Fish & Aquariums

Dive into the World of Aquaria: Discover the Best Fish to Start Your Aquarium

best fish to start an aquarium
Written by Arlene S. Lane

Finding the best fish to start an aquarium can be a daunting task. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked by any means. Especially when you are going to have your first fish tank or aquarium and you don’t want to commit any mistake that fish tank owners make. At The Pets Rise, we pride ourselves on providing expert advice and comprehensive information for all aquarium enthusiasts. If you’re new to the world of fishkeeping and looking for the fish for a new tank or aquarium, then don’t stress out. In this article, we will introduce you to the top 10 best fish for a new tank that is not only beautiful but also easy to care for. By following our guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving aquatic ecosystem in your own home. But first, let’s discuss why it is crucial to choose the right fish type.

Importance of Choosing The Right Beginner Tropical Fish

When you are thinking about keeping an aquarium or fish tank in your home then you must know that having the right beginner tropical fish for a tropical aquarium or any other fish tank type. Though for a beginner, all fish may look different they all “act” the same and they all “feed” the same. But the fact is if you didn’t choose the best fish to start an aquarium then things can be a little hectic for you. Just like having the right cat breed for first time owners, having the right beginner tropical fish is crucial.

Some fish have tough or picky feeding habits and some require to be isolated or don’t like crowds which can make the entire point of starting an aquarium useless for you. This is why one should opt for only the best fish to start an aquarium so it would be easier for you to maintain the aquarium’s environment that will help grow your fish and have good health. Having this in mind let’s talk about the best beginner tropical fish to start your new aquarium.

Best Fish To Start An Aquarium

Read out to find out the best fish for a new tank.

1- Neon Tetra

Neon TetraOne of the most popular and best fish to start an aquarium. This is the top choice among beginner fish keepers. This beginner tropical fish, vibrant Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) is famous for its striking colors and peaceful nature, Neon Tetras make a wonderful addition to any community aquarium. These small, schooling fish thrive in groups, so it’s best to keep them in shoals of six or more. Neon Tetras are relatively hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water conditions, making them ideal for beginners.

2- Betta Fish

Betta FishWith their stunning, flowing fins and vibrant colors, Betta Fish (Betta splendens) is often referred to as “Siamese Fighting Fish.” This is another best fish to start an aquarium even if it has an aggressive nature towards other males. They can be kept in a solitary setup or in community tanks with compatible tankmates such as peaceful bottom-dwellers or non-nipping schooling fish. Betta Fish is exotic freshwater fish that is relatively low-maintenance and comes in a wide array of colors and fin types, making them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts.

3- Guppy

GuppyThe Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is a small, live-bearing fish that is the best fish to start an aquarium and is suitable for beginner aquarists. Known for their vibrant colors, easy breeding, and peaceful nature, Guppies are a delight to watch. They are highly adaptable, making them suitable for various water conditions. Guppies are also prolific breeders, so be prepared for an increase in population if you choose to keep them.

4- Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras CatfishFor those looking to add some bottom-dwelling fish to their aquarium, Corydoras Catfish is an excellent choice. These small, peaceful catfish are the best fish to start a freshwater tank. They are famous for their playful and social behavior. With their armored bodies and adorable “whiskers,” Corydoras Catfish add a touch of charm to any tank. They are also highly efficient cleaners, keeping the substrate free of debris.

5- Platies

PlatiesPlaties (Xiphophorus maculatus) are another best fish to start an aquarium due to their hardiness and easy-going nature. These beginner tropical fish in a wide range of colors and patterns, Platies are a joy to observe. They are also live-bearers, meaning they give birth to fully formed fry instead of laying eggs. This makes Platies an excellent choice for those interested in witnessing the miracle of birth in their aquarium.

6- Swordtail Fish

Swordtail FishSwordtail Fish (Xiphophorus hellerii) are known for their distinctive “sword-like” tails, which add a unique elegance to any aquarium. This is a great fish for new tank. They are relatively hardy and can adapt to different water conditions. Swordtail Fish are peaceful in nature and can coexist with a variety of tankmates. They are also prolific breeders, so if you have both males and females, you might witness new generations in your tank.

7- Zebra Danio

Zebra DanioZebra Danios (Danio rerio) are small, active fish that bring liveliness to any aquarium. Their black and white stripes give them a unique appearance, making them a popular choice among aquarists. Zebra Danios are incredibly hardy and the best fish to start an aquarium. They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They are also schooling fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups of six or more to ensure their well-being.

8- Cherry Barb

Cherry BarbCherry Barbs (Puntius titteya) are colorful, peaceful fish that add a splash of red to your aquarium. It is the best fish for new tank as small barbs are known for their active nature and compatibility with a variety of tankmates. Cherry Barbs prefer well-planted tanks with plenty of hiding spots. They are relatively hardy and can adapt to various water conditions, making them suitable for beginners.

9- White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain MinnowThe White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes) is a small, peaceful fish that thrives in cooler water temperatures, making it an ideal choice for unheated aquariums. Originating from the White Cloud Mountain area in China, these beginner tropical fish are incredibly hardy and can withstand a wide range of conditions. They are schooling fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups for optimal health and happiness.

10- Mollies

MolliesMollies (Poecilia sphenops) are a popular choice for both freshwater and brackish aquariums. These versatile fish come in various colors and patterns, adding diversity to your tank. Mollies are relatively easy to care for and which is why they are great beginner tropical fish. They can adapt to different water conditions. However, it’s important to note that they are live-bearers and can reproduce quickly, so proper planning is necessary to avoid overcrowding.


In conclusion, selecting the right best fish to start an aquarium is crucial for a successful and enjoyable fishkeeping experience. These ten species mentioned above provide a wide range of options, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. Remember to research each species thoroughly before introducing them to your tank and ensure that your aquarium setup meets their specific needs. Also, these fish have good feeding habits so they can be fed easily. 

By following our expert recommendations and providing optimal care, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving and visually stunning aquatic ecosystem in your home. Enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of your fish and the tranquility they bring to your living space. You can have the best fish for a new tank and start a thriving environment. Follow our blog for the latest pet care tips and tricks and Happy fish keeping!

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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