Aquarium with Best saltwater fish for a 75-gallon tank and graphics of fish

82 Best Saltwater Fish for a 75-gallon tank

A 75-gallon tank is a nearly perfect size for saltwater fish, allowing enough room to care for all but the largest saltwater fish.

You can keep all the fish species recommended for smaller tanks, and the added volume in a 75-gallon tank unlocks the following fish types:

  • A few of the smallest tang types
  • Several dwarf angelfish species
  • Graceful Anthias species
  • One-spot Rabbitfish
  • Soldierfish

Here is a list of the 82 Best saltwater fish for a 75 gallon tank:

  • Tangs: Kole, Tomini, Two-spot Bristletooth, Squaretail Bristletooth, 
  • Dwarf Angelfish: Flame angel, Coral Beauty, Bi-color, Pygmy/Cherub, Flameback, Lemonpeel, Rusty, Red Stripe, 
  • Antias: Lyretail
  • Reef safe wrasses: Carpenter’s, Lubbock’s Fairy, Melanurus, Yellow Coris, McCosker’s, Sixline
  • Marine betta
  • Dwarf lionfish: Fuzzy dwarf, Dwarf zebra, Fu Manchu, or Monbasa
  • Filefish: Aiptasia-eating
  • Blenny: Tailspot, Two spot, Canary, Midas, Striped, Harptail or Smith’s
  • Cardinalfish: Banggai, Yellow, Pajama, or Longfin
  • Cleaner goby: Neon, Yellow line, Shark nose, or Hybrid
  • Clownfish: Tomato, Cinnamon, Maroon, Clarkii, Spotcinctus, Ocellaris, Percula, Orange skunk or Pink skunk
  • Chromis: Blue-green or Blue Reef
  • Dartfish: Firefish, Purple firefish, Zebra, Scissortail orHelfrichi
  • Dottyback: Orchid or Neon
  • Fairy Basslet: Royal gramma, Blackcap or Chalk basslet
  • Fancy goby: Clown, Two spot, Yasha or Court jester
  • Hawkfish: Flame, Longnose, or Falco
  • Puffer: Saddle Valenti (if fish only)
  • Soldierfish: Squirrelfish
  • Damselfish: Azure, Blue, Blue Devil, Bluefin, Blue Velvet, Domino, Three-stripe, Four-stripe, Yellowtail
A few of the Best Saltwater Fish for a 75-gallon tank

The Best Saltwater Fish for a 75 gallon tank Table

Best Saltwater Fish 75-GOptions:        
TangsYellow Eye KoleTominiSquaretail BristletoothTwo-spot Bristletooth
Dwarf AngelsFlameCoral BeautyBi-colorCherubFlamebackLemonpeelRustyRed Stripe 
Reef safe wrassesCarpenter’sLubbock’s FairyMcCosker’s6 LineMelanurusYellow Coris   
Marine Bettas         
Dwarf lionfishFuzzyZebraFu ManchuMonbasa     
BlennyTailspot2 SpotCanaryMidasStripedHarptailSmith’s  
Cleaner gobyNeonYellowlineSharknoseHybrid     
ClownfishMaroonTomatoCinnamonClarkiiSpotcintusOcellarisPerculaO. SkunkP. Skunk
ChromisBlue-greenBlue reef       
Fairy BassletRoyal GrammaBlackcapChalk      
Fancy gobyClownTwo-spotYashaCourt JesterYellow Watchman    
DamselfishBlueBlue devilBlue velvetDominoAzure3 stripe4 stripeYellow tailBlue fin
Table of best saltwater fish for a 75-gallon tank

Typical 75-gallon tank dimensions

A 75-gallon tank is typically 48 inches long x 18 inches wide x 21 inches deep. 

It is the exact size of my very first Saltwater Aquarium. For years, I had kept freshwater fish in a 20-gallon high style aquarium, but when I transitioned to saltwater, the 75-gallon tank was what I went for, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.

Sidebar, but I just thought I’d share, for your amusement, that my first version of that sentence above read, “whole heartily”. Hah

75 gallon tank dimensions
75 Gallon Tank Dimensions and weight: 48″ x 18″ x 21″ and 850 pounds filled

How many of the best saltwater fish for a 75-gallon tank should you have?

The total number of saltwater fish you should keep in a 75-gallon tank is 21 or less. Restricting the number to 10-15 will reduce maintenance and increase your chance of success with corals and other invertebrates.

See the list below for recommendations about how many of each type of fish:

Or if you want to keep a predator:

Aquarium with "Best Saltwater Fish for a 75-gallon Tank" and graphics of hawkfish, clownfish, flame angel and wrasse

A few compatibility notes and caveats

There are a few caveats to the recommendations above. 

  • Pick either a Fairy Basslet or a Dottyback, not both
  • Dartfish are very mild-mannered, may not work with bold tank mates, best to be an early tank addition
  • Select either the Flasher or Fairy or Reef Safe wrasses, don’t mix
  • In my own personal experience, it is challenging to keep a shoal (>1) chromis alive
  • Soldierfish and Hawkfish may not be compatible with your mobile invertebrates

Equipment needed for a 75-gallon tank

  • Heater – 200 watts may be sufficient, I recommend 300-watts to be sure
  • Protein skimmer – I recommend the Red Sea Skimmer. Read more here
  • Reef tank lights —Aqua Illumination is a good place to start
  • Lid – Several of the saltwater fish listed here will jump out of tanks when startled. A tight-fitting lid is key
  • Powerhead – to create the proper water flow in the tank, you’ll want a powerhead, like a GYRE style pump
  • Test kits – Water quality is so important—it pays to have the right test kits
Four different saltwater clown fish species, all suitable for a 75-gallon tank
75-gallons is big enough to select any clownfish species you want

Here are a few other very important articles to help you have success with your new saltwater tank:

Other stocking options

Fish are possibly the easiest and most readily available animals you can keep in your 75-gallon saltwater tank, here are a few other non-fish recommendations:

Looking for a different size

If you’re not quite sold on the 75-gallon saltwater tank as the right aquarium for you, check out these stocking guides for these other great tanks to see if they’re a better fit for the space in your home, apartment, or budget.

Share your plans and leave a comment

After reading this article, what are your plans for your aquarium? Have you identified your livestock yet? Please leave a comment and let me know which of the 82 best saltwater fish for a 75-gallon tank you’re thinking about.

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4 responses to “82 Best Saltwater Fish for a 75-gallon tank”

  1. Michael

    I’m about to start my first saltwater adventure and have a lot to learn. So far I’m thinking at least 4 clownfish 2 seahorses and 2 tangs.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the comment. Congrats on your new adventure!!! Can’t wait to hear more about your tank.


  2. Tyler

    I was just wondering when would it be a good time to add coral my tank been cycled for 4 weeks now with no fish just live rocks and I didn’t wanna mess anything up

    1. Hi Tyler, like many things in this hobby, the answer is a bit complicated. What you’re likely to experience over the next several months is some fluctuation in water parameters as different types of algae colonize your tank, causing some problems and frustrations. The BEST TIME to add corals is probably after that (6-12 months from start). But that’s often an unpopular date.

      There are some benefits to using hardy corals like GSP, Toadstools, Mushrooms, Xenia to help colonize a tank. They are often tough enough to outcompete those algae and help you settle your tank faster.

      But there is also some risk in those early weeks, too, that the algae win the battle. If you do want to get started sooner, start with those corals first and keep me posted about your progress.

      P.S. Congrats on your new tank and completing the cycle!

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