Arowana is elegant and beautiful fish but it’s gonna take tons of work to raise one. If you’re beginners and want to get acquainted with raising and breeding fish first, there will be many great choices beside Arowana (fish world is vast). Although, it is true that freshwater fish are not as colorful as marine or coral fish in general, don’t mistake that freshwater fish are not colorful. Here are 5 colorful freshwater fish for beginners.
I see Guppy everywhere and you see Guppy everywhere, indeed Guppy is one of the most popular colorful freshwater fish in aquarium tanks. That fact has reasons:
- They come in a wide variety of colors, just pick one you feel attracted at the store or choose some specific types such as green cobra, fire tail.
- They’re easy to care for, to feed (they accept almost any foods you offer, they especially like blood worms though).
- They’re peaceful and adapt well in tank community.
- They’re easy to breed. Nowadays, you can find them through out the world not just where they’re stated to be originally from.
Guppy size is just up to 2.5 inches, so they just need 10 gallon tank; or 5 gallon is still okay. Their favorite environment:
- Water condition: PH 6.5-8.5 (Medium hard to Hard), 10 gallon tank
- Temperature: 65 – 80°F (18 – 27°C)
- Neighbor: If you intend to put male and female Guppy together, adding 2-3 female for 1 male guppy and prepare for tons of fry (they breed really fast).
Another colorful freshwater fish to consider is Betta. Betta is like the aggressive, picky and bigger (up to 3 inches) version of Guppy with pretty tail. The tail is what they’re best known and categorized for which look just like a flower or a princess dress, just look at crowntail, rosetail and halfmoon Betta and you’ll know what I mean.
Betta is well loved because of their beauty and they’re easy to feed, (just a little bit pickier than Guppy but notice what they like and you’ll do just fine). They can survive small space for a short period of time due to their particular labyrinth organ which helps them breath air; plus to the fact they’re easy to adapt with the environment, which lead to the mistreat they often get (no heater, small tank or just a cup).
If you’re thinking about fish fighting, Betta is one of them, also known as Siamese fighting fish and Betta fighting in a cup or bowl is quite a common image. Not because they’re not peaceful specie, they’re friendly.
However the inherent feature of Betta is they get aggressive when seeing “each other” which not only lead to the fight but also lead to the difficulty of breeding Betta (you have to let them know each other in different tank first) although they actually breed just like Guppy, you always have chance of population explosion.
Their favorite environment:
- Water Conditions: 6 – 8 pH (Soft to Hard), 5 – 10 gallon tank
- Temperature: 23 – 30 °C (73 – 86 °F)
- Neighbor: not another Betta unless it’s a harem or females only.
Colorful freshwater fish Gourami show their beauty by the pattern. Notice that not all Gourami are for beginners, stay away Kissing Gourami, the kissing may seem fun but that’s the way they challenge each other; they’re territorial, aggressive and can grow up to 11 inches. The Gourami I recommend is Dwarf Gourami (up to 3.5 inches).
Dwarf Gourami is hardy and not demanding, they accept any edible (with fish) food you offer. They’re often claimed to be docile and sociable. In fact, they still get a little bit of territorial and aggressive characteristic from their brothers; so the tank has to have plants for them to hide, play and spacious enough so that they don’t feel intense. They’ll be good kids if you put one male versus one female Dwarf Gourami, male versus male is not a good combo.
Despite being colorful freshwater fish themselves, Gourami tends to be aggressive with colorful freshwater fish such as Guppy or Betta, another reason we have to put them in spacious tank.
Their favorite environment:
- Water Conditions: 6.0 – 7.5 pH (Soft to Moderately Hard), 20 gallon, low current, heavily planted
- Temperature: 72-82 °F (22-27 °C)
- Neighbor: female Gourami prefer, not in good mood with male vs. male or colorful freshwater fish
I don’t consider Tiger Barb as colorful freshwater fish, but their tiger pattern is exotic and stunning. Tiger Barb is not so much for fish beginner because they have temper like tiger. In fact, they’re the most aggressive species in this group I’m telling you except you let two Bettas meet each other. As a result, keeping them in a group of at least six and specie-only tank is recommended.
Beside from the “tiger” feature, they’re easy to breed, to feed and not so picky with the environment. Their favorite environment:
- Water Conditions: 6.0 – 8.0 (Moderately Soft to Moderately Hard), 20 gallon, well planted
- Temperature: 22 – 27 °C (71.5 – 80.5 °F)
- Neighbor: No neighbor unless five more brothers.
Tetra is undemanding, hardy, active, common and colorful freshwater fish. In contrast with Tiger Barb, Tetra loves community, loves to be put in group. One of the most common, beautiful and easy to take care for is Neon Tetra, well, its color is neon and iridescent, a stunning view you’ll have if you put them in a well planted tank. They also have long lifespan (5 – 10 years)
Another types of Tetra like Diamond Tetra or Cardinal Tetra are more shy and pickier with environment, so if you’re in love with Tetra and a beginner, take Neon Tetra. Note that because they’re docile and peaceful so larger fish in the community may target them for food.
Their favorite environment:
- Water Conditions: PH 5.5 – 7.5 (Soft to Medium), 10 gallon
- Temperature; 68 – 78 oF (20 – 25 oC)
Those are 5 colorful freshwater fish for beginners that worth a try and your love before you make your way to Arowana. They’re all hardy, undemanding and beautiful, their manner varies though.