The 63 Most Colorful Freshwater Fish: Are They For You?

Brightly colored fish can be found in freshwater all over the world. That means you shouldn’t just leave your freshwater aquarium a dull color.

When choosing a fish to keep, it’s important to keep ones that we know we can take care of and will fit in our fish tanks. It’s also important to choose fish that will add color and life to our fish tanks.

So, to help you, we made this list of some of the most popular and colorful freshwater fish. You’ll read about many beautiful species of different sizes and colors, so everyone can find something they like.

Table of Contents

Most Colorful Freshwater Fish For 5 Gallon Tanks

Small fish tanks are great if you don’t have much room in your room or if you want to decorate your desk. Even though it’s small, it can still hold some small, popular colorful fish. Here are a few fish species that would give your 5-gallon fish tank some color.

Betta (Betta splendens)

betta care sheet

Betta fish are some of the best colorful aquarium fish for small tanks, not just because of their bright colors, but also how easy they are to keep. However, they’re aggressive by nature, so you’ll need to pick tank mates for them carefully.

Thanks to all the different patterns, colors, and tail types they come in, you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to this fish. Just make sure their tank has a lid, as they are prone to jumping out, and try to make it look as natural as possible by adding decorations and floating plants.

  • pH:  6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 76 to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years 
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae)

mosquito/chili rasbora care sheet

In terms of size, chili rasboras are among the smallest colorful freshwater aquarium fish available. Because they are about 0.8 inches long on average, you can keep 6 to 8 of them in a 5 gallon fish tank.

In the wild, they love black water tanks so try to keep this look in your aquarium by adding driftwood and plants like java fern, java moss, and anubias. Feeding them is also easy as they’ll eat high quality fish flakes and live food.

  • pH:  5.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F.
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Size: 0.8″
  • Lifespan: 4-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Clown Killifish/Banded Panchax (Epiplatys annulatus)

Clown Killifish_Banded Panchax Care Sheets

Clown killifish are great for people looking for fish that stay near the top of the water column. While their bodies are colorful, the real color is in their tail which has gorgeous hues of red, yellow, and blue.

Because they have small mouths and like to swim near the surface of the water, you can feed them small, floating foods like fry food, crushed flakes, freeze-dried daphnia, or slow-sinking foods like live baby brine shrimp or frozen cyclops.

  • pH: 4.0 – 7.0 
  • Temperature: 68°F – 79°F.
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.2 – 1.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

Guppy Care Sheet

Fancy guppies are fantastic and unsurprisingly one of the most popular colorful fish you can add to your aquarium. Not only are they colorful, they’re also livebearers which means you’ll end up having more and more in your tank.

  • pH:  6.8 to 7.8.
  • Temperature: 74°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Size: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1-3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Cobra Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

Cobra Guppy Care Sheet

While guppies in general are colorful, the Cobra guppy is a variation that really stands out among them. Cobra Guppies are a beautiful mix of red, blue, bright yellow, and green patterns that make them look similar to the patterns found on a leopard.

Taking care of cobra guppies is the same as taking care of any other guppy, so make sure the tank is well planted, and feed them high quality fish flakes regularly.

  • pH: 6.8 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5-2.5″
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Most Colorful Freshwater Fish For 10 Gallon Tank

Beginner aquarists often start with a 10-gallon aquarium because of its low price and their availability at pet stores. With this slightly bigger fish tank, you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of beautiful aquarium fish to put in it. Here is a list of colorful fish that will fit in your 10-gallon tank.

Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

harlequin rasbora care sheet

The harlequin rasbora is an attractive little fish with a long, narrow head and a small, terminal mouth and a caudal fin that forks off sharply. They are active, easy to care for, and fast-moving fish that are also a great addition to a peaceful community fish tank. They prefer slightly acidic water with little to no water movement, lots of plants, dark gravel, and low light.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 72°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 5 fish
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

Dwarf Gourami Care Sheet

Dwarf gouramis are another great colorful freshwater fish which only grow to about 3 inches in length, making them a great choice for a 10 gallon fish tank filled with plants and hiding spots.

And unlike other species of gourami, dwarf gouramis are incredibly peaceful which means you can keep them with plenty of other fish too!

In the wild, these fish eat algae, small invertebrates and insects, and plants, so it would be best to feed them high quality flake food along with some live food or frozen foods and vegetables.

  • pH:  6.0 to 7.5 
  • Temperature: 72°F and 82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 3 fish
  • Fish Size: 2-3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

zebra danio care sheet

Zebra Danios are a great choice for beginner aquarists because they are hardy, active, colorful, and peaceful. You can keep about 4-5 zebra danios in a 10 gallon tank as they grow to be about 2 inches in length.

While they may not be as colorful as some other of the other fish on this list, they still stand out in a tank!

For a zebra danio tank, you need a soft bottom, like treated sand, and some live plants, like Java fern, to make the tank look like the sandy river beds where zebra danios live in the wild.

  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 64°F to 78°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 5 fish
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetra Care Sheet

If you only have room for a small aquarium, neon tetras are an excellent choice. Since they normally get about an inch to an inch and a half in length so you can fit five or 6 of these colorful schooling fish in a 10 gallon tank.

