11 Types of Fish You Can Keep in a Fish Tank (Complete Guide, FAQs & More)

We agree; getting fish for your first aquarium is as confusing as it is exciting. 

That’s why we’re bringing you this guide to help you decide what types of fish would be ideal for you. 

Before you decide on what species of fish to get, you need to decide whether you want a cold-water tank or a heated tank and then get your fish accordingly. 

Some great species of fish you can get are: 

Cold-Water Fish

11 Types of Fish You Can Keep in a Fish Tank

1. Goldfish

Goldfish come in many different kinds of varieties and sizes. The common varieties are pleasing to look at but a lot of people like to get the fancier varieties that have bubbly heads or fanned tails. 

Goldfish are great fish to get if you’re a beginner as they do not require water temperature to be maintained and they will eat almost anything you give them without getting sick. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Goldfish are extremely messy eaters so be sure to change your tank water regularly and clean out any leftover food particles in your aquarium.

2. White Cloud Mountain Minnows

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are another type of fish that are able to tolerate low temperatures of water. Many people even like keeping them in outdoor ponds during the summer as opposed to indoor aquariums that could get quite hot without a chiller. 

White Cloud Mountain Minnows have been reported to live in temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit). They are hardy fish that are perfect for beginners. They dwell usually in the top and middle layers of the aquarium. 

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are the happiest when they live in groups so we suggest getting at least 5-6 of them in order to promote health, breeding, growth and color. 

3. Bloodfin Tetras

Bloodfin Tetras have silver bodies and they get their name due to their striking bright-red fins. 

These fish are also extremely hardy that can live in temperatures that range from 17 to 30 degrees Celsius (64 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). 

You will find these fish to be extremely active yet extremely peaceful as well. They tend to swim around at a much faster pace than most aquarium fish but they are not aggressive and won’t bully other fish in your tank. 

We recommend that you get a bunch of these as they like moving in groups in aquariums. If you get just one, it will tend to be shy.

Heated Water Fish

11 Types of Fish You Can Keep in a Fish Tank

4. Bettas

Bettas are also commonly known as Siamese Fighting Fish. 

You can get these fish if you want some flash and bright color in your aquarium. Male Bettas have beautiful striking long fins that are very pleasing to look at. 

You don’t want more than one male Betta in your fish tank as they will fight with each other (as their name entails) and pick at each other’s fins. 

Bettas are a very common aquarium fish and you’ll easily be able to find food that’s tailor-made for them in the market. However, they are hardy fish and you can feed them flake food or pellets designed for other fish as well and they will be able to thrive on it as long as the ingredients are roughly the same.

5. Swordtails

Swordtails are hardy and long-lasting peaceful fish. They are perfect for you if you’re a beginner that’s trying to set up a heated fresh-water tank. 

These fish are very passive and brightly-colored that will add a brilliant flash to your aquarium. 

They are great fish to have in addition to other species as they don’t pick fights or bully smaller fish.

They come in a variety of colors so you can go ahead and get a bunch of different ones for your fish tank.

6. Black Skirt Tetras

Black Skirt Tetras are very peaceful and shy fish that should be kept either in pairs or in large groups within your aquarium. 

They are extremely hardy fish that will eat just about any prepared food you give them and not only will they eat it, they will be able to utilize and gain value from it as well. 

Black Skirt Tetras hate confrontations or any form of aggression. We strongly recommend that if you’re getting Black Skirt Tetras, you should also invest in decorative rocks, ornaments, plants or any other hiding places in your aquarium for them.

7. Danios

Danios are small and active fish that are perfect as the first fish for your aquarium. 

When you first get your fish tank, you’re supposed to “cycle” it for a few weeks using a small amount of fish. Danios are perfect for this purpose as they are hardy fish that can survive in a variety of different water conditions. 

They prefer to live in groups near the surface of the water. Most Danios have long horizontal stripes on their bodies that are very attention-grabbing as they swim across the aquarium near the water surface. 

8. Kuhli Loaches

Kuhli Loaches are hardy, eel-like creatures that work great as “cleaner” fish. This is because they are bottom-dwellers and they will feed on any leftover food that sinks to the bottom of your aquarium. That being said, we do recommend that you offer them some sinking food separately as well.

Just like Black Skirt Tetras, we recommend that you buy decorations and ornaments that can work as hiding places for Kuhli Loaches as they are shy creatures that like to hide themselves during the day time. 

9. Platies

Platies are another type of fish that are perfect for beginners as they are hardy fish and they come in a variety of colors to choose from. 

Platies are passive fish that can live peacefully in a community tank with other types of fish. 

They are livebearers that give birth to small, youngling fish. Usually, these younglings are eaten by other fish in your aquarium. 

Platies are purposefully bred with each other to create younglings with specific sets of colors. 

They are hardy fish that can thrive on all sorts of fish food, flakes or pellets.

10. Black Mollies

Black Mollies are peaceful fish that are a great choice for community tanks. 

They can adapt to fresh, brackish or even salt-water so this gives you some room in regards to the water when it comes to setting up a new aquarium. 

Black Mollies are also livebearers so if you get a couple, you can easily end up with youngling fish. Be sure to have active plants in your aquarium if you’re looking to breed them though, as they tend to eat their offspring if there’s not enough vegetation for them to hide in.

11. Guppies

Guppies are great in community tanks as well. They are hardy fish with bright, long tails. 

We recommend that you get Guppies in groups that have both male and female Guppies. If you get male-only Guppies, they will start to get aggressive and grumpy. Male Guppies are wired to mate and will start having fights with each other if there are no females in your aquarium. 


It’s exciting when you think about going out to get fish for your aquarium but we have to stress that it’s important that you do your research on what fish are compatible with the resources you have.

And with that, we’ve come to the conclusion of today’s post. 

Let us know in the comments what fish you have in your aquarium.

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