Skip to Content

How Many Clownfish in a Tank? (By Tank Size)

How Many Clownfish in a Tank? (By Tank Size)

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Keeping clownfish in your home aquarium should be a great experience. These beautiful saltwater fish are a sight to behold in an aquarium setting.

It’s also great that beginners have a fairly simple time with these fish. They’re good options that will make sense for those who are just getting into keeping saltwater tanks in their homes.

Before you go out and buy clownfish for your fish tank, it’s going to be best to do some research. If you want to have the best experience, then it makes sense to do things right by getting the information that you need.

For example, it’s going to be good to know how many clownfish you should keep in one fish tank. What is a safe number of clownfish to put in one fish tank?

Read on to learn about this topic so that you can do things the right way. This should help you to set up a saltwater tank that will be a good environment where the clownfish can truly thrive.

Clownfish Minimum Tank Size?

It is not a good idea to try to keep clownfish in a fish tank that is too small for them. If you do, then they’re going to get stressed, and this is going to make it more likely that they will get sick.

For the sake of the fish, you’re going to need to get a fish tank that meets the minimum space requirements. Otherwise, you’re not going to have a good experience.

It’s said that one clownfish needs at least 10 gallons of space. Truthfully, it might be even better to give the clownfish more room than this.

Regardless, the minimum tank size for one clownfish will be 10 gallons. You’ll need to buy a 10-gallon tank or larger to be able to keep a clownfish in your home.

Since you’re most likely going to want to keep a pair of clownfish, you’re probably going to want an even larger tank. Take the time to measure the room where you want to put a fish tank so that you can be sure you have enough room for the right aquarium.

You can easily find the dimensions of various fish tanks online at popular online retailers. Use this information to measure things out so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.

10-Gallon Tank

Single Clownfish in a Tank

As mentioned above, a 10-gallon fish tank is the minimum fish tank size that you should choose for a clownfish. A clownfish is going to need at least 10 gallons of space to be happy in captivity.

If you were to try to keep a clownfish in a smaller tank, then things would not go well. Truthfully, a 10-gallon tank is going to be a bit on the small side, but it’ll do for one fish.

It’s simply up to you to decide if you’re comfortable with just keeping one clownfish in a 10-gallon tank. If you’re planning to put another clownfish or even other fish in the aquarium, then you’d need to buy something bigger.

For this reason, it might be good to consider going with a larger tank. Most people don’t want to take care of just one fish in a fish tank all by its lonesome.

20-Gallon Tank

A 20-gallon fish tank should be large enough for two clownfish. The basic rule is that one clownfish is going to need 10 gallons of space.

So, if you have two clownfish, then a 20-gallon aquarium would be large enough to support them. You just wouldn’t want to put other fish in the tank or you’d need to get something bigger.

It might be beneficial to go larger than this. Giving the clownfish more room won’t be a bad thing, after all.

Plus, you might want to be able to add an anemone to the tank. Depending on what type of anemone you wish to add to the aquarium, you might need a very large fish tank.

30-Gallon Tank

Three Clownfish in a Tank

You could fit up to three clownfish in a fish tank if you buy a 30-gallon tank. Remember, for every 10 gallons of space, you’re supposed to be able to fit one clownfish.

The problem with this is that it isn’t generally easy to get three clownfish to live together peacefully. In the wild, clownfish live in small groups, but tank settings are different.

It would be common for a small group of clownfish to include a dominant female, the large breeding male, and two or so smaller male clownfish. In captivity, this situation is unlikely to work out.

The mating pair will likely bully the other clownfish and make it hard for them to survive. Most experts recommend sticking to keeping clownfish in pairs rather than keeping them in small groups.

It might work out if you put them all in the tank at the same time as juveniles. Otherwise, it’s likely not going to work out.

40-Gallon Tank

Four clownfish can fit in a 40-gallon fish tank. As it was noted above, it’s important to know that it’s difficult to keep clownfish in a group.

Clownfish are aggressive and territorial. Trying to keep too many clownfish in one aquarium is almost surely going to be a bad idea. You might wish to buy a 40-gallon tank for two clownfish if you plan to add other fish to the tank, though.

You can put clownfish in a community tank setting. It’s just necessary to pick out the tank mates carefully to get the best experience.

55-Gallon Tank

A 55-gallon tank would be capable of supporting a group of five clownfish, but it’s not good to have large groups of clownfish in the same tank. For this reason, a 55-gallon tank will be most practical for a pair of clownfish and an anemone.

You could add an anemone to the fish tank as well as potentially other fish that are compatible. Having a 55-gallon tank will give you quite a bit of space to work with.

It’ll also be easier to place more decorations and things like that in the fish tank. There are benefits to purchasing larger tanks.

