Photo:  L Natividad  | Pexels

Freshwater fishkeeping as a hobby has endured the test of time and Singapore, one of the world’s leading exporters of ornamental fish, has plenty of thriving aquarium shops in neighbourhood housing estates, to get you raring into this great pastime.

If you’re getting into freshwater aquariums for the first time, it can be intimidating to know which fish to pick. Ideally, you want something hardy, budget-friendly, and colourful with an interesting personality to boot. Check with your fish or pet retailer as to the best mix of species before you dive in as not all fishes play well together.

For inspiration, check out our list of 10 types of freshwater aquarium fish (in no particular order) that make a great addition to any aquarium. They are perfect for both beginners and advanced fishkeepers alike. 


Photo: SSeengam|Pixabay

No other fish require as little of an introduction as the Betta fish. Flashy and hardy, they are beautiful to watch. However best to leave them alone in the tank as they are always fighting, and their long beautiful fins can be damaged by other fishes.




Photo: HDiesel|Pixabay

The goldfish is the perfect go-to beginner fish for people looking to start an aquarium. Give them space, show them some love and they can sometimes live for up to 10 years! Having more than 30 or more to choose from, they are a great choice for the newbie.



Photo: Zucky123|Pixabay

With almost 300 varieties of Guppies that come in all types of shapes, colours, sizes and tail shapes, it is safe to say that if you decide to have a tank filled with Guppies you are going to have numerous choices to choose from. Peaceful and active, they are great to have in any freshwater tank.



Photo: Wikimedia

One of the most challenging on the list, the Arowana is not a fish for the beginner and will be a true test of commitment. Finding a suitable tank will be the first on the list as a well-cared-for Arowana can live at times up to or more than 20 years. However, this breed of fish is often seen as the crème de la crème with their beauty and grace being the centre of attention in most rooms.


Photo: Navin Rai | Unsplash

Once the hottest thing in Singapore, the Flowerhorn Fish is another challenging fish for fish owners.

Best known by their bulged head it has certainly turned into an icon. Aggressive by nature, they are best kept alone most of the time. Being a man-made species, this breed can only be found in homes although some have been released in the wild.





Photo: A.Monpli | Wikimedia

When placed together, this breed of fish is magnificent in any tank. With their striking bright orange-red look a sight to behold. When well cared for, these fishes can sometimes last up to 15 years. Although generally peaceful, they have been known to be aggressive under stressful conditions.



Photo: Green Yoshi | Wikimedia

“The Kissing Fish” as most parents tell their children, have pouty lips that are a cute addition to have in the tank. Slightly less common than their common counterpart the Dwarf Gourami, the Kissing Gourami’s “kissing” signature is actually a sign of aggressive competition for territory.



Photo: SJ Cho | Unsplash

The go-to fish in most aquariums. Easy to maintain and depending on the breed, can be incredibly stunning in appearance. It’s a case of “the more, the merrier” with Tetras. The specific difference in colour with Tetras are a big indicator of each specific type.



Photo: Wikimedia

Peaceful by nature, the Black Molly is perfect if you are planning to fill a tank with numerous other fishes. They adapt well without much effort. Just be sure to keep an eye out on these little fellas as the parents tend to eat their young!



Photo: F AlAni | Pexels

With a wing-like shape on their fins, their beauty is admired in most fishkeeping tanks. Due to their appearance, ease of care and mild aggression, they are a popular breed and can be found in most shops.

Looking like an arrowhead, they are oftentimes collected for their unique colours that sometimes resemble goldfishes or koi.