The most common and popular species, selecting the ones you want, and their basic care and feeding.

In our article about aquariums, we mostly covered how to set up aquarium to house your tropical fish. In this article, we'll be talking more about the various species of tropical fish so that you will have the information you need to make your choices of your new pets. The fish we describe are the most popular and easiest to raise for a beginning aquarist. This is by no means a complete list. Check with your pet store or fish store personnel for more choices and information. In this article we'll also talk about the care and feeding of your new pets. We also want to re-emphasize that you should not be adding fish to your aquarium until it has been filled and established for a minimum of 96 hours. Your tank needs to be conditioned and the proper bacteria establishing itself before fish are added. Doing so prematurely may result in the loss of your fish.

Information You Will Find Helpful

  • The first place we located was You can find out about the different fish species, aquarium setup, plus a "do's and don's" section as well as an FAQ section.
  • The Tropical Tank web site also has a lot of information on fish species and how to care for them.
  • Cathy's Homepage of Tropical Fish Keeping is an excellent, all around informational site geared to both the beginning and experienced aquarist.
  • PetSmart has a good variety of tropical fish to choose from.

Tropical fish species and characteristics; how to select the ones right for your aquarium

Guppies: Very popular and easy to care for. Recommended that they either be kept with only others of their species, or with other peaceful fish, as they have flowing fins that some fish like to nip. They are livebearers. They eat live and frozen foods as well as flaked foods.

Mollies: Another good fish for beginners, they are best kept in a school of at least 3. They are active but peaceful, and are also livebearers. Feeding likes are flaked foods as well as frozen and live foods, and algae.

Platies: Also good for beginning fish-keepers. Very colorful; also livebearers. Will eat most aquarium foods. Provide a balanced diet of flaked, granular, and live or frozen foods.

Tiger barbs: Popular in aquariums, best kept in school of 4 or more. They are nippers, so it is recommended that they not be kept with Angel fish or guppies. Feed flakes or granular foods, also live or frozen.

Chinese Algae Eater: Will help keep your tank algae free, easy to keep and not aggressive. Supplement diet with aglae wafers.

Angelfish: Peaceful, suitable for the community tank but only with other peaceful fish. Popular because of their color variations and distinctive shape. Eats most aquarium foods: flaked, frozen and live.

Kissing Gourami: These fish have a habit of kissing each other, but they are suitable for the community tank. Accepts most foods, include vegetable matter.

Dwarf Gourami: Suitable for a community tank of smaller fish, they are less shy if there are floating plants in the tank. Accepts most foods, including vegetable matter.

Blue Gourami: Peaceful, one of the easiest ornamental fish to keep. Accepts most foods.

Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta): Do not keep two males together as they will fight each other to the death. However, they do get along with other fish. Many people keep them in a fish bowl or other small aquarium. They do well without filtering and air pumps. Feed flaked and granular, as well as frozen or live foods.

Goldfish: Should not be kept in an aquarium with other warm-water fish, since they prefer a temperature of 68 degrees. Can be kept in a fish bowl or small aquarium without a heater or filtering systems.

Keep in mind there are many more fish species than we can cover here. Be sure to ask at the pet store if you see anything that strikes your fancy. They should be able to tell you about the fish you are interested in. Also, only add one species at a time, and wait at least a week before adding the next one. Give your new fish a chance to aclimate to their new home before adding more.

Enjoy your new hobby!

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