Top 10 Small Freshwater Aquarium Fish for Beginners that live peacefully in Community Tank:

Small aquarium fish are usually the best choice for beginners because they need a small aquarium. Small tanks need low maintenance & are easy for beginners to start with. Small popular freshwater fish are mostly hardy & can survive in harsh conditions. Most of the peaceful small fish can do well with other fish in the community & needs simple care. In this article I have added 10 top small freshwater aquarium fish that can be kept with other peaceful fish in the community.

Top 10 small freshwater aquarium fish for Beginners
Top 10 small freshwater aquarium fish for Beginners

1. Neon Tetra:

Neon Tetra is a very famous freshwater aquarium fish. They can be recognized for their little, thin blue bodies & a bright red stripe that goes halfway down their bodies. Keep Neon Tetras in school of multiple fish in a planted aquarium. Put rocks & decorations in your aquarium to allow Neon Tetra to hide inside. Neon Tetras can reach a maximum size of 2.2 cm. It is a non-aggressive fish that lives calmly in a fish tank. Neon Tetras are beginners fish because they are hardy & can survive in harsh conditions. It is very easy to take care of this fish.

Best small aquarium fish - Neon Tetra
Best small aquarium fish - Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra Tank Setup:

Do not keep Neon Tetra in smaller than a 20-gallon aquarium because it is a schooling fish. They like many plants in their tank that provide many hiding spots. Keep dark substrate in aquariums as well as driftwood & rocks to replicate their wild environment.


Neon Tetra Aquarium Mates:

Neon Tetras are non-aggressive species & they like a community aquarium. Add a team of 6 Neon Tetras to your aquarium because they will be happier & more relaxed. Do not keep large / aggressive fish in a Neon Tetra tank. Best tank mates of Neon Tetra include Harlequin rasboras, Dwarf neon rainbowfish, Kuhli loach, Bristlenose & Corydoras etc.


2. Guppies:

Guppy is a popular aquarium fish. They are available in multiple colors. They can survive in harsh conditions & are resistant to a wide range of temperatures. The ideal temperature range for Guppies is between 10 to 29 Degree Celsius. It is very easy to take care of this fish. They are called beginners fish. Keep them in groups of 3 & adding a new guppy needs a tank size of 1 gallon.

Best small community fish - Guppy
Best small community fish - Guppy

Guppy Fish Aquarium Mates:

Guppies can be kept with other small peaceful fish in tanks. Livebearers such as mollies, platies, or other little fish like neon tetras or zebrafish are the best tank mates.


Guppy Fish Tank Setup:

You can keep Guppies in smaller tanks but bigger tanks are better for them. Use a 40-liter tank for 5 guppies.


3. Mollies:

Mollies do not need high care & they are small hardy fish perfect for beginners. They can reach a size of 4 inches & they like omnivorous foods, such as plants & small insects. They are livebearers which means they give birth to babies directly instead of laying eggs like ordinary fish. They breed quickly in aquariums so if you don’t want that to happen, then only keep a single gender.

Top small community fish - Molly
Top small community fish - Molly

Molly Tank Setup:

Add live plants to a molly fish tank to offer a natural habitat. Keep decorations & rocks in the aquarium to offer hiding places. Babies can use hiding spots to save themselves from adult fish.

Keep 4 Mollies in at least a 10-gallons tank. For more fish, use a 30-gallons tank. One molly needs 3 gallons of water.


Molly Tank Mates:

Molly fish are peaceful & they can be kept with other live bearers. Add more non-aggressive fish in mollies aquariums such as Cherry Barb, Dwarf Gourami, Rosy Barb, Tetra, Zebra Loach etc.

Do not keep large / aggressive fish in Mollies tank. Large fish usually eat smaller fish, & aggressive fish will kill them.


