15 Different Types of Tropical Fish

Keeping tropical fish in your home aquarium is fun and provides a rewarding experience. In this article, I am going to show you 15 tropical fish species that are great for setting up a colorful and exciting community aquarium. My goal was to create a list of fish that are fun to keep and easy to take care of at the same time.

The fish market is huge and it is important to know which are those species that are popular, colorful and also compatible with each other. I also wanted to make sure that there is no need to tweak the water parameters that much and to pick those fish that are not particularly picky when it comes to their diet.

I believe that the tropical species I am going to talk about below are going to be interesting both for beginners and experienced fish keepers. Beginners can learn a lot in the process, while advanced hobbyists are surely going to enjoy the beauty and personality of these tropical fish. Enjoy!

Guppy Fish

Guppy fish are one of the most popular tropical fish species for beginners. Known for their colorful appearance and small size, guppies make a vibrant addition to any aquarium. They are also hardy and easy to care for, which makes them an excellent choice if you’re new to the world of tropical fish.

fancy guppy

  • Tank Size: 5-10 gallons (18-38 liters)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm)
  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, requires a mix of flakes, pellets, and live or frozen food
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active swimmers; great for community tanks

When you bring your guppy fish home, be sure to provide plenty of hiding spots like plants or caves to help them acclimate. They are social creatures, so keep them in small groups to ensure they thrive.


Molly Fish

Molly fish are a popular choice for tropical aquariums due to their bright colors and easy-going temperament. They hail from North and South America and come in various colors like black, white, orange, and even golden. Molly fish are an excellent addition to a community tank, as they are usually peaceful and get along wister well with other fish species.

black molly fish

Here are some essential facts about Molly fish:

  • Tank Size: 20 – 30 gallons (75 – 114 liters)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 2 – 4 inches (5 – 10 cm)
  • Temperature: 72 – 82°F (22 – 28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, accepts flake food and live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms
  • Lifespan: 3 – 5 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active swimmers, and enjoy exploring their environment

To ensure your Molly fish thrives in your aquarium, maintain proper water conditions and offer a varied diet. Keep an eye on their behavior and enjoy their vibrant presence in your tropical fish community.


Swordtail Fish

Swordtail Fish are a popular choice among tropical fish enthusiasts due to their vivid colors and unique tails. They are adaptable, easy to care for, and can coexist peacefully with a variety of other fish species, making them ideal for community tanks. Keep reading to learn more about Swordtail Fish and their requirements.

red swordtail fish

  • Tank Size: 15-20 gallons (57-76 liters)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 4 inches (10 cm)
  • Temperature: 72-79°F (22-26°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, will eat both live and frozen foods, as well as flakes
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful and active, enjoys swimming in groups with other swordtails or similar species

Now that you have a general understanding of the Swordtail Fish, let’s move on to discovering more types of tropical fish to add color and life to your aquarium.


Platy Fish

Platy fish are popular tropical fish known for their vibrant colors and peaceful nature. They are great for beginners and can be housed easily in community tanks. These lively fish breed easily and populate your tank quickly, so be prepared to manage their numbers. Their easy-to-maintain characteristics make them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.

yellow mickey mouse platy

  • Tank Size: 10 gallons (38 liters) or larger
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Adult Size: 1.5-2.5 inches (4-6 cm)
  • Temperature: 70-80°F (21-27°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore with a preference for flake, pellet, and frozen/live foods
  • Lifespan: Up to 3 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active, and social

To ensure your Platy fish thrive, maintain a stable water temperature, keep the water clean, and provide a varied diet. These fun and colorful fish will bring life and movement to your tropical aquarium.



Angelfish are gorgeous, graceful, and popular tropical fish known for their unique shape and stunning fin formations. They are native to the Amazon River Basin in South America and bring natural elegance to any aquarium. Angelfish are quite easy to maintain, making them great additions to a community tank.

zebra angelfish

Here’s a quick overview of their basic needs:

  • Tank Size: 20-30 gallons (75-113 liters) or larger
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and 8 inches (20 cm) tall
  • Temperature: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – feed a mix of flakes, pellets, and live/frozen foods
  • Lifespan: 8-12 years
  • Behavior: Generally peaceful, but may become aggressive towards smaller fish or other angelfish during breeding

Remember, to ensure the well-being of your angelfish, provide them with a suitable environment, and meet their nutritional and companionship needs.



