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The decision of caring for fish, especially saltwater kinds, is neither quick nor easy. Most hobbyists who have experience in raising freshwater fish successfully will confirm; that a saltwater kind is not a simple aquatic petting journey. The water chemistry alone holds a challenge. 

Now, this may discourage you already, if you are a complete beginner you might want to just opt for freshwater. However, choosing the best beginner saltwater fish or fish will surely set you up for success; and enjoyment as an aquatic pet owner. Below, are proven and validated best saltwater choices you must need to check out for yourself; taking into consideration their temperament, ease of care, and their perceived attractiveness.


Coming up at the top spot are Dottyboacks. These are beautiful, as they are brightly colored; with purple from their snout to mid-body and yellow up until their graceful tail. These are exotic saltwater fish that thrive well in a 30-gallon tank and are commended for their ease of care. The minimum care requirements for these sea creatures are hiding spots; lots of them as they like to showcase their snake-like swimming skills, a stable and well-crafted water condition; and a diet that is content and non-confrontational. The diet of dottybacks includes small fish and shrimps, plankton, small crustaceans, worms, and any other small frozen foods. 


Awe-inspiring, gorgeous, and definitely unique-looking, Firefish will easily add the colorful spark your aquarium needs. These fish have an impressive hue, going from light-colored with a bright red tail, hence the name. These beautiful critters are commended for their easy-going nature, and they’re being highly sociable with other species of fish. They are also very easy to care for, excellent swimmers with a very low demanding diet. A typical and adaptable diet for them only consists of shrimps; algae, and plankton, all of which will not hurt your wallet but will nourish your firefish. 

Damsel fish 

Another brightly colored that will surely light up your aquarium is a Damselfish. These saltwater fish are very easy to maintain. They can even tolerate less than perfect water conditions. They do not hold any special treatment, and their diet is fairly easy to abide by. These fish are omnivores, with them tolerating both live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, worms, and squids. 


Well, you may already be familiar with famous Clownfish species, as one of them has starred in Pixar’s Finding Nemo Movie. These fish are endearing and easy to look at, with their orange and white hue that complements your aquarium and its decoration. 

Not only are they beautiful, well known and exotic, they also would not give you any headaches at all. They are quiet and less active than other species, they enjoy their alone time and hiding. They do not mind tank mates, and their diets are very easy to aid. With algae, worms, and dry pellets being their go-to wholesome foods. 

Coral Beauties 

Just as true as their name can get, Coral Beauties fish are an incredibly stunning fish that gives beginners a wonderful and stress-free raising journey. To start off, these fish have a blue body with almost glossy bright orange stripes. They are generally healthy, lively, outgoing, great swimmers with a soft spot for hiding. Thus, they need a lot of hiding spots, a good thing it makes them at ease even if they are alone. They do not get aggressive on other fish, and their diet, which is greatly affordable, consists only of algae, worms, and small fish. 

Three Saltwater Fish to Avoid For Absolute Beginners 

There is really some bad advice on the internet about a few hardly inexpensive and masquerading as beginner fish choices, but in reality, they are complicated and will give you an unfortunate beginner petting journey. We suggest that until you are considered better at saltwater fish petting, you have to steer clever out of these species:


Mollies are cheap, ubiquitous, and can tolerate full strength of saltwater, however, just because of these three descriptions, and just because they can tolerate it, does not mean that they are for beginners. What makes them complicated is you have to figure out how to successfully acclimate them in saltwater by meticulously and slowly increasing the salinity. This is crucial because you are risking hurting or killing them if you do not have expertise in the area. 

Six-line wrasse 

Six-line wrasses are such good fish, with great coloration and patterns, with amazing eyes that you could get lost to. However, they can be aggressive and damaging to the tank, as they always scour badly the rock work looking for something to eat. They also do not do well with other fish, unless it’s one of their own. 

Copper band butterfly fish 

The Copper band butterfly fish is another buzz in the saltwater choices because clearly, they are drop-dead gorgeous. They look great in a tank, are boldly colored, have a great body shape, and are commonly accessible in both local stores and online. However, this fish requires specialized care requirements that might overwhelm a beginner, such as its set-up, water condition, filter media, and it’s meticulous diet. 


A great way to hack to successfully have an easy saltwater petting journey is the smart decision of owning one that really speaks to beginners, as one complicated animals can ruin your interesting endeavor. Make sure to refer to this factual list and good luck on your saltwater fish petting journey! 

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