Clownfish 101 Guide (Interesting Facts About Clownfish) (2024)

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Clownfish have been among the most popular fish for a very long time. You can find them being sold at pretty much any pet store that sells saltwater fish.

If you’re starting to get interested in buying some clownfish for your saltwater tank, then it’s going to be a good idea to learn a bit about them. This will give you a chance to feel more informed so that you can care for them to the best of your ability.

They’re among the best saltwater fish that beginners can buy. You’ll find them to be great additions to a community saltwater tank so long as you do some research about which fish they’re compatible with.

There are many questions that people seem to have about these fish outside of the standard information that you might need to know. In this article, you’re going to learn about taking care of clownfish, but you’ll also get the answers to several common questions that people have about clownfish.

Why Are Clownfish Called Clownfish?

Many wonder why clownfish are called clownfish in the first place. They actually started being referred to as clownfish because of their bright colors and the way that they look.

When you look at many of the most common clownfish, it’s easy to see that they have bright colors that could be associated with clowns. Some who see the fish immediately make a connection in their heads to circus clowns.

It’s also true that these fish are kind of funny. They swim in a strange way and they have sort of silly personalities.

The way that the clownfish act might have contributed a little bit to the clownfish name. However, the basic reason why they’re called clownfish is that people think they look somewhat similar to clowns.

How Much Does a Clownfish Weigh?

As you might expect, the average weight of a clownfish will differ depending on what type of clownfish you’re talking about. There are actually quite a few different species of clownfish that are popular to keep in home saltwater aquariums.

Two of the most common types of clownfish are the Ocellaris clownfish and the Percula clownfish. A Percula clownfish is going to weigh a little bit under half a pound at maximum growth.

Ocellaris clownfish will be slightly heavier since they can weigh a bit over half a pound at maximum growth. These two fish are quite similar, and they’re fairly close in size and weight.

Maroon clownfish and tomato clownfish are among the larger varieties. They’re going to be a little bigger and more aggressive than other clownfish.

As such, they might weigh a little bit more than usual. They still won’t weigh much more than half a pound at maximum growth, though.

You can expect clownfish to weigh around half a pound on average when they reach maturity. It’s also fine for the fish to weigh less than this.

Keep in mind that some clownfish are smaller than others. Females are going to be bigger and will be the most likely fish to weigh more.

Does the Tank Size Limit a Clownfish’s Growth?

The size of the fish tank that you keep the clownfish in will have an impact on its growth. You might wonder why this is, but it’s actually pretty simple.

Smaller fish tanks can slightly inhibit the growth of clownfish by excessive nitrates. This makes it harder for the fish to grow as big as possible.

Of course, the aquarium size is not going to have the biggest impact on the growth of the fish. Food is a much more relevant factor to consider.

If you feed a clownfish more often, then it’s going to grow. This is assuming that you’re giving the clownfish nutritious foods that give it everything that it needs to grow strong.

Some people feed their clownfish a bit less if they wish to keep them in modest fish tanks. Just remember that one clownfish needs ten gallons of space at a minimum.

Can Clownfish Jump Out of a Tank?

Many people have had clownfish jump out of their fish tanks. While this isn’t something that should happen all the time, it might happen if you’re doing things wrong.

Clownfish might feel the need to try to escape the fish tank if the water conditions are bad. When the fish are forced to live in dirty water, they might choose to try to jump out of the tank in an attempt to get to better waters.

The fish obviously has no idea that it’s jumping out into an area with no water whatsoever. To prevent something such as this from happening, it’s going to be best to keep a close eye on water parameters.

Ensure that you monitor the temperature of the water, the pH balance, and the salinity. Everything needs to stay in the right ranges or else the fish might experience stress.

You also need to take the time to clean the fish tank regularly. If you’re not doing weekly water changes, then it’s more likely that a fish might try to jump out of the tank.

Some might choose to put covers on the top of their fish tanks. You could buy some type of mesh cover or lid that will keep the fish from being able to jump out even if they try.

It’s truly best to just get the water parameters right and keep things clean. Try to do your best to protect your fish by caring for them the right way.

Can Clownfish Live in a Tropical Tank?

You cannot keep clownfish in a tropical tank. Understand that clownfish are saltwater fish and that they need to be kept in a saltwater tank so that they can survive.

If you were to try to put a clownfish in a freshwater tank, it’d die. Essentially, saltwater fish have bodies that contain too much salt.

When they get put in freshwater tanks, they wind up absorbing too much water, and it causes them to swell up. Eventually, this swelling is going to completely kill the fish.

Saltwater tanks are harder to care for than freshwater tanks. If you’re a complete novice when it comes to taking care of fish, then starting out with a saltwater tank as your first foray into home aquariums might not be the best idea.