Gouramis are a fascinating type of tropical fish known for their diverse colors and patterns, which make them a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. These fish belong to the Osphronemidae family and can be found in freshwater environments such as rivers, lakes, and swamps throughout Asia.

Gouramis are unique due to the labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the water surface, making them well-suited for low-oxygenated environments.

three spot gourami

Here’s some basic information to help you care for your Gouramis:

  • Tank Size: 30-50 gallons (113-189 liters)
  • Care Level: Easy to moderate
  • Adult Size: 2-6 inches (5-15 cm)
  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, accept flake food, pellets, and live food
  • Lifespan: 4-8 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, may be territorial with their own species

Adding Gouramis to your aquarium can provide vibrant colors and an interesting addition to your fish community. Just make sure to adjust their tank environment and provide proper care to ensure they thrive.


Betta Fish

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are a popular choice among tropical fish enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and unique features. These captivating fish are native to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

beautiful betta fish

  • Tank Size: 5 gallons (18.9 liters) minimum
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 2.5-3 inches (6-8 cm)
  • Temperature: 76-82°F (24-28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Carnivorous; can be fed pellets, frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Behavior: Territorial and aggressive towards other males; best to keep only one male Betta per tank

Remember to provide them with adequate hiding spaces, like plants and caves, to help them feel more secure. Keeping the water conditions stable is also crucial for their well-being.


Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Plecos are eye-catching additions to your tropical aquarium. These bottom-dwelling fish are known for their bushy “whiskers” and ability to clean algae off surfaces in the tank. With their unique features and peaceful temperament, Bristlenose Plecos easily become a popular choice for tropical fish enthusiasts.

bristlenose pleco

Here’s what you need to know about their requirements:

  • Tank Size: 30 gallons (113 liters) minimum
  • Care Level: Easy to moderate
  • Adult Size: 4-5 inches (10-12 cm)
  • Temperature: 73-81°F (23-27°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, requires algae wafers and occasional vegetables
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, bottom-dwelling species; often hiding during the day and foraging at night

With proper care, a Bristlenose Pleco can be a hardworking and charming member of your tropical fish community. Just make sure your tank is large enough to accommodate their size and needs!


Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish, often called “Cory Cats,” are a popular tropical fish perfect for your aquarium. They’re small, peaceful, and easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners and seasoned aquarists alike.

Corydoras are native to South America and come in a range of colors and patterns. They are bottom-dwellers that spend most of their time scavenging for food and maintaining a clean tank environment.

bronze corydoras

Here are some facts and care tips for your Corydoras Catfish:

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (75 liters) or larger
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 cm)
  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, prefer sinking pellets or wafers, supplemented with live or frozen foods
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful and social, should be kept in groups of at least 6 for optimal health and wellbeing

Corydoras are an excellent addition to a community tank and will provide both beauty and function to your aquatic environment.



Tetras are popular among tropical fish enthusiasts due to their stunning appearance, small size, and active schooling behavior. These beautiful creatures come in a variety of vibrant colors, making them an attractive choice for any tropical fish tank.

Some popular types of Tetras include Neon, Cardinal, and Glowlight Tetras. Despite their small size, Tetras can make a significant impact on your aquarium’s aesthetics.

neon tetras planted tank

Before you add Tetras to your tank, consider the following characteristics of these captivating fish:

  • Tank Size: 10-20 gallons (38-76 liters)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 0.5-2.5 inches (1.2-6.3 cm)
  • Temperature: 72-80°F (22-27°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, readily eat flakes and pellets, along with live or frozen foods
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Behavior: Active schooling fish, generally peaceful but can be nippy with long-finned tankmates

Remember, proper care and attention are essential to keeping your Tetra fish healthy and happy for years to come.



Barbs are lively and active tropical fish that are quite popular among aquarists. There are many different species of barbs with various colors and patterns, making them a visual delight for any fish keeper. These schooling fish are known for their hardiness, making them a great addition for beginners and experienced fish keepers alike.

golden barb

Here are some key facts to keep in mind when considering barbs for your aquarium:

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (76 liters) minimum
  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate
  • Adult Size: Varies by species, generally 1.5 – 3 inches (4 – 8 cm)
  • Temperature: 74 – 82°F (23 – 28°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoy a mix of dried flakes or pellets, as well as live or frozen foods
  • Lifespan: Around 5 years
  • Behavior: Active and sociable; best kept in a group of at least five to reduce aggression



Loaches are fascinating bottom-dwelling tropical fish that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. With their elongated bodies and unique features, they add an interesting touch to your aquarium. These beautiful creatures can be a bit shy, so providing them with hiding spots like rocks and caves can help them feel more comfortable.

