20 Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish, Awesome Choice for Newbies

Have you heard keeping a saltwater aquarium is difficult? I will say it’s a bit challenging, at the same time, exciting, but not that hard if you know what to do. 

The main challenge of maintaining a saltwater aquarium is to keep a steady water quality that suits the inhabitants. 

You can read the article on How to Start a Saltwater Aquarium to get a definitive guideline. 

Picking fish for the aquarium is always crucial. You will have to select the perfect buddies in your aquarium journey. The ones who are strong, full of life, and easy to handle can be the best mates in any venture, a simple rule of life. 

In this article, I will talk about the best saltwater aquarium fish to start with. They will be easy to care for, colorful, and will never be humdrum.

Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish to Start with

1. Clownfish

Clownfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Clownfish are aboriginal of oceans & seas with warmer water. They are vastly found in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Red sea.

The species are known as Clownfish as the bold color patterns on their body look like a clown’s painted face. Colowfish is one of the most popular saltwater fish as they are fun little fish. Everyone loves Nemo, isn’t it?

Clownfish can be grown four inches in size and live up to 6 years in an ideal condition. 

They are omnivores and eat a lot of things. Readymade dry pellets and frozen foods are available in the market. Easy feeding makes them perfect for first-timers to the saltwater aquarium.

They are peaceful in temperament, make their territory in the aquarium corner, and barely cross the border of their home.

Still, they are not shy and don’t like to hide that much. Thus having Clownfish in the aquarium is entertaining. If you put a young pair, they become a mated pair quickly.

Though reposeful with other tankmates, Clownfish surprisingly turn aggressive only when other Clownfish species are present, so in a tank, you should keep only one species of Clownfish.

The ideal size of the tank for Clownfish should be at least 20 gallons.

Under the sea, Clownfish has a symbiosis with Anemones. They are usually found at forty feet depth from the sea surface. As they are deep water fish and require a little higher salinity. 

A combination with Anemones in aquariums can provide Clownfish the perfect natural habitats. Still, Anemones are harder to maintain, so I don’t recommend them for beginners. 

You can read my article, Facts about Clownfish, Take Care of Your Nemo, to know more details about them.

2. Cocoa Damselfish

Cocoa Damselfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Cocoa Damselfish live in the Western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Brazil, also found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They inhabit coral reefs from zero to a hundred feet in depths.

Damselfish are suffused with blue color at the top and yellow at the bottom of the body. This coloration makes them beautiful to watch.

Cocoa Damselfish may live as long as 20 years in an ideal aquarium condition. They grow up to five inches in size. 

The species are omnivorous, and in natural conditions, their main foods are algae, sponges, and anemones. Juveniles prefer eating tiny invertebrates, copepods, or worms. For aquarium use, flakes, pellets, and frozen food for Cocoa Damselfish are available in the market.

Damselfish are slightly aggressive and territorial when juvenile and become peaceful as they age. But adults are aggressive in breeding times.

 In nature, they are non-migratory tropical fish and prefer warmer water. In aquariums, they are active and inhabit all levels of the tank.

Though slightly aggressive, Cocoa Damselfish in an aquarium is compatible with many saltwater fish species, including angelfish, blennies, gobies, Hawkfish, puffers, tangs, some wrasse, and some cardinalfish.

Healthy Cocoa Damselfish are very active with bright eyes and eat a lot when you feed them.

3. Four Stripe Damselfish

Four Stripe Damselfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Four stripe Damselfish are native to the Western Pacific Ocean and found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Ther are found in 30 feet depth of the ocean, associated with isolated coral heads in sheltered inshore habitats. They have a unique look with four black stripes in the white body.

Four Stripe Damselfish can be grown up to four inches in size and live as long as 10 years in an ideal tank condition. Four stripe Damselfish are omnivores and in nature. They eat fish eggs, crustacean larvae, algae, ostracods, amphipods, copepods, tunicates, etc.

In the aquarium, you can feed them flake foods, pellets, and frozen foods. They are aggressive eater and eat vigorously when healthy. Like all other Damselfish, they are also effortless to feed.

