What is the best food to feed Clownfish?

Of all the many important needs your fish has, the top two are clean good quality water to swim in, and nutritious healthy food that is as close as possible to what Clownfish eat in their natural habitat. Of course, the aquarium is only a simulated habitat, so feeding can never be totally natural.

The best food to feed Clownfish is a combination of live foods such as shrimp, frozen food such as chicken liver, bloodworms, and white fish, dried foods in pellet or flake form which contain spirulina, algae sheets, and vegetables such as spinach and chard.

The best food to feed Clownfish will depend on what species you have. For example, if you have the Marbled Clownfish then you should feed them more shrimp and squid. If your clownfish is a True Clownfish then you should feed them more algae.

Clownfish | Photo 157488154 / Anemonefish © Kelpfish | Dreamstime.com

What are the Best Foods for Clownfish?

When it comes to feeding your clownfish, variety is important. In the wild, clownfish feed on a combination of plankton, undigested food from anemones, algae, small crustaceans called Copepods, and Brine Shrimp (also known as Sea Monkeys).

In your aquarium, you want to mix up their food a bit as you’re able to mimick the variety they would eat in the wild.

Dietary Staples

For the staple of their diet, you should feed a good frozen, flake, or pellet food meant for marine fish. I’ll be providing examples of each.

Some good ones that are trusted by a lot of clownfish owners are:

Rod’s Fish Food (original blend) and LRS Reef Frenzy are commonly recognized as the best fish food available for clownfish. If you can find it, you should probably feed one or the other of these.

Switch them up from time to time if you can find both locally.

Unfortunately, these are both frozen foods, so you’re at the mercy of the local fish stores in your area to be able to find them. If you can find them, great. If not, you may have to pay a lot for shipping to get them online.

If you’re not able to find one of those frozen foods, you can feed a flake or pellet food. Hikari and New Life Spectrum both make good pellet based foods for clownfish (listed above), and either of these will work.

For flake food, Omega One makes a good flake food, as does Ocean Nutrition.

It’s less about what you feed them and more about mixing it up a bit every so often to make sure your clownfish get all the nutrition they need.

Live Foods

In addition to the main staple foods you’re feeding them, you’ll also want to feed some live foods.

Ocellaris Clownfish | Photo 141139758 © Vojcekolevski | Dreamstime.com

Brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and krill are some of the best live foods you can add to your clownfish’s diet.


One of the best vegetables you can feed are algae sheets, like these from Amazon.

Dedicated algae sheets can be a bit expensive, though, so you can substitute nori sheets from your local grocery store. (As long as they are only nori and don’t have oil or flavorings.) 

I don’t believe you’re going to be missing anything by using nori instead of the expensive commercial algae sheets.

Swiss chard leaves are another good option you can provide from time to time.

How to Feed Your Clownfish Properly?

In general, most clownfish need a varied diet. In captivity, the most common food they eat is krill and brine shrimp.

In captivity, clownfish can also be fed by hand with a variety of seafood such as squid, crab legs, mussels, shrimp, and scallops. Clownfish can also be fed with small pieces of leafy vegetables or seaweed.

If there is not much algae growing on the rocks or elsewhere in your tank, you can add it to the diet of your Clownfish by giving them algae sheets which are very nutritious. If you do have natural algae in the tank reduce this extra by a corresponding amount so they will eat that available in the tank. The best idea is to give these algae sheets a couple of times a week but be careful not to give too much or they will decompose in the water. If you see the fish devour it quickly try a bit more before you stop feeding.

Freeze-dried food for fish is recommended as it generally doesn’t lose its vitamins and nutritional value and the fish will benefit from it. You can also add extra fish vitamins to the food before giving it and it will soak into the food. A good example of freeze-dried food that you should feed your Clowns is Krill.

Clownfish | Photo 24742020 © Krzysztof Odziomek | Dreamstime.com

Other types of frozen food that Clownfish enjoy are bloodworms, cockles, white fish, and chicken liver.

Vegetables are also a good idea. The vegetables that have been found most beneficial to Clownfish are spinach, nori, and chard. There are several kinds of fish food that contain spirulina and these are available both as pellets and flakes. Do not neglect this aspect of your fish’s diet as it is essential and highly important for nutritional support.

You can also give your fish dried food too. Make sure to understand what your fish like best and try different types of food until you understand what they prefer.

Make sure to get into a routine when you feed your fish so that they will quickly learn to spot the signs of food coming and understand how and when you expect them to feed. This is a kind of training.

One good practice is to give fish what they need to feed for a few minutes only and then stop. This way you’ll be sure not to overfeed them.

How Often to Feed Clownfish?

There is quite a difference in opinions on this, but in my experience, you do want to avoid feeding fish too often. Also, any food left uneaten can cause problems to balance of the water and change the PH level.

Some owners say their Clownfish get food twice a day and others say the best is to feed the fish every other day. It’s just down to experience and getting to know what your individual fish need.

Don’t forget that when Clownfish breed, they will need to eat more often, up to two or three times a day.

Young Clownfish also need more regular feeding, perhaps 3 or 4 times a day while adults on average can be fed just once a day. This may be a bit of a problem when you have a mixed group of fish in your tank.

Is Live Food Bad For Clown Fish?

Some people may think that live food can harm clownfish but in reality, it will not have any adverse effect on their health if it is eaten in moderation.

Clownfish are omnivores and live food is an essential part of a fish’s diet. The most common type of live fish feed is the frozen variety. Some of the most popular frozen live food seems to be different types of shrimp such as Krill, Mysis, and Brine.

But if they are fed too much, they may develop malnutrition which could lead to death.

So there you go! Lots of choices for feeding your Clownfish. Providing them with a variety of their favorite foods in the right quantities should keep you and your fish happy!