Fishes can be a fun and adventurous hobby as you create your own aquatic world with your own creative decors and fill it with all your favorite, beautiful fish friends. With your own fish tank, your home becomes a place filled with serenity and character as they lend a colorful charm to the room. The playful, different hued fishes will bring life into an otherwise dull room.
Fishes are the best pets ever as they don’t mess your house up. Kept in a corner they are happy to frolic in their own water world. You only need to feed them once or twice a day. Once you select your fish tank and the decors that must go in it, it’s time to select which types of aquarium fish are supposed to go into the tank. With hundreds of varieties of pet fishes out there, selecting your favorite might get confusing. But we are here at your rescue!
Here we have curated a list based on the amount of care each fish requires so you know which ones will be best for your convenience. Their friendliness level, maintenance requirements, dietary needs, appearance, and size have been mentioned under each fish’s name. Whether you are a serious aquarist or a first-time fish owner these are all the fishes you need to know about both for decorative and entertainment purposes.
Popular Types of Aquarium Fishes
- Neon Tetra
- Cherry Barb
- Pearl Gourami
- Kuhli Loach
- Fire Mouth Cichlid
- Black Molly
- Lionhead Cichlid
- Royal Pleco
- Tiger Barb
- Red-Tailed Shark
Different Types of Aquarium Fishes That Can Be Easily Cared
Freshwater fishes are fishes that can only survive in freshwaters (not in saltwater). The colorful and small fishes are the go-to options for all the aquarium enthusiasts out there. Freshwater fishes are super easy to fit into water tanks along with the fact that they get along very well with the other fishes, you have a no worry aquarium set up in your house. They are generally low-maintenance too, saving you some more bother.
Here are the reasons why you should opt for all types of aquarium freshwater fishes.
Goldfish is the most common and renowned fish among all the types of fish for home aquariums. You must have probably thought of it the first time you decided to rear fish. This is the right species that brought ornamental fish rearing into being. Did you know how long back goldfishes date? Around when the Jin Dynasty (265 – 420 A.D.) ruled in China. Today, goldfishes have over 200 varieties of breeds in the market.
Here are some of the commonly recognized breeds of Goldfish:
- The common goldfish
- The lion head goldfish with a hood
- The telescope goldfish (has large protruding eyes)
- The veitail (has an elaborate flowing tail that looks like a veil)
- The pompom (has a short, round body with fleshy fins)
Goldfishes are the commonly found types of aquarium fish as they are super low-maintenance. They can create an impressive fish tank on their own without the need for adding any more fish. That is the level of their pretentious beauty.
Guppy is yet another type of aquarium fish that is also called by other names such as the rainbow fish or the million fish. Guppies were first found in the natural ranges of northeast South America. They are the toughest fish of them all as they can survive without being fed for over a week. They are absolutely not selective over the diet and will feed on different fish feeds such as,
- Regular fish flakes
- Daphnia (aquatic crustaceans known as water fleas)
- Shrimps (both live and frozen)
- Blood worms
Guppies come in a wide range of color combinations so that you are spoilt for choices. Another fact about guppies is that they are highly reproductive. They are going to multiply crazily in your water tank so if you do not want a school of fish in a short span of time, you should go for the other fishes or you could keep all the female and male guppies separate. How to identify each gender? Here are some tips:
- Male guppies have slender and lumpy bodies while female guppies have rounder bodies.
- Female guppies grow up to 6 cm while male guppies grow up to 3 cm.
- Male guppies are more colorful than female guppies.
- Female guppies have a gravid spot on the underside of their body near the tail.
- Male guppies have longer dorsal fins than female guppies.
3. Neon Tetra
Neon Tetra grows up to a length of 3 cm in total. It is an attractive fish belonging to the natural waters of South America. It has iridescent orange strips across a silver shiny body making them easy to spot even in the blackwater streams in spite of their small size. It thrives on a simple diet such as the basic fish flakes.
They are friendly fishes that swim around in groups. These are enough to brighten up your fish tank as you can buy as many of them as you want. The more the number of them, the merrier they will be.
