51 Best Community Fish For Your Tank (& Care Guides)

Last Updated on 2023-09-28

Setting up a community tank can be a fun and rewarding experience, but selecting the right freshwater fish can be a daunting task. With so many fish to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones will coexist peacefully in the same tank.

With that in mind, in this article, we will explore some of the best community tank fish as well as other great shrimp and snails you can add to the tank as well! And of course, what fish you definitely want to avoid in community tanks!

50 Best Freshwater Community Fish

Table of Contents

Best Community Tank Fish

Here are all the best fish for your community tank in size order!

Best Community Fish For 5 Gallon Tanks

NamepHTempSizeLifespan
Chili Rasbora5.0-7.072-82°F0.8″4-8 Years
Strawberry Rasbora5.5-7.077-82°F0.7″ 8 Years
Guppies7.0-8.072-82°F1-2.5″2-3 Years
Nerite Snails7.0-8.072-78°F0.75″1-2 Years
Malaysian Trumpet Snails7.0-8.075-79°F1.5″2 Years
Ramshorn Snails7.0-8.070-80°F1″1 Year
Cherry Shrimp6.5-8.072-82°F1.25″1-2 Years
Ghost Shrimp7.0-8.065-80°F1.5″1 Year
Blue Bolt Shrimp6.0-6.868-74°F0.5″1-2 Years

First of all, here are some great fish you can put into a 5 gallon tank! Remember, even though they’re small it doesn’t mean they’re not going to be a great choice.

Chili/Mosquito Rasbora (Boraras Brigittae)

Chili_Mosquito Rasbora Care Sheet

As you can guess, Chili Rasbora’s are named after the chili pepper due to their bright red coloration. Chili Rasboras are peaceful and colorful fish that thrive in groups in aquariums. They prefer a heavily planted aquarium with subdued lighting.

Although they’re only little fish, mosquito rasboras more than make up for their size with their brilliant personalities and vibrant coloring! So you definitely want to add some to your tank.

In terms of feeding, chili rasboras aren’t picky eaters, so feed them high quality fish flakes and give them live food or blanched vegetables as a treat every once in a while.

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

Strawberry Rasbora (Boraras naevus)

Strawberry Rasbora Care Sheet

Strawberry Rasboras are named after their strawberry-red coloration. They are a vibrant species that thrive in a well-planted aquarium with moderate lighting to mimic their natural habitat.

Strawberry rasboras are peaceful, which makes them great fish for community tanks, however, one thing to note is due to their small size, you shouldn’t put them with fish that are a lot bigger than them.

Like all fish, a Strawberry Rasboras’ diet should consist of mainly high quality fish flakes, with live food added to their aquarium every once in a while.

  • pH: 5.5-7.0
  • Temperature: 77-82°F
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Fish Size: 0.7 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Guppy Care Sheet

Guppies are some of the most famous freshwater fish that get along well with all other non-aggressive fish. They are active swimmers and easy to feed, making them a great addition to community tanks.

However, guppies breed readily and give birth to a lot of fry. So either make sure there are enough fish in your tank to eat all the fry, or get ready for more inhabitants.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 72-82°F
  • Tank size: 5 gallons
  • Fish size: 1-2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Difficulty keeping: Easy

Best Community Fish For 10 Gallon Tanks

NamepHTemperatureSizeLifespan
Ember Tetra6.0-7.073-84°F0.8″2-4 Years
Kitty Tetra5.5-7.075-82°F1″3-5 Years
Lambchop Rasbora6.0-7.572-81°F1.5″3-5 Years
Neon Tetra4.0-7.568-82°F1.5″5-10 Years
Harlequin Rasbora6.0-7.872-81°F2″5-8 Years
Zebra Danio6.5-7.564-78°F2″5 Years
Bronze Cory6.0-8.068-82°F2.5″10 Years
Otocinclus Catfish6.0-7.572-78°F1-2″5 Years
Celestial Pearl Danio6.6-7.572–78°0.8″3-5 Years
Exclamation Point Rasbora6.0-7.068-80°F1″ 4-8 Years
Endler’s Livebearers6.5-8.572-82°F2″2-3 Years
Dwarf Gourami 6.0–7.572°F – 82°F2-3″3-5 Years
Mystery Snails7.0-8.068-82°F2″1-2 Years
Amano Shrimp6.0-7.565-85°F2″2-3 Years

Here are all the fish you can keep in tank that’s 10 gallons in size. At this size you’re really spoilt for choice, with what you can keep!

Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

Ember Tetra Care Sheet

Ember Tetras are small, social fish that do well in community aquariums. To make them comfortable, provide them with an aquarium full of live plants and dim lighting. Although they’re small in size, they like lots of room to swim, so a 10 gallon tank is the minimum size you should be putting them in.

In terms of feeding, ember tetras aren’t picky eaters and will consume most types of fish food. But it’s always a good idea to supplement their diet with blanched vegetables and live food

One thing to remember is because they’re small they shouldn’t be housed with fish that are a lot larger than them as they may end up being eaten.

  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Temperature: 73-84°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 0.8 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-4 years
  •  Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Kitty Tetra (Hyphessobrycon heliacus)

Kitty Tetra Care Sheet

Kitty tetras thrive in a well-planted aquarium with moderate lighting. Their diet should consist of fish flakes, small live or frozen food, and blanched vegetables.

For maximum happiness keep your kitty tetras in schools of 6 or more. They work well with other tetras, as well as rasboras, mollies and corydoras catfish.

  • pH: 5.5-7.0
  • Temperature: 75-82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1 inch
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Lambchop Rasbora (Trigonostigma espei)

Lambchop Rasbora Care Sheets

Lambchop Rasboras are another species of small, peaceful fish that are particularly well-suited to community aquariums. They thrive in heavily planted tanks that are illuminated slightly and are not particularly selective when it comes to their diet.

As long as you’re feeding your lambchop rasboras enough fish flakes, and supplementing their diet with live food on occasion they’re going to be happy.

A little fact about lambchop rasboras is their name is derived from the markings on their bodies, which bears a striking resemblance to a lamb chop.

  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 72-81°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

Neon Tetra Care Sheet

Neon Tetras are some of the most peaceful and popular species in the aquarium world. They are named after their bright neon blue and red stripes. They do best in groups of at least six and thrive in well-planted aquariums with moderate lighting.

While you can keep neon tetras in tanks that are 10 gallons in size, if you planned on keeping them in a community, a bigger tank is better.

I think neon tetras look great in combination with guppies, however, when it comes to community tanks, you’ll be hard-pressed to find fish they can’t live with.

  • pH: 4.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 72-78°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

Harlequin Rasbora Care Sheet

Harlequin Rasboras are super active fish that are ideal for community tanks. This fish got its name from the harlequin-like pattern it has, with a black triangle patch on its body.

They love a tank with moderate lighting and lots of plants. And don’t worry about being picky with their food, harlequin rasboras munch on just about anything you give them.

Some great tank mates to include with your harlequin rasboras are: other rasboras, neon tetras, cardinal tetras, ember tetras, betta fish, corydoras catfish and plecos.

And remember to keep your harlequin rasboras happy you should be keeping them in schools of 6 or more.

