Tropical Fish List for Your Aquarium

Last Updated: 25th November 2018

From the moment you introduce tour fish in your home or office, they will become the focal point of the entire room. If you are looking for fish to add in your aquarium, you have come to the right place. Here you will find a list of tropical freshwater fish for your aquarium. Tropical fish are the most popular pet fish choice by many aquarists, because they usually are the most colorful fish in the world and give an exotic look for your aquarium. If fish keeping hobby is your thing, be sure to avoid these fish keeping mistakes. Or if you are just starting this hobby, check out these small beginner aquarium kits or the best big aquariums available online. And see my recommendations for Best Freshwater Beginner Fish. Let’s see which tropical fish species would suit you the best. (We have added pictures of tropical fish as well, so you can find more about whichever catchers your eye)

Tiger Barb (Puntius tetrazona)

Tiger Barb tropical fish

As the name says it - this is an exciting tropical fish to have in your aquarium. By just looking at the fish you can already see how unique it is. It usually is recognized for its orange and black striped pattern, which resembles a tiger, hence the name. Tiger barbs are very exciting to watch because they are very energetic. Sometimes it may feel like they never stop moving! They are schooling fish with active and playful personality. These fish are semi-aggressive, so you should always have at least 6 of them in your fish tank. That way they will interact with each other and leave rest of the fish alone. Tiger barbs require more room than other fish because of their active lifestyle.

Property Value
Name Tiger Barb
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 3 inches
Temperature 74°-79°F
pH level 6.0-7.0
Min. Tank size 20 gallons
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Activity Very active
Swimming levels All levels
Care level Easy

Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)

Sword tail

Swordtails are a popular tropical fish choice between aquarists. One of the feature that sets it apart from other aquarium fish - its tail. As you can see it resembles a sword, hence the name. That is only a feature that male swordtails have. Swordtails are a tropical community fish and get along fine with others. As swordtails are part of livebearer fish family, they are perfect companions for guppies, mollies, and platys. One thing to note - male swordtails can become aggressive towards each other, of there is not enough room in the fish tank.

Property Value
Name Swordtail
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 6 inches
Temperature 64-82°F
pH level 7.0-8.3
Min. Tank size 20 gallons
Temperament Peaceful
Activity Very active
Swimming levels Top, middle
Care level Easy

Black Mollie (Poecilia sphenops)

Neon orange mollie

Mollies are another popular choice from livebearer fish species. And yes, the neon orange mollie (fish in the picture) is also from Black Mollie fish family. Mollies require more care than other fish from its family. They have energetic and playful characters and require a lot of room. Mollies are friendly and can be kept together with other fish. They are rapid breeders and give birth to live fish, unlike many other, who are laying eggs.

Property Value
Name Black Mollie
Diet Omnivore
Size 3.0-4.8 inches
Temperature 68-82°F
pH level 7.5-8.5
Min. Tank size 20 gallons as minimum
Temperament Peaceful
Activity Moderate
Swimming levels Middle
Care level Moderate

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown loach fish

After seeing a loach in any aquarium, it is hard to resist and not bring one home because of their exotic bright colors. They are community freshwater fish and have no problem getting along with other aquarium fish. Clown loaches are very social fish and they need to be kept in groups of at least 4 fish. When kept alone, they become stressed and are more susceptible to illness, just like many other schooling fish. Clown loaches can grow up to 12 inches, so make sure you have enough room for this large tropical fish in your aquarium. They are bottom dwelling fish and can work as cleanup crews, eating fish food that has fallen to the bottom and even snails that have wondered there.

Property Value
Name Clown loach
Diet Carnivore
Size Up to 12 inches
Temperature 72-86°F
pH level 6.0-7.5
Min. Tank size 100 gallons
Temperament Peaceful
Activity Active during the day
Swimming levels Bottom
Lifespan 10 years
Care level Moderate

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Cardinal tetra

Cardinal tetras are a great choice if you are looking to add delicate beauty to your home freshwater aquarium. Cardinals have a bright blue stripe contrasted by a lower red stripe that runs the entire length of its body, giving it a very slick and beautiful look. Like all tetras, cardinals are peaceful and make a good community fish. Tetras are great for smaller aquariums or ones where there are no bigger predatory fish, because they tend to get eaten a lot due to their small size. Also, unlike many other fish, they favor more acidic water. They are active schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6.

