Is it Normal For Clownfish to Fight? {5 Reasons Why They Fight}

Have you noticed that your clownfish fights often? Are you wondering is it normal for clownfish to fight?

Are you worried that this aggressiveness might cause them injuries?

In this article, I will tell you everything there is to know about clownfish fights.

Is it Normal For Clownfish to Fight?

Is it common for clownfish to fight are they are very territorial. Thus they tend to peck other clownfish that are new to their tank or accidentally cross their territory. They compete for mates, food, and space if not distributed evenly.

Is it Normal For Clownfish to Fight

Are Clownfish Aggressive fish?

Yes, clownfish can be very aggressive. They are famous for their possessiveness and territorial behavior. However, all clownfish are born male.

The dominant ones change their gender to female. Clownfish are naturally aggressive and make enemies with themselves when kept in a tank.

Mating is a major cause of the fight among clownfish. The males fight each other for mates. The female, on the other hand, becomes more aggressive when they start laying eggs. This is a result of parental instinct to protect the next generation from attack by bigger fish.

In the wild, clownfish are known to attack divers that come close to their territory. This is to protect their small houses known as “anemones” from destruction or invasion.

Why are my Clownfish Being Aggressive?

Although clownfish might sometimes get aggressive due to genetic traces, sometimes there are factors such as insecurity and survival instinct that make this species aggressive. If you have noticed aggressiveness in your clownfish, it is not a reason to worry about.

Clownfish may be aggressive for the following reasons.

  • food 
  • territory 
  • protecting the next generation
  • mating 
  • Unfavorable settlement 

1. Food

If you notice an aggressive display in your clownfish, the first thing you should consider looking at is their food. Clownfish tend to fight for food if they are not sufficiently fed.

2. Territory

This species is known for its territory from invasion or attack. If your tank is overpopulated, it might cause them to be aggressive as they will want to protect other clownfish from invading their territory.

3. Protecting the next generation

When the females start laying eggs or having hatchlings, they get much more aggressive. Their aggressiveness is used to protect their hatchlings from being bullied or consumed by other fishes in your tank.

4. Mating

Mating is usually wartime for clownfish. The dominant male-only gets to mate with the female. The clownfish are then forced to fight for a mate.

5. Unfavorable settlement

You should constantly monitor your tank. Clownfish normally get aggressive when elements in their environment, such as pH level, temperature, light, etc., are unfavorable. They sometimes jump out of their tanks in search of a more suitable environment.

YouTube video

How to Reduce Aggression in Clownfish?

You can reduce aggression in clownfish by providing them with enough food, keeping them in a bigger tank, regulating their population, and monitoring their water level.

Their aggression could be a threat to their lives. You can adapt the following strategies to reduce aggressiveness in your clownfish.

  • Provide them with more food
  • Monitor their water condition
  • Get a bigger tank
  • Regulate their population 

1. Providing them with more food

Ensure that your fishes are well fed. This will help to reduce the competition for food and also stop them from invading each other’s territory in search of food.

2. Monitor their water condition

You should monitor their water condition by regulating the water temperature and element concentration. Bad water conditions tend to make clownfish aggressive. You can also introduce marine plants to their habitat to serve as a cover or territorial borders for them.

3. Get a bigger tank

Clownfish, like other fishes, enjoy swimming. Since territory could be a problem for this species, you can consider getting a bigger tank so that they can enjoy their swimming without crossing their territorial border.

4. Regulate their population

You should avoid having an equal ratio population in your tank. If you have an equal ratio in your tank, they single out one enemy and fight tirelessly. You can adapt the strategy of having an extra fish that will serve as a distraction for them.

Why are my Clownfish Attacking my other Clownfish?

Your clownfish might be attacking other clownfish for dominance. It could also be a fight for survival if the available food isn’t enough. It could also be a fight for partner.

If you recently introduced a new clownfish to your tank, it might take a while before it gets accepted by the rest of the clownfish in your tank. You should introduce your new clownfish to your tank gradually and cautiously, so they don’t attack each other.

Clownfish will fight each other to determine dominance. They are all born male so that the dominant one will change its gender to female through a process known as “sequential hermaphroditism.”

They could also be attacking each other to feed or define territory. For clownfish, it is to protect your territory or die, so aggression is a natural phenomenon for this species.

Will Male Clownfish Fight Each Other?

Yes, male clownfish will fight each other for many reasons. It could be to prove dominance, for mating, or for a territorial claim, etc., since all clownfish are born male, fighting is a process they use to get a feminine amongst themselves.

Since all clownfish are born male, the stronger ones become female while the weaker ones remain as males. Their strengths are usually determined when two male fight. Thus, male clownfish fight.

When the feminine dies, the dominant male will adopt a new gender as the new female, while the remaining male in the tank will fight each other to get a new dominant male.

Although dominance is not the only reason for the fight among the male thus, it is the major cause of the fight among them.

What do you do with an Aggressive Clownfish?

Pair an aggressive clownfish with other aggressive clownfish. You can also keep them in a separate tank where they’ll stay and swim alone if there’s no other aggressive fish.

Despite its friendly and funny appearance, clownfish aggressiveness has been a source of worry for pet owners. The species aggressiveness can be traced back to its origin. Clownfish are originally found in the coral reef area. The coral reef is no settlement area for the gentle kinds.

The coral reef is a tough environment for survival. Like most fishes that settle in this area, clownfish are very aggressive. However, it is a cool and beautiful pet to have in your tank. It is easy to breed and fun to watch.

As they grow up, they fight and get very aggressive, but you can do the following with your aggressive clownfish

  • Pair it with another aggressive clownfish 
  • Keep them in a bigger tank
  • Properly set up your tank
  • Get rid of the aggressive ones 

Pair it with another aggressive clownfish

Although this may sound hilarious, it is one of the most effective strategies to counter aggressiveness in clownfish. When an aggressive clownfish is parted with another aggressive clownfish, they will fight each other to determine dominance. The dominant clown will then change its gender to female. Male clownfish don’t attack or fight the female ones. This way, you can gain order in your tank.

Keep them in a bigger tank

This is expensive and space-consuming, but clownfish need all the space they can get. It will prevent them from getting into territorial battles and solve aggression problems.

Properly set up your tank

A bad setup will stress or affect the health or of your clownfish. When a clownfish gets stressed, it gets aggressive and constantly tries to gain relief.

Get rid of the aggressive ones

This is a stage that most breeders will not want to go through, but having an aggressive clownfish in your tank might risk the life of your other fishes. It would be best if you got rid of the aggressive one to minimize risk and also give the fish the freedom it seeks.



Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.

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