Freshwater fish have a reputation of being less vibrant and colorful than their saltwater cousins. Instead of resorting to bright gravel, backgrounds, or lights to bring color to your aquarium, you can find species of fish that are attention grabbers. Before you settle for run-of-the mill freshwater fish, why not look into this list of top ten freshwater fish that can be just as beautiful as any tropical species.
1. Male Betta
You have probably spotted these fan-tailed fish at your local pet store. They are available in a variety of colors, live for quite a while, and are generally easy to care for. Unfortunately, they do not play nice with others, so they are best kept alone or with other larger species.
2. Flowerhorn Cichlid
These unusual-looking fish are notable for their bulging heads and flower petal-shaped markings. This cichlid is farm-raised in the United States and can be quite expensive. They also tend to be more aggressive than other species, so consider your aquarium population before investing in a flowerhorn.
Another colorful member of the cichlid family is the Discus. These fish are native to the Amazon River and are available in different colors, patterns, and sizes. Breeders have played around with the discus to develop even more variety in appearance.
4. Peacock Cichlid
For a bright and beautiful fish that is great for beginners and experts, look for the peacock cichlid. They tend to have vertical striation and a spectrum of colors. They are easy to maintain and get along well with other species.
5. German Blue Ram
Yet another cichlid species that can brighten up your aquarium is the Blue Ram. They are small and peaceful, but oh, those blue dotted fins can capture your attention.
6. Fantail Guppy
These little beauties can bring a pop of color to your freshwater tank. They are inexpensive as well, making them a popular choice with many fish hobbyists. Fantails can be patterned or solid and are also found in an array of colors.
Even though this species is found in many parts of the world, they can be hard to locate in pet stores. Killifish are relatively low maintenance, and the males are more flamboyant than the females.
For an active and entertaining fish to add to your tank, you may want to look for a gourami. These are native to parts of Asia and have several colorful species. Look for the Banded, Blue, or Red Fire Dwarf varieties.
9. Boesman’s Rainbowfish
Another Asian species from the waters of Indonesia is the rainbowfish. They tend to have a blue or purple hue on the front half that fades to a bright orange or red. These fish are also peaceful and can complement other species well.
10. Endler’s Livebearer
Small but colorful livebearers are like hidden treasure. They can be rare and require a bit of a search to find them in shops, but they sparkle like gems in your aquarium. They can tolerate different water conditions and are easy to keep, making them worth the hunt.
Across the Spectrum
Whatever level of experience you have with freshwater tanks, you can create a colorful underwater world to enjoy. Turn to Big Al’s when you have questions about which fish are best for your aquarium or need any equipment to maintain your population.