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Fish for beginners

maintenance, care, compatibility

Deciding what kind of fish to start first in your tank can be sudden, and can be thought out. Unfortunately, novice aquarists are often guided by the very first impulse, completely without understanding the fish. And then, instead of joy and pleasure, they get a headache and problems.

You need to choose the fish wisely, because their life and your comfort depend on your choice. Before you go to the store or to the market, study all the available information about the fish that you liked.

What kind of fish is not worth buying for beginners, we have considered here. And the top 10 unusual fish here.

And in order to make it easier for you to navigate, we have compiled a list of the best aquarium fish for beginners and briefly described them. All of them are distinguished by unpretentiousness, tolerance to conditions in an aquarium, peaceful nature, livableness and modest size.

We hope that it will help make your choice easier!

Of course, this is an incomplete list, and after thinking it can be increased significantly. But the task was to acquaint beginner aquarists.

Beginners, I recommend first to learn all about the fish that you liked, and choose first of all hardy, easy-care, and peaceful fish that get along well with others in the general aquarium.
And experienced ask for your thoughts about the fish, which they consider simple, in the comments below. I am sure many beginners will thank you for it.

Danio rerio is a small (up to 5-6 cm), elegant fish. For its small size, peaceful disposition and unpretentiousness, it has earned great popularity in aquarium.

Since this is a schooling fish, it is better to keep at least 5-6 individuals. The aquarium can be planted with plants, but it is important that the danios have free space for swimming near the surface, as this is a very mobile fish. If you are going to have a veil form, do not plant them with fish that may tear off fins, for example, with a Sumatran barbus.

The aquarium should be closed, as danios can jump out of the water.

Omnivorous, they eat any kind of feed – branded, live, frozen. It is better to feed them with flakes, as they pick up food from the surface of the water and they don’t collect them for a long time without sinking.

It is very easy to breed danios, for once the female lays from 200 to 500 eggs.

Fishes belong to the same genus – labyrinth. These fish live in water that is poor in oxygen and adapted to this by learning to breathe oxygen from the surface. You will see how they rise to it, to take another breath of air.

Small, peaceful, males are very brightly colored, and their ventral fins have turned into long processes. You can feed any feed, including floating.

Only give the moth with care and a little, it is poorly digested.

Already after the publication of the article, my readers corrected. The essence – liliaus can be difficult for beginners (he is just a little flaky and jealous of females). I agree, and add that there is another wonderful fish of the same kind – gourami.

There are many types, but for beginners a good choice would be marble gourami. Very hardy, peaceful, of unusual shape and color. It is generally similar to lyalius, but larger and less demanding.

So you can stop at this gorgeous fish, and start up a little later.

Peaceful, small fish, the males of which have a very bright color, for which they got their name. This is a schooling fish, so to keep a cherry barb is better from 5 pieces. But you will notice that he keeps loosely, gathering in a flock only in case of fright.

The size of the cherry barb is small, the color of the males is bright red and very noticeable, the requirements for the content are low. This is a good fish to mention on our list.

A pair of cherry barbs

The aquarium is a mysterious and beautiful underwater kingdom in your home, a whole world in miniature. Its inhabitants are ideal pets, their care is simple. They do not make noise, do not require regular walks and do not litter, and, moreover, are very beautiful.

But, if you decide to lodge these wonderful pets, arm yourself with knowledge. Aquarium fish for beginners are popular and unpretentious, but this does not mean that they are less effective and interesting than their more capricious counterparts.


Do not think that only expensive, capricious in the content of the fish look really impressive. There are many breeds that even a novice can easily take care of, but they are no less beautiful and interesting than rare and difficult to maintain exotic ones.

Beautiful, interesting fish, the main feature of which is the way of breathing. The fact is that under the gills they have a pattern of winding grooves, resembling a maze (hence the name).

In these voids they can accumulate air bubbles, capturing them from the surface. Labyrinths live in nature in oxygen-poor bodies of water, so they can live and feel great in a poorly aerated, if not aerated aquarium, there would be a sufficient amount of water. Easy care.

The advantages of their content is that, in principle, they practically do not need equipment – even without an aerator and a heater, they are excellent.

  • Gourami – quite large (some reach 15 cm) fish of exquisite marble or speckled colors. Unpretentious to feed and undemanding to the quality of water, peaceful, have a rather high intelligence and interesting habits. It is best to feel a couple or a small bunch, but they can live alone. Get along well with most pets. In a tight, overcrowded aquarium, the males can become quite aggressive.
  • Cockerel – bright, beautiful fish with luxurious, lush fins. The most common colors are ink blue and bright red. The ideal inhabitant for a small aquarium, as they can aggressively behave towards other residents and live well alone. It is better not to put artificial plants in the dwelling of the rooster, plastic plants – their luxurious “plumage” is easily damaged by hard material.

Popular schooling fish with interesting habits, lively character. Caring for them is elementary, but, unfortunately, to peaceful inhabitants they can show aggression.

