownfish either. In a freshwater aquarium, Maroon Anemonefish stay with violent or semi-aggressive fish. These clownfish are sufficient to keep up with eels and fish that would eat other clownfish entirely. 

Symbiotic Relationship with Sea anemones:

Symbiosis is a connection in which a clownfish and a sea anemone work together to help each other. In both wild and aquarium environments, clownfish stick with specific anemones to protect them from anemone-eating fish. In exchange, the anemone shields the clownfish from attackers by using its stinging tendrils to keep them at bay. Clownfish become resistant to the anemone’s tentacles’ sting. Another advantage is that the clownfish can eat the leftovers of any food that the anemone has grabbed. The clownfish will also clean up after themselves by eliminating bits of trash from the bottom by using their tentacles while swimming. The anemone is also supposed to be fed by the Clownfish’s excrement.

In nature, the Maroon Clownfish make an association with the following host anemones:

  • Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
  • Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa)
  • Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica)

However, not all anemones are compatible as some anemones are proved to be incompatible with the maroon clownfish:

  • Condy Anemones Condylactis gigantea 

They should be added with caution. These are predatory anemones with high mobility. They are not “clown hosting anemones.” Their sting is far greater than that of clownfish-hosting anemones, and any clownfish dumb enough to confront it risks being eaten.

Reef Compatible:

They will particularly not-bother any corals in a reef habitat, apart from picking up algae off the base of a reef that they’ve accepted as a host. They’ll consume a few copepods.

Predator Tank Compatible: No

Number to a tank: You can keep them a single or in mated pairs but it’s great if you place only one pair at a time. Because more pairs may cause them to be aggressive.

Colour morphs and Designer Types:

Colour variants include missing bands, bands that don’t extend all along the bottom of them, and certain fish with significantly darker versions of the full-length bands. The bands on mature females are usually grey, but can rapidly become white if the fish is provoked. The “deep-red to chocolate” coloured variant from “Sumatra” with three vertical broad yellow bands is the more renowned of the 2 most typical colour combinations. The “bright-red to orange” colour variation features three vertical-thin white bands and is considered to be the most assertive of the two hues.

“Lightning Maroon Clownfish” and “Orange Jaw Purple Maroon Clownfish” are 2 “designer” names. Two unique ‘geographical variants’ have existed for a long time, one with white bands and the other with “yellowish/golden bars”. ” Sumatra” and maybe “eastern Java” are the origins of the “golden-striped” diversity. However, a new variation was imported as recently as 2012, with bands substituted with “netting/lightning” patterning.


Are maroon clownfish aggressive?

The maroon clownfish is a famous species to keep in aquariums, but it can be hostile and territorial. 

How big can a maroon clownfish get?

Spine-Cheeked Clownfish can grow up to be about 17 cm (6.7 in).

How fast do maroon clownfish grow?

Maroon clownfish also grow to be between 5&6 inches at a rate of about an inch 1 year.

How big do lightning maroon clownfish get?

The Gold Lightning Maroon (Premnas biaculeatus) grows to a maximum length of around 6′′ (15 cm)

What fish can I keep with a maroon clownfish?

Angelfish, tangs, triggerfish, and wrasses are better tank mates for them.


Maroon clownfish is familiar. Tank-bred fish are now commonly accessible in the marketplace, and most experts believe that they are significantly simpler to the house than the native range. Broad diversity of colour variants is still being produced, particularly in the case of the ocellaris and percula clownfish. With commercialized hatchery production of these clowns well underway, it may only be a matter of time till maroons arrive in ‘fantail’, ‘pearl scale’, and ‘bubble-eye’ varieties. Regardless, the particular forms we’ve adored are as likely as “red roses” to lose their widespread popularity.

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