10 Best Saltwater Fish For Beginners

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There are quite many saltwater fishes that you can possibly keep in your Aquarium. It, however, doesn’t mean that all saltwater fishes are compatible. If you are a beginner then, you should be extra careful about the fishes you keep. This is due to the fact that saltwater fishes can be more difficult to take care of than freshwater fishes. They need a certain type of diet and feasible conditions to survive.

Keeping that in mind, we bring you this article where we talk about the different fishes that are best for saltwater aquariums. So without any further ado, let us get into it.

best saltwater fish for beginners

Which Fishes Are Good For Beginners & Why?

In the fish keeping community, we define the tolerance level of fishes in terms of ‘hardiness.’ For a beginner, we suggest ‘hardier’ fishes. Why? Because hardy fishes can survive extreme conditions which makes it easier for you to manage it. Even if the water parameters are incorrect, the feeding method is false and/or the fish is incompatible, it still has a good surviving rate.

Now, we are not discouraging you to get a delicate fish, we’re just trying to say that a hardy fish is the safest bet that you can play. On the flip side, not all hardy fishes are beginner-friendly, there are some that can be a bit of a nuisance.

While it is true that there are many hardy fishes, it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to filter out the best fishes. In addition, you don’t have to worry about hardy fishes too much, so no matter which one you get, you’re still good!

The factors that make a hardy fish best of beginners are – the growth size of the fish, the social presence of the fish, a clean fish and the fish that is visually pleasing. What we mean is, the fish should be capable of living its whole life in a 10-30 gallon tank. The fish should be social with other fishes in the tank, it shouldn’t be excreting much and the last point is that it should look good.

Our Top 10 Best Saltwater Fish For Beginners

1. Chalk Bass

Chalk Bass is a hardy fish that’s very peaceful as compared to some other hardy fishes. This fish requires caves to hide in and it can be kept in different communities of fishes in your aquarium. One thing that we would suggest is to be careful while adding it to a tank, these fishes can be a bit hard as they jump a lot.

Quick Stats:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet: Carnivore

2. Black Molly

Mollies can live in both fresh or saltwater. Black molly, as the name suggests, is totally black in colour. It has short fins to compliment the black look. These fishes need a planted tank and a good filtration system. It is because they excrete heavily. The fishes have a peaceful temper that makes it a community fish. A female black molly will reproduce every 60-70 days.

Quick Stat

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore

3. Pajama Cardinalfish

The name may seem funny, the fishes are even funnier! The Pajama Cardinalfish has a really good design with different colours. They have a green-yellow face and large orange eyes. They are pretty peaceful in nature that makes it a decent community fish. You should keep this fish in a small group. It swims slow, it likes to hide in nooks and crannies as well. They are not aggressive to other cardinal fishes if you keep it in a school.

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Carnivore

4. Firefish


Firefish is a very beautiful fish with bright red and orange colours. They have a decent temperament. Very social and compatible with 20 gallons of tank size. In addition, they move fast and will give your tank a different personality.

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Carnivore

5. Blue Green Chromis


Considered as one of the best aquarium fishes, the Chromis Viridis has beautiful colours. With a blue dorsal fin that fades into green, the Chromis looks stunning in an aquarium. The best part is that the fish can be kept easily as it is easier to feed and it’s very peaceful as well. It is better to keep them in a school, with other Chromis fishes. Small schools of Chromis looks absolutely amazing in an aquarium

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore

6. Lawnmower Blenny

Also known as Sailfin (or Algae Blenny), Lawnmower Blenny is a popular type of fish. It has a unique look with spotted tan colours and large eyes. It can grow to 5 inches. Since it’s a peaceful fish, you can keep it in a community. It can be seen hiding in rocks and caves. You might need a larger tank for this fish though.

Quick Stats:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy-Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Herbivore

7. Klein’s Butterflyfish

While we wouldn’t recommend butterflyfishes to beginners, Klein’s Butterflyfish is one exception. It has an omnivore diet which is always great. In addition, it can be kept in a community of fishes. They do need a very large tank though, one that supports 120 gallons. So, this might be a deal-breaker for some.

Quick Stats:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore

8. Flame Hawkfish

The other name for Flame Hawkfish is “Red Hawkfish” and it is fish that lives at the bottom of the tank. With a vibrant red body and dark colouring around its eyes, this fish is hard to miss. This fish can be a bit challenging for you as they are pretty aggressive, to be honest. They also need a lot of space. As far as the food goes, it is a carnivore.

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet: Carnivore

9. Ocellaris Clownfish

The Ocellaris clownfish is a very good looking fish with a beautiful orange colour. The look is complemented by white bands and black outlines too. The Ocellaris Clownfish is to breed in your home aquarium. In addition, this fish eats like a beast! The females are larger than male and thy reproduce for life, as long as they’re alive. These fishes should also not be housed with aggressive species.

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore

10. Six Line Wrasse

There are a lot of wrasses in the Labridae family out of which the Six-Line wrasse is the most beautiful one. It has good colours and it is very peaceful. The fish requires plenty of hiding spots. It could be a bit difficult to take care of because it needs a good diet and ample space. They can feed on live food as they are omnivores. Despite being peaceful, these fishes can act a bit aggressively to other wrasses.

They are also known to act aggressively to other wrasses, and smaller, more docile fish.

Quick Stats

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore

How To Introduce New Fish Into A Saltwater Aquarium

There are a few ways to introduce a new fish into a saltwater aquarium. Let us get into it!

Quarantine Tank

You should use a quarantine tank, even if the fish looks healthy, it could still be riddled with diseases. It needs to be kept away in a quarantine tank for some time to see if it’s healthy or not.

Floating Bag

Commonly used for freshwater fishes, the floating bag methods work for saltwater fishes as well. Just open the bag and remove a quarter of the water to replace it with tank water. Let the bag float in the tank after you’ve secured the bag’s top. Keep adding the water from the tank every 15 minutes(add a cup of water, 4 to 5 times) until the bag is full. When the fish inside the bag has enough time to acclimatize to the changes, you can put the fish into the tank and you’re done!

Bucket Method

This method is similar to using a floating bag. The difference is that you use a bucket. It has lesser risk as you do it away from the tank. Thus, the tank water doesn’t contaminate. Take some tank water in the bucket and follow the same steps as the floating bag method.

How Often Should You Feed Your Marine Fishes?

It depends on whether your fish is herbivores, omnivores or carnivores. Herbivores and Omnivores need to be fed small meals a few times a day. On the other hand, carnivores need to be fed every day.

While you feed the fishes, make sure they are eating the food completely. There shouldn’t be any food left on the tank.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks. That’s all about saltwater fishes for beginners. The takeaway here is that you need to get “hardier” fishes. You need to have knowledge about a fish’s feeding habit, water compatibility and requirements. Also, you need to make sure that the fishes stay peaceful with the other fishes.

But this is only the surface. You need to have proper knowledge of how to add a fish in your aquarium. You also need to know what and when to feed your fishes. If you can do these things properly, then only should you start your journey and keep fishes in an aquarium.

Remember, fishes are also living beings and they need proper care. Treat them as you would treat your pets!

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