List of freshwater aquarium fish species

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A vast number of aquatic species have successfully adapted to live in the freshwater aquarium. This list gives some examples of the most common species found in home aquariums.

Bichirs and reedfish[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Gray bichir, Senegal bichir, or dinosaur bichir Polypterus senegalus Polypterus senegalus senegalus headstand.jpg 70.0 cm (27.6 in) maximum length[1]40.0 cm (16 in) in captivity[2] This species is known for predatory behavior toward tankmates. 25–28 °C (77–82 °F) [1] 6.0-8.0[1]
Ornate bichir Polypterus ornatipinnis Polypterus-ornatipinnis.jpg 60 cm (24 in) maximum length [3]   26–28 °C (79–82 °F)[3] 6.0–8.0
Retropinnis bichir Polypterus retropinnis 34.0 cm (13.4 in)[4]   26–28 °C (79–82 °F) 6.5–7.5
Reedfish Erpetoichthys calabaricus Akwa19 reedfish.jpg 31.4 cm (12.4 in) at maturity, 37.0 centimetres (14.6 in) maximum length[5] Nocturnal, can slither around out of water as long as they stay wet. 22–28 °C (72–82 °F)[5] 6.0–8.0[5]


Armored catfish including Aspidoras, Brochis, Callichthys, and Corydoras
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Brown-point shield skin longirostris Aspidoras fuscoguttatus Aspidoras fuscoguttatus.jpg 3.8 cm (1.5 in)[6] 22–25 °C (72–77 °F)[6] 5.5–6.8[6]
Aspidoras lakoi 4 cm (1.6 in)[7]
Loach catfish Aspidoras rochai 4 cm (1.6 in) maximum length[8] 21 - 25 degrees Celsius[8] 6.0-7.5[8]
Sixray corydoras, false corydoras Aspidoras pauciradiatus False cory 1.jpg 2.9 cm (1.1 in)[9] 73–82 °F (23–28 °C) 6.0-7.2[9]
Britski's catfish Brochis britskii 8.9 cm (3.5 in) Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras.
Emerald catfish Brochis splendens Brochis splendens im Aquarium.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras. 70–82 °F (21–28 °C) 5.8-8.0[10]
Hognosed brochis Brochis multiradiatus Fish at Louisville Zoo 025.jpg 6.6 cm (2.6 in) Brochis is often synonymized with Corydoras.
Cascarudo Callichthys callichthys Callichthys callichthys.JPG 20 cm (7.9 in)
Adolfo's catfish Corydoras adolfoi Acuario.jpg 5.7 cm (2.2 in) 72–79 °F (22–26 °C) 6.0-7.0
Banded corydoras Scleromystax barbatus Schleromystax barbatus5015.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Masked corydoras, bandit corydoras Corydoras metae Acuario.jpg 4.8 cm (1.9 in) 72–79 °F (22–26 °C) 6.0-7.0
Barred-tail corydoras Corydoras cochui 2.5 cm (0.98 in)
Blackstripe corydoras Corydoras bondi 4.7 cm (1.9 in)
Blacktop corydoras Corydoras acutus Corydoras acutus by Frank M. Greco.jpg 4.4 cm (1.7 in)
Blue corydoras Corydoras nattereri Corydoras nattereri.JPG 5.4 cm (2.1 in)
Bluespotted corydoras Corydoras melanistius 5.1 cm (2.0 in)
Bronze corydoras Corydoras aeneus Corydoras aeneus 2.jpg 6.35 cm (2.50 in) The albino strain of C. aeneus is common among aquarists. 77 °F to 82 ° (25 °C to 28 °C)
Caracha Corydoras atropersonatus 4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Ehrhardt's corydoras Corydoras ehrhardti 4.1 cm (1.6 in)
Evelyn's cory Corydoras evelynae 4 cm (1.6 in)
Corydoras geoffroy 7 cm (2.8 in)
Corydoras latus 5.2 cm (2.0 in)
Loxozonus cory Corydoras loxozonus 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras nain Corydoras nanus 4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Long nosed arched cory Corydoras narcissus 6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Corydoras ornatus 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras osteocarus 4 cm (1.6 in)
Corydoras polystictus 3.2 cm (1.3 in)
Scleromystax prionotos 5.3 cm (2.1 in)
Corydoras semiaquilus Corydoras semiaquilus 1.jpg 6.0 cm (2.4 in)
Corydoras septentrionalis 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras simulatus 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
Corydoras undulatus 4.4 cm (1.7 in)
Dwarf corydoras Corydoras hastatus Corydoras hastatus.jpg 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
Elegant corydoras Corydoras elegans Corydoras elegans.jpg 5.1 cm (2.0 in)
False network catfish Corydoras sodalis 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
False spotted catfish Corydoras leucomelas Corydoras leucomelas.jpg 4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Green gold catfish Corydoras melanotaenia Corydoras sp. CW010.jpg 5.8 cm (2.3 in)
Guapore corydoras Corydoras guapore 4.1 cm (1.6 in)
Mosaic corydoras, reticulated corydoras Corydoras haraldschultzi Corydoras haraldschultzi aquarium.jpg 5.9 cm (2.3 in)[11]
Mosaic corydoras, reticulated corydoras Corydoras reticulatus 5.1–6.1 cm (2.0–2.4 in)
Panda corydoras Corydoras panda Corydoras panda 01.jpg 3.8–5.1 cm (1.5–2.0 in) 6.0-8.0[12]
Pastaza corydoras Corydoras pastazensis 6.4–7.1 cm (2.5–2.8 in)
Peppered corydoras Corydoras paleatus Corydoras paleatus by NiKo.jpg 5.1–7.6 cm (2.0–3.0 in)
Pink corydoras Corydoras axelrodi 4–5 cm (1.5–2 in)
Pygmy corydoras Corydoras pygmaeus Corydoras pygmaeus5333.jpg 2.5–3.3 cm (0.98–1.30 in)
Sailfin corydoras Scleromystax macropterus
Salt and pepper catfish Corydoras habrosus Corydoras habrosus.png 2.5–3.6 cm (0.98–1.42 in)
Schwartz's catfish Corydoras schwartzi Corydoras schwartzi.jpg 3.8–5.1 cm (1.5–2.0 in)
Spotted corydoras, longnose corydoras Corydoras ambiacus 5.1–6.1 cm (2.0–2.4 in)
Sterba's corydoras Corydoras sterbai Corydoras sterbai.jpg 6.8 cm (2.7 in)[13]
Sychr's catfish Corydoras sychri
Tailspot corydoras Corydoras caudimaculatus 4–5 cm (1.5–2 in)
Threestripe corydoras, leopard catfish Corydoras trilineatus Corydoras trilineatus3.jpg 6.1 cm (2.4 in)[14]
Xingu corydoras Corydoras xinguensis 3.8–5.1 cm (1.5–2.0 in)
Julii corydoras Corydoras julii Corydoras julii.jpg 5.1–6.4 cm (2.0–2.5 in)
Flagtail catfish Dianema urostriatum
12.5 cm

