The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Best Fish to Keep as Pets

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

There are a lot of people who have pets in their lives and become part of the family. Pets play an essential role in our lives; they bring us health benefits, which make us stay away from loneliness and stress. When we talk about the pets, there will come across our mind about dogs and cats. But did you know that still have exciting pets out there that have not appeared in your mind – aquatic pets that live in water? 

These pets are unable to play with; however, we can observe the aquatic life and their behavior that possible you never see before. Then you will spend hours to keep watching and observing their movement and interaction with the tank mate; you will feel excited when discovering something new. This is very enjoying, although it cannot play with; on the other hand, this also can improve moods and relieve stress and anxiety as well. It is good to have pets as a companion.

List of Fish That You Can Keep As Pets

Here are some fishes that you may interest to add to your list.


Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is a widespread and well-known aquarium fish to beginner fish keeper due to small size, price is low, easy to maintain, and it comes with a variety of colors and tail shape that can make an aquarium so attractive. They also have the name of “rainbow fish’ because of the colorful body, fin, and tail. They are peaceful and social fish that stayed in the group, please keep in mind that do not let the guppy alone., If they have been noticed that keep hiding, probably they are sick. So, the fish keeper must be sensitive to their movement to make sure they are healthy. To have “friends” in the tank, the best tank mate of guppy is more guppies or other peaceful fish such as Corydoras Catfish, Clown Loaches, GlassFish, Molly, Pleco, Swordtail, Rasboras, Cardinal Tetras, Ghost Shrimp, and Red Cherry Shrimp. The male guppy is with the smaller size, and brighter color compares with the female guppy that comes with more significant in size and duller in color. There are some people that only like to keep the male guppies because of their vibrant colors.

Betta Fish

Betta Fish (Betta splendens) is well known as Siamese Fighting Fish that famous with its colorful body, flowing fin, and different shape of tail such as veil tail, rose tail, spade tail, over-Halfmoon, super delta, half-sun, comb tail, and feather tail. The reason why the betta fish named as fighting fish, it is because of its highly territorial nature. It will attack each other in the same tank. To have “friends” for them in the same tank must be chosen wisely. The best tank mate is peaceful fish that do have the nature of territorial. This kind of fish like Corydoras Catfish, Harlequin Rasbora, Neon Tetra, Ember Tetra, Pleco, and Kuhli Loach. There are some people thought that Betta Fish is suitable to keep in a small fishbowl because of its small size. However, they are wrong. It should live in ideally 5 gallons tank to allow them to swim freely and has normal activities. If the tank is too small, it will be built up the toxins in their environment easily, and they will feel stress live under limited space; this can be caused them sick. Keeping Betta Fish is a wise decision because they can bring life to the tank with their bright and colorful fin and tail.

Neon Tetra

Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) also called Neon Fish that popular among the fish keepers. This fish is suitable for the beginners of fish keepers because it is easy to care for, no specific care is required, and it is also peaceful and highly adaptivity in nature. It has an attractive appearance with an iridescent blue stripe from its eye to its adipose fin and even red stripe from the middle of the body to its caudal fin. While the fins are nearly transparent, and the abdomen is with bright silver color. This fish is very recognizable due to this color combination. 

The iridescent blue and red color will be ‘turned off’ became grey or black when they feel threatened in the wild. It also happens when they are sleeping or sick, and it will be reactivated once it becomes active. To differentiate between the male and female, the male has a smaller size and with straight iridescent stripe, while the female has a slightly bigger belly and slightly curved iridescent stripe. There is various type of Neon Tetra such as Long Fin Neon Tetra, Albino Neon Tetra, Golden Neon Tetra, and Diamond Neon Tetra. There are some people that confused between the Neon Tetra and Cardinal Tetra; are they look alike? When you look closely and observe carefully, you will notice the difference between them. The iridescent red stripe of the Neon Tetra is from the middle of the body to its caudal fin, while the Cardinal Tetra has the red stripe from eye to its tail. To have other fishes in the same tank with Neon Tetra, keep in mind that the larger size and aggressive type should be avoided. The fish with the mouth that bigger than Neon Tetra size, absolutely be avoided. If not, the Neon Tetra will be swallowed by this fish. The best tank mate will be the peaceful fish that same personality with Neon Tetra, such as other species of Tetra, Guppy, Corydoras Catfish, Clown Pleco, and Harlequin Rasbora.


