Getting into keeping saltwater aquariums in your home can be a lot of fun. It can be a bit intimidating for those who are on a budget, though.
You’ve probably heard that saltwater aquariums are going to be a bit more expensive than freshwater aquariums. Even so, you’re going to have to go for it if you want to keep clownfish in your home.
If you’re planning on buying clownfish sometime soon, then you could be curious about how much they will cost overall. Are clownfish very expensive to own or are they fairly affordable?
Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about the cost of clownfish. This should help you to determine whether you’ll be able to fit clownfish into your budget or not.
How Much Do Baby Clownfish Cost?
It’s pretty normal for people to purchase clownfish when they’re young. While you’re not likely going to purchase baby clownfish that are just a few weeks old, you’ll probably be buying juvenile clownfish.
Typically, baby clownfish are not going to be sold in pet stores. You won’t find many places selling clownfish fry.
What you will find will be pet stores selling juvenile clownfish. Juvenile clownfish are full clownfish, but they simply haven’t reached breeding maturity yet.
It takes clownfish between one and a half years and two years to reach breeding maturity. Juvenile clownfish will be smaller than full adults because they’re still growing.
You can also buy clownfish that are larger and mature from some places. However, it’s usually more cost-effective to buy juvenile clownfish.
It’s likely more convenient to buy juvenile clownfish since you’ll likely want to purchase a pair of fish. When clownfish are juvenile, they’ll all be in a default male state.
They should get along well as juveniles, and when they reach sexual maturity, the largest one will become the alpha female. Knowing all of this is great, but how much do juvenile clownfish cost?
The truth is that the answer will differ depending on the specific species of clownfish that you’re trying to buy. Read the information below to learn about the general cost of the popular types of clownfish.
Ocellaris clownfish are often considered to be the most common and “normal” clownfish that you can get. As such, they’re going to be among the most affordable options.
Sometimes you’ll find these fish being sold as False Percula clownfish. This is because Ocellaris clownfish and True Percula clownfish are very hard to tell apart if you don’t know what to look for.
The only way to tell the difference is to know that the black outlines will be different. Also, the irises of the two fish will have differences.
So how much do Ocellaris clownfish cost? You can expect to be able to buy one of these fish for as little as twenty dollars.
Sometimes the fish might cost more if they’ve been bred to have a special coloration. It’s common for people to breed variants of the Ocellaris clownfish such as the Black Ocellaris clownfish, the Black Snowflake Ocellaris clownfish, and the Caramel Ocellaris clownfish.
These could be ten thirty dollars more expensive depending on the market. They’re the same type of fish, but they’ve just been bred in a specific way so that they are colored differently.
If you’re looking for a basic clownfish experience, then going with the Ocellaris clownfish is recommended. These fish are very easy to care for, and they’ll be simple for beginners to learn how to take care of.
They’re hardy enough that they should be able to survive if you make a few minor mistakes. It’s still important to follow the correct water parameters, but they aren’t likely to die if you make a little mistake while you’re learning.
True Percula Clownfish
True Percula clownfish are probably the second most common just behind the Ocellaris. This makes them fairly affordable clownfish to purchase.
You can find these fish being sold at some pet stores for around twenty dollars. Other stores might sell them for a bit more money than this.
Of course, there are some variants of the fish that will be colored differently. These are going to cost a little bit more than average.
For instance, you might find the Platinum Percula clownfish being sold for around fifty dollars. If you just want a standard True Percula clownfish, then that will save you the most money.
These fish are going to be some of the smallest clownfish that you can purchase. Even at maturity, these fish will only wind up being between two and three inches long.
Even so, they can be very satisfying fish to take care of. They’re very pretty fish and they aren’t too hard to take care of even for novices.
Of course, they aren’t as simple to care for as the Ocellaris clownfish mentioned above. These fish are sensitive to poor water conditions, and this means that you must keep an eye on the water parameters.
Maroon clownfish are among the largest clownfish that you can find. These fish can grow to be close to seven inches long at maturity.
They’re also very aggressive fish. If you want to own this type of clownfish, then you’ll need to be especially careful to pick appropriate tank mates for it.
Don’t let the aggressive reputation of this clownfish scare you away from buying one, though. They can be excellent community fish tank members when you take the time to do the necessary research.
A standard Maroon clownfish is likely going to cost between twenty-five and thirty dollars. There are special color variants such as the Gold Nugget Maroon clownfish that will cost more.
Some special color variants of this species will cost close to one hundred dollars. They’re very affordable fish if you’re just buying the standard type of Maroon clownfish, though.
Don’t shy away from these fish if you’re a beginner. They should be just as easy to take care of as the Ocellaris clownfish.
