There are dozens of designer clownfish variants available for purchase but none as striking and unique as the black storm clownfish.
Thanks to the good peeps at Sea And Reef, meticulous selective breeding was carried out to create this beautiful mutation.
In this care guide, I will spill the beans on everything you should know about raising black storm clownfish – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
By the end of this article, you will be well-versed in everything you should know about successfully raising and breeding black storm clownfish.
So, let’s begin!
Black Storm Clownfish At Glance
|Name||Black Storm Clownfish|
|Scientific Name||Amphiprion Ocellaris|
|Minimum Tank Size||72-78°F (22-25°C)|
If you’re interested, I’ll tell you how the black storm clownfish first came into existence. If you aren’t, skip directly to the information below!
How Was Black Storm Clownfish Created?
In late 2014, breeders at Sea And Reef released a new strain of ocellaris clownfish known as MochaVinci clownfish by breeding DaVinci ocellaris clownfish and jet-black ocellaris clownfish.
Thanks to our lucky stars, one of the MochaVinci offspring looked remarkably different than the rest. Turns out that it was a one-in-a-million mutation.
The swirly pattern and golden coloration typical in the rest of the MochaVinci offsprings were missing in the mutated fish.
Instead, the fish had exaggerated white patterns that had more straight lines.
So, the fascinated breeders at Sea And Reef paired the mutated MochaVinci clownfish with black ocellaris clownfish.
The resultant fry had an even more exaggerated white body pattern and an almost white face. The black patterns turned into blotches and circles comparable to a dalmatian puppy’s.
So, monikered black storm clownfish, these fish were first launched on November 1st, 2017. And the rest is history.
By the way, ORA Farm’s variation of black storm clownfish is reportedly created by pairing a black storm male and a black snowflake female.
Black Storm Clownfish Habitat In Nature
Black storm clownfish derive their lineage from a distinct mutation that appeared during selective breeding. Therefore, these fish are not found in the wild.
However, the origin of their predecessors, standard ocellaris clownfish, can be traced back to the Indo-Pacific region.
I’m sorry if I sound like Captain Obvious right now, but since these fish are not naturally found in the wild, it’s never a good idea to release them into the wild.
This will undoubtedly invite dire consequences for both the fish and the ecosystem.
Black Storm Clownfish Price | How Much Do They Cost?
No points for guessing – black storm clownfish are costly. They retail for around $120 for a small-sized variant, $139 for a medium-sized variant, and $150 for a large variant.
A pair of black storm clownfish costs around $300.
I know the price tag is hefty, but these stunning fish are worth every cent you’ll pay!
Black Storm Clownfish Lifespan | How Long Do They Live?
Black storm clownfish live for just as long as your standard ocellaris clownfish under the right care, which is 10-20 years.
Now I know 10-20 years is such a broad answer for a question as specific as this, but truth be told, their lifespan depends on several factors.
The environment you raise them in, the diet you feed them, and the water quality they live in play pivotal roles in determining how long a black storm clownfish – or any other fish for that matter – will live.
It’s not at all uncommon for a clownfish’s life to be cut short – ending at just 5-6 years – owing to bad husbandry and diet.
But scrounge around a few forums, and you’ll come across owners with clownfish that have been around for 15-20 years.
Under the right care, it’s not an impossible feat to achieve.
Related: Clownfish Lifespan | How Old Is The Oldest Clownfish?
Black Storm Clownfish Appearance
Black storm clownfish are hands down the most good-looking clownfish variant available to us.
The designer clownfish comes in an unmistakable black and white panda pattern with an almost white face and black eyes.
The gorgeous black patterns, in the form of blotches and circles, come in any number randomly, ensuring each fish is truly unique.
Unlike most other clownfish species, these fish don’t have the signature 3 stripes positioned right behind the eye, mid-body, and the base of the tail fin.
Instead, the milky white body is dotted with random black marks and blotches, lending literally the one-of-a-kind look to every specimen.
Despite the variation in shape and number of black blotches, the tails in almost all black storm clownfish are jet black with a thick white lining.
Body structure-wise, the fish are deep-bodied and medium-sized.
The body is stout and oval.
And the tail fin is rounded, preventing them from being nimble swimmers like most fish are.
Finally, these fish have 11 dorsal spines on the very top of the fin. That’s one spine more than what all percula designer clownfish have.
Black Storm Clownfish Size
Black storm clownfish grow to a maximum size of 3 inches (8 cm) like the other designer ocellaris clownfish. As you’re already aware, the females are unmistakably bigger than their male counterparts.
There’s this common misconception doing the rounds on the internet that fish grow to the size of their tank.
I don’t really know how true it is. And even if it is, I’m sure this doesn’t apply to dainty species like clownfish.
All that said, a small tank does hold power to stunt your fish’s overall growth in the long run. Moreover, it does so in an implicit way.
For example, a small tank directly translates to a lack of enough swimming space and exercise. Therefore, there’s every chance that your fish may contract conditions like muscle atrophy.
Second, small tanks get polluted quickly. The spike of harmful compounds like ammonia and nitrite happens too often and too fast.
And naturally, when a fish is consistently exposed to poor water conditions, it will sooner or later contract diseases with dire repercussions.
Lastly, a lack of space means increased animosity to claim territories. Unfortunately, when under stress, clownfish produce a certain hormone called cortisol that wrecks the immunity and suppresses appetite.
So, you see – small tanks may not directly stunt your fish’s growth. But they give way to several other factors that prevent your fish from reaching its full-size potential.
Black Storm Clownfish Male VS Female
Male and female black storm clownfish look pretty much the same except for one major distinction. The female is always noticeably bigger than a male – and that’s about it.
They display very little to no sexual dimorphism in other departments.
As the spawning season approaches, the breeding tube in both males and females will become prominent and descend. A female’s breeding tube is short and wide, whereas a male’s is long and pointy.
If you have really sharp eyes and some time to squander, you can try observing their breeding tubes.
Black Storm Clownfish Temperament And Behavior
A black storm clownfish’s temperament is comparable to that of a regular clownfish, which means they’re just as peaceful and well-mannered as their original counterparts.
Given their subdued nature, black storm clownfish make ideal citizens of any community tank. They are nowhere near as hostile and aggressive as tomato or maroon clownfish.
That being, they do get annoyed and grouchy if there’s constant competition for space and resources.
With wild-caught specimens, it is pretty challenging to get them accustomed to living in an enclosed system like an aquarium. However, since black storm clownfish are cent percent born and bred in captivity, you will not encounter this problem with them.
Despite years and series of selective breeding, these fish have impressively retained their gawky yet so adorable swimming style.
For instance, these fish don’t flap their pectoral fins to swim efficiently as most fish do. Instead, they row the fins.
Although black storm clownfish are captive-bred specimens, they have an innate need and a strong instinct to form a symbiotic relationship with anemones.
This endearing relationship between these little fish and the marine invertebrates is one of the most unique interspecies friendships known to men.
The anemone protects the clownfish from potential predators and occasionally offers food scrap.
If it weren’t for the anemones, clownfish would have lived very short lives – thanks to their bright coloration, awkward swimming style, and teeny size.
On the other hand, the clownfish routinely cleans its host anemone – removing debris, algae, and dirt off it. The fish also shares food with the anemone and provides nourishment through its waste.
I have an ocellaris clownfish pair and a bubble tip anemone in a 75-gallon tank.
Whenever I offer any food to the fish, they always make a point to grab some with their mouths and present it to the host anemone.
The same tank also houses a hermit crab who loves snatching food away from the anemone. When this happens, I once again offer the fish some food, and it will quietly once again offer it to the anemone.
All in all, it’s so heartwarming to watch their relationship and amusing antics.
Now, let’s have a look at their communal living system.
