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12 Coolest Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Are you fond of petting pretty and trending aquarium fish that look exotic and amazing in your home tank? Well, then your search can be tricky. When it comes to purchasing the best-looking and coolest freshwater aquarium fish for your tank, you need to go through a large round of decision-making.

The options for the coolest freshwater aquarium fish are innumerable. Some of the most popular ones are American Flagfish, Malawi Mbunas, Angelfish, etc. These fish possess a very creative and unique appearance, while, at the same time, they are pretty easy to care for.

List of Coolest Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Are you wondering what might be the coolest freshwater aquarium fish to pick for your tank? Well, if you are a beginner in fishkeeping, you need to be more attentive while picking your aquarium pets. As a newbie, you must want to look for fish that are easy to care for yet possess a very cool look, right?

Well, let us make the task easier for you. Here are some of the coolest freshwater fish for an aquarium that you can pick to add more colors to your fish tank; have a look!

Malawi Mbunas

These 7-inches little colorful fish are a great addition to your freshwater tank. The combination of light and dark blue colors with a vibrant yellow hue on top of its body makes this fish a highly suitable buddy for your 30-55-gallon tank.

American Flagfish

Now, this one is the coolest freshwater fish for aquariums in every aspect. The multi-color hue on the body of the American Flagfish makes it an utter charm. This 2.2-inch-long dwarf fish is an excellent addition to your 10-gallon tank.

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Plecos may not possess spectacular colors, but it is a highly suitable choice for its weird-looking cool bristles. They reach up to 6-inches in length; hence, you can easily make them fit a 30-gallon tank.

Powdered Blue Dwarf Gourami

What about adding some light and fresh hue of color to your tank? For such purposes, the powder blue dwarf is simply a great choice. These 3-inches little fish roam around freely in the water, leaving a charming color to your tank.

Roseline Torpedo Shark

Are you a beginner who wants to flaunt a collection of the coolest freshwater aquarium fish in your tank? If yes, then go for Roseline Torpedo Sharks, which are tiny, harmless colorful shark-like fish that look too cool in your tank.

Multicolor Crowntail Betta

Betta fish are always an exotic addition to your freshwater tank. The multi-colored, crown-tail bettas are a vibrant variation of this fish species that can add spectacular color to your aquarium.


This article will be incomplete if we do not mention the name of angelfish. The angelfish is one of the coolest freshwater aquarium fish that is highly popular in the aquarium trade.

These vibrant blue-hued fish with black stripes on their bodies are too easy to care for and render a bright look to your tank.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish

We know that you always want the best for your tank. Especially when it comes to decorating your aquarium with the most spectacular pretty-looking living creatures, you must look for the perfect ones.

So, here are some of the best freshwater aquarium fish that can add embellishment and life to your tank. Have a look.

Neon tetra

With its neon hue, Neon tetra is one of the most well-known and best freshwater fish species. These tiny, pretty, beautiful-looking fish are very easy to care for. However, they thrive best when kept in a tank full of plants.


The pretty golden yellow mollies are simply one of the best freshwater aquarium fish. They grow up to 3-4 inches, making them an excellent choice for your 10-30-gallon freshwater tank.


Goldfish are a sweetheart to most fish owners. These pretty colorful fish are very sturdy and relatively easy to care for in a tank. If you provide them with optimum water conditions and a healthy diet, goldfish can live for at least 25 years.


Rainbowfish is another common yet easy-to-care freshwater fish that you can keep in your home tank. These vibrant fish have a unique rainbow-like appearance, which adds a colorful charm to your tank.


Guppies are spectacular fish species, which are perfect for beginners. They are effortless to care for and have many colors on their body and tail, making them look unique in every aspect.

Strange Freshwater Aquarium Fish

Now, you know the names of some coolest freshwater fish for very popular aquariums, right? But do you know there are many strange freshwater aquarium fish as well?

If you prefer to have some different kinds of fish in your tank, opting for strange freshwater fish can be a great choice. So, here are some unusual freshwater fish for your aquarium.

Siamese Fighting Fish

Betta Splendens or Siamese fighting fish are very captivating with their looks. The color combination of scarlet and cobalt blue makes them look very spectacular and unique. Also, other color variants are available in this species, which add a mesmerizing charm to the fish tank.

Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

These fish are an excellent choice for you if you are looking for some strange variety in your tank. Their striking metallic blue scales make them have a unique and captivating look, enriching the beauty of your tank.

Flowerhorn Cichlids

This cichlid species has a very vibrant appearance, which can be an utter attraction in your tank. In addition, their bold body colors like green, blue, and orange make them highly attractive and unusual in every aspect.

Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish Combinations

If you are thinking of caring for only one type of fish in your tank, knowing only the names of the coolest freshwater aquarium fish will do the job.

But if you are planning to pair more than one species in an aquarium, you need to know the best combination for it. So, here are some of the most fabulous combinations of aquarium fish that you can keep in your community tank.

Green Neon Tetra and Apistogramma Dwarf Cichlid

Both are very stunning fish that have similar tank requirements. The South American Apistogramma cichlids are simply a great partner for the colorful green neon tetras. Both of these fish species thrive well in soft water. Hence, keeping them in a single tank will not be much of a hassle for you.

Tiger Barbs and Rainbow Sharks

Tiger barbs and Rainbow sharks are one of the greatest fish combinations for your freshwater tank. The bright red-finned rainbow sharks and the unique tiger barbs look too colorful and bright in your tank when they dwell together.

Synodontis Catfish and African Cichlids

The colorful African cichlids are a great addition to the tank of your Synodontis catfish. This pair looks great. Moreover, they do not often indulge in territorial fights and share a healthy tank atmosphere.

Cherry Barbs and Guppies

Cherry barbs and Guppies are highly popular in the aquarium trade. Both the fish are too easy to care for together, and they share an amicable attitude.

Best Freshwater Fish to Breed for Profit

As a hobbyist or fish breeder, you might be looking for the best fish that can give you great profit, right? Not all fish will provide you with a high-profit margin, but a few fish species have higher demand in the market.

The best freshwater fish to breed for profit are bristlenose plecos, guppies, platies, and tetras. They are much high in demand and effortless to breed. So, to gain a better yield, you can try breeding such fish.

Best Plants for a Freshwater Aquarium

Well, when it comes to taking care of the coolest freshwater fish for aquariums, you need to consider adding some plants to the fish tank. However, make sure the plants you add are highly suitable for your tank’s water condition.

So, here are some of the best freshwater plants that you can pick for your aquarium.

  • Dwarf Baby Tears
  • Marsilea Minuta
  • Anubias Nana
  • Dwarf Sagittaria
  • Pogostemon Helferi
  • Amazon Sword
  • Dwarf Hair Grass
  • Java Moss
  • Java Fern

Freshwater Fish Tank Setup

Knowing only the name of the coolest freshwater fish for aquariums is not enough. You also need to know which tank setup will be the best for freshwater fish. So, here are the tank setup guidelines you must follow.

You need to place the tank away from direct sunlight. It is better to schedule the time of lighting in the tank to avoid too much exposure.

When it comes to adding the substrate, you can choose gravel for the tank of freshwater fish. Below the gravel, you can keep a plate to hold it in place.

Then, add water to the tank as per the requirements of the fish.

You need to install a filter and heater to ensure that the water is clean and has the proper temperature for complete care.

While choosing the décor for your fish tank, you can pick various elements like rocks, plants, etc. If you are caring for shy fish like shrimp, you’ll have to offer many hiding places. Also, you need to keep in mind to provide them with enough space for swimming.

Is hard water bad for fish?

Whether a fish will thrive better in hard or soft water depends entirely on the type and origin of the fish.

Tropical fish, which are meant to live in soft water, will undoubtedly die in hard water. However, the wild-caught fish will strive to adapt to the hardness of local water in your home tank. So, this mainly depends on from where the fish was born and raised.

Thus, the answer to your question, is hard water bad for fish, is a strict NO. Hard water is not at all bad for your fish if it can adapt to that condition. So, you must consider the origin and habitat of the fish before adding it to hard water.

Here are some fish that do well in hard water.

  • African Cichlid and Central American Cichlid
  • Paradise fish
  • Livebearers like Guppies, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies
  • Brackish fish


When it comes to picking the best and coolest freshwater fish for the aquarium, you will get an extensive range of options.

All you need to do is pick the fish that are highly compatible with your tank’s setup and other tank mates. Also, make sure to perform thorough research on their dietary and care requirements before buying the trendiest freshwater fish for your tank.