4. Golden Dwarf Barbs:

Golden Dwarf Barbs is a great fish for fresh aquariums. They can reach a size of 1.5 inches. Keep them in a planted aquarium. Keep up to 5 Golden Dwarf Barbs in the aquarium. They are semi-aggressive.

It is a sensitive fish & needs high care. Use dark substrate in your tank such as peat which will help in maintaining the water conditions that Golden Dwarf Barb needs. Add plants to your tank.

Golden Barbs can reach 3 inches in length. Keep at least 3 fish in the aquarium because they are schooling fish, but keeping 5 or more will seem more beautiful.


Golden Dwarf Barb Tank Setup:

Golden Dwarf Barb needs 3 gallons of space for one fish. So, if you are adding 5 fish to an aquarium then it should contain at least 15 gallons of water. Add decorations & lots of free-swimming space as well as provide hiding spots.


Golden Dwarf Barb Aquarium Mates:

Golden Dwarf Barbs are relatively calmer than other barbs. Keep them with green Chinese barbs, cherry barbs, smaller danios, & little to moderate sized tetras.

Golden Dwarf Barbs are flowing fin nippers so do not add betta, angelfish, or sailfin molly or any other big finned fish to your aquarium. They can sometimes destroy plants.


5. Zebra Danios:

Zebra Danios is a beginners fish because it is little in size & needs low maintenance. It can reach a size of up to 7 inches. If you want to reduce stress on Zebra Danios, then keep them with the same species. Feed them worms & insects as well as flake food. Cover your aquarium because Zebra Danios can jump out.

Zebra Danios needs simple care. They are non-aggressive & can live up to 5 years. They are about 2 inches long. Zebra Danios likes omnivorous food.


Zebra Danios Aquarium Setup:

Keep Zebra Danios in at least a 10-gallon tank. Add many plants to your aquarium.


Zebra Danio Aquarium Mates:

Keep social & community fish in Zebra Danios tank. Aquarium mates of Zebra Danio include Honey Gourami, Rosy Barbs, Bronze Cory, Indian Flying Barb, Emerald Pufferfish & Scarlet Badis. They are the best aquarium mates of Zebra Danio.

Zebra Danio is a fin nipper so do not keep it with long finned fish.


6. Platies:

Platies are the top choice of new aquarists because they can survive in harsh conditions. They swim actively & are available in a variety of colors. They are famous because they do not lay eggs & directly give birth to babies. They are small fish & are best for small aquariums. They can reach a size of 3 inches.

Many aquarists keep Platies in tropical aquariums. They are available in multiple colors.

Platy Tank Setup:

Size of Platy is small & they can be kept in small to moderate aquariums. You can keep it in a 10-gallon tank.

They like swimming in school & hiding under plantations. A heavily planted tank is best for platies. Babies can use hiding spots to save themselves from adult fish.


Platy Aquarium Mates:

Platies have the habit of swimming in schools. Perfect mates of Platies include mollies, guppies & swordtails. You can also keep other small peaceful fish in Platies aquarium. Cover the aquarium because Platies can jump out.


7. Dwarf Gourami:

Dwarf Gourami is an attractive fish & it is a famous fish in aquarium trade. Dwarf Gourami has low requirements & it is a perfect fish for new aquarists. Dwarf Gourami lives peacefully with other fish but it is a territorial species. It is a small fish & requires easy care. It can live up to 5 years in an aquarium but its life span is longer in better aquarium conditions.

Dwarf Gouramis are happier when kept with other fish because it relieves their stress. They mostly swim in the medium or higher levels of the tank. They swim slowly & are hiding most of the time.

Top small community aquarium fish - Dwarf Gourami

Top small community aquarium fish - Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami Aquarium Mates:

Dwarf Gourami can be kept with other non-aggressive fish in the aquarium. Best aquarium mates for Dwarf Gourami include Dwarf Cichlids, characters & other labyrinth fish are top choices. Keep only one male in the tank because it is territorial & may be aggressive towards other fish in its territory. If your tank has enough space for another male to make its own territory, then add another.

