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Colorful Fish to Add Interest to Any Aquarium
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Colorful Fish to Add Interest to Any Aquarium

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Oct 11, 2022

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Are you looking to add a splash of color to your fish tank? There are plenty of colorful fish out there, each with different tank requirements. Whether they need to live alone in a small tank or thrive in schools of five or more in a 50-gallon tank, these fish are sure to add a pop or two of color to their environment.

1

Mollies

molly fish mollies praisaeng / Getty Images

Mollies come in a wide range of bright colors as well as black and white. They're an active, social fish that like to be kept in of four or more. A group of that size requires a tank that's at least 10 gallons. Mollies are adaptable and tolerate a wide range of conditions, so they're a great choice for beginners.

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2

Pearl gourami

yellow pearl gourami Przemysław Iciak / Getty Images

Pearl gouramis are among the most popular types of gouramis, in large part because of their bright colors and pearl-like spots. They also have an eye-catching black stripe along each side. Pearl gouramis are long and thin and look very delicate. They're fairly easy to keep, but they can grow to about five inches long and need at least a 30-gallon tank.

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3

Swordtails

Beautiful Freshwater Aquarium Fish jeby69 / Getty Images

Swordtails are brightly colored freshwater fish that are very popular because they're easy to keep. They tolerate a wide range of temperatures and aren't very picky about food. This fish gets its name from its long bottom tailfin, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. They're a good addition to a community tank, and they like to live in groups, so they need at least 30 gallons.

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4

Cherry barbs

cherry barb red Besjunior / Getty Images

Cherry barbs can grow to about two inches long. Their colors vary slightly from red to orange, with a dark band of spots running down their sides. Males are usually brighter than females. This peaceful fish likes to school in groups of at least six and should be kept in a community tank of 25 gallons or more. They're a hardy fish that's good for a dedicated beginner.

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5

Neon tetras

neon tetra small fish Hailshadow / Getty Images

Neon tetras are small colorful fish with blue bodies, red tails, and a head-to-tail iridescence that catches the eye. This fish likes to school, and they prefer to live in groups of 15 or more. For a group this large, you'll need a 20-gallon tank, but smaller schools can be kept in 10-gallons. Tetras are very sensitive to water changes, but they're generally easy to care for and a good choice for beginners.

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6

Flowerhorn cichlid

flowerhorn cichlid red DigitalZombie / Getty Images

One unique variety of cichlid is the flowerhorn. This man-made fish is a result of crossbreeding multiple types of South African cichlids, and it comes in a variety of colors, ranging from red to yellow to blue. A flowerhorn cichlid needs at least a 50-gallon tank and doesn't do well with tankmates. They grow to about a foot long and can live as long as 12 years.

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7

Guppies

guppies school tank subinpumsom / Getty Images

Guppies come in a wide range of colors and can be kept in smaller tanks. A group of three guppies can be comfortable in a tank as small as five-gallons. These fish are extremely active, though, so a 10-gallon tank with five to eight guppies gives them a little more room to move around. They're a very peaceful fish and make good tankmates in a community aquarium.

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8

Bettas

male betta fish Mongkolchon Akesin / Getty Images

Bettas are some of the most beautiful fish out there, and they come in a lot of varieties, colors, and patterns. Males are extremely territorial and should be kept alone in a tank that's at least five gallons. Females can live together in groups of five or more. A group of this size needs at least 20 gallons and is only recommended for experienced aquarists.

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9

Discus

discus colors varieties MirekKijewski / Getty Images

Discus fish are one of the most colorful freshwater fish available. They prefer to school in groups of five or six and need at least a 50-gallon tank. Discus can grow as long as 10 inches, and they prefer to be surrounded by more discus fish and smaller tankmates that make them feel safe. This delicate fish is a bit challenging to keep, so it's not ideal for a beginner.

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10

Mandarinfish

mandarinfish saltwater tank marrio31 / Getty Images

Mandarinfish are one of the most colorful fish you can add to a saltwater tank. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, including stripes and polka dots. This fish is calm and can be kept in a community tank, but it's best to only keep one male as they can be aggressive with one another. This one needs a lot of space. A single mandarinfish requires a 30-gallon tank.

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