The Barb is a bigger family, that consists in many different looking fish: Tiger Barb, Denison Barb, Gold Barb, Cherry Barb, Rosy Barb and others as well. Most Barb species are schooling fish, that live in small groups. If you plan to buy some Barbs, be prepared to house 5 or 6 of them. This is how they will most likely thrive in the new aquarium. One of the most recognizable is the Tiger Barb. This is a beautiful fish, that is known to nip the fins of others in the tank. Because of this behavior, they are not suited for all types of community aquariums. However, other versions don’t behave this way. It’s best to keep them in small schools, with other Barbs, not necessarily of the same type.
If you want a proper community fish in your tank, that won’t bother the others, the Rainbow Krib is your likely choice. Especially because, this is a Cichlid, that isn’t aggressive towards its tank mates (quite rare, yes). This breed is considered a dwarf Cichlid, because it only grows up to 3 or 4 inches in size. Their natural habitat is situated in the rivers and deltas of West Africa. These rivers have slow moving waters, that make perfect habitat for the Rainbow Kribs. You can easily replicate this environment in your aquarium. I said that they are very peaceful fish. And that is true, however there is a time when they get quite aggressive: this is during the breeding period. When they’re in this state, they will get pretty territorial towards others in the tank.
Like its name suggests, the Dwarf Puffer is a small fish breed, that’s very common in home aquariums. It comes from India and usually it’s sold at its full size, of about 2.5 cm. Because of its small size, the Dwarf Puffer doesn’t need a big tank to live in. actually, 1 Puffer needs one gallon of water. Keeping this in mind, and knowing that Puffers are schooling fish, a 10-gallon tank can prove to be more than enough for them. However, if you plan to add other companions in the aquarium too, you should up that number. Because the Dwarf Puffers are very peaceful in nature, they make great additions to community tank. But be careful, don’t add bigger fish in there, that might confuse your Puffers for a snack.
If looks can be deceiving, the Oscar breed is a living proof of that statement. This is a beautiful species, that spends its time swimming gracefully in the tank. But as I said, look can be deceiving. These creatures are quite aggressive towards other tank mates. Because they grow up to 12 inches long, and they are omnivores as well, you should be careful when choosing tank mates to put besides them. Actually, the Oscars are a race of Cichlids, so you shouldn’t be surprised about their aggressive behavior towards other. Most of their time is spent swimming in the middle regions of the aquarium. But at times, they will venture down to the bottom, in search of food. If you’re not an experienced fish keeper yet, it’s best if you look for other breeds for your tank.
Goldfish are one of the most popular fresh water fish species out there. If not THE most popular breed. There are lots of different version of Goldfish, but now I’ll cover them in general. Most Goldfish will grow up to 6 inches long (there are smaller ones as well) and live up to 10 years old, if cared for properly. To house Goldfish, you need a 20-gallon fish tank, at least. Also, the water doesn’t need to be heated, because they usually live in colder environments. Goldfish are a peaceful breed, that works very well in community tanks. Keep something in mind though: some versions of Goldfish, aren’t very fast swimmers. So, don’t put them together with larger and quicker species, because they won’t be able to get away.
The Cory Catfish, or Corydoras, is a very popular breed among freshwater tank owners. One of the main reason, why so many people own one or more Cory Catfish, is that they eat a lot of algae. Actually, the Cory Catfish is used as an aquarium bottom cleaner fish. Most of its time, is spent scavenging the bottom of the tank for left-overs, and most of all, algae. Actually, a single Cory can clean a 20/30-gallon tank by itself, from all the algae in it. Of course, it’s best if you keep multiple ones in your aquarium. They are community fish, that live peacefully with most other species. Most Corys will be active during daytime, but it happens quite often that they remain active in the night as well. If you plan to keep Corys, know that they need a 10-gallon tank, at least. They can thrive in bigger aquariums as well, but a 10-gallon tank is fine in most cases.
Discus Fish are considered a more complex breed, that require more attention to keep. Even so, you can own some of them, if you do everything by the book. Some of the basic requirements for Discus Fish are these: stable and clean water, a temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the water, pH level of 6.5 and water hardness of 4. Discus Fish are carnivorous by nature, so you can feed them dry or live food, as you like. Some food items they really like are the blood worms, pellets, flakes and beef heart. Yes, beef heart. This is a great addition to Discus Fish diet, because they really like it (of course) and it contains important substances, that Discus Fish need. There is a downside to it however: it can pollute the tank. So make sure you give it in small quantities, and do regular maintenance and cleaning work.
This is another Cichlid breed, but it’s different from the one above. The main difference is their behavior. African Cichlids are quite aggressive, as I pointed out above, however Ram Cichlids are not. Actually, they do best with peaceful companions, just like them. Because of this, a community tank is perfect for Ram Cichlids. You can put them together with fish like the Platies, Corydoras, Guppies, Clown Loaches and even Tetras. They will behave peacefully to one another. The Ram Cichlid is another omnivore fish species, so you can feed it all kinds of different food. In the wild, they eat small insects mostly. You can replicate that, by giving them mosquito larvae or other small insect larvae. Simple vegetables are also a great food source for Ram Cichlids.
If you want something colorful in the aquarium, then the African Cichlids are among the best choices you could pick. These are beautiful fish, that come in all kinds of colors, you could imagine. A community tank will look amazing, if you add some African Cichlids into it. Depending on the breed (yes, there are multiple different kinds), an African Cichlid can live up to 15 years old. So, if you plan to create a long-lasting fresh water environment, these fish can prove a good choice. However, there is a downside: African Cichlids are quite territorial and aggressive. If you put them together with other fish that like to swim around a lot, they will get attacked at some point by the Cichlids. So, if you want multiple breeds to live together with Cichlids, make sure you choose species that live on the bottom of the tank most of the time. This way, both species will have their space clearly set out.
Clown Loaches are a popular breed among fish keepers, due to their look and behavior. They are schooling fish, that are very active during daytime. Clown Loaches have an orange body, that is covered by v-shaped stripes on both sides (this is where its name comes from). Because they are schooling fish, you should keep 3 or 4 in the same group. They are peaceful, so keeping them in community tanks is a great choice. Almost any other fish breed will prove to be a great tank mate, as long as it is peaceful and happy to live in groups. Differently from many other species in this article, the Clown Loaches are a carnivore breed. They eat both live and dry foods, but they prefer live. Earthworms are a great source of nutrients for Clown Loaches. But you can buy food products yourself, if that is what you want.