Background & Description Late in 2014 we released a new strain of fish we had named the MochaVinci Clownfish. This designer clownfish was created by breeding our DaVinci Ocellaris Clownfish with our jet-Black Ocellaris Clownfish. The MochaVinci Clownfish inherited the classic swirly white pattern of the DaVinci Clownfish, but the red coloration had been replaced by a more golden and black coloration similar to that of Black Ice Clownfish and Maine Mocha Clownfish. The MochaVinci Clownfish was a hopeful first step in creating an all-black-and-white DaVinci Clownfish and our plan was to continue maintaining the classic swirly pattern of the DaVinci Clownfish. One of the MochaVinci offspring looked very different than the rest and it quickly became apparent that this was a one-in-a-million mutation (see image below).
One-in-a-million mutated MochaVinci Clownfish - now broodstock fish for new strain. Note that all three images are of the same fish from different angles.
Instead of the golden coloration and swirly patterns of the MochaVincis, this single fish displayed an exaggerated white pattern that had more straight lines. Furthermore, this fish turned jet-black very early on. We initially called it the Black DaVinci Clownfish and believed we had just bypassed several generations of breeding more black into the MochaVinci line.The mutated MochaVinci clownfish was paired up with a Black Ocellaris Clownfish with the goal of creating offspring with a pattern similar to its unusual parent. During the brutal cold Maine winter of 2015 the pair laid their first nest of eggs, and shortly after we raised the offspring. It quickly became apparent that the offspring looked very different from the mutated MochaVinci Clownfish. The offspring displayed an even more exaggerated white body pattern with an almost entirely full-white face mask (see image below).
New Sea & Reef designer clownfish strain produced from a mutated MochaVinci Clownfish
The Black pattern on the fish took shape as a combination of blotches and circles as shown in these images. Although this is a DaVinci Clownfish mutation, they look very different and we therefore believe that this mutation should not be called Black DaVinci Clownfish. We want to reserve the name Black DaVinci for our future breed of all-black-and-white DaVinci Clownfish with the classic swirly pattern of the DaVinci line. Early juvenile fish are dark brown, but turns jet black when they reach a size of 1 ¼ -1 ¾ inches.
Update on the release: Our Black Storm Clownfish were first released on November 1st, 2017.
Temperament & Captive Care The temperament and captive care requirements this new designer Ocellaris Clownfish strain are very similar to that of the regular Ocellaris clownfish. It is a relatively peaceful and hardy clownfish. They thrive in saltwater aquariums with or without an anemone present.
Feeding Most clownfish are omnivorous feeders, meaning that they will consume a variety of different food types. In nature the diet of clownfish consists of crustaceans (such as copepods and amphipods), algae, polychaete worms, and leftovers from the anemone’s meal. Our captive bred fish are conditioned to eat a variety of aquarium diets including pellets, flake food, frozen Mysis shrimp, and frozen brine shrimp.
Aquarium host anemones This new designer clownfish will readily accept a wide variety of host anemones and many hobbyists keep it with the popular and hardy Bubble Tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor). As a reference the natural host anemones of the regular ocellaris clownfish are Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), Sebae Anemone (Heteractis crispa), and Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea).