Black Ice Clownfish Care Guide | Everything You Should Know

Apr 8, 2022

Black Ice Clownfish Care Guide

When Finding Nemo was released for the first time in 2003, little did unassuming clownfish know that their lives would change forever. Fast forward two decades later, there are several dozen variations available – wild-caught and tank-bred – who effortlessly become the crown jewel of any marine aquarium. 

Today’s blog will discuss one such specimen known as the black ice snowflake clownfish. 

From creating the right environment and feeding a well-rounded diet to breeding and raising young black ice snowflakes, you’ll have everything figured out by the end of this article. 

Let’s begin! 

Black Ice Clownfish At Glance 

Name Black Ice Clownfish 
Scientific NameAmphiprion Ocellaris 
Family Pomacentridae 
OriginCaptive-Bred
Lifespan10-20 Years
BreedingEgg-Layer
Care Level Easy
BehaviorSemi-Aggressive 
DietOmnivore
Minimum Tank Size20 Gallons
Temperature 72-78°F (22-25°C)

Black ice clownfish is a captive-bred specimen, and it’s nothing short of stunning. It’s a cross between black ocellaris and a snowflake clownfish.

These fine models were the early results of efforts to create a black ocellaris with a snowflake pattern. 

Black Ice Clownfish Habitat In Nature 

Black ice clownfish cannot be found in the wild. Instead, they’re ‘artificially’ bred in captivity by crossbreeding black ocellaris and snowflake clownfish. 

So, if you ever come across a black ice clownfish in the wild – it’s not a good sign for both fish and the environment. 

And if you’re thinking of releasing your black ice clownfish into the wild, don’t – for the obvious reasons.

But the fish used in creating black ice clownfish – black ocellaris clownfish and snowflake clownfish – are originally from Darwin (Australia) and Indonesia, respectively. 

Black Ice Clownfish Price | How Much Do They Cost?

Black ice clownfish can cost you anywhere between $50 to $80. Since it is a designer clownfish, the price it fetches is naturally on the higher side. 

The clownfish’s size also affects the cost. 

At Live Aquaria, the price for a standard black ice clownfish is listed as $74.99.

If you buy a small one, some stores sell it for around $50.

Related: Clownfish Lifespan | How Old Is The Oldest Clownfish?

Black Ice Clownfish Lifespan | How Long Do They Live?

Black ice clownfish can live for just as long as your regular ocellaris clownfish, 10-20 years. 

Now, I know 10-20 years is such a broad range for an answer, but several underpinning factors determine their lifespan. 

A pet fish as dainty as a clownfish surviving for more than a decade may seem like a far-fetched idea. But dig through some forums, and you’ll come across owners who have had their clownfish for more than 10-15 years. 

Isn’t that awesome? 

Ensure proper diet and habitat for your black ice clownfish. Who knows, maybe your clownfish will live past its 20th birthday! 

Black Ice Clownfish Appearance 

Black ice clownfish have the yellow-orange coloration of a regular snowflake clownfish. It is topped with ultra-dark and thick black markings around the uneven white bars. 

The size and the placement of the white bars and black markings slightly vary from one clownfish to clownfish. With these fish, no two specimens look the same. 

The first stripe is positioned right behind the eye, the second stripe goes vertically across the midsection, and the third one is at the base of the tail fin. 

Black ice clownfish are deep-bodied, medium-sized fish. They have oval, stout bodies and a rounded tail fin, which prevents them from being agile swimmers. 

The tail has a sharp white, black, and orange gradient, making it remarkable. 

And lastly, like all ocellaris clownfish, these fish have 11 spines on their dorsal spines, as opposed to 10 fins of all designer variants descending from the percula clownfish. 

Black Ice Clownfish Size 

Black ice clownfish grow to a maximum size of 3 inches (7.62 cm) on average. 

Naturally, female clownfish are bigger than the males by a couple of cms. The difference in size is quite apparent. 

There’s a misconception that fish grow to the size of their tank. I don’t know how true this statement is, but there are definitely a few cons to subjecting clownfish to a small tank. 

