10 Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish For Beginners 139

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So, you have decided to start a freshwater aquarium. You probably can’t wait to stock your aquarium.

Before you actually go out and purchase the most beautiful fish you can get your money on. You will first need to decide if you want:-

Each type of aquarium has it’s own benefits and species of fish unique to the water temperature of your tank. Generally, heated aquariums offer more varieties of fish to choose from.

Once you’ve decided, here’s a list of ten of the best freshwater aquarium fish for beginners.

Cold Water Freshwater Aquarium

A cold water aquarium keeps the water at room temperature. You should still include a filtration system. Additionally you should have a light for the tank. These help promote health in your fish.

If you’ve decided on keeping a cold water fish tank, here are some ideas for beginners.

1. Gold Fish

1GoldfishGold fish come in many varieties of sizes and colors. Many people love the fancier varieties with bubbly heads and fanned tails.

Gold fish are great for beginners who have an unheated aquarium. These fish prefer temperatures between 62-74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gold fish tend to be messy eaters. So, be sure to change 10 percent of the water each week.

Treating the water with a dechlorinator is also a good idea.

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2. Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin TetraThese small fish are recognized by their silver bodies and striking red fins. These are extremely hardy fish. In some aquariums they live up to 10 years.

They are an active fish that is always on the move. These fish work well in temperatures that range from 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a peaceful fish, but it prefers to live in a group.

You will enjoy seeing the group moves together through the aquarium. If you only have one, it tends to be shy.

Read full fish profile HERE.

3. White Cloud

White CloudA White Cloud Mountain Minnow is another small fish that tolerates cold temperatures.

In fact, some people keep these in outdoor ponds over the summer.

They can tolerate temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are a hardy fish that tends to live in the middle and top areas of the tank. They prefer to live in a group. Purchasing 6 or so will help promote good health and color in these fish.

They can live up to 5 years with proper care.

Heated Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Some aquarists prefer to use heated tanks simply because of the varieties that it offers. A heated tank allows you to keep a wider variety of tropical fish. The temperature typically ranges from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here are seven easy care freshwater aquarium fish for those who decided on a heated tank.

1. Danios

DaniosThese small fish are a great first fish. When first starting up a tank, you need to test the water.

Because these fish are hardy and do well in a variety of conditions, they are a perfect first choice.

Danios are active and small. Typically, they prefer to be in a group near the surface of the water.

Most have bright horizontal stripes that grab your attention as they zoom around the top.

They are not picky eaters and do well with flake fish food.

2. Black Molly

Black Molly The black molly is a peaceful fish. It is a good choice if you want a community tank with several types of fish.

One of the advantages of choosing this fish is that it can adapt to fresh, brackish and even salt water. This allows you some leeway when setting up a new tank.

These fish prefer a temperature that ranges from 70 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are livebearers, so if you buy a male and a female pair, you could end up with babies. However, they do tend to eat the young if there is not adequate vegetation for the babies to hide in.

Read the Black Molly’s full profile here.

3. Black Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt TetraThe black skirt tetra is a peaceful fish that should be kept in a pair or in a larger group.

These are hardy fish that are great eaters. They will eat just about any prepared food.

They tend to swim in the middle of the tank and hate “confrontations”.

You should include rocks, plants and other hiding places for these fish.

 4. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli LoachThe Kuhli Loach is an eel-like fish are also hardy fish that make a great addition to your tank.

This bottom-dweller is unique in that it hides during the daytime. You might spot it tunneling under the gravel or hiding in a cave. It is recommended to offer hiding places for this fish.

They help keep the tank clean by eating the food that has fallen to the bottom. However, you should offer additional food that sinks to the bottom.

Read full fish profile HERE.

5. Platies


Paties are great for beginners because there are so many varieties to choose from. They do

very well in a community tank with other passive fish. As a livebearer they will produce young frequently. Most often the babies are eaten by other tank members.

Platies are selectively bred to create new combinations of colors. You will be sure to find several that suit your taste.

They will eat any flake or freeze-dried food. They are also a good choice because they eat any algae that might develop in the tank.

6. Swordtails

9SwordtailSwordtails are closely related to the platy.

The males, though, have a long bottom fin that looks like a sword. These are passive fish that will add bright color to your tank.

They are hardy and long lasting fish, which makes it perfect for beginners.

With a variety of colors to choose from, you will be sure to want one, or several in your tank.

 7. Betta

10BettaIf you are looking for additional flash and color, the betta fish is the one for you. The males have brilliantly bright long fins.

They are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. They fight with other bettas, so you will only want one in your tank.

These fish are hardy and will eat flake food or pellets. Because of the male betta fish’s long fins, be sure not to pair them with others who might pick at the fins.

Creating a beautiful freshwater aquarium can be a rewarding experience. First be sure to consider the type of tank you want to create—cold water tank or a heated tank. Then read up on the on all the best freshwater aquarium fish suggested above.

Advice For Beginners

For beginners, I recommend to look for fish that are hardy, that are easy to care for and that get along with others in the tank.

For you more advanced aquarists, share your thoughts on what you think is the best freshwater aquarium fish for beginners to start with in the comment section below. I’m sure a lot of the beginners would appreciate it.

About Dennis Hanson

Dennis is an experienced aquarist with many years of knowledge and experience in keeping successful tanks. He also has no relations to the pop group Hanson.

