What Do Clownfish Eat to Thrive in the Aquarium and the Wild

Ever wondered what clownfish eat? These colorful and charismatic fish have unique feeding practices that might surprise you. 

Clownfish are omnivores, which means they enjoy a varied diet in the wild. They munch on zooplankton, algae, small crustaceans, and other tiny creatures. 

Being opportunistic feeders, they also indulge in fish eggs and fry when given a chance. 

Knowing this information can not only satisfy your curiosity, but it can also help you take the best care of your own pet clownfish. 

Keep reading to learn more about the clownfish diet and what to feed to a clownfish in a home aquarium.

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Wild?

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Wild

In the wild, clownfish have a diverse diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met. As omnivores, they consume a variety of plant and animal matter.

Small Fish

With an appetite for smaller species of fish, clownfish tend to snack on fish eggs and fry. These meals provide much-needed protein and other essential nutrients in their diet.


Your clownfish enjoy grazing on algae because it’s a crucial component of their wild menu. Algae provide essential nutrients and support the overall growth and health of clownfish.


Sponges might not be the first thing you think of when considering your clownfish’s diet, but they’re known to indulge in a nibble or two. 

Sponges contribute to the variety of the clownfish diet and can be found in the immediate surroundings of their anemone homes.


Crustaceans like shrimp, crabs, and krill are important sources of protein for your clownfish in the wild. 

This diverse group of creatures provides the range of nutrients clownfish need to thrive.

Type of CrustaceanBenefit for Clownfish
ShrimpRich in protein
KrillHigh in antioxidants
CrabsSource of Omega-3


Copepods, a type of zooplankton, are a staple for clownfish in their natural habitat. These tiny creatures are found floating near the anemones, making it easy for the clownfish to consume them as a substantial part of their overall diet.

By indulging in these different food sources, clownfish maintain a balanced diet that allows them to flourish in the wild.

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Aquarium

What Do Clownfish Eat in the Aquarium

In the aquarium, your clownfish’s diet should aim to replicate what they eat in the wild as closely as possible. 

Clownfish are omnivores and primarily feed on small crustaceans such as shrimp, copepods, amphipods, and other planktonic animals, as well as algae and detritus in the wild. 

In captivity, you must provide them with a variety of food sources including live foods, frozen foods, and pellets.

Live Food

Offering live food can be a great way to ensure the health and well-being of your clownfish. Some suitable live foods include brine shrimp, copepods, and small crustaceans. 

Remember to avoid overfeeding and provide only an appropriate amount according to your clownfish’s size and appetite.

Frozen Food

Frozen foods can be a nutritious and convenient option for clownfish. 

Opt for choices such as krill, bloodworms, and Mysis shrimp to provide essential nutrients. Thaw the food before feeding it to your clownfish and make sure it’s in small, manageable pieces.


There are a variety of high-quality pellets available for marine fish, and clownfish can benefit from eating them as part of their diet. 

Ensure the pellets are small enough for your clownfish to eat comfortably and provide a balanced diet that includes both animal-based proteins and plant-based nutrients.


Clownfish enjoy eating krill, which are small crustaceans packed with nutrients. Krill can be offered live, frozen, or in pellet form. 

When feeding krill, be sure to follow the recommended portion size according to your clownfish’s size and nutritional needs.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp is another favorite of clownfish and can be offered both live and frozen. They are an excellent source of protein and can help promote good health and growth in your clownfish. 

Make sure to provide the appropriate amount of brine shrimp according to your clownfish’s size, age, and nutritional needs.


Bloodworms, which are small, red worms, are a popular option for feeding clownfish. They can be found in frozen or freeze-dried form and should be thoroughly thawed and rinsed before feeding. 

Make sure to chop bloodworms up if they are too large for your clownfish to eat comfortably.

Algae Wafers

In addition to animal-based foods, clownfish will benefit from consuming algae. 

Offer seaweed or algae wafers to supplement your clownfish’s diet with essential vitamins and minerals. 

Be sure to properly affix the seaweed in your aquarium to prevent it from floating away and making a mess.

Overall, clownfish have a varied diet in the wild, including small crustaceans, algae, and detritus. 

In captivity, it’s important to replicate this diet by offering a mix of live foods, frozen foods, pellets, and plant-based options like algae wafers. 

With a well-rounded diet, your clownfish will thrive and remain healthy in your aquarium.

How Often Do Clownfish Eat?

Clownfish typically eat 2-3 times per day. Being omnivores, their diet includes a mix of small invertebrates, plant material, and even other fish. 

Juvenile clownfish, however, require more frequent feedings, eating 3-4 times daily.

In their natural habitat, clownfish share a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. They are often referred to as anemonefish due to this close association. 

The anemones provide protection and a safe place for clownfish to lay their eggs. In return, the colorful clownfish attract prey that the anemones use for sustenance. 

It’s truly a remarkable symbiotic relationship!

How Much Do Clownfish Eat?

Your clownfish’s diet is crucial to its well-being. Adult clownfish typically need 2 meals per day, while fry and juvenile fish require 3-4 meals daily due to their accelerated growth rate and metabolism.

In their natural habitat, clownfish feed on a variety of food sources, such as algae, dead tentacles of anemones, copepods, larvae, fish eggs, and small shrimp. 

Offering balanced and nutritious meals is essential for your clownfish’s health, but avoid overfeeding to prevent intestinal problems and unfavorable conditions in the aquarium.

FAQs About What Do Clownfish Eat 

What Meat Does Clownfish Eat?

n the wild, clownfish feed on small crustaceans. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, and commercial fish food pellets. 

It is important to provide a varied and balanced diet to ensure the health and well-being of your clownfish. Overfeeding or providing an unbalanced diet can lead to health problems such as obesity and digestive issues.

Do Clownfish Need to Eat Everyday?

Yes, clownfish need to eat every day to maintain their health and well-being. 

In the wild, they feed on small crustaceans and plankton multiple times a day. In captivity, it is recommended to feed them at least once or twice a day, with a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet. 

Do Clownfish Eat a Lot?

Clownfish are not known to eat a lot compared to other fish species, as they have small stomachs. However, they are opportunistic eaters and will feed on a variety of live marine species. 

In the wild, clownfish do not have a consistent source of food and will take any chance they get to eat. 

In captivity, it is recommended to feed them once or twice a day with a small amount of food.

Related Articles: