Freshwater aquarium fish are just as lovely and relaxing as their saltwater cousins, but are much easier to take care of. While a freshwater tank still has to be kept clean and in the right pH range, there is no salinity to worry about.
Some freshwater aquarium fish are easy enough for a young child to take care of. The best fish are not so sensitive to water quality, and so they make a good, hardy species for the family to enjoy. These popular species are also coldwater fish, meaning the aquarium will not need a heater.
Without a doubt, goldfish are the most popular freshwater aquarium fish. If cared for well, a goldfish will live about six to eight years. People have bred the ones with bright orange scales for hundreds of years. They cost as little as 25 cents each and produce a lot of waste relative to their size; so changing the water in the fish tank frequently is important to the fish’s health.
Domestic angelfish originate from species native to the Amazon River. Their flat, triangular shape is rather uniform, but breeders have produced a range of colors and patterns in their scales. Some have delicate flowing tails and fins while some are more compact.
Angelfish are sometimes known to eat very small freshwater aquarium fish, but in general, if there is enough artificial fish food supplied, an angelfish will not turn on his tank mates.
Tetra are very small fish; domestic tetras rarely grow bigger than an inch. But neon tetras have a bright stripe along the sides of their tiny bodies, giving them a big visual impact. They swim in schools, making their colors even more obvious.
Tetras originally came from South American waters. Tetra generally should not be put in a tank with other freshwater aquarium fish because they are liable to be eaten or bullied. They can live up to ten years in a home aquarium.
Betta fish are actually a large family, comprising many members beyond the popular red “Siamese fighting fish”. Siamese fighting fish have elaborate fins in red trimmed in blue, purple or green. Fish keepers say a male betta fish should never be kept in a tank with another male as they will fight. In general, the beta fish needs to be paired with fish that are too big for him to attack and do not have large fins.