139 thoughts on “10 Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish For Beginners

  1. Reply Jay Deez Oct 29,2013 3:07 pm

    Dear Dennis,
    White Cloud Mountain Minnows
    I have kept these fish outdoors(I live in Berkeley, CA.). So it rarely goes below 32 F. However, one year, I had a school in an Oak barrel and the temperature drop into the teens for three days around Christmas. The surface froze to a thickness of 2-3″ of ice. At the same time, a client of mine had the exact conditions but her water feature was even smaller than my barrel, which also iced over. I kissed those fish goodbye! I only saw a few fish after the thaw but I was amazed! Then some time in March, I saw numerous fish and a huge number of fry. The “tropical fish” store where I purchased these fish will just not believe my observations. They keep telling me 65F is the minimum. White Clouds are much more hardy than that and should be used in more outdoor situations. “EASY”
    Jay Deez

    • Reply Ashling Sep 22,2015 10:49 pm

      Jay Deez,

      I am a student at cal and am in need of suggestions for a few fish in a 10-20g fish tank. What combo of fish would you suggest? I am also okay with snails and guppies as long as they all get along and have enough space. I don’t know where to even start with fish. :(

      • Reply L Mar 11,2016 5:26 pm

        This is to everyone never and tell this too everyone do not get a common pleco they get huge way too big you need at least a 60 gal minimum to hold that fish…a replacement would be a bristlenose pleco they only get about 4 inches long Max and they’re really cool.

  2. Reply Rit Chlask Nov 25,2013 4:18 am


    I would have to say guppies!
    When I just a boy, old enough to have my first tank, my dad started me on guppies; inexpensive, quite hardy, easy breeders… before I knew it I had three tanks going and was working on breeding my own fancy combos.
    don’t think you could go wrong with guppies :)
    I have raising and breeding a variety of fresh water fish ever since. It’s a great hobby!

  3. Reply mr cat Dec 3,2013 2:55 pm

    Hye dennis,
    Just this morning, I have bought a kind of molly (species unknown)and mixed it with the gold fish. Unfortunately, it got bitten severely by the bigger goldfish… is this normal I mean goldfish should be a peaceful fish right?

  4. Reply mr cat Dec 3,2013 2:59 pm

    Owh yes, I more question, can fish grow their fin and tail back? Just curious… 😉

    • Reply Dennis H. Dec 7,2013 8:33 pm

      Theoretically Molly and Goldfishes are not compatible with each other. There living conditions are different. Goldfish are coldwater fish while Mollies (being a tropical fish) needs a heated tank. Mollies are brackish, meaning a mix of freshwater and saltwater. Goldfish may not survive well in brackish water. Still many keep them together, which bring us to your question. So only advice I can give you is, please do not keep them together.

      Molly got beaten as of now, but once the goldfish is full grown they will be eating most of the tropical fish small enough to fit into the goldfish’s mouth

      Most fish can grow their fins back, however you need to provide optimal conditions to encourage re growth.

  5. Reply Tom Dec 27,2013 11:13 pm

    10 Best Freshwater Fish and the list ends at 7…..

  6. Reply Mathieu Jan 3,2014 7:50 pm

    I would say guppies are best because they are inexpensive and hardy

  7. Reply plecostomuch Jan 8,2014 6:25 pm

    I really liked the article. I’m actually shocked not to see corys not make the list. Most supposed experts sware by them as great beginner fish.

    • Reply Me Nov 16,2015 10:18 pm

      I have silver sharks with some cherry shrimp and a few flame tetras a few neon tetras and a couple of diamond tetras

  8. Reply Chris Jan 23,2014 7:12 pm

    Dennis –
    Just like to throw out a suggestion – be very careful mixing goldfish with most other fish. They produce a large amount of ammonia thru their waste, and many other fish will not be able to tolerate those levels. I have great goldfish in an outside small pond and keep a 70 gal. heated aquarium for others. Just a warning before it’s too late – speaking from experience here.

  9. Reply Ivan Feb 20,2014 1:26 pm

    What about neon tetras?

    • Reply Kathy Feb 27,2014 3:34 pm

      Ivan, I have been keeping Neon tetras since I started fishkeeping 5 years ago (these were my first fish) and I find them very easy to care for. (Some might disagree.) My 40 tank is mostly tetra varieties – Diamond Tetras, Black Skirt Tetras, Neon Tetras, Glowlight Tetras. I also keep Celestial Pearl Danios and a couple of Otocinculus for algae control. I’ve made sure to plant plenty of hideaway places for the Black Skirts and Danios. So far, everyone seems to get along and I often see some of the Danios schooling with the Neons. Of course, maintaining good water conditions is also very key. Good luck!

  10. Reply Martin Mar 14,2014 6:07 pm

    Hi there. I have a 60lt tank which is cold water. In there I have 2 common goldfish about 2 inch big, 2 small plecs ( cant remember what type they are but the shop info says it grows to 5 cm) and 4 shrimp. Can I have other coldwater fish in there? The shop I got the shrimp and plecs from said I cant because the goldfish will eat smaller fish but if im correct the other coldwater fish I can have grow to about the same size as the plecs. So why can I have the plecs but nothing else?? Any info thanks.

  11. Reply Ina Apr 5,2014 8:04 am

    Hi there!Bought beginners for my grandson,cold with differant goldfish.Having problems keeping them alive for longer than 2wks.Help what are we doing wrong?!!!!!!!!

    • Reply Nathan Dec 31,2014 4:22 pm

      Hey! With my (limited) experiences with goldfish, they’ve been hardy, but a good thing to do is rinse the tank or bowl first and use a drop or two of dechlorinator first. Other than that replace the water weekly and don’t overfeed them. Good luck!

    • Reply Nicole Mar 28,2017 8:51 pm

      Ina how big is the tank? People often make the mistake to keep Goldfish in tiny bowls. And in reality they need a good sized tank because they grow rather fast and are waste machines.

  12. Reply anne stuart May 3,2014 4:56 pm

    My 5 year old wants a “school” of “tiny” fish that don’t grow. We currently have one goldfish that we love in another tank so I’m in the process of setting up a new tank in her room for her new friends. Given that I’m the one taking care of them I want them to be EASY. Already I’m in over my head cycling a tank (which I had to look up on the internet). Can you recommend anything that would be a good choice? I have the fluval 2.5 gallon and a heater so it can be a heated situation, but it’s small.

