16 Most Beautiful & Colorful Freshwater Fish in World (Care Guide Included)

Colorful freshwater fish
By Subhash Das Updated

Have you ever thought why aquarists collect colorful freshwater fish from rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds? Is it just a hobby or are there some other reasons behind it? Let us tell you, it’s not only a pastime but there are some other reasons behind collecting colorful freshwater fish in an aquarium.

Some fishkeepers collect such fish breeds in their tank to enhance the beauty of their house and others love to delight their children by bringing these aquatic companions to your fish home. However, the most important reason behind it is stress-relief and mood-boosting power which the colorful fish have.

You will often find hospitals and clinics keep colorful fish in their aquariums in order to relieve the stress of their patients. Some people keep those fish in their bedrooms because looking at the colors and activities of those colorful fish satisfies their mental anxiety and helps them sleep well. Other bring pet fish to bring prosperity in their life as per Feng Shui.

Adorable Colorful Freshwater Fish

Brighten up your tropical tank with these vivacious and colorful freshwater fish that are popular and which are known for enhancing the beauty of your house and the small aquatic world. Just know the exact way to take care of some colorful freshwater fish that you may keep in your home and office.

01

Discus

Discus Fish

Specifications

  • Origin: Amazon River Basin (South America)
  • Size: 6.5” (16.5-20.3 cm)
  • Tank Size: 30-40 gallons
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Care Level: Moderate

You will find this amazing colorful freshwater fish in blue, red, green, golden yellow, white, orange and turquoise color. Also, this fish comes in an array of patterns and its body is oval in shape.

This genus of Cichlid fish is native to the Amazon River Basin in South America. You will also find this fish in the rivers and streams near Asian countries.

Most of the fish hobbyists pet Discus Fish because of its striking colors and bright striped patterns but it is recommended to be kept in the fish tank of intermediate aquarist because novice fishkeepers won’t be able to tackle this fish because of its complex feeding habit.

This fish likes dense foliage and natural environment, so keep green plants, driftwoods and hiding place in the house of this fish. It likes consuming worms, shrimps and other live foods.

02

Gourami Fish

Gourami Fish

Specifications

  • Origin: Rivers Near Pakistan, India, Korea, and Bangladesh  
  • Size: 2” (5.08 cm)  
  • Tank Size: 5-10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Care Level: Easy

Gourami fish can live both in freshwater and saltwater aquarium which is one of the reasons that fishkeepers like keeping this fish. There are different types of fish in Gourami family and all of them are dissimilar to each other in their looks, patterns, and colors which are eye-catching to the fish hobbyists. Aquarists prefer petting male Gouramis because females are pale in their colors and patterns, as males are lively and attractive.

You will get Gouramis in different colors like orange, blue, yellow, pink, purple, silvery-green, black, ash, chocolate brown, white, etc. Therefore, you can add any Gourami fish to your aquatic world as per your favorite shade.

It is easy to keep Gourami fish because of its peaceful and adjustable nature. You just have to keep clean aerated water and freshwater plants in the tank for the comfort of Gourami fish. Moreover, you can feel live foods, fresh foods, and frozen foods to this omnivoros fish.

03

German Blue Ram

German Blue Ram

Specifications

  • Origin: Savannah Grassland of Central Orinoco Drainage (Columbia)
  • Size: 2” (5.08 cm)
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Care Level: Moderate

The fluorescent blue dots and yellow-orange body of German Blue Ram are often admired by fish enthusiasts because this fish can be a great ecstasy for an aquarium. Its dazzling shades and patterns attract fishkeepers. Moreover, its social and passive nature makes it compatible with other species.

This omnivoros fish is picky eater, so you cannot feed every type of foods to this fish. You need to know the special dietary requirements of Blue Ram before setting its diet. Therefore, it is quite challenging to find accurate foods for this blue-shaded peaceful fish, so it will be better if experienced aquarists keep this fish in their aquarium.

04

Neon Tetra

Multicolored Neon Tetra

Specifications

  • Origin: South America, Western Brazil, Eastern Peru, and South-Eastern Columbia
  • Size: 1.5” (4 cm)
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Care Level: Easy

This colorful freshwater fish is translucent and bicolored with the mixture of silver and reddish shades that dazzles like a diamond. Tetras prefer dwelling in a shoal of fish, so when they swim together in an aquarium, the shimmering effect of their bright body gleams the water of the entire fish home.

This is the reason fish hobbyists loves keeping this fish in their aquarium. Moreover, this schooling fish is adaptable, friendly and peaceful in nature is liked by both the beginner and experienced aquarists.

Neon Tetra is also a picky eater, so you have to give special attention to its diet necessity. However, this omnivorous fish loves eating both fresh and dried foods. You just have to maintain the quantity for feeding them.

Don’t cycle the tank of this fish too much because it feels uncomfortable and stressful in that process. Just arrange a 10-gallon tank that is adorned with live plants and the water temperature of the tank should be maintained.

05

Killifish

Killifish

Specifications

  • Origin: North America  
  • Size: 1-6” (2-9 cm)
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Lifespan: 5 years 
  • Care Level: Moderate-Hard

The vibrant shades and dots on the body of Killifish make it appealing to the eyes of the fishkeepers. People who love watching flamboyant species in their aquarium, Killifish is a perfect choice for them. You will find this fish in yellow, blue, red, silver, orange, brown and green.

Killies are generally found in the shallow water of sub-tropical rivers, so a natural ambience with full of live plants and aerated water is loved by this fish. However, novice aquarists should not adopt Killifish for their tank because it has an aggressive temperament and it is not easy to breed.

Also, you have to be very cautious in choosing tankmates for this fish. This fish prefers eating meaty foods, so never keep small and peaceful fish with it.

06

Endler’s Livebearer

Endler’s Livebearer

Specifications

  • Origin: Buena Vista Lagoons of Carupano, Campoma, and Northeastern Venezuela  
  • Size: 1.8” (4.57 cm)
  • Tank Size: 5-10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Care Level: Easy

There are multiple livebearers in the family of Endler’s Livebearer fish that are found in different exotic shades like orange, metallic green, teal, black, bright red and electric blue.

You don’t need to set a specific soft water tank for this adaptable and peaceful fish because this fish can also dwell in a hard water tank. Endler’s Livebearer is not a schooling fish, but you can keep them with a shoal of Livebearers or other peaceful water species.

This omnivoros fish likes consuming both vegetative foods, algae and meaty foods like insects and worms. Their friendly nature and bright colors are loved by the aquarists. Moreover, this fish has a very interesting nature, it bears eggs till it is developed in its womb and it gives birth to live fry. This nature is quite different from other fish breeds.

07

Boeseman’s Rainbowfish

Boseman’s Rainbow Fish

Specifications

  • Origin: Guinea, Indonesia, Northern, and Eastern Australia 
  • Size: 4” (10 cm)
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Care Level: Easy to Moderate

This colorful freshwater fish is known as rainbow fish because of the multiple shades on its body. Boseman’s Rainbowfish is liked by fish hobbyists because of its stunning coloration and patterns. Most of these fish are silvery-gold and orange-red in color.

This active and peaceful fish is found in the lakes and streams which is why it needs a large tank to live. Moreover, it is an extremely shy breed, so it needs some hiding places like caves and dense herbs to hide. You can feed crustaceans, algae, plant leaves and other aquatic insects to this omnivoros fish.

08

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb

Specifications

  • Origin: Sri Lanka 
  • Size: 2” (5.08 cm) 
  • Tank Size: 25 gallons
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Care Level: Easy

Unique in its coloration and attractive in its shape, Cherry Barb is one of the most beautiful bright fish of freshwater aquarium. Usually, it is silver or white in color but during the spawning process, its color changes into bright cherry red as per its name.

This peaceful fish is beginner-friendly and easy to care because this omnivoros fish is not a picky eater and you don’t need to provide special food to this breed.

You only need to arrange a spacious fish tank for this stunning fish with a shoal of Barbs because it becomes uncomfortable when it lives alone. Moreover, it is an eco-friendly fish so set a natural environment with live plants, driftwoods, and fine rocks in the fish home.

09

Fantail Guppy

Fantail Guppy

Specifications

  • Origin: Brazil, Barbados, Tobago, Netherland Antilles, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Guyana
  • Size: 06-2.4” (1.5-6.9 cm)
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Care Level: Easy

If hobbyists want to add some bright colors to their tank then Fantail Guppy is the best choice for them. This cute colorful freshwater fish has a flamboyant colored body and beautiful flowery fan-shaped fins and tails that are multi-shaded. Although small in size, this fish can be a real beauty in your tropical fish tank.

This is a schooling fish and is also active with other schooling fish breeds that have peaceful temperament. This omnivoros fish likes eating tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, algae, Bloodworms, and brine shrimps. You just need a small aquarium for the little guppies.

10

Electric Blue Hap

Electric Blue Hap

Specifications

  • Origin: Africa 
  • Size: 6.5” (16.51 cm)
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Care Level: Easy

Aquarists first founded this metallic blue Electric Blue Hap in the big lake of Africa, the Lake Malawi. The shade of the female fish is gray-silver tone and the shade of the make is metallic blue. The tail of this fish is forked-shaped and the fins of this fish are small and cute.