If you simply like the way that these fish look better, then they will make for an equally good choice for your first saltwater fish. Just ensure that you give them enough space in the fish tank so that they can be comfortable.
Tomato clownfish are considered to be somewhat similar to the Maroon clownfish. They aren’t quite as big as the Maroon clownfish, but they also possess an aggressive temperament.
Since they’re so aggressive, they won’t be able to get along with some fish that other clownfish can. Just do your best to research appropriate tank mates for Tomato clownfish and it won’t even be a concern.
A standard Tomato clownfish can be purchased for as little as twenty dollars. You might even find it for slightly less money than that depending on where you shop.
As usual, some of the color variants will wind up costing more money. You should expect that to be the case for all clownfish.
Overall, these are among the most cost-effective clownfish on the market. If you’re looking to buy a few different pairs of clownfish for different fish tanks, then you might want to go with Tomato clownfish.
They’re easy to care for just the same as the Maroon clownfish mentioned above. It should be easy to get used to taking care of Tomato clownfish even if you’re a complete novice.
Of course, you do need to keep in mind that caring for saltwater tanks will be tougher than keeping freshwater fish tanks in your home. So long as you know how to do the basics, you’ll have a good experience with Tomato clownfish.
Clarkii clownfish are interesting additions to any saltwater aquarium. Some people really wind up loving Clarkii clownfish because they look quite a bit different than standard clownfish.
Some of them can be purchased from pet stores for as little as seventeen dollars. You’ll usually find them being sold for twenty dollars in most pet stores, though.
One of the reasons why these fish are so popular has to do with how they look naturally. They come in a wide range of different natural color morphs.
Some of these fish are pure black and have white bands. Others will mostly be orange and white.
These clownfish are a bit on the large side, but they aren’t super aggressive like the Maroon or Tomato clownfish. They also differentiate themselves by being strong swimmers.
The other types of clownfish aren’t strong swimmers, and they can’t deal with strong currents very well. Clarkii clownfish are an exception because they’re generally found in much deeper waters in the wild.
You’ll likely be very pleased if you choose to buy some Clarkii clownfish for your aquarium. They’re pretty and they’re generally some of the easiest clownfish to care for.
Pink Skunk Clownfish
Pink Skunk clownfish are very neat little clownfish that you might be interested in purchasing. They’re going to be roughly the same size as True Percula clownfish upon maturity.
You can expect to spend between twenty and twenty-five dollars on these fish. They aren’t too difficult to find, but they aren’t as common as Ocellaris or True Percula clownfish.
The problem with these fish is that they are difficult to care for. They get stressed easily, and this means that they also get sick more easily than many other clownfish.
If you’re going to have a problem with clownfish, then there’s a good chance that it’ll be with these Pink Skunk clownfish. They’re fairly delicate, and you’ll need to work hard to keep them healthy.
That means feeding them nutritious food and keeping a close eye on the water parameters. Granted, these are things that you should be doing anyway if you want your fish to live a long life.
In the wild, these fish are very reliant on anemones. They don’t ever stray far from anemones, and they might be more comfortable in your fish tank if an anemone is present.
Since that will add to the cost of everything, it’ll be up to you to decide if that’s an appropriate action to take. Just know that Pink Skunk clownfish feel more comfortable when they’re hosting an anemone.
Saddleback clownfish are cool because they have a unique stripe pattern. It makes it look as if they have saddles on their backs, and that’s why they received the name.
Luckily, these fish are going to be very affordable. You can find the standard Saddleback clownfish being sold between fifteen and twenty dollars in many pet stores.
These clownfish can grow to be between four and five inches long. They’re interesting fish, too, because the males and females wind up being around the same size.
If you want a clownfish type that is easy to care for, then the Saddleback clownfish will be appropriate. They’re just as easy to take care of as Ocellaris clownfish.
Cinnamon clownfish are actually kind of similar to the Tomato clownfish mentioned earlier. They grow to be about five inches just the same as the Tomato clownfish will.
It’s also true that these fish can be quite territorial. As they continue to age and grow larger, Cinnamon clownfish will become more and more territorial and aggressive.
If you keep them in a fish tank that doesn’t have many aquatic features, then they might claim the whole tank as their territory. This can lead to issues with trying to put other fish in the aquarium.
Thankfully, you can offset such issues by adding aquatic features to the tank. Put rocks, decorations, plants, and other things in the tank so that the Cinnamon clownfish will stick to one area.
These fish aren’t going to be overly expensive either. You can often find captive-bred Cinnamon clownfish being sold for twenty-five dollars.
