5 Reasons Why My Clown fish Stay In the Corner

Clownfishes are very pretty and very good choices for aquariums. But a lot of the time these beautiful fishes behave weirdly.  And it can make you worried which is very normal. 

You might notice and wonder why my clownfish stays in the corner?

Basically clown fishes can stay in the corner to protect their spot or the egg. But there may be several other reasons for hiding. If your clown fishes are feeling threatened they can stay in one corner. This problem is very important to solve because a terrified clown fish will stop eating and eventually might die. 

There are 5 reasons why your clown fish is hiding in the corner–

  • They feel threatened by other fishes
  • They are feeling insecure 
  • They are hiding due to mating reasons.
  • The water parameters are not correct
  • They are injured or sick

In this article I am going to explain in detail why they might be staying in a corner and how you can easily detect what’s bothering them and resolve this issue in the future. 

Make sure to read the whole article to know everything in detail to find out the best solution-

Reasons For Clownfish to Stay in the Corner

Clownfishes are not that hard to maintain. But you do need to stay cautious about some things. That is necessary for their living.

They are usually very calm but they are naturally aggressive but only to other male fishes.And if your fish is just staying in the corner then you might need to make some changes.

Here are the reasons I found why my clown fish were staying in one spot-

1)Territorial Clash

Like humans, fishes also have territorial issues among them. In most cases, we like to put a lot of fishes in an aquarium. It is usually said that fishes should be kept in a large space. So that they can swim frequently and explore more.

But for clownfish, it is seen that clown fishes tend to stay in the same spot. Moreover, they don’t like to be mixed with other fishes. They are seen swimming alone and in a fixed area. It is because they set their territory the moment they are put into the aquarium.

They do not like other fishes in their area. That’s why clownfish are usually seen roaming around their territory alone.

Clown fishes are very protective of their territory. That’s why they tend to be violent towards other fishes in the tank. But most of the aggressive behaviors are for male fishes. Female fishes usually roam around the entire tank freely. 



Because they like to stay alone. Weak fishes are often dominated by the healthy ones. That’s why weak fishes are always insecure about their strength. So, weak fishes always try to stay in a corner. They do it to ensure their safety and to stay in the small territory of their own.

Since weak fishes can get killed by other fishes, there is a life risk. For this, they try to stay in a safe place to keep themselves safe from other fishes. And other male clown fishes also don’t roam around in the tank. So, they get to stay in a spot that is a safe shelter for them. 

There is always a competition for space among the male clown fishes. And this behavior is especially common if the aquarium doesn’t have sufficient hiding places or if the clown fish doesn’t have a suitable anemone to hide in. So, make sure to provide it with suitable aquarium plants and anemones to help them feel safe.

3)Mating Season

Mating Season

During mating season male fish stay where the eggs are. Or where the eggs would be laid. And female fishes roam around.

Male fishes are very protective of their eggs and territory. Both the parent fish naturally guard their eggs from other male clown fish. That’s why they don’t leave their spot very often.

4)Wrong Water Parameters

The correct water flow is very crucial for clownfish and it can influence their hiding behavior. Because if there is strong water flow in the tank, clownfish will position themselves in a corner to reduce the impact of the water movement.

Wrong water conditions can cause ammonia poisoning, stress,respiratory diseases and, in severe cases, death in clown fishes.

Here’s a quick tip for you, if you are wondering why my clownfish is staying at the top of the tank, it indicates there is a lack of oxygen level in your tank. This is why your clownfish is swimming near the surface. 

5)Illness or Injury

If your clownfish is either Sick or injured it may show some abnormal behavior, including staying in one corner. This is mostly done by them to isolate themselves from the other aggressive male fish and try to recover peacefully. 

In this case I prefer to leave them alone so that they can get better and avoid stress while recovering. Once they feel better the clownfish will naturally get back to roaming around in their territory. Excessive noise or vibrations can also stress them out

Ideal Water Parameters For The Clownfish

Test the water parameters on a regular basis, including temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and salinity (only for saltwater aquariums). 

