How to Choose Fish for a Freshwater Tank

A normal visit to any fish store or aquarium exposes you to a hundred and thousand of fishes. There are plenty of options but only a few will be suitable for your aquarium. Do not buy a fish without knowing it’s habitat and nature.


fish tank


Make sure to choose the best pond filter to keep your fish healthy and comfortable.


While choosing fish for a freshwater aquarium you need to ponder on several factors. For instance, aquatic creatures found in a special habitat cannot sustain in an aquarium that is a lot different from their natural environment. In this piece, you will get to know how to choose fish for your freshwater aquarium.

Things to consider before choosing fish for a freshwater aquarium


The right way to set up an aquarium is to plan and research what type of fish you would like to pet. More than 25000 species of fish have been identified so far and over 2000 of fishes are available to the local aquarist. To help narrow down the list of desirable fish you need to deem the following factors.

Fish Size

The size of the fish is very important because your aquarium needs to have enough space to accommodate your pet. Large fishes tend to be violent and attack other large aquatic creatures. Small and medium-sized fishes are best for new aquarists. Small fishes are usually nonviolent and can adapt to the aquarium environment easily.

neon tertas


You won’t like a fish that preys or frightens other fishes. Some large fishes have the habit of scaring small fish. So, make sure to know whether the fish will be compatible with other fishes. Some tropical fish tends to eat other small fishes, think twice before picking out a fish randomly.


Always look for readily available options, do not look for fish that is hard to find. Bringing a fish from a faraway land includes various risk factors. Try to find a local fish store to mitigate any extra expense.

Tank Size

Tank size is an important consideration while choosing a fish. Your aquarium should have enough room for fishes to swim around and stay according to their natural habitat. Small fish is an ideal choice because it is easier and inexpensive to manage. Tank size normally restricts the growth of a fish and causes them to generate hormones that limit their size. Make sure your tank has the best pond filter.

Fooding habits and care regime

Before buying a new fish, make sure to know the food patterns and care regime of the species that drives your attention. Some fishes require special food to sustain. If you are a beginner go for fish that requires minimal care and attention. Freshwater fish needs a specific PH level to thrive.

10 Things to look for while buying freshwater fish

  • Circumference of the body should be of normal size.
  • The excreta of the fish should be dark in shade
  • Do not go for fish who have cloudy eyes. Clear eyes are a sign of good health
  • Fins of the fish should be open. Clamped fins are not recommended by aquarists
  • The fish should not have any parasites like velvet or ich.
  • The body color must be rich, do not go for faded colors.
  • Make sure the fish has no sores, ulcers, or skin issues such as peeling scales.
  • The fins should be in proper condition. Fish with ragged or torn fins are not suitable for aquariums.
  • The scales should not be pokey. Flat and smooth scales are highly recommended if you are keeping the fish with other fishes.
  • Look for fish with a well-round stomach


Most popular freshwater aquarium fish


This fish is not only colorful and vibrant but also adapts to various water conditions easily. They are very easy to feed and care for. Keep this fish in sets of threes for compatibility issues. 1 gallon of water is needed for each guppy. The temperature of the water should remain between 50°F to 84°F, most importantly the temperature should remain constant.


This species of fish is small and nonviolent, mollies usually grow up to 3 to 4 inches. You will need a 20-gallon tank size with warm water to keep this fish. Mollies are omnivorous and need both plant and animal food to sustain.


They are unique in terms of reproducing, mollies give birth to younger life instead of laying eggs.

Neon Tetra

They are small, easy to maintain species. The neon tetra is widely popular due to their peaceful temperament. They spread around 2.2 cm in size and prefer to be kept in groups. They need acidic soft water to thrive and are omnivorous.
Related Reading


Often new aquarists walk-off the store purchasing a fish without knowing its food habit, how big it gets, or if it needs special treatment to sustain. However, it is always fun to pet a fish but doing it wrongly can be expensive and disastrous.

Make sure to install the best pond filter to keep your fish healthy and happy.

Leave a Comment