What Do Clownfish Eat in an Aquarium? Best Feeding Diet Plan

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:04 am

After the Disney hit’ Finding Nemo’, the popularity of clownfish in house aquariums plummeted like crazy. The vibrant orange and white color of a clownfish with beautiful black lining make the aquarium look even livelier. Let’s assume you plan to buy a clownfish or already bought some, but now you’re wondering what do clownfish eat in an aquarium? Don’t worry; by the end of this article, you’ll be fully aware of their diet and more.

Clownfish are omnivores, meaning they eat a wide range of foods. Therefore, it’s preferable to serve frozen meals as a mainstay and supplement with dry foods. Feeding various meals or adding vitamins to the food is the key to keeping clownfish healthy and ensuring that they get a complete diet.

We’ll go in-depth on different clownfish food but before that, let’s look at some other important factors to take care of for your clownfish. 

Clownfish Aquarium

Naturally, clownfish are found in warm, safe parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Their primary habitat is in coral reefs, specifically around Australia. Clownfish are usually found living next to Anemones because it provides them cover from faster water currents. In return, the clownfish brings food for the Anemones. Before we move towards the clownfish diets, let’s look at the perfect aquarium setup for them.

How you set your clownfish aquarium up depends if you plan to keep anemones or not since Anemones require more care and pinpoint conditions. Hence, it’s better to plan your aquarium around anemones other than the clownfish. 

What Do Clownfish Eat in an Aquarium

Anemones need bigger-sized tanks, preferably a 50-gallon aquarium. Also, they need good light management, just like every coral setup does. Coral aquariums require a lot of different factors at optimal levels. Clownfish live and thrive inside a coral aquarium. However, even if you’re not going for a coral aquarium just yet, you can still keep them happy and satisfied by looking after some aquarium elements.

All you need to do is create an environment that closely matches the open ocean. But, of course, you’ll have to adjust some significant factors before letting your clownfish roam free in the tank. If you’re planning to keep clownfish without Anemones, you can choose a smaller tank as well.  

After getting or building a tank, you should get saltwater from a nearby aquarium shop or make it at home if you’re familiar with the method.

The primary pH level of the aquarium: 7.8 – 8.4

It’s recommended to keep a wave generator that will keep the water active slightly, mimicking the coral reef. The tank shouldn’t be empty. You should add aesthetic items into the tank, and even rocks and objects that offer cover are also crucial for clownfish.

The tank should be big enough to allow the clownfish to explore and stay hidden by its own choice. The more clownfish you have, the bigger the aquarium should be accordingly. This information should be enough for setting up a good, well-planned aquarium for your clownfish. 

Best Food for Clownfish

So now that you’re all done with the aquarium, we will turn our heads towards clownfish diets. Like we mentioned before, clownfish are easy to look after, and since you’re adopting a pet, you need to make sure that you do your best to keep them healthy and happy. 

Feeding your clownfish is not a tough job, but picking out the top food can be a little tedious. Thankfully there are several options you can research and pick what you think the best for your clownfish.

Frozen Food:

Frozen foods are one of the go-to options for people with aquariums. There are various kinds of frozen foods you’ll find in your nearby shop these days. Most of these frozen foods are blended to maximize the nutrition capacity of your fish. These feeds are suitable for carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores and it even includes vitamins to increase healthiness. 

Companies blend these frozen foods primarily to attain the type of food fish gets in the wild. They mainly consist of algae and seafood. Krill, squid, plankton, mussels, Mysis shrimp are common types of blend frozen foods you can get that your clownfish will enjoy. 

When properly stored, frozen foods feel just like fresh from the market. To protect the food from coming apart as it defrosts, some manufacturers employ a gel binder. However, other foods begin to disintegrate as soon as they come into contact with water. Because they fall apart, foods without a gel binder perform well for smaller clownfish. So, depending on the size and age of your clownfish, you can either pick a gel binder or non-gel binder frozen food. 

Dry Foods:

Dry foods are commonly found in every pet store in different shapes and sizes, and flavors meant for various fish species. Dry foods can provide some extra nutritional value to your Nemo’s. You can try using a smaller pack at the start to see if your fish like it or not. By using a dry feed, you can enhance the clownfish diet.

Dry food is similar to dog or cat food in texture and most of the dry foods usually swell up their size when dipped in water. Clownfish are smaller-sized fish, it’s essential to grab the relevant dry food that would fit in their mouth. 

Exclusively talking about clownfish, marine pallets, or marine-based fish, dry food is the best suited for your clownfish. 

Live Foods:

Yes, surprisingly, some clownfish can eat live foods. You can try feeding your clownfish some worms; this will result in two possible outcomes. Either your clownfish will consume the earthworms or run away from it. If the latter happens, you’ll have to remove the earthworms without any delays. 

