The Best Hardy Fishes For Starters – A Unique List!

Written by Dennis

Once you are up with the planning on running an aquarium at home, the selection of hardy fishes makes the difference.

It will be then a relaxing thing to maintain the aquarium with ease and comfort for beginners and other aquarists alike.

With patience and proper care, you can nurture the growth of fishes without any troubles.

You just need to understand the species that will tick the boxes at the right places.

I have maintained several aquariums for a decade. Here I want to share my experience with aquarium fishes for the benefit of the aquarists. Particularly, this guide provides you with the details of the best hardy fishes for starters.

Just read the post and get accustomed to the freshwater and saltwater fishes depending on your requirement.

Let’s start with freshwater aquarium-

Hardy Fishes For Freshwater Aquarium

Before you choose the freshwater fishes for your aquarium, at first, you have to decide on whether you have a cold water tank or a heated tank. Both tanks have their own unique collection of species of fishes to choose from.

  • Cold Water Tank

A cold water tank maintains the water at room temperature. With the addition of lighting system, it promotes the better health to the fishes.

  1. Gold Fish (Carassius Auratus)

Goldfish_Carassius Auratus

The choice of gold fish with bubbly head and fanned tail is great for starters. The ideal temperature range for these fishes is 62o – 74o F.

  1. White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys Albonubes)

White Cloud Mountain Minnow_Tanichthys Albonubes

It is a small fish that tends to live mostly in the middle portion of the tank. You may also see them on the top areas when they live in a group. They tolerate low temperature up to 60o F and can have a lifecycle of 5 years with proper care.

  • Heated Water Tank

When you prefer heated tanks, you have to choose different species that can tolerate the water temperature between 72o – 82o F with simple care.

  1. Swordtails (Xiphophorus Hellerii)


Swordtails fishes like these have a long bottom fin; look bright in color and long last. It is the best hardy fish for heated tanks and looks great with a bottom fin resembles like a sword (mostly males).

  1. Betta (Betta Splendens)


Though betta fish (also known as ‘Siamese Fighting Fish’) is a great choice, you have to be creative as an aquarist. This is because bettas have a territorial temperament, mostly find fighting with other tank mates.

The choice of the best tank mates for betta fish makes sense when you have planned on its purchase for your heated tank.

Now, let’s look at the details of saltwater aquarium fishes-

Hardy Fishes For Saltwater Aquarium

Everyone has their preferences for saltwater aquarium fishes. After taking careful observations, I have found the below-mentioned fishes are the best hardy fishes for beginners.

  1. Watchman Goby (Crytocentrus)


The best thing about watchman goby is that they have different patterns and colors with two common fishes that you can find at any nearby store include Pink Spotted watchman goby and Blue Spotted watchman goby.

With proper care, this becomes the best species for beginners. They mostly prefer brine shrimp (Artemia) and mysis shrimp (Mysida) as their live fish diet.

  1. Coral Beauties (Centropyge Bispinosa)


Coral Beauty Angelfish would be the great choice to add some color as well as unique species of fish in the tank. For having an adequate lifecycle, it is recommended to prefer these fishes for 70 gallons fish tank and even more.

  1. Firefish (Nemateleotris Magnifica)


Firefishes have the tendency to mix with other species. With their colorful appearance, it is one of the best saltwater aquarium fishes for starters.

For their diet, you can provide brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. They also love to eat algae found in the fish tank.

  1. Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera Talboti)


Talbot’s Damselfish comes in different colors with distinctive spots on the back. With its care and maintenance of the water in the tank, they can survive for years with no illness. Moreover, they are small fishes and don’t grow into big ones is the plus point.

  1. Tangs (Acanthuridae)


Unlike other specifies, tangs have variable colors of the rainbow. The addition of tangs beautifies the fish tank greatly. But it’s swimming style makes it preferable for larger tanks (100 gallons and even more).

Bottom Line

The most horrifying thing that beginners can experience is spending money for purchasing unique species but they are soon eaten up by other tank mates.

You have to be careful in the selection of aquarium fishes and their tank mates such that you won’t get hurt due to their dietary concerns.


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