Lastly, For your neon tetras to feel at home, make sure your aquarium has floating plants and driftwood that they can hide in. And feed them fish flakes mixed with live food on ocassion.

  • pH: 4.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 78°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum for 6 fish
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumila)

Sparkling Gourami Care Sheet

Another fantastic and colorful freshwater fish, sparkling gouramis aren’t going to need much space because they only grow to be half an inch long. They’re color mixed with the fact they love to swim in groups, really creates a dazzling show.

Don’t forget to put plants in their tank, since the sparkling gourami lives in still bodies of water with lots of plants. Some great plants to choose from include anubias, java fern, and cryptocoryne

  • pH:  6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 76°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Endler’s Livebearer (Poecilia wingei)

endler's livebearers care sheet

Endler’s livebearers are sometimes confused with guppies because of how similar they both look. However, these colorful fish are different from guppies because their bodies are thinner and shaped like torpedoes, as well as having smaller fins.

If you want to add these eye-catching fish to your tank, make sure you’re adding plenty of hiding places so the females feel safe when they’re giving birth.

  • pH: 6.5-8.5
  • Temperature: 68°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 to 3 years
  • Lifespan: 2 inches
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus)

celestial pearl danio care

Due to their captivating appearance, celestial pearl danios are probably one of the best fish on this list, and one of my personal favourites. They have bright red fins with black stripes, and the bulk of their body is dark blue with cream-colored spots resembling the stars in the sky.

Celestial Pearl Danios don’t really need much, as long as you keep the water parameters stable and add a few decorations to the tank, they will do just fine.

  • pH:  6.6 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 78°F.
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)

platy care sheet

Being one of the most colorful fish, platys have base colors that range from light yellow to almost black. They grow to around 3″ in length which means they need a lot of room to swim around and can be kept in groups of 3 or more. This makes a 10 or 15 gallon fish tank a great size for them.

To take the best care of them, feed them a variety of pellets, flakes, and vegetables, as well as some live or frozen foods every now and then, and keep the water stable.

  • pH:  6.8 to 8.5
  • Temperature: 70°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Rainbow Kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher)

Rainbow-Krib-Care-Sheet

Rainbow kribensis are small, colorful fish that are also easy to take care of. As you can tell by their name they are available in a rainbow of colors, including yellow, green, blue, and even albino varieties.

Rainbow Kribensis cichlids like lots of dense plants and places to hide, so make sure to add some aquatic plants and a few cave decorations for them to hide in.

  • pH:  5.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3-4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Lyretail (Orange) Killifish (Aphyosemion australe

Lyretail Killifish Care Sheet

Your lyretail Killifish will thrive in a well-planted aquarium that mimics their natural habitat. To create hiding spots, incorporate driftwood and rocks. Also, by replicating their natural environment, lyretail Killifish will feel more comfortable and display their vibrant colors to the fullest.

Orange Killifish are not picky eaters and will eat a variety of live or frozen foods. Their diet should consist mainly of a high quality flake food which is supplemented with things like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

When selecting tank mates for Orange Killifish, it’s important to consider their peaceful nature and small size. Pygmy corydoras, small rasboras, and other killifish make excellent companions as they share similar temperaments and requirements. 

  • pH:  5.5 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Gardneri (Blue Lyretail) Killifish (Fundulopanchax gardneri) 

Gardneri Killifish Care Sheet

Gardneri Killifish are relatively easy to care for, but they do have specific requirements. They need a tank with clean water and pick a filter that doesn’t create a strong water flow. Soft water is preferred, and the tank should have plenty of live plants, rocks, and driftwood for hiding spots. 

Gardneri Killifish are carnivorous by nature, normally eating insects. However, in an aquarium setting, they can be fed flakes, pellets, and dried food. While they can consume live food like bloodworms and brine shrimp, limiting it to about once a week is what I’d recommend. 

While Gardneri Killifish are generally peaceful, they can exhibit signs of aggression and can even fin nip. So, avoid introducing colorful fish that may be perceived as competition and become targets of aggression. Some ideal tankmates include Danios, Barbs, Tetras, Corydoras, and Clown Loach.

  • pH:  6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 65°F to 75°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Ruby Tetra (Axelrodia Riesei

Ruby Tetra Care Sheet

One of the best ways to create a beautiful habitat for your Ruby Tetras is by using a sand substrate to mimic the natural riverbed environment they’re used too. You should also think about adding Indian almond leaves, driftwood, rocks, and other organic decorations, to really make them feel at home.

Lastly, add floating plants and plenty of open swimming spaces with nice, gentle water flow and dim lighting, to make their tank the ideal space for them.

While small flakes and pellets should be the staple of their diet, you can supplement your Ruby Tetra’s diet with live foods such as Artemia, micro worms, Tubifex, chopped bloodworms, and baby brine shrimp.

If you can’t get hold of live versions, then freeze-dried and frozen options are great alternatives.

Due to their small size, choosing the right tank mates for your Ruby Tetras is crucial. They are prone to being mistaken as prey, even with non-aggressive fish. So to ensure a safe environment for them, keep Ruby Tetras in larger groups and consider companions like Otocinclus, Corydoras Catfish, and Pencil Fish.

