5 Fascinating Facts About Phantom Clownfish

Introduction to Phantom Clownfish

Phantom Clownfish, also known scientifically as Amphiprion percula var. ‘Phantom‘, are a stunning variant of the iconic Clownfish. Their mesmerizing appearance and captivating behavior make them a popular choice among aquarists. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into every aspect of Phantom Clownfish care, from their appearance to their ideal habitat and maintenance requirements.

Phantom Clownfish

Table of Contents


Phantom Clownfish exhibit a striking appearance characterized by their vivid orange body adorned with bold black stripes. What sets them apart is the unique and mesmerizing pattern of their black markings, resembling intricate lacework or delicate filigree. This distinct patterning gives them an ethereal and almost ghostly appearance, hence the name “Phantom.” Their fins are outlined in a contrasting black, enhancing their overall allure.

Average Size

Like most Clownfish species, Phantom Clownfish are relatively small in size, with adults typically reaching a length of around 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters). Their diminutive stature makes them well-suited for home aquariums, as they don’t require an excessively large tank to thrive.


When provided with proper care and a suitable environment, Phantom Clownfish can live for an average of 6 to 10 years in captivity. Factors such as water quality, diet, and tank mates can influence their lifespan, so ensuring optimal conditions is crucial for their long-term well-being.

Habitat and Aquarium Setup

Phantom Clownfish water condition and tank size

Habitat and Natural Environment

In the wild, Phantom Clownfish are found inhabiting the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, particularly in the coral reefs of regions like the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. They form symbiotic relationships with certain species of sea anemones, seeking refuge among their tentacles for protection against predators.

Tank Size

For a pair of Phantom Clownfish, a tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended. Larger tanks provide more stable water conditions and ample swimming space, reducing aggression between tank mates and promoting overall well-being.

Water Parameters

Maintaining stable water parameters is essential for the health of Phantom Clownfish. Aim for a temperature range of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C), pH between 8.0 and 8.4, and specific gravity around 1.020 to 1.025. Regular monitoring and adjustments are necessary to ensure optimal conditions.

Setting Up the Aquarium for Phantom Clownfish

When setting up the aquarium for Phantom Clownfish, mimic their natural habitat by incorporating live rock formations and plenty of hiding places. Provide adequate lighting to support the growth of beneficial algae and create a visually appealing environment.

Aquarium Decor and Hiding Spots

Phantom Clownfish appreciate a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, crevices, and artificial anemones. Live rock adorned with corals and other marine flora not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium but also provides enrichment for the fish.

Filtration and Water Flow

Effective filtration is crucial for maintaining water quality and ensuring the well-being of Phantom Clownfish. A combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration is recommended to remove debris, ammonia, and other harmful substances. Additionally, moderate water flow helps simulate the natural currents found in their native habitat.

Care and Maintenance

Phantom Clownfish Diseases

Common Possible Diseases

Phantom Clownfish are generally hardy fish, but they can still be susceptible to common aquarium diseases such as “marine ich (white spot disease), fin rot, and marine velvet.” Regular observation and prompt treatment are essential for preventing and managing these conditions.

Food & Diet

Provide a varied diet consisting of high-quality “commercial fish flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and krill”. Supplement their diet with algae-based foods to ensure proper nutrition and coloration.

Temperament & Behavior

Phantom Clownfish exhibit typical Clownfish behavior, including establishing a hierarchy within their group and defending their territory. They are generally peaceful but can become territorial, especially when hosting a sea anemone. Avoid keeping them with aggressive tank mates to prevent conflicts.

Tank Mates

When selecting tank mates for Phantom Clownfish, choose peaceful species that are compatible with their temperament and environmental requirements. Suitable companions include other Clownfish variants, small reef fish, and invertebrates such as shrimp and snails. Avoid aggressive or predatory species that may pose a threat to the Clownfish.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular maintenance tasks such as water changes, substrate vacuuming, and equipment cleaning are essential for keeping the aquarium clean and healthy. Monitor water parameters regularly and address any issues promptly to prevent stress and disease outbreaks among the fish.

In conclusion, Phantom Clownfish are captivating creatures that bring a touch of elegance and charm to any aquarium. By providing them with a suitable habitat, proper care, and attention to their unique needs, aquarists can enjoy the beauty of these enchanting fish for many years to come.

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