List of freshwater aquarium fish species

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A vast number of species of fishes have been successfully kept in the home freshwater aquarium. This list gives some examples of the most commonly kept species.

Bichirs and reedfish[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Gray bichir, Senegal bichir, or dinosaur bichirPolypterus senegalusPolypterus senegalus senegalus headstand.jpg35.5 cm (14.0 in) in the wild, 9 in is more typical in home aquariaSpeciesEasyA large aquarium is preferred for this species because it is predatory.25-29 °C (77-84 °F)7.0-8.2
Ornate bichirPolypterus ornatipinnisPolypterus-ornatipinnis.jpg60 cm (24 in)SpeciesEasy to intermediate 26–28 °C (77–83 °F)6.0–8.0
ReedfishErpetoichthys calabaricusAkwa19 reedfish.jpg40 cm (16 in)Semi-aggressive communityEasy to intermediateNocturnal, can slither around out of water as long as they stay wet.22–28 °C (72–83 °F)6.5–7.5


Armored catfish including Aspidoras, Brochis, Callichthys, and Corydoras
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Brown-point shield skin longirostrisAspidoras fuscoguttatusAspidoras fuscoguttatus.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)22-25 °C (72-77 °F)5.5–6.8
Aspidoras lakoi4 cm (1.6 in)
Loach catfishAspidoras rochai4 cm (1.6 in)
Sixray corydoras, false corydorasAspidoras pauciradiatusFalse cory 1.jpg2.9 cm (1.1 in)73-82 °F (23-28 °C)6.5
Britski's catfishBrochis britskii8.9 cm (3.5 in)Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras.
Emerald catfishBrochis splendensBrochis splendens im Aquarium.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras.70-82 °F (21-28 °C)6.5
Hognosed brochisBrochis multiradiatusFish at Louisville Zoo 025.jpg6.6 cm (2.6 in)Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras.
CascarudoCallichthys callichthysCallichthys callichthys.JPG20 cm (7.9 in)
Adolfo's catfishCorydoras adolfoiAcuario.jpg5.7 cm (2.2 in)72-79 °F (22-26 °C)6.0-7.0
Banded corydorasScleromystax barbatusSchleromystax barbatus5015.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)
Masked corydoras, bandit corydorasCorydoras metae4.8 cm (1.9 in)72-79 °F (22-26 °C)6.0-7.0
Barred-tail corydorasCorydoras cochui2.5 cm (0.98 in)
Blackstripe corydorasCorydoras bondi4.7 cm (1.9 in)
Blacktop corydorasCorydoras acutus4.4 cm (1.7 in)
Blue corydorasCorydoras nattereri5.4 cm (2.1 in)
Bluespotted corydorasCorydoras melanistius5.1 cm (2.0 in)
Bronze corydorasCorydoras aeneusCorydoras aeneus 2.jpg6.35 cm (2.50 in)CommunityEasyThe albino strain of C. aeneus is common among aquarists.77 °F to 82 ° (25 °C to 28 °C)
CarachaCorydoras atropersonatus4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Ehrhardt's corydorasCorydoras ehrhardti4.1 cm (1.6 in)
Corydoras evelynae4 cm (1.6 in)
Corydoras geoffroy7 cm (2.8 in)
Corydoras latus5.2 cm (2.0 in)
Corydoras loxozonus4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras nainCorydoras nanus4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Corydoras narcissus6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Corydoras ornatus4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras osteocarus4 cm (1.6 in)
Corydoras polystictus3.2 cm (1.3 in)
Scleromystax prionotos5.3 cm (2.1 in)
Corydoras semiaquilusCorydoras semiaquilus 1.jpg6.0 cm (2.4 in)
Corydoras septentrionalis4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras simulatus4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras undulatus4.4 cm (1.7 in)
Dwarf corydorasCorydoras hastatusCorydoras hastatus.jpg3.5 cm (1.4 in)Community
Elegant corydorasCorydoras elegansCorydoras elegans.jpg5.1 cm (2.0 in)Community
False network catfishCorydoras sodalis4.9 cm (1.9 in)
False spotted catfishCorydoras leucomelasCorydoras leucomelas.jpg4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Green gold catfishCorydoras melanotaenia3Corydoras.jpg5.8 cm (2.3 in)
Guapore corydorasCorydoras guapore4.1 cm (1.6 in)
Mosaic corydoras, reticulated corydorasCorydoras haraldschultziCorydoras haraldschultzi aquarium.jpg5.9 cm (2.3 in)[1]Community
Mosaic corydoras, reticulated corydorasCorydoras reticulatus5.1-6.1 cm (2-2.4 in)Community
Panda corydorasCorydoras pandaCorydoras panda 01.jpg3.8-5.1 cm (1.5–2 in)Community
Pastaza corydorasCorydoras pastazensis6.4-7.1 cm (2.5-2.8 in)
Peppered corydorasCorydoras paleatusCorydoras paleatus by NiKo.jpg5.1-7.6 cm (2–3 in)Community
Pink corydorasCorydoras axelrodi4–5 cm (1.6–2 in)
Pygmy corydorasCorydoras pygmaeusCorydoras pygmaeus5333.jpg2.5-3.3 cm (1-1.3 in)Community
Sailfin corydorasCorydoras macropterus
Salt and pepper catfishCorydoras habrosusCorydoras habrosus.png2.5-3.6 cm (1-1.4 in)Community
Schwartz's catfishCorydoras schwartziCorydoras schwartzi.jpg3.8-5.1 cm (1.5–2 in)Community
Spotted corydoras, longnose corydorasCorydoras ambiacus5.1-6.1 cm (2-2.4 in)
Sterba's corydorasCorydoras sterbaiCorydoras sterbai.jpg6.8 cm (2.7 in)[2]Community
Sychr's catfishCorydoras sychri
Tailspot corydorasCorydoras caudimaculatus4–5 cm (1.6–2 in)
Threestripe corydoras, leopard catfishCorydoras trilineatusCorydoras trilineatus3.jpg6.1 cm (2.4 in)[3]Community
Xingu corydorasCorydoras xinguensis3.8-5.1 cm (1.5–2 in)
Julii corydorasCorydoras juliiCorydoras julii.jpg5.1-6.4 cm (2-2.5 in)
Armored suckermouth catfish (plecos)
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Bristlenose pleco, bushynose plecoAncistrus spp.Bristlenose Catfish 700.jpgThe bristlenose genus has at least 59 identified species and many others yet to be named.
Gold nugget plecoBaryancistrus spp.Baryancistrus-L018.jpgMany species of this fish exist, but are not yet officially identified; the three common aquarium species are known as L-018, L-081, and L-177.
Whiptail catfishRineloricaria spp.Viola (Rineloricaria longicauda) 2.jpg20 species
Twig catfishFarlowella spp.Farlowella arcus 3.jpgat least 20 species
PanaquePanaque spp.Panaque.JPGSeveral species of panaque are popular aquarium fish.
Pineapple pleco, orange cheek plecoPseudorinelepis spp.Pineapplepleco.JPGfour species
Common pleco, suckermouth catfish, Amazon sailfin catfishPterygoplichthys pardalisLiposarcus pardalis.jpg16 cm (6.3 in)EasyOne of the several fish sold under this name; there is also an albino variation.
Common pleco, suckermouth catfishHypostomus punctatusSukermouthCatfish.jpgOne of the several fish sold under this name.
Common pleco, suckermouth catfishHypostomus plecostomusPlecostomus 700.jpg50 cm (20 in)One of the several fish sold under this name.
Leopard sailfin pleco, clown sailfin plecoPterygoplichthys gibbicepsSailfin-pleco.jpgOther related fish also share this common name.
Zebra pleco, L-046Hypancistrus zebraHypancistrus zebra4305.jpg
Sailfin catfishPterygoplichthys multiradiatusLiposarcus multiradiatus 01 ssj 20050321.jpg
Golden dwarf sucker, golden otoMacrotocinclus affinisOtocinclus affinis.JPG
Zebra dwarf sucker, zebra otoOtocinclus cocamaOtocinclus cocama.jpgCommunity
Goldspot ancistrus albinoAncistrus sp. gold albino12 cm (4.75 in)communityeasy
Airbreathing catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Walking catfishClarias batrachusClarias batrachus.jpg50 cm (20 in)Easy/IntermediateThe albino form is common in the aquarium trade. This fish can survive out of the water and "walk" as long as kept wet, for a very long time.
Banjo catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Banjo catfishBunocephalus coracoideusBunocephalichthys verrucosus verrucosus seitenansicht.JPG2–15 cm
Talking catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Striped RaphaelPlatydoras armatulusPlatydoras costatus 2 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg
Spotted raphaelAgamyxis pectinifronsAgamyxis.jpgFemales at around 6 in, males slightly smaller around 5.5 inTropical aquariumIntermediateThis species mainly feeds on algae. It needs a cave, and will feed when the aquarium light is out.
Squeakers and upside-down catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Cuckoo squeakerSynodontis multipunctatusSynodontis-multipunctatus.jpg27.5 cm (10.8 in)
Decorated squeakerSynodontis decorus
Even-Spotted squeakerSynodontis petricolaSynodontis petricola.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)
Featherfin squeakerSynodontis eupterusSynodontis Eupterus 3.JPG
Lake Malawi synoSynodontis njassaeSynodontis njassae 01 ssj 20050321.jpg
Polka dot synoSynodontis angelicusSynodontis angelica.jpg
Common syno, false upside-down catfishSynodontis nigrita
Upside-down catfishSynodontis nigriventrisSynodontis.jpg9.6 cm (3.8 in)CommunityS. nigriventris prefers bottom feeding on Tubifex, but its main diet consists of algae.
Shark catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Iridescent sharkPangasius hypophthalmusIridescent shark.jpgCommunityAlbino form is common in the aquarium trade, needs a large aquarium
Chao Phraya giant shark, giant pangasiusPangasius sanitwongseiPangasius sanitwongsei 1.jpgOver 60 inchesThe dwarf "balloon" form available is critically endangered.
Sea catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Colombian shark catfishArius seemanniMA Luisenpark Sciades seemanni.jpg
Berney's shark catfishArius berneyi
Australian shark catfishArius graeffei
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Glass catfishKryptopterus vitreolusKryptopterus species.jpg8 cm (3.1 in).Needs to be kept in a group of five or more
Butter catfish, two-spot catfishOmpok bimaculatus45 cm (18 in)This fish appears very similar to Kryptopterus bicirrhis.
Bagrid catfishes
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Crystal-eyed catfishHemibagrus wyckii71 cm (28 in)highly aggressive and must be kept alone
Asian redtail catfishHemibagrus wyckioides130 cm (51 in)highly aggressive and must be kept alone
Sun catfishHorabagrus brachysomaHorabagrus brachysoma Day.jpg45 cm (18 in)
Long-whiskered catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Leiarius marmoratus100 cm (39 in)
Leiarius pictus60 cm (24 in)
Redtail catfishPhractocephalus hemioliopterusPhractocephalus hemioliopterus-Dixi.jpg120 cm (3.9 ft)Needs a 300 US gallons (1,100 L) tank when mature
Spotted pimelodus, pictus, pictus catfishPimelodus pictusPimelodus pictus.jpg30 cm (12 in)These catfish are very appealing when small, but may grow somewhat large. Their mouths look small, but may eat smaller fish, as they can open their mouths very wide.
Ornate PimelodusPimelodus ornatus
Sturgeon catfishPlatystomatichthys sturio
Barred sorubimPseudoplatystoma fasciatum104 cm (3.41 ft)Easy to confuse with P. tigrinum.
Tiger sorubimPseudoplatystoma tigrinumPseudoplatystoma tigrinum1.jpg130 cm (4.3 ft)This fish is easy to confuse with P. fasciatum.
Firewood catfish, (planiceps) shovelnose catfishSurubimichthys planiceps178 cm (70 in)The largest of the shovelnoses, this catfish grows huge and will need a 450 US gallons (1,700 L) min when mature.
Lima shovelnose catfishSorubium limaSilure spatule.jpg90 cm (3.0 ft)Although they are smaller than the tiger shovelnose, these catfish are extremely aggressive and extremely fast.
North American catfish
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarksTemperature rangepH range
Blue catfishIctalurus furcatusBlue catfish.jpg
Black bullheadAmeiurus melasAmeiurus melas by Duane Raver.png
StonecatNoturus flavusNoturus flavus.jpg