Molly fish (Poecilia sphenops) is one of the most common fish for fish keepers kept as a pet. It is the best choice for the beginner of fish keepers due to its nature of peaceful, highly adaptivity, hardy, and easy to care for. Numerous types of Molly Fish differ from color, pattern, shape, and size. They are such as Short-Finned Molly or Common Molly, Black Molly, White Molly, Golden Molly, Silver Molly, Sailfin Molly, Sunset Molly, Balloon Molly, Gold Dust Molly, Lyretail and Dalmatian Molly. However, the most common type found in the aquarium is Short-Finned Molly or Common Molly that has a flattened body, tall at the middle, and narrow toward the mouth. These fish can live up to 5 years if they are correctly cared for and live in a healthy and clean environment.

The ideal tank size for Mollies is 10 gallons to make them comfortable. However, this is depending on the species in the tank. A minimum of 29 gallons is required if Sailfin Mollies are in the tank due to its bigger size. The Mollies are turned to aggressive and stressed if kept in the small and crowded container. The larger tank size has the advantage of providing the water in stable and steady conditions; the sudden changes in water quality can be avoided to keep the fish healthy. To make the tank merrier, the peaceful fishes are the excellent choice as tank mates. The fishes in bigger size and aggressive should not in the list, to avoid the Molly be attacked and eaten. The great tank mates that can get along well with Molly Fish are Platy, Tetra, Corydoras Catfish, Harlequin Rasbora, Zebra Loaches, Rosy Barbs and Dwarf Gourami.


Platy fish (Xiphophorus) is a prevalent aquarium fish for the beginner of aquarists. Platy fish is easy to care for, peaceful, and community fish. It belongs to the Xiphophorus genus that same as Swordtail Fish, but just “missing the sword” at the tail of Platy. It has the same family member of Poeciliidae with Guppy and Molly, so they are best tank mates that get along very well with each other. Besides these fishes, Corydoras, Tetra, Charachin, and Gouramis also the “best friends” of Platy. The important things are they are small, peaceful, and community fishes. Platy comes with a wide range of colors that almost every single color imaginable, so it is so colorful and beautiful small fish that will brighten up the aquarium. There are various types of Platy Fish that differ from color and fin shape; all of these have come from the interbred to optimize the appearance in terms of color and shape. This makes the aquarists hardly to distinguish between the species.

Mainly, there are three species of the Platy Fish like Southern Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus), Variable Platy (Xiphophorus variatus), and Swordtail Platy (Xiphophorus xiphidium). The most common species that use for interbred is Southern Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) and Variable Platy (Xiphophorus variatus). Nowadays, the Platy Fish sold in the shop are interbred from these two species. Typically, the Platy Fish is in small size, short and small fins, and the tail shape looks like a fan. There are several types of Platy such as Blue Coral, Bumblebee, Twin Bar Pattern, Comet, Dalmatian, Wagtail Pattern, Hi-Fin, Koi, Mickey Mouse, Panda, Pintail, Sunset, Tuxedo Pattern, Rainbow Pattern, Salt and Pepper Pattern, and Variegated Pattern. They live healthier and comfortable in the tank of a minimum of 10 gallons, and the container should be covered as the Platy can jump out from the tank.


Swordtail Fish (Xiphophorous hellerii) is peaceful, hardy, and easy to care for. This makes the Swordtail is excellent to keep as a pet by the aquarists, especially the beginners. The Swordtail is from Poeciliidae family that same as Guppy and Molly. Xiphophorous is from the Greek word with the meaning of “xiphos” – sword and “pherein” – carry. This very clear that Swordtail in Xiphophorous genus carries a sword at the lower rays of the caudal fin, very recognizable. The Swordtail that caught in the wild generally is in olive green with yellow and comes with a red stripe along the side of the body, which called Red Swordtail or Green Swordtail. Nowadays, it is available in different color variations in aquariums that result from the selectively interbred. There is some interbred between Swordtail and Platy Fish to have more variety of color range, fin shape, and sword. The types of Swordtail such as Green, Green Wagtail, Green Tuxedo Wagtail, Red, Red Wagtail, Bloodred, Brickred, Velvet Red, Neon Green, Marigold, Pineapple, Variegated, Koi, Black Nubian, Sunset and Red Twin Bar. The “sword” at the lower ray of the caudal fin for the male is to attract the female and also make them look bigger. The length of the “sword” can reach up to half of the entire length of the body. 

