Top 5 Community Fish Tank Species for Your Home Aquarium

You love the tranquility of watching fish gently glide to and fro in the oversized aquarium at your favorite restaurant or shopping center. Now, it's time to bring that same soothing magic into your home. You've heard a community tank can create a sense of calm and reduce stress, but what is a community tank? And what type of fish should you select? Ahhh, we've got ideas for you! Read on about this calming hobby.

What are community fish tank pet fish?

Community fish are also sometimes called companion fish, not only because they're good buddies to humans but also their tank mates. Community fish are peaceful, docile fish that get along well with others. Community fish also tend to be hardy and adaptable, making them a good choice for those new to pet fishkeeping.

A Few Best Community Fish Tank Set-Up Tips

When getting started, choose freshwater community fish species with environmental preferences in common, like water temperature, water hardness, and pH. This will make living together even easier.

And it's a good idea to get fish of a similar size so the big ones don't pick on the little guys. If possible, purchase younger fish so you can watch them grow up.

Finally, mix it up when it comes to where the fish like to roam in the tank. A few bottom feeders help reduce crowding and visually balance those that linger at the top and middle of the environment.

5 Types of Community Fish for Your Aquarium

OK. Let's get some new fish friends in that tank. Here are five community fish to get your aquarium started.

1. Rasboras

blue and orange rasboras

These little guys max out at 2 inches long and come in colorful hues with either contrasting spots or a black patch. Rasboras like to school in groups of seven or more and prefer a planted aquarium where they will explore the middle and top of your tank. Look for harlequin, scissortail, emerald dwarf, and galaxy varieties in the pet store. And if you want to spoil your rasboras, offer them an insect-based treat, like a pinch of Nutrinsect Tropical Pellets.

2. Plecostomus


These cute armored catfish are commonly known as "plecos" and spend their time roaming the bottom of your aquarium as they hoover up leftover food, algae, and sinking foods, like shrimp pellets. You'll also see them suckered to the sides of your tank. Plecostomus can grow quite large, depending on the species, some over 12" in length, so be mindful when picking out a juvenile for your tank. To keep your pleco happy, offer a Rock Den or Bark Bend for quiet resting time.

3. Rainbowfish

blue and yellow rainbowfish

Known for their beautiful color variations and active personalities, rainbowfish love lots of open space for swimming and a few plants for exploring. These guys like to school in packs of 6 or more. There are over 50 types of peaceful rainbowfish to consider for your tank that grow from approximately 2.5 to 8 inches in length.

4. Swordtails

orange swordtail

Swordtails are popular fish to add to your community tank. These low-maintenance beauties come in a wide range of colors and grow to about 5 inches in length. Swordtails get their name from the male's caudal fin that resembles a sword and can be as long as the fish itself. These docile fish are omnivores that enjoy a mix of plants and proteins.

5. Bala Shark

Friendly freshwater sharks can be a fun addition to a large (125 gallons or larger) community tank. The bala shark will grow to approximately 13 inches long and requires ample swimming space. Since their natural prey includes shrimp and snails, it's best not to keep those as pets in your community tank if you want to have a school of sharks. These sharks do best in groups of four or more. When kept alone, balas can become skittish.

7 Bonus Community Fish

As you browse the options at your favorite fish shop, also keep your eyes open for corydoras, danios, guppies, kuhli loaches, mollies, Siamese algae eaters, and platies! There are many, many community fish that would make excellent additions to your new tank.

Ask the store employee for recommendations on which fish on your wish list go best together, and enjoy the process.

Keeping Community Fish Can Be Relaxing

If you're searching for a calming hobby, keeping community fish might be the perfect answer. Watching your aquatic friends peacefully swim and mingle brings peace and relaxation into your home.

As you think about which community fish you might enjoy gazing at in your new aquarium, don't forget you can also add green plants, comical snails, and interesting decor to make your new underwater world come to life!