More about how to breed clownfish at home.


As mentioned previously. There are a few key items you will need to purchase or acquire to comfortably set yourself up for breeding clownfish at home. To continue on from the previous post, the nest thing you will need is

Some makeshift wooden shelving or shelving that will be suitable for housing your various cultures.


You will need a shelf unit with at least 3 levels

Level 3 – the top level

This level will house all of the phytoplankton bottles and air lines. The phytoplankton used to feed to rotifers need to be at the highest point to avoid any water or items falling into the phytoplankton and contaminating it, which will in turn cause the cultures to crash.


Level 2 – The rotifers

At this level the rotifers and rotifer culturing equipment which will sit on their shelf can not fall into the phytoplankton cultures which are directly above them. They can however fall to the next level below them but this wont pose any issues. The rotifers that fall below will end up getting gobbled up by the brine shrimp and copepods. You will also need provisions for airline tubing


Level 1 – the copepods and brine shrimp.

These guys are much larger than rotifers so having them fall into the rotifer culture will mean yum yum time for them and eventually zero surviving rotifers left to culture, the same can be said for your phytoplankton cultures, hence, these guys must be housed on the bottom shelf. They will need air like the rotifers and phytoplankton, so provisions for attaching the airline tubing also applies.

You can build of obtain a shelf with 4 or more shelves but make sure that you adhere to these general rules so cross contamination does not occur. Breeding clownfish at home becomes much easier if you stick to these rules.


You will need up to 8 glass bottles, old wine bottles will do. I typically go for the clear ones as they are better for judging how well your phytoplankton cultures are coming along. I guess they are typically between 1 – 2L in volume, some glass bottles can be up to 3L which is even better, the larger the culture housing vessel the better.


Next on the list:

  • Air pump
  • Airline tubing


Obviously the next two items are the air pumps and the airline tubing.

Ideally you need to run a separate pump for each level on your shelf, again to avoid cross contamination. Murphy’s law says if it could happen, it probably will, so avoid it. Run one pump for the phytoplankton. Another for the rotifers, and the last one can be shared between the copepods and brine shrimp. You will need sufficient airline to get the job done. Use cable ties or tape or whatever tickles your fancy to fasten the tubing to the shelving and make a tidy job of it. Put an air line inside each culture vessel and ensure bubbles are coming out of it and stirring things up slowly. The idea is that it must help keep stuff from settling at the bottom while feeding air into the system, you can use some plastic air taps to regulate the airflow to help get an even feed of air through each line. It will make managing the set up a lot easier. Breeding clownfish at home is supposed to be fun, and keeping a tidy low maintenance setup will definitely facilitate the process.


I will elaborate further about the clownfish breeding setup in a future post.