Characins and other characiformes[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Black phantom tetraHyphessobrycon megalopterusHyphessobrycon megalopterus.jpg4.5 cm (1.8 in)CommunityEasythe black phantom tetra enjoy being in groups of 6 or more and a slightly shaded tank. Males may claim small territories and occasionally minor battles may occur. The Phantom tetra goes well with other tetras of similar size. They also prefer floating plants.
Black neon tetraHyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodiBlack neon tetra.jpg4 cm (1.6 in)CommunityEasyThis fish is similar to the neon tetra other than coloration.
Black tetra, Skirt tetraGymnocorymbus ternetziBlackTetras.JPG5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasyA highly spirited fish that may occasionally chase its own species as well as harass slow moving fish with long fins. This fish is very hardy and can stand a variety of water qualities. Disease is not a big problem with the black tetra. The black tetra is also known as the black skirt tetra. The female black tetra is more robust and larger than the male.
Bleeding heart tetraHyphessobrycon erythrostigmaKirschflecksalmler-W.jpg6.5 cm (2.6 in)CommunityIntermediatethe bleeding heart tetra is distinguished by the small red spot on both sides of the fish. This fish is very prone to diseases, and can grow larger than most tetra species. It is not recommended for beginners.
Bloodfin tetraAphyocharax anisitsiAphyocharax anisitsi 2.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasyThe Bloodfin tetra is distinguished by its red fins. This fish is generally peaceful. It will school with similarly sized and tempered fish.
Blue tetraKnodus borkiBoehlkea fredcochui malefemale.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community
Bucktooth tetraExodon paradoxusBucktoothed Tetra Image 001.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Exodon paradoxus will eat smaller fish and harass larger fish, lepidophage (scale eater).
Buenos Aires tetraHyphessobrycon anisitsiHyphessobrycon anisitsi.jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)EasyHyphessobrycon anisitsi has some reputation as a "fin nipper" but it is a 50% chance
Cardinal tetraParacheirodon axelrodiParacheirodon cardinalis.JPG5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityIntermediate
Cave tetra, blind tetraAstyanax mexicanusAstyanax mexicanus.jpg12 cm (4.7 in)Easycave tetra is the blind cave form of the Mexican tetra. The blind cave tetra is easy to care for and is hardy. The fish is born with eyes, but they quickly deteriorate leaving behind two scars where the eyes once were. The blind tetra needs to be in a shoal in order to show peaceful behavior, and to prevent fin nipping. Despite their lack of eyes, the blind cave tetra can easily avoid other fish and obstacles in the tank. This tetra prefers low to moderate lighting.
Congo tetra, Lufundi (native name)Phenacogrammus interruptusPhenacogrammus interruptus (aka).jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)CommunityIntermediateSufficiently peaceful for home aquariums, though it may bite fishes smaller than its size. It is more comfortable in indirect light. Over-head lighting is preferred and under no circumstances should light be directed at the front or rear glass.
Diamond tetraMoenkhausia pittieriDiamond tetra.JPGCommunityEasy
Emperor tetraNematobrycon palmeriEmperor tetra.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasy
Garnet tetra, pretty tetraHemigrammus pulcherHemigrammus pulcher.jpg -->6.5 cm (2.6 in)CommunityEasy
Glowlight tetraHemigrammus erythrozonusTetra Glowlight cropped.jpg3.75 cm (1.48 in)CommunityEasy
Golden pristella tetraPristella maxillarisPristella maxillaris.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasy
Green neon tetraParacheirodon simulansParacheirodon simulans.jpg2.5 cm (0.98 in)CommunityIntermediate
Head and tail light tetraHemigrammus ocellifer4 cm (1.6 in)CommunityEasy
Lemon tetraHyphessobrycon pulchripinnisHyphessobrycon pulchripinnis.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasyVery likely to jump out of the tank unless there are some floating aquatic plants
Long-fin tetraBrycinus longipinnisBrycinus longipinnis.JPG12.5 cm (4.9 in)CommunityEasy
Neon tetraParacheirodon innesiNeonka obecna paracheirodon innesi.jpg3.75 cm (1.48 in)CommunityEasythe neon tetra is sensitive towards water quality and is susceptible to many freshwater diseases. However, the fish is very peaceful and will not attack another member of the tank. Females are larger than the males. Due to their small size, the neon tetra should not be kept with large fish. Neon tetras are also very delicate and any harassment they may receive can result in death. This can be prevented by putting them with other small community fish or fish known to ignore their tankmates. The neon tetra feels the most comfortable when in groups.
Jellybean tetraLadigesia roloffi
Penguin tetra, blackline penguinfishThayeria boehlkeiThayeria boehlkei.jpg6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Red Eye tetraMoenkhausia sanctaefilomenaeRed eye tetra.jpg4 cm (1.6 in)CommunityEasy
Red phantom tetraRoter Phantomsalmler.jpg4.5 cm (1.8 in)CommunityEasy
Rummy-nose tetraHemigrammus rhodostomusBrilliant rummy nose.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityIntermediate
Disk tetraMyleus schomburgkiiMyleus schomburgkii.jpg40 cm (16 in)ph 5.0 - 7.0, temp 23 °C to 27 °C
Splashing tetraCopella arnoldiCopella arnoldi.jpgCommunityEasy
Serpae tetraHyphessobrycon serpaeSerpae tetra.JPG4.5 cm (1.8 in)CommunityEasythis fish may nip the fins of slow moving fish or fish smaller than it. It is best put with other large tetras or with fish of similar size or larger.
Silvertip tetraHasemania nanaKobbertetra Hasemania nana.jpg3 cm (1.2 in)CommunityModerately easySilvertip tetras tend to be moderately aggressive and, because of their small size, should not be kept with large or aggressive fish.
X-ray tetraPristella maxillarisPristella tetra1.jpgCommunityEasyAlso just called the X-ray fish.
Yellow phantom tetraHyphessobrycon roseus4.5 cm (1.8 in)Community with no long-finned fishEasyMaroni & Oyapock Rivers, French Guiana, South America. Most specimens in the trade are captive-bred.Female fish are slightly larger than males in fish of the same age.Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions. pH: 6.0-7.5, dH: up to 25 degrees.Yellow Phantom Tetras should be kept in shoals of 6 or more fish. The aquarium should be well-planted with rooted and floating plants in order to provide much appreciated shady areas. They are usually peaceful with most other fish species, although there are reports of some specimens being a little nippy, so long-finned tankmates are best avoided.Will eagerly accept most aquarium foods offered: flake, micropellets, small frozen foods such as daphnia and cyclops.A conditioned pair should be added to a specially set up breeding aquarium which should contain soft water with a pH < 6.5 and plenty of live plants, including Java moss. Once the eggs have been released/fertilised, the parents should be removed. The eggs should hatch after 24 hours, and after 5 days the fry will become free-swimming. The tiny fry should be fed on infusoria for the first week, followed by finely powdered first foods and baby brineshrimp.
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Common hatchetfishGasteropelecus sterniclaGasteropelecus sternicla.JPGCommunityIntermediate
Silver hatchetfishGasteropelecus levisPeaceful and dwells at the top of the tank in schools. Rarely breeds in captivity. This powerful leaper can easily jump out of an aquarium, so keep only in a fully covered tank.
Marbled hatchetfishCarnegiella strigataCarnegiella strigata.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityIntermediatePeaceful and dwells at the top of the tank in schools. Rarely breeds in captivity. This powerful leaper can easily jump out of an aquarium, so keep only in a fully covered tank.
Black-winged hatchetfishCarnegiella marthaeCarnegiella marthae.jpg4 cm (1.6 in)CommunityIntermediatePeaceful and dwells at the top of the tank in schools. The most hardy of all the hatchetfish, but not the most plentiful. Does not breed in captivity. This powerful leaper can easily jump out of an aquarium, so keep only in a fully covered tank.
Pencil fishes
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Beckford pencilfishNannostomus beckfordi6 cm (2.4 in)CommunityEasy
Three-lined pencilfishNannostomus trifasciatusNannostomus.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityIntermediateMales defend small territories. Otherwise a peaceful, beautiful species.
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Marbled headstanderAbramites hypselonotusAbramites hypselonotus.jpg13 cm (5.1 in)CommunityIntermediateKeep either one headstander or a group of seven or more as they will fight amongst themselves in small groups.
Serrasalminae (pacus, piranhas, and silver dollars)
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Silver dollarMetynnis argenteusSilver dollar fish Metynnis argenteus.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)The name "silver dollar" may also refer to Metynnis hypsauchen, Metynnis maculatus, or other related fishes. It will chew and eat plants.
Red-bellied pacuColossoma bidensRed Pacu.JPG120 cm (3.9 ft)Semi-aggressive CommunityDifficultThe red bellied pacu is a close relative of the piranhas, but without the sharp teeth and the aggression. However, care should be taken if interacting physically with the pacu, as their powerful jaws can crush human bone. The pacu is a peaceful fish that requires at least a 750-l (200-gal) tank when fully mature. It is omnivorous and can be put with large cichlids, but avoid smaller fish. Despite their similar appearance to piranhas, the pacu is not suited to eat meat very well, as their natural diets of nuts suggest. This fish can grow to 1.2 m (4 ft), so need a very large tank (750 l or 200 gal minimum). This fish grows very fast, and can grow as much as one foot in the first year. 78–82 °F (26–28 °C)
Red piranhaPygocentrus nattereriGregory Moine - Red bellied Piranha (by).jpg33 cm (13 in)Species or Monster CommunityDifficultBe very careful when conducting maintenance on their aquarium and hide any wires because they may chew through the waterproof coverings.
PayaraHydrolycus scomberoidesPayara.jpgSpecies or SolitaryDifficultNeed a large aquarium and are entirely carnivorus and most fish shouldn't be kept with it, including the related piranha because it may even eat piranhas.
Other Characins
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
African pike characinHepsetus odoeHepsetus odoe.jpgDifficult
Red tail barracudaAcestrorhynchus falcatusDifficult


