Keeping Fish

10 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

10 Best Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Keeping fish is a wonderful hobby, when starting out keeping a freshwater aquarium, It’s important to remember that maintaining an aquarium can take some effort.

Some fish are much easier to keep than others, below are our Top 10 best freshwater fish for beginners.

Some images and products shown in this article are affiliate links, we may earn a small commission, we hope you find the information useful.

Keeping Fish – 10 Best Freshwater Fish

This selection includes some hardy fish that are easy to manage when starting out keeping fish.


Goldfish 10 best freshwater fish

The goldfish is probably one of the top choices when it comes to starting out keeping fish, they are a hardy fish and will live quite happily with minimum requirements.

There are different types of goldfish some of which are called fancy goldfish due to their flowing tails or fancy appearance, as mentioned above they are hardy fish making them easy to keep in an aquarium.

Beautiful to look at goldfish are colorful, interactive, and make friends easily with other fish you may introduce to your fish tank.

Goldfish that are looked after can grow to a good size and can live for many years, it is recommended that goldfish are kept in an aquarium and not a fishbowl as they need room to swim, grow and keep healthy.

Commonly goldfish always appear to be hungry, but take note overfeeding will harm your fish take a look at our fish food for goldfish article.


platy fish

Platys are a very common fish and they should be readily available at local pet stores, Platys are a very easy fish to keep in your freshwater fish tank, they are livebearers and breed successfully, it would be wise to not introduce too many to a small aquarium as the numbers will increase over time.

Platy fish or plates are part of the Poeciliidae family which means they are part of the group of livebearers. 

Xiphophorus maculatus and Xiphophorus variatus are the two different platy species from which all platy variations are bred for aquarium purposes.


Guppy fish or guppies are one of the most colorful tropical freshwater fish around, they are small and easy to take care of.

Guppies are a great tropical freshwater fish to start with when starting out with an aquarium and learning to care for fish.

With a properly set up aquarium, correct feeding, and careful handling, these fish can thrive in most fish tanks.

Guppy fish will feed on all kinds of food, both dry and wet, and also live and frozen.

They are social fish who enjoy being in groups so try to introduce at least four or five to your aquarium to keep them happy.


Molly fish are very easy to keep they are hardy fish and also provide lots of colour in the aquarium, mollies come in a variety of colours and are fun to look at in your fish tank.

The scientific name of molly is Poecilia, which means “various colors,” Which is derived from the greek work Poikilos, which means “many colors,” Molly belongs to the family “Poecilidae” and the genus “Poecilia.”

Mollies are diurnal means they are active during the day but sleepy at night.

They are live-bearing fish, so they need a lot of space for swimming.

The maximum size of an adult molly fish can be up to 3 inches, so the aquarium size should be large enough to avoid overcrowding.


Betta Fish

Betta fish are an unusual fish but still a great fish for beginners, the only thing to watch out for is to only have one male in your aquarium, their nickname is siamese fighting fish and they can be quite aggressive to other males, female betta fish are easier to manage.

Mixing with other types of fish should be left for experienced fish keepers.

Avoid keeping male betta fish with species such as Cichlids, Gouramis, Guppies, or Angelfish, having said that they do mix well with other species such as tetras.


danio fish

The Danio fish is a great choice for beginners. They are small and inexpensive, which means you can get started with them without spending too much money or time on the project. The key to success with these fish is providing them with appropriate water conditions and they will do well in your aquarium.

Danios are widely recommended as fish for a new aquarium as some are extremely hardy.

Danios are generally an excellent community fish and prefer to live in a shoal which makes them look lovely in any aquarium.

Danios can thrive in a wide temperature range of water, and many varieties can happily live in an unheated aquarium that remains at room temperature.


rainbow fish

Rainbowfish are some of the most colourful freshwater fish for an aquarium.

The rainbowfish originates from Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the Islands of Southeast Asia.

The larger species, including Boesemani, Lake Kutubu, and Red rainbows, require large deep tanks which might be best provided with a minimum volume of 90 litres, although the smaller species such as the Threadfin and Neon Rainbowfish could be suited to an aquarium with a minimum of 45 litres.

Due to the shoaling behavior these fish like to exhibit, it is recommended there is a large open swimming space with plenty of moving water.

These fish should be fed what they can eat within a few minutes 1 to 2 times a day, remove any uneaten food to reduce waste build-up.


tetra fish

Tetra fish are among the most common and widely kept tropical fish, this is due to their small size, calm temperament, low cost, hardiness, and strong colours.

Tetras are very easy to look after and can be housed with almost any other non-aggressive species of fish.

Tetra fish will school together in the aquarium and can add a stunning effect to any large aquarium.

The most common varieties of tetra include Neon Tetra, Harlequin Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, Penguin Tetra, Rummynose Tetra, Glowlight Tetra, Ember Tetra & Glowlight Tetra.

Tetras have a maximum size of around 2″ and can live up to 10 years in captivity if properly looked after.


Cichild fish

Cichlid fish are stunning a very placid fish that can grow to a very large size.

Dwarf cichlid fish can be put into a community tank but in most cases, this type of fish will require a large aquarium, so before considering keeping cichlids make sure that your aquarium is large enough for the species you get.


Angelfish are very popular because of their beauty and gracefulness, they are part of the Cichlidae family of fish.

Angelfish are a popular freshwater fish choice for people who have larger size aquariums. They are not only beautiful to look at, but they will also provide you with an interesting and challenging hobby. The following is some information about angelfish that should help you decide if this is the right type of fish for your tank!

Angelfish are freshwater fish that can grow up to 12 inches in length. They do well with larger size aquariums and will need plenty of space for swimming, eating food as they get bigger, or if you have more than one anglerfish it is important not to overcrowd the tank so there isn’t any fighting over territory!  -They require an environment where water temperature stays between 72°F (22 °C) – 82º F(28 º C). Angelfishes like warmer temperatures but make sure your heater doesn’t go above 86 degrees Fahrenheit because this could kill them off very quickly due to their sensitivity towards high heat levels.

Perfect First Aquarium

Tetra Aquarium Starter Line LED 105 Litre Fish Tank Complete Set,Black
  • Sturdy aquarium tank with 6-mm-thick glass
  • Robust lid with a practical feeding flap
  • Powerful Tetra EasyCrystal filter with two replacement cartridges for your aquarium
  • Reliable 100-watt heater - preset to 25°C
  • TetraMin staple food and Tetra AquaSafe water conditioner included

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Above is listed our top 10 best freshwater fish for beginners in our opinion. Deciding on a type of fish when new to fish keeping can be tricky but don’t let this put you off an amazingly joyful hobby.

Firstly it is important to start with fish that are suitable for the size aquarium you want to start off with.

It is recommended that the larger aquarium you can afford will be the best option for keeping any type of fish, the reason for this is the larger the tank the easier it is to maintain and keep the water safer for your fish to live in.

Starting an aquarium with hardy fish will help you to learn the processes involved with looking after fish without losing them along the way.

If choosing an aggressive type of fish, always check which other types of fish they are likely to get along with, especially if you want to have a community aquarium showing different varieties of fish.

I hope you liked this article “10 best freshwater fish for beginners” If you would like to tell us about the freshwater fish you keep please leave a comment below.

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