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

Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)

Zebra Danio Care Sheet

Some of the hardiest fish in the trade, Zebra Danios are lively and active fish that are perfect for community tanks. They have a distinctive striped pattern that will make them easy to spot in your tank.

Because zebra danios are so hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making them a popular choice for beginners. 

Zebra Danios should be kept in schools of at least 6 or more and provided with plenty of swimming space.

Other great tank mates for your zebra danios include: celestial pearl danios, neon tetras, ember tetras, cory catfish, otocinclus catfish and swordtails.

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

Bronze Cory Catfish (Corydoras aeneus)

Common Corydoras Care Sheet

If you want a fish that likes to hang out at the bottom of the tank and gets along with other fish, you should check out bronze corydoras’ They’ll be happy in any tank as long as it has enough plants and not too much light.

When it comes to food, they’re not fussy and will eat pretty much anything. Common Corys are bottom dwellers so most of the time you’ll see them foraging through the substrate to look for food, but on top of this you should also supplement their diet with catfish pellets, and occasionally live food.

Cory catfish should always be kept in schools of 4 or more to ensure they stay happy. Some great tank mates for bronze corydoras include: pygmy corys, julii corys, neon tetras, bettas, harlequin rasboras, dwarf gouramis, and zebra danios.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 68-82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2.5inches
  • Lifespan: 0 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp)

Otocinclus Catfish Care Sheet

Otocinclus Catfish are known for their algae-eating abilities, making them a great addition to your community tank. They prefer a planted tank with hiding places, such as driftwood or caves.

Just make sure you’re providing your otos with a varied diet of catfish pellets, blanched vegetables, and live food to keep them happy. And remember they’re great algae eaters so they’ll also eat the algae in your tank as well!

Otocinclus catfish do best in schools of 6 or more, and they’ll do best with tank mates who are just as peaceful as they are. With this in mind, some great tank mates include: cory catfish, rasboras, tetras, guppies, glass catfish, mollies, and platies.

  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 72-78°F
  • Tank size: 10 gallons
  • Fish size: 1-2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty keeping: Easy 

Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus)

Celestial Pearl Danio Care Sheet

Celestial Pearl Danios were only discovered in 2006 but this didn’t stop them becoming extremely popular. Not only do they look fantastic, but they’re also extremely peaceful and easy to care for as well!

Your Celestial Pearl Danios will enjoy swimming in a planted aquarium with soft, slightly acidic water and lots of places to hide and play. Feeding them is the same as most fish and tropical flakes, along with occasional treats are going to be perfect for them.

When it comes to tank mates you can’t really go wrong. Some great tank mates for celestial pearl danios are: cherry barbs, rosy barbs, guppies, mollies, platies, corydoras catfish and plecos.

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

White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes)

White Cloud Mountain Minnows Care Sheet

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are a small and hardy species of fish from China. They have an exceptionally peaceful temperament and can be kept with an array of other fish. They are very active and should be provided with plenty of swimming space.

White cloud mountain minnows are not picky with their food, so feel free to feed them fish food, live foods, and blanched vegetables as long as part of a balanced diet. They are also one of the few freshwater fish species that can tolerate cooler water temperatures, making them a great choice for unheated aquariums.

You need to keep WCCM’s in a school of 6 to be happy, but apart from that other great tank mates include: amano shrimp, ghost shrimp, celestial pearl danios, endlers livebearers, mollies, and guppies.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 65-77°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 5-7 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Exclamation Point Rasbora (Boraras urophthalmoides)

Exclamation Point Rasbora Care Sheet

As their name suggests, Exclamation Point Rasboras are named after the exclamation mark on their tail. Also know as least rasboras, Exclamation Point Rasboras are small fish that are perfect for any community tank.

Ecxclamation point rasboras love heavily planted aquariums with dim lighting, which helps them to feel safe. In terms of feeding, again, standard flakes are fine with live food to be given as a treat.

Keep your exclamation point rasboras in schools of 6 or more for maximum happiness. Any less than this and they may show signs of aggression. Just keeping 1 will also cause it to become incredibly lonely.

  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Temperature: 68-80°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1 inch
  • Lifespan: 4-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Endler’s Livebearers (Poecilia wingei)

Endler's Livebearers Care Sheet

The Endler’s Livebearer is named after John Endler, who first collected this fish in the 1970s.

Endler’s Livebearers are small and active fish that are easy to keep and breed. If you’re a beginner, they’re a great choice. They do best in a well planted aquarium with moderate lighting. Because they’re not picky, they will eat most types of fish food you give them.

As their name suggests, though, they are prolific breeders. If your tank isn’t big enough, it can quickly become overstocked when keeping them in the tank. If you have a enough hungry fish, however, all the fry will be eaten before they reach adulthood.

Keep endlers livebearers in schools of 5 or more, and always keep 2-3 females for every male. Some great tank for your livebearers include mollies, platies, neon tetras, corydoras catfish, and rasboras.

  • pH: 6.5-8.5
  • Temperature: 72-82°F
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)

Dwarf Gourami Care Sheet

Dwarf gouramis are known for their bright colors, particularly the males who have vibrant blue and red hues. They are from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia and prefer a well-planted aquarium with hiding spots. They are hardy fish, but can be susceptible to diseases like Dwarf Gourami Disease (DGD), so it’s important to keep their water conditions optimal.

One thing to note about dwarf gouramis is that they do best when they’re kept in groups of 3 or more. However, for optimal happiness try to keep them in a shoal of 6. Some good tank mates for your dwarf gouramis include: chili rasboras, zebra danios, harlequin rasboras, cardinal tetras, mollies, and neon tetras.

(Check out some of the best tank mates for dwarf gouramis.)

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

(If you’re in the market for a 10 gallon fish tank, then here is every single 10 gallon aquarium ranked!)

Best Community Fish For 20-Gallon Tanks

At 20 gallons, you really have your pick of the litter in which fish are going to be able to go into the tank! Remember, some of the fish in this section may be able to go into tanks smaller than 20 gallons. But they can’t go into tanks smaller than 10 gallons. The best choices include:

NamepHTemperatureSizeLifespan
Emperor Tetra5.0-7.573-81°F2-3″5-8 Years
Kuhli Loach5.5-6.575-86°F3″10 Years
Hatchet Fish5.5 – 7.072-81°F2.5″5 Years
Swordtail7.0 – 8.072-79°F5.5″3-5 Years
Lemon Tetra6.0-8.072-82°F 1.5-2″8 Years
Black Neon Tetra5.0 – 7.573-81°F1.5 – 2″5 Years
Honey Gourami6.0 -8.074-82°F2″5-8 Years
Golden Barb6.0-8.064-75°F 3″4-6 Years
Green Neon Tetra5.0-6.5 75-84°F1.5″2-3 Years
Cardinal Tetra5.3-7.873-81°F2″5 Years
Rummy Nose Tetra5.5-6.572-84°F2 “5-6 Years
Checker Barbs6.0-7.068-75°F2″8 Years
Pentazona Barbs6.0-7.077-82°F2″5-8 Years
Mollies7.5-8.572-78°F4″5 Years
Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish6.0-8.074-80°F2.5″4 Years
Pencil Fish6.0 – 7.472 – 82°F3″5 Years
Platies 6.8-8.570-80°F2-3″2-3 Years

Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)

Emperor Tetra Care Sheet

The Emperor Tetra is named after its fancy royal blue and gold colors. They require slightly acidic water and do best in a heavily planted aquarium with moderate to high lighting. Diet wise, you just need to provide them with tropical flakes to ensure they’re getting a balanced diet, and supplement this with live.