In nature, the species travel in schools and are extremely territorial. They don’t even care about larger fish while united in a gang. If you place juveniles in your aquarium, they will swim around the tank peacefully, and they mark their territory as they age. 

Once they mark their territory, they never allow others in it. Tank size is crucial for keeping Four stripe Damselfish due to their aggressive and territorial nature.

You should choose a sufficiently large aquarium to ensure the Four Stripe Damselfish’s peaceful coexistence with their tank mates. We will suggest at least a 50-gallon tank if you want to keep two or more Four stripes. Ideal tankmates of them can be, Dragonets, Filefish, Gobies, Hawkfish, and Wrasse.

4. Green Chromis

Green Chromis - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Green Chromis is a kind of Damselfish. They are native to the Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. They live in coral reefs and lagoons at a depth of 5 to 40 feet. 

Green Chromis tends to be iridescent apple-green and light blue colors and broadly kept fish in saltwater aquariums as they are easy to care for.

They can be as big as four inches with an eight years life span in ideal captivity. Green Chromis fish are omnivorous in nature. Planktons, algae copepods, amphipods are their main diet in the wild.

Green Chromis are fond of prepared food pellets, flakes, frozen foods, and meats in aquariums. They eat vigorously if in good health. Finely cut fresh vegetable food and vitamin supplements can improve their immunity making a more vibrant body color.

Unlike most other Damselfish, Green Chromises are peaceful and friendly towards other aquarium mates. They happily coexist with Butterflyfish, Bennies, Wrasses, Basslets, Clownfish, and other good-tempered Damselfish kinds. 

They are comfortable with corals and love to have rest within corals, so having plenty of corals in the aquarium will benefit your Green Chromis.

Green Chromis fish love to swim in a school. To make a perfect gang, you can keep 6/7 of them in your aquarium, but the tank size has to be 50 gallons at least. 

Watching Green Chromis swimming in a school is fun. They can establish a hierarchy in the group, where the strongest dominant stays at the top and the weakest at the bottom.

5. Yellow Tang

Yellow Tang - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Beautiful Yellow Tang fish are native to the Pacific Ocean and vastly seen in the east of Japan and the west of Hawaii. Surprisingly Yellow Tang was found on the coast of Florida. Still, they were not native, instead believed to be aquarium-released fish. 

The species live in the shallow reef of 7 to 150 feet depth of the ocean. They look nice with bright yellow color and are relatively large aquarium fish.

Yellow Tang can be 7 to 8 inches in size, and they have a long life span of 40 years or more in an ideal aquarium condition. They are herbivores in nature and are known as algae eaters. 

In the aquarium, you can feed them readymade flakes and pellet food. Additionally, if you can feed Yellow tangs boiled vegetables, they will like it very much. Feeding algae sheets like Nori can improve their health and immunity.

Though larger in size, Yellow tangs are very friendly with other smaller tank mates except for another Tang! They are aggressive towards their own species. If your aquarium is not a sufficiently spacious one, keep only a couple of Yellow Tangs in it. 

Gender identification of Yellow Tang is tricky; you have to take advice from an expert aquarist for this. Hungry Yellow Tangs can be aggressive, so feed them well.

A large tank of more than 100-gallon size is preferable for keeping Yellow Tang. Ideal tank mates of Yellow Tang are all Angelfish, Clownfish, Hawkfish, Lionfish, etc. 

While handling a Yellow Tang, be careful of its tails’ small retractable spine. It is their natural defense and can injure you, leading to an infection.

Yellow Tangs are lively when healthy, and their activeness is a sign of their health. They love to explore the entire aquarium and very entertaining to watch.

6. Blue Tang

Blue Tang - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Blue Tangs live in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean; they are found throughout the Indo-Pacific. You can see them from West Africa’s reefs to Srilanka to Philipines, Indonesia, and Japan. 

Blue Tang is a trendy marine aquarium fish. Everyone loves the lovable forgetful Dory of “Finding Dory’, and you know Dory was a Blue Tang.

Blue Tang fish is a comparatively large species of colorful fish. They grow up to 12 inches in size. The lifespan of Blue Tang can be 8 to 10 years in captivity. 

