Snowflake clownfish

Snowflake clownfish

What is a Snowflake clownfish?

A Snowflake clownfish is a popular designer type of Amphiprion ocellaris with the traditional orange body matched with the namesake irregular white and black markings that loosely resemble a snowflake and differ from the wild type Ocellaris clownfish. No two Snowflake clownfish will have the exact same pattern.

Quick facts

  • Scientific Names: Amphiprion ocellaris -Snowflake variant
  • Size: 4 inches (10 cm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
  • Reef Safe: Yes
  • Care or Experience Level: Beginner – easy to care for
  • Preferred Diet: Omnivore, aggressive eater
  • Original Part of the World: Aquacultured, first generation were in U.K.
  • Color: Orange, white, black
  • Price: $30-$100 depending on rarity and store

How big do Snowflake clownfish get?

They grow to about 3-4 inches in total length as adults, with the female in the pair being larger than the male, which is the same for all Amphiprion ocellaris clownfishes.

How much does a Snowflake clownfish cost?

They cost anywhere from $30/each to $99/each at retail, depending on the relative attractiveness and rarity of the white and black markings and the store you purchase from.

Are snowflake clownfish hardy?

They are a hardy fish which makes them popular for aquarists of all skill levels.

How long do snowflake Clownfish live?

Clownfish can live for 30 years or more in captivity, but a more common experience and expectation would be 3-7 years.

What fish can live with a Snowflake clownfish?

Snowflake clownfish are peaceful community reef fish that can live with the majority of other peaceful saltwater fish. The 10 most popular saltwater fish types successfully kept with Ocellaris clownfish, including Snowflakes are:

  1. Gobies
  2. Wrasses
  3. Tangs
  4. Blennies
  5. Dwarf Angelfish
  6. Dottybacks
  7. Chromis
  8. Basslets/Grammas
  9. Anthias
  10. Dragonets

Source: Saltwater Aquarium Blog Survey Data

There are two great ways to learn more about fish compatibility with these clownfish. You can check out the saltwater fish compatibility chart, or dive deeper into the stocking guides for a specific tank size. Check out the 10 gallon, 20 gallon and 55 gallon stocking guides.

What is the minimum tank size? How many gallons do they need?

The minimum tank size to keep a single or pair of Snowflake clownfish is 10 gallons. Even though they are slow swimmers and generally site-attached, they need 10-gallons of water volume or more.

Snowflake clownfish

Water parameters

The ideal water parameters are:

  • Salinity: 35 g/L, typically measured as 1.025 specific gravity
  • Temperature: 73-84 F, 22-29 C
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Ammonia: 0 pmm
  • Nitrites: 0 ppm
  • Nitrates: ~20 ppm or lower, may tolerate higher, but not recommended

Learn more about the most important water parameters here.

How many fish per tank?

It is recommended to stick to a limit of 2 Snowflake clownfish per tank to avoid unnecessary aggression between the pair and non-paired clownfish in the tank. d

Are they reef safe?

All Amphiprion ocellaris varieties are reef safe saltwater fish.

Can a Snowflake clownfish change gender?

A Snowflake clownfish can change gender from male to female one time in their lives. This is called sequential protandrous hermaphroditism. This adaptation makes it easier to form mated pairs in a home aquarium, because the larger, more dominant fish is either already female or will become female after changing gender.

What are the grades of snowflake clownfish?

Black ice snowflake clownfish

There are 8 grades of Snowflake available, depending on the source of the clowns:

  1. Snowflake (orange or black) – ORA, SR
  2. Premium (orange or black) – ORA, SR
  3. Ultra – SR
  4. Black ice (orange) – ORA
  5. Premium black ice (orange) – ORA
  6. Fancy (orange) – SA
  7. Fancy extreme (orange) – SA
  8. Fancy with bullet holes (orange) -SA

Key: ORA = ORA Farms, SR = Sea and Reef, SA = Sustainable Aquatics

Which breeders sell them?

ORA Farms, Sustainable Aquatics, and Sea and Reef are three popular breeders who sell Snowflake clownfish wholesale to online and brick and mortar stores.

Are Snowflake clownfish aggressive?

Snowflake clownfish are peaceful, non-aggressive saltwater fish. They make great community aquarium tank mates and are compatible with most other saltwater fish species.

What do snowflake clownfish eat?

Snowflake clownfish are omnivorous and are healthiest when they eat a variety of meaty foods, like mysis, black works, or brine shrimp, as well as plant-based prepared foods like Seaweed Extreme pellets. They will generally be some of the more active feeders in the tank and won’t likely shy away from many food offerings.

How often do you feed them?

Feed your clownfish small meals 2-3 times every day. Don’t leave uneaten food in the tank. Make sure food is not being sucked into the filter. It is okay to skip feeding for a day, or a few days, if you are traveling.

Do they need an anemone?

Snowflake clownfish do not need an anemone to be happy, healthy, and thrive in a saltwater aquarium. Anemones that are harvested from reefs are notoriously delicate and are best left on the reef.

Which anemones will a snowflake clownfish pair with?

The best anemone to pair with a Snowflake clownfish is the Bubble Tip Anemone, particularly one that has grown and divided in an aquarium or aquaculture setting.

The Bubble tip anemone (BTA) is your best bet if you absolutely have to have an anemone

They may also pair with the Magnificent Sea Anemone, and the three types of carpet anemone: Giant, Haddon’s, and Merten’s (Wilkerson).

Please keep in mind that while the anemones listed here are the species that host Ocellaris clowns in the wild, pairing clowns with anemones in the aquarium setting is far from a guarantee. Many times clownfish will seem to ignore the anemone all together.

Parasites and disease

Snowflake clownfish are susceptible to Marine Velvet and Saltwater Ich. It is strongly recommended that you quarantine all new fish and treat for any parasites before introducing them into your display tank.

Other great articles

Check out these other great clownfish articles:


Wilkerson, Joyce D. Clownfishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. 2001.





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