So you have decided to build an aquarium in your home, and we think you are probably a beginner fish keeper. If that’s so, let’s find out about the best freshwater aquarium fish for you and how to take care of them.
Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish
Keeping an aquarium in your home helps with your mental health. So, congratulations. You are going to improve your health by enjoying vivid color, exciting pet fish.
Below is a list of the best aquarium fish for new aquarium owners.
Goldfish is the most popular aquarium fish of all time, dating back to the Chinese Jin Dynasty, and is easy-to-care fish and suitable for beginner fish keepers. Goldfish are omnivores, so they will eat anything you feed.
This beautiful fish species can grow up to 14 inches long, so you will have to create a large aquarium if you decide to keep Goldfish. Goldfish are available in various colors, shapes, sizes, and types. However, you need a minimum of 20-gallon tanks if you own one Goldfish and 10 extra for each additional fish.
2. Betta Fish
Betta is one of the gorgeous fish species in the world and one of the hardiest fish you can find. Betta fish are also well-known as siamese fighting fish because of their aggressive nature. Usually, they can not live with similar-looking fish species, especially their own kind.
If kept, they will fight to the death leaving only one fish in your tank. Betta fish are a favorite choice for fish bowls. So, if you have limited space and still would like to keep a fish, you can buy a small fishbowl with one betta. It will thrive well if kept alone.
Mollies are very easy-to-care fish that will thrive well in large freshwater aquariums. They come in various colors with various names, and they will grow up to 4 inches long. They are omnivore species that can survive with plants and meat-based food.
However, they tend to breed a lot, so if you keep a molly couple, you’ll have more babies soon. If you don’t want to expand your fish population, either choose mollies in one gender or go for another fish species.
Guppies are a very active fish species that is beginner-friendly. They come in vivid colors and can survive in different water conditions. However, they will breed each other fast if you keep males and females together, leaving more fish for your tank. What makes Guppies so popular is that their lively personalities. You’ll never get bored looking at Guppies in an aquarium.
Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish Combination
Each fish species have different temperaments. Because of that, you need to choose tank mates for your preferred fish carefully.
Goldfish Tank Mates
Goldfishes do fine with similar-sized peaceful fishes. They don’t go well with aggressive fish like cichlids and bettas and fin-nipping fish like tetras. They prefer cold water, so their tank mates should be able to live in colder temperatures. Here is a list of good Goldfish tank mates.
- Rosy Barb
- Platy Fish
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Hillstream Loach
- Hoplo Catfish
- Cherry Shrimp
- Banded Corydoras
- Mystery Snail
- Giant Danio
- White Cloud Mountain Minnow
- Rubber Lip Pleco
- Zebra Danio
- Dojo Loach
Betta Fish Tank Mates
Betta fish are territorial fish that fight with other fish all the time. Therefore, they are usually kept with other similar-sized, peaceful fish species or kept alone. Below is a list of Betta fish compatible tank mates.
- Mystery Snails
- Ghost Shrimp
- Feeder Guppies
- Cory Catfish
- Harlequin Rasbora
- African Dwarf Frog
- Neon Tetras
- Ember Tetras
- Clown Plecos
- Kuhli Loach
Molly Tank Mates
Mollies are peaceful and friendly fish that get along with other fish species well. However, they get aggressive to defend their home, so territorial fishes are not suitable for mollies with smaller tanks. Below is a list of compatible tank mates for Mollies.
- Guppy Fish
- Neon Tetras
- Zebra Danio
- Harlequin Rasbora
- Siamese Algae Eater
- Otocinclus Catfish
Guppies Tank Mates
Guppies are peaceful fish that are social, which makes them a perfect fit for a community aquarium. They are compatible with many fish species. Below is a list of some fish species you can keep with Guppies.
- Cory Catfish
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Gourami Fish
- Betta Fish
- Siamese Algae Eater
How To Take Care Of A Pet Fish?
Taking care of your pet fish is more accessible if your fish are hardy and more challenging if they need special conditions to thrive. Since you are a beginner, you may go with hardy fish, as we mentioned above.
Choosing the right fish
When choosing fish for your aquarium, you need to think about your tank size and water condition first. If you plan to keep freshwater fish, you have to fill your tank with fresh water. And each fish have different tank size requirements. So, check your tank size before choosing your fish.
If you are a beginner fish keeper, it is always better to buy beginner-friendly hardy fish. Hardy fishes can bear water condition changes and can survive in water pollution and other toxic environments. Although you don’t want to keep your fish in polluted water, sometimes even cleaner-looking water may contain toxins for your fish that only an experienced fish keeper will understand.
