Tomato Clownfish: Care, Breeding, Diet & Behavior

It’s interesting coming across this amazing species of fish called Tomato Clownfish. Tomato clownish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, and class Actinopterygii is among the most popularly known fish that thrive well in marine water. Clownfishes are the chief natives of Western Pacific waters and they answer to the binomial name called Amphiprion frenatus.

Tomato Clownfish Appearance and Markings

A good number of varying factors determine the appearance of clownfishes, for instance, age, sex, distribution, etc. A close observation of these highlighted factors is what makes for easy identification when they are sighted. Clownfishes have a wide range of colors: the adult Tomato clownfishes have brilliant orange-red color, existing also with a white head.

They possess a vertical stripe at the back of their eyes. The male and the female clownfishes are distinctively different in that the female is thoroughly black on the sides while the males are red overall and of considerably smaller body size. This group of fish is of moderate body size, in the range of 10-18 cm. Clownfishes are said to possess 9-10 dorsal spines, 17-18 dorsal soft rays, about 2 anal spines, and around 12-15 anal soft rays.

Natural Habitat And Water Conditions

Clownfishes have been reportedly found in the waters of Ryukyu islands, and several other distant water bodies like those in Japan, South china waters, and even in Malaysia and Indonesian waters. Many researchers and authors have also discovered that these groups of clownfishes have wide distributions. They made a major discovery by finding out the one and the only association that exists between clownfishes and sea anemones, especially those popularly called the bubble-tip anemone.

Clownfishes thrive without any itch in marine habitats requiring a minimum of about 30 gallons of water in a tank. However, some other authorities believe that more gallons of water should be put in place to allow the fish to maneuver without suffering any hitch.

A healthy water condition is also necessary to aid the proper growth of these aquatic species. So, therefore, it is said that a quarantine tank should be used before introducing the aquatic life into the tank to rid of any potential threats to the fish.

Tomato Clownfish Care and Maintenance

Sustaining a clownfish aquarium that thrives well requires proper care and maintenance. The reason for this is not far-fetched, as living creatures, they are susceptible to stress and some health challenges which if not averted could endanger their lives.

  • Set up a suitable tank: Make sure the tank you are using as your aquarium is spacious enough to adequately contain your clownfishes.  Be certain that your tank has a sufficient filtration system that will prevent impurities from building up in tank water. When you do this, you do your fish a great deal of good by eliminating a major threat to their health,
  • Ensure your tank is placed in a safe place: Your aquarium should not be directly facing sunlight. Heaters or any source of air that can rapidly change the temperature of the aquarium can pose great harm to your fish.
  • Make sure your tank is properly constructed: Any defects or a leak can compromise the safety of your fish, so check well to rule out this probability. Be sure that your tank is watertight, and raised from the ground.
  • It is important to add a filtration system to your tank, so be sure not to leave this important step out of the overall system. Carefully attach all the necessary parts of the filter system to it and always check for its condition from time to time.
  • Make provision for hideouts in the aquarium. This is because clownfishes are notorious for spending more of their time hiding away from other aquatic lives. So, use a lot of coral reefs and other decorations to create hiding places for them in the aquarium.

Diet and Feeding

Knowing what quality and quantity of food to give to your clownfishes in your home aquarium are never to be underestimated. The appropriate timing is also crucial to their living to their full potential. Clownfishes are omnivores and would naturally eat any plant or meat you offer them. Sea anemone is a very popular source of food for clownfishes. Other options of food that can be fed them are shrimp, pellet, fish eggs, and vegetables.

Clownfishes also tolerate live food excellently. For instance, some brine and baby shrimps can be mixed to be fed to your clownfishes. The only red light here is that some of these live organisms you feed your fish might be harmful to them if they are parasitic. Some other fleshly food options are chopped squid, cockles, chicken livers, and even shredded octopus. To make sure these foods are harmless to your fish, freeze them up first, this makes the infectious agents die. It is important to note that, your small clownfishes will need more food than those in the adult stage.


Like most other fishes, clownfishes breed externally, that is, outside their body in the water. The male clownfish fertilizes the eggs that have been laid by the female clownfish outside. To properly breed your clownfish, make sure you have more than one clownfish in your aquarium to develop a mated pair. Any pair is OK to create a mated pair since clownfish at birth are neither male nor female. Their sex is being determined as they mature whereby dominance plays a huge role in determining sex in clownfish. The highly dominant one becomes the male while the other one turns into a female clownfish.

Behavior and Temperament

A clownfish is regarded as a diurnal fish, with hermaphroditic nature, meaning that they can change sex during their lifecycle. Interestingly, they are said to be very aggressive when it comes to guarding their territories.

Tomato Clownfish Lifespan

Different species of Clownfishes have different lifespans, but the average length of time is said to be between 6-8 years.


On a final thought, Tomato clownfish are brilliant in all spheres with unique features, and every home deserves a clownish species in its aquarium. So, it is your turn to have any experience with this fish.