15 Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium

If you are thinking of getting an aquarium, you should also start thinking in the line of the type of fish to put in it.

Today, different fish types exist, but not all of them might be great for the freshwater environment.

Any beginner would want to know some of the best freshwater fish to use today.

15 Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium

If you are in the market for fish for your aquarium, there is no doubt that you will be confused by the various types available. You will always have a hard time when it comes to making up your mind.

Luckily for you, we have highlighted some of the best freshwater fish you can buy today. This guide should help save your important time.

15 Best Freshwater Fish for Aquarium

1. Guppy

Guppy FishIt is common to find this fish in many freshwater aquariums. They are liked for a few reasons. You will get that this fish is not demanding at all.

When it comes to maintenance, you will not have to do a lot and still it will get to look great. It is also peaceful and can breed easily.

The difference between the male and female is often obvious. The males would be brighter with an elongated anal fin. The female on the other hand will be larger and with a shorter anal fin.

The guppy fish is live-bearing. This means that the guppy juveniles can easily start to swim after birth and can live on their own. Commonly you can find the guppy female spawning about 60 juveniles at a time.

You have to keep the juveniles in a separate tank as they can be eaten if left in the same tank with the other fish. As for breeding, you simply have to keep the male and female fish in one tank.

2. Platy Fish

Platy FishThe platy fish can be put in the same class the swordtails. As much as they might be different in appearance, they all need the same care and should be great for a beginner looking to start an aquarium.

The best part is that this breed is also live-bearing. You should find it great to have as the juveniles will not need a lot of work. You can easily see them swimming and eating even a couple of hours after birth.

Not much special process is needed for breeding. Just like in the case of guppy fish, you simply place the male and female in the same tank.

With their bright color and active nature, you will never miss them among others. They always seem to be hungry and in search of food.

3. Zebrafish

ZebrafishYou will find this small-sized fish being popular among the aquarists most of the time. People like it due to the size and its good-temper nature.

They are also simple to care of, so be sure not to spend a lot of time and money to keep them alive.

The zebrafish is a schooling fish. This calls for you to keep at least of them in the tank. You could have the tank planted, but just make sure there is enough space for the fish to swim.

You also have to consider the other types of fish in the aquarium. You do not want to have the fish type that will bite off the fins of others in the same tank as the zebrafish.

4. The White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain MinnowIt is quite the small fish that you can use for your freshwater aquarium. The best part is that it is not demanding at all. You will always find it great to maintain even for a beginner.

They come brightly colored so it is not easy to miss their location. They are also easy to breed and not aggressive at all.

The fish does not attack its juveniles unlike other fish types. As for the water temperature, you do not have to always keep the aquarium heated. The fish will still survive in the cold water.

You will mostly find it swimming in the middle water layers and in a school. So it is better to keep at least 6 of them in the same aquarium to create the school for a nice show when swimming.

5. Cory

Cory CatfishMany people will like this fish for being good-looking, and active in the aquarium. If you have always wanted the aquarium to look great, then you can consider getting such type of fish.

You can find various types of the Cory fish, but the most popular will be the blue leopard Cory.

Even with the different looks, they all have the same behavior. They will swim mostly in the bottom water layers.

They do this to look for the leftover feed all the time. In a way, they will be helping to clean the tank.

It can be very active, but it will not grow to become a large fish that you have to get a new aquarium for it.

6. Harlequin Rasbora

harlequin rasboraIts size alone if often enough for people to consider having it in their aquariums. It is not just about the size, but also the color. It is definitely a beautiful fish that you could enjoy having in your tank today.

Many people would love to have in their tanks with the other fish species mentioned above. The reason is that you can find this species being peaceful.

To make it look its best, you can consider having the species in a school. When they swim in a school, you will always find this being great for your tank.

As for feeding, you can choose to feed them on a variety of food with no problem. Just make sure it is not the large grained food as swallowing might be a problem.

7. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli LoachUpon checking out this fish, you might see that it is quite unusual. Do not let that scare you as it is even possible for the inexperienced aquarist to handle it. Since it has a close relation to the true loaches family, it looks like a small snake.

As much as it looks like a snake, it should be scary as it is not dangerous. Most of them will hide during the day.

This means that it is better to have a soft substrate in the tank. The fish will often dig and hide in the substrate.