    • Reply Ginger Aug 19,2015 2:20 am

      I reccomend getting simple and hardy fish such as Cherry Barbs! They look awesome and are a great fish for beginners! Just to let you know you should cycle the goldfish tank and the new one at about 15% every week or two. It’ll keep the water fresh for your fish to live in. Also, Cherry Barbs are schooling fish, so 5 or more of them are needed, and they need a 10 gallon or larger tank to house them well. Good Luck!

  13. Reply Brian May 14,2014 7:56 pm

    Probably too much ammonia. Gold Fish produce a lot of waste, so filter or change a % of the water weekly.

  14. Reply Erin May 28,2014 5:18 pm

    I’m relatively new to aquariums. I currently have 4 platies and 1 pleco in a 20 gallon tank. The platies seem to have reached a point where no more breeding is occurring (no babies that survived to adults in the past 8 months). I’d like to know if it would be ok for me to get 1 betta and a few swordtails (all males or all females; I’ve had enough with babies for a while).
    Thank you!

    • Reply Owen Jan 25,2016 7:17 pm


      • Reply Anthony c May 5,2016 2:10 pm

        Bettas are aggresive to other bettas. I’ve had countless male and female bettas with numerous other fish, never had more than 1 at a time though. I wouldn’t want to test those waters

      • Reply Bill May 8,2016 6:01 pm

        If bettas have enough space and food to eat they actually get along well with other fish. If you have a really big aquarium you can even keep multiple males in it without issue. I have had more issues with other fish nipping at my bettas’ fins than my bettas attacking anything.

      • Reply Diana Feb 2,2017 8:14 am


        Owen’s reply,


        is utter nonsense.

        Bettas are extremely peaceful fish.

        A single female Betta would be unlikely to cause any disturbance.

        Multiple female Bettas can also get along well with each other, and with other species of tropical fish, so long as they have enough space.

        One benefit of female Bettas is that, besides not being prone to bully other fish, they have shorter fins than their male counterparts. This makes the females of this colorful, slow-cruising, surface-breathing species less prone to being nipped by other fish (as Bill mentioned, above, as an issue he has
        encountered when keeping Bettas with other tropical fish) than male Bettas.

        Another plus for a female Betta is that if another fish actually does try to bully her, she has the strength, size, & attitude, to put a stop to that behavior- while still sparing the offending fish’s life.

        One male Betta, as a slow swimmer, with long, brightly-hued, flowing fins, who hangs out near the surface, is more likely to be vulnerable to nipping and bullying from other tropical fish species which are territorial, aggressive, or very quick. It is possible that a male Betta could become aggressive towards another fish species with particularly long, colorful fins (perhaps even the largest and most magnificently colored, male, Tequila Sunrise variety, Longfin Delta guppy specimen).

        As Bill mentioned above, it is indeed possible to keep multiple male Bettas in a single tank. The keys to success in this case are:
        • Sufficient space
        • A minimum of two female Bettas per male Betta in the tank
        • Dense enough vegetation, at all heights within the water column, for each male Betta to have his own quiet space, from which the other male Bettas are not visible in their own “quiet spaces.” Escape cover is also important should an altercation begin- when a male Betta firmly makes the executive decision to spar with another male Betta, he fights to kill, and will do so if there are no immediate means for deescalation of the attack (such as foliar cover in which to disappear).
        • Sometimes it is recommended that 3 male Bettas be kept in a tank together instead of 2 male Bettas. This maximizes individual space for the males, while keeping them (hypothetically) too distracted by the potential for a 3-fish standoff for one of the males to focus his efforts on attacking another one of the males (thereby leaving his “space” unguarded to the third male, which is of course, undesirable).

        One dimension of their “space” which particularly important to Bettas (males and females alike), is the top surface area of the water. Bettas need enough individual space to swim near the surface, and cannot handle too much water

        Did you know? Bettas posses a breathing organ akin to a primitive sort of lung, in addition to their gills, allowing Bettas to actually breathe some gaseous oxygen from the air!

        This is an evolutionary product related to the Betta’s natural habitat: Southeast Asian Tropical ponds, puddles, and rice paddies. A mud puddle in a Vietnamese jungle heats up quickly, and consequently, does not hold much Dissolved Oxygen. Thus, Bettas must be able to maintain their BOC by swimming slowly, and taking ‘gulps’ of air from the surface to breathe. Puddles also change size quickly, so wild Bettas sometimes have to flip themselves out of a shrinking puddle, “drop on the deck and flop like a fish,” as they say LOL, and flip-flop-flap their way across the rainforest floor to the nearest puddle of suitable size [and hope it is not already occupied by a predatory species, or a male guarding his bubble nest!!!

        How’s that for a clue re: the ‘Origin of Species?’ ; )

      • Reply Nicole Mar 28,2017 8:53 pm

        Actually Bettas can have friends in their tank.And there are sorority tanks were multiple female betta fish can live together. They just have a bad reputation.

      • Reply Liz Sep 26,2017 12:57 pm

        This is not true, Owen. Bettas can have suitable tank mates, you’re exxagerating.

    • Reply Stephen Sep 18,2017 4:12 pm

      Hello erin,
      im surprised no one mentioned the convict
      fish. They are a lot of fun to watch when
      give birth. But are very aggressive, you can’t
      keep any other fish with them besides a common
      pleco. They are very easy to take care of,
      the secret is you start with 2 male 3 to 4
      female they would pair off within days you will
      see eggs on rocks. This is when they get very
      aggressive. You would also need a divider or
      plants for baby’s, I suggest start with a divider
      to get baby started your tank will be filled in
      no time, for a start up of about $20 in fish.

  15. Reply Kimmii Walsh Aug 18,2014 6:16 am


    with the Molly/goldfish situation, I’ve been told there great together so I got myself 3 mollies, now that I’ve got them home and in their new home, I have one mollie whom try’s or achieves killing my goldfish by bullying them into tight spaces until they drown, he’s already killed to of my gold fish in less then 24 hours….. I thought they were meant to be nice natured….. What should I do. I tried putting him with my fighter but that wasn’t much better.

