When setting up your first fish tank you need to do some research to find the best beginner fish for in your new home aquarium. There are hundreds of freshwater aquarium fish to choose from and many of them are not good choices for first time fish keepers. Do some research in books and online to learn about the choices that are available.
Plan a trip to your local fish store and take some time to look at the various types of fish that they have for sale. Don't plan on spending any money but just look and ask questions when someone offers to help you. Carry a piece of paper and a pen with you so you can write down the names of the fish you like to research later.
Each fish has different needs preferences when it comes to water chemistry and temperature. Some fish are peaceful while others are territorial and aggressive. Some like to live alone while others prefer to live in large groups or shoals. Some fish are bottom dwellers, some live in the middle and others are surface dwellers. Good beginner fish are hardy and can live in a wide range of water conditions.
Be sure to find out how big each fish can grow to be. Local fish stores usually sell juvenile aquarium fish so they are always much smaller than what they will be when fully grown. Make sure you tank will provide plenty of swimming space for your fish even when they are full grown.
When you have an idea of what types of fish you like you can then determine if they will live together peacefully or if they are territorial. If they are peaceful you can plan to set up a community tank with a mix of peaceful fish. If they are territorial you more likely will be setting up a species tank with a small group or pair of the same type of fish.
Here is a list of hardy beginner fish for community tanks and for species tanks:
- Zebra Danio
- Leopard Danio
- Scissor Tail Rasbora
- Harlequin Rasbora
- Lemon Tetra
- Black Widow Tetra
- Blue/Opaline/Gold Gourami
- Convict Cichlid
- Firemouth Cichlid
- Green Terror
- Demasoni Cichlid
- Tiger Oscar