(4.9 in)

Originated from the Amazon Basin. 77° – 82 °F

(25° – 28 °C)

Armored suckermouth catfish (plecos)
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Bristlenose pleco, bushynose pleco Ancistrus spp. Bristlenose Catfish 700.jpg 13 cm (5 in)[15] The bristlenose genus has at least 59 identified species and many others yet to be named. 70-80 F (20-27 C) |
Gold nugget pleco Baryancistrus spp. Baryancistrus-L018.jpg Many 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. 77-86 F (25-30 C) |
Whiptail catfish Rineloricaria spp. Viola (Rineloricaria longicauda) 2.jpg 20 species
Twig catfish Farlowella spp. Farlowella arcus 3.jpg at least 20 species
Panaque Panaque spp. Panaque.JPG Several species of panaque are popular aquarium fish.
Pineapple pleco, orange cheek pleco Pseudorinelepis spp. Pineapplepleco.JPG four species
Common pleco, suckermouth catfish, Amazon sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys pardalis Liposarcus pardalis.jpg 16 cm (6.3 in) One of the several fish sold under this name; there is also an albino variation.
Common pleco, suckermouth catfish Hypostomus punctatus SukermouthCatfish.jpg One of the several fish sold under this name.
Common pleco, suckermouth catfish Hypostomus plecostomus Pterygoplichthys pardalis 700.jpg 50 cm (20 in) One of the several fish sold under this name.
Leopard sailfin pleco, clown sailfin pleco Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps Sailfin-pleco.jpg Other related fish also share this common name.
Zebra pleco, L-046 Hypancistrus zebra Hypancistrus zebra4305.jpg
Sailfin catfish Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus Liposarcus multiradiatus 01 ssj 20050321.jpg
Golden dwarf sucker, golden oto Macrotocinclus affinis Otocinclus affinis.JPG 5 cm (2 in) A peaceful algae eater. Keep in groups of three or more.
Zebra dwarf sucker, zebra oto Otocinclus cocama Otocinclus cocama.jpg
Goldspot ancistrus albino Ancistrus sp. gold albino 12 cm (4.7 in)
Airbreathing catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Walking catfish Clarias batrachus Clarias batrachus.jpg 50 cm (19.5 in) The 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 name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Banjo catfish Bunocephalus coracoideus Bunocephalichthys verrucosus verrucosus seitenansicht.JPG 2–15 cm
Talking catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Striped Raphael Platydoras armatulus Platydoras costatus 2 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg
Spotted raphael Agamyxis pectinifrons Agamyxis.jpg Females at around 6 in, males slightly smaller around 5.5 in This species mainly feeds on algae. It needs a cave, and will feed when the aquarium light is out.
Squeakers and upside-down catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Cuckoo squeaker Synodontis multipunctatus Synodontis-multipunctatus.jpg 27.5 cm (10.8 in)
Decorated squeaker Synodontis decorus
Even-Spotted squeaker Synodontis petricola Synodontis petricola.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Featherfin squeaker Synodontis eupterus Synodontis Eupterus 3.JPG
Lake Malawi syno Synodontis njassae Synodontis njassae 01 ssj 20050321.jpg
Polka dot syno Synodontis angelicus Synodontis angelica.jpg
Common syno, false upside-down catfish Synodontis nigrita
Upside-down catfish Synodontis nigriventris Synodontis.jpg 9.6 cm (3.8 in) S. nigriventris prefers bottom feeding on Tubifex, but its main diet consists of algae.
Shark catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Iridescent shark Pangasius hypophthalmus Iridescent shark.jpg 1 to 1.2 meters (almost 4 feet) Albino form is common in the aquarium trade, needs a large aquarium
Chao Phraya giant shark, giant pangasius Pangasius sanitwongsei Pangasius sanitwongsei 1.jpg Over 60 inches The dwarf "balloon" form available is critically endangered.
Sea catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Colombian shark catfish Arius seemanni MA Luisenpark Sciades seemanni.jpg
Berney's shark catfish Arius berneyi
Australian shark catfish Arius graeffei
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Glass catfish Kryptopterus vitreolus Kryptopterus species.jpg 8 cm (3.1 in). Needs to be kept in a group of five or more. Needs generous amounts of plants.
Butter catfish, two-spot catfish Ompok bimaculatus 45 cm (18 in) This fish appears very similar to Kryptopterus bicirrhis.
Bagrid catfishes
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Crystal-eyed catfish Hemibagrus wyckii 71 cm (28 in) highly aggressive and must be kept alone
Asian redtail catfish Hemibagrus wyckioides 130 cm (51 in) highly aggressive and must be kept alone
Sun catfish Horabagrus brachysoma Horabagrus brachysoma Day.jpg 45 cm (18 in)
Long-whiskered catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Leiarius marmoratus 100 cm (39 in)
Leiarius pictus 60 cm (24 in)
Redtail catfish Phractocephalus hemioliopterus Phractocephalus hemioliopterus2.JPG 120 cm (3.9 ft) Needs at least a 2,600 US gallons (9,800 L) tank when mature, even though this does not provide them with the space to show their natural behaviour.[16] 70–79°F (21–26°C)[16] 6.0–7.5[16]
Spotted pimelodus, pictus, pictus catfish Pimelodus pictus Pimelodus pictus.jpg 30 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 Pimelodus Pimelodus ornatus [sv]
Sturgeon catfish Platystomatichthys sturio
Barred sorubim Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum 104 cm (3.41 ft) Easy to confuse with P. tigrinum.
Tiger sorubim Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum1.jpg 130 cm (4.3 ft) This fish is easy to confuse with P. fasciatum.
Firewood catfish, (planiceps) shovelnose catfish Sorubimichthys planiceps 178 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 catfish Sorubium lima Silure spatule.jpg 90 cm (3.0 ft) Although they are smaller than the tiger shovelnose, these catfish are extremely aggressive and extremely fast.
North American catfish
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus Blue catfish.jpg 1.65 m (5.4 ft)
Black bullhead Ameiurus melas Ameiurus melas by Duane Raver.png
Stonecat Noturus flavus Noturus flavus.jpg

