This post will share a few Centerpiece Fish for a 75 Gallon Tank that will create an awesome community tank.
A 75-gallon is a reasonably large tank. However, if set up correctly, it looks grand in small bedrooms and living rooms and is appropriately proportioned for large halls and commercial setups.
But its placement options are secondary. Its primary merit is that it allows your fish much room to swim about.
The typical dimensions for a tank with that capacity are 48″ x 18″ x 21″. It weighs about 850 lbs when it is filled with water. That’s quite a weight, so make sure the tank stand is up to the task.
Some Equipment For Your 75 Gallon Fish Tank
With a 75-gallon, more people prefer to go with brightly colored and relatively larger saltwater fish. However, there is also a wide variety of tropical freshwater fish available.
While most require a tank even larger than the 75-gallon, there are still plenty of options available for this tank.
As a larger tank, a 75-gallon offers you a wide variety of stocking ideas. For example, you can house one (or a pair) of large centerpiece fish with one or two schools of active smaller fish like Tetras or mollies.
Or you can go for a reef tank.
With a 75-gallon, you can try many configurations you couldn’t have with a smaller tank.
Centerpiece Fish For 75-gallon Tank That Looks Awesome
As a large tank with a lot of open space, a 75-gallon can accommodate even the more “feistier” fish.
It has enough room that even if you throw in a couple of bossy little fish together that would have stressed each other to death in a smaller tank, they can live relatively more peacefully in the 75. Each bossy fish can claim its tiny territory and region.
Some of the fish that deserve the spotlight in your 75-gallon are:
1. Rainbow Shark
Don’t worry; it’s only half as violent as the name suggests (semi-aggressive).
- Care level: Beginner to intermediate
- Size: 6 inches (Many species stay around 6 inches)
- Temperature range: 72 – 80 °F (Ideally, maintain the temp somewhere between 75 – 78 °F)
- PH range: 6.5 to 7.5 (soft to medium hardness)
- Social Behavior: Ideally alone, or at least in a group of five (all similar-sized)
- Tank size: 50-Gallon minimum / 75-gallon is a good size
This down-to-substrate (bottom-dwelling) aquarium shark hails from Thailand. They aren’t real sharks, but if you put them in with one of their own or other sharks like red-tail or Bala, you would see similar predatory behavior. Cichlids and catfish are also bad tank mate choices.
Rainbow sharks, or red-fin sharks, have long slender bodies, black to grey. They have a forked tail, and all their fins are transparent with a red hue, which stands out quite strikingly against their dim-colored bodies. These sharks are territorial, bottom-dwelling, and very active. Therefore, a planted aquarium is ideal, primarily because other fish will need hiding places. In addition, they prefer a sandy substrate that mimics their natural habitat and a steady flow in the water.
Rainbow sharks prefer to dine two or three times a day. They will eat almost everything you throw (maybe the throwing hand), but pallets and flakes should be sinking, not floating. As for tank mates, they accommodate best with barbs. Danios and gouramis are also good tank mate choices. Fish that are similar-sized to the sharks, can fend for themselves, and don’t dwell near the bottom should be fine.
2. Blue Dolphin Cichlid
You don’t have to stick with sharks only; you can also have dolphins.
- Care level: intermediate
- Size: 8 to 10 inches
- Temperature range: 73 – 82°F (75 – 79 °F ideal)
- PH range: 7.2 to 8.8 (Moderately hardy: 10 to 18 dGH)
- Social Behavior: Shoaling fish, keep one male with at least three female
- Tank size: 75-gallon minimum
These strikingly blue exotic fish come from Lake Malawi in Africa. It’s also called the Blue Moorii Cichlid. The dolphin’s name comes from the prominent hump it develops on its head. It’s more pronounced in adults than in juveniles. It’s a relatively peaceful fish; I don’t like the males of its species.
The blue dolphin prefers high alkalinity and can even thrive in a brackish tank with 10% salinity. It also likes strong currents in the water. The ideal substrate is saltwater sand, but normal sand will also do fine. It doesn’t care for a planted tree and is more interested in a lot of swimming space. So you can decorate the tank with a few rocks, minimal plants, and wood.
The blue dolphin cichlid is a natural carnivore, so it will thrive on live feed (but your wallet won’t). Frozen dinner or protein-rich pallets or flakes will also do. However, don’t try to feed them live feed derived from other sources (beef or mutton), as it can lead to diseases.
