Should You Raise Clownfish In Freshwater Or Saltwater? Read Now!

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Marco C.

Do you know if clownfish should be raised in freshwater or saltwater? This article will answer all your questions about raising clownfish in a fish tank.  

The beautiful clownfish has been popularized by the movie Finding Nemo. In this movie, Nemo the main character is a clownfish.  

Its bright orange and white stripes make it an aesthetically pleasing addition to your tank ecosystem. But should clownfish be in freshwater or saltwater?

Clownfish live in saltwater oceans. This means that you have to use saltwater to raise clownfish. They are considered beginner-friendly fish to raise.

So, even if this is your first saltwater fish tank, you can start raising clownfish. They are very small and do not take up a lot of space.   

As with raising any fish, you have to learn about the correct conditions that they can survive in. It is important to do thorough research prior to purchasing your fish. The more you know about a fish species, the higher chances you have for success.

Who doesn’t love having a fish tank or aquaponics system? Yes, it’s fun, but we shouldn’t kill fish for our human hobby. This is why you need to read this article before raising clownfish. 

We will answer the important question about if you should raise clownfish in freshwater or saltwater. We will also overview the key details to raising clownfish successfully in a tank system. Keep reading now to get started!

So, Are Clownfish Saltwater Fish?

The short answer is an absolute, yes! Clownfish are saltwater fish that are found in tropical oceans.  They will not survive in a freshwater aquarium!  

According to Mcgill University, “ freshwater fish, their blood and bodily fluids are much saltier than the water they swim in, so water will flow in through their gills. The opposite is true for saltwater fish.”  

As you can see, they have fundamentally different body and blood types. So it is impossible to raise saltwater fish in freshwater.  

The famous clownfish comes from the Pomacentridae family. Fish species that come from this family are distinguished by their unique relationship with Sea Anemones. 

Sea Anemones are also very special creatures. Even though many think that they are a type of sea plant, they are actually categorized as a type of sea animal. They are closely linked to jellyfish and corals.  

These special creatures are very much alive. They breed and create eggs and sperm to procreate.  Just like other fish! 

Clownfish have a mutually beneficial relationship with Anemones.

Clownfish have a mutually beneficial relationship with Anemones

They like to live inside of the anemones.  If you have ever snorkeled in tropical water, you can find clownfish lurking around Anemones.  

Typically, you can find clownfish in the Indian Sea, Pacific Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef. Keep in mind, these are much warmer waters than the Atlantic Ocean.

This means that if you want to raise clownfish, you will need to maintain a warmer water temperature.  

Clownfish can be raised with other smaller, non-aggressive fish. This is another reason why clownfish have become one of the most popular saltwater fish to raise in aquariums.  They are pretty easygoing!

Setting Up Your Clownfish Tank

If you want to raise clownfish, it is recommended to have a tank size of at least 30 gallons. Of course, the larger the tank, the happier the fish.  

In the ocean, clownfish spend a lot of their time hiding in Sea Anemones. While it is not required to put anemones in your tank, you do need to provide ample areas for the clownfish to hide.  

This will make them feel safe and protected in the tank. In fact, we do not suggest raising sea anemones in your tank because they will end up being more work than the actual clownfish! 

The optimal temperature range to keep your tank water is between 74 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Please keep in mind that you will need to use a water heater to maintain a consistent temperature.  

Always be careful when working with electricity and water. Make sure your water heater is properly and safely installed to avoid any risk of shock. If electricity gets into the water, your fish will die.

The prime salinity level for clownfish is a gravity of 1.020 – 1.024. You can measure the water salinity by using a hydrometer. This tool measures the particle weight in your water.

You can purchase one from any pet shop. It is important to check your salinity levels on a weekly basis to avoid any problems. Remember, you need to use non-iodized salt for your fish tank.  

Using iodized salt will result in a very unhealthy tank.  

Clownfish are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. In order to provide them with a proper diet, you will need to supplement with live protein sources. One great source of food for clownfish is brine shrimp!

The Perfect Clownfish Aquarium

Keep in mind, there are many different varieties of clownfish. The exact variety that you choose will determine the particular tank conditions necessary.  

For example, there is one type called the maroon clownfish which is quite aggressive. These fish should not be raised with others.  However, aside from this one, the rest can happily be raised with other small saltwater fish.

Just make sure you create a fun ecosystem for clownfish. This can be done by installing a lot of different rocks and aquatic plants.  

Do not overstock your tank.  In general, you want 1 inch of fish for 2.5 gallons of water. Clownfish are very small. The longest that they can reach is around 4.5 inches.

After reading this article you should be able to answer the crucial question: Should you raise clownfish in freshwater or saltwater? As you can see, clownfish are a pretty easy fish to keep. Most important is to maintain the temperature and salinity levels.

If you do that, you have a high chance of raising the fish successfully. Hopefully, now you are ready to get started on your clownfish journey. You will not be disappointed.

Feel free to comment and ask questions below! 

Read more about: Is Tilapia A Freshwater Or Saltwater Fish


Are clownfish saltwater fish?

The short answer is absolutely, yes! Clownfish are saltwater fish that are found in tropical oceans. They will not survive in a freshwater aquarium!

As you can see, they have fundamentally different body and blood types. So it is impossible to raise saltwater fish in freshwater.