Saltwater Fish

13 Most Popular Saltwater Fish

If you are a fish lover like me and you like to explore different varieties of fish then this article is for you. Today we are going to talk about the most popular saltwater fishes. First of all, I am going to give you an introduction to saltwater fish. 

Introduction to Saltwater Fishes 

Saltwater fishes are a wide variety of fish that live in the oceans and seas. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. 

Saltwater fishes come in different habitats within the ocean. Some prefer shallow coastal areas, while others live in deeper waters or near coral reefs. They have specific diets, with some of them being herbivorous (eating plants) and others being carnivores (eating other animals). Saltwater fishes are fascinating creatures that contribute to the beauty and biodiversity of our oceans. They have adapted to their underwater homes and play important roles in the marine ecosystem.

13 most popular types of saltwater fishes

These are some most popular saltwater fishes that are loved by fish lovers all across the world. 

  • Basslets

Basslets are small, colorful fish that belong to the family Grammatidae. They are popular saltwater fishes found in tropical waters around the world, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They are quite popular among fish lovers due to their vibrant colors and interesting behaviors.


They are generally peaceful fish, but some species can be territorial and aggressive towards other fish. 

  • Marine Angelfish

Marine angelfish is a fascinating saltwater fish. It belongs to the family Pomacanthidae. It is found in the oceans and seas, predominantly in tropical and subtropical regions. These fish inhabit coral reefs and other marine environments with saltwater conditions. They require specific water parameters, such as appropriate salinity levels and temperature, to thrive in captivity. So if you are interested in keeping marine angelfish as your pets, then you need a saltwater aquarium set up.

Are Angelfish Cichlids

Marine angelfish are generally territorial and they can get quite aggressive. They have a diverse diet that includes a combination of algae and small invertebrates. Some species of angelfish are known to nip at corals, which can cause problems in reef aquariums.

  • Gobies

Gobies are a diverse group of tiny fish and they belong to the family Gobiidae. They can be found in both saltwater and freshwater environments, so there are both saltwater gobies and freshwater gobies.


Saltwater gobies are also known as marine gobies and they inhabit coastal areas and coral reefs around the world. Saltwater gobies come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but most are relatively small in size.

Saltwater gobies also play important ecological roles in reef ecosystems. They help to control populations of small invertebrates and algae, contributing to the overall balance of the reef.

  • Cardinalfish

Cardinalfish are a type of fish that belong to the family Apogonidae. They are found in saltwater environments.

They are known for their beautiful vibrant colors and unique features. They have elongated bodies with a deep, compressed shape. Their colors can vary, but they often display shades of red, orange, yellow, or silver.

They are small in size. They have large eyes and a somewhat large mouth, which gives them a unique appearance.


They are mostly nocturnal, which means they are quite active during the night. During this time, they tend to hide in crevices or among corals and emerge at dusk to feed. Their diet consists of small crustaceans and tiny fish.

  • Damselfish

Damselfish belongs to the family Pomacentridae. They are saltwater fish, primarily found in marine environments such as coral reefs. They are known for their beautiful vibrant colors, small size, and territorial behavior. They come in a variety of species, each with its unique characteristics. Some common species of damselfish include the sergeant major, blue devil, and three-spot damselfish.

They have a territorial nature. They establish and defend small territories within the reef, and can get aggressive while chasing away intruders.


In terms of diet, damselfish are omnivorous which means they can eat both plant matter and small invertebrates. They feed on algae, plankton, small crustaceans, and even tiny fish. They are quite popular among saltwater aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and relatively hardy nature. 

  • Rabbitfish

Rabbitfish belongs to the family Siganidae. They are saltwater fish and are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions.

They are named for their rabbit-like mouths, which have specialized teeth designed for grazing on algae and other plant materials. They have elongated bodies with a compressed shape and they typically grow to a moderate size. Rabbitfish are herbivorous so they only feed on plants. They eat algae, seaweed, and other plant matter. 


Rabbitfish are generally peaceful and are not aggressive. They can be found in small groups or pairs, and they tend to establish and defend territories within their habitat. They might get aggressive during the breeding season.

  • Tangs

Tangs are also known as surgeonfish. They are quite popular saltwater fish. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world’s oceans, particularly in coral reef habitats. They are from the family of Acanthuridae.

They have a beautiful striking appearance, with vibrant colors and unique body shapes. They have laterally compressed bodies, which means they are flattened from side to side.


Tangs are herbivorous so they only feed on plants. They have specialized mouths and teeth adapted for grazing on algae and other types of marine vegetation. 

