The rosy barb was one of the first fish to become popular in the hobby. Though this fish fares well at typical aquarium temperatures, it is not a tropical fish. It prefers cooler temperatures and usually requires no aquarium heater. The rosy barb is peaceful, very hardy and best kept in groups. Normal coloration for the rosy barb is a metallic silver overall. Its scales are highly reflective. Females are generally larger and heavier-bodied than males.
The tiger barb is a lively, playful, schooling species that should be kept in groups of seven or more. It may become aggressive if kept in too small a group, and may harass slow-moving fishes and peck at the fins of gouramis and angelfish. When kept with members of its own species, most tiger barbs are active swimmers. If kept as a lone individual, it tends to lose its sense of security and often stays in a corner of the tank or hides behind plants or other tank decor.
The clown barb is a very active, medium-size, elegant species that should be kept with similar-size species that also prefers warmer water. It should be kept in a large aquarium (50 US gallons or more) that is densely planted on the sides and in the back, either live or artificial. (Note: Although the clown barb is not a strict vegetarian, it will decimate any soft plants.) Provide plenty of hiding places in the form of rocks, driftwood or PVC piping.
The cherry barb is a beautiful fish. The males, when mature and wanting to breed (which they always want to do), are an incredibly dark purplish red almost verging on black. This fish makes an excellent addition to a community tank, but it is imperative that it be quarantined before introducing it to the main tank. The cherry barb is very susceptible to velvet disease and as such treatment in a quarantine tank is recommended.
This calm, gentle fish is a great addition to large communities. Tinfoils are beautiful fish. They are the first to greet you when you approach the tank, and although very active, they are not aggressive. They can get rather large, but this takes a long time to reach. Not picky at all about water conditions, they are great for beginning hobbyists. Just as long as you have a large tank for them!
Goldfish are perhaps the longest kept "aquarium" fish in the hobby. They’ve been kept for several thousand years. With such a long history you'd think they would have morphed into this superfish that doesn't require its keeper to do anything, right? WRONG! True Golds are quite hardy and do endure much abuse, but they are still a living, breathing creature that has certain requirements that must be met in order for it to be kept as a real pet and not a discardable piece of decoration.
Also known as the tricolor shark or silver shark, the young bala shark is a staple item in most aquarium stores. The bala shark (the name is an abbreviation of the scientific name) is active, grows to fourteen inches, and prefers living in midwater shoals. The bala shark is very peaceful. Even though this fish grows large, it will not bother other fish—except those small enough to fit in its mouth. Ideally, you should keep groups of six or more, but no less than three.
This is a gorgeous fish. The red-tailed shark has a deep black body, white-tipped sharklike dorsal fins, and, of course, a bright red tail. However, this fish doesn’t usually show its true colors in dealers’ tanks. One or two dominate fish may show full color, but those lower on the pecking order tend to fade, showing only gray bodies and pink tails. Don’t worry, the specimens you pick will color up when you take them home and get them away from their tankmates.
The zebra danio is an active fish that can be housed in groups of three or more with other peaceful community tank residents of similar size. It should be housed in large aquariums that are long, rather than wide or tall. Plants can be included on the sides and back of the aquarium, leaving plenty of room in the center for swimming. Decorate modestly with a few rocks or driftwood.
The Siamese Algae Eater is generally considered to be the best all-around algae eater available to aquarists. A relatively peaceful fish, especially when young, it can become agressive to its own species as it ages, and its quick, darting movements can stress out some more sensitive fish, such as discus. A very hardy fish, it is easy to keep and feed, eating both algae and just about anything else put into the tank. Cover the tank carefully however, as these fish are strong jumpers.