First, a small tank means your clownfish will not get as much exercise as it needs to or wants to. This could result in grave conditions like muscle atrophy. 

Second, small tanks mean frequent spikes in ammonia and nitrate levels and animosity over territory.

These factors can single-handedly or jointly stress your black ice clownfish, which results in the increased production of a stress hormone called cortisol. 

And oversecretion of cortisol is often linked with suppressed immunity and appetite, causing your fish’s health to fail. 

Black Ice Clownfish Male VS Female 

Besides the size difference, there are no other points of distinction between male and female clownfish. 

You could try observing their breeding tube during the breeding season if you really have the time, will, and patience. It’s supposed to be long and pointed in males and short and broad in females. 

Black Ice Clownfish Temperament And Behavior

Since a black ice clownfish’s roots can be traced back to ocellaris clownfish, its temperament and behavior, too, are comparable with the original Nemo fish. 

So, black ice clownfish are some of the most docile and peaceful clownfish varieties. 

Like any other fish on the planet, they become grouchy when there is competition over resources and mates. But even at worst, their aggression is subdued compared to what tomato and maroon clownfish display. 

Black ice clownfish seldom involve themselves in nipping and headbutting unless they’re pushed.

These fish have a rather unusual swimming style. They don’t flap their pectoral fins to move nimbly as most fish do. Instead, they row their fins – making it look almost clownish. 

I wonder if that’s why they are named clownfish. 

Black ice clownfish are no solitary fish. Instead, they prefer living in groups. 

But at the same time, they have a super strict pecking order in place. 

A group of black ice clownfish generally consists of 5-6 members. The biggest one is always the female, and she’s at the top of the pecking order.

The second biggest is the breeding male. Again, no points for guessing – he stands second in the pecking order. 

The rest of the members are sexually immature males. And the pecking order descends with each smaller fish. Scientists have recently found an average difference of 10 mm in size of these fish. 

If the alpha female dies, the breeding male will take up the vacant position and become a female. Yes, it’s possible. The testes get dissolved, and the ovaries grow prominent. 

Then, the rest of the members climb one step up in the pecking order. It’s pretty interesting! 

Another fun research revealed that if you place 2 sexually immature males in the same tank, they will fight each other until one of them emerges as a clear victor. 

The winner then immediately begins to transition into a female. 

Lastly, since clownfish are somewhat territorial, putting more than one pair in the same tank is not good. 

Related: Are Clownfish Aggressive? Will They Bite Your Finger?

Best Tankmates For Black Ice Clownfish 

Black ice clownfish are cordial, cultured fish. Therefore, the neighbors you choose for these fish should share the same calm temperament. 

Black ice clownfish make excellent candidates to go inside just about any saltwater tank due to their pleasant nature. 

That being said, don’t place them in the same environment as a maroon or tomato clownfish, who will undoubtedly scare the living daylights out of poor fish. 

Although there are no hard and fast rules to deciding the stocking number or type, experts have some recommendations. 

If your tank is smaller than 55 gallons and has no anemone present, you should not pair your black ice clownfish with any aggressive or semi-aggressive fish. 

However, if there’s an anemone present, your black ice clownfish has a safety net to fall back on even when being bullied by bigger, aggressive fish. 

Still, don’t pair your black ice clownfish with any fish large enough to swallow them whole. 

Here’s a list of fish that will make excellent tankmates for your black ice clownfish:

  • Percula clownfish 
  • Puffers
  • Blennies 
  • Dartfish 
  • Butterflyfish
  • Red coris wrasse 
  • Tangs 
  • Gobies 
  • Flame hawkfish 
  • Mandarin dragonets
  • Dottybacks 
  • Angelfish
  • Basslets
  • Damselfish
  • Dwarf angels 
  • Fairy wrasses 
  • Flame hawkfish 
  • Chromis damselfish 
  • Hermit crabs 
  • Blood red fire shrimp

Tankmates To Avoid For Black Ice Clownfish 

  • Maroon clownfish 
  • Tomato clownfish
  • Pink skunk clownfish 
  • Clark’s anemonefish 
  • Red and black anemonefish
  • Lionfish 
  • Triggerfish 

Black Ice Clownfish And Anemone Tank Setup

Although unacquainted with the wild environment, black ice clownfish naturally accept a wide variety of anemones as their hosts. 