  • pH:  5.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 68°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.6 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Egger’s Killifish (Nothobranchius eggersi

Egger's Killifish Care Sheet

To create the perfect habitat for Eggers’ Killifish, the key is to set up a well-planted tank. For example, why not consider adding plants like Java moss, Christmas moss, and Java fern. You should also, include floating plants like duckweed, and complement the tank with driftwood, and strategically positioned rocks.

Egger’s Killifish need a diverse diet. The majority should come from high quality fish flakes however, you can also give them a variety of live, freeze-dried, and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, as treats.

Choosing the right companions for your Egger’s Killifish is crucial for their happiness. Small and peaceful species like Rasboras, Danios, smaller Tetras, and Corydoras Catfish as well as Shrimp and Snails are going to be the best tankmates for your fish!

  • pH:  7.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 70°F to 77°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 1.5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Gertrude’s Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish (Pseudomugil gertrudae

Gertrude's Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish Care Sheet

To create the ideal home for Gertrude’s Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish, start with a spacious tank with plenty of room to swim and explore. Decorate the tank with live plants, rocks, and driftwood, and perform regular water changes to maintain good water quality.

Feeding Gertrude’s Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish a balanced diet is key, so provide them with high-quality dry flakes or pellets for small tropical fish. Spice up their diet with occasional treats of live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, or bloodworms for variety and encourage growth.

When you’re picking tank mates for your Gertrude’s, go for peaceful species that will get along with them.  From friendly tetras, rasboras, and small catfish, to other Rainbowfish species, don’t forget to choose those with the same parameters too!

  • pH:  6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 70°F to 78°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 4-6 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)

white cloud mountain minnow care sheet

White Cloud Mountain Minnows prefer a tank that is well-planted and has a gentle water flow. You can create a natural environment by adding rocks and driftwood which not only enhances the aesthetics but also stimulates the minnows’ vibrant colors, making them even more captivating.

When it comes to your White Clouds’ diet, it’s always best to give them a diverse range of food. High-quality flake food and micro pellets are great options to meet their nutritional needs and live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms will give them the variety they need.

If you’re considering tank mates for White Cloud Mountain Minnows, pick small and peaceful species. Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, and Otocinclus Catfish are excellent companions, as they have similar water requirements and will live happily with your WCCM’s.

These are one of my favourite species of fish. They’re often overlooked because they’re somewhat “beginner fish”. But even if you’re more experienced I’d still recommend adding some to the tank as well.

  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 64°F to 71°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

(If you’re interested in getting a 10 gallon fish tank, I recently rated EVERY 10 gallon tank on the market, so you can make the best purchasing decision!)

Colorful Fish For 15 Gallon Tanks

Here are all of the best colorful fish you can put in a 15 gallon tank!

Red Neon Goby (Stiphodon sp.)

Stiphodon Goby Care Sheet

Rare red neon gobies are a great addition to community aquariums with a lot of other peaceful fish and a lot of water movement because they are very active and easy to spot. They can also be kept in pairs in small fish tanks as small as 10 gallons because they don’t grow bigger than 2 inches. This colorful fish comes from shallow, clear, fast-moving waters and is sensitive to changes in water quality so you need to install high-power filters to keep the water flowing.

  • pH: 7.4 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 75°F to 81° F
  • Tank Size: 15 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox)

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish Care Sheet

Most rainbow fish are big enough that they need to be kept in larger tanks, luckily however, the dwarf neon rainbowfish only grows to around 2.5 inches long. Even with their smaller size, they do like lots of swimming space so make sure you’re keeping them in tanks which are 15 gallons or bigger.

One thing to note is that dwarf neon rainbow fish don’t do well when they’re stressed, so make sure the water in your aquarium is stable, change the water often, and cover the tank.

  • pH:  6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature:  74°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Red Pencil Fish (Nannostomus mortenthaleri)

red Pencilfish Care Sheet

The red pencilfish is a tiny, colorful fish that is mostly red with a few black and white stripes along its body. Since pencilfish swim in schools, they need to be kept in at least fours, so a 10-gallon tank is best for them. Also try to keep them in an aquarium with lots of plants, a dark bottom, and plenty of shaded areas.

  • pH: 5.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Glowlight Danio (Danio choprai)

Glowlight Danio care sheet

While they may have a similar body to zebra danios, glowlight danios are some truly vibrant fish that will look great in your aquarium. These colorful fish swim in groups, so you’ll need at least six of them to keep them from getting stressed.

Also, they can be known to swim and jump around a lot, so make sure you’re adding lots of plants in the tank to make them comfortable, and keep a lid on the tank.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperatre: 68°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Peacock Gudgeon/Goby (Tateurndina ocellicauda)

Peacock Gudgeon Care Sheet

One of the most eye-catching colorful aquarium fish available, peacock gudgeons or peacock gobies can serve as the highlight of any aquarium. They grow to be about 3 inches long on average, so you can put around six of them in a 20 gallon fish tank.

They do like to hide and hang out where there are a lot of plants they can eat, so make sure you put some aquatic plants, rocks, driftwood, and other decorations, in the tank.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Loving all these fish? Then check out the best community fish for your tank, where you’ll find out all the different fish that can live harmoniously together in your fish tank!

Most Colorful Freshwater Fish For 20 Gallon Tank

The bigger your tank is, the more room it has and the more stable the water is. As a result, you’ll be able to keep a wider variety of fish, including larger, colorful species. Here are some popular colorful fish you might want to put in your 20-gallon fish tank.