It’s a relatively peaceful fish by nature. It can be housed with peacock cichlids, some peaceful large haps, Frontosa, a few catfish species, and other cichlids from lake Malawi. Other smaller fish might be regarded as food, and the blue dolphin might “peacefully” eat them.
3. Copperband Butterfly
The butterfly is a beautiful family of saltwater fish, and Copperband is a fantastic choice for a 75-gallon saltwater tank.
- Care level: Intermediate
- Size: 7 to 8 inches
- Temperature range: 73 – 81 °F
- PH range: 8.1 to 8.4 (Moderately hard water, nothing more than 12 dGH)
- Social Behavior: Single or pair
- Tank size: 75-gallon minimum for one fish, ideally 125-gallon for a pair
The Copperband butterfly has a flat, disc-like body (though not as round as discus fish). It’s like dissected oval, with the back caved in and a small, rounded tail fin. The mouth is long and protruding. The base is silvery-white, with usually four pronounced orange to copper-colored lines. One of them goes over the eye. There is also a circular black dot on the top back half of the body and a black stripe at the base of the tail. It’s beautiful and relatively unique (compared to many freshwater species) shape, color, and solitary disposition make it a perfect candidate for a centerpiece fish.
As a carnivore, they might prove to be expensive dinner guests. Some might not take directly to aquarium live feed, so you have to leave worms in rock crevices or blacked mussels with cracked shells to make them feel like they are back at home. They need coral and rocks with holes big enough to hide in (that’s quite a size since the fish can get as big as 8 inches). They are generally not recommended for reef tanks.
It’s usually peaceful and successfully housed with flame angelfish, tangs, clownfish, and dartfish.
4. Clown Loaches
Not remotely as funny as the name sounds (nor as scary for kids).
- Care level: Intermediate
- Size: 12 inches max
- Temperature range: 75 – 85 °F
- PH range: 6 to 7.5 (soft to moderately hard)
- Social Behavior: Group of around four (at least keep a pair)
- Tank size: 75-gallon minimum
Clown loaches are very playful fish with a lot of character. Once they get comfortable in the tank, you may find watching them a blissful activity. They come from the Asian waters of Malaysia and Indonesia. As the name suggests, they have an orange base color with asymmetric and thick black strips. The tail fin is bright red. Like other loaches, they have barbles in their mouth.
As bottom feeders, clown loaches would appreciate sand or fine gravel substrate, something they can sift through without harming their sensitive barbels. In addition, the tank should be generous with hiding places (rocks, driftwood, plastic decorations) and sturdy plants. One thing to note about clown loaches is that they are particularly susceptible to infection, so be very careful when introducing anything new in the tank, i.e., a plant or another fish.
They are carnivores in nature and mainly thrive on worms. Ideally, it would help if you raised the worms yourself. It will reduce the risk of contaminating your tank. They also get by with flakes and sometimes even fresh vegetables. They are very gracious as hosts, so you can house them with many peaceful middle and top dwelling fish. They share their natural habitat with the tiger, hard-lipped barbs, and Barred Rainbowfish, so they are comfortable with them by default. Other good tank mates can be tetras, Kuhli loaches (same region, though), some cichlids, and Bolivian Rams.
5. Foxface Rabbitfish
It’s one of the beginner saltwater fish.
- Care level: Easy
- Size: 8 inches max
- Temperature range: 75 – 82 °F
- PH range: 8.1 to 8.4 (moderately hard: 8 to 12 dGH)
- Social Behavior: Alone or a Pair
- Tank size: 75-gallon minimum
Its scientific name sounds much more sophisticated: Siganus Unimaculatus. And even though it has two animals in its name (rabbit and fox), it doesn’t share much with either of them. A saltwater fish, it’s relatively a hardy fish. It has a stunning color and design distribution. As you move back from the head, the body’s bulk is bright yellow. The head has a white base, two large black stripes covering the eye, and a fox-like snout. The distinct appearance is truly eye-catching, making it a natural centerpiece fish.
The natural habitat of the Foxface Rabbit Fish is at reefs and lagoons in the tropical Western Pacific, which ironically means that you can’t put it in the reef tank. As when it’s hungry, it will munch on the corals. Make sure there is plenty of space for it to swim around and rocks and crevices to hide in. It usually occupies the middle and the bottom region of the tank. It’s also essential to keep the salinity at an optimal level, so you don’t stress out your saltwater fish. It also requires frequent water changes to keep the water pristine.
