Here at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium we have an extra special affinity to these beautiful little fish, with the famous animated movie Finding Nemo being set, at least virtually set, just moments away from us in Sydney Harbour.
On any day of the week here, you're guaranteed to see children enthusiastically prodding their fingers against the glass shouting 'I FOUND NEMO!'
The Clown Anemonefish became a very popular home aquarium pet following the movie, which although sparked a long-lasting love of the species amongst many, also sadly led to a surge in the numbers of unwanted specimens being discarded once their owner's enthusiasm for looking after them wore off. Happily though, the love affair with Nemo is still as strong as ever amongst most people today, with Nemo toys still being some of the most popular items on sale at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Gift Shop.
Reaching a maximum length of just 8cm or 9cm, the Clown Anemonefish is highly adapted to its environment, striking up one of nature's most unique partnerships as a defence mechanism. Early in their lives, Clown Anemonefish develop an immunity to certain types of sea anemone, within the tentacles of which they hatch and are raised. However, it's a short-lived mode of protection, as it's believed that this immunity needs to be regularly maintained, seemingly wearing off if the fish leaves its host anemone for as little as an hour.