The Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) is an excellent choice for beginner aquarists as it is very easy to care for and doesn’t need any special or overly complicated setups to feel happy. The species is considered one of the longest-lived, being able to live for more than 17 years in captivity without major problems.
In the wild, the Tomato Clownfish can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean, more specifically in the regions of Thailand, Palau, Japan and Indonesia. It usually inhabits reefs along the coast that form bays or inlets at depths that can vary between 1 and 12 meters. In addition, he feeds on filamentous algae planktonic copepods and crustaceans that include small Cameroon as well as fish eggs and larvae.
Because it is a very resistant fish, the Tomato Clownfish is ideal for beginners, but it can still suffer from poorly maintained environments. Therefore, perform partial water changes often, feeding it a good variety of food and having suitable aquarium mates will keep it alive for many years to come.
Keep reading the article for more information about Tomato Clownfish.
Name: Tomato Clownfish, Tomato Clownfish, Tomato Anemonefish, Red Clownfish, Onebar Anemonefish;
Scientific name: Amphiprion frenatus (Brevoort, 1856);
Origin of Species: Western Pacific Ocean (Gulf of Thailand southwest of Palau; Japan and south of the island of Java, Indonesia);
Length: Up to 14 cm;
Life expectancy: 17 years or older;
Difficulty level: Easy;
pH: Keep between 7.8 – 8.4;
Carbonate hardness: Between 8 – 12;
Temperature: Keep between 22 – 28°C;
The Tomato Clownfish has an oval shape and a deep body, similar to the others. clown fish species. This fish has a wide white stripe behind the eye area that runs from the top of the head to the chin.
Overall, males’ colors range from a deep orange to tomato red, and they maintain their bright hues throughout their lives. Females have similar colors, but are browner on the sides.
Omnivorous. In the wild, the Tomato Clownfish feeds on filamentous algae, planktonic copepods and crustaceans that include small Cameroon in addition to fish eggs and larvae.
The diet of this species in an aquarium should be varied and contain a good amount of protein-rich foods such as mysis shrimp and brine shrimp, as well as pieces of fish and any other frozen preparations.
In addition, the P. Tomato will feed on the algae in your aquarium. Therefore, you should provide a high quality flake or pellet food enriched with spirulina, especially if there is not enough algae for him to eat.
Temperament / Behavior
The Tomato Clownfish is considered a semi-aggressive animal, and as it ages, its aggressiveness becomes even greater. For example, on a scale of “clownfish aggressiveness” from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most aggressive, P. Tomato would be in the range of 7 and 8.
As with any other clownfish, the P. Tomate feels at home when in environments with coral reefs. However, you should be careful when adding more than one specimen to the aquarium, as they will likely fight unless they are a proven pair. So, if in doubt, try to keep it alone.
Being a semi-aggressive fish, choosing aquarium mates for the Tomato Clownfish can be quite a difficult task. I recommend that you avoid any species of maidens unless the aquarium is really big.
You can put it with many other fish, except for those big enough to swallow it. dottybacks are an exception and should never be in the same aquarium as P. Tomato.
If you are going to keep them with big angel fish, triggers, always add the Tomato Clownfish first. The only threats to invertebrates are some occasional copepods if not well fed and sometimes Cameroon very small.
Compatibility in aquariums with coral reefs
The Tomato Clownfish fits perfectly into a coral reef aquarium especially if he has a anemone host. This species of fish doesn’t bother any corals, but it can nip at the base when it’s looking for algae to feed on.
although the anemones are an impressive addition to any environment, they are more difficult to care for. If you decide to keep one in your aquarium, make sure their needs are promptly met.
In nature, the Tomato Clownfish is found inhabiting anemones of the species quadricolor Entacmaea and Heteractis crispa.
Males retain their vivid orange or reddish coloring throughout their lives. Females are usually slightly larger and, although they are similar in color, they turn a darker brown on the sides as they mature.
Mating / Reproduction
The Tomato Clownfish has already been bred in captivity and its young have been successfully bred. In fact, it is one of the easiest clownfish species to breed in terms of hatch rate and larval survival rate. In an aquarium, a female can lay around 400 eggs every 10 – 14 days, for example. These eggs hatch in 7 – 8 days and their larval period is only 9 days. The fingerlings with 6 and 7 months of age can now be marketed.
There is no way to tell the male and female apart when they are born, but these fish usually change sex as they grow. The Tomato Clownfish is known to stray farther away from its host anemone than other clowns. In the wild, for example, males are even capable of ejecting smaller males from nearby anemones and stealing their mates.
Several days before spawning, the male begins turning the substrate frequently to try to attract the female. During this time the female’s belly swells with the eggs and she can join him in this task.
Once the couple has decided on a spawning location, they will thoroughly clean the surface for proper adhesion of the eggs. The area is usually close to the anemone, which provides protection with its tentacles. The female presses her belly against the surface and then shudders and slowly crawls along it, leaving a trail of red eggs. Then the male comes after them and fertilizes them.
Spawning takes place two or three hours after sunset and will last about an hour and a half.
Within 8 to 10 days, depending on the temperature of the aquarium water, the eggs will hatch. On the eighth day after hatching, they metamorphose into post-larval fish. Then they begin to look like little miniature versions of their parents.
The aquarium needs to have at least 114 liters for a couple of this species.
Although the Tomato Clownfish likes environments with corals and anemones, you can still keep it in aquariums that contain only hiding places formed with live rocks. However, if you can afford it, I recommend setting up a beautiful aquarium with corals for these fish.
Aquarium lighting is not an issue unless you have anemones and corals. I recommend that you look to add large anemones like, for example, Heteractis, Stoichactidae or quadricolor Entacmaeabecause these fish love it.
Try to maintain levels of nitrate always below 50 mg / l, because the clown fish are very sensitive to it. So perform partial water changes frequently to keep your levels low.