In captive settings, hobbyists often pair them with hardy and popular bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)

For your reference, here’s a list of natural host anemones for the regular ocellaris clownfish:

  • Merten’s carpet sea anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii)
  • Giant carpet sea anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)
  • Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica)

As you already know, all clownfish share an interesting interspecies friendship – also known as a symbiotic relationship – with host anemones. 

If it weren’t for the anemones, clownfish wouldn’t have enjoyed such a long lifespan in the wild. They tick all the boxes – bright color, petite figure, and clumsy swimming style – to be easy prey for just about any big fish. 

Anemones provide protection and occasional fish scrap to the clownfish. 

In return, the clownfish serves as bait to lure prey, keep the anemone clean, and provide nourishment through its waste. 

Although it would be super fun to watch a clownfish and anemone socialize, you don’t necessarily have to raise them side by side in captivity. 

If you do, your black ice clownfish would love you for it, but the task of raising anemones should only be left to experienced hobbyists.

To paint you a picture, the minimum recommended tank size increases by 30 gallons (20 to 50 gallons) if you add an anemone. 

Second, while clownfish require low to moderate lighting, anemones thrive in intensely bright areas. Therefore, you will need to install T5s or metal halides. 

Don’t get disheartened if you can’t raise your black ice clownfish alongside its host anemone right away. Once you’ve garnered enough experience and knowledge, there’s always room to level up. 

And even when you finally deem yourself to be able to raise an anemone, do plenty of research first. There are one too many anemones that are poisonous and will sting real bad. 

One such example is Condy anemone (Condylactis gigantea). Its sting is far more powerful than what your poor clownfish can endure. And that’s not all. 

This anemone is also known to be pretty mobile and has a strong carnivore instinct. 

All that said, if you plan to house a host anemone for your black ice clownfish, you need to make the arrangements with the anemone’s needs in mind. The fish comes second. 

I’m yet to own a black ice clownfish, but I have a pair of ocellaris clownfish with bubble tip anemone in a 75-gallon tank at my office. It’s pretty fun to watch their bond. 

Every time I feed my clownfish, they make a point to grab something and offer it to their host anemone. How cool is that?

Can Black Ice Clownfish Live In A Reef Tank?

Yes, a black ice clownfish can live in a reef tank. In fact, a reef tank is what they need. 

Some may argue that they don’t require a reef setup since they’re born and bred in captivity – but the need to live among reefs is inherent, and the instinct is quite strong. 

And luckily, you don’t have to worry about your black ice clownfish wrecking your corals and sponges. They will scrape off algae from the corals and eat it at worst. 

Also, from what other hobbyists reported, in the absence of an anemone, a clownfish often chooses a coral as its host. For instance, one person on a forum said that his clownfish chose stony polyp coral and hairy mushroom coral. 

Black Ice Clownfish Diet 

Black ice clownfish are omnivores with an appetite for almost everything under the sun. Therefore, curating a diet regime for these fish is not challenging. 

In oceans, their wild cousins have the luxury to snack on algae to their fill, zooplankton, polychaete worms, fish larvae, small invertebrates, isopods, and planktonic fish eggs. 

Sometimes, feeding wild-caught clownfish can be tricky since they deter processed food like pellets and flakes. But this is not the case with your captive-bred black ice clownfish.

They will readily munch on everything from pellets and flakes to live or frozen treats.

I tried to culture my own mysis and brine shrimp a few years back. It was a failure. These days, I rely on my local fish store to supply these delicacies. 

However, one live food option occurs naturally in my garden – earthworms.

Once or twice a week, I give my fish live earthworms. They initially freaked out but love it now. Just make sure the earthworm is super clean and doesn’t have any trace of dirt before you offer it. 

I also treat my clowns with amphipods and copepods every once in a while. 

Anyway, here’s a list of food you can give your black ice clownfish:

  • Pellets 
  • Flakes 
  • Seaweed 
  • Squid
  • Amphipods 
  • Copepods 
  • Earthworms
  • Blackworms 
  • Blanched veggies 
  • Spirulina 
  • Chopped mussels 
  • Chopped fish 
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Brine shrimp 
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Algae wafers 

As you can see, the list of food you can give your clownfish is quite long. There are several options available. 

However, flakes and pellets are inevitably going to be a staple part of their diet. Therefore, you must find good brands that don’t use filler ingredients and contain curated nutrition for clownfish. 

And since algae would have made up a large portion of their diet in the wild, I’d recommend getting at least one algae-based product for your black ice clownfish. 

Here are two of my recommendations. 

Seachem’s NutriDiet Marine Flakes is what I give my clownfish. It’s enriched with probiotics. 

Zoo Med’s Spirulina Flakes enjoy excellent reviews on Amazon. 

There’s no rule etched in stone regarding how much and how often to feed. Skim through a few forums, and you’ll find many different answers. 

I give my adult clownfish two moderate-sized meals every morning and evening. 

However, if your clownfish are young juveniles, you must give them numerous meals a day – at least four to five times. 

And that’s because clownfish, like any other organism on the planet, face heightened risks of malnutrition and starvation when young.

My vet friend Ravi once suggested that I break the two big meals into several small meals and feed at regular intervals to help the aggression among my cichlids. 

I don’t know much about a fish’s psychology, but this approach apparently helps curb resource-related aggression. 

However, since black ice clownfish aren’t short-tempered like mbuna cichlids by a wide stretch, this feeding technique isn’t indispensable for the clowns. 

Plus, I doubt anyone would have the luxury to stay home and curate a four-course meal for their fish every day. Sorry, Ravi! 

Related: How Often To Feed Clownfish? Risks Of Underfeeding!

Water Parameters For Ocellaris Clownfish

  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-25°C)
  • pH: 7.8-8.4
  • Carbonate Hardness: 8-12 dKH
  • Specific Gravity: 1.023-1.025
  • Ammonia: 0 PPM
  • Nitrite: 0 PPM 
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 PPM 
  • Water Flow: Moderate 
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons 
  • Tank Region: All 

Related: What Water Temperature For Clownfish? What Happens If It’s Too Cold?

Tank Maintenance For Black Ice Clownfish 

So, that’s what the basic water parameters should look like for your black ice clownfish. These fish are pretty hardy to begin with. Therefore, as long as you maintain the correct parameters and keep them stable, you’ll encounter no problems. 

The fish used to create black ice clownfish come from the tropics where the water is warm. Therefore, these fish need their water temperature on the warmer side. 

And I can’t stress enough how important it is to not cut corners when getting your heating equipment. Horrid stories of fish boiling to death or being electrocuted are not uncommon. 

Also, don’t skimp when getting the filtration equipment. As hardy as black ice clownfish are, they’re quite intolerant of ammonia and nitrites. And I don’t blame them. 

If ammonia in the tank spikes to dangerous levels, your clownfish will slowly suffocate. Its bodily functions will stop working, and before you know it, your fish is dead. 

And if the nitrate level increases above safety levels, the fish will show signs like suppressed appetite, rapid gill movement, lethargy, and erratic swimming patterns. 

Since water needs to be alkaline, you can add calcium carbonate-based substrate to the tank. If you’re not a fan of that, you can try filling a mesh bag with dolomite gravel or crushed coral and place it in the filter. 

By the way, you cannot use pure calcium carbonate as a substrate. 

Performing water changes regularly is the key to a healthy aquarium and happy fish. 

There’s no brassbound rule to perform water changes. It all differs from one aquarium to another. 

But the general practice goes something like this:

  • For tanks up to 40 gallons, you need to perform a 15% water change biweekly 
  • For tanks sized 40-90 gallons, you should perform a 20-30% water change monthly 
  • For tanks sized 100 gallons or above, you should perform a 20-30% water change once every six weeks

If you skip water changes, things will not work out no matter what else you do to keep the tank pristine and healthy. 