Characins and other characiformes[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Black phantom tetra Hyphessobrycon megalopterus Hyphessobrycon megalopterus Porte Doree.jpg 3.6 cm (1.4 in)[17] the 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 tetra Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi Black neon tetra.jpg 3.2 cm (1.3 in)[18] This fish is similar to the neon tetra other than coloration.
Black tetra, skirt tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi BlackTetras.JPG 5 cm (2.0 in) A 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 tetra Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma Kirschflecksalmler-W.jpg 6.5 cm (2.6 in) The 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.
Bloodfin tetra Aphyocharax anisitsi Aphyocharax anisitsi 2.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) The bloodfin tetra is distinguished by its red fins. This fish is generally peaceful. It will school with similarly sized and tempered fish.
Blue tetra Knodus borki Boehlkea fredcochui malefemale.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Bucktooth tetra Exodon paradoxus Bucktoothed Tetra Image 001.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Exodon paradoxus will eat smaller fish and harass larger fish, lepidophage (scale eater).
Buenos Aires tetra Hyphessobrycon anisitsi Hyphessobrycon anisitsi.jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in) Hyphessobrycon anisitsi has some reputation as a "fin nipper" but this trend may vary among individual fish.
Cardinal tetra Paracheirodon axelrodi Paracheirodon cardinalis.JPG 5 cm (2.0 in)
Cave tetra, blind tetra Astyanax mexicanus Astyanax mexicanus, Palmiarnia Poznańska.jpg 12 cm (4.7 in) The cave 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 interruptus Phenacogrammus interruptus (aka).jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in) Sufficiently 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 tetra Moenkhausia pittieri Diamond tetra.JPG
Emperor tetra Nematobrycon palmeri Emperor tetra.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Garnet tetra, pretty tetra Hemigrammus pulcher Hemigrammus pulcher.jpg 6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Glowlight tetra Hemigrammus erythrozonus Tetra Glowlight cropped.jpg 3.75 cm (1.48 in)
Golden pristella tetra Pristella maxillaris Pristella maxillaris.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Green neon tetra Paracheirodon simulans Paracheirodon simulans.jpg 2.5 cm (0.98 in)
Head and tail light tetra Hemigrammus ocellifer 4 cm (1.6 in)
Lemon tetra Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Very likely to jump out of the tank unless there are some floating aquatic plants
Long-fin tetra Brycinus longipinnis Brycinus longipinnis.JPG 12.5 cm (4.9 in)
Neon tetra Paracheirodon innesi Neonka obecna paracheirodon innesi.jpg 3.75 cm (1.48 in) The 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 tetra Ladigesia roloffi Smaller even than the neon tetra. This mid west African species is a favoured species for the nano-aquarium.
Penguin tetra, blackline penguinfish Thayeria boehlkei Thayeria boehlkei.jpg 6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Red Eye tetra Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae Red eye tetra.jpg 4 cm (1.6 in)
Red phantom tetra Roter Phantomsalmler.jpg 4.5 cm (1.8 in)
Rummy-nose tetra Hemigrammus rhodostomus Brilliant rummy nose.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Disk tetra Myleus schomburgkii Myleus schomburgkii.jpg 40 cm (16 in) 23 °C to 27 °C 5.0–7.0
Splashing tetra Copella arnoldi Copella arnoldi.jpg
Serpae tetra Hyphessobrycon serpae Serpae tetra.JPG 4.5 cm (1.8 in) This 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 tetra Hasemania nana Kobbertetra Hasemania nana.jpg 3 cm (1.2 in) Silvertip tetras tend to be moderately aggressive and, because of their small size, should not be kept with large or aggressive fish.
X-ray tetra Pristella maxillaris Pristella tetra1.jpg Also just called the X-ray fish.
Yellow phantom tetra Hyphessobrycon roseus 4.5 cm (1.8 in) M aroni and 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 six 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 tank-mates are best avoided. Will eagerly accept most aquarium foods offered: flake, micro-pellets, 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 below 6.5 and plenty of live plants, including Java moss. Once the eggs have been released or fertilised, the parents should be removed. The eggs should hatch after 24 hours, and after five 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 brine shrimp.
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Common hatchetfish Gasteropelecus sternicla Gasteropelecus sternicla.JPG
Silver hatchetfish Gasteropelecus levis Peaceful 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 hatchetfish Carnegiella strigata Carnegiella strigata.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Peaceful 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 hatchetfish Carnegiella marthae Carnegiella marthae.jpg 4 cm (1.6 in) Peaceful 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 name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Beckford pencilfish Nannostomus beckfordi 6 cm (2.4 in)
Three-lined pencilfish Nannostomus trifasciatus Nannostomus.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Males defend small territories. Otherwise a peaceful species.
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Marbled headstander Abramites hypselonotus Abramites hypselonotus.jpg 14.0 cm (5.5 in)[19] Keep 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 name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Silver dollar Metynnis argenteus Silver dollar fish Metynnis argenteus.jpg 15 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 pacu Colossoma bidens Red Pacu.JPG 120 cm (3.9 ft) The 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-liter (200-gallon) 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 (3.9 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 piranha Pygocentrus nattereri Gregory Moine - Red bellied Piranha (by).jpg 33 cm (13 in) Be very careful when conducting maintenance on their aquarium and hide any wires because they may chew through the waterproof coverings.
Payara Hydrolycus scomberoides Payara.jpg Need a large aquarium and are entirely carnivorous and most fish shouldn't be kept with them, including the related piranha because it may eat piranhas.
Other Characins
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
African pike characin Hepsetus odoe Hepsetus odoe.jpg
Red tail barracuda Acestrorhynchus falcatus


Lake Malawi cichlids
Common name Taxonomy Image Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Sunshine peacock cichlid Aulonocara baenschi Aulonocara hansbaenschi.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) Beautiful coloration on males
Pale usisya aulonocara Aulonocara steveni Aulonocara steveni Usisya.jpg
Red fin hap Copadichromis borleyi Copadichromis borleyi2.jpg
Eureka red peacock Aulonocara jacobfreibergi Aulonocara jacobfreigi.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) Beautiful coloration on males
Spilo Champsochromis spilorhynchus 40 cm (16 in)
Blue dolphin cichlid, lumphead cichlid Cyrtocara moorii Cyrtocara moorii.jpg 25 cm (9.8 in)
Afra cichlid, dogtooth cichild Cynotilapia afra Cynotilapia afra.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Rusty cichlid, lavender cichild Iodotropheus sprengerae Iodotropheus sprengerae.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Fuelleborn's cichlid, Blue mbuna Labeotropheus fuelleborni Labeotropheus fuelleborni crop.png 18 cm (7.1 in)
Electric yellow cichlid Labidochromis caeruleus Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid.jpg 20 cm (7.9 in) Very active fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories, less aggressive than other mbuna
Electric blue cichlid Sciaenochromis fryeri Fryeri2.jpg
Malawi eyebiter Dimidiochromis compressiceps Cichlidae - Dimidiochromis compressiceps.JPG
Hongi, Red-top kimpumpa Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" Labidochromis sp hongi.jpg 13 cm (5.1 in)
Labidochromis sp. "Mbamba Bay" 13 cm (5.1 in)
Auratus cichlid, Malawi golden cichlid Melanochromis auratus Melanochromis auratus (female).jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Aggressive
Chipokee cichlid Melanochromis chipokae 12 cm (4.7 in) Aggressive
Blue johanni cichlid, Maingano Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Very active fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories. Aggressive
Pearl of Likoma Melanochromis joanjohnsonae Melanochromis joanjohnsonae.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Aurora Melanochromis aurora 10 cm (3.9 in)
Red zebra cichlid Metriaclima estherae Pyszczak.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Very active fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories
Cobalt blue cichlid, cobalt zebra cichlid Maylandia callainos Cobaltblue1.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Very active fish, need many rock caves to allow establishment of territories
Kenyi cichlid Maylandia lombardoi Maylandia lombardoi.jpg 13 cm (5.1 in) Aggressive; sexually dichromatic
Fusco Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus Nimbochromis Fuscotaeniatus male.jpg 25 cm (9.8 in)
Livingston's cichlid Nimbochromis livingstonii Adult male livingstonii.png 25 cm (9.8 in)
Kaligono Nimbochromis polystigma Polystigma.jpg 30 cm (12 in)
Venustus cichlid, giraffe cichild Nimbochromis venustus Nimbochromis venustus.JPG 25 cm (9.8 in) 'giraffe' spotting is juvenile coloration only
Red empress cichlid Protomelas taeniolatus Protomelas taeniolatus by Derek Ramsey.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)
Bumblebee cichlid, hornet cichlid Pseudotropheus crabro Pseudotropheus Crabo Male.JPG 15 cm (5.9 in)
Yellow-tail acei Pseudotropheus acei Yellow tailed acei.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Johanni cichlid Pseudotropheus johannii Melanochromis johanni Male.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Aggressive
Dwarf Mbuna Pseudotropheus demasoni Pseudotropheus demasoni.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Saulosi Pseudotropheus saulosi Pseudotropheus saulosi.jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in)
Malawi barracuda Rhampsochromis cf. macrophthalmus 23 cm (9.1 in)
Tyrannochromis macrostoma 38 cm (15 in)
Lake Tanganyika cichlids
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Benthochromis tricoti Benthochromis tricoti.jpg
Boulengerochromis microlepis DKoehl Boulengerochromis microlepis.jpg 90 cm (35 in) The largest cichlid
Frontosa cichild Cyphotilapia frontosa Cyphotilapia frontosa by Ark.jpg 40 cm (16 in) Aggressive; well-known
Cyathopharynx furcifer Cyathopharynx.JPG Not readily available in the aquarium trade.
Variabilichromis moorii Variabilichromis moorii en aquarium..jpg
Frontosa cichild Cyphotilapia gibberosa Cyphotilapia gibberosa - GRB.jpg 40 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 cichild Cyphotilapia sp. "North" 40 cm (16 in) This yet to be officially named species is intermediate in scale count between gibberosa and frontosa.
Julie cichlid Julidochromis dickfeldi Julidochromis dickfeldi.jpg Beautiful; interesting
Masked Julie Julidochromis marlieri Schachbrett-Schlankcichlide.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) fem / 10 cm (3.9 in) male Striking coloration
Julie cichlid Julidochromis ornatus
Julie cichlid Julidochromis regani Julidochromis regani adult.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) fem / 10 cm (3.9 in) male
Julie cichlid Julidochromis transcriptus J gombe1.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Striking coloration
Herring cichlid, sardine cichlid Cyprichromis leptosoma Cyprichromis leptosoma.jpg
Ectodus descampsii Ectodus descampsii.jpg
Chalinochromis spp. Chalinochromis popelini.jpg
Neolamprologus multifasciatus Neolamprologus multifasciatus 2.jpg 3.8 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 ocellatus Lamprologus ocellatus.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Neolamprologus similis Neolamprologus similis 2060.jpg 3.8 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 labiatus Limnotilapia dardenni (top), Lobochilotes labiatus (bottom) - Royal Museum for Central Africa - DSC06856.JPG 40 cm (16 in)
Lyretail cichlid, fairy cichlid Neolamprologus brichardi Neolamprologus brichardi.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Lemon cichlid Neolamprologus leleupi Neolamprologus leleupi 2.jpg 11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Featherfin Ophthalmotilapia ventralis 15 cm (5.9 in)
Petrochromis trewavasae 20 cm (7.9 in) Aggressive
Simochromis pleurospilus 10 cm (3.9 in)
Tropheus duboisi Tropheus duboisi.jpg 13 cm (5.1 in) Males very aggressive; juveniles distinctively colored
Tropheus moorii TropheusspRed200.jpg 14 cm (5.5 in)
Tropheus polli Tropheus polli.jpg 14 cm (5.5 in)
Lake Victoria cichlids
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Astatotilapia aenocolor 13 cm (5.1 in)
Astatotilapia elegans 10 cm (3.9 in)
Zebra obliquidens Astatotilapia latifasciata 11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia nubila 11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia piceatus 10 cm (3.9 in)
Astatotilapia schubotziellus 10 cm (3.9 in)
Astatotilapia sp. "Red Tail" 11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Astatotilapia sp. "Spot Bar" 13 cm (5.1 in)
Allauad's haplo Astatoreochromis alluaudi Astatoreochromis-alluaudi-LakeRweru-GB.jpg
Hippo Point Salmon Ptyochromis sp. "Hippo Point Salmon" 14 cm (5.5 in)
Flameback Pundamilia nyererei Pundamilia (Haplochromis) nyererei male.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in)
Xystichromis phytophagus 10 cm (3.9 in)
Miscellaneous African cichlids (non-Rift Lake)
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
African butterfly cichlid Anomalochromis thomasi Anomalochromis thomasi 2.jpg
Jewel cichlid, two-spotted jewel cichlid Hemichromis bimaculatus Hemichromis bimaculatus1.jpg 4-5 inch other hemichromis species are sometimes sold under the same name
Lionhead cichlid Steatocranus casuarius Steatocranus casuarius.jpg
Lifalili jewel cichlid, blood-red jewel cichlid Hemichromis lifalili Cichlidae - Hemichromis lifalili.JPG
Kribensis, krib Pelvicachromis pulcher Pelvicachromis pulcher (male).jpg Readily breed in small aquaria. Aggressive and territorial towards other fishes especially its own kind during mating and after spawning
Guenther's Mouthbrooder Chromidotilapia guentheri Chromidotilapia guntheri Bama BF cpl fry2.jpg
Dwarf cichlids (apistogrammas, rams and others)
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Agassiz's dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii Apistogramma Agassizii.jpg
Zebra acara Nannacara adoketa Ivanacara adoketa5265.jpg
Yellow dwarf cichlid Apistogramma borellii
Cockatoo dwarf cichlid Apistogramma cacatuoides Kakadua male.jpg
Panda dwarf cichlid Apistogramma nijsseni Apistogramma nijsseni (f).jpg
Three-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid Apistogramma trifasciata
Apistogramma eremnopyge
Two-Stripe Dwarf Cichlid Apistogramma bitaeniata 7.5 cm (3.0 in)
Checkerboard Cichlid Dicrossus filamentosus
Blue ram, German ram Mikrogeophagus ramirezi Mikrogeophagus.jpg Fairly common
Bolivian ram Mikrogeophagus altispinosa BolivianRams1.jpg
Dwarf flag cichlid Laetacara curviceps
American cichlids (cichlasomas, acaras, angelfish, discuses and others)
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Midas cichild, red devil cichlid Amphilophus citrinellus Dählhölzli - Zitronen Buntbarsch 3.jpg Note that Amphilophus labiatus is also called red devil cichlid
Poor man's tropheus Hypsophrys nematopus Neetroplus nematopus.png
Red devil cichlid Amphilophus labiatus Amphilophus labiatum, weiblich.jpg Note that Amphilophus citrinellus is also called red devil cichlid
Firemouth cichlid Cichlasoma meeki Feuermaulbuntbarsch.jpg Typically medium aggression; easily bred
Jack Dempsey cichlid Cichlasoma octofasciatum Cichlasoma octofasciata.jpg
Jaguar cichlid, managuense cichlid Parachromis managuensis Parachromis managuensis 2012 G1.jpg Exceptionally beautiful adult coloration; large adult size
Mayan cichlid Cichlasoma urophthalmus Mayan10a.jpg
Convict cichlid Archocentrus nigrofasciatus Archocentrus nigrofasciatus female.jpg Common, 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 cichlid Cryptoheros sajica Archocentrus sajica 3 (Piotr Kuczynski).jpg
Severum Heros severus GoldSeverum.jpg the gold variety is more common than the natural green one
Green terror Andinoacara rivulatus Andinoacara rivulatus - 20061112.jpg Fairly common
Blue acara Andinoacara pulcher
Thread-finned acara Acarichthys heckelii Acarichthys heckeli.JPG
Eartheater cichlid Geophagus altifrons
Greenstreaked Eartheater, cupid cichlid Biotodoma cupido Biotodoma cupido.png
Keyhole cichlid Cleithracara maronii Akara z Maroni.jpg
Angelfish Pterophyllum scalare Freshwater angelfish biodome.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) several 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 angelfish Pterophyllum altum Pterophyllum altum.jpg
Spotted angelfish Pterophyllum leopoldi Pterophyllum leopoldi.jpg
Common discus, red discus Symphysodon discus Discus heckel.jpg 20 cm (7.9 in) various 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 discus Symphysodon aequifasciatus Blue Discus.jpg 20 cm (7.9 in) fancy hybrids of this species and Symphysodon discus can also be found in trade
Chocolate cichlid Hypselecara temporalis
Oscar Astronotus ocellatus Astronotus ocellatus.jpg 45 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, waroo Uaru amphiacanthoides Uaru.jpg Also known as the Triangle Ciclid.
Peacock bass, butterfly peacock bass Cichla orinocensis Peacock bass.jpg
Texas cichlid, Rio Grande cichlid Herichthys cyanoguttatus Herichthys cyanoguttatum (Rio Grande Cichlid).jpg Large adult size
Other cichlids
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Orange chromide Etroplus maculatus Etroplus Maculatus.JPG
Blood parrot cichlid - Hybrid - BloodParrot.jpg In 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) In 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.
Flowerhorn Kingkamfa Hybrid
Kingkamfa flowerhorn
20 cm (8") Adult size. This male flowerhorn is result of many cross breeding. Many male flowerhorns are sterile[20]
Wolf cichlid Parachromis dovii


Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Arulius barb Dawkinsia arulius 12 cm (4.7 in)
Bigspot barb, Duncker's barb Barbodes dunckeri 13 cm (5.1 in) Peaceful when small but should not be kept with other species at adulthood.
Black ruby barb Pethia nigrofasciatus Black Ruby Barb 700.jpg 6.5 cm (2.6 in)
Checker barb Oliotus oligolepis Puntius oligolepis.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Cherry barb Puntius titteya Male Cherry Barb 700.jpg 4.8 cm (1.9 in) very peaceful, and works well with white clouds and neon tetras
Clipper barb Enteromius callipterus 7.5 cm (3.0 in)
Clown barb Barbodes everetti Clownbarbe 2.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)
Denison's barb, red line torpedo barb Sahyadria denisonii Puntius denisonii 1.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)
Fiveband barb, pentazona barb Desmopuntius pentazona Desmopuntius hexazona.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) this species may be confused with tiger barb due to similarities
Gold barb Barbodes semifasciolatus Brokat.jpg 8 cm (3.1 in)
Golden barb Pethia gelius 5 cm (2.0 in)
Greenstripe barb Puntius vittatus 5 cm (2.0 in)
Indian Glass Barb Laubuca laubuca 6.7 cm (2.6 in)
Melon barb Puntius fasciatus 15 cm (5.9 in)
Odessa barb Puntius padamya Puntius Padamya.jpg 8 cm (3.1 in)
Onespot barb Puntius terio 15 cm (5.9 in)
Panda barb Puntius fasciatus Pandabarben.jpg 5 inches
Pool barb Puntius sophore Puntius sophore 2.jpg 18 cm (7.1 in)
Partipentazona barb Puntigrus partipentazona Puntius partipentazona FOWLER.jpg 3.8 cm (1.5 in)
Rosy barb Pethia conchonius Male Rosy Barb.gif 13 cm (5.1 in)
Shortfin barb Barbus brevipinnis 4.6 cm (1.8 in)
Snakeskin barb Desmopuntius rhomboocellatus Puntius rhomboocellatus.jpg 3.5 inches
Spanner barb, t-barb Barbodes lateristriga 20 cm (7.9 in)
Spotted barb, common barb Barbodes binotatus 19.5 cm (7.7 in)
Spottedsail barb, dwarf barb Pethia phutunio 7.8 cm (3.1 in)
Swamp barb Puntius chola Puntius chola.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)
Ticto barb Barbus ticto 10 cm (3.9 in)
Tic-tac-toe barb Puntius stoliczkanus PuntiusStoliczkanus.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in)
Tiger barb, sumatra barb Puntius tetrazona Tigerbarbe Puntius tetrazona.jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in) There are many varieties as well as hybrids with other barbs. Good community schooling fish. Can be aggressive if kept in small numbers, aim for a group of 6 or more.
Tinfoil barb Barbonymus schwanenfeldii Tinfoil Barb 700.jpg 36 cm (14 in) This species is much larger than most other barbs
Cold-water cyprinids
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Goldfish Carassius auratus Common goldfish.JPG 15+ cm (6+ in) variations: 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 carp Cyprinus carpio Six koi.jpg 30+ cm (12+ in) the fancy variations of common carp are known as koi.
Bitterling Rhodeus amarus Rhodeus amarus 2008 G1.jpg 10 cm (4 in)
White Cloud Mountain minnow Tanichthys albonubes White Cloud Mountain Minnow 1.jpg 3.8 cm (1.5 in) lutino variety can also be found in the aquarium trade
Common dace Leuciscus leuciscus Leuciscus leuciscus.jpg 40 cm (16 in) 39 to 72 °F (4 to 22 °C) 6.0 to 8.0
Rosy red minnow, fathead minnow Pimephales promelas Rosy Red Minnows fullsize.jpg 5–7.5 cm (2.0–3.0 in) sold as feeder fish; the gold variety known as "rosy red" is very common (the image is of the "rosy red" strain) 10–21 °C (50–70 °F) 7.0 - 7.5
European minnow Phoxinus phoxinus Phoxinus.jpg
Southern redbelly dace Phoxinus erythrogaster Phoxinus erythrogaster.jpg 7.5–10 cm (3.0–3.9 in)
Tench Tinca tinca Tinca tinca Prague Vltava 2.jpg A few color varieties have been made from the wild species, even some multicolored.
Golden orfe Leuciscus idus LeuciscusIdusWindeIde56cm 21-4-2009 16-46-58.JPG
Danios and other danionins
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Bengal danio, Sind danio Devario devario
Giant danio Devario aequipinnatus Devario aequipinnatus.JPG
Malabar danio Devario malabaricus Danio sp.jpg 11.5–14 cm (4.5–5.5 in)
Pearl danio Danio albolineatus Danio albolineatus.jpg 6.5 cm (2.6 in) subspecies:blue-redstripe danio, Kedah danio
Queen danio Devario regina
Spotted danio Danio nigrofasciatus Danio nigrofasciatus.jpg
Turquoise danio Danio kerri Danio kerri.jpg
Zebra danio Danio rerio Zebrafisch.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) there are many variations of this fish: leopard danio, the spotted colour morph, and GloFish, the genetically modified fluorescent fish.
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Harlequin rasbora Trigonostigma heteromorpha Harlequin rasbora.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Also known as Harlequin tetra or Harlequin barb.
Espei rasbora 5 cm (2.0 in)
Hengeli rasbora 5 cm (2.0 in)
Blackline rasbora, red-tailed rasbora Rasbora borapetensis Redtail.JPG
Red-striped rasbora Rasbora pauciperforata 7.5 cm (3.0 in) Range: Sumatra 22–29 °C (72–84 °F)
Volcano rasbora Rasbora vulcanus
Other cyprinids
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Bala shark Balantiocheilus melanopterus Haibarben (Balantiocheilos melanopterus).jpg 40 cm (16 in)
Black shark Labeo chrysophekadion Labeo chrysophekadion Bleeker.jpg 2'
Flying fox (fish) Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus2.jpg this species may be sold as Siamese algae eater
Red-tailed black shark Epalzeorhynchos bicolor Epalzeorhynchos bicolor.jpg 6 in albino variation available. aggressive with fish of same species. best kept alone or in groups of 5 or more.
Rainbow shark Epalzeorhynchos frenatum Fransenlipper.JPG 6 in albino 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 eater Garra cambodgiensis Crossocheilus siamensis pl.jpg this species may be sold as Siamese algae eater
Chinese algae eater Gyrinocheilus aymonieri Chinese algae eater.jpg This species may be sold as Siamese algae eater. A gold colored form also exists. Could be territorial
Siamese algae eater Crossocheilus siamensis Crossocheilus siamensis (2) by Ark.jpg 6 in Many 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 name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
African striped darter Nannocharax fasciatus Nannocharax fasciatus.jpg
Banded darter Etheostoma zonale
Gilt darter Percina evides Percina evides.jpg
Orangethroat darter Etheostoma spectabile Orangethroat darter male.jpg
Rainbow darter Etheostoma caeruleum Etheostoma caeruleum.jpg
Splendid darter Etheostoma barrenense

