If you’re putting together an aquarium setup of the first time, you need to think carefully about the kind of freshwater species you will introduce to your tank. Some freshwater fish may look great, but they can prove territorial and disrupt the natural order of your aquarium. Smaller fish are often the best option for mixed-species setups, but even the tiniest aquatic species can demonstrate aggressive behaviours. However, it’s not impossible to put together a harmonious aquarium with a mixed bag of freshwater breeds. Below are some of the most attractive freshwater fish species you might want to consider adding to your aquarium.
If your aquarium is densely populated with bedded and floating plants, a honey gourami will make a fine addition to your tank. As they are a fairly docile breed of fish, they’re the ideal addition to heavily populated tanks and will not cause other breeds much trouble. However, when introduced to a tank as a large group, the honey gourami can prove territorial, especially when females are spawning.
Although colourful, with a respectable lifespan, honey gouramis can be difficult to keep in good condition. They’re not the best fit for novice aquarists. You’ll need to feed your honey gouramis a varied diet, rich in algae and vegetables. They will also need a good amount of protein, so you’ll need a ready supply of frozen brine shrimp and bloodworm to hand.
If you’re looking for an aquarium fish that looks great and is relatively easy to care for, the Indian glassfish is a good option. These fish get their name from their almost transparent appearance. They are relatively docile fish, although they may cause particularly small breeds like tetras some trouble. Therefore, you will need to consider tank mates very carefully. Another thing to bear in mind is that Indian glassfish will need to be introduced to a tank as a school.
Water conditions will also need to be carefully maintained, so you’ll need a reliable filtration system installed. As these fish are omnivorous, they’re not too particular when it comes to feeding time. Flake and pellet food, frozen proteins and live food can all be used to keep your Indian glassfish well fed and healthy.
Red Wagtail Platy
The red wagtail platy is one of the easiest aquarium fish to care for. They’re incredibly colourful and will add instant character to your tank, while their temperament means they will not cause tank mates too much trouble. They also don’t need too much space and can thrive in a range of water conditions. Although fairly docile, red wagtail platys are social creatures and will interact well with other fish of the same breed. They also reproduce fairly easily, so if you’re looking to breed fish, they’re a great starter species.
Just like Indian glassfish, the glass catfish is almost transparent in appearance. They make a cool addition to any aquarium, with their near transparent skin and scales allowing you to view much of their skeletal system and internal organs. They are also fairly social creates, making them perfect for tanks populated by a range of species. However, you should be careful not to introduce them to tanks with much larger breeds of fish that may look to your glass catfish as a food source.
Ideally, you need to introduce glass catfish as part of a group. A school made up of half a dozen individuals is a good starting point if you want your fish to thrive. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your glass catfish population and replenish your stocks as individual members of the school die off. Should a glass catfish be left on its own, it may stop feeding, become easily stressed and succumb to disease. Like other glass species, glass catfish prefer tank conditions with lower light levels.
They also aren’t particularly active during the day, but will come alive around dusk. Your glass catfish should be provided with plenty of natural hiding places if you want them to reach their maximum lifespan. Plenty of dense planting is advised, while artificial coves and driftwood will also give your glass catfish ample choice of hidig places.
If you’re looking for an aquarium fish with plenty of colour variation, the koi anglerfish is a good choice. This breed of fish provides you with plenty of choice when it comes to pattern and colour variation, allowing you to get creative when it comes to putting together your aquarium population. Ideally, koi anglerfish should be kept in small groups. As they mature, adult anglerfish are likely to split off into breeding pairs, so your starter population should be made up of a good mix of male and female members.
One thing to bear in about this species is that they are fairly aggressive. Therefore, they’re not that suitable for mixed-species setups. The larger size of koi anglerfish is also something to consider. They’ll need more swimming space than smaller species, as well as plenty of hiding place. You’ll also need to keep an eye on water conditions. Pristine waters are advisable for aquariums housing koi anglerfish.
If you’re lucky enough to have a larger tank to work with, you should think about investing in a flowerhown cichlid. These fish are known for their vibrant colours and large hump that grows on their head as the fish matures. They are also fairly large, so provide you wit plenty of value for your money. However, as with many larger fish, they can prove destructive in certain tanks. They are likely to disturb bedded plants in your aquarium, so you should take extra care to secure them when furnishing your tank.
This variety of cichlid is known for its digging and burrowing behaviour, so your tank will need to accommodate this. Avoid gravel substrate, as this will cause injury to your cichlids when they dig for food debris. A fine layer of sand is the best option. Flowerhorn cichlids are also known as being fairly aggressive fish. They’ll make a quick meal of any smaller fish and aquatic species, so avoid adding prized nano specimens to your tank unless they’re being used as live food sources.
This tropical fish species is another fine specimen worthy of any aquarium. Although they’re not the most vibrant looking species, their hunting and feed behaviour makes them fascinating to watch in action. These fish prefer live food, such as insects, and will actively hunt and take down prey by shooting water jets in their direction. This hunting behaviour is where they get their name from. If you’re thinking about investing in some archer fish, you will need to make sure your tank is properly furnished for the breed.
You’ll need plenty of floating and bedded plants in your aquarium. Some plants will also need to break the water surface layer, allowing to place live insects on the exposed parts of the plant so your archer fish can carry out their hunting routine. However, you can supplement their diets with flakes and pellet food sources. Frozen proteins will also help ensure your archer fish remain nourished.
If you’re looking for cool freshwater fish to add to your aquarium, there are plenty of options. However, picking the most attractive fish is not always the best way to go. Larger fish species are tempting, but you’ll need a large enough tank to house them. You’ll also be limited in terms of aquarium population. A larger fish species will quickly turn on smaller tank mates, considering them a food source. If you must opt for a mixed-species setup, you’ll need to provide your smaller fish with plenty of hiding spaces.
Even if your tank is not home to a large predatory fish, it makes sense to introduce smaller fish as a group to your tank. This fosters more social behaviour and higher levels of activity, keeping your fish engaged and healthy. If you’re hoping that your fish will breed, you will also need to ensure you are started with a sufficiently large population that is made up of both male and female members.