Dipping your toes into the world of fishkeeping can be an exhilarating experience.
As a beginner, one of the first steps to a successful fish-keeping journey is choosing the right fish.
I remember a friend who started with a species not suitable for beginners; it was a tough start.
But with the right guidance, they found joy in this hobby.
Let’s help you avoid that pitfall as we explore the top 15 freshwater fish for beginners.
- Why Start with Beginner-Friendly Fish?
- Top 15 Freshwater Fish for Beginners
- Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
- Betta Fish (Betta splendens)
- Platy (Xiphophorus)
- Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)
- Molly Fish (Poecilia sphenops)
- Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
- Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
- Cory Catfish (Corydoras)
- Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)
- Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
- Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)
- Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
- Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii)
- Tiger Barb (Puntius tetrazona)
- Rosy Barb (Puntius conchonius)
- Tips for Selecting Freshwater Fish For Beginners
- Wrapping Up – Freshwater Fish For Beginners
Why Start with Beginner-Friendly Fish?
Starting with fish that are easy to care for can be a real confidence booster.
These fish are generally more resistant to diseases, which means a healthier and happier aquarium.
Let’s delve into the world of beginner-friendly fish that promises a vibrant and lively aquarium with less hassle.
Top 15 Freshwater Fish for Beginners
To aid you in your selection, here is a detailed list of the top 15 freshwater fish for beginners:
|Fish Species||Characteristics||Care Level|
|Guppy||Vibrant colors, easy to breed||Easy|
|Betta Fish||Available in various colors, adaptable||Easy|
|Platy||Peaceful, easy to breed||Easy|
|Swordtail||Active, easy to care for||Easy|
|Molly Fish||Adaptable to various water conditions||Easy|
|Neon Tetra||Perfect for nano tanks, displays beautiful group behaviors||Easy|
|Cherry Barb||Peaceful, great for community tanks||Easy|
|Cory Catfish||Helps in cleaning the substrate, peaceful||Easy|
|Zebra Danio||Disease-resistant, active swimmers||Easy|
|Harlequin Rasbora||Peaceful, great for community tanks||Easy|
|Angelfish||Graceful appearance, requires moderate care||Moderate|
|Goldfish||Popular, requires a spacious tank||Moderate|
|Pearl Gourami||Beautiful appearance, peaceful||Easy|
|Tiger Barb||Vibrant, can be semi-aggressive||Moderate|
|Rosy Barb||Hardy, great for community tanks||Easy|
Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
Guppies are small, vibrant, and easy to care for, making them a popular choice for beginners.
They grow up to 2.5 inches and have a peaceful temperament.
Guppies have a variety of colors and tail shapes, adding a splash of color to your aquarium.
They are social fish and thrive in groups, which also allows for a beautiful display of synchronized swimming.
Betta Fish (Betta splendens)
Betta fish are known for their vibrant colors and flowing fins.
They grow up to 3 inches and have a somewhat aggressive temperament, especially the males.
It is advisable to keep them alone or with non-aggressive species to avoid conflicts.
Despite their aggressive nature, they have a majestic appearance that can be the centerpiece of your aquarium.
Platies are small, colorful fish that are easy to care for, making them great for beginners.
They grow up to 3 inches and have a peaceful temperament.
Platies come in various colors, including red, yellow, and orange, which can brighten up your aquarium.
They prefer to be kept in small groups where they can interact with other fish.
Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)
Swordtails are known for the long, sword-like extension of their tails.
They grow up to 4 inches and have a peaceful to semi-aggressive temperament.
Their body colors range from green to red, with females being less colorful than males.
It is recommended to keep them in groups with a higher number of females than males to reduce aggression.
Molly Fish (Poecilia sphenops)
Molly fish are adaptable and easy to care for, growing up to 4.5 inches.
They have a peaceful temperament and enjoy being in groups.
Mollies have a variety of colors, including gold, black, and dalmatian, which can add diversity to your aquarium.
They are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young, which can be fascinating to witness.
Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
Neon Tetras are small, brightly colored fish that grow up to 1.5 inches.
They have a peaceful temperament and prefer to be kept in schools of 6 or more to showcase their beautiful group behaviors.
Their vibrant blue and red stripes make them a popular choice for adding color and activity to your aquarium.
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
Cherry Barbs are small, peaceful fish that grow up to 2 inches.
They have a vibrant red color, which becomes more intense during breeding seasons.
They prefer to be kept in groups where they can exhibit natural behaviors.
Their peaceful nature makes them great companions for other community fish.
Cory Catfish (Corydoras)
Cory Catfish are bottom dwellers that help in cleaning the substrate.
They grow up to 2.5 inches and have a peaceful temperament.
They have a silver or bronze body with black markings, giving them a unique appearance.