Lake Malawi cichlids
Common nameTaxonomyImageSizeTank typeCare levelRemarks
Sunshine peacock cichlidAulonocara baenschi15 cm (5.9 in)African Cichlid or Semi-aggressive CommunityEasy74-80| |7.6-8.2|
Red fin hapCopadichromis borleyiCopadichromis borleyi2.jpgAfrican Cichlid or Semi-aggressive Community
Eureka red peacockAulonocara jacobfreibergiAulonocara jacobfreigi.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)African Cichlid or Semi-aggressive CommunityEasyBeautiful coloration on males
SpiloChampsochromis spilorhynchus40 cm (16 in)African Cichlid or Semi-aggressive Community
Blue dolphin cichlid, lumphead cichlidCyrtocara mooriiCyrtocara moorii.jpg25 cm (9.8 in)African Cichlid or Semi-aggressive CommunityEasy
Afra cichlid, dogtooth cichildCynotilapia afraC afra.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasy
Rusty cichlid, lavender cichildIodotropheus sprengeraeIodotropheus sprengerae.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)Mbuna
Fuelleborn's cichlid, Blue mbunaLabeotropheus fuelleborniLabeotropheus fuelleborni crop.png18 cm (7.1 in)Mbuna
Electric yellow cichlidLabidochromis caeruleusElectric Yellow Lab Cichlid.jpg20 cm (7.9 in)MbunaEasyVery active and entertaining fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories, less aggressive than other mbuna
Malawi eyebiterDimidiochromis compressicepsDimidiochromis compressiceps.jpgEasy
Hongi, Red-top kimpumpaLabidochromis sp. "Hongi"Labidochromis sp hongi.jpg13 cm (5.1 in)Mbuna
Labidochromis sp. "Mbamba Bay"13 cm (5.1 in)Mbuna
Auratus cichlid, Malawi golden cichlidMelanochromis auratusMelanochromis auratus (female).jpg10 cm (3.9 in)EasyAggressive
Chipokee cichlidMelanochromis chipokae12 cm (4.7 in)MbunaEasyAggressive
Blue johanni cichlid, MainganoMelanochromis cyaneorhabdosMelanochromis cyaneorhabdos.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasyVery active and entertaining fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories. Aggressive
Pearl of LikomaMelanochromis joanjohnsonaeMelanochromis joanjohnsonae.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)Mbuna
Johanni cichlidMelanochromis johannii10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasyAggressive
AuroraMelanochromis aurora10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasy
Red zebra cichlidMetriaclima estheraePyszczak.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasyVery active and entertaining fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories
Cobalt blue cichlid, cobalt zebra cichlidMaylandia callainosCobaltblue1.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)MbunaEasyVery active and entertaining fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories
Kenyi cichlidMaylandia lombardoiMaylandia lombardoi.jpg13 cm (5.1 in)MbunaEasyAggressive; sexually dichromatic
FuscoNimbochromis fuscotaeniatus25 cm (9.8 in)
Livingston's cichlidNimbochromis livingstoniiAdult male livingstonii.png25 cm (9.8 in)
KaligonoNimbochromis polystigmaPolystigma.jpg30 cm (12 in)
Venustus cichlid, giraffe cichildNimbochromis venustusNimbochromis venustus.JPG25 cm (9.8 in)Easy'giraffe' spotting is juvenile coloration only
Red empress cichlidProtomelas taeniolatusProtomelas taeniolatus by Derek Ramsey.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)
Bumblebee cichlid, hornet cichlidPseudotropheus crabroPseudotropheus Crabo Male.JPG15 cm (5.9 in)Mbuna
Yellow-tail aceiPseudotropheus aceiYellow tailed acei.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)Mbuna
Dwarf MbunaPseudotropheus demasoniPseudotropheus demasoni.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)
SaulosiPseudotropheus saulosiPseudotropheus saulosi.jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)Mbuna
Malawi barracudaRhampsochromis cf. macrophthalmus23 cm (9.1 in)
Tyrannochromis macrostoma38 cm (15 in)
Lake Tanganyika cichlids
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Boulengerochromis microlepis90 cm (35 in)The largest cichlid
Frontosa cichildCyphotilapia frontosaCyphotilapia frontosa by Ark.jpg40 cm (16 in)Aggressive; well-known
Cyathopharynx furciferCyathopharynx.JPGNot readily available in the aquarium trade.
Variabilichromis mooriiVariabilichromis moorii.jpg
Frontosa cichildCyphotilapia gibberosa40 cm (16 in)The frontosa have recently been broken up into three separate species. The gibberosa come from the southern part of the Lake
Frontosa cichildCyphotilapia sp. "North"40 cm (16 in)This yet to be officially named species is intermediate in scale count between gibberosa and frontosa.
Julie cichlidJulidochromis dickfeldiJulidochromis dickfeldi.jpgEasyBeautiful; interesting
Masked JulieJulidochromis marlieriJulidochromis marlieri katoma.jpg15 cm (5.9 in) fem / 10 cm (3.9 in) maleEasyStriking coloration
Julie cichlidJulidochromis ornatus
Julie cichlidJulidochromis reganiJulidochromis regani adult.jpg15 cm (5.9 in) fem / 10 cm (3.9 in) male
Julie cichlidJulidochromis transcriptusJ gombe1.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)IntermediateStriking coloration
Herring cichlid, Sardine cichlidCyprichromis spp.Cyprichromis leptosoma.jpg
Ectodus descampsiiEctodus descampsii.jpg
Chalinochromis spp.Chalinochromis popelini.jpg
Neolamprologus multifasciatusNeolamprologus multifasciatus 2.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)A small shell-dwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. Distinguished from the similar L. similis by the lack of striping on the face
Lamprologus ocellatusLamprologus ocellatus.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)
Neolamprologus similisNeolamprologus similis 2060.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)A small shell-dwelling cichlid from Lake Tanganyika. Very similar to N. multifsciatus but similis has striping from the body continue to the head
Lobochilotes labiatus40 cm (16 in)
Lyretail cichlid, fairy cichlidNeolamprologus brichardiNeolamprologus brichardi.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)Easy
Lemon cichlidNeolamprologus leleupiNeolamprologus leleupi 2.jpg11.5 cm (4.5 in)
FeatherfinOphthalmotilapia ventralis15 cm (5.9 in)
Petrochromis trewavasae20 cm (7.9 in)Aggressive
Petrochromis sp. "Zaire Texas"18 cm (7.1 in)
Simochromis pleurospilus10 cm (3.9 in)
Tropheus duboisiTropheus duboisi.jpg13 cm (5.1 in)AdvancedMales very aggressive; juveniles distinctively colored
Tropheus mooriiTrophs1.jpg14 cm (5.5 in)Easy
Tropheus polliTropheus polli.jpg14 cm (5.5 in)
Lake Victoria cichlids
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Astatotilapia aenocolor13 cm (5.1 in)
Astatotilapia elegans10 cm (3.9 in)
Zebra obliquidensAstatotilapia latifasciata11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia nubila11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia piceatus10 cm (3.9 in)
Astatotilapia schubotziellus10 cm (3.9 in)