Juveniles love to eat planktons while adults are omnivores. They are easy-to-feed saltwater aquarium fish. Flake food and pellet food are okay for them, while algae food like Nori can improve their immunity and reduce aggressiveness. Blue Tang fish eat aggressively and eat a lot if they are healthy.

In nature, they live in pairs or in small groups of eight to twelve fish. Blue Tangs are not overly aggressive towards the tank mates, but little rough with the newcomers and totally intolerant of similar species like other Tangs and Surgeonfish.

They fight with other Tangs to establish their territory, so if you place more than one Tang in your aquarium, make sure the space is sufficiently large. You can keep Blue Tang with angelfish, Clownfish, Hawkfish without any issue.

Blue Tang males are aggressive to court females for breeding in the wild, but they don’t breed in aquariums.

They have a dangerous weapon on their tail that stands erect and can injure you, called a caudal spine. So be careful while handling a ‘Dory’; the venomous sword can cause severe pain!

7. Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

The Butterflyfish are a group of marine fish and are widely found in the tropical regions of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Almost 50 species of Butterflyfish are suitable for saltwater home aquariums, but not all are easy-to-care. The Yellow Longnose 

Butterflyfish is one of the most attractive-looking species in the family at the same time. Caring for them is effortless.

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can get a life of 18 years in good captivity, and they can grow up to 8.5 inches. They are omnivorous, and they coral, thus not suitable to keep in a reef tank.

 They take meaty pellets, dried flakes, or prepared frozen foods readily available in the market in aquariums.  

Longnose Butterflyfish are territorial and live in pairs with a monogamous partner. They are peaceful in nature but can be involved in fighting with the individuals of same-sex. They are gonochoristic, and males often fight to hold their female partner (and the territory.) But it is difficult to identify the gender as males and females are not visually distinguishable. 

Longnose Butterflyfish are peaceful fish and love to live with a mated pair, so it is better to keep an engaging couple in an aquarium and no other member of the same kind. Due to their peaceful nature towards other species, Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can be kept with moderately aggressive tank mates.

Smaller fish like Cardinalfish, Gobies, tilefish, Basslets, and Wrasses are the best tank mates for them, but larger fish like Tangs or Damselfish are also compatible partners of Longnose Butterflyfish. 

8. Striped Mandarinfish

Striped Mandarinfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Mandarinfish are aboriginal of the Pacific Ocean; they are found in warmer water from China to Australia. The Striped Mandarinfish are very colorful and attractive, so saltwater aquarium keepers love to have them in their pet collection. 

Striped Mandarinfish has a bright blue body with swirly orange stripes, and the face is greenish with blue lines. They walk on the seafloor with their large pelvic fins. 

Striped Mandarin are carnivores. In the wild, they eat fish-eggs, small shrimp-like crustaceans, small gastropods, and worms. Feeding them in aquariums can be a minor concern initially. You have to make them accustomed to frozen foods like frozen Mysis shrimp. 

Striped Mandarinfish loves live foods like copepods or small brine shrimps, while some foods they can manage naturally in aquariums, but those may not be sufficient. Once they are habituated to frozen food, the rest will be straightforward. 

Striped Mandarinfish grows up to 3 inches in size and lives 5 years in an ideal condition. They are shy, slow-moving fish, and most of the time, remain busy searching for food at the tank bottom. This species of fish love to bury the substrate. They do good if you provide live sand and crushed coral substrate for them. 

Mandarinfish are very peaceful and compatible with any kind of saltwater fish in an aquarium. Clown Fish, Damselfish, Pajama Cardinals, Firefish, Royal Grammas, Gobies, all the popular marine fish are good tank mates of Mandarinefish. It is better to keep some invertebrates like Cleaner Shrimp and Nerite Snails with Striped Manderinefish.

9. Fire Goby

Fire Goby - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Fire Goby fish are native to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, from the eastern coast of Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and from China to Australia. They are inhabitants of coral reefs in a depth of 20 to 200 feet. Fire Goby is a lovely ornamental fish with bright colors, a beautiful combination of red, yellow, and white.

The Fire Goby is known as dartfish due to their nature of darting quickly back while frightened. They are small fish, grow three inches in size, and their lifespan is three years in captivity.

