A beautiful wild coral reef full of reef safe fish!

Reef Safe Fish For Sale

The reef aquarium hobby is not just about corals. Otherwise, it would be called the coral hobby. It is not just about fish either. If it were, it would be called the saltwater fish hobby (for some people it is that). The reef aquarium hobby is about having corals, fish, and inverts all live in one ecosystem in our homes. Although, the coral is certainly what causes the most satisfaction and frustration. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to grow beautiful corals, which makes it very annoying when a fish is nipping away your corals. For this reason, it is very helpful when a company such as AlgaeBarn has reef safe fish for sale.


The term “reef safe” can mean a lot of things. Many hobbyists will consider a fish that does not bother corals to be reef safe. Others will say it can not bother inverts or crustaceans either. Reef safe can also mean fish that won’t eat other fish.

There are some fish, especially wrasses, that will not touch corals but may go after some inverts. For example, the Melanurus Wrasse will not harm any corals but is known to go after smaller shrimp or any shrimp it can fit into its mouth. This fish is coral safe, but not invert safe. Even then, that is only to some extent. There are also fish that are generally both coral and invert safe but will occasionally nip at a coral. Sometimes it varies from fish to fish. One could have a Coral Beauty in a tank that leaves corals alone, while a Coral Beauty in another tank is nipping on corals all day. The Frogfish is another extreme example of a fish that will not harm corals but is known to devour fish its own size.

Typically, reef safe means a fish does not cause any harm to corals or inverts and is somewhat peaceful towards other fish. Some examples of popular reef safe fish are clownfish, tangs, and gobies. Most aquarium stores sell reef safe fish, but most of those fish are probably not captive bred. AlgaeBarn sells fish that are both reef safe and captive bred, making them perfect for the reef aquarium.

Captive bred fish are born and raised in captivity. This makes them much hardier and accustomed to aquarium life. They are far less likely to get diseases and they eat more convenient foods. Along with all that, buying captive-bred fish also benefits the ocean. The wild collection of marine fish can impact the population size of wild fish in negative ways. It also harms the corals because collectors often use poisonous chemicals to stun the fish and make them easier to collect. If you can choose to buy captive bred fish or wild caught fish, you should, for your own sake, choose captive bred fish anytime you can. Fortunately, AlgaeBarn sells these sorts of fish at algaebarn.com.


The following are reef safe fish for sale at algaebarn.com:

Forktail Blenny (Meiacanthus atrodorsalis)

White Spotted Dwarf Goby (Trimma cf. caesiura)

Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus)

Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)

Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)

Blue Stripe Anemonefish (Amphiprion chrysopterus)

Court Jester Goby (Koumansetta rainfordi)


While it is important to know of some reef safe fish, it is also important to know about the reef terrorizers. Non-reef safe fish are less common, but they can be found at most aquarium stores. Most non-reef safe fish are also predatorial fish. These fish are also much larger than reef safe fish and will cause issues with smaller fish.

Triggerfish are a good example of this type of fish. They have a very interesting shape and some beautiful colors, but they are simply terrible for reef aquariums. They will gobble up most other fish or fight with fish their size. Angelfish are another fish to be careful with (Dwarf Angels are different). Large sized angelfish will often nip at corals and attack inverts. Other non-reef safe fish are eels, filefish, groupers, puffers, frogfish, and some wrasses. Of course, there are others but these are the main ones you should look out for.

There are, of course,  some exceptions to this categorization of non-reef safe fish. Not all large sized angelfish are not reef safe. The Lamarck’s Angelfish is an example of a large reef safe angelfish. Dwarf Angelfish have the potential of being reef safe depending on the fish. As mentioned early, some Coral Beauties are reef safe. Some hobbyist claim that it has to do with how often they are fed and what they are fed. In some cases, this may be true, but sometimes it does not matter how much you feed them. I have also heard people say that Coral Beauties will only target certain types of corals. The question is whether it is worth the risk or not. At least with Dwarf Angelfish, there is a chance they could be just as safe as clownfish, unlike larger angels. It is the same with wrasses too. There are some wrasses that are not reef safe at all, while others do great in reef tanks. There are many fish that belong to a category of non-reef safe fish that are partially reef safe. For example, the Blue Throat Trigger could possibly be put in a reef tank. It is for this reason that it is crucial to do in-depth research on each and every fish you are thinking about adding to your tank. Adding a reef destructing fish to your reef tank is certainly not something you want to deal with!

There are many reef safe fish for sale at local fish stores and even online at websites such as algaebarn.com. While most fish that are sold within the hobby are compatible with our beloved reef tanks, some require more thought before they are added to an aquarium. Research is key in this situation, as it allows you to determine how a specific fish will fit into your aquarium system. All of the fish sold at AlgaeBarn are captive fish and most of them are reef safe as well. It is important to be wise with which fish you put in your reef tank because it can be the difference between an enjoyable reef experience and a very frustrating one.

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