Kuhli Loach

Let’s take a closer look at their common requirements:

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (75 liters) or larger
  • Care Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Adult Size: 2-6 inches (5-15 cm), depending on species
  • Temperature: 72-86°F (22-30°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, appreciate a diverse diet of sinking pellets, live or frozen foods, and veggies
  • Lifespan: 3-10 years, species-dependent
  • Behavior: Peaceful, social, and best kept in groups; may exhibit territorial behavior if a cramped tank or limited hiding spots are present

Remember that loaches can be a remarkable addition to your tropical fish collection. Just make sure you meet their specific needs, and they’ll thrive in your aquarium!


Discus Fish

Discus fish are colorful, elegant, and highly sought-after by aquarists. They originate from the Amazon River Basin, giving your aquarium a charming touch of South American beauty. However, Discus fish require proper care and attention to thrive. 

discus fish

  • Tank Size: 50 gallons (190 liters) minimum
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Adult Size: 8 inches (20 cm)
  • Temperature: 82-88°F (28-31°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Carnivore, high-quality frozen or live foods
  • Lifespan: 7-10 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful, prefers to be in groups

As you can see, Discus fish require a larger tank compared to other tropical fish. They also need specific water conditions and a high-quality diet. However, their vibrant colors and peaceful nature make the extra effort worthwhile. Make sure to keep them in groups as they love to socialize with one another, adding a dynamic touch to your aquarium.


African Cichlids

African Cichlids are a diverse group of tropical fish originating from the African Great Lakes. They are known for their bright colors, unique patterns, and active behavior, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. However, they can be a bit tricky to care for due to their territorial nature and specific water requirements.

african cichlids

  • Tank Size: 30-55 gallons (114-208 liters)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Adult Size: 3-8 inches (7.5-20 cm)
  • Temperature: 75-84°F (24-29°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; feed pellets, flakes, small invertebrates, and vegetables
  • Lifespan: 5-10 years
  • Behavior: Territorial and aggressive; requires a well-decorated tank with rocks and hiding spots

Remember, when it comes to African Cichlids, the right tank setup and a compatible tankmate selection will make a big difference in ensuring a peaceful and thriving aquarium.



Killifish are small, brightly colored tropical fish known for their unique life cycle and incredible adaptability. These little fish are commonly found in fresh and brackish water habitats in regions like Africa, South America, and Asia.

kisaki killifish

  • Tank Size: 10-20 gallons (38-76 liters)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Adult Size: 1-4 inches (2.5-10 cm)
  • Temperature: 68-77°F (20-25°C)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; flake food, live, and frozen foods
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Behavior: Peaceful to semi-aggressive, depending on the species

When planning for a tank of killifish, ensure you provide a well-planted environment, as they love floating plants and hiding spots in their tank. These fish come in an array of patterns and colors, making them an attractive addition to your tropical fish collection.

Wrap Up

With this list, I wanted to make sure that your new tropical community tank will be as exciting as it gets. It only depends on you and your wallet how many of the aforementioned fish you actually want to keep in your aquarium. Of course, you need to match the tank size to the amount of fish you want to keep and to the needs of each species.

I recommend that you read a bit more about each of the fish you are interested in so that you learn about their needs. Although most of them are rather hardy and undemanding species, there are still a few nuances you better know about. After all, learning about the topic is one of the main things that is going to make you a better fish keeper.

I hope you are going to have a lot of fun with your new aquarium! After a while, if you need a new challenge, you can consider keeping some more demanding species with complex needs and temperaments.

Fishkeeping   Updated: June 22, 2023
avatar Hello, my name is Fabian, and I am the Chief Editor at Aquarium Nexus. I have over 20 years of experience in keeping and breeding fish. The aquarium hobby brings me immense joy, and I take great pleasure in sharing my experiences with others.

Questions and Answers

Hannes Heunes August 28, 2023 Reply

Hi there, i tried to breed angel fish but i can not get the babies to live, can you recommend how to go about to get them to live and how to feed them from day one
Thank you

    The angelfish babies just die or they get eaten by their parents? For new angelfish parents it can happen, that they eat their fry. However, if the angelfish fry die suddenly, it could be a problem with the water parameters. Test your water, and if the water is good, feed your fry infusoria, micro worms, newly hatched brine shrimp or vinegar eels. You can also feed them commercial fish food such as Hikari First Bites.

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