Hello finding nemo fans! If you are anything like me, you have children or relatives that love the finding nemo movie.
The Ultimate Guide To Saltwater Fish…
Actually, my wife and I don’t have any children, but we still watched the movie several times haha. Our nieces and nephews loved the movie as well, so we became experts about the movie on accident. At some point in time, one of these children may have asked, or you may have wondered yourself, what types of fish are in finding nemo?
Clown fish – Nemo & Marlin
Royal blue tang, regal tang and surgeonfish– Dory
Yellow tang – Bubbles
Royal gramma – Gurgle
Moorish idol – Gill
Porcupine puffer fish – Bloat
Black & white damsel fish – Deb
Longnose butterfly fish – Tad
Great white shark – Bruce
Sea horse – Sheldon
Pacific cleaner shrimp – Jacques
Leather sea star – Peach
Spotted eagle ray – Mr. Ray
Never fear! You are in the right place to become a ‘finding nemo’ expert. I’ve already been there myself so I will save you the trouble of doing the research. You can even print this article and tell your children fun facts while you watch the movie together next time. Okay, lets get started…
Nemo, his dad Marlin and Coral”” “– Clown Fish
Famous Quote, Nemo the Clownfish: “Anemonny, anemoneni… Anemonemeony….”
Clownfish are sometimes called ‘anemone fish’ because they live in close proximity with anemones in their wild, natural habitat. Clownfish are yellow, orange, or a reddish or blackish color, may have white bars or patches. Clownfish can grow between 3 – 7 inches.
Just like in the movie, clownfish use the anemones as there home. Anemones, called sea anemones, are really a predatory animal in the ocean. They are related to jellyfish and corals.
Anemones are usually attached to a hard surface like a rock, although some of them can attach to softer sediment like sand or float close to the surface. They have long tentacles that can reach out and grab passing prey while shocking it. They like to eat small fish and algae. So you might already be asking yourself, why don’t they shock clownfish?
This is because clownfish have a natural mucous that covers their bodies that keeps the anemones from shocking them, so the anemones don’t perceive them as prey.
Because the anemones don’t shock them, the clown fish use this to their advantage. They can quickly swim into the anemone to avoid predators which will get shocked by the anemone. They can also sleep peacefully within the anemone’s tentacles, like a nest, and not worry about predators.
Clownfish are omnivores, which means that they eat meat and plants. They feed off a lot of leftovers from the anemones diet. They eat leftover scraps from the shocked predators, leftover algae and even dead parts of the anemones tentacles that fall off.
It is a very unusual relationship just like in the movie that can be fun to learn about.
Dory – Surgeon fish, royal blue tang and regal tang
Famous Quote, “I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy.”
“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.”
The ‘Dory’ Fish is from a family of surgeon fishes, tangs, and unicorn fishes that live in tropical waters. They are called by more than one name. They usually live by coral reefs, are brightly colored and are popular for aquariums.
Dory fish sometimes eat by themselves, but they usually travel and eat together in groups called schools. They eat together in these large schools so that they can overwhelm other groups of fishes that guard the coral reef algae, which is what Dory likes to eat.
Dory usually will live 8 – 20 years and grows between 10 -12 inches.
Fishes like Dory can be dangerous to mix in an aquarium because they have razor-sharp spines located at the base of their tail. This is why they are called surgeon fish by some. They are more aggressive than Nemo and Marlon and shouldn’t be kept together in an aquarium. Dory fish actually stab each other and can even cut an aquarium keepers hand.
They are part of a family of fish that are important to the ocean because they feed on the algae. Feeding on the algae helps to keep the ocean clean and the coral reefs in good shape. If algae is left to grow uncontained, it can grow out of control and overwhelm the coral reef.
This means that they keep corals healthy. By eating the algae, they prevent it from growing out of control and choking the coral to death. So in a way, Dory really does save the day.
Researchers have found that Dory’s color is accurate in the movie, but she does change color at night. Her nervous system becomes relaxed and she changes to a lighter color.
Peach – Star fish
Famous Quotes, “Find a happy place! Find a happy place!”
Scientists are trying to get the starfish renamed because they are not actually fish. They are echinoderms, more like a sand dollar than a fish. Peach is a marine invertebrate. She basically consists of a disc in her center with five arms attached and she is usually bright red or orange.
