true and false clown?


well to make long story short.
I think I have a true and a false clown in my tank.
One of them is more black. The other one is more orangish.
Will these 2 become a bonded or mated pair eventually? Or are they like cats and dogs, 2 totally different specicies who won't be interested in each other?


Active Member
Did you buy them at different times? Did you pay the same price? How long have they been in the tank together? They'll probably work out a hiearchy, but a mated pair probably not. There's always the "count the spines on the dorsal fins" ID approach, however I usually get sea sick before I reach a conclusion :jumping:


Yes they were bought at different times.
One has been in tank for 2 weeks, the other 1 or 2 days.
If they will never mate, should I take one of the clown back?


Active Member

Originally posted by ViPeR_930
Clownfish can mate between two different species and produce fry.

while this is possible it is not probable.
color is not a true identifier - you need to count anal and dorsal fin spines. If they match up they are the same ....
easiest way to count - get two good close up pictures of the fin spines.
Also 2 weeks is not a good identifier of time frames for pairing - it can take much longer.
If interested in pairing clowns read Joyce Wilkerson's Clownfishes book.
Good Luck


look under neith their gills you should see a few "spikes" coming out from the lower part of the gill.
in True perculas these "spikes are usually black and on the ocellaris clownfish they are orange.
hope that helps.


im am also wondering the same thing, we purchased our clowns about 4 months ago from ***** from the same tank at the same time, and i went to check anal and dorsal fins but they wont stand still long enough, but the small spines under the gills are black on both of them, this sounds dumb but why does it matter if they are true or false percs? is there something better about one or the other? and what is the diff with an Ocellaris?
also one was bigger when we bought them (i picked the bigest and best colored ones out of the batch) the larger one seems to be growing at a way faster rate then the other and kind oh turning a darker color on its back. whats with that?
sorry for the highjack