  16. Reply Dennis H is not smart Aug 24,2014 12:19 pm

    Mollies are one of few fish that can go fresh, brackish, and completely salt.

    • Reply Dani Jun 20,2016 5:14 am

      That is actually very nasty. You should be banned from this site. he is just trying to help people. There is no need to be rude.

  17. Reply james Sep 11,2014 9:05 pm

    I have 2 paradise fish and I’m not sure what cold water fish I can put in with them as I no the are a territorial but not sure what of the recommended fish on most Web sites are cold water as the paradise fish are able to live in cold and warm water please help

  18. Reply BayBay7J Oct 7,2014 6:17 pm

    Hi! I have a fantail goldfish, a spotty goldfish, a sucking loach and a small fish (species unknown). My 2 fan tails go to the top of the tank all night to blow bubbles, I would like to know if this is normal, also the goldfish are always together (nudging each other ) could they possibly be having fry? If so I have a anemone kind of plant, could they breed in it? Thanks Great Page!

  19. Reply Nicholas Oct 11,2014 3:52 am

    I had 5 Kuhli Loach, that survived for a number of years till a black out for a couple of days, They survived though so much, my tank cracked an most died but because they lived under the gravel, I then got a massive oscar and it would eat everything except them, they just hid to well. They also become larger then I thought (3 foot tank) and they dont each much. This was when I first started till 2 years ago, Ive always wanted more.

  20. Reply martin Nov 10,2014 9:52 am

    Hi anyone
    We are planning on getting a fresh water fish tank for our Son, the tank we are looking at is 1.0m which is quite large, he has set his heart on predator species, trying to explain the does and do nots are falling on deaf ears, (try explaining to a 10 year old that a killer whale is not going to fit into a 1.0m tank is not easy)
    We have got to the point where we, I understand the difference between fresh water American and African fish species and that some are not best put together.
    his heart is set on larger species, can someone give advise

  21. Reply June Dec 14,2014 4:04 am

    Got a 30 gallon tank for our daughter..she had a beta and we added some angel fish. In the past few days all the fish have died. Looking to start again but fish that are easy to care for , compatible with each other and swim around so she can see them. I have a heater and filter.

  22. Reply Leo weber Jan 10,2015 8:53 pm

    Well I am not advertising cuz i am ten but I have a seventy gallon aquarium with a weird mix of fish i have in the same tank: goldfish,plates,rainbow shark,neon tetras,snails,danios,a male betta (aka chief),a dwarf hair grass, Italian Val,rosy red minnow,mudminnow,up to 90 gallon filter avg temp of 72*F lots of Artificial plants and rocks,a brick that is hollow and gravel-shells for bottom. Dennis is my tank in good shape??

    -Leo weber
    Btw i frogot to add, almost no algae

  23. Reply abdul wadood Jan 20,2015 3:55 pm

    I live in Pakistan and in summer temperature rises to about 33°C; 91 F, during the afternoon, can you please suggest me any specie that can survive that temperature. Btw its a 80l tank

    • Reply Deborah Mitchell Feb 2,2015 9:04 am

      To Abdul: I can think of 2 species that should be able to survive. Although they demand high water quality (think cannister filter),and can be picky eaters, Discus fish are gorgeous and demand high tank temps, like 86 degrees.(someone else will post something different, I am just going by what I remember from when I had tank of these.) The 2nd to try is a Japanese weather loach. They can survive extreme water temps in both directions. (Many think they are best in cold tanks but I know for a fact they can take high temps too. Even my Oscars have unhappily survived Kansas summers in an apartment with no A/C) Weather Loach’s (also called Dojo Loach) were kept in Japan for centuries before modern aquaria culture. And as 2 bonus’s they really do forecast weather changes and are excellent bottom scavengers. Both species while rarely seen together should not fight.

      Two products I would hghly recommend to anyone, but esp on a new tank are Seachem’s Stability to speed and simulate natural cycling, and you can control many common water problems with Seachem’s Prime. Hope this helps.

  24. Reply Deborah Mitchell Feb 3,2015 2:26 am

    Note to June: Test, test, test! Ammonia is the most likely culprit why they all died in the absence of evidence of disease. I personally recommend buying test kits for ammonia, nitrates, Ph, and maybe one for nitrites too. Most pet stores will test your water for free; if you choose to let them do it then take water in a minimum of weekly, twice would be better. I test at home, daily when I find a problem like Ph. The store will tell you what to buy to solve the problem. Use Seachem’s Prime on a daily basis until your test levels reach normal readings. As for what species can get along just read this site or ask for help from your fish store.

  25. Reply Eric Johnson Feb 7,2015 12:41 am

    Just wanted to comment and warn people Dennis H made a mistake with Danios. This fish likes the 64–74°F (18–23°C) range. It’s technically a cold water fish as the ideal temperature is on the low end. Please don’t stick them in with Tropical fish that like the high 70’s and 80’s.

  26. Reply Coltin Brumfield Feb 10,2015 6:02 pm

    I have a small 5 gallon tank that I’m trying to set up for my agricultural class at school, not knowing a whole lot I’m trying to learn. Right now I just have the tank and water. I have a filtration system and I’m just running water to get it all set up, but I was wondering some good easy fish to start with. I currently do not have a heater so the temperature may change a few degrees and looking for a fish maybe that I can feed on Friday and be alright until Monday any suggestions?

  27. Reply Kathleen Feb 14,2015 6:02 am

    I just purchased a 3 gallon tank, no heater, but it does have filter. I would rather NOT have gold fish, had them all my life. i would like maybe, 4 or 5. What would be good? I also would like them to be beautiful and colorful. Thank you

    • Reply Baileysfishfiles.weebly.com Mar 1,2015 2:04 pm

      There isn’t really anything that would suit your requirements because of the small size of your tank, especially since you want 4-5 fish alswell as wanting them to be colourful. I recommend you get a larger tank, then you would be able to have fish such as killifish, paradise fish and some types of barbs.