Ensure that the parameters are within these ranges for clownfish-

  1. Temperature: Clownfish love warmer water so keep it between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C). Avoid sudden changes in temperature.
  2. pH : They love alkaline pH so maintain a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  3. Salinity: Clownfish are marine fish, so it’s important to maintain a stable salinity level. Try to keep it between 1.020 and 1.025.
  4. Ammonia and Nitrite: Keep ammonia and nitrite levels at zero because these are toxic to clown fish. To maintain this, keep the tank clean and always use a good water filtering system. 
  5. Nitrate: Nitrate levels should be kept below 20 ppm. Regularly changing the water and having proper filtration will help you to control the nitrate levels in your tank. 

Change water Regularly, it will remove the wastes and toxins produced by fishes and will help you to maintain the water quality providing a healthy environment for the clownfish.

Perfect Tankmates for Clownfish

Choosing a perfect tank mate for your clownfish is very important. Because clown fishes are territorial. They don’t get along with other male clownfish.

In that case, you can put other fishes in the tank that can reside with clownfishes easily. Here is a short list of the fishes that can be kept with clownfish.

  1. Tangs 
  2. Wrasses 
  3. Dartfish 
  4. Blennies 
  5. Angelfish 
  6. Puffers 
  7. Gobies
  8. Domino Damselfish
  9. Green Chromis
  10. Banggai Cardinalfish

You can also put anemone in the tank. Also, coral can be a very good tank mate for the clownfish. If you make the place very much explorable for the clownfish it will be busy roaming  around and it won’t catch a fight with the other fish.

Things to Keep in Mind For Your Clownfish

Clownfishes are not that hard to keep. But you do need to remember a few kinds of stuff about them. Because they are sensitive to some issues.

If you have an aquarium of medium volume. then keep 2 fish in a tank. But if you are planning to put a lot more fish then you need to increase the tank size. Because clownfishes love to have their own space. That’s why they are mostly seen alone in the tank.

But in the case of big tanks like ten thousand gallons of water capacity, you need to follow one thing. It is best to put all the clownfish at the same time. Because old clown fishes are not that welcoming to the new fishes. They tend to behave aggressively towards newcomers.

So, if you are planning to keep a lot of clownfish in your tank then bring them at the same time. That’s why the old clownfishes won’t get the chance to be dominant towards newbies. 

But if the tank is not that big then it is best not to keep multiple fishes together. You can keep two fishes together in this case. Because clownfishes need their own space. If the tank is too small then the fish won’t be able to roam around.

Also, there is a high chance that the fish might get into a fight. That’s why it is best to put fish in the aquarium according to their capacity. And always ensure that the aquarium has sufficient hiding places for the clownfish to make them feel secure. 

Clownfish prefer to be in a stable water parameter so try to maintain it in their ideal condition so that they are not stressed. And choose fish that are compatible and have similar water parameter requirements so that it’s easier for you to maintain your tank.

If they still keep staying in a corner, consider consulting with experienced professional aquarists to get their expertise.


How do I know if my clownfish is stressed?

If you notice your clownfish darting then your fish might be dressed or sick. It can also swim hysterically in the water. And this happens because of a disease. And swimming diseases can cause a chronic problems in the tank. Take the specialized people’s suggestions regarding this problem. 

Does a clownfish need an anemone?

If we consider tanks then it is not necessary that the anemone is needed. Because most of anemones don’t survive in aquariums. And it will ruin the tank’s environment.  But they mostly like anemones in the sea. 

What do clownfish look like when sleeping?

Clownfishes are seen sleeping at the bottom of the aquarium. They can also sleep in the anemones. When they are in anemones they are usually hidden. Also, they are seen sleeping near a shell. 


We appreciate your commitment to this article. Hope you got your answer for why do the clownfish stay in the corner. Don’t forget to maintain the ideal water parameter and give enough room to the fish. Because clownfish especially need to feel secure in their own space .

if your clown fish is always hiding in a corner it’s time for you to get to the root of the problem. The good news is, I’ve put all my experience about clown fish here so that you can use this article to find out why they are hiding and how you can solve this problem all by yourself.

If this article was helpful then leave a comment below and let us know. Have a good day!

Howard Parker

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