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A Beginner’s Guide: Best 10 Aquarium Fish Recommendation


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Welcome. You have just gained interest in freshwater aquarium fish, and are looking to pick up a few friends for your recently acquired fish tank. First, we understand that it can be a struggle for you and all other beginners in this lifestyle. However, with the appropriate patience, curiosity, and this guide, you will find that acquiring marine life for your home is not as difficult as you presumed. 

Here’s a list of freshwater aquarium fish, that guarantee affordability, beauty, and when taken care of, will light up your heart and home from then onwards. Read on to find out more. 

Table of Contents


A Silver Angelfish

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Known for their beautiful shape, distinct fins, and their unavoidable stripe pattern, these freshwater aquarium fish certainly fit their name. Hold them in 55 gallons of water or more because they can expand to a size similar to that of a small saucer. This big showcase cichlid gets on well with tetras, rasboras, and other group fish. However, keep only one to prevent territorial competition among the species. Popular varieties include koi, zebra, marble, and veil angelfish.

As for their freshwater aquarium needs, wide broadleaf plants and vertically stacked driftwood should be used to mimic downed branches and trees, and water flow should be gentle.


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The Neon Tetra is a Characidae family freshwater fish that is known for its vibrant colors and active personality. So much so that about 2 million are sold per month in the United States, with the vast majority being born in captivity.  They are calm, non-aggressive fish that make excellent additions to a group aquarium. They will swim in the middle of the aquarium column and will spend their lives in a school.

This freshwater aquarium fish species requires the water pH levels to be between 6.8 and 7.8 with an alkalinity of between 3 and 8. The water temperature should be somewhere between 24 and 27 degrees celsius.


Lambchop Rasboras Fish

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Like the tetras and the angelfish, the rasbora fish is a freshwater fish species. The harlequin rasbora and lambchop rasbora are two of our favorites among the many varieties of rasboras. These peaceful tiny fish grow to around 2 inches in length and are widely available in most pet shops. 

They are recognized for their bright orange color and distinctive black triangular patch. The tiny neon green rasbora and the bigger scissortail rasbora are two other rasboras. If you can get a school of 6 or more of the same rasbora species, your freshwater aquarium will look amazing.


Fancy GoldFish in a Fish Tank

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Goldfish are often not recommended by veterans to new fish keepers because they grow too big. However, they’re still a great beginner pet since they’re hardy and easy to care for. Goldfish reach a maximum size of 12 to 14 inches and require thirty gallons of water per fish. When the goldfish reach adulthood, many people place them in outdoor ponds. They enjoy spirulina algae, fruits, and other foods that are high in carbohydrates but low in protein.

Goldfish are tolerant when it comes to water conditions like pH and hardness, however, they do need frequent water changes to keep their tanks clean. To achieve a clean environment, we recommended that you purchase some freshwater-friendly aquarium filters


Assorted Freshwater Corydoras

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Cory catfish, like rasboras and tetras, are pleasant freshwater aquarium schooling fish that live at the base of the aquarium. They grow to be one to three inches long and enjoy scavenging the aquarium floor for crumbs. However, you should feed them a range of sinking foods to ensure that they can get enough nutrition.

There are over 160 species of cory, however, the bronze and albino corys, panda corys, and emerald green corys are the most common. To get the most out of their antics, maintain them in a group of at least 3 – 6 of the same species.

Betta Fish

A Freshwater Aquarium Betta Fish

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Betta fish are the most common introductory fish due to their vibrant colors, small size, and low maintenance requirements. They can be housed alone in a 5-gallon fish tank with a gentle freshwater aquarium filter or in a 10-gallon tank or larger with a population of other fish. 

They should not be kept with other Betta Fish. Instead, tetras, corydoras, and other peaceful fish are ideal tank mates, although you should avoid any fish that could nibble at their beautiful fins. Betta pellets, frozen bloodworms, and other small floating foods.


Red Wagtail Platy in a Freshwater Aquarium

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Platy fish are the fish to get if you’re new to the aquarium hobby. They’re calm, easy to look after, and perfect for group aquariums. The coloration of these fascinating fish is vibrant. Within this species, several breeds and hybrids come in every color of the rainbow. Since their introduction in 1907, they have always been quite common in the aquatic hobby.

These are particularly sturdy, growing up to 3 inches long.  It’s best to keep them in tanks with a pH of 7.0 or higher. They prefer more abrasive waters. However, do install freshwater tank filters to keep the aquarium in good shape for them. Platies are voracious eaters that will consume nearly every omnivore culture food thrown their way. Choose the variety that best suits you, but the variatus platy looks fantastic in a freshwater tank.


Freshwater Aquarium Barbs

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Barbs are a vibrant, hardy, and colorful species of fish. The majority prefer soft acidic water that is well aerated and slightly cooler. Since Barbs are such active creatures, tank mates should be animals that can put up with their antics.

Barbs are a fun and active addition to any group tank. Tiger barbs, Odessa barbs, and cherry barbs are the most common varieties. These freshwater fish species grow up to 3 – 4 inches (and larger).

Since certain species are semi-aggressive, we suggest purchasing six or more to avoid fin nipping. Rasboras, tetras, and corydoras are great tank buddies, but long-finned fish like angelfish and betta fish should be avoided.

Kuhli Loaches

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The Kuhli Loach is part of the Freshwater Cobitidae family. The Coolie Loach, Leopard Loach, and Cinnamon Loach are all names for the Kuhli loaches. They don’t have scales on their heads and are very sensitive to medication.

The Kuhli Loach is a quiet bottom-dwelling fish that is the aquatic counterpart of an owl, staying up all night searching for food in the tank. The Kuhli Loach fish is the ideal tank companion because of its shy and calm demeanor.

Kuhli loaches, which resemble small 4-inch eels or snakes, can either fascinate or terrify you. Since they are nocturnal fish, they are shy and stay behind decorations, so keep them in schools of three to six so they feel comfortable enough to come out and explore. These bottom dwellers, like corydoras, scrounge for leftovers on the floor and between rocks, but you should feed them specifically to ensure they don’t go hungry.

Bolivian Cichlids

Dwarf Bolivian Cichlid

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Bolivian rams are bright, peaceful, and laid-back. They can be shy and won’t bother the other freshwater aquarium fish, so they’re perfect for a group fish tank. The Bolivian Ram is a great beginner cichlid that looks a lot like its lively yet less hardy relative, the German ram. Because of their distinctive cichlid character, yellow and black color, and ease of reproduction, they make a perfect freshwater spotlight fish for a medium-sized community aquarium.

With its vibrant colors and amusing swimming habits, this fish will brighten up your aquarium. Bolivian Rams come in a variety of colors, from yellow to red to silvery blue, and will stand out in your tank. Their swimming style is distinct; they usually swim for a few strokes before stopping abruptly, which they do repeatedly. When they eat, they do this form of movement so that they can sieve through the sediment without stirring it up.

Bolivian rams prefer a pH of 7.0 to 8.0 and temperatures of 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, and they can be housed with almost any group of fish that meets these criteria.

The Bottom Line

There is no doubt that keeping freshwater aquarium life is the better option for beginners in the marine pet lifestyle. The tank itself is easier to maintain, and a good number of the aforementioned fish species are tolerant to some of the mistakes you’ll be making. The list above provides insights as to how these fish need to be cared for. 

However, you should remember the basics of maintaining a fish tank. Keep the tank clean, replace all the freshwater aquarium filtering regularly, change the water consistently, and avoid fish food that will cause more damage than good to the atmosphere. All the best as you embark on your new hobby, and we hope you enjoy your new freshwater friends.

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