Top 10 Easiest Fish To Take Care Of

Are you looking for an aquarium fish that’s easy to take care of? If you are, you’ve landed on the right page on the internet! Choosing the fish for your tank is probably the most crucial decision you will make as a beginner or experienced fishkeeper.

With so many beautiful fish species with interesting patterns, it sounds like an easy decision, right? 

Sometimes it is. But not always. 

As a new aquarist, this decision is exciting. At least it was for me before standing at the local fish store speechless. I was spoiled for choice because of the active and mesmerizing fish on display.

Because I couldn’t take all of them home (I tried my very hardest to convince me dad), doing more research and asking questions about their diet, tank, and water temperature needs helped me choose what fish to take home.

Don’t worry. I can help you make an informed decision before the panic sets in. 

Whether you’re looking for fresh or saltwater fish to take care of, we have a list that covers both species.

5 Easiest Fish To Take Care Of (Freshwater)  

As the name suggests, freshwater fish are accustomed to living in fresh waters like rivers and lakes. There are over 10,000 species[1] of freshwater fish in the world today, so having a  variety of choices won’t be a problem. 

If you’re wondering whether to set up a freshwater tank or a saltwater tank, it all depends on the type of fish you get. 

Freshwater fish require fewer resources and upkeep than saltwater fish.

They’re great if you’re a first-time fish keeper because they can handle your early mistakes better than saltwater fish. 

So let’s dive in and see which are the best freshwater fish that are easy to care for. 

1. Gold Fish

The common goldfish was at the top of my list. It could be because I kept seeing it everywhere, from the dentist’s office to tv shows and movies.

But there’s a reason they’re so popular. Goldfish are easy to take care of and don’t require constant surveillance. Some even say they bring good luck.

goldfish (carassius auratus)

Species Overview 

Domesticated over 2000 years ago for their beautiful colors and exciting personality, these fish are perfect for your Tank if you’ve been out of luck lately. 

Despite the name, Goldfish are colorful fish that come in black, orange, or white colors. goldfish will remain small, but others can grow to up to 14 inches in size. So they will need space and water.

For starters, a goldfish will need around 20 gallons of water. Because they excrete more than other fish on this list, you need a good quality filtration system to keep the water safe. 

Goldfish are cold-water fish, so their water temperature should be between 23-24 degrees. They’re hardy fish who can survive in harsh conditions, so average water temperatures in the fish tank are good for their health. Too high temperatures can stress your goldfish. Properly taken care of, a goldfish can even live up to 15 years.

2. Molly

With origins from parts of North and Central America[2] like Mexico, Mollies are fish that thrive in freshwaters. Although you can find them in saline environments,  they are okay living most of their lives in freshwater. 

If you want to add color to your aquarium,  mollies are a great first choice. They grow up to 4 inches and their exciting personalities will keep you entertained.

molly (poecilia sphenops)

Species Overview

Mollies come in various beautiful colors like white, silver, orange, and red. Their fast adaptability to different environments makes them an excellent choice for most beginner aquarists.

You can’t wholly replicate their natural habitat, but thanks to their adaptable nature, they can withstand a broader range of water temperatures and pH changes. 

Molly fish are omnivores, so a healthy mix of meat and plant matter in small portions is excellent for their diet. A minimum of 10 gallons of water is needed if you have between one and four Mollies. You can spice up the fish tank with plants and small caves. The water should be at a temperature of 72 to 78°F[3]. 

Mollies are peaceful fish and enjoy having some company in a spacious aquarium. So don’t keep them alone. Crowding other fish species with Mollies in a small fish tank can cause aggression in Mollies. 

To help keep the peace, keep Mollies with their kind or friendlier fish like Guppies. 

3. Guppies

Guppies are another excellent variety of fish that are easy to take care of if you’re taking up fish keeping as a hobby. These fish are friendly and constantly active, so you can have them around other fish without issues. 

guppy (millionfish, rainbow fish)

Species Overview

These adorable marine creatures come in colors like orange, blue, violet, and green.  A fun fact is that male guppies with a rare color pattern are more attractive to female guppies. 

Guppies are native to South America, so their ideal water temperatures should be on the warmer side, between 70 to 76°F. If you can maintain this, you might have a chance of them living more than the average two years. Guppies can grow to between 0.6- 2.4 inches in size. [4]. 

Like mollies, guppies are also omnivores and can survive on plant particles,  mosquito larva, and algae. Guppies are schooling fish. They love to be in groups, so it would be great for their mental health if they were not alone.

A minimum of 5 gallons of water, a nutrient-rich diet,  and a few plant decorations for entertainment, are enough to keep your  Guppies happy and healthy.

4. Neon Tetras

Another group of freshwater fish that come in various colors are Tetras. At the fish store, you can find Neon Tetras, Black neon tetras, Congo tetras, and the Cardinal Tetras. 

