3 Great Fish for a First Time Aquarium Owner

There’s nothing more soothing or beautiful than a glowing fish aquarium. There is such a huge variety of aquariums, decorations, and fish available that having your own customized aquarium can be easy. Of course, as with any pet comes responsibility, and different species of fish require different care than others. Any new fish keeper needs to make sure that they choose their aquarium carefully. Different fish have different cleaning requirements, require different foods, different temperatures, and even different aquarium sizes. And when choosing fish for the first timer, it’s a good idea to look for species that are healthy and hardy, clean and easy to keep, and don’t require a massive tank.

These fish species that are ideal for the beginning aquarium keeper:

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are an ideal fish for beginners. These little minnows are school fish, and they do best in schools of 3 or more. A small school can be kept in an aquarium as small as four gallons and can tolerate temperatures from 55 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit, although they are most comfortable at temperatures no lower than 65. They eat all forms of food, do well on flake food, and love to have bloodworms as an occasional treat. They are also very clean fish and require relatively low cleaning standards to keep a healthy aquarium. They are energetic and are constantly on the move. They love to search and explore, and swim around very fast with each other.

Siamese Fighting Fish, or bettas as they’re commonly known, are also a perfect fish for any beginner. Not only are these fish hardy, but they’re also one of the most beautiful fish you can buy, with brilliant colors and long, flowing fins. Bettas are probably best known for the fact that they can be kept in rather small aquariums, making them perfect for a child’s room or an office desk. The aquarium size bettas can be humanely kept in is fiercely debated; a single betta can be safely kept in a tank from 3-5 gallons. One important thing to note though is that bettas are aggressive fish, and that a male betta should never, ever be kept with another male betta, as they will fight to the death. They also do require warmer water temperatures to make sure their immune system stays in peak condition.

One of the most popular fish overall, Corydoras Catfish are wonderful fish for beginners. These fish are among the most sociable, friendly fish you can put in your tank, and love to be in schools with each other as well fish of other species. They grow to about one and a half inches long, making them perfect for aquariums of all sizes. Your aquarium will need a heater, as Corys need water temperatures between seventy-two and eighty-two degrees. Feeding Corys is very simple, as most of the time they will search the bottom and feed on the leftovers of food from other fish. It is a good idea, however, to supplement their diet with a tropical snack every once in a while, and feeding them things like algae wafers can actually be an entertaining experience. In addition to a heater, your aquarium will need to be about 10-gallons for a school of three or four.

There is a lot you need to take into consideration when you investigate getting an aquarium and fish to fill it. Consider your own tastes and wants, how deep a commitment you are willing to make, what you can afford, and what fish will live comfortably in a certain aquarium. Fortunately, most of this information is easy to find, and there are multiple online resources dedicated to helping you find the fish that are right for you. Keeping fish can be a wonderful experience for anyone, and by starting with something simple like these fish, you can work your way into taking care of fish simply and cleanly.

Contributed by reader Cole Carson.

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