Everyone wants a vibrant, engaging aquarium. We brought you the top 10 best colorful freshwater fish list because we know it can sometimes be hard to find a colorful fish for your freshwater aquarium setup.
Marine aquariums have a seemingly endless supply of brightly colored fish, they range all colors of the rainbow, and shine, shimmer, and glow. So when you’re building out a freshwater aquarium, the fish can seem, well, a little bit dull.
The good news is that there are plenty of colorful freshwater fish out there if you know where to look, and we’re going to put together a list of the best so you can give your aquarium a colorful centerpiece.
Word of warning, many vibrant colorful freshwater fish are also more hostile. We’ll tell you the aggressiveness of these fish to help save you some research time when you are looking for the right fish for your current aquarium.
10) Male Betta
The male Betta, a common starting fish, has to be on this list. It comes in a huge variety of colors, shapes and fin types, and they are always beautiful to look at. they are an aggressive fish, so be careful who you tank them with. The Betta can be found at nearly any pet or aquarium store, and with so many varieties it can take hours to pick out the perfect colored/patterned fish for you.
Choosing the right Betta fish can be difficult, there are so many types and colors to choose from. My advice, head down to the store and browse until you find the one you love!
Even if Betta’s come in a small jar, they are a fantastic centerpiece for a larger aquarium, generally speaking they need at least a 10-20 gallon tank to really thrive!
9) Neon and Cardinal Tetra
This non-aggressive fish is a glowing peaceful schooling fish that is great for community tanks. They really do glow, with a vibrant blue and red that is vividly bright under most aquarium lights.
You need to get at least 6 neon tetras, they definitely love to school with their own species, fortunately, nothing looks better than seeing these colorful freshwater fish swarming across your aquarium.
The Cardinal Tetra is very similar to the Neon Tetra, and is often more colorful than the Neon!
8) Fantail Guppy
The Guppy is a beautiful colorful Freshwater fish, with the Fantail Guppy being my favorite by far. They have a huge range of colors, and often come with beautiful contrasts.
Guppies are a peaceful fish, but they can sometimes be aggressive, a quick scan of any fish forum will show stories of guppies bullying their tank mates. If you have this issue, it can be worth ensuring each male guppy has two females.
If you’re looking for a little color in a freshwater community aquarium, a Guppy is a great choice!
The Killifish is an astoundingly beautiful Freshwater fish. It can be territorial, although it is generally reviewed as a peaceful fish.
Their distinct orange and blue contrasting coloring are a delightful addition to any aquarium, it looks unique, and very eye catching. Some people do choose these as a centerpiece fish since it looks simply stunning.
Killifish do tend to prefer Brackish water, though they do live fine in most Freshwater aquariums. They are jumpers though, so keep the tank covered!
Rainbows come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. But one thing they all have in common is a near full-spectrum coloring that is absolutely amazing!
Rainbows are fairly passive fish, but you should only ever have one male per tank, since they will often battle during mating season (which may be artificially created when you do a water change).
5) German Blue Ram
There is absolutely no denying the beauty of the German Blue Ram. It can be an aggressive fish, especially with it’s own kind (you need at least 20 gallons per pair!)
If kept with plenty of space and cover (these fish like places to hide) then it is one of my favorite colorful freshwater fish for larger aquariums.
The Discus is an aggressive fish that has nevertheless found it’s way in the hearts of aquarium enthusiasts the world over. Coming in a seemingly infinite range of colors and patterns, this fish’s disc shape is large enough to really show off it’s varied patterns.
While some people love to have a wide range of different patterns and colors in aquariums, some people love to breed these over time to create a single, vibrant, pattern.
3) Peacock Cichlid
Similar to the Discus, the Peacock Cichlid is an aggressive fish which comes in many variations of colors and patterns. While it lacks the discus shape, it doesn’t have a very well defined, angular shape that many enthusiasts find even more beautiful.
The Gourami is well known for it’s famous speckled patterns. Though it comes in a variety of colors in this pattern, there are also some striped, and some plain colored Gourami.
The Gourami are a surprisingly timid and peaceful fish, making them a great addition to a community tank. There have however been tales of Gourami turning aggressive.
The Angelfish is one of the most recognizable fish thanks to it’s distinctive angular shape. Though it’s an aggressive fish it can live well with other non-aggressive species. Thanks to it’s noticeable looks and bright coloration, the Angelfish is also the perfect “centerpiece” for an otherwise bland aquarium.
The Angelfish is one of the best colorful freshwater fish, but they can also be aggressive eaters, so make sure the other fish in your tank also get to eat!