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Aquariums have always been a part of my house. It has become a kind of a family tradition to keep and maintain a beautiful aquarium. My grandmother was the one who was crazy about fish, and I suppose she passed on a little craziness about fish to her daughters. They too have aquariums at their homes, and they passed on the gene of 'fish craze' over to us third generation kids. We cannot imagine our houses without our fish tank, irrespective of whether we have the smallest size or the largest. But, having one was absolutely compulsorily. I enjoy watching my fish swim around the aquarium. My hungry goldfish always asking for food or my majestic Siamese fighter which displays finery in great grandeur. There are many aquarium fish species like salt water and freshwater fish. Many of these types of fish for an aquarium have found a dwelling at our homes.

Types of Fish for an Aquarium

Before bringing home an aquarium fish, there are many things you need to consider about the behavior of the fish. You may bring home fish based on their color and shape, but do you know that many fish types are not compatible with each other and have been found to be aggressive instead. Therefore, you need to consider bringing home fish that are peaceful, friendly, and create a happy environment within the aquarium. There are 3 types of fish for an aquarium, namely, community fish, semi-aggressive fish, and non-community fish.

Community Aquarium Fish

Community fish are the best types of fish that can be brought home by a first time fish owner. These are peaceful fish and have no problems sharing the fish tank with other types of aquarium fish species. These are shoaling fish and enjoy being with many other fish of their own type. The most common community fish that are kept by beginners include:

  • Molly
  • Platy
  • Guppy
  • Neon Tetra
  • Banjo Catsifh
  • Barbs
  • Bronze Corydoras
  • Blue Eyed Plecostomos
  • Lemon Tetra
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Honey Gourami
  • Leopard Corycat
  • Swordtail
  • Leopard Danio
  • Masked Cory
  • X-ray Tetra
  • Zebra Loach

These are just a few names of community fish. You have a choice of hundreds of types of these fish species. These types of fish co-exist peacefully in the tank and exhibit a beautiful display of colors and shapes.

Semi-aggressive Aquarium Fish

Semi-aggressive aquarium fish are a little naughty ones. They can live in a community tank but end up nibbing and troubling the little and calmer fish. The Red-tailed Shark and Rainbow Shark are the types of aquarium fish species that can live in a community tank with only the members of their own kind. Tiger barbs can survive with other fish but are semi-aggressive. They tend to have a little fin nipping crave that becomes bothersome for other fish. The following types of fish species are semi-aggressive:

  • Angelfish
  • Black Acara
  • Aurora Cichlid
  • Blue Gourmani
  • Dragon Fish
  • Fire Eel
  • Spotted Puffer
  • Red-Tailed Black Shark
  • Rainbow Shark
  • Paradise Fish
  • Leopard Bluefish
  • Keyhome Cichlid
  • Firemouth Cichli
  • Black Ghost Knifefish
  • Three Spot Gourami
  • Krib
  • Electric Yellow Cichlid

If you get any of these fish along with your cool and peaceful community fish, you will surely see some action in your fish tank.

Non-community Aquarium Fish

These fish need a supply of live fish in their diet, and other fish swimming in the same tank become a live prey! Put in a few goldfish and neon tetras with your Tiger Oscars and within 15 minutes you will only find the Tiger Oscars swimming around with a satisfied look. These fish also tend to grow quite large and obviously feed on the little ones. The other types of aquarium fish species that fall in the non-community group are:

  • Asian Arowana
  • Auratus Cichlid
  • Graceful catfish
  • Spoyyed Pirhana
  • Indian Algae Eater
  • Chinese Algae Eater
  • Clown Knife Fish
  • Cuvier's Bichir
  • Electric Blue Johanni
  • Florida Gar
  • Needle Nose Gar
  • Green Terror
  • Kenyi Cichlid
  • Oscar fish
  • Silver Arowana

These are a few non-community aquarium fish that cannot be surely kept with the community or even semi-aggressive type of fish.

There are also other types of fish for an aquarium that can be categorized further in the below-mentioned three groups. These aquarium fish are divided according to the type of water they are found in.

Types of Saltwater Aquarium Fish

These saltwater aquarium fish are found in marine or saltwater and the following are a few types of saltwater fish species:

  • Gouramis
  • Angelfish
  • Archerfish
  • Butterfly Fish
  • Arowana
  • Blennies
  • Catfish
  • Cardinal Fish
  • Tetras
  • Damselfish
  • Mormyride
  • Puffer Fish
  • Hatchet Fish

These are just a few names of the many types of saltwater fish species. There is a huge range of fish and their subtypes to choose from for your saltwater fish tank setup.

Types of Tropical Aquarium Fish

These types of fish are found in the tropical waters around the world. The following are just a few names from the wide range of types of tropical fish:

  • Anabantids
  • Catfish
  • Characins
  • Cichlids
  • Cypriniformes
  • Livebeares
  • Rainbow fish
  • Tropical Arowanas
  • Tropical Puffers
  • Brackish Fish

There may be a few names common to the saltwater and freshwater types of fish, but the subspecies that are found in different waters differentiate them.

Types of Freshwater Aquarium Fish

These types of freshwater aquarium fish inhabit the freshwater bodies. There are thousands of freshwater fish and a few of them are mentioned below:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Swordfish
  • Platies
  • Betta Fish
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Danios
  • Loaches
  • Catfish

These are a few fish that will help you understand about the different types of aquarium fish. Just narrow down your choices and do some research about the fish of your choice over the Internet. You may even ask your friends who have kept fish as pets for help. Fish are by far one of the best pets in the world. They just stay at one corner of your house, you need to feed them twice a day, change the water once in a few weeks, you never have to hear them cry or howl, and they never dirty your home or fear 'run away' fish. As a first time owner, I would advice you to get some small and sturdy fish to help you get started and gradually move up to the more exotic ones. Aquarium fish will surely help you calm your nerves and provide a peaceful, serene environment in your home.

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Included is 5 Thai Micro Crabs (Limnopilos naiyanetr, aka "false spider crabs). These are tiny, fully aquatic crabs that so far have only been found in one specific river in Thailand. They are a very new and rare addition to the aquarium hobby....

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Freshwater aquarium fish are easy to care and very enjoyable pets. They can easily live in a small 5 gallon tank and love swimming in a 100 gallon tank. You can house your pet in a glass or acrylic tank. Use different substrates and decorative ornamental pieces, like rocks, live plants, plastic plants, and even some fancy plastic aquarium toys. The tank can be lit up with a bulb and you can place a filter to keep the water clean. You can even place a heater to provide some warmth to them. You can use normal tap water as the medium for your pet to live in.

As an aquarium enthusiast, you can choose from a variety of fish. You should keep in mind that the fish should be similar in size to avoid larger ones from picking on the smaller ones or the tiny ones eating up the fins of the larger fish. Also, they should not compete with each other for food, as it will result in starvation and death of the weaker lot. You need to choose the right pet for your aquarium so that they can peacefully exist alongside each other.

Basics of Their Compatibility

Fish are very sensitive and delicate creatures. Any amount of stress can lead to their untimely death. The freshwater fish are divided into 3 categories according to their behavior:

  • Community Fish: They are peace-loving and happy-go-lucky. They do not get into fights and are compatible with all the others. You can safely mix and match different community species in your tank.
  • Semi-aggressive Fish: These are a bit high-strung and will not shy away and would occasionally nip and bite other fish. They tend to be peaceful when small, but as they increase in size they turn into fin-nipping rogues. They will chase and tire the others. They are good for community tanks, but make sure you keep an eye on them as they grow bigger in size.
  • Aggressive Fish: Just as the name suggests, these fish can be called the fighters. They love to pick on little ones and are not compatible with any other species. They can live around with other aggressive ones of their own kind or size. However, they have a habit of bullying weaker ones by pushing them around.

The Compatibility Chart

Category Community Semi-aggressive Aggressive
Anabantids Dwarf Gourami

Flame Gourami

Opaline Gourami

Pearl Gourami

Siamese Fighting Fish/Betta Fish

Spike-tailed Paradise fish

Honey Gourami

Kissing Gourami

Black Paradise fish
Aquarium Catfish Banjo Catfish

Bristlenose

Chinese Algae Eater

Corydoras

Green Catfish

Leopard Catfish

Plecostomus

Spotted Catfish

Upside Down Catfish

Bumble Bee Catfish
Charachins Black Neon Tetra

Black Phantom Tetra

Cardinal Tetra

Congo Tetra

Emperor Tetra

Flame Tetra

Glowlight Tetra

Head and Tail Light Tetra

Neon Tetra Fish

Rummy-nosed Tetra

Serpae Tetra

Hatchetfish

Pencilfish

Bloodfin

Penguin Fish

X-Ray Fish

Bleeding Heart Tetra

Black Widow

Buenos Aires Tetra

Silver Dollar

Red Belly Piranha
Cichlids Freshwater Angelfish

Blue Acara

Discus

Festivum

Ram

Firemouth

Severum

Convict

Green Terror

Jack Dempsey

Red Oscar

Cyprinids Cherry Barb

Bala (Tri-Color) Shark

Black Shark

Blue Danio

Giant Danio

White Cloud

Zebra Danio

Harlequin Rasbora

Flying Fox

Green Tiger Barb

Red-tailed Shark

Rosy Barb

Tiger Barb

Tinfoil Barb

Killifish Lyretail
Livebearers Guppy fish

Molly

Platy

Swordtail Knife Livebearer
Loaches Clown Loach

Dwarf Loach

Horseface Loach

Unclassified Australian Rainbowfish

Boesmani Rainbow fish

Boesman's Rainbow fish

Bumble Bee Goby

Elephant Nose

Rainbow fish

Archer Butterfly Fish

This chart will help you know which ones are compatible. You can try keeping some of the community fish with the semi-aggressive species, but make sure you always have an eye on them. Do not introduce the aggressive ones to the tank, else most of your peace-loving fish will end up dead.