Marine aquariums and saltwater fish… capturing the imagination and inspiring enthusiasts for nearly two centuries!

The world’s oceans are inhabited with over 14,000 species of saltwater fish. A fascinating realm of sea creatures that are natural wonders of color, form, and display. With such an astounding diversity, learning about marine fish and keeping saltwater aquariums is an exciting adventure.

Our list of saltwater fish covers a wide array of species from marine aquarium fish to exotic species. Each fish guide offers salt water fish information starting with where they are found and their habitat, followed with fish care, behaviors, and compatibility. Fish pictures are provided with each guide to help choose a pet and aid as a fish identification guide.

Anemone Fish

Many anemone fish enjoy a simbiotic relationship with anemones

Click to learn about Clownfish
– Clownfish are named for their clown like appearance and adorable ‘waddle-like’ swimming motions, they are truly the clowns of sea!
Click to learn about Damselfish
– Damselfish are very colorful, active small fish that are extremely hardy and adapt easily to the aquarium.
Click to learn about Angelfish
– Saltwater angelfish are truly an inspiration for many aquarists. Their majestic beauty is rivaled by few other types of fish.
Click to learn about Blenny Types
– Blennies are long, blunt headed fish. The male blennies are usually larger and more colorful than the females. Blennies like to perch in the rocks and will enjoy an aquarium with plenty of rockwork or live rock.
Click to learn about Butterflyfish
– Butterflyfish are some of the most beautiful and exotic of all the reef fishes, though often harder to keep in an aquarium because of their specialized diets.
Click to learn about Gobies and Dartfish
– Gobies live in holes either found or dug from the sand which serve as a place to bolt into when danger is near, while the Dartfish or Dart Gobies swim above their protective caves.
Click to learn about Hawkfishes
– “The name comes from their hawklike hunting behaviour.”
Click to learn about Lionfish
– The Last Thing Many Fish Will Ever See …
Click to learn about Mandarinfish and Dragonets
– Mandarinfish and Dragonets are mostly bottom dwellers. They often like to bury themselves in the sand or flit from rock to rock in search of the small animals they like to feed upon.
Click to learn about Marine Eels
– “The romans valued morays very highly, docorating them with jewels”
Click to learn about Miscellaneous Saltwater Fish
– Saltwater fish that are not represented by a large number of species. Many of these marine fish make wonderful additons to the marine or reef aquarium.
Click to learn about Puffers - Boxfish - Porcupinefish
– Puffers, Boxfish, and Porcupinefish are considered hardy in the sense that they will almost always adapt to aquarium food if fed proper foods. These fish love to eat will often look forward to seeing the person that feeds them.
Click to learn about Sea Basses and Groupers
– “When the Betta hunts it approaches its prey sideways …”
Click to learn about Sharks and Rays
– Sharks and Rays can be incredible additions to aquariums that are large enough to suit the particular species. Unfortunately, most of them are too large for anything but a public aquarium.
Click to learn about Surgeonfish
– Saltwater Tangs of the Acanthuridae family are known as “Surgeonfish” because they have razor sharp spines at the base of their tail fin.
Click to learn about Triggerfish
– Members of this family have acquired their common name ‘triggerfish’ from the characteristic locking and unlocking of their first dorsal fin.
Click to learn about Wrasses
– Wrasses come in a wide assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. They are very beautiful and a fun addition to marine aquariums.

Marine – Saltwater Fish Features

Dog-faced Puffer
Dog-faced Puffer Blackspotted Puffer, Dog-faced Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus
Cowfish Cowfish, Longhorn Cowfish, Long-horned Cowfish, Lactoria cornuta
Oldwife Oldwife, Enoplosus armatus
Firefish Firefish, Fire Dartfish, Nemateleotris magnifica
Longnose Hawkfish
Longnose Hawkfish Longnose Hawkfish, Oxycirrhites typus
Flame Hawkfish
Flame Hawkfish Flame Hawkfish, Brilliant Red Hawkfish, Neocirrhites armatus

Black Spotted Puffer is now live!

Dog-faced Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus

The Blackspotted Puffer acts much like a dog and is a favorite! That face looks so sweet, that you may find yourself whistling for it to come…. and it just might!

Guest Article Contributions Welcome!


For setting up a saltwater aquarium, see: Marine Aquarium Basics

The keeping of saltwater fish species is infrequently recorded in ancient history. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that a real push began to explore the inhabitants of the sea. In the early 1800’s successful keeping of marine invertebrates is cited, but keeping marine fish developed a bit later. The first successful collection of saltwater fish, and then successfully keeping saltwater aquariums is credited to William E. Damon in the 1870’s.

Still it wasn’t until almost a century later, about the 1950’s, that interest in the hobby really began to take root, and by the 1980’s, major strides were made in aquarium husbandry. At this time how to biologically maintain an artificial ocean environment was developed, what today is commonly known as the nitrification cycle. With this development, saltwater fishkeeping became very successful and is an exciting widespread hobby today.

Animal-World fish guides provide information on many types of saltwater aquarium fish and others. The list of fish includes all types of marine fish from well-known popular species like Damsels, Angelfish, and Tangs, to the more exotic marine species like Sharks, Rays and others. The list of saltwater fish is constantly expanding to include even more exotic fish types like Anglers and Toadfish, Grunts, Jawfish, Seahorses and Pipefish, Tilefish, Snappers, Scorpions, Rockfish, and more.

Fish pictures of each type of marine fish are provided within each fish guide. These not only help with saltwater fish identification, but aid in choosing pet fish. The fish guides also have in-depth fish information, covering everything from their native place of origin and when first scientifically described, to the habitats and behaviors of each species. Each guide then provides the fish care needed to successfully keep them in a saltwater aquarium.

Featured Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock