- 25. Goldfish
- 24. Koi fish
- 23. Guppies
- 22. Betta fish
- 21. Rainbow fish Boesemani
- 20. Freshwater angelfish
- 19. Killifish Clownfish
- 18. Ram Cichlid
- 17. Blue Gularis Killifish
- 16. Discus fish
- 15. Flowerhorn Cichlid
- 14. Arowana fish
- 13. Peacock Gudgeon
- 12. Fire goby
- 11. Designer Clownfish
- 10. Lionfish
- 9. Sea betta fish
- 8. Angelfish Queen
- 7. Regal Godfish
- 6. Flame Angelfish
- 5. Angelfish Annularis
- 4. Lagoon Triggerfish
- 3. Crosshatch Triggerfish
- 2. Clown Triggerfish
- 1. Mandarin Fish
Here are our top 25 picks for the most beautiful fish in the world (which you can keep in an aquarium):
Goldfish are often underestimated for their size and beauty, as the average person only sees the usual baby goldfish sold at fairs. Most never imagine that these little fish turn into giant 10-12" fish that dance and glide under the water.
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Of course, this only applies to regular goldfish. There are quite a few types of goldfish, along with many different patterns and colors.
For example, the koi lovers out there who can't cope with a 3 or 4 foot long fish can get the shubunkin goldfish instead. These are goldfish that often have long fins and come in a variety of colors that mimic koi, such as the blue shubunkin.
There are also fantail, jikin, watonai, wakin, oranda, lion head, ranchu, ryukin, shubunkin, comet, eye bubble, celestial eye, demekin, butterfly, telescope, pearl, veiltail, black moor, tosakin, pompom, shukin, and pupae.
24. Koi fish
Koi fish are famous for their elegant patterns and forms, but most people don't have the space to create a beautiful koi pond for themselves. Most koi grow to an average of two feet, although three or four feet in length is not unheard of.
While these won't technically fit into your aquarium, indoor tanks are still an option for keeping them. They are truly beautiful fish, and if given the choice, you should keep them at least once.
Guppies are underrated for beauty, as most people only see them in chain stores. There are hundreds of varieties of guppies, which means there is always a variety to match the color scheme in your tank.
Guppies are very hardy fish and like hard water, so they are easy to keep for most people. However, the more fanciful the species, the weaker they are. For guppies, a 10-gallon tank is a good starting point for triplets (one male, two female).
They have too many varieties to list here, but there really is a category for everyone. If you like lots of patterns and bold colors, look for mosaic guppy. If you prefer solid or subdued colors instead, investigate albino strains, some of which still have prominent colors.
22. Betta fish
Betta fish, or Siamese fish, are also underrated for color. Just like guppies, there are many types of tails, colors, sizes and even species.
Most people know only the common domesticated bettas, but there are wild bettas with beautiful patterns.
For example, Betta brownorum is a small rusty red fish with a beautiful patch of pale green iridescent scales in the center of its body. Each betta fish has a distinct color pattern, size and shape.
Most bettas are also easy to care for, requiring only a minimum tank size of 5 or 10 gallons, depending on the species.
21. Rainbow fish Boesemani
If you love school fish and are looking for something unique, the Boesemani Rainbowfish might be the thing for you.
These are some of the most vibrant and colorful school fish out there and really bring something extra to your tank.
They are quite large, about 4 inches, so a 4-foot tank should be the minimum size for their school. In a planter tank, their colors really pop. People are sure to ask you about these colorful little guys.
20. Freshwater angelfish
Aquatic newbies may not know that there are freshwater angelfish, but this fish has been domesticated for nearly 100 years. There are hundreds of colors and patterns, and even different proportions and types.
The most common types seen in stores are Koi, Zebra and Silver angelfish. These fish do best in a 40-gallon or larger aquarium, and while they can do well in a community setting, they can become aggressive and feed on fish and invertebrates. less.
Freshwater angelfish are not picky eaters and are very easy to care for. They are often used as center fish for community aquariums because of their large size and striking color. Just like the guppies, there really is a variation for everyone and you can even choose between the pearl scale fish and the normal scale angelfish.
19. Killifish Clownfish
Killifish are often overlooked in the aquarium trade due to their short annual lifespans, but there are many stunning species that have decent lifespans. One of the most fascinating species is the killifish clownfish.
This tiny fish rarely grows above 1.5 inches and requires only a 10-gallon tank. While their bodies only feature brown and yellow stripes, their tails look like ornate fans. They have a wonderful symmetry of blue, red and orange on their famous caudal fins.
18. Ram Cichlid
This small cichlid is one of the only cichlids suitable for a 10-gallon aquarium, although a 20 is better. They are extremely easy to care for and breed, although there are some more sensitive strains, namely the Black German Ram.
Despite the variety of transformations, the normal Ram Cichlid is still absolutely gorgeous. The most common colors are common, electric blue, yellow, black and long fin. These small fish are well suited for community tanks, and while territorial, get along well with peaceful tank mates.
They are also one of the cheaper fish on this list, both to care for and to buy. Rams are usually only $ 5-10, which is a great price for such a gorgeous and highly interactive fish.
17. Blue Gularis Killifish
Blue Gularis is another beautiful killifish. These fish also have long, flowing fins, unlike the killifish clownfish. They have a wonderful pattern of stripes and stripes on the body.
Refer: Reasons Why Your Betta Fish Won't Eat
They vary widely in color, but most have a light brown to blue body with a red or light pink pattern. Their fins are brilliant blue, yellow, orange and green, with bold stripes throughout.
It is one of the larger killifish species, with specimen sizes reaching 5 to 6 inches. Due to their size, they need at least a tank of 20 fish, although a breeder of 40 is better. These pools are long in size providing enough horizontal swimming space.
16. Discus fish
This cichlid was formerly one of the mecca of fisheries, as wild-caught Amazonian fish are extremely sensitive. However, these have now been a hobby long enough to be kept by intermediate aquarists, not just professionals.
Discus have also been bred into a variety of shapes and color patterns, creating incredibly vibrant fish. Their shape is quite unique, they look flat like flounder, but swim upright like most other fish.
Although they have become much tougher, they still need a lot of care. Since they are carnivores, they need to eat nutritious foods like beef hearts, which means frequent water changes are essential. Sometimes as often as every day, but this usually only applies to minors.
15. Flowerhorn Cichlid
These cichlids are rarely seen in pet store chains despite their easy-care and boisterous personalities. These hybrids are the ultimate “pet” fish, as they are made to be as cute as possible.
Depending on the type, of which there are many (see our Flowerhorn Care Guide), the minimum tank size varies. 75 or 125 gallons is the most you will need for a fish.
Larger camphor varieties reach 14” while smaller varieties max out at around 6”. Most Flowerhorn owners keep their fish in bare tanks, as this encourages them to interact with their owners.
Although these cichlids are aggressive towards most other fish, they show great affection for their owners. Some of them even love to be petted!
14. Arowana fish
The arowana has long been considered an important and regal figure, as well as a guardian god. The legend of owners having near-death experiences and returning home to find dead fish has led to the belief that this fish will meet death in exchange for the owner's life. It will also carry the owner's illness.
Of course, this is simply a legend, but the beauty of the fish is a real legend. The Asian arowana, while the prettiest and most vibrant, is illegal in the United States. Fortunately, there are several other types of arowana available, such as Jardini, Silver, Black, Blue and Nile Arowanas.
Like discus, they need a rich and high protein diet, which means they also produce a lot of waste. In addition, they are absolutely huge. Just like Koi, they can grow up to 3-4 feet long, so custom tanks are often required to house these monsters.
13. Peacock Gudgeon
Peacocks are a great addition to a nano tank. They have striking iridescent patterns all over the body and the fins shine perfectly in the growing tank.
They can be kept in groups, which is great to see and only require a 15 or 20 gallon tank. They get along very well with other fish, so tank mates are usually not an issue.
Peacock Gudgeons swim around in the upper, middle and lower levels of the aquarium, but they prefer to hang out in small caves. They greatly appreciate any cave you can provide them, and males will establish territories around the caves.
12. Fire goby
While these guys are a casual saltwater option, that doesn't detract from their beauty. After all, their vibrant colors are part of the reason they are popular.
They are only about 2 or 3 inches tall, so they can thrive in a 20-gallon tank. They are safe for corals and invertebrates (well, not the tiny ones, but the ones you buy will be safe).
They are quite shy, but also full of personality. As long as they don't have a predator tank mate, the lighting isn't excessive, and they have a cave or two to hide in, they're easy to care for.
11. Designer Clownfish
The clown fish design is relatively new. These are simply Ocellaris clownfish (pictured above) that have been selectively bred into over fifty different colors and patterns.
These little guys are great to start your saltwater obsession. A 20-gallon tank is a great size to start a clownfish with. They are compatible with many other fish and are not as shy as the Firefish.
Usually, they are available for sale in about an inch in size, but they are three or four times that size. They also appreciate having plenty of cover, especially if there are no host anemones or corals.
These fish need very large tanks, about 125 gallons. They are carnivores, extremely opportunistic and grow to over a foot in length, so tank mates must be chosen with great care.
Although they require a large tank, they are a hardy fish and are relatively easy to care for. They can be trained to catch frozen fish and krill, making feeding simple.
Once you see the elegant look that their fins ripple as they drift around, you'll want one of your own. It's not just the pattern that makes this fish so gorgeous, but also the way they move.
9. Sea betta fish
Now, before you start thinking we've listed the same fish twice, Betta glamens fish and marine Betta fish are extremely different species. This galactic speckled fish is also known as the Comet and has some really unique behaviors related to its shape.
As you can see, it has a large "eye" spot on the dorsal fin. These fish like to hang out in dim areas and crevices and only stick their tails out to mimic a moray eel. In addition, they will approach their prey in an inclined direction, so when the prey tries to get away from the fish's "eyes" and perceived head, they will swim towards the actual mouth.
They will eat smaller fish and invertebrates that are generally safe on the reef. Marine bettas can be a picky eater, although many people have had success with the California blackworm. Also, they have the right tank size for such a beautiful fish, requiring only a 55 gallon tank.