Platy fishes originate from Southern Mexico and the east coast of Central America. They will fit well with the other all types of aquarium fishes because of their friendly and non-aggressive nature. Platies are very non-demanding when it comes to being fed and will thrive on different kinds of flakes as well as frozen live foods that can be given now and then.
Selective breeding has led to many kinds of platies in terms of color and size. Here are some examples:
- The rainbow platy (has glittery silver and indigo scales with deep cobalt tail and fins)
- The Mickey Mouse platy (has a black tail with a golden-white-cream body)
Danios are the types of aquarium fish that is perfect for beginners as they thrive well in diverse environments and are content with plain fish food. These are native to the Himalayas and grow up to 6.4 cm in length with the average size being only 4 cm. Under proper conditions, they survive up to 3 years. They are super active and you will love to watch them zap past vivaciously from one corner to the other inside the fish tank.
Danios come in a wide range of color combinations such as orange strips on a sky blue body. The most popular Danios are:
- The Giant Danios
- The Zebra Danios
Betta is the type of aquarium fish that is also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish and is something you do not want to miss out on for your aquarium. Similar to the goldfish, Betta is the second most common fish out there found in most aquariums: an all-time favorite for both expert aquarists and first-time beginners.
Amongst all types of aquarium fishes, Bettas are one colorful fish breed you must-have in your fish tank with colors such as shocking pink, rich blue, intense orange, and so on. It is common practice to sell these fishes in small “betta bowls”. These bowls are often used as planters or as a centerpiece for tables but such small vases are not enough to fit these sparkling beauties. They must be housed in a tank with a minimum capacity of 2 gallons to have sufficient space to swim around.
Bettas prefer live food but can also be fed frozen fish foods or flakes. They grow up to 3 inches in length and have a lifespan of about 3 years.
7. Cherry Barb
Cherry barbs are a type of aquarium fish that can reach up to 2 inches in length once they are mature. They are low maintenance but will take a bit longer to settle with other fishes. Cherry barbs’ name comes from its deep, vivid red appearance. This striking appearance combined with their high energy makes them a lively addition to your fish family.
Since they take a bit longer to get along with the environment, consider placing lots of plants and other such items in your fish tank before placing the Cherry in it. This would give them ample hideouts places and the right environment to get adjusted to their new home.
Gerry barbs can thrive on normal fish foods but they may not eat at all in a new environment. They like to stay in schools so make sure you have at least 5 of them in your fish tanks at all times. Amongst the different types of aquarium fish, Gerry barbs are considered an endangered species which is why you may not find them very easily.
8. Pearl Gourami
Pearl Gourami belongs to the Anabantoidei family otherwise known as the Gourami family which includes fishes like,
- Leeri Gourami
- Diamond Gourami
- Lace Gourami
- Mosaic Gourami
Of all these species, Pearl Gourami is the most attractive one. It originates from Malaysia and Thailand and is very easy to care for. It grows up to 4 to 5 inches in length and has an average lifespan of approximately 4 years.
Did you know that Pearl Gourami is a labyrinth fish? It means it can breathe in oxygen directly from the air. So no matter the type of aquarium you have, the tank must have some empty space at the top to let them breathe in the air directly. Another fun fact is that they “talk” to each other. These talks are low growling noises during the breeding seasons.
Gouramis prefer algae-based fishes but are omnivorous which means they can be fed these other foods too:
- Brine shrimps
- Cooked peas
- Glass worms
9. Kuhli Loach
Kuhli Loach has its origin in the Indonesian and Malay Peninsula. It is a snake-like fish whose close resemblance is an eel. They adapt very well in different kinds of water environments as well as mix very well with the other fishes. A mature Kohli Loach reaches a length of about 7 to 10 cm and lives as long as 10 years.
Kuhli Loach has a slender and sleek body that has black or deep brown vertical segments with alternate yellow to light pink parts in between. They love to eat fish pellets but are also happy to feed off worms and shrimps. You should o keep them with large species as they might mistake them for food. Also, Kuhli Loaches prefer company so buy them in pairs or better in groups of at least 3.
10. Fire Mouth Cichlid
Fire Mouth Cichlid is a type of aquarium fish that is native to Central America. It is an exquisite type of freshwater fish best suited for large home aquariums. It gets its name from the streaks of deep red color in the lower half of its body and near its mouth. They need large fish tanks as they can grow up to 6 inches in length and prefer to stay in schools.
