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Smallest Freshwater Aquarium Fish

So that you don’t have lots of area in your new freshwater aquarium. So what? Simply since you are restricted on dimension doesn’t imply you need to be restricted on the standard of your do-it-yourself underwater ecosystem.

There are many small freshwater fish that won’t solely survive however thrive in a tiny tank. In case you’re in search of the smallest freshwater aquarium fish, we’ve created a large assortment for you right here. Proceed studying to study extra about the very best choices for fish to maintain in your small residence aquarium.

22 Smallest Freshwater Aquarium Fish

1 Ember Tetra

Ember Tetras
Photo by Peter Maguire

Ember Tetras are native to Brazil, and so they make a terrific selection for a small fish tank. They’re completely pretty to have a look at, with placing orange and crimson translucent our bodies. They love closely planted tanks, as they like to spend most of their time swimming among the many vegetation. They like considerably acidic tanks and are very straightforward to take care of, consuming a combination of dried and flake meals. They’ll even gobble up stay meals like brine shrimp!

2 Inexperienced Neon Tetra

Green Neon Tetra
Photo by S.R.G – msucoo93

Inexperienced Neon Tetras are freshwater fish that solely develop to round an inch or so in dimension. They’ve outlined blue-green patterns and are the right dimension for a small freshwater tank.

These fish are beautiful to behold and likewise peaceable to different fish. They’ll eat a combined food regimen comprised of quite a lot of pellets and stay meals. It would be best to hold a watch out for Neon Tetra Illness, which is a quite common sickness to which these fish are exceptionally inclined. In any other case, there’s not a lot it’s essential to do to assist these pretty fish thrive!

3 Pygmy Corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras
Photo by Antje

The Pygmy Corydoras is a superb species to boost in the event you resolve to maintain some Ember Tetras. This fish species may be very energetic, preferring to be housed with different species of fish, as it’s fairly social. Additionally they thrive amongst water snails and shrimp.

These fish desire to inhabit the center ranges of the tank, transferring in regards to the aquarium in shoaling teams. Pygmy Corydoras are silver with black streaks that reach from their caudal fins to their mouths. They’re straightforward to look after and straightforward to breed, with females producing round 100 eggs at a time. They’ll eat quite a lot of meals, together with flakes and sinking wafers.

4 Fancy Guppy

Fancy Guppy

Fancy guppies are tiny, curious fish that do effectively in small tanks – even these which might be smaller than 5 gallons! Simply make sure that the water is heat and the tank is clear, and it will likely be easy crusing. These education fish prefer to be saved in teams – to keep away from overcrowding, hold them in teams of 5.

5 Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

Neon Tetras, rising to round 1.3 inches in dimension, are a number of the most stunning and hottest freshwater fish species. They like to stay in tropical aquarium environments with heat waters. They like to hang around within the center ranges of the water column and get alongside effectively with nearly each different type of neighborhood fish – so long as they’re across the identical dimension.

These fish will eat absolutely anything, preferring all kinds of flake meals. You don’t have to be careful for with these fish, aside from fading colours. A lack of coloration typically signifies that these fish are experiencing some type of stress.

6 Sixray Corydoras

Sixray Corydoras

The Sixray Corydoras is considered one of a whole lot of various Corydoras species. These backside feeders love each plant and meat-based meals, and prefer to stay in tropical settings. They like tanks with loads of vegetation, during which they may conceal their fry.

These fish are native to South America, primarily to the lakes and rivers of brazil. They hardly ever develop over an inch in dimension and might tolerate temperatures starting from 72 to 77 levels Fahrenheit and pH between 6 and seven.2

7 Pea Pufferfish


These fish do finest in temperatures of round 7 7 to 79degres Fahrenheit. Solely rising to about an inch and a half in size, the Pea Pufferfish is often known as the Pygmy Puffer Fish. These fish have solely come into the aquarium pastime inside the previous few years. Nonetheless, they’re a terrific selection – as a result of they’re so small, they match effectively in tiny tanks. These fish are native to Southwest India and differ from marine pufferfish in that they like freshwaters.

These fish will be considerably aggressive at occasions, so you’ll want to control them if you’re protecting them in a crowded tank. They’re carnivores so they may eat on smaller species like stay snails. They’ll eat some plant flakes, too, however they like meaty diets with a number of worms and bugs.

