Whether you are a parent who is tired of fighting a pet-loving kid or an animal lover who wants a pet but simply doesn’t have the time or energy for a cat or dog, you may find yourself considering fish ownership. However, many species of fish actually rank among the most difficult animals to care for, requiring expensive aquarium setups, precise temperature ranges, and detailed feeding instructions.
If you’re looking for a fish that is easy to keep in a small aquarium or even a bowl, read on to learn about five hearty species that don’t need much in terms of daily care. Otherwise, you might find your new pet floating on top of the water, passing long before its time!
While fancier goldfish with unusual body shapes are more appropriate for intermediate fish-keepers, A standard goldfish (Carassius auratus) with a relatively long body is great for people of all ages and levels of expertise and commitment. While many people keep this classic starter pet in a bowl, but they can live far longer (up to 10 years!) in a proper aquarium. If gold isn’t your color, remember that “goldfish” is a species name, not a color description. Goldfish actually come in a variety of colors including white, orange, and black.
2. Betta Fish
Like the goldfish, the betta fish can live for quite some time in a small bowl, but it thrives in a simple circulating aquarium. Because males of the species tend to fight one another, beginners should start with a single betta in its own tank. While males should generally be kept separate, owners may ultimately choose to keep multiple female bettas together. As long as bettas are kept in conditioned water that is no colder than 76°F, they are generally easy to care for and quite engaged with their owners and surroundings.
3. Neon Tetras
Although water pH levels are of more concern to neon tetras, both genders of this fish can easily be kept in groups of six or more. Quite small in size, they make great additions to virtually any multi-species freshwater aquarium, no matter how diverse, without negatively impacting water quality. Neon tetras are also quite easy to breed in captivity, but owners should take great care to look for missing gill covers, misshapen fins, asymmetrical mouths, and other signs of inbreeding.
Similar to guppies, mollies can live in many different environments and under many different conditions. As long as their water temperature is between 72°F and 78°F, they generally thrive as long as they are fed regularly, and their aquarium is kept clean. Like other live-breeding fish species, they also reproduce relatively fast, so if you get more than one, you may see fish babies quite quickly. Although they eat almost anything, owners should primarily feed them algae and other plant-based foods.
If you really don’t want to keep a close eye on your water temperature, the zebrafish might just be the species for you. These fish do quite well in waters of 64°F and even lower, which means people in relatively warm climates might not even need to run an aquarium heater. Like mollies, they also eat a broad spectrum of food.