Setting up your first freshwater tank is both rewarding and challenging. This is especially the case if you choose fish which are more difficult to keep healthy.
Thankfully, there are a number of adaptable, hardy fish for your freshwater fish tank which are inexpensive. It’s not too difficult to find good fish for your first tank.
Guppies are a logical first choice if you’ve never kept fish before. You can often buy these fish as feeder fish – you can buy them for as little as ten to a dollar. Until they grow up, they’re not much to look at, but they make for a great starter fish.
These feeder guppies can actually be very attractive once grown. If you don’t have that kind of patience, you can also buy adult guppies for your tank.
Guppies get along well with other fish and are easy to care for. Guppies are so adaptable and hardy that you shouldn’t be surprised to find them reproducing in your tank!
If you’re not so crazy about guppies, tetras are also a good choice. Tetras are smaller and by themselves, not so impressive.
However, they are happiest in groups; consider getting a school of them for your tank. These fish also tend to get along well with others and rarely cause trouble in a tank.
Gouramis are a good choice if you prefer larger fish. Since the males tend to be aggressive towards each other, a pair is probably the best way to go with Gouramis.
They are also easy to take care of and rarely attack other types of fish.
Loaches are also easy fish to care for and mix well with other fish. Except for the more loner-type yoyo loach, loaches like to have other loaches around. They’ll need a place to hide during the day, so give them rocks or pipes.
Barbs are easy to take care of and good in schools (you’ll want at least four). However, they do not mix well with guppies, angelfish or other long-finned species, since they can shred their fins.
Angelfish are popular but can be problematic. They are often bullies and will eat smaller fish like guppies and tetras). Furthermore, any fish larger than them will tend to damage their fins! If you really want angelfish, it’s best to have them in their own dedicated tank – they prefer to have at least one other angelfish around.