Coral-Friendly Fish: Selecting Fish for Saltwater Aquariums

Saltwater aquariums have a reputation for their colorful and vibrant beauty. From your chosen coral colonies to a range of different invertebrates, every aspect of these displays provides a treat for the eyes. However, no saltwater ecosystem is complete without the addition of a few lively fish. With the right species, these organisms can tie an aquascape together into a cohesive underwater world. Read on to learn the basics of selecting fish for saltwater aquariums and the importance of choosing coral-friendly varieties.

Why Reef Safety Is Crucial

Before you can choose the appropriate fish for your saltwater aquarium, it’s vital that you first understand why reef safety is so important. Like in all ecosystems, balance is essential for ensuring every species benefits from one another and the water’s conditions remain healthy. Acquiring fish that are too aggressive can damage your coral reefs, hurting the rest of your display in the process. As such, you’ll need to be careful to acquire fish with the proper traits to coexist alongside fragile corals and other organisms.

What Makes a Reef-Safe Fish?

But what exactly makes a fish safe to live in the same vicinity as corals? For one, they must accommodate more delicate ecosystems. This way, they’re less likely to damage the organism. It’s also important that they don’t consume other species within your tank. Lastly, you need to make sure that they aren’t aggressive, as this can throw the environment out of balance as well.

A Few Species To Consider

Still, no guide to selecting fish for saltwater aquariums would be complete without providing a few options. Here are some compatible species to consider for your next aquarium build.


The clownfish is a classic example of a reef-safe fish. Known for their distinct orange, black, and white stripes, these fish are small and hardy, allowing them to survive in even tougher conditions. Since they commonly make homes in anemones, they’re familiar with fragile living environments. As such, they’re a very popular pick for beginner hobbyists.

Royal Gramma

The royal gramma is a popular choice as well. With its bright purple front and yellow tail, it’s a vivid sight for any passersby. Best of all, though, they’re very small and gentle, preferring to hide among your corals rather than harm them.

Six-Line Wrasse

The six-line wrasse can make an eye-catching complement for your tank as well. Blue and purple with bright orange accent stripes, this fish is fast and very hardy. It’s perfect for beginners, and it can coexist with a plethora of different coral species.

If you’re looking for advice on matching fish and corals in your reef tank, World Wide Corals can help. With our website, you can buy LPS corals, which are incredibly resilient, and acquire more information on how to best ensure their health. This includes tips for their care and, likewise, their relationships with some fish species.

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