Damsels are beautiful, small fish that come in a rainbow of colors and are an excellent selection for beginner aquarists. They are very adaptable to the different tank environments and can tolerate many of the ups and downs that often accompany a new tank. They are also good eaters, readily consuming a wide variety of flake, freeze dried, frozen, and live foods.
Clownfish are closely related to damsels and also make an excellent fish for novice saltwater aquarists. Their playful disposition and brilliant coloring make them appealing to the majority of saltwater hobbyists, novice and experienced. They do not need an anemone to survive, so just about any marine aquarium will make a good home for them. Species that are especially delightful include the maroon clownfish, Clark's clownfish, and the tomato clownfish.
While large angelfish are not suitable residents for the tank of a novice aquarist, dwarf angelfish will flourish in just about any saltwater setup, due to their small size (about 5 inches) and adaptability. To make sure your dwarf angel feels a sense of security, provide some snug corners and hiding spots in your tank for this shy, beautiful creature. Dwarf angelfish will accept a variety of plant foods in all different forms. Some suggested species for the beginner include the coral beauty, the lemonpeel angelfish, and the flame angelfish.