However, overdoing it can be equally dangerous. 

If you perform more water changes than required, you will be eliminating the good bacteria colony in the process – defeating the whole purpose of conducting a water change in the first place. 

To ensure the water parameters are within safety limits, you must test them routinely. 

And for that, we recommend using liquid-based tests like API Saltwater Master Test Kit instead of strip tests. This is because liquid-based tests are reportedly more reliable than other kinds. 

Minimum Recommended Tank Size For Black Ice Clownfish

The minimum recommended tank size for black ice clownfish is 10 gallons. However, if I were to give my two cents’ worth, I’d say allocate at least 20 gallons for a single fish. 

You can then allocate 10-15 gallons for each additional fish. 

I’m not going to mince my words – small tanks are treacherous. They’re dangerous and cruel. 

However, marketing gimmicks like ‘beginner’s nano tank’ often trick new hobbyists into thinking that small tanks are beginner-friendly. 

They’re not. 

For starters, the parameters change way too often and way too fast in small tanks. Even worse, the smallest of changes in one corner can spread to the entire tank in no time. 

And no matter how hardy or friendly your black ice clownfish is, it will not tolerate sudden fluctuations or wrong parameters. 

Second, small tanks mean more frequent pollution. A certain amount of nitrite in a small tank can wreak havoc while it dilutes without any harm in a big tank. 

You will have to keep your eyes peeled at all times to ensure the parameters are safe and healthy. Unfortunately, this also means more frequent water tests and changes – exhausting your money, time, and energy. 

And lastly, although black ice clownfish are well-mannered like their wild cousins, they tend to get territorial when there’s not enough space in the tank. 

And animosity directly translates to undue stress. Your fish will produce a stress hormone called cortisol in excess, suppressing its appetite and weakening its immunity. 

TL;DR – Get a bigger tank. It might be a big investment up front, but both you and your fish will be happy in the long run. 

Related Articles! 

What’s The Ideal Clownfish Tank Size? 5, 10, Or 20 Gallons?

5-Gallon Clownfish Tank? Is It Even Possible?

Substrate And Decor For Black Ice Clownfish

Like the rest of the fish from the clownfish family, black ice clownfish don’t make agile swimmers. And that’s because they don’t flap their pectoral fins to swim like most fish do. 

Instead, they row their fins – resulting in an awkward yet adorable swimming style. 

I’m saying this because you must consider their swimming prowess when designing the tank’s layout. 

The tank should be set so that the fish is well protected from strong currents without having to cut corners when it comes to aesthetics. 

Aquascaping is a beautiful creative outlet. It’s also an excellent platform to showcase your personality and taste through your fish tank. So, you can pull all the stops to create a tank setup that reflects your personality or message.

As marine creatures, your black ice clownfish thrive the best in reef tank setups. However, they can also be kept in fish-only or FOWLR tanks. 

Since clownfish require the water to be alkaline, it’s best if you choose a calcium carbonate-based substrate. You can choose from aragonite sand, crushed coral, and dolomite gravel. 

I use aragonite sand substrate for most of my saltwater tanks since it is enriched with marine bacteria that boost the tank’s biological filtration. 

And by the way, it’s pretty easy to siphon too. 

Here’s a quick link to Carib Sea’s Special Grade Reef sand that promises functionality and aesthetics simultaneously. 

For decors, you need to give driftwood a miss this time. Driftwood contains tannins that make the water acidic. And if the water becomes too acidic for your clownfish to tolerate, it will sustain burns. 

However, if you are really digging the driftwood look, you can opt to add a couple of artificial ones. 

For rocks, you have two options – live rock and base rock. And both these options come with a unique set of pros and cons. 

Live rocks are teeming with good bacteria that underpin the tank’s biological filtration system.

However, there’s an equal chance that unwanted hitchhikers like marine parasites will find their way into your tank, clinging to the live rocks. 