Astatotilapia sp. "Red Tail"11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia sp. "Spot Bar"13 cm (5.1 in)
Hippo Point SalmonPtyochromis sp. "Hippo Point Salmon"14 cm (5.5 in)
FlamebackPundamilia nyerereiPundamilia nyererei.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)
Xystichromis phytophagus10 cm (3.9 in)
Miscellaneous African cichlids (non-Rift Lake)
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
African butterfly cichlidAnomalochromis thomasiAnomalochromis thomasi 2.jpg
Jewel cichlid, two-spotted jewel cichlidHemichromis bimaculatusHemichromis bimaculatus1.jpg4-5 inchEasyother hemichromis species are sometimes sold under the same name
Steatocranus spp.Steatocranus casuarius.jpg
Lifalili jewel cichlid, blood-red jewel cichlidHemichromis lifalili
Kribensis, kribPelvicachromis pulcherPelvicachromis pulcher (male).jpgEasyReadily breed in small aquaria. Aggressive and territorial towards other fishes especially its own kind during mating and after spawning
Zebra tilapiaTilapia buttikoferiButtikoferi.png
Guenther's MouthbrooderChromidotilapia guentheriChromidotilapia guntheri Bama BF cpl fry2.jpg
Allauad's haploAstatoreochromis alluaudiAstatoreochromis alluaudi.jpg
Pale usisya aulonocaraAulonocara steveniAulonocara steveni Usisya.jpg
Benthochromis tricotiBenthochromis tricoti.jpg
Dwarf cichlids (apistogrammas, rams and others)
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Agassiz's dwarf cichlidApistogramma agassiziiApistogramma Agassizii.jpgAdvancedBeautiful
Zebra acaraNannacara adoketaIvanacara adoketa5265.jpg
Yellow dwarf cichlidApistogramma borellii
Cockatoo dwarf cichlidApistogramma cacatuoidesKakadua male.jpg
Panda dwarf cichlidApistogramma nijsseniApistogramma nijsseni (f).jpg
Three-Stripe Dwarf CichlidApistogramma trifasciata
Apistogramma eremnopyge
Two-Stripe Dwarf CichlidApistogramma bitaeniata7.5 cm (3.0 in)40 litre (10 gallon) tank for one pairIntermediate
Checkerboard CichlidDicrossus filamentosus
Blue ram, German ramMikrogeophagus ramireziMikrogeophagus.jpgEasyFairly common
Bolivian ramMikrogeophagus altispinosaBolivianRams1.jpg
Dwarf flag cichlidLaetacara curviceps
American cichlids (cichlasomas, acaras, angelfish, discuses and others)
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Midas cichild, red devil cichlidAmphilophus citrinellusDählhölzli - Zitronen Buntbarsch 3.jpgNote that Amphilophus labiatus is also called red devil cichild
Poor man's tropheusHypsophrys nematopusNeetroplus nematopus.png
Red devil cichlidAmphilophus labiatusAmphilophus labiatum, weiblich.jpg
Firemouth cichlidCichlasoma meekiFeuermaulbuntbarsch.jpgEasyTypically medium aggression; easily bred
Jack Dempsey cichlidCichlasoma octofasciatumCichlasoma octofasciata.jpg
Jaguar cichlid, managuense cichlidParachromis managuensisParachromis managuensis 2012 G1.jpgEasyExceptionally beautiful adult coloration; large adult size
Mayan cichlidCichlasoma urophthalmusMayan10a.jpg
Convict cichlidArchocentrus nigrofasciatusArchocentrus nigrofasciatus female.jpgEasyCommon, very easy to breed, aggressive. A beautiful fish with bad temper. Small variations in colors, can be found in almost completely black and white coloration - therefore the name "Convict"
T-bar cichlidCryptoheros sajicaArchocentrus sajica 3 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg
SeverumHeros severusGoldSeverum.jpgEasythe gold variety is more common than the natural green one
Green terrorAndinoacara rivulatusAndinoacara rivulatus - 20061112.jpgFairly common
Blue acaraAndinoacara pulcher
Thread-finned acaraAcarichthys heckeliiAcarichthys heckeli.JPG
Eartheater cichlidGeophagus altifrons
Greenstreaked Eartheater,cupid cichlidBiotodoma cupidoBiotodoma cupido.png
Keyhole cichlidCleithracara maroniiAkara z Maroni.jpg
AngelfishPterophyllum scalareFreshwater angelfish biodome.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)Intermediateseveral color varieties; this species is the common angelfish in the aquarium trade. Angelfish can grow up to fifteen centimetres (six inches), and therefore should be housed in a large aquarium. Angelfish should be kept alone, or kept with three or more. This is because that if two are kept together, the larger fish will pick on the smaller fish. Angelfish are not as hardy as other cichlids and should not be kept with small fish such as neon tetras. However, just the opposite is true: Angelfish should not be kept with fish that may nip and annoy it such as some large tetras.
Altum angelfishPterophyllum altumPterophyllum altum.jpgDifficult
Spotted angelfishPterophyllum leopoldiPterophyllum leopoldi.jpg
Common discus, red discusSymphysodon discusDiscus heckel.jpg20 cm (7.9 in)Difficultvarious color varieties, the discus requires high water quality and a varied diet. Do not keep with fast fish as the discus is a slow eater and will not fight for food. Despite their beauty, the discus is one of the least hardy aquarium fishes available. This fish should only be kept by the experienced aquarium keeper.
Blue discus, green discusSymphysodon aequifasciatusBlue Discus.jpg20 cm (7.9 in)Difficultfancy hybrids of this species and Symphysodon discus can also be found in trade
Chocolate cichlidHypselecara temporalis
OscarAstronotus ocellatusAstronotus ocellatus.jpg45 cm (18 in)has different varieties including long-fin, albino, golden, etc. The oscar cichlid is fast growing and can grow to a very large size when mature, and therefore should be housed in a large aquarium. The oscar can be messy to look after as they love to dig up plants and scoop up rocks. The oscar should be put with fish of similar size as they will eat any fish that can fit in their mouth. The oscar prefers to be with members of its own species, but this is not a necessity for its well being. The oscar is one of the more hardy cichlids, and can be put with other large cichlids, pacus, large plecos, large sharks, and other large fish.
Uaru, warooUaru amphiacanthoidesAlso known as the Triangle Ciclid.
Peacock bass, butterfly peacock bassCichla orinocensisPeacock bass.jpg
Texas cichlid, Rio Grande cichlidHerichthys cyanoguttatusHerichthys cyanoguttatum (Rio Grande Cichlid).jpgEasyLarge adult size
Other cichlids
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Orange chromideEtroplus maculatusEtroplus Maculatus.JPG
Blood parrot cichlid- Hybrid -BloodParrot.jpgIn the scientific community it is not considered a cichlid (or any species of fish) because it does not occur naturally in the wild (created by man), for this reason it will not be given a scientific name.
Flowerhorn cichlid- Hybrid -Flowerhorn.jpg 25 cm (9.8 in)DifficultIn the scientific community it is not considered a cichlid (or any species of fish) because it does not occur naturally in the wild (created by man), for this reason it will not be given a scientific name. This is also an aggressive fish and does best in a species-only setup.
Wolf cichlidParachromis dovii


