Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Amphiprion ephippium

Saddle back clownfish

Saddle back clownfish, Amphiprion ephippium
Photos by Andy Rapson


Amphiprion: Greek, amphi = on both sides + Greek, prion, -onos = saw

General Notes:

They are safe with corals and inverts. The are fairly aggressive fish who will defend their territory. Do not keep with shy or quiet fish that can't defend themselves. Do not keep with other types of clownfish.

Red Saddleback Clownfish are extremely intolerant of copper treatment. Unlike most clownfish copper treatment can be lethal to them. They are the only clownfish that doesn't have a white stripe on their bodies ad adults, however juveniles generally have one near it's head that disappears as they mature. In the wild they host in Entacmaea quadicolor and Heteractis crispa

Omnivore: They will accept fresh, frozen, flake, and freeze dried foods. A good variety of meaty and vegetative foods should be fed to them. Ideally they should be fed small amounts of food a couple times a day

Females are much larger than males when adult.

Breeding these fish is now done on a commercial scale. Clownfish of all types have been bred by hobbyists but due to their very small size they remain difficult to raise. Rotifers are the ideal first food and you can buy rotifer cultures for this.

The status of wild populations has not been evaluated.

Information at a glance

pH: 8.2 - 8.4
dGH: 8 - 12
Salinity: 1.021 - 1.025
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 14cm (5.5in)
Min tank size: 150 litres
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Aquarium type: Reef
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Saddle back clownfish, Amphiprion ephippium

Origin: Eastern Indian Ocean: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, and Java and Sumatra in Indonesia

Habitat: Adults are found in silty coastal waters and protected bays where visibility is often reduced


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Amphiprion
Species: A. ephippium (Bloch, 1790)

Common name:
Saddle back clownfish

Synonyms: Lutjanus ephippium, Amphiprion calliops