8. Angelfish Queen
See more: 11 great bottom-eating fish for your aquarium
While these beautiful fish are spectacular in both juvenile and adult stages, their tank size requirements are an obstacle for many aquarists. Unfortunately, their blue and turquoise colors are behind this barrier.
They need a tank of at least 250 gallons as they can grow to a meter and a half, but it is possible to keep them in some community aquariums. They need a good mix of algae and protein-based food, such as frozen Mlysis shrimp.
7. Regal Godfish
These angelfish are absolutely beautiful, with striking white, blue and yellow stripes. Most are wild-caught, so they have a relatively long adjustment period, but can be easily trained to accept flakes and frozen foods.
Regal Angelfish require a tank of at least 100 gallons, as they can reach 10 inches, and love to establish rocky reefs. While they do prey on certain types of coral, this behavior can be reduced by ensuring that your angelfish are adequately fed.
These are peaceful fish and become extremely shy if kept with fish that are more aggressive than they are. The regal angelfish is usually caught in the wild, however, some are caught with poison and poison, and they do not live long. Try to make sure that the one you buy is not caught this way.
6. Flame Angelfish
These cute fish are relatively small for angelfish, reaching about 4 inches in size. Therefore, a 70-gallon tank is large enough to hold them for a lifetime.
They have a bright red color complemented by dark vertical stripes in the middle of the body. These fish are semi-aggressive and not coral-safe, but because they are young, they can still be kept with larger, but worm-free, invertebrates.
The best way to reduce aggression is to create various caves and hiding places throughout the tank. In addition, some people have had success with this fish and coral by keeping large numbers of corals.
5. Angelfish Annularis
While many angelfish lose most of their beauty as they grow from their juvenile stage, the beauty of this angelfish is enhanced with age. While juveniles have various charming and undulating blue stripes, the adults have a unique orange/tanned body that makes their blue stripes glow.
These angelfish are about a foot in size and require an aquarium of at least 220 gallons. There are several captive-bred specimens and color variations available.
They can become territorial once introduced, so it is best to introduce them one last time to the community aquarium. Additionally, they are not considered safe for coral reefs or sessile invertebrates.
4. Lagoon Triggerfish
The Lagoon Triggerfish is one of the most striking stork fish available. They have light gray or tan bodies with a series of gray, blue, green, and black stripes. Despite the fact that they have grown to 10", they are relatively simple to care for.
They need a tank of at least 180 gallons and cannot be kept in a reef tank. These fish tend to spoil the tank a bit, rearranging decorations and live rock the way they want, or just knocking them over.
Just like puffer fish, stork's teeth are constantly growing, so they need a steady diet of shellfish, rich in protein. Clams are essential for keeping their teeth, but they should also be fed fish, squid, krill and shrimp.
3. Crosshatch Triggerfish
The cross-shot stork has a striking yellow body with a diagonal brown sapphire face. Scales have a black border, giving the appearance. They measure 11 inches and require a 180-gallon aquarium.
If male, the dorsal and anal fins are round yellow, the caudal fin has red and pink edges. On the other hand, females have red anal and dorsal fins with yellow caudal fins. For both sexes, the inner surface of the fins is grey.
The behavior and diet of this fish is essentially the same as that of the Lagoon Triggerfish, as this fish also requires a meaty diet and will butt into rocks. Although they can be a bit destructive, they still need stones and decorations to feel safe.
2. Clown Triggerfish
Clownfish are unique due to their dynamic differences in color and pattern. While other gorgeous fish come in a wide range of colors and mosaic patterns, this fish has brilliant white and yellow spots on its black body.
This stork fish is no exception with the boisterous and mischievous nature of other storks. This fish will also smash up all the rocks and decorations, rearrange them to its liking, then repeat.
It is also necessary to feed hard, protein-rich foods, as this fish is a carnivore with ever-growing teeth. It is larger than the aforementioned species, growing to over a foot and a half in length, so a tank of at least 300 gallons is required to keep this fish.
1. Mandarin Fish
Until we discover a new species, trout will always be considered the most beautiful fish. Another name for this fish is the psychedelic goby, and for good reason, due to its energetic and hypnotic appeal.
There are several color varieties of this fish, although most compete for popularity and coloration (with the exception of the spotted crowfish). Unfortunately, these fish are extremely difficult to care for, despite their small size of 4 inches.
The main problem with these people is feeding. Normally they only eat arthropods, but in an aquarium environment we simply cannot provide them with an adequate food source. Some were lucky enough to feed them newly hatched brine shrimp and California blackworms.
If you have the opportunity and ability to keep one or more of these beauties, you definitely should. As far as we know, there's nothing more gorgeous or glamorous out there.
From the famous freshwater angelfish to the spectacular Mandarin fish, the oceans and lakes of our world are filled with thousands of beautiful and colorful fish.
What's even better is that many of these fish can be kept in a home aquarium.
While the list above is by no means exhaustive (there are hundreds of more amazing fish out there!), we hope you've enjoyed some of our top picks. If you feel like we've missed out on any notable species, feel free to email us with some of your favorites!
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