You can keep 3-6 females and one male together in a 55-gallon aquarium because this is a schooling fish and it likes the company of other active and social fish. This omnivoros fish can eat live foods, fresh foods, dry foods, and pellets, so it is not a picky eater. If you are a beginner then you can keep this fish in your aquarium because this fish is a peaceful fish that is easy to care.

11

Flowerhorn Cichlid

Flowerhorn Cichlid

Specifications

  • Origin: Central America and Malaysia
  • Size: 12” (30 cm)
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Care Level: Moderate

This freshwater fish is extremely active and it is attractive for its nuchal hump and reddish color with black bands on its body. The variegated pattern and cute plump body of this fish are often adorable in the eyes of fishkeepers. Especially, the hump of this cute chubby fish makes it different from other species.

This carnivoros fish prefers eating worms and shrimps. It is not very easy to breed Flowerhorn Cichlid because it is a picky eater and doesn’t like consuming frozen foods. Moreover, it is important to take care of its tank requirements because it needs much space to dwell comfortably. Beside that this fish is aggressive in nature so you cannot keep it with every aquatic species that are small in size or peaceful.

12

Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio

Specifications

  • Origin: Myanmar
  • Size: 2.5” (6.35 cm)
  • Tank Size:  10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 5.5 years
  • Care Level: Easy

The horizontal black stripes on the turquoise body of this freshwater fish makes it colorful and attractive. You will also get other shades of this fish such as golden, silver, white, indigo and green. Zebra Danio provides excellent divergence to the tank than other freshwater fish. Therefore, fish enthusiasts like adorning their tank by keeping this fish.

You can feed algae, worms, shrimps, leaves and mosquito larvae to this omnivoros fish. Its peaceful and friendly nature makes it perfect for the beginner’s tank.

13

Oscars

Oscars fish

Specifications

  • Origin: US, China, and Australia
  • Size: 22” (55.88 cm)
  • Tank Size: 55+ gallons 
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years
  • Care Level: Moderate-Hard

Oscars belong to Cichlid family and these fish have different colors like black, blue, white, red, lemon green, albino shaded and golden. This fish is famous for its intellectual nature of understanding human sign language and social nature. However, it is quite complicated to keep this fish because of its aggressive nature. You can feed meaty foods to this carnivoros fish.

14

Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora

Specifications

  • Origin: South America, Malaysia
  • Size: 2” (5.08 cm)
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Care Level: Easy

If you are looking for both peaceful and colorful freshwater fish with easy-to-handle nature then honestly Harlequin Rasbora is one of the best fish breeds found in rivers and ponds. This silvery-orange fish is native to the blackwater of South America and other Asian countries.

Rasboras are omnivoros fish that loves eating both meaty and vegetative foods and it is not a picky eater. Hence, hobbyists don’t need to worry about its food much.

15

Florida Flag Fish

Florida Flag Fish

Specifications

  • Origin: Florida
  • Size: 2” (5 cm)
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Lifespan: 2-3 years
  • Care Level: Moderate

Native to Florida, this bright fish has iridescent speckles in its body, and you will find different colors of flag fish such as dark blue, green, bright red and golden. Only intermediate aquarists can pet this fish because this aggressive fish is neither social not it is easy to breed.

You can keep it with six companions but the tank must be larger. Meaty foods like worms and insects are favorite foods of this insectivore fish.

16

Betta Fish

Betta Fish

Specifications

  • Origin: Cambodia, Myanmar 
  • Size: 2-3” (5.08-7.62 cm)
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Lifespan: 3-5 years
  • Care Level: Easy-Moderate

This vibrant-shaded colorful freshwater fish is found in different colors like copper, dark blue, yellow, orange and red. Fishkeepers love its flamboyant colors, flowery tail, and beautiful fins. The royal appearance of this tropical fish may adorn your fish world.

Some Bettas are aggressive and some are peaceful. Therefore, it is necessary to choose proper tankmates for this fish to keep it calm by following its nature.

Feed meaty foods to your pet Betta because such foods will help to brighten the colors of the fish. Also, try to provide comfort to this beautiful fish by keeping live freshwater plants in its tank.

After discussing vividly the colorful freshwater fish, for sure you have acquired knowledge about your favorite aquatic companions. So, if you want to pet them then acquire more information to take care of these aquatic species.

Know about Other Popular Aquarium Fish

There are millions of fish breeds globally and among them, some are popular and loved by aquarists. So, they want to collect those species. You can also collect them by acquiring some interesting facts about those species.