Keeping clownfish in your home aquarium will definitely be satisfying. These fish are incredibly popular because they look so pretty in fish tanks.
They’re also a lot of fun to observe. Many consider clownfish to be some of the most fun fish to watch because of how generally zany they are.
If you just recently purchased some juvenile clownfish for your fish tank, then you’re probably still getting used to caring for them. You might even be trying to learn more about them so that you can do the best job that you can as a fish tank owner.
How big will these clownfish get under optimal conditions? Do they grow fast or do they take a long time to reach their full growth potential?
Read on to learn everything that you need to learn about clownfish growth. This should help you to have a much better idea of what to expect as you continue to take care of these fish.
How Big Do Clownfish Get in a Tank?
Generally, clownfish are going to wind up being between four and a half inches and five inches long. This is the size of a full-grown clownfish, and it takes time for a juvenile clownfish to reach maximum growth.
It’s also worth noting that some clownfish will be a little bit smaller than others. Many clownfish will wind up being just a little bit shorter and four and a half inches.
You’ll also find that there are clownfish that will be substantially smaller. Some might be as small as two inches long.
Certain clownfish such as the Maroon clownfish are larger than usual. These behemoths can grow to be as long as six and a half inches or slightly larger.
It’s also notable that males of all clownfish species will be smaller than females. The females are the dominant ones, and smaller males are submissive toward the alpha female.
There will be differences in how big the clownfish will get based on the species of the fish that you’re talking about. Later, you’ll learn more specific information about different clownfish species and how they grow.
This is just general information that gives you a good estimate for around how big an average clownfish is going to get. These fish certainly aren’t huge, but they are incredibly pretty.
If you want your clownfish to grow strong and remain healthy, then it’ll be important to care for it properly. You’ll get some tips about this later as well.
How Fast Do Clownfish Grow?
The growth rate of a clownfish is kind of hard to determine. Generally, it’s said that a clownfish will reach its full growth potential within two or three years.
However, it’s not easy to say exactly how big each specific fish will get. You’ve already learned that males are going to be smaller than females.
What you might not know is that all clownfish are born as males. They live in small groups, and the largest one winds up becoming the dominant female.
The alpha female will choose the largest male in the group and will mate with it. This male will then be tasked with looking after the eggs.
Then the alpha female will mate with the next largest male. This is an interesting topic, but you might be wondering how this relates to the growth rate of clownfish.
You see, male clownfish are smaller than female clownfish. But all clownfish are born as males.
Many factors go into determining how big a clownfish will be. There are genetic factors, environmental factors, and more things to consider.
Knowing this, it’ll be hard to give a very specific number for how big a clownfish will get. It’s easier to learn how big fish of a certain species have been known to get.
You can determine a size range that you will be able to expect based on the species. It just might not be possible to pinpoint exactly where the maximum growth will top out.
The average growth rate of a clownfish is supposed to be around one inch per year. As such, it generally takes most clownfish between two and four years to reach maximum growth potential.
Some clownfish might take longer to reach full growth than that. For example, the maroon clownfish is a larger type of clownfish, and it might take that fish between five and six years to reach its maximum size.
Either way, you can expect the fish to keep growing for several years, at the very least. Keep this in mind when you’re observing the juvenile clownfish.
Look up specific information about the type of clownfish that you have. Below, you’ll learn more about various popular types of clownfish and how big they can get.
The Percula clownfish might be the most well-known and popular type of clownfish. Sometimes people refer to this fish as the orange clownfish because of its coloration.
You can find Percula clownfish in the waters of the Western Pacific. They generally like to hang out in lagoons, but they’ll also inhabit seaward reefs.
These fish are also well known because they’re among the easiest clownfish to breed. You can breed these clownfish in captivity quite easily, and that’ll be appealing if you’d like to have more clownfish to take care of in the future.
Percula clownfish are among the smallest types of clownfish. They will only grow to be around three inches long upon maturity.
Ocellaris clownfish often get mistaken for the Percula clownfish. In fact, many sell these clownfish under the name “false Percula clownfish.”
The reason for this is that the fish are almost identical from a visual perspective. They have differences that will allow you to tell them apart, but to the untrained eye, an Ocellaris clownfish looks pretty much just the same as a Percula clownfish.