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Arulius barbDawkinsia arulius12 cm (4.7 in)
Bigspot barb, Duncker's barbBarbodes dunckeri13 cm (5.1 in)Peaceful when small but should not be kept with other species at adulthood.
Black ruby barbPethia nigrofasciatusBlack Ruby Barb 700.jpg6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Checker barbOliotus oligolepisPuntius oligolepis.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)
Cherry barbPuntius titteyaMale Cherry Barb 700.jpg4.8 cm (1.9 in)CommunityEasyvery peaceful, and works well with white clouds and neon tetras
Clipper barbBarbus callipterus7.5 cm (3.0 in)
Clown barbBarbodes everettiClownbarbe 2.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)
Denison's barb, red line torpedo barbSahyadria denisoniiPuntius denisonii 1.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Gold barbBarbodes semifasciolatusBrokat.jpg8 cm (3.1 in)CommunityEasy
Golden barbPethia gelius5 cm (2.0 in)
Greenstripe barbPuntius vittatus5 cm (2.0 in)
Indian Glass BarbLaubuca laubuca6.7 cm (2.6 in)CommunityEasy
Melon barbPuntius fasciatus15 cm (5.9 in)
Odessa barbPuntius padamyaPuntius Padamya.jpg8 cm (3.1 in)Semi-aggressive CommunityEasy
Onespot barbPuntius terio15 cm (5.9 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Panda barbPuntius fasciatusPandabarben.jpg5 inchesCommunity
Pentazona barb, fiveband barbPuntius pentazonaPuntius pentazona.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Semi-aggressive Communitythis species may be confused with tiger barb due to similarities
Pool barbPuntius sophorePuntius sophore 2.jpg18 cm (7.1 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Partipentazona barbPuntigrus partipentazonaPuntius partipentazona FOWLER.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Rosy barbPethia conchoniusMale Rosy Barb.gif13 cm (5.1 in)Semi-aggressive CommunityEasy
Shortfin barbBarbus brevipinnis4.6 cm (1.8 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Snakeskin barbDesmopuntius rhombocellatusPuntius rhomboocellatus.jpg5 inchesCommunity
Spanner barb, t-barbBarbodes lateristriga20 cm (7.9 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Spotted barb, common barbBarbodes binotatus19.5 cm (7.7 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Spottedsail barb, dwarf barbPethia phutunio7.8 cm (3.1 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Swamp barbPuntius cholaPuntius chola.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Ticto barbBarbus ticto10 cm (3.9 in)Semi-aggressive Community
Tic-tac-toe barbPuntius stoliczkanusPuntiusStoliczkanus.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)
Tiger barb, sumatra barbPuntius tetrazonaTigerbarbe Puntius tetrazona.jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)Semi-aggressive CommunityEasyThere are many varieties as well as hybrids with other barbs. Good community schooling fish.
Tinfoil barbBarbonymus schwanenfeldiiTinfoil Barb 700.jpg36 cm (14 in)Semi-aggressive CommunityThis species is much larger than most other barbs
Cold-water cyprinids
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
GoldfishCarassius auratusCommon goldfish.JPG15+ cm (6+ in)Community/PondEasyvariations: Black Moor, Bubble Eye, Butterfly Tail, Calico, Celestial Eye, Comet, Common, Fantail, Lionchu, Lionhead, Oranda, Panda Moor, Pearlscale, Pompom, Ranchu, Ryukin, Shubunkin, Telescope eye, Veiltail
Koi, common carpCyprinus carpioSix koi.jpg30+ cm (12+ in)PondEasythe fancy variations of common carp are known as koi.
BitterlingRhodeus amarusRhodeus amarus 2008 G1.jpg10 cm (4 in)PondEasy
White Cloud Mountain minnowTanichthys albonubesWhite Cloud Mountain Minnow 1.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)Pond/CommunityEasylutino variety can also be found in the aquarium trade
Common daceLeuciscus leuciscusLeuciscus leuciscus.jpg40 cm (16 in)Temperature 39 to 72 °F (4 to 22 °C); ph 6.0 to 8.0
Rosy red minnow, fathead minnowPimephales promelasRosy Red Minnows fullsize.jpg5-7.5 cm (2–3 in)Pond/Minnow TankEasysold as feeder fish; the gold variety known as "rosy red" is very common (the image is of the "rosy red" strain) Temperature 10 - 21 °C (50 - 70 °F) pH 7.0 - 7.5
European minnowPhoxinus phoxinusPhoxinus.jpgPond/Minnow TankEasy
Southern redbelly dacePhoxinus erythrogasterPhoxinus erythrogaster.jpg7.5–10 cm (3–4 in)Pond/Minnow TankEasy
TenchTinca tincaTinca tinca Prague Vltava 2.jpgPondModerateA few color varieties have been made from the wild species, even some multicolored.
RuddPhoxinus phoxinusScardinius erythropthalmus 2009 G1.jpgPondEasy
GudgeonGobio gobioRiviergrondel.jpgPondEasy
Golden orfeLeuciscus idusLeuciscusIdusWindeIde56cm 21-4-2009 16-46-58.JPGPondEasy
Danios and other danionins
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Bengal danio, Sind danioDevario devario
Giant danioDevario aequipinnatusDevario aequipinnatus.JPG
Malabar danioDevario malabaricusDanio sp.jpg11.5–14 cm (4.5-5.5 in)CommunityEasy
Pearl danioDanio albolineatusDanio albolineatus.jpg6.5 cm (2.6 in)Easysubspecies:blue-redstripe danio, Kedah danio
Queen danioDevario regina
Spotted danioDanio nigrofasciatusDanio nigrofasciatus.jpgEasy
Turquoise danioDanio kerriDanio kerri.jpg
Zebra danioDanio rerioZebrafisch.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Easythere are many variations of this fish: leopard danio,the spotted colour morph, and GloFish, the genetically modified fluorescent fish.
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Harlequin rasboraTrigonostigma heteromorphaHarlequin rasbora.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasyAlso known as Harlequin tetra
Espei rasbora5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasy
Hengeli rasbora5 cm (2.0 in)CommunityEasy
Blackline rasbora, red-tailed rasboraRasbora borapetensisRedtail.JPG
Red-striped rasboraRasbora pauciperforata7.5 cm (3.0 in)CommunityRange: Sumatra Temperature 22 - 29 °C (72 - 85 °F)
Volcano rasboraRasbora vulcanus
Other cyprinids
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Bala sharkBalantiocheilus melanopterusHaibarben (Balantiocheilos melanopterus).jpg40 cm (16 in)CommunitySemi-aggressive Community
Black sharkLabeo chrysophekadionLabeo chrysophekadion Bleeker.jpg2'CommunitySemi-aggressive Community
Flying fox (fish)Epalzeorhynchos kalopterusEpalzeorhynchos kalopterus2.jpgSemi-aggressive Communitythis species may be sold as Siamese algae eater
Red-tailed black sharkEpalzeorhynchos bicolorEpalzeorhynchos bicolor.jpg7 inSemi-aggressive Communityeasyalbino variation available. aggressive with fish of same species. best kept alone or in groups of 5 or more.
Rainbow sharkEpalzeorhynchos frenatumFransenlipper.JPG7 inSemi-aggressive Communityeasyalbino variation available. aggressive with other fish of same species. best kept either alone, or in groups of 5 or more individuals.
Cambodian log sucker, false Siamese algae eaterGarra cambodgiensisCrossocheilus siamensis pl.jpgthis species may be sold as Siamese algae eater
Chinese algae eaterGyrinocheilus aymonieriChinese algae eater.jpgEasyThis species may be sold as Siamese algae eater. A gold colored form also exists. Could be territorial
Siamese algae eaterCrossocheilus siamensisCrossocheilus siamensis (2) by Ark.jpg6 inCommunityEasyMany other cyprinids are sometimes mistakenly sold under this name. Very likely to jump out of the aquarium especially after reaching adult size. Very useful for getting rid of algae when it is young but prefer fish food upon reaching adulthood.


