Last update: August 8, 2023

Top 10 Aquarium Fish For Beginners – Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Started

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Setting up an aquarium is an exciting journey, and choosing the right fish to populate it can make all the difference. For beginners, it’s crucial to start with fish that are hardy, adaptable, and relatively easy to care for.

In this article, we present a comprehensive list of the top 10 aquarium fish that are perfect for those new to the world of fishkeeping. These fish not only bring color and life to your tank but also provide an enjoyable and stress-free experience.

Aquarium Fish For Beginners

Join us as we explore these fascinating aquatic creatures, their unique characteristics, and invaluable insights to ensure a successful and fulfilling aquarium journey.

1. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

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Guppies are one of the most popular choices for beginner aquarium enthusiasts. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, adding a vibrant display to your tank. Guppies are hardy, adaptable to various water conditions, and can thrive in community setups.

2. Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)

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Platies are peaceful and easygoing fish that come in various colors, from bright oranges to subtle pastels. They are known for their playful nature and are great for community tanks. With minimal care requirements, platies are an excellent choice for beginners.

3. Swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii)

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Swordtails are striking fish with their elongated tails resembling a sword. They are active swimmers and can tolerate a range of water conditions. Keep in mind that they prefer a bit more space, so a larger tank is ideal.

4. Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)

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Mollies are known for their elegant fins and interesting behavior. They thrive in slightly brackish water conditions, making them a unique addition to a beginner’s tank. Mollies are social fish that enjoy the company of their kind.

5. Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

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Neon tetras are small, schooling fish that add a beautiful pop of color to any aquarium. They are peaceful and get along well with other non-aggressive fish. Neon tetras prefer soft and slightly acidic water conditions.

6. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras species)

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These bottom-dwelling catfish are excellent tank cleaners and come in various species, each with distinct patterns. Corydoras catfish are social creatures and should be kept in groups. They are known for their amusing antics and can help maintain a clean substrate.

7. Betta Fish (Betta splendens)

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Betta fish, often called Siamese fighting fish, are known for their striking fins and vibrant colors. While males should be kept alone due to their territorial nature, they are relatively easy to care for and can thrive in smaller tanks.

8. Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

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Zebra danios are energetic and hardy fish that can tolerate a range of water conditions. Their black and white striped pattern adds visual interest to your tank. They are excellent for beginners who want active swimmers in their aquarium.

9. White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)

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These small, peaceful fish are perfect for cold-water setups and are ideal for beginners. Their shimmering silver and white bodies create a serene and tranquil display in the tank.

10. Plecos (Hypostomus plecostomus)

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Commonly known as plecos or sucker-mouth catfish, these fish are appreciated for their algae-eating abilities. They help maintain clean glass and decorations in the aquarium. However, keep in mind that some species can grow quite large, so research the specific type before purchasing.


Choosing the right fish for your aquarium is an important decision, especially for beginners. The top 10 fish listed above are known for their hardiness, adaptability, and relatively simple care requirements.

Whether you’re looking to create a vibrant community tank or a serene aquatic environment, these fish will add beauty and excitement to your fishkeeping journey.

Remember to research each species thoroughly and provide them with the appropriate tank conditions to ensure their long and healthy lives in your aquarium.

Ian Sterling

I've been keeping fish for over 30 years and currently have 4 different aquariums – it's an addiction. I'm here to teach you everything there is to know about fishkeeping.

I also use this site as an excuse to spend lots of money on testing and reviewing different aquarium products! You can find my reviews here.

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