The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice (2023)

The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice (1)

After the movie “Finding Nemo” came out, there was a spike in interest in keeping the types of fish that appear in the movie. I’m just a beginner myself trying to come up with a complete answer to the common “My kids want a Nemo Tank” questions.

General Rule: 1 inch of fish per 5 gallons of salt water. Marine fish do not stop growing because their tank is too small. Plan for the full grown size of the fish and its special needs.

(Video) 9 Things You Need To Know About Keeping Clownfish

“Finding Nemo” Cast, in order of “Nemo Tank” suitability:

Character (role) – Species Common Name – Suitability for an Aquarium

Marlin (Nemo’s Dad) – Clownfish – A good starter aquarium fish. Max full grown size for true percula (Amphiprion percula): 3″, false percula (Amphiprion ocellaris): 4″. (Other clowns are larger and will need larger aquariums.) A full grown pair of true percula clownfish will need a 20 gallon aquarium, 30 would be better. (The male will never reach full size, that’s how they can fit in a 20.) Clownfish can be kept singly or in pairs, but not in threes. Buy two small fish or one fish much smaller than the other. All clownfish are born gender-neutral, so in the aquarium or when mating, the smaller fish will become the male, the larger the female. Omnivore.
Coral (Nemo’s Mom) – Clownfish
Nemo (Title Character) – Clownfish – Remember, you shouldn’t keep clownfish in threes, it would be better to give Marlin and Coral a second chance at happiness than to try to have two males in the tank. (Won’t work anyway, trying to keep a pair of males; one male will morph into a female, then you have to explain that to your kids.)
Jacques (Tank Gang) – Cleaner Shrimp – A good aquarium invertebrate, he will help keep aquarium fish healthy, and eat scraps of food they miss. This does not count towards your inches of fish, since he cleans up after the other fish. Omnivore.
Gurgle (Tank Gang) – Royal Gramma – A good aquarium fish. Max full grown size: 3″. It likes swimming through caves. Carnivore.
Peach (Tank Gang) – Starfish – A starfish shaped like Peach is a good fish-only aquarium invertebrate, may eat reef invertebrates, and are not always reef-safe. Serpent stars ( who generally have a large central disc and small skinny legs) are easier to care for in a mature tank and are reef safe. Carnivore/Omnivore depending on species.

(Video) Keeping Nemo: How To Care For Clownfish In An Aquarium

Stop here if you want everything on the list in a reasonably sized tank. The above critters (2 true percula, 1 royal gramma, a cleaner shrimp and a starfish) will require at least a 40 gallon aquarium, 50/55 recommended. For a 20 gallon aquarium, you can have the clownfish and invertebrates, or just Gurgle and the invertebrates, but not all of them.)

Additional Aquarium Fish:
Deb/Flo (Tank Gang) – Three Stripe Damselfish – Max full grown size: 4″. Damsels are known to be very hearty, but can also be bullies and will pick on other fish. Should only be kept with other bullies, not with peaceful fish. (Not compatible with the other fish on this list.) Should not be kept in pairs without lots of places for them to hide from each other. Omnivore.
Bubbles (Tank Gang) – Yellow Tang – Max full grown size: 8″. Needs 6+ feet of tank length to swim. Loves her green veggies, will be healthiest if you can grow/order live macro algae for her to eat. Must be fed several times a day if there is no live macro alga for her to browse on. (Compatible with the top list, but needs a lot more space, I recommend a 125 gallon aquarium.)
Dory (Marlin’s Friend) – Hippo Tang/Blue Tang – Max full grown size: 10″. Needs 6+ feet of tank length to swim. Remember how much Dory loves to swim, and how confused she’d get running into aquarium walls! Loves her green veggies, will be healthiest if you can grow/order live macro algae for her to eat. Must be fed several times a day if there is no live macro alga for her to browse on. (Compatible with the top list, and Bubbles, but needs a lot more space, I recommend a 125 gallon aquarium without Bubbles, 150 gallon aquarium with Bubbles.)
Tad (schoolmate) – Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish – Max full grown size: 9″. Peaceful. Moderately difficult to care for. Carnivore.
Bloat (Tank Gang) – Puffer, unknown species – Max full grown size: 4″-29″ (species dependant) Will eat invertebrates, requires a special diet, some have continuously growing teeth that need hard shelled food to wear them down. Requires a lot of research on the species you are buying. Likely to need a very large aquarium. (Not compatible with Jacques or Peach)