Because of their large size, you should never go smaller than 20 gallons with these tetras, and as a schooling fish keep your emperor tetras in a tank with a minimum school size of 6.

If you’re wondering what tank mates can live with emperor tetras, then try: celestial pearl danios, bronze corydoras, plecos, harlequin rasboras, lambchop rasboras, neon tetras, and ember tetras.

  •  pH: 5.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 73-81°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2-3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Kuhli Loaches (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli loach care sheet

Kuhli Loaches are unique and interesting fish with an eel-like body shape and playful personality. Their ideal tank should be well-planted with hiding places, such as caves or even PVC pipes.

Kuhli Loaches should be fed a varied diet of sinking pellets, frozen or live foods, and blanched vegetables.

While they’re not schooling fish, they do like to be around other fish, which makes them ideal for community tanks. However, if you did want to keep them together, a minimum of 3 kuhli loaches or more is best.

Tank mates for kuhli loaches include: bettas, neon tetras, rummy nose tetras, chili rasboras, plecos, dwarf gouramis, mollies, and platies.

  • pH: 5.5-6.5
  • Temperature: 75-86°F
  • Tank size: 20 gallons
  • Fish size: 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Difficulty keeping: Moderate

Hatchet Fish (Gasteropelecus sternicla)

Hatchet Fish Care Sheet

Hatchetfish are named for their unique body shape that as you can guess resembles a hatchet. One thing to note with hatchet fish is that it’s important to have a tightly fitting lid on the tank, they are known for jumping and they’ll leap out of the smallest of gaps.

Hatchetfish need to be kept in large communities of 6-12 fish to be most happy, hence why a 20 gallon tank is the minimum size you should choose. Apart from this they are omnivores and prefer to live in densely planted aquariums with subdued lighting and dark substrate. 

Provide them with good food, lots of hiding places, and enough space and you’ll have fantastic community fish.

  • pH: 5.5 – 7.0
  • Temperature: 72 – 81°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii)

Swordtails Care Sheet

Swordtails are popular and easy-to-care-for. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.

In nature, swordtails are omnivores and can be fed a variety of foods, as long as you’re making sure the staple of their diet is fish flakes. They prefer slightly alkaline water with moderate water flow. And for them to feel safest in the tank make sure that there’s plenty of hiding places for them if they choose to use it.

Contrary to popular belief, swordtails shouldn’t be kept alone, in fact, they do best in shoals of 5-6. Some great tank mates for swordtails include guppies, mollies, plecos, rasboras, and tetras.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 72-79°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
  • Fish Size: up to 5.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Lemon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis)

Lemon Tetra Care Sheet

Lemon Tetras can be kept in community tanks with other peaceful fish species. Their bright yellow colors really add a splash of color, and they contrast well with other fish like neon tetras and guppies.

Lemon tetras prefer a planted aquarium with soft, slightly acidic water. Don’t worry about what to feed them though: they are omnivores so they’re not picky with their food! 

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F – 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 – 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)

Black Neon Tetra Care Sheet

The Black Neon Tetra is a small and peaceful fish that is often kept in community tanks with other peaceful fish species. One of the best thing about Black neon tetras is that they’re not as colorful as other fish, which means you can put them in tanks with fish that are triggered by color (like bettas).

Black neon tetras prefer a planted aquarium with soft, slightly acidic water. They are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, and frozen foods. 

  • pH: 5.0 – 7.5
  • Temperature: 73°F – 81°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)

Honey Gourami Care Sheet

Honey gouramis are smaller and less brightly colored than dwarf gouramis, only reaching about 2″ in size. They are native to the slow-moving rivers and streams of India and Pakistan and are known for their peaceful and gentle nature.

Honey Gouramis do well in planted tanks with subdued lighting and a softly flowing filter. Remember to feed them fish flakes regularly and keep them with other peaceful fish.

Check out the best tank mates for your gouramis!

  • pH: 6.0 -8.0
  • Temperature: 74°F – 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Golden Barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus)

Golden Barb Care Sheet

Golden barbs are another great choice for your community tank thanks to how peaceful they are! They have a beautiful golden coloration with black stripes along their body.

Golden barbs are quite easy to take care of and can tolerate many different water conditions, just make sure the water parameters aren’t fluctuating.

Whether you feed them frozen or live foods, your Golden Barb will surely be happy, however the bulk of their diet should be fish flakes. However, they need to be kept in schools of 6 or more, which is why the tank needs to be 20 gallons minimum.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: up to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4-6 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: easy

Green Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon simulans)

Green Neon Tetra Care Sheet

The Green Neon Tetra is named after its green/blue stripe, which runs along its body. While they look similar to standard neon tetras, you’ll notice that the red on their body is a lot more muted.

To ensure that your Green Neon Tetras are healthy and happy, put them in a well-planted aquarium with a moderate amount of light. When feeding them, they’re only going to need flake food, however, you can supplement their diet with blanched vegetables, daphnia and mosquito larvae.

Your Green neon tetras will need to be kept in a school of 6, and if you have other tetras in the tank, you may even notice them all shoaling together.

  • pH: 5.0-6.5
  • Temperature: 75-84°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons
  • Fish Size: 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Cardinal Tetra Care Sheet

Cardinal Tetras are peaceful and colorful fish that are often compared to Neon Tetras due to their similar appearance. However, one difference between the two is that neon tetras tend to be hardier. Cardinal tetras thrive in a well-planted aquarium with moderate lighting.

The bulk of a cardinal tetras diet will need to come from fish flakes and then be supplemented with live food and blanched vegetables.

Keep them in schools of 6 for them to remain happiest. And remember, that if you have other tetras in the tank you may even notice each species shoaling together Some great tank mates for cardinal tetras include: Corydoras catfish, dwarf gouramis, otocinclus catfish, platies, mollies and other types of tetra.

  • pH: 5.3-7.8
  • Temperature: 73-81°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or larger
  • Fish Size: 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)

Rummy Nose Tetras Care Sheet

The Rummy Nose Tetra is another very popular tropical fish, that do great in community tanks. To ensure their happiness, they need need slightly acidic water and require meticulous water maintenance due to being sensitive to changes in water quality. Because of this they may not be suitable for beginner aquarists.

Again, a planted aquarium with moderate lighting is ideal for rummy nose tetras, and being fed fish flakes twice daily is key to keeping them happy

Keep them in schools of 6 or more for them to be happy and remember that the more hiding places there are, the more confident they’ll feel in the tank. Some great tank mates to keep with rummy nose tetras are: guppies, cherry barbs, cardinal tetras, harlequin rasboras, and cory catfish.

  •  pH: 5.5-6.5
  • Temperature: 72-84°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-6 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate
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Checker Barb (Oliotius oligolepis)

Checker Barb Care Sheet

Checker Barbs are easy to care for and do well in groups of six or more. They love a well-planted aquarium with plenty of open swimming space. They are active swimmers so giving them open space is essential for their happiness.