Neon tetras are eye-catching and beautiful if you want to add color and pizzazz to your fish tank. 

neon tetra (paracheirodon)

Species Overview

The neon tetras are native to South America and have a bright blue and red stripe on their body. Their peaceful nature and minimal dietary requirements make them an ideal freshwater fish to keep for any aquarist. 

Like Guppies, these freshwater fish are omnivores and feed on insect larvae and plants. 

They have a lifespan of about five years in an aquarium, but tetras can live up to 10 years with the right living conditions, like being in groups of six or more. 

One of the interesting facts about neon tetras is that although they can grow up to 1.2 inches in size, which is small, they require large fish tanks because they love to play. 

Neon tetra fish like being around their fish species. Being alone makes them stressed and insecure. This can affect their adaptability to your tank at home. If you’re feeling philanthropic and decide to get 20 neon tetras, you will require nearly 20 gallons of water for their tank. 

The peaceful neon tetra is sensitive and constantly active so extreme temperature changes can lead to illnesses. 

5. Betta Fish

Betta fish are some of the most beautiful tropical fish for your home aquarium. They originate from Thailand, and their bodies and fins come in vibrant colors like red, blue, and orange. 

Betta fish are fast swimmers and require only a small amount of time commitment. A betta is a good beginner fish if you’re looking for one of the more low-maintenance fish for your tank.

betta fish (siamese fighting fish)

Species Overview 

Unlike the other fish mentioned in this list, Betta fish are carnivorous and require a protein-rich diet to remain active and healthy. Frozen food like blood worms and brine shrimps. Betta fish have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, but it depends on the quality of their environment.

Although the average betta fish will grow to around 2.5 to 3 inches[5] long, they require a lot of space because they like to jump and swim around the tank. You need a minimum of 5 gallons of water for a bettas tank. A fish bowl or vase won’t be enough once they start growing. 

Because they are tropical fish, the water temperature should be between 75 to 80°F.  Extreme changes to the water temperature can quickly cause health issues. And we don’t want that. 

Bettas are also known as the ‘Siamese fighting fish” because they were bred to fight. That means sometimes, they won’t play well with others, especially other male Betta’s. Adding other fish species can lead to fights. Those keeping multiple Betta fish in a single tank usually do so with a setup called “Betta condos”.

 Female bettas are friendlier and have no problem being in groups. 

5 Easiest Fish To Take Care Of (Saltwater)

Saltwater fish come from the ocean and can survive in various habitats like salt ponds. 

To recreate the ocean-like environment in an aquarium, you will have to spend more money on equipment like lighting and buying colorful corals, reef fauna, and live rocks for your saltwater fish.


So how do they get to fish stores? According to National Geographic, most fish that enter the US are wild-caught from the reefs in Southeast Asia, Fiji, Kenya and Hawaii using cyanide. 

So maintaining a saline environment in an aquarium at home will hardly be identical to the tropical ocean environment they’re used to. But you can come close.

Although you will need more resources to take care of saltwater fish than freshwater fish,  it’s not an impossible task.

 So here is a list of saltwater fish that we found are easy to take care of. 

6. Clownfish

You’re likely familiar with the clownfish because of the famous Pixar movie, Finding Nemo. If you fell in love with this fish when Dory was searching the oceans for Nemo, you’re not alone.  

This could be the sign you’re looking for to add these orange and white-coloured fish to your fish tank.

clownfish (anemonefish)

Species Overview

Most clownfish are found in Coral reefs on the south coast of Australia and South Asia. Unfortunately, with the popularity of Finding Nemo, the number of captive clownfish kept in aquariums has increased. 

Unlike most saltwater fish, clownfish have a long lifespan of 15 years in groups led by a dominant female. An interesting fact about these fish is that while most are born male, they can turn themselves female if they lose their dominant female. 

If you’re wondering about fish food, you can feed your Goldfish daphnia, blood worms, brine shrimp and pellets.

Clownfish are generally small fish growing up to 3-4 inches long, thanks to their meat diet and plants like algae. With the ocean being their natural habitat, clownfish need a temperature of between 78 to 82°F to survive. 

A tank size of 10 gallons or more is sufficient for these fish with a mesh to cover the top. To match the ocean currents, you will need powerheads to create water movement in specific locations in the tank. You can create gentle to swift currents depending on your fish’s preferences.

7. Butterfly Fish

Their unique colors and patterns make the butterfly fish one of the most identifiable fish in the world. This group of fish is playful and active in the morning. You can even find them hiding behind reefs in the tank. 

 If you need some cheering, watching these fish swim and display their butterfly-like fins will put a smile on your face.  

butterfly fish (chaetodontidae)

Species Overview

Butterfly fish vary in size, with an average adult growing to between 4.7 and 8.7 inches. Depending on the species of butterfly fish you keep, you will find that some have different colored patterns, from black to white and blue to red-orange, and yellow.

