Clown Fish Care For Beginners

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Clown Fish Care For Beginners in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

Clownfish are the best fish for beginners in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

There are many types of saltwater fish available for your new saltwater aquarium and the choices can be overwhelming.

Clown fish are my favorite; they are the reason I got into the saltwater aquarium hobby.

With many saltwater fish to choose from, the clown fish (Nemo fish) always ranks as the best fish for a saltwater aquarium, especially for beginners.

As a beginner in the saltwater aquarium hobby, you want saltwater fish that are easy to care for and hardy (strong.) Don’t spend money on saltwater fish that require advanced care if you’re new to the saltwater aquarium hobby.

The Best Saltwater Fish For Beginners is the clownfish

Clown Fish Care and Habitat

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Oscellaris Clownfish – Orange and White -Most recognizable and popular

Clown fish are probably the most recognizable saltwater fish mainly in part to their popularity, and the movie, Finding Nemo.

Clown fish are not only very easy to care for, but they are strong, colorful and full of personality. These are some reasons why clownfish are best for beginners (and even pros) in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

Clown fish are hardy and active. They don’t hide as much as other saltwater fish, so they make a perfect addition to a beginner’s saltwater aquarium.

Clown fish come in different colors such as orange and white, black and white, maroon, orange and white and the popular picasso (multi-colored) and domino.

The average cost of a clownfish is $30, give or take $10

black and white oscellaris clown fish
Black and White Oscellaris Clownfish

It’s important to get 2 clownfish per saltwater tank, as they are meant to be in pairs. Purchasing a pair of clown fish at the same time is highly recommended.

As with most saltwater fish, it’s important to allow 10 gallons of saltwater per saltwater fish. If you want a pair of clown fish, you will need a minimum of a 20 gallon saltwater aquarium. The larger the saltwater aquarium, the better, as fish will grow and need more swimming room.

picasso onyx clown fish
Picasso Clownfish

Clown fish eat most types of foods and are mainly omnivores. They can eat saltwater fish pellets or frozen prepared saltwater fish food.

It’s been said to keep only a pair of clownfish per saltwater aquarium, regardless of your saltwater tank size.

I have successfully kept 8 clownfish peacefully in my 125 gallon saltwater aquarium, which is 6 feet long. The larger the saltwater aquarium, the better it is for your saltwater fish!

The larger the saltwater aquarium you have, the more swim space and hiding spaces for your saltwater fish. This is how I was able to keep more than a pair of clownfish in my saltwater aquarium. The clownfish are able to retreat to other sides of the tank for alone time if needed.

Maroon clownfish

It’s important to note that maroon clown fish tend to be more aggressive than other clown fish types. If you want to add a maroon clownfish to your saltwater aquarium, it’s best to add it last, to prevent aggression or territorial conflicts. The “new kid on the block” will tend to bully previous saltwater fish.

Clown Fish Housing

Anemones provide shelter and protection from predators of clown fish, while the clown fish provides food for the anemone. Clown fish have been known to bring food to anemones.

Anemones are coral, and are living things that need more care than saltwater fish do. Anemones and all coral require extra maintenance to make sure your saltwater tank water parameters are perfect.

Clown fish (Anemone fish) are omnivorous and can feed on undigested food from their host anemones. Anemones host clown fish, as you have seen in the movie, “finding Nemo.”

Anemones have stingers as a defense, to protect themselves against saltwater fish and other predators, including other anemones.

Clown fish are immune to the sting of anemones, which is why they use anemones as housing and play areas.

Clown fish and anemones have a healthy bond, both in the ocean and the saltwater aquarium.

clownfish inside anemone for protection. anemones protect clownfish and provide housing for them.
Pair of clownfish in anemone

Clown Fish Feeding

Clownfish are omnivores and are easy to feed. Clownfish can eat saltwater fish pellets or frozen fish food from your local reef store.

Fecal matter from the clown fish provides nutrients to the sea anemone. Anemone fish primarily feed on small zooplankton from the water column, such as copepods and tunicate larvae, with a small portion of their diet coming from algae.

Clown Fish Reproduction

In a group of clown fish, a strict dominance hierarchy exists. The largest and most aggressive female clownfish is found at the top.

Only two clown fish, a male and a female, in a group reproduce through external fertilization.

Clown fish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they develop into males first, and when they mature, they become females.

If the female clown fish is removed from the group, such as by death, one of the largest and most dominant males becomes a female. The remaining males move up a rank in the hierarchy.

Clown fish lay eggs on any flat surface close to their host anemones.

In the wild, clown fish spawn around the time of the full moon. Depending on the species, clownfish can lay hundreds or thousands of eggs.

The male parent guards the eggs until they hatch about 6–10 days later, typically two hours after dusk.

The clown fish is one of the most popular saltwater fish in saltwater aquariums and definitely the best choice for beginners in the saltwater aquarium hobby.

Not only are clown fish easy to take care of, they have very colorful personalities and can live quite long (up to 30 years!)

Clown fish get along with most types of saltwater fish. A great saltwater fish to add with clown fish is the yellow tang.

I currently have 8 clown fish in my 125 gallon saltwater aquarium (6 foot long saltwater tank) and plan to add more, making it a clownfish tank mainly.

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