Gobies and sleepers[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Black toraja goby Mugilogobius sarasinorum
Bumblebee goby Brachygobius doriae Brachygobius doriae.jpg
Dragon goby, Violet goby Gobioides broussonnetii Gobioides broussonnetii.jpg
Emerald river goby Gobionellus smaragdus
Empire gudgeon Hypseleotris compressa
Hypseleotris compressa.jpg
12 cm (4.7 in) omnivorous
Empire goby Hypseleotris maculatus
Knight goby Stigmatogobius sadanundio Stigmatogobius sadanundio Day.png
Marbled sleeper Oxyeleotris marmorata Oxyel marmor 080425 7661 tdp.jpg
No Common Name Rhinogobius duospilus Rhinogobius duospilus.jpeg
Peacock goby Tateurndina ocellicauda Tateurndina ocellicauda male DG.jpg
Purple sleeper goby Mogurnda mogurnda Mogurnda mogurnda.png
Striped sleeper goby Dormitator maculatus Fat Sleeper (Dormitator maculatus).jpg


Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
American Flagfish Jordanella floridae Jordanella floridae.jpg
Arabian Killifish Aphanius dispar
Argentine Pearl Austrolebias nigripinnis Austrolebias nigripinnis992.jpg
Blue Lyretail Fundulopanchax gardneri Fundulopanchax gardneri.png 2 in
Bluefin Notho, Rachow's Notho, Rainbow Notho Nothobranchius rachovii Nothobranchius rachovii male.jpg 6 cm (2.4 in) Considered most beautiful freshwater fish by some killifish enthusiasts.
Clown Killifish Epiplatys annulatus
Golden Toppminnow Fundulus chrysotus Fundulus chrysotus.jpg
Red-seam Killifish Aphyosemion calliurum
Striped panchax, Golden Wonder Aplocheilus lineatus Aplocheilus lineatus Day.png Golden Wonder is the more yellowish variant.

