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Starter Fish For Beginners: 9 Best Recommendations 

Starter Fish For Beginners

Starter Fish For Beginners

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The success of an aquarium depends on which type of fish you as a beginner choose for your new aquarium. It is very overwhelming for a beginner fish keeper to choose the starter fish. At that point, every colorful species looks attractive. 

We completely understood it and had gone through this kind of phase of fishkeeping. So, from our personal experience, we want to recommend some colorful but beginner-friendly starter fish for your new aquarium. 

The primary speciality of these fish is they are very much hardy, and friendly and need very low maintenance. So if you are going through a busy schedule week after week then also these fish can thrive by getting minimum requirements. 

So without wasting much time let’s dive deep into the topic and know about 9 top starter fish beginners. 

Best 9 starter fish for beginners fishkeepers 

1. Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

You may have heard about tetras. They are very popular among fishkeepers because of their characteristics. There are hundreds of types of tetras available in the world. However, as a starter fish, you must focus on neon tetra only. 

We recommend neon tetras because of their color combination. They are freshwater fish native to the Amazon basin in South America. Up to four centimeters long, this fish is an attractive fish to keep in a low-planted aquarium or black water aquarium. 

Neon Tetra fish are very calm so any beginner who wants to keep this fish in their aquarium can easily keep this fish and be able to take care of it.

Neon Tetra can easily be kept in an aquarium that holds 10 gallons of water at 72 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish are omnivores so there is no need to worry about food. These fish eat mostly flake food. An easy way to take care of them is to keep them in groups. At least 6 neon tetras do well in a nano tank.

Read More:- Neon Tetra Tank Mates: 10 Best Picks For You

2. Fancy Guppy 


Like neon tetras, you can choose fancy guppies for your new aquarium. However, you must know the types of guppies and their price before purchasing. Otherwise, you may be cheated.

Guppies are one of the best starter fish for first-time aquarium fish keepers. These fish are very attractive due to their colorful and well-shaped tails. Red-colored guppies look the most attractive among this species of fish. 

These fish are quite small in size and males are smaller than females. Guppies do not need a very large aquarium. You can keep these fish in a small aquarium on your bookshelf or your table and only need a little decoration in the aquarium.

These fish are not too expensive, They prefer to eat very cheap flakes. They are omnivorous and can survive by eating small aquatic insects. You don’t have to spend a lot of time taking care of them. However, they breed often so keep eyes on them if you keep males & females together.

Read More:- 10 Best Tank Mates Of Guppy: Choose According To Tank Size

3. Goldfish 

Comet Goldfish

Goldfish are the ideal fish for the aquarium for those who want to keep fish for the first time. Almost 90% of the fish keepers start their first aquarium with goldfish. This fish is very easy to maintain. Goldfish live a long time if properly cared for.

Goldfish are very attractive to look at. In ancient times, people gave goldfish to their relatives as a gift. If you keep two or three goldfish in your aquarium, you don’t have to spend time chasing them, they will play by themselves. They are very calm and non-aggressive so you can keep two or three goldfish (according to Feng Shui, one should be black in color) together. 

They don’t need to be fed frequently, they are happy if you feed them at least two to three times a day. They like to feed flakes.

One thing you have to be careful about is that the tank has a strong filter. Goldfish create a huge amount of bioload and that makes the water foul. So a medium-sized aquarium (40-gallon) is good for two goldfish with a good filter. 

Read More:- Tank Mates of Goldfish: 9 Best Picks for Beginners

4. Betta Fish 

Blue dragon scale betta

If you are fond of nano aquariums then betta fish is the ideal fish for you. Betta fish are very popular because of their colors and characteristics. People keep betta and train them like a dog. 

These fish are not very expensive and you can take care of them at less cost. Betta fish just need an aquarium that holds 5 gallons of water. Is it amazing for a beginner right? 

This slender-bodied fish with a colorful tail is beautiful enough to enhance the aquarium. You don’t have to feed these fish frequently, just feeding them at least once a day is enough. 

They prefer to live in warm water so don’t keep them in cold water anyhow. However, you have to check the fluctuation of water temperature also. You don’t need to change the water frequently, just change the water once every 3 or 5 days. However, it depends on what filter you use and the tank size.  

