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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.

Freshwater aquarium algae are threats to aquatic life in a fish tank. They adapt well in an enclosed environment where there are available nutrients. They compete with aquarium plants for nutrients and decaying algae consume dissolved oxygen in the water. If they are present in small area of the aquarium, they can be supplements for some fish species but if uncontrolled, they contaminate water fast because they are short-lived. In general, all types of algae can have some benefits to aquatic life as long as they do not compete by multiplying rapidly.

Some algae species are edible like many of the seaweeds and they are sources of food in many parts of the world. There are hundreds of edible species and they are found to contain vitamins and minerals. They are also being processed as fertilizers and livestock feed. Algaculture is the study of farming algae for intentional purposes, which is a kind of aguaculture. In freshwater aquariums, there are quite a number of algae and they survive through the nutrients in the water. In some cases freshwater aquarium algae serve as food for aquarium inhabitants like shrimps and snails but if their growth is not controlled, they could be a threat to other aquatic life.

Commonly found in new aquarium setups are the brown algae. They also flourish in low-light aquariums where phosphate level is high while the nitrogen is low. They are a slimy and soft algae that are found in the aquarium glass, in the substrate, and even in decorations. It has been observed that brown algae go away in the presence of strong lights but may still remain in shadowy areas of the tank. In contrast, the green spot algae thrive in aquariums with strong light. They appear as green spots on aquarium plants and the tank glass. This type of freshwater aquarium algae is hard and appears if phosphate and carbon dioxide levels are low.

The hair algae and thread algae appear as strings in the water. They grow in aquarium tanks if there are excess amounts of iron. They can easily be removed by twirling a toothbrush around them. Thread algae grows on leaves of plants and normally found on leaf edges and can reach lengths of 30 cm. Hair algae usually grow at the base of plants and all over substrate and sometimes on decoration. They have green-gray color and grow to about 4 cm. Most aquarists welcome hair algae because fish like Angels and Barbs consume them as supplements to their food. Freshwater aquarium shrimps like the caridina japonica consume the algae in the likes of the thread algae.

A kind of algae that enhance the look of a tank is the beard algae. These types of algae form carpet like covering on pieces of stones bogwood, and slow growing plant leaves. Closer to light sources, they are created. They are soft and slippery and rapidly grow to a maximum of 3 cm. Beard algae need a stable constant light source and an lack of nutrient balance in your aquarium to get the perfect conditions they like. They are common in aquariums without plants and can be very difficult to remove manually. By putting fish in your tank that eat algea, you are instantly reducing the effect that algea can have on your tank which is a popular methed of control. Fish like the Rosy barbs, Siamese algae eaters, and Plecos would be a great help in reducing them. Before introducing them to the existing species in tank, make sure that they are compatible tank mates for the inhabitants presently in your tank. If they can not adapt to the present aquarium setup, they have little use in controlling the beard algae.

Freshwater aquarium algae in tiny patches add color and life to the aquatic ecosystem. Aside from serving as food for some aquatic life, they provide a sort of hiding place for fish fry. They are also good indicator that there is an imbalance in the system. They can show that there may be an excess of nutrients in the water. Excess nutrients may indicate that there is an overfeeding of fish and that an unhealthy plant is excreting some nutrients. Harm to certain plants and your fish are often indicated by the presence of algae and is often a sign to beware of danger in your tank.

The growth of freshwater aquarium algae depends on the existing conditions inside the tank. Three ways that algae can thrive in an enclosed ecosystem within your aqaurium. These necessities are water, light, and nutrients that are basic in all aquariums. Controlling these sources of life for algae is the major step in preventing them to grow and cause some damage. Light can be controlled by placing the aquarium far from the sunlight and artificial light must not be used more than eight hours per day. The light must also not be too bright and an automatic switch with a timer should be installed.

Aquarium fish eating habits are different in every species. In controlling phosphate levels that serve as food for algae, it is more practical to feed them with less than to overfeed. If fish have eaten and there are excess foods in the water, remove them immediately. Aside from removing floating wastes and excess foods in the water, changing part of the water will reduce the chances of phosphate and nitrate build up. Change at least 10 to 15% of the water once a week and scrape off any algae sticking on the glass at the same time. Testing the water from time to time is a good monitoring practice. You must stop algae grownth and you do this by destroying the perfect conditions that support their grownth in your tank

Fish belongs to vertebrate group of organisms living in water bodies, either fresh or marine water. As of date, more than 25,000 fish species are identified and scientists are of the opinion that there are 15,000 more species, which are yet to be identified. The characteristic features of fish are breathing through gills, and presence of paired and unpaired fins that help them in efficient swimming. Besides fins, the body of fish is covered with some sort of protective scales.

Most of the fish species are cold-blooded (or ectothermic) and depend on their surrounding environment to maintain their body temperature. Irrespective of the water chemistry, nearly all water bodies are inhabited by fish. For example, you can find various types of fish in the ocean at such a depth where there is very less or no light penetration. Likewise, several fish species are found dwelling in the streams of high mountains. As far as importance of fish is concerned, they are eaten as food and also, reared as pets in fish tanks.

Fish is an important source of food for humans. Enriched with healthy proteins, they are a delicacy for people who eat animal based foods (non-vegetarians). And for aquarists, fish are wonderful pets kept in decorative aquariums. Indeed, rearing them is a relaxing hobby, which you get to enjoy watching colorful fish swimming, playing, and feeding. Since the demand of fish is very high, fish farming and fishing are sources of income for several people. Mentioned below are lists of edible fish and aquarium fish types.

Types of Fish to Eat

Both freshwater and marine fish are consumed as human food since time immemorial. In the market, they are sold fresh, dried, canned, or pickled. Research studies have shown that fish-derived proteins and nutrients are healthier than those of poultry and meat. What's more, many saltwater fish species contain a high percentage of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help in treating cardiovascular diseases. Commonly eaten fish are listed below.

  • Anchovy
  • Abalone
  • African butter fish
  • Bass
  • Barramundi
  • Basa
  • Black drum
  • Bluegill sunfish
  • Bream
  • Brill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Coley
  • Cod fish
  • Crab
  • Croaker
  • Crayfish
  • Crawfish
  • Cuttlefish
  • Dab fish
  • Dogfish
  • Eel
  • Flounder
  • Grouper
  • Gurnard
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Hoki
  • Huss
  • Jacksmelt
  • Ling
  • Lobster
  • Mackerel
  • Mahi mahi
  • Milkfish
  • Monkfish
  • Mullet
  • Opakapaka
  • Orange roughy
  • Oyster
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pollock
  • Pompano
  • Redfish
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Scallop
  • Sheepshead
  • Shrimp
  • Skate
  • Sole
  • Swordfish
  • Tilapia
  • Tripletail
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Turbot
  • Wahoo
  • Weakfish
  • Whitefish
  • White grunt

Fish products, either canned or pickled, may contain traces of mercury and harmful chemicals. Hence, while purchasing them for consumption purpose, make sure you select those of quality brands. Last but not the least, some edible fish types (e.g. shellfish, sushi) increase the risk of food poisoning, if proper cooking is not done. Thus, correct preparation and cooking of fish is a must to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

Types of Fish for Pets

Depending on whether you want to keep freshwater fish or marine fish, you are required to construct an appropriate aquarium. Marine fish are more varied in color, shape, and size than the freshwater types. But, they need special care and maintenance. Hence, a freshwater aquarium is an ideal choice for a novice aquarist. In the United States, the most commonly kept aquarium fish comprises tropical fish. The list of popular aquarium fish types includes the following.

  • Anemone fish
  • Angelfish
  • African butterfly fish
  • Arowana
  • Banded coral shrimp
  • Barb
  • Betta fish
  • Biota
  • Bala shark
  • Bat fish
  • Black knife fish
  • Black-tailed dascyllus
  • Blennies
  • Butterfly loach
  • Bumblebee goby
  • Catfish
  • Cypriniformes
  • Cherubfish
  • Clownfish
  • Comet
  • Copperband butterfly
  • Cory
  • Cichlid
  • Crab
  • Damsel
  • Danio
  • Discus
  • Elephant nose
  • Fantail fish
  • Goldfish
  • Gourami
  • Guppies
  • Knife fish
  • Labyrinth fish
  • Lionfish
  • Loach
  • Molly
  • Mono
  • Needle nose
  • Oscar fish
  • Pacu
  • Platy
  • Scat
  • Seahorse
  • Shark
  • Shubunkin
  • Silver dollar
  • Spotted puffer fish
  • Squirrel fish
  • Swordtail
  • Tetra fish
  • Tiger Barb
  • Upside down cat
  • Yellowhead jawfish
  • Yellow tang
  • Yellowtail wrasse

In the present scenario, there are different types of fish that are listed in the endangered and near extinction categories. No doubt, some species are already extinct knowingly or unknowingly. But, it is never too late to conserve the extant fish. It is high time that we should stop overfishing, polluting water bodies, and destroying habitat to save this aquatic vertebrate animal. These simple conservatory approaches will surely help preserve fish and other inhabitants of the aquatic ecosystem.

You can have a fish tank of some exotic fish even in your home. However, there are many factors you will need to consider while setting up a tank. If you are maintaining a tank with the same freshwater exotic fish species, then taking care of them will be easier. However, when keeping a variety of fishes, make sure these exotic pets are compatible with each other, and don't become aggressive and try to kill each other.

Top 10 Exotic Freshwater Fish

Given below is a list of ten most attractive and freshwater exotic fishes, which can be maintained in an aquarium.

Dwarf Gourami: All gourami are great addition to a community fish tank, are quite easy to take care of. There are two varieties of this fish, the blue and the flame red. These are not picky eaters, and you can feed them fish food and as a treat frozen blood worms once in a while.

Neontetra: These are one of the most attractive looking fish for aquariums. They are commonly known as neon fish, and have a bright-colored horizontal streak in the middle of the body, with red color near the tails. They are peaceful fish, and are best maintained in school of 6 or more.

Angelfish: These are pretty common pet fish, and come in total black, silver or streaked or marbled patterns. They are peaceful, and easy to care for fish. Angelfish are pretty cheap, and perfect for beginner fish owners.

Rainbow: This fish is called the rainbow fish because of its interesting array of colors, as it reflects the colors around it. These are hardy fish, and should be maintained with 6 or more number of the same fish species.

Jewel Cichlid: This is another beautiful freshwater exotic fish, which is quite easy to take care of. When cichlid care is properly maintained, their colors can look great. These fish are orangish in color, with purple fin tips, and white spots all over the body.

Tinfoil Barb: Another good fish for beginners, this fish is sold in pet stores and is very easy to take care of. These fish like to jump out of tanks which don't have any hoods. These freshwater fish are silver in color, and around 13 inches in size.

Oscar: The oscar fish might not be very shiny, but are perfect for novice fish owners, as it is very easy to take care of, and does well in basic aquarium conditions. They are around 13 inches in size, and color varieties like albino, brown, dark gray and olive-green can be seen.

Glassfish: Indian glassfish is a rare exotic fish for aquarium, due to two reasons. The fist reason being it is very attractive, as it is transparent and you can see the bone structure inside it. The second reason for it being a rare aquarium fish is that they are difficult to maintain, and hence not recommended for beginners.

Pearl Gourami: These are another attractive gouramis aquarium fish with their orange bodies, bluish fins and spotted body pattern. These are easy to take care of fish. They are peaceful in nature, and are around 5 inches in size.

Killifish: This is one of the most attractive freshwater fish, and its coloration can vary from pink, silver, maroon, white, red to orange. These are around 2 inches in size, and quite easy to take care of.

The above list has general information about some of the most beautiful exotic fish which live in freshwater. Make sure you study the individual fish characteristics and care factors well, and then set up a community tank. Another important check you need to do, is to see that the fish are legally allowed as pets. So, select these as pets wisely, and enjoy a stunning looking community tank!