There are a lot of varieties of tetras but they’re all very colorful and easy to care for which is why they’re so popular.
They’re a schooling fish and should be in groups of at least six. Tetras are middle dwellers and prefer a heavily planted tank with a lot of places to hide.
Tetras are very sensitive to water changes and should be added to a tank after it’s been established. They’re omnivores and prefer a diet that includes brine shrimp and bloodworms.
Because they’re so small, they shouldn’t be housed with large omnivores or aggressive fish.
Red swordtails are a peaceful fish that are an ideal addition to a community tank but males should be separated because they can get aggressive. These fish are also good jumpers so make sure you keep your aquarium covered.
Red Swordtails are omnivores that will eat fish flakes, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. They’re live-bearing fish that can produce as many as 80 fries at one time.
They’re an easy fish to breed but if that’s not your intention, remove males as soon as possible so they don’t overtake the tank.
Another peaceful fish that’s great for a community tank is the dwarf gouramis. While they’re not schooling fish, they do like to swim in pairs so getting two of them is a good idea.
They come in a variety of colors including red, blue, and rainbow which have bright orange bodies with blue stripes.
Because of their small size and peaceful nature, dwarf gouramis should not be kept with aggressive fish. They like environments with a lot of plants and places to explore. They’re omnivores and enjoy flake food as well as eating algae.
Guppies are one of the most popular tropical aquarium fish because they’re so easy to take care of and come in just about every color of the rainbow. They’re a good fit for a community tank with other peaceful fish.
They’re omnivores and will eat just about anything though their main diet should be high-quality fish flakes without a lot of filler.
They love school and should be kept in large groups. You can safely house one guppie for every two gallons of water.
A good choice, if you’re looking for something really striking, is the rainbow shark. They have bright red fins that really pop against their all black bodies. They start small but can grow to as long as six inches.
While beautiful to look at, rainbow sharks are pretty aggressive with their own kind and shouldn’t be housed with small, peaceful fish. Provide plenty of hiding spaces and keep the fish to water ratio low to avoid any problems.
There are a lot of varieties of pleco but pay close attention to which kind you choose. Common plecos can grow up to 24 inches long and require a tank as large as 150 gallons. Smaller plecos like clowns or dwarfs can live comfortably in a 10-gallon tank.
Plecos are great algae eaters but that shouldn’t be their sole source of food. They’re omnivores and will eat smaller fish if given the chance so keep them happy with pellets and fresh veggies. They’re also nocturnal and will generally hide during the day.
Barbs are a schooling species that should be kept in groups of five or more. There are different kinds of barbs and the come in a wide range of colors.
While they’re not particularly aggressive, they are very active so placid tankmates may need a place to hide.
If you choose a barb, make sure you research the type you’re getting carefully before you buy. Some varieties can get pretty big and require larger tanks but the minimum size for any barb is 20 gallons.
They’re omnivores and like dry flakes as well as small live foods like glass worms.
If you’re looking for a good fish for a beginner, you can’t go wrong with a cory catfish.
They’re small, hardy, and a great tankmate for non-aggressive fish. They do well in smaller 10-gallon tanks but thrive in larger tanks, too.
Cory catfish are social creatures and like to school in groups of three or more. A single cory will do fine on its own but some are known to be very shy and they’ll be much more fun to watch in a group. They love live plants and need lots of places to explore.
Ottos are a good fish for an experienced aquarist. They do best in a tank that’s already established and are a little sensitive to their environment. These fish are scavengers that are small and very fast making them fun to watch.
These fish prefer heavily planted tanks and like a lot of algae for them to eat. They’re non-aggressive and don’t have any way of defending themselves so housing them with aggressive fish isn’t a good idea unless they have a lot of places to hide.
Bettas are a pretty easy fish to keep it’s pretty common knowledge that they’re aggressive. Male bettas should never be placed in the tank together although large groups of females can generally co-exist peacefully.
If your tank is large enough and there are plenty of places to hide, it is possible to keep a betta with non-aggressive bottom-dwelling fish.
They require a lot of protein to thrive so store-bought betta pellets are the best choice for food.
Black Ghost Knifefish
This is one meant only for experienced aquarists and is a really unique addition to a tropical tank.
Black Ghost Knifefish are one of the most unique looking species around. They have no abdominal or dorsal fins and a long, wavy fin that runs along their ventral side.
The biggest thing to note about these fish is they don’t have scales. This is really important because it means they’re more prone to the effects of changes in water chemistry as well as bacteria and chemicals in the tank.
A UV sterilizer light is recommended as it can decrease the chance of disease.
There are a few varieties of mollies. Most of them are bright oranges and reds which adds a nice pop of color to your tank.
Mollies are livebearers which means they don’t lay eggs. They’re also really easy to breed in an aquarium setting.
Mollies are a popular beginner fish because they’re pretty tolerant of water variations. They prefer an environment with a lot of strong plants, rocks, and caves to explore. They’re omnivores who eat just about anything you give them.
Angelfish are so popular because of their interesting shape and gorgeous colors. They’re a good choice for someone with a bit of experience because they require tanks that are pretty large. If you want to keep a few, you’ll need a 50-gallon tank.
Community tanks are generally not a good idea for angelfish unless they’re done very carefully. These fish are aggressive toward smaller fish who like to nip at their fins.
With proper care, angelfish can grow to about 6-inches long and live up to 15 years.
A fun fish that’s easy to care for, loaches are a great addition to a community tank.
They’re bottom dwellers who enjoy schooling and can actually get very lonely if they don’t have other loaches around.
These peaceful bottom dwellers spend their time rooting around the plants and rocks at the bottom of the tank.
Some stay at about three inches long but other species grow to about 12 inches so make sure you have the right sized tank to accommodate them
Platys are a small, colorful fish that fun to keep and easy to breed. They’re a good beginner fish for a community tank because they’re hardy enough to tolerate some stress and are friendly and non-aggressive with other fish varieties.
These fish breed quickly and should be kept with an even number of males to females or up to two females for each male.
Typically, males only get aggressive with other males when they’re trying to mate. They’ll eat just about anything and even like nibbling on small bits of boiled vegetables.
Another great addition to a community tank is the Harlequin Rasbora. These are schooling fish that should be kept in groups of eight to ten.
They have an orange-red body with a black wedge by their tail and are look quite impressive when swimming in a group.
These freshwater fish will eat just about anything, including flakes, frozen, and live foods. Some good tankmates for Harlequin Rasbora are tetras, dwarf gouramis, bettas, danios, and cory catfish.
Threadfin Rainbow Fish
Threadfin Rainbow Fish are a great schooling fish that come in beautiful reds, greens, and blues and their long fins add interesting detail. These fish are happiest in schools of six or more and love to hang out in the top or middle of the tank.
These are a good fish for a beginner because they’re generally easy to care for and only require a 10-gallon tank.
Males can sometimes be aggressive with each other but if they’re kept in larger groups with several females, this isn’t usually a problem