These fish have a strong inclination to live in small groups. Ideally, a group contains 5-6 members, where the biggest fish is always the female. So naturally, she comes first in the pecking order, too.
The second one in this unusual hierarchy is the second largest fish, appointed as the breeding male.
The rest of the members are sexually immature males. And according to one research, there’s an average difference of 10 mm in their size as the pecking order descends.
The female, AKA lady boss, displays an assertive personality, whereas the rest of the guys act as appeasers.
Here’s an interesting bit.
If you keep 2 sexually immature black storm clownfish in the same tank, they will involve in a duel. And guess what the reward for the victor is?
He gets to transition into a female! Yes, you read it right.
His mind and body undergo a drastic change. The ovaries grow big and become functional, whereas the testes get absorbed.
And if you’re lucky, the two will now pair up and yield you some adorable black storm clownfish fry.
When it comes to stocking numbers, the most commonly traveled route is to house a pair of clownfish.
If you keep multiple pairs, there’s a good chance that the two parties will fight each other – resulting in potential injury and even death.
Similarly, it’s not the best idea to keep a mated pair and a single sexually immature clownfish in the same tank. The duo will make life miserable for the singleton.
If you want to raise a school of clownfish, it’s possible. But you’re going to need a big tank for that. You’ll also have to commit a good amount of time, money, and energy.
Therefore, I’d only recommend raising a school of black storm clownfish once you have garnered enough knowledge, experience, and confidence to help them lead happy lives.
Related: Are Clownfish Aggressive? Will They Bite Your Finger?
Black Storm Clownfish Tankmates
Black storm clownfish make good neighbors. You can put them in just about any community tank. They seldom cause any nuisance.
However, since these fish have passive, subdued personalities, you shouldn’t pair them with aggressive fish.
So, black storm clownfish make great tankmates for everyone. But there’s a good chance that their friendliness isn’t reciprocated.
If your black storm clownfish tank is smaller than 55 gallons and doesn’t house an anemone, you shouldn’t raise them alongside semi-aggressive or aggressive species.
However, if the tank is large and there’s also an anemone present, your clownfish can probably hold its own against mean tankmates.
Still, you need to make sure the clowns aren’t paired with fish that are big enough to swallow little clownfish in a single gulp.
That being said, let’s look at suitable and unsuitable tankmates!
Suitable Tankmates For Black Storm Clownfish
- Dwarf angels
- Mandarin dragonet
- Flame hawkfish
- Chromis damselfish
- Red coris wrasses
- Blood red fire shrimps
- Hermit crabs
Tankmates To Avoid For Black Storm Clownfish
You should avoid all huge, mean tankmates and have an appetite for petite fish.
Some of them are:
- Maroon clownfish
- Tomato clownfish
- Clark’s anemonefish
- Pink skunk clownfish
- Red and black anemonefish
Black Storm Clownfish And Anemone Tank Setup
Although born and bred in captivity, a black storm clownfish’s mind is hardwired to have a symbiotic relationship with anemones. It’s not that anemones are absolutely indispensable, but your fish would definitely appreciate having one.
Here’s a list of anemones that would make great hosts for your black storm clownfish:
- Bubble tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor)
- Giant carpet sea anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)
- Merten’s carpet sea anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii)
- Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica)
If you are testing the water in the saltwater fishkeeping hobby for the first time, I’d recommend against raising anemones. Unlike clownfish, these marine invertebrates demand considerable time, energy, and resources.
For example, if you plan to raise 1 clownfish and 1 anemone together, the minimum recommended tank size would increase from 20 to 50 gallons.
Likewise, clownfish can thrive in low-moderate light settings, whereas anemones require intense lights. Therefore, you will need to install T5s or metal halides.
Cutting it short, the takeaway point here is that if you plan to raise clownfish and anemone together, you need to design the tank and make necessary provisions with the anemone’s needs in mind.
And mind you, they’re pretty demanding!
Also, if you plan to keep multiple anemone-clownfish pairs in the tank, you should allocate at least 2 feet of distance between the two parties. Bottom line: you’ll need a huge tank, to begin with.
