Reef Safe Fish and Invertebrates – Top 10 Best Options for Each

Compatibility is the name of the game when it comes to an aquarium, especially a reef tank. No fish can be considered 100% reef safe. That’s also true for many invertebrates. Reef safe fish and invertebrates are plentiful but obviously care must be taken to choose fish that will be a good fit with your corals. Also, hardy fish over more difficult to care for fish are preferred. Let’s run down the top ten list of fish to consider.

Top 10 Reef Safe Fish

Yellow Tang

10. Yellow Tang

The quintessential saltwater fish, the Yellow Tang. This vibrant yellow fish is an active swimmer and good for eating algae as well.

Purple Firefish

9. Firefish

An active fish in the Goby family. It’s quite a hardy fish and the purple variant pictured is gorgeous.

Starry Blenny

8. Starry Blenny

Personality is what makes this little guy a hoot. They perch on rocks searching for algae to graze on.

Neon Blue Goby

7. Neon Blue Goby

These vibrant blue fish are quite small yet beautiful. A great addition to a nano reef. 

Yellow Assessor

6. Yellow Assessor

This beautify reef safe fish has stunning fin colorations. A great addition.

5. Blue Reef Chromis

A schooling fish, you’ll want to purchase a group as opposed to an individual. They are active and occupy the upper portion of your tank.

4. Banggai Cardinal

This schooling fish is best kept in small groups. Caves and outcroppings are ideal as they tend to be rather sedentary.

3. Orchid Dottyback

This beautiful and active purple fish darts in and out of rock work, feeding on pests such as bristle worms.

2. Mandarin Dragonette

A great reef tank fish but the most difficult on this list. My sentimental favorite. Probably the most gorgeous fish you can own.

Reef Safe Fish - Clown Fish

1. Clownfish

Probably the most popular fish, and for good reason. Super hardy and a very frisky personality. Reminds me of a puppy version of a fish. Not to mention the amazing symbiotic relationship they have with anemones. You can’t go wrong with one of these little guys.

Top 10 Reef Safe Invertebrates

10. Cerith Snail

This tiny little guy has a huge appetite for detritus, fish food, fish waste, and algae. A handful of these active scavengers is not only reef safe but a highly recommended member of a clean-up crew.

9. Turbo Snail

This large snail is a super algae grazer. It also earns it’s name as a turbo. They really do get around the tank in a hurry for a snail. A really great clean-up crew member.

Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab

8. Blue Leg Hermit Crab

Another great clean-up crew member. This crab is an active member of your aquarium. Interesting to watch wander your rock work.

Emerald Crab

7. Emerald Crab

When it comes to clean-up crew, the Emerald Crab is my favorite. Loads of personality and an awesome worker.

Feather Duster Fan Worm

6. Feather Duster

A relative of the earth worm but much more beautiful. This filter feeder can help add a bit of diversity to any reef tank. 

5. Red Gracilaria

A beautiful red algae that can be grown in your display tank. If your herbivores aren’t too voracious it should grow well.

Peppermint Shrimp

4. Peppermint Shrimp

Shrimp are entertaining additions. The bonus with the Peppermint Shrimp is it is known to eat Aiptasia.

Coral Banded Shrimp

3. Coral Banded Shrimp

This beautiful and entertaining shrimp is not only reef-safe but also known to eat bristle worms.

Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

2. Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

Another beautiful shrimp. This one being extremely entertaining to watch as it cleans parasites off your fish.

1. Bubble Tip Anemone

The Bubble Tip Anemone is a wonderful addition. It’s gorgeous and the #1 reef safe fish loves to call it home. It’s awesome to watch frisky clownfish dart in and out of it.

 

In Conclusion

There are a lot of reef safe fish and invertebrates available to stock your aquarium with, however these are the best of the bunch. Be sure and do your research on your choices to know the specific needs of each and compatibility with other fish. Each on this list will have their own specific needs and challenges.

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Stay in the Loop

Join our list of interested reefers to get the latest updates

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest

Reef Tank Resource is a Member of the Montford Design Lab Network

Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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