The only thing she has in common with a fish is that she lives underwater. She doesn’t have any gills, scales or fins like a fish. She uses sea water instead of blood to pump nutrients through her body.
Peach moves by using her thousands of tiny tube feet that she also uses to hold prey. Her tube feet work with suction to hold prey. Her stomach actually emerges from her mouth and consumes the food outside her body before moving back inside her mouth.
Not all star fish have five arms. Some have up to forty. However, the five armed species are the more common which is where they got their name since they are shaped like a star. There are still around 2000 species in the oceans today.
Peach is most famous for being able to regenerate one of her star shaped legs if it is lost. Sometimes she can regenerate almost her entire body if all of her star shaped endings are lost, as long as her center remains intact.
Star Fish are saltwater animals, so you won’t find peach in any freshwater areas. Her skin is mostly calcium bony stuff which serves as armor to protect her. Her red or orange colors, we discussed earlier help to camouflage her or scare off attackers.
Gill – Moorish Idol
Gill, called a Moorish idol fish, is a saltwater marine species. Gill lives in tropical and subtropical environments.
Gill gets his name from the Moors of Africa, whose people used to believe that a fish like Gill ‘brought happiness’.
Gill is greatly desired as an aquarium fish, but despite this desire, he really is not a good aquarium mate unless you are a bit of an expert. The reason is, despite Gill’s wide array of habitats, he has a lot of nervous energy, so it is hard for him to adjust to smaller spaces, even a large home aquarium.
He also eats food that is hard to duplicate in an aquarium, like corals and sponges or rare ocean vegetation that usually dies off or becomes extinct. They are very picky eaters. It is said that they will starve to death if they can’t have their chosen food, even if other food is available.
Like Gill in the movie, moorish idol fish are usually black, white and yellow with a disk-shaped body. Their appearance is what makes them so attractive for home aquariums. They also don’t get longer than about nine inches.
Fish like Gill are usually alone but sometimes form pairs or even very small schools and hover around the bottom of a reef.
Moorish idols lay their eggs in the water column (open water), so there eggs usually just float away. Aquarists are also attracted to Moorish idols because they mate for life (like humans who never get a divorce), but this can make it very difficult for breeding.
If you want a moorish idol for your aquarium, it is way easier to get a fish that looks like them, like the butterfly fish.
Bubbles – Yellow Tang
Bubbles, known as a yellow tang, can grow to a little less than 8 inches. They are bright yellow, which is where they get their name, but it becomes lighter to the point where it looks brown at night.
They are an attractive fish, but they can be aggressive on your aquarium and damage any coral in a reef tank. They are susceptible to catching ‘ich’ which is a white spot disease from infection. Some researchers believe fish catch ‘ich’ when their immune system is compromised from stress.
In her natural wild living conditions, yellow tang would eat algae or other plant material. They are especially helpful to sea turtles as they remove algae from their shells. In aquariums though most people feed them meat or fish-based diet.
Yellow tang are usually found by shallow reefs in between Hawaii and Japan, although most of the aquarium tangs come from Hawaii. They are a common aquarium fish now and are currently being bred in captivity for aquariums.
Gurgle – Royal Gramma
Gurgle was in the dentist tank in Finding Nemo. He is quoted as saying, “curse you aqua scum”. When he was talking to the new aqua scum 3000 filter.
Fish like Gurgle, known as the royal gramma, originated from reef environments in tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They range from Florida to the northern coast of South America.
Gurgle like other Royal Grammas, has a purplish front half, with his back half changing from yellow to orange. They have a black stripe through the eye and the dorsal fin has a black spot.
Royal Gammas are pretty small, around three inches.
They eat fresh and thawed animal foods and have been tank bred. In the wild they eat mostly zooplankton and crustaceans. They are highly territorial, so it is good for the fish to be introduced to the tank at the same time, especially for breeding. If you have them in an aquarium, you should have a lot of hiding places for them.
They are a relatively peaceful fish for a large aquarium as long as they have plenty of room. They will stay to one area of a large tank and stake out their favorite places to hide. They are aggressive towards other fish if they are kept in smaller tanks and will chase smaller fish out of their hiding places.