75-Gallon Tank

Clownfish in a Community Tank

A 75-gallon tank would be very large for a clownfish overall. It’s still likely best to just keep a clownfish pair in the tank, but by doing the math you can see that the tank could support seven clownfish.

It’d just be a horrible idea to keep that many clownfish in the same tank. The aggressive and territorial nature of the clownfish won’t allow it.

Of course, having a 75-gallon tank could be great for other reasons. This would be a very good community fish tank size when you have a pair of clownfish in the tank.

Picking out some good tank mates could allow you to start a really satisfying community tank. Look into your options if this sounds interesting to you.

Can a Clownfish Live in a 1-Gallon Tank?

Clownfish can absolutely not live in a 1-gallon fish tank. That would be way too small for a clownfish to be able to thrive.

As mentioned earlier, clownfish need to have enough space to live. These fish are aggressive and territorial.

If you put them in such a small tank, then they will never feel like they have enough territory. Even the smallest types of clownfish that you can buy wouldn’t be remotely happy in a 1-gallon fish tank.

The fish would get very stressed being in such a cramped environment. This would make the clownfish get sick, and it wouldn’t be very likely that the fish would live all that long either.

Can a Clownfish Live in a 5-Gallon Tank?

Just like the information above, you should know that a 5-gallon fish tank won’t be sufficient for keeping a clownfish. While a 5-gallon tank might be acceptable for some fish, it’s going to be woefully inadequate when it comes to keeping a clownfish.

You’ll need to get at least a 10-gallon tank if you want to care for a clownfish. A 10-gallon tank is only good for one clownfish, too, and this means that you might want something much bigger than that.

If you only have room for a 5-gallon fish tank, then it’s best to look into other types of fish. You should try to find some smaller fish that will be comfortable with the amount of space that you can give them.

You might need to hold off on getting clownfish until you have a bigger environment. Clownfish are great to own, but you don’t want to buy them if you can’t truly care for them properly.

How Big of a Tank for Two Clownfish?

Two Clownfish in a Fish Tank

The minimum fish tank size for two clownfish is considered to be a 20-gallon fish tank. For many, this will be the absolutely smallest fish tank they would consider buying for clownfish since they will want to keep them in pairs.

If you’re going to care for a pair of clownfish, then you’re going to want to give them enough space to thrive. Clownfish are aggressive and they might fight each other too much if they don’t have enough room.

Putting the clownfish in a larger fish tank will make them feel at ease. There are those who feel that a 20-gallon tank is a bit on the small side for two clownfish.

While a 20-gallon aquarium should work out just fine, it might be good to consider getting a larger tank. This is especially true if you have any plans of adding an anemone to the tank.

You might want to get a 55-gallon tank or even a larger one depending on what you want to do. Just remember that you can’t go smaller than a 20-gallon tank for two clownfish.

Can Clownfish Live in a Bowl?

Fish bowls are generally not going to be suitable for clownfish. For the most part, fish bowls are going to be very small.

Typical bowls are going to range in size from one gallon to three gallons. You might find a bowl that is slightly larger than this, but it still won’t be a good fit for the clownfish.

It’s unlikely that you would find a bowl that would be large enough to accommodate a clownfish. Also, the geometry of the bowl won’t be very good for keeping these types of fish.

If you only have room for a fish bowl in your home, then you should look into other options besides clownfish. You’d need to find a fish that will be able to thrive in a fish bowl environment so that you can have a decent experience.

Can Different Clownfish Live Together?

Black Ice Snowflake Clownfish

It is not recommended to try to mix and match different clownfish species. You’re only supposed to try to pair clownfish with clownfish of the same species.

If you were to put a pair of clownfish in the fish tank and then add another pair of clownfish from another species, then they would come into conflict. The two different types of clownfish would just keep fighting each other, and the more aggressive clownfish would win.

You’d wind up losing clownfish if you decided to try doing this. There are some potential exceptions to this rule, but you aren’t supposed to mix and match different species of clownfish in the same tank.

Percula clownfish and False Percula clownfish are known to interbreed. It might be possible to look into that, but it’s still recommended to just stick to the same species.

If you don’t want things to go wrong, then there’s no point in taking unnecessary risks. Just know that clownfish are territorial and too aggressive to get along with other types of clownfish.

How Many Clownfish Can Live Together?

You should really only be keeping two clownfish together in the same tank. It’ll be possible to get three or four clownfish to get along for a certain amount of time, but this changes when the clownfish reach the breeding age.

Once a mating pair has been established, the two will wind up picking on any of the other clownfish in the tank. They’ll bully the other clownfish and make it hard for them to live.

