It’s exciting to choose your first fish or add to your aquarium, however, with so many beautiful colours, sizes and requirements, which pet fish breeds are best for you?
Let’s take a look at 10 popular pet fish breeds in Australia to help you make the right choice.
With fabulous, bright colours, it’s easy to fall in love with goldfish. They are among the most popular types of pet fish for beginners and are best kept with other goldfish. As pets, goldfish are interactive with each other and with you, as they learn to recognise you. With proper care, the average lifespan of goldfish is about 10 to 15 years.
Danios are constantly on the go, zooming around the tank and feeding with enthusiasm. Despite their active nature, the danio is a peaceful companion for other fish. The pretty zebra danio is a popular choice, adding colour and excitement to your tank. These are among the best pet fish as they are hardy in a variety of conditions and certainly not fussy when it comes to food.
Catfish are bottom feeders, which is great news for the health of your tank. They poke around rocks, glass and leaves to nibble on algae and fish food that has sunk to the bottom. Best of all, catfish are peaceful, friendly and fascinating to watch as they work away. They are an excellent easy care aquarium fish.
4. White Clouds
If you’re looking to add to your community of fish, white clouds are an ideal choice. The tropical species is generally farmed in Asia and suits both tropical and cold water aquariums. Best kept in a school of six or more, they’ll co-exist happily with others, including goldfish. Feeding time is easy with simple flake food and you’ll love watching their bright colours move about the tank.
Robust, active, adaptable and adorned with colourful tails, guppies are a great choice to start your journey with tropical aquariums. They suit planted community tanks with other peaceful fish and you can feed them dry, frozen, fresh or live foods. As male guppies may harass female guppies, it’s best to keep a ratio of one male to two females in a tank.
Like guppies, mollies come with a fun fact to share with people admiring your tank. They’re livebearers, meaning that females give birth to fully formed, swimming babies. Exotic shapes and colours, along with peaceful personalities, make them perfect for community tanks.
You'll have fun searching for loaches in your tank, as they love to hide until it’s dark. Kuhli loaches resemble small eels and they’ll eat leftover food on the bottom, along with pellets, flakes and live foods. They do best when kept in schools of four or more.
Choosing bettas is half the fun, with their brilliant colours and extravagant tails. Otherwise known as Siamese fighting fish, the males can battle until death in an aquarium. However, they’re generally peaceful towards other fish. They require a little extra care, in terms of hiding places, frequent water changes and low population densities.
Many species of tetra are characterised by silver backgrounds splashed with striking spots of colour. These mild-mannered pets are best kept in large schools and mix well with a variety of other species. Tetras will eat most types of foods, as long as the particles aren’t too large to fit in their small mouths.
Barbs are schooling fish belonging to a family with more than 2,600 species. From rosy golds to yellow, they’re beautiful to watch and lively members of community tanks. As omnivorous fish, they’ll eat dry, frozen and live food.
How to look after cold water pet fish breeds
Cold water fish like goldfish, danios, catfish and white clouds are low-maintenance and some of the easiest fish to look after - and they won't break the budget!
Here’s a basic guide to what you’ll need to do:
● Buy a spacious aquarium to suit the number of fish and place it in a safe spot away from direct sunlight.
● Clean ornaments and gravel before adding them to the tank. Cycle your aquarium for at least a week before adding fish, so the water’s clean and good bacteria has time to form.
● Use a water chemistry test kit weekly, to check pH, ammonia and nitrate levels. Perform a partial water change fortnightly.
● Optional, but recommended accessories include an air pump, a gravel cleaner, a fish net and aquarium salt.
● Ensure you don’t overfeed your fish, as they’ll produce more waste than your filter can handle. Seek advice as to what’s suitable for the species you choose. As a general rule, aim for two feeding sessions a day and give them only what they can eat within 30 seconds.
Why tropical fish breeds require a bit more care
With their exotic colours and shapes, tropical fish are thrilling additions to any aquarium. The only consideration is that they require a higher level of care than cold water fish and are better suited to owners with a bit of experience.
Tropical fish like guppies, mollies, loaches, bettas, tetras and barbs require the same basic care as cold water fish, but you’ll also need an aquarium light and a heater. It’s important that the water temperature remains consistent, so a thermometer is recommended. Seek advice from a vet on the right temperature for the specific species you choose.
Now that you’ve got the rundown on 10 of the top pet fish breeds, you can choose the right ones for you and dive into the wonderful world of home aquariums! At PetMarket, we make it easy to look after your new additions with a range of fish supplies to choose from.