January 25, 2024

Most Popular Freshwater Fish For Aquariums

Most popular freshwater fish for aquariums

People looking to start an aquarium hobby often have specific fish in mind before selecting the tank they will fill with aquatic life. Here are some of the most commonly found freshwater species for tanks.

Neon tetras are easy-care schooling fish that flourish in groups. Their vibrant hues will enliven any tropical aquarium!


Angelfish are vibrant freshwater aquarium fish that come in various shades. Though hardy, angelfish thrive best in warm tropical water with soft substrate like sand or mud and aquatic plants such as Amazon swordplants (Echinodorus spp) or Java fern in their tank.

Breeding programs have produced many varieties and colors of angelfish cichlid, including silver, veil, zebra, koi and black lace varieties that are readily available at pet stores.

New mutations such as pearlscale are creating quite a buzz in the hobby, producing scales with an irregular, wrinkled tinfoil texture on certain fish species - particularly notable is pearlscale platinum which gives off metallic vibes!

Neon Tetra

Neon tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) are schooling fish belonging to the Characidae family that make for striking additions to any tank. Their brilliant blue stripes stretch from nose to adipose fin while their vibrant red tails create an eye-catching display. Neon tetras tend to thrive in groups of six or more and thrive best in darkly planted aquariums with driftwood hiding spots for hiding places.

These fish should not be introduced into newly set up tanks as they will be sensitive to changes in water parameters and can suffer from Pleistophora hyphessobryconis parasitic disease, making them unsuitable as starter fish for teaching children responsibility before moving onto larger pets. They're extremely popular starter fish for parents looking for pets for their children who will teach responsibility while teaching children responsibility as soon as larger fish enter their lives. Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) tend to grow slightly larger; sometimes confused for Cardinal Tetras due to similarity; though Cardinal Tetras tends to grow slightly larger as starter fish!


Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are beautiful tropical fish with wide-ranging colors and tail shapes, which makes them popular aquarium inhabitants. Guppies are popular because they're easy to care for and breed quickly - not to mention, that their unique water needs don't necessitate separate tanks from other fish species!

Guppy fish, with their signature colorful designs and feathery tailfins, have earned them the moniker "rainbow fish" or "million fish". Common worldwide and considered an invasive species on almost every continent where they compete with native fish for food and habitat, these colorful, versatile aquatic creatures are found.

Similar to its exotic cousins, Platypus fishes are exquisite-looking freshwater species. Like their Zebra Danio counterparts, this peaceful community fish thrives well when kept with other tankmates and in a large aquarium full of plants and other tankmates. Furthermore, their diet consists of both plant- and meat-based foods; each species enjoys both of these as part of its daily regiment!


Mollies (Poecilia sphenops) are popular with beginners and make a great addition to any standard aquarium. Hardy, peaceful, and easy to care for, mollies require little attention from their owners and will devour both flake food as well as frozen or freeze dried plants in your tank.

Mollies inhabit tropical rivers with slow currents that contain ample vegetation. Although these animals can adapt to brackish water environments for short periods of time, their true home lies within freshwater environments.

Mollies typically reach four and a half inches when fully grown, and come in many colors, including orange, black and white. A variation known as sailfin molly stands out with its distinctive taller dorsal fin. Mollies are prolific breeders if placed together in an aquarium together - they will spawn as soon as male and female fish meet up!

Betta Fish

Betta fish have quickly become one of the most beloved aquarium fish due to their beautiful colors and fin shapes, yet also have an unfortunate reputation for aggression; often flaring out their gills when startled or during territorial displays.

Betta fish make an excellent entry-level pet and are suitable for keeping alone or in small groups with similar-sized individuals. Bettas do best in warm water environments with adequate oxygen levels; however, they can survive in cooler water as long as there is sufficient air circulation.

Bettas require at least 10 gallons for proper care; smaller tanks may also work. Their simple care can make for great entertainment! Although bettas are easily maintained, they should be kept separate from other fish that possess similar-looking fins; alternatively they can be mixed in with harlequin rasboras and koi (carp) species in tanks that have been cycled prior to adding new inhabitants.

Passionate and knowledgeable aquartist. Aquariums have always fascinated me. I enjoy sharing and learning about the wonders of a fish tank.

Justin A