17 Best Aquarium Fish for Beginners-Most Popular Freshwater Fish.
Over 12.5 million households keep Freshwater Fish in the US, that account for the largest proportion of pets owned across America, and it’s no surprise that they are the top choice of pet.
Most of the species that we are looked at here are easy to care for, they bring beauty and color to your homes and they are very relaxing to watch.
Keeping an aquarium in your home adds numerous benefits to your health, black reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
Freshwater tanks tend to be easier to care for than saltwater tanks, and its critters are more forgiving to mistakes made by new owners.
Freshwater fish has its own beautiful selection of colorful and unique species that makes your aquarium thrive with life.
Whether you are a new or seasoned aquarium owner, it’s hard not to get hooked on your freshwater fish and their individual personalities.
Let’s take a look at the top 17 best freshwater fish for your aquarium.
The swordtail is similar in shape to platy and guppy fish, with a slightly bulky body and a sword shaped extension of its fin.
There are many different color variations available and they are quite Hardy which makes them a perfect species for the beginner aquarist.
Swordtails are usually peaceful, yet Lively.
They thrive in community tanks and like to swim in loosely group schools.
They breathe easily and if you do decide to breed them you should keep them away from their parents, Swordtail parents will often eat their fry.
Small and easy going mollies are a great freshwater species that are easy to take care of.
Mollies can grow around 3 to 4 inches long and are omnivorous, which means they can eat plants and other animals.
What’s cool about this freshwater critter is that they give birth to their babies unlike other fish.
Like Guppies, Mollies love to breed.
So if you don’t want lots of these beautiful fish in your tank, just keep one gender.
15. Neon Tetra
Probably one of the most well-known freshwater species on this list, the Neon Tetra is a small, thin, and easy to care fish that’s ideal for new owners.
Neon Tetra do not grow very long, reaching only 2.2 cm in length!
They are known for being a very peaceful and calm species.
They do best when kept in groups and in tanks with rocks, plants and other accessories they can hide in.
Neon Tetra can easily be recognized for their blue bodies and bright red stripe down their bodies.
Killifish come in a wide variety of bright colors.
They are extremely hardy fish, and there are over 700 species a breed to suit almost every tank condition.
They are generally peaceful fish and do well in community tanks with other small non aggressive fish.
It’s best to keep just one mail to each tank though because they can be aggressive towards each other.
Killifish are very easy to breed, and are
Either annual or non annual breeders.
In the wild, annual killifish lay their eggs in temporary bodies of water which dry up for months at a time.
When they refill, the fry hatch.
Most killifish are carnivores and therefore enjoy a diet of insect larvae, worms and crustaceans.
Platies come in almost every color imaginable and they are very easy to care for just two of the reasons why they are so popular.
They are a great community. They are very peaceful and get along well with guppies and mollies.
Although small parties are very active and love being in groups.
A 10 gallon tank is large enough for 5 fish.
Whilst they are omnivorous, they do require much more herbivorous food, than meat. Ideally they need a good mix of plant based food and proteins.
12. Betta Fish
Betta fish also known as the Siamese fighting fish,is another popular freshwater choice for aquariums.
They tend to come in a diverse array of beautiful colors, and are easy going for the most part.
Betta fish are known for their highly territorial and aggressive nature with other fish, particularly males.
If your Betta Fish is peaceful enough, they can be kept in a large tank with other fish species.
Avoid placing them in tanks with similar looking fish, like Guppies.
You should also place them in their own Tanks, complete with substrate and plants.
There are many types of Rasboras,but our favorite ones are the harlequin Rasboras(trigonostigma heteromorphism) and lambchop Rasboras(trigonostigma espei).
Known for their bright orange color and distinctive black triangular patch, this peaceful Nano fish only grow to about two inches long and are readily available in most pet stores.
Other Rasboras include the miniscule neon green rasbora (Microdevario kubotai) and large scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora trilineata).
Get a school or six or more of the same rasbora species and they will make a striking display in your community tank.
Guppies are another fish species that makes perfect pats for beginners.
They are extremely easy to care for, but tend to breed with each other fast if the genders aren’t separated.
They come in various colors with males being more flamboyant than females.
Guppies can also adapt to various water condition, and have lively personalities which is what makes them so popular.
It is important to keep the water temperature consistent (around 50degree F-84 degree F(10-29 degree C)) so they can live happily in their tanks.
