5. Oscar

OscarOscars are thought to be one of the most intelligent aquarium fish available, and are one of the few species that can be trained to do tricks.

Oscars however are not a community fish, they should be kept in a species only tank, and they can grow very large, very quickly.

They require a lot more maintenance than other fish, due to their carnivorous nature and the amount of waste they create. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

On the positive side, they are one of the few species you can hand feed; they will often eat food from between your fingers. Oscars thrive when kept in pairs, or group of 5+, and should be housed together from a young age.

6. Mollies

Black MolliesThis small, peaceful species grow to around 3-4 inches, and adapt well to a variety of water conditions.

The ideal tank conditions are: a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, and warm water with a pH between 7.0-7.8.

Mollies are omnivorous, and will require a diet of both plant and animal food.

Interestingly, they are livebearers, meaning they give birth to their young live, rather than lay eggs. Mollies are very easy to care for, but they also breed very easily, so if you’re a beginner you might want to keep just a single sex.

7. Zebra Danios

Zebrafish (Danio)The Zebra Danios make the perfect beginner fish, they are very easy to care for and can grow up to 5-7cm.

They should be kept in at least a 10 gallon tank, in groups of at least 5. Danios are a schooling fish and will become stressed if their numbers are too lows. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

They are not fussy eaters and will eat most foods; the healthiest option for them would be lots of worms, insets and crustaceans to mimic their natural diet, however a good quality flake will also work with a supplement of frozen or live food.

Danios are also known to jump so you may want to keep your tank covered!

8. Platies

Sunburst Platy
Sunburst Platy

Platies come in almost every color imaginable and they are very easy to care for – just two of the reasons why they are so popular.

They are a great community fish, they’re very peaceful and get along well with guppies and mollies.

Although small, platies are very active and love being in groups. A 10 gallon tank is large enough for 5 fish.

Whilst they are omnivorous, they do require much more herbivorous food, than meats. Ideally, they need a good mix of plant based food and proteins.

9. Cherry Barb

Cherry BarbThe Cherry Barb gets its name from the color the male turns when it is spawning. Usually, they are silver/black with a golden lateral line.

They are a peaceful fish which will grow to around 2 inches in length, and they require a minimum tank size of 25 gallons. Cherry Barbs are omnivorous and will eat most types of food including live, fresh, frozen and flake foods. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

They are easy to care for and can be kept in community tanks with open space to swim, but also planted areas where they can hide.

10. Pearl Gourami

Pearl GouramiThe Pearl Gourami is a relatively large, but peaceful fish and one of the most easy to keep Gouramis.

The minimum tank size for this species is a 30 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places, dark substrate and low lighting.

They can be housed with other fish of a similar size and temperament; however you should not house them with aggressive fish.

Pearl Gourami’s are omnivorous and should be fed algae-based foods and meaty foods. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

They are well known for eating Hydra, a tiny pest that has tentacles with venom, so make a great solution if you have a hydra problem.

11. Swordtails

SwordtailThe swordtail is similar in shape to platy and guppy fish, with a slightly bulkier body, and a sword shaped extension of its fin.

There are many different color variations available and they are quite hardy which makes them a perfect species for the beginner aquarist.

Swordtails are usually peaceful, yet lively. They thrive in community tanks, and like to swim in loosely grouped schools. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

They breed easily, and if you do decide to breed them, you should keep them away from their parents; Swordtail parents will often eat their fry.

12. Discus

DiscusThese beautiful and graceful fish can grow to be quite large, and therefore require a larger tank, a minimum size of 25 gallons.

Discus are not recommended for beginners, and instead should only be kept by experienced aquarists.

They can be housed with other fish that require the same water conditions, as long as they are not aggressive. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

Discus will take a variety of foods but are carnivorous in nature. The best diet for them consists of beef heart and blood worms supplemented with flakes to provide vitamins and minerals.

13. Killifish

The Blue Lyretail Killifish

Killifish come in a wide variety of bright colors. They are extremely hardy fish, and there are over 700 species – a breed to suit almost every tank condition.

They are generally peaceful fish and do well in community tanks with other small, non-aggressive fish. It’s best to keep just one male to each tank though, because they can be aggressive towards each other.

Killifish are very easy to breed, and are either annual or non-annual breeders. In the wild, annual killifish lay their eggs in temporary bodies of water which dry up for months at a time. When they refill, the fry hatch.

Most Killifish are carnivores and therefore enjoy a diet of insect larvae, worms and crustaceans.

14. Bettas

BettaAnother extremely popular freshwater fish is the Betta. It’s not surprising why; Bettas are vibrantly colored, and easy to care for.

Male Bettas are notoriously aggressive towards other males. Therefore only one male Betta should be kept in each aquarium. They can be housed with other peaceful fish.

Bettas require an omnivorous diet, of both plant and animal foods. It is one of the Best Fish For Small Aquarium. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

They grow to a maximum size of 3 inches. Although you often see Bettas in small ornamental tanks, they should be housed in larger tanks.

Did you know: Bettas are able to breathe air outside of the water due to their labyrinth.

15. Plecostomus

Sailfin Pleco
Sailfin Pleco

Plecs are a breed of catfish, they have heavy armored plates on their bodies, and sucker-shaped mouths to feed on the algae in your tank.

Whilst some species are happy eating algae, wafers and flakes, others will need meaty food such as frozen brine shrimp.

Breeding Plecs is extremely difficult and only a small number of aquarists have managed to breed them. This is one of the Best Pet Fish For a Classroom Aquarium

Plecos can live for 20 years, sometimes longer if cared for correctly. It’s also worth knowing that they can jump too – so keep a lid on your tank.

They can be housed with many different species, but avoid keeping them with fat/flat bodied fish such as goldfish as they may suck on them.