Best Hardy/Beginner Fish?

BRS

JaaxReef

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
821
Reaction score
556
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Are Neon Dottybacks, even the captive bred ones, pretty aggressive? I’ve always been curious to hear about people’s experiences with Fiji Blue Damsels.
Neon Dottybacks, even captive bred, still be pretty nasty. But could still do okay with some damsels or a hawk I bet.

Blue Damsels are feisty too in my experience.
 
Fragtacular After Sale
First Choice Sale

catturio19

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Orlando
In my experience the best beginner fish are going to be the ones to live through mistakes of the new reefer. Because of that my list is below.

Damsels- just keep in mind some get big a lot get aggressive. Especially captive bred clowns.

Banggai cardinalfish- low maintenance have survived in my past tanks through crashes and mini cycles.

Captive bred fish- in general these have been more tolerant to chemistry swings and mistakes I have made in the past.

Most Gobies- these have been quite hardy for me as well.

fire fish- these have been hardy as long as you have a lid
 
Last edited:

JaaxReef

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
Messages
821
Reaction score
556
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
In my experience the best beginner fish are going to be the ones to live through mistakes of the new reefer. Because of that my list is below.

Damsels- just keep in mind some get big a lot get aggressive. Especially captive bred clowns.

Banggai cardinalfish- low maintenance have survived in my past tanks through crashes and mini cycles.

Captive bred fish- in general these have been more tolerant to chemistry swings and mistakes I have made in the past.

Most Gobies- these have been quite hardy for me as well.

fire fish- these have been hardy as long as you have a lid
I’ll second captive bred cardinals. A great peaceful choice that not many have mentioned!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

dan2305

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 23, 2022
Messages
10
Reaction score
11
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
For CUC, check out https://www.reefcleaners.org they have cleaner packages based on tank size. I got some last week and have already seen a huge difference in cleaning up the rocks, sand, and algae. They also have a lot of information on each individual cleaner so you can see what each is best at doing.
 

kevgib67

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
395
Reaction score
694
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canfield, Ohio
Appreciate the response! I assume fish such as gobies and blennies are good with clowns?

That said, quick google search says gobies are notoriously hard to keep?

So Trochus and Mexican Turbos feed on algae, but Nassarius and Bumble Bee snails feed on left over food or?

Maybe I should skip on the hermit crab then or they still cool to have?

As for the Shrimp I guess I would want to choose between the crab or the blood fire shrimp in that case or both bad options? So cleaner Shrimp actually clean the fish themselves?? How's that work? :O Haha Sounds cool!

Can a conch flip itself over or is that something I'll have to be constantly doing? xD

Perfect, 77-78 was what I was going to aim for as well (though during cycling my heater wasn't calibrated and has been stuck at 81 for 3 days, so I'll have to do a water change and add some cooler water).
You don’t have to worry about flipping a conch, they don’t go on glass or rock work but stay on the flat sand bed. I have never had to flip mine but they have a very powerful foot id imagine they could if the needed to. Between my conch, nassarius snails and my sand sifting gobie, my sand bed stays white and clean.
 

Tamberav

7500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
7,568
Reaction score
11,233
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
Are Neon Dottybacks, even the captive bred ones, pretty aggressive? I’ve always been curious to hear about people’s experiences with Fiji Blue Damsels.
yes, captive is still mean. It does not change their instincts. My captive orchid which is a more milder dotty killed a damsel and two cleaner shrimp after I had it awhile and it became an adult.

It is a strange assumption people have but if you think about it... captive maroon clowns are still capable of being murderous so no reason to think a dottyback would be any different.
 
OP
JSkeleton

JSkeleton

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
266
Reaction score
88
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
In my experience the best beginner fish are going to be the ones to live through mistakes of the new reefer. Because of that my list is below.

Damsels- just keep in mind some get big a lot get aggressive. Especially captive bred clowns.

Banggai cardinalfish- low maintenance have survived in my past tanks through crashes and mini cycles.

Captive bred fish- in general these have been more tolerant to chemistry swings and mistakes I have made in the past.

Most Gobies- these have been quite hardy for me as well.

fire fish- these have been hardy as long as you have a lid
Wait which part for captive bred Clowns? More aggressive or that they get bigger than normal (or both)? If that they get bigger, how big to captive bred get and why are they bigger? Or if aggressive, why are they more aggressive? haha

Those cardinalfish are gorgeous, man! The Banggai specifically or any cardinals? Noticing some places don't have the Banggai but those are honestly so nice I'd want one haha I read they're best kept as a single or a mated pair?

I'll definitely aim for captive bred as much as I can to be honest, sounds ideal!

Besides clowns are there any specific Damsels to add with them or should you only have one kind of Damsel?

Still trying to find accurate info on Gobbies, any suggestions for a specific kind?

Was thinking of adding a Skunk Cleaner Shirmp, maybe some snails (back of my tank has a 1-2 inch opening for hang on back equipment though so not sure about the snails).

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

fryman

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
357
Reaction score
346
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Belmont
My recommendation is do not get a fish first, get some inverts. The first "fish" I recomend is something like a cleaner shrimp or fire shrimp. They are very hardy, have limited impact on water quality, and are less prone to disease than fish. Another option is crabs such as hermits.

FYI if you have a tank with no fish and just shrimp, some will become almost like pettable lap-dogs. They will come to you at feeding time and feed right out of your hand, if desired (should take precautions for this like wear gloves, wash hands, etc.)
 