They are omnivorous and easily habituated with prepared pellets and flakes. They can take natural food like algae and zooplankton in the aquarium. So there is no hassle for feeding Fire Gobies.

Like most other fish, they are slightly aggressive to their own kind. Even the pairing of a male and female can be unsuccessful. Still, in a sufficiently large tank, you can try keeping a couple.

Fire Gobies are suitable for reef tanks, and they are good tank mates with other kinds. You do not need a large aquarium for Fire Gobies. Fire Gobies are compatible with Clownfish, Damselfish, Angelfish, Tangs, Wrasses, Dottybacks, etc.

They are lively and active fish and act as dither fish to motivate and encourage timid tankmates. Fire Gobies love to explore the whole aquarium. They love hiding holes but don’t bury the substrate, so if you can provide narrow pipe-like arrangements, they are more than happy.

10. Orchid Dottyback

Orchid Dottyback - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

The bright purple and red color Orchid Dottybacks are endemic to the Red sea. They live in reefs up to 180 feet in depth. Their bright color can make your aquarium more colorful. Recently the researchers have become successful in breeding them in captivity, making this fish inexpensive and more comfortable to care for.

They can have a lifespan of seven years and grow up to three inches in an ideal condition. Orchid Dottybacks are carnivores, so they prefer meaty food such as brine shrimps. Give them finely chopped meaty food before becoming familiar with flakes, pellets, and frozen ready foods.

The attractive bright color is the outcome of their good health, so proper nutrition is vital to maintain their beauty. Once Orchid Dottybacks are familiar with prepared food, you will have no hassles for feeding.

Orchid Dottybacks are semi-aggressive in nature and can turn extremely hostile with a newcomer of their own species. So if you want to put more than one Dottybacks in an aquarium, put them at the same time. They are compatible and comfortable with other larger species like Angelfish, Tangs, Damselfish, and Hawkfish.

There are different species of Dottybacks, like Royal Dottyback, Splendid Dottyback, Magenta Dottyback. People often confuse Orchid Dottyback with Magenta Dottyback, as they look similar except for the black stripe through Orchid’s eye. Dottybacks don’t do well with other species of their own family (Pseudochromidae), so I suggest not mixing them in a tank.

11. Marine Betta

The Marine Betta (or Comet) is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. They are reef-associated tropical marine fish and are found in 10 to 150 feet depth. Marine Bettas are kept in aquariums, but they are difficult to feed in captivity. 

Marine Bettas are beautiful to watch with dark brown bodies and white spots throughout. They are hunter fish but not that fast as other predatory fish to get enough food share. So keeping Marine Bettas in the aquarium can be a little tricky. 

They can live more than ten years in captivity and get a size of 8 inches. They eat almost everything small enough to pass through their mouths. 

They love to eat small fish and shrimps, so smaller tankmates of Marine Bettas are in great danger! Keeping them with small, slow-moving fish is a risky endeavor. They enjoy finely chopped meaty food and at times become habituated with ready dry diets.

Tankmates of Marine Betta should be large and fast because they are very sharp hunters with a unique hunting technique. You can keep big Damselfish, Tangs, Butterflyfish as Marine Betta’s tank mates. Please don’t keep them with small fish and faster predatory fish. The first group will become their food, and the second group will deprive them of food. 

Marine Bettas are exciting characters. They are hunters but shy and prefer to hide out of sight. They have an eye-like shape in dorsal fins, and if they feel threatened, they poke the head in a hole and expose the tail end to mimic the head of a Moray eel! What a unique way of self-defense!

12. Chalk Bass

Chalk Bass - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Chalk Basses are native to the Atlantic Ocean, and they live in warmer parts of the western Atlantic. They are deep water fish and live at the bottom of the ocean a 40 to 1200 feet. 

Chalk Basses are orange in color with bluish stripes on the body. Their coloration can be changed with lighting, which helps them to camouflage.

Chalk Basses are short-living fish with one year of life span, and the full-grown Chalk Brass can be three inches in size.

Chalk Brasses are carnivores, and like all other of the same kind, they love meaty food.

