January 20, 2014 PetGuide
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  • Group: Saltwater
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Community Aggressive
  • Aquarium Size: Medium (30 gal)
  • Swimming Region(s): Middle
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Damsels, Dartfish, Gobies, Hawkfish, Puffers and Tangs
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care

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Clownfish are arguably the most popular species of fish amongst saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. In fact, research has shown that they alone account for over 40% of the total sales in the marine aquarium fish trade. Clownfishes are characterized by their beautiful colorations and waddle like swimming motions. They are also unique in the fact that they develop special symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationships with sea anemones. Unlike most other species of fish, clownfish are immune to the anemones poisonous tentacles and use them as hiding places to escape from predators. The anemones benefit equally from the clownfish’s presence because the fish lure unsuspecting predators into the waiting tentacles of the anemone. These fish also feed on the leftovers of the anemone’s victims and in turn help provide further nutrition to the anemone through their feces.

Clownfish are arguably the most popular species of fish amongst saltwater aquarium enthusiasts.

Clownfishes originate from the warmer regions of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Clownfishes usually come in yellow, orange, red and blackish colorations. Most species have several distinctive white bars or patches.

Clownfish 1Clownfishes are a relatively hardy species of fish and make a good choice for most beginner aquarists. When given adequate nutrition and excellent water conditions they can often live for up to 6 years in captivity; and there are also reports of aquarists who claim to have raised even older clownfish. Tank raised clownfishes will often adapt much faster to aquarium life than their wild counterparts, but are slightly more expensive.

Clownfish prefer aquariums with open swimming spaces and plenty of hiding places. If you plan on providing your clownfishes with a host anemone, it’s best to research the best species of anemone for your specific species. That said there is no guarantee that your clownfish will take to the anemone as a host. It’s also important to research the specific requirements to raising anemones as they often require very specific lighting conditions to survive.

Clownfishes are a fairly peaceful species of fish and make excellent tenants for most community aquariums. They can however turn aggressive towards other clownfish and it is best to keep a single clownfish or a mated pair in an aquarium.

Clownfishes are omnivores and will readily accept most types of food including aquarium flakes. Their diet should also be supplemented with various live foods and vegetable based foods.

Clownfish are a relatively hardy species of fish and make a good choice for most beginner aquarists.

Clownfish are all born male. When breeding, the larger, more dominant males turn into females and form breeding pairs. They lay their eggs on flat surfaces and will guard them zealously. Clownfishes are considered to be one of the easier species of saltwater fish to breed in the aquarium.

Ocellaris Clownfishes, True Percula Clownfishes, Maroon Clownfishes, Tomato Clownfishes, Cinnamon Clownfishes, etc.

Photo credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikimedia; Jeff Kubina/Flickr

Other Fish

Go to Snappers


  • Group: Saltwater
  • Size: Medium, Large
  • Temperament: Community
  • Aquarium Size: Very Large
  • Swimming Region(s): Mid-Range, Bottom
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Non-Aggressive Species of Similar Size; Should be Kept in Schools of 3 or More
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly
Go to Dragonets


  • Group: Saltwater
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Community aggressive
  • Aquarium Size: Large (55 gal+)
  • Swimming Region(s): Bottom
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Angelfish, Anthias, Clownfish, Damsels, Gobies and Hawkfish
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care