8 Salt And Pepper Catfish

Salt And Pepper Catfish
Photo by Andrew


Salt and pepper catfish solely develop to about 1.3 inch in size. Preferring temperatures between 75 and 78 levels Fahrenheit, these fish are native to South America and are ceaselessly present in wetlands. They like shallow water and sometimes rise to the floor of the tank to gulp in oxygen. That is regular habits, however in the event you discover different is doing it, it may very well be an indication that the oxygen within the tank’s water is just too low.

These fish do effectively in teams, preferring to eat numerous kinds of pellets and flakes. Additionally they prefer to munch on brine shrimp. It is best to home them in a densely planted tank that can be just like their pure setting.

9 Betta Splendens

Betta Splendens
Photo by Antoniolpiras


When you have a small tank with few or no different inhabitants, a Betta fish is perhaps a sensible choice for you. Also called the Siamese Preventing Fish, this species can behave fairly aggressively in direction of males of its personal species – combating to the loss of life most often. Typically, male bettas will even exhibit this aggressive habits in direction of females or different fish of various species.

Nonetheless, you may hold a single Betta on his personal in a small tank and he can be completely content material. Simply make sure that the present isn’t too robust and supply loads of decorations and hiding spots.

10 Scarlet Badis

Scarlet Badis
Photo by Aquarist Magazine

This small fish prefers to stay in heat tanks of round 75 to 79 levels Fahrenheit. It will probably, nonetheless, tolerate a variety of pH values, with the best being between 6.5 and seven.6 Rising to solely a pair centimeters in dimension, there’s quite a lot of sexual dimorphism on this species – the females can be nearly a full centimeter smaller than the males. Males even have distinguished ventral fins.

These fish like tanks with loads of stay crops and different decorations, which helps cut back the Scarlet Badis’ pure predatory habits. Crops will assist limit the fish’s line of sight, making it much less seemingly that it’ll act out with aggressive actions.

11 Glowing Gourami

Sparkling Gourami
Photo by Mike MacLeod

Glowing Gouramis are completely stunning, obtainable in shades of blue, crimson, and inexperienced. They stand out fairly effectively in most fish tanks and are formed like arrowheads. They aren’t terribly pleasant, that means you may not wish to home them with fish like bettas, notably males.

Nonetheless, they don’t seem to be too troublesome to look after. They’ve distinctive labyrinth organs that make it doable for the fish to have interaction in various respiration methods. They’ll eat quite a lot of meals, together with bloodworms, brine shrimp, and extra.

12 Hara Jerdoni

Hara Jerdoni

The Hara Jerdoni fish was first found in India, and it is likely one of the tiniest species of catfish. As bottom-dwelling, closely whiskered fish, these lovable fish spend most of their days mendacity sedentary on the underside of the tank. They prefer to stay in small tanks, preferring to not have to maneuver loads.

As a result of these fish have a tendency to remain in a single place, they’re good companions for different extra energetic fish. They want tanks with above-average ranges of oxygen and so they additionally want some kind of cowl. This cowl, which will be supplied with numerous hiding locations like rocks, crops, or caves, offers the fish a spot to lounge and conceal. They’ll eat nearly any sort of meals, together with frozen, stay, and dried choices.

13 Endlers Guppies

Endlers Guppies
Photo by Peter Maguire

These fish are a number of the hottest selection for small freshwater tanks. They’re gorgeously coloured and whereas just like common guppies, rising to lower than two inches in dimension, they’re additionally distinct.

These fearless fish are very energetic, spending most of their days exploring the tank as they eat up any obtainable algae. They do finest in heat water, with superb temperatures between 75 and 81 levels Fahrenheit. It would be best to spend money on a tight-fitting lid cowl, as leaping is a favourite pastime of this fish. They get alongside effectively with different species and like to play.

14 Licorice Gouramis

Licorice Gouramis
Photo by Oceancedar

The identify sounds tasty, proper? Properly, these fish are too cute to eat! They’re a number of the smallest freshwater gouramis one can find, rising solely to 1.3 inches in size at most. They’re beautiful to have a look at with silver and black patterns.

These fish needs to be housed in shady tanks, notably those who have a number of stay crops and driftwood. They’re peaceable and can eat quite a lot of meat and plant-based meals. Licorice gouramis are glorious neighborhood fish, getting alongside effectively with different amicable fish. They like acidic water that’s well-filtered.

