If you’re looking for 55 Gallon Saltwater Tank Fish Ideas then you’ve come to the right place. A 55-gallon tank makes it possible to start keeping medium-sized showpiece saltwater fish, or you can keep larger schools of smaller fish to add some life and motion to your tank.
Whichever route you plan to take with your aquarium we’re sure you’ll get some good 55 gallon saltwater tank stocking ideas from the selection of fish on this page.
Best Saltwater Fish for a 55 Gallon Tank
Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
The Ocellaris Clownfish (View Price) is one of the most well-known and popular saltwater fish to keep in a small to medium-sized tank. They are very easy fish to keep and maintain, which makes them one of the best saltwater fish for beginners. Clownfish also get along with most other community fish, and they form strong bonds with members of their own species.
Clownfish need to be kept in at least a 30-gallon tank, and if you want to keep multiple Clownfish then it’s best to keep them in a 55-gallon tank. It’s also important to have an Anemone in a Clownfish tank in order to give them a place to hide and a territory to claim.
The Six Line Wrasse (Buy Online) is a very popular wrasse to keep in a 55-gallon tank. They are a very peaceful wrasse that will get along well with most fish. And they are also completely reef safe, which makes them a perfect fish to add to a 55-Gallon reef tank. The Six Line Wrasse also can pull double duty as part of a clean-up crew since they will eat bristleworms, pyramidellid snails, flatworms, and small urchins.
The Bicolor Angelfish (Buy Online) is one of the best dwarf Angelfish you can keep in a 55-gallon tank. The Bicolor Angelfish is one of the smallest Angelfish, and they only reach a maximum adult size of 6-inches. Bicolor Angels need to be kept in at least a 50-gallon tank, but they need plenty of swimming space, so you’ll need to avoid adding too many rocks or obstructions to your aquarium if you want to keep a Bicolor Angelfish in a 55-gallon tank.
Green Chromis (Buy Online) are one of the best schooling saltwater fish to add to a 55-gallon tank. These jewels of the sea will add some life and color to a saltwater tank, and they are very hardy fish that are easy for beginner fish keepers to maintain. Green Chromis need to be kept in groups of three or more fish to exhibit their natural schooling behavior, and in a 55-gallon tank, you can easily keep 8 to 10 Green Chromis.
Green Mandarin Goby
The Green Mandarin Dragonet (View Price) is one of the most beautiful saltwater fish you can keep in a 55-gallon tank. Apart from its beauty, the Green Mandarin Dragonet is also a very peaceful fish that gets along with most non-aggressive tank mates.
Green Mandarin Gobies do have some very specific dietary requirements that make them a challenge to keep. They usually won’t eat pellets or flakes since they prefer to feed exclusively on amphipods and copepods.
Due to the Mandarin Gobies’ picky dietary habits, they should only be kept in a well-established tank with live rock and a sand substrate along with supplemental additions of live copepods to ensure they always have enough to eat.
The Snowflake Eel (Buy Online) is also known as the Snowflake Moray Eel, and they are one of the best eels for beginners since they can be kept in smaller aquariums than most eels. The Snowflake Eel can grow to be 24-inches long, and they need to be kept in at least a 50-gallon tank.
Snowflake eels can be territorial, but for the most part, they will keep to themselves, and they have poor eyesight so they usually won’t bother fast-moving tank mates. However they are well known for being escape artists, so it’s important to keep them in a tank with a tight-fitting lid that can’t be pushed open easily.
Spotted Mandarin Goby
The Spotted Mandarin Goby (Buy Online) is also known as the Target Mandarin or the Psychedelic Mandarin and it has a unique spotted color pattern that ranges from orange, black, blue, and green. Like most Mandarin gobies the Spotted Mandarin Goby should only be added to a well-established tank with live rock and a deep live sand substrate that’s already supporting a thriving copepod population.
The Royal Dottyback (View Price) is a beautiful saltwater fish that has a half yellow and half purple body. They might be small fish but they have a big personality that will make them a focal point in any saltwater tank.
Royal Dottybacks are also an excellent saltwater fish for beginners since they are very hardy and undemanding. However, Dottybacks can be territorial and they will fight with other small to medium size saltwater fish.
The minimum recommended tank size for a Royal Dottyback is 20 gallons, but a 55-gallon tank will help limit the risk of conflict, and it will give them plenty of space to swim around and maintain their own territory.
The Blue Damsel (View Price) is one of the best fish for someone new to the fish-keeping hobby. Damsels are well known for being extremely hardy and they are inexpensive, which makes them an excellent fish to add to a newly cycled 55-gallon tank.
Blue Damsels also make a great addition to semi-aggressive tank since they can hold their when kept with much larger fish. However, they can be territorial and aggressive towards other fish, so care should be taken when keeping Damsels with less aggressive tank mates.