OP
JSkeleton

JSkeleton

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
266
Reaction score
88
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
You don’t have to worry about flipping a conch, they don’t go on glass or rock work but stay on the flat sand bed. I have never had to flip mine but they have a very powerful foot id imagine they could if the needed to. Between my conch, nassarius snails and my sand sifting gobie, my sand bed stays white and clean.
Oh nice, so what is the difference in terms of clean up with a conch and nassarius then? And do the nassarius climb out of the tank (also do they need to be flipped? haha)?
 
Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories
OP
JSkeleton

JSkeleton

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
266
Reaction score
88
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
My recommendation is do not get a fish first, get some inverts. The first "fish" I recomend is something like a cleaner shrimp or fire shrimp. They are very hardy, have limited impact on water quality, and are less prone to disease than fish. Another option is crabs such as hermits.

FYI if you have a tank with no fish and just shrimp, some will become almost like pettable lap-dogs. They will come to you at feeding time and feed right out of your hand, if desired (should take precautions for this like wear gloves, wash hands, etc.)
I was looking into those Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and they look and sound awesome! I love that they seem so friendly and also that they'll clean the fish! That said, I was debating getting one of those with a couple clowns to start just cause my LFS don't have the best quality fish, so I'd probably have to order it from the next city over and shipping can get pricey.

I'm still trying to find great snails to add with a cleaner shrimp though that won't climb out of my tank (I have a normal rim but like a 1-2 inch gap on the back for HOB equipment) and that I don't have to manually flip over every day haha
 

kevgib67

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
395
Reaction score
694
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canfield, Ohio
Oh nice, so what is the difference in terms of clean up with a conch and nassarius then? And do the nassarius climb out of the tank (also do they need to be flipped? haha)?
Nassarius snails stay under the sand most of the time. When you feed your fish they come flying out of the sand like zombies. The eat left over fish food, detritus and organics such as if anything dies in your tank. The keep the sand turned over. Conches eat algae and for the most part stay on the sand surface.
 
Tidal Gardens

oceancowboy

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
39
Reaction score
34
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jenks
Hawkfish as part of the mix is good, but keep to the smaller varieties.....my personal favorite is the flame hawkfish. Most squirrelfish are likely to get too big over time for this mix.

I would add several of the small algae eating hermits....they are harmless and make a good mix with the snails on the algae.
 

arking_mark

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
2,323
Reaction score
1,620
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Potomac
I'm calling out the most underrated...the Freshwater Molly.

1. Doesn't need to be quarantined as the pathogens from fresh to saltwater don't transfer.
2. Does a heck of a job eating all sorts of nuisance algae.
3. Tons of colors and shapes.
4. Very friendly fish.
5. Super cheap
6. Pretty hardy and good for starting up your tank
 
Corals.com
OP
JSkeleton

JSkeleton

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
266
Reaction score
88
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
Nassarius snails stay under the sand most of the time. When you feed your fish they come flying out of the sand like zombies. The eat left over fish food, detritus and organics such as if anything dies in your tank. The keep the sand turned over. Conches eat algae and for the most part stay on the sand surface.
Interesting! I'm reading mixed things about Nassarius about some of them being toxic/hunting other fish and other places saying neither of those things?

Also, how do you know if there's not enough food and how to supplement?

So conches for algae and Nassarius to help with other stuff such as left over food/detritus etc.?
 

lulubap

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
199
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
I know there's a bunch of lists out there, but I'm looking for a slightly more specific list of suggestions and from various hobbyists :)

I'd like to start with some hardy, easy to take care of saltwater fish. Ones that are less prone to getting sick if possible (I know any fish CAN get sick, but if it's less likely to happen then at least that's an extra layer I hopefully won't have to worry about. And I think I found a shop to buy the fish off of that have great reviews for having great, healthy fish so that's a bonus!)

Clownfish are a given. Always loved them and the fact that they seem to be one of the top recommended and are hardy is a huge plus! Probably start with 2 Clowns. But after that? I have a 55 Gallon by the way. Obviously don't want to overstock. Was looking into maybe a Royal Gramma down the line too(?), but still learning about them!

Also debating adding some snails and/or shrimp and/or hermit crabs but don't know enough about them yet. If you have suggestions for those too I'm all ears! Just nice to have a bit of a clean up crew I guess. Was looking at Trochus Snails since they can turn themselves over I hear, and maybe Blood Red Fire Shrimp if they're also a good choice (unless there's others? again don't know a lot about this category).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/tips/advice! :)

ALSO (not sure if it should be a separate post or not), BEST TEMPERATURE for a saltwater tank?
I'm undecided whether to add coral down the line or not, so just curious if there's a rough best Temp to get my fish used to that a variety of fish and possible coral would be comfortable at?
In my experience, blue-green reef chromis, yellow tail damsels are good picks for tanks that get about as small as fish will allow. Be careful with damsels, as they tend to get aggressive. Always research fish compatibility, as it becomes a restriction sometimes.

Trochus snails, hermit crabs are good hands off options, as well as nassarius snails and I've heard nerite snails too.

Best temp is around 78F give or take 1, usually don't wanna go over 82. Optimal coral temperatures vary by tank, but once you reach a favorable reading you don't wanna stray from it. Depending on the coral, they can be very finicky about those parameters.
 
BRS

Is there such a thing as an "easy" acro?

  • YES (tell us about it in the thread)

    Votes: 84 44.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 43 22.6%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 61 32.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 1.1%
Motorcitycorals
Top