Freshwater aquariums are really fun to keep when all the tank mates get along happily and are thriving!

Keeping a freshwater fish aquarium is one of the most rewarding experiences. There are many aquatic animals to choose from that will add color and interest to your community tank.

Beautiful Betta and rainbowfish, hardy goldfish, and pretty live-bearing fish like guppies, mollies, swordfish and platies are some of the best known. But to add even more intrigue, there are also exotic looking eels and sharks, African dwarf frogs, snails, and more. It’s fun to watch your fish, frogs, snails, or any other critters cruising around the tank. Its also exciting to see their personalities unfold. To the delight of many aquarists, some of these fellows will even come to know their keepers!

How cool is that… your pets gets excited when you approach the tank! However, compatibility between the inhabitants is very important for a happy, healthy, friendly freshwater community. Keep aquarium inhabitants that are good neighbors and everybody will thrive. When tank mates are peaceful and compatible with each other, their best colors come out and it’s fun watch them grow.

Keeping tank mates that are incompatible, however, can lead to all kinds of problems. When aquarium inhabitants don’t get along, somebody ends up getting picked on. Incompatible tank companions can manifest itself in other ways too. A common sense problem is big fish that want to snack on smaller fish and other critters. Other challenges are inhabitants competing for food, fighting to dominate a position in the tank, or quarrelling over a shelter. All of these situations cause stress which can result in disease, injury, and often times… loss.

Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart

Friend or foe? Freshwater fish compatibility for a happy tank!

To maintain a happy, healthy, friendly community tank, it’s important to ensure compatibility between the inhabitants. The freshwater fish compatibility chart below will give a good overview of the common types of fish that can usually be kept happily together. For first timers, or those who are new to the hobby and are setting up a community tank, this guide can help you make good fish choices. It will help you select fish that can live together in harmony, giving you a happy, healthy, friendly community.

Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart

Characteristics of Fish Types Chart

Always pay attention to your fish to monitor any aggression!

Freshwater fish fall into several different groupings, with each fish type having different habitat needs, characteristics, and behaviors. The freshwater compatibility chart above is a great start, but there are several additional factors that need to be considered to help determine whether each species is compatible or not. These include size, temperament and gender; diet, activity level, and the areas of the tank they will inhabit; and aquarium water parameters like temperature and pH.

The chart below gives an overview of the characteristics of the different types of fish that are most commonly available. However, these fish as well as any others, are not always predictable. An individual fish may not behave in the way its group is characterized.

You may obtain a fish that is “supposed” to be peaceful and friendly, and then it becomes a jerk! On the other hand, you may get a fish that is supposed to be a dominant, solitary, or aggressive species, only to find it hanging out and buddying up with its tank mates. So you need to pay attention to your fish, no matter what their behavior is supposed to be.

Even within the groups shown below, temperaments and behaviors vary with each individual species. After selecting the groups of fish you are interested in, find them here: Aquarium Tropical Fish. Then select your group and read about the individual species within that group

Fish Types Chart

Featured Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock