26 Best Freshwater Fish for Your Aquarium

Looking for complete guide which type of freshwater fish you can used on your home aquarium.

Dont worry we will make this list for you with complete information there habbits and tips that make you a good fish aquarist.

Important Tips:-
Before selecting fish, research their compatibility to ensure they can live together without aggression or stress.

List of 26 Best Freshwater Fish for Your Aquarium

1.Betta Fish (Siamese Fighting Fish)

Betta-Fish

The Betta, also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, is famous for its bright colors and beautiful fins.

These fish are popular in home aquariums because they look amazing and have interesting personalities.

They come from Thailand, where they live in warm, shallow water. Bettas like to live alone because they can be territorial. With the right care, they can be a fun and colorful addition to any fish tank.

  • Compatibility: Alone or with peaceful tank mates
  • Tank Size: 5+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 76-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2.5-3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

2.Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Guppies are small, colorful fish that are great for beginners. They come from South America and are known for their bright colors and active swimming. Guppies are easy to take care of and can live in different water conditions.

They like to be in groups, making them perfect for community tanks. Guppies also breed easily, so you might see baby guppies if you have both males and females.

With their lively nature and vibrant colors, guppies are a fun and beautiful addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years

3.Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetras are tiny, colorful fish that are perfect for beginners. They have bright blue and red stripes that make them stand out in any tank.

These fish come from South America and are known for being peaceful and easy to care for.

Neon Tetras like to swim in groups, so it’s best to keep at least six of them together. They thrive in well-planted tanks with clean, warm water. With their vibrant colors and calm nature, Neon Tetras are a great choice for any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 70-81°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years

4.Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

Angelfish

Angelfish are beautiful, elegant fish that are popular in home aquariums. They have tall, triangular fins and come in many different colors and patterns. Angelfish are originally from the Amazon River in South America.

They prefer to live in warm water with plenty of plants and hiding spots. While they can be peaceful, they might get territorial, especially during breeding. Angelfish do well in groups but need enough space to swim freely.

With their graceful appearance and unique shape, Angelfish are a stunning addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 76-84°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years

5.Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)

Mollies are hardy, colorful fish that are great for beginners. They come in various colors, including black, white, orange, and spotted patterns.

Native to Central and South America, mollies are adaptable and can live in both freshwater and brackish water. These fish are friendly and do well in community tanks.

Mollies breed easily, so you might see baby fish if you have both males and females. With their easygoing nature and bright colors, mollies make a wonderful addition to any aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-78°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years

6.Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)

Platies fish

Platies are small, colorful fish that are perfect for beginners. They come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and orange.

Native to Central America, platies are easy to care for and can adapt to different water conditions. These fish are friendly and do well in community tanks.

Platies breed easily, so you might see baby fish if you have both males and females. With their bright colors and peaceful nature, platies are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 70-77°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

7.Swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii)

Swordtails are vibrant, lively fish that are ideal for beginners. They are named for the long, sword-like extension on the males’ tails.

Native to Central America, swordtails come in various colors, including red, green, and black. These fish are easy to care for and can adapt to different water conditions.

Swordtails are friendly and do well in community tanks. They breed easily, so you might see baby fish if you have both males and females. With their unique tail and active nature, swordtails are a fun addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 15+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

8.Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

Zebra Danios are small, energetic fish that are great for beginners. They have distinctive horizontal stripes that give them their name.

Originating from South Asia, these fish are very hardy and can adapt to a variety of water conditions. Zebra Danios are social and enjoy being in groups, making them perfect for community tanks.

They are active swimmers and love plenty of space to explore. With their striking stripes and playful behavior, Zebra Danios are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 65-77°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years

9.Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Goldfish on aquariums

Goldfish are one of the most popular and recognizable fish for home aquariums. They come in many colors and varieties, including common gold, fancy, and even those with long, flowing fins.

Originally from East Asia, goldfish are hardy and can live in a range of water conditions, although they prefer cooler water. These fish can grow quite large and need a spacious tank with good filtration.

Goldfish are peaceful and can live with other non-aggressive fish. With their vibrant colors and charming personalities, goldfish make a classic and lovely addition to any aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Species-specific tank
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 65-75°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 8+ inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years

10.Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras spp.)

Corydoras Catfish, or Cory Cats, are small, peaceful fish that are perfect for beginners. They come in various species, each with unique patterns and colors.

Native to South America, Corydoras Catfish are bottom-dwellers that help keep the tank clean by eating leftover food. They thrive in groups, so it’s best to keep at least five together. These fish prefer tanks with soft substrate and plenty of hiding spots.

With their gentle nature and helpful behavior, Corydoras Catfish are a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-78°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years

11.Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

Dwarf Gouramis are small, colorful fish that are great for beginners. They come in beautiful shades of blue, red, and green.

Native to South Asia, these fish are peaceful and do well in community tanks. Dwarf Gouramis prefer tanks with plenty of plants and hiding spots. They are labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe air from the surface.

With their vibrant colors and calm nature, Dwarf Gouramis make a wonderful and eye-catching addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-82°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years

12.Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasbora fish

Harlequin Rasboras are small, peaceful fish known for their striking appearance. They have a distinctive black triangular patch on their bodies and come in shades of red and orange.

