Top 10 fish for a beginner fish tank


If you are setting up a freshwater aquarium for the first time, it can be intimidating to decide which fish you're going to buy. Ideally, you want something challenging, inexpensive, and colourful with an exciting personality. Please take a look at our list of the top 10 fish for beginners that look great but are still easy to care for.

1. Neon Tetra

Although small in size, these beautifully coloured freshwater fish are sure to take advantage of every space in your aquarium and are one of the easiest fish to care for.

Neon tetras love being in groups, so the bigger the group, the happier and more natural they will be. Their feeding is simple, they can be fed essential fish flakes, although they occasionally enjoy bloodworm or brine shrimp as a treat.

2. Danios

One of the hardiest freshwater aquarium fish available for beginners is Danios. Due to their toughness, they are the perfect fish for people who don't have a lot of fish keeping experience. They can survive in harsh environments and a variety of different water conditions.

Danios are generally very active and fun to watch. As for their diet, they will be more than happy with fish flakes.

3. Platies

A perfect fish for the community tank. Platies are a very peaceful fish that will coexist with any other non-aggressive fish. There are multiple varieties of Platies to choose from, and they come in a variety of vibrant colours as a result of selective breeding.

Platies are not picky when it comes to diet. They will eat any type of flake food, as well as most frozen live foods.

4. Guppies

A colourful freshwater aquarium fish that is perfect for beginners are Guppies. Although behaviour and characteristics tend to differ from fish to fish, Guppies come in a wide range of colours.

They are hardy fish and can eat typical fish flakes. However, like many other fish mentioned above on this list, they can also eat frozen (or live) bloodworms and brine shrimp. The fact that Guppies can go more than a week without eating tell us how hardy they are.

Important note: If you are interested in keeping Guppies, it is essential to know the difference between males and females. Guppies breed like crazy, so if you were to tank the two sexes together, you could expect many Guppy babies. So be prepared!

5. Kuhli Loach

Khuli Loachs are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia. The Kuhli Loach is an eel-like fish that, due to its size, ability to adapt to changing water, and peacefulness, has made its way onto our list of the best fish for beginners.

The Khuli Loach is a bottom feeder and will eat almost any leftover food that has fallen from the top to the bottom of the aquarium, including live foods like worms and shrimp. The majority of their diet should consist of general fish pellets that can sink.

6. Cherry Barbs

Although it may take a while to settle into your new tank, Cherry Barbs are the perfect fish for a beginner's home aquarium.

They can tolerate significant water parameters changes, are friendly (unlike their cousins Tiger Barbs), only grow about 2 inches long, and are generally an easy fish to care for.

7. Harlequin rasboras

These tiny fish are known for their bright red colouring. They make a striking appearance in your aquarium in a shoal of 6 or more. Readily available in most pet stores they are easy to find and easy to care for often excelling on just fish flakes.

8. Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gouramis are a tropical freshwater fish with a calm temperament. They are one of the most popular Gourami fish for beginners and aquarium lovers, thanks to their beautiful appearance and sturdy structure.

They are very easy to care for and can be kept in aquariums with at least 20 gallons of water, but like many other Gourami types, they require space at the top of the tank to breathe air.

9. Tiger Pleco

A peaceful freshwater fish native to South America (the Amazon River in Brazil) is the Tiger Pleco. Tiger Plecos spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, they do well with sinking foods like pellets, but they also thrive on brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Keeping Plecos nice and satiated will prevent them from eating the plants in your tank, which they may tend to do.

Important note: these plecos can grow upto around 6 inches. Which is definitely small in terms of plecos but something to be wary of when deciding how many fish you are going to stock your aquarium with.

10. Cory Catfish

Another peaceful fish that will live in harmony with most other fish is the Cory catfish. With over 140 species to choose from, the Cory fish is the perfect addition to a beginner's fish tank (not to be confused with other catfish like Pictus catfish).

Being aggressive eaters, these freshwater fish will take care of keeping your tank clean, thanks to their love of plant matter and algae that can accumulate at the bottom of home aquariums.

Important note: Corys love to stay as a shoal so try to get 4 or more.

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