6 easiest saltwater fish for reef aquarium

6 easiest saltwater fish for reef aquarium

Venturing into the vibrant world of reef and saltwater aquarium can be a thrilling yet demanding hobby. The key to a flourishing marine ecosystem lies not just in the appropriate equipment and water conditions, but also in selecting the right inhabitants. Among the myriad of marine species available for saltwater tank, certain saltwater fish stand out for their hardiness and ease of care, making them perfect candidates for beginners. This article explores some of the easiest and best saltwater aquarium fish to keep in a reef tank and provides tips to ensure their well-being.

Table of Contents

So let’s go through the most popular saltwater fish for beginners:



Clownfish is a saltwater aquarium fish, belonging to the Amphiprioninae family. They are amongst other fish, the most popular and easy-to-care for saltwater aquariums. Their striking colors and symbiotic relationship with anemones make them a captivating addition to reef tanks. Clownfish are known for their hardiness, modest size, and straightforward dietary requirements. But also they are very peaceful fish.

Pterapogon KauderniPterapogon Kauderni

The Pterapogon Kauderni, commonly known as Banggai Cardinal fish, is a small fish, stunning yet tranquil species that can be a gentle introduction to reef aquarium keeping. Originating from the Banggai Islands of Indonesia, these fish exhibit a breathtaking contrast of silver body with black stripes and white dots.

Although Banggai Cardinalfish is generally peaceful fish and tend to keep to themselves, they can be territorial with their own kind. Hence, it’s advisable to keep them singly or in mated pairs.

Banggai Cardinalfish are not only visually appealing but also have modest care requirements. They adapt well to captive diets and require a moderate level of maintenance. Their serene movement and elegant appearance can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of a saltwater aquarium, making them a desirable choice for any marine enthusiast.

Sphaeramia NematopteraSphaeramia Nematoptera

The Sphaeramia nematoptera, commonly known as the Pajama Cardinal fish, is a saltwater fish, distinctive and easy-to-care-for species that makes a splendid addition to a peaceful saltwater aquarium. It is good fish for beginners.

With their peculiar yet charming appearance, characterized by a polka-dotted posterior and striped anterior, these nocturnal fish bring a splash of pattern and tranquility to the marine scape. Their peaceful demeanor and small size make them highly compatible with a variety of other reef tank mates.

The Pajama Cardinal fish are hardy fish and adaptable, often thriving in a well-maintained aquarium with stable water conditions. They are also known to be relatively easy to breed in captivity, which can be an exciting venture for the budding marine aquarist. They need medium tank size.

Their gentle nature against other tank mates and low-maintenance requirements, combined with their unique aesthetics, make the Pajama Cardinal fish a beloved choice for both novice and experienced reef aquarium enthusiasts.


Damsel fish are another group of sturdy and adaptable marinebeginner fish. They come in a variety of colors. Demsel fish is active fish and has playful behavior. However, it’s essential to provide enough space and larger aquarium as they can be territorial. They are probably the most aggressive fish amongst all marine saltwater fish species.

Goby FishGoby Fish

Goby fish, the bright yellow watchman goby fish, are another popular saltwater aquarium fish, small sized, bottom-dwelling creatures that play a critical role in maintaining the aquarium’s cleanliness by sifting through the substrate. Also Goby fish is captive bred fish. They come in numerous species, each with unique colors and patterns. Their peaceful temperament makes them a perfect beginner fish.



Lastly, there are Blennies. Blennies are personable, curious saltwater fish that add a touch of whimsy to a reef aquarium. They are hardy, adaptable, and require minimal maintenance, making them ideal for those new to the hobby. Their fascinating behaviors and diverse species can provide endless entertainment.



Embarking on a saltwater aquarium hobby can be less daunting with the right selection of saltwater fish. The aforementioned species are renowned for their hardiness and ease of care, making them excellent choices for both novice and seasoned aquarists. With proper attention to their basic needs and a conducive environment, these fish can thrive and bring joy and color to your underwater haven.

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About the author

Picture of Marek Protasewicz

Marek Protasewicz

Reefkeeping has been my passion for over 10 years now. I love learning. The hobby has taught me many valuable lessons, patience being the best example. Combining work and passion is my path. I run Crazy Coral, a marine aquarium shop, for a number of years. Building this business from the scratch I learnt from my own mistakes at a heavy cost.
Later I managed a project aimed at development of methods for quick growth of Corals in non-natural conditions. The project was carried out by Get Sales, Poland. Presently, I am responsible for distribution strategy at Reef Factory, of which I am a co-founder. The company produces smart devices for marine aquaristics. The last projects I have been involved in are Social Reef and ReefPedia.

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