Top 9 Small Freshwater Fish Types to Keep as Pets

Restricted spaces or financial conditions can limit your choices in the type of pet you are allowed to have in your home. Dogs and cats can be a hassle. Even larger fish require larger tanks, which in turn can be a larger water body. You may have to keep clean.

The easiest option can be small freshwater fish. Regardless of what it seems like, having only small freshwater fish to select from does not limit your options that drastically, mainly, because of the numerous species you have at your discretion. They can be good pets for college dorms, nursing homes, or small apartment dwellers, to name a few.

1- Dwarf Puffers

Dwarf Puffer fish - Small Freshwater Fish

Dwarf Puffers, also known as Pygmy puffers, require no more than 5 gallons of water if it’s just going to be that one fish. They’re 1 inch in size and don’t need a company to thrive. They do, however, need small plants to hide behind if they get stressed.

They are a carnivorous species, hatched brine shrimp and Grindal worms are suitable for their everyday meals. Small snails are also a staple for their diet to keep their naturally sharp teeth, blunt. One male to 2 females is a good ratio if you plan on keeping multiple of them.

2- Pygmy Gourami

Pygmy Gourami - Small Freshwater Fish

Pygmy Gourami is the smallest fish from the Gourami family is evident from their name. They are widely known as “Sparkling Gourami” because of the structure of their scales that reflect light and make it seem like the fish are sparkling. They are most comfortable in tanks with vegetative matter and foliage, which make for good hiding spots for these tiny creatures.

Sparkling Gouramis shine best in front of darker substrate, make sure the substrate is healthy for keeping in freshwater, and doesn’t negatively affect the fish. Their diet mainly consists of small insects, such as; bloodworm or daphnia.

3- Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra - Small Freshwater Fish

Ember Tetra fish grow up to 0.9 inches, needing not more than 10 gallons because of their active nature. Setting up their tanks with driftwood and small plants can be helpful in mirroring their natural habitat, making them feel safe and at home. Pellet food can be the safest bet when it comes to a nourishing diet for them.

Their bright red colors and orange rimmed eyes are an excellent identification, irrespective of their smaller size. They are a communal fish, though, and look at the finest when kept in groups.

4- Norman’s Lampeye Killifish

Norman's Lampeye Killifish - Small Freshwater Fish

Norman’s Lampeye Killifish are peaceful nature fish that makes them the most convenient pet to keep in smaller tanks. On average, these fish grow up to be 1.5 inches and require almost 5-10 gallons of water to thrive.

These Killifish prefer to be kept in groups of 3, which can be quite manageable because of their miniature size. Their diet mainly contains foods that can be consumed from the top of the water column like Brine Shrimp, Daphnia, or Bloodworms. The Lampeye Killifish can be an acquired taste as some might find their eyes creepy, but others might find it adorable.

5- Endler’s Livebearer

Endler's Livebearer - Small Freshwater Fish

These freshwater fish are able to dwell in the most versatile water conditions, which makes them the perfect breed for a beginner aquarist. Endler’s Livebearer can flourish easily in changing circumstances. They are an omnivorous species, and their meal comprises mainly of small insects and algae. The most prominent reason for keeping them as pets is because of their wildly attractive colors and patterns.

Their flamboyant and multicolored exterior makes for a ravishing sight on your bedside table. Nevertheless, they are prolific breeders and tend to give birth every three weeks, which can be a hassle, avoid keeping both sexes in the same tank.

6- Chili Rasbora

Boraras Brigitte - Small Freshwater Fish

Chili Rasbora also is known as Boraras Brigitte, This fiery fish’s life expectancy can be up to 8 years if kept in the right environment. They can grow to be about 2 centimeters and need water in a modest amount of 5 gallons. Being tropical fish, they can adjust to great temperature ranges, up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They will be the most comfortable when kept in groups of 10 to 12. Also, they enjoy feeding on insects like bloodworms or daphnia.

They come from a background of smoothly flowing channels and would greatly appreciate having floating plants in their tanks for a feeling of homeliness.

7- Celestial Pearl Danios

Danio margaritatus - Small Freshwater Fish

These are social fish that feel best sheltered when kept in groups of 5 or 6. Celestial Pearl Danios can grow up to 1 inch and thrive in tanks that can retain around 10 gallons of water. They are easily satisfied when it comes to food and enjoy things like dried bloodworms or algae flakes, being omnivorous. Pearl Danios come in bewitching colors and designs, making them worth the small amount of effort that they require.

8- Dracula Minnow

Danionella dracula - Small Freshwater Fish

Dracula Minnow, also is known as Danionella Dracula, is a peculiar looking fish. They don’t get larger than 1.8 centimeters meaning they need, not more than 5 gallons of water. Being that small in size can mean they can get easily afraid. The best proposal would be to keep them in a school of 10 or 12 for adequate years of survival.

Physically, it is almost translucent and actually quite frightening to look at, but ironically is one of the most peaceful breeds of fish. The minimal preservation needed for it makes it easy to keep and can be a strange one for your collection. Give them micro-worms like tubifex or daphnia to maintain health and comfort.

9- Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee Goby - Small Freshwater Fish

Bumblebee Gobies also is known as Brachygobius. As made apparent by the name, this fish is so-called because of the black and horizontal cream stripes on its body. They can grow up to be almost 1.5 inches but are quite aggressive when it comes to species. They aren’t entirely comfortable with it. Also, they are territory conscious but not as belligerent when it comes to food and will usually let the other fish eat.

Make sure they are properly feeding if you keep them in groups. They are relatively more difficult to take care of because they need slightly brackish water and more effort. These fish can be difficult to find in regular fish stores but are worth obtaining.

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