If you have a bit of experience, then clownfish will make the perfect first saltwater fish to purchase. They’re relatively hardy and easy to care for.

It’s possible to put clownfish in a community tank with other marine fish. You just need to do some research to ensure that the clownfish are compatible with the other fish that you’re interested in first.

Can Clownfish Live with Jellyfish?

It’s not considered to be a good idea to mix clownfish with jellyfish. Some think that clownfish should be able to withstand the jellyfish due to how they’re able to get along with anemones.

Clownfish are also capable of getting along with different types of corals such as hammer corals. Jellyfish simply won’t be a good fit for a community tank that contains clownfish.

The clownfish could easily wind up getting hurt if you choose to put them in a tank with jellyfish. Even if you think that jellyfish are really neat, it’s going to be better to find a separate tank for them where they won’t be able to harm any other fish.

Failing to take such precautions could cause some of your clownfish to die. Now that you know, you’ll be able to avoid such mistakes.

Can Clownfish Get Stung by Jellyfish?

Clownfish can indeed get stung by jellyfish. The clownfish wouldn’t have much control over when they got stung by the jellyfish either.

You’d be putting the clownfish in a very dangerous predicament. It’s best not to do that.

Are Clownfish Immune to Jellyfish Stings?

Since clownfish are immune to the stings of anemones and corals, wouldn’t they be immune to jellyfish stings? No, it’s not going to work that way.

It’s true that clownfish are covered by a thick mucus layer that grants them protection from some stings. This mucus helps them to shrug off stings from anemones and corals.

Jellyfish stings are much different and they could really wind up getting hurt. Since you know that the clownfish would be in danger when placed in the same tank as jellyfish, you’ll be able to make wise choices to keep your fish from getting harmed.

Do Clownfish Take Care of Their Young?

Clownfish don’t really take care of their young once they hatch. You see, male clownfish are the ones that are tasked with looking after the eggs.

The male will protect the eggs and keep them clean while they’re hatching. It should take between five and ten days for the eggs to hatch.

Exactly how long it takes will differ based on the species of the clownfish. No matter what, the parent clownfish won’t really look out for the clownfish babies once they’re hatched.

At this point, it’s very possible that the babies could be eaten by a larger fish. In some situations, the clownfish parents might even eat their own babies.

This might seem cruel and unusual, but this is what happens with many different types of fish. If you’re trying to breed clownfish in your home fish tank, then it’s best to put the clownfish babies in a separate tank so that they will have a better chance of survival.

How Fast Can a Clownfish Swim?

You’ll find that clownfish are not very strong swimmers at all. In fact, they have a tough time dealing with strong currents.

These fish are fairly slow when compared to many other fish of the same size. They are capable of darting in one direction quite fast, though.

A clownfish can swim fast in short bursts, but they cannot keep up this level of speed. This means that escaping predators with speed alone won’t be practical.

They rely on being able to hide and hosting anemones to avoid predators. Because of this, they usually don’t swim very far from the anemones that they host.

Clownfish Care Tips

Now it’s time to learn a bit about clownfish care. These fish need to be kept in fish tanks that are large enough for them.

Every clownfish is going to need at least ten gallons of space. If you’re going to buy one clownfish, then a 10-gallon fish tank would be just big enough for that fish.

Most choose to keep clownfish in pairs. You’ll want a 20-gallon tank or a tank that is somewhat larger to keep the fish happy and healthy.

Water parameters will be very important when it comes to keeping the clownfish in good health. You need to monitor the pH balance of the water, the water temperature, and the salinity of the water.

The pH balance of the water should stay between 7.8 and 8.4 without fluctuating too much. Keep the water temperature between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

You want the salinity of the water to be between 1.021 and 1.026. Always check these water parameter numbers to keep things safe.

Remember to change the water out weekly to keep the tank clean. You want to change 15% of the water on a weekly basis.

Feed your clownfish high-quality foods such as marine flakes and shrimp pellets. They’ll also like frozen brine shrimp.

When feeding these fish, you want to give them only as much as they can finish in two minutes. If it takes longer than this, then you’re feeding them too much.

It’s recommended to feed the clownfish twice per day. Keep this in mind and you should have a good time caring for these fish.

Final Thoughts

You should feel as though you know a lot more about clownfish now. Many common questions about these fish have been answered.

This information gives you more insight into what caring for clownfish will be like. You also know to avoid some situations such as putting jellyfish in the same fish tank as your clownfish.

Do your best to look after your clownfish and they will live for quite some time. They’re hardy enough to withstand a few mistakes, but you definitely want to do things right to get the best results.

Clownfish 101 Guide (Interesting Facts About Clownfish) (1)


Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.

Clownfish 101 Guide (Interesting Facts About Clownfish) (2024)


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