What Do Clownfish Eat in an Aquarium?

Thanks to the phenomenon of Finding Nemo, the Clownfish is an ever-popular tropical fish to keep in aquariums.

Clownfish, also known as Anemonefish, is a saltwater fish and is pretty easy to care for.

You need to feed it high-quality food to encourage steady growth and long life.

Let’s look at what you can feed your Clownfish.

What Do Clownfish Eat in an Aquarium?

Clownfish are an ideal beginner fish for aquarium keepers since they are famously non-fussy eaters.

In their natural habitat, these omnivores feed on everything, including small crustaceans, copepods, algae, fish eggs, larvae, and anemone tentacles.

When kept in an aquarium, these voracious omnivores will gladly eat a large variety of fish food.

You can even feed them flake fish food, which is highly rare for saltwater fish to eat.

However, if you want your clownfish to thrive, you need to give it a varied diet.

So, let’s look at some of the fish food that your Clownfish will gladly devour.

Live Meaty Fish Food

Clownfish need some live fish food in their diet to thrive.

Live foods are the best way to familiarize wild fish species, such as Clownfish, with their new, smaller surroundings.

The best live foods to feed your Clownfish are shrimps such as Krill, Mysis, and Brine. You can find these fish foods at your local pet shops.

Frozen Fish Food

As for frozen food, your Clownfish will gladly chomp on small frozen fish, cut-up Bloodworms, as well as table shrimp (as long as it’s nicely chopped up.)

Some other frozen fish food options to feed your Clownfish include:

  • Cooked mussels
  • Peeled shrimp pieces
  • Chopped up squid
  • Shredded octopus
  • White fish
  • Cockles
  • Chicken livers


Since Clownfish are omnivores, you also need to add vegetables to their diet. Vegetables that you can include are nori and spinach.

You can get nori at any high-end grocery store.

Chard and cooked spinach are also great vegetable food options for your Clownfish.

Marine fish food pellets and flakes that have a high spirulina content will also make up the vegetable side of your Clownfish diet.

A varied diet full of vegetables as well as live and frozen fish food ensures that your Clownfish get all the nutrients they need to thrive.

What to Feed Your Breeding Clownfish in an Aquarium

The feeding requirements of Clownfish change somewhat when you plan on breeding them.

You need to feed your breeding Clownfish a whole lot more than you would feed your regular Clownfish. You need to feed them at least 3 to 4 times every day.

Extending the number of feedings beyond 4 won’t do you any good.

So, you need to make sure that whatever you feed your breeding Clownfish is high in quality. Also, ensure that your breeding fish are actually eating their meals.

So, what is the best high-quality diet for breeding Clownfish?

Well, you need to give your breeding Clownfish a wide variety of food items throughout the day. The diet of breeding clownfish includes dried fish pellets and fresh as well as frozen foods.

So, let’s look at what you can feed your breeding Clownfish.

Marine Fish Pellets

Here are some amazing marine fish pellets that will make the diet of your breeding Clownfish more nutritious:

  • Ultra Marine Soft Clownfish pellets
  • New Life Spectrum
  • TDO from Reed Mariculture
  • Marine A pellets from Hikari
  • Ocean Nutrition Formula Two
  • Cobalt Breeders Formula

You don’t need to feed your Clownfish all of these fish pellets, but every once in a while, it’s good to mix things up a little.

The best amongst these are Formula Two pellets and TDO from Reed Mariculture.

Frozen Foods

There is also a large variety of frozen foods that you can add to your breeding Clownfish’s diet.

Try out a bunch of commercially available frozen fish foods and see which ones your Clownfish prefers.

Here are a few great options:

  • LRS Fish Frenzy
  • LRS Reef Frenzy
  • LRS Breeders Blend
  • Rod’s Food Fish Eggs
  • San Francisco Bay Frozen Brine Shrimp
  • Piscine Energetics (PE) Mysis

Frozen foods that are high in quality, such as Rod’s and LRS, can be a bit expensive.

However, they are worth every single penny if you are seriously interested in breeding your Clownfish.

