Peaceful Saltwater Aquarium Fish (Not Aggressive)

For most of us in the saltwater aquarium Hobby, we enjoy watching a peaceful fish tank. A peaceful fish tank where fish aggression is limited will be more enjoyable, and you won’t have to deal with the headaches that come with aggressive or territorial fish. 

peaceful saltwater aquarium fish

There are many types of aggressive saltwater fish available if you are wanting to set up a specific predator tank. Or perhaps you are planning a tank with fish that are more active and have a different personality than peaceful fish.

If you choose to keep a peaceful fish tank environment, it’s important that you choose your fish wisely.

I put together a list of fish that will get along together, have a peaceful temperament, and are not territorial. 

If you like to relax and enjoy watching a calm, peaceful saltwater fish tank, then add these fish to your list.

All the following fish are peaceful and do not require a large tank except the Anthias when kept in groups.

  • Blue/Green Chromis
  • Bangaii cardinal
  • Ocellaris Clownfish
  • Purple Firefish
  • Lawnmower Blenny
  • Yellow Watchman Goby
  • Chalk Bass
  • Lyretail Anthias
  • Royal Gramma

Blue/Green Chromis

Blue green chromis (Chromis viridis)

I have listed the Blue/green Chromis as my number one peaceful fish. I have kept these fish for many years, and they are one of my favorites due to their schooling and peaceful nature.

These fish are very popular, easy to find, and are affordable. They will spend most of their time swimming in the middle to upper portions of the tank.

They are reef safe and won’t bother corals or invertebrates. They have a great personality and get along with other fish.

Read more about the Blue/Green Chromis here.

Blue/Green Chromis

chromis care chart

Bangaii Cardinal

Bangaii Cardinal Fish (Pterapogon kauderni)

These fish are slow-moving and very peaceful. The Bangaii Cardinal can be kept as a single fish or in pairs. They have a unique color pattern of black and white stripes with white dots.

A black stripe goes through their eyes. They are also known to breed, which is not very common with many saltwater fish kept in aquariums.

They will swim around all areas of your tank but love to hang out in the lower areas around the rocks. 

Ocellaris Clownfish


Out of all the different clownfish species available, the Ocellaris is probably the most commonly kept clownfish in saltwater tanks.

They are very easy to keep, they are hardy and generally peaceful towards other tankmates. Some clownfish can be very aggressive, especially towards other clownfish and when breeding.

You can keep a single Occellaris in your tank or a pair. They won’t bother corals or invertebrates in your tank. They also have a great personality and are very active in the tank.

These fish are easy to find in local stores and online and are very affordable. Not only are they peaceful, but they make a great fish for beginners. 

Purple Firefish

Elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora), also known as the purple firefish.

The Purple Firefish or Dartfish is a very colorful fish that is fun to watch. They are a peaceful fish unless there is another Firefish in the tank, and they are not a pair.

Generally, that will be the only time they show aggression. They love to hide in caves and around rocks and corals. They can be a bit territorial at times, but it’s not a common concern.

They are known to dart around the tank and can move very quickly from one place to another. The only issue I have had with these fish is the fact that they can jump. So make sure you have a tight-fitting lid on your tank. 

Lawnmower Blenny

Salarias Fasciatus also known as Lawnmower Blenny

These “rock skippers” are known for being perched on top of rocks and corals and will jump from place to place. They will also hop across the substrate. It is very interesting to watch them. 

They are great algae eaters and will munch on hair algae. The Lawnmower Blenny is not a very colorful fish, more of a tan and brown color.

They are very peaceful and will not bother other fish in the tank. Like the Firefish, the Blenny will only be aggressive if there is another similar fish in the tank, and they are not a pair.

If you have corals in the tank, be cautious as they might nip at SPS corals and clam mantles. 

Yellow Watchman Goby

Watchman Goby

The Yellow Watchman Goby is a small and peaceful fish that is very colorful and unique. It is known for its special relationship that it forms with a Pistol Shrimp.

They both benefit from the relationship as the Goby will protect the shrimp from danger and alert it when trouble should arise. The shrimp will dig and make a cave for them both to live in.

It’s important to have a sand substrate for them to dig in. If you have corals and invertebrates in the tank, don’t worry as the Watchman Goby will not bother them. They are peaceful with other tankmates, but you shouldn’t keep them in a tank that has larger aggressive fish as they can be bullied by them.

The Watchman Goby should only be kept in tanks that have other peaceful fish. 

Chalk Bass

Chalk bass (Serranus tortugarum)
Chalk bass (Serranus tortugarum).

The Chalk Bass is a small saltwater fish that is not commonly kept but is a great fish if you can get one. They are very hardy and make a perfect beginner fish.

They are easy to keep in a peaceful tank as they won’t bother other tankmates. They are an active swimmer and love plenty of rock for them to swim around.

They are also reef safe and generally won’t bother invertebrates unless it is a very small shrimp. The Chalk Bass has a mix of colors on their body, including electric blue vertical stripes.

They have a great personality and are fun to watch. 


Lyretail Anthias

Lyretail Anthias

The Lyretail Anthias is the one fish on this list that requires a larger tank. A 125-gallon tank or larger is required. They are peaceful fish that are best kept in groups.

You can keep 1 male in the tank alone or with several females. Anthias are hermaphrodites. If the dominant male dies, the largest female of the group will become male and take his place.

They have amazing colors and are very active swimming in schools. Another unique trait of this fish is they require to be fed a few times per day.

Small feedings several times throughout the day is important for their metabolism. These fish are not recommended for beginners, but they are peaceful and a joy to keep.

If you can care for them properly, they are a great saltwater fish to keep.

Lyretail Anthias

Royal Gramma

Royal gramma - (Gramma loreto)

Last on our list is the Royal Gramma. These fish are very popular and are commonly kept in the hobby. They are small and colorful fish that are very peaceful.

It can be territorial to another Royal Gramma in the tank but will get along with other fish. They will not bother your corals or invertebrates. They love to swim around rock formations and hide in caves.

You can keep a Royal Gramma in a nano tank as they will only grow to about 2 inches in size. They are a hardy fish and easy to keep if you are a beginner.

They are not prone to diseases like some other fish and can handle less than perfect water conditions. The Royal Gramma is a common fish to get and is affordable.

I recommend the Royal Gramma for any saltwater tank that doesn’t have aggressive fish. 


There are many more peaceful saltwater fish that you can have for your tank. These are some of my favorites that I know you will enjoy.

When choosing a peaceful fish, remember that just because a specific fish is considered peaceful, it doesn’t mean that other fish in the tank will be peaceful to it.

So make sure all of your fish will be compatible and peaceful with each other.