The big adult fish are capable of eating small invertebrates, like Brine shrimp or Mysis shrimp. Feeding Chalk Basses is easy as they like eating prepared pellets, flakes, and frozen food. They happily take almost everything you offer.

Chalk Basses are very peaceful fish and live in groups and have no complaints against their own kinds or other tank mates. In nature, they hover in groups searching for planktons and crustaceans and always run away from aggressive fish.

Due to their peaceful nature, they do best with less aggressive fish. Dwarf Angelfish, Clownfish, Butterfly Fish, Cardinalfish, Chromis, Tangs, Wrasse are good tank mates for Chalk Bass.

Chalk Basses love to live amongst rubbles at the bottom of the ocean, so having rocks in your aquarium will comfort them. They need shelters to hide from predators, so live plants in the aquarium make them happy, as well.

I suggest a spacious aquarium minimum of 30 gallons in size for Chalk Brass.

13. Blackcap Basslet

Blackcap Basslet - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Blackcap Basslets are native to the western Atlantic and found in reefs at 30 to 500 feet depth. They prefer vertical surfaces with crevices that can provide them hiding places. They have a purple body with a black color head. The diagonal black design looks like a cap, and so they are known as ‘Blackcaps.’

Blackcap Basslets are small fish of four inches in size and live 4/5 years in ideal captivity. They are carnivorous, love to eat small invertebrates, and prefer meaty food like all other carnivores.

Flake and small pellet food are perfectly okay for them, and they can eat anything you provide for the rest of their tankmates.

Blackcap Basslets are territorial, and they do not accept the second person of their own kind. Interestingly, suppose you put similar-looking species in the aquarium. In that case, Blackcaps will think of them as their own kind and will not tolerate it.

So if you want to put more than one basslet in the same tank, the tank size has to be large enough (at least 6 feet in length) and add them together.

A 30-gallon tank is perfect for keeping a single Blackcap Basslet with other tankmates. Keep them with similar-sized species like Clownfish, Damselfish, Tangs, Butterflyfish, etc. Blackcaps can turn aggressive towards a weak newcomer.

The ideal habitats of Blackcap Basslets should include a lot of rocks, crevices, and caves. As they are deep water fish, intense lighting can make them uncomfortable. Shady aquariums with plenty of hiding places are suitable for them. You can keep Blackcap Basslets in reef tanks.

14. Bird Wrasse

Bird Wrasse - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

The Bird Wrasse is a relatively larger aquarium fish, native to the Indo-Pacific ocean, from the eastern part of the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean’s oceanic islands and the Hawaiian Islands.

They have long bodies with a long bird-like snout. Males and females are visually distinguishable. Male Bird Wrasses are greenish in color with a blue-tipped nose, and females are brown to black at the top and white at the bottom. (The picture above is representing male & female Bird Wrasses)

The expected life span of Bird Wrasse is 3 to 4 years in captivity, and they can grow as big as one foot. They are carnivorous, as they love to eat crustaceans caught in corals, while brittle stars and small fish are also their diets in the wild.

Literally, they eat anything that moves and fits their mouths. They love to taste finely chopped meaty food, and feeding them is easy with prepared flakes and pellet foods. 

Large peaceful fish are good tankmates of Bird Wrasses, and small elongate-shaped fish are not, as Bird Wrasse can chase after this kind of fish to terrify them. You can house Bird Wrasses with Damselfish, Clownfish, Angelfish, Tangs, and Gobbies, but not with small Dartfish and Mandarinefish.

A group of females but not more than one male in a large aquarium can live peacefully. If you want to keep a male-female pair, at least 150-gallon is suitable tank size. 

They are very active fish and continuously explore the entire aquarium, so a sufficiently spacious aquarium is perfect. Birds Wrasses are known for jumping nature, so you should cover the aquarium with a lid. Live rocks and caves in the aquarium can comfort them. 

15. Bicolor Blenny

Bicolor Blenny - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Bicolor Blennies are colorful marine fish native to the Indo-Pacific Oceans. They have a beautiful bisecting color pattern, the front half is blue, and the back half is a bright yellow to orange. They are hardy fish and a popular choice for saltwater aquariums.