For keeping in an aquarium with different residents, cherry barbs are best suited – they are the most peaceful. These are small bright red fish (especially bright color in males), with a dense but slender body.

They are gregarious inhabitants and feel one by one badly.

Unusual pets that are good for their exotic appearance, but most importantly – very useful. Many catfish eat algae, which overgrow the walls of the home pond and leaves, and all actively clean the bottom from fallen pieces of food and vegetation, preventing organic matter from rotting and spoiling the water.

When starting a catfish, keep in mind that some species grow very quickly and to unbelievable sizes. For a small amount of water, choose miniature forms of pets.

  • Antsitrus – catfish cleaner. His mouth is in the form of a sucker, with which he removes fouling from all surfaces of the reservoir. These are hardworking fish of unusual shape, with exquisite dark speckled coloring. It grows up to 15 cm in length, so it is quite suitable for a small aquarium.
  • Corridors or speckled catfish – small (up to 5-7 cm in length) fish of light golden color with dark gray, with mother of pearl, spots. There are other colors. School, mobile, very charming fish, quite unpretentious in the content.

The choice of the first pets and the preparation of housing for them should be taken responsibly. Remember that you do not start fish – you start an aquarium, a piece of living aquatic environment in which each factor is significant for the entire system.

Aquaria is a fascinating hobby, and in order not to be disappointed in it from the first steps, there is no need to hurry, but it is worthwhile to approach the choice deliberately and seriously.

Lit up with the idea to start your own aquarium, many of us imagine it to be full of spectacular exotic fish. But practice shows that not all types of fish are suitable for inexperienced aquarists.

So who can you choose for your first aquarium?


Perhaps the most popular aquarium fish for beginners are unpretentious. guppy . These bright fish are undemanding to the composition of the water in the aquarium and the quality of food. Guppies multiply quickly, they can be kept in a specific aquarium, where they will be protected from the aggression of other fish species.

Swordtails , non-picky to the form of food, for one or two weeks can do without it at all, feeding on algal growths and small snails. The optimal water temperature for swordtails is 24-26 °, but they tolerate lower values.

Aquarium fish Molly, or mollies, of which black is best suited to beginner aquarists, are virtually omnivorous. But of particular importance for their food has fiber.

Comfortable most of all they live in aquariums, rich in vegetation.

Movable petilia They also prefer overgrown aquariums, but they need free space for maneuvers in the central part. The water in their aquarium should be refreshed every week, and adding salt to the water will have a beneficial effect on the health of the placium.


Another small fish suitable for beginner aquarium owners – cardinal . She prefers medium-sized live food and water with a temperature of 18-22 °, while being unpretentious to the parameters of this water, brisk and hardy.

A small flock of fast-moving danios can be kept even in banks with a capacity of two liters. But even in a large aquarium with other species, these fish will find a common language due to their high adaptability.

Danio will accept any proposed feed, and water heating for them is optional.

Flock neon can be a decoration for both small and roomy aquarium; These aquarium fish suitable for beginners are distinguished by a bright blue stripe on the body. They do not require any special conditions of detention, except for timely feeding and changing water.


Labyrinth fish gourami breathe atmospheric air, swimming to the surface of the water. All that is important for gourami is a small feed (whether it is live or dry, frozen or even vegetable) and the water temperature is around 24-28 °.

By the labyrinth are brisk and cockerels , which are also not very demanding on the saturation of water with oxygen. They are omnivorous and picky about water quality.

In their case, there are no difficulties with filters.

Guardians of purity

Of course, a rare aquarium does without catfish . Antsistrus, corridor, tarakatum and many other catfish will have a beneficial effect on the level of cleanliness in the aquarium. True, the activity of some of these fish can provoke a rise of turbidity from the aquarium bottom.

A beautiful aquarium in the house brings joy to our lives during the contemplation of fish and perfectly affects the psychological component. Each novice aquarist unwittingly wonders where to start, to get everything right for the aquarium, run it right the first time and prevent the fish from dying.

Thrown to the wind a lot of money can quickly disappoint those who want to have fish, and he generally give up his hobby. Let’s consider what kind of fish is better for a beginner to have, so that his aquarium would look stylish and beautiful.

After all, there are many unpretentious creatures that look no less vivid and impressive than the expensive specimens that experienced fans chase after.

  1. Guppy. It is difficult to name the fish more unpretentious than guppies. By the way, it was these gentle creatures that were the first of their brethren to master space, which once again testifies to their undemanding nature. It has even been observed that they love aquariums more than natural reservoirs. True, the females they do not particularly shine with beauty, but the males are pleased with an abundance of colors.
  2. Danio. Small schooling fish danios are peaceful and will not attack other inhabitants of your small body of water. Although they are pretty bouncy, so do not leave the aquarium without a cap. Try to keep the water fresh, and danios will long please their owner with beauty.
  3. Barbusses. Considering the aquarium fish for a beginner, we should not forget about the barbs, which number about two hundred species. But they can get a little more calm and peace-loving neighbors, plucking thread-like fins.
  4. Somics. If you have purchased barbs, then you can share the speckled catfish. They may not shine with charm, but these fish are friendly and take root in almost any aquarium.
  5. Gourami. Moving gourami differ tolerance and curiosity. It is interesting that for breathing they successfully adapted to use atmospheric oxygen. Therefore, make sure that the aquarium has access to fresh air.
  6. Swordtails. Omnivorous and calm swordtails are excellent neighbors for most fish. They may live well in a small tank, but they behave better in spacious aquariums. Also, like the danios, the swordtails can jump out, so do not leave your water world without a covering.

