Best Saltwater Fish for a 180 Gallon Tank

For many fish owners, keeping a 180-gallon tank is out of the question, due to the sheer size and weight of the tank. However, keeping a fish tank of this size is incredibly rewarding, and is one of the most common upgrade sizes for experienced hobbyists seeking a new challenge.

With an aquarium of this stature, you will unlock an abundance of brilliant and beautiful saltwater fish that you simply could not keep in a smaller tank size, as well as being able to keep more of the smaller fish species that were available with smaller fish tank sizes.

Now, without further ado, let's look at some of the new saltwater fish species you will now have access to after acquiring a tank of this magnitude.

If you would like to know the exact weight and dimensions of a classic 180-gallon fish tank, take a look further down the page where we have detailed everything.

180 Gallon Saltwater Fish List

With the list below, it is important to take onboard some considerations. The fish that appear on our list are not all compatible with each other, for example, keeping different species of tangs, triggerfish, or fairy wrasses is a bad idea, and will likely lead to violence within your community.

However, this is not to say you cannot keep one of each species together in a tank of this size. Also, if you want to keep a community of smaller fish in a 180-gallon tank, then you should consider looking at some of our smaller aquarium fish lists (links further down the page).

Humu Picasso Triggerfish

One of the largest and most beautiful triggerfish subspecies, and a truly unique-looking fish. They are aggressive, however, easy to care for, and will grow to a maximum of 10 inches (25.4 cm) in length.

Undulate Triggerfish

Another jaw-dropping triggerfish species enters the list. With the undulate trigger, you will get a slightly larger fish, 12 inches (30 cm) in length, but with the exact same carnivorous diet, temperament, and care level requirement.

Naso Tang

Naso tangs are one of the largest tang fish species (18 inches or 46 cm), they also display some beautiful colors and patterns, as seen in the image below. When it comes to their temperament, they are semi-aggressive, requiring an experienced hobbyist to look after them.

Sailfin Tang

Another big tang subspecies to enter our list are sailfins that will grow to a maximum of 15.4 inches (40 cm) in length, and also carry a semi-aggressive temperament, making them require an experienced owner. What makes these fish so unique is their fin span - resembling the sail of a boat!

Blue Tang

A blue tang is also a fantastic option for an aquarium of this size, they are also smaller than the others mentioned, growing to a maximum of 12 inches (30 cm). However, their behavioral traits and care level requirements are the same.

Powder Blue Tang

Powder blue tangs are beautiful fish, displaying some amazing colors and perfect patterns. They are semi-aggressive by nature and will require you to have some decent experience too. Their maximum size is 9 inches (23 cm) and they are hungry herbivores, often eating unwanted plankton too!

Convict Tang

Another, slightly smaller tang (8 inches or 20 cm), is the convict tang, named a "convict" due to their jail-style black and white striped bodies.

They are not only the easiest to care for on our list, but they are the least aggressive too. However, this isn't to say that they will play well with every tank mate!

Black and White Butterflyfish

A peaceful and easy-to-care-for addition to our list, is the black and white butterfly fish. These can be hard to come by when looking at 180-gallon compatible fish.

They typically grow to 8.5 inches (21.6 cm) in length and look absolutely awesome, showcasing black, white, and yellow stripy colors.

One Spot Foxface

The one spot foxface is a stunning fish that needs to be kept with caution - they are beautiful fish, but venomous. Typically, you should be an experienced hobbyist to look after these guys, but when it comes to other fish, they are extremely peaceful towards them. At 8 inches (20.3 cm) in length, they are a brilliant size for a 180-gallon tank.

Bicolor Angelfish

The one and only angelfish to feature in our list, this unique beauty is semi-aggressive and requires an experienced hobbyist. However, they are totally worth it and will grow to a maximum of 6 inches (15.2 cm) in length.

Tessalata Eel

These giant predators can grow up to 5 feet (152 cm) in length! Despite this, they are relatively easy to care for and are semi-aggressive. However, they are predators and require a carnivore diet.

Something to avoid is keeping them with small or even some medium-sized fish if you do not want them to become a snack.

Exquisite Fairy Wrasse

These beautiful fairy wrasses certainly do live up to their name! Despite not being able to live with other wrasses, they are peaceful in nature and are also easy to care for, as well as being reef safe.

They are not the biggest in size, only growing to 5 inches (12.7 cm) in length, so be cautious with their tank mates.

Bluehead Fair Wrasse

Blueheads are the same as exquisite wrasses in pretty much all aspects! They are peaceful and easy to look after, grow to the exact same size, and should be kept away from large predatory fish.

They are also reef compatible, which is fantastic for an aquarium of this size, as adding some corals will certainly brighten the place up.

180 Gallon Fish Tank Dimensions

Now that you have checked out our list of recommended fish, we should run through how big a 180-gallon fish tank is.

Below is a graphic we have created displaying the dimensions in both inches and centimeters, as well as the weight of the tank in pounds (lbs) and kilograms (kg):

So, for a 180 gallon tank, the classic dimensions are 72" x 24" x 25" (183 cm x 61 cm x 63.5 cm). When empty the tank will weigh about 338 lbs (153 kg) and then when filled up, the tank will weigh approximately 2,100 lbs (952.5 kg).

Other Popular Fish Tank Sizes

It is completely understandable if 180 gallons is too much for you, a tank of this size requires a lot of time, space, money, and experience.

So, if you are looking for a large tank, but perhaps a little smaller and more manageable one, check out some of our other saltwater fish list recommendations for smaller tanks:

Saltwater fish for a 125 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 100 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 90 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 65 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 55 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 40 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 30 gallon tank

Saltwater fish for a 20 gallon tank

Final Thoughts

Thanks for checking out our list, we hope that you find some good inspiration after discovering the fish that are available to you when acquiring a fish tank of this large size.

Admittedly, it is a huge tank, but it has even bigger potential, and some of the reef and fish communities you can create with an aquarium of this size are truly mind-blowing. Just make sure you have the budget, space, and time to care of a tank this size.