Lastly, don’t forget to do your homework before adding any anemone into your ocellaris clownfish tank. Some of them impart more harm than good.
For instance, Condy anemone (Condylactis gigantea) is quite mobile and has a strong carnivore instinct.
Even worse, its sting is far more potent than what your poor black storm clownfish can tolerate.
Can Black Storm Clownfish Live In Reef Tanks?
Black storm clownfish don’t have previous living experience in a natural reef setting, but they’d sure love to live in a reef tank.
Some may argue that as fish born and bred in captivity, black storms have no idea what reefs are and hence their need.
But it’s important to know that despite being born and brought up in a captive setting, these fish feel the innate need to live among reefs.
A couple of years of selective breeding cannot change their fundamental nature and instincts.
Also, the good news here is that your black storm clownfish will inflict no harm on your corals. They’ll occasionally scrape off and eat algae growing on corals, but that’s about it.
In the absence of anemones, the fish is also known to select a host coral. How adorable is that!
A hobbyist on a fish forum recently reported that his clownfish have adopted hairy mushroom coral and large polyp stony coral as their hosts.
Black Storm Clownfish Diet
Black storm clownfish are omnivores. Therefore, the list of food they can consume is pretty long.
In nature, their wild cousins snack primarily on fish larvae, small invertebrates, planktonic fish eggs, zooplankton, algae, isopods, copepods, and polychaete worms.
It’s far-fetched to emulate this kind of diet for your fish in captivity, but they will readily consume anything from pellets to flakes to live treats.
With wild-caught specimens, sometimes it can be tricky to get them to eat processed food like flakes. However, you don’t have to worry about your black storm clownfish being finicky.
Here’s a list of food to give your black storm clownfish:
- Mysis shrimp
- Brine shrimp
- Chopped fish
- Chopped mussels
- Algae wafers
- Black worms
- Blanched veggies
- Mosquito larvae
I once tried my hands at culturing my own mysis and brine shrimp to save some costs. But it turned out to be nothing but a hassle. Therefore, these days, I rely on a credible, local fish store nearby to supply me with these delicacies.
Since there are plenty of earthworms roaming around in my garden, I occasionally feed them to my clownfish. But first, I wash them squeaky clean and make sure there’s no trace of dirt present.
Initially, my clowns freaked out when I placed the earthworm in the tank. But now they love snacking on it and often beg for some more!
It goes without saying, but pellets and flakes will naturally make up a good portion of your clownfish’s day-to-day diet in captivity.
Therefore, you shouldn’t cut corners when choosing brands for pellets and flakes. Make sure to only go for brands that don’t use filler ingredients.
If you’re interested, here’s a link to Seachem’s NutriDiet Marine Flakes that I give my clownfish. It is enriched with probiotics.
I’m going to make one more recommendation. And this time, I have chosen spirulina flakes. That’s because algae make up a good part of a clownfish’s diet in the wild.
In oceans and seas, they graze on algae to their fill. And while doing so, they’re also helping the coral reefs by scraping algae off them.
Here’s a quick link to Zoo Med’s Spirulina Food Flakes that receives pretty amazing reviews on Amazon!
How Often Should You Feed Black Storm Clownfish?
Adult black clownfish should be fed twice a day – in the morning and evening. On the other hand, fry and juvenile clownfish should be fed several times a day.
Like any other organism, these fish are prone to malnutrition and stunted growth when young.
If your clownfish tend to fight over food, it’s best to break the big meal into several small meals. My veterinarian friend Ravi suggested that this approach helps curb resource-related aggression.
Related: How Often To Feed Clownfish? Risks Of Underfeeding!
Water Parameters For Black Storm Clownfish
- Temperature: 72-78°F (22.2-25.5°C)
- pH: 8.1-8.4
- Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.025
- Carbonate Hardness: 8-12 dKH
- Water Flow: Moderate
- Tank Size: 20 Gallons
- Tank Region: All
- Ammonia: 0 PPM
- Nitrite: 0 PPM
- Nitrate: Below 20 PPM
Related: What Water Temperature For Clownfish? What Happens If It’s Too Cold?