It’s a herbivore and feeds primarily on zooplankton and algae in its natural habitat. Naturally, growing algae in the tank would be best for them, but you can also provide them with plant-heavy flakes and pellets. As herbivores and inherently peaceful fish, they are compatible with a wide variety of fish. You can house them with clownfish, eels, hawkfish, lionfish, puffers, tangs, wrasses, gobies, and angelfish. Just don’t keep them with other rabbitfish.
A Few Other Centerpiece Options For Your 75 Gallon Tank
Some other freshwater fish that might look beautiful in your 75-gallon are:
- Green Terror: Partially terrorizing and entirely delightful.
- Tropheus cichlids: Aggressive little fish comes in six different varieties.
- Banded Leporinus: Peaceful bottom dweller and grows up to a foot in size.
- Ryukin goldfish: Not a tropical fish but a good option for a 75-gallon tank.
Some saltwater fish that you may want to consider:
- Antenneta Lionfish: Majestic and aggressive. They have venom only in their spines, not in their hearts.
- Heniochus: Very similar to Moorish idol in shape.
- Potter’s angelfish: Small for a centerpiece but very elegantly eye-catching
Before you go ahead and pick your ideal fish, let’s briefly discuss freshwater and saltwater tanks.
The Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Tanks
While a saltwater tank setup might not be as “unfathomable” for novice aquarists as many believe, it is different from building freshwater tanks. For starters, you need a larger tank. It’s usually recommended that beginners start with a tank of at least 55 gallons. It also costs more. There are a few things that marine water or saltwater tank might need that you don’t require for freshwater tanks, like protein skimmers, powerheads, and live rocks.
But the most significant difference comes from the fish. Saltwater/ocean fish are sought because of their beautiful designs, luscious colors, and huge variety compared to freshwater fish. But the problem is that the sea, a large and relatively undisturbed body of water (if you discard the pollution), offers very stable water parameters to its inhabitants. While freshwater fish are exposed to a variety of water parameters, and therefore, they turn relatively hardy and more forgiving of fluctuations in water parameters. Think of saltwater fish as the prim, elite-school kids who get disturbed and throw tantrums over minor inconveniences, while the freshwater fish are used to fend for themselves and are relatively tough.
While it’s true that saltwater aquariums and fish need relatively more care and research than freshwater aquariums do, it doesn’t necessarily stop beginners from starting a saltwater tank. You have to be willing to spend a little more, do your due diligence about the fish and tank parameters more thoroughly, and be much more prompt and active regarding your tank’s maintenance and care of your fish. If you are willing to do all that, it doesn’t matter if you are a novice at fish keeping or an expert, you can build and maintain a healthy saltwater tank.
My Final Thoughts
What fish can go in a 75-gallon tank?
There is a lot of fish that can be kept in a 75-gallon tank. Here are a few excellent centerpiece fish that look awesome;
- Rainbow Shark
- Blue Dolphin Cichlid
- Copperband Butterfly
- Clown Loaches
- Foxface Rabbitfish
How many fish can go in a 75-gallon tank?
The number of fish you can keep in a 75-gallon tank depends on the fish species and their temperament.
You could easily fit 15 African Cichlids and have plenty of room for them to live a long, happy life.
However, you probably wouldn’t want to keep three Oscars in a tank this size. They would grow far too large, create too much mess, become aggressive, and ultimately kill one another.
You can use the 1″ of fish per gallon rule as a starting point.
However, it would be best if you also considered the species you are keeping: peaceful, aggressive, or predator.
Lastly, what do they require in terms of territory, water requirements, and how big will they be when fully grown?
When designing a tank, ensure you understand the difference between what you want and what you can (feasibly) have. In many cases, a limited budget will make your choices for you. But if you research and shop around, you may find many different options and configurations and setups you can have in your 75-gallon. For example, if you can’t afford expensive and colorful saltwater fish as a centerpiece, try assimilating live and bright schools of smaller fish. If you are creating a community tank, ensure the fish are compatible. And even then, you should keep an eye on the behavior of the new and the old fish.
While a 75-gallon has the potential to disperse a lot of territorial issues and provide stress relief in the form of a lot of swimming space, you can’t just put the fish in and forget about it. Instead, keep a lookout and see if a fish is getting bullied by others or if only a few fish are getting all the feed while the others are too shy. Fishkeeping requires you to be a bit more observant compared to how you might be with other pets.