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
African striped darterNannocharax fasciatusNannocharax fasciatus.jpg
Banded darterEtheostoma zonale
Gilt darterPercina evidesPercina evides.jpg
Orangethroat darterEtheostoma spectabileOrangethroat darter male.jpg
Rainbow darterEtheostoma caeruleumEtheostoma caeruleum.jpg
Splendid darterEtheostoma barrenense


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Black toraja gobyMugilogobius sarasinorum
Bumblebee gobyBrachygobius doriaeBrachygobius doriae.jpg
Dragon goby, Violet gobyGobioides broussonnetiiGobioides broussonnetii.jpg
Emerald river gobyGobionellus smaragdus
Empire gobyHypseleotris maculatus
Knight gobyStigmatogobius sadanundioStigmatogobius sadanundio Day.png
Marbled sleeperOxyeleotris marmorataOxyel marmor 080425 7661 tdp.jpg
No Common NameRhinogobius duospilusRhinogobius duospilus.jpeg
Peacock gobyTateurndina ocellicaudaTateurndina ocellicauda male DG.jpg
Purple sleeper gobyMogurnda mongurndaMogurnda mogurnda.png
Striped sleeper gobyDormitator maculatus


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
American FlagfishJordanella floridaeJordanella floridae.jpgSpeciesEasy
Arabian KillifishAphanius disparSpeciesEasy/Intermediate
Argentine PearlAustrolebias nigripinnisAustrolebias nigripinnis992.jpgSpeciesEasy/Intermediate
Blue LyretailFundulopanchax gardneriFundulopanchax gardneri.png2 inSpeciesEasy/Intermediate
Bluefin Notho, Rachow's Notho, Rainbow NothoNothobranchius rachoviiNothobranchius rachovii male.jpg6 cm (2.4 in)SpeciesEasy/IntermediateConsidered most beautiful freshwater fish by some killifish enthusiasts.
Clown KillifishAplocheilus annulatusSpecies
Golden ToppminnowFundulus chrysotusFundulus chrysotus.jpgSpeciesEasy
Red-seam KillifishAphyosemion calliurumSpeciesEasy
Striped panchax, Golden WonderAplocheilus lineatusAplocheilus lineatus Day.pngSpeciesEasyGolden Wonder is the more yellowish variant.