Tank Maintenance For Black Storm Clownfish
Just like their all-natural counterparts, black storm clownfish are not high-maintenance pets. But that doesn’t mean you can keep them in subpar environments. If you do so, there’s every chance the fish will contract harmful parasites.
If you stick to the above table while maintaining parameters, your fish should be fine for the most part.
A black storm clownfish’s predecessors come from warmer waters of the coastal areas. Therefore, these fish need the water temperature to be on the warmer side – 72-78°F (22.2-25.5°C).
Saltwater fishkeeping is an expensive hobby, I know. But it doesn’t mean you can skimp when it comes to equipment like a heater.
I have heard one too many stories of poor little fish boiling to their death or getting electrocuted due to a faulty system.
Besides the fish, there’s an equal chance that you or someone dear to you gets electrocuted too.
Now, just like with heaters, you should not cut corners when getting a proper filtration system. Black storms are hardy clownfish. But just as every other fish, they’re incredibly intolerant of harmful spikes in levels of ammonia and nitrites.
For example, if ammonia levels spike to dangerous levels, your fish will slowly but surely suffocate. Then, before you know it, its bodily functions will fail, and your fish will bite the dust.
Similarly, if there’s a spike in nitrate levels, the poor fish will show signs like rapid gill movement, erratic swimming, lethargy, and suppressed appetite.
Since black storm clownfish are marine species, they need alkaline water to thrive.
So, to maintain the water’s alkalinity, you can use a calcium carbonate-based substrate. If you’re not a fan of that, fill a mesh bag with crushed coral or dolomite gravel and place it in the filter.
The water’s specific gravity should be maintained in the 1.020-1.025 range. If it gets any lower than this, it’ll create a conducive environment for certain parasites to thrive.
Lastly, carbonate hardness should be maintained around 8-12 dKH.
The precondition for keeping a tank healthy and clean is performing routine water changes. There are no shortcuts here. You will have to spare some elbow grease every once in a while.
The frequency and extent of water change differ from one tank to another – there’s no one rule etched in stone. Instead, it depends on factors like the tank’s size, stocking number, the kind of fish you keep, etc.
However, here’s what loose guidelines for performing water change look like:
- For 40 gallons or smaller tanks, perform a 15% water change every week.
- For tanks sized between 40 to 90 gallons, perform a 20-30% water change every month.
- For tanks sized 100 gallons bigger, perform a 20-30% water change once every 6 weeks.
Once again, note that these are just some basic guidelines. There’s no hard and fast rule to performing water changes. You know your tank and its needs better than anyone else.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to perform water changes diligently.
If you skip, the tank’s ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels will inevitably go up.
And we have already discussed the consequences of a spike in levels of these harmful compounds.
That being said, you should also be mindful about not overdoing the water changes. If you do so, you’ll eliminate the good bacteria colony in the process.
We use the API Saltwater Master Test Kit at Urban Fishkeeping to test the water parameters and ensure everything is under safety levels.
This kit measures 4 important water parameters: high range pH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.
We recommend you to use this kit, too. Reportedly, liquid-based tests like these are far more accurate than strip test kits.
Minimum Recommended Tank Size For Black Storm Clownfish
The minimum recommended tank size for a single black storm clownfish or any designer fish descending from ocellaris clownfish is 10 gallons. However, if you were to heed my opinion, allocate at least 20 gallons for a single fish.
You can then allocate 10-15 gallons extra for each additional fish.
Thanks to malicious marketing gimmicks like ‘beginner’s nano tank’ or ‘self-maintaining nano tank,’ novice hobbyists are tricked into thinking that small tanks are easier to look after.
But my friend, that’s just wishful thinking. And there are more wishes than stars.
