If you have got a monster tank you are looking to fill, consider one or more of my Top 5 Saltwater Fish species for BIG Tanks.

To make this list these fish must be:

  • Interesting to watch
  • Only suited to large aquariums
  • These fish do not have to be “reef safe” to make this list. Please research any species before adding it to your aquarium

5. The Snowflake Moray Eel

Snowflake Eel

In the wild these iconic eels can reach up to 36 inches in length, though they are unlikely to grown to much more than 24 inches in an aquarium.

These nocturnal predators often make great additions to a predator tank and can be considered semi-reef safe (they will eat any fish they can fit in their mouth and crustaceans), they can be housed with certain corals and inverts. They can be taught to be hand fed, but mind your fingers… their bite is painful!

4. The Large Angelfish

Queen angelfish
Queen angelfish

There are many different types of Angelfish, but some of them, such as the Queen angelfish, grow so large that really they ought to be left in the sea or worst case, a giant public aquarium.

There are some species which will not grow quite so large and do adapt well to aquarium environments. It’s hard not to resist these beautiful fish, but they are not generally considered reef safe and need a very large tank to be happy!

The Dwarf Angelfish is also suited to aquariums, and can do better in smaller tanks than the Large Angelfish.

3. The Lionfish


Often the showpiece within a predator tank, the Lionfish earns it’s place within this list thanks to its unusual look & it’s reputation for being a deadly venomous fish. Though you wouldn’t want to be stung by one, they really are beautiful to look at and can develop friendly personalities within the aquarium environment.

This is one fish you should not feel sad about keeping in an aquarium, unfortunately they are an invasive species that is slowly taking over the oceans reefs, being a top predator it threatens the existence of other marine life by out-competing them for food & habitats.

2. The Triggerfish

Clown Triggerfish
Clown Triggerfish

With about 40 different species of Triggerfish, there is bound to be a Trigger that catches your eye! They have a majestic swimming pattern and have an unusual body shape.

They can adapt well to aquarium life provided that they are given enough space to swim around and hide in. These large fish certainly aren’t suited to smaller tanks as some species have been known to grow up to 3 foot long in the wild. They are also a territorial fish that will protect their area fiercely.

1. The Surgeon Fish (Tang)

There was only ever going to be one winner, and it has to be the Tang. With their amazing colour variations and any number of types and sizes available, these fish easily take the crown for the best saltwater fish suited to big tanks.

These fish are available in the most amazing colour variations and many are considered to be reef safe, which is a massive bonus for those of us wanting to keep a full mixed reef!

Hippo Tang
Hippo Tang

Unfortunately, these fish are so beautiful they are often bought by aquarists that have smaller tanks, which they really aren’t suited to. They like to stretch their fins and swim quickly up and down the entire length of the tank, some species will also grow up to 18 inches long, they need space.

We all joke about the Tang police, and this isn’t me being the Tang police, but please think before buying one of these beauties. Please try not to consider them if you have anything smaller than 180 gallons (6ft x 2ftx 2ft), or at least be prepared to move the fish on once it out-grows your tank.

Tang Police
Tang Police


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