15 Least Killifish

There are several types of killifish, however this one specifically is native to the southeastern United States. Associated to each guppies and mollies, this fish species is a livebearer. Which means that it offers beginning to stay younger as an alternative of laying eggs.

Least Killifish solely develop to about an inch and a half in dimension and might thrive in aquariums as tiny as three gallons. You don’t have to be too attentive in relation to the water high quality within the tank – they will thrive even in unstable situations. They aren’t terribly colourful, however they’re peaceable and easygoing and can get alongside effectively together with your different fish.

16 Norman’s Lampeye Killifish

Norman’s Lampeye Killifish is one other species of killifish that may thrive in a small freshwater tank. These fish are a terrific selection for bill aquarium hobbyists. They solely develop to about an inch and a half in size and so you may simply hold a gaggle of three to 5 in a tank as small as 5 gallons. They do, nonetheless, desire loads of stay crops during which they will conceal.

17 African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frogs
Photo by Peter Maguire

You don’t have to stay to fish in your small aquarium! African Dwarf Frogs are generally kept in paludariums however you too can hold them in small aquariums. So long as you’ve got a safe lid, you have to be high quality. They don’t want overly heat water and supplied that you just give your frog some floor area between the water and the highest of the tank in order that he can breathe air sometimes, you’ll be good to go.

18 Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami
Photo by Bosscock_uk

Dwarf gouramis will be saved in tanks of round 5 gallons. They’ll breathe air above the water and do effectively in tanks with minimal ranges of oxygen. So long as you retain your tank clear and supply your dwarf gourami with a nutritious diet, he’ll do nice in a smaller tank.

19 Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp
Photo by Matthew Singleton

Ghost shrimp, like African Dwarf Frogs, aren’t technically fish. You possibly can hold these creatures in your small aquarium, too! Though they’re typically saved as meals for different fish, they’re distinctive species which might be enjoyable to boost in their very own proper. You possibly can hold a gaggle of six shrimp in a tank that’s lower than 5 gallons, providing you with lots to have a look at even in the event you don’t add any fish! Feed your ghost shrimp sinking pellets and algae wafers – in any other case, they’re straightforward to look after.

Keep in mind, you are not restricted to ghost shrimp if you wish to add invertebrates, both! You can additionally add crimson Cherry Shrimp or Crystal Crimson Shrimp, each of which make glorious additions to freshwater tanks. You can even begin a shrimp-only aquarium!

20 Dwarf Puffer

Dwarf Puffer Fish
Photo by anna pang

Do you know that not all puffer fish are designed for saltwater? In reality, the Dwarf Puffer is a superb species for a freshwater tank, because it’s native to a freshwater setting. This fish thrives in small aquariums and solely grows to about an inch in size. It will probably thrive in five-gallon aquarium. Nonetheless, in the event you plan so as to add a number of fish, you would possibly wish to spend money on a bigger tank.

These carnivorous species would require a number of meaty meals. You also needs to feed stay snails, which can assist present beneficial vitamins and can assist to grind down the razor-sharp enamel of those predatory fish. You also needs to present loads of stay crops, vegetation, and driftwood to assist make the dwarf puffer really feel at residence in your small aquarium.

21 Celestial Pearl Danios

Photo by Matthew Willis

These colourful fish are enjoyable to look at, making them a well-liked selection for freshwater aquarium homeowners. These education fish needs to be saved in teams of 4 to 6. Teams will be saved in tanks as small as 5 gallons, however bigger is really helpful in case you have hassle maintaining with constant water modifications!

These omnivorous fish needs to be fed a mix of meat- and plant-based meals. They’ll eat something from freeze dried bloodworms to algae wafers and solely develop to about an inch in dimension.

22 Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee Goby
Photo by Hristo Hristov

These distinctive fish could also be final on our listing, however they actually are usually not least! Rising to solely an inch and a half in size on common, these fish have daring personalities and will be considerably territorial. You would possibly wish to watch out housing a couple of Bumblebee Goby in the identical tank.

These fish are simply outcompeted for meals, so you have to to look at them fastidiously throughout feedings to ensure they’re consuming sufficient. In addition to that, they aren’t too troublesome to look after, solely rising to about an inch in dimension.

Discovering the right fish in your freshwater tank is usually a problem. Choosing the incorrect fish species can throw off your entire ecosystem.

Why jeopardize it? As a substitute, select a fish that may get alongside effectively together with your different small tank inhabitants and also you’ll be getting alongside swimmingly!

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