The anemonefish are a favorite with most home aquarists. One that has been ubiquitous in the aquarium trade for decades is the pink skunk clownfish (Amphiprion perideraion). Even though it has always enjoyed some popularity, the pink skunk clownfish is actually not one of the hardiest members of the genus. However, if you purchase a captive-bred, captive-raised individual pink skunk clownfish, your chances of success with this species are greatly enhanced.
Difficulty: The pink skunk clownfish is one of the more sensitive anemonefish. Wild-caught individual pink skunk clownfish often succumb to parasites (namely Brooklynella). The pink skunk clownfish also reacts more negatively to poor water quality or sudden changes in water parameters. The pink skunk clownfish is also one clownfish that prefers being kept with a host sea anemone, as it tends to be less nervous when an anemone is present. In the wild, the pink skunk clownfish feeds most heavily on algae, though zooplankton is also important in its diet. In the aquarium, you should feed the pink skunk clownfish a varied diet of frozen and flake foods that include algae material. Feed it daily.
Physical description: The pink skunk clownfish is pink overall with white line down the back and a white head bar. There are a couple similar species. The Pacific clownfish (Amphiprion pacificus) was only recently described. It is very similar, but it is pinkish-brown, lacks a head bar, and is currently only known from Samoa and the Fijian Islands (which overlaps the range of A. perideraionM). The pink skunk clownfish reaches a length of just over 4 inches.
Range: The pink skunk clownfish is found from the Cocos Keeling Islands and southeast Thailand east to Samoa. The pink skunk clownfish inhabits lagoons, reef faces and fore reef slopes at depths of 10 to 100 feet. Its favorite anemone host is the magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica), but it will also associate with the leathery (Heteractis crispa), longtentacled (Macrodactyla doreensis) and giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantean). When the pink skunk clownfish comes to living arrangements, three distinct social units have been described for the pink skunk clownfish. A single anemone can be home to a juvenile group (which consists only of young fish), a subadult group (which consists of subadults and juveniles) or an adult group (which consists of one or a pair of adult fish with a group of nonbreeders [juveniles and subadults]). Adult group of pink skunk clownfish can be made up of up to eight individuals. This species is a protandric hermaphrodite (females result from male sex change).
Compatibility: The pink skunk clownfish is one of the least aggressive members of the anemonefish group. While it may bicker with other anemonefish, the pink skunk clownfish tends to be dominated by most of its relatives. The pink skunk clownfish normally lives harmoniously in groups, but it will occasionally behave aggressively toward conspecifics in order to maintain its social status. The pink skunk clownfish’s place in the pecking order is a function of size – the larger it is, the more dominant it tends to be. The largest fish is usually the female. The pink skunk clownfish tends to be subjugated by other damselfish, hawkfish, dottybacks and other aggressive substrate-bound fish species. The pink skunk clownfish is a wonderful addition to the reef aquarium.
Aquarium conditions: The pink skunk clownfish can be kept in an aquarium as small as 10 gallons. While an anemone host is preferred, the pink skunk clownfish will also shelter among live rock and faux corals if a sea anemone is not present. It may even adopt large-polyped stony corals or feather dusters as surrogate hosts. Keep the water parameters for the pink skunk clownfish as follows: pH of 8.1 to 8.4, specific gravity of 1.019 to 1.025 and a water temperature of 74 to 82.
Breeding: Amphiprion perideraion readily spawns in captivity. The female pink skunk clownfish will lay her eggs near her anemone, often on rocks or rubble. The pair will engage in side-by-side swimming and belly-touching prior to spawning. The female pink skunk clownfish presses her abdomen against the nesting site and moves over the area, depositing her eggs. The male pink skunk clownfish will swim behind her and fertilize the eggs. He may also revisit the nest when the female pink skunk clownfish is absent and fertilize them again. In the wild, the pink skunk clownfish lays an average egg clutch of 300, with an estimated annual fecundity of 2,000 to 4,000 eggs. The pink skunk clownfish spawns all year, laying eggs approximately once per month. The hatch rate is high in the pink skunk clownfish, but survivorship of the larvae is often low. The pink skunk clownfish eggs hatch on the seventh evening after spawning at a temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.