Top 3 beginner fish for your first aquarium

Are you a beginner fishkeeper? Looking for the perfect beginner fish to start with for a new hobby?

Look no more!

Our Fishyhub experts have selected the top 3 beginner fish list for you. You will now have more choices other than the betta fish and goldfish.

Share it with your friends who are also looking to diverge into the fish hobby. We have listed the characteristics of the top 3 beginner fish and their care requirements.

While choosing fish, here are the basic things you need to keep in mind-

  • Your personal preference
  • Your budget
  • Available tank space
  • How much time you can invest to take care of fish
  • Availability of the fish in your local area

Danio fish

You have surely heard of these fast swimming fellas, but do you know the origin of Danio fish? They originated from South Asia and belong to the little fish that actually comes from the family of Cypriniformes. The other common fish types commonly found within the aquarium trade, are the zebra danio fish, giant danio fish, galaxy rasbora also known as danio margaritas, glowlight danio fish and many more. All of them have different care requirements, personalities and also characteristics.

So, how do we care for these skittish, fast-swimming little fellas?

The zebra danio fish- It is the most common beginner fish easily available in Singapore at costs of $1 to $3. They are easy to care for and can tolerate ph parameters from 6.5 to 7 with temperatures ranging from 17 to 23 degrees celsius. They thrive the best in water with hardness levels of 5 to 12dgh.

These shoaling fish are best kept in aquariums with schools of 6 to 8 specimens each. They also do not have a picky diet and can be fed dried flakes or pellets, frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp or daphnia. Zebra danio fish can also consume live food like brine shrimp, daphnia or bbs which you can buy in packets from any fish shop. To keep zebra danio fish, you would require an aquarium of a minimum of 40L.

They can live up to 5years within the domestic aquarium. You can keep them with a school of fish like neon tetras, guppies, ember tetra, honey gourami, platy, swordtail and bettas.

The blue danio fish- Also known as brachydanio kerri, the blue danio fish is priced at the same range as zebra danios. They too are hardy and easy to care for, being able to tolerate pH levels of 6.5 to 7.5, and being able to tolerate temperatures of 18 to 26 degrees Celsius, and water hardness levels of 7-12dgh. Like the zebras the blue danio fish are a shoaling species and can be kept with a school of 6-8 specimens per group in an aquarium, to ensure they feel comfortable. Tank Space-wise they need at least 40L of water to live comfortably, and their tankmates too are similar to the zebra danios, which we have shared earlier!

The galaxy pearl rasboras - They are also known as danio margaritatus and emerald dwarf danio fish which all share similar care specifications. Galaxy pearl rasboras are slightly more brittle than the other members of the danio fish family. They can be found at price ranges of $0.80 to $3 within the Singapore market. They are a little more fragile than the other members of their family, requiring a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, temperatures of 22 to 26 degrees celsius, water hardness of 2-10DKH. These fish should be kept in shoals of 8-10 aquarium fish to establish hierarchy within the group and need a tank space of minimally 38Ls to live comfortably. They can be fed dry pellets or flakes, but from time to time, they should be given live food supplements like brine shrimp, daphnia, grindal worms, white worms, moina periodically to keep their immune system healthy and functioning. They can be kept with small aquarium fish like cardinals or neons, shrimps, snails, mosquito rasbora or other small aquarium fish that do not harass them and fight with them for food. Galaxy pearl rasboras can live between 3-5years when well maintained.

The next best fish alternatives are the glowlight danio, gold ring danio and orange fin danio which all share similar care specifications with each other. They can be found at price ranges of $1-$3 in the Singapore aquarium market. They are easy to care for, requiring a pH range from 6.5 to 7.5 for gold ring danio and orange fin danio fish. The ideal temperature would be 6-8 degrees for glowlight danio, 16-26 degrees for orange fin danio fish and glowlight danio, and 18-26 degrees for gold ring danio fish. The water hardness varies from 1-18dph for all of them. They can be called the best fish since they are not picky with food and can be fed both dry and live food. They should be kept in shoals of 6-8 to feel most comfortable within the aquarium and need at least 48L tanks. They can be kept with tankmates similar to the zebra danio fish and blue danio and can live for up to 5 years when well maintained.

Then comes the less common but great fish alternative, the giant danios. They are priced in the range of $4-$6 within the Singapore local aquarium market. However, they are easy to care for, requiring a pH of between 6.8 to 7.5, temperature of 22-24 degrees celsius, water hardness levels of 5-19DGH. They can be one of our highly recommended fish since they are not picky eaters and gladly accept both dried and live food. Keep them in a small school of 6-8 specimens. However, you need a 208L tank at least to live comfortably. You can keep them with large bottom dwellers like large cories or non-aggressive catfish as well.

To summarize, Danio fish can be a great choice for a beginner fishkeeper when it comes to easy management and fuss-free diet. They are comparatively low cost and you can get them in any Singapore aquarium market. However, if you are looking for bright coloured fish, Danio fish might disappoint you. Also, they are feisty so the beginner fish keepers have to be on their toes.

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Bolivian ram fish

Looking for something graceful and gentle? The Bolivian ram fish is the perfect one for you. They are from the Amazon River of the Cichlidae family and are commonly traded with the name Bolivian butterfly ram. Since they are one of the rare types, the price range varies from $8- $12 within the Singapore local market. However, for Bolivian ram fish the pH levels, between the range of 6-7.5, water temperature should be 22 to 26 degrees celsius and water hardness level has to be 0-10 DGH. This graceful species prefers acidic and soft water. Thankfully this aquarium fish is not picky eaters and you can include pellets, flakes, chopped up earthworms or brine shrimp. Bolivian ram fish can be kept singly or in pairs. You can and need a 76L tank where they can live up to 6 years within a domestic aquarium environment. Friendly fish like emperor tetras, silver dollar fish, rummy nose tetras, kuhli loach, cory cats, dwarf gourami, cherry barbs, platies and guppies are the best tank mates for them.

Bolivian ram fish is loved by the beginner fishkeeper for their attractive appearance, longevity and their interesting behaviour. However, they are relatively a rare kind of beginner fish and a bit pricey for adoption.

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Platy fish

This colourful, cute round fella is definitely going to melt your heart! Platy fish can be found in different colours and varieties. They originate from the rivers of Central America and are known as the avid breeders of the Xiphoporus family. They are the most loved beginner fish for many more reasons. They are easy to go fellows and can tolerate ph levels of between 6.8 to 8, but prefer alkaline water. As for water temperatures, Platy fish prefer 21 to 25 degrees celsius and 10-28 DGH water hardness. The beginner fishkeepers find them easy to please since they are not picky with food and can eat both live and dried food.

Make sure to keep them in small groups with more females than males. A ratio of 3:1 will be great. For their tankmates, you can include guppies, mollies, swordtails, tetras, small gouramis, cory cats, small peaceful barbs, and even shrimps or snails. If cared for properly, platyfish can live up to 5 years. You can get them at a very economic price ranging from $0.80 to $2. They are the quintessential beginner fish if you can manage with their tendency to be nippy.

In their own right, they are all amazing beginner fish for your first aquarium. However, if you are still not sure, do contact us for more information and guidance.

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