Angelfish and Clownfish

In this post, we will understand the relationship between Angelfish and Clownfish. We will also discuss a little about their general biology and requirements.

Angelfish and Clownfish

Angelfish and Clownfish are very popular saltwater fish species. Due to their popularity, the idea of keeping them in the same tank has become spread. It is possible to keep both fish species together. However, it is important to keep in mind that larger Angelfish can be more aggressive and hurt the Clownfish. Thus, smaller Angelfish are the recommended species to be kept with Clownfish.


Angelfish are members of the Pomacanthidae family. They are usually found around coral reef areas in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Their size varies with the species from dwarf pygmy one with less than 8 inches and the larger ones reaching up to 20 inches.

Small Angelfish

The smaller Angelfish are one of the most recommended fish species for community tanks, as they tend to be more reclusive and less aggressive in comparison to other Angelfish. These fish grow a maximum of 7.5 inches and on average they are 3.1 to 5.5 inches in length.

Some of these species are beginner-friendly. However, some require expertise and advanced care. Some of them are:

–       Keyhole Angelfish;

–       Bicolor Angelfish;

–       Fisher’s Angelfish;

–       African Flameback Angelfish.

Medium Angelfish

The medium-sized Angelfish group includes species that grows up to 10 inches. In general, the species in this group are recommended for beginner and intermediate aquarists. Some of the Angelfish species in this group are:

–       Masked Angelfish;

–       Black-velvet Angelfish;

–       Indian Yellowtail Angelfish;

–       Blue-spotted Angelfish.

Large Angelfish

Larger species of Angelfish are known to be more aggressive than smaller ones. They can grow up to 20 inches in length and require very large tanks. Thus, to keep large Angelfish is recommended only for expert aquarists. Some of these large Angelfish species are:

–       King Angelfish;

–       Queen Angelfish;

–       Emperor Angelfish;

–       Bermuda blue Angelfish.

Angelfish With Clownfish

It is possible to keep Angelfish and Clownfish together. However, it is important to give some attention to which Angelfish species to choose. Larger Angelfish, as pointed above, are prone to becoming aggressive. Thus, it is safer to opt for smaller Angelfish species.

Will Angelfish chase Clownfish?

Not necessarily. In general, Angelfish are very peaceful. However, if they feel threatened or unsafe, they may become somehow aggressive but will rarely start chasing other fish. Angelfish are important to be introduced as young to other fish, this is because they will not see them as a threat to their territory but as tankmates.

Additionally, the size will also highlight their aggressive tendency. Thus, smaller Angelfish are more peaceful and can make great tank mates to Clownfish. Consequently, the smaller ones will not chase the Clownfish.

Male Angelfish also tend to be more aggressive. Thus, it is recommended to keep females with other fish species, such as the Clownfish.


Clownfish are high-effort fish to keep. They require a lot of attention to the water parameters. However, they can be quite resilient, which would make them nice choices for the aquarists beginning to use saltwater tanks.

Tank requirements

Clownfish require a minimum of 10-gallon space for each individual. They are not very active swimmers and thus, they do not require a lot of space. However, smaller saltwater tanks require a lot of maintenance care. Nitrates and ammonia levels tend to increase really fast in smaller tanks.

Adding a good filtration system will guarantee high-quality water for your fish. It is also important to set the tank up with plenty of hiding spots.

Regarding the water parameters, Clownfish thrive in water temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH levels between 8.0 and 8.4.


Clownfish are omnivores and eat almost any type of fish food. They enjoy a mixture of frozen and live foods as a supplement to flakes and pellets. These fish should be fed once a day. 

To keep your water quality, it is important to offer amounts of food the fish will eat up in 2 or 3 minutes. However, if you keep having poor water quality issues, you should opt for a cleaning crew, with shrimp, crabs, and snails.

Clownfish Compatibility

Clownfish are tiny peaceful fish good community tanks. However, some large carnivorous fish species should be avoided as they could devour the Clownfish, such as Lionfish and Groupers.

In general, Clownfish are harmless to other fish and invertebrate species. Thus, they are a good match to reef tanks, single-species tanks, and community tanks.

Clownfish and Anemones

Clownfish have a well known symbiotic relationship with anemones. However, they do not require anemones to live healthily in captivity. Sometimes, in tanks with anemones and Clownfish, the fish can even not be around or develop a relationship.

In the absence of anemones, Clownfish will use corals and caves as resting and hiding spots. Anemones require lots of attention to thrive in tanks. Their water and environmental conditions are very specific and they are very sensitive.

Does the Angelfish and Clownfish combination work?

In general, this combination works very well. Angelfish and Clownfish can do very well in community tanks. Pygmy and dwarf Angelfish species are the best choices for a Clownfish tank. They have similar sizes to the Clownfish and are very reclusive and peaceful. Avoid larger Angelfish species, as they could be aggressive and harmful to the Clownfish. Also consider having a maximum of 2 Clownfish, as more individuals could result in picky behaviours.


In this post, we understood the relationship between Angelfish and Clownfish. We have also discussed a little about their general biology and requirements.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Clownfish

Are Clownfish schooling fish?

No, Clownfish are not schooling fish. Only a couple would be enough for them to thrive. However, in breeding tanks, it is possible to find more than 2 related Clownfish sharing on the same anemone.

How many Clownfish can be in an aquarium?

The general recommendation is to keep only 1 or 2 Clownfish. Their instinct will lead the two of them to pair off and become picky to the ones left.

Can I put 4 Clownfish together?

The most recommended number of Clownfish in a tank is 1 or 2. If you keep more than 2, they will probably pair off and start bullying the other ones.

Can you mix Clownfish with other Clownfish?

Mixing Clownfish species is not recommended and should be avoided. However, mixing colours would not be a problem if they are the same species only different colours.

Can Clownfish and Angelfish live together?

Yes, Angelfish can make good tankmates to Clownfish. To not differ too much in size, pygmy Angelfish are the most recommended species for a Clownfish tank. Larger Angelfish can become aggressive towards the Clownfish.

What fish live well with Clownfish?

Clownfish good tankmates would be some wrasses, tanks, dartfish, smaller angelfish, puffers, and gobies. Also, consider having corals and anemones on the tank with the Clownfish. Keep in mind they do not appreciate conspecifics in the same tank.


Ocellaris Clownfish Care.

Clownfish Compatibility.

Chaney, A. Coral Beauty Angelfish With Clownfish (Top 2 Facts).

Fernando, O. J., Raja, K., & Balasubramanian, T. (2006). Studies on Spawning in Clownfish Amphiprion sebae with Various Feed Combinations under Recirculating Aquarium Conditions.

Coughlin, D. J., Strickler, J. R., & Sanderson, B. (1992). Swimming and search behaviour in clownfish, Amphiprion perideraion, larvae. Animal Behaviour, 44, 427-440.