Do Clownfish Need a Heater and the Best Water Temperature for Them

Clownfish are a popular choice for hobbyists, and are a major success story for the industry since they have been successfully breeded and raised for over 25 years. Whenever people purchase new fish or intend to add new fish to their reef tank, a question commonly asked is do they need a heater, and if so, what temperature should their tank be?

Do Clownfish Need a Heater?

Yes, clownfish most certainly do need a heater in their fish tank. Clownfish are tropical saltwater fish, which means they will require a heater that replicates closely the water temperatures they experience in the wild in order to survive. A good heater will provide your saltwater aquarium with the best and most accurate temperatures.

Do clownfish need a heater?

Without a heater in your saltwater aquarium, you run the risk of temperature fluctuations which can be seriously damaging to the health of your clownfish. And since clownfish are not freshwater fish, their saltwater fish tank needs to be a stable environment in order for them to thrive, if the temperature is constantly changing, this will have the opposite effect.

Perhaps the most important aspect in ensuring your saltwater aquarium is adequate for clownfish in addition to temperature is salinity. All in all, clownfish are very hardy fish and can survive in a wider range of temperatures than most can.

However, you don't want your clownfish to simply "survive", and if so, you have entered the wrong hobby. Owning fish, and in this case, clownfish is about providing your pet with the best and healthiest life possible so it can thrive in your aquarium.

Ideal Clownfish Water Temperature Range

Clownfish need to be living in temperatures ranging between 76°F and 82°F (24°C and 27°C). It is also incredibly important to keep your tank temperature consistent by not changing by any more than 2°F within a 24 hour period. Despite there being many different types of clownfish, they all require the same temperature range to live healthily.

In addition to your aquarium heater, you need to have an accurate thermometer accompanying it in order to keep on top of the tank temperature. Also, the pH level of the aquarium must be between 7.8 and 8.4 to ensure they remain healthy.

What Influences Water Temperature Increases?

So, when you set up your saltwater clownfish aquarium, it is important to consider that there are some factors that could affect or change your tank's water temperature. Here are some of the most influential factors.

Size of Your Fish Tank

Small, nano fish tanks are far more susceptible to rapid temperature fluctuations, this is due to the small volume of water. If you own a larger aquarium, you will likely not experience rapid temperature drops or increases as they are more forgiving due to higher volumes of water.

Larger tanks, however, are more difficult to heat up as there is more water to heat as well as there being different terrane and areas of the tank that will naturally be cooler than others. Be mindful of the size of your aquarium, and make sure that you are constantly checking the temperature if you do have a nano tank.

Aquarium Lighting

For the majority of fish tanks, the light directly above the water often radiates heat, which people often overlook. Again, the smaller tank you have, the more likely it will change temperature due to the light above it.

Tank Location

Regardless of whether or not you live in a studio apartment or a mansion, you will need to be incredibly careful where you place your aquarium. Placing your fish tank next to a window is usually a big no-no, especially if you live somewhere with extreme weather, either too hot or too cold.

It is especially important not to place your tank next to a window if the sun is shining on it for extended periods of time as this can mess the temperature of your tank up within minutes - be careful! Ideally try and place your fish tank on a stable platform in the middle of a room or against a wall that receives minimal sun exposure. Not only can the temperature of your tank be affected by sun and light exposure, but algae and other bacterial breakouts can easily occur.

Clownfish and heaters


To conclude, clownfish certainly do need a heater, and the water temperature should range at all times between 76°F and 82°F. Try your hardest to avoid temperature fluctuations by periodically checking your thermometer as this can cause an abundance of stress for your clownfish, resulting in long-term health problems for them.