Bluefin Notho Killifish (Nothobranchius rachovii)

Bluefin Notho Killifish Caresheet

The Bluefin Notho is a type of killifish that’s going to make any list of the most beautiful and colorful freshwater fish. At first, their bodies are bright orange with a few small blue spots, but as you move towards the tail, the orange fades and the blue spots become more noticeable.

Blue Nothos should eat dried foods and flakes as a staple diet, however, it’s important to provide variety by also feeding them small live or frozen foods like mosquito larvae, cyclops, and daphnia.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 70°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 1-1.5 year
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)

molly fish care sheet

Mollies come in a range of colors, from yellow, black, orange, red, and white, and some have spots all over their bodies, and they come in all different shapes and sizes as well. However mollies create a lot of waste, need a lot of space, and reproduce quickly, so you’ll need at least a 20 gallon fish tank with stable water and regular water changes.

  • pH: 7.5 and 8.5
  • Temperature: 71°F and 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Forktail Blue-Eye (Pseudomugil furcatus)

Forktail Blue-Eye Care Sheet

The forktail rainbowfish is another beautiful and colorful fish with bright blue eyes, metallic silver skin, and bright yellow stripes that run from the top of its head to the bottom of its body.

Since they are schooling fish, they feel most comfortable when they are in groups of their own kind. Make sure there are a lot of plants for them to hide in and don’t put only males in the aquarium to keep them from becoming aggressive.

  • pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Temperature: 75°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Golden Barbs (Barbodes semifasciolatus)

Golden Barb Care Sheet

Golden barbs were once green, but through breeding, they changed to a shimmering golden color. They aren’t picky about how their tanks are set up or what they eat, so taking care of them is as straightforward as it gets. However, these fish like to dig in the substrate, so a sand substrate is a good choice because it is soft and won’t scratch them when they dig.

  • pH:  6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 64°F and 75°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 6 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Electric Blue Rams (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi)

Electric Blue Ram Care Sheet

Electric blue rams are beautiful to look at, with bright blue eyes and coloring that changes shades of blue depending on how the light hits them. They’re usually peaceful fish, but they can get territorial especially when they are spawning or if they don’t have enough places to hide in your aquarium fish tank. They will, however, need good filtration and a heater because changes in ammonia, nitrites, and temperature can stress them out.

  • pH: 5.5 to 6.5
  • Temperature: 78°F to 85°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size:  2 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)

Swordtail Care Sheet

Swordtails are colorful freshwater fish that are a great first fish for anyone just getting into the aquarium trade. They’re called swordtails because their caudal fin sticks out along their lower half and can be as long as half their body length, making it look like a sword.

Since these fish are omnivores, they need a balanced diet that includes pellets, fish flakes, vegetables, and sometimes live and frozen food.

  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F and 79°F
  • Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 5.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Paradise Fish (Macropodus opercularis)

Paradise Fish Care Sheet

A freshwater fish with a forked tail, large dorsal fins, and bright blue and red stripes, paradise gouramis are a real show-stopper. However, they fight with each other and will even attack and kill smaller fish, so it’s a bad idea to put them together with other fish. The only exception to this is if the fish are large enough and able to protect themselves like large loaches and large catfish

Set up their fish so that they feel like they’re in their natural habitat by adding aquatic plants like hornwort, and dwarf hairgrass, which they will use as shelter and food.

  • pH: 5.8 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 68°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

Bolivian-Ram-Care-Sheet-1

The Bolivian ram is a small, colorful fish with an oval body that tops out at about 3.5 inches in length. The fish’s body ranges in color from grayish blue to dull brown and it has a yellow belly and spiky, ray-shaped fins with orange edges. These fish usually live in streams, pools, and lagoons, so it’s a good idea to add rocks, driftwood, and places to hide to make the tank look like their natural habitat.

  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 77°F and 82°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3-4 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Florida Flag Fish (Jordanella floridae)

american flagfish care sheet

The males of the Florida flag fish have a pattern on their bodies that some people say looks like the stars and stripes of the American flag, which is how they got their name (however, I don’t see it). Their dark blue heads, bulldog-like snouts, and bright bodies with spots of green, red, blue, and gold are just some of the reasons they’re great colorful fish for your tank.

Since they live at the top of the water column, feed them flake food that floats on the surface, along with some vegetables and live foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature:  64°F to 72°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.4 inches 
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplocheilus lineatus) 

Golden Wonder Killifish Care sheet

To create an optimal environment for your Golden Wonder Killifish, create a well-planted tank with both submerged and floating plants on top of the addition of driftwood. And remember, fish appreciate a gentle water flow, which mimics their natural habitat conditions.

Diet wise, Golden Wonder Killifish are carnivores and need a variety of frozen meaty foods to replicate their natural diet of insects and larvae. They enjoy white mosquito larvae, bloodworms, daphnia, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp. Live food will also help maintain their colors and can even stimulate breeding behavior. 

Golden Wonder Killifish do best with friendly community fish so consider tank mates like tetras (especially larger ones), rams, Banjo Catfish, Otocinclus, dwarf cichlids, Corydoras Catfish, Vampire Shrimp, and snails. 