Fire Mouth Cichlids are not particular about their diets and are easily available at different pet stores. They are super friendly and mix well with the other fishes. During the breeding season, Fire mouths become quite territorial so it is better to isolate them from the other fishes. But if you have a community tank then make sure they have enough private areas where they can hide whenever they want such as upturned plant pots or large rocks.
11. Black Molly
Black mollies are a type of fish for home aquariums that can thrive in both freshwater and saltwater given that the pH level of the water in the fish tank is gradually adjusted. These are jet-black vertebrates that grow up to 3 to 4 inches in length. Black mollies are quite passive and if you want to breed them you must buy 3 black mollies for 1 male molly. Sometimes the adult mollies prey on the younger ones so make sure there is enough vegetation in the fish tank or the babies to hide.
12. Lionhead Cichlid
Lionhead Cichlid hails from Africa and is so named because of a large hump on the forehead of the male species. They grow up to 4 to 5 inches in length and require a tank that can hold a minimum of 30 gallons. They survive in moderate temperatures and have an average lifespan of 7 years. Lionheads are extremely loyal to the paired partner and will prefer to remain solitary in case their mate dies. They are omnivorous so you can feed them,
13. Royal Pleco
Royal Pleco is also known as Royal Black, Royal Panaque, and Broken Line Royal Pleco. Its fascinating striped patterns and colors make it an attractive addition to your fish tank. It is a herbivorous fish and thus loves to feed off algae growth and decaying wood. You must buy plenty of algae wafers, pellets, and flakes if you have them in your fish family. If you run out of fish food, you can feed them these green veggies:
- Cooked peas
- Boiled spinach
- Green beans
Fishes That Need Extra Care
1. Tiger Barb
Tiger Barb cannot be managed by everyone as they swim at incredibly high speeds and become mildly aggressive sometimes which is why they are not the type of fishes for your home aquariums. They nip fishes with flowing or feathery fins such as goldfishes. Tiger barbs like to have a slightly acidic water environment and because they are omnivorous they will feed off most types of fish food.
Angelfish is a member of the family of Cichlids which means they belong to the am group as Lionheads and Firemouths. They have a triangular body shape with pointed fingers and grow up to 6 inches in length. They require spacious tanks and do pretty well with other fishes as long as smaller ones are not housed with them. Their lifespan is 15 years with them feeding off all kinds of food including artificial supplements, live feed, and frozen fish food. They need to have a temperature setting of 78 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit with good filtration.
3. Red-Tailed Shark
Also called Fire Tail, the Red-Tailed shark is an ornamental fish that is native to Thailand. It is a deep black fish with a dazzling red tail. When mature it reaches up to 6 inches in length and lives up to 6 years on average. These fishes require a 55-gallon tank at least to thrive which is why they are not suitable for first-time fish owners. Moreover, the fish tank needs to have plenty of tropical plants, caves, rocks along with a well-maintained temperature. The water conditions are also highly important such as the oxygen level and pH level among others.
These fishes are often called the king of freshwater tanks. They come in spectacular and intense colors and with their large size which is about 8 inches, they will be one eye-catchy addition to your fish family. Discus has a lifespan of about 15 years but grows in a sluggish environment. Their tanks need to be planted and added with carbon dioxide from time to time to maintain the slightly acidic condition they need. The pH level of the water must be about 6.5. The tank’s bottom is preferred to be bare because baby Discus tends to get stuck in the gravel.
Koi fishes are best suited for outdoor pools but can be indoor fish too if kept in a tank with a capacity of a minimum of 30 gallons. The Tank must also be covered to prevent the Koi from jumping out of the top open side. It is preferred in outdoor pools as they grow to a massive length of about 36 inches. Their lifespan is believed to be about 50 years.
The Bottom Line
Fish rearing can be a fun hobby and if you are not much of a fish hobbyist then you can get colorful ones that do not excessively breed to adorn your fish tank. You must consider the size of your fish tank, its maintenance requirements, and other such factors before buying fish for your aquarium. Research on all types of aquarium fishes, their dietary requirements, and thriving conditions before you dive in!