Caring for a Clown Fish

When you think of tropical fish, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the beautiful and very recognizable clown fish. This species has been made famous by the popular animated film “Finding Nemo” as well as its sequel in 2016, “Finding Dory.” A clownfish also known as an Anemone fish is one of the most unique species of marine fish due to its behavior and habits. Clownfish are a type of fish that live in a sea anemone as a permanent home, sharing it with other smaller fish called "zoecoids." Since they spend most of their time living inside sea anemones, these little guys are rarely ever seen by humans unless you dive at a reef aquarium or underwater park.

What are sea anemones?

Sea anemones are marine animals in the phylum Cnidaria and the class Anthozoa. Depending on the species, anemones can be extremely small and barely noticeable or can grow to large sizes. Most sea anemones are predators, which means they eat other organisms like fish and crustaceans. However, there are a few species of anemones that are either harmless or even beneficial to humans. Most people are familiar with the bright and colorful anemones found throughout the tropical waters of the world. The majority of these species are very toxic, with some having enough venom to kill humans. These are the ones you will often see in aquariums, as they are beautiful and easy to care for, but they are also very expensive. In contrast, the anemones found on coral reefs are usually much smaller, less colorful and not as expensive.

What is a Clownfish?

A clownfish is a tropical marine fish found in the waters of the Indo-Pacific. They are also known as anemone fishes due to the fact that they swim freely in the open sea until they find an anemone where they will stay for the rest of their life. There are about 10 species of clownfish, although two of the most common and well-known species are the orange-fin anemonefish and the white-spotted anemonefish. The orange-fin anemonefish are orange with a white striped tail, a white band around their head, and pink and blue markings on their fins. The white-spotted anemonefish, on the other hand, are white with black spots. Compared to other fish, clownfish are very small, with a maximum length of only 2.5 inches. You can tell a male clownfish from a female by the size of its nose. The female has a noticeably larger nose than the male as she has to carry eggs in her mouth.

The Amazing Life Cycle Of A Clownfish | The Dodo

Diet of a Clownfish

Since clownfish are carnivorous, they mainly eat small fish and crustaceans. They usually eat twice a day, in the morning and evening, and will eat as much as they can during the feeding time. Clownfish are very picky when it comes to their food, so they will only eat live or freshly frozen food. Their diet mainly consists of mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, and silversides, but you can also feed them other types of marine food such as cyclops and rotifers. You should also provide them with a daily vitamin supplement. If your tank does not have enough live food for your clownfish to eat, you can also feed them pellets. Just make sure that they are fed only once a day since they can overeat if given the chance.

Interesting Facts About Clownfish

- The symbiotic relationship between the clownfish and anemone is one of the most extreme cases of mutualism ever observed in the animal kingdom.

- Clownfish get their name from their bright orange and black stripes, which are reminiscent of a traditional clown’s attire.

- Clownfish are very sensitive to changes in their environment, so if water conditions change, the fish will leave their host anemone and look for a new home.

- Clownfish are hermaphrodites, which means that each fish is both male and female. This is how they reproduce, a female and male will mate, and then the female will change into a male and fertilize her own eggs.

- The female clownfish will develop a special pouch on her belly to protect the eggs. The male will then release sperm into the pouch and the female will use her fins to push the eggs into the pouch.

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Care for a Clown Fish

When you decide it’s time to add a clown fish to your tank, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, clownfish are very social creatures and should always be kept in groups of two or more. You can introduce them to your tank when they are 3 to 4 inches in size. If you decide to buy a baby clownfish, make sure you purchase at least two of them. These fish are very sensitive creatures and require special attention and care, so you will want to make sure you have the proper tank set up before adding them to your aquarium. Before purchasing a clownfish, make sure you do some research and find out if your aquarium is big enough for them to thrive in. Clown fish are very active fish and will swim around your tank a lot, so you will want to make sure your tank is large enough for them to swim around freely without bumping into anything.


The clownfish is one of the most fascinating species of marine fish. These little guys are rarely ever seen by humans unless you dive at a reef aquarium or underwater park. Due to the fact that they spend most of their time living inside sea anemones, clownfish are very sensitive creatures and require special attention and care. If you decide to get a clownfish, you will need a large aquarium that is well-maintained. To make sure your clownfish stays happy, healthy, and vibrant, make sure you maintain a stable pH, water temperature, and salinity, as well as provide your fish with plenty of food and a few hiding spots.