What To Feed Clownfish in Your Home Aquarium?

After my fish started to get discolored and lost interest in swimming, I knew something wasn’t quite right. And after some deep research, I found that something was the pallet diet I was giving. The diet was enough but not that balanced. Plus, the little buddy needed a little variety. That’s when I started researching the clownfish diet in-depth, and here’s what I found.

The clownfish are omnivorous and very non-picky in terms of food. They will eat any type of plant, meat, or live food that you provide them. They can survive on food from Anemone if you have one. Thus feel free to include pellet, plant, shrimp, vegetables, and livestock in your clownfish diet plan.

Knowing the type of food for clownfish is one part. The other part is to mix-match them. Then there is the routine of feeding and the type of meat or veggies you can feed. You will also need to know the quantities of each of these food items. This article will share all this information with you. Have a look. 

What To Know About Clown Fish Diet?

In its natural habitat, the clownfish eat small aquatic life, algae, and sometimes the Anemone’s residual food. When provided, the fish can also survive on fish eggs, larvae, copepods and some plants. 

In short, the clownfish are very non-fussy and non-selective in food.  So, as long as you provide your fish with a proper and balanced diet, it will live to its full potential. Even, a high-quality pellet with well-balanced nutrients will also do the job. 

But if you want to replicate its natural diet, try mixing some common food types. For instance, you can get some dry shrimps, chopped brine, shrimps, Mysis, bloodworms, small crustaceans and your regular food pellets or flakes.  You can also try feeding some veggies. Just make sure to boil and soften them. 

Feeding live food is also a great option. You can get some baby shrimps, brines, and sometimes small fishes for your little buddy. However, there’s a risk in live food. The fish or shrimp you get may have parasites or stress related issues. If eaten, they will infect your fish, which is never good. 

Apart from these common meaty treats, you can also consider the following food options.

  • Chopped Squid
  • Shredded octopus
  • Chicken livers
  • Cockles

If possible, get these foods in frozen form rather than live to ensure they are parasite and contamination free. 

What’s The Best Clown Fish Feeding Routine?

The feeding routine for your Nemo will highly depend on the portions you offer and their age. Usually, the small clownfish will need more food than the fully grown ones. So, a small batch of food 3-4 times should do it for a juvenile clownfish. The adult fish, however, can live with just two feedings per day. 

The routine is not a must, and you can reduce it once a day for adults and 2-3 times for the juveniles. However, it’s not always a good idea and may affect your little buddies’ growth. 

Coming to the portions, they are customizable according to your fish. It means you can consider a slightly larger portion for adults being fed once in a day or juveniles that you feed 2-3 times a day. But again, too much food can affect their health.

So, you need to ensure not to drop too much food. The best trick for this part is to feed them by minute count. Simply drop food into the tank and let your buddy feed for 2-3 minutes. They would be able to consume enough food by the time. In case you feed them just once, feel free to prolong the time limit to 3-5 minutes.

Just make sure that you remove the excess food after the feeding time. If you don’t, either the fish will eat it, or it will settle at the bottom and affect water parameters. 

What’s The Dietary Requirement for Breeding Clownfish?

If you have more than one clownfish, then there is a high chance of mating in the tank. And no, buying males clownfish will not make any difference. The thing is, all clownfish are born male and can change their sex.

Now, considering you have stones and hiding places in the tank and no clownfish rivals, there’s not much to do for healthy spawning. But you will need to make changes in their diet during this time. You should switch your fish to a healthier diet and adjust the feeding routines.

For their health, it’s best to feed your buddy at least 3-4 times a day. Feed them less, and the fish get weaker, feed it more, and the fish get infected by diseases like bloating.

Moreover, if you feed them just flakes or pellets, try adding more variety at this stage. You can consider both live and frozen meats for them. Just remember to chop the edible in small parts and make sure that the fish eats them. 

Diet Related Problems Symptoms That You Must Know?

Even with a vast knowledge of fish food and diet, there are possibilities of mistakes. Moreover, you never know the origin, prior diet and calories your fish burn. So, it makes sense that you always keep an eye on symptoms of diet-related issues. Here’s a list of somethings you will see in a clownfish having a poor diet. 

  • Changing Color

With clownfish, you will notice slight color variation over time. While the enhancement in vibrancy is a good sign, dulling of color or whiteness is not. The discoloration indicated that your fish’s health is degrading. It usually happened due to infection, but there is a possibility that a poor diet is to blame for it. 

  • Raised Pimple

Sometimes the fish that you get or own will have some reddish dots on its body or a particular section of it. These dots generally occur due to extra stress, starvation or traumas during transportation. Though the disease is not a direct symptom, it indicates your fish’s low immunity that directly relates to its health and diet. In short, if you see these dots, that means the fish needs a better and more nutritious diet.

  • Poor Activity

When the food you feed is unable to fulfill your clownfish’s dietary needs, it starts to starve. The fish will experience extreme discomfort and weakness. Hence, you will notice that the fish stays in one place and doesn’t move much. If you don’t change the diet and cure the problem, it may even die within a few days. 

  • Unbalanced Swimming

If you feed your clownfish too much or with poor quality food, it will experience stomach problems. The fish will experience constipation or bloating that will make its stomach large and sometimes cause swelling. The infected portion will then interfere with the swim bladder of your fish and hence the swimming issue. 

So, if you notice swelling in your fish or see it swimming unbalanced, reduce the food quantity. 

  • Lost Appetite

Strangely, if the fish feed too much, it will slowly lose interest in eating. It’s because clownfish have a delicate stomach, and poor food quality will disrupt the smooth digestion. And since the food will not get digested, the fish will feel uncomfortable and full. Thus, it will not eat anything. 

  • Immunity

Clownfish have a strong immune system and can fight most parasites or infections by themselves. However, if your fish get sick frequently, there’s a possibility of a weak immune system. This issue can occur either due to stress or due to poor diet.  In either case, you will need to provide better food to the fish. It will help the fish heal faster.

Should I Keep an Anemone? 

Anemone is a common word that you will hear every time you search about clownfish diets or talk to an expert about them. It’s actually a marine predator plant that attaches itself to reefs and feeds off small animals. The plant shares a strange symbiotic relationship with the clownfish and provides them with a healthy diet. The clownfish, on the other hand, provides the plant with nutrients in the form of waste.

Since you can clean and feed the clownfish yourself, there is no need for this plant in your tank. The fish, especially the non-captive, can easily survive without it.

So, it’s a personal choice, and you can always get an Anemone for your little buddy or not. In case you want to keep it, there are many different coral and Anemone for clownfish that you can consider. Choose the once that are suit your tank space.

Its also important to adjust the feeding routine and portions accordingly. You will need to add some food for Anemone and feed them at least once a week. The feeding cycle will increase to twice or thrice for a larger Anemone. 

Moreover, the diet has to be protein-rich. Some shrimps, clams, mussels and scallops will do the job nicely. 

Final Words

The clownfish are not that picky about their food and will eat anything you provide. But for their health and long life, it’s vital to ensure a properly balanced diet. Rotating food or mixing different types of frozen foods, live food, and pallets can help.

You also need to pay attention to their feeding portion as too much or too low food quantity can make them sick. So, take time to check your food options and make sure your fish gets all the nutrients it needs for proper growth.

Bart Sprenkels

I have been keeping multiple aquariums since I was 18 years old. Just like many of you, I started with two goldfish but quickly learned they were not suitable for aquariums. Later, I switched to a tropical community tank and I also have two pet musk-turtles in a bigger aquarium. You can read more about me here.

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