Labyrinth fish[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Chocolate gouramiSphaerichthys osphromenoidesSphaerichthys osphromenoides.jpg7 cm (2.8 in)Difficult
Croaking gouramiTrichopsis vittataTrichopsis vittata LCK 8707.JPG6.5 cm (2.6 in)Often confused with the pygmy gourami
Dwarf gouramiColisa laliaColisa lalia.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community/speciesIntermediatethe dwarf gourami is perfect for small to mid sized aquariums as it will not grow as large as its larger relatives. A beautiful, peaceful gourami. Prone to bacterial infections .[citation needed] When harassed by species other than its own it will not make any effort to defend itself often leading to death.
Giant gouramiOsphronemus goramyGiant.gourami.arp.jpg60 cm (24 in)Occasionally, some other gouramis are also referred to as "giant gouramis"
Paradise fishMacropodus opercularisParadise fish female and male 02.jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)One of the few freshwater aquarium fish that survive in cold water. Most common variety is the Blue Paradise.
Pearl gouramiTrichopodus leeriiFadenfisch mosaik männlich.jpg11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Pygmy gourami, Sparkling gouramiTrichopsis pumilaTrichopsis pumila.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)Often confused with the croaking gourami
Kissing gouramiHelostoma temminckiiKissfish.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)The pink variety is more popular than the natural green one. They are called Kissing Gouramis because the seem to pucker their lips outwards. they require aquarium salt in the water or hard water
Moonlight gouramiTrichopodus microlepisTrichogaster microlepis.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)
Snakeskin gouramiTrichopodus pectoralisSnakeskin gourami.jpg20 cm (7.9 in)
Three spot gouramiTrichopodus trichopterusTrichogaster trichopterus2004.jpg10 cm (3.9 in)EasyVarious color varieties each given a different name (blue gourami, gold gourami, and opaline gourami)
Siamese fighting fishBetta splendensKampffisch betta splendenscele4.jpg7.5 cm (3.0 in)Single fish only for males, community for females.EasyNumerous color and fin pattern varieties. In the U.S., the fish is often called "betta", although this word is actually the name of the genus that includes more than 60 species other than the Siamese fighting fish. Multiple males in a tank will result in conflicts and possibly death. Females can be housed together in groups of 4+ in a tank, though they may become territorial and attack each other. Males have long flowing fins with vibrant colors, and females have shorter fins. This fish is best put with fish that do not nip fins, as the fins of the betta are easy to attack. They should also not be housed with other fish with long, flowing fins as the Betta may confuse it with another, and attack.


Guppies and mollies
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
GuppyPoecilia reticulataGuppy red male.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community/SpeciesEasyMany color and tail pattern varieties exist. They generally need a ratio of 1 male to 2 females or more.
Endler's livebearerPoecilia wingeiPoecilia reticulata 01.jpg3.8 cm (1.5 in)Community/SpeciesEasy
Black mollyPoecilia sphenopsMolinezje black molly.JPG5 cm (2.0 in)Community/SpeciesEasy
Sailfin mollyPoecilia latipinnaPoecilia latipinna.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community/SpeciesEasyGold and silver varieties commonly found; also thrive in brackish water
Dalmatian mollyhybridDalmationMolly.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community/SpeciesEasyThe dalmatian molly is a hybrid color variation that can be generated by crossing some species of Poecilia, like P. sphenops and P. latipinna. The variety "Dalmatian" is spotted alike to a Dalmatian dog.
Lyretail MollyVarietyLyretailMolly.jpg5 cm (2.0 in)Community/SpeciesEasyLyretail Mollies are available in all of these species, can be cross bred with any species of Molly.
Platies and swordtails
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Southern platyXiphophorus maculatusXiphophorus maculatus.jpgCommunity/SpeciesEasyMany color varieties exist
Variable platyXiphophorus variatusPapagaienplaty.jpgCommunityEasySometimes called Feeder platy because can be used to feed larger fish like Stingrays, Payara, Cichlida, Pickerel, Catfish, Sunfish, Arowanas, Gar, Arapaima, and other predator fish. Many color varieties exist
Green swordtailXiphophorus helleriiXiphophorus helleri 03.jpgCommunityEasyMany color varieties exist
Other Livebearers, like Gambusia
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Western mosquitofishGambusia affinisMosquitofish.jpgCommunity/pondEasy
Eastern mosquitofishGambusia holbrookiGambusia holbrooki 2.jpgCommunity/pondEasy
Celebes half beakNomorhamphus liemiFreshwater halfbeak in aquarium.jpgCommunityDifficult
Cuban limaLimia vittataLimia vittata.jpgCommunityEasy
Tangunyika pearl killifishLamprichthys tanganicusLamprichthys tanganicanus.JPGCommunityEasyNot actually a type of killifish but a livebearer.
Knife livebearerAlfaro cultratusAlfaro cultratus.jpgCommunityEasy
Least killifishHeterandria formosaDwarf Livebearer or Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa).jpgCommunity/pondEasyNot as common as other livebearers in the aquarium trade. One of the smallest fish in the world.

Loaches and related cypriniformes[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Bengal loachBotia darioBotia dario.jpg6 in (15 cm)Also known as the Queen loach. They hide during the day. They like river sand in the tank because they like to cover themselves in it.
Blue botiaYasuhikotakia modestaYasuhikotakia modesta.jpg
Burmese border loachBotia kubotaiBotia kubotai.jpg5 in (13 cm)
Clown loachChromobotia macracanthusBotia macracanthus by Martin8721.jpg7-15 incommunityeasyClown loach has a sociable personality and should be kept in at least groups of 5. They may eat pond snails kept in aquariums. Clown loaches will eventually need a 6' long aquarium
Dwarf loachYasuhikotakia sidthimunkiYasuhikotakia sidthimunki.jpgformerly named Botia sidthimunki
Dojo loach, weather loachMisgurnus anguillicaudatusMisgurnus anguillicaudatus.jpg
Horseface loachAcantopsis choirorhynchusHorseface loach reduced.jpg
Kuhli loach, coolie loachPangio kuhliiPangio kuhlii.jpgCommunityEasya number of similar Pangio species are sold under the same name
Longnose loachAcantopsis octoactinotosAcanthopsis.jpg
Skunk loachYasuhikotakia morletiYasuhikotakia morleti.jpgformerly named Botia morleti
Yoyo loachBotia almorhaeYoyo Loach.jpg
Zebra loachBotia striataBotia striata.jpg
Other related cypriniformes
Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Chinese high fin banded sharkMyxocyprinus asiaticusMyxocyprinus asiaticus by OpenCage.jpg90+ cm (36+ in)Goldfish/Large PondDifficultthe highfin shark is a truly unique fish. At youth, the shark has a high dorsal fin, a plump body, and radiant colors. However, as the fish matures, the characteristics of the fish changes drastically. The dorsal fin becomes shorter, the fish achieves a more cylindrical shape, and the color fades to a dark brown. The fish is not suitable for fish tanks because of the size it can grow to. The highfin cannot be housed with tropical fish due to their lower temperature preferences. The highfin prefers to be in a school, so more than one should be housed together. The "shark" is a peaceful fish, and will not openly attack others. Highfins are bottom dwellers and omnivorous. They will eat invertebrates and scrape algae off rocks.
Chinese hillstream loachBeaufortia kweichowensisBeaufortia kweichowensis.jpg3 inHillstream CommunityeasyEats a mainly algae. High oxygen level required in addition to a strong current

Neotropical electric fish[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Black ghost knifefishApteronotus albifronsBlack Ghost Knifefish 400.jpg20 inSemi-aggressive CommunityIntermediateNot to be confused with the featherback "knifefish" of the Bonytongue group (see above) Very aggressive to other knifefish, but otherwise peaceful. Temperature 23-28C (73-82F). pH 6.0-8.0
Brown ghost knifefishApteronotus leptorhynchusSemi-aggressive CommunityIntermediateVery hard to feed it anything but live food
Elephant noseGnathonemus petersiiGnathonemuspetersii.jpgSemi-aggressive CommunityIntermediate/Difficult
Electric eelElectrophorus electricusElectrophorus electricus 3.jpgAdvancedDespite the name, this is not an "eel" but rather a huge knifefish; illegal to possess in some areas; dangerous; very large adult size
Glass knifefishEigenmannia virescensEigenmannia virescens 000.jpgPeaceful CommunityIntermediate