They’re cleaner than the cheaper options and both these brands provide a blend particularly catered to breeders.

Some aquarium keepers prefer to blend their own foods and freeze them for their breeding clownfish.

Such frozen foods often have a huge amount of salmon as well as other popular fish foods – including squid, seaweed, shrimp, etc.

So, you could always try and prepare your own blend of frozen nutritious fish food for your breeding Clownfish.

Live Foods

Finally, let’s mention some of the great live food choices that you can incorporate into your breeding Clownfish’s diet.

You can try offering your Clownfish live earthworms. Some fish love to devour them, while others run away from them!

Just try your luck with a small, bite-sized one for your clownfish. Always wash them before feeding them to your fish.

If they don’t eat the earthworms, then make sure to quickly remove them from the aquarium.

Blackworms are also a great live food option to give your breeding Clownfish. You can either culture your own Blackworms or order them online and keep them in your refrigerator.

Clownfish also eat amphipods and copepods. Mysis or Brine shrimp are also common live food options to feed your breeding clownfish.

You can get them from your local pet stores or you can try to hatch them and culture your own shrimp.

One of the more atypical live food items that you can add to your breeding Clownfish’s diet is mosquito larvae!

Many Clownfish varieties simply love to devour them. You can easily find them outside your home during warmer temperatures.

You just have to find some stagnant water. Simply net the mosquito larvae out and thoroughly rinse them.

Add them to your breeding Clownfish tank when you want to feed your fish.

Although they won’t live for long in a saltwater aquarium, they will swim about in the tank and make for an enticing and nutritious meal for your Clownfish.

Clownfish and Anemone – A Symbiotic Relationship

If you want your Clownfish to thrive and have a fully-nutritious diet, then you can try putting an anemone in your fish aquarium.

Anemones are crucial for Clownfish to truly thrive in their natural environments.

They not only protect your fish from other fish, but they also provide them with food!

Clownfish feed on the waste produced by anemones as well as their parasites.

Different varieties of clownfish prefer different varieties of anemone, so read up on this compatibility before you pair an anemone with a clownfish.

Have a separate anemone for each of your Clownfish.

If you don’t have enough anemones in your aquarium, your Clownfish might get territorial and fight over them.

Make sure to keep your aquarium water pristine and add lots of lighting to it since Anemones prefer such an environment.

However, don’t be disappointed if your Clownfish does not bond with an anemone.

Since Anemones are not vital for the survival of Clownfish in the small, artificial environment of an aquarium, some Clownfish simply ignore them.

Feeding Timings For Clownfish

If you want to see your adult clownfish thrive and grow at a regular, healthy pace, then feed them at least twice a day.

You can also feed adult Clownfish once a day, but that will affect their growth period. As for your juvenile Clownfish, feed them 3 to 4 times during the day.

Always give your Clownfish only enough food that they can devour within three minutes.

However, if you are going to feed them once a day only, then prolong that time duration to about 5 minutes.

Also, make sure to immediately clean out any excess food that remains after the designated time.

This will allow your aquarium water conditions to remain optimal.

Feeding Tips For Clownfish

Here are some solid feeding tips that you need to consider to properly feed your Clownfish.

  • Smaller Clownfish usually live in a designated small area of the aquarium, which is known as their safety zone. If you have any juvenile Clownfish, you will need to feed them near their safety zone.
  • Always feed your Clownfish in areas of your aquarium that don’t have strong water flow to make feeding easier for your fish.
  • You can add a food cleanup crew, consisting of snails, starfish, and crabs, to your clownfish aquarium. They will eat the food left over by your Clownfish and keep your aquarium clean and algae-free.

In Conclusion

Clownfish are omnivorous in nature, which makes feeding them quite a convenient and easy task.

However, since they are omnivores, you need to provide them with a large variety of food items to fulfill their nutritional needs.

Give your aquarium-raised Clownfish lots of marine fish pellets, live foods such as shrimps, frozen food blends, and fresh or frozen vegetables.

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