Best Fishes for Your Planted Aquarium


According to some statistics, there are more than 33,000 species of fish in the world. What’s interesting is that the number of species is growing every year because it seems that the rivers, lakes, seas and oceans are still not explored completely.

If you have a planted aquarium and you want to populate it with fish, you should know that not all species of fish can live in such aquarium. However, this should not cause any concerns because there are still thousands of fish to choose from. In this article, we will highlight some of the most popular fish for planted aquariums.

Before we go into details, we should mention that your final decision should depend on a few different factors like the size of the fish and the size of the tank for example. Now let’s check some of the best fishes for planted aquariums.

Dwarf Gourami


We will start this list with an exotic fish that can be found in thousands of planted tanks around the globe. They are known for their interesting colors that cause reflections in the water and their unique character. Even though they are called dwarves they are actually large for standard planted aquariums. They are about two inches long, but there are examples of 3-inches long dwarf gourami. In any case, they should be kept in larger planted aquariums. Their blue and red color will bring contrast to the green planted aquarium and you should feel free to keep them with other species of fish because they are usually not aggressive.

Swordtail fish

sword-tail-fishThis species of fish are livebearers and this is just one of the things that make them unique. Many people keep them because they are highly adaptable. So, it doesn’t really matter what kind of plants or water parameters you have in your planted aquarium, it’s very likely that these fish will get adjusted easily. Another great feature of swordtail fish is that they come in many different colors from birth red and green to yellow, orange and black. They will certainly make the aquarium lively and they won’t cause problems to any of the plants you have.

Rainbow fish

Rainbow fish have reached record high level of popularity in the last five years among aquarium enthusiasts. Their distinctive bright colors that reflect aquarium lighting and natural light is their special feature. The plants in the aquarium are more or less static, but with the help of the rainbow fish, everything will be changed. They can be a little bit expensive, but it is worth buying them because they are very strong.

Harlequin tetras


Harlequin tetras are another good example of great fish suitable for planted tanks. They come in small size and special reflective coloration. They usually don’t grow for more than one inch and live for ten years. Their sheen has an exotic rose color and they also have a dark line on their back in the form of the letter L. They are great community species and they can live in almost any planted aquarium.

Ember tetra


Yet another species of fish found in a huge number of modern planted aquariums. They are easily recognizable due to their bright orange color and the small size which almost never exceed one inch in length. Even if you buy a few of them, your aquarium will still look large. Ember tetras usually swim in schools creating bright straight trails. They thrive in environments with low pH value.

Chili Rasbora

chili-rasbora-fishIn case you want to make your planted aquarium look more exotic, then you can’t go wrong with the Chili Rasbora. Just like most of the fish on this list, they are quite small and they have special red coloration that makes them more interesting. One of the best things about them is their natural ability for almost ideal schooling. If you have a large planted aquarium, don’t hesitate to buy between 12 and 15 of these fish and enjoy their movement. The trailing effects they provide are amazing. It is not easy to find chili rasbora, but they are worth the money. Don’t forget that they should be the only species you keep in your aquarium.


This is another example of species of fish that has unique properties. Discus are naturally found in the Amazon and they are best-known for the bright coloration. They have developed this feature in order to find partners to procreate. These fish are fond of the environment with low pH value. The only downside is that discus fish grow large, so if you are planning on having some of these fish, it’s better to have an aquarium that has a capacity of 100 gallons or more. Due to their size, they can make your tank look smaller.

Angel fish


Angel fish have been around for some time. From the moment they’ve become available to aquarium enthusiasts, they have become an instant hit. These fish are a little bit sensitive when we compare them to most of the species on this list at least when it comes to water quality changes. It’s the best idea to use a valve that is able to stop the CO2 presence at night. The ordinary angel fish can grow a little bit large, so it’s best to keep them in large planted aquariums. There are some subspecies that are smaller.

Neon tetras (aka Cardinal Tetras)

The aquarium community has always been fond of cardinal tetras. This specific type of tetras is popular mostly because of the beautiful bright color. Their body is marked with a bright line that goes parallel to a deep red stripe. In case you want to add color to your aquarium, you can count on cardinal tetras. Cardinal tetras are probably the tetras with the longest lifespan. Keep between 10 and 15 cardinal tetras in a planted aquarium with a capacity of t least 55 gallons. In most cases, Cardinals will grow between 1 and 1.5 inches.

We hope that this guide will help you find the best fish for your planted aquariums. Thanks for reading!


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