Oscar are thought to be one of the most intelligent aquarium fish available and are one of the few species that can be trained to do tricks.
Oscars however are not a community fish,they should be kept in a species Only tank, and they can grow very large very quickly.
They require a lot more maintenance than other fish, due to their carnivorous nature and the amount of waste they create.
On the positive side, they are one of the few species you can hand feed, they will often eat food from between your fingers.
Oscars thrive when kept in pairs or group of 5+, and should be housed together from a young age.
8. Zebra Danios
The Zebra Danios make the perfect beginner fish, they’re very easy to care for and can grow up to 5-7cm.
They should be kept in at least a 10 gallon tank,in groups of at least 5.
Danios are schooling fish and will become stressed if their numbers are too low.
They are not fussy eaters and will eat most foods, the healthiest option for them would be lots of worms, insects and crustaceans to mimic their natural diet, however a good quality flake will also work with a supplement of frozen or live food.
Danios are also known for jump so you may want to keep your tank covered!
7. Gold Fish
When most people think of goldfish they think of small fish bowls with a fish that was won at the fair.
This is not the correct way to house goldfish.
Few people know that they can actually grow up to 14 inches in the wild.
The minimum tank size for a goldfish is 20 gallons. You will also need a filter and to perform 10 to 15% weekly water changes there are many different varieties of goldfish and it’s fine to mix them as long as they aren’t breeds that would compete with each other for food.
For example keep single tailed varieties together and normal eyed goldfish together.
Barbs make a lively, action-packed addition to your community tank.
Growing to three to four inches (and larger), the most popular varieties include tiger barbs (puntigrus tetrazona), Odessa barbs (pethia padamya) and cherry barbs (puntius Titteya).
Some species are considered semi aggressive so we recommended buying 6 or more to reduce fin nipping.
Good tank mates include rasboras, tetras and corydoras.
But stay away from long finned fish like angelfish and Betta fish.
Cory catfish are peaceful schooling fish, much like Rasboras and tetras, but they dwell at the bottom of the Aquarium.
Growing to one to three inches in length, they love scavenging around the tank floor and looking for crumbs,
but you must specifically feed them a variety of sinking foods to make sure they get enough nutrition.
4. Pearl Gourami
The pearl Gourami is a relatively large, but peaceful fish and one of the most easy to keep Gouramis.
The minimum tank size for this species is a 30 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places, dark substrate and low lightning.
They can be housed with other fish of a similar size and temperament however you should not house them with aggressive fish.
Pearl Gouramis are omnivorous and should be fed algae-based foods and meaty foods.
They are well known for eating Hydra, a tiny pest that has tentacles with venom, so make a great solution if you have a hydra problem.
3. Angel fish
A member of the cichlid family, angelfish is a popular freshwater fish that can grow up to 6 inches in length and 8 inches tall.
They are very beautiful and come in various colors and patterns.
Deccan eat plants and other animals like small insects and shrimp but should be kept away from small fish.
Angelfish can be territorial and aggressive (though not anywhere the level of a Betta fish), so it’s best to keep them in a tank without many fish.
2. Bolivian Cichlids
The Bolivian Ram( Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) is an excellent beginner cichlid from South America that’s very similar to their colorful but less hardy cousins, the German Ram.
Running at 3 inches long they make a great centerpiece fish for a medium sized community aquarium because of their unique cichlid behavior, yellow and black coloration and ease of breeding.
Bolivian rams appreciate pH of 7.0 to 8.0 and temperature around 72 to 79 Fahrenheit, and they can be kept with nearly any community fish that matches this same requirements.
1. Kuhli Loaches
Kuhli Loaches (pangio kuhlii) will either fascinate or freak you out because they look like little 4 inches eels or snakes.
As nocturnal fish, they tend to be a little shy and hide behind décor, so keep them in groups of at least three to six so that they feel safe enough to come out and explore.
Like corydoras, these bottom dwellers scavenge for leftovers on the ground and between rocks, but you must specifically feed them to make sure they don’t go hungry.
Most popular species available in the freshwater aquarium can be as flamboyant and colorful as saltwater fish.
Most of the time freshwater fish are tough sturdy little critters that deserve our love and attention. If you are a brand new Aquarium owner, be sure to regularly care for your face and learn their personalities. With time you will learn to love your cute and stunning freshwater fish!
Which phase do you think is suitable for your aquarium?
Let us know in the comments below!