Best Schooling Fish for Small Aquariums: 11 Top Choices

If you’re interested in starting a small aquarium, adding schooling fish is a great way to enhance the visual appeal of your tank.

However, not all Fish are suitable for small tanks, and choosing the right species for your aquarium is essential.

In this article, we’ll go over 11 top choices for schooling fish in small aquariums.

Here they are;

  1. Neon Tetras
  2. Betta Fish
  3. Guppies
  4. Harlequin Rasboras
  5. Endler’s Livebearers
  6. Chili Rasboras
  7. Pygmy Corydoras
  8. Sparkling Gouramis
  9. Celestial Pearl Danios
  10. Scarlet Badis
  11. Endler’s Guppies

Neon Tetras

Neon Tetra
Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are popular for small aquariums due to their stunning colors and easy care.

These fish are schooling by nature, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least six.

They do well in soft to slightly hard water and prefer a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5. Neon Tetras have an average lifespan of around five years, but they can live up to ten years with proper care.

Betta Fish

Temperature For Betta Fish - Add Some Aquarium Salt
Blue Betta Fish

Betta Fish are known for their vivid colors and unique personalities, making them a popular choice for small aquariums.

They’re labyrinth fish, meaning they have a special organ that allows them to breathe air from the surface, but it’s essential to use a filter to maintain good water quality.

Betta Fish prefers a varied diet that includes pellets, flakes, and frozen or live food.

Guppies

Guppies are easy to care for and come in various colorful varieties, making them a popular choice for small aquariums.

These social Fish should be kept in groups of at least three to four, but keeping your tank manageable is essential.

The general rule of thumb is to have no more than one inch of Fish per gallon of water. Therefore, a 10-gallon tank can house up to ten Guppies.

Harlequin Rasboras

Rasbora schooling fish for 15 gallon tank
Rasboras schooling

Harlequin Rasboras are small, peaceful Fish that make excellent tankmates for other temperate species.

However, they’re schooling Fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least six.

Harlequin Rasboras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5.

They also enjoy hiding places, so ensure they have plenty of plants or decorations.

Endler’s Livebearers

Endler’s Livebearers are a smaller version of Guppies known for their bright colors and striking patterns.

They’re active, easy to care for, and prefer slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water with a pH range between 6.5 and 8.0.

Endler’s Livebearers are hardy Fish and can tolerate various water conditions.

Chili Rasboras

Chili Rasboras are tiny, peaceful Fish that make a great addition to small aquariums. They’re schooling Fish, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least six.

Chili Rasboras prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5.

They also enjoy hiding places and plants, so provide them with enough cover.

Pygmy Corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras are a smaller version of the famous Corydoras catfish and make great bottom-dwellers in small aquariums.

They’re peaceful Fish that are easy to care for and should be kept in groups of at least six.

Pygmy Corydoras prefer soft to slightly hard water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5.

It’s recommended to use a soft substrate like Fluval Stratum and provide them with hiding places.

Sparkling Gouramis

Sparkling Gouramis are small, peaceful Fish that add a touch of elegance to small aquariums.

They’re known for their vibrant colors and sparkling scales and prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5.

Sparkling Gouramis are labyrinth fish and can breathe air from the surface, but a filter is still necessary to maintain good water quality.

Celestial Pearl Danios

Celestial Pearl Danios, also known as Galaxy Rasboras, are colorful and active Fish that make great schooling fish for small aquariums.

They prefer soft to slightly hard water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5 and are peaceful enough to be kept with other peaceful species.

Scarlet Badis

Scarlet Badis are small, colorful Fish that are perfect for small aquariums.

They’re peaceful by nature and can be kept with other temperate species.

Scarlet Badis prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.5.

They also enjoy hiding places and substrate, so using a soft substrate like Fluval Stratum is recommended.

Endler’s Guppies

Endler’s Guppies are a smaller and more colorful version of Guppies and are easy to care for in small aquariums.

They prefer slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water with a pH range between 6.5 and 8.0 and enjoy a varied diet that includes flakes, pellets, and live or frozen food.

In conclusion, adding schooling fish to small aquariums can add visual appeal and interest to your tank.

When choosing Fish for your aquarium, it’s essential to consider their size, behavior, and compatibility with other species.

In addition, good water quality is vital, so using the best aquarium filter for your tank size is essential.

With proper care, these top choices for schooling fish can provide your small aquarium with hours of entertainment and beauty.

Now that you’ve explored the fascinating world of schooling fish, it’s time to dive even deeper into this captivating topic!

Here are some articles to help you expand your knowledge and discover more about the best schooling fish for various aquarium sizes and setups:

  1.  Best Schooling Fish for 5-Gallon Tank: Learn about the perfect schooling fish options for a compact 5-gallon aquarium.
  2.  Best Schooling Fish for 10-Gallon Tank: Explore a variety of schooling fish that thrive in a 10-gallon tank, adding life and movement to your setup.
  3. Best Schooling Fish for 20-Gallon Tank: Discover the ideal schooling fish for a 20-gallon aquarium, creating a mesmerizing underwater display.
  4. Best Schooling Fish for 30-Gallon Tank: Enhance your 30-gallon tank with a selection of schooling fish suitable for this size.
  5. Best Schooling Fish for 40-Gallon Tank: Uncover the top schooling fish choices for a 40-gallon aquarium, adding color and dynamism to your setup.
  6. Best Schooling Fish for 55-Gallon Tank: Find out which schooling fish will make your 55-gallon tank an aquatic wonderland.
  7. Best Schooling Fish for Aquariums: Get an overview of the most popular and best-suited schooling fish for various aquarium types.
  8. Best Schooling Fish for Community Tank: Discover the ideal schooling fish that can peacefully coexist with other species in a community tank setup.
  9. Best Schooling Fish for Planted Tank: Learn about the perfect schooling fish that will complement and thrive in a lush planted aquarium environment.
  10. Bottom-Dwelling Schooling Fish: Explore the world of bottom-dwelling schooling fish, adding diversity and intrigue to your aquarium floor.
  11. Mid-Level Schooling Fish: Dive into the realm of mid-level schooling fish, which bring balance and movement to the middle section of your tank.
  12. Schooling Fish for Small Aquariums: Uncover the best schooling fish options for small tanks, maximizing beauty without overwhelming your space.
  13. Top-Dwelling Schooling Fish: Learn about the fascinating top-dwelling schooling fish that will enhance the surface of your aquarium with their captivating behavior.

By exploring these resources, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of schooling fish, their care requirements, and the most suitable options for different aquarium setups. 

As you continue to learn, you’ll be able to create the perfect aquatic environment for your schooling fish to thrive in.

So, immerse yourself in the captivating world of schooling fish today!

Jack Dempsey
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