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What Do Clownfish Eat – The Best Clownfish Food!

Clownfish have been one of the more popular fish species in aquariums for decades but with the huge success of the Finding Nemo movie, it propelled clownfish to be the dominant choice with many people wanting to have a clownfish in their tank.

With so many people wanting to keep a clownfish in their tank, we see a huge number of people reaching out with a wide range of questions each month too.

One of the more frequently asked questions is what do clownfish eat with a massive number of people reaching out for assistance on different types of clownfish food each month.

With so many people reaching out and the actual clownfish diet that you use being one of the most important factors of keeping clownfish, we decided to publish our own article going over the subject in as much detail as possible.

Our hope is that we will be able to help you better understand what you should be feeding your clownfish as well as help you plan out the perfect clownfish diet.

Unlike some other popular fish species, there is a good amount of wriggle room when it comes to clownfish so you are easily able to adjust the diet of your fish as required to meet your needs.

The Best Food For Clownfish!

There are a number of excellent clownfish food options available with commercial clownfish pellets being a very popular option. Many people choose to live feed their clownfish too with live brine shrimp or live mysis shrimp being excellent options.

In our opinion, Ocean Nutrition clownfish pellets are the best food for clownfish for the majority of fish keepers.

They are cheap, easy to use, and close to being nutritionally complete. Your clownfish will supplement its own diet with various types of algae that it can find in its aquarium with live food being able to be used as a treat food for your clownfish.

The vast majority of clownfish tend to love eating live brine shrimp making them one of the best food options for your clownfish. A close second has to be live mysis shrimp too with a large majority of clownfish also enjoying eating them too.

You are also able to get freeze dried brine shrimp and freeze dried mysis shrimp if you don’t like the idea of giving your clownfish live food.

What Do Clownfish Eat in An Aquarium?

Clownfish will happily eat algae in your aquarium with it often making up around a third of a clownfishes diet.

Copepods and rotifers can be a great way to top up some essential vitamins and minerals in your clownfish too with clownfish pellets being a staple for many aquarium clownfish too.

Your clownfish will happily swim around its aquarium looking for algae build-ups that it is able to eat when it gets hungry but you will have to add the pellet food yourself.

If you do choose to supplement your aquarium with copepods and rotifers then you can purchase them online for cheap and add them to your aquarium as required.

Your clownfish and any other fish species that you keep in your aquarium will enjoy the copepods and rotifers too with some being able to hide in the plant live and other shelter in your aquarium too.

This allows your clownfish to go looking for the food too but live brine shrimp tends to be the best live food option for in an aquarium to offer mental stimulation for your clownfish when hunting for the shrimp.

What Do Clownfish Eat in The Ocean?

Wild clownfish in the ocean will usually eat a wide range of different clownfish food options with various types of algae usually making up around a third of their diet.

The rest of their diet is usually made up of small live animals such as small shrimp, fish fry, copepods, rotifers, certain types of seaweed, and sea anemone tentacles.

Some clownfish will happily eat fish eggs, including clownfish eggs where as other clownfish seem totally indifferent to fish eggs and won’t even bother eating them.

Wild clownfish will also usually eat smaller snails in the ocean too but this behavior is less common for clownfish in an aquarium.

Most clownfish are easily able to find a wide variety of food that they need on their reefs in the ocean to be able to feed themselves and provide themselves with a nutritionally complete diet.

This can be difficult to duplicate in captivity though due to their territory being so much smaller so it is important to ensure that you are adding a wide range of food options to your aquarium for your clownfish to eat.

Planning Your Own Clownfish Diets!

Clownfish are omnivores so it tends to be very simple and straight forward to plan out your own clownfish diets due to there being so many different types of clownfish food.

The main thing to remember is to try and include as much variety as possible to add as many essential vitamins and minerals as possible to ensure that your clownfish has all the nutrition it needs.

This is why a good clownfish pellet product can be an excellent food source to have when planning out your pet clownfish diet.

Clownfish pellets tend to contain a wide range of different food sources that have then been blended together to provide a range of essential nutrients all in a single, cheap, easy to use product.

Depending on your tank maintenance routine and the algae build-up, we usually recommend that you plan for between twenty and thirty percent of your pet clownfishes’ diet to be algae.

Up to half can be made up of a decent clownfish pellet with the final twenty percent usually being made up of either live brine shrimp or freeze dried brine shrimp but mysis, copepods or rotifers can also be used.

How Often Should You Feed Clownfish!

Most people will feed their clownfish two to three pellets twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

You are also able to integrate a treat day for your clownfish where you add live food to one of their meals with one or two treat days being common per week.

Always check the label of the specific clownfish food products that you are using though as different products have different pellet sizes with different nutritional values. Some may need you to offer your clownfish four or even five pellets per meal to meet their nutritional requirement.

When it comes to the live food we usually just recommend that you add roughly the same volume as you would have added with pellets to the aquarium.

Most clownfish will actively come to the area of your tank where you add the live food options, especially if you use live brine shrimp as clownfish seem to really enjoy them.

What To Feed Clownfish In An Aquarium!

There are a wide range of clownfish food options that you are able to offer your pet clownfish with some generally being more preferred than others depending on your specific fish.

Some fish keepers are fine with live feeding their fish where others prefer to use freeze dried alternatives too slightly tweaking what you will be feeding your clownfish.