Live food is fantastic for clownfish breeding too, so it’s worth trying out to feed them. Plus, it is beneficial and healthy to keep switching up your clownfish diet now and then. You can extract earthworms from your backyard or order a pack online and keep it refrigerated. 

Clownfish also eat amphipods and copepods. Mysis or Brine shrimp are another popular live food source for clownfish breeding. You can purchase them from pet stores or attempt to hatch and breed your shrimp.

Mysis and brine shrimp are worth trying out because it’s one of the natural wild food sources that clownfish thrive on in the wild. 

Clownfish and Anemone: 

We mentioned how vital Anemone’s could be in a clownfish life. Although they are not necessarily needed for their survival in the aquarium, the clownfish will only benefit from it and nothing else if you do include them. Anemones help bring out the clown fish’s instincts and recreate their natural habitat. 

Clownfish and Anemone

Clownfish protects the Anemones, and in return, they protect them. Surprisingly the Anemone also provides food for the clownfish. Clownfish gladly gorge the parasites and wastes of the Anemone. Also, the feed you’ll give to your Anemones, their leftovers, will be food for the clownfish. 

Clownfish have tendencies to get protective of their Anemones, so it’s better if you set up an Anemone for each of your clownfish separately to nullify territorial aggression. But as we told you guys before, Anemone’s requirements are way more challenging than clownfish, and if you have a smaller aquarium, it’s better not to walk down this path.

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Ocean?

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Ocean

Clownfish are omnivores, which means their food sources consist of both animals and plants. Therefore, clownfish can consume both sea plants and tiny sea creatures. In addition, they can swallow their Anemone’s undigested or leftover food (which we just mentioned a while ago). However, zooplankton is their principal dietary source. Clownfish also eat fish eggs, but not their eggs. 

How Often Do Clownfish Need to Eat?

It is not intelligent to dump down all the food at once and expect your fish to stay healthy and happy. You should keep an excellent suitable schedule and feed in different shifts depending on the species you have in your aquarium. Every clownfish will have other behavior and energy, and you will be able to judge this the moment you drop some food inside the aquarium. Some clownfish will devour the food in a flash, while others might take their time to get there. 

So, close observation is needed to make sure every single clownfish gets fed. Also, the food shouldn’t touch the floor; if it does its best to remove it and use it again in the next feeding session. 

The frequency of feeding the clownfish is essential. It would help if you didn’t provide them once in large quantity in a day. The best method is to feed the fish 2-3 times a day by using a small pinch amount of feed (obviously depending on the number of clownfish you have). It’s also advised not to change the timings; you should set fixed times at which you’ll feed your fish. 

Following this consistency method, you’ll notice the fish rounding up every time you come close to the aquarium during feeding time. This creates a lovely valuable bond between you and your clownfish. 

Clownfish Care

Despite their hardiness and ease of care, clownfish can become unwell and require constant monitoring and supervision. This involves water testing and tank cleaning regularly. In addition, there are several factors other than feeding clownfish to care for them. 

Consistent water parameters are required. Water conditions should be checked frequently, as the sooner a change is recognized, the easier it will be to correct. Weekly water changes of at least 15%, and even more for smaller aquariums, are recommended.

To avoid algae development and nitrate poisoning, excess food in the tank should be removed. In addition, a proper cleanser can be used to remove visible algae.

how to take care clownfish

Clownfish can recover quickly from minor setbacks, but they are still susceptible to more severe infections like ick or dropsy. To assist them in healing, look into any unusual behaviors, discolorations, or appetite changes.

Keeping your pets happy is one of a kind therapeutic experience you can feel. Seeing the happiness of your pets will make you comfortable and satisfied too. There’s nothing better than looking at a living being happy because of you.

If you want your clownfish to breed and lay eggs, you need to set the correct temperature inside the aquarium, and when the time comes around, the clownfish will get closer and connect their heads and dorsal fins. Then, the clownfish will lie plenty of eggs on an explicit part of the rock near the Anemone. Clownfish breeding can take time and requires patience until it gives a successful output. 

Clownfish are excellent starter fish to care for, they are not delicate, and as we saw before, they don’t need a large tank to survive happily. Wild clownfish live close to Anemones in a coral, so they occupy less space. 


From this thorough informative article, we hope we enhanced your knowledge about what do clownfish eat in an aquarium. Clownfish are unique aquarium pets to keep not only because of their visual appearances but also because of their sophisticated busy life. Now you’re well aware of the terms they like to live and breed on and the food sources they want to fill their little bellies. There’s nothing more special and fulfilling than seeing your tiny pets happy and satisfied. So, good luck in raising your own clownfish family!

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