Property Value
Name Cardinal Tetra
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 2 inches
Temperature 74-79°F
pH level 4.6-6.2
Min. Tank size 15 gallons
Temperament Peaceful, good for community tank
Activity Active
Swimming levels Top, Middle
Lifespan 4 years
Care level Moderate

Electric yellow cichlid (Labidochromis caeruleus)

Electric yellow cichlid fish

As the name says it, electric yellow cichlid, also called the yellow prince, lemon yellow lab, blue streak hap, is a part of Lake Malawi cichlid species. The beautiful yellow coloring makes this one of the favorite cichlid fish for many aquarists. Electric yellow cichlids are more peaceful than most Lake Malawi cichlids, but still there is some research to be done, if you are considering putting them together with other fish. The best option is always to make a special tank for your cichlids.

Property Value
Name Electric yellow cichlid
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 6 inches
Temperature 73-79°F
pH level 7.6-8.9
Min. Tank size 30 gallons
Temperament Semi-Aggressive, should be kept with other cichlids
Activity Active
Swimming levels All levels
Lifespan Over 6 years
Care level Easy/Moderate

German Blue Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi)

German blue ram cichlid

German blue ram cichlid, also known as butterfly cichlid, is dwarf cichlid species. Blue ram cichlids are known because of their vibrant colors and delicate oval shape. These fish are very sensitive to poor water conditions and should never be introduced into newly set up tanks. They are one of the most peaceful cichlids out there. They are a great community fish, if you introduce them as a pair - a male and a female. They will bond and live in harmony with other peaceful fish.

Property Value
Name German Blue Ram Cichlid
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 3 inches
Temperature 78-85°F
pH level 5.5-7.0
Min. Tank size 20 gallons
Temperament Peaceful
Activity Active
Swimming levels All levels
Lifespan Around 3 years
Care level Difficult

Tiger Oscar Cichlid (Astronotus ocellatus)

Red tiger oscar cichlid picture

Tiger Oscar Cichlids are one of the most wanted Oscar fish species. Not only its color scheme is attracting, but this South American fish has unique characteristics and high intelligence, as observed by many fish keepers. So it is always fun to watch them going around the aquarium. Not only that, but you can even teach is some tricks and pet it! If it is not moody, of course. This definitely a unique tropical fish to have.

Oscars are very small at the beginning phases, but they grow rapidly, so don’t be fooled by their small size in pet stores. They will need quite a big fish tank to keep them happy. When Oscar fish is grown up, it is not the best fish to keep in a community tank. That is, with other different fish, unless they are the same size or even bigger than tiger oscars. Oscars should be kept in couples - one male, one female. Make sure your aquarium is big enough, if you introduce Oscars together with other fish.

Do note that they do not enjoy water flow. So you will need to use filters that generate near to non-existent water flow. But overall, they are not hard to take care of, if you know their quirks and pay attention to them.

Property Value
Name Tiger Oscar Cichlid
Diet Omnivore/Predator
Size Up to 18 inches
Temperature 75-81°F
pH level 6.5-7.5
Min. Tank size 100 gallons
Temperament Aggressive
Activity Active/Smart
Swimming levels All levels
Lifespan Up to 10 years
Care level Moderate/Difficult

Serpae Tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques)

red tetra

Serpae tetras are growing rapidly in popularity. Main contributor for that is their high activity level, interesting characters and bright red color. They are schooling fish that enjoy company of at least 5 other red serpae tetras. They are quite small community fish that add an exciting environment for any aquarium.

These long finned tetras are very hardy, so they are very well suited for beginners as well. Although they are considered good community fish, read our Serpae tetra care guide, if you wish to know how well they get along with different fish,

Property Value
Name Serpae Tetra
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 1.75 inches
Temperature 72°-80°F
pH level 5.5-7.5
Min. Tank size 20 gallons
Temperament Semi-aggressive
Activity Very active
Swimming levels All levels
Care level Easy

Royal Blue Danio (Danio kerri)

Royal Blue Danio Fish

Royal blue danios are cousins of the popular Zebra danios. If you take good care of them, then they will have a brightly blue colored bodies with sleek lines that make them look spectacular in any aquarium. Although, some variations are blue-ish with green lime color, which still looks great.

These tropical fish are great for a community aquarium. The more of them you have in your aquarium, the more active they will become. They are omnivores and small in size, so they are very well suited for smaller aquariums.

Property Value
Name Blue Danio
Diet Omnivore
Size Up to 1.7 inches
Temperature 72°-77°F
pH level 6.5-7.5
Min. Tank size 10 gallons
Temperament Peaceful
Activity Very active
Swimming levels All levels
Care level Very Easy

I hope you enjoyed the list of tropical freshwater fish I provided and it helped you find a fish for your aquarium. Be sure to come back at a later time as well, because this list will keep growing with time. As all the information requires a thorough research, it takes time to create the best freshwater tropical fish list for the readers of this website. If you found this information useful, share it with your friends and subscribe at the bottom of the page to stay updated on newest information on this site! Good luck with your fish!