Low-Maintenance Pet Fish to Start Small Aquarium

Are you passionate about keeping low-maintenance pet fish in a small fish tank? Or do you want to try keeping fish at the office? It is not unrealistic. You can make it a reality, exactly. Just take action! However, what are low-maintenance fish? If you have no ideas, do not hurry, this article will guide you to learn more about low-maintenance fish. Without any ado, let’s get started!

Content Table

Low-maintenance pet fish

Low-maintenance fish are those that need less care and have great adaptability. They can survive without meticulous care. Dwarf gourami, glofish, goldfish, and dwarf otocinclus for example, are low-maintenance fish. In this part, we will briefly introduce some low-maintenance fish.

1. Molly

Mollies are tropical freshwater fish, and they fancy slow-moving water. Though there are many different colors, patterns, and tail shapes of mollies, most mollies are with flat bodies and short fins.

Origin Central America/ Southern United States
Family Poeciliidae
Temperament peaceful
Size 3.5-4.5 inches
Lifespan 3–5 years
Water temperature 72-78℉
pH level 7.5-8.5
Minimum tank size 10 gallon

2. Guppy

Guppies are tropical freshwater fish and prefer sluggish water. With colorful and slim bodies, guppies also have attractive fins and beautiful tails. Besides, guppies possess great fertility.

Origin South America
Family Poeciliidae
Temperament peaceful
Size 1.5-2.5 inches
Lifespan 1–3 years
Water temperature 72-82℉
pH level 7.0-8.0
Minimum tank size 5 gallon

3. Betta

Bettas are tropical freshwater fish and they enjoy slow-moving water. There are surprising types of bettas, varying tail sizes and shapes, as well as colors. And betta fish can be trained to play easy tricks.

Origin Southeast Asia
Family Osphronemidae
Temperament aggressive
Size 2.25 inches
Lifespan 2–5 years
Water temperature 75-80℉
pH level 6.5-8
Minimum tank size 5 gallon

4. Platy

Platy fish are freshwater fish, and they like slow-flowing water. The platyfish are in various colors, such as red, yellow, and rainbow.

Origin Central America/ Southern Mexico
Family Poeciliidae
Temperament peaceful
2–3 inches
Lifespan 3–4 years
Water temperature 70-82℉
pH level 6.8-8.0
Minimum tank size 10 gallon

5. Tetra

Tetras are popular freshwater fish, and they feel comfortable in slow currents. And they have more than 150 tetra species, like neon tetra, cardinal tetra, and green tetra.

Origin South America/ Central America/Africa
Family Characidae/ Alestiidae/ Lebiasinidae
Temperament most are peaceful
Size 1.5-2 inches
Lifespan 5–8 years
Water temperature 75-80℉
pH level 6.8-7.8
Minimum tank size 10 gallon

Pet fish to keep at the office

A small aquarium or a fish bowl is an excellent option for keeping fish in the office. But which fish is better? Specifically, this segment will share some fish that can be kept at the office. They need low maintenance and survive in small aquariums. Let’s take a look!

1. Neon tetra

Water temperature 75-80℉
pH level 6.8-7.8
Minimum tank size 10 gallon
Aquarium heater needed
Aquarium light not necessary
Aquarium filter & air pump choose one of them

Neon tetras are tropical freshwater fish. There is a blue horizontal stripe and a red strip on their body, which make them appealing. Nonetheless, as they like low light, an aquarium light may not be essential. But if there are many aquatic plants in your tank, it is better to add one. A blue-white light is a good choice, which is ideal for plants of low to mid-light levels.

On the other hand, since sudden water temperature fluctuation is harmful to neon tetras, hence, it is essential to add an aquarium heater. A 5 gallon water heater can help you out. It is easy to clean. And it can run automatically, which will auto on and off according to the set temp. Consequently, it would not be a burden when you are up to your neck at work. Moreover, neon tetras prefer living in a school of six at least. Consequently, it is better to add an aquarium filter to remove waste, debris, and harmful substances. Then, the water quality can remain great.

2. Tiger barb

Water temperature 77-82℉
pH level 6.0-8.0
Minimum tank size 20 gallon
Aquarium heater needed
Aquarium light not necessary
Aquarium filter needed
Air pump not necessary

Tiger barbs are tropical freshwater fish. Usually, there are four vertical black strips on their body, while their fins and faces are red. Also, their bodies are in yellow, gold, orange, red, or other colors.

3. Zebrafish

Water temperature 60-86℉
pH level 6.6-8.2
Minimum tank size 10 gallon
Aquarium heater needed
Aquarium light not necessary
Aquarium filter needed

Zebrafish are tropical freshwater fish. There are five horizontal strips on the body, extending to the end of the caudal fin. In addition, they are active. Hence, you should add an air pump, air stone, or something like that to maintain sufficient oxygen level. Seeing that you need to use the air pump at the office, it should work quietly and be easy to use. Accordingly, a mini air pump can meet the demands, which fits a 1-15 gallon fish tank.

By the way, as for the aquarium filter, some aquarium filters may create noise, especially high-power ones. Nevertheless, a small fish tank filter is perfect. It can clean the water and produce constant and soft bubbles to agitate the water. Besides that, its water flow is slow, which is great for neon tetra, tiger barb, betta, and zebrafish. And zebrafish are the inconspicuous inhabitants of the aquarium.

More importantly, the fish tank filter is driven by an air pump. Thus, it runs quietly, and you may only hear the beautiful sound of bubbles bursting on the water’s surface.

What low-maintenance fish will live the longest

Generally, how long fish can live is not only determined by their nature but also depends on living conditions. The table below shows the average lifespan of some low-maintenance fish.

Fish Average lifespan
Neon tetra 5–8 years
Tiger barb 6–7 years
Zebrafish 3–5 years
Platy 3–4 years
Betta 2–5 years
Guppy 1–3 years
Molly 3–5 years
Glofish 3–7 years
Dwarf gourami 4–6 years
Dwarf otocinclus 3–5 years

Among the low-maintenance fish mentioned above, neon tetra is the most longevous one. With proper care, they may live longer. Then what can you do to extend their lifespan? First of all, it is crucial to provide a suitable tank and hiding places. As they need room to swim, explore, and hide. Besides, keeping great water parameters is essential, otherwise, fish may have health problems. Also, an ideal diet can ensure sufficient nutrients but not overfeeding.


Aside from keeping low-maintenance pet fish in small aquariums, you can also use it for aquascaping. Furthermore, there are additional ideas about fish bowl upcycling. For instance, a DIY-themed planter, decorative gadget, and DIY snowman. That is all for today. Finally, thanks for your reading.

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