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Types of Tropical Fish

Shashank Nakate Sep 29, 2018
The fish found in tropical regions are known for their spectacular colors and variety. These magnificent fish are definitely a treat for the eyes! To know more about tropical fish, read on...
As the name suggests, the tropical fish is found in the tropical regions of the Earth. These fish are classified under two categories, the saltwater and the freshwater fish.
However, only the freshwater fish are termed as 'tropical' by those who rear fish. Suitable for rearing in aquariums, tropical fish are imported by people from various countries. These fish have become popular because of their varied colors and hues. The types of tropical fish range from aggressive ones to some mild species.
Tropical fish are mostly used for rearing in aquariums. Let's take a look at some of the species of these fish.


There are three types of oscars: red oscar, tiger red oscar and the pink oscar. The oscar fish is aggressive and likes to dominate other fish. Having less than six fish in a single aquarium therefore, gives an opportunity for a strong oscar fish to bully others.
It is advisable to keep, either a single oscar fish or more than six of them in an aquarium. It helps reduce the tension between these cohabitants. A single oscar needs an aquarium with at least 80 gallons water, while a 500 gallon aquarium is required for six oscars to comfortably live together.
The large plecostomus and whitetip sharks share space with the oscar fish without fighting or nipping at each other.


These fish belong to the Pterophyllum genus. The angelfish which originated in the Amazon river basin of South America is classified into three species: Pterophyllum altumPterophyllum leopoldi and Pterophyllum scalare.
The round body structure along with triangular fins allow the angelfish to hide between plants and roots. This, in turn, helps them to prey on macroinvertebrates and smaller fish. 
The striped body of an angelfish help them use the ambush technique. Stripes help these fish to hide, thereby acting as a camouflage. Just like the oscars, angelfish too quarrel with each other.
Thus, more than six angelfish need to be reared in an aquarium; there is great risk to keep lesser (than 6) number of fish in an aquarium. For example, if there are only two fish in an aquarium, one would kill the other.

Tetra Fish:

The tetra fish is a small, freshwater fish that belongs to Characidae family. It lives in clear as well as dark waters, mostly off the coasts of Columbia, Brazil and Peru. Neon tetra, the most popular species among the tetra fish grow to a maximum length of 5cm.

Tiger Barb:

The tiger barb, also known as the Sumatra barb, is found in waters of Sumatra, Borneo and the Malay peninsula. Different colors observed in tiger barbs range from silver, brownish yellow, green and light yellow.
Those tiger barbs with a brownish yellow skin color have black vertical stripes on the body. Tiger barbs are aggressive and nip at each other. Thus, at least six tigers barbs should be kept in an aquarium.

Black Knifefish:

This black colored fish grows up to a length of 25 inches. It produces a weak electric charge. 
The black knifefish prefers to live in sandy creeks - its natural habitat and requires water with pH between 6.0 and 8.0. When fully grown, the fish needs a tank with a capacity of at least 75 gallons. Peas are the staple diet of these fish.

Fancy Guppies:

The fancy guppies exhibit different colors such as red, blue, green and black. However, the females don't exhibit much variety in their shades and are either gray or tan. Temperature of the aquarium should be maintained between 78oF and 82oF.
Guppies can easily share the aquarium space with ghost shrimp, catfish, African dwarf frogs and gouramis. Adding salt to the aquarium in little quantities proves to be of great use in rearing these fish.


The mollies come from the same family as guppies. They need at least 15 gallons of water when kept in an aquarium. These fish cannot tolerate contaminated water and easily fall ill. The temperature of water for these fish need to be maintained between 70oF and 82oF.
Tropical fish that are kept in aquariums include the fish caught in wild, those born in captivity and finally the hybrid species. Scuba divers are always in search of colorful and varied species of tropical fish. Truly, the tropical fish are nature's gift to man.