Top 10 Popular Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners



If you have just started a fish keeping hobby, then one of the important decisions is to pick the right fish. It is a very good idea to start with beginner fish that do not need high care. Every new aquarist looks for fish that are hardy & available at low price. Also everyone wants to buy a beautiful fish. If you are a new aquarist or looking for the best tropical fish recommended for beginners, then have a look at 10 top tropical fish that will increase the attractiveness of your fish tank.



A number of rasboras are available but I think that one of the best is harlequin rasbora (scientific name is Trigonostigma heteromorpha), & lambchop rasbora (scientific name is Trigonostigma espei). They just grow about 2 inches in length & you can find them in almost every fish shop. Other choices are tiny neon green rasbora (scientific name is Microdevario kubotai), & big scissortail rasbora (scientific name is Rasbora trilineata). Buy at least 6 or more of the same species for your newly established tank. If you haven’t cycled your tank yet, then I would recommend cycling your tank first because it is very important for the fish to have balanced conditions.



All Time Favourite Tropical Fish for Beginners - Goldfish

All Time Favourite Tropical Fish for Beginners – Goldfish

Experts may tell you that Goldfish are not for beginners because they grow very large & most new aquarists often start with small aquariums but I think that goldfish are one of the best beginners choice because they are hardy. They can reach a length of 12 to 14 inches, so they need thirty gallons of water for a single fish or you can keep two common goldfish in a fifty-five-gallon tank. Also most of the aquarists keep common goldfish in their ponds when they grow large. Goldfish love to eat a number of foods.

Goldfish can tolerate harsh conditions but they need high water changes & a clean aquarium. Goldfish swallow smaller fish that fit in their mouth. Also they can eat invertebrates too. They are messy & will uproot your plants. Be selective about substrate or leave your tank bare bottom because goldfish can swallow substrate too.



Top Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners - Cardinal Tetra

Top Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners – Cardinal Tetra

Very similar to rasboras, tetras are famous too, because they are little schooling fish that are available in large varieties such as neon tetras, cardinal tetras, black neon tetras & Congo tetras. They need low maintenance & like neutral pH between 7 to 7.8. Just like other schooling fish, keep tetras in a collection of 6 or more because they are more secure when you keep many in one tank. Tetras are happy with rasboras & other community fish.



Cory catfish have good behaviour & they live in schools just like rasboras & tetras, but they dwell at the bottom of the tank. Adult Corydoras can grow from 1 to 3 inches long. They like searching the aquarium floor for food & crumbs, but they like eating a number of sinking diets having high amounts of nutrients.

More than 160 species of Cory catfish have been discovered. They like living in a group of 3 to 6 to play well in the tank.



Platies are more robust than guppies. They are highly active & adult Platies can grow up to 3 inches in length. They can tolerate a wide range of pH starting from 7 & more, & like living in hard water. Platies are big eaters & will feed on any omnivore diet you offer them.

Best Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners - Platy

Best Tropical Freshwater Fish For Beginners – Platy

Minimum aquarium size for platies is 10 gallons. This fish needs easy care. They have good behaviour & their maximum life span is between two to three years. Their ideal pH range is between 6 to 8. They need temperatures between 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Platies are often bred selectively to make fresh colour combinations, so they can be chosen from many different types.

They are hardy fish & will be able to tolerate some imbalance in conditions of water. Platies are great community fish; they live in peace with other fish but do not keep them with bully fish.


White Cloud Minnows:

White Cloud Minnows is a little colorful fish that does not need high care & it is known as beginners fish. White Cloud Minnows can live in harsh conditions with high tolerance to temperature & quality of water.

They like to live in water kept at room temperature.

White Cloud Minnows are schooling fish & they feel happy when kept in a group of at least six. Do not keep one fish because it can affect its bright colour as the White Cloud becomes timid when kept alone.

You can keep them with other peaceful species.

They can eat a wide range of food, such as live, frozen & flake diets.

Minimum aquarium size for White Cloud Minnows is 10 gallons. Their care level is easy. They are peaceful in nature. They live for about five years. Their size is approximately five inches. Ideal pH for these fish is between 6 to 8. The best temperature for White Cloud Minnows is between 64 to 72 Degree Fahrenheit.


Zebra Danios:

Minimum aquarium size for Zebra Danios is ten gallons. They are hardy & do not need high care. They have good behaviour & have a life span of five years. The approximate size of the fish is two inches. The pH range of the fish is between 6.5 to 7. The best temperature range is from 64 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zebra Danios is a famous fish recommended for beginners. They look beautiful & you can easily identify them due to their striped zebra pattern. They have high energy & unique personalities.

Zebra Danios are happy in a community of 6 or more fish. They like to be in the upper levels of the fish tank, so this fish will help you learn about the different zones of your fish tank.

Zebra Danios are omnivores & will feed on most of the diets. They love to eat little live or frozen inverts & vegetable matter. Give them fresh food.



Minimum aquarium size for swordtails is 20 gallons. They are beginner fish & require low care. Male Swordtails are aggressive towards other males. They live approximately between 3 to 5 years. They grow up to 5 inches in length. Their pH level is 7 to 8. Their temperature range is between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Swordtails are brightly colored, & they are named swordtails because of their long bottom fin which seems like a sword.

Swordtails like living in communities so they are happy in communities of at least 5. Male Swordtail fish are aggressive & show dominance over each other.

They love eating an omnivorous diet, so you can offer them a flake diet along with balanced vegetables & live or frozen diet.


Bristlenose Pleco:

Bristlenose Pleco requires a minimum aquarium size of 29 gallons. They are hardy & need low care. They have good behaviour. Their life span is between 3 to 4 years. The approximate size of the fish is 6 inches. They need a pH level of 6 to 8. The best temperature range is between 68 to 77 degree Fahrenheit.

Bristlenose Plecos has another name Bushynose Pleco, & they are available in different varieties.

Bristlenose Pleco is a beginners fish & can tolerate harsh water conditions.

Bristlenose Plecos help in cleaning the tank, because they sweep the bottom of the aquarium & eat uneaten food which could otherwise release harmful chemicals if left for long periods of time. It also likes to eat algae from the bottom & sides of the aquarium.

They like hiding in caves & under driftwood, so offering some hiding spots is a good idea.


Betta Splendens:

Popular Freshwater Fish For New Aquarists - Betta Fish

Popular Freshwater Fish For New Aquarists – Betta Fish

Betta Splendens needs a minimum aquarium size of 5 gallons. They need low care. Their behaviour is good. Their life span is between 2 to 3 years. Their approximate size is about 3 inches. Their pH range is between 6 to 7.5. Their temperature range is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Betta Splendens are not peaceful. Keeping one fish in an aquarium is the best way to take care of this fish. Their fins are beautiful & they are available in different bright colors.

They will welcome you when you watch them. Do not keep them in an aquarium lower than 5 gallons & use a tank heater.

They are carnivores, but like eating flake diets as well as free dried & live diets. You can feed them commercial betta foods that are sold at pet stores. Offer them what they want to eat.


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