Top Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Starting a freshwater aquarium can be an exciting and rewarding experience but also overwhelming for beginners. With so many different species of fish to choose from, it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve compiled this guide to the top freshwater fish for beginners. Whether you’re looking for a low-maintenance fish or one full of personality, we’ve got you covered.

Top Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Betta Fish

Betta, or Siamese fighting fish, is famous for beginner aquarium owners. They’re low-maintenance and don’t require a lot of space, making them perfect for small tanks. Betta fish come in various colors and are known for their long, flowing fins. They’re also quite hardy and can tolerate multiple water conditions.


Guppies are another popular choice for beginners. They’re small, colorful, and easy to care for. They also breed quickly so that you can build a colony in your tank. Guppies come in various colors and patterns, making them a fun and colorful addition to any aquarium.

Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are popular schooling fish that are easy to care for. They’re known for their bright blue and red coloring, which can add a pop of color to your aquarium. Neon tetras are peaceful and get along well with other fish, so they’re a great addition to a community tank.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras catfish are popular bottom-dwelling fish that are perfect for beginners. They’re small and peaceful and do a great job of cleaning up leftover food and debris on the bottom of your tank. Corydoras catfish are also hardy and can tolerate various water conditions.


Platies are another colorful and easy-to-care-for fish that are perfect for beginners. They come in various colors and patterns, are peaceful, and get along well with other fish. Platies are also hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to starting a freshwater aquarium, there are a few common mistakes that beginners should avoid. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t overstock your tank. Overcrowding can lead to poor water quality and stress on your fish.
  • Don’t add too many fish at once. Adding too many fish too quickly can cause a spike in ammonia and nitrite levels, harming your fish.
  • Don’t forget to cycle your tank. Cycling your tank helps to establish a healthy ecosystem for your fish.

Read More: How to Take Care of Gold Fish

FAQs About Freshwater Fish

Q: How many fish can I add to my tank?

A: It depends on the size of your tank and the size of the fish. Generally, you should aim for one inch of fish per gallon of water.

Q: Do I need a filter for my aquarium?

A: A filter is essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem in your tank. The filter helps remove waste and debris from the water, which can harm your fish.

Q: How often do I need to clean my aquarium?

A: You should aim to do a partial water change once a week and a complete water change once a month. You should also regularly clean the filter and substrate to maintain a healthy ecosystem.


In conclusion, starting a freshwater aquarium can be a fun and rewarding experience; choosing the right fish is an integral part of that process. By selecting one of the top freshwater fish for beginners, such as betta fish, guppies, neon tetras, corydoras catfish, or plates, you can ensure that you have a low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for fish that will thrive in your aquarium.

Just remember to avoid common mistakes like overstocking your tank, forgetting to cycle it, and keeping up with regular maintenance like partial water changes and filter cleaning. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and healthy freshwater aquarium that you can enjoy for years.