Remember how I always tell you that you need to research a little before purchasing your favorite fish for your tank? Well, if you have Clownfish on your favorite list, this article is exactly what you should look for when you do your research. Because not every fish can live with Clownfish.
A lot of fish can live with Clownfish! Some suitable tankmates can be Mandarin Dragonet, Dartfish, Red Coris Wrasse, Yellow Tang, Basslets, Chromis Damselfish, Pygmy Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Pseudochromis, Blenny, Banggai Cardinalfish, etc.
The article is going to discuss each of the fish’s characteristics and their relationship with Clownfish. So, again, if you plan to have Clownfish, keep reading because you have to know the fish well that can be the perfect tank mates for your Clownfish.
Best Tank Mates For Clownfish
1. Mandarin Dragonet
Mandarin Dragonet, a very beautiful fish, is the perfect tank mate for Clownfish because they explore completely different zones in a tank.
Dragonets usually crawl along the live rock by using their fins, looking for copepods. They specifically live on copepods. It means that you have to keep them in a mature reef tank and give them supplements occasionally. It also eats Mysis Shrimp, pellets, and Brine Shrimp.
Although difficult to care about, they are very peaceful. While being a gentle tank mate for your Clownfish, this vibrant looking fish with a long life span of 10 to 15 years will be a beautiful addition to your reef tank.
Dartfish is usually peaceful with other fish, but its temperament varies when it comes to its own species. For example, Fire Dartfish cannot tolerate each other. On the other hand, you can keep Zebra Dartfish in groups without facing any problem.
This fish usually grows up to 4 inches, which makes it a good tank mate for Clownfish. You can also keep it in a nano reef system. However, it cannot be kept with Tomato Clownfish and Maroon Clownfish, which are more aggressive.
3. Red Coris Wrasse
Red Coris Wrasse usually grows as tall as afoot, but it usually grows up to 8 inches in home aquariums. It has a semi-aggressive temperament. Due to its size and temperament, it makes an ideal tank mate for large and aggressive species of Clownfish.
It lives on invertebrates such as small clams and shrimps. You have to offer it frozen invertebrates and chopped shellfish regularly with prepared food. It is suitable for both reef tanks and fish-only tanks.
4. Yellow Tang
While you get melted by the mellow yellow vibe of Yellow Tangs, you should know that they can be peaceful and aggressive both at times! They are also territorial.
But they are mostly wrathful toward other Tangs. As long as you keep them with Clownfish, it’s fine because Clownfish looks different from the Tangs. They are perfect tank mates for large Clownfish like Maroon and Clarkii.
Yellow Tangs are vegetarian. You will have to give them frozen and prepared food rich in protein. They also eat cucumber and cauliflower. Other than these, they need spirulina-based prepared supplements as well.
When kept in a group, Tangs become vulnerable and suffer from Lateral Line Disease, aka Hole in the head. It happens when their diet does not have sufficient greens in it.
However, if the tank is well cycled and Yellow Tangs are added after all other tank inhabitants have been added and fed properly, they can be a good option for a new hobbyist.
5. Basslet Fish
This one is another great match for Clownfish. It is extremely peaceful but can be very territorial when it comes to a cave or a hiding place. It will be aggressive toward any intruder. It also cannot tolerate other Basslets.
As Clownfish doesn’t live in caves and is similar in size, it gets along well with Basslets. This carnivore fish requires subdued lighting that may make it difficult for you to keep Sea Anemones for your Clownfish, remember.
Marine plankton, Mysis Shrimp, and Brine Shrimp are the diet of this fish.
6. Chromis Damselfish
Clownfish itself is a kind of Damselfish. And a lot of Damselfish species are aggressive and territorial toward each other and their tank mates. But Chromis Damselfish is an exception in this case.
They are planktivore schooling fish with a peaceful temperament. Unlike other Damselfish, they are relatively small in size. The most common species of Damselfish that you will find in stores are Blue Reef Chromis and Green Chromis.
Both of these are hardy and easy to feed, and hence, they are great choices for beginner aquarists.
Since they are schooling fish, you have to keep at least 4 or 6 of them together as a group. Green Chromis Damselfish can grow up to 4 inches, and Blue Reef Chromis Damselfish can grow more than 5 inches.
7. Pygmy Angelfish
All types of Angelfish quickly get along with Clownfish. But Pygmy Angelfish is recommended because its size is similar to that of Clownfish. It is better to avoid the large Angelfish species because they are a little aggressive.
This fish feeds on algae, sponges, bryozoans, and other organisms that encrust on the live rock in a tank. If you choose a type of Angelfish that mostly eats sponges, make sure that you keep a different preparation for the Angelfish specifically. Potter’s, Lemonpeel, and Flame are among the notable species of Angelfish.
However, keep in your mind that most of the species of Angelfish are not reef-friendly.
Butterflyfish, another good match for Clownfish, prefers to swim in areas with lots of oceanic plants and reefs. It comes in different combinations of colors like white, yellow, black, orange, red-orange, and blue. Its maximum growth is 8.7 inches.
Butterflyfish is vulnerable to Black Ich and Dropsy. It has a red or swollen belly when it suffers from Dropsy. In the case of Black Ich, it gets dark spots in its body.
It feeds on plankton, artemia, and sponge-based frozen food. This fish will require you to have a tank of at least 75 gallons of water. Besides, be aware of the levels of nitrate in your tank water because it often dies because of nitrate poisoning.
Pseudochromis swims in the areas that are heavily reefed and suitable for laying eggs and searching for food. Its diet includes dried and frozen worms, shrimps, and fish flakes.