Labyrinth fish[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Chocolate gourami Sphaerichthys osphromenoides Sphaerichthys osphromenoides.jpg 7 cm (2.8 in)
Croaking gourami Trichopsis vittata Trichopsis vittata LCK 8707.JPG 6.5 cm (2.6 in) Often confused with the pygmy gourami
Dwarf gourami Colisa lalia Colisa lalia.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) the 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 gourami Osphronemus goramy Giant.gourami.arp.jpg 60 cm (24 in) Occasionally, some other gouramis are also referred to as "giant gouramis"
Paradise fish Macropodus opercularis Paradise fish female and male 02.jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in) One of the few freshwater aquarium fish that survive in cold water. Most common variety is the Blue Paradise.
Pearl gourami Trichopodus leerii Fadenfisch mosaik männlich.jpg 11.5 cm (4.5 in)
Pygmy gourami, Sparkling gourami Trichopsis pumila Trichopsis pumila.jpg 3.8 cm (1.5 in) Often confused with the croaking gourami
Kissing gourami Helostoma temminckii Kissfish.jpg 15 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 gourami Trichopodus microlepis Trichogaster microlepis.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)
Snakeskin gourami Trichopodus pectoralis Snakeskin gourami.jpg 20 cm (7.9 in)
Three spot gourami Trichopodus trichopterus Trichogaster trichopterus2004.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Various color varieties each given a different name (blue gourami, gold gourami, and opaline gourami)
Siamese fighting fish (sometimes Betta, esp. US) Betta splendens Kampffisch betta splendenscele4.jpg 7.5 cm (3.0 in) Numerous color and fin pattern varieties. Betta is 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 5+ 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 male, and attack. Minimum tank size for one male or female and maybe a few shrimp or snails is 5 gallons. Minimum tank size for a female betta sorority is 20 gallons.
Giant betta Betta anabatoides 12 cm (4.7 in) Sometimes refers to a giant mutant of betta splendens. Multiple males in a tank will result in conflicts and possibly death. Females can be housed together in groups of 5+ in a tank, though they may become territorial and attack each other. Males have longer fins and a larger head. 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. Because of their size they need a larger aquarium


Guppies and mollies
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Guppy Poecilia reticulata Guppy red male.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Many color and tail pattern varieties exist. They generally need a ratio of 1 male to 2 females or more.
Endler's livebearer Poecilia wingei Poecilia reticulata 01.jpg 3.8 cm (1.5 in)
Black molly Poecilia sphenops Molinezje black molly.JPG 5 cm (2.0 in)
Sailfin molly Poecilia latipinna Poecilia latipinna.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Gold and silver varieties commonly found; also thrive in brackish water
Dalmatian molly hybrid DalmationMolly.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) The 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 Molly Variety LyretailMolly.jpg 5 cm (2.0 in) Lyretail Mollies are available in all of these species, can be cross bred with any species of Molly.
Platies and swordtails
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Southern platy Xiphophorus maculatus Xiphophorus maculatus.jpg Many color varieties exist
Variable platy Xiphophorus variatus Papagaienplaty.jpg Sometimes called Feeder platy because can be used to feed larger fish like Stingrays, Payara, Cichlids, Pickerel, Catfish, Sunfish, Arowanas, Gar, Arapaima, and other predator fish. Many color varieties exist
Green swordtail Xiphophorus hellerii Xiphophorus helleri 03.jpg Many color varieties exist
Other Livebearers, like Gambusia
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis Mosquitofish.jpg
Eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki Gambusia holbrooki 2.jpg
Celebes half beak Nomorhamphus liemi Freshwater halfbeak in aquarium.jpg
Cuban lima Limia vittata Limia vittata.jpg
Tangunyika pearl killifish Lamprichthys tanganicus Lamprichthys tanganicanus.JPG Not actually a type of killifish but a livebearer.
Knife livebearer Alfaro cultratus Alfaro cultratus.jpg
Least killifish Heterandria formosa Dwarf Livebearer or Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa).jpg Not as common as other livebearers in the aquarium trade. One of the smallest fish in the world.

Loaches and related cypriniformes[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Bengal loach Botia dario Botia dario.jpg 6 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 botia Yasuhikotakia modesta Yasuhikotakia modesta.jpg
Burmese border loach Botia kubotai Botia kubotai.jpg 5 in (13 cm)
Clown loach Chromobotia macracanthus Botia macracanthus by Martin8721.jpg 7-15 in Clown 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 loach Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki.jpg formerly named Botia sidthimunki
Dojo loach, weather loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus Misgurnus anguillicaudatus.jpg
Horseface loach Acantopsis choirorhynchus Horseface loach reduced.jpg
Kuhli loach, coolie loach Pangio kuhlii Pangio kuhlii.jpg a number of similar Pangio species are sold under the same name
Longnose loach Acantopsis octoactinotos Acantopsis sp.jpg
Skunk loach Yasuhikotakia morleti Yasuhikotakia morleti.jpg formerly named Botia morleti
Yoyo loach Botia almorhae Yoyo Loach.jpg
Zebra loach Botia striata Botia striata.jpg
Other related cypriniformes
Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Chinese high fin banded shark Myxocyprinus asiaticus Myxocyprinus asiaticus by OpenCage.jpg 90+ cm (36+ in) the 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 loach Beaufortia kweichowensis Beaufortia kweichowensis.jpg 3 in Eats a mainly algae. High oxygen level required in addition to a strong current

Neotropical electric fish[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Black ghost knifefish Apteronotus albifrons Black Ghost Knifefish 400.jpg 20 in Not to be confused with the featherback "knifefish" of the Bonytongue group (see above) Very aggressive to other knifefish, but otherwise peaceful. 23-28C (73-82F) 6.0-8.0
Brown ghost knifefish Apteronotus leptorhynchus Very hard to feed it anything but live food
Elephant nose Gnathonemus petersii Gnathonemuspetersii.jpg
Electric eel Electrophorus electricus Electrophorus electricus 3.jpg Despite the name, this is not an "eel" but rather a huge knifefish; illegal to possess in some areas; dangerous; very large adult size
Glass knifefish Eigenmannia virescens Eigenmannia virescens 000.jpg


Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Amazon puffer Colomesus asellus Assel-Kugelfisch.jpg
Fahaka puffer Tetraodon lineatus TetraodonLineatus.JPG 1-foot 5 inches
Figure 8 pufferfish Tetraodon biocellatus Tbiocellatus.jpg 6 cm (2.4 in) often sold as freshwater fish, but this species prefers brackish water
Green spotted puffer Tetraodon nigroviridis Gsppuffer.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in) often sold as freshwater fish, but this species actually thrives in brackish water and may even require saltwater when reaches adulthood
Giant freshwater pufferfish Tetraodon mbu Juvenile Mbu pufferfish.jpg 75 cm (30 in) This fish also occurs in estuaries.
Dwarf pufferfish Carinotetraodon travancoricus Carinotetraodon travancoricus 2.JPG 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
Congo pufferfish Tetraodon miurus Tetraodon miurus.jpg 15 cm (5.9 in)


Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Salmon-red rainbowfish Glossolepis incisus GlossolepisIncisus.JPG 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) a.k.a. 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 rainbowfish Glossolepis pseudoincisus 7.5 cm (3.0 in) a.k.a. Millennium rainbowfish
Lake Wanam rainbowfish Glossolepis wanamensis Glossolepis wanamensis.jpg 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) a.k.a. Emerald rainbowfish
Threadfin rainbowfish Iriatherina werneri Iriatherina Werneri-Male group.jpg Threadfins 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 rainbowfish Melanotaenia affinis 13 cm (5.1 in)
Boeseman's rainbowfish Melanotaenia boesemani Sunny1.jpg 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in)
Duboulayi's rainbowfish Melanotaenia duboulayi M duboulayi.jpg 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) a.k.a. Crimson-Spotted rainbowfish
Australian rainbowfish Melanotaenia fluviatilis Australian rainbow.jpg 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in)
Lake Kurumoi rainbowfish Melanotaenia parva Melanotaenia parva male.jpg 7.5–8 cm (3.0–3.1 in) a.k.a. Flame rainbowfish
Madagascar rainbowfish Bedotia madagascariensis Bedotia geayi 1.jpg 7.5–8 cm (3.0–3.1 in)
Neon rainbowfish Melanotaenia praecox Diamant Regenbogenfisch (Melanotaenia praecox).jpg 6–7.5 cm (2.4–3.0 in)
Eastern rainbowfish Melanotaenia splendida splendida Eastern Rainbowfish 01.jpg 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in)