Steer clear of smaller shrimp as your killifish may try to eat them.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 77°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 4 inches 
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon Axelrodi

Cardinal Tetra Care Sheet

To create a happy home for Cardinal Tetras fill the tank with lush plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Amazon Sword. Use fine sand substrate to mimic riverbeds. And give them swimming areas by leaving an open area in the middle, and add some rocks and driftwood an extra natural affect 

Feeding Cardinal Tetras is easy as they’ll eat most things you put in the tank. As omnivores, they typically feed on worms and small crustaceans in the wild. However, to meet their nutrition needs, about three quarters of their diet should be flakes or pellets specifically formulated for Tetras.

Cardinal Tetras thrive in community tanks. However, avoid aggressive, territorial and larger fish that could view them as prey. Some great tank mates include Black Skirt Tetra’s, Dwarf Gourami’s, Guppies, Ember Tetra’s, Chili Rasbora’s, Hatchetfish, Green Neon Tetra’s, and Mollies. 

  • pH: 5.3 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 73°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 inches 
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Glofish (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

Glofish Tetra Care Sheet

To create the best tank setup for Glofish, start by providing a well-planted tank with a variety of plants, including floating plants and driftwood. Also, don’t forget to add blue or purple LED lights to highlight their fluorescent colors!  

Glofish are omnivorous and thrive on a varied diet. Offer them a combination of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, which provide essential nutrients and stimulate their natural feeding behaviors. But make sure the bulk of their come from high quality flake food.

Pygmy corydoras, ember tetras, and shrimp are excellent tank mate choices for your Glofish because they share a similar temperament and have compatible care requirements. It’s crucial to consider the size and behavior of potential tank mates to prevent any aggression or territorial conflicts.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Goldfish Care Sheet

Goldfish are the most popular fish among aquarists because how hardy and easy to take care of they are, as well as their color. Goldfish can live up to 15 years, but I’ve even heard claims of goldfish living up to 20 years.

Plants should be added to their aquariums to make it look and feel more natural, but keep in mind that goldfish are omnivores and may decide to eat some of them.

On top of this, if you have a tropical tank, then goldfish aren’t going to be a good choice for you. You should only keep them in cold water tanks with other cold water fish.

  • pH:  6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 65°F to 75°F.
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons minimum for a pair
  • Fish Size: 2-8 inches
  • Lifespan:  10 to 15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Most Colorful Fish For 30 Gallons

If you’re tank is 30 gallons or larger, then you can also consider adding the following fish as well!

Buenos Aires Tetra (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi

buenos Aires tetra care sheet

As you set up your tank for Buenos Aires Tetras, remember that they’re known to destroy plants so add other decorations like driftwood, rocks, caves, or plastic and silk plants. Gravel or sand should be used as substrate, and make sure you’re using a powerful filter, as they’re sensitive to poor water quality.

As natural omnivores, Buenos Aires Tetras have a varied diet in the wild consisting of plants, insects, and crustaceans. With this in mind their main diet should be dry flake or pellet food supplemented with occasional high-protein snacks and leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach. 

When deciding on tank mates for Buenos Aires Tetras, choose larger or similar-sized fish to avoid bullying. They do best with other large tetras and other good tank mates include Congo Tetras, Bolivian Ram Cichlids, Black Skirt Tetras, Emperor Tetras, and Rainbowfish.

  • pH: 5.8 to 8.5
  • Temperature:  64°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: 3 inches 
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Congo Tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus)  

Congo Tetra Care Sheet

Like all fish, Congo tetras thrive when they’re kept in tanks as close to their natural habitat as possible. They prefer still, dark, and soft water with low light levels, which can be achieved with dim aquarium lights and floating plants. Providing a darker substrate, bottom-growing plants, ample space and carefully filtered water is essential for their happiness.

As omnivores, they have a diverse diet in the wild, consuming insects, worms, plant matter, and algae. As pets, they are easy to feed, enjoying live, fresh, and flake foods, as well as brine shrimp and bloodworms. Try to feed them twice a day for a couple of minutes at a time.

Congo tetras are schooling fish and generally coexist peacefully with similarly-sized or smaller fish. Suitable tankmates include other tetras, rainbowfish, Corydoras catfish, Platies, Swordtails, Barbs, Elephant Nose Fish.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature:  73°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5-3.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Banded Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia trifasciata)  

Banded Rainbowfish Care Sheet

Banded Rainbowfish thrive in tanks that offer a combination of open swimming areas and dense vegetation. To create a more natural ambiance, consider incorporating some rocks and driftwood into the setup too.

Ensure a well-rounded diet for your Banded Rainbowfish by providing them a mix of high-quality flake food, micro pellets, and live or frozen food such as daphnia and brine shrimp.

Great tank mates for Banded Rainbowfish include peaceful species like cherry barbs, neon tetras, and small corydoras catfish. With other peaceful fish in the tank, you don’t have to worry about aggression or fin nipping occurring.

  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 70°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: 5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Red Phantom Tetras (Hyphessobrycon Sweglesi

Red Phantom Tetra Care Sheet

To create a suitable habitat for red phantom tetras in your aquarium, you’ll need to replicate the water conditions of Amazon River! Include Indian almond leaves and surface plants for shade, which will also release beneficial tannins as they decompose. And of course, add plenty of hiding spots too

In their natural habitat, red phantom tetras are omnivores, consuming a combination of decomposing plant material and small insects like daphnia and mosquito larvae. However, for the most part, you can feed them tropical fish flakes and supplement their diet with live foods and blanched veggies.

