What Do Clownfish Eat? – The Complete Dietary Needs

What Do Clownfish Eat

What do clownfish eat may seem to be a difficult question to answer, but really, it isn’t. Clownfish are the most popular saltwater fish in captivity. They have a distinctive orange and white coloring. There are many different varieties of clownfish available for purchase at your local pet store or online retailer.

Clownfish can be very expensive pets to maintain because they require specialized diets that will vary depending on what type of anemone they live with as well as what their natural environment is like.

What do clownfish eat, what types of foods you should feed your pet clownfish, based on what factors apply to them and more will be discussed in this article.

What Do Clownfish Eat?

what do clownfish eat

Clownfish are what’s known as a ‘zooplankton feeder.’ They eat small plankton that floats in the water column and passes by their mouths, which they strain through specialized bristles on their lips called cilia. In captivity, clownfish will do fine with just zooplankton food, but what do clownfish eat in the wild?

Clownfish are omnivores, so they will also consume algae and other small organisms.

What do clownfish eat in the wild?

what do clownfish eat

Live meaty fish food

Clownfish are carnivores that primarily eat live meaty fish food. There is a wide range of what clownfish will or won’t eat, and what they prefer can change every day. Clownfish might be picky about what they eat but there’s no need to worry as long as you offer them something from the list of what they might eat.

Frozen fish food

what do clownfish eat

If your clownfish won’t eat what you’re offering it, start with frozen fish food. Frozen food is a great way to introduce new foods and will always be something they haven’t tried before.

Frozen meaty pieces of seafood are the most common type of frozen food offered to Clownfish, but some other options include frozen shrimp, krill, and squid.

Saddleback Clownfish Care "Amphiprion Polymnus"

Clownfish are omnivores that eat everything from fruits to vegetables.

Most of what Clownfish might eat is meaty or salty in flavor but they will also sometimes nibble on plants such as algae (which can serve as a great compliment to their diet).

Here’s what you need to know about what do Clownfish eat if they’re your pet:

Clownfish need a varied diet that is rich in meaty foods. Frozen food, live meaty food, and plants are all good options to offer as long as you vary the variety of what you feed them.

It’s important to know not only what they eat but when they eat it. Clownfish can go for up to a few days without eating, but they will starve themselves if what you’re offering them doesn’t provide the nutrients and calories that their body needs to survive.

The best time of day to feed your pet is in the morning or evening because this imitates what clownfish would do in their natural habitat.

Clownfish prefer their food at a temperature of about 74 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what you should be feeding them as well.


Clownfish will sometimes nibble on plants such as algae (which can serve as a great compliment to their diet).

Some Clownfish might eat what you offer them but others won’t. As long as what you’re offering isn’t toxic, it’s ok if your pet doesn’t want to eat or chooses not to. Offer what they might eat in the morning and what they might prefer at night.

Live meaty fish food, frozen fish food, or plants are all great options to offer your Clownfish as long as you vary what you’re offering them throughout the day.

What do Clownfish eat in an aquarium

what do clownfish eat

Clownfish are omnivores and need a variety of foods. Adults can survive on krill, plankton, algae, shrimp, or any meaty food items such as worms. Young clownfish should be fed on what they consume in the wild – small crustaceans like copepods and mysids but also zooplankton, algae, and small fish fry.

In the wild, they mostly consume zooplanktons which are tiny invertebrates that drift or swim in seawater with a planktonic lifestyle. These animals can be found near the surface of the water or near the bottom of a body such as oceans, lakes, and rivers.

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The most common zooplankton found are larval shrimp and copepods which are small crustaceans that can be consumed whole by young clownfish. Contrary to what some people might think, clownfish do not eat anemones.

Clownfish that are bred and raised by humans need a variety of food items for optimal health and growth: plankton enriched with animal protein.

Algae is also a favorite food of most fish including the Clownfish. It can be mixed with any type of meat or other animal-based foods they are raised on.

Marine fish pellets

what do clownfish eat

The best food sources for Clownfish in the aquarium are marine fish pellets. These contain what they need to thrive and grow healthy.

Marine fish pellets also have dietary supplements that come with them such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, color enhancers, or other nutrients depending on what you’re looking for. The benefits of these supplements include improved growth rates, enhanced coloration, and protection against disease.

