Pet Fish Types: Which Fish Should I Add to My Tank?

Fish make great pets for those of you who want to ease into pet ownership, as well as for families with children, or anyone who just enjoys the company of a solitary fish or tank full of many beautiful kinds of fish such as the blood parrot fish. To some individuals, it comes as a surprise to learn that all types of fish have their own unique personalities and likes/dislikes. All of which need to be taken into account before heading to the pet store to get a tank to fill with different kinds of fish. 

Here we will go over a few of the more popular fish breeds, as well as their personalities, quirks, and some caretaking pointers. That way you can be prepared when you head to your local pet shop, with the type of fish you’d like to buy in mind, as well as what to do to best care for them. 

Neon Tetras

Native to the Amazon jungles, neon tetras make a great addition to almost any freshwater fish tank. Their beautiful glowing blue stripe adds an eye-catching pop of color to your little aquatic environment or even aquaponic fish tanks.

Tetras are a docile and friendly species of fish, allowing them to fit in with nearly any fish they may encounter in your tank. Though, do keep in mind that these little fish do prefer a more acidic aquatic environment. This is just something to keep in mind if you have other fish who have opposite environmental needs. 

They are also an incredibly low maintenance species of fish. All that they ask of you is to be kept in groups of six or more other neon tetras. They enjoy the companionship of other tetras, and you will notice that they will usually remain with their group in your tank. 


Mollies are also another great addition to a community tank, although at times they can be a little less friendly than others. They are sometimes known to nip at the fins of other fish they come in contact with. Depending on your Mollie’s personality they may or may not do well in a community tank. This also depends on the other fish who reside in your tank. 

These little fish are also known to be kept as breeding fish. Interestingly enough, they give birth to live young, unlike most other fish who lay eggs. If you are considering adopting mollies in order to breed them, the best practice is to have a ratio of one male to 3-4 females. Otherwise, the females will become overwhelmed if there is more than one male present trying to breed with them frequently. 


Guppies are another easy to care for fish that will make a great addition to a community tank of freshwater fish. Not to mention, guppies can be found in a wide variety of amazing colors and patterns. They are also incredibly adaptable to different water types, making them a great community fish as well as a beginner fish. 

This particular species of fish is also well known for its frequent breeding. Be warned, if you put a male and female guppy in a tank together, it may not take long before you end up with a tank full of guppies. If you do not want this to happen, it would be a good idea to either get all male or all female guppies. 


As one of the most easily recognizable pet fish out there, Bettas have made quite the name for themselves over the decades. They started out as a simple fish that enjoyed its life living in the watery rice fields of Asia, to becoming a beloved household pet. They're also full of wonderful surprises! For example, you may not know that betta fish actually sleeps

It’s common knowledge that these little beauties aren’t exactly the friendliest of fish, even to their own kind. Bettas are notoriously known as “fighting fish”, as fish owners need to be very cautious about which species of fish they allow to co-mingle with a Betta. However, there are a select few species of freshwater fish that are known to get along well in the same tank as a Betta. 


The number of species of fish that exist in this world is virtually unimaginable. Not to mention how many that have yet to be discovered, including the ones who live in the darkest depths of our oceans, beyond human exploration. 

Some of the most common household fish are guppies, mollies, bettas, and neon tetras. They are loved for their simple lifestyle, gorgeous color patterns, and of course, their relaxing disposition as they simply float around in their tank weightlessly. 

Before you go running off to the pet store, take a few moments to do your research. Understand which fish enjoy the company of other varieties of fish and what sort of water they thrive best in as a species. As nice as it would be to be able to just fill a tank with water and just throw some fish in there, it isn’t quite so simple. You also need to know how to clean your fish tank

How many types of fish are there?

As far as fish that exist in large bodies of water (Oceans, seas, lakes, etc.) there are about 28,000 species of fish known to man. This large number can be broken down into thousands of different subspecies of fish. However, when it comes to the species that can be kept at home in a tank as a pet, that number is still rather large, considering the lengths some fish lovers will go through to create an at-home habitat for special species of fish that you don’t often see as a pet.

What type of fish can live with bettas?

It might come as a surprise to some that there are actually a number of different fish that can happily cohabitate with betta fish, the fish so well known for its aggressive nature. A few of the safer species include neon tetras, guppies, and cory catfish.

What types of fish can be kept with a goldfish?

Goldfish have a rather laid-back personality and can easily get along with many other species of fish. Unlike with Bettas, goldfish can live in the same tank as other goldfish. A few other fish that can live stress-free in the same tank as goldfish include the white cloud mountain minnows, rice fish, and hoplo catfish.

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Written by Leo Roux

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