The Ultimate Guide To Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Have you heard that keeping saltwater fish is much more challenging than freshwater fish? This is true, but just to some extent. You can choose saltwater fish without any fear of difficulty in keeping them. 

The key is to populate the aquarium with the best saltwater fish for beginners. Those are not only easy to take care of but also a delight to watch. 

25 Popular Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Let’s walk you through a bunch of the most top saltwater fish that you can house in your aquarium. 

1. Tang

This type of fish comes in various colors, including blue and yellow. They have vibrant personalities. 

  • Tang have hardy personalities and peaceful nature.

Interestingly, they are unaggressive with other types of fish but can fight with other Tangs. You should keep a few of these in your aquarium to get a bright refreshing look. 

2. Chalk Bass

If you are just embarking on your journey of keeping saltwater fish as pets, you can easily pick this type. These have reddish stripes on their elegant white bodies.

  • The highlights from Chalk Bass’s traits are their durability and resilience

These can adapt well in unideal water conditions. To avoid species fighting about territories, you must introduce all of them at once. 

3. Damselfish 

This is a perfect choice for beginners because these don’t need huge aquariums. 

  • Damselfish are brightly colored and have partially calm personalities. 

You can avoid their aggressive behavior by giving them plenty of hiding space, so they don’t get bored. You can do this by adding a variety of decorations in their aquarium.

4. Dottyback

These are small yet vibrant fish that bring color to the aquarium you set up. They come in different colors, while some are even bicolored. 

  • Dottybacks are usually happy and non-confrontational

They can be aggressive at times. To prevent such hostile behavior, make sure to give them a spacious tank with a ton of hiding spots. Oh, and of course, a good diet that satisfies their little tummies. 

5. Ocellaris Clownfish 

You have seen Finding Nemo, right? That is every kid’s favorite. Nemo was actually a Clownfish. 

Not only are they easy to keep, but they also make taking care of them worthwhile. Since they don’t like hiding much, you can see them swimming in their little world and interacting with other fish. 

6. True Percula Clownfish 

This type of Clownfish has the pattern of Nemo but is colored black and white.

  • True Percula Clownfish is beautiful with a likable personality. 

 These are community-friendly and can do well living in the same tank as other fish. You will thoroughly enjoy keeping clownfish. 

7. Firefish 

These are long delicate fish. Their tails are often red, orange, and/or magenta. These fire hues have given them the name. 

  • Not only are Firefish calm, but they also aren’t picky eaters

They are perfect for aquariums with other fish. Also, I am positive that you will enjoy watching them as they swim swiftly and hide as soon as they get a chance. 

8. Coral Beauties

As their name suggests, they are one of the most gorgeous fish species. Their bodies are blue and have orange stripes on them. 

They enjoy their own company and can also live well with small schools of fish. They are omnivores, and their big size requires a large tank. 

9. Talbot’s Damsel 

This is such a beautiful specie of fish that falls prey to bigger fish in the wild. Hence, you should keep them in an aquarium with peaceful fish. 

  • Talbot’s Damsel is tolerant and friendly

Though they are community-fish, they still like to hide. So, make sure to provide them with decorations and rocks. Another thing to remember about Talbot’s Damsel is that they like a sand bottom better than a pebbled one. 

10. Wrasses 

Disclaimer: These fish are a little messy, so keep them in a bigger aquarium. 

A few friendly Wrasses are flasher wrasses, fairy wrasses, and six-line wrasses.

  • Wrasses are non-confrontational yet introverts who like to be by themselves. 

Just like the specie mentioned above, Wrasses also like sandy bottoms where they can bury themselves when they want to hide.

11. Pajama Cardinalfish 

A funny name, right? Their look is pretty unique too. They have a green and yellow face followed by a black band in the middle. The tail is bright and funky, with polka dots all over it. 

  • Pajama Cardinalfish are eye-catching but have shy personalities. 

They often hide during the day and come out at night. Hence, you should feed them when they are active. 

12. Blenny Fish 

These come in a variety of horned and striped. They have unique personalities. 

  • Blenny Fish are extremely soothing and a little too adorable

Just like a few other species of fish, these get along with every other fish except for other Blenny Fish. This is an interesting trait, though. You are bound to enjoy watching Blenny Fish hide and then peek to observe their surroundings. 

13. Butterfly Fish 

One thing is common in all types of Butterfly Fish: beauty! That’s true. Every type of Butterfly Fish is extremely gorgeous. 

  • Not only is Butterfly Fish easy to keep, but also community-friendly

These come in a variety of specie. Hence, the dietary requirements and preferences vary even within the vast family of Butterfly Fish.

14. Racoon Butterfly Fish 

This fish is also called the Crescent-Masked fish. This type of Butterfly Fish is one of the easiest to keep. 