Some of the fish variants might cost a bit more cash, but you’ll always be able to find standard ones at low prices. They’re easy to take care of and they’re really gorgeous fish as well.
If you’d like to further contain the aggression of the fish, then you could try to get an anemone for the tank. It’ll add to the cost of everything, but it can be worth it when you want to keep Cinnamon clownfish happy.
How Much Will the Fish Tank Cost?
Determining the exact cost of the fish tank will be tough. It really depends on what you’re trying to do and what size the fish tank you want to buy is.
It’s said that one clownfish is going to require at least ten gallons of space. This means that the smallest fish tank that you can purchase will be ten gallons.
You can easily buy a basic 10-gallon aquarium for forty dollars. Some might cost a little more or a little less depending on the brand and the things that are included with the fish tank.
Understand that a 10-gallon fish tank won’t be big enough for two clownfish. Most enthusiasts recommend keeping clownfish in pairs, and this means that you should be buying at least a 20-gallon fish tank.
A 20-gallon fish tank will likely cost you anywhere from fifty dollars to eighty dollars. You might want an even bigger tank than that, too, since clownfish like to have more than just enough space.
You could wind up spending one hundred dollars or more on just the fish tank. Decide the size of the fish tank that you want to look for before you go to the pet store.
It’s also wise to measure the spot in your home where you want to put the fish tank. This will allow you to check the dimensions of the tank to ensure that you do indeed have enough room for it.
How Much Will the Necessary Supplies Cost?
As you probably expect, there are going to be various types of supplies and equipment that you will need to purchase. All of this stuff can add up and make it so that you’ll need to spend quite a bit of cash.
You’re going to need many different things to set up your saltwater fish tank. It’ll be necessary to get a filter, an air pump, a heater, and lighting.
Then you’ll need to purchase things such as chemicals to alter the pH balance of the water, aquarium salt for keeping the salinity in the right range, and fish food. You’ll be spending a pretty penny just to get your new saltwater fish tank up and running.
On average, it’ll cost between five hundred and one thousand dollars to set up a saltwater aquarium. The difference in the pricing will depend on factors such as how large the tank is and what types of equipment you choose to buy.
If you catch some good deals, then you might be able to stay closer to the lower end of that estimate. Otherwise, you might even wind up spending more than one thousand dollars.
Those who are trying to set up a very large fish tank will probably spend a good bit more. This is because you’d need a more expensive fish tank, a larger heater, and a better filter.
To keep costs low, you should try to stick to your budget. Research the cost of the various items that you want and then buy them when you have the extra cash.
This should allow you to get started without breaking the bank. Sticking to buying less expensive clownfish will also help.
It should also be mentioned that adding an anemone to the tank will significantly add to the cost. You’ll need to buy the anemone, and you’ll also have to pay for special lights.
What Is the Cost of Maintenance?
You’ll need to spend money to maintain the saltwater tank. This involves purchasing fish food, aquarium salt, pH balance testing kits, chemicals, and various other things.
All of the money that you spend is going to add up. You should expect to spend between five hundred and eight hundred dollars per year on fish tank maintenance.
Be sure that you’re ready to spend that kind of cash on your fish tank. The larger your tank is, the more money you can expect to pay out each year.
It can be more expensive if you have more exotic fish to care for. If you’re just taking care of clownfish using a typical fish tank setup, then you should be able to stay pretty close to five hundred dollars per year in maintenance costs.
If this sounds as if it would be too much for you, then you might wish to wait to start a saltwater aquarium. It’s always going to be somewhat expensive to maintain these tanks, and you’ll need to be ready for that.
Knowing more about the overall cost of setting up a clownfish tank will help you out immensely. It’s imperative to be able to know how much money you should expect to spend.
It’ll allow you to stay within a budget that you’re comfortable with. It’s true that establishing a saltwater tank can be quite pricey, but it’s also true that it can be very rewarding.
If you’re someone who loves fish, then you might wind up falling in love with saltwater tanks. Clownfish, in particular, are great fish to own for beginners.
You can get used to taking care of these fish quite easily, and it’s simple enough to buy basic clownfish from a pet store at a reasonable cost. It’s recommended to keep clownfish in pairs, and this means that sticking to two clownfish of the same species in one tank is your best bet.
It’s possible that you might spend as little as forty dollars on acquiring two clownfish. Most of the cost will involve buying the fish tank itself as well as all of the equipment that you need.
Once you’ve established the tank, you’ll be able to research good tank mates for the clownfish if you have enough space. Many people find caring for community fish tanks to be the most satisfying experience.
Enjoy your clownfish and be sure to care for them to the best of your ability. If you do a good job, then the clownfish should be able to live happily for a long time in your home aquarium.
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.