  28. Reply Gregg Martin Mar 1,2015 8:20 pm


    I would recommend a small school of white cloud mountain minnows plus a small bottom feeder that can survive an unheated tank, as my white clouds do very well in. They are a durable colorful fish that simply require only basic care. Weekly 25% water changes, with a dechlorinator, and rinsing off decor in old H20 plus sucking the gravel of debris is fine. The gold variety are just as tough and very colorful. 6 ought ought be OK in your small tank.


  29. Reply Ranchu Mar 15,2015 6:32 am

    Hi there..not to discourage new fish keepers,but it should be better to class the goldfish depending on variety,commons,comets and shubunkins are great starters,but how about extremely fancy goldfish?

  30. Reply Dan Apr 16,2015 6:46 am

    I would say goldfish are poor beginner fish unless you have a very large tank since goldfish get huge fast. I saw no warning about there size.

  31. Reply Bababooey Apr 16,2015 3:28 pm

    I have a 75 gallon tank. I have an albino frog who eats my goldfish quickly. What types of fish can I put in with him? Sharks?

  32. Pingback: 10 Best Freshwater Aquarium | Lekki Aquarium Company

  33. Reply zac May 5,2015 2:47 pm

    I am doing a project for uni making a small aquatic tank (plants growing from water and fish byproduct) I can’t imagine I would use more than 7 or 8 liters and there would be no heating. are there any fish that could live in this without being cruel?

  34. Pingback: What Pet Should I Get? | At Home With The Boy's

  35. Reply chris May 17,2015 9:06 am

    I have swordtail’s and goldfish together in a tank warmed at 73F is that OK, I also have a mystery snail in the same tank.

  36. Reply grayghost May 17,2015 7:04 pm

    I love Tiger Barbs. They are a hearty fish. My first ones started out at about the size of my thumb nail. when I moved and had to get ride of them they were about 2 inches long the man at the pet store couldn’t believe they got that big. they only see the fish when they are small. Mine got big. I kept them for 3 years. I had a ten gallon tank so I bough 12 fish I only lost 3.

  37. Reply Aaron H Jun 3,2015 10:32 pm

    I am a beginning fish keeper. A year ago, I put 2 pictus catfish, 2 red tip sharkminnows, and 2 baby oscars in a 20 gallon tank. Bad mistake, I learned my lesson. I’ve started again with 2 more red tips and 2 goldfish. I didn’t think red tips were aggressive. They attacked the goldfish. Any suggestions on how many and what kind of fish get along in a 20 gallon tank?

  38. Reply Jessica Cooper Jun 5,2015 1:01 pm

    I am planning to start a freshwater aquarium and I would love to have them all.. Is it possible to have them all in one aquarium??

  39. Reply Selanna biggs Jun 9,2015 6:35 pm


    Bababooey, I have been doing different types of fish for quite some time and talking from my experience if I were u, I would rather put a type of bass or blue-gill into my 75 gallon tank

  40. Reply Selanna biggs Jun 9,2015 6:41 pm


    Jessica, I dont mean to burst your bubble but if I was you I would rather not take the chance, I would say definitely dont put cold water species mixed with warm water species but u could put lots of warm water fish together* eg- guppies, mollies, betta’s,tetras!!!! And cold water fish in a separate tank maybe??? Or u could try different types of gold fish in a separate tank!*☺

  41. Reply Cody D Jun 21,2015 1:31 pm

    Hey Dennis,

    I’m just a beginner at this type of thing; I’ve got two tanks but they’re both still stabilizing after their first cycle. The reason I got the aquariums was that I was given some fish by a friend and so had to get an aquarium to put them in–and unfortunately could not wait for tanks to finish cycling before adding the fish. I have some platys and danios in one of them, and a gourami in the other–and some ghost shrimp in both. And, to get to the point, it seems that out of all of them the Gourami is doing the best so I was surprised to not see it in your list here. Is there a reason for that?

  42. Reply FuZZyBeaR Jun 24,2015 5:12 pm

    Hey Cody.
    There are a few things about gourami’s that make them less ‘easy’ then the fish mentioned in the list. Their long antennes are a sometimes a target for other fish, they are a bit slow on feeding time. Its a few things that u have to consider when putting them in a tank with many other species. They dont breed easily unlike guppies or platies and cannot be put in real small tanks. So i think this also is taking into consideration if we use the term ‘easy’. Since if a guppy dies u prolly still have 10 babies to fill ur aquarium. If ur gourami dies u dont have backup (unless ur a breeder). My point being it might be an easy fish for you at this moment and i cheer for that, but judged by the standard of fish-that-are-being-kept-by-people-who-dont-know-what-they’re-doing, the fishes in the list are more easy then a gourami.

    I hope this was somehow usefull, greetz from Belgium, FuZZy

  43. Reply FuZZyBeaR Jun 24,2015 5:18 pm

    And well i take some of that back, becuz in my opinion gourami’s and bettas have some of the same issues, i even find bettas not a beginners fish at compared to the others in the list.

  44. Reply Dave Jul 9,2015 3:36 pm

    Can definitely concur cloud minnows are a great cold water starter fish we have had ours for a couple of months we have 5 in a smallish tank, gravel, filter and air pump with a plastic plant and a few rocks and they seem very happy and so far easy to care for, we change top level every couple of weeks and longer for more water and use gravel pump cleaner and tank and fish seems healthy so hopefully we are doing it right. They look great on the evening with the light on the tank as they are nicely coloured so keeps my son happy ande as I don’t need to upgrade to a tropical tank :)

  45. Reply ceirra Jul 13,2015 4:40 pm

    I have recently started a heated freshwater tank. It is a 50 gallon tank and the fish love it. I have about 12 different types of fish in the tank and it consists of 26 fish total. I began with the recommended amount of fish but found that they seem to do better if there is at least 2 of each fish. I find that my guppies are very mischievous. Somehow despite the accessories being buried under the rocks the four guppies have figured out how to push over the accessories. My rainbow fish despite being supposedly compatible tank mate for the fish I have in the tank doesn’t get along with the other fish but does much better the tank I just started. My tank is very diverse. Each fish has its own personality but most are not true to the characteristics of the breed.