They should have at least a 30-gallon tank with plenty of reef aquaria. The water temp should be between 72–78 degrees. The water pH should be between 8.1 and 8.4. with a gravity of 1.020 – 1.025.
Bloat – Porcupine Puffer Fish
Porcupine fish like Bloat have a very unique appearance and become very tame in an aquarium. They are shaped weird, so they are not very good swimmers which makes it hard for them hard to avoid predators, however they have another unique feature that helps them avoid danger.
They inflate their bodies and puff up which makes them harder to swallow. They also have an armor of sharp pointers that flare out when they inflate which is where they got their name.
They can also release a poisonous mucus that can be dangerous to themselves and other fish when they are in a tank.
Bloats natural diet would include mollusks and urchins, hermit crabs, snails, and crabs. They are omnivores (plants and meat). Bloat is a tropical and sub-tropical fish so he lives in warmer waters.
Bloat likes muddy sea bottoms, lagoons, and coral reefs.
Sheldon – Sea Horse
Sea horses like Sheldon are one of, if not the most, fascinating saltwater creatures. Sea horses get their name because they have a head and neck that closely resembles that of a horse in appearance. They also have an upright posture which makes them look even more like a horse.
The common sea horse is usually yellow in color. The sea horse can change colors quickly which makes it an expert at camouflage. This helps protect the sea horse but it can make it very hard to distinguish between the different types of sea horses. The sea horse uses its tail to anchor itself to things. They use their dorsal fin to propel themselves.
They like to live in sheltered areas like seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves. Their natural habitats are in found in shallow tropical and temperate saltwater around the world.
Seahorses have long snouts that help them eat easier. They eat extremely slow and have a different, simple type of digestive system, so they have to constantly eat to stay alive. Their primary diet is live brine shrimp.
Sea horses are a popular aquarium pet but if they are captured from the wild, they don’t usually survive long. Researchers have found that the diet of brine shrimp and being prone to stress makes sea horse’s captured in the wild sick easily.
Sea horses are being bred in captivity a lot more and these captive bred species are more likely to survive because they don’t have the stress factor of moving out of the wild. Captive bred sea horses eat frozen crustaceans which you can buy from aquarium stores. They can be a bit pricey but now that more captive bred sea horses are being bought it has made less of an impact on the wild population.
If you do keep a sea horse in an aquarium they should be kept with placid tank mates that won’t steal their food since they are slow eaters. Unfortunately, they shouldn’t be kept with sea anemones like the nests that clown fish like so it might be a bit hard to make your dream ‘finding nemo’ tank.
If you do have a sea horse in an aquarium, they are very delicate creatures and the water quality is very important. They should never be added to a new tank and the water conditions are as follows:
water Temperature: 23–28 °C (73–82 °F)
Water pH: 8.1–8.4
Jacques – Pacific Cleaner Shrimp
Pacific cleaner shrimp are considered a cleaner shrimp because they eat parasites and dead tissue off of fish which is most of the cleaner shrimp’s diet. Researchers have also found that these shrimp usually have a client fish in what is called a symbiotic relationship like clown fish and anemones.
In this relationship, the shrimp benefit from eating the parasites of their ‘client’ fish for food, whereas the client fish benefits from getting cleaned of parasites that could make them sick. In the natural habitat there is actually a designated cleaning station where the shrimp rocks back and forth when it sees a fish pass by letting the fish know that it is available for cleaning.
The fish swims up and lets the shrimp clean them. Sometimes the shrimp will actually live with the fish that it cleans. The host fish will protect the fish from predators and if the fish is wounded, the cleaner shrimp can actually help clean the wounds. Because they clean fish in this manner they are an important part of the coral reef eco system. Cleaner shrimp are also considered beneficial to an aquarium because of this.
They are kept in home and public aquariums because they clean both the tank and the fish without harming the reef. In some public aquariums people are even allowed to dip their hands in so the shrimp can clean their hands.
As an adult these shrimp usually reach 2-2.5 inches. These shrimp have a bright color with red and white stripes down their back. They actually have ten pairs of legs that they walk with.
Researchers say that they are color blind.
Pacific cleaner shrimp live on tropical coral reefs in caves or on reef ledges.
