A community tank is an aquarium that can contain more than one species of fish or aquatic animals.

You will find that in most community tanks, not all the dwellers occur in the same natural habitat but what the aquarist does, is try to find those that can co-habit without pulling each other’s head out. Having a complete aquarium ready for habitation brings its own share of gratification.

And the real fun lies in sampling out the various types of fishes that you can include in your tank. Not only does the process open your mind to some of the most fascinating facts about the characters of fish but you also get to amass so much knowledge on the aquatic ecosystem, which are the freshwater and marine ecosystems.  

Who are the inhabitants of a community aquarium?

A community fish tank will contain the bottom and top dwellers, there are also the types of fish that enjoy being at the mid tank then we have the scavengers and those that love human attention. There are the cleaners that feed on algae like the snails, and the schoolers all of which make up a community, but there is that one fish “the centerpiece.” 

A centerpiece is no different from a masterpiece, as it has to be unique, beautiful in terms of color and with rare features.  So, as you select you have to make sure that it is not one of those that will get stressed out when it remains as the only fish of its species in the aquarium. We will therefore, sample 7 great centerpiece fish for your community aquarium. 

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Types of centerpiece fish 

1. Betta


Bettas have been known to fight their own and are always ready to attack when they feel threatened, they don’t particularly like fish that have flowing fins like theirs and will try to attack them. The male Bettas are thus not so community-oriented; however, the females will do very well in a community tank. So for the centerpiece, it would be best to pick the koi bettas or the short-finned plakats. 

2. Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami

The Dwarf Gourami has no problem being the only fish of its species in the tank and will fare on quite well. The fish features an iridescent sheen all over its body, the male is more pronounced with turquoise blue vertical stripes and an orange-red color. The females have a silvery blue-gray color with faint yellow vertical stripes.

Given their vivid colors, the gourami will make a nice centerpiece as they also have a docile temperament. 

3. Apistogramma


Apistogramma is generally a freshwater fish from the Cichlidae family, they love to feed on tiny animals and their breeding behavior varies as regards the species. The large family of the Apistogramma does come with some very attractive varieties for the centerpiece. Now for your centerpiece, it would be best to go with the males, as they are much bigger, and feature some very vibrant colors. 

4. Angelfish


The angelfish might have real angel characteristics when they are young, but as soon as they mature into adulthood, they become more aggressive and territorial. There are some types of fish that can be paired with the angelfish but if they don’t fit in the fish’s mouth. 

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So even in adulthood, you will still notice some of the angelic characteristics like the graceful movements and their beautiful angular shape. There aggressive and beautiful vivid colors make them the perfect candidate for a centerpiece fish. 

5. German Blue Ram

German Blue Ram

The German Blue Ram is one of the most colorful fish as it features a combination of yellow-ish and an almost green body. The rest of the body has a different combination of blue and white; the Blue Ram love their free-swimming space, are peaceful and social. The vibrant colors on its body will make it a perfect centerpiece.

However, be warned that you will have to adhere to its strict water conditions if you want your blue ram to thrive, thus not recommended for beginners. 

6. Honey Gourami

Honey Gourami

The Honey Gourami turns out to be versatile, as it can be paired, stay single or live in a group. They are the best type of fish to be adopted by beginners in the aquarium industry; they are also some of the varieties that are commercially produced and very unlikely to find a wild specimen. Gourami is more comfortable at the surface and middle areas. 

They are not as friendly thus take long before they become comfortable, other fishes are not really their favorites but will be jubilated if paired with their own. Honey, is one of a kind when it comes to prey, it normally takes a position at the surface of the water, as it targets its prey, and once the prey is within reach it will squirt water on it so that it drops into the water, where it becomes a delicacy. 

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Their coloration is silvery gray and an almost light yellow; the midbody, right from the eye up to the caudal peduncle features a light brown horizontal stripe. The male on the other hand normally develops reddish-orange coloration or honey-yellow coloration. 

7. Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Ram has many aka’s such as the Butterfly Ram or the Red Ram. They love their own kind and remain faithful to that bond; they are, however, compatible with other types of peaceful fish. Be sure to include caves for which they can hide in when they need to and stones to spawn on. 

The Bolivian Ram features a golden brown color complete with reddish highlights at the caudal and dorsal fins. The anal and pelvic fins have incorporated different colors which are pearly turquoise-blue though in highlights. Now what makes them stand out is the black line that runs through the eye on either side, they also have a black spot at the center of its body. 

Their species, however, do not come with many bright colors but will nonetheless make a good centerpiece. They don’t have a problem living as a single species in the aquarium, and will also do well in a community aquarium as they are peaceful.

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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".