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Amazon pufferColomesus asellusAssel-Kugelfisch.jpg
Fahaka pufferTetraodon lineatusTetraodonLineatus.JPG1 foot 5 inchesDifficult
Figure 8 pufferfishTetraodon biocellatusTbiocellatus.jpg6 cm (2.4 in)Intermediateoften sold as freshwater fish, but this species prefers brackish water
Green spotted pufferTetraodon nigroviridisGsppuffer.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)Difficultoften sold as freshwater fish, but this species actually thrives in brackish water and may even require saltwater when reaches adulthood
Giant freshwater pufferfishTetraodon mbuMooBoo.jpg75 cm (30 in)DifficultThis fish also occurs in estuaries.
Dwarf pufferfishCarinotetraodon travancoricusCarinotetraodon travancoricus 2.JPG2.9 cm (1.1 in)easy
Congo pufferfishTetraodon miurusTetraodon miurus.jpg15 cm (5.9 in)Difficult


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Salmon-red rainbowfishGlossolepis incisusGlossolepisIncisus.JPG13–15 cm (5–6 in)aka Red rainbowfish. These are very hardy fish and get along with almost any fish. They aren't aggressive and love to follow fingers! When these fish get stressed out they tend to turn a more gray color. It will regain its color when it becomes more relaxed
Tami River rainbowfishGlossolepis pseudoincisus7.5 cm (3.0 in)aka Millennium rainbowfish
Lake Wanam rainbowfishGlossolepis wanamensisGlossolepis wanamensis.jpg13–15 cm (5–6 in)aka Emerald rainbowfish
Threadfin rainbowfishIriatherina werneriIriatherina Werneri-Male group.jpgSpeciesEasyThreadfins have very tiny mouths and cannot compete well with other fish for food. Keep in species only tanks or with small Pseudomugil (i.e.: gertrudae)
New Guinea rainbowfishMelanotaenia affinis13 cm (5.1 in)
Boeseman's rainbowfishMelanotaenia boesemaniSunny1.jpg10–13 cm (4–5 in)
Duboulayi's rainbowfishMelanotaenia duboulayiM duboulayi.jpg13–15 cm (5–6 in)aka Crimson-Spotted rainbowfish
Australian rainbowfishMelanotaenia fluviatilisAustralian rainbow.jpg13–15 cm (5–6 in)
Lake Kurumoi rainbowfishMelanotaenia parvaMelanotaenia parva male.jpg7.5–8 cm (3-3.25 in)aka Flame rainbowfish
Madagascar rainbowfishBedotia madagascariensisBedotia geayi 1.jpg7.5–8 cm (3-3.25 in)
Neon rainbowfishMelanotaenia praecoxDiamant Regenbogenfisch (Melanotaenia praecox).jpg6-7.5 cm (2.5–3 in)
Eastern rainbowfishMelanotaenia splendida splendidaEastern Rainbowfish 01.jpg13–15 cm (5–6 in)

Spiny eels[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeCare LevelRemarks
Fire eelMastacembelus erythrotaeniaIldaal.jpg100 cm (39.3 in)
Spotfinned spiny eelMacrognathus siamensisMacrognathus siamenis.jpg30 cm (11.8 in)
Tire track eelMastacembelus armatusTire Track Eel.jpg90 cm (35.4 in)
Lesser spiny eelMacrognathus aculeatus

Sunfish and relatives[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeRemarks
Orangespotted sunfishLepomis humilisOrangespottednctc.png
PumpkinseedLepomis gibosusLepomis gibbosus PAQ.jpg
Redbreast sunfishLepomis auritusLepomis auritus.jpg
Redear sunfishLepomis microlophusRedear Sunfish 002.jpg
Longear sunfishLepomis megalotisLepomis megalotis (Longear Sunfish) (20396406).jpg
Blackbanded sunfishEnneacanthus chaetodonEnneacanthus chaetodon 02.jpg
Blue-spotted sunfishEnneacanthus gloriosusEnneacanthus gloriosus.jpg
BluegillLepomis macrochirusBluegill (Lepomis macrochirus).jpg
Green sunfishLepomis cyanellusGreen sunfish.JPG
WarmouthLepomis gulosusWarmouth Sunfish (Lepomis gulosus) (2497915731).jpg
Pygmy sunfishElassomatidaeElassoma Gilberti male in breeding colors.jpg


Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeRemarks
Spotted GarLepisosteus oculatusLepisosteus oculatus1.jpg70 cm (27.5 in)LargeOne species of the gars, the Alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) can attain an astounding length of 3m in the wild. On average, gars can attain a length of not less than 70 cm in captivity. They are aggressive fish by nature, however, they are also frightened easily.

These fish are generally piscivorous in the wild, but will take a variety of meaty foods in captivity. Therefore, a strong filtration system must be ensured for a healthy gar tank. Housing a 6-inch gar may require at least a 50 US gallons (190 L) tank with width of 12 inches. As the gar grows, it must be moved to a larger tank. The tank length to house a sub-adult gar should be at least 72 inches, but longer is even better. The width of the tank should not be less than 36 inches. (otherwise, the gar may feel uncomfortable making turns while it swims) A minimum of 24 inches of water depth will suit the gar well. Gars are strong jumpers, hence the tank lid should be weighted down.

Gars are hardy fish. They have the ability to breathe atmosphere air by means of vascularised gas bladder that act as lung. They are generally peaceful, usually keeping to themselves and not disturbing others. Hence, if space allows, they can be kept in a group. Large gars are capable of inflicting a painful wound. If possible, try not to handle them with bare hands. Always use a net.

Florida GarLepisosteus platyrhincusLepisosteus platyrhincus.JPG70 cm (27.5 in)Large
Longnose GarLepisosteus osseusLepisosteus osseus 1.jpgLarge
Shortnose GarLepisosteus platostomusShortnoseGar025.jpgLarge
Alligator GarAtractosteus spatulaAlligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) (3149748488).jpg300 cm (118 in)Large
Cuban GarAtractosteus treacherousMANJUARI-2.jpg200 cm (78.5 in)Large
Tropical GarAtractosteus tropciusPuertoAristaSanctuary04.JPG150 cm (59 in)Large

Other fish[edit]

Common nameTaxonomyPictureSizeTank TypeRemarks
Clown knifefishChitala ornataChitala ornata (Zoo Brno, Czech Republic).jpgIntermediate
Ocellate river stingrayPotamotrygon motoroPfauenaugen-Stechrochen - Ocellate river stingray - Potamotrygon motoro.jpg
Black devil stingrayPotamotrygon leopoldiPotamotrygon leopoldi Prague 2011 2.jpg
Freshwater pipefishDoryichthys martensii
SterletAcipenser ruthenusAcipenser ruthenus Prague Vltava 1.jpg
Shovelnose SturgeonScaphirhynchus platorynchusShovelnose Sturgeon 01-19-08 1241.jpg
Freshwater needlefishXenentodon cancilaXenentodon cancila (Wroclaw zoo)-1.JPG
PickerelEsox americanusEsox americanus vermiculatus.jpg
Freshwater soleBrachirus panoides
Brook sticklebackCulaea inconstansCulaea inconstans.jpg
MedakaOryzias latipesOryzias latipes(Hamamatsu,Shizuoka,Japan,2007)-2.jpg
European PerchPerca fluviatilisPerca fluviatilis2.jpg
Lungfishsubclass DipnoiQueensland Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri).jpg

See also[edit]