Asides from this their diet will fit with other fish in your tank so you don’t need to give them anything special. When it comes to tank mates for checker barbs you’re spoilt for choice so try any of the following: rosy barbs, tinfoil barbs, celestial pearl danios, zebra danios, and rainbowfish.

  • pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Temperature: 68°F – 75°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Pentazona Barb (Desmopuntius pentazona)

Pentazona Barb Care Sheet

The Pentazona Barb is a beautiful and active fish that needs a well-planted aquarium with open swimming areas. They prefer soft, slightly acidic water with a moderate current.

They are omnivores and will eat both live and prepared foods, but their diet should include vegetable matter as well to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

Pentazona barbs are peaceful but one thing to note is that, they become slightly aggressive with each other if they’re in a school that isn’t big enough. With this in mind, you should make sure you’re keeping them in schools of 8-10 or more.

Some other great tank mates for pentazona barbs include: harlequin rasboras, dwarf gouramis, honey gouramis, guppies, endlers livebearers, neon tetras and black neon tetras.

  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Temperature: 77-82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: up to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 5-8 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)

Molly Fish Care Sheet

Mollies are some of the most popular live-bearing fish you can get for your aquarium that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They prefer a well-planted aquarium filled with lots of hiding places for them to feel safe (especially when the females are giving birth).

They are omnivores and will eat both live and prepared foods, but make sure the bulk of their diet comes from fish flakes.

Mollies are generally hardy and easy to care for, but they do require a slightly alkaline water pH. However as long as the tank isn’t fluctuating, then they’re going to live happily.

It’s also important to note that while they can live in 20 gallon tanks, it’s definitely better to put them in a larger tank. They love to swim and this combined with how much they give birth, you may end up with more than you originally bargained for.

When it comes to tank mates for mollies, they really are community fish that can live with anything. Some ideas though include: guppies, tetras, bettas, rasboras, cory catfish, and plecos.

  • pH: 7.5-8.5
  • Temperature: 72-78°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: up to 4 inches (10 cm)
  • Lifespan: up to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia praecox)

Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish Care Sheet

If you are searching for brightly colored, active fish that will be a great addition to your community tank, then Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish will be a great choice! Just keep in mind that they prefer a planted aquarium with moderate water flow and appreciate a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods.

Keep them in a group of 5 or more for best results. If you do plan on keeping just 5 don’t mix the sexes. However if you want 6 or more make sure there is either an equal amount of males and females, or more females than males.

  • pH: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Temperature: 74 – 80°F
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Red Pencil Fish (Nannostomus Mortenthaleri)

red Pencilfish Care Sheet

Pencil Fish are slender colorful fish that can beautify a community fish tank. They prefer an aquarium filled with plants and soft, slightly acidic water. On top of this they need to be fed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods.

Because they are schooling fish, you should always put them in a group of 6 or more to ensure their happiness. However, apart from this they make great community fish! Some of the best tank mates for pencil fish include: corydoras, tetras, rasboras, and some species of dwarf cichlid.

  • pH: 6.0 – 7.4
  • Temperature: 72 – 82°F
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)

Platy care sheet

Platies are hardy fish that come in a variety of colors and patterns. Giving them a planted tank with a lot of places where they can swim will help them be at their happiest.

Just like other livebearers your platies will breed a lot, so you need to be ready for the potential of extra inhabitants in your tank. Platies will love to be fed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and small amounts of live or frozen foods. Fortunately, because they breed so much, often times they’ll eat their own fry.

  • pH: 6.8-8.5
  • Temperature: 70-80°F
  • Tank size: 15 gallons
  • Fish size: 2-3 inchesg
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Difficulty keeping: Easy

30 Gallon Tanks

Moving on to 30 gallon tanks, here are some more great community fish choices!

NamepHTempSizeLifespan
Congo Tetra6.0-7.573-82°F3″3-5 Years
Bristlenose Pleco5.8-7.870-80°F5″10-15 Years
Zebra Loach6.0-7.570-79°F3.5″8-15 Years
Cherry Barb6.0-8.073-81°F2″4 Years
Rosy Barbs6.0-8.064-72°F 6″5 Years

Congo Tetra (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

Congo Tetra Care Sheet

Congo Tetras are known for their vibrant and unique colors. One of the best things about them is how much the body shimmers in the light. They enjoy swimming in densely planted tanks with ample hiding spots, so keep this in mind before adding them to your tank. 

A varied diet is essential, including high-quality flakes, live, and frozen food, like brine shrimp or bloodworms.  Some of the best tank mates for Congo tetras include: other types of tetra, rainbowfish, corydoras catfish, and plecos.

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

Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus cirrhosus)

Bristlenose Plecos Care Sheet

Bristlenose Plecos are probably the most popular and well known species of catfish. They have a flat body with a large head and a mouth designed for sucking on algae and eating it in your tank and in the wild. 

They are very hardy and adaptable, making them a great choice for beginners. Bristlenose Plecos should be provided with plenty of hiding spots and a variety of foods including algae wafers, sinking pellets, and fresh vegetables.

If you’re wondering what tank mates can go with your bristlenose plecos, again you’re spoilt for choice as they get along with most fish. However, some of my favourite tank mates for them include: tetras, cory catfish, bettas, rasboras, guppies, and platies.

  • pH:5.8-7.8
  • Temperature: 70-80°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10-15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Zebra Loach (Botia striata)

Zebra Loach Care Sheet

Zebra Loaches aren’t as common as other loaches however, they’re still a great choice. They’re known for their distinctive black and white striped pattern, which as you guess resembles a zebra.

They are social fish, but they can live alone or in groups of 5. Anything under 5 and they may start getting aggressive amongst themselves. On the whole though, they are generally peaceful unless they’re being territorial with their own kind.

It’s also important to note that Zebra Loaches require a well-maintained aquarium with plenty of hiding places and clean water. If you’re new to fish keeping, then you may want to wait until you’re more experienced before adding these to your tank.

Zebra loaches are omnivores and aren’t picky when it comes to deciding what they want to eat. As well as giving them catfish pellets, you can also give them blanched vegetables, tubifex worms, daphnia and brine shrimp.

Some great tank mates you can add with your zebra loach include: neon tetras, ember tetras, corydoras catfish, tinfoil barbs, clown loaches, celestial pearl danios and cherry barbs.

  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 70-79°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 8-15 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)

Cherry Barb Care Sheet

The Cherry Barb is a small and peaceful fish that will thrive in a fish tank with plenty of aquarium plants and enough space for swimming. They love being in groups of 5 or more, so make sure you remember this when adding them to your tank.

As omnivores,  cherry barbs will eat both live and prepared foods, but their diet should include some leafy greens. And of course, fish flakes should be the main staple of their diet.

If you’re going to keep cherry barbs in your tank, some great tank mates for them include: harlequin rasboras, dwarf gouramis, neon tetras, guppies, mollies, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 73-81°F (23-27°C)
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: up to 2 inches (5 cm)
  • Lifespan: up to 4 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Rosy Barb (Pethia conchonius)

Rosy Barb Care Sheet

Rosy barbs are named for their bright coloring which makes them stand out in any tank. If you watch them swimming you’ll see them shimmering and shining.

