Want fish, but don’t want to have to put that much work into them?
It’s not that you don’t care, it’s just that you don’t think you can commit the time to it. Have no fear, these low maintenance fish will fit perfectly with your busy schedule.
The first thing you have to know when you’re looking for a low-maintenance fish is what qualities make a fish low maintenance.
You’re looking for a fish that’s stalwart and resilient. In other words, a fish that can take a beating.
And I don’t mean one that can take a beating from other fish. I mean one that can take a beating from changes in water temperature, infrequent water changes, and variations in food amount.
It’s a fish that’s good for kids.
You’re not a fish expert, so you can’t be expected to measure out the exact amount of food at the exact hour it’s needed, so you need a fish that can handle that.
You need a fish who won’t fight other fish.
Some fish love a brawl, but a fish eye for a fish eye leaves your whole tank dead.
You want to populate your tank with fish qualified to be Buddhist monks—nonviolent.
Another thing you have to look at is whether you want to keep your fish in a cold freshwater aquarium or a heated freshwater aquarium.
Cold water freshwater means the aquarium is kept at or around room temperature.
Warm water tends to be a bit warmer, though there is some overlap.
Whichever fish you choose will decide what kind of water they need to be kept in.
In addition to water temperature, you also want to keep an eye on the water’s pH levels. Some fish acclimate to more acidic waters, some are more basic fishes.
That being said, let’s look at some types of fish that fit the above description.
This is sort of a difficult one to start off with, because it’s one of the larger fish, and it’s not too friendly to other fish.
Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches, so they shouldn’t be kept in a tank any smaller than 20 gallons of unheated water. Apart from these warnings, they’re very easy to keep.
Possibly the best starter fish you can choose is the Betta fish. They don’t need filtered water, and they don’t need to be kept under any special temperatures.
All you’ll need to do is change a portion of the water every week.
The only downside to the Betta is that they are fighting fish, so if you plan to keep one, you can’t put them in a bowl with another Betta, especially a male.
3. Black Skirt Tetra
This fish is pretty mellow. That is, it’s both beautiful looking and very relaxed. It likes to swim towards the center of the tank, so you can get a good look at it.
Though it likes to eat a lot, it’s not a fussy eater.
It also sometimes likes to chill out in out-of-the-way corners of the tank, for example under and behind rocks.
This one would definitely appreciate an underwater castle.
4. Bloodfin Tetra
These are some of the longest-living fish there are. With a lifespan of up to 10 years, you can guess they got that way by being extremely resilient.
They’re also flexible when it comes to temperature. They can survive temperatures from the mid-60s to the mid-80s.
They like to move in groups, so you can get many of these guys and they’ll swim together in groups of up to 5 or 6.
Don’t worry, though, because they’re pretty small and can fit into relatively tight tanks. For information on the best 10-gallon tanks, check this out.
Ah, the classic goldfish, the likeness of which you’ve eaten in the form of crackers ever since your youth. These fish are very easy to care for. They also don’t require their water to be heated.
However, they need to be in large (20 gallon) tanks, with good filtration. Also, you can’t put goldfish in with any other kind of fish but goldfish.
Guppy fish are very agreeable, but they multiply like rabbits.
They travel in pairs, so you can have up to three pairs in a 10 gallon tank of unheated water. Any more and the guppies will be too cramped.
7. Kuhli Loach
This one’s definitely camera-shy. It doesn’t like to be seen, and it swims very close to the bottom of the tank, where it will often pick up food that wasn’t eaten by other fish.
Like the Black Skirt Tetra, it likes to hide in places where it can’t be readily seen.
These are probably the most agreeable fish on the list.
They will eat any kind of fish food you feed them, and they will even clean algae off the bottom of the tank.
They come in many different colors and they thrive in warmer, heated tanks.
These are closely related to the platies. They’re very agreeable, and can withstand a lot. They get along with other fish plenty well.
Their namesake comes from the shape of their lower fin, which resembles a sword.
10. White Cloud
When you think of a white cloud, think of a fish that can withstand cold temperatures.
Some people keep these fish out in ponds during the Summer, because they can withstand temperatures as low as 60 degrees.
That being said, they like to live in groups with other White Clouds, and, like the guppies, they prefer to be in groups with one another.
If any of these fish sound good to you, stroll on down to your local PetSmart (or any other fine fish sellers) and ask for one or a few of the above fish.