What Do Clownfish Eat: A Guide To Clownfish Foods

Clownfish are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby. They are colorful, easy to care for and thrive in a wide range of water conditions. But what do clownfish eat, especially in an aquarium?

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Wild?

Snorkeling in Southeast Asia


Clownfish are marine fish that inhabit the open ocean. They are found in both tropical and temperate waters. Clownfish are omnivorous and will even eat algae. In the wild, clownfish eat algae from coral reefs and rocks. Clownfish also live in a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. The anemone secretes digestive enzymes that break down the algae that are eaten by the clownfish.

Small Fish

A clownfish’ diet can consist of a variety of small fish including shrimp, hermit crabs, and squid. Clownfish eat their food via suction brooding techniques or through hunting with the help of big eyes. They hunt by methodically circling over schools of prey until they find the right one before swimming down undercover only to swim back up and take the meal from their prey.


Clownfish are known to consume a wide range of crustaceans. They eat small crabs and shrimps that they hunt in large schools. These little predators can sometimes be seen chasing thick layers of horsehair seagrass underneath the ocean floor. This seagrass also provides a good amount of nutrition to the clownfish and they use it despite being so tiny to make up for their small size as compared to other fish around them.


Clownfish have a wide range of different food to eat in the wild. Some clownfish are known to feed on sponges, urchins, seaweed, and corals. The sponges they are choosing are those that live in caves or smaller crevices to protect them from predators outside while they feed on sponges.


In some cases, they are known to eat single copepods at a time as these small creatures accumulate as they roam around while searching for food. They also consume large amounts of smaller tropical fish and shrimp that stay hungry during the day to get by after eating them but once this ends their hunting is never done completely until night comes again for clownfish to feed on prey for an extended period.

Two Ocellaris clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) anda blue sea anemone

What Can You Feed Clownfish in an Aquarium?

Frozen Food

If you’re looking to feed your clownfish frozen food, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the food you choose is appropriate for clownfish. Second, make sure that the food is frozen quickly and thoroughly. Clownfish don’t do well with food that is thawed and then refrozen. Finally, make sure to give your clownfish enough food to eat; they can be picky eaters.

Live Food

Many clownfish keepers choose to feed their fish live food. This can include small crustaceans, worms, and other small creatures. Live food is a great way to keep your clownfish healthy and active.


Clownfish flakes are a good option for feeding your clownfish. These flakes come in a variety of flavors, so you can choose what your clownfish prefers. Flakes are generally easier to clean than frozen food, and safer for the fish. Water quality plays a role in how well flakes work too, so check with your local hobbyist or fish store staff before adopting this feeding method.


Pellets are cheaper than flake meals because they don’t have to be packaged; as well you can feed a large amount of these right through the tab on your Aquariums and save money for things like decoration or equipment! Selecting good high-quality fish foods is just as important after setting up a tank. Look for fish food pellets with a score of 10/10; these feed your pet plenty, are free from additives, and pose no harm to their vitality.

Crushed-up Insects

Your clownfish will probably eat insects if you offer them in an aquarium containing established plants (like Brazilian swords). However, because many insect species can be potentially harmful to coral, your energy should focus on good plant maintenance first. This can include using coral and sponge filters, live rock or live sand setups, rinsing the substrate regularly (I recommend every day), feeding newly-potted plants with nutritional foods like algae to boost their overall health, keeping tank mates at a safe distance -all of which will contribute to removing pests naturally.


An odd addition to our list, this item is quite full of nutritional value. The ingredients in bloodworm include iron which a growing clownfish requires every day: an essential element for everything it does throughout life since it combines with atmospheric oxygen to feed all its organs and cells along with support minerals and proteins lost through regular shedding of skin, scales or fins.

Brine Shrimp

They’re incredibly versatile – but probably more so when it comes to saltwater fish than humans because the clownfish can eat a lot of them over time and not develop any ill effects whatsoever (actually very beneficial). Because brine shrimps also make everyday menu items from reef tank supplies in such generous quantities, along with tail meat and eggs, eating too many of them is helpful for your clownfish’s consumption – plus it helps to establish a healthy relationship with its fish tank.


One of the most popular ocean inhabitants is its abundant high protein, nutritious food source: krill. For you, it may not make much sense since krill-eating fish such as angelfish don’t like them but clownfish adore these invertebrates due to their tiny size. A vital body nutrient, a krill’s diet can consist of 100 percent krill by obtaining all the minerals, protein, and amino acids that they require through eating algae and protozoa with enough tiny food left over to make a good meal.

Algae Wafers

Algae wafers are available from your fish store and supply a high-quality, balanced diet for your clownfish. Algae wafers come in different varieties including plant-based which are ideal for those who want to avoid feeding their fish meat products. Algae wafers can be bought either by the pound or as individual snacks that suit both small and large aquariums.

What Do Baby Clownfish Eat?

For baby clownfish, almost anything will do. Two of the easier foods to find are ciliates and brine shrimp while either krill or algae wafers can be used with most varieties when you’re keeping them as pets at home. Their ecosystem must be healthy so this can ensure normal feeding, as well as growth, will always occur. Other important parts of the baby clownfish diet include live food such as small crustaceans or worms, frozen and dried food such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and quality flakes food supplements.

How Often Should You Feed Clownfish?

As with most fish, clownfish should be fed a variety of foods to ensure they get the nutrients they need. A good guideline is to feed them once or twice every day. In addition, it is also important to make sure that the food is of high quality. In general, a good diet for clownfish consists of frozen foods, live foods, and flakes.

How Long Can Clownfish Survive Without Food?

Although they can survive from a number of days to a week without food, it is better to give them more than enough so as not to cut into their overall lifespan by too much and therefore reduce the number of years possible. This scenario actually should be no more than one in numbers because spending an extended period without rest will stress these fish out which reduces their chances for a healthy life expected from captive-bred clownfish through insufficient amounts of food.