Can Clownfish And Seahorses Live Together?

In this article, I will explain whether Clownfish and Seahorses can live together and make good tankmates.

It is well known in the saltwater aquarium hobby that although certain species of fish can be housed together in the same tank, it doesn’t mean that they should.

There are many different types of fish that can technically live together but may not be an ideal tankmate for each other. There are numerous examples of this.

Clownfish and Seahorses are unique and have distinct personalities.

Clownfish are one of the most popular saltwater fish and Seahorses are highly sought after but not everyone can keep them. They are not as common or popular.

Clownfish and Seahorses are often kept in the same tank together. It’s common to see. But it’s not an ideal situation for either of them and in my opinion, they should not be housed together.

It is the perfect example of 2 fish species that are able to live together, but it’s best that they don’t.

Here is why.


Problems with Clownfish and Seahorses living together

The biggest concern with Clownfish and Seahorses living in the same tank is that they have different personalities and aggression levels.

Seahorses are very timid and slow-moving. They are not aggressive fish. Clownfish are the complete opposite and depending on the type of Clownfish you are keeping, they can be very territorial and aggressive.

The Clarki or Tomato Clownfish should not be kept with Seahorses as they can be very aggressive.

Do not keep Tomato Clownfish with Seahorses!

Clownfish are very active and fast swimmers. They will definitely out-compete the Seahorse for food. Although Seahorses will eat copepods and algae, competing with Clownfish over food is not a good idea.

This can lead to stress and cause serious health issues for the Seahorse.

This doesn’t mean that the Clownfish will necessarily bully or chase the Seahorse. They may actually get along fine as neither should bother each other with respect to bullying.

Clownfish are great tankmates for many different types of saltwater fish, but the Seahorse is not one of them.


What are Seahorses?

Seahorses are highly sought after and a unique saltwater fish that are sure to be a conversation piece. There are only about 35 different species of Seahorses and they generally have common characteristics.

Most people recognize them by their horse-shaped head and elongated snout. They also have a crooked neck style.

Their body does not have scales. They are actually protected by hard plates.

Another unique characteristic is that Seahorses swim vertically using their dorsal and pectoral fins, unlike other fish.

As mentioned, Seahorses are very slow-moving, but they have the ability to maneuver around quite well. They can even be seen hovering in place and not move at all.

They are generally found in shallow, calm water around areas of seagrass and macroalgae. They use this to hang from with their tails.

Seahorses spend a lot of time hunting for foods like copepods, amphipods, and smaller shrimp. They also require frequent feedings throughout the day.

They may eat other foods like Brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp, and other frozen foods, but it can take them a while to get used to it.


How to Choose Good Tankmates for Seahorses

When choosing a tankmate for your Seahorse, it’s important to pick mates that are not aggressive. Also, look for tankmates that don’t have territorial behavior as these fish tend to bully and chase other fish.

Fast-moving fish that are very active are not good options. Don’t select other fish that require high water flow in the tank. Seahorses do not tolerate strong water movement and prefer calm areas.

Providing that you only select peaceful fish and invertebrates, you should have no trouble keeping them together with Seahorses.

Ensure that any tankmates that you choose are able to live in the same water parameters, temperature as the Seahorse.

Can you keep seahorses with other fish?

Bangaii Cardinal

Yes, you sure can. Although Clownfish may not be a good choice, there are many other options.

Good examples include Blennies, Gobies, Firefish, Bangaii Cardinal, and Royal Gramma. These are all great choices and would make for a very peaceful and calming saltwater tank.

Some people prefer to keep Seahorses in a dedicated Seahorse tank without other tankmates. But it’s nice to know that you can have others with them if you choose. 

Given the right aquarium environment, you can keep them with other fish without issues.

Do Seahorses live together?

Yes, Seahorses do live together and actually prefer to swim in pairs with their tails linked together. Large groups of small Seahorses can be seen floating together in groups all connected by their tails.

Are Seahorses reef safe?

Although Seahorses can be found in coral reefs in the wild, it is not a good idea to keep them together in a reef tank.

Most corals like LPS and SPS require plenty of water movement to stay healthy. Seahorses can not handle water movement. Very light water may be fine, but in general, you shouldn’t keep Seahorses and corals together.

if you were to attempt it, I would suggest only soft corals that do not need much water flow. Pulsing Xenia and mushrooms are good options.


It is possible for certain Clownfish and seahorses to live together in the same tank. But as mentioned, I don’t recommend it. There are too many variables and so many things can go wrong causing harm and health issues. If you are planning to keep Seahorses, it’s best to only keep them with very peaceful, slow-moving fish that don’t require much water movement. Another option is to keep them in their own dedicated Seahorse tank which can be set up specifically towards their needs. This will give them a much better life and you will enjoy them more.

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