Breeding Clownfish Successfully

I have here a very simple guide in breeding Clownfish. In my previous article, you have known some facts about Clown fish. Today, I will give you tips on breeding your clown fish especially if you are looking forward to make some money by selling it.


1. Breeding Pair of Clownfish

In order to breed this kind of fish, you will need a mated pair. The easiest way to do is to buy a mated pair and the second way is to buy two clownfish when they are still young. Young clownfish are usually males but once the dominant fish was determined, the dominant fish is the female. You will be able to tell that it is which the female is because it is always larger than the male fish.

Breeding Clownfish

Once they start on breeding, they will lay eggs every 12-18 days on a piece of rock. Be sure to make weekly water changes of at least 10%

of the total volume of water. Keeping the water clean does make them more likely to spawn. A good protein is advisable for you to lessen the frequency of changing the water. If your clownfish has tank mates, the tank should be peaceful. It’s not advisable to put different species of clownfish together because they might fight and stress out each other. Remember that anemone fish do not lay eggs if they are stressed. An anemone helps the clownfish feel more comfortable in laying eggs but it is not required. You can use rocks with plenty of hiding places so that the fish will feel more comfortable.

It’s best to use timer for the lighting for the tank. A timer will get the fish in the routine of sunlight and darkness. Feed the fish in a particular time everyday with a mixture of flakes and frozen food. Note that if the fish are not getting proper vitamins and nutrients, they will lay eggs that have a poor quality.

Once the fish become acclimated and are on the regular schedule, they will begin to act differently around spawning time. If the female has a thicker line in the middle of her body, the fish is pregnant. If you notice that the fish is constantly cleaning a spot on the rock with its mouth and fins, it means that the fish is cleaning the site for the eggs. The female will swim over the site for several times until she lays the egg, then the male will follow to fertilize it. The eggs are orange in color and about 3-4mm in length. The male fish will protect and guard the eggs, and also eat the damaged egg and unfertilized eggs.

2. Preparations for Clownfish

In the first day the eggs are colored orange. After a couple of days they will appear grey, and finally grey with silver eyes. If the silver eyes already appeared, they will hatch the following night. Before the eggs hatch, you must prepare the following:

a. Hatchling Tank
You must raise the baby clownfish in separate tank to make sure they will get proper food without competition from other tank mates.

b. Live Rotifers
Baby clownfish don’t eat flakes and any frozen food. They only eat live food like rotifers. You will also need Nannochlopsis or Rotifer Diet because it is food for rotifers.

3. Hatch Night

Clownfish eggs will hatch about a week or more depending on the water temperature. You should check the eggs everyday and when you notice that the eggs has a silver color it means that they will hatch when the lights go out or at night. You must remove clownfish fry from the tank and put them in the tank you prepared and make sure that the two tanks have the same salinity and temperature before you move the eggs.

Turn off the filter and pump in the tank. There should be no water current or flow in the tank. Once the lights are off, wait for about half hour and turn on your flashlight into the water. Do not shine the light at the eggs because it will delay the hatchling process. The clownfish will be attracted by the light and swim towards it then begin siphoning the clownfish fry into the bucket. Then put it in the tank you prepared but make sure that the eggs are not going to be exposed in the air.

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Once the eggs are in breeding tank, place an air stone or airline tube close to the eggs to make sure that the eggs gets enough air to hatch properly.

4. Feeding and Care

Keeping your clownfish fry alive can be difficult. Your fry tank must constantly full of rotifers for the baby fish to eat. You will notice if your baby fish is dying because they will have trouble in swimming, you will see them spinning in the water column, and sometimes they will sink towards the bottom and then suddenly will start swimming again. If you see this in your tank, your clownfish fry are starving to death. If your fish starts diving like it is being dropped to the bottom and is having a trouble swimming, they will usually die in 24hrs. Add rotifers as soon as possible. You will able to see your fishes eating the rotifers by noticing them swimming then stop, curving their tails and darting forward. Continue to feed rotifers for about a week then try feeding them with live shrimps.

Newly hatch brine shrimps are good for your fry. When brine shrimp hatch they leave a brown egg shell. The shells are always floating and the shrimps for the clownfish are usually at the bottom. For the first two days you should feed the fish with both shrimps and rotifers to ensure that they are still getting as much vitamins as possible.

Once the clownfish fry are already eating brine shrimps, their bellies will appear orange. That is a good sign that they are getting more than enough food. Make sure that the clownfish fry do not go without food for more than 12 hours. Ensure that you always have live foods available for your fish.

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  1. What do the fry look like when they first hatch? Do they look like a tiny clownfish? I know some fish look pretty strange when they’re first born.

    • BloggerVince says:

      They have big stomachs. Not really sure how to describe them lol.

    • Jessica says:

      No they do not look anything like a clownfish. They are very tiny with silvery eyes and virtually transparent bodies. They typically start to get their head stripe around the 7th day.

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