Small tanks are not easy to maintain. As a matter of fact, they’re downright volatile and tricky. They’ll deceive you at the most inconvenient hours.
Let me quickly touch upon why I dislike small tanks so much.
A small tank means a small volume of water. And the smaller the water body is, the more volatile it is. So it will be tough to maintain the water parameters at all times.
Even worse, a slight fluctuation in one of the parameters in one corner of the tank can transmit to all parts in no time.
And let’s not forget that they get polluted ever so often.
The same amount of nitrite in a small tank can cause mayhem, whereas it may dilute with no complication in a big tank.
TL;DR – maintaining a small tank is like walking on eggshells.
And besides that, your black storm clownfish will not appreciate having to fritter away its life in such a small space.
Although we don’t think highly of a fish or its capabilities, confining it to limited space will inflict mental and physical harm to the poor being.
First, it can contract conditions like muscle atrophy due to a lack of proper exercise. Second, it will be under constant stress due to territorial aggression and polluted water.
Now, this may sound far-fetched right now, but it’s bound to impact your fish’s health and longevity in the long run.
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 Storm Clownfish
Since black storm clownfish don’t really make great swimmers, you should consider this point when designing the tank’s layout.
You should design the tank’s layout in such a way that the fish is protected from strong water currents without having to let go of the aesthetics.
Aquascaping is a beautiful channel to let your creativity and personality shine. So, spare no effort – pull out all the stops.
Like all clownfish, these fish can thrive in reef, fish-only, and FOWLR tanks.
Since the water should be alkaline for these marine fish, your substrate should be calcium carbonate-based.
Don’t use pure calcium carbonate, though. You can choose from aragonite sand, dolomite gravel, and crushed coral.
Our preferred choice here at Urban Fishkeeping is aragonite sand. It ticks all the boxes.
While at it, let me give you a quick link to the Carib Sea’s Special Grade Reef Sand that blends functionality and aesthetic appeal simultaneously.
This special reef sand comes teeming with millions of marine bacteria to further enhance your tank’s biological filtration.
You can place corals, sponges, and anemones for decors since clownfish aren’t known to harm them.
For rocks, you can choose from live rocks and base rocks.
Live rocks are brimming with good bacteria that bolster a tank’s biological filtration. However, we also cannot rule out the chances of unwanted hitchhikers making their way into your tank as well.
You don’t have to worry about harmful pathogens entering your tank with base rocks. But at the same time, there will be no beneficial bacteria either.
Since driftwood contains tannins that make the water acidic, you should give it a miss. If the water becomes too acidic, it will sting and burn the poor fish’s skin.
But if you’re really digging the rustic look that driftwoods provide, you can always buy artificial ones. Just make sure they are safe for a saltwater aquarium.
Before we end this segment, I’ll dish out a few handy tips for the next time you aquascape!
- Be sure to leave enough space between the decors and the tank’s glass for algae scrapers to easily slide by on all sides.
- The rocks and decors should be firmly pressed into the sand, so they touch the tank’s base. It will help prevent the inhabitants that dig from getting crushed or tumbled.
- You shouldn’t place the decors too tightly. This will hinder water flow and encourage debris buildup.
- Leave ample space above for coral growth, so it doesn’t branch outwards too much when you trim the tops.
Recommended Equipment For Black Storm Clownfish
The saltwater aquarium hobby can get so expensive that we’re often left with buyer’s remorse later on. It has happened to me many times before, and I know it has happened to you too.
That’s why, I carried out meticulous research to come up with 2 product recommendations that deliver on all fronts.
Have a look!
Fluval External Filter
Why Do We Love It?
- It is equipped with a patented Aquastop valve
- It has a 3-year warranty period
- It ensures quiet operation due to the sound-dampening impeller design
- It has a multi-stage filtration system
- It allows instant prime for an instant startup
- It has a clog-proof intake strainer
Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater
Why Do We Love It?
