Black Ice Clownfish – Breed Profile & Facts
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If you picture Nemo when you think of clownfish, you’re close enough but not quite there. While the Nemo look is typical of clownfish, this species offers much more variety than you might expect.
There are close to 30 different species of clownfish, each with its own appearance, patterns, and presence.
Today, we will look into one clownfish type you may not have heard about: the Black Ice clownfish or the Black Ice Snowflake clownfish.
What is Black Ice Clownfish?
This type of clownfish is the result of selective breeding, which means you can’t find it in the wild.
The parent fish are the black ocellaris and the snowflake clownfish, who came together to create a true oceanic wonder.
The Black Ice clownfish shows some incredible pattern variation, depending on the subtype.
- Standard type – Picture the normal Nemo look but with a bit more black around the orange areas. The mid-section is generally wider, displaying the white background, while the orange coloring is light and washed, often reaching yellow tints.
- Black Ice clownfish – The color pattern is almost identical, except the fish has almost no orange. The only orange spots you can find cover the face and the area below the gills, but that’s about it. Everything else is black and white under the typical Nemo pattern.
- Longfin Ice clownfish – As the name suggests, this type comes with obscenely long and wide fins, turning it into a true aquatic wonder.
- Ultra-Black Ice Clownfish – This is a peculiar species, considering that it showcases a lot more white than black. Approximately 60% of the fish’s body is white, with only some mild orange patches with black margins.
This variation is constantly expanding as professional aquarists subject the species to intense guided selective breeding.
The goal is to produce even more diversity which is fairly easy given the clownfish’s breeding availability.
Black Ice Clownfish Care
The Black Ice clownfish requires standard care with temperatures around 72-80 F and at least 20 gallons of space for one specimen. The typical Black Ice clownfish won’t grow over 3 inches in size, but the fish’s high energy levels make up for it.
Aim for a water pH of 7.8-8.4 and a gravity range of 1.023-1.025. Water alkalinity shouldn’t go above 12 dKH.
Overall, the Black Ice clownfish ranks as a hardy animal; a characteristic for which it has to thank its predecessors. Even so, you should always monitor water parameters to prevent ammonia and nitrite buildup.
These fish are quite sensitive to ammonia, causing them to experience immediate adverse reactions.
Fortunately, you shouldn’t face any ammonia-related problems as long as you have a good maintenance system and constantly monitor water parameters.
As overall care requirements, consider the following:
- Invest in a good, reliable, and safe heating system; clownfish are fond of warmer waters than other tropical species
- A sturdy filtration system is also necessary to preserve the ecosystem’s stability and prevent ammonia buildup
- Crushed coral may be necessary to increase the pH to alkaline levels for optimal clownfish comfort
- Water changes are critical to keeping the environment clean and fresh (aim for one 15-20% water change per week for a 40-gallon tank; the larger the tank, the rarer the water changes needed)
Then you need to manage the clownfish’s diet as well, so let’s get into that!
Black Ice Clownfish Feeding
Clownfish are probably the easiest fish to feed, given that they’re omnivorous and with healthy appetites. They won’t refuse any type of food so long as it’s tasty and nutritious.
Consider feeding your clownfish with flakes, pellets, live food, algae wafers, insect larvae, and whatever else they might eat.
Depending on their preferences, you can even serve them blanched, boiled, or fresh veggies. Live foods are also necessary in your clownfish’s diet for the plus of protein and fats they provide.
Some of the best protein sources for clownfish include mussels, chopped shrimp, earthworms, bloodworms (only in moderation, preferably as weekly treats), blackworms, squid, amphipods, copepods, etc.
You can purchase or grow these feeder animals at home in your feeder tank. These types of ecosystems are easy to put in place and will provide your clownfish with a steady supply of fresh live food.
You can also collect earthworms from your backyard, for instance, although I advise against feeding your clownfish wild-caught insects and worms.
That’s because these can contain dangerous levels of environmental contaminants, as well as parasites, fungi, or bacteria that can affect your clownfish.
How Much Does Black Ice Clownfish Cost?
The typical Black Ice clownfish vary in price between $50 and $80 but don’t take this price range as absolute.
The fish’s price can vary outside these limits based on the seller and the fish itself.
In essence, the Black Ice clownfish is more expensive than most other clownfish breeds due to their specialized nature. This species is the exquisite result of selective breeding, so you can only purchase your Black Ice specimen from a private breeder.
At least that’s what I advise because you can also find Black Ice clownfish for sale in different fish stores, but the quality is the issue.
I advise staying away from general fish stores that sell clownfish in bulk since these aren’t exactly ideal in terms of housing or care quality.
Black Ice clownfish are part of an amazing, manmade species that show incredible diversity, hardiness, and cuteness.
These fish are generally easy to care for, so long as you prepare their setup and manage their water quality properly.
Oh yea, I almost forgot. The Black Ice clownfish ranks as semi-aggressive, so handpick its tankmates carefully to prevent any unwanted drama.
Ensure at least 20 gallons of space for one clownfish and decorate their habitat with plenty of plants and reef structures for creating diversity and multiple hiding areas.