They are peaceful and hardy fish that prefer a well-planted aquarium with plenty of swimming space. They are active and social, and do well in groups of 5 or more.

They will eat both live and prepared foods, but their diet should mainly consist of high quality fish flakes.

Some other great tank mates for your rosy barbs include: swordtails, angelfish, neon tetras, cardinal tetras, ember tetras, dwarf gouramis, and celestial pearl danios.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 64-72°F
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons or more
  • Fish Size: 6 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 5 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: easy

55 Gallons 

At 55 gallons plus your choices are starting to become a little more limited.

Giant Danio (Devario aequipinnatus)

Giant Danio Care Sheet

In their natural habitat, Giant Danios can be found in clear, fast-moving streams and rivers with rocky or sandy substrate. With this in mind, it’s no surprise they prefer a well-oxygenated tank with plenty of open swimming space and some hiding places. Providing a substrate of sand or fine gravel can help mimic their natural environment. 

They are also known to jump, so a tight-fitting lid is necessary to prevent escape. Since Giant Danios are omnivores, feed them with flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. 

You should be keeping them in a school of 6 or more for maximum happiness. And some other great tank mates for giant danios include: zebra danios, guppies, angelfish, cory catfish, kuhli loaches and swordtails.

  • pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 72-81°F
  • Tank Size: 55 gallons or larger
  • Fish Size: Up to 4-6 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

125 Gallon Tanks

And lastly, one of the biggest community fish you can put into a tank!

Bala Sharks (Balantiocheilos melanopterus)

Bala Shark Care Sheet

Despite their name, Bala Sharks are not sharks at all, but rather a type of freshwater fish in the minnow family. They are active, attractive fish that can add a dynamic element to a community tank.

And don’t let their name fool you either, bala sharks are actually gentle giants.

Bala sharks can grow quite large you need to make sure that you’re keeping them in a big enough tank, make sure that they will be in a well-planted aquarium with plenty of swimming space. They enjoy a varied diet of pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods, so make sure this is provided.

Bala sharks should be kept in schools of 5 or more to ensure they’re happiness. But once this requirement has been met, some great tank mates for bala sharks include: plecos, rainbowfish, cory catfish, clown loaches, tin foil barbs, and larger tetras.

  • pH: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Temperature: 72 – 82°F
  • Tank Size: 125 gallons
  • Fish Size: up to 14 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Moderate

Best Community Tank Invertebrates 

Adding invertebrates to your community tank can add a new dimension to your aquarium, providing interest and color.

If you are looking for the best community tank invertebrates, here are six snails and six shrimp that you can consider:

NamepHTempSizeLifespan
Nerite Snail7.0-8.072-78°F0.75″1-2 Years
Mystery Snail7.0-8.068-82°F2″1-2 Years
Assassin Snail7.0-8.075-80°F1.25″2 Years
Malaysian Trumpet Snail7.0-8.075-79°F1.5″2 Years
Ramshorn Snail7.0-8.070-80°F1″1 Year

Snails

First of all, here are some of the best snails you can add to a community tank.

Nerite Snails (Vittina Natalensis)

Nerite Snails Care Sheet

Nerite snails are small and colorful, with intricate patterns on their shells. They are great for keeping your tank clean by eating algae and other debris. One unique fact about Nerite snails is that they cannot breed in freshwater, so you won’t have to worry about them overpopulating your tank.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 72-78°F
  • Size: 0.75″
  • Tank Size: 5 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1-2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Mystery Snails (Pomacea Bridgesii)

Mystery Snail Care Sheet

Mystery snails come in a variety of colors and have a distinctively round, almost apple-like shape. They are peaceful and easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner fish keepers. Mystery snails are also known for their ability to lay their eggs above the waterline, which can be a fun and unique sight to see.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 68-82°F
  • Size: 2″
  • Tank Size: 10 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1-2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Assassin Snails (Clea Helena)

Assassin Snail Care Sheet

Assassin snails are named for their ability to hunt and eat other snails. They are small and typically have brown or yellow shells. Assassin snails are great for keeping your tank free of unwanted snail populations.

However, if you do plan on keeping snails in your tank, then you should avoid assassin snails.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 75-80°F
  • Size: 1.25″
  • Tank Size: 30 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides Tuberculata)

Malaysian Trumpet Snail Care Sheet

Malaysian trumpet snails are also popular due to their hardiness. They have a unique spiral-shaped shell that comes in a variety of colors, from light brown to dark black.  They are great at aerating and stirring the substrate as they forage in it, which helps to prevent the build-up of harmful gases. 

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 75-79°F
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Tank Size: 5 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Ramshorn Snails (Planorbarius Corneus)

Rasmhorn Snail Caresheet

Ramshorn snails come in a variety of colors, including red, blue, and brown. Aside from being peaceful, they are also great at keeping the tank clean by eating algae and leftover food. They come in a variety of colors and can add interest to your tank.

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 70-80°F
  • Size: 1″
  • Tank Size: 5 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Shrimp

If you’re not interested in snails, there are also plenty of shrimp you can add to your tank as well! Here are some of the best community shrimp!

NamepHTempSizeLifespan
Cherry Shrimp6.5-8.072-82°F1.25″1-2 Years
Amano Shrimp6.0-7.565-85°F2″2-3 Years
Ghost Shrimp7.0-8.065-80°F1.5″1 Year
Bamboo Shrimp7.0-7.573-82°F2-3″1-2 Years
Vampire Shrimp6.0-7.575-84°F5″5 Years
Blue Bolt Shrimp6.0-6.868-74°F0.5″1-2 Years

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina Davida)

Cherry Shrimp Care Sheet

Cherry shrimp are small, bright red shrimp that are relatively easy to care for and breed readily in the right conditions. They are peaceful and can coexist with a wide range of other fish and invertebrates. One unique fact about cherry shrimp is that they have a natural immunity to copper, which is often used as a treatment for parasites in aquariums.

  • pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Temperature: 72-82°F
  • Size: 1.25″
  • Tank Size: 5 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1-2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Amano Shrimp (Caridina Multidentata)

Amano Shrimp Care Sheet

Amano shrimp are larger and more active than cherry shrimp, and are known for their ability to clean up algae in a tank. They are also good at eating leftover food and debris, helping to keep the tank clean. They come in a natural color, which can add a unique look to your tank.

  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 65-85°F
  • Size: 2″
  • Tank Size: 10 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 2-3 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes Paludosus)

Ghost Shrimp Care Sheet

Ghost shrimp are a peaceful and hardy choice for community tanks. s their name suggests, ghost shrimp are nearly transparent in color and can be difficult to spot in the tank. They are very active and can be fun to watch, but can also be a target for larger, more aggressive fish. 

  • pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Temperature: 65-80°F
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Tank Size: 10 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy

Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)

Bamboo Shrimp Care Sheet

Bamboo shrimp are larger, filter-feeding shrimp that can help to keep the tank clean by eating small particles of food and debris. They are relatively peaceful and can coexist with most other fish and invertebrates, but can be sensitive to changes in water conditions.