Native to Southeast Asia, Harlequin Rasboras thrive in well-planted tanks with clean, warm water. They are social fish and do best in groups of at least six.

With their vibrant colors and friendly nature, Harlequin Rasboras are a beautiful and lively addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-81°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-6 years

13.Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barbs are small, colorful fish perfect for beginners. They have bright red bodies, with males being more vibrant than females. Native to Sri Lanka, Cherry Barbs are peaceful and do well in community tanks.

They enjoy well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots. Cherry Barbs are social fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least six.

With their striking colors and gentle nature, Cherry Barbs are a lovely addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 73-81°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years

14.Rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae family)

Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish are known for their stunning, iridescent colors that change as they move. They come from Australia and New Guinea and are famous for their bright hues and shimmering scales.

These fish prefer spacious, well-planted tanks with clean, warm water. Rainbowfish are peaceful and do well in community tanks, but they thrive in groups of six or more. With their dazzling colors and active nature, Rainbowfish are a captivating addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 30+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 74-78°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years

15.Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish, often called Otos, are small, peaceful fish that are perfect for keeping your tank clean. They are excellent algae eaters and love to graze on surfaces.

Native to South America, Otos thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots. They prefer clean, well-oxygenated water and should be kept in groups of at least six.

With their hardworking nature and gentle demeanor, Otocinclus Catfish are a helpful and charming addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-79°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

16.Discus Fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus)

Discus Fish are known for their striking beauty and unique, disc-shaped bodies. They come in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns, making them a standout in any tank.

Native to the Amazon River in South America, Discus Fish prefer warm, soft, and slightly acidic water.

They require a well-maintained tank with plenty of plants and hiding spots. Discus Fish are social and do best in groups, but they can be a bit challenging to care for due to their specific needs. With their stunning appearance and graceful swimming, Discus Fish are a captivating addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Species-specific or with calm tank mates
  • Tank Size: 50+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 82-86°F
  • Care Level: Hard
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 8 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years

17.Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli-Loach

Kuhli Loaches are small, eel-like fish that add a unique touch to any aquarium. They have long, slender bodies with distinctive black and yellow bands.

Native to Southeast Asia, Kuhli Loaches are shy and prefer to hide during the day, becoming more active at night. They thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and soft substrate. These peaceful fish are best kept in groups of at least three.

With their interesting appearance and nocturnal behavior, Kuhli Loaches are a fascinating and beneficial addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 75-86°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years

18.White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are small, hardy fish that are great for beginners. They have silvery bodies with a hint of green and red-tipped fins.

Originally from the streams of China, these fish are very adaptable and can live in a range of water conditions, including cooler temperatures. They are peaceful and do well in community tanks, especially when kept in groups of at least six.

With their easy care requirements and peaceful nature, White Cloud Mountain Minnows are a charming and resilient addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 64-72°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years

19.Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Rams are colorful and peaceful fish that are perfect for community tanks. They have striking patterns of yellow, blue, and red on their bodies.

Native to the rivers of Bolivia and Brazil, these fish prefer warm, soft, and slightly acidic water. Bolivian Rams thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and open swimming areas.

They are relatively easy to care for and enjoy being in pairs or small groups. With their beautiful colors and gentle nature, Bolivian Rams are a lovely addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-79°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years

20.Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlids are vibrant and stunning fish known for their bright, iridescent colors. They originate from the freshwater lakes of East Africa, particularly Lake Malawi. These cichlids come in a variety of colors, including blue, yellow, and red, making them a popular choice for aquarists.

Peacock Cichlids prefer warm, hard water and thrive in well-maintained tanks with plenty of hiding spots and rocky structures. They can be territorial, so it’s best to provide ample space and keep them with other similar-sized fish.

With their dazzling colors and active behavior, Peacock Cichlids are a striking addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Semi-aggressive
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 75-82°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 6-10 years

21.Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus)

Oscars are large, intelligent fish known for their striking colors and interactive behavior. Native to South America, particularly the Amazon River basin, they can grow quite large, up to 12 inches or more.

Oscars come in various colors, including red, tiger, and albino varieties. They prefer warm, clean water and require a spacious tank with sturdy decorations, as they like to rearrange their environment.

Oscars can be territorial and should be kept with other large, robust fish. With their bold personalities and impressive size, Oscars are a fascinating and dynamic addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Aggressive
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 74-81°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Adult Size: 12+ inches
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years

22.Plecostomus (Hypostomus plecostomus)

Plecostomus

Plecostomus, often called Plecos, are popular aquarium fish known for their algae-eating abilities. They have a distinctive armored appearance and can grow quite large, often reaching up to 15 inches.

Native to South American rivers, Plecos thrive in warm, well-oxygenated water with plenty of hiding spots and driftwood. They are mostly nocturnal and spend much of their time on the tank bottom or attached to surfaces.

