If you know the main characteristics of a Clownfish, you may already know that it cannot survive without a Sea Anemone. While it is a fact that they share a symbiotic relationship with each other, it can often happen that your Clownfish will defy the rule. In that case, you have to take the initiative to get your Clownfish to host an Anemone.

Not every type of Clownfish can host every type of Sea Anemone. The most important thing is to get the perfect Anemone for your Clownfish. And the next thing is that you have to arrange everything in a way so that your Clown can easily find the Anemone.

I am going to discuss both of the issues in the rest of the article. If you are planning to have a Clownfish, read it till the end!

Why Wouldn’t My Clownfish Host An Anemone In The First Place?

Because a Clownfish getting along with a Sea Anemone is almost as natural as a Clownfish NOT getting along with a Sea Anemone. Nothing is absolute when it comes to sea animals.

It often happens that a Clownfish does not swim anywhere near its preferred Anemone. Instead, it hosts a lot of other things in the water. It hosts Toadstool Corals and Feather Dusters while rejecting the Anemones present around it.

According to some aquarists, Clownfish that are raised in tanks, after several generations, cannot host Sea Anemones as quickly as the ones caught in the wild.

The probable reason may be that the tank-raised ones’ predecessors never saw a Sea Anemone. And thus, they lose the instinct of hosting Anemones from their predators.

How To Get A Clownfish To Host An Anemone

How Do I Ensure That My Clown Instantly Finds The Anemone?

To ensure that, you have to keep your Clownfish and Anemone together in a confined spot for a short while. It is better to keep the Anemone on something like a piece of small rocks that you can take away from your tank.

Put the rock with an Anemone on it in a small-sized bowl where the water will cover the rock entirely.

Handle the Anemone carefully. If you upset it somehow during the process, the Anemone will quickly shrink down, becoming impossibly hard to host.  As long as you do it with patience, it will open up happily.

Once you are done with the Anemone, put the Clown in the bowl. It should shortly discover the Anemone and rub against it. Then, from the moment it dives in, they will become friends forever!

If your Clown still shows reluctance, try another bowl that is even smaller than the first one. You can also remove water from the bowl until the fish has only one option – swimming around the Sea Anemone.

Again, BE PATIENT. Don’t just take the fish and drop it directly on the Anemone. It won’t work that way. You have to make the fish ‘discover’ the Anemone.

Will The Hosting Process Stress My Clown In Any Way?

This is a great question. Yes, the process can stress your Clown a lot. If it is a Carpet Anemone, the fish may even be killed.

So, be very cautious and observe the fish closely during the entire process. If the fish shows any sign of stress, separate it from the Anemone ASAP. Remember, you do not want to force it to get introduced to the Anemone at the cost of its life.

What Kind Of Sea Anemone Do I Need To Get If I Have A Clownfish?

What kind of Sea Anemone you need to get depends highly on what kind of Clownfish you have. It is necessary to get the right Anemone for a Clownfish. Otherwise, it will not work.

This article will mainly focus on the Common Clownfish and the Orange Clownfish since they are among the most popular aquarium Clownfish and their requirements are almost alike.

In the sea, Common and Orange Clownfish host only the Giant Carpet Anemone, the Merten’s Carpet Sea Anemone, and the Magnificent Sea Anemone.

But they are not good choices if you are a mere hobbyist or enthusiast. Because these Anemones can grow very large and they are not easy maintenance.

However, you still have another option – the Bubble Tip Anemone. It is known to host both Orange and Common Clownfish. It does an excellent job at hosting the Clowns, and it is comparatively easy to take care of.

The Bubble Tip Sea Anemone is also known as the Rose Bubble Tip. It usually comes in several colors like yellow, purple, green, dark red, etc. Although the exotic-looking ones are quite expensive, they are unbelievably beautiful.

The common Anemones are beautiful too. You can get them at a reasonable price.

For your convenience, I am listing below the names of some Sea Anemones that are perfect tank mates for Clownfish according to their species.

ClownfishSea Anemones
Black, Red, Red Saddleback, Fire, Tomato, and CinnamonBubble Tip and Leathery
Clark’s YellowtailBubble Tip, Leathery, Carpet, Giant Carpet, Merten’s Carpet, Beaded, and Corkscrew
Spinecheek, Maroon, Gold-Stripe, White-StripeBubble Tip and Corkscrew
Orange SkunkLeathery and Merten’s Carpet
Pink SkunkMagnificent, Giant Carpet, Leathery, and Corkscrew
SkunkMagnificent and Merten’s Carpet

You can easily choose the Anemones for your Clownfish species from this list. Again, if you are only an enthusiast, try to avoid large ones like the Carpet or the Magnificent Sea Anemones.

Pick one that is small in size and easy to maintain. If needed, choose a Clownfish based on the Anemone it will prefer.

How Do I Make Sure That The Anemone Does Not Become My Enemy?

You have to take care of the Sea Anemones in your tank well enough so that they stay healthy and happy because there will be a massive mess in the tank if they are not happy or die for some reason.

Tank Maintenance

To keep the Anemones well-maintained, you have to keep your tank well-maintained. I will not be detailed about the process. But you have to have a good understanding of the essential maintenance of a tank.

That means your tank should have a robust and efficient filtration system that will keep its water condition stable. Because changes in the water parameters like pH, nitrates, phosphates, salinity will create unwanted consequences for your Anemones.

Lighting System

After tank maintenance, comes the lighting system. You have to provide your tank with bright lighting for the Anemones to grow.

If your lighting system is standard fluorescent or compact fluorescent, which is even more robust, the Bubble Tips may survive for a while, but they will not thrive in any way and die slowly in the end.

Metal halide, T5, and reef LED lights are the best lighting systems for these Anemones.


The next important thing is the food that you have to feed your Anemones.

Bubble Tips usually do not need additional food when they are being hosted. It will be fantastic if you don’t supplement their meals.

However, it is also fine if you feed them. A Bubble Tip diet includes chopped pieces of fresh fish, worms, shrimps, krill, mussels, and chopped silversides.

To put it simply, Bubble Tip Anemones’ requirements are a tank with a sound filtration system and a stable water condition, a very bright lighting system, and a source of food. The advantage here is that the requirements of your Clownfish are quite similar except for the lighting system.

Once you fulfill these 3 requirements, your Anemones will stay super healthy and happy, keeping them from becoming your enemies.

What If My Clownfish Still Doesn’t Host Its Preferred Anemone?

Now, what if you get a happy Clownfish and a happy Sea Anemone that is just the right one for the Clown, but still they do not become buddies? I already told you why that might happen sometimes.

Apart from that, it needs time for a fish. Some fish will immediately get along and be friends with a new Sea Anemone, while others take several days. It takes even months for some to discover their friends!

And then others will just not host Anemones. You have to give up on them.

However, you have to make sure that they are kept in a place where the fish can instantly find the Anemone. Once it finds the Anemone and hosts it, it will never leave its buddy.

Final Words

You may have already understood that it is almost entirely natural whether a Clownfish will host a Sea anemone or not.

It is indeed remarkable to see them bond with each other in a tank. But if they don’t bond even after your attempts, do not bother much. Let your Clown host some other animals. That is not any less beautiful.

After all, having a tank full of beautiful, happy, and healthy inhabitants is what matters the most, right?

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