It isn’t impossible for groups of three clownfish to live together, but it just usually doesn’t go well in captivity. In the wild, clownfish often live in groups of three to five.

What Clownfish Can Be Kept Together?

It’s generally not a good idea to try to keep different types of clownfish together. Even adding other clownfish of the same species to the tank will typically end in conflict.

Knowing this, you should just stick to keeping one pair of clownfish in your saltwater tank. Doing anything else is really just asking for trouble.

Of course, you could get different results if you have a very large tank. In some cases, different clownfish species can stay in the same tank if they stay on opposite sides of a large tank.

Even situations like this can be risky, though. It likely isn’t going to be worth trying to pull this off if you care about the health and safety of the fish.

Can Clownfish Live Alone?

Technically, clownfish can live alone. Many people choose to keep one clownfish by itself because they don’t want to have to deal with aggression issues.

Clownfish can be very aggressive fish that will fight with other fish. They’ll also fight with each other fairly often, but this usually won’t be too bad since the dominant female is in charge.

If you just want to keep one clownfish because you don’t have a lot of room, then you can technically choose to do that. Some people think that this is cruel, though.

In the wild, clownfish live in pairs or in small groups. So, it wouldn’t really be natural for a clownfish to live by itself.

If you only have a 10-gallon tank, then you can do this if you want. It just isn’t recommended as the best option by many enthusiasts, and some have moral objections to keeping one fish by itself in a fish tank.

Do Clownfish Need to Be in Pairs?

Snow Onyx Clownfish Pair in Tropical Tank

After reading the information above, you should know that technically clownfish don’t have to be in pairs. A clownfish can live and remain healthy when kept in a fish tank by itself.

However, many people don’t feel that it’s right to keep clownfish by themselves. If you ask many clownfish enthusiasts, then they will say that these fish absolutely need to be kept in pairs.

You’ll just have to follow your instincts on this to determine what is right. It’s possible to keep a clownfish by itself, but it’s generally recommended to keep clownfish in pairs.

If you keep clownfish in pairs, you might be able to get the clownfish to breed. This could allow you to have more clownfish for your fish tanks in the future.

Can You Have Two Pairs of Clownfish?

It likely isn’t a good idea to put two pairs of clownfish in the same fish tank. To start, you need to know that clownfish don’t get along well when other clownfish invade their territory.

They will choose to fight the other clownfish, and it’ll lead to a very hectic time in your fish tank. Also, two females can’t get along in the same tank.

When two female clownfish meet, they will keep fighting each other. It’s expected that the two clownfish will fight to the death until the largest and most aggressive clownfish wins.

This is a sad situation that you should want to avoid. In most aquarium setups, it would be impossible to get two pairs of clownfish to co-exist.

Of course, there are potential exceptions that you should be aware of. If you’re keeping the fish in a very large tank, then you might be able to make it so that the fish are separated by enough distance.

For example, one pair of clownfish might settle in the left corner of the tank while the other pair settles somewhere on the right side of the tank. If there are enough rocks for hiding and other things between the two groups of clownfish, then you might be able to avoid conflict in the tank.

Some people use anemones in very large tanks to help the clownfish avoid conflict, too. This isn’t necessarily easy to pull off, though, and it might not be worth the effort.

It’d likely be more practical and reliable to simply keep the other clownfish pair in a different tank. This way, you won’t need to worry about conflict or having some of your clownfish get killed due to fighting.

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about how much space clownfish need should help you out a lot. It’ll help you to avoid putting the fish in a situation where they will be unhappy.

It isn’t just about the happiness level of the fish either. If you put the fish in a fish tank that is too small, then it’ll cause significant stress.

Stressed fish will wind up experiencing issues with their immune systems. They develop compromised immune systems, and this makes it more likely that they will get sick.

If you want your clownfish to be able to live for a long time in your home aquarium, then it’s crucial to give them enough space. Clownfish that are forced to live in cramped or overcrowded environments simply won’t do as well as those that have enough room to live happily.

Of course, you need to make sure that you have enough room in your home for a fish tank of the right size. Not everyone has a lot of space to work with.

It’s probably a good idea to measure the spots in your house where you think you could fit a fish tank. This will tell you how big of a fish tank you’ll reasonably be able to fit given your restrictions.

If you have a big enough fish tank for a couple of clownfish, then you’ll be able to go forward without reservations. Those who only have enough space to fit a 10-gallon tank or something smaller might want to reconsider this idea.

It’s likely a good idea to keep clownfish as a pair, and this means having a 20-gallon fish tank. You can keep a clownfish by itself, but some find this to be morally wrong.

Decide what you want to do and then do your best to provide the clownfish with optimal care. Let any of your friends or family members know what you learned today if they’re also thinking of getting clownfish soon.