All pacific cleaner shrimp start out as male, but they can change to a female for breeding purposes. These shrimp have no pure female form.
Deb – Black and White Damsel Fish
Damselfish like Deb have three black stripes on their entire body.
These fish have 3 black vertical stripes on a white body. They are renowned for being very aggressive especially as they mature to adults.
They are extremely territorial and once they have located a home in the coral they tend to stay there. The coral benefits from having this fish make its home here because it feeds the coral with its waste and also maintains water movement around the coral which also keeps it clean.
All black and white damsel fish are born female. The largest fish will turn to male and cannot turn back to a female. If the male is removed then the next largest female will change to male. These fish can turn to male on demand.
Similar to the clown fish, black & white damsel fish communicate through a series of chirps and pops. They live in groups of 3-25 fish and feed on algae, fish eggs and larvae.
They are not great swimmers so tend to stay close to the coral so they can quickly hide if a predator arrives.
During spawning the pecking order is enacted. The alpha male and female will spawn first with the next in line only spawning after the alpha pair has finished.
Longnose butterfly fish – Tad
You can find fish like Tad in the Indo-Pacific, the eastern coast of Africa, Hawaii, the Red Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean. They live in tropical waters. They can grow up to 10 inches.
These fish are known to be aggressive. They usually prefer to have a partner of the opposite sex and it is usually the same sex that chase each other when they are being aggressive. Males will chase other males away to guard their area that has another female fish.
Tad has a funny way of trying to intimidate other fish when they are thinking of coming into his territory. He moves his body in a way that emits sounds to other fish. The longer and louder the sounds are, the more capable Tad is of defending his territory. Apparently, the longer Tad makes noise when defending his territory, the larger piece of territory he has claimed a stake to.
Tad is known by the black spot on the back of his tail which looks like an eye and also confuses predators.
Bruce – Great White Shark
Although Great White Sharks may seem like fearsome creatures to many, research is finding that these sharks aren’t as bad as people my think. However, their raw power compared to a human isn’t a good mix sometimes even when the shark is only playing with the human.
1/3 – 1/2″ of shark attacks are from Great Whites, but scientists have found that they are usually just biting their victims and letting them go. This still isn’t a good experience for a person when one bite could do so much damage.
These sharks can grow as long as 15–20 feet and over 4000 pounds.
They can swim up to 15 miles per hour and jump out of the water when they are attacking prey.
They can sense the electromagnetic fields of animals and they have a great sense of smell to find their prey. They also have around 300 teeth in rows. They usually hunt for sea lions, seals, small whales, and sea turtles.
Mr. Ray – Spotted Eagle Ray
Sometimes Mr. Ray swims with groups of other rays but usually he is found alone. Mr. Ray actually has some venomous stingers towards his back end.
Mr. Ray likes to eat crustaceans or small fish. He will dig in the ocean sand with his snout to find food.
Sometimes Mr. Ray jumps into people’s boats and one time accidentally killed a woman in the Florida Keys.
Spotted Eagle Rays are a protected species in the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr. Ray can grow to over ten feet and is one of the larger rays. Only the Manta ray is bigger. Spotted Eagle Rays are very active swimmers and will forage for their food.
Okay, that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed learning more about your favorite Nemo characters. If you are a parent you can share fun information with your kiddos the next time you watch ‘Finding Nemo’. If you are thinking of starting a ‘Finding Nemo’ tank be very careful. It would be best to find a local aquarium store to help you get this set up. Clown fish are great to start with so at least you can have the star of the movie right away. You can also find many ‘Finding Nemo’ décor to put in your tank to go along with the species that you do decide to put in your tank. Enjoy!
Related Questions –
What is the scary fish in Finding Nemo called?
It’s called an anglerfish but is also known as a black sea devil because of its appearance. It is a really ugly fish just as it appears in the movie. It really does have a long antenna like protrusion with a light at the end of the antenna as it also appears in the movie.
The light apparently comes from luminescent bacteria. Sea devil is a great name because the angler fish uses the antenna light to attract prey in the deep waters of the ocean where it lives. Anglerfish are carnivorous so when they attract prey with the light they have a lot of long sharp teeth that are flexible and angled inward so prey can swim into there mouths easily but cannot retract.
Angler fish are rarely seen.