How Long Do Clownfish Live

How Long Do Clownfish Live? Lifespan in Captivity and in the Wild

How long do clownfish live? 

If you search the answer to this question, you’ve probably bought a clownfish. And now, you are wondering what’s the average lifespan of a clownfish. 

Clownfish can live between 10 to 15 years in captivity. In some cases, even more than 20 years. Their lifespan mainly depends on the care they get, the environment they live, and the food they eat. 

I get it. You probably love your clownfish, and you will do everything it needs to be done to ensure it has a quality life. In this article, we’ll cover that topic in depth. I’ll show you some tips on how to prolong your clownfish’s life. And if that’s not enough, I’ll answer some related questions, as well.

Let’s get started! 

Average Lifespan of a Clownfish in Captivity

Everyone is familiar with the Clownfish. Even those not involved in the aquarium hobby. Finding Nemo has brought all of us closer to these fascinating species. 

Now, every kid knows what kind of fish is Nemo. Which brings us to the question: How long do clownfish live? 

Well, it depends. In fact, there are a lot of factors in play that determines the lifespan of the clownfish. Most clownfish raised in home aquariums will live between 4 and 6 years. However, that’s not even close to their potential lifespan. With proper care, a good diet and clean water, you can extend their lifespans to 10, 15, or even 20 years. 

How Long Do Clownfish Live in the Wild 

Clownfish in the wild tend to live a shorter life, somewhere between 6 to 10 years, if they are lucky. The most common problems to wild clownfish are predators and shortage of food. Something that tank-raised clownfish don’t face. 

How to Increase Your Clownfish Life Expectancy 

Not all of the clownfish will have the same lifespan. Some will live longer, others won’t. 

Sometimes whatever you do, you’ll still not be able to save your fish. And, that’s ok. It’s the way nature works. 

However, you can still do something in order to make your clownfish’s life better. Something that will definitely prolong its life. Some things are only in your power. If you pay attention to these factors, I’m confident that you can influence your clownfish’s longevity. 


A good diet will improve your clownfish overall health. And with that, its life expectancy, as well. Make sure that you feed your clowns well, and on a frequent basis. We have a separate article on that subject. Feel free to check it out. Everything is covered in depth. 

  • What Do Clownfish eat 


Genetics play a big role in the overall health of the fish, too. Nowadays, there are a lot of new designer varieties entering the saltwater aquarium hobby.

I suspect some of these types of clownfish won’t live long compared to some natural types. However, most of these claims are just assumptions. The best thing to do is before you buy a clownfish to make sure that it’s from a reputable breeder that knows his stuff. 


One of the most common reasons why clownfish live only for a couple of years in captivity is poor tank conditions. Inappropriate tank size is also an issue worth mentioning. Smaller tanks are often harder to maintain resulting in poor living conditions for your fish. If you are interested to learn more on this subject check out these articles. 

Oldest Clownfish in Captivity 

What’s the oldest clownfish that have ever lived? I was curious about this, so I’ve made some research. 

Researching through reef forums, and reading other people’s experiences, I was pleasantly surprised by what I’ve found. Many of the hobbyists keep clowns that are 10, 15, even 20 years old. Apparently there is a mated pair of clownfish that are more than 30 years old. Talk about a long lifespan. 

While I can’t know the accuracy of this piece of information, it is good to see that a lot of hobbyists take good care of their clownfish. 

Final Thoughts 

If you think about it, all fish are like humans. Including the clownfish. Less stress leads to a longer lifespan.

And, if you make sure that your clownfish live in a healthy environment, with clean water and enough food, it will certainly live a long and happy life. 

Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s the oldest clownfish have you ever seen? Let me know in the comments below! 

2 thoughts on “How Long Do Clownfish Live? Lifespan in Captivity and in the Wild”

  1. I have a onyx clown fish that is almost 12 years. I had the breeding pair but the larger one past away almost 6 years ago.
    I guess in a 180g he has had better odds .

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