When the time comes for people to name their favorite aquarium fish, the answer, at least over the past decade, is usually the same: Nemo. Some people don’t even know the name of the fish (a clownfish, of course!), but they know they love it.

Yet, despite their popularity, there are many facts about clownfish you probably don’t know. Here are some of our favorites, curated by our friends over at Home Aquaria:

  • All clownfish are born as males. The males turn into a female on an as-needed basis when females of the group die.

  • Though they have a fun and friendly image, clownfish are actually fairly aggressive and protect their territory.

  • Despite their aggressive nature, clownfish are not particularly good hunters. Instead, they hang out near sea anemones, and eat the leftovers of whatever the anemones catch.

  • Clownfish can lay thousands of eggs at a time, and because of their strong protective instincts, most of these eggs will survive to hatch.

  • Clownfish might look fun, but because they’re territorial, introducing them to an established aquarium population can be tricky. Consult an aquarium technician about what accommodations you need to make before you bring clownfish into your aquarium.

For more interesting facts about Nemo, and many other helpful aquarium tips, visit Home Aquaria’s 10 Little Known Facts About Clownfish Infographic.

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