  • pH: 7.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 73-82°F
  • Size: 2-3″
  • Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1-2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Medium

Vampire Shrimp (Atya gabonensis)

Vampire Shrimp Care Sheet

Vampire shrimp, also known as Viper shrimp, are native to the rivers and streams of West Africa. They have a unique appearance with long, thin claws and a flat body, ranging from light tan to dark brown. They do well in community tanks with fish that won’t bother them, especially with slow-moving fish that won’t outcompete them for food.

  • pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Temperature: 75-84°F
  • Size: 5″
  • Tank Size: 20 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 5 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Easy-medium

Blue Bolt Shrimp (Caridina cf cantonensis)

Blue Bolt Shrimp Care Sheet

Blue bolt shrimp have a striking bright blue color with white stripes, and they prefer a heavily planted tank with plenty of hiding places. Blue Bolt shrimp are relatively sensitive to water parameters and require a well-established and stable tank. They thrive in slightly acidic and soft water conditions.

  • pH: 6.0-6.8
  • Temperature: 68-74°F
  • Size: 0.5″
  • Tank Size: 5 Gallons
  • Lifespan: 1-2 Years
  • Difficulty Keeping: Medium

Which Fish Should You Add First To A Community Tank?

Are you planning to set up a community aquarium and wondering which fish to add first? Choosing the right fish is important to ensure the peaceful coexistence of different species in the tank.

If your new to fish keeping, you also want to add fish that are easy to care for, and can handle potential changes in parameters. With that in mind, here are some fish you should add to a community tank first.

1. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are peaceful, docile, and amiable fish that make an excellent choice for a community tank. These small-sized fish are ideal for any tank size and are known for their bright blue and red stripes, adding a pop of color to your aquarium. Neon Tetras are also fascinating to observe, as they move in unison and showcase their vibrant colors, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

2. Guppies

Guppies are another popular fish for a community tank. These fish are robust, adaptable, and come in a variety of colors, making them an attractive addition to any aquarium. Guppies are also easy to breed, so you can have a sustainable population in your tank. These little swimmers are excellent at hunting mosquito larvae, making them an environmentally friendly choice for your tank.

3. Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs are vibrant, active, and colorful fish that are an excellent choice for a community tank. These peaceful fish are compatible with other species and can thrive in different water conditions. Cherry Barbs are also fascinating to observe, as they swim in a zigzag pattern, showcasing their vivid coloration, making them a delightful addition to any aquarium.

And while you may have heard that barbs are aggressive or fin nippers, fortunately, cherry barbs are the exception to this rule!

4. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish are bottom-dwelling fish that help keep the tank clean by scavenging for food that falls to the bottom. They are peaceful, social, and great for a community tank. These unique fish have a cute appearance, with their little whiskers and round bodies. They are also fascinating to observe as they scuttle along the bottom of the tank in search of food.

I’d personally recommend putting corydoras into any community tank because of how friendly and peaceful they are.

5. Platies

Platies are small, charming, and peaceful fish that make an excellent choice for a community tank. They are adaptable and can thrive in different water conditions, making them easy to care for. Platies come in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, and black, adding a burst of color to your aquarium. These friendly fish are always happy to see their owners and will swim up to the glass to say hello.

6. Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras are small, active, and peaceful fish that are perfect for a community tank. They have a unique diamond-shaped body and a bright orange and black stripe, adding a dash of color to your aquarium. These fish are social and enjoy swimming together in groups, creating a harmonious and peaceful environment in your aquarium.

7. Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios are energetic, hardy, and colorful fish that are a great addition to a community tank. They are easy to care for and can adapt to different water conditions, making them an ideal choice, especially for beginners.

Zebra Danios are also fascinating to observe as they swim rapidly through the water, adding activity and liveliness to your aquarium. They are also jumpers, so be sure to cover your tank to keep them safe.

Can All Community Fish Live Together?

Not all community fish can live together in the same tank. Factors such as the fish’s size, temperament, feeding habits, and water requirements should be considered when choosing fish for a community tank.

When it comes to setting up a community aquarium, the first thing to consider is the type of fish you want to keep. Different species of fish have different temperaments, behaviors, and requirements. Some fish are naturally aggressive and territorial, while others are more peaceful and social.

The key to creating a successful community tank is to choose fish that are known to be compatible and peaceful. Fish that have similar water temperature, pH, and hardness requirements should be selected to avoid any stress or harm to the fish. Compatibility should also be based on the fish’s size, temperament, and feeding habits.

Some of the most popular community fish include tetras, guppies, mollies, and corydoras. These fish are known for their peaceful nature and adaptability to different water conditions. They are also easy to care for and can thrive in a community tank with other fish of similar size and temperament.

Other popular community fish include danios, rasboras, and rainbow fish. These fish are also known for their peaceful nature and can coexist with other species of fish in a community tank. However, it is important to research their specific requirements and ensure that they are compatible with the other fish in the tank.

How Do You Introduce New Fish To Each Other?

Introducing new fish to an aquarium can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You want to ensure that the new fish will be accepted by the existing fish in the tank, and that there will be no conflicts. Here are some tips on how to introduce new fish to each other in an aquarium:

Quarantine the New Fish

Before introducing the new fish to the main tank, it is important to quarantine them for a couple of weeks. This helps to prevent the spread of any diseases that the new fish may have brought with them.

Acclimate the New Fish

Once the quarantine period is over, it is time to acclimate the new fish to the temperature and water conditions of the main tank. This can be done by floating a bag containing the new fish in the tank for 15-20 minutes. When you’re doing this slowly begin adding tank water to the bag as well so the fish can acclimate to the parameters.

Turn Off the Lights

It is best to introduce new fish in a dimly lit or darkened aquarium. This can help to reduce stress and aggression in both the new fish and the existing fish in the tank.

Release the New Fish

After acclimating the new fish, gently release them into the aquarium. It is important to avoid dropping the fish into the tank or pouring them in, as this can cause stress and injury.

Observe the Fish

After introducing the new fish, keep an eye on their behavior for the next few hours. It is normal for fish to establish a hierarchy and assert dominance, but any excessive aggression should be addressed immediately.

Feed the Fish

Feeding the fish can help to divert their attention and reduce aggression. Make sure to feed the fish in different parts of the tank to avoid competition and stress.

Monitor the Water Quality

Adding new fish to an aquarium can increase the bioload, which can affect the water quality. It is important to monitor the water parameters and perform regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment for the fish.

How Do You Look After Community Fish

Looking after community fish requires providing the right conditions and care for them to thrive in. By choosing compatible fish, providing a suitable environment, feeding them properly, observing their behavior, and maintaining proper equipment, you can create a healthy and vibrant community aquarium.

Choose Compatible Fish

Before setting up a community aquarium, it is important to choose fish species that are compatible with each other. Some fish can be aggressive and territorial, which can lead to conflicts and stress in the tank. Research different fish species and their behavior, size, and water requirements to ensure they can coexist peacefully.

Provide a Suitable Environment

Community fish require a suitable environment to thrive in. This includes providing the right temperature, pH level, and water quality. It is important to monitor the water parameters regularly using a test kit and perform regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment for the fish. Additionally, providing hiding places and plants in the aquarium can reduce stress and aggression in the fish.

