best aquarium fish for kids

Best Aquarium Fish for Kids and Beginners | Reviewed 2020

If anyone is interested in setting up a home aquarium for the very first time and has never kept fish as a pet before then here is the complete guide for beginners to have an awesome collection of fish for their aquarium.

Therefore, for your convenience, we have assembled a list of 10 freshwater aquarium fish that are best for both beginners and expert fish keepers.

Here the question arises that what should be the qualities of the fish that should be kept in mind before choosing the fish for a home aquarium.

  • Fish should be hardy and should have a good survival rate.
  • It should be friendly and peaceful so it can get along well with the rest.
  • It should be affordable.
  • The fish should be easy to take care for.
  • It should fit nicely in the tank.

So, let us not waste time and dive straight into the list for best aquarium fish for beginners.

Neon tetra

The neon tetra is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish that’s why it called the gem of the fishing hobby.  Paracheirodon innesi is its scientific name.  One of the most beautiful freshwater aquarium fish having an iridescent blue body and bright red tail. It is small in size and above all, they love to be in groups so bigger the group happier the fish more colorful the tank.

The most beneficial thing about keeping neon tetra is that they are easy to handle and feed on a very small amount of food. Their favorite food will be blood worms and shrimps. Moreover, they are cost-friendly and extremely peaceful.

With its magnificent display of colours, this fish is truly a jewel for the fish tank.  They go well with rasboras the second on the list.


Rasboras are another fish that makes into the list of best aquarium fish for beginners. There are more than five dozen species of rasboras in the world but the most loved ones all across the globe are harlequin rasboras (trigonostigma heteromorpha) and lambchop rasbora (trigonostigma espei).  Widely known for their metallic color this fish has a beautiful orange color with distinctive black triangular patches.

They are quite tiny hardly reaching 2 inches at most. This stunning nano fish gets well along with rest of the community fish especially cory catfish and bettas.  

They are easy to handle and are quite environment friendly.  The most striking feature of this fish is that it gives life to your freshwater aquarium by its stunning color display. Furthermore, when it comes to their diet, they can eat anything readily available.


Another popular freshwater fish is guppy and calling it to be the perfect freshwater tank fish won’t be wrong.  This beautiful small fish is available in every color possible. Guppies to have more than 300 different varieties but the most popular one is common guppy (poecilia reticulata).

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One of the major benefits about getting a guppy is their diet. They are quite undemanding and can eat dried or frozen shrimps, worms or even small flakes too. Furthermore, they can survive over a week without eating anything making them hardy and an excellent survivor. That’s why guppy is considered to be the best aquarium fish for beginners.

One problem that you can face while having a guppy is that this fish is way too much into breeding so if you are having opposite sexes together, they can fill up your tank with lots of guppies soon. So, if you are not a breeder try having an only male or only female guppies.


Another wonderful addition to your aquarium will be swordtail fish.  Mostly confused with guppies but they are one of the best choices for fish keepers.  Swordtails have a wide variety of colours but the most common one has a beautiful olive-green body with striking orange-yellow stripes over them. The wild type has red or yellow tails.

They live very well in groups and they are quite fond of space lives well in a tank of 10 to 20 gallons.  As per their diet, they eat both insects as well as plants.  They feed well on worm’s brine shrimps or any type of fish feed.

Being the live breeders, they get weaker as they give birth. They have good survival rate but can’t live more than 2-3 years.  Dying mostly of physical stress or weakness due to the birth process.

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Cherry barbs

Cherry barb (puntius titteya) is without any doubt the perfect fish for home aquarium although they are a bit tough to handle in the beginning.  Overtime they get well settled.  Other than their marvelous color display they are well known for their entertaining nature.  Once they are settled, they get very active and perfect for playing with.

Cherry barb is a schooling fish but they require enormous space. A group of six cherry barbs need a tank of almost 30 galleons so they can play well.  They are quite an environment friendly and can easily survive changes in water patterns.

As far as their food is concerned, they feed well on insects, worms and crustaceans as well as plants, algae and diatoms. Talking about their tank mates they are quite friendly and peaceful so they can manage well with a variety of freshwater fish. But their favorite tank mates are rainbow sharks.  Rasboras, platies and tetras.

Although the fish is well known for being calm and easy-going the males could get aggressive easily to avoid that keep a bigger proportion of females. Females are more beautiful and enjoyable moreover they keep the males calm too.

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Common goldfish (carassius auratus) is not always gold as it sounds. It has a variety of colours but the most common ones are orange, red and yellow-pigmented. But they also come in vibrant blue and black colours.  Goldfish can grow up to a size of 12 to 14 inches but it gets limited by the size of the tank thus they require enormous space.  One goldfish alone needs a tank of 30 gallons.

Goldfish is well known for its adaptable nature as it can manage to live in a variety of environments. Gold fish is quite hardy so it can survive temperature fluctuations, PH changes, low available oxygen level and cloudy water atmosphere. That is why they can live up to 40 years and that’s huge. Although its a schooling fish but it can live alone too.

Goldfish is omnivorous so it can eat both plants and insects but above all simple fish food or pellets go very well.

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These fish platies belonging to xiphophorus is a perfect addition to a community aquarium. They have mesmerizing vibrant colors. Most common colors are white, orange, yellow, blue and green. But the colours vary with the nature of the habitat. They are also known as spike tail platy regarding their unique shape of its fins.  Their popular types are Hawaii, Redtail, yellowtail, sunset and rainbow.

Platy is a small peaceful fish but it is not a typical schooling fish as they get aggressive being in groups.  Their favorite hobby is breeding. They are quite active and entertaining. Hardy and they don’t catch diseases easily but they live most up to 3 years.  One who can survive environmental changes.

As they are quite active so they require space, that’s why a 10 gallons tank is best for them. These Fish are perfect freshwater aquarium companions as they are friendly and calm.  Their favorite tank mates are mollies, guppies and swordtails. Moreover, they can even live with shrimps and snails.

They require basic diet including a high ratio of vegetables and vitamins as it keeps them healthy and pigmented. For fish hobbyists it’s a perfect fish to choose.

Cory catfish

Cory catfish is famous for its calm and peaceful nature.  These bottom dwellers are the perfect choice for beginners as it is easy to keep and has a high survival rate.  Cory catfish (corydoras splendens) has simple intricate pattern and coloration.

Cory catfish is very adaptable as it manages to survive extreme environment changes making them quite hardy and good survivors. It can even survive very low oxygen concentration that occurs in the bottom.  Their favorite thing to do is scavenging the food particles in the bottom of the tank. Due to their scavenging nature they are very easygoing in terms of diet.

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There are three most popular types of cory fish

  • Albino cory
  • Panda cory
  • Emerald green cory

They are no longer than 3 inches in size but they require a tank having a capacity of 15 gallons at most. They are beautiful, attractive and entertaining. In terms of companions it goes well with guppies, tetras and mollies. Moreover, it also lives happily with snails and brine shrimps.  As they are calm so they shouldn’t be kept with aggressive fish like Oscars and cichlids.


One of the most loved fish by the fish hobbyist is molly because of its entertaining nature. Molly is the best choice for beginners as they are easy to handle and can survive in both freshwater and salty water.

Mollies(poecilia sphenops) comes in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes. Commonly molly has flattened streamlined shape being thickened in the middle and narrowed toward the face. Molly is extremely hardy as it can survive all types of environments including low oxygen level, high Sulphur levels and even brackish water as well.

As for the tank conditions, molly needs a tank of 10 gallons but the tank should be equipped with a water heater to maintain the temperature of 70-72 degree Fahrenheit. In terms of tank mates, it survives well with other active fish like cherry barbs, danios, platies, cory catfish and rasboras. But more aggressive fish should be avoided.

Mollies easily feed on plants and algae. They can even eat the homemade diet. But for the protein they should occasionally be fed with worms whether dried or frozen.


Betta well known as the jewel of the orient. It is the kingfish for beginners. Betta is a marvelous creature having stunning and mesmerizing colors.  Betta lives well alone in a 5-gallon tank but shouldn’t be kept with other betta fish as they are also called Siamese fighters so they get quite competitive with each other.

Bettas live in slightly acidic environment. They are hardy so can survive temperature changes. They have many different tail shapes including half-moon, crown tail and double tail.

Bettas eat the food from the water surface by then upward turned face.  They love blood worms, shrimps and daphnia as food. Bettas can’t survive on plant diet as they require an enormous amount of proteins and vitamins to maintain their pigments. That was our list for best aquarium fish for beginners.

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