The Strawberry Dottyback (Buy Online) also goes by Strawberry Purple Dotty Back or the Purple Dottyback. They are definitely one of the most eye-catching fish and they will add a splash of color to any 55-gallon saltwater tank.
Strawberry Dottybacks are also an excellent saltwater fish for beginners since they are very hardy and adaptable fish. They will get along with most community fish, but they are territorial with members of their own species, and they might get into the occasional fight with similarly shaped fish.
The Citrus Goby (Buy Online) is another great addition to any 55-gallon reef tank stocking list. This brightly colored bottom-dweller prefers to live in and around stony polyp coral (SPS) such as Acropora, and they need to be kept in a well-established reef tank with plenty of hiding places. The Citrus Goby will reach a maximum length of 2-inches, and they need to be kept in at least a 30-gallon tank.
Red Scooter Blenny
The Red Scooter Blenny (Buy Online) is one of the coolest fish for a 55-gallon tank. This active bottom-dweller needs to be introduced to a well-established aquarium with plenty of copepods and microorganisms to eat. The Red Scooter Blenny will reach a maximum size of 4-inches, and they need to be kept in at least a 30-gallon tank.
Yellowtail Blue Damsel
The Yellowtail Blue Damsel (Buy Online) is one of the best damsels to add to a 55-gallon saltwater community aquarium. These vibrant blue and yellow fish are one of the least aggressive damsels, and they can be kept with other peaceful and semi-aggressive fish along with other Yellowtail Blue Damselfish. The Yellowtail Blue Damsel will only grow to be 3-inches long, so you can add a decent size school of them to a 55-gallon tank
Longfin Fairy Wrasse
The Longfin Fairy Wrasse (Buy Online) also goes by the name Social Wrasse since they are a very peaceful community fish. This wrasse is one of the best reef-safe fish for a 55-gallon reef tank since they won’t nip at coral or any other invertebrates. They also get along well with other wrasses, and they are very active and outgoing fish.
The Longfin Fairy Wrasse only grows to a maximum length of 3-inches, but they are very active swimmers, so they need to be kept in a 50-gallon tank at a minimum.
The Flame Angelfish (View Price) is one of the best saltwater fish for a 55-gallon tank. This pygmy Angelfish exhibits the most vibrant red and orange colors accented by vertical black stripes and electric blue fins. They are also very easy to raise in captivity which makes them a great saltwater fish for beginners.
The minimum size tank you can keep a Flame Angelfish in needs to be at least 30 to 40-gallons, so a larger 55-gallon tank will provide them with plenty of space. Just be aware that the Flame Angelfish isn’t reef safe, and they are notorious coral nippers, which means they should only be kept in a FOWLR tank.
Dragon (Red Bug Eater) Pipefish
The Dragon Pipefish (Buy Online) is one of the most unique fish that you can add to a 55-gallon tank. This fish has a long slender body and they reach a maximum adult length of 8-inches, and they need to be kept in at least a 50-gallon tank.
The Dragon Pipefish should only be added to a well-established aquarium with plenty of copepods and other microorganisms for them to eat. However, Pipefish can be transitioned over time to start eating frozen foods like Mysis shrimp, copepods, and brine shrimp.
The Pajama Cardinal (View Price) is one of the best schooling fish for a 55-gallon tank. They are also a great saltwater aquarium fish for beginners since they adapt to most aquarium conditions. They even get along with most fish and they are completely reef safe. Pajama Cardinals do need to be kept in schools of at least three fish, but you can easily fit 10 or more Pajama Cardinals in a 55-gallon tank.
Dwarf Zebra Lionfish
The Dwarf Zebra Lionfish (Buy Online) is one of the few Lionfish that will fit in a 55-gallon tank. This species of lionfish will only grow to 7-inches long, and they are a slow-swimming fish with venomous spines that like to ambush smaller prey. That means they should only be kept with other aggressive fish, and they can be territorial with other Lionfish, so you’ll need to be careful when selecting Dwarf Zebra Lionfish tank mates.
The Samurai Squirrelfish (Buy Online) is a unique fish that can make sounds that are loud enough to hear outside their tank. They are a very peaceful species of saltwater fish, and they make a great addition to a community saltwater tank. They also have large eyes that allow them to see better in low light conditions since they are mostly active at night.
The Samurai Squirrelfish needs to be kept in small schools to feel safe, and they also have a large spine that they use for protection against predators, and care should be taken when handling them since their sharp spine can cause severe pain.
The Midas Blenny (Buy Online) has a long slender body that starts out orange with blue highlights on their eyes and then their color slowly fades to yellow towards their tail. They are a very hardy fish and Midas Blennies get along with most peaceful community fish, and they are completely reef safe.
The Midas Blenny can become territorial with similarly shaped fish, so care should be taken when keeping them with other blennies, gobies, or dartfish. The Midas Blenny will reach a maximum length of 6-inches and they need to be kept in at least a 30-gallon tank.