Are Clownfish Good For Beginners? Perfect Fish

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After the release of the popular movie “Finding Nemo” in 2003, the popularity of the clownfish skyrocketed.

They remain a popular species even today.

For hobbyists, clownfish are one of the most well-known and loved saltwater fishes. One of the reasons for their popularity (besides the movie of course), is that they are very easy to care for


Considering that clownfish don’t require a large aquarium to thrive and that they are generally easy to care for, then I would say they are good for beginners. Clownfish are also good tank-mates, you can have them in your aquarium with many other fish species.

If you keep reading, I can explain this in more detail…

Brief Summary Of Clownfish

Clownfish do not require a large aquarium to live and thrive, and they are among the hardier options you can find.

They aren’t large in size, which is why they don’t need very spacious aquariums. At full maturity, clownfish can grow between 2 to 5 inches in length.

How To Care For Clownfish

  • Clownfish are tropical fish that need a water temperature of 72°F to 78°F, with a pH range of 8.0 – 8.4, and salinity of 1.020 – 1.025.
  • The ideal aquarium type for clownfish is one with a 20-gallon capacity and one that has a lot of hiding places.
  • The best way to replicate their natural environment in your tank is to keep sea anemones in the aquarium. Keep in mind that they can sting human hands so put on gloves while handling.
  • Clownfish are non-aggressive fish, so they don’t mind having a few tank-mates, as long as these tank-mates don’t consider them to be food.
  • As for feeding, clownfish have a diet that consists of live and frozen foods like brine shrimp.  Krill and vegetables are also a delicacy for them.
  • To ensure their diet is balanced, you can add spinach and nori to their meals.
  • The average lifespan of a clownfish living in captivity is about 3 to 5 years.

Clownfish Personality

Clownfish are among the most peaceful fish species you can find. As I mentioned earlier, they do not need a lot of room to live and be happy.


Unlike many other fish species, clownfish move in short bursts of up and down motion when they enter or exit the anemones that serve as their homes.

Clownfish are characteristically omnivores. They can live in small groups, and they don’t mind living alone.

Little clownfish (or juveniles) are sexually ambiguous. This means in their youth, they show neither male nor female traits.

When they grow older, they will transform into males (which are smaller), or females (which are larger) and more aggressive.

During their maturity stages, they begin to form mated patterns. If two female clownfish are placed together, over time the smaller or less dominant one will become a male, and they will pair up.

Clownfish are known to form symbiotic relationships with anemones. Anemones sting, but clownfish are immune to the sting of certain species, hence they use it as shelter.

They scare off other small fish that may try to eat the anemones, as a form of repayment, the anemone protects the clownfish from larger fish that may try to eat it.

Clownfish Tank Set-Up

  1. If there’s already a fish in your tank and you want to add a clownfish in there, then I suggest you place it in a quarantine tank first.
  2. Doing this will help keep potentially sick fish away from the others, and allow the new fish to get acquainted with the water and food you give them. This will in turn help them reduce their stress levels.
  3. Please remember to provide several hiding places for the new clownfish in the main aquarium before you remove it from the quarantine aquarium.
  4. You can rearrange the existing layout of your tank to distract the fishes you already have. Remove any established territories as you do this.
  5. Be sure to feed your current fish well enough before you introduce your new clownfish. Doing this will make them less aggressive towards their new tank-mate.
  6. A great idea is to introduce more than one clownfish at a time. This will reduce the chances of one fish being a victim of aggravation from other fish.

Clownfish Tank Maintenance


Changing the tank water regularly is a great way to maintain a healthy environment for your clownfish. The smaller the tank, the more frequent the changes should be. This is because toxins like ammonia and nitrate build-up faster in smaller tanks.

For tanks with only fish, and no live rock or anemones, water changes can follow this pattern –

  • Tanks up to 40 gallons : 15% water Change bi-weekly
  • Tanks 40 – 90 gallons : 20 – 30% water changes monthly
  • Tanks 100+ gallons : Once the water is aged and stable, 20 – 30% water Cha every six weeks

How Much Does A Clownfish Eat?

You should feed your clownfish 1 to 2 times daily, with an amount of food that shouldn’t take them more than 2 minutes to finish. This amount of food is suitable for most clownfish, but can still depend on the size or species of clownfish you have.

Clownfish Habitat Maintenance

Daily – Check water filter, water temperature, and other aquarium equipment

Weekly – Check water quality at least once every week (checking twice every week is more efficient)

Monthly – Change about 15 to 25% of the water every 2 to 4 weeks (or as required)

Signs Of A Healthy Clownfish

These signs will tell you that your clownfish is healthy –

  • They have clear eyes
  • They eat vigorously
  • Fins completely intact and undamaged
  • They swim actively


Considering the fact that clownfish require little space to live, eat a large variety of foods, and are among the hardier species, I would say that they are good for beginners.

I hope this article has answered your question – Are clownfish good for beginners?

Take care!

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Pet Aquariums

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