The Best Aquarium Fish for Beginners

Fish species in an aquarium to show 6 best aquarium fish for beginners

Setting up an aquarium can be a rewarding and fascinating hobby. It allows you to create a beautiful underwater world right in your home. However, if you’re just starting, choosing the right fish for your aquarium can be quite challenging. To make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best aquarium fish for beginners. Whether you’re a complete novice or have some experience, these fish are sure to thrive in your tank.

The Best Aquarium Fish for Beginners

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Aquarium Fish

Guppies- The Perfect Aquarium Fish

Beautiful Guppy Fish in Aquarium

Guppies are beautiful and colorful fish that come in a variety of patterns. They are hardy, adaptable, and easy to care for and this makes them the best aquarium fish for beginners.

Guppies, scientifically known as Poecilia reticulata, are native to South America. They are small, nonviolent fish that are best for community aquariums. Guppies are known for their vibrant colors and long, flowing tails, which make them a popular choice among aquarists. They are also livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

When it comes to their care, guppies are relatively low-maintenance. They can tolerate different water conditions and are not picky eaters, readily accepting both dry and live foods. They prefer a well-established aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and plants to explore.

Guppies prefer a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C) and a pH level between 7.0 and 8.0. However, some guppy species may have slightly different requirements, so it’s always best to research the specific needs of your guppies to ensure that you are providing them with the optimal conditions for their health and well-being.

Platies- The Peaceful Fish

Platy fish swimming amid green plants

Platies are peaceful fish known for their vibrant colors. They are easy to care for, and their playful nature adds liveliness to any aquarium.

Platies, scientifically known as Xiphophorus maculatus, are native to Central America. They are small, peaceful fish that are highly adaptable and can thrive in different water conditions. This truly makes them the best aquarium fish for beginners. Platies are available in multiple colors, including red, orange, yellow, and blue, making them a visually appealing choice for beginner aquarists.

Platies are known for their playful nature and will often swim around the aquarium, exploring every nook and corner. They are omnivorous and will readily accept a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen options. To ensure their well-being, provide them with a balanced diet and a well-maintained aquarium.

Platies prefer a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C) and a pH level between 7.0 and 8.2. However, you must research the specific needs of your platy species to ensure they are happy and thriving in your provided environment.

Mollies- The Popular Aquarium Fish

A beautiful Yellow Molly Fish

Mollies are a popular choice for beginners due to their vibrant colors and serene temperament. They can adapt to a wide range of water conditions.

Mollies, or Poecilia sphenops, are native to the coastal brackish and freshwater habitats of Mexico and Central America. They have striking colors, which range from black and white to gold and orange. Mollies have a peaceful temperament and are generally compatible with other peaceful fish species.

One interesting fact about mollies is that they are livebearers, just like guppies. This means that they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. Mollies thrive in water that is kept at a temperature between 75-82°F (24-28°C) and a pH level of 7.5 to 8.5. They also prefer moderately hard water, which means that it should have a hardness level between 20-30 dGH.

Keeping the water conditions within these ranges will help ensure that your mollies remain healthy and happy. However, they prefer slightly brackish water, so adding a small amount of marine salt to the aquarium can be beneficial for their overall health.

Danios- The Most Lively Fish

Danios- The Most Lively Fish resting

Danios are active and lively fish that are perfect for beginners. They are hardy and can tolerate varied water conditions, making them ideal for novice aquarists.

Danios, or Danio rerio, are native to the rivers and streams of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. They are small, schooling fish that have an active and energetic behavior. Danios have a sleek body shape and are available in various color variations, including zebra danios with their distinctive stripes.

One fascinating aspect of Danios is their ability to tolerate various water conditions, including slightly cooler temperatures. They can survive in water with a temperature range of 64 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and a pH level of 6.0 to 8.0. This hardiness puts them in the category of the best aquarium fish for beginners who are still learning how to maintain their aquarium’s water parameters.

Danios are omnivores and enjoy a variety of foods. They will readily accept flake, frozen, and live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. You can also add some vegetables such as spinach and peas to their diet. It’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet to keep them healthy and active. This makes them a great choice for beginners who may not have a fully established aquarium yet.

Tetras- The Easy-to-Care Fish

A blue colored Tetra Fish with red tail in an aquarium

Tetras are a diverse group of freshwater fish that belong to the family Characidae. They are small sized, have peaceful nature, and vibrant colors, which range from bright reds and blues to more subdued greens and yellows.

There are many different species of tetras, each with their unique characteristics and care requirements. Some of the most popular species include neon tetras, black skirt tetras, and serpae tetras.

Tetras are excellent community fish, and they get along well with other non-aggressive fish species. They prefer to live in schools of at least six individuals and require a well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

These fish are relatively easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They require a balanced diet of high-quality fish flakes, and their tank should be kept at a temperature between 72°F and 78°F. Also, Regular water changes are essential to maintain the water quality and keep the fish healthy.

Angelfish- The Graceful Aquarium Fish

A multi-colored angelfish swimming in Aquarium amid water plants

Angelfish are tropical freshwater fish that originate from the Amazon Basin in South America. They, with their striking appearance and graceful swimming movements, are a popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

While they may require slightly more care than some other fish species, angelfish are well-suited for beginners who are willing to put in the effort. They require a tank with a minimum of 20 gallons of water per fish, and the water temperature should be maintained between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The tank should have a filter to keep the water clean, and regular water changes are necessary to prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.

Angelfish are omnivorous and love the diet that consists of both plant and animal matter. Commercially available fish foods are a good starting point, but it is important to supplement their diet with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Despite their slightly higher care requirements, angelfish are rewarding pets that can provide years of enjoyment for their owners.

Choosing the Best Aquarium Fish

Choosing the right fish for your aquarium is crucial for the health and well-being of your aquatic pets. To ensure that you make the best choice,  consider the following 4 (Four) factors:

  • Compatibility

Ensure that the fish you select are compatible with each other in terms of temperament and preferred water conditions. Some species may not get along, leading to aggressive behavior.

  • Adult Size

Take into account the adult size of the fish you choose. It’s crucial to provide enough space for them to grow comfortably without overcrowding the tank.

  • Dietary Needs

Different fish have different dietary requirements. Make sure you choose fish that have similar feeding habits and dietary needs to avoid any complications.

  • Behavior

Research the behavior of the fish species you’re interested in. Some fish may be more active, while others may prefer a more peaceful environment.

Let’s wrap it up!

Choosing the right fish for your aquarium can be exciting for beginners. By considering the types of fish that are best suited for you, such as Guppies, Platies, Mollies, Danios, Tetras, and Angelfish, and the factors we mentioned earlier, such as Compatibility, Adult Size, Dietary Needs, and Behavior, you can create a vibrant and healthy aquatic environment for your new pets. With a little research and careful consideration, you can select the best fish for your aquarium and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of your underwater world.

Dr. Musya Edward
DVM | Consultant Surgeon (pets and large animals)

Dr. Musya Edward is a highly skilled and assertive veterinary surgeon who is committed to the well-being of pets and large animals. With his extensive knowledge and experience in veterinary medicine, he ensures that every pet receives the best possible care. His expertise in surgical procedures is unmatched, and he leaves no stone unturned in ensuring the complete recovery of his patients. His passion for animals extends beyond the operating room and you can find him actively engaging with the pet-loving community through his insightful articles and expert advice on pet care.