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9 of the Best Types of Fish for Beginners

If you’re diving into the world of aquarium pets, you have a lot to look forward to. Aquarium fish are beautiful, interesting and many make great beginner pets, although contrary to popular belief, aquariums are not a low maintenance pet because they require daily, weekly, and monthly care. Hundreds of different species and varieties of fish are available to buy, but some are harder to take care of than others. Some fish are better for beginners or those just getting started.

Why Do Fish Make Good Pets?

  • They’re Calming - The sound of trickling water and the fact that fish don’t make noise make these pets very calming to watch as they enjoy their environment.
  • Fish are Diverse - There are so many different types of aquarium fish. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors.
  • Aquariums Are Beautiful - Aquariums are amazing to look at. They make beautiful additions to any home.
  • They are fascinating to watch – Most fish have very interesting behavior when they are settled into their aquarium. Some species will even reproduce making baby fish called “fry”.
  • Fulfilling Hobby – Creating an aquatic environment that mimics a natural habitat is a rewarding and creative way to express yourself.
  •  Encourages Learning – Creating an aquatic ecosystem can be challenging. But learning how to properly set up and care for aquatic pets is a fun experience that comes with new knowledge that can be applied in many other areas of life. 

9 of the Best Fish for Beginners:

  1. Some Types of Tetras: There are many different varieties of tetras. Most species of these colorful fish are easy-going and are considered hardy fish, like the Glow-light tetra.
  2. Rasboras – Rasboras are small schooling fish that do great in a beginner aquarium because they are hardy.
  3. Danios - These active fish love to swim around. They do well in large groups with other danios because they are schooling fish. They are very hardy and are great for beginners.
  4. White Cloud Mountain Minnows – These small beautiful fish are perfect to start a new aquarium. They are schooling and look great in groups of 5 or more.
  5. Swordtails – Swordtails are small colorful fish that are great for beginners. The males have a long pointy tail fin.
  6. Platies: Platies are a docile fish that are easy to care for. They come in many different colors and can all live together.
  7. Mollies: Mollies are another great beginner fish. They’re simple to care for and come in a variety of colors. But the males can sometimes be aggressive towards the females and other males, so be sure to keep a close eye on them and be prepared to remove any that are being too mean.
  8. Cory Catfish – Cory cats are a hardy bottom feeding catfish that do great in a beginner community aquarium. They are very social and prefer to be in groups of 3 or more of the same kind.
  9. Betta Fish: Bettas are one of the most popular pet fish of all time. An important thing to know about betta fish is that they need a tank with an aquarium filter and heater and won’t do well in a bowl. Bettas should be limited to one per tank. When it comes to male vs female betta fish, males can be more territorial. 

No matter what fish you decide to get and start your first aquarium with, there are a few important things to remember.

First, do your research to figure out what conditions are needed for your pet to thrive. Get the right size fish tank, the right aquarium substrate, a good tank filter, the right fish food and all of the other fish supplies you’ll need to set up the perfect home. A great place for beginners to start is with a pet fish starter kit. These have most of the essentials for setting up your first fish tank.

Second, learn what types of fish can and can’t live together. Some types of fish are territorial and might not get along in the same tank. Also, you need to learn how to keep your new pet fish and their water healthy. Water quality plays the most important role in their care. 

There are a lot of things that you need to know to be successful when keeping fish as pets, but once you learn how to properly care for them, they are amazing! 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 


What is the easiest pet to take care of? 

Fish that are great for beginners and easy to learn to take care of include some types of Tetras, Rasboras, Danios, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Swordtails, Plaites, Mollies, Cory Catfish and Betta Fish. 


What is the most low maintenance fish?

Great pets for beginners that can be relatively low maintenance include some Tetras, Rasboras, Danios, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Swordtails, Plaites, Mollies, Cory Catfish and Betta Fish. 


How many fish should a beginner have? 

When you’re just starting out, it is best to limit the number of fish you have to no more than 3 until you get the hang of things and really know what you’re doing. 


Information in this article isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and isn't a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.