Types of Freshwater Aquarium Fish

There are many types of freshwater aquarium fish that you keep in your freshwater aquarium. Here are the best types of tropical fish species to keep if you’re a beginner or expert fishkeeper.


The goldfish is the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. You can find them in any pet store that sells fish. Although, the goldfish you see at pet stores and carnivals are babies (they grow much bigger). There are also many different types of goldfish. The one you see most often is the common goldfish.


Mollies are very adaptable fish having the unique capability to survive in both freshwater and saltwater if acclimated slowly. They come in many colors, sizes, and fin shapes.


There are many different types of guppies and there’s no denying that these are some of the coolest freshwater aquarium fish to keep. Guppies are a popular choice for beginners because they are easy to care for and are very attractive due to their varying colors and tail and fin shapes.


Rainbowfish are small, colorful, freshwater fish that make excellent tank mates for most small, non-aggressive species of aquarium fish. There are also several different species of rainbowfish to choose from.

Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Rams are colorful, peaceful and easygoing aquarium fish. They can be quite shy and will not bother any other fish in your tank. In fact, they are popular types of aquarium fish that is known by the common names Bolivian butterfly, Bolivian ram, Bolivian ram cichlid, and ruby crown cichlid. 


Yes, there are some types of catfish that you can keep in your freshwater aquarium. For example, Cory catfish are a small and peaceful species of catfish.

Cory Catfish

Iridescent Shark

Iridescent sharks, also known as the siamese shark or sutchi catfish, are a species of catfish native to Asia. Though they make for great tank fish, you must remember that they will eat any fish that can fit into their mouth. This means fish like Tetras, Danios, and Barbs are not good mates for tanks with iridescent sharks.

True Loaches

There are different types of loaches but they are all bottom feeders/scavengers. These fish will keep you aquarium bottom clean. They will search out stray food wherever it falls. They are nocturnal, but they are great scavengers. Be careful though, some loaches are known to attack and eat snails.

Neon Tetra

These types of freshwater aquarium fish are small freshwater fish native to South America. Neon Tetras are so popular in the United States that 1.5 million neon tetras are imported each month.


While eels may not be high up on your list of freshwater fish to keep, they do make for cool pet fish to keep. Of course, there are a variety of eel types and some are more peaceful than others.

Freshwater Angelfish

These are some of the most beautiful fish and very common pet fish with both the beginner and the long-time aquarists. Some of the best-known types of angelfish include the Silver Angelfish, Zebra Angelfish, Marbled Angelfish, Veiltail Angelfish, Blushing Angelfish.


These kinds of freshwater aquarium fish are popular because of their distinctive shape and bright colors. Discus fish are easy to care for but they need softer, somewhat acidic water.

Southern Platyfish

Platy is a very popular tropical freshwater fish species kept by aquarists around the world. Common names include the southern platyfish, common platy, or moonfish.

As pets, platys can be far more colorful than wild varieties, and come in several colors. They are rather peaceful in nature and can make for good tank mates.


Barbs are lively, hardy and colorful fish. They are an all schooling species that do best if kept in groups of at least five or more. There are many different types of barbs so you can add variety to your tank if you add these fish.


Danios are active school fish that are quite hardy. These types of freshwater aquarium fish do well in cool temperatures, making them a great choice for unheated aquariums.

Siamese Fighting Fish

The Siamese fighting fish, also known as the betta, is a popular fish in the aquarium trade. Bettas in the wild are carnivores and feed on carrion, shrimp, insect larvae, insects and small worms.

These types of freshwater aquarium fish, if kept as a pet, prefer solitary. However, there are some types of snails (aquarium snails) that you can add to the tank without issue.


Gouramis are air breathers due to their lung-like labyrinth organ (the Siamese fighting fish also has a similar organ). These species of tropical fish are some of the hardiest and most popular aquarium fish. They are relatively easy to care for and breed.

You can find most, if not all, of these freshwater aquarium fish by shopping online at any of the following top online fish stores.