Do Clownfish Eat Seaweed & Nori? (With Feeding Techniques)

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One of the questions I asked myself when I first got my clownfish was whether or not they eat seaweed, with Nori in particular. I knew that in their case, pellets and flakes were not sufficient. Like many others, clownfish require an additional source of nutrition to grow healthy. That got me researching the topic a little deeper.

Yes, clownfish do eat seaweed and Nori in particular. That benefits them nutritionally and should be included in their meals along with pellets and flakes. You may feed your clownfish seaweed by organizing it in a cylindrical shape, using a feeding clip. That will allow them to consume it gradually and prevent water contamination.

As we move forward, I will elaborate on the precise techniques I use to feed my clownfish Nori seaweed. That will prevent your water from being contaminated with ammonia and phosphate. These, in turn, could be extremely harmful to your clownfish.

Also Read: Clownfish Care Guide

Will Clownfish Eat Seaweed And Nori?

Clownfish are not picky eaters. As omnivores, they will eat both plant and animal matter. That includes seaweed, be it green, red, or brown. One of the most popular varieties is Nori, which people also tend to eat. You can find Nori in Asian cooking, accompanying rice balls, sushi, seaweed soup, and the like.

Fish owners have begun feeding seaweed to their fish because it is highly nutritious. If you want to introduce proteins, vitamins, and minerals to your clownfish (or any other saltwater species for that matter), give them some Nori.

However, you should know Nori is not all the same. It is typically divided into the red version and the green kind. The red Nori isn’t always strictly red. Sometimes it features purple and green shades. You might even find it in a brown color.

When it comes to feeding your clownfish Nori, you may buy the seaweed in large sheets or smaller pieces. It mainly depends on your supplier. Most of you will probably flock toward the green variety because it dissolves slowly, or at least slower than the red one.

The faster seaweed sheets dissolve, the messier they tend to become. With green Nori, you have more control over the feeding process. Also, your clownfish will find it easier to nibble on a slow-dissolving seaweed.

However, keep in mind that some people are hesitant to embrace Nori. While most fish owners have no problem feeding their clownfish seaweed, some of them avoid Nori. That is because of the stories that have been told about its penchant for introducing phosphate to your water.[1]

That hesitation is partially justified. If you’re not careful, the phosphate could rise to unacceptable levels. Nevertheless, this is not a widespread concern. You will only find it in a few circles.

But even if Nori seaweed is truly dangerous to clownfish, you still have the opportunity to test it. If you can check your water on a regular basis, you can take steps to keep your phosphate levels under control.

How Much Seaweed Should You Feed Your Clownfish?

As with most fish, it is never a good idea to overfeed clownfish. But each fish owner’s definition of stuffing might vary. Clownfish do not always manifest the same feeding habits. Some might have a greater or lesser affinity for seaweed than others, eating it with either greater or lesser avidity.

Some people will give their fish seaweed every single day. Others will do this every two or three days. Quite a few people introduce Nori to their tank once a week. It is up to you to determine the frequency of the feeding.

The key to preventing overfeeding is to ensure that you only add the quantities of seaweed your clownfish can consume within a given period. Typically, you should aim for half an hour. That rule applies to all clownfish group sizes.

If this period passes and you can still see Nori in the tank, you have given your fish too much. Next time, provide the clownfish with smaller portions. Some fish owners will encourage you to wait for at least an hour before checking to see whether or not your fish have eaten all their seaweed. However, I believe that it is quite too much.

Bear in mind that if you find leftover seaweed in the tank, you should immediately remove it. When left unchecked, it may ruin the quality of the water. Also, leftovers may block the filtration in your tank, elevating ammonia levels drastically. 

How Should You Feed Seaweed to Your Clownfish?

Whether you bought your seaweed in sheets or smaller pieces, you cannot just throw it into the tank and hope for the best. There are a few crucial steps you should consider beforehand.

First of all, if your fish have never eaten seaweed, they might reject it. This shouldn’t scare you. It is perfectly natural for fish to ignore food items that are alien to them. Don’t expect your clownfish to consume your Nori just because they see it drifting through the water.

More than likely, they will avoid it altogether. But given enough time, they should grow accustomed to it. Therefore, give it a week before giving up. If seven days have passed and your clownfish still show no interest, perhaps seaweed isn’t the right choice for them.

Also, try not to throw the Nori into the tank precisely as it came. If it is a sheet, tear a piece or chunk off. To help your clownfish consume and digest it, roll the piece into a cylindrical shape, and attach it to a feeding clip. Only then place the clip in the tank.

Moreover, try keeping the Nori in an area with a low current. Ensure that it is floating in a location your clownfish frequently visit. The idea is to increase the chances of the creature taking note of the seaweed. Some people use more than one clip to keep their clownfish from fighting for food.

