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Beginner Level Saltwater Fish

Updated on May 16, 2018

If you are thinking about having your own saltwater aquarium in your home, you will want to start off with fish you know you can care for. These beginner level saltwater fish are known for their ease of care and hardiness. These fish will adapt well to new saltwater aquariums and can be the best choice for a new saltwater fish tank hobbyist. Instead of overwhelming yourself, be sure to start off with fish of an appropriate skill level to ensure your aquarium is a fun happy with healthy fish!

Flame Angelfish

The Flame Angelfish is a great choice for any saltwater aquarium. Its bright colors make the aquarium pop, and Angelfish are typically known for doing well in captivity. These fish do well with other fish of similar size. These fish typically grow to about 4", and are omnivores. They are semi-aggressive, so introducing them to your aquarium should be planned carefully.

Yellow Tang

Tangs are good fish for beginning aquariums. They get along with most other fish, including other Tangs. They are good reef fish, and they will leave invertebrates alone. These fish are also not picky eaters. They can grow to 8", so it's best to have a large aquarium - at least 100 gallons is needed for a happy habitat, with plenty of room to swim.

Elegant Wrasse

The Wrasse is a good fish for beginners. The Elegant Wrasse comes in a variety of colors and likes to hide in your aquarium, either in caves or under substrate. This fish does well with bigger fish, and it is a carnivore. They can range in size, but 3" is about the average. Be sure to research your wrasse, as some are not compatible with reefs and corals.

Bursa Triggerfish

This Triggerfish is a smaller variety of the species, and it is kind of a loner. The Bursa Triggerfish is an omnivore, and it is easy to feed. The Triggerfish is not recommended for reef tanks, but it is suitable for regular saltwater aquariums. They can grow to about 9", and need at least 125 gallons for lots of swimming space. Triggerfish are carnivores.

Pink Spotted Watchman Goby

A Goby is a great fish to add to any aquarium - they are easy to care for and will fit right into a reef setting. The Goby is a carnivore. The Pink Spotted Watchman Goby is just one of the species - Gobies come in many different colors.

True Percula Clownfish

Clownfish are incredibly popular for aquariums, and many affectionately refer to them as 'Nemo'. They acclimate to tanks very easily, and do great in many different aquarium settings. They do great in reef settings, and they like to have places to hide.

Midas Blenny

The Midas Blenny is a golden colored fish that does great in large saltwater aquariums. This fish is suitable for a coral reef tank. The Blenny is a carnivore, and will sometimes antagonize other small fish, like Gobies or Firefish.


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    • Volitans profile image


      7 years ago from Seattle

      Nice article.

      Firefish are another great beginner fish. Fascinating behavior, gorgeous fish, and easy to take care of. Along with a royal gramma, this was one of my first two fish... Lasted until one of my non-beginner fish scared him into carpet-surfing.


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