Cinnamon Clownfish – Amphiprion melanopus

Common name: Cinnamon Clownfish, Cinnamon Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish, Fire Clownfish
Scientific name: Amphiprion melanopus
Max size:4.5 in / 11 cm

The Cinnamon clownfish is a beautiful fish chiefly found in the western and southern parts of the Pacific Ocean, but it can also be encountered in more central parts of the Pacific Ocean. It is common in the waters off north-western Australia. It has a dark orange body (sometimes almost red) with one single vertical white stripe just behind the eye. The fins have a lighter color than the rest of the fish and can sometimes be almost cinnamon.

This species is just as most other clownfish species bred in the trade and you can find tank raised specimens for sale. I highly recommend buying tank raised specimens whenever possible especially if you’re a beginner marine aquarist, because tank raised specimens tend to be hardier and have not been collected from the wild. The collection of clown fish for the aquarium trade is putting a real strain on the clownfish populations in some areas.

The Cinnamon clownfish can be quite aggressive towards other clownfish and other timid fish. Due to its aggression it is best kept in pairs. It can be kept with most fish of the same size that are though enough to handle the aggression from the Cinnamon clownfish. Do not keep it with small shrimps since it is fond of eating shrimps.

Aquarium setup

The Cinnamon clownfish is best kept in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons / 120 L. Breeding tanks can be smaller. The aquarium should be decorated so that a lot of caves and hiding places are created. They are reef safe and do very well in reef aquariums. Use a lot of live rock in your decoration to create an environment that feels safe. The Cinnamon clownfish eats algae and prefers an aquarium with algae growth on the live rock.

Like most clownfish they don’t need an anemone when kept in an aquarium but still seem to prefer having one. This is one of the best clown fish species to get if you want keep clownfish but not an anemone. If you want to provide them with a host anemone the following species are suitable Entacmaea quadricolor (Bulb tipped or purple base anemone), Heteractis crispa (Leathery sea anemone), or H. magnifica (Magnificent sea anemone). In the wild they are almost always found in Entacmaea quadricolor but they are sometimes found in Heteractis crispa and on rare occasions in H. magnifica as well which is why I listed all three species above.

Feeding Cinnamon clownfish

The Cinnamon clownfish is easy to feed and should be fed 2-3 times a day (1-2 times a day is enough in reef tanks with prolific algae growth). They accept most food types and willingly eat flake food. High quality flake food contains most if not all of the nutrients they need, but it is still recommended to give them a more varied diet. In the wild they are omnivores that eat algae and meaty food. If you don’t have algae in your tank it is important to make sure that they get enough vegetables.

Breeding Cinnamon clownfish

The Cinnamon clownfish is not that hard to breed and is regularly breed both commercially and by hobbyists. Cinnamon clownfish can be hard to sex but females are larger than males. They do not need an anemone to breed but inducing spawning seems to be easier when they have an anemone. They can be breed in the same way as other clown fish species and you can read more about the topic in our article about breeding clownfish. The fry are small and need to be fed very small food. High water quality is very important during the first weeks in the life of the fry.