So many clownfish look so similar as juveniles, when you see them in stores in absence of mature examples it’s sometimes hard to know why you are paying more for an Allardi or Blue Stripe clownfish than say, that regular old Clarkii in the $8 fish tank. But true clwonfish and anemonefish lovers know that with some time and patience and TLC, these oddball species can grow into truly unique, and different looking clownfishes.
While doing some reporting in Durban South Africa, we visited the Ushaka Aquarium, a fabulous institution that features tons of beautiful endemic reef life and they had the most stunning pair of South African Allardi Clownfish on display. The mature Amphiprion allardi might as well be called the African Blue Stripe clownfish as you can see this gorgeous pair has lots of blue in its bars, not to mention everywhere else.
The next time you see some unfamiliar juvenile clownfish at the fish store marked up much more than their clarki counterparts, just picture yourself keeping those babies for two to five years and growing them into the show-stopping adults that very few people ever try to create. Some other great clownfish species which make for beautiful adult specimens include the widebar clownfish, Amphiprion latezonatus, and the three stripe clownfish, Amphiprion tricinctus.