The modern fish food pellets on the market really are excellent when you consider the nutritional profile that they offer your clownfish as well as their low price tag.

The industry really has come on leaps and bounds when compared to even five years ago as prices of the better pellets have came down while quality has remained the same.

Each year that passes seems to introduce a newer and more efficient way to get live fish food to your door as quickly as possible so it is jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals ready for your fish to eat.

We will now be taking a quick look at some of the better clownfish food options that your clownfish will eat without issue.

Clownfish Pellets

There are a wide range of great clownfish pellets on the market these days with most of them being an excellent option for your primary clownfish food.

Different brands do use slightly different ingredient lists offering different flavors so some clownfish may prefer the taste of one brand of pellets over the other.

As we mentioned back at the start of the article, Ocean Nutrition clownfish pellets are probably the best option currently on the market and they really are an excellent choice.

They are cheap, nutritious, reliable, and very easy to use allowing you to quickly and easily feed your clownfish.

Some people will use a simple clownfish pellet to make up as much as eighty percent of their clownfish’s calories with the other twenty percent being made up from algae in their tank.

With so many people living busy lives this can be a great way to keep your clownfish fed with nutritious food that takes the least amount of time from your day as possible.

Live Clownfish Food Options!

There are a number of great live food options that your clownfish will eat but brine shrimp has proven itself to be one of the better options time and time again.

Mysis shrimp is usually considered to be the second best option with copepods often coming in third place with the other alternatives.

We would always recommend that you purchase your live brine shrimp from a reputable breeder so your brine shrimp are alive upon delivery.

There is nothing worse than ordering a live food option for your pet clownfish to eat for it to be delivered with most of the shrimp dead.

If you do order any live brine shrimp online and they do turn up with the shrimp starting to die then we would recommend you think twice about actually feeding the shrimp to your clownfish.

Healthy brine shrimp should easily be able to survive the shipping journey without issue so if they do die quickly then there is a good chance that something is wrong with the shrimp.

Do Clownfish Eat Copepods?

Clownfish do eat copepods and they will happily eat any of the larger copepods that they find that are naturally living in your aquarium as well as any copepods you intentionally add to their aquarium as a live food source.

You can feed your clownfish copepods or a mix of copepods and rotifers with both options usually being enjoyed.

In our opinion, brine shrimp should be prioritised over copepods as a live food option for your clownfish but you are able to get live copepods online if you choose to take that route.

Although copepods can work well as a part of a clownfish diet, they do tend to be used more as a middle ground for tanks that have clownfish and other species in where the other fish species prefer copepods.

Some people will intentionally add live plants to their aquariums to encourage the copepods to breed in their tank too. This can help to reduce your costs while having a naturally replenishing food source for your clownfish in the tank at all times.

Do Clownfish Eat Seaweed?

Some clownfish will happily eat large amounts of seaweed, especially nori if you add it to their tank where as other clownfish may take a small bite and then decide that it’s not for them.

Not all seaweeds are created equally and some clownfish prefer the taste of one type of seaweed where as another may prefer a different seaweed while another doesn’t like any.

Feel free to try adding a number of different types of edible seaweed to your clownfish aquarium if you like but try not to spend much money on the seaweed as there is no guarantee that your clownfish will even eat it.

There are generally much better food options that your clownfish will eat with most of them having been covered in this article that you are able to choose from.

Some people will try to grow their own seaweeds to use as a fish food for the various fish they week and this is becoming more popular.

This is usually done for other fish species though rather than clownfish but if your clownfish does enjoy eating the initial seaweed you offer it then you can try to grow your own seaweed if you wish.

Do Clownfish Eat Their Babies?

Clownfish tend to protect their eggs from all potential predators but once their fry hatch, they are usually left to look after themselves.

This can sometimes result in the parent clownfish eating their own babies with other fish in the tank definitely seeing them as a quick and easy meal.

If you are looking to breed your clownfish and don’t have a specific breeding tank setup then we would highly recommend that you pick up a breeding box for your aquarium.

They are generally only around $10 but drastically improve the survival rates for your clownfish fry and babies.

It is normal for a clownfish to eat any of their eggs that are considered non-viable and this does not mean that your clownfish will eat all of their eggs.

A non-viable clownfish egg will usually turn a shade of cream with the father usually eating the egg while leaving the healthy eggs intact.

Will Clownfish Eat Algae?

Clownfish will eat certain types of algae that grown in their tank but algae usually only makes up around 20-30% of the diet of a clownfish with other food sources usually being preferred.

This is why it is important that you offer your pet clownfish a wide range of food options to ensure that they are able to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals that they require.

Although clownfish do eat algae, they do not usually eat enough algae to be the primary algae eater for your tank. If you are wanting to add a fish to help keep the algae growth under control then we would highly recommend that you add a different fish species if possible.

Clownfish have been documented eating a wide range of different algae types. Just like we mentioned above when it comes to seaweed, different clownfish have different preferred flavours for their food so they prefer different algaes to each other.


That brings our article going over the question what do clownfish eat to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various food types that you should be offering your pet clownfish as well as how you are able to design your own clownfish diet. Although you are able to get some excellent pellet and flake foods for clownfish these days, we wold still highly recommend that you supplement the diet of your clownfish with some of the other food types suggested in our article above.