  46. Reply Karen Berry Aug 2,2015 4:00 am

    I have a 20 gallon tank with about 3 Neon Tetras, and 4 Platys and they are doing great.Im getting ready to set up another cold fresh water tank,30 gallons.I thought about getting about 4 female Bettas and and some more Neon Tetras. How can i know a male from a female Betta ? Cause i know that male Bettas will fight to the death.I do not want to get any males by mistake.

  47. Reply Karen Berry Aug 2,2015 4:08 am

    It is me again. Isn’t feeding the fish once a day enough ? Are do they need to eat more ? And is it necessary to always have the aquarium light on at night ?

  48. Reply Dh Aug 10,2015 4:34 pm

    Can gold fish n gourami live together?

  49. Reply sridaa Aug 19,2015 1:58 pm

    dennis can you please tell me can i keep a turtle and some fish in the same aquarium?

  50. Reply Aritra Sep 12,2015 7:17 am

    I have a 20 gallon tank with mix fishes(without any natural tree). two gold fish, four zebra diano, two angel, one alge eater. i use filter and heater both. heater set at 30c . i use general aid, anti fungie ,anti chlorine for water. once a week e chnge 20% of the water. generally feed the fishes once a day.
    NOne of my fishes survive more than three months, for the last 8-9 months I am observing this.
    As a beginner I need some expert advice. what care to be taken ? what i am missing out? please suggest.

  51. Reply Naushad Oct 22,2015 4:32 pm


    Dennis is it possible to keep Feather Fish (Black Ghost) in a community tank?

  52. Reply Mike Nov 11,2015 2:40 pm

    I have a 2.5 gallon tank with 4 mostly tropic fish would I be able to adda another fish

  53. Reply punit Nov 12,2015 7:25 am

    Please tell groups of fish…….who are friends……. to each other. Like as non fight group…….

  54. Reply Amber Nov 15,2015 10:26 pm

    Hey just throwing this out there. I remember when I was younger we had aoscar and koi together. I know some say not to mix cold with warm, and in MOST cases, that is true. Goldfish tolerate it decently. I have a pretty big tank, and have two filters (filtering about 40gals), I have two angel fish, two gold goramies (sorry on spelling), four dinoes (one appears pregnant) and a special type of catfish, along with my koi. I know the size all these gets, the tank will size up as they grow. Any one else have especially different fish together that do good?

  55. Reply anoop Nov 18,2015 11:09 am

    can you suggest the number of fishes i can add in a 50litre tank. also let me know what fishes would look interesting in such a tank. please let me know as soon as possible.

  56. Reply Me Nov 19,2015 6:04 am

    Mr Rit Chlask
    You are wrong about guppies. They are terrible pets and have too many babies. Never allow them to reproduce. The whole population should be exterminated. I was once a guppy owner and they reproduced. I witnessed the lucky parents consume more than 50% of their newborn baby guppies. It scarred me. So therefore Mr. Chlask, guppies are trash.

  57. Reply Me Nov 19,2015 6:06 am

    Dennis stop thanking Rit. He is an idiot and knows nothing about fish.

  58. Reply Angie Nov 29,2015 7:49 pm

    Just been given a fish tank need help on fish. Do I get a main fish and get others compatible to it?

  59. Reply sjp Dec 8,2015 3:18 pm

    Please can you advise how fast a pump/filter should be going, we have a tank and put the fish in yesterday and they seem to be spending a lot of time in the lower part of the tank many thanks

  60. Reply Sha Dec 12,2015 9:04 pm

    I would remove goldfish from the list because most beginners do not realize the size of which the typical cheap goldfish is. They also produce a great amount of waste, so unless you buy an at least 75 gallon aquarium per goldfish, as they are very active, and you must have a very strong filtration in order to keep up with the ammonia. Frequent by hand cleaning is also need as well, to get the poop that sits at the bottom, which the filter cannot reach.

  61. Reply Rajnish Dec 15,2015 10:18 am


    i installed new aquarium with 9 fish 8 was gold fish and one is black fish and within two week all died then i changed the water and bought again same fish but again all died .Can you help me why this is happening.


  62. Reply Paul R Dec 22,2015 11:04 pm

    I have goldfish do you think I can mix them with danios and neon chinese?

  63. Reply Paul R Dec 22,2015 11:06 pm

    sorry tetra neon instead of chinese neon

  64. Reply Alitom Dec 28,2015 3:45 pm

    Fish should be fed a little and often and scoop any food which remains after 2 mins. I have two telescopic calico who are great in a cold water tank.

  65. Reply marco Dec 29,2015 2:35 pm

    So happy to see guppies not on that list also corries are pretty hardy I have 2 and they are the oldest fish in my tank living through all the problems plus they cool looking fish that can extremely hyper

  66. Reply Rhiannon Dec 30,2015 8:33 pm

    I have a 25l coldwater tank with a filter. Currently I have 2 fancy tail orandas 1 oto ( who is doing surprisingly well in my tank) and a couple of white clouds. I’m upgrading to a bigger tank as soon as funds allow. All my fish have been doing fine. I’m new to fish keeping and have had a couple hiccups. My one oranda got fin rot but I managed to catch it soon enough and my hillstream loach died :'( . My lfs said that the oto would be fine in a cold water tank but researching on the internet, I got worried seeing that they were hard to keep. Iv had mine for 3 months now and he does amazingly with the goldfish and white clouds.

