Reef Safe Fish

Reef Safe Fish

When embarking on your saltwater journey you must take into account that not all saltwater fish are reef safe. Some of these fish are not suited to reef aquarium set up as they will tear up or eat corals. Other fish like to eat and pick on invertebrate. So the question is what are reef safe fish?

On a basic level a reef safe fish is one that is considered to be reasonably safe to add to your saltwater reef setup. These fish generally do not consume corals. However one must take into account that just because a particular fish is listed as reef safe this does not mean that it will never eat or disrupt your corals. Many hobbyists will report incidences where a certain fish they believed to be reef safe turned out to be the suspect eating their treasured corals.  Many particulars can cause a reef safe fish to turn. Size of your reef set up or the types of corals you keep in your aquarium may be a reason.  There are always exceptions to the rule.

reef safe fish


Bare in mind it is also common to see fish labeled as reef safe with caution. This generally means that they can be kept or have been successfully kept in a reef set up, however they should never be trusted. An eye must always be kept on them with regards to your corals.

Some hobbyists consider fish that do not have teeth to have a more reliable record for not nibbling at their beloved corals and sessile invertebrates. The Fairy Wrasse, Six line Wrasse, Cleaner Wrasse and Dwarf Lionfish are examples of fish, which do not seem to bother corals. These fish are carnivores that are more attracted to tiny crustaceans and fish to satisfy their hunger requirements.  Gobies, Blennies, Cardinal fish and Clown fish are among some of the more popular fish, which are considered to be reef safe. Many Tangs are often housed in reef aquariums. Due to their love of algae they tend to leave corals alone.



Some fish like Triggerfish and Parrotfish are a definite no go with regards to keeping in a reef aquarium. These fish love to munch on corals. The best advice is to really research any fish before you purchase it. It is also wise to get other hobbyists experiences of keeping those particular fish in their own aquarium and what sort of set ups they have had. The more knowledge you gain before adding any species to your aquarium may reduce any potential mishap and make the aquatic journey a truly enjoyable experience. 


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