6 Most Colorful Freshwater Fish & How to Care For Them


Thank you to Robert Woods from Fishkeeping World for sharing some insight on how to properly care for fish and the best type for your home and tank. 

Whether you’re new to fish keeping or have years of experience, seeing colorful fish swimming around an aquarium is a really satisfying and relaxing experience. In this article, Robert Woods from Fishkeeping World is going to take us through six of the most colorful fish for a freshwater aquarium.

As well as taking a look at the most colorful fish, he will also take you through how to care for them properly, the correct tank size, and what to feed them.

Betta Fish

Betta fish are one of the most popular beginner freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby. They come in almost every single color imaginable and have a range of long flowing fins and tail shapes. Not only are the colorful, but they’re also really easy to care for and don’t need much space.

Most people choose to keep one single male Betta because they are more colorful than their female counterparts. Males can also be aggressive to one another so it’s much easier to just keep one on his own.

These fish need a minimum tank size of 5 gallons, they’ll need a few plants (either live or artificial) and they enjoy an omnivorous diet of plants and animal-based foods.

Discus Fish

Another species of fish which comes in hundreds of different color forms is the Discus fish. These fish can grow up to six inches in length and therefore need a mid-sized aquarium which is at least 25 gallons.

Keeping a group of these graceful fish together can look quite spectacular, however, they should not be attempted to be cared for by beginners. Instead, you must have a few years’ worth of fish keeping experience, and understand how to properly look after water parameters.

If you’re an experienced aquarist looking for a colorful fish, a group of these will be perfect for you. They are carnivorous so will need a varied meaty diet with a variation of live and frozen foods.


This lively little fish is great for beginners and those that want to turn their hand to breeding. They can live in a range of water conditions, which is one of the reasons they are so popular and easy to care for.

You can keep one guppy per gallon of water, and make sure you keep at least 5 guppies together to help them feel at home.

As with Bettas, the males are much more vibrantly colored than the females and these fish can be kept together in a group of males.

They are omnivores so will need a good mix of plant-based and protein-based foods, the most popular choice is to feed them a flake diet with the occasional live or frozen treat.

Cherry Barb

This beautiful redfish is peaceful and reaches are 2 inches in length once fully grown. They are hardy so make ideal beginner fish to keep.

They like well-planted tanks and will thrive in a school of at least 5 Barbs. They should be kept in a tank which is at least 25 gallons, allowing 5 gallons per fish, they should not be kept on their own.

Cherry Barbs are great community fish and can be kept with a whole range of other peaceful community species such as tetras and rasboras.

They are not a picky fish and will eat pretty much anything they can get, including flake foods, live foods, and plants.


Again, this is another fish which comes in every color of the rainbow, and they are extremely popular with beginner aquarists due to their hardiness and ease of care.

They get on well with other community fish such as guppies and mollies and should be kept in a group. You can keep 5 platies in a 10-gallon aquarium.

They are technically omnivores; however, they need a much larger percentage of plant-based foods over meats.


There are over 700 species of Killifish so you can only begin to imagine the different patterns and colors they are available in.

Killifish are peaceful community fish and can be housed with other non-aggressive fish as long as you only keep one male per tank. Males tend to be aggressive with each other.

 Most species are carnivores and enjoy a diet of meaty based foods such as worms, insect larvae, and crustaceans.

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