Read More:- Types of Betta Fish: 7 Popular Patterns with Pictures

5. Platies 


If an inexperienced aquarist wants to keep platyfish in his aquarium, then there is nothing to fear, this is an ideal fish for him. This fish needs very low maintenance like guppies. These tropical freshwater fish are very beautiful, small, and brightly colored. The specialty color of this fish is a pale yellow, and red-orange. Platy fish have no distinct lateral fins.

The male platy fish grow up to 1.5 inches long in size and the females grow up to 2 inches long. So you can easily distinguish them by observing their size. 

Caring for them is very easy as they are peaceful fish. If properly cared for, they can live up to three to four years. They grow well and are healthy if the water temperature is between 80 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Platies thrive well in a planted tank. You can keep them in a small tank that contains not more than 10-gallon of water. They will live well in this aquarium with their tank mates (Guppy, Goldfish).

6. Harlequin Rasbora 

harleyquin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora is another best starter fish for beginners. This orange-colored fish has dark blue or black spots from the middle of the body to the tail. It looks so fascinating. 

Caring for these fish is very easy and they love to live in a natural environment and clear water. They are active swimmers so you need to provide enough swimming place in the tank. A heavily planted tank isn’t good for a shoal of harlequin rasboras. 

This fish prefers slow-moving water. A tank that holds 10 gallons of water is sufficient for harlequin fish. There is no problem if you keep 6-8 harlequin rasboras in your aquarium although it will give your aquarium endless beauty. 20 to 25% of the water should be changed every week to maintain water quality. Despite being a hardy fish harlequin rasboras are prone to disease so the tank should be kept clean all the time.

7. Black Molly 

Black molly

If you are fond of black-colored fish then black molly can be a starter fish for you. Black mollies are a very popular type of molly. It is very easy to care for, so aquarists like this fish very well for their aquarium. 

They are not aggressive, but playful in nature. These fish thrive in groups. If you want to build a low-planted tank then black mollies should be the starter fish of that tank. They will look very much eye-catching.  

These fish are not expensive. Feeding at least once or twice a day is required for them. The black molly fish grow up to 5 inches long. However, there are other types of mollies available in the market also. You can try red molly, balloon molly, dalmatian molly, white molly, etc.

Read More:- Types of Mollies: Choose from 8 Most Popular One

8. Bolivian ram 

Bolivian Ram

If you want to keep cichlids then Bolivian ram are the starter fish that you can consider. Caring for Bolivian ram is not very difficult, they are perfect for beginners as a cichlid. This fish has a very strong body & they do not get sick easily.

They need at least a 20-gallon tank to thrive. The water temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees F will be best for them and it helps them to stay healthy.

They are omnivores and will eat almost anything you give them. They prefer to eat brine shrimp and flakes. They are very peaceful but active and do not show aggressive behavior so an aquarist can be very friendly with them.

9. Electric blue ram 

electric blue ram

There is another small cichlid that you can consider as a starter fish. It is named Electric blue ram. It is recommended for beginners like Bolivian ram cichlids. 

If you want to keep them happy & healthy a pair of electric rams is enough. They can be kept in a 20-gallon aquarium, while two pairs will require at least a 30-40-gallon tank. Furthermore, more water means it’s easier for you to keep water quality high and stable. 

This fish is famous for its stunning body color. In a green-planted tank, this blue-colored fish looks amazing. Both of these colors contrast each other. This fish is an omnivore. So you don’t need to give any special type of food to them. 

The stress of moving to a new environment can cause the fish to lose its appetite, so be prepared to feed it with mosquito larvae or similar types of live food. 

However, electric blue rams should not be kept in new aquariums. Keep them in a stable environment with low levels of organic waste. 

Final Thoughts 

After a long discussion, you have got an idea about the top 9 starter fish for a new aquarium. All of them are beginner friendly and hardy. 

However, if you want to know our personal recommendation then we would tell you to start with goldfish. It is a very good beginner-friendly starter fish. They are conventional aquarium fish too. 

If you prefer small-sized fish then guppies & mollies can be suitable. You can build a community tank also with them. 

For a nano tank, betta would be the ideal choice. They are hardy and don’t need much attention to keep. However, the more you play with a betta, the more they will become playful. One factor you must remember is that no other fish should not be kept with a betta. 

Best of luck and happy fish-keeping.

Read More:- 11 Most Popular Freshwater Aquarium Fish With A Recommendation

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