A fully grown Bicolor Blenny can be 4 inches in size, and they can have a life span of four years in captivity. They are primarily herbivorous and algae eaters. In aquariums, you will see them grazing at the tank bottom and searching for algae.

They will take pellet foods that are small enough to fit in their mouths. Bicolor Blennies are easy to feed as they also accept various types of foods, including frozen food and brine shrimps.

They are not that active fish to swim throughout the whole aquarium; rather, you will see them moving from rock to rock in a contemplative mood.

Bicolor Bennies are compatible with most other species except large aggressive carnivorous. Clownfish, Tangs, Damselfish, Butterflyfish, Gobies can be their tank partners. But they are mildly aggressive towards their own kinds, so avoid keeping more than two in the same tank.

Blennies are known for carpet surfing if they get spooked, so keep your aquarium covered with a lid. Live rock in aquariums promotes favorable conditions for blennies, providing plenty of microalgae for their diet and shelter.

16. Bicolor Angelfish

Bicolor Angelfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

To be frank, Bicolor Angelfish is not an ideal choice for beginners. Still, they are colorful for tempting you to have them in your aquarium, so why not try? 

Bicolor Angelfish are native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean and found on the coasts of East Africa, southern Japan, Australia, and Fiji. They live in reef slopes and coral areas up to 80 feet in depth in the ocean. 

Bicolor Angelfish is moderately challenging to maintain. They are not as hardy as other Dwarf Angelfish. The selection of suitable tankmates is difficult as they are aggressive. They are still one of the most beautiful saltwater aquarium fish, with bright yellow on the front half and royal blue on the back, a stunning color combination! 

They can live as long as 10 years and grow six inches in size in an ideal condition. Bicolor Angelfishes are omnivorous in nature. In comparison with all other dwarf angelfish, Bicolors are more fond of meaty foods.

In the wild, they eat small crustaceans, tunicates, corals, sponges, worms, algae, etc. They take any type of ready food in aquariums, like pellet flakes and frozen food, so feeding them is less concerned. 

Due to their aggressive nature, it is better to keep only one Bicolor Angelfish in a tank. Though they live in pairs in the ocean, they don’t tolerate any partner in small places like aquariums. Larger Damselfish, Butterflyfish, Wrasse, Tangs can be their good tankmates.

We’ll suggest at least a 50-gallon tank to keep one Bicolor fish, providing sufficient swimming space for this active tank member. Live rocks with hiding places in aquariums benefit them by giving grazing spaces.

17. Flame Angelfish

Flame Angelfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Flame Angelfish is another beautiful Dwarf Angelfish species, and they are native to tropical water or the Pacific Ocean. They live on slopes of coral reefs and lagoons. 

Flame Angelfish has bright orange to reddish body color glazing like flames and rightly named Flame Angelfish.

A full-grown Flame Angelfish can be four inches in size, and they have a life span of 7 years in captivity. Like all other Dwarf Angelfish, the Flame 

Angels are also omnivorous. Algae and crustaceans are their main diet in the ocean. In aquariums, feeding them is very easy as they take every type of common saltwater aquarium fish foods, including prepared pellets and flakes.

They are aggressive and totally intolerant of their own kind, so the simple rule for Angelfish is to keep them single in an aquarium. As they are more ferocious towards newcomers in the aquarium, add them as the community’s last members.

 Keep Flame Angelfish with Larger Damselfish, Butterflyfish, Wrasse, Tangs, and don’t keep with more giant eels and lionfish.

They are charming and will be a super addition to your aquarium. The males are slightly larger and more colorful than the females. Larger Aquariums more than 50-gallon size is suitable for a single Flame Angel.

Large and mature aquariums with plenty of live rocks are perfect for Flame Angelfish. It is better to add an Angelfish at least 6 months after building the aquarium, and it will be the last member to add.

18. Flame Hawkfish

Flame Hawkfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Flame Hawkfish are aboriginal to the Pacific Ocean and live in tropical reefs 3 to 30 feet in depth. They are beautiful fish with bright red flame-like shining color and black dorsal fins. The dorsal fin grows bigger and transforms in shape as they age.