While they help keep the tank clean, Plecos require a spacious tank due to their size. With their unique look and useful algae-eating habits, Plecostomus are a practical and interesting addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 30+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 72-78°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Adult Size: 15+ inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years

23.Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi)

Ram Cichlid

Ram Cichlids are small, colorful fish known for their vibrant blues, reds, and yellows. Native to the Orinoco River basin in South America, these cichlids prefer warm, soft, and slightly acidic water.

They thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and open swimming areas. Ram Cichlids are generally peaceful and do well in community tanks, especially when kept in pairs or small groups.

With their stunning colors and gentle nature, Ram Cichlids are a beautiful and rewarding addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 10+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 78-85°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years

24.Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown Loaches are popular, colorful fish known for their bright orange bodies with bold black stripes.

Native to the rivers of Indonesia, these fish can grow quite large, up to 12 inches, and prefer to live in groups. Clown Loaches thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and soft substrates.

They are active and playful, often displaying interesting behaviors. Clown Loaches are peaceful and do well in community tanks but need ample space due to their size. With their vibrant colors and lively nature, Clown Loaches are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 75-85°F
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years

25.Tiger Barb (Puntigrus tetrazona)

Tiger Barbs are small, active fish known for their striking appearance. They have bold black stripes on an orange or yellow body, resembling a tiger’s pattern. Native to Southeast Asia, Tiger Barbs are hardy and adapt well to various water conditions.

These fish are social and should be kept in groups of at least six to prevent aggressive behavior.

They thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of swimming space. With their eye-catching colors and energetic nature, Tiger Barbs are a lively and attractive addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Semi-aggressive, best in schools
  • Tank Size: 20+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 75-82°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Energetic, may nip fins
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 2.5-3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years

26.Black Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

Black Skirt Tetras are small, peaceful fish known for their distinctive black and silver bodies with long, flowing fins. Originally from South America, these fish are hardy and adapt well to various water conditions.

They thrive in well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots and enjoy being in groups of at least six. Black Skirt Tetras are active swimmers and do well in community tanks.

With their elegant appearance and easy-going nature, Black Skirt Tetras are a graceful and charming addition to any freshwater aquarium.

  • Compatibility: Peaceful community
  • Tank Size: 15+ gallons
  • Temp Range: 70-85°F
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years

Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish Combinations

Fish CombinationQualitiesNumberTank Size
Betta & CorydorasPeaceful, Bottom-dwellers1 Betta, 4-6 Corydoras10+ gallons
Guppies & Neon TetrasColorful, Active5-7 Guppies, 5-7 Neon Tetras10+ gallons
Angelfish & Dwarf GouramiSemi-aggressive, Attractive2-3 Angelfish, 2-3 Dwarf Gourami30+ gallons
Mollies & PlatiesHardy, Peaceful5-7 Mollies, 5-7 Platies20+ gallons
Swordtails & Zebra DaniosActive, Peaceful4-6 Swordtails, 5-7 Zebra Danios20+ gallons
Goldfish & White Cloud Mountain MinnowCold-water, Peaceful2-3 Goldfish, 5-7 White Cloud Mountain Minnow20+ gallons
Tiger Barbs & Clown LoachEnergetic, Bottom-dwellers6-8 Tiger Barbs, 3-4 Clown Loach30+ gallons
Black Skirt Tetra & Harlequin RasboraPeaceful, Schooling5-7 Black Skirt Tetra, 5-7 Harlequin Rasbora20+ gallons

Long-life Fish for Home Aquariums

Goldfish

  • Lifespan: 10-15 years (can live up to 20 years with proper care)
  • Care Tips: Provide a large tank with good filtration and regular water changes.

Angelfish

  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Care Tips: Keep in a well-planted tank with stable water conditions and plenty of space.

Discus Fish

  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Care Tips: Maintain warm, soft, and slightly acidic water with regular water changes.

Oscars

  • Lifespan: 10-20 years
  • Care Tips: Provide a large tank with strong filtration and regular maintenance.

Plecostomus

  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Care Tips: Ensure a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots and a good diet.

Clown Loach

  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Care Tips: Keep in groups in a large tank with plenty of hiding places and clean water.

Corydoras Catfish

  • Lifespan: 5 years (some species can live up to 10 years)
  • Care Tips: Provide a soft substrate and keep in groups in a well-maintained tank.

Rainbowfish

  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Care Tips: Keep in a spacious, well-planted tank with clean, warm water.

Betta Fish (Siamese Fighting Fish)

  • Lifespan: 3-5 years (some can live up to 7 years)
  • Care Tips: Maintain warm water with regular water changes and avoid overfeeding.

FAQs

Q: What is the easiest freshwater fish to keep? 

A: Betta Fish – Easy to care for and hardy.

Q: What is the best freshwater for a fish tank? 

A: Dechlorinated tap water – Properly conditioned and maintained.

Q: Which fish is best for a home aquarium? 

A: Guppies – Colorful, peaceful, and easy to care for.

Q: What is the most friendly freshwater fish?

A: Neon Tetras – Peaceful and good in community tanks.

Q: Which fish does not need oxygen? 

A: Betta Fish – Has a labyrinth organ to breathe air from the surface.

Q: Which pet fish lives the longest? 

A: Koi – Can live 25-35 years, sometimes over 50 years.

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