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Top Freshwater Fish For Your Home Aquarium

In the process of creating your own little aquatic ecosystem, you will come across various learning experiences, wherein you will learn the process of setting up an aquarium, learn to introduce aquatic creatures, study how they should coexist with each other and also observe their behavior firsthand. There is nothing like having an aquarium to help you understand, appreciate and respect the environment around us. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best fish for home aquarium.

So, you are ready to take on the role of a pet parent? Well, then fish keeping is the perfect way to start. It’s safe to say that there is an abundance of information floating around in cyberspace and a lot of fish as well. If you are a beginner and this is your first fish tank, then this article is for you.

Freshwater Fish

What Makes A Beginner Fish In A Friendly Way?

The first thing you will learn about fish keeping is that every fish is different, and you can’t simply just take a bunch of fish and throw them together in a tank and expect them to live in harmony. You can’t keep buying fish to a point that the tank is crowded and expect them to live by just providing them with food that is not how fish keeping works, there is so much more effort involved than just buying the fish and feeding them.

Since you’re a beginner, listed below are few points that you will need to check off before deciding on the fish that you wish to purchase.

  • It’s obvious that as a pet parent you will do whatever it takes to make sure that your fish are kept in good condition and are also well fed. But since this will be your first fish tank, it’s a good idea that you choose fishes that are “scrappy” and can survive in conditions that are less than optimal, and the fish’s life won’t be threatened by sudden temperature changes. This gives you a bit of a leeway when you make mistakes.
  • When you are deciding on a fish, keep in mind that you’re still learning and you will need to choose something that is low maintenance and easy to care for.
  • Make sure that you choose fish that live in harmony with each other. When you go to your dealer ask around about the various fish and their aggression levels. Different fish have different aggressive levels; while some will peacefully get along with other fishes, some will attack their counterparts or even eat them. It’s important to choose fishes that will be able to live together as a community.
  • The fish that you choose should be able to fit in your tank, if you are getting smaller fish you should ask the dealer if they will grow bigger. By knowing the size of your fish you will know how crowded your tank will be. There is no use buying a fish that will grow up to 2 feet long if your tank is only 2 feet wide. The fishes that are compiled in this list are 2 to 3 inches, making them a perfect choice for best freshwater aquarium fish combination.

The Coolest Freshwater Aquarium Fish:

This list is compiled of examples of various types of fish that you can keep as a beginner, the fishes that are mentioned here meet all the requirements that you will be looking for as a fish keeper.

1 Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

These dwarf fishes, although small in size are so beautifully colored that will brighten up even the dullest of fish tanks. Since they are small they don’t take up too much of space and are also the easiest to take care of. They love being groups, so the bigger the group the better. Once again because of their small size, you won’t run the risk of overcrowding your tank. Neon tetras have a simple diet and can be fed fish flakes; they do enjoy bloodworm and brine shrimp as well.

2 Danios

Photo by Matthew Willis

These fishes are amazing and very low maintenance; due to their ability to adapt to their environment quickly, they are the perfect choice for people who are new to fish keeping. They can survive in different water conditions. Danios are active and really fun to watch, they have a no-fuss diet that includes fish flakes. The zebra danio and the giant danio are some crowd favorites.

3 Platies

Photo by Jessica MacDougall

For a community tank, this is the perfect fish, platies are not aggressive and are very peaceful, and they live in harmony with their counterparts, provided that the other fish are non-aggressive as well. They come in different varieties that range in different colors; this is a result of selective breeding. They are not fussy about their diet and will eat any flake foods as well as frozen live food.

4 Guppies

Photo by Geoff Holden

Guppies are another species of dwarf fishes that are really popular with fish keepers; they make for the perfect species for any beginner. The behavior and characteristics of the fish are generally the same, but they do come in various colors. Once again these fish are “scrappy” and can live on fish flakes; they also prefer frozen live food and blood worms. Guppies can go over a week without food, and these go to show how hardy they are.

If you are interested in keeping guppies, it’s vital that you know the difference between the male and female guppies because they reproduce rapidly. So, if you just want guppies then you can get a male and a female and expect a lot of guppy babies. These species are one of the best fish for home aquarium.

5 Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach

This eel-like fish originates from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, the Kuhli Loach has the ability to adapt itself to water temperature changes, and it’s peaceful so will get along quite well with other non-aggressive fishes. Since it’s a bottom feeder, the Kuhli Loach will eat just about any food particle that is dropped at the bottom of the tank; this includes live worms and shrimp. Most of their diet includes fish pellets. This species is pretty peaceful and live happily with other non-aggressive fish, just be sure that you don’t incorporate any big fish that may mistake them for food. Keep them happy by keeping at least three of them at a time.