Butterfly fish are omnivorous, allowing them to eat foods like stony corals and tubeworms. With the right food and saline tank environment, your butterfly fish can live up to their 7th or 10th birthday. 

They require space for swimming, so they need a fish tank with a minimum of 75 gallons of water at a temperature of between 72 to 78°F. The good thing is they are peaceful, so they can handle having tank mates.

8. Chalk Bass

You might not find the chalk bass on most aquarium fish lists because they aren’t the most popular. They are underrated even though they are peaceful and make an excellent addition to any aquarium. 

With their unique look, exciting blue-orange patterns, and good behavior, there is a lot that the Chalk bass fish has to offer.

chalkbass (serranus tortugarum)

Species Overview

Chalk Bass are mostly found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Unlike some saltwater fish on this list, a Chalk bass is hardy and doesn’t quickly get sick. Sadly, they have a short lifespan of only 1-2years. 

Their torpedo-like bodies can grow up to 4 inches in size, so there is enough room to add more fish. With the peaceful nature of chalk bass fish,  you don’t have to worry about fights breaking out in the tank. A friendly companion to share the chalk bass tank is a clownfish. 

This saltwater fish thrives in tropical waters, so you need close to 30 gallons of water at a temperature of 72- 76°F[6]. Chalk bass loves a carnivorous diet consisting of chopped meaty items, shrimps, and flake foods to stay healthy. 

Ensure you don’t overfeed the Chalk Bass because they are very small fish. Overfeeding can also tamper with the water quality which can cause illness. They love hiding, so adding some saltwater live plants and rocks will make them feel more at home.

9. Watchman Gobies

The watchman goby, also known as Yellow Shrimp Goby, is a beautiful saltwater fish with a yellow-orange body and blue spots on its fins. You’ll mostly find the Watchman Gabby peeking out of rocks and reefs in most aquariums.

Species Overview

Originating from Indonesia, the Watchman Gabby is reef compatible and comes in blue, yellow, and brown colors. With a lifespan of up to 10 years, an adult Watchman Gabby is expected to grow up to 4 inches in size. 

The tank needs around 30 gallons of water at temperatures 72 to 78°F. You can fill this fish tank with coral rubble, reefs, and sand at the bottom for your fish to happily burrow in.  

Although sometimes territorial, the Watchman Gabby isn’t aggressive. But keeping them with other fish can quickly set the stage for a fight. They also have a habit of jumping out of the tank. A lid can help prevent such an accident, so your Gabby lives long. 

Gabby fish need feeding twice a day. You can include table shrimp and mysis shrimp in their diet. 

10. Angelfish

The colorful and exotic Angel fish is native to the tropical waters of Hawaii, but they can also be found as far as the Red Sea and the East African coastline. 

Also known as the Emperor Angelfish, these fish are slightly more aggressive than the other fish on the list. If you choose a pair, it is best to have a male and female Angelfish. 

angelfish (pterophyllum)

Species Overview

The Angelfish can grow up to about 12 inches with a healthy mix of plants and meat foods in their diet. If they’re two, they will need a big tank with a minimum of 125 gallons of water. Yes, 125 gallons.

Because they love warm and slow-moving water, temperatures of 72 to 82°F  are best to keep them comfortable. You’ll be happy to know that the emperor angelfish has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. 

For Angelfish to live this long, you should feed them an average of three times a day. You can feed them veggies and meat like algae, brine shrimp, squid, and flake food. 

Because of their semi-aggressive nature, they should be your last option when adding fish to your aquarium. If you go for an Angelfish, fill the fish tank with corals and live stones that will act as hiding spots so they don’t get bored. 

It’s important to remember that you can’t put freshwater and saltwater fish in the same aquarium. They require very different needs and living environments. 


Whether you want a goldfish or a saltwater fish like the clownfish, there are plenty of fish species you can choose from that suit your specific desires. 

For first-time fish keepers, these are probably the easiest fish to take care of and don’t require a lot of your time or money. It’s easier to have fun taking care of fish when you know what to expect. 

It’s also a good idea to get to know a fish vet in case your fish gets sick. Vets can offer medical solutions to keep your fish healthy, so you have less to worry about than feeding times and tank maintenance. 

  1.  Freshwater Fish Facts and information. Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2022, from,number%20is%20over%2010%2C000%20species. 
  2. Poecilia latipinna (Sailfin Molly). (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2022, from 
  3.  Robert. (2022, May 26). Molly Fish: Care, diet, types, and lifespan of mollies. Fishkeeping World. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from 
  4. Robert. (2022, June 1). Guppy fish care guide for Aquarists: Everything you need to know. Fishkeeping World. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from’s%20company,tank%20before%20buying%20other%20fish. 
  5. (PDF) facts to know about – fighter fish – researchgate. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2022, from 
  6. Edmond, A. (2022, May 2). Chalk bass: Complete guide to care, breeding, tank size, and disease. The Aquarium Guide. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from,and%20monitor%20the%20temperature%20regularly.

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