Both types of fish are wildly popular and commonly sold in pet stores around the world. Much like the Percula clownfish, the Ocellaris clownfish is only going to reach around three inches in length at maximum growth.
This makes it tied with the Percula clownfish as one of the smallest types of clownfish that you can purchase. It doesn’t make these fish any less appealing, though.
Clarkii clownfish are small saltwater clownfish that you can find in the Indo-West region of the Pacific Ocean. Specifically, they’re found in the Clarkii Complex.
As you might expect, the location where these fish are found helped to decide the name of the fish. These are certainly very good-looking fish that you’ll be proud to own.
The Clarkii clownfish is a fair bit larger than either the Percula clownfish or the Ocellaris clownfish. It’ll grow to be between four and five inches long upon maturity.
Of course, exactly how big the fish will get will depend on various factors. You know that they have the potential to be fairly big as far as clownfish go now.
You can find tomato clownfish in the western portion of the Pacific ocean. These fish look really neat and they’re definitely popular options for saltwater fish tanks.
When these fish are full-grown, they’ll wind up being around five inches long. Some fish might be slightly shorter, but most can reach close to five inches in length.
As you’d expect, the males will be smaller and some fish will be bigger than others. If you’re looking for a pretty clownfish to put in your saltwater tank, then these fish will be worth looking into.
They aren’t the largest clownfish that you can get, but they’re really satisfying fish to own. If you see these at your local pet store, then they come highly recommended.
Earlier, you learned that maroon clownfish can grow to be pretty big. Some of the largest examples of these fish have grown to be as large as seven inches.
Most will wind up topping out at a little bit over six and a half inches, though. These fish can be found in the wild in the Indo-Pacific.
They’re often hanging out in the Australian Archipelago. These pretty fish are sought-after, and people catch them to sell them as aquarium fish.
One thing to know about maroon clownfish is that they’re considered to be among the most aggressive clownfish that you can find. As such, you’ll want to look up compatibility information if you plan to keep them in a community tank setting.
Factors That Can Impact Growth
Now you might be wondering if there are some factors that can have an impact on the growth of clownfish. There are actually quite a few different things that you can do that will either have a positive or negative impact on the growth of the fish.
If you ensure that you’re feeding the clownfish often enough, then it’ll be more likely to grow bigger. It makes sense that proper nutrition would influence clownfish growth.
Of course, you can simply feed the clownfish marine fish flakes and it’ll be getting enough nutrients. The most important thing is to remember to feed it often enough.
It’s recommended to feed clownfish once or twice per day. If you want the fish to grow as big as possible, feeding it twice per day without feeding it too much will be a great idea.
When feeding clownfish, you’re supposed to feed them as much as they can eat in two minutes. Don’t give them more food than this or it could cause them to become constipated.
You should get pretty good at learning how much food to give the fish as you gain experience. If you keep feeding the fish consistently, then it should grow well.
Tank size can actually have an impact on the growth rate of the fish. Keeping clownfish in a tank that is too small is not recommended.
Doing so will make it more likely that the clownfish will be on the small side. Also, if the tank is very small, then it could cause the fish to become stressed.
Stress is very bad because it can lead to the fish developing a compromised immune system. An issue such as this might cause the fish to get sick or become infected.
Also, small tanks have higher nitrate levels, and this can negatively impact the growth of the fish. Keep this in mind and do your best to keep the clownfish in a tank where they have more than enough room.
Avoid overcrowding the fish tank with too many fish. Always consider whether the fish will have enough space to thrive when you consider adding a new fish to a community tank.
A fish will grow stronger and larger if it’s healthy. Keeping the water parameters in the right range as well as keeping the fish tank clean will help with this.
If a fish develops health issues early on in its life, then that can stunt its growth. It’ll make it more likely that the fish will wind up on the small side.
Do your best to care for the fish as you’re supposed to. It’ll help you to get the fish to reach its maximum growth potential.
Sexual Maturity and Growth
Sexual maturity causes clownfish to grow faster. When clownfish are kept in tanks with other clownfish, they will reach sexual maturity faster.
As you know, females will wind up being larger than males. Just know that keeping clownfish in pairs or small groups has the potential to help them grow faster by allowing them to reach sexual maturity at a faster pace.
Putting all of this information together should make it so that you’ll feel informed about how big clownfish can get. Pick the type of clownfish that you wish to care for and then do your best to take care of it to get good results.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.