With the digging all the time, you should find the fish eating the leftovers at the bottom, thus cleaning the tank in a way. Make sure that you feed it food that drowns for it to easily reach it.

8. The Dwarf Gourami

The Dwarf GouramiThis family of fish often inhabits in oxygen-deficient water thus it is used to learning to breathing the outer oxygen.

It is the reason you can find the fish getting close to the water surface to get more air. It could be an interesting feature to see how the fish reaches for the water surface.

On the overall, you will find this species being peaceful and can co-exist with the other fish in one tank. The males will be very bright in terms of color and their abdominal fins turned due to long outgrowths.

As for the food, you can feed them any floating food as they like to swim around the water surface.

Since the fish is not demanding, you might find it great to keep it in your aquarium and simply do quick maintenance.

9. Cherry Barb

Cherry BarbThe small and peaceful nature makes it likable by many people. You can always find many newbies opting for it as it is low maintenance.

The male fish of the species brightly colored and it is where it derives its name. Being a schooling fish, you need to consider keeping at least 6 of them in the tank to create the effect.

You will notice that the fish does not always stay in a school. They only do so when they are scared.

You simply have to make sure that it gets all the necessary food and simple maintenance should keep it looking great all the time.

10. Bristlenose Catfish

Bristlenose PlecoIt can be a large fish at 15 cm long, which means that you have to get a larger tank to make sure it fits properly and has some space for playing.

Its unusual appearance often makes more people to be interested in it. You too could get it for yourself and never have to regret again.

It is tolerant to various tank conditions so it can easily survive anywhere. With such a low maintenance fish, you should not have a problem keeping it.

The catfish is still beneficial to the tank as it survives by eating epibioses and algae. Your tank can now be cleaner than before with such a fish type.

11. Goldfish

GoldfishThere is no doubt you have seen this in many aquariums than any other fish type. Gold fish comes in various sizes and colors.

You can have many people choosing the type they like mostly based on the color and maintenance needs.

If you have unheated aquarium, then you should find this type of fish great for you.

As much as they can be messy eaters, you should not find it hard to keep them. Just make sure to change 10 percent of the water weekly.

As for maintenance, you could treat the water a de-chlorinator to keep it clean at all times.

12. Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin TetrasYou will easily recognize them with the silver bodies and the striking red fins. They are known to be quite hardy fish types.

This means that they can live up to 10 years in some aquariums. That is quite a long time for a fish. It also depends on the maintenance. Giving it proper maintenance should help it last for a long time.

Being an active fish, you should find them always on the move. They can have a great life if you keep the space available in the aquarium larger. No need to cramp up space with many plants or other substrates.

It is a peaceful fish that also prefers to live in a group. You will always enjoy seeing them moving around in a group.

13. Danios

Danios FishIf you are new to aquariums, this is great to start with for most people. You can use them in different aquariums and they will always perform well. The reason mostly is because they are hard and can work well in a variety of conditions.

Their active nature is what make more people want to have them. You will find them mostly in a group swimming close to the water surface.

The bright horizontal stripes on the fish will always catch your attention as they move in a school around the aquarium’s water surface.

14. Black Molly

Black MollyIt could not get any blacker than this fish. It is definitely one of the blackest fish you will ever see.

Well, it has the peaceful nature. It should be a great choice if you plan to come up with a community tank having many other fish types.

The fish is often liked because it will easily adapt to the freshwater aquariums without much of an effort. You can easily transfer it from one tank to the other and it will still be comfortable.

They are also live-breeders, so you can expect them to have juveniles that can take care of themselves easily after birth. Just make sure to get them to a separate tank as the parents tend to eat the young ones.

15. Betta

Betta FishFor those looking to have some additional flash and color, then you need to get a betta fish. It comes with brilliantly long and bright fins.

You will always find them fighting with each other. For this reason, consider just having one in the tank.

They are hardy, so survival for them is not an issue. They will eat flake food or pellets any time.

Because of their long fins, do not pair it with other fish that can pick the fins as they are delicate.


Having the best freshwater fish for aquarium list should now help you make up your mind. As you can see from the list, most of the fish do not even need a lot of maintenance.

You will not have to work extra hard just to keep the fish safe and healthy. Take the time to understand the needs of each species before you can pick the best one for you.

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