Suitable aquarium mates for Dwarf Gourami aquarium are live bearers such as fancy guppy, platy, molly, along with peaceful barbs & danios.


Dwarf Gourami Aquarium Setup:

Choosing a small or community aquarium is good for Dwarf Gourami. Keep your aquarium in a low traffic / noise area. Add many live plants to your aquarium. Add floating plants that cover just part of the tank surface because Dwarf Gouramis needs to access surface air on every side of the aquarium. Choose a 10 gallons aquarium for Dwarf Gouramis.


8. Swordtails:

Swordtail is a colorful species & they will look attractive in your aquarium. Keep them with more peaceful fish.

Swordtails are small fish that can reach a length of 5.5 cm. They are best for community aquariums, because they live peacefully. They are hardy & can tolerate harsh environments.

Keep them in a 15-gallon aquarium. There must be free space in your aquarium because they are active swimmers. Male swordtails are aggressive towards their own kind.

Top small community fish - Khoi Swordtail

Top small community fish - Khoi Swordtail

Swordtails Aquarium Setup:

Swordtails are active & require abundance of space. Choose a 15-gallon aquarium for keeping swordtails. If you want to set up a community aquarium then a 29-gallon tank is fine. Swordtails can jump outside aquariums so use a tank cover.

Add live plantations & decorations in your fish tank that will help babies to hide from bullies.


Swordtail Aquarium Mates:

Swordtail lives peacefully with other fish in a shared tank. Keep them with the same species or other passive fish like them. Livebearers such as mollies & platies are best companions of Swordtails. Keep small peaceful fish in the Swordtail aquarium.


9. Betta Fish:

Keep your betta healthy by setting up a planted aquarium. Do not keep betta in a bowl because it can stress it. They require big tanks with lots of free-swimming space. Keep a filter in the tank. Also aerate aquarium to increase level of oxygen. Provide the right temperature & offer them a healthy diet.

Bettas can live up to 10 years if properly cared for. Betta is a beautiful & intelligent fish, & needs better care.

Keep other fish with betta in a big tank that offers lots of hiding places. Large aquariums will lower the territorial aggression of the fish. Betta fish can live in the community tank if it has enough space that lowers their aggression.

Betta Aquarium Setup:

Keep betta in a 5-gallon tank. Smaller aquariums are not good because they will require lots of maintenance.  Cover your tank with a lid to stop betta from jumping outside.

Leave some free space at the top.

Keep plants in aquarium as well as decorations to provide hiding spots for your fish.


Betta Aquarium Mates:

Certain bettas are highly aggressive & do not like to live with other fish, but mostly betta loves sharing their aquarium with other peaceful fish. Do not add fin nippers in your aquarium because they will nip large fins of betta.

If you add 2 male bettas in a single tank, they will fight against each other until one dies. Use an aquarium divider to separate them.


10. German Blue Ram Fish:

If properly cared, German Blue Ram Fish can live up to 3 years. They need a moderate care level. They live peacefully in an aquarium. They are available in multiple colors.

German Blue Ram is a small fish that can reach a maximum size of 3 inches. Feed them an omnivorous diet.

Use a filter for better cleaning & reducing levels of ammonia. A filter that holds heaps of biological media is best because it will wipe out large amounts of toxic chemicals released from fish waste.

Best small freshwater fish - German Blue Ram
Best small freshwater fish - German Blue Ram

German Blue Ram Fish Tank Setup:

German Blue Ram needs a minimum aquarium size of 10-gallons. Keep them in a planted aquarium. They like dwelling the tank substrate so if you keep them in a 20-gallons aquarium then they will have a large floor for exploration.


German Blue Ram Fish Aquarium Mates:

If you want to keep more than 1 male German Blue Ram fish in an aquarium then choose a 40-gallons tank because males will set up their own territory & they will not battle against other males. A large aquarium will have enough space for all males to form its own territory.

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