It is arguable that pets are better companions than human beings- they won’t argue with you, they won’t leave you for someone else,and they don’t care what you look like at any time of the day. Whether this is your first pet since your childhood goldfish or if you just have no time to look after a pet that needs walks and will shed fur everywhere, a tropical fish will be perfect for you. Tropical fishes are fish that live in waters near the Equator, regardless of whether they are freshwater, saltwater or euryhaline (fish that can live in both saltwater and freshwater) fish. The phrase ‘tropical fish’ may sound intimidating, especially to people who have absolutely no experience in keeping pets- and these fears are not entirely unfounded, as some breeds of fishes require a lot of individual attention and care. Worry not, however, because here is a list of the best tropical fish to start with and all the tips you need to know to start your aquarium.

Tips For Beginner Fish Tank Owners

The first thing a fish owner should know is that most fish are more comfortable in a more substantial tank with more space to swim in. A fish tank should contain at least ten gallons (about 40 liters) of water, so instead of a tiny fishbowl, owners should prepare a space for a more extensive fish tank. The reason for this is because smaller fish tanks allow for more sudden temperature changes, as lesser water would be able to lose or gain heat easier than large amounts of water. Besides that, too little water in the tank will also not be enough to dilute the fishes’ waste for the filter to work correctly. Both of these reasons and much more are why beginner fish tanks should be at least ten gallons, and that smaller fish tanks should be left to more experienced fish owners. For the species of fish that are smaller in size, such as Neon Tetras, Fancy Guppies, and Corydoras, a tank of about ten gallons should be enough for a handful of these fish. For more significant fish such as Catfish and Pearl Gourami, however, a more massive tank would be preferred, say, a tub of about forty to fifty gallons should be sufficient.

Fish owners should also take into account the fact that the fish species chosen to live in the same tank will play a significant role in the survival of all fishes. Instead of buying fish based on their appearance, as many fish owners tend to do, there are several other factors to consider before buying a tank full of fish, including whether they can get along. Among the few more important factors is the ability of the fish to adapt to different tank conditions. Typically, at the beginning stages of owning an aquarium, the requirements of the aquarium may prove to be very stressful and even fatal for most fishes, even tough ones. For this reason, new fish tanks should be cycled before fish are added into them, and even then, only the more robust fishes should be put into the container. Danios, Tetras, and Swordtails are all hardy small fish that can, to an extent, withstand slight changes in temperature and nitrogen levels.

Common Household Fish

There are some fish that are considered to be more suitable for beginners than others, for a multitude of reasons, from having simple dieting habits to being peaceful, passive fish. Among the more popular species of fish are Tetras, Danios, and Guppies.


Tetras are freshwater fishes, and, it beingcommon pets, several different species of tetras can be found at once in most pet shops. Tetras are a schooling species, so an owner looking to get Tetras must settle for six or more, or else the Tetras can get nippy and bad-tempered. These fishes can come in a range of colors, patterns,and sizes, so it depends on what kind of a fish tank environment the owner has and wants that’s suitable for different Tetras. As for food, Tetras accept any tropical fish flakes and any frozen or dried fish food. Neon Tetras, for instance, are one of the more popular species of tetras and are a great way to add some dazzle to your tank. Red Belly Pacus (A different species of Tetras), on the other hand, can grow to be huge fish, so avoid getting these if your tank is too small.


Another common fish species for beginner aquarists is Danios. Danios are usually peaceful fish, who, like the Tetras, can come in all sorts of sizes and colors. Danios are also schooling fish, so it’s best to keep them in schools of six or more. Best suited for lower temperatures, these fishes are perfect for unheated tanks and require a tank of at least ten gallons for the smaller Danio species. More abundant species of this fish would needa largercontainer of about forty to fifty gallons. Zebra Danios and Pearl Danios are all popular species of Danios. Beware, however, if you have fish with flowing fins in your tank, as these active Danios would find ways to nip other fishes’ flowing fins.


Lastly, Guppies are also recommended for beginner fish owners, as they are quite easy to care. Guppies feed on algae and brine shrimp but would eat almost everything, being omnivorous creatures. These fishes come in many different flashy colors and patterns, so owners can have the liberty of choosing the type of Guppy they want for their tank. Beware, however, as Guppies are livebearers, and when both males and females are put in a container together, there will be many baby Guppies popping up soon. If this isn’t something you want for your tank, then it is advisable just to get males or females.

All in all, fishes are great pets and can be easy to care for if the owner takes the initiative to understand what different species of fish need to live a long and stress-free life. The mentioned species above are among the best tropical fish to start with, as their feeding habits are quite simple, and are peaceful tank mates even with fishes of other species.