- It is a German-made product
- It offers a precise temperature regulation function
- It automatically turns off when the water level dips too low
- It is built with shock-resistant and shatter-proof glass
- It comes with suction cups and mounting brackets for easy placement
Breeding Black Storm Clownfish
Breeding black storm clownfish is not tricky. But if you don’t get the basics right, you’ll never be able to get them to successfully breed. Lucky for you, I’ll share all the information you’ll ever need on breeding black storm clownfish below.
Choosing Your Black Storm Clownfish Pair
There are 4 ways of choosing your black storm clownfish pair.
The first and the most economical method is to buy a juvenile pair and wait for nature to take its course.
According to scientists, when you place 2 sexually immature juveniles in the same tank, the duo will fight until one of them emerges as a winner and transitions to become a female. Then hopefully, they will mate.
But the catch here is that it’s gonna take a long time. While males sexually mature and get ready to fertilize eggs by the 6th month, females can take up to 2 years.
The second approach is to buy an obviously large female and a smaller male.
The success rate with this method is higher than the aforementioned one. But there’s no guarantee that the pair will hit it off.
There’s all the chance in the world that the female will discard the male and pay him no attention. Even worse, he can get mercilessly bullied.
The third and somewhat costlier method is to buy a bonded period. When you get a bonded pair, they will start breeding as soon as the environment becomes favorable.
However, if you’re someone like me, you’d be skeptical if the pair is really bonded or not by taking someone’s word for it or watching a 20-second clip.
The fourth way is the way to go if you’re bent over backward to breed black storm clownfish. When you buy a breeding pair, you’re buying a pair that have made some adorable babies in the past.
The obvious con of this method is that it’s so darn expensive! Getting a breeding pair of designer black storm clownfish can set you back at least a couple hundred dollars.
Setting Up Black Storm Clownfish Breeding Tank
Once you’re positive the pair is bonded, you can leave them to their own devices and let them breed in the communal setup. But if you choose this route, the survival rate will be meager.
If you’re serious about breeding clownfish, you need to set up a breeding tank. A 10 or a 20-gallon tank would do. Once the pair decides on a breeding spot, they seldom move away from it.
Equip the tank with a suitable heater and filter. Also, make sure to cycle it properly. Leave the base bare and add several tiles and clay pots.
You don’t have to add any additional rocks, anemones, or corals.
Encouraging Black Storm Clownfish To Pair
There’s pretty much nothing you can do if the duo doesn’t pair up naturally. However, you can pull a few strings to stir up things once they are bonded.
The first thing to do is regularly feed the pair a protein-rich diet. You should aim to provide around 4 meals a day. I know it doesn’t sound convenient but try to experiment with your routine.
Second, increase the temperature slightly. Keep it stable at around 83 degrees F.
And lastly, perform a frequent water change. I don’t know why and how, but the general consensus is that performing water change entices fish to breed.
Courtship And Mating Ritual In Black Storm Clownfish
Once your female is gravid, she will start looking a little plump. It’s only natural – she’s housing hundreds of tiny eggs inside her body.
If the bulge isn’t apparent from the side, try observing the fish from a top view.
As the day of spawning nears, both male’s and female’s breeding tube descends.
The male has two important jobs to perform. First, he should find a suitable breeding spot and clean it spotless. This is where the tiles and pots you placed earlier come into play.
It’s pretty fun to watch the male remove debris, algae, and any trace of dirt from the breeding spot.
That’s not all. The male is also tasked with wooing the female. He’ll perform a headstand, flaunt his fins, and playfully chase and nip the female.
Once the female is happy with the arrangement, she will drag her ovipositor over the chosen spot in a zigzag pattern and lay around 1,000 eggs.
The male will then proceed to fertilize the eggs. Since the eggs are adhesive, they’ll firmly attach to the tile or pot.
The eggs will hatch in the next 5-7 days. Meanwhile, you can prepare the fry tank.
Preparing Black Storm Clownfish Fry Tank
Leaving the eggs to hatch in the breeding tank comes with certain risks. First, the larvae can get killed immediately by the powerheads.
