9 Best Aquarium Fish for Relaxation

Aquariums can be so relaxing. The sound of gently flowing water and the slow movement of beautiful fish calms the soul. But this peace can come to an end if your fish start fighting or if they're high maintenance and tough to raise. The types of fish you choose play a key role in how peaceful your aquarium is. Let's look at the top nine fish if keeping fish for relaxation is your goal. 

1. Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra

A great place to start is with the neon tetra. They're pretty, with bright red and blue colors and stripes on their bodies. Because they're small, getting several and watching them swim in schools can be fun and relaxing. They're peaceful and not picky about food, so they're easy to raise and quite calming. 

2. Guppy


Guppies are great for beginners. They're small, have beautiful fins, and are peaceful, getting along well with other fish like tetras and corydoras catfish. They also breed easily, so they're a good choice if you want baby fish (aka fry). 

3. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish

The pleasant, hardy corydoras (often simply called catfish) are a staple for almost any relaxing aquarium. They come in different colors, like bronze, albino, and black-and-white, and they're not picky about food. As bottom feeders, they get along with almost any fish. And if you get three or more, they'll travel in calming schools. 

4. Platy


The platy is a simple fish perfect for a relaxing, peaceful aquarium. And you'll love raising the hardy platy if you're new to fish ownership. They eat pellets or flakes and breed quite fast. So if you start with more than one platy, you might end up with a lot of platies later. 

5. Molly


Mollies are another fish that make a perfect choice for a relaxing aquarium. Like platies, they can breed quickly and easily if that's what you're looking for. They love to swim in schools and are quite easy to care for, enjoying eating pellets or flakes. 

6. Keyhole Cichlid

Keyhole Cichlid

While not as vibrant in color as some of their cichlid cousins, the keyhole cichlid is known for its peaceful demeanor. They have a live-and-let-live attitude with their tankmates unless they're breeding or protecting their fry. They are very active during the day and spend their time swimming among the decor in the tank, making them very engaging to watch.

7. Kribensis


The kribensis is a beautiful fish with a rose-colored belly. It's a great choice for beginners or anyone looking to create a peaceful aquarium. These hardy fish get along well with most other tankmates, and like most fish, they do great as long as you don't overcrowd the aquarium.

8. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach

The kuhli loach makes a delightful addition to any peaceful aquarium (preferably 20 gallons or bigger). They're orange and brown and look like tiny eels. They love to play in sand substrate and get along great with other peaceful fish. They're happiest in groups of five or more of their own kind. 

9. Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Zebrafish Danio rerio

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is another species that provides nothing but relaxation to your tank. They have horizontal blue stripes (hence their name) and love swimming in schools. Because they're hardy and not picky about food, they're not stressful to raise. Some may even appear to glow under blue LED lights. 

Creating a Peaceful Aquarium Doesn't Have to Be Hard

When choosing your fish, always make sure your aquarium size is big enough for the number of fish you want. A general rule of thumb is one inch of adult fish per net gallon of aquarium space. An overcrowded tank can lead to issues like cloudy water, making your aquarium less relaxing for everyone.

All in all, it's quite easy to have a peaceful aquarium if you choose relaxing fish that get along with other species and are fairly easy to raise. Don't forget to help keep your pets' lives mentally enriched with fun treats and beautiful aquarium decor.