Characters Not Recommended for Most Aquariums:
Sheldon (schoolmate) – Sea Horse – Very difficult to keep. Should be kept in a single species tank, and fed live foods. (Not compatible with any of the fish.) Not recommended for beginners.
Pearl – Flapjack Octopus – A deep sea octopus. Not available in the aquarium trade.
Octopi in general – These creatures have a lot of personality, but don’t take kindly to imprisonment in an aquarium. They are incredible escape artists and will slip out of aquariums with conventional hoods, sometimes to their own detriment. Depending on species, they can grow up to 3 feet, and require a very large aquarium. Eats fish and invertebrates. (Not compatible with any of the fish on the list.) Not recommended.
Gill (Leader of the Tank Gang) – Moorish Idol – Finicky Eater, very difficult to keep alive in an aquarium. Not recommended.
Crush (Turtle Family) – Loggerhead Sea Turtle – Too large for an aquarium.
Squirt (Turtle Family) – Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Turtles in general – Saltwater turtles are federally protected in the United States. You may consider a separate freshwater turtle tank if this is your child’s favorite character from the movie. Do a search for the “Plymouth Redbelly turtle Headstart Project.” There is great info there on filtration for a turtle tank, and if you live in MA, you can join the project.
Mr. Ray (School Teacher) – Spotted Eagle Ray – Has a venomous tail spine, and requires a very large aquarium. Not recommended for beginners.
Bruce (Fishaholic) – Great White Shark – Obviously too large for an aquarium.
Anchor (Fishaholic) – Hammerhead Shark – Obviously too large for an aquarium.
Chum (Fishaholic) – Mako Shark – Obviously too large for an aquarium.
Sharks in General – There are some sharks that can be kept in captivity, but most require exceedingly large aquariums as they grow up (starting at 200 gallons, and going up to custom tanks that dwarf the family swimming pool,) and must only be considered after doing a lot of research on the particular breed of shark you wish to raise. Also note: most tank mates are “food, not friends.” Not recommended for beginners.
Nigel – Pelican – Birds don’t live in aquariums. The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice (2)
Dentist – Humans don’t live in aquariums. The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice (3)
Darla – Humans don’t live in aquariums. The Nemo Tank Guide - Aquarium Advice (4)

(Video) Finding Dory: How to Care for a Clownfish (“Nemo”) in a Saltwater Aquarium

Unidentified, listed on IMDB:
John Ratzenberger …. Fish School (voice), an identified small species.

Other critters observed in the movie:
Anglerfish – Predatory, deep sea fish, not commonly available.
Krill – Yummy snack for your carnivorous fish, more often sold frozen as food than live.
Whale – Yeah right, you want a whale in your aquarium?
Anemones – Requires a mature aquarium, with pristine water conditions, and experienced care. Your clownfish is just as likely to “host” an easier to keep coral (LPS, Long Polyped Stony, corals are a good choice) as an anemone, and it will be a lot less likely to die on you. Clownfish do not require an anemone or coral host to survive.

Credits: IMDB, “Naming Nemo” by Greg Pryor, my own memory, and several online fish merchants

(Video) THE Ultimate Clownfish Care Guide - Everything You Need to Know!

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  • Clownfish

Filed under Fish Profiles, General Articles, Saltwater.


Can all the fish from Finding Nemo live in the same tank? ›

Fortunately for Dory, if you want to add Marlin, Nemo, or Coral to the tank, they can all live peacefully together. In fact, with a properly set up tank of 125 gallons or larger, you will be able to keep many of Nemo's tankmates from the dentist's office without the threat of them wanting to escape.

Can we keep Nemo fish in aquarium? ›

They are a hardy fish, and with the proper aquarium and care, can be safely kept in the home for many years. Clown fish like “Nemo” are usually 2-8cm long. They have an unusual symbiotic relationship with sea anemone in the wild.

What do clownfish need in a tank? ›

If you plan on keeping clownfish, you need a tank no smaller than 30 gallons or 120 litres and the water quality should be very high and well circulated. The temperature needs to be between 24˚C - 27˚C, the salinity at 1.020 – 1.024 and the pH 8.0 – 8.4.

What fish cleans the tank in Nemo? ›

We have many of the fish from 'Finding Nemo' at the Aquarium, but the non-fish we have from the film is the Pacific cleaner shrimp ('Lysmata amboinensis'), which is the character Jacques.

Can you keep 2 pairs of clownfish? ›

No, don't try it. As long as you have enough places to host, you MIGHT get away with it.