Even worse, they can even get pulled into the filtration system.
Therefore, it’s crucial to set up a breeding tank.
Get a 10-gallon tank, and equip it with a sponge filter, a functioning heater, an air stone, and an LED hood.
Leave the base bare. Otherwise, the fry may have difficulty finding food.
It’s also wise to cover the tank top with a cardboard paper or reflective wrap to regulate the amount of light entering the tank.
Fill the tank with water from the breeding tank.
Once the fry tank is all ready, nimbly move the tile or pot containing eggs from the breeding tank and place it in the fry tank.
This step should preferably be carried out around the end of the incubation period.
Next, set up the air bubbler to run over the eggs directly and get as many eggs as possible to move.
Turn all the lights off and wait for the magic to happen.
The following day, don’t go marching into the room and turn on all the lights. You can scare the fry to death literally.
If you’ve done everything the right way up until now, you’ll have hundreds of fry wriggling around in all directions now.
Related: What Do Clownfish Eggs Look Like? Sushi Roe? Picture Guide
Caring For The Fry
When hatched, all fry are equipped with a yolk sac that supplies them with nutrition for the first couple of days.
Day 3 to day 5 is when they’re most prone to starvation. Therefore, you need to take extra care of their diet at this point.
Tint the tank green using liquid algae and add rotifers into it.
From the fifth/sixth day onwards, you can give them baby brine shrimp and pulverized flake food.
Metamorphosis usually happens around the 10th day. Thus, you need to perform a big water change by the 8th or 9th day.
By the 20th day, the fry are all ready to be moved out to a grow-out tank.
Black Storm Clownfish Diseases
Black storm clownfish are hardy fish. They’re just as hardy as your regular ocellaris clownfish or any other designer clownfish descending from ocellaris clownfish. However, if kept in subpar condition for a long time, the fish is susceptible to the following diseases:
- Marine Velvet
- Marine Ich
- Uroema Marinum
- Swim Bladder Disease
Brooklynella is quite rampant among clownfish. As a matter of fact, it’s so rampant that it’s called clownfish disease these days. This fatal disease impacts and clogs the fish’s gills, preventing it from breathing normally.
This disease can kill your clownfish within a span of a few days. Formaldehyde is deemed to be the most effective medication against this disease.
Marine velvet is a baneful disease with a significantly high mortality rate. This disease too affects the fish’s gills and hinders breathing.
As the disease advances, the fish will develop gold-colored, velvet-like film all over the body.
Ciliated protozoan called cryptocaryon irritans is responsible for marine ich. The disease manifests as tiny salt flakes across the body.
Besides the obvious white spots, flashing, scratching, labored breathing, and twitching are some signs of marine ich. It’s best treated with copper-based medications.
Related: White Spots On Clownfish! Copper-Free Treatment?
Uronema marinum presents itself as red sores across the fish’s body and is most commonly seen on chromis damsels. It’s caused by a ciliate parasite that has a direct lifecycle – meaning it lives, feeds, and reproduces directly on the fish.
The treatment of choice against uronema is a 45-minute formalin bath.
As the name suggests, swim bladder disease is characterized by malfunctioning of the swim bladder caused either by indigestion, abnormality, or an injury.
This condition forces the fish to lose its buoyancy and swim erratically. If it’s due to indigestion or bloating, fasting and feeding a fibrous meal can help.
If it’s due to abnormality or an injury, the fish needs to be assessed by a vet.
Black storm clownfish are without question the most beautiful designer clownfish variant available for purchase. They are costly, but they’re very rewarding too.
No matter how fancy or unusual they look, at the core, they’re still very much your regular ocellaris clownfish. So, therefore, the temperament, the care requirement, the size – everything is comparable to an ocellaris clownfish.
I believe I have included pretty much everything there’s to know about these fish in this care guide. And I hope this guide comes in handy for you.
Don’t forget to let us know. Happy fishkeeping!
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