Marine fish pellets are what most marine fish breeders use for feedings because they contain everything a saltwater feeding needs to grow healthy. Clownfish should be fed with these once or twice per day as the main food in their diet. However, it is also important to provide them with other foods as well.

If Clownfish are in an aquarium and not breeding, then a diet consisting of marine fish pellets alone would suffice; however, if Clownfish are being bred then they will need a wider variety of foods.

What you feed your breeding clownfish in an aquarium also depends on what type of tank it is housed in.

If the water level is shallow, as it would be for most reef tanks, you can use chopped or ground up fresh fish, shrimp, and other seafood. Crushed fresh or dried seaweed, spirulina, and other types of algae can also be fed to Clownfish.

If the tank is deep, as it would be for most fish only tanks, you’ll need to provide what they eat in the wild: small crustaceans such as copepods and mysids but also zooplankton, algae, and small fish fry.

Clownfish Care: The Ultimate Guide

Frozen foods

Most frozen foods are not suitable for clownfish, but you can buy a few types of frozen food.

  • Frozen Mysis shrimp: These small shrimps come ready to eat and are high in protein as well as other nutrients that keep your fish healthy and happy. They’re also low in mercury so they’re safe for sensitive species like clownfish.
  • Frozen blood worms: These are another high-protein food that’s good for your clownfish, but they’re higher in mercury than Mysis shrimp so you should feed them sparingly.
  • Freeze dried krill: One of the best foods to give to a fish is freeze dried krill because it has lots of proteins and nutrients your clownfish needs to stay healthy.
  • Frozen beef heart: Beef hearts are a high protein food that not only has lots of what fish need, but also what humans need – iron and calcium.

When you feed frozen foods or any other type of prepared diet to your clownfish, be sure they’re what’s called “low-in-toxins.” This means they’re “prepared low in heavy metals”. These types of food are generally safer for your clownfish.

Live foods

The best live fish are guppies, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp. Clownfish eat these raw (usually gut loaded with vitamins) or they may be boiled for a minute to get the nutrients from the outer flesh of what clownfish eat before being fed to them.

Anemone and clown fish

what do clownfish eat

The clownfish is a species of fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, and there are more than 30 different types. Clownfish live in saltwater environments near coral reefs and sea anemones – they use the tentacles of these animals as protection from predators.

The clownfish swim freely between both creatures, but cannot survive without either one. The clownfish is the only species of fish where both animals benefit from the relationship – they feed off each other for survival, and this allows them to thrive in an environment with few resources.

The symbiotic relationship between a clownfish and sea anemone means that these creatures have very different dietary needs. A clownfish relies on the sea anemone for protection, so it can’t leave its tentacles to search for food. It needs a constant supply of food coming from the anemone’s tentacles – these are specially designed to both feed and capture prey.

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A clownfish have been observed eating small crabs, but this is not their main source of nourishment. The clownfish can also feed on small crustaceans – such as shrimp and prawns.

This species of fish is very populous in the Indo-Pacific region, but they are not found near North American coasts or in Atlantic waters. The clownfish has been seen with sea anemones living up to a mile deep under water. Clownfish are also found in the Red Sea and Mediterranean region.

They have a varied diet, but they mainly rely on their symbiotic partner for food. Clownfish need to feed on sea anemones’ tentacles to survive – without this constant supply of nourishment, these fish would starve.

Feeding timings for clownfish

Feeding timings for clownfish are a very important part of their care. The eating patterns need to be carefully monitored and matched with the environment they’re living in, or else it can lead to malnutrition. Clownish go through two feeding phases: an active period and a resting phase. During their active periods, they eat about four to five times a day. The size and the frequency of each meal changes based on their environment, level of activity, and other factors such as stress levels or temperature changes.


The Clownfish is a very unique and interesting fish that does not need too much special care in order to thrive. The only thing you really have to worry about is whether or not they are getting enough food! All of the information provided should be able to help you understand what needs a clownfish has for nutrients, as well as exactly what you need to feed them.

I hope this blog post has been helpful in figuring out what do clownfish eat and what they should be eating and at what time!