You don’t have to worry about uninvited guests making their way into your tank with base rocks. But it also means there will be no good bacteria to bolster your tank’s filtration. 

I keep both live and base rocks in all my saltwater tanks and advise you to do so. 

While aquascaping, you should be able to strike the right balance between open swimming space and enough hiding places. You can obviously achieve that by strategically placing the caves, rocks, reef inserts, and other decorations. 

However, keep in mind that your clownfish will seldom stray away from its host if you place an anemone in the tank. It will hang around anemone pretty much all the time. 

Before we end this segment, here are a couple of tips for the next time you aquascape for your clownfish tank:

Always ensure ample space between the glass and the decors to allow algae scrapers to slide by on all sides of the tank. 

Firmly press the rocks and decors into the sand, so they’re touching the tank’s base. It will save inhabitants that dig from getting crushed or tumbled. 

Don’t place decors too close to each other. You need to ensure enough water flow to keep the debris from settling. 

Never lay egg crates under the rocks to keep the grass from scratching. This will only prevent sand-sifting critters and snails from snacking on detritus. 

Keep enough space above for coral growth, so they don’t branch outwards too much when you trim the tops.

Recommended Equipment For Black Ice Clownfish 

Keeping a saltwater tank is an expensive hobby. Therefore, you need to think twice before splurging on any equipment. 

It is always better to buy nice than buy twice. But it doesn’t mean you need to spend a generous sum on equipment. 

If you’re willing to do the research, there are plenty of affordable choices yet deliver high functionality. 

Scouring through dozens of reviews, we have handpicked two recommendations for you to have a look at. 

Fluval External Filter 

What’s So Good About It? 

  • Equipped with patented Aquastop valve 
  • Quiet operation thanks to sound-dampening impeller design 
  • 3-year warranty period 
  • Equipped with clog-proof intake strainer 
  • Instant prime for an instant startup 
  • Multi-stage filtration 

Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater 

What’s So Good About It?

  • German-built heater 
  • Made with shock-resistant and shatterproof glass 
  • Precise temperature regulation system 
  • Turns off automatically if water levels dip too low

Breeding Black Ice Clownfish 

Breeding black ice clownfish is not a difficult task. It’s not that they breed readily throughout the year but getting them to spawn is no rocket science either. Ever since the film Finding Nemo, several natural and man-made clownfish variants have cropped up. And luckily, most of them can be bred at home under normal circumstances. 

Below, I’ll categorize all the information you need on breeding black ice clownfish into different segments. 

Let’s begin! 

Choosing Your Black Ice Clownfish Pair 

With clownfish, the largest fish in the school is always the female. The second-largest fish is the breeding male. Rest are sexually immature. Now, there are a couple of ways of getting your breeding pair. Let me brief them quickly. 

Getting A Juvenile Pair 

Buying a juvenile pair and raising them from scratch is the most economical way of breeding black ice clownfish. According to scientists, if you put two sexually immature clownfish in the tank, they will fight until there’s one clear winner. 

The winner will then undergo a transition to becoming a female. 

The downside with this style is that there’s a long waiting period. Reportedly, males become sexually mature and can fertilize eggs by the time they are six months old. 

However, the female can take up to two years to spawn. 

So, if you’re looking for instant gratification, this isn’t the way to go. However, if you’d like to let nature take its course and bide your time, this could be a suitable option.

Getting A Small Male And Big Female 

The most commonly chosen option is getting an obviously large female and a much smaller male. Apparently, you can even get your hands on ‘proven’ fish with a track record of spawning. 

But the main drawback of this method is that there’s no guarantee the fish will naturally bond with each other. There’s every chance that the female discards the male and bullies him to the point he bites the dust. 

Therefore, it’s crucial that you closely observe the fish’s antics for a couple of days once you introduce them. Also, putting the male in the tank first apparently helps lessen the female’s harassment. 

Getting A Bonded Pair 

This method is costlier than those mentioned above two. But the success rate is high too. You can easily buy a bonded pair that will readily breed in your tank if the environment is favorable. 

