Keeping a successful saltwater aquarium can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. One of the keys to success is choosing the right fish; so for those who are inexperienced, it is a good idea to keep it simple and aim for fish that are non-aggressive and low-maintenance. Some of these hardy and undemanding fish will be featured in the following paragraphs.
The Bicolor Dottyback or Royal Dottyback is two bold colors; the anterior portion is purple and the posterior portion is bright yellow. These brightly colored fish do best in a tank of 30 gallons or larger. The Bicolor Dottyback will not be intimidated by other fish and will defend its territory against fish two to three times its size. Their diet should consist of brine shrimp and prepared frozen foods. They are also natural predators of nuisance bristle worms.
Another bold, beautiful fish is the Flame Hawkfish. The body is bright red with dark markings along the dorsal fin and around the eyes. They are a very personable fish, and are great for reef aquariums as long as there are no small shrimp maintained in the aquarium. They are a peaceful fish that spends most of its time perching and swimming within the branches of hard corals. Use caution when adding to an aquarium with small species of bottom dwelling gobies and blennies. They are bottom dwellers and tend to "hang out" on rock perches, waiting and readying themselves for food to come by. Like the Dottyback, they eat marine meats, prepared frozen foods and live brine shrimp.
An unusual, but beautiful specimen is the Foxface Rabbitfish. It has a mottled yellow-brown body with a dark chest. The face is very light in color and speckled on the lower half. They are a very hardy fish, and are great additions to a newly established tank. The species is very non-aggressive except when housed with other rabbitfish. The Foxface Rabbitfish may be housed with more aggressive fish, as its predators will tend to leave it alone because of its venomous dorsal spines. Rabbitfish are generally reef-safe if they are well fed. The Foxface Rabbitfish diet consists of a variety of fresh vegetables and undesirable species of algae.
Another wonderful addition is the Neon Gold Goby. The dorsal body is black with a horizontal gold stripe. The Goby is very territorial and will fight with its own kind unless they are a mated pair. However, it will rarely become aggressive towards other species. It is a hardy cleaner species that will service tank mates, often cleaning them of parasites. This may help control some diseases, such as Ich. It feeds on a variety of live and frozen brine shrimp, as well as frozen preparations for carnivores. If kept in a reef tank, the Neon Gold Goby should be fed once a day. It is common for the Neon Gold Goby to spawn in an aquarium, laying its eggs in a crevice or empty shell. How exciting to see the babies!!
Obviously there are many other species of fish that are suitable for the beginner. The best thing to do is to speak with the expert where you purchase your aquarium and supplies. With their help, you will be able to choose the fish that best suit your needs.