clownfish laying eggs

The Detailed Things You Need to Know about Clownfish Laying Eggs

If you are thinking about breeding clownfish, then knowing the facts about clownfish laying eggs can be helpful. Whether you want to breed the clownfish or you want to raise the (clownfish) eggs to assist the baby fish to thrive and live, knowing the facts can be helpful and handy. That’s why it would be helpful to learn about the breeding, egg laying, and other facts related to breeding them.

Laying Eggs and Clownfish Life

clownfish laying eggs

Many aquarists state that raising the babies from the eggs is one of the coolest experiences they have ever felt. Knowing that a paid can lay eggs can be a handy information, and it is definitely a fun thing to do when you have a fish tank. If you have clownfish species at your fish tank, big chances that they may breed in the tank. However, raising the baby (from eggs to adulthood) is challenging. It has its own obstacles and challenges. You will need a lot of persistence, extra tools or equipment, a little tad of luck, and also patience.

clownfish laying eggs

It’s a good thing that some aquarists have created their own clownfish laying eggs journals. They have documented all of the stages and they have written their observations. These journals are handy for those who aren’t familiar with the process, helping them with the entire stages.


The Common FAQs

There are some things that you can learn about clownfish laying eggs from the very beginning to the last stage.

How Long Do Clownfish Eggs Need to Hatch?

When they spawn regularly, they can do it once in every 10 to 14 days. The eggs would hatch between 8 days and 10 days after they are laid. Often times, the larvae would hatch on back-to-back evenings which can be problematic when you want to collect them.

Do Clownfish Eggs Have Bigger Chance to Survive?

If they are properly and correctly cared for and fertilized (by the make), the eggs will survive. They will do it until 8 days after the fertilization. When it happens, tiny (clownfish) larvae would be released. They are around 3 millimeters long. But in order to survive, the newly hatched larvae would need special care and feeding.

How Many Can Clownfish Laying Eggs?

It’s possible that a female clownfish may produce 100 to 1,500 eggs once in two weeks.

Where Would They Lay the Eggs?

Clownfish is known to pick a place. They would choose a small patch (of rock) close to the area where they spend most of their times. They will clean the place and think of it as a safe place to keep the eggs. For those who are aquarists or hobbyists that want to breed the clownfish, they will provide a clay tiles or pots for the natural rock substitute. Such a construction is easy to handle and also remove.


Feeding the Clownfish for Breeding

In order to have breeding and productive clownfish, you need to make sure that the pair is well fed and happy. You need to make sure that they are fed two times a week (at least) during the weekdays and at least 3 times per day on the weekends. They are okay with live brine shrimp or live blackworms. They can also eat mysis shrimp (the freeze dried type), frozen mysis shrimp, spirulina-20 flakes, and Ocean Nutrition pellets. Mix it up and don’t give them all of those foods at once. If you have black worms, make sure your clownfish want to eat as much as possible, especially since they are fresh. The worms tend to get nasty after several days, so you want to remove them as fast as you can. If it is possible, don’t feed them the same food within consecutive days. You need to rotate them.

Clownfish Laying Eggs

Clownfish Laying Eggs


You want to make sure that they are well feed within several times a day so they get the many calories needed. They would need those calories for better growth. You want them to be fat quickly and to be healthy, which would be enough to maintain them through breeding. They shouldn’t starve; otherwise, they will want to eat the eggs. Basically, try high-calories foods with high quality contents. Alternate them and give the fish varieties of the food. Feed them regularly from 2 to 4 days a day, depending on your feeding schedule. It is a part of their care in clownfish laying eggs.

The Lifespan of the Clownfish

clown fish

National Geographic states that clownfish average lifespan (in the wild) is around 6 years to 10 years. But if you keep the clownfish at home aquarium, big chances that their lifespan would be shorter. However, you can’t generalize the case. There are some instances where some aquarists have kept their happy clownfish pair up to their teenage years. So, basically, if you can keep your clownfish happy and you are able to maintain a healthy (and happy) lifestyle, they may be able to outlive the general standard. In some cases, some aquarists stated that their Black Ocellaris is able to live up to 6 years old, and even up to 7 years old.

Clownfish will reach their sexual maturity in 1.5 years or 2 years old. But here’s a thing: All clownfish are basically hermaphrodites. It means that they have the organs so they can be female and also male. When they start out their lives, they would start as the immature males. If they are growing within a group, all of them will remain as immature males, except for 2. One of the fish would be the mature and also breeding male, while another one would change their gender to female, and it would be the breeding female. And you have your pair for the breed.

What if the female dies? The breeding male would change its gender to female. And then one of those immature male would be ‘promoted’ to be the next mature and breeding male. That’s why these fish has the potential ability to become mature in 1.5 years. Or in 2 years, max. It’s also possible that they can be older but still immature. It depends on the group dynamics. But thanks to the hermaphrodite nature, it is easy to establish the breeding pair.

