Top 5 Freshwater Fish for Your Aquarium – Suleman Iddrissu
Keeping a freshwater aquarium is a rewarding and entertaining hobby, but there is a lot of preparation involved before buying and setting up fish and an aquarium. If you haven’t considered the kind of fish you want yet, Suleman Iddrissu our aquarium expert discusses what you need to do so before making any other decisions: the type and size of fish you want will determine what size aquarium you need, as well as many other things like chemical content and pH of aquarium water.
This article outlines several the care and qualities of five of the best and most common freshwater aquarium fish to help you make your decision.
The goldfish is perhaps the most common freshwater aquarium fish. Because they prefer water that’s around or slightly below room temperature, you won’t need a heater to care for goldfish in most regions and seasons.
There are many more varieties of goldfish than most aquarium beginners realize. They come in a variety of sizes and many striking colors. Unlike many fish, they are happy alone or in a group, but if you decide to keep multiple goldfish in a single tank, it is important to make sure they are the same or similar types of goldfish.
Many new hobbyists believe goldfish can be kept in a bowl, but this is simply not true. To allow your goldfish to survive and thrive, you’ll need a full-size aquarium—ten gallons per fish is often recommended—with a filtration system.
Goldfish are for the most part easy to care for, but they do eat messily and produce quite a bit of waste. This means that you’ll need to change the water frequently as well as maintaining a good filter system.
These silver fish with distinctive red fins are highly attractive and, like goldfish, can usually be kept in a tank without a heater. They are very active, and generally prefer being kept with other bloodfin tetras. A lonely bloodfin tetra is often a shy bloodfin tetra, while a group of them will swim in exciting, eye-catching patterns.
Because they are so active, they also need a larger tank than many fish of a similar size. Ten gallons is recommended for a school of six, and larger for schools with more fish. A bloodfin tetra in a school with fewer than six fish will probably not be as happy and healthy.
However, they are very easy to care for and can also be socialized with many other species of fish, making them an idea choice for beginners who may look to expand their aquariums after getting more experience. When properly cared for, they can live up to ten years!
These fish usually require a heater and need a good deal of space (at least ten gallons, though fifteen to twenty is recommended), but they are easy to care for an extremely attractive. However, they are usually solitary (especially male bettas) and can be extremely aggressive towards other fish. It is impossible to keep two males in the same tank without a partition; one will eventually end up killing the other. Males and females will also fight each other, but females can be kept in a group of at least five if they are all introduced to the tank at once.
Bettas will sometimes live in harmony with other fish, usually very peaceful fish of similar size, but do your research before putting any fish in a tank with a betta.
Black Molly Fish
The black molly is a peaceful fish, and therefore good for community tanks with multiple fish species interacting. Their distinctive black color is very eye-catching, especially when contrasted with bright colors (such as a bright background, aquarium plants, or other fish). The same species of fish also comes in other colors, though they are often referred to by the name “common molly” if they are not black.
Although mollies do not school together, they are sociable and should be kept in groups of three or more. They also require a heater, as constant temperature fluctuations or a consistently cold environment will leave them more susceptible to disease. Other than this requirement, they are quite hardy, and can even adapt to living in brackish or salty water.
These fish are very easy to care for, and will be perfectly happy and health eating flake or pellet food (while other fish often require a more varied diet). Because of their ease of care, they are a common choice for a new hobbyist’s first fish.
They are schooling fish, and like being kept in fairly large groups—which means they also need a good amount of space—at lease ten gallons for even a small school. Because they are naturally suited to warm water, danios do require a heated aquarium.
However, they are very attractive and available in a wide array of colors, and are also consistently entertaining, as they are more active fish than most. Because of their peaceful nature, they can get along with almost any tankmate, except for those that feed on danios and those with long and flowing fins (which the danios will annoy by pecking out of curiosity).
More information on any of these fish species can be found at your local pet store. Knowing the general characteristics and suitability to your needs of the many species of freshwater fish is an important first step in getting your aquarium started.