Newbies often make unknowingly unpardonable mistakes in any business, and aquarium fish are no exception. There are such types of living beings that need special knowledge and care, only experienced amateurs undertake to tinker with expensive exotic fish.

Our article on which fish is better to buy in the aquarium for beginners will help you make a good choice.

Basic rules for the selection and arrangement of aquarium for beginners

Where to begin? Of course, it is important to determine the aquarium. And here you cannot just say: “I want this one”.

The choice must be conscious. Often the rule about the connection of the aquarium and fish for beginners becomes fundamental.

And this rule consists in the following: one centimeter of fish length should account for one liter of water. At first glance it seems that the rule is quite simple.

But an experienced aquarist knows that this rule is not bad for calculating the optimal size of the aquarium, but without reservation it cannot be applied. What are these reservations?

First, the length of an aquarium fish is an indicator by which it is impossible to assess and determine the effect of a fish on a closed aquarium system. For example, some have a round body and, consequently, a greater mass, while having the same length as others, smaller in mass.

So it turns out that a home aquarium can comply with the stated principle, but in fact be overpopulated.

Secondly, the rule does not take into account such a characteristic as the surface area of ​​the water in the aquarium. But it is the square that is the real deterrent. Aquarium residents need oxygen, they emit carbon dioxide while breathing.

The amount of oxygen dissolved in water largely determines how many fish can live in it, fully developing. Oxygen comes from the air, carbon dioxide, on the contrary, goes into the air.

From this we can conclude: the larger the surface area of ​​the aquarium, the more intense the replacement of carbon dioxide with oxygen.

Thus, to choose the size of the aquarium, you need to pay attention not only to the length of the body of the fish, but also their weight, the surface area of ​​the aquarium. The following rule is taken into account: one centimeter of the body of a fish, not taking into account the tail, must have at least 12 square centimeters of area.

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Once we have indicated that the most important thing to start with is an aquarium, then we will determine its shape in order to make the choice easier. What are the forms? So:

  • usual sizes – used for various small fishes;
  • elongated in height – designed to observe the inhabitants of the aquarium. They have a large height, which provides a fairly large area of ​​the front glass. At the same time, such aquariums have a small width.
  • elongated – perfect for small schooling fish.

In turn, elongated aquariums or elongated in length can be, for example, hexagonal or even octagonal. If you are going to choose an aquarium of a specific shape, you need to remember that a hexagonal aquarium has a smaller surface area than a regular one.

In general, you should not stop the choice on too wide or narrow aquariums. This ratio does not fit any fish for a comfortable stay.

The choice between beauty and convenience for fish, of course, is yours.

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Plants and fish need a very special beam spectrum. Special lamps provide better plant growth and fish development.

Beginners are recommended to choose lamps Sylvania Gro-lux and Sylvania Aquastar. The lighting in the aquarium should meet the criterion of intensity: not less than 0.6W per 1 liter of water.

Thus, a 100-liter aquarium needs 60W. This is at least.

If the intensity increases to 0.9-1W, it will be not good, but excellent.

Another component that is needed to provide proper care. There is no error here; not only oxygen is important, but also a certain amount of carbon dioxide. It is needed for plant growth in the daytime.

Particularly, the role of carbon dioxide saturation systems increases in those aquariums where few fish live. However, novice aquarists do not need to install this system, and if installed, after the biological balance is formed in the aquarium, the plants will start to grow gradually.

So, you figure it out with the aquarium. What is missing? Of course, the fish.

Objectively speaking, it seems to many beginners that everything is as simple as possible with regard to the fish: I chose the ones I liked, and that’s all. However, in reality everything is different. The fact is that fish have an impact on many factors: on the amount of money spent, on decorating, on the arrangement of the habitat, and so on.

In addition, the choice of fish today is so great that it is simply difficult to determine the cutest ones.

Tips for beginners about the fish are as follows: strive to acquire representatives of the same group living in the same habitat. This will greatly facilitate care, and at first, this approach will only benefit.

Who can I choose? Beautiful and quite unpretentious are cichlids – perch-shaped fish. They can also share the somobraznyh that will facilitate your maintenance of the aquarium.

The fact is that representatives of catfish clean glasses and stones, pick at the ground, eat up the remnants. And while they are absolutely harmless, and care for him is quite simple.

In short, do not rush to stop the choice on the rarest species of fish. It is better to start with simple varieties.

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