How many clownfish can live together? ›

The simple answer to how many clownfish that you can have in your aquarium is 1 or 2. For a while, you may be able to keep 3 or 4 clownfish together, but eventually, 2 of the clowns will pair off and start to pick on the rest of the clowns. A related question is how do you tell what sex clownfish are.

How long do Nemo fish last? ›

How long do they live for? They may live for twenty years in captivity, though usually a lot less. 10 years plus is a good age for a clownfish.

What fish can mix with clownfish? ›

15 Best Clownfish Tank Mates
  • Mandarinfish.
  • Red Coris Wrasse.
  • Yellow Tang.
  • Pygmy Angelfish.
  • Magnificent Dartfish.
  • Damselfish.
  • Basslets.
  • Royal Dottyback.
Nov 30, 2022

How many clownfish can you have in a 10 gallon tank? ›

1 or 2 small, peaceful Clownfish ( Preferably Pink or Orange skunk due to their mild manners, but and Ocellaris and Percula (like Picasso) are okay.

Do clownfish need live rock? ›

These fish prefer tanks decorated with live rock and generally do well in reef tanks. It may take the Percula clownfish a little longer to adapt to the home aquarium than the Ocellaris but, once they settle in, these fish are still a hardy species.

How difficult is it to keep clown fish? ›

On the positive side, Clownfish are ideal beginner fish, since they are easy-to-care-for, hardy, and don't require a huge aquarium to survive happily. Because wild clownfish always stay in or near anemones in a reef environment, they require very little space. They readily eat most fresh, frozen, and dried foods.

What do clownfish like to live with? ›

Clownfish survive in a mutually assistive symbiotic relationship with anemone. The anemone protect the clownfish from predators and provide food scraps. In return, the clownfish uses its bright colours to lure fish into the anemone, where they are killed by the anemone's poison and eaten.

What was the bad fish in Nemo? ›

In the film 'Finding Nemo', the character 'Gill' is a Moorish Idol. He has some pretty bad scarring, which he got from landing on dentist tools when he tried to escape one time.

Can clownfish live in freshwater? ›

Unfortunately, Clownfish are strictly saltwater fish. You cannot put one in a freshwater aquarium, as it will quickly die. Clownfish live on reefs in the ocean, or sometimes in lagoons, mostly in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. They are also found in northwest Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other places.

What fish ate the babies in Nemo? ›

Justice is served

That's right, we're talking about the opening scene in the movie, where a giant barracuda attacks the home of Nemo's dad, Marlin, and ends up eating Nemo's mom and all of his future brothers and sisters. It's heartbreaking, tragic and a reminder to why Marlin is so protective over his only son, Nemo.

Will a single clownfish turn female? ›

All clownfish start off as male, but can switch to female when circumstances allow, for example, when the only female present dies or disappears.

How many clownfish can I put in a 75 gallon tank? ›

One pair of clownfish can stay together in a 75 gallon tank, even though it is pretty big. With their levels of aggression, it is too risky to introduce more clownfish to the same tank, especially if you add just one more clownfish.

What happens when a clownfish partner dies? ›

Clownfish live in small groups inhabiting a single anemone. The group consists of a breeding pair, which cohabits with a few non-reproductive, “pre-pubescent”, and smaller male clownfish. When the female dies, the dominant male changes sex and becomes the female, a change which is irreversible.

How many gallons do 2 clownfish need? ›

Ocellaris clownfish tank size

While 10-gallons is the recommended minimum, more than 50% of Saltwater Aquarium Owners who indicated that they have Ocellaris clownfish in their tanks indicated the volume of the tank was between 20 and 90 gallons.

How often should I feed clownfish? ›

You can feed this species once a day, though it should be more if you're planning on breeding clownfish. You can also consider twice or three times a day for juvenile specimens.

Can I keep 2 clownfish in a 15 gallon tank? ›

2 clownfish can generally be kept in a 15-gallon aquarium, as long as they are the same species and are from one of the smaller species that include the common clownfish, percula clownfish and skunk clowns.

What is the easiest clownfish to keep? ›

Ocellaris Clownfish (False Percula Clownfish)

The ocellaris clownfish, also known as the false percula clownfish or common clownfish, is one of the most popular and arguably one of the easiest marine fish to have in an aquarium.

Do clownfish sleep in anemone? ›

Unlike in Pixar's film Finding Nemo, clownfish seldom stray far from their anemone. During the day, they dart through the water overhead to catch morsels of food. At night, they snuggle deeply within the stinging tentacles.

