Not everyone can have a monster tank, not everyone wants one! So here is my list of Top 5 saltwater fish that will suit smaller/nano reef tanks.

To make this list these fish must be:

  • Interesting to watch
  • Suited to small aquariums
  • Considered to be reef safe

5. The Firefish Goby

Firefish Goby
Firefish Goby

In Firefish Goby is a peaceful tank inhabitant that will spends its days bobbing around, minding it’s own business.

Available in red and purple colouration these little fish will add a splash of colour to your tank.

They are happy little fish with an unusual swimming pattern to add a bit more intrigue to them.

They easily earn their place on this list.

4. The Six Line Wrasse

Sixline Wrasse

The Six Line Wrasse is an extremely colourful and attractive fish. They also provide a service to your tank by hunting down bristle-worms, flat-worms and other marine pests.

It will spend its day foraging your live rock looking for pests and pods, mainly keeping to itself, but they have been know to become aggressive towards the more peaceful wrasse & more timid fish, so caution should be taken when adding them to a stocked tank.

3. The Clownfish

Saltwater Livestock

The iconic Clownfish had to be on this list. Everyone loves a Clownfish!

The reason these fish don’t take our number one spot is because they can become aggressive to both their tank mates & the aquarists. I have seen many hands nibbled & bitten by a territorial Clown.

Available in a range of colour morphs, there is bound to be a Clownfish out there that catches your eye, but be warned, the “designer” Clowns can come with a hefty price tag.

2. The Yellow-Striped Cardinal

Yellow Striped Cardinalfish
Yellow Striped Cardinalfish

These active little fish are amongst the few reef safe fish that are happy to be kept in either large shoals, small shoals, pairs or on their own, which is very refreshing!

With their big eyes, bold colours and peaceful nature they are a welcomed addition to any mixed reef (provided they are not housed with a predator!).

These fish can become quite personable and will rush to greet the aquarist whenever they approach the tank, they are model citizens who just miss out on our top spot.

1. The Royal Gramma

Royal Gramma
Royal Gramma

Today the spotlight shines on the Royal Gramma. Why? Look at those colours! Vibrant purple & yellow with a mean looking face make this one of the prettiest fish to have any aquarium (in my humble opinion).

They are model citizens, reef safe and once confident in the aquarium they will be out and about, cruising the rock work for any tasty treats.

They bother no-one in your tank but are happy to socialise with their tank mates provided they are not overly boisterous. They suit both big and small aquariums & are just an all-round great fish to own!


This website is expensive to run in both monetary value and time. If you like what you see, and find this site helpful, please consider donating towards the running costs of the site.