The beginner saltwater fish enthusiast has entered a saltwater
aquarium hobby which is like no other hobby. It will be difficult
to resist the temptation to pile in the most exotic of the saltwater
fish species, such as most angelfish, anthias, butterflyfish,
lionfish, wrasses, etc. But the beginning saltwater aquarist
really should avoid these species, which are relatively fragile.
The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time and money setting
up your aquarium, only to have your fish sick and dying within
a couple of weeks or months. Far better to start slowly, populate
with hardier species, and get the hang of maintaining the appropriate
marine environment with a group of aquatic pets that can survive
A few good beginner saltwater fish speciies that you can consider
are damsels and chromis, basslets, dottybacks, pseudochromis,
certain clownfish (preferably captive-bred), blennies, gobies,
cardinalfish, hawkfish, among others.
The beginner should probably avoid most angel fish, butterflies,
certain tangs (surgeonfish), pipefish, filefish and seahorses.
Any type of larger fish species or carnivorous type might
well be put on the "later" list as well, until you
have a bit more experience with the smaller guys. Also keep in
mind that certain species simply don't get along with others
(or even others just like themselves).
Eventually, these more exotic saltwater fish will be within
your reach, along with that 100+ gallon tank and all of the state-of-the-art
accessories. But for now, take your time, and have lots of fun
as the incredible world of saltwater aquariums begins to come
alive under your patience and guidance.