What is special about Nemo fish? ›

Nemo and his dad, Marlin, are ocellaris clownfish, also called false clownfish or clown anemonefish. Anemonefish are so-named for the sea anemones in which they make their homes. There are 28 species of anemonefish, and they come in many colors, such as pink, red, yellow, black, brown and multi-colored stripes.

Can you keep 4 clownfish together? ›

Yes, you can have four clownfish in a tank, as long as it is big enough to accommodate them. The minimum tank size for clownfish should be 20 gallons for a single pair of clownfish, 40 gallons for two pairs, and so on. A larger tank size is always better for any fish.

Will 2 clownfish breed? ›

Clownfish are external breeders, meaning that the female fish lays eggs and then the male fish fertilizes them after they have been laid. To make this happen you will need to get a pair of clownfish that are already bonded, in other words mated to each other.

Can you keep 3 clownfish together? ›

No, as said earlier, if you added 3 at the same time, 2 would've paired up and the odd clown out would have been bullied to death by the pair. Odd numbers of clowns in such a small quantity aren't really good for smaller tanks, or most tanks.

Is 82 too hot for clownfish? ›

Clowns are very strong. But in general 78-80 is optimal.

What is the smallest clownfish? ›

Smallest Clownfish – True Percula Clownfish

The Orange clownfish also referred to as the True Percula Clownfish, is the tiniest clownfish (ranging between 2.5 to 3 inches) and is one of the most sought-after types of clownfish.

How much ammonia is toxic to clownfish? ›

Based on our results and according to the recommendation of Meade (1985), maximum safe levels of nitrogenous compounds must be based on gill histopathology in fish. This way we recommend to avoid concentrations higher than 0.57 mg/L of un-ionized ammonia and 25 mg/L of nitrite in water on clownfish production.

Do clownfish need a heater? ›

Clown fish in an aquarium will also require a heater. The temperature of the water should be set to around 26 degrees Celsius so that it mimics the sea. Any temperature below 23 degrees Celsius and above 30 degrees Celsius can become dangerous for the clown fish in your aquarium.

Can you touch a clownfish? ›

#8 Unlike other fish, thanks to a protective layer of mucus, clownfish are not affected by their host anemone's deadly sting. Touching the clownfish might remove this protective, leaving it vulnerable to stings so remember, look but please don't touch!

Who do clownfish like to live with? ›

Clownfish maintain a symbiotic relationship with anemones. These Hexacorallias (the subclass that anemones belong to) provide protection as well as food to the clowns, stinging unwanted visitors with their tentacles and catching debris and small critters that the clownfish can eat.

How do clownfish avoid being stung? ›

The mucus coat of clownfish protects the fish from sea anemone's sting via innate or acquired immunity. Clownfish and sea anemones have a complex and mutually beneficial relationship. Clownfish live in and are protected by some species of sea anemone; without this protection, they cannot survive in the wild.

Do you need 2 clownfish in a tank? ›

One clownfish by itself should be fine, but attempting again to pair your fish with another small clown seems to be preferable to the fish (if they can make it through the establishing dominance phases).

What do clownfish eat in an aquarium? ›

Clownfish are omnivorous and they primarily feed on small zooplankton from the water column, such as copepods and tunicate larvae, with a portion of their diet coming from algae. In their natural environment, they feed on undigested food from their host anemones.

What enemies do clownfish like? ›

Clownfish are eaten by a group called Piscivores (Sheppard 2009). This group is made up of many organisms that live in the ocean, including groupers, sharks, and barracudas. Great White Sharks and Great Barracudas are two of the predators that prey on clownfish.

What is the best anemone to host clownfish? ›

#1. The Bubble-tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) A great choice for many anemone and clownfish pairings, the bubble-tip anemone comes in quite a few forms and colors including some fantastic red ones sold as rose anemones. This species can also vary greatly in size.

What eats Nemo's mom? ›

The Barracuda That Ate Nemo's Mom Finally Got What It Deserved In "Toy Story 4" SWEET JUSTICE.

What did Dory get stung by? ›

Marlin and Dory are forced to bounce on the jellyfish to get out of the field of "stingers." Dory gets severely stung by one and passes out, forcing Marlin to retrieve her while also getting stung himself and passes out right after exiting the jellyfish forest (although he is used to these kinds of stings because he ...