  67. Reply kees Mar 4,2016 10:45 am

    i dont agree with goldfish on this list just because they need a large tank they are 24/7 poop machines most people will keep them in bowls because they dont do research before they get 1 and they are over bred the “fancy” goldfish have handicaps and are not healthy goldfish also can get 20 years old and grow to 40 CM

  68. Reply Ellen Mar 21,2016 4:46 pm

    I just bought a 20 gallon tank. I have not gotten any fish yet. It’s up and running! I would like warm water fish suggestions. I do like angel fish. Any other help would be great!!

  69. Reply Cheryl Bennett May 24,2016 6:25 pm

    Why do my fish shake in the water?

  70. Reply Dani Jun 16,2016 5:50 am

    Hello! I was just wondering, is the condition called findrop or rock? One of my fish have it and I was also wondering will they die and can their tail grow back? My fish is a Siamese Fighting fish. Thank you!

  71. Reply Dani Jun 16,2016 5:53 am

    Hello again! Sorry for a lot of questions but I was wondering, how long do average Siamese fighting fish live for with and then without Finrock/drop? Sorry again but I have two Siamese fighting fish and was curious. THANK YOU!! (:

  72. Reply Adrienne Jun 18,2016 4:54 am

    Hi just a question that I didn’t recall seeing posted. Can I have a Betta with 2 Black Skirted Tetras? I want to start a small fish tank for my son but want/need to use easy to care for fish. Thank you for your help.

  73. Reply Marie Jun 20,2016 9:48 pm

    What about freshwater snowflake clownfish for your 2nd time because you sis killed your 1st one when you only had it for almost a year.

  74. Reply Nico Jul 11,2016 12:07 am

    Hi dennis, I admit to be an amateur fish keeper, having around 2 years experience with only 1 tank, but I find your list hard to agree with due to you hot/cold water divide. I bought a 60l complete setup from my local store, filled it, added the included chlorine drops, let it run a week then bought my fish, I done everything recommended by my local pet store, but that’s where it gets interesting, when I went for fish I bought 2 black Molly’s, 4 plat ties, 8 danios and 4 swordtails, they all lived around 2 years until unfortunately the tank was damaged and it smashed, causing the fish to die in bowls despite my best efforts to keep them alive, but I had a cold water tank, and all these fish were recommended to me as coldwater fish that just happened to survive in hot water set ups, they came recommended by both my local pet store and by the popular chain from my native uk “pets at home”, and they all thrived! I had no issues at all until the tank broke. I’m just about to setup a larger tank and I was gonna get the same fish but in larger quantities but after reading your article I’m confused as to why you have these fish as hot water fish when I know for a fact they thrive in cold water tanks, can you explain why they survived in a cold water tank? Or we’re my pet shops advice correct? Thanks

  75. Reply John SA Jul 13,2016 7:23 pm

    Hi I just started my first aquarium. I have a 5 gallon tank. I prefer cold water. I have a pump and filter aswell. I bought 3 fish, but sadly the 2 died and the survivor look like im gona lose him aswell. Im quite sad about it. I think the 2 that died were Molly’s and the one that survived look like a Platty. I understand these are warm water fish, so is that the reason why they died? Or what am I doing wrong? Id like to learn more about fish, maybe get in contact with people that share this interest. Looking forward to your responses. Thanks.

  76. Reply Devon Jul 31,2016 10:12 pm

    I have a 3 gallon tank with heater/under gravel filter and I have a male betta and a striped cory catfish, they’ve been doing well for a couple weeks I’ve had them and I recommend this pair. I feed them once a day.

  77. Pingback: 10 Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish For Beginners | Home Aquaria | Swimming Fish

  78. Reply emerald6 Aug 7,2016 7:08 pm

    My top 10 list would be:
    -Platies: colorful, can tolerate poor water conditions for a little while, breeds a lot
    -Bristlenose pleco: hardy, manageable size (6 in) compared to common plecos (god help me inches), breeds easily, good algae eater
    -Rubbernose pleco: same as bristlenoses except that they are hard to breed in the home aquarium
    -Rainbowfish (for beginners, probably the dwarf neon rainbowfish): colorful, hardy, hearty eaters
    -Some tetras (flame tetra, black neon, black skirt, diamond, etc): managable size, fairly hardy, active
    -Danios: very active, managable size, easy to breed, the first glofish was one
    -Barbs (maybe except tiger and tinfoil barbs): fairly peaceful, looks nice, very hardy
    -White cloud: having the name “poor mans neon tetra” has gotta earn some respect around here
    -Bettas: if you have the correct setup, they should be easy to keep. Just dont let them get constipated. Or shove them into a bowl.
    -Wild guppy: breeds fast and anywhere, is literally impossible to kill (I think Endler’s also fits here)

    Bad choices:
    -Fancy guppies: due to generations of inbreeding, they are not as hardy as their wild type counterparts
    -Mollies: same reason as fancy guppies
    -Neon tetra: neon tetra disease is a thing
    -Rummynose tetra: they are very sensitive to anything. Some stores have lost money warrantying them, and as a result have stopped doing that.
    -Goldfish: do I really need to explain. If you’ve seen the picture of the Lake Tahoe goldfish, you know where I’m going.
    -Common pleco: incredibly huge, is probably suited for a monster fish tank with arowanas, rainbow bass, etc
    -Convict cichlids: name gives this one away. Is extremely territorial; Ive heard of a black piranha cowering to little convicts.
    -Angelfish: despite the name, don’t act like angels.
    -Oscars: ’nuff said
    -Bala sharks: grows to the length of a hippo tang, is way more active than said tang, needs to be in a shoal. Good day to you sir.

  79. Pingback: Top Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners | Fish in Aquariums

  80. Reply jess Aug 9,2016 10:26 am

    with no heated gupys are good to start with

  81. Pingback: 10 Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish For Beginners | Home Aquaria | Swimming Fish

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  83. Reply Ryan Sep 20,2016 4:52 pm

    Hi I am getting a aqua one fish tank eco style 30.
    What fresh water fish do u suggest me to buy

  84. Reply Michael Sep 24,2016 9:54 pm


    I would say guppies are the best freshwater fish for a beginner. They are hardy and easy to take care of they come in many diffrent colors and they breed quick n easy.

