Midnight Photons – Another Hybrid Clownfish

by | Aug 17, 2011 | Fish | 7 comments

Some of you may be aware that I was the accidental beneficiary of an unusual paring and spawning from an Onyx percula female and a Black ocellaris male clownfish. See the details in this article. The resulting offspring were named Black Photons and have developed over the years into a beautiful predominantly black clownfish with orange face, orange neck and varying orange patterns in the fins and tail. Recently, a freak accident has resulting in yet another odd couple pairing and spawning. I was attempting to recreate the Black Photons with another new Onyx female (Onyx-B) with a black ocellaris, except this time I was using an ORA Midnight ocellaris male. These were housed in the external overflow of my tank which has been partitioned off to house a few pairs of clownfish. This pair was adjacent to another pair I was trying to create with the original female (Onyx-A) that spawned the original Black Photons. One day, while feeding my main display I found an extra clownfish. It turns out that Onyx-B jumped out of the overflow box, cleared about 4″ of eurobracing and landed in the main tank. I could not get it out so I left it in the main tank. Now I was left with a lone ORA Midnight male. A few days later the black male ocellaris that I was trying to pair up with Onyx-A died from a strange stomach bloat, leaving me with 2 single clownfish, a male and a female. I decided put them together and pulled the partition separating the 2 original pairs. Surprisingly Onyx-A, who was particularly choosy in the past about males, decided not to kill this one and allowed it to hang around without attacking it. Imagine my surprise when 2 weeks later on Father’s day the 2 had spawned. The first batch of the babies hatched on June 28th, and I hope enough will survive to create yet another variation of the Photon Clownfish – the Midnight Photons! I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

  • Sanjay Joshi

    Sanjay Joshi in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. He has been a reef addict since 1992, and currently keeps several reef aquariums at home including a 500G SPS coral dominated reef. He also co-manages the 500G aquarium at Penn State. He has published several articles in magazines such as Marine Fish and Reef Annual, Aquarium Frontiers, Aquarium Fish, and Advanced Aquarist. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at several marine aquarium society meetings in the US and Europe. He received the MASNA award in 2006, for his contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.


  1. Tal Sweet


    You may have covered this before so forgive me if I’m asking a redundant question. What are your thoughts on how the sex of each parent determines the outcome when pairing two different variants?


  2. Sanjay Joshi

    I have not yet tried to reverse the pairing, and see if it makes a difference. The midnight photons still have a lot of stripes. None look like the male.


  3. xxxAngeloxxx

    Wow Sanjay Joshi theres going to be another NEW generation of clownfish?
    Cant wait to see how the babies will look like Sanjay Joshi =) keep us updated. Btw do you plan to sell baby when they get order ? if so shoot me a PM i might be interested in one Sanjay Joshi

  4. Sanjay Joshi

    Yes, the new generation is doing well and growing. They are about 2 months old now. Surprisingly there are no clowns without stripes. They all have some form of white strip, although mostly misbars. Look cool. I expect they will develop similar coloration to the Original Black Photons.

  5. Aaarrrggg

    Wow gratz on the new happy couple!

    Do you know if the photons are sterile or not? People seem to think they would be, (being hybrids and all,) but it’s hard to say where nature will come down on something like that. I figured if anyone knew the answer, it would be you! 🙂

  6. Sanjay Joshi

    The photons are not sterile. There have been reports of several of the original Black Photons spawning. I also currently have a spawning pair of Black Photons, that just started spawning a couple of months ago. I just have not been able to raise them yet given the hatching schedule has coincided with days that I am out of town.

    • Aaarrrggg

      That’s fantastic news!!!! 😀 😀 😀

      Sorry to be a bother, but I have another question: have you had a chance to see if black photons retain their black coloration in BTAs? I know onyx have a problem with their black sometimes fading in BTA hosts, but B&W clowns don’t… so I’m curious which genes win out…?


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