However, the problem with this route is how someone can guarantee the pair is actually bonded. Taking someone’s word for it or watching a 20-second clip doesn’t cut it for the price you pay! 

But if you’re willing to give the seller the benefit of the doubt, you can go this way. 

Getting A Breeding Pair 

Getting a breeding pair is naturally the costliest method of all. But it’s also the most reliable one. So if you want to give it your best shot, we recommend getting a breeding pair. 

This way, you can be assured that the pair is bonded and even have some previous breeding experience. 

The MAJOR backside with this method is that a pair will cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars. 

I don’t know how much they charge for a breeding black ice pair, but I heard through the grapevine that a breeding pair of Picasso clownfish retails for $1000. 

Setting Up Your Black Ice Clownfish’s Breeding Tank 

Once paired, clownfish have no qualms about spawning in the community tank. However, the survival rate of their eggs and larvae will be remarkably low. 

Therefore, if you are serious about breeding black ice clownfish, you need to set up a separate breeding tank. You don’t need to make arrangements for anything fancy. A well-established 10 or 20-gallon will do. 

Once they set their heart on a particular breeding spot, they will hardly stray away from it. 

Equip the tank with a reliable filter and heater and let it fully cycle. Adding decorations or anemones isn’t necessary. But it’s best to add several clay pots and tiles to encourage them to spawn. 

It’ll make it easier for you to rehome the eggs later. 

Encouraging Black Ice Clownfish To Breed 

It’s next to impossible to get a pair to bond by force. But once they bond naturally, you can always create the right stimuli to get them to breed. 

First, you need to pay special attention to their diet. Feeding protein-rich food a couple of times a day is the first thing you should do. Experts recommend feeding them at least four times a day to entice spawning. 

Second, you need to maintain a warm but stable temperature at all times. I usually program my heater to keep the water at 83 degrees F all the time. 

Third, you should perform regular and big water changes. Truthfully, I don’t understand the science behind how water changes encourage fish to breed, but there’s a general consensus that it does. And even if it doesn’t, it at least helps keep the parameters in check. 

Black Ice Clownfish’s Courtship And Mating Ritual 

When the female is gravid, you can tell it by the look of her distended belly. She’ll look as if she’s put on some weight. After all, she is housing hundreds of tiny eggs inside her body. 

If the bulge isn’t apparent from the side, try observing the fish from the top angle. 

As the day of spawning nears, the ovipositor in both males and females will descend and look quite prominent. 

A male’s ovipositor is long and pointed, and a female’s ovipositor is blunt and broad. 

The male clownfish must find a suitable breeding spot and clean it spotless. And this is where the tiles and pots you added earlier come to play. 

It’s interesting to watch the male clean the to-be breeding spot. He will painstakingly remove any traces of debris, algae, or substrate from it. 

He is entrusted with one more task – wooing the female. The male will perform headstands, playfully nip, and show off his fins in a bid to woo the female. 

Once the female is impressed, she will drag the ovipositor over the chosen surface in a zigzag manner and lay up to 1,000 eggs. The male will then follow the cue and swiftly fertilize them. 

The adhesive eggs will stick to the tile or pot firmly. They’ll hatch in the next six to seven days. 

Meanwhile, prepare the fry tank. 

Preparing Black Ice Clownfish Fry Tank

Once again, if you are not too keen about raising baby black ice clownfish, you can leave the eggs to hatch in the breeding tank. But remember, it comes with a couple of caveats. 

There’s a good chance that the eggs and larvae get killed by the powerheads or pulled into the filtration system. 

You don’t need a huge tank to set up a habitat for the eggs and the fry. A 10-gallon tank would do. Anything bigger will make it harder for the larvae to find food later. 

Leave the base bare. Equip the tank with a reliable heater and a sponge filter. And lastly, fill it with the water present in the breeding tank. 

You can cover the tank’s top with cardboard or reflective wrap to regulate the amount of light coming in and out. 

Once the fry tank is all prepped up, nimbly remove the tile or pot containing eggs from the breeding tank and place it in the fry tank. Don’t overthink this step. If you do, it’ll be a mishap. 

