How Fast Do Clownfish Grow?

How Fast Do Clownfish Grow?

If you’re an aquarium hobbyist who’s just scored your first clownfish, chances are that you’re pretty excited! You’ve done tons of research on what your clownfish eats and have set up your saltwater aquarium so that your clownfish will live a happy and healthy life. 

You might still have a few questions, though — especially if your clownfish is a baby or juvenile. If this is the case, you’re probably wondering how fast clownfish grow.

Luckily, that’s exactly what we’re discussing in today’s article. 

How Fast Do Clownfish Grow?

In comparison to other species, clownfish tend to have much slower growth rates. They are a smaller family of fish that take their time when growing to their full length, with each of the family’s species reaching a slightly different size. 

The general rule of thumb is that clownfish average 3-5-inches. There are, however, some species that can grow larger than this as well as others that have been known to stay less than 3-inches. 

Clown Fish Growth by Species 

There are over 30 species of clownfish, so today we’re going to look at the growth rates of a few of the most popular species. 

Tomato Complex

Native to the Western Pacific, tomato complex clownfish are larger than many species. They are orange in color with a white stripe near their caudal end and are known to be semi-aggressive. 

This species can grow up to 5.5-inches in size and typically grow one inch per year until they are full grown. 


Ocellaris clownfish are the most readily available within the aquarium hobby. They are also known as “common clownfish”, as they are easy to care for and breed and can be purchased from many places.

The majority of ocellaris grow to be 3-4-inches in size but can grow up to 4.3-inches. In their first year of life, the ocellaris grow roughly half an inch, growing one inch per year after that. 


Darwin clownfish are variants of the ocellaris. They have a similar color pattern but differ due to their black body and white caudal stripe. 

This species is one of the smallest, growing to only 3-inches. Per year, this species grows 0.5-1-inch. 


Clarkii clownfish are another of the smaller species. They have a bright yellow body and bright whit stripes with black outlines. They grow to about 4-inches in size and get there by growing 0.5-1-inch a year. 

Maroon Complex

The largest species of clownfish, the maroon complex is both the biggest and the most aggressive. 

This gorgeous fish has a maroon-colored body and white stripes. It can grow to be a whopping 7-inches in size! This fish takes 6-7 years to fully mature as it only grows by roughly 1-inch per year. 


Cinnamon clownfish are technically a variant of the tomato species. However, they do have a different growth rate. This fish has a dark orange body and mahogany-colored sides and grows to up to 4.7-inches. Their growth rate is generally 1-inch per year but there have been instances where this fish has been witnessed growing 1.5-2-inches a year. 

What Factors Affect Clownfish Growth?

It can be hard to determine how large your clownfish will get. However, there are a number of factors that have direct impacts on how quickly your fish will grow.

These factors include feeding schedule, tank size, tank maintenance, and overall health. 

Feeding Schedule

The food you’re giving your clownfish and how often you give it play the number one role when it comes to growth. Whether a clownfish is living in your aquarium or within the ocean, it will grow more quickly when it’s eating a healthy, hearty diet.

Clownfish are omnivores that should be fed a mix of both meat-based foods and greens such as nori, spinach, and chard. For maximum growth, they should be fed at least once a day. 

Tank Size

Like with many species of fish, the size of the tank that your clownfish grows up in will affect how quickly it grows and how big it grows. The bigger the tank, the faster your fish will grow. 

In a small tank, your clownfish is more likely to grow slowly and to not reach its full size. It should certainly never be any smaller than 10 gallons, as fish need oxygen to grow and tanks smaller than 10 gallons have very little room for oxygen within the water. 

Ideally, though, your tank should be a minimum of 20 gallons for a single clownfish. 10 gallons should be added to the aquarium’s size per additional fish. This ensures that the fish have enough room to live and grow in peace. 

Tank Maintenance

The cleanliness of your aquarium affects your fish in more ways than you might think. Aside from serving as a potential health risk, a tank that is dirty can also hinder your fish’s growth, making it grow more slowly and stay at a smaller size.

If you plan to keep an anemone for your clown fish, you’ll want to cater the water parameters to the anemone. Your clownfish will thrive in the water conditions that are ideal for the other species. 

Overall Health

The general health of your fish is important for growth. A healthy fish will grow faster and larger than one that isn’t healthy. For example, a clownfish with a fungus or that continuously sustains injuries from other inhabitants within the aquarium will need to use its energy to heal and fight its inflictions instead of growing. 


Clownfish are a diverse family with various species — and each one is beautiful in its own way. This type of fish is diverse in terms of not only appearance but also temperament, size, and growth rate.

From the maroon complex clownfish that grows up to 7 inches and tacks on an inch per year while growing to the cinnamon clownfish that reaches nearly 5 inches and can grow more than an entire inch per year, the diversity among the family is truly amazing.

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