• Acidic water 'making Nemo fish deaf'
    Poor water quality could be damaging to clownfish hearing

Water/Wastewater

Acidic water 'making Nemo fish deaf'

Jun 02 2011

The level of acid in the water of the world's oceans is giving sea dwellers serious hearing problems, it has been reported.

Research has shown that clownfish - the easily recognisable orange fish made famous by the Disney movie Finding Nemo - can lose their hearing in water that is more acidic than average.

This could lead to a serious drop in the number of clownfish in the world's oceans as it means that they are no longer equipped to respond to the sounds of nearby predators.

Writing in the Biology Letters Journal, a group of scientists pointed out the wide range of problems that clownfish could suffer if they lose their hearing.

Research leader Steve Simpson, from the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University, said that the fish pick up sounds from other animals but also use hearing when hunting, foraging and detecting mating partners.

"If any or all of those capacities are gone, you'd have a very lost fish," he told the BBC.

Tropical Fish Expert website noted that clownfish in home tanks can benefit from having an anemone in the tank and can also thrive in large groups.

Posted by Claire Manning

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