6 Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb 2
Photo by Pavel Besov

The next addition in our list of best fish for home aquarium is the Cherry Barb. They are the perfect fish for any beginner and match all the necessities that are mentioned above. Unlike their distant cousins the tiger barbs, the cherry barbs are really friendly and easy to take care of, they adapt to changes in water temperature very easily, they grow up to 2 inches long. The cherry barb is one of the most endangered species in the wild, but this doesn’t deny the fact that they are a favorite among the fish keeping community.

Thanks to their bright color and their entertainment value, they are a very active fish and once they get used to their surroundings they are a lot of fun to watch. Barbs take a while to come out of their shell and to make them secure with their surroundings it’s advised that you keep some plants in the tank, this way they can hide if they want to, they are best kept in schools in a number above 6.

In terms of diet, they will eat any type of fish food, it may seem like they will not adapt to the food but give them a few days and they will be eating comfortably.

7 Fire Mouth Cichilid

Fire Mouth Cichilid

Given the name because of its red scales during breeding, the Fire Mouth Cichilid is the perfect fish for new fish keepers. Although they can be pretty territorial through their breeding season, they are pretty friendly. It’s recommended you keep these fishes on their own, but if you want to mix them with other species, and then be sure that you provide rocks or an overturned plant pot where they can hide in peace so that they can lay their eggs.

Adult Cichlids can grow 6 inches long, and their diet consists of flaked fish, because of their fame, you can find them at many pet stores, and they are very cheap, which is another benefit when looking to fill your aquarium.

8 Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gourami
Photo by Jules Richards

When you think about the various types of aquarium fish for home, you can’t exclude the Pearl Gourami, aka the Lace Gourami, they are really easy to care for, and can be kept in tanks with 30 gallons of water minimum, but like many other types of Gourami, they do need space towards the top of the tank so they can breathe air. They are a very popular choice for beginners because of their low maintenance features and beautiful appearance. As for their diet, the Gouramieat a variety of food that can be plant based or meat based. It’s advised that to give them the best nutrition that you use algae-based flake food and live food like brine shrimp, blood-worms, and tubifex.

Pearl Gouramis don’t like to be in the company of aggressive fish, remember that when you’re filling your aquarium. They also like a comfy place to hide, a minor covering of floating ferns can provide them with a good place to hide and make them feel comfortable.

9 Tiger Pleco

Tiger Plecos Fish

This nonaggressive freshwater fish originates from South America; they are bottom feeders so they do well with sinking food like pellets, bloodworms and brine shrimp. Keeping Plecos satisfied, by keeping their appetites satiated you can avoid them feasting on your aquatic plants. Tiger Plecos are peaceful but extremely territorial, if you plan on owning more than one, it is suggested that you fill the bottom of your tank with rocks, so they can find a place to call home. The fish grow up to 5 inches in length and they live for 8 years under good tank conditions.

10 Betta

How Long Do Betta Fish Live 3

The betta is not a conventional choice for a beginner fish due to its aggressive nature, but they are generally aggressive only towards other betta fish, so you can only keep one in your tank and it will be just fine. The Betta has been added to our list of best fish for home aquarium because they are one of the most spectacular tropical fish you can keep. The long and graceful colorful fins are eye-catching. Betta fish are easy to care for, and they will eat generic types of food like fish flakes, blood-worms, and brine shrimp. For a treat, try offering some live food into the tank.

What Fish Live In Fresh Water?

The reason some fishes live in freshwater is that it provides them with optimum habitual conditions that will allow them to survive. The obvious difference between the two is obviously the salt water concentration. Freshwater fish maintain the physiological features that allow them to metabolize salts within their bodies in a salt-deficient setting; marine fish excrete excess salts in a hypertonic atmosphere. Fish that are able to live in both these environments are able to retain both mechanisms.

The many species of fish that are found in oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams have changed over millions of years and have adapted to the environments that they prefer for long periods of time, Fishes are characterized according to their salinity acceptance. Fish that can tolerate small ranges of salinity, such as freshwater fish like goldfish and seawater fish like tuna; they are also known as stenohaline species. These fish die in waters having a salinity that differs from the amount in their normal environment.


So, that was our list of the best fish for home aquarium for beginners, it suggested that you look for fish that are low maintenance and can adapt to their surroundings easily and in a short amount of time. Also, don’t forget to choose non-aggressive fish that get along with other fish and can live in harmony also make sure that you don’t get too excited and overcrowd your tank. An overcrowded tank will stress out the fish and this will affect their health.

If you have any more tips or tricks that you would like to share, feel free to add them in the comment section below.

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