What is the Nemo theory? ›

However, according to a popular fan theory circulated on the internet, Nemo is actually the manifestation of Marlin's grief. It's a psychological crutch that the clownfish develops after he watches his entire family get killed at the start of Finding Nemo. Not just that, the word “nemo” means “nobody” in Latin.

Will a pair of clownfish breed in my tank? ›

Of course, you'll have to find a trustworthy seller, as anyone can throw two clownfish into a tank and say they're bonded! A breeding pair (that has bred before) is the most secure option, but even then, there's no absolute guarantee they will breed again. Did you know?

What is the lifespan of a clownfish in an aquarium? ›

Clownfish live an average of 3-5 years in captivity and 6-10 years in the wild, though some can live even longer if they are well taken care of (up to 30 years depending on species).

Can clownfish live without anemone? ›

The good news is that clownfish do not need a host anemone to be happy and healthy in your saltwater aquarium. They will do quite fine without one. If you're lucky, they may even take up residence in a surrogate.

What gender is Nemo fish? ›

Surprisingly, all clownfish are born male. They have the ability to switch their sex, but will do so only to become the dominant female of a group.

Is Dory A Boy or a girl? ›

Yes it is confirmed that dory is a female royal blue tang fish.

How many eggs did Nemo's mom have? ›

Finding Nemo

She was shown in the beginning of the movie where she and Marlin are watching over their 400 baby eggs.

Can I have clownfish and Dory fish together? ›

"Dory" Pacific Blue Tang

unlike the clownfish, and therefore they should be kept in a tank around 100+ gallons. This fish can grow up to 12 inches and can be kept with some other fish (including clownfish), however, they are moderately aggressive.

Can all fish go in the same tank? ›

Fish Compatibility: Not All Fish Are Compatible. Prior to placing different species of fish together in the same tank, you need to first find out if they compatible and can live together. The reality is that not all species of fish can live with each other.

Can you keep different species of clownfish together? ›

They don't have to be the same. There many different patterns with ocellaris and percula. Breeders have mixed the two together before, and the offspring are hybrid clownfish. What is the other clownfish you are interested in?

Can different types of fish live in the same tank? ›

Many species of freshwater tropical fish can work well together in the same tank. Popular choices often labeled as "community fish" or with "peaceful" attitudes include… Within these fish species, some breeds are better adapted to group living than others.

Can you put seahorses with clownfish? ›

If you decide to try keeping clownfish with your seahorses we recommend sticking with either A. ocellaris or A. percula. These two species of clownfish are among the more peaceful species and what we recommend if you are going to try keeping them with your seahorses.

What happens if I put too many fish in my tank? ›

Overstocking: When you have too many fish in your tank, excess waste gives off ammonia and nitrites, which can also cloud your water. We recommend one inch of (mature) tropical fish per gallon of water and one inch of (mature) goldfish for every three gallons.

Do you have to wait 24 hours to put fish in tank? ›

Typically, you should wait at least 24 to 48 hours and even up to a week before adding fish to a new tank. Waiting ensures that all the set conditions for the ecosystem have had time to establish themselves. This also gives your fish enough time to acclimate to their new environment.

What fish should not be together in a tank? ›

Species of the Fish

Cichlids, Loaches, Knife Fish, and other territorial fish do not often share aquarium space well with members of their own kind or closely related fish species.

How many clownfish can you put in a 10 gallon tank? ›

1 or 2 small, peaceful Clownfish ( Preferably Pink or Orange skunk due to their mild manners, but and Ocellaris and Percula (like Picasso) are okay.

What is the most hardy clownfish? ›

Clarkii Clownfish

The Clarkii Clownfish is a saltwater fish that is known for its exceptional durability and makes an excellent addition to any type of home tank, including reef aquariums.

What happens if a fish dies in a tank with other fish? ›

Any dead fish should be removed, as its body will quickly rot in the warm, bacteria-laden water. A corpse will pollute water, risking the health of other fish in the tank. If it died from disease the last thing you want is other fish consuming its body parts, so remove immediately.

Can 2 trigger fish live together? ›

More than one Triggerfish from this genus can even be kept in the same tank, but they should be introduced at the same time to avoid serious territorial aggression.

What do I do before adding fish to my tank? ›

Test your water quality before adding your new fish. Your chlorine level should be at zero, and your pH should match that of the fish shop's where your pet is coming from. Make sure your tank has plenty of places for a fish to hide. Objects, plants, and rocks provide good cover so that your fish will be less stressed.


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