When picking tank mates for your Red Phantom Tetras, choose ones that are non-aggressive and peaceful. Great choices include Celestial Pearl Danios, Common Corydoras catfish, Platys, Harlequin rasboras, and Mollies. 

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 68°F to 73°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Blue Acara (Andinoacara Pulcher

Blue Acara Care Sheet

When creating a tank environment for blue acaras just like other fish it’s always best to mimic their natural environment. Use rounded gravel or fine sand substrate and add robust plants like java fern, java moss, and anubias. You can also include floating plants like dwarf water lettuce to give them some shade as well.

Feed your blue acaras a protein-rich diet, including live critters like bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae and daphnia. A large chunk of their diet should also be pellets and flake fish food to ensure it’s nutritionally balanced. Lastly, it’s important to offer variety by mixing plant-based properties in their diet.

In a community tank, Electric Blue Acaras are peaceful and can be paired with a whole range of tank mates such as Firemouth cichlids, Cory catfish, Discus , Oscars, Rainbowfish, and Otocinclus.

  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 86°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: 6 inches 
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Blue Gularis Killifish (Fundulopanchax sjostedti)

Blue Gularis Killifis Care Sheet

The Blue Gularis Killifish is a great choice if you want a tropical fish with a whole range of different colors for your aquarium. Their bodies are blue and orange, which lead down to a brightly colored tail. A Proper tank setup for this fish includes a peat moss substrate, lots of plants, hiding spots, and an aquarium cover to prevent them from jumping out.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 73°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 25 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Jewel Cichlid (Hemichromis bimaculatus)

Jewel Cichlid Care Sheet

The Jewel Cichlid is a beautiful and colorful fish that captivates many aquarists as it’s body glimmers while it swims. This species is usually bright red all over, and their sides and fins are covered evenly with white or blue-green spots.

Even though they are pretty, they are very aggressive and will pick a fight with almost any other species. To keep them from getting stressed, put them in big tanks with sand at the bottom, some plants, and big rocks.

  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 75°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii)

Pearl Gourami Care Sheet

Pearl gouramis are colorful and exotic-looking fish that any aquarist can keep. Their name comes from the pearly white spots that cover their otherwise light red and blue scales, which have a black and white streak that goes from their eyes down to their tail.

The easiest way to keep your pearl gourami’s happy is to fill the aquarium with a sand substrate, aquatic plants like java fern and anacharis, and some decorations they can use to hide.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5 
  • Temperature: 77°F to 82°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 4-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Cherry Barbs (Puntius titteya)

Cherry Barb Care Sheet

As you can see cherry barbs are a beautiful vibrant red which makes them stand out and contrast in any aquarium, but especially ones with lots of live plants. Cherry barbs are calm fish but they need a lot of room to swim and plants to hide in. They may also be nervous on their own, but they feel safe in small groups, so try to keep 6 or more together.

  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 73°F to 81°F 
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size:  2 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Most Colorful Fish For 35 Gallon Tanks Or Bigger

If you have a 55 gallon tank or bigger, then here are some more fantastic colorful fish that you can add to it! I’ve left the size of the tank next to the fish so there’s no confusion.

Green Terror Cichlid (Andinoacara rivulatus) 50 Gallons

Green Terror Cichlid Care Sheet

Green Terror Cichlids are like Oscar Fish in some ways, but they are brighter and have more colors. However, these cichlid’s are highly territorial and aggressive, in fact females are usually more aggressive than the males.

In the wild, they are usually carnivores, but in captivity, they are opportunistic, omnivorous fish that need a varied diet of live food and vegetables, such as shrimp, earthworms, fish flakes, or cooked peas and spinach.

  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 70°F to 80°F
  • Tank Size: 50 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 6-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Jack Dempsey Fish (Rocio octofasciata) 55 Gallons

Jack Dempsey Care Sheet

Jack Dempsey fish are colorful freshwater fish who love to dig, so when setting up their tank it’s crucial to choose the right substrate. Sand, gravel and aquarium soil are all great choices which your Jack Dempsey’s will love to dig through. On top of this, dark-colored substrate is going to enhance their appearance, making their iridescent colors stand out even more.

And of course, don’t forget to add plenty of hiding places to make sure they really feel safe.

To ensure your Jack Dempsey’s are getting all the nutrients they need, feed them a balanced diet consisting of dried fish flakes and cichlid pellets. Supplement their diet with live or frozen protein-rich foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, crickets, fruit flies, and grasshoppers.

When choosing tankmates for Jack Dempseys, choose similarly-sized fish with compatible temperaments. Good tankmates include other Jack Dempsey fish (preferably in pairs or small groups), Oscar fish, Mbuna cichlids, Angelfish, Clown loaches, Convict cichlids, and Plecostomus catfish.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 72°F to 86°F
  • Tank Size: 55 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 7-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Roseline Sharks (Sahyadria denisonii) 55 Gallons

Roseline Shark Care Sheet

Creating an ideal habitat for Roseline Sharks requires a spacious tank with ample swimming space and a secure lid to prevent them jumping from the tank. They thrive in clean, well-oxygenated water, so a reliable filter is needed. Use sand or gravel with smooth rocks, driftwood, or caves for hiding spots. 

