What Corals Do Clown Fish Host

What Corals Do Clown Fish Host?

Picking a coral to make your lovely clownfish feel more at home is an exciting and fun journey.

Clownfish can end up hosting practically any coral, but your chance of success is going to increase, if you pick a Torch Coral, Toadstool Coral, Hammer Coral, Duncan Coral, or Zoas. Simply monitor the creatures’ behavior and make sure to step in, if something goes wrong.

Discover more about the corals that are generally loved by clownfish below.

Do Clownfish Live in Corals?

In the wild, clownfish live mainly in anemones – those are predatory marine animals that are closely related to corals. However, a clownfish does not need an anemone in order to survive in a tank.

Out in the blue ocean, these bright fish have to use the anemones’ predatory nature to their advantage. The marine animal has stinging cells that the creature actually uses to kill fish. The clownfish is able to survive among the anemone’s tentacles, as its body is covered in mucous.

The anemone protects the clownfish from predators, while the black-and-orange creature removes parasites from its host and chases away any small species that might want to start nibbling on the anemone.

However, the clownfish in the tank do not need to hide from predators. That’s why they would be happy to live with corals.

What Corals Do Clown Fish Host?

Fun fact: plenty of aquarists have noticed that tank-raised clownfish tend to start rejecting anemones after a few generations, while wild-caught fish would, of course, be happy to have such a host.

So, in the majority of cases, corals would work very well for your clownfish. And the great news is that there are quite a few types for you to choose from.

Torch Corals

A large-polyp stony coral that is suitable for beginners. It has a stony base and long, fleshy polyps that will make the coral look like a torch in moderate flow. At times, the torches might look illuminated, as the tips have colors that are different from the tentacles.

The ideal location for these creatures is one with moderate-intensity light and moderate water flow. These guys are aggressive corals that can use sweeper tentacles to protect themselves by zapping the predator.

Simply make sure that the coral has enough space and everything should be fine. Ocellaris Clownfish seems to be the one that would be happy to host a torch (do bear in mind that some clownfish might end up killing the pretty coral).

Toadstool Corals

These are soft corals, which makes toadstools perfect for beginners. They belong to the leather coral group meaning that they might release toxins, but running carbon will help reduce the effect of these chemicals.

The toadstools have a long stalk and a cap top covered in polyps. When those are extended, the coral looks cute and fluffy, but a few times per day the toadstool retracts its polyps and becomes completely ‘bald’.

Bear in mind that, if the conditions are right, the toadstool will grow. In fact, corals that have a cap that’s 10 inches in diameter are not rare at all.

Even though toadstools can produce 50 different chemicals, they are rather peaceful tankmates and almost any type of clownfish will love them.

Hammer Corals

A large-polyp stony coral that has puffy tentacles and T-shaped tips (the corals look a bit like mushrooms). The colors range from orange to blue-gray, and you might be able to find a stunning fluorescent green.

A hammer coral usually does best at the bottom of the tank; they require a moderate amount of light and a moderate flow.

The main thing that you would have to bear in mind is that hammer corals are actually aggressive. They may use the tentacles to attack their neighbors, but, in general, can be kept close to Euphyllia corals.

Due to their aggressive nature, you might want to test out a hammer coral. True Percula Clownfish is usually the type that likes to use these corals as a host.


Zoas have become incredibly trendy over the last few years as these corals are relatively easy to take care of and they come in a variety of amazing fluorescent colors.

There are plenty of different Zoanthids that you can choose from, starting with Fruit Loops and ending with Captain America. However, you might not want to go for the species that produce a toxic chemical called ‘palytoxin’ – you would have to wear protective gear when handling those.

When it comes to clownfish, the Ocellaris tends to choose the vibrant corals as its host most of the time.

Will Clownfish Host Plate Coral?

The truth is that you can’t really say what coral your clownfish would decide to host.

You can try pairing such a long-tentacle coral as a Plate coral with your clownfish, but make sure to closely monitor how the creatures are going to respond. In the worst-case scenario, the fish might end up damaging the coral (some aquarists have also shared stories about how the Plate coral ate their clown).

Will Clownfish Host Duncan Corals?

A Duncan coral has a cute disc-shaped body and green/purple tentacles that can retract in a blink of an eye. Unlike a lot of other corals, Duncan has short tentacles, so you’ll be able to see its skeleton at all times.

The large-polyp stony coral grows very fast and is easy to take care of. It is not well-suited for small tanks as the coral likes to spread throughout the aquarium if the conditions are right.

They are peaceful creatures that do not have any defense mechanisms. Orange Clownfish, False Percula, Ocellaris – all these clownfish might end up picking a Duncan coral as their host (to be honest, other types can take them up as well).

Final Thoughts

What corals do clown fish host?

You can experiment with the types of corals that you choose to introduce to the tank. It is hard to say what exact creature a clownfish is going to pick as a host, but Duncan corals, Zoanthids, Hammer corals, Toadstools, and Torches are the most popular options amongst aquarists.