It is recommended to keep them in groups of at least 6 to encourage natural behaviors.
Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)
Zebra Danios are active swimmers known for their striking horizontal stripes.
They grow up to 2 inches and have a peaceful temperament.
They are hardy and disease-resistant, making them great for beginners.
They enjoy being in groups, which allows them to exhibit schooling behaviors, adding dynamism to your aquarium.
Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
Harlequin Rasboras are small, peaceful fish that grow up to 2 inches.
They have a distinct black patch on their body, which contrasts beautifully with their silver body.
They prefer to be kept in groups where they can exhibit schooling behaviors, adding a sense of harmony to your aquarium.
Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)
Angelfish are known for their graceful, wing-like fins and elegant appearance.
They grow up to 6 inches and have a semi-aggressive temperament.
They have a variety of patterns and colors, making them a beautiful addition to your aquarium.
While they can be kept in groups, it is essential to provide them with enough space to avoid territorial disputes.
Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
Goldfish are one of the most popular fish for beginners, known for their vibrant colors and friendly nature.
They can grow quite large, up to 8 inches, and have a peaceful temperament.
They are social fish and enjoy the company of other goldfish.
However, they require a spacious tank to accommodate their size and potential growth.
Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii)
Pearl Gouramis are beautiful fish known for their pearl-like patterns on their bodies.
They grow up to 5 inches and have a peaceful temperament.
They are labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe air, which is a unique characteristic.
They prefer to be kept in small groups where they can interact peacefully with other fish.
Tiger Barb (Puntius tetrazona)
Tiger Barbs are vibrant, active fish known for their bold black stripes on a gold or silver body.
They grow up to 3 inches and have a semi-aggressive temperament.
They are best kept in groups of at least 6 to reduce aggression and encourage schooling behavior, adding a lively atmosphere to your aquarium.
Rosy Barb (Puntius conchonius)
Rosy Barbs are hardy fish that grow up to 6 inches.
They have a peaceful temperament and a beautiful red or gold body.
They are social fish that enjoy being in groups, where they can interact and feel secure.
Their hardy nature makes them great for beginners looking to add some color to their aquarium.
Tips for Selecting Freshwater Fish For Beginners
Research Before Purchase
Before bringing any fish home, ensure to do thorough research on the specific needs, temperament, and compatibility of the fish species you are interested in.
It will help in setting up a harmonious aquarium.
Consider the Size of Your Aquarium
The size of your aquarium will significantly influence the type of fish you can keep.
Some fish require more space to thrive, while others are suitable for smaller tanks.
Always ensure that your aquarium can comfortably accommodate the fish you choose.
Different fish have different water parameter requirements.
Understanding the pH, hardness, and temperature needs of your chosen fish will help in creating a suitable environment for them.
Understanding the dietary needs of your fish is crucial.
Some fish are herbivores, while others are omnivores or carnivores.
Ensure to provide the right type of food to meet their nutritional requirements.
Behavior and Temperament
Knowing the behavior and temperament of the fish will help in selecting species that can coexist peacefully.
Avoid mixing aggressive fish with peaceful ones to prevent conflicts.
Group or Solitary
Some fish prefer to be in groups, while others are fine with being alone.
For fish that prefer groups, ensure to have enough of them to prevent stress and encourage natural behaviors.
Ease of Care
As a beginner, opt for fish species that are easy to care for.
These fish are generally hardy and can withstand slight fluctuations in water parameters, making them forgiving to beginner mistakes.
Consult with Experienced Fishkeepers
If possible, consult with experienced fishkeepers or staff at the pet store for personalized advice and recommendations.
They can provide insights based on their experiences, which can be very beneficial.
Observe the Fish Before Purchasing
Before making a purchase, observe the fish in the store to ensure they are healthy and active.
Avoid fish that are lethargic or show signs of illness.
Quarantine New Fish
Before introducing new fish to your established aquarium, it is advisable to quarantine them for a few weeks to observe their health and prevent the potential spread of diseases.
Wrapping Up – Freshwater Fish For Beginners
Embarking on your fish-keeping journey with the right set of fish can set you up for success and enjoyment in the hobby.
Remember, a well-thought-out selection of beginner-friendly fish not only adds vibrant colors and life to your aquarium but also promises a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Here’s to a successful fish-keeping journey!
What is the easiest freshwater fish to have?
I personally would recommend starting with super easy fish like platies, mollies or guppies. These live bearers are easy to keep and breed like crazy.
What fish is the least maintenance?
There are quite a few fish you can consider but if you want the easiest fish with the least maintenance then I would go for platy fish.
What fish doesn’t need a lot of room?
You can keep a single betta fish in a 5 gallon tank. I don’t recommend going any smaller than a 5 gallon as the smaller the tank the more difficult it is to keep the water parameters stable.