  • Racoon Butterfly Fish is calm and shy

These fish do have a problem with eating prepared food. So, make sure you buy the food that they are fond of eating. 

15. Mollies

Do you want a helper to clean the aquarium? Get some Mollies. They love to eat algae. They are very affordable as well. 

  • Mollies are known for their tolerance and adaptability

It’s very easy to take care of this fish. Give them lots of green foods and keep their tank clean. Voila! Your Mollies will love you. 

16. Green Chromis 

Do you have a well-lit fish tank? Put some Green Chromis in it, and your aquarium will be very attractive. They have white luminescent coloring that becomes hard to ignore when light falls on it. 

  • A couple of common traits of Green Chromis are energetic and friendly nature

These like to form a school, and they look unrivaled when a group of them is swimming together while the aquarium is lit. They all shine bright like diamonds. 

17. Longnose Hawkfish 

These have one of the most different looks. They have white bodies with red boxy striping. You can keep them in a bigger tank. 

  • Longnose Hawkfish are partially peaceful but really fun to watch. 

Sometimes, they can go after other long-bodied tankmates due to their semi-aggressive nature. However, if kept with the right fish, they will get along well. Oh, don’t forget, Longnose Hawkfish are known as ‘escape artists’. You should have a tank with a tight lid. 

18. Royal Gramma Basslet

This fish is more beautiful than any ‘bracelet’. They usually only grow about 3 inches and have yellow and purple bodies. 

  • Royal Gamma Basslet is shy and semi-peaceful

They don’t get along with their specie as well as they do with other fish. They are carnivores, so get that meaty food ready for them. 

19. Big Eye Black Bar Soldierfish 

Their name is well descriptive of their physical characteristics. They have bright red bodies and white outlines along with the fins. Their eyes are large with big black pupils. 

  • Big Eye Black Bar Soldierfish are friendly but nocturnal

These need hiding spots where can stay in bright light. Being carnivores, they like a variety of shrimp, worms, and marine meat. 

20. Flame Angelfish 

This fish is one of the best choices to keep in a saltwater aquarium. 

  • Flame Angelfish are calm and adapt well to captivity. 

They are believed to be reef-safe fish, but they can also nibble on large polypod stony corals or soft corals. That’s why keeping these fish cannot be trusted with such beautiful reefs. 

21. Orange-Spotted Goby 

This fish can also be called a ‘sand sniffer’ as it loves to gobble sand and spit it through its gills. 

  • Orange-Spotted Goby is an active fish that is usually peaceful

These clean the substrate in the aquarium from any uneaten food. As they are carnivores, they love meaty prepared food. 

22. Sleeper-Banded Goby 

The name of this fish includes the word sleep, but that doesn’t mean these are lazy. They are one of the most well-known jumper fish. 

  • Sleeper-Banded Goby is mostly peaceful and shy.

They aren’t usually aggressive. When they are, it is against other Sleeper-Banded Goby Fish. These love to hide in the substrate in the tank. 

23. Diamond Watchman Goby 

Just like other Goby Fish, this specie also looks for food in the tank’s substrate. Hence, it helps you clean the aquarium. Sounds cool, huh?

  • Diamond Watchman Goby is calm and really active

The only time they can be aggressive is when they come across other sniffers. That’s when their territorial instincts kick in, and they protect the area they want to sniff. Otherwise, Diamond Watchman Goby don’t pose harm to other fish in the tank. 

24. Pink-Spotted Watchman Goby 

This fish has to be kept in a spacious aquarium that has loose coral and sand bottom. They also sniff through the sand to pick up pieces of remaining food. 

  • Not only is Pink-Spotted Watchman Goby calm but also entertaining to watch. 

They don’t fight with other fish but can with sniffers that seem to threaten their territories. Also, beware! Pink-Spotted Watchman Goby can jump out of the tank if the lid isn’t tightly secured. 

25. Yellow Watchman Goby 

Not only does it adapt well to aquarium life, but also has been bred in reef aquariums.

  • Yellow Watchman Goby is mildly calm but very easygoing with different environments. 

Only male-female of this specie should be kept in the same tank as the same genders are known to show aggressive behavior to each other. Yellow Watchman Goby is a carnivore and should be fed two times a day. 


That’s about it. A lot of saltwater fish talk, huh? I hope you liked it and are pretty convinced to bring home some beautiful fish. 

You will enjoy keeping them without any worries as long as you treat them well and take care of their preferences. As they say, between pet and pet parent, who’s the boss? The pet!

John Kilmerstone

I love keeping pet fish and receive a lot of joy and peace from watching these colorful creatures. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of pet fish. Discover how to care for and look after pet fish and amplify your satisfaction.

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