Good Freshwater Fish for Beginners

Good Freshwater Fish for Beginners (part 1)

by Cam McMath

Success for any aquarium depends on a variety of factors like good water quality, correct tank mates, a nutritious diet, and most importantly, a properly informed aquarist. With that being said, a lot of animals that we keep in the store/hobby can do very well and not only survive but thrive. So what should you cycle your new freshwater tank with?

Today I want to discuss a couple of freshwater fish that do very well in new aquariums and are some of the most suitable for beginners to cycle with. These animals must be hardy enough to withstand variations in water parameters and temperatures, can tolerate shipping/stress well, are resistant to disease, eat a variety of prepared foods, and don't have any complicated care requirements. Basically, anything that is low maintenance, low budget and tolerant to an unstable new environment.

I personally believe the Cherry Barb fits this profile perfectly by being a small peaceful community fish that adds a good splash of color and activity. Cherry Barbs aren't nippy and aggressive like some of its relatives, and are hardy enough to cycle most aquariums while being kept in variety of different setups. The cherry barb is also reasonably priced and always available!

Another colorful, hardy fish that’s great to cycle a peaceful freshwater is the Gold Barb. Growing a little larger than the Cherry Barb, Gold Barbs usually have bright yellow bodies with a few black spots. As they mature though they develop exciting red fins and green iridescence.

Our last entry is the White Cloud Minnow, and it’s one of my personal favorites. Social, schooling, colorful and tolerant of colder temperatures, the White Cloud and Gold White Cloud Minnows are great statement fish in smaller peaceful fish tanks.

So what's your idea of the most suitable beginner animal for the freshwater aquarium? Comment below! Want advice on starting your freshwater aquarium? Call us at (973) 365-0200 to speak to one of our professional aquarists.


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