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. Which one should you get, though? It’s a tricky question to answer since we don’t want a larger fish to gobble up the others!
What should you look for in a centerpiece fish?
Let’s look at some key characteristics you need to be aware of before you head out fish shopping for the right species. It must stand out from the crowd and be seen to make it a show-stopper fish. This is where two key factors come into play:
– Color – Size
The five fish we’ve picked below each feature color and pattern variations that would catch your eye as soon as you look in the tank. These fish tend to grow slightly larger than most community fish. So, even in a smaller tank, you can have a fish that really stands out.
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:
So, whether you have a 10 gallon, 20 gallons, 25 gallons, or 29-gallon tank, here’s that one special fish that will grow a bit larger and really provide a focal point for the rest of the community.
The striking angelfish lives up to their name with its beautiful form, distinctive fins, and beautiful striped pattern. 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. Although they can be quite aggressive, they are much more docile and easygoing if there is only one.
Gouramis are similar to bettas in appearance. The honey gourami, which can grow to approximately 2″ to 2.5″, is a perfect centerpiece fish. It has a distinctive yellow color and only 2″ to 2.5″. Another option? Another option? The female powder-blue gourami. It is a beautiful, shimmery color that is slightly larger than the honey variety. You can only get one to stop aggression. If you have shrimp, it depends on the fish whether they want to eat it or not! There are always risks when adding fish that can hold shrimp. We recommend at least 10 gallons for the 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. Another option is the Agassizii variety. The Agassizii double-red color is very striking. Another option is the Japanese Fire Red which is mostly orange. You can also choose the Apistogramma Borellii (yellow dwarf) if you prefer a yellow colour. These cichlids grow to about 3″ in length, they can handle a relatively low pH in the water and are adaptable enough to go with many smaller fish species. Again, a 10 gallon might be tight, but if you have a 20 gallon at least, you’re good to go.
2. Bolivian Ram
They don’t have as many bright colors but the species does have the 3-inch size which makes them great as a centerpiece fish. Their tails are long and have pretty trailer fins. Plus, they’re also easy to care for and have a remarkably peaceful demeanor. They will not harass other species. It is fine to live with one fish.
1. Betta Fish
Our number one choice is the betta fish! We recommend the Plakat Betta and Betta Pugnax because they have 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 are all unique and each fish has their own personality. However, we recommend it as a centerpiece.