First Fish for the Beginning Aquarist

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You’ve got your new tank filled and ready for fish. But what kinds of fish should you get? If you’re a beginner, there are many fish that are easy to care for and fun to watch. This list of beginner-friendly fish can get you started:

Cherry Barb

The Cherry Barb is a community fish that can add activity to your aquarium. They can grow up to 2 inches and do best when they’re kept in a school of 6 or more. Make sure to provide plants or hiding places.

Dwarf Gourami

Originally from the waters of India, these colorful fish are both peaceful and hardy. They can reach 3 inches and are suited for tanks of 20 gallons or more. It may be best to keep only one per tank as they can get territorial with others of the same species.

Goldfish

Don’t overlook goldfish in your search for great fish. They’re often taken for granted, but are among the top favorites for several reasons. They’re colorful, very hardy and can live long lives if cared for properly. They can also tolerate cooler water and are perfect for medium to large aquariums.

Guppy

Another hardy fish, guppies are peaceful and easy to care for. They’re also very prolific, so if you mix male and female fish, you’re likely to have baby guppies, which need to be safeguarded from the other fish. Male guppies are more colorful with larger tails.

Platy

Platies are easy to care for and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They’re also fun to watch, because they’re active fish and are livebearers. This means their babies can swim immediately after being birthed.

Pleco

Plecos are known for their algae-eating skills and can help keep your aquarium clean. They graze along the bottom and sides of the aquarium and should only be added after a tank has been established and has some algae.

White Clouds

These small fish are idea for small tanks. Not only are they very peaceful, even in close quarters, they also tolerate the temperature swings of small tanks fairly well.

Zebra Danio

These small, hardy fish do well in different water conditions and add color with their horizontal stripes. They’re active community fish and should be kept in schools of 6 or more.

While this list can help you get started, remember to check the size, temperature requirements and compatibility issues of any fish you add to your tank!