The nature of this fish is quite aggressive. If you have a tank of Clownfish community tank, raising 3 Pseudochromis fish will be just fine. But remember that your community tank has to be large so that your Pseudochromis fishes cannot mess with your Clownfish.
Because of their streamlined shape, Blennies look like the mini version of Eels. They can be of different colors like brown, yellow, orange, silver, black, etc.
They dwell in the bottom of the tank. If you think about adding Blennies to your tank, get a sand substrate or gravel for them first.
They are as tiny as 3 inches only. You can get them at a cheap price. If you have a fixed budget, Blennies would be a good choice for you.
11. Banggai Cardinalfish
Banggai Cardinalfish is also a little aggressive. But it usually does not attack Clownfish in a community tank. However, if you have Sea Anemones in the tank, consider keeping the Cardinalfish’s hiding place at the tank’s edge.
The fish feeds on bloodworms, marine flesh, and Feeder Shrimp. It also comes at an affordable price.
Are There Other Animals That Can Also Live With Clownfish?
Yes, there are. Sea Anemone, Hermit Crab, Peppermint Shrimp, and Blood Red Fire Shrimp can also live well with Clownfish.
Sea Anemone shares a unique bond with Clownfish. It protects Clownfish by its stinging tentacles.
On the other hand, Clownfish defend it aggressively from its predators. Clownfish even drops food directly onto the mouth of the Anemone. Thus, there exists a symbiotic relationship between them.
Sea Anemones require great care. Even the ones that are easiest to handle have light and water condition requirements. Besides, not all types of Anemones are friendly towards Clownfish. Adhesive, Bubble Tip, Delicate, Magnificent, and Beaded – these are among the types of Sea Anemones that get along with Clownfish.
This crab doesn’t have its own shell. It uses the shells left by dead mollusks. Give it a new shell if you buy it for your community tank.
Its diet includes lettuce, spinach, carrot, etc.
Peppermint Shrimp gets along with Clownfish well enough. But if your community tank has bright lighting, the shrimp won’t like it much. To keep it alive and kicking, put it in a place that remains dark almost all the time.
Detritus is the main food of this shrimp.
Blood Red Fire Shrimp
This tiny 2-inch shrimp is very peaceful in nature and makes a great tank mate for Pink Skunk Clownfish and Common Clownfish, which are also small in size.
It will eat any prepared or fresh food. It usually remains hidden if the tank has heavy lighting. It becomes active during dusk and night when it comes out of its hiding place and looks for missed pellets and flakes.
Things You Should Know If You Want To Have A Clownfish Community Tank
Since you have got an idea about the perfect Clownfish tank mates by now, you can start planning for your Clownfish Community Tank. While you are at it, have a glance at the basics that you should keep in mind.
The Tank’s Minimum Capacity
Raising only one Clownfish will require you to have a 20-gallon tank at the very least. So, a community will have to be much larger. For a Clownfish community tank, the minimum capacity of the tank is 100 gallons of water.
The reason is quite simple. Clownfish itself needs enough space to swim. And its tank mates will need reefs, aquatic plants, wavers, etc.
No Female Clownfish
Here’s a fun fact about Clownfish – each of them is born male. Some of them change and become female fish later. So, if you have a community tank that is small in size, do not keep more than 2 of them there.
If you have a large community tank, try to keep the number of Clownfish even. Keeping 5, 7, 9 Clownfish wouldn’t be a good idea because it will leave one of them alone.
Put Small Sea Anemones
Just because your Clownfish bonds with Sea Anemones, it does not mean you have to keep large Anemones in the tank. Put the small ones. And choose those that do not sting much.
Also, wear gloves while handling Anemones. If you get stung by them, you may suffer from headaches and chest pain apart from blisters, rashes, and other discomforts.
Invest In Accessories
Clownfish and the tank mates of Clownfish need very stable water conditions in order to survive and grow. They can become sick and even die due to one small change in the water parameters.
Therefore, if you have a community tank, consider investing in some essential accessories that will help you to maintain the water condition. The accessories are a protein skimmer, pH meter, aquarium wave maker, aquarium filter, etc.
Making a community tank with different types of fishes is relatively easy and exciting. The hard part is all the maintenance work – that’s what requires you to spend your time and effort.
The work is all manual. There is no equipment that will do the job for you. There are accessories that I already mentioned, and they will make it easier for you. Again, you have to learn it and do it all by yourself.
Everything needs to be kept up to the standard, from changing the salinity level to changing the temperature. So, you must know all about the maintenance requirements.
Clownfish are not hard to raise. But remember to put Sea Anemones because Clownfish cannot survive without them. Small Anemones will be enough for 4 Clownfish. Please put them in a place where the other fishes cannot get to them.
A Clownfish community tank requires you to be skilled enough. This means that you will need to learn all the fundamentals of maintaining the tank to avoid mistakes. You will have to monitor the tank water and change it on a regular basis.
Besides, you will keep other types of fishes, and each of them will need different kinds of diets. Some of them will demand proper lighting, while others cannot tolerate it.
Again, the tank mates that you choose for your Clownfish may not get along with each other. For example, Basslets are not fond of Sea Anemones. Some of them cannot tolerate different species of their own.
Different species of fishes are prone to different diseases for which they will have to be treated differently.
The more variation you bring in your community tank, the more maintenance it will require. Apart from time and effort, it will also cause you to spend your money.
So, research as much as you can and be thorough about every single thing when you make a plan. A good plan will get you halfway through. Best wishes for your Clownfish community tank!