If you don’t want to stand there holding a clip, you can take a different approach. Roll another piece of the Nori into a cylindrical shape. Then, find an object such as a small rock or decoration to tie it to.

Place the item in the water and let it sink to the bottom while making sure that the Nori is exposed. Your clownfish will eventually notice the Nori and consume it. Keep in mind that this complex shouldn’t be near filters or water pumps. That would interfere with the water cycling and may contaminate your tank.

You can also save some time by holding the Nori in the water, rubbing it lightly between your fingers to rehydrate it, and then letting it go. If you have some other fish food on hand, you can just add the Nori to it. This involves cutting the Nori into tiny pieces.

Experienced fish owners have elaborate fish food recipes that incorporate Nori. Hence, you should feel entirely comfortable with feeding your clownfish seaweed. That is what they also encounter in the wild, and you are encouraged to resemble their natural habitat.

What Else Do Clownfish Eat?

The diet of a clownfish is very important because it will affect the creature’s health. Keeping the tank water in pristine conditions and maintaining the appropriate chemistry and parameters won’t make a difference if you fail to provide your clownfish with a balanced diet.

When it comes to feeding clownfish, the first option that comes to most people’s minds is commercial flakes. They are not wrong since fish flakes are quite nutritious. The best brands are designed to give your clownfish all the nutrients and minerals it needs to thrive.

However, you cannot keep your clownfish on a diet that only consists of flakes and pellets. You need to add some meat to the creature’s diet. That can be live or frozen food, not to mention freeze-dried options.[2]

Most tank fish appreciate brine shrimp and bloodworms. Clownfish are no different in this area. Like most fish, clownfish will eat frozen and freeze-dried foods, but live foods have more to offer them.[3]

It is worth emphasizing the importance of balancing the diet of your clownfish. After all, they are omnivores. Therefore, besides flakes, pellets, and meat, you need to give them vegetables. If you take a moment to observe your clownfish in the tank, you will see them frequently eat the algae in their environment.

This tells you that the creatures have a taste for plant matter. Don’t expect them to survive on the algae in the tank. Give them some seaweed. But as mentioned above, you should find the frequency that works best for your fish.

Some of you might prefer to add Nori to the tank every two or three days, using the other days of the week to incorporate flakes, pellets, and meat into your clownfish’s diet. Others will happily feed seaweed to their clownfish every single day, simultaneously supplementing the Nori with other types of food.

As the fish owner, it is up to you to craft a diet that will help your fish thrive. However, you don’t have to give the clownfish seaweed. They can eat other types of vegetables, including lettuce, peas, broccoli, and carrots, to mention but a few.

Either way, try to establish a routine. For instance, if you have decided to give your clownfish Nori every two days, stick to that schedule. Don’t make eclectic and unpredictable changes to their seaweed meals.

This won’t just benefit your fish; it will also help you, the fish owner. That is because it allows you to organize your tasks, making sure that no chore goes undone. After all, it may easily slip your mind.

As was mentioned above, don’t overfeed your clownfish. Two meals a day are adequate. Only give them what they can finish. You don’t have to worry about providing additional snacks later in the day or at night to keep them sated.

Try to remember that they have other sources of food in the tank. That includes microorganisms and algae. They can keep their own cravings in check until their next food appointment. However, do not forget to remove leftovers from the tank before they pollute the water.

  • Feeding clips are not just suitable for seaweed. You can also use them with other vegetables. While you can achieve optimal results by either letting the food float on the surface or sink into the tank, a feeding clip gives you more control over the feeding process.

If you leave food to float in the water, it could drift under a rock or behind a decorative item. That is a prevalent issue in fish tanks that feature gravel bottoms. This way, not only will your fish fail to see the food, but it will eventually rot, ruining the balance of the tank.

If you are determined to feed your clownfish seaweed but you are questioning its nutritional value, there is a solution. You can make the meal more nutritionally valuable by adding Selcon or any other liquid vitamin supplement of your choosing. Just a few drops of dried Nori will make all the difference. You may also do this with other vegetables.

Eventually, when it comes to storing unused Nori, try keeping it in an airtight container. It must remain dry. Otherwise, it will develop mold. Moldy Nori cannot be fed to clownfish.


As a fish owner, you are encouraged to feed your clownfish other types of food besides flakes and pellets. While these are beneficial and widely used, your fish probably require additional supplements. Clownfish, in particular, are omnivores.

Hence, you should introduce them to some vegetables, and Nori would be one of the perfect choices. Even if your fish seem to ignore it at first, you should give them some time. After a week, they will probably get accustomed to it and nibble on it with great enthusiasm.