Feed Them Properly

Feeding your fish a balanced diet is important for their health and wellbeing. Different fish species have different dietary requirements, so it is important to research their feeding habits and provide appropriate food. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and health problems, so it is important to feed your fish in moderation.

Observe Their Behavior

Observing your fish’s behavior can help you to identify any health problems or stress in the aquarium. Keep an eye out for any unusual behavior, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal swimming patterns. Address any issues promptly by adjusting the environment or seeking veterinary advice.

Maintain Proper Equipment

Maintaining the equipment in your aquarium is essential for the health and wellbeing of your fish. Regularly clean the filter and replace any worn-out equipment to ensure that the water quality is maintained.

What Fish Work Best Together?

Here are some fish combinations that work well together in a community aquarium:

Tetras and Corydoras: Tetras are a peaceful and colorful fish that come in many varieties, while Corydoras are bottom-dwelling fish that are social and active. Together, they make a lively and colorful community aquarium.

Guppies and Platies: Guppies and platies are both livebearers, which means they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. They are both easy to care for and come in many colors and patterns. No doubt this combination became a popular choice for community tanks.

Swordtails and Angelfish: Swordtails are active fish that come in many colors and patterns, and they are compatible with many other fish species, including the larger and more docile angelfish. Angelfish are known for their unique shape and peaceful temperament, making them a great addition to a community tank with larger fish.

Rasboras and Shrimp: Rasboras are a small, peaceful fish that come in a variety of colors and are compatible with shrimp. Together, they make a beautiful and serene community aquarium. This 

Gouramis and Rainbowfish: Gouramis are known for their unique shapes and behaviors, while Rainbowfish come in a variety of colors and are active and peaceful. Together, they create a diverse and interesting community tank.

What Are The Best Beginner Community Fish?

Molly fish come in a variety of colors and are easy to care for. They are also peaceful and can be kept in groups of six or more.

Swordtail Fish – These brightly colored fish are a great choice for beginner community tanks. They are easy to care for and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Swordtail fish are also peaceful and can be kept with other community fish like tetras and guppies.

Kuhli Loaches – These long, slender fish are a fun and unique addition to any beginner community tank. They are peaceful and social, and do well in groups of 6 or more. Kuhli loaches are also known for their playful behavior and are often seen darting in and out of hiding spots.

Bristlenose Plecos– Bristlenose plecos, also known as bushynose plecos, are a popular and easy-to-care-for species of freshwater fish that are often recommended for beginner community tanks. 

51 Best Community Fish For Your Tank (& Care Guides)

What To Avoid In Community Fish

As you set up your community fish tank, there are plenty of fish species to choose from that can coexist peacefully. However, there are certain fish types that you should avoid adding to your community tank.

Here are some factors to consider when setting up a community tank:

Aggressive Fish

Avoid including species known for their aggressive behavior, such as cichlids, bettas, and certain types of tetras. These fish can harm other fish and disrupt the harmony of your tank.

Fin Nippers

Some fish, like tiger barbs, red tail sharks, and certain tetras, are known for being fin nippers. This behavior can cause stress and health problems for other fish in your tank, so it’s best to avoid these species.

Large Fish

Large fish can quickly outgrow a community tank, leading to overcrowding and stress for other fish. Additionally, some larger fish can become aggressive towards smaller fish. Avoid including species such as Oscars and Plecos in your community tank.

Invasive Species

It’s important to avoid adding any fish species that are considered invasive in your area. These species can harm the local ecosystem if they escape from your tank. Common examples include lionfish, Asian carp, and blue catfish.

Schooling Fish in Small Numbers

Some species, like tetras and rasboras, require a minimum number of individuals to feel secure and confident. Keeping these fish in small numbers can lead to stress and aggression not just amongst themselves but to all the fish in your tank.

Fish With Incompatible Water Parameters

Different fish species have varying requirements for water temperature, pH, and hardness. It’s important to research and choose fish with similar water parameter requirements to avoid stress and health issues. Some species, such as discus and African cichlids, are considered high maintenance and may not be compatible with many popular community fish.

Worst Fish For Community Tanks

Now you know all the best fish for your community tank, as well as how to spot them, and what to avoid, here are some of the worst fish to add to your community tank!

Serpae Tetras

Serpae Tetra Care Sheet

Serpae Tetras are known for their aggressive behavior, especially towards other fish with long fins. If they spot fish like this in the tank they are going to constantly nip and harass them. And there are so many species of tetra to choose from, these should be near the bottom of your list.

Black Widow Tetras

Black Widow Tetras are also known for their aggressive behavior and may nip at the fins of other fish in the tank. Again, there are so many different fish to choose from, there’s no need to put black widow tetras in your tank.

Betta Fish

betta care sheet

Bettas are often kept alone due to their aggressive behavior towards other fish, especially male Bettas. While it’s entirely possible to have success with a betta in a community tank (depending on their temperament), that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t add them.

Bettas also have long, flowing fins that may attract the attention of other fish, leading to fin nipping and fin rot in your betta.

Red Tail Sharks

Redtail Shark Care Sheet

Red Tail Sharks, don’t make the best community fish, and there’s a few reasons for this. First of all they’re territorial and may become aggressive towards other fish in the tank, especially other bottom-dwelling fish. On top of this, they also grow quite large in size which will only increase any aggression they may show if they feel cooped up.

Angelfish

Angelfish Care Sheet

While it is possible to keep angelfish in community tanks, they can become aggressive towards other fish if they feel threatened or if they are not provided with enough space. With so many other great options for your community tank, angelfish, should be a low down priority.

Parrot Cichlids

Parrot Cichlids are known for their aggressive behavior and may attack other fish in the tank, especially during breeding season. While it’s not impossible to keep them in community tanks, you should definitely think twice before doing so.

Glass Catfish

Glass Catfish Care Sheet

Glass Catfish are not recommended for community tanks because they are sensitive to water parameters changes and require very specific conditions to thrive. Additionally, they are not very noticeable due to their transparent appearance, so if you’re looking for fish with the most visual appeal, they’re not going to be for you.

Kissing Gourami

While some gouramis do better than others in community tanks, kissing gouramis aren’t the best choice. Kissing Gourami can be aggressive towards other fish, especially during breeding season. They may also nip at the fins of other fish in the tank.

Pea Puffers

Dwarf Pea Puffer Care Sheet

When it comes to keeping community fish, pea puffers could well be the worst choice. They’re aggressive to most fish, and they will literally rip parts of a fish off, just because they’re bored.

If you wanted to keep pea puffers, keep them with their own kind in schools of fix to help reduce any aggression as much as possible.

Clown Loaches

Clown Loach Care Sheet

Clown Loaches are large fish that become territorial as they mature. Because of this it’s not uncommon for them to be aggressive to other bottom dwellers as they age. If you do want to keep clown loaches in your community tank, make sure the tank is at least 100 gallons in size, and ensure that you’re putting them with other large fish.

Tiger Barbs

Tiger Barbs are known for their fin nipping behavior and may attack other fish, especially those with long fins. They are also known to be aggressive towards other Tiger Barbs if they are not kept in a large enough group.

If you wanted to keep barbs in your tank opt for rosy barbs or cherry barbs.

(Find out about the best tank mates for tiger barbs.)