The aforementioned step should ideally be carried out towards the end of the gestation period. 

And remember, you can’t suddenly or drastically change the amount of light the eggs receive.

Once the eggs are positioned correctly in the new tank, set up the air bubbler to run right over the eggs.

It’s not possible to save all eggs, but you should try to get as many eggs as possible to move. 

Now, the final step is to turn off the tank’s and room’s lights and wait for the magic to happen. 

The following day, don’t barge into the room and turn on all the lights. By doing so, you can quite literally scare the larvae to death. 

If everything went by the book, you can now see hundreds of orange larvae swimming in all directions. 

Related: What Do Clownfish Eggs Look Like? Sushi Roe? Picture Guide

Caring For The Fry 

The fry hatch with a nutritious yolk sac attached to their bodies. They rely on it for nutrition and hold on to it for dear life for the first couple of days. 

The period between the third to the fifth day is when the little fry are most prone to starvation. Therefore, you need to fortify their diet quite intensely. 

You can tint the tank green using liquid algae and add rotifers to it to feed them. 

From the fifth to sixth day onwards, you can give your black ice clownfish fry baby brine shrimp, and pulverized flake food. 

As long as the babies are well fed, and the water parameters are stable, you will be blessed with a high survival rate. 

Metamorphosis usually happens around the 10th day. Thus, you’d want to perform a big water change on the eighth or ninth day.

Usually, by the 20th day, the fry are big enough to be transferred into a grow-out tank. 

Black Ice Clownfish Diseases 

Black ice clownfish are just as hardy as your standard ocellaris clownfish and prone to the same illnesses. As long as you make provisions for the right environment and a well-rounded diet, the fish’s immune system won’t fail it. 

Otherwise, they’re especially prone to the following diseases:

  • Brooklynella 
  • Marine ich 
  • Marine velvet 
  • Uronema marinum 
  • Swim bladder disease 

Brooklynella is so rampant among clownfish that it’s monikered as clownfish disease. It’s caused by the infestation of ciliated protozoan known as brooklynella hostilis. 

Formaldehyde is deemed to be the most effective remedy against this disease. 

Marine ich too is caused due to ciliated protozoan – this time, it’s known as cryptocaryon irritans. This disease presents itself as tiny white dots across the fish’s body. 

Dosing the tank with copper-based treatment is effective against marine ich. But unfortunately, it will destroy your corals. 

Related: White Spots On Clownfish! Copper-Free Treatment?

Among all the diseases mentioned above, I think marine velvet boasts the highest mortality rate. Your black ice clownfish will develop a golden, velvety film as the disease progresses. 

Once again, copper-based treatments and freshwater dips work the best against this deadly disease. 

Uronema marinum is the quickest killer listed here today. This parasite is often contracted when we tend to lower the tank’s salinity to treat another condition but don’t lower it enough. 

This baneful parasite thrives in water with a specific gravity of around 1.013 to 1.020. 

Lastly, swim bladder disease is caused either by gastrointestinal problems or secondary conditions like injuries and abnormalities. If it’s due to digestive issues, fasting and feeding fibrous food might help. 

On the other hand, if it is due to secondary conditions like injury or abnormality, you’ll need professional help. 

Final Words! 

If you want to add unique designer clownfish to your saltwater tank but aren’t willing to break the bank for it, look no further. Black ice clownfish is just the right fish for you. 

A cross between black ocellaris clownfish and snowflake clownfish, black ice clownfish look absolutely amazing with just the right amount of black, orange, and white in their bodies. They’re one of a kind. 

The care these fish require is comparable to that of a standard ocellaris clownfish. These are beautiful, hardy fish that are also a breeze to care for as long as you get the basics right. 

Related Articles! 

Maroon Clownfish Care Guide: Everything You Need To Know 

Percula Clownfish Care Guide | Everything You Need To Know 

Ocellaris Clownfish Care Guide | Everything You Need To Know

Black And White Clownfish Care Guide | Diet, Habitat, Breeding, Accessories 

Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish Care Guide | All That You Should Know 

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.