Tangs are typically active swimmers and can cover large distances in search of food and suitable habitats. They also form schools or small groups, establishing territories within the reef. Some of the species exhibit territorial behavior and defend their territories from intruders.

  • Clownfish

 Clownfish are also known as anemonefish. They are saltwater fish from the family Pomacentridae. They are found in the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, particularly in coral reefs.

They are small and colorful fish that have a unique relationship with sea anemones. They have a rounded body shape and beautiful vibrant colors, such as orange, yellow, and black.


Clownfish are omnivorous, so they can eat both plants and tiny insects. They feed on algae, plankton, and small invertebrates. 

  • Pufferfish

Pufferfish are also known as blowfish. They are from the family Tetraodontidae. They are found in both saltwater and freshwater environments. However, the most famous species of pufferfish are found in saltwater.

They have a unique ability they can inflate their bodies by ingesting large amounts of water or air. When they feel insecure, they puff up their bodies as a defense mechanism, making themselves appear larger and more difficult to swallow for potential predators.


Pufferfish are omnivorous, which means they can eat both plant matter and small insects. Their diet typically consists of a variety of marine organisms such as algae, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes. 

  • Groupers

Groupers are saltwater fish and they belong to the family Serranidae. They are known for their large size and robust bodies. They have a thick, muscular build with a broad head and a large mouth. 

They come in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on the species. Sometimes they also blend in with their surroundings, which helps them to ambush prey or hide from predators.

  • Wrasses

Wrasses are saltwater fish and they belong to the family Labridae. They are found in coral reefs and rocky coastal areas of tropical and subtropical oceans.

Wrasses exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females have different appearances. Male wrasses have more vibrant colors and elaborate patterns compared to females. 

Wrasses also have interesting cleaning behaviors. They act as cleaner fish, picking off parasites and dead skin from other fish, and providing a cleaning service.

They also play important roles in reef ecosystems as they help in controlling the populations of small invertebrates and algae, which promotes the overall health and balance of the reef.

  • Dragonets

Dragonets are also known as mandarin fish. They are quite famous saltwater fish. They belong to the family Callionymidae. They are found in warm tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region.

They are known for their beautiful vibrant colors and intricate patterns, making them popular choices for saltwater aquariums. They have slender bodies with elongated fins and a distinct, dragon-like appearance that’s why they are called dragonets. 

They are carnivorous and they feed on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans and tiny worms. 

  • Eels 

Eels are found in both saltwater and freshwater. They are from the family Muraenidae and are known for their long, snake-like bodies.

Eels have scaleless skin that is often slimy, which allows them to move smoothly in the water. They have a long dorsal fin that extends along most of their body, and it provides them with precise control and maneuverability.

They are known for their excellent sense of smell, which helps them locate food and navigate their surroundings, especially in poorly lit environments.


What are the top 10 beginner saltwater fish?

These are some top 10 beginner saltwater fishes

  • Clownfish
  • Chromis
  • Damselfish
  • Butterflyfish
  • Cardinalfish
  • Yellow tang
  • Angelfish
  • Wrasse
  • Basslet fish
  • Clown goby

Popular saltwater fish for aquariums?

Some of the most popular saltwater fishes for home aquariums are 

  • Clown goby
  • Damselfish
  • Cardinalfish
  • Flame Angelfish
  • Blue tang
  • Green Chromis
  • Firefish
  • Butterflyfish
  • Clownfish

Most common saltwater fish to catch?

Some of the most popular and common saltwater fish to catch are 

  • King mackerel
  • Snapper
  • Tarpon
  • Tuna
  • Bonefish

What are the best saltwater fish?

Some of the best and aquarium-friendly saltwater fishes are Clown gobby, Green Chromis, Damselfish, Clownfish, Hawkfish, etc

What’s the prettiest saltwater fish?

Some of the most beautiful saltwater fish are 

  • French Angelfish
  • Triggerfish
  • Lionfish
  • Mandarin fish

What is the most expensive saltwater fish?

Peppermint angelfish is known as the most expensive saltwater fish. 


Saltwater fish offers a captivating array of species. In this article, we have explored thirteen of the most popular saltwater fishes, each with its unique beauty, characteristics, and allure.

In the world of saltwater aquariums, these thirteen popular fish have left a lasting impression on fish enthusiasts. Their beauty, grace, and intriguing behaviors continue to captivate both seasoned hobbyists and newcomers alike. By appreciating and preserving these remarkable creatures, we can ensure that their natural wonders stay with us for generations.

13 Most Popular Saltwater Fish
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