Top 5 Centerpiece Fish for Your Small to Medium Sized Community Aquarium
Creating your own ‘school of fish’ in a medium-sized or small fish tank is a fun and rewarding experience. You can make this even more enjoyable by choosing a standout fish to be your aquatic pride and joy. The centerpiece fish attracts attention and stands out by its color or size. It also helps to get along with other swimmers in your community tank. What fish should you choose? This is a difficult question to answer as we don’t want larger fish to eat the other!
What should you look for in a centerpiece fish?
Before you go fish shopping for that perfect species, let’s go through the highlighted traits you’ll need to keep in mind. For your centerpiece showstopper fish, it’s got to stand out and be noticed! Two key factors are important here:
– Color – Size
The five fish we have chosen below are all variations of the same pattern and color. These fish are also more robust than the community fish. You can have a fish who stands out even in a small tank.
In this article, we’ll go through our personal favorite and top 5 centerpiece fish here at Aquarium Co-op. These species will all live happily in a 29-gallon tank or smaller – and not eat anyone else!
Our Top 5 Picks:
No matter how big your tank is, it doesn’t matter if you have a 10 gallon or 20 gallon tank.
With their beautiful shape, distinctive fins, and lovely striped pattern, the striking angelfish certainly lives up to its name. These tiny beauties won’t fit into 10-gallon tanks. But, they will be happy in larger tanks (20-25 gallons) and with a tall tank (especially one that is vertically high. They can be aggressive, but if you only have one – and we do encourage just one – then they’ll be much more easygoing and docile.
Gouramis are similar to bettas in appearance. The honey gourami is an ideal centerpiece fish, only growing to about 2″ to 2.5″ in length, with a distinctive warm yellow color. Another choice? The female powderblue gourami is beautiful and shimmery. It’s slightly larger than honey. Only get one to prevent aggression. Shrimp can be eaten by fish, but it is up to them whether they like it. There is always a risk when you add fish that can fit shrimp in their mouth. While 5 gallons is a bit of a squeeze, we recommend at least 10 gallons and up as an ideal habitat size.
3. Apistogramma / Dwarf Cichlid
This striped fish is our number three choice with its bright orange and black fins. For the best color, choose a male. You could also choose the Agassizii color variety, and the double red is particularly striking. Another option is the Japanese Fire Red which is mostly orange. The Apistogramma Borellii, a yellow dwarf cichlid, is another option. It doesn’t require a heated tank. These cichlids can reach 3 inches in length. They are adaptable enough for smaller fish species and can handle a low pH. Although a 10 Gallon is a bit small, a 20 Gallon or more will suffice.
2. Bolivian Ram
This species has fewer bright colors, thanks to its muted striped color palette. However, they are 3 inches in size, making them a great centerpiece fish. Their tails are long and have pretty trailer fins. They’re easy to keep and have a calm demeanor. They won’t harass other species. It is fine to live with one fish.
1. Betta Fish
Our number one choice is the betta fish! The stunning half-moon or crown tails with their huge flowy fins might get pecked at by other fish, so we recommend the Plakat Betta or Betta Pugnax, with much shorter fins. The Koi ones look just like real koi and are very beautiful. Although male bettas are sometimes aggressive, as long as one is kept and they have enough space in a 20-gallon aquarium, they will be fine. Bettas all have their own unique personality so it depends on the fish! It’s still a great centerpiece.