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Is It Worth Breeding Clownfish For Profit?

As the popularity of keeping clownfish continues to increase at a rapid pace with no signs of their growth slowing down within the fish keeping community, we have noticed more and more people thinking that they may be able to breed their clownfish for a profit.

Over the last few month there has been a number of people reaching out with various questions about breeding clownfish for profit but this is not as easy as most people initially think!

Just because it is easy to breed clownfish at home down not mean that you can make a profit from it.

There are a large number of people within the fish keeping hobby offering their own home-bred clownfish for sale online and most pet stores have contracts with established breeders to meet their supply needs so most people will actually lose money trying to breed clownfish for a profit.

Many people within the fish keeping community think that captive clownfish will not breed but this is far from accurate and has been proven incorrect many times.

Due to the dominant male clownfish releasing hormones to naturally transform into a female clownfish keeping multiple clownfish in the same aquarium will usually result in a female developing after the initial bout of clownfish aggression to establish dominance and babies can quickly follow.

Is Breeding Clownfish Easy?

Is it surprisingly easy to breed clownfish in most tank setups as the hierarchy of the tank is usually already established if there is a female in the tank.

She will usually choose a male to pair with and host an area of the aquarium to start breeding and producing baby clownfish provided the conditions within the tank are optimal.

We have a dedicated article going over how to keep a pair of clownfish together than may be helpful if you are having problems getting your clownfish to breed.

As we mentioned earlier in the article though, aggression between clownfish is totally natural until the tank hierarchy has been formed and the dominant male clownfish has transformed into a female clownfish and things usually start to calm down.

Another very common misconception that we see time and time again within the fish keeping community is that a pair of clownfish need to host an anemone to breed.

This is not correct and clownfish can host an area of an aquarium without any features if needed prior to breeding but a suitable anemone will usually speed up the breeding process for your clownfish.

Can You Make Money Breeding Clownfish?

It is very unlikely that you will be able to make money breeding clownfish due to there being so many people within the fish keeping community offering their own baby clownfish for sale.

It is very difficult to get a pet store to sell your baby clownfish for you too as they usually have very strict supply contracts in place already and often have too many fish that they are unable to sell already.

This can result in people who are trying to breed clownfish for a profit actually making a loss as they end up stuck with a large number of baby clownfish that they are unable to get rid of.

Depending on where you live and your reputation within your local fish keeping community, it can actually be difficult to give your baby clownfish away for free too!

This is due to the costs of people taking your baby clownfish off your hands having to get a tank and the other costs associated with clownfish.

Many of the people who have tried to breed clownfish for a profit and then left with clownfish that they have to care for themselves actually increase their costs, sometimes substantially without them making any profit at all.

Back when Finding Nemo was released and the original spike in the popularity of clownfish was at its peak it was much easier to sell your clownfish and make money but it is close to impossible now.

Is It Easy To Sell Clownfish?

It is extremely difficult for the vast majority of people within the fish-keeping community to sell their clownfish babies, especially for a profit.

Most of the amateur breeders who are able to sell their clownfish babies for a profit have a large social media following or are breeding rare clownfish to increase the demand and prices that they are able to charge for their clownfish.

This is not a realistic possibility for the majority of people though so it is highly likely that you will struggle to sell your clownfish if you do try to breed them.

You only have to go on some of the fish keeping social media groups to see the endless number of people trying to sell their baby fish with minimal success with the people posting these ads often ending up banned from the groups for spamming further reducing their potential buyer pool.

If you are wanting to try and breed and sell clownfish for a profit as a part of a side hustle then you really need to start working on growing your social media presence as soon as possible.

YouTube, Instagram, and Tik Tok are all extremely popular platforms at the time of writing this article with there being a number of fish keeping influencers on these platforms who actually have a waiting list for fish that they breed.

How Much Do Baby Clownfish Sell For?

Most baby clownfish will sell for between $5 and $100 depending on the rarity of the fish, its condition, the size of the fish, and the reputation of the breeder.

In some rare cases, we have seen clownfish babies sell for as much as $250 per fish but this is usually for Lightning Maroon Clownfish or other rare species that are seeing a surge in popularity.

As with all things though, prices eventually fall, usually rapidly when trends change or the number of breeders supplying the fish increases so these prices fluctuate heavily.

Although the Lightning Maroon Clownfish used to retail for around $250 just a year or two ago, you can often pick them up for closer to the $100 mark down due to their popularity fading and the number of people who breed them having drastically increased over the last two years.

This will always be a problem for breeding clownfish for a profit as it is very difficult to plan for spikes and troughs in the trends of the various species of fish.

You may try to setup your breeding operation for something like the Lightning Maroon Clownfish and pencil in a potential $250 per baby clownfish only for that price to fall to less than half of that by the time your first set of baby clownfish are ready to sell.


That brings our article going over breeding clownfish for profit to an end and we hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible understand that it is usually a bad idea to try and breed clownfish for a profit. The vast majority of people who have tried have failed resulting in them actually coming out with less money than they went in with for their clownfish breeding operation.