How to Take Care of Clownfish

Clownfish are recommended for beginning fish keepers.

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Clownfish (False percula or Amphiprion ocellaris) have pleasant temperaments and are an intelligent and hardy fish. They received their name because of their seemingly silly behavior, exhibited by persistently darting and bouncing as they swim. Clownfish can be aggressive toward other species of fish and are most compatible with angelfish, cardinalfish, blennies, damselfish, hawkfish, pseudochromis, puffers, gobies and tangs. They must be kept in pairs and can be territorial toward their own species. Clownfish require a stable environment involving clean, filtrated saltwater, normal pH levels and decorative items that allow them places to hide.

Related Searches:Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Things You'll Need40-gallon aquariumAquarium lightingFiltration systemHeating systemAir pumpTank thermometerSpongeBucketAquarium rocksReverse osmosis de-ionized waterAquarium saltpH stabilizerpH testing kitWater testing kitPlantsDecorationTropical fish flake foodBrine shrimpFrozen wormsFish netSuggest Edits1

Select your clownfish in groups of two -- preferably one male and one female. Choose fish that have bright, vibrant colors, clear eyes and are free of white spots. Females are generally larger than the males.


Place the plastic bag containing the fish inside a dark paper bag to reduce their stress during the ride home.


Wash the aquarium rocks thoroughly in a bucket using hot water, ensuring the water runs clear.


Clean the inside of the aquarium using a damp sponge and place the rocks in the bottom.


Install the air pump, heating and filtration system using the enclosed instructions. Turn the thermometer gauge to 26 degrees Celsius or 78 degrees Fahrenheit.


Arrange the plants and decoration inside the aquarium.


Fill the aquarium with the reverse osmosis de-ionized water, and add the pH stabilizer and aquarium salt according to the enclosed instructions.


Check the temperature of the water using the tank thermometer, ensuring it’s between 80 and 84 degrees. Add additional water if needed to reach the correct temperature.


Test the water’s salinity (salt) levels and ensure they’re in the range of 1.020 to 1.026, and add additional aquarium salt if necessary.


Test the water’s pH levels using the pH testing kit, making certain the range falls between 8.2 and 8.6.


Turn the lights off and submerge the plastic bag containing the fish in the aquarium, allowing it to float near the top for approximately 15 minutes.


Catch each clownfish in the net carefully and release into the aquarium separately.


Feed your clownfish tropical fish flake food, brine shrimp and frozen worms. Provide them with small meals two to three times each day. Thaw the frozen worms before feeding.


Monitor the tank’s temperature and the water’s salinity and pH levels weekly.


Change 10 to 25 percent of the tank’s water every two to four weeks or when introducing new fish.


Observe your clownfish regularly, ensuring that they are eating and active. Make certain they show no signs of stress, illness or disease, such as cloudy eyes, difficulty breathing or spots or bumps on their bodies or fins.

Tips & Warnings

Prevention of common illness, disease and stress in fish can be accomplished by avoiding overcrowding. Two gallons or more per fish inch is recommended.

Clownfish have the capability to change sex. Typically, the dominant fish becomes the female and the most docile of the pair stays or becomes the male.

Don’t use tap water for your aquarium. It contains harmful levels of chlorine, nitrates, phosphates and fluoride and may kill your fish.

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