Selecting Location To Setup The Tank
If possible, always choose a corner of your room to avoid accidents and avoid direct sunlight in your aquarium to reduce algae growth.
You can buy tanks in different sizes and shapes, and there are two types, glass and acrylic. The glass tanks will be the cheapest, but acrylics are hard to break and have many other benefits. For many fish species, you should install some aquarium gears to keep them healthy in your aquarium.
1. Air Pump
An air pump is necessary to maintain an adequate concentration of oxygen and to force water through the filter. By installing an air pump, you can ensure that your fish get enough oxygen in your aquarium.
2. Filter system
A filter system will decompose the toxic ammonia that fish produce as waste products. Ammonia and Nitrogen are highly toxic for your fish, and sadly fish waste produces Ammonia and Nitrogen if left in the tank. You can clean this waste manually day by day or install a filter system to do it automatically. However, at least bi-weekly water changing is necessary to remove any excess waste left by the filter system.
Some fish species need lighting while others don’t. So, check before installing any lighting system into your aquarium. However, many aquarium owners tend to install lighting systems irrespective of the preferences of their fish because of aesthetic matters. And also, if you plan to grow any aquarium plants, you will need lighting for your plants to thrive.
There are various choices of substrates to choose from, but you need to be careful choosing a substrate for your aquarium. Some fish types prefer sand substrate, while many others do fine with gravel. Each fish type has different substrate requirements. Therefore ask your local pet shop for a suitable substrate.
If you have a larger aquarium, you can be creative as much as you can with many types of decorations, as fish usually like decorations to explore and hide when needed. However, do not forget to leave plenty of space for them to swim.
Filling The Water
Before setting up your aquarium, you need to wash everything, including the tank, substrate, ornaments, and aquarium gears, to remove any residues from the manufacturing process. You can use cold tap water if you are planning to keep freshwater fish. Half fill your aquarium with water, and then add substrate, decorations, and gear as you prefer. Then fill the other half with some more water.
Introduce Fish To Tank
Although you have finished setting up your aquarium, it is not ready yet for your fish. Cycle the tank for about 1 to 2 weeks before introducing your fish. You can do this by adding aquarium-friendly bacteria and turning on your filters all the time. When the cloudiness of your tank goes away, your tank should be now ready to introduce your fish.
How to feed your fish
Feeding your fish shouldn’t be tedious and complicated. Most fish will thrive with fish pellets and flakes. Just feed them with your hands, put some pellets into the surface of the water, and they will come looking for the food. A fair rule of thumb is to keep the food only for 5 minutes. After five minutes, remove any excess food left on the water.
For most fish, two feedings per day are enough. Some fish can survive for up to 2 weeks without food, and some fish like Goldfish can hibernate in the winter season without any food. Many fishkeepers feed their fish with fruits and vegetables as treats, especially for Goldfish.
Monitoring the tank condition
Monitoring the tank water condition is vital for your fish to thrive well. You can use test strips sold over the counter to check water conditions. Not all fish will go fine with acidic water or higher temperature. Basically, you have to regularly check water Ph level, hardiness, temperature, nitrogen level, and ammonia level. Usually, the Nitrogen and Ammonia level should be at zero all the time—other water conditions changes with the fish type you choose.
What Are The Easiest Fish To Keep-Alive?
With our experience, Goldfish, Bettas, and Mollies do better in different water conditions. So, they are the easiest fish you can keep in your aquarium. Some other low-maintenance fish choices are Platies, Guppies, Tetras, and Danios.
Is it cruel to keep fish in a tank?
If the fish you are planning to keep are captive bred, then no. They usually can not survive in the wild, so captive-bred fish need a human to care for. If you provide a suitable environment inside your aquarium with proper care, you are doing good for them, not being cruel.
What pet fish lives the longest?
The longest living freshwater aquarium fish is Goldfish. Goldfish can live up to 15 years with proper care and a healthy environment. The longest lifespan of ever recorded Goldfish is 30 years, which is more than a quarter of an average human lifetime.
How Many Fish Should Be Kept In Aquarium?
Aggressive fish like bettas, Piranhas, and Cichlids prefer to live alone, owning the territory, and schooling fish prefer to stay in groups. You can keep whatever amount of fish in your aquarium, even if it is 1 or 100. But, overstocking can actually kill your fish. So, check your fish’s minimum water volume requirements before adding more fish to your tank.