The Breeding Facts

As it was mentioned before, clownfish laying eggs up to 100 and 1,500 eggs. An average pair may produce around 400 to 500 eggs. The numbers may depend on the nutrition or feeding, the relative health and age of the pair, and the species. The bigger species (such as Maroon Clownfish) can lay around 1000 eggs at once, while the smaller ones (like the common and general Clownfish) may only produce hundreds. If you can raise them well, you will have tons of Clownfish babies.

The Breeding Journal

The most popular clownfish would be the Ocellaris or Amphiprion Ocellaris. From the moment the female clownfish lays her eggs, the journey of the hatch has been monitored and observed. The eggs would be peach in color, and having of the view where she lays them is quite interesting.

The female clownfish may choose a place where she is comfortable with. Yes, in general, she may choose rocks or nooks, but it is possible that she chooses to have clownfish laying eggs on the (aquarium) glass, if she feels comfortable doing it there. But in general, you should encourage them to lay the egg on a substrate or spot substitute. It would make it easy for you to remove it when it is hatching day.

baby clown fish

Starting on the second day, generally, the male would guard the eggs. He will spend most of his time there for the next 8 days. Don’t worry too much if he seems pecking on the eggs. In most cases, he may be either nervous or excited. This is a pretty normal behavior because the male would clean the eggs, basically.

The female, on the contrary, doesn’t seem to be interested in the eggs or nest. She may circle the area but in a farther distance. When she gets closer, she only interacts with the male. But it is also possible that the male would abandon the eggs, leave the nest, and eat during feeding time. He may be back to the nest when feeding time is over.

On the third day

the eggs start changing color to silver or drab gray. It is possible that the numbers may decline. It seems to be caused by the variety in the egg clutch. On the fourth day, the numbers of the eggs significantly shrink. Up to this day, the color may change to shiny or metallic gray. The larvae would grow and develop continuously.

On the fifth day of clownfish laying eggs, around 5% of the eggs would develop tiny eyes. It’s such an interesting thing to see. From this day, you want to prepare a lot of things for the hatching, such as:

  • Rotifier (culture) bubbling away
  • A black and round tub
  • Air pump
  • Heater
  • An airline tubing (with a valve which is useful for regulating the air flow)

On the sixth to seventh day, you will see that around 3 in 10 eggs would develop shiny and reflective eyes. On the seventh day, all of them will have reflective eyes. On the eighth day, the eggs would start preparing for the hatch. They would have reflective and big silver with visible eyes on each egg. The hatching will take place between day 8 and day 10. You may want to prepare the food cultures and the grow-out tub.

If this is your first experience, be ready to expect some failures. Don’t be too surprised if many of the larvae are dead. Yes, it is highly likely for beginner breeding aquarists. You can only learn from your mistakes and develop better methods. Every aquarist has different situation and issue. Recognize your situation and learn from there.

Feeding the Larvae

The hatched baby will result to baby clownfish looking like tiny glass shards having big eyes. They are colorless. Their sizes are generally 3 millimeters when hatching, so they are quite small. You need to feed them with live rotifers, phytoplankton, or copepods. And you will become quite skillful in culturing (growing) them.

larva clown fish

You want to create different cultures: a culture of copepods, a culture of rotifers, and a culture of phytoplankton. You create a food web miniature, in a sense. You basically culture the phytoplankton so you can feed the copepods or rotifers. And then copepods and rotifers would be fed to the larvae. Rotifers have somewhat the right size for the algae, but they aren’t much nutritious. You can give rotifers to algae up to 10 days. Afterwards, try giving them (baby) brine shrimp. But be advised that the baby brine shrimp that is less than 12 hours old. After 12 hours, those brine shrimps will grow and the size would be too big for your larvae.

After giving them the brine shrimp, you can start introducing the crushed freeze-dried foods and flakes. If you do it right, when they are reaching day 20 (after the hatching day), they will eat dry food along with the live brine shrimp.

It would be easier if you have a special breeding tank, dedicated for breeding only where the clownfish laying eggs can happen peacefully. With such a mechanism, you won’t have to worry about any other fish trying to eat your larvae. In the regular timeline, clownfish would spawn once in every 10 days to 14 days, and then the eggs would hatch between 8 days and 10 days, after the female lays it.

Final Words

Breeding the clownfish may require patience and persistence. Don’t lose up hope when you fail at first because different tanks will pose different conditions and situations. The best thing you can do is to make your own journal and learn from your past mistakes. You will get better at this and your skills will definitely improve. Learning the basic and facts about clownfish laying eggs can be challenging, but if you are adamant and persistent enough, you should do it well and succeed.

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