I want a Nemo!
Thanks to the film "Finding Nemo", the popularity of Clownfish has rocketed. Nemo is actually an Amphiprion ocellaris. There are several other Clownfish species that can look similar to the A. ocellaris. All need specialist care and a proper marine set up. The fish tank shown in the film would in fact be impossible to keep alive for any period of time.
Good Freshwater Nemo Alternatives
If you find yourself with little ones nagging and begging for a pet Nemo of their own and you don't have deep enough pockets to shell out around £1000 (or equivalent) for a saltwater set up, maybe consider these fish as striped freshwater Nemo cousin alternatives.
- Clown Loach - Large orange and black striped Loaches. Common in pet stores but does have the potential to grow 30.5cm (12") long and need to be kept in groups. Should only be considered for large set ups, at least a 5–6 ft tank.
- Tiger Barb - Oval orange and black striped fish (with other colour variations available including "albino" orange/white). They must be kept in shoals of 6 or more and are not good community fish as they can be nippy and aggressive, but look good in a large species set up in a big shoal in at least a 114 Litres (30 US G.) tank.
- Platys - Although not striped, they are available in bright orange! A popular and common livebearer. An excellent beginners choice. They ideally need over 57 Litres (15 US G.).
- Mollys - Ornamental Mollies are available in several different colour variants, the more well known being black and "dalmatian" but there are also oranges. The orange Mollies are most often Sailfins or Sailfin crosses and can therefore get very large up to around 10.2cm (4"), for these fish you will need at least a 76 Litres (20 US G.).
- Khuli Loach - A relative of the Clown Loach but smaller and more elongated, almost snake-like. Grows to about 12.7cm (5") long and burrows in the substrate. They are available in several colour variations but always have bands of white/yellow down the body. Like most Loaches, the Khuli needs to be kept in groups.
- Goldfish - The most well-known fish next to Nemo! Goldfish are surprisingly high maintenance and not suitable for a bowl environment as so often marketed. White/orange colour variations can be found. They are coldwater fish that cannot be kept in mixed community tanks as they can be nippy and bullish, they also grow large and are quite messy needing at least 76 Litres (20 US G.) for one Fancy. Over 208 Litres (55 US G.) for one Common/Comet type.
A Finding Nemo Marine Tank?
A stocking with all the characters from the film WILL NOT WORK. There are dozens of compatibility issues and fish such as Gill, a Moorish Idol, can be exceptionally tricky to keep in captivity. If you've had this idea, or being pressurised into it by children, avoid this as it won't work and will end in, expensive, tears!