The Best Saltwater Fish for a 150 Gallon Tank

It is no secret that with saltwater fish tanks, the larger in size, the better. This is due to your stocking options expanding with the larger fish tank sizes, which allows for more fish and a wider variety.

Owning a 150-gallon aquarium is not for a beginner hobbyist, but you probably already knew that. It takes time to maintain and set up, ensuring all the inhabitants are healthy and happy.

Assuming you are experienced in saltwater fishkeeping, or are simply looking to take on a challenge and have acquired a large 150 gallon tank, you are in for a treat as you now unlock an abundance of different fish, large and medium in size, as well as being able to keep many of the smaller saltwater fish species too.

150 Gallon Aquarium Dimensions

Asides from experience, you are going to need a lot of room to house a 150 gallon saltwater fish tank. The most common dimensions for a 150 gallon aquarium are 72" long x 18" wide x 28" deep (182 cm x 45 cm x 71 cm).

Below is a graphical summary of the most common tank dimensions for this size tank.

Additionally, the weight of a 150-gallon tank is 338 lbs. (153 kg) when empty and approximately 1,838 lbs. (833 kg) when filled with water and decorations.

150 Gallon Aquarium Equipment

Before you think about the fish that you want to live in your 150-gallon fish tank, you need to obtain and set up the equipment required to keep your inhabitants healthy.

Here is our checklist of the equipment you need and should use when setting up your 150-gallon tank:

  • A 400-500 watt heater, or two 300-watt heaters.
  • A protein skimmer.
  • Reef tank aquarium lights.
  • A secure aquarium lid.
  • Water quality test kits.
  • Powerhead for water flow.
  • Live rock.
  • Substrate.
  • Return pump.

Below is a graphic displaying the equipment you need for a 150 gallon saltwater fish tank.

Top 5 Saltwater Fish Species for a 150 Gallon Aquarium

Below is our list including a description of each fish and how many you can house in your fish tank.

1. Tangs (Surgeonfish)

Due to the large tank size that you have obtained, you can now keep a wider variety of fish, including the awesome surgeonfish species. You can keep up to 4 Yellow Tangs and can also keep one of the following:

  • Kole
  • Tomini
  • Two-Spot
  • Squaretail Bristletooth
  • Blue Tang
  • Powder Brown Tang
  • Powder Blue Tang
  • Convict Tang
  • Fijian Mimic Lemon Peel Tang

As you can see, there are a plethora of different tang options at your disposal due to the large aquarium size. Yellow tangs are certainly the most peaceful out of the bunch, which is why we say that a maximum of 4 is fine.

For the others, you will need to keep them alone, and don't mix them with other surgeonfish species as they can become very aggressive toward each other. All of the tangs listed above are compatible with the other saltwater fish that are featured on this list too, which is a nice bonus.

2. Dwarf Angelfish

Dwarf angelfish are brilliant options for a tank of this size and stature due to their compatibility with other types of saltwater fish. Unfortunately, they do not play well with their own kind, so, keeping a school of them is out of the question even if you have a 150 gallon tank.

However, due to the large size of this aquarium, you can keep two of the same, but just make sure that they are added at a similar time and establish their territories far away from each other to avoid any conflict. Additionally, they are also compatible with the other fish that feature on this list.

Here are the different types of angelfish you can keep:

  • Flame
  • Coral Beauty
  • Bi-Color, Pygmy
  • Flameback
  • Lemonpeel
  • Rusty
  • Red Stripe
  • Half Black
  • Bluefin dwarf angelfish

The above are all sensational choices for a 150-gallon tank. They will not only brighten up your aquarium but provide hours of entertainment too.

3. Chromis fish

Blue-Green and Blue Reef Chromis are two brilliant and beautiful subspecies of Chromis fish. These guys typically enjoy being in schools, and due to the large tank size, you can keep up to 10 of them if you want to. They are beginner-friendly and easy to look after, as well as being very sociable and peaceful with other fish.

You will certainly be entertained when keeping these guys as they are such active swimmers, darting around their homes, whilst showcasing some incredible chrome colorations.

4. Hawkfish

Hawkfish are unusual-looking fish, to say the least, but their unique appearance is incredibly beautiful.

When it comes to filling your 150-gallon saltwater tank, you can keep the following:

  • Falco hawkfish
  • Pixy/spotted hawkfish
  • Longnose hawkfish
  • Freckled hawkfish
  • Two spot hawkfish
  • Blood red hawkfish
  • Flame hawkfish
  • Red hawkfish

Most hawkfish are beginner friendly and very hardy, which is ideal. However, you should only keep one hawkfish per tank as they have a reputation for fighting.

Additionally, they should not be housed with tiny tank mates that are small enough to fit in their mouths because, unfortunately, they can and likely will end up as a snack for your hawkfish.

5. Lionfish

Now that you have unlocked a tank of this size, you have access to all the different species of lionfish - and there are a few!

No longer are you subject to the dwarf lionfish subspecies, you can acquire any type of lionfish you want. This is great as there are many different types that showcase different patterns and coloration as well as behavior and general attitude.

Sure, the dwarf subspecies are awesome, and if you wanted to you could house more than one due to the size of the tank and their compatibility with each other. However, if you wanted to keep just one large one, that is completely doable too.

The lionfish you can keep in a 150-gallon tank are common lionfish, and include the following:

  • Red lionfish
  • Spotfin lionfish
  • Clearfin lionfish
  • Luna lionfish
  • African lionfish

On the dwarf lionfish side of things, you can keep the following

  • Fu manchu
  • Fuzzy dwarf lionfish
  • Dwarf zebra lionfish

Other Saltwater Fish

Something important to bear in mind is that there are so many fantastic saltwater fish that are more than compatible with a 150-gallon fish tank, and many you can use to stock your large tank that work well in small tanks too.

If you do not like all of the suggestions here, or some of the species are hard to get a hold of, then go ahead and check out our other choices of fish for small tanks, which will invariably work in a larger 150 gallon tank

Additionally, if a 150-gallon aquarium is too large or unrealistic for you, then check out some of our other fish lists for additional inspiration:

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

Out of all the fish that appear on our list you are probably wondering how many of them you could safely keep in a 150 gallon aquarium. As a rule of thumb, you should be keeping a maximum of 30 fish in a 150-gallon fish tank.

However, we would recommend between 20-25 fish, with the addition of some invertebrates, live rocks, and corals. This way your fish have more room to move around freely, have hiding places, and will also be keeping out of each others way, which will reduce fighting that typically results in stress.

Also, this number is not concrete, there are many variables that come into play, such as the size of the fish. For example, if you kept a 14 inch (35 cm) lionfish in a 150-gallon aquarium, you certainly cannot keep 24 other fish as there simply isn't enough room.

Final Thoughts

The fish that you see on this list are more than compatible with a 150-gallon fish tank, or even larger. These tanks truly are a game-changer for saltwater hobbyists as you can create your own micro-reef environment, and actually feel as though you are a part of a tiny ecosystem.

The main consideration and something you need to keep in mind is that with a huge tank comes huge responsibility. So, ensure that you set the tank up correctly, are responsible with how many fish you keep in it, and have the time needed for ongoing maintenance, feeding, and upkeep. Good luck!