  85. Reply Ted Oct 5,2016 6:39 am

    Pleco catfish can eat your other fish perhaps %99 of all people have aquarium they do not know

  86. Reply Ted Oct 5,2016 6:43 am

    you want your fish stay life do not change water so fast let stay some dirty like natures and fish like hidden and start making baby

  87. Reply Masood Rayan Oct 12,2016 4:17 am

    A fish tank is a great, calming addition to any room, and if you have the equipment then I would definitely recommend getting a range of different tropical fish.

  88. Reply Becky26 Nov 2,2016 1:13 pm


    Interesting article. I have had a few aquariums in my time, all cold water. I have always bought fish tanks from this site as the selection is really good and they can advise on which is best for your needs – this is helpful especially if you’re a beginner!

  89. Reply Shawn Nov 5,2016 8:36 am

    I dont find bettas hardy. They are so prone to diseases and die easily. Mine never lasted beyond 2 months even under perfect water conditions and with a filter even. Totally fragile breed of fish

  90. Reply Went Brown Dec 30,2016 5:29 am

    I’m confused about goldfish, one site said they were terrible for beginners and this one says they are……… I’ve had aquariums before but I can’t remember how long my fish lived for…

  91. Reply minnich Feb 16,2017 3:52 am

    hi were about to get some fish and we like bettas but if we have a 60gal tank can we get more than one betta

  92. Reply minnich Feb 16,2017 3:53 am

    oh and can tetras be with danios and mollys

  93. Reply minnich Feb 16,2017 3:55 am

    do you have any charts of which fish can go with other fish

  94. Reply Abbie Mar 11,2017 12:03 am

    I would like to get some fish but i dont know where to start, i had coldwater fish when i was younger and loved having them so would now like to get some fish for my little boy to grow up watching them as they are truly spectacular to watch.

    If i want to get tropical fish instead then what would i need to buy? do i need to spend hundreds? i also dont want a large tank so would only be going for small fish but how many of the small types could i have in what kind of size tank to obviously also fit plants in? Please help!

    I would like to have mainly the very small neon fish, but maybe have 1 or 2 bigger colourful fish in there, good playmates? would be perfectly happy to have other things in there too though, i open to ideas, – snails etc,

  95. Reply dennis hanson Mar 28,2017 2:52 pm

    firemouth and convict can be together or not

  96. Reply dennis hanson Mar 28,2017 2:58 pm

    convict and firemouth can be grown together

  97. Reply Lizbeth Mar 30,2017 2:06 am

    I have 2neon tetras 1guppy and a catfish I wanted to get a java moss plant for my tank would it be a good idea

  98. Reply Lizbeth Mar 30,2017 2:08 am

    this is the tank i have

  99. Reply Andymac Apr 20,2017 6:24 pm

    I have shut down my 2500 gal pond in my garden gave away koi Rudd frogs etc Drained 95% water
    After two weeks saw some fry, could not abandon them so got a 20 gallon tank with a fluval 206 filter
    Changed water new filter medium
    I have 8 carp was told they are f 7
    1 a goast koi 120 mm. 1gold fish 100 mm has 3 tails
    2 145 mm 4 at 120 mm
    Water looks milky what is going on what should I test for

  100. Reply bev May 3,2017 1:24 pm

    We have been told today by the pet stores here that gold fish are pond fish and they can no longer sell them to tanks so I will be having 2 very upset kids later today 😡

  101. Reply Selena May 12,2017 9:03 pm

    I’m currently raising Pea puffers and they’re actually easy to care for fishes! They do like live food so I started my own snail tank and feed them from their or occasionally buy feeder shrimps, brine shrimps and frozen blood worms.

    Just a good filter, decorations, plants to hide and they’re very interesting to raise! Totally recommend as an easy fish. The puffers have been living well for almost a year now! I’m a beginner too btw.

  102. Reply Abhinav Jul 21,2017 3:09 pm

    I have a pond in my house where i grow types of carps n golden fishes,they all are good bt there are lots of tadpoles,please anyone suggest me how to get rid of tadpoles from my pond without harming the fishes

  103. Reply Sara Aug 13,2017 9:11 am

    I can hold these two fish together?
    Platies with betta?

  104. Reply jew Aug 30,2017 8:00 pm

    i am a large fan of fish. they give me hugs and i like it

  105. Reply Jadden Oct 25,2017 6:19 pm

    Do you wanna purchased 1 tank Moore.?

  106. Reply Dude Oct 27,2017 1:47 am

    Don’t buy platies! They’re very hard to keep alive and are not hardy at all!

  107. Reply EpicSaxGuy Nov 6,2017 8:40 pm

    what fish you know cleans up algae?

  108. Reply EpicSaxGuy Nov 6,2017 8:41 pm

    that goes with brown fish (fish from streams)

  109. Reply smellyjelly999 Nov 27,2017 7:17 am

    I have 3 goldfish and they are happy between 12 degrees an 18 degrees

  110. Reply Jade Dec 4,2017 10:18 pm

    I’m thinking about buying 2 Bettas and some gold fish what food should i feed them

  111. Reply Terminus2810 Dec 11,2017 11:16 am

    Hey! I live in a pretty hot place. The temps can go as high as 40 Celcius (104 Fahrenheit) and it gets about 15 Celcius (60 Fahrenheit) in winter. Which fish will be suitable? I thought fish were might be really interesting and entertaining.

  112. Reply Jackie May 1,2018 12:07 am

    Hi, I have a 5 gallon tank and am looking to see what Cold Freshwater fish I could put in. I was thinking of getting 5 White Clouds and 1 Gold Fish. Would they be a good combo to where they do not become territorial or aggressive? Or is that too many fish for such a small tank?

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