When it comes to feeding, Roseline Sharks are flexible eaters. While they readily accept commercial flakes and pellets, incorporating fresh or frozen foods rich in pigments will help maintain their stunning colors. Treats such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia can also be included in their diet.

Roseline Sharks do best with medium-sized, non-aggressive fish like Angelfish, Tetras, and Rainbowfish. However, it’s important to avoid aggressive or territorial species such as Red Tail Sharks, as this can lead to conflicts in the tank.

  • pH: 6.5 to 7.8
  • Temperature: 60°F to 77°F
  • Tank Size: 55 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara) 55 Gallons

Peacock Cichlid Care Sheet

To create the most comfortable habitat for peacock cichlids, mimic the conditions of Lake Malawi. Use a soft sandy substrate, arrange rocks and caves for hiding, and include hardy plants like anacharis and Java fern to make them really happy!

In terms of food, peacock cichlids are opportunistic eaters. Offer them a diverse diet that includes high-quality flakes, live or frozen brine shrimp, algae wafers, and veggies like blanched spinach or lettuce.

Always choose peaceful and friendly tankmates for your peacock cichlids that occupy the upper areas of the tank. Avoid aggressive species like bettas, tiger barbs, or other cichlids, like firemouth cichlids, and convict cichlids.

  • pH: 7.5 to 8.5
  • Temperature: 75°F to 782F
  • Tank Size: 55 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 6-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid (Labidochromis caeruleus) 55 Gallons

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid

As the name suggests, these fish are bright yellow with a black line running along their dorsal, ventral, and anal fins. Because of the contrast between their yellow and black colors, they are without a doubt one of the most colorful freshwater fish. Yellow Labs like to swim around and explore caves and small rocks, so make sure to put driftwood and plants in their fish tank to make it look like their natural habitat.

Lemon Lab Cichlids require lots of rocks and hiding spots in their tank, so be sure to include caves and other hiding places. You should also use sand or fine gravel as the substrate and include hardy plants that are deeply rooted as they love to dig.

For their diet, Lemon Lab Cichlids should be offered a combination of high-quality cichlid pellets, flake foods like Spirulina flakes to enhance their colors, and freeze-dried bloodworms. However, remember, they can also eat standard tropical food.

When selecting tank mates for Lemon Lab Cichlids, consider larger fish species that are semi-aggressive in nature. Firemouth cichlids, Red Zebra cichlid, Cobalt Blue Cichlids, and plecos are some of the best choices, thanks to their temperaments.

  • pH: 7.2 to 8.8
  • Temperature: 74ºF to 84ºF
  • Tank Size: 55 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Oscars (Astronotus ocellatus75 Gallons

Oscar Care Sheet

Oscars, with their impressive size and personality, require an adequately spacious aquarium to thrive.  They also need a sandy substrate to dig, and large rocks or driftwood for hiding. Oscars are known to rearrange their tank, so avoid delicate plants as they may be uprooted or damaged.

Offering a varied and nutritious menu is key to keeping Oscars healthy and vibrant. High-quality cichlid pellets should form the foundation of their diet. Supplementing with live or frozen foods like krill and earthworms adds variety and mimics their natural prey in the wild, and making them happier!

In choosing tank mates for Oscars, you’ll want to pick fish that can hold their own against these territorial giants. Robust species like silver dollars, severums, and plecos are generally up to the challenge and can peacefully coexist with them. 

  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 74°F to 81°F
  • Tank Size: 75 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 10-12 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Flowerhorn Cichlid (Amphilophus hybrid)

Flowerhorn Cichlid Care Sheet

Like other cichlids, flowerhorn cichlids are known for their digging behavior, which can uproot plants and disrupt the tank. So instead of plants, opt for driftwood or appropriately sized rocks as tank decorations to add visual interest without the risk of damage.

When it comes to feeding, provide high-quality protein sources such as bloodworms, crickets, grasshoppers, worms, and shrimp to meet their protein needs. Along with this, while you should be feeding them live food, you can also use tropical flakes, as well as blanched veggies!

Due to their aggressive nature, finding suitable tank mates for flowerhorn cichlids can be challenging. They’re very territorial, so it’s safest to keep them alone. While it is possible to have tank mates from other species, it is riskier. But some possible tankmates are Oscar Fish, Plecos and Bichir.

  • pH: 7.4to 8.0
  • Temperature: 80°F to 85°F
  • Tank Size: 75 Gallons
  • Fish Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Discus (Symphysodon)

Discus Care Sheet

One of the most popular colorful freshwater fish has to be discus. These brightly colored freshwater fish come in a variety of patterns, and you can easily tell them apart by their red eyes and round, flat bodies.

However, it can be hard to take care of some species of discus because they need a fish tank with very clean water with lots of plants and places to hide to make their environment look like it does in the wild. 

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 82°F to 86°F 
  • Tank Size:  75 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size: 4.8 to 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Expert

Salvini Cichlid (Trichromis salvini)

Salvini Cichlid Care Sheet

Salvini cichlids are another colorful fish you can keep in your tank. They have a golden yellow, oval body, a pointed snout, and black spots that form a line along the sides. They also have a few iridescent blue spots that shine in the light as they swim. This fish will do best in a place with lots of aquatic plants, strong water flow, and some driftwood or decorations that they claim as their territory.

  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0 pH
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Tank Size: 55 gallons for a single fish
  • Fish Size: 8 inches
  • Lifespan: 13 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Hard

Redhead Cichlid (Paraneetroplus synspilus)

  • pH:  7.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 77°F to 83°F
  • Tank Size:  120 gallons
  • Fish Size: 12-14 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Expert

One more of the most colorful freshwater fish is the redhead cichlid. Their bodies are a mix of blue and orange, with black spots and a bright red spot on the forehead, which is how they got the name “redhead cichlid”. The best way to care for these fish is to put them in large tanks with others of the same species, preferably more females to keep them from fighting.

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown Loach Care Sheet

Clown loaches are colorful and social freshwater fish that can be added to large community tanks. They are different in a way from most fish, as they’re scaleless (just like corydoras) but this doesn’t detract from their bright coloring.

In your aquarium, you should use a sand or fine gravel substrate to make sure they don’t hurt themselves, and of course, keep the tank well planted to give them plenty of hiding places.

  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 77°F to 86°F
  • Tank Size: 100 gallons minimum
  • Fish Size:6-8 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 -20 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Intermediate

Most Colorful Freshwater Fish For Beginners

If you’re just getting started with your first fish tank, it’s best to start with fish that are easy to take care of. Even though that’s true, you shouldn’t let that be an excuse to let your beautiful fish tank stay dull.

The best colorful freshwater fish for beginners include things like guppies, rasboras, bettas, tetras, platies, swordtails, mollies, Endler’s livebearers, some species of danios (like celestial pearl danios), and even some species of corydoras.

If I was a beginner again, I’d personally get a betta. However, if you want a community tank I’d definitely say tetras like neon tetras ember tetras are your best choice. While guppies, platies etc, are great, they’re going to breed a lot which means you’ll end up with more tank inhabitants than you first thought.

Small Colorful Fish For Your Fish Tank

If you’re looking for small colorful fish for your tank, then you’re still spoilt for choice. Pygmy sunfish, bettas, white cloud mountain minnows, celestial pearl danios, gouramis, certain gobies, tetras, endler’s livebearers and guppies are going to be your best options.

If you only have a nano tank then you need to check out the best fish for small tanks!

Which Colorful Fish Can Live Together?

Now you know all the different types of colorful fish, you may be wondering which ones can live together. Luckily a lot of these fish can also live together! Here are some colorful fish you might want to put in a community fish tank if you want to make one.

Guppies, neon tetras, cardinal tetras, celestial peal danios, Endler’s livebearer’s, orange and blue lyretails, as well as mollies, platies, and swordtails are all great choices!

Colorful Schooling Freshwater Fish

If you don’t want a prized fish in your tank, but rather a group, then you’re still in luck. Plenty of the fish above school together! And having a group of colorful fish swim around your fish tank and playing with each other, really makes the tank entertaining and stand out.

Some of the best colorful schooling fish include Celestial pearl danios, neon tetras, ember tetras, congo tetras, buenos aires tetras, cherry barbs, golden barbs, chili rasboras, harlequin rasboras and even more colorful corydoras!

FAQ

What’s the Most Colorful Freshwater Fish?

There is no ONE most colorful fish, however, lyretails, bettas, guppies, and endler’s livebearers are some of the most colorful fish you can add to your tank in my opinion.

What Are the Most Peaceful Colorful Freshwater Fish?

If you’re looking for the most peaceful colorful fish, then you should absolutely stick with guppies, endler’s livebearer’s, swordtails, platies, mollies and dwarf neon rainbowfish.

Why Are Saltwater Fish More Colorful than Freshwater Fish?

While evolution is the cause behind why saltwater fish are more colorful, we can speculate a few reasons why it might occur.

If I had to guess, I’d say one reason is because the environments are so different, oftentimes freshwater fish are in murkier conditions compared to saltwater fish where the water is a lot more clear.

Most Colorful Freshwater Fish for 55 Gallon Tank?

If you want freshwater fish for your 55 gallon tank, then you’re truly spoilt for choice. If you want a large fish try yellow lab cichlids, oscars and discus. However, if you want smaller fish try all of the standard fish like neon tetras, guppies etc.

What Are Some Large Colorful Freshwater Fish?

Jack Dempsey fish, cichlids, discus, and clown loaches are some of the largest colorful fish you can keep. All of them can grow to about 9 inches, but some of them are territorial, so you might need tanks that are quite a bit bigger.

Recap

There are so many colorful freshwater fish that you can always find one that fits in the fish tank you have, no matter how big or small it is. They come in many colors, sizes, shapes, stripes, and patterns, and some of them even change color depending on how you look at them.

Some fish like to swim close to each other in groups, so you might see them swimming together in your fish tank. Other fish prefer to be alone in their fish tanks. There are also colorful freshwater fish that can live in community tanks with other fish if you decide to keep more than one species. Depending on what you want, there is always a perfect fish, so make sure you can give them the best care to keep your colorful fish happy.

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!