March 5, 2024

Species of Tropical Fish That Can Be Keeped in Freshwater Aquariums

There is an abundance of tropical fish species suitable for freshwater aquariums. Many are social or shoaling varieties that thrive in large community tanks with plenty of vegetation.

Fishkeeping requires special equipment and an in-depth knowledge of water chemistry. A fishkeeper should monitor key quality parameters so as to avoid frequent and unnecessary tank changes.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras catfish is an exceptionally hardy, low maintenance tropical fish species that thrives in various tank conditions. Schooling fish are especially desirable as they enjoy living together in groups.

Animals native to slow-moving and almost still (but never stagnant) rivers, streams, marshes, ponds and backwaters in South America prefer shallow waters with sandy or muddy bottoms as their home environments.

Corydoras fish species all feature three pairs of barbels around their mouths to sift through substrate, plants, rocks and driftwood in search of food. Furthermore, these aquatic reptiles often gulp air directly from the surface as an adaptation in environments with low oxygen. Hamade (2021) points out this strategy can also help them endure drought conditions - making Corydoras ideal aquarium species as they can survive off scraps alone!


Danios are an indispensable addition to any aquarium for good reason: They're hardy, long-lived and adapt well to different water conditions; in captivity they spawn rapidly with transparent embryos allowing rapid experimentation; they reach maturity after 36 hours (which takes the same amount of time it would take a mouse 21 days)!

The Iridescent Pearl Danio (Brachydanio albolineatus) is an iconic species, easy to breed in any community aquarium and an excellent addition. Danios are omnivorous fish which require premium pellet, flake or granule food as well as supplementations of live bloodworms up to three times weekly.

Danios are schooling fish that should be housed in groups of six or more fish. For optimal conditions, freshwater aquariums over 16 gallons with constant clean water flow are preferred and hiding places and different vegetation types are beneficial. Danios lay egg scattering eggs that can also be fertilized by breeding pairs (male/female).


Bichirs resemble an eel in appearance with diamond-shaped ganoid scales and paddle-shaped pectoral fins, and two spiracles on top of their heads for breathing air in low oxygenated waters.

Birds possess a keen sense of smell that allows them to detect prey from great distances, using a technique called lateral line to move through their muddy habitats.

These fish are nocturnal hunters that use the dark to search for shellfish, vertebrates, bugs and worms in the mud at night. Additionally, they have the ability to walk on land for short distances and use their fins as propellers when trying to escape their tanks.

They are hardy fish species that can cohabit in a large aquarium with other fish species, preferring a diet rich in live food and some pellets for nutrition. Regular partial tank water changes should be conducted to keep their environment free of waste or toxins.

Rosy or Red Barb

Rosy barbs are popular beginner aquarium fish due to their peaceful temperament and vibrant hues, yet require a large tank with high-grade filtration and an established ecosystem in order to flourish.

Alligator gars are omnivorous creatures and require a balanced diet consisting of flake food, blood worms and brine shrimp. Feed them several times each day but only give as much food as they can consume within a few minutes; this helps avoid overfeeding and the associated fat degeneration caused by consistent feeding of poor-quality prepared food items.

Rosy barbs thrive when kept in groups. Because they may exhibit hierarchical behavior within their groups, choosing suitable tankmates carefully can help reduce aggression.

Congo Tetra

Congo Tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus) are stunning examples of African tetras. With vibrant blues and oranges that shimmer beneath the water surface, these fish can often be found swimming around flowing or slow-moving streams, tributaries or pools with slightly acidic waters.

These omnivorous fish feed on an assortment of insects, crustaceans, algae, and plant matter in the wild; in captivity, however, they thrive with a well-balanced diet consisting of flake or pellet food supplemented with fresh or frozen brine shrimp and daphnia for extra protein and other benefits.

Congo tetras are lively swimmers that love exploring every crevice of their tank. Though initially timid, these fish eventually adjust more comfortably once provided with plenty of hiding spots such as plants or driftwood to help acclimate more comfortably to their new environment. When housing with other peaceful tetras and rasboras; aggressive or fin-nipper species must not be mixed in. As is essential with all tetra species, providing plenty of swimming space should always be provided for.

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach are stunning and peaceful fish that will add character and peace to any aquarium. Their curious nature drives them to explore crevices and caves within their environment, searching the tank bottom for food which may have settled there. This behavior is highly beneficial for maintaining an ecosystem - taking care to remove organic waste produced by other tank inhabitants without leaving behind debris that would otherwise remain on its bottom surface.

This species is a natural omnivore, feeding on both animal and plant matter. When out in nature, they scour river beds for any food debris that has settled at the bottom, serving as effective biological filters.

Fish do not typically form schools and prefer smaller aquariums with multiple housing arrangements for optimal comfort. Their habits tend to include hiding during the day and hunting at night for food sources in their aquarium.

Carp are generally easy to care for, but like all fish they require a high quality water environment and a diet rich in essential fatty acids and nutrients. Unfortunately, they lack hard scales, making them sensitive to environmental changes which puts them at greater risk of diseases or infections.

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

Justin A