10 Great Tropical Fish For Beginners

In Tropical Fishby PaulK


Hey guys today it’s all about the top 10 fish for beginners. Now let’s start off by saying that this is not a ranking. I’m going through 10 different basic fish that I feel are great for beginners because they have attributes that make them easy to keep, benefit your tank and they’re just a great way to get introduced into keeping aquarium fish.
Now, I don’t rank them because it’s really pretty unfair or less relevant to compare a smaller fish that are very shy and timid that you would typically keep in a small tank versus fish that are a little bit larger that go on another type of environment altogether. It’s not all that relevant that’s why we’re not really ranking the fish, just going to go through the top 10 in my opinion that are good for beginners.


Now the number one fish, of course, is one of the founding fish of the tropical fish hobby; the Guppy. This is a great fish for beginners and it’s a livebearer. It reproduces approximately every 30 days, gives you live babies to grow and watch and perhaps expand the hobby. They’re great with live plants and you can keep them in tanks as small as 5 to 10 gallons.

The next group of fish or variety of fish are Swordtails and Platy. I’ve lumped them together because they are livebearers too. They’re very similar in character and Platy you can get them in a variety of different colors like you can Guppies. They come in some interesting shapes and different fin types. You’ve got high fins, lyre tails etc. Same for both Platy and swordtails. These fish are great for keeping your plant leaves clean if you keep them in a little bit bigger of a tank as swordtails get a little bit larger. 20, 30, 35-gallon aquarium type range. They’ll pick on the live plant leaves all day long and actually prevent the growth of algae and so forth by keeping them clean. They’re a great fish to consider and a lot of color and fin varieties to choose from as well.


The Betta is another fish that obviously everybody knows about. No list is complete without Bettas. They’re great for everybody, you can keep them in smaller containers of one to two gallons without any issue at all. Just make sure to change the water on a regular basis and keep them at the right temperature. Their fin colors and fin types are just amazing these days as to what’s available. They breathe out atmospheric air. The males have absolutely gorgeous fins that they display. They’re a really a great option for everybody to consider keeping even if you’re a seasoned pro. It’s always nice to have a small display with a male betta in there.

Danios are another fish that are a very interesting group of fish. There’s a variety of different species. In fact, with Danios, you’ve got some very small species all the way up to some pretty big ones that are three four or five inches long. Those are fast moving fish. They’re very robust, they’re easy to breed and again you have a size range so you have to size your aquarium accordingly but they’re really tough and they’re active. They’re out and about and they’re not shy at all. They’re a great choice for all beginners. Zebra Danio is another standard in the aquarium hobby.

Neon Tetra

The Neon Tetra is another great fish that belong in a school. They’re small, they have stunning colors that rival any marine fish. In fact, they’re totally peaceful, they’re great for a planted tank and again a five-gallon tank is not too small to house a school of six to ten neon tetras.

Cory catfish are a large group of fish. There are quite a few different species of Corydora. They’re totally peaceful, they rummage about the bottom of your tank and they’ll help the filter pick up debris as it releases when they’re rummaging around the bottom. One thing you got to remember about Corydoras is that they really like to be kept in minimum size groups of at least three or four fish. Make sure to use a small fine smooth substrate they don’t like coarse gravel like shark substrate. Make sure they feed properly and stay healthy. A smaller diameter smooth type substrate, so the best sand is generally fine for them.



Rasboras are another interesting group of fish. There are a lot of very hardy species. The typical Harlequin Rasbora is a very hardy fish and schools like the neon tetra. They can go in the same type of tank range as well. They come in various species that are easy to keep. They’re really an attractive fish, easy to feed, and fairly resistant. Another great choice when it comes to keeping fish.
If you want to get fish that are a little bit bigger, we have in the Tetra group, “black tetras.” Super hardy fish that can tolerate temperatures easily to 74-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They like to school but they’re tough. They need to be kept with slightly faster-moving fish that are a little larger like Daniels. These are really really resistant fish.
There’s the classic blue Gourami. The Gouramis again are another large group of fish within the Osphronemidae family. The blue Gouramis belongs in tanks of minimum size 20 to 25 gallons. They get to be a good 3 or 4 inches long. They can be a little bit aggressive sometimes with each other so have maybe one or two in your tank maximum. They’re really hardy. Very interesting fish they move about freely again not a shy fish and they’re really easy to look after.


Last but not least, the Angelfish. The angelfish is a classic fish in the aquarium hobby it’s a very regal fish but it is not a fish that belongs in a smaller tank. You really do need to keep angelfish in a minimum aquarium size of about thirty gallons. It’s a little bit better to use a tank that’s at least 16 inches high or so. They’re a great fish, they’re hardy, and they’re very easy to keep. they’re a cichlid so they will prey on very small fish. You’ve got to be careful about that, but they are a good community fish in general and their shape and variety of colors make them a really good and interesting pick for a community aquarium. They’re tough enough to be a good fish for somebody to start off with.

There you have it. These 10 fish offer a great variety to choose from and get you started in the right direction in your aquarium hobby. As usual, leave any comments below if you have questions or what has been your experience with these tropical fish.


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