LOL I also had a purple firefish. I've lost track, but got him with when I stocked my upgrade to current 100G tank. I knew they jumped and my 100G had lids but my 55G QT didn't so I was using several pieces to cover it. Unfortunately I was running two HOB
filters and couldn't get every inch covered. Need I say more? He was very pretty but stayed hidden at the bottom most of the time. I don't think they hide that much after acclimation in the display but mine didn't make it long enough to find out. He must have jumped just before I found him because he was still wet and I tried putting him back in but no luck.
If you don't have complete top for your tank, you can make a DIY top fairly easy. Just search DIY equipment, and you'll find instructions.
My Coral Beauty was not at all hard to care for. He ate well and got along with other tank mates. I agree that it is the collection method that is the problem.
I currently have two blue/green chromis that are doing fine (7 months). But I bought 3 and one of those jumped also. I would advise against buying an odd # unless the odd one is a female. That might work. The one that jumped was becoming aggressive to the othe smaller male. They do get larger than I expected so don't get too many. I would say 1 male and 2 females would be plenty for 55.
I also tried Anthias but they wouldn't eat - of couse I picked the finicky ones. I think the Barletts and Lyretail are hardy and very pretty though I've heard the males are fairly aggressive. I'm still gunshy with them and haven't tried again. Also not sure if recommended for 55. Might go with just one male. Very colorful. You could try a butterfly that isn't predominately yellow like the
Pakistan (red tail/dark body - reef safe with caution). The others I was thinking about require larger tanks.
If I were to start again, I think I would go with a flame angel (for the red) and a yellow butterfly or a Midas Blenny for my yellow fish. The fairy wrasses are very colorful and I think hardy and reef safe. You could go with a Carpenter's or my fave, the McCosker's BUT they all jump so a secure lid (more secure than eggcrate) would be needed. Also the flasher wrasses. Just check LA (for min tank size) and forum member experiences.
Wait until you have plenty of pods
before getting a mandarin but a 55 would be fine. I would wait a year unless you have a fuge area you can order pods
and quick start that process then at least 6 months or until you have a good number of them showing up in your display. I am just now waiting for a mardarin to come up on Divers Den. I've had so much trouble with disease from LFS
that I won't buy fish from them anymore.
These are of course my opinions after just a year and making most of the newbie mistakes. Good luck! Take it slow, QT, check forum or personal experience with fish before buying. Stay away from less than hardy species until you have a really good feel for water quality, tank maintenance and feeding. Don't overstock and don't go over recommended tank size. Doing any of these could turn your great hobby into a nightmare and cause you to get out before having the op to really enjoy it. Don't be afraid to ask for help even if you have done something unadvised. Read alot and go with the majority opinion, not the few who may have not experienced a problem YET. Pay attention to adult size of fish and feeding habits when deciding on stocking limits and GO SLOW, ask for advise Sorry for repeating myself. Get the best equipment you can afford especially for filtration and be sure to have enough flow. There is so much more but I'm sure others will share their experiences since I've already written this book. Sorry so long!