Spiny eels[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Fire eel Mastacembelus erythrotaenia Ildaal.jpg 100 cm (39 in)
Spotfinned spiny eel Macrognathus siamensis Macrognathus siamenis.jpg 30 cm (12 in)
Tire track eel Mastacembelus armatus Tire Track Eel.jpg 90 cm (35 in)
Lesser spiny eel Macrognathus aculeatus

Sunfish and relatives[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Pygmy sunfish Elassomatidae Elassoma Gilberti male in breeding colors.jpg 4 cm (1.6 in)
Blackbanded sunfish Enneacanthus chaetodon Enneacanthus chaetodon 02.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Relatively peaceful, small sunfish.
Blue-spotted sunfish Enneacanthus gloriosus Enneacanthus gloriosus.jpg 10 cm (3.9 in) Relatively peaceful, small sunfish.
Redbreast sunfish Lepomis auritus Lepomis auritus.jpg 30 cm (12 in)
Green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus Green sunfish.JPG 25 cm (9.8 in) Likely the most aggressive sunfish. Difficult to keep with other green sunfishes, other sunfishes, or even other perciform fishes in general unless kept in very spacious aquaria or ponds. Like many fishes, more tolerant of distantly related species (i.e. catfishes and minnows), if too large to be eaten. Very aware of environment outside of aquarium, making it an engaging "wet pet." Accepts a variety of foods (flakes, pellets, krill, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and live prey).
Orangespotted sunfish Lepomis humilis Orangespottednctc.png 15 cm (5.9 in) Among the less aggressive of the sunfishes.
Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus Lepomis gibbosus PAQ.jpg 28 cm (11 in) One of the more aggressive sunfishes. Good at preying on snails.
Warmouth Lepomis gulosus Warmouth Sunfish (Lepomis gulosus) (2497915731).jpg 30 cm (12 in)
Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus).jpg 41 cm (16 in) Fairly aggressive, but prefers to live in shoals.
Dollar sunfish Lepomis marginatus Lepomis marginatus UMFS 2014 1.JPG 12 cm (4.7 in)
Longear sunfish Lepomis megalotis Lepomis megalotis (Longear Sunfish) (20396406).jpg 24 cm (9.4 in)
Redear sunfish Lepomis microlophus Redear Sunfish 002.jpg 40 cm (16 in) Also known as shellcracker for its ability to prey on snails.
Redspotted sunfish Lepomis miniatus Lepomis miniatus 2.jpg 20 cm (7.9 in) Formerly considered conspecific with the spotted sunfish.
Northern sunfish Lepomis peltastes Lepomis megalotis 2.jpg 13 cm (5.1 in) Until recently considered conspecific with the longear sunfish.
Spotted sunfish Lepomis punctatus FMIB 51023 Chinquapin Perch.jpeg 10 cm (3.9 in) A fairly peaceable sunfish.


Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Spotted Gar Lepisosteus oculatus Lepisosteus oculatus1.jpg 70 cm (27.5 in) One species of the gars, the alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) can attain a length of 3 meters 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 Gar Lepisosteus platyrhincus Lepisosteus platyrhincus.JPG 70 cm (27.5 in)
Longnose Gar Lepisosteus osseus Lepisosteus osseus 1.jpg
Shortnose Gar Lepisosteus platostomus ShortnoseGar025.jpg
Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) (3149748488).jpg 300 cm (118 in)
Cuban Gar Atractosteus treacherous MANJUARI-2.jpg 200 cm (78.5 in)
Tropical Gar Atractosteus tropcius PuertoAristaSanctuary04.JPG 150 cm (59 in)

Other fish[edit]

Common name Taxonomy Picture Size Remarks Temperature range pH range
Clown knifefish Chitala ornata Chitala ornata (Zoo Brno, Czech Republic).jpg
Ocellate river stingray Potamotrygon motoro Pfauenaugen-Stechrochen - Ocellate river stingray - Potamotrygon motoro.jpg
Black devil stingray Potamotrygon leopoldi Potamotrygon leopoldi Prague 2011 2.jpg
Freshwater pipefish Doryichthys martensii
Sterlet Acipenser ruthenus Acipenser ruthenus Prague Vltava 1.jpg
Shovelnose Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus Shovelnose Sturgeon 01-19-08 1241.jpg
Freshwater blenny Salaria fluviatilis Blennie d'eau douce-Salaria fluviatilis.JPG
Freshwater needlefish Xenentodon cancila Xenentodon cancila (Wroclaw zoo)-1.JPG
Pickerel Esox americanus Esox americanus vermiculatus.jpg
Freshwater sole Brachirus panoides
Brook stickleback Culaea inconstans Culaea inconstans.jpg
Medaka Oryzias latipes Oryzias latipes(Hamamatsu,Shizuoka,Japan,2007)-1.jpg
European Perch Perca fluviatilis Perca fluviatilis2.jpg
Lungfish subclass Dipnoi Queensland Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri).jpg

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Polypterus senegalus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  2. ^ "Polypterus (bichirs)". Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  3. ^ a b "Polypterus ornatipinnis summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  4. ^ "Polypterus retropinnis summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  5. ^ a b c "Erpetoichthys calabaricus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  6. ^ a b c "Aspidoras fuscoguttatus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  7. ^ "Aspidoras lakoi summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  8. ^ a b c "Aspidoras rochai summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  9. ^ a b "Aspidoras pauciradiatus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  10. ^ "Corydoras splendens summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  11. ^ Fishbase:haraldschultzi
  12. ^ "Corydoras panda summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  13. ^ Fishbase:sterbai
  14. ^ Fishbase:thilineatus
  15. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About the Bristlenose Catfish". The Spruce. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  16. ^ a b c "Phractocephalus hemioliopterus (Red-tail Catfish)". Seriously Fish. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
  17. ^ "Hyphessobrycon megalopterus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  18. ^ "Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  19. ^ "Abramites hypselonotus summary page". FishBase. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  20. ^ "More flowerhorn guides on caring, breeding, determining sex". Thai FH - Supplier of flowerhorn fish international. Retrieved 2016-02-05.