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Why Is My Clownfish Yawning?

As the popularity of clownfish continues to climb within the fish keeping hobby, we are seeing more and more people reaching out and asking various questions about caring for their pet clownfish as best as they can.

We have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking about their pet clownfish yawning recently so we wanted to publish a dedicated article going over what’s actually happening.

This is partly due to seeing so many people reaching out and asking why their clownfish is yawning as well as there being so much misinformation on social media that it may end up causing problems if you follow some of the advice we see people offering time and time again.

As we covered in our article going over if fish yawn, it is actually pretty rare that any species of fish will yawn due to having problems with their breathing due to fish using their gills for breathing rather than their mouth but we constantly see people suggestions this time and time again.

As we will be covering a number of different questions about your pet clownfish yawning we have decided to add our table of contents to the article below.

It will allow you to quickly and easily navigate the article quickly and get to specific sections that you may specifically be trying to find the information for.

Why Do Clownfish Yawn?

Clownfish usually yarn as a way to try and assert dominance over the other fish in their tank, especially if you have multiple clownfish in the same aquarium.

Depending on their diet, clownfish may also yawn as a way to aid in the digestion of what they have eaten and this does tend to be more common than most people initially think.

Due to the Finding Nemo movie, most people think that clownfish are cute and cuddly but in reality, they can be highly territorial and aggressive and thus, the heavy breathing to try and show that they are the dominant fish in the tank.

We see so many people underestimating just how aggressive clownfish are that we have dedicated articles going over how to deal with aggressive clownfish and how to stop two clownfish fishing each other.

It can be common for people to feed their pet clownfish an unsuitable diet resulting in your pet clownfish having to yawn to help with the digestion of their food.

Unfortunately, this is very common with people new to keeping clownfish as pets but our article going over what you should be feeding your pet clownfish should be able to help you work out any potential dietary problems your clownfish may be having.

Should You Be Worried If Your Clownfish Is Yawning?

There is usually no reason to worry if your clownfish is yawning due to the two main reasons for yawning not presenting any serious risks to your clownfish.

If you suspect that your clownfish is yawning due to problems in its diet then you should work on correcting the problems in the diet of your fish as quickly as possible though.

It is very rare that your clownfish will yawn due to any breathing problems and it is more likely that your clownfish will breath fast if it is having problems with its oxygen levels.

Due to some clownfish actually being hyper-aggressive, you should pay attention to them f they are yawning due to them attempting to show dominance over other fish in the tank.

If the clownfish does not feel that the other fish are submitting to it then it may start to attack the other fish in your aquarium and start fighting with them.

This will usually only result in a little tail and fin nipping in other fish species but the fights between two clownfish can result in serious injury if they are left to keep going at it.

How Can I Stop My Clownfish From Yawning?

To stop your clownfish yawning, you first have to work out what is causing your clownfish to yawn.

Thankfully, the two most common causes of your pet clownfish yawning tend to be totally different to each other making it very easy to work out how you are able to stop your clownfish from yawning.

If you suspect that your clownfish is yawning due to trying to assert dominance over other fish in the tank, you can often just leave the clownfish without issue provided it doesn’t start to attack other fish. This behavior will often be just be for show and not result in any real problems to your clownfish in most situations.

If your clownfish does start to attack other fish in its tank then you may have to upgrade to a larger aquarium with more space available for all of the fish or move your clownfish to its own aquarium.

If you suspect that your clownfish is yawning to help with digestion then you really should be trying to work out where you are going wrong in your clownfish’s diet and work on fixing the problems.

It is very common for beginners to keeping clownfish to feed them an unsuitable food so simply switching your clownfish to a more suitable fishfood will often be enough to stop the yawning due to the fish being able to digest its food easier.


That brings our article going over why your pet clownfish is yawning to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand that it is actually very rare that your clownfish will be yawning due to problems with its breathing even though this is one of the most common suggestions that we see on social media time and time again. Most of the time it is due to a clownfish trying to show that it is dominant in its tank or problems with its diet.