How To Get Clownfish To Host Anemone? (7 Easy Tips & Tricks)

Despite being a good match, there are some instances in which a Clownfish may be hesitant to host an Anemone. Don’t worry, there are some workarounds that will help you entice your fish to host the anemone.

In this article, I will elaborate on each step of how to get clownfish to host anemone. Also, I will show you how to choose the right anemone for your clownfish. It’s important to know that different species of anemones will host specific kinds of clownfish. 

See also:

  1. How Many Clownfish In A Tank? – Different Types Of Clownfish.
  2. What Is The Best Coral For Clownfish To Host?
  3. Do Clownfish Need Anemones ? Amazing knowledge for you.

How To Get Clownfish To Host Anemone?

Clownfish live in a “symbiotic” relationship with certain anemones. The clownfish provides food for the anemone, Anemones provide safety to the clownfish by keeping potential predators away.

While they naturally coexist in the wild, a large number of clownfish owners keep their fish in tanks and do not have anemones. This is because domestic clownfish have no reason to require the protection of a host anemone in home aquariums, as food is abundantly available and there are no predators.

However, plenty of fish owners add anemones to their tank, not because the clownfish needs it. They do so merely because they like the idea of watching their clownfish as they swim among the tentacles of an anemone. But you can’t merely add an anemone to your tank. The end decision is always a clownfish’s. The final decision of whether or not the clownfish befriends your anemone is up to it. If it does not wish to host in the anemone, they will reject it, so what happens next?

While clownfish may not always accept an anemone as a home, there are steps that you can take to form a relationship between them:

1. Be Patient

When it comes to fish, there is sometimes a simple solution: patience. It has been argued that clownfish raised in tanks are less likely to host an anemone because they have never seen one. As such, they have neither an understanding nor appreciation for its capabilities.

Therefore, you shouldn’t be so hard on your clownfish if it is a little hesitant to approach the alien creature you have added to its tank. You need to wait. Give it time. Some fish owners will tell you that they had to wait for months and even years before the clownfish finally hosted the anemone.

So, don’t be so hard on your clownfish if it doesn’t immediately hop onto the new anemone you’ve introduced to its tank. You need time for this to work. Some fish owners have reported that they had to wait for months or even years before their clownfish would host the anemone.

If your clownfish rejects the new anemone, don’t be so quick to presume that it is a rejection. Give it enough time to adapt to the situation. Even if the two have not still accepted the other, you will be able to enjoy their beautiful appearance until they do. 

2. The Vertical Tube Trick

Firstly, find a generously sized acrylic tube and arrange it in the aquarium so that it hovers over the anemone. Do not let the tube touch the anemone or it might close right up; if possible, get somebody with a steady hand to hold onto the tube while you work.

When the tube is in place, scoop out some Clownfish and pour them down the pipe to force them into the anemone think it’ll take a few minutes and a bit of coercion on your part.

Clownfish swim down into anemone through an acrylic tube
Clownfish swim down into anemone through an acrylic tube

You should give the clownfish enough time to swim down towards the anemone, even if it’s just out of curiosity. You can do this with as many clownfish as you want to add to the anemone. Most fish that add into the tank ịn this way stay in the anemone, even after the tube has been removed

3. Hang a Few Pictures

Does this sound weird to you? But believe me, don’t reject immediately because it really works. Try taping pictures of clownfish and anemones in the tank. This is a psychological trick that clownfish will think that they and anemones do indeed have a relationship. And you have to make sure you put the pictures in a clear view for the fish. 

4. Bait the Clownfish

Food will draw fish to swim closer then they will encounter anemones. If you’re lucky, the clownfish may begin to explore the anemone. If they find it interesting enough, they will eventually choose to stay with the anemone.

Or you can feed clownfish near anemones. This also causes the two creatures to spend time together, increasing the likelihood of clownfish investing the anemone. One thing to note, you must use sinking food instead of floating food and then pour it just next to your anemone. 

5. Enforce Proximity

If your clownfish don’t host anemones naturally in their tank. Perhaps you should force both creatures to spend more time with each other thereby nurture a closer relationship between them.

Remove them from the tank and place them in a smaller container. This will bring them closer together, forcing them to grow accustomed to one another. Especially when you feed them, they will have to corporate during mealtimes. 

You may have to leave them alone for at least a week. In the end, it is only when you put them back in the tank that you will know if they bonded together during their time in captivity.

6. Use Direct Lighting

Some fish owners shared that they used a single light to shine above the anemone at night (when all other lights have been switched off) to pique the clownfish’s interest. When anemones are illuminated, clownfish will approach them.

To ensure success, avoid using a light that is too bright because it will affect the clownfish’s inner clock. Instead, just use dim light that is enough to that merely emphasizes the anemone’s colors. 

7. Stress Your Clownfish a Bit

With that in mind, you can make the clownfish feel less safe and thereby convince them to change their attitude towards the anemone, making them need the anemone’s protection. Being unsafe does not mean putting the fish’s life in real jeopardy.

Give them a simple scare or create a clear sense of danger. You can do this by adding new fish to their tank.

Or you can make the clownfish feel strange with the aquarium, feel less like home. All you need to do is rearrange the aquarium, move some decorations or reposition anything in the tank. This will encourage the clownfish to establish a relationship with the anemone.

What Type Of Anemone Do Clownfish Prefer?

Clownfish prefer certain species of anemones which differs from Clownfish to Clownfish. The type of anemone that your specific type of Clownfish prefers will depend on the particular type you are caring for.

Here is a quick rundown of other kinds of Clownfish and the types of anemones that they will be happy to host. There are plenty of other options but these are some of the most common that you might consider for your aquarium.

Ocellaris & True Percula Clownfish

  • Entacmaea Quadricolor
  • Bubble Tip

Pink Skunk Clownfish

  • Leathery Sea Anemone
  • Corkscrew Sea Anemone

Orange Skunk Clownfish

  • Marten’s Carpet Sea Anemone
  • Leathery Sea Anemone

Saddleback Clownfish

  • Haddon’s Sea Anemone

Spinecheek Clownfish

  • Corkscrew Sea Anemone
  • Bubble Tip Anemone

Video: How To Get Clownfish To Host Anemone?

How long does it take a Clownfish to host an anemone?

How long it takes a clownfish to host an anemone really depends on the clownfish itself. Some Clownfish will swim straight for a vacant anemone if they become aware of its existence but others might take a few days or even weeks to begin moving in, while others might not move in at all. It really depends but you can try some of the ways I showed above to facilitate the match more efficiently.

Can a clownfish hurt an anemone?

Yes. Clownfish can and do kill anemones. Usually because the clown is simply to large for the anemone.

Can Clownfish live without anemone?

Of course! In the wild, clownfish need the anemone’s protection. They are clownfish’s shelter from predators. However, in an aquarium environment, anemones are not necessary. As long as you make sure that there are no predators and food is provided. But having an anemone (though not for clownfish) also makes the tank look really nice.


The above ways will make the relationship between the two creatures progress faster. Also, you should make sure you have matched the anemone and clownfish properly. 

I hope my article had answered your question on how to get clownfish host anemones. The key here is to be patient.

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