How To Setup Your Community Tank

Setting up your community tank doesn’t have to be hard, here’s a quick run through on how you can set one up . Here are the essential steps to follow to set up your community tank:

  1. Choose the Right Tank Size: The first step is to select a tank that is large enough to accommodate the fish you plan to keep. Consider the number, size, and activity level of the fish to determine the appropriate tank size.
  2. Select the Best Location for Your Tank: Choose a location that is away from direct sunlight and drafts to prevent fluctuations in water temperature. Make sure the tank is placed on a sturdy and level surface.
  3. Add Substrate, Decorations, and Plants to the Tank: Use aquarium-safe substrate, such as sand or gravel, to cover the bottom of the tank. Add decorations and plants to provide hiding places and territories for your fish. Be sure to rinse all decorations and plants before adding them to the tank to remove any debris.
  4. Water Quality and Filtration Systems: Fill the tank with dechlorinated water and install a suitable filter to maintain water quality. The filter should be large enough to accommodate the tank size and the fish load, smaller tanks may only need sponge filters, whereas bigger tanks are more likely to require canister filters.
  5. Use A Heater & Thermometer: You’ll also need to make sure you’re using a heater to keep the water warm enough, and that you’re able to check the temperature in the tank with a thermometer.
  6. Choose Compatible Fish Species for Your Community Tank: While this article can give you a helpful guide on what fish can go into a community tank you should still research the fish species to ensure they are compatible with each other and can coexist peacefully. Avoid adding aggressive or territorial fish that can harm other species in the tank.
  7. Introducing and Acclimating Your Fish to the New Environment: Add the fish to the tank slowly and in small numbers. Allow them time to acclimate to the new environment before introducing more fish. Follow proper acclimation procedures to minimize stress and prevent disease.
  8. Feeding and Maintenance of Your Community Tank: Feed your fish a balanced diet and perform regular maintenance, such as water changes and filter cleanings, to maintain water quality. You should also test the water regularly to ensure the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are all good in the tank.

By following these steps, you can set up a healthy and thriving community tank for your fish. Remember to research the specific needs of your fish to ensure they have the appropriate environment to live happily and healthily.

My Recommended Setup

I’ve reviewed tons of aquarium products in the past, so when it comes to setting up a tank I know a thing or two! With this in mind, if you do plan on starting a community tank, here’s what I’d use.

Tetra Aquarium, 20 Gallon, Complete Tropical Fish Tank Kit With LED Lighting And Decor For Freshwater Fish
  • GLASS AQUARIUM KIT: The kit includes one glass aquarium with a low-profile, hinged hood, an LED lighting system, an internal filter and filter cartridge, an aquarium heater and thermometer, a water conditioner sample
  • LED LIGHTING: Energy-efficient LEDs give you a beautiful natural daylight effect.
  • FILTRATION SYSTEM: The included Tetra Internal Filtration System features mechanical filtration to catch debris and chemical filtration with Ultra-Activated Carbon for removal of odors, discoloration and toxins.
  • EASY SETUP: Aquarium kit includes items you need to create a healthy home for your fish*.
  • SIZE: This 20-gallon glass aquarium measures 24 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 16 inches high
API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, White, Single, Multi-colored
  • Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 tubes with cap
  • Helps monitor water quality and prevent invisible water problems that can be harmful to fish and cause fish loss
  • Accurately monitors 5 most vital water parameters levels in freshwater aquariums: pH, high range pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate
  • Designed for use in freshwater aquariums only
  • Use for weekly monitoring and when water or fish problems appear
Sale
Fluval 12693 Plant and Shrimp Stratum for Freshwater Fish Tanks, 4.4 lbs. – Aquarium Substrate for Strong Plant Growth, Supports Neutral to Slightly Acidic pH
  • Facilitates Rapid and Beneficial Colonization: Its porous structure enables swift colonization of beneficial nitrifying organisms, fostering a healthy aquatic environment crucial for the well-being of aquarium inhabitants
  • Maintains Optimal pH Levels: Designed to sustain a neutral to slightly acidic pH range, ideal for supporting the growth of various plants, tropical fish, and shrimp commonly found in planted aquarium setups
  • Offers Shelter for Newborn Shrimp: Stratum provides a safe haven for newborn shrimp, offering protection from potential predators until they reach a size where emerging into the main aquarium is viable
  • Preserves Water Quality: Ensures water clarity by preventing discoloration and effectively manages organic discoloration, especially in the presence of natural driftwood, while being specifically formulated for use in freshwater aquariums
  • 4.4 lb bag
Sale
Fluval Cycle Biological Enhancer, Aquarium Water Treatment, 16.9 Oz., A8351
  • All-natural water care creates a safe biological habitat to prevent fish loss by eliminating ammonia and nitrite
  • Infused with a powerful team of beneficial bacteria that immediately inoculates aquarium water
  • Extremely effective when setting up a new aquarium or introducing new fish to an existing one and useful during water changes and filter media changes, when good bacteria is depleted
  • Regular application helps to completely exclude establishment of undesirable bacteria
  • 16.9-ounce bottle for use in freshwater and saltwater aquariums

The kit itself comes with pretty much everything you need to set it up. For this aquarium though, I’d remove the decorations and add live plants and driftwood instead. This is why I’d also put aquarium soil in the tank instead of gravel or sand.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about the best community fish for their tank.

Can Community Fish Live Together?

Many community fish can live together peacefully as long as they are compatible in terms of water temperature, pH, and behavior. Some popular community fish include tetras, guppies, mollies, and platies.

What Is The Most Low Maintenance Fish?

Some examples of the most low-maintenance fish include betta fish, guppies, platies, and goldfish. These fish are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

Can You Mix Goldfish With Tropical Fish?

It is generally not recommended to mix goldfish with tropical fish as they have different temperature and water requirements. Goldfish prefer cooler water and produce more waste than tropical fish, which can lead to water quality issues. It is best to keep goldfish in a separate tank with appropriate filtration and maintenance.

What Is The Most Peaceful Community Fish?

Some popular options that are known for being peaceful and easy to care for include guppies, neon tetras, cherry barbs, and corydoras catfish. However, the most peaceful community fish will depend on the specific aquarium setup and the temperament of the individual fish.

Best Community Fish For A 40 Gallon Tank

For a 40-gallon tank, you have more options for community fish. Some good choices include angelfish, rainbowfish, rasboras, and platies. It’s important to research the specific care requirements of each fish and ensure they are compatible in terms of water temperature and pH.

Best Community Fish For A 20-gallon Tank

For a 20-gallon tank, you will need to choose smaller community fish. Good options include dwarf gouramis, endlers, cherry shrimp, and small schooling fish such as neon tetras or ember tetras. Make sure to research the care requirements of each fish and ensure they are compatible with each other.

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the right fish species for your community tank is essential for creating a harmonious and thriving environment for your aquatic pets. By considering factors such as compatibility, temperament, and the natural behaviors of each fish species, you can ensure that your community tank is a joy to watch and a healthy place for your fish to live. With the right combination of fish species, your community tank can become a vibrant and beautiful underwater world.

Ultimate Betta Fish Care Guide
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Hey! I'm Nicolas from Iguane Media !

Blogger and Owner of the betta care fish guide
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