Why Do My Clownfish Stay In the Corner? 3 Reasons Why

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 ask why do my clownfish stay in the corner?

Clownfishes can stay in the corner to protect their spot or the egg. But they can also be afraid of other strong fishes. Even from insecurity, the fish stay in the corner. You can just increase the size of your tank to solve this problem. You can also change its tankmates with several other fishes.

Stopping to add new fish can also solve the problem. But this is not all.

Read the whole article to know the details of this problem and the solutions. 

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

Here are the reasons why my clownfish stay in one spot 

Territorial Clash

Like humans, fishes also have territorial issues among them. In most cases, people like to put fishes in a big 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. 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 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. 



Since clownfishes are very territorial, only strong fishes can dominate in the tank. That’s why weak fishes are very afraid of the strong ones.

You might ask why are my clownfish hiding? It is because they are weak.

Weak fishes can be bullied by strong one’s very easily. Sometimes, they don’t stop at only violence. On a few occasions, they end up killing the opponent.

That’s why after the fishes are put into the tank they try to set their territory. And after the territory is set it is very unlikely that the clownfish will roam around.

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 clownfishes don’t roam around in the tank. So, they get to stay in a spot that is a safe shelter for them. 

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. That’s why they don’t leave their spot very often.

You can also ask why does my clownfish stay at the top of the tank? There can be a lack of oxygen levels. That’s why fishes tend to swim near the surface. 

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. Fishes 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

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 roam around. And it won’t catch a fight with the other fish. 

Things to Keep in Mind

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 gallon of water capacity, you need to follow one thing. It is best to put all the clownfish at the same time.

Because old clownfishes 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.


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 my clownfish stay in the corner.

Don’t forget to give enough room to the fish. Because clownfish especially need their own space.

If this article was helpful then leave a comment below and let us know.

Have a good day!

Howard Parker

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