10 Best Aquarium Fish for Beginners

community aquarium

As a beginner, you might find yourself stuck wondering which type of fish to start with, as some require so much attention and care while others don’t. in this excerpt therefore, we have simplified the process of fish selection and provided you with a collection of 10 best aquarium fish for beginners.  

So many things go into consideration when installing an aquarium but all of them boil down to mimicking the fishes’ natural environment. Before you rear any type of pet fish, it would be best to first understand where it comes from, so that you can provide almost similar conditions in your aquarium. The most basic things are the water PH and temperature, filter type, water, and lighting. 

You also have to check on the substrate type if you plan on investing in the bottom feeders, decorations, plantation and hiding caves are a necessary addition to your aquarium. 

10 Best Aquarium Fish for Beginners

1. Black Molly 

Black Molly

Also goes by short-finned molly or just molly, they are a freshwater type of fish and lack color pigmentation thus the black color, some of them come with a combination of a yellow streak or some silvery color on its flanks. 

Mollies are a peaceful type of fish but will become aggressive when kept too many in one tank, they do well in freshwater tanks and love their space. Include some plantation in your aquarium if you are adopting a molly as this will help the fry to survive and also encourage breeding. Apparently, they also have a heart of stone as they will eat their very own kids if you don’t provide enough hiding plantation. 

2. Swordtails


Swordtails are some of the easiest types of fish pets to care for, and they come in a variety of colors. They do enjoy each other’s company but are not the schooling type of fish, they thus do not need very special conditions for survival, making them a good choice for beginners. 

  Black Skirt Tetra Care Guide - Diet, Breeding & More

They will need a lot of space to move around, and the males are also in the habit of harassing the females, so you might want to keep a small ratio of males to females. Sudden temperature drops will affect your fish’s immune system but will do well in temps of 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They also love hardy water and you can thus set your PH at 7.0 and 8.4. 

3. Danios


The Danios fish don’t have special water requirements and will thrive in different water conditions; they will do well in cool waters thus no need for using a heater in the tank. They are also the school type of fish and come in a large variety, they can be found in either the fast-moving or the quiet pools. Invest in a filter with strong currents to mimic their natural environment.

They love the surface of the pool; it would thus be wise to invest in floating plants so that they can easily dominate the top area. But be sure to cover the top of the aquarium as they may also jump out. They are active and should be paired with fish of the same character, feeding them shouldn’t be a problem as they can feed on both commercial and live foods. 

4. Betta

Betta 1

Betta is some of the prettiest pet fish that you can put in your aquarium, they do well in warm waters of temperatures 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are peaceful and will thrive in a community tank but be sure to keep one male or female because they are always feisty and aggressive towards fish of their kind; Betta fish are carnivorous and should be fed at least twice a day, water parameters need to be stabilized for the fish to survive. 

Keep your eye out for a loss of color, cloudy eyes, or erratic swimming as they are signs of an unhealthy fish. 

  Arowana Care Guide - Diet, Water & More

5. White cloud

White cloud

White is a less aggressive and easy to breed fish while in captivity, they do well in freshwaters and is sometimes known as the canton minnow or the cardinalfish. The funny thing about the mountain minnow is that they compete for mates, to the extent of being very territorial. However, they love their schools and will live in peace with their tank mates. 

They have been found to inhabit slightly acidic waters with slow flow but are also hardy and can live in different temperatures, they can also stand water quality fluctuations. 

6. Goldfish 


Goldfish will surely enhance the outlook of your aquarium, but can only be paired with other types of goldfish. They do have a long lifespan of up to 30 years; water temperatures should be maintained at 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Goldfish does well in warm environment and might require up to two water heaters in a big aquarium. 

They love to eat flake foods or pellets, and if you notice that they have a decreased appetite or love to scrap their body on the rocks, have inflamed or discolored their skin then it would be best to consult a vet. 

7. Bloodfin Tetras 

Bloodfin Tetras

bloodfin tetras are very active fish when in the aquarium, they are the schooling type of fish and will thrive best in temperatures of 64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you decide to keep only one then you can forget about the synchronized moves. If you want to have an easy time with the bloodfin tetras just set the right water parameters and they will become hardy. 

Forego the artificial vegetation because bloodfins love live plantation that mimics their natural habitat and besides the plastic plants will most likely hurt the fish. 

8. Fancy guppy 

Fancy guppy

Guppies are super active when introduced in a tank, despite their tiny bodies and flowing fins. They are available in a variety of colors and are up to 300 varieties, they do produce guppy babies when kept with a different gender. Given their small size it would be best if the large types of fish are not paired with them. The best thing about the guppy fish is that they can be used to control the mosquito population.

  Nerite Snails Care guide - Types, Breeding & More

Luring is the game of the male guppies and you might spot them chasing the females and wiggling their fins to get their attention. 

9. Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish 1

The cory catfish is a bottom dweller and you will mostly find it at the bottom of the aquarium scavenging for leftovers. What’s more, is that if you plan on investing in snails, cory will be handy in keeping their population under control. If you decide to keep the Cory catfish you will have to get more than one because they are the schooling type of fish. 

They have different temperament but none is aggressive thus making them suitable for community tanks. You will also have to maintain good water conditions in your aquarium if you want the cory catfish to survive. Apart from the leftovers, a diet of bottom feeder tablets and the fish flakes will enhance their health. 

10. Black Skirt Tetra

Black Skirt Tetra

Skirt tetra is normally large in size thus the need for a large tank, they are also a school fish, so it would be best to get about five or six just so that they don’t get stressed. They have a docile temperament and will love to swim along the top two-thirds of the water column. 

Black Skirt Tetras do well in soft waters, water temperatures of about 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit can be tolerated by the fish. Their diet consists of insects and small invertebrates and worms while in the wild. But while in the aquarium they will feed on anything that you offer them and it would be good if you offered them flakes.

Was this article helpful?