Are you looking for the best freshwater community fish? Check out our analysis below!
Cory Catfish (Corydoras genus)
Corydoras is a small catfish genus with several varieties available in the aquarium hobby. Cory catfish sometimes regarded as one of the best beginner fish. They’re not only simple to hold, but they’re also simple to pair with other fish. They won’t annoy their tankmates because of their friendly disposition. Their whole body plates also shield them from nips and inquisitive fish. There’s a reason they’re called armed catfish.
What you’re searching for in a Cory catfish variety determines which one fits well in your aquarium. When it comes to aquatic décor, cory catfish aren’t picky, but they do enjoy some protection in the form of plants and hides. Ensure they held on any substrate that might damage their fragile barbels, such as sharp gravel. Sand is suitable because it helps the fish burrow and forages as they will in their natural habitat. This makes them one of the best freshwater community fish.
Oto Catfish (Otocinclus genus)
Otocinclus is a species of small catfish that is just as peaceful as it comes. And juvenile dwarf shrimp are expected to be healthy in their presence, so you won’t see this animal bothering its tankmates. The Oto catfish diet, which is almost entirely vegetarian and feeds on algae and biofilm, is the primary reason for its laid-back demeanor.
If you want to keep Otocinclus in your aquarium, keep in mind that they need specialized treatment to survive. These catfish are exceptionally delicate, and they die if the water quality isn’t up to standards. You’ll need to keep an eye on your water levels at all times and perform sluggish water adjustments daily. It’s also a smart thing to stop tankmates that are boisterous or too assertive. Consider cultivating algae in a different tank or pool to ensure a steady supply.
Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
The classic neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) is a standard option for new fishkeepers. The genus is one of the most well-known among non-aquarium owners. However, when it comes to more seasoned aquarists, it happens to be a different matter. Neons are so typical that many people inevitably avoid them, which is a shame because they are lovely and well-behaved animals!
Neon tetras are easy to care for and would thrive in a communal aquarium. You don’t have any bigger fish that consider their smaller tankmates a tasty snack. Maintain a school of at least six, but preferably ten or more specimens so that the fish feel protected and you can completely understand their actions and colors.
Plant the tank to provide shelter, and try using leaf litter to color the water to mimic the neon tetra’s natural environment. The Neon Tetra is one of the best freshwater community fish.
Blackskirt Tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
The black skirt tetra is for those who like tetras but don’t want something too traditional (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi). With its coin-like body outline and striking black anal fin, this species stands out. If held in a reasonably sized group (ideally 8 or more fish), it’s quite the eyecatcher! To give the party enough room to walk about, choose an aquarium that is at least 20 gallons deep.
Many aquarium fish without long, flowing fins get along well with black skirt tetras. Many of the fish on this page are excellent options. The species often used as a companion to larger cichlids. The appearance of a smaller dither fish makes the cichlids feel safer because it signals that the water is clear.
Black skirts aren’t too demanding when it comes to water values and tank décor. They do prefer mild, acidic environments, such as the ones they usually inhabit. Grow lots of tall trees in the aquarium, try floating plants, or even staining the water to screen out some of the suns. Make sure you leave plenty of space for swimming, as this species is very active.
Bristlenose Plecos (Ancistrus genus)
If you’re thinking about keeping a traditional or sailfin Pleco, think twice. Even though these catfish are exciting additions to your tank, many of the ‘Pleco’ fish sold in your nearest aquarium shop outgrow it before you know it. Consider the smaller Ancistrus species, which only grows taller than 6″ and is therefore much more manageable.
Hold bristlenose Plecos in a tank with a minimum volume of 30 gallons. Even though these catfish don’t grow very big, they do contain much waste. If you have them in a smaller tank, the water quality quickly deteriorates! Tankmates aren’t a big deal because the animal is brutal and blends in well with its surroundings.