Indeed, the colorful and different shape of the “sword” tail is the most attracting appearance in the aquariums. However, this is costly traits for male Swordtail; the longer sword is consumed more energy while moving around in the aquarium. That also will make it run slower and may quickly attack by the predators. For the Swordtail, it is quite easy to differentiate the male and female; the male is slimmer and smaller than female. The only male has the gonopodium and “sword” at the lower ray of the caudal fin. While the female has a more significant and rounder body. The Swordfish is happy and comfortable in a tank of a minimum of 20 gallons tank due to it has a bigger size than Guppy, Platy, and Molly. Its size can reach 5.5 inches for a male and 6.3 inches for a female. The best tank mate will be Molly, Platy, Corydoras Catfish, Plecostomus, and Angelfish.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish are also well-known as Cory Catfish, Cory Cats, Cory Fish, and Armored Catfish. It is small, hardy, easy to keep, entertaining, calm, non-aggressive, and peaceful. It is the most desirable fish to keep in the aquarium by the aquarists. Corydoras Catfish is a genus of Corydoras that derived from the Greek word, which the “Kory” means helmet and “doras” means skin. That’s why the Corydoras Catfish also name Armored Catfish. It is available in many different types that vary from size and color, such as Sterbai Cory, Albino Cory, Pygmy Cory, Bandit Cory, Bronze Cory, Julii Cory, Panda Cory, Pepper Cory, Skunk Cory, Spotted Cory, Mosaic Cory, and Three Stripes Cory. The Corydoras Catfish is an active bottom feeder that scavenging the foods at the bottom of the tank, so it also called “tank cleaner.” The aquarists are very happy to keep a few in the aquarium that helps to clear the leftover at the bottom. Corydoras Catfish has a flatten body at the bottom that makes it able to rest on the surface. It also has little face and barbels on its face that look like a cat. Each of the barbels is like a sensory organ that makes from tiny taste buds to help the fish detect the foods at the bottom. It will taste and smell anything the barbels touch.

Once a while, it will dart to the surface from the bottom of the tank to gulp some air. This behavior is normal. However, if notice this behavior is repeated so frequent, it is an indication of the water quality problem. Action should be taken to keep the fishes healthy. To differentiate between males and females, usually, the adult male has a smaller size than an adult female. The female has rounded dorsal fin, while the male has a bit pointed dorsal fin. It is very good at social and likes to be in group, although from other species. The best tankmates are Tetra, Swordtail, Guppy, Molly, and different types of Cory Fish. It never disturbs, chases or attacks tank mates, and also won’t become aggressive and defensive when attacked by the aggressive species; it is just hiding somewhere. 10 gallons of the tank is recommended for the beginner to keep the Corydoras Catfish.

Latest posts

  • Are Sea Anemones Hard to Care For: Essential Tips for Maintenance

    Are Sea Anemones Hard to Care For: Essential Tips for Maintenance

    Sea anemones, often found colorfully adorning aquariums, are marine invertebrates with distinctive tentacles. They are part of the Cnidaria phylum, which includes corals and jellyfish and are known for their symbiotic relationships with clownfish and other species. Tending for sea anemones in a home aquarium requires specific attention to water quality, lighting, and feeding. Maintaining…

    Read more

  • Are Sea Anemones Dangerous to Humans: Uncovering the Truth

    Are Sea Anemones Dangerous to Humans: Uncovering the Truth

    Sea anemones are often perceived as exotic and colorful ocean-floor dwellers that have garnered attention for their unique appearances in marine environments. Their vivid colors and graceful tentacle movements can capture the interest of divers and aquarium enthusiasts alike. Generally, they are not considered a threat to humans; most species have a sting that is…

    Read more

  • Why Are Sea Anemones Sticky: Uncovering the Secrets of Their Adhesive Powers

    Why Are Sea Anemones Sticky: Uncovering the Secrets of Their Adhesive Powers

    Sea anemones are fascinating marine creatures, often admired for their vibrant colors and graceful tentacle movements. The sticky sensation one experiences when touching an anemone might not be immediately apparent. This trait serves a crucial role in their survival. The stickiness is due to a specialized type of cell called a cnidocyte, which contains a…

    Read more