They are bottom feeders and percher in the wild and great swimmers, and have some personalities to be a great addition to your aquarium.

The life expectancy of Flame Hawkfish in captivity is 10 years, and they grow up to four inches in size. Flame Hawkfishes are carnivorous; they are speedy to attack their prey. Small invertebrates like Brine Shrimp and Mysis Shrimp are their favorite diet, and they are pretty happy with prepared flakes and pellets.

For a single Flame Hawkfish, 40-gallon tanks are sufficiently spacious. As they are active swimmers, a long aquarium is right for them. You can keep Hawkfish with most other saltwater aquarium fish, except slow-moving bottom dwellers like small gobies and mandarines.

A suitable aquarium for Flame Hawkfish should have plenty of rocks to provide their perching places, and live corals can make hiding places as they desire.

Additional ledges and caves can make them even happier. Most of the time, they rest on one ledge watching the whole tank with occasional preying and hides inside the cave if they feel threatened somehow.

19. Sargassum Triggerfish

Sargassum Triggerfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Sargassum Triggerfish is a Triggerfish species and native to the western Atlantic, and they are seen in costs from Noth Carolina to Brazil. The species are highly active and love to explore all aquarium items intriguingly.

Though they are not colorful like most other marine aquarium fish, they have a uniquely engrossing behavior, and watching them in the aquarium is fun.

A Sargassum Triggerfish’s expected lifespan is 10 years, and a fully grown fish can be 10 inches in size. They are carnivorous, love eating small invertebrates and fish. 

They prefer Brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, Bloodworms, finely chopped meaty food, and ready pellets in aquariums. They are vigorous eater, feed them several times a day, and finish all meals within a few minutes.

Sargassum Triggerfish does not do well in a crowded aquarium, so at least a 150-gallon size is preferable for them with some selected tank mates. Though Sargassum Triggerfish is a very peaceful species amongst all Triggerfish, still, they can be aggressive.

But they are not hostile towards their own kinds like some other marine fish in aquariums. Large fish like Damselfish, Tangs, Basslets are reasonably compatible with Sargassum Triggerfish as tankmates.

An ideal aquarium for Sargassum Triggerfish should contain plenty of sand substrate with live rocks for refuge, as they love to establish their home and territory. It is better to keep Triggerfish in an under-crowded aquarium as they enjoy plenty of unobstructed spaces for swimming.

20. Dwarf Lionfish

Dwarf Lionfish - Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Dwarf Lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Red sea. They are popular saltwater aquarium fish due to their unique shape and color. They are extremely hardy fish and easy to care for.

Their trademark, flowing-fins are slightly venomous but not deadly, but envenomation can cause severe localized pain and swelling. 

The life expectancy of Dwarf Lionfish is 16 years in captivity, and a fully grown individual’s size is six inches. They are carnivorous and feeds on small sea crustaceans in the ocean. 

In aquariums, they love to eat meaty foods and become habituated with prepared pellets and flakes. But initially, it is better to feed them live shrimps and small crabs.

Dwarf Lionfish do not love to explore the whole aquarium, so they require comparatively less space for swimming. A 50-gallon tank is sufficiently spacious for a Lionfish. 

As Dwarf Lionfish hunt small fish and eat anything that fits their mouth, petite, slow-moving weaker fish cannot be their tank mates. Other large predators can be their best companions.

Like most other marine fish, aquariums with plenty of rocks are suitable for Dwarf Lionfish. They have a natural affinity for caves and rocky habitats and love lurking in between rocky caves.

Don’t provide intense light to them, as they are uncomfortable with strong lighting.

Final Words!

Saltwater fish are colorful, and they will bring more color to your life. Though saltwater aquariums require some special care, it can be great fun if you know how to maintain it.

The selection of the right fish combination is crucial for saltwater aquariums. Hopefully, our list of the best saltwater aquarium fish will make your selection process more comfortable.

Marine fish come from different environments with so many variables. When you are setting a saltwater aquarium, you bring the whole ‘under the ocean world’ in a small room. The compatibility of tank mates is crucial. If you can set a saltwater aquarium and keep things right, you will have a pleasing experience. Enjoy!

Sujit Modak

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