Keep in mind that, despite their reputation as algae eaters, Ancistrus are true omnivores. To keep your bristle nose Pleco(s) well, feed them a mix of bottom feeder capsules, fresh veggies, and frozen foods. These fish are one of the best freshwater community fish.
Marbled Hatchetfish (Carnegiella strigata)
One insect that won’t damage a fly is the timid marbled hatchet fish (Carnegiella strigata). These unusually shaped fish spend almost all of their time at the water’s surface. It generally attracts tiny insects when passing for a floating leaf. It’s fascinating to see, and it’s a fantastic choice for your quiet neighborhood.
Since marbled hatchet fish are shy, you’ll need to choose tankmates that won’t bother them. Keep the hatchets surrounded by enough of their species to make them feel safe.
If you want to hold the marbled hatchet fish, your tank should be at least 20 gallons (long). Water that is soft and acidic is best, and since this species lives in the top water layer, water flow cannot be too high. Ensure the tank has a tight-fitting lid with no gaps: hatchet fish are infamous jumpers who have acquired the potential to ‘fly’ out of the water in the event of danger.
If the tank does not have a hood, hatchet fish keepers sometimes complain about having their fish dried up on the bottom. If it does, you’ll probably hear a shocked hatchet fish striking the plastic or glass daily, which luckily doesn’t appear to bother the fish.
Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)
For as long as anyone can recall, the highly active Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) has become a favorite aquarium hobby. This ornamentally striped species is extremely hardy, making it an excellent choice for beginners and those looking for a manageable fish. It’s also a very calming place. Avoid tankmates with long fins, but otherwise, you have complete freedom!
Since zebra Danios like to run around, it’s safer to have them in a tank of at least 20 gallons of water (long). Attempt to catch a school of at least six trout. Plant along the tank’s sides to provide shelter, but make sure there’s enough open space for the fish to swim around as they will typically.
Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
Harlequin rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha, also known as Rasbora heteromorpha) are common among new and experienced aquarists. This simple species can found in nearly any aquarium shop. It’s an excellent pick for quiet neighborhood tanks with other fun species like most of the ones on this page. Just stay away from any fish that might consume a rasbora, as they are skinny.
With a maximum size of just 1.8″, this little schooling fish doesn’t need a big tank. A tank with a capacity of 15 gallons (long) or more should be sufficient to house a group of about 10 people. However, we would still choose something more significant: a collection of 20 or more species of any freshwater fish in a large tank is a sight to behold.
Slow-moving streams with aquatic vegetation and stained water are the preferred home of the harlequin rasbora. Use lots of tall plants and a coat of leaf litter on the tank’s bottom to replicate this in your aquarium. Don’t be concerned if you can’t see the fish well. When the water is darker, and there are lots of hides available, they display better colors.
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
The tiger barb (Puntius titteya), a common aquarium fish due to its striped pattern and hardiness, is also a notorious fin nipper when housed in aquariums groups. However, not all barbs are nippy. In reality, there are a few species of fish that are perfect for a population. Each of them is the lovely rosy-colored cherry barb (Puntius titteya).
Cherry barbs can mix with almost all other peaceful animals. They can tolerate various water values as long as the water is clean and the tank cycles. Since they are shoaling fish, hold them in a group of at least six people.
Like many other species on this list, the cherry barb prefers to live in dense foliage areas and perhaps leaf litter, darkening the water. The water flow in these ecosystems can vary from low to moderate. The barb is one of the best freshwater community fish.
Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
The shy dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius) is a fine choice for a quiet addition to the topwater layer of a relaxed group aquarium. These lively fish often avoid by aquarists who believe they are too aggressive. However, they thrive in groups if tankmates are carefully selected.
The most critical thing in keeping your dwarf gourami happy and stable is a calm climate. That means avoiding heavy water flow, using floating plants to dim the tank lights, and avoiding overbearing neighbors. Fish that are bright and boisterous are not a safe option. Small schooling species like the harlequin rasbora or bottom feeders like kuhli loaches are options.