Before choosing the saltwater fish, set up the marine environment. Saltwater fish and marine organisms need a larger tank than freshwater set ups. A 50-gallon tank is a good size for the beginner saltwater aquarist. Saltwater fish need room to move around. Remember that a 50-gallon fish tank holds about 800 pounds of water, so you want to make sure the fish stand is stable and in its permanent location when setting up the tank. Aquarium shops sell saltwater tank stands that are designed to hold a large tank securely.
Once you have the saltwater tank environment stabilized with filters, chemicals, coral, proper PH balance, and decorations, it is time to add the fish.
Beginner Saltwater Fish
Hawkfish– Hawkfish grow to about three inches and adapt well to saltwater tanks. They are hardy and eat shrimp and small fish. Be sure to have a secure cover on your fish tank because Hawkfish can jump out of the tank. Hawkfish also like hiding places in the tank. Some of the varieties of Hawkfish include Flame Hawkfish, Longnose Hawkfish, Freckled Hawkfish, Red Hawkfish, and Spotted Hawkfish.
Clownfish–Clownfish are everyone’s favorite saltwater fish, especially since the movie, Finding Nemo was released. Clownfish grow to about three inches and feature bright colors with white stripes. They are extremely hardy fish and adapt well to aquarium life. Clownfish prefer living in small groups, so a few of them should be added to the tank at the same time. Some of the most popular Clownfish are Ocellarish Clownfish, Maroon Clownfish, Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish, Cinnamon Clownfish, and Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish.
Gobies– Gobies grow to about three inches. They adjust well to life in a saltwater tank but they do jump, so a cover must be kept on the fish tank. They enjoy swimming and hiding in rocks and coral. Gobies also burrow in coral sand so a few inches of sand should be provided for them. There are over 40 varieties of Gobies. A few of the most popular Gobies are Black Barred Convict Goby, Catalina Goby, Yellow Clown Goby, Dracula Goby, Gold Neon Goby, Hector’s Goby, and Orange Striped Prawn Goby.
Basslets– Basslets grow to about two inches in length. They are colorful and peaceful but can become territorial. Add enough rock, ornamentation, and coral for hiding places for the Basslets. These fish really add striking colors to the saltwater tank. Some of the most colorful Basslets include Chalk Bass, Lantern Bass, Royal Gramma Basslet, Swales Swissguard Basslet, Swissguard Basslet, and Tobacco Basslet.
Pet Station: Starting with Saltwater
Live Aquaria: Marine and Saltwater Fish