20 Best Fish for a 55-Gallon Tank

Eric is an aquarium enthusiast with over two decades of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish.

A 55-gallon fish tank will be the focal point of any room. You may choose to build an aquarium with real driftwood, plants, and rocks, or you may instead go the artificial route. In either case, if you put in the effort and take some time to learn the ropes you can really create an incredible fish tank.

Of course, the fish you intend to stock play a very big part in how much success you have with your new aquarium. A 55-gallon tank may seem enormous, and it is a very big volume of water to have in a living room, but compared to a stream or lake it is pretty tiny. You still have a tight margin of error when it comes to making smart stocking decisions and choosing the right fish.

In my article on choosing fish for a 10-gallon tank, I laid out some ground rules for stocking an aquarium. Maybe you already have experience maintaining a smaller tank successfully. So, should you simply scale things up by several factors when stocking your 55-gallon aquarium?

You can do that if you want, but there is a better way that will give you many more options. It involves understanding the fish you intend to add to your tank, their temperaments and where they will live in the aquarium.

Top 20 Fish for a 55-Gallon Freshwater Aquarium

Here is a list of the best fish for a 55-gallon tank:

  1. Cory Catfish
  2. Plectostomus
  3. Kuhli Loach
  4. Cherry and Ghost Shrimp
  5. Three-Spot Gourami
  6. Dwarf Gourami
  7. Angelfish
  8. Neon Tetra
  9. Cherry Barb
  10. Black-skirt Tetra
  11. Cardinal Tetra
  12. Bleeding Heart Tetra
  13. Fancy Guppy
  14. Swordtail
  15. Platy
  16. Molly Fish
  17. Zebra Danio
  18. African Cichlids
  19. Oscar
  20. Green Spotted Puffer

Read on to learn more about each fish as well as how to choose which are best for your aquarium.

How to Choose Which Fish to Stock

In small fish tanks, the fish are literally right on top of each other. These tanks are only a foot tall or so, and even if a fish is at the water surface it is still pretty close to a fish down at the substrate level.

A big tank like a 55-gallon is much roomier, dimension-wise, and this means you can start to think of your aquarium in terms of zones. Most fish have a specific area of the tank they prefer to inhabit and, while they will matriculate around the tank a bit, that is where they spend most of their time.

There is no valid “rule of thumb” to dictate how many fish you should have in your tank. However, there are numerous stocking calculators around the web if you really need hard and fast numbers.

Personally, when stocking average tropical community fish I’ve always thought about twenty to twenty-five fish was plenty for a tank this size. On the other hand, I’ve also had as few as seven in a 55-gallon tank. Really, it depends on the size of the fish, how much space they require and where they will occupy that space in your tank.

Below you will read about some suggestions for stocking your tank. These suggestions are by no means intended as definitive advice, but only as ideas to get you started. You need to take the responsibility of researching your fish before stocking your tank, and you need to learn as much as you can about the species you intend to bring in.

Here's a look at the three different zones of your tank, and which type of fish to consider for each.

Bottom Dwellers

The lowest level of your aquarium is right down at the gravel level. Some fish will spend their whole lives down there, surfacing only rarely and taking occasional swims at the higher levels.

Many of these fish are catfish of one type or another, but there are other fish and even some critters that will happily inhabit the netherworld of your fish tank. They are generally thought of as the “clean-up crew” because most are scavengers that will help keep your tank tidy.

Cory Catfish

These cute little guys will mop up any food that comes their way, thereby helping to reduce waste in your tank. But you should also feed them sinking pellets to make sure they are getting enough to eat. You should keep them in schools of at least five, and up to ten total is an appropriate number for your 55-gallon tank. There are several varieties, so if you choose two different types be sure to stock them in groups of five.


The Common Pleco is on the fence for a 55-gallon tank. They can grow very large, up to a foot or more, and they tend to get aggressive as they get older. In an under-stocked tank with other large fish, they may be okay, but the average tropical fish owner is probably better off going with a smaller species such as the Rubbernose Pleco. All Plecos will eat algae on decorations and the glass but they also require driftwood in the tank and may trash your live plants. Supplement their diets with sinking pellets and algae wafers.


The Clown Loach is a very popular aquarium fish, but it can grow to a foot long and should be kept in a school of five or more. For this reason, it is probably not a good choice for a 55-gallon tank, unless you plan to re-home as they get older. But you might consider smaller species like the snake-like Kuhli Loach. Make sure to give them driftwood or other structures to hide under. Some loaches are even known to eat snails.

Cherry and Ghost Shrimp

You can have a whole legion of these little critters in a 55-gallon tank. They do a great job as scavengers, and they are fun to watch. They may even have more little baby shrimp if they manage to establish themselves in your tank. But beware: Some fish may decide these guys are lunch. If you plan to stock large fish, you’ll soon find your Ghost Shrimp population has become a ghost town.

Mid-Level Aquarium Inhabitants

In the middle of your water column, you’ll find fish that spend a lot of time cruising around the vegetation and decorations. In many cases, they use it as cover and will inhabit a range from an inch or two from the gravel, up to several inches away from the surface.

A few suggestions:


A pair of three-spot gouramis are a beautiful addition to a 55-gallon tank, and many species grow to around 6-inches in length. But be aware that they can be aggressive toward each other, so be sure there are hiding spots that a harassed fish can escape into. Usually, they are slow-moving, docile fish that will spend most of their time floating around plants and other structures in your tank. Also consider the Dwarf Gourami, a pretty fish that doesn’t grow nearly as large as most gourami species.


One of the most popular tropical fish for sure, but in my opinion shouldn’t be kept in a tank smaller than 55 gallons. They’ll grow about a foot tall, so keep your tank décor under control so they don’t tear their flowing fins. Angels are really mid-to-upper level fish, as they’ll spend a great deal of time near the surface as well. Take some time to research freshwater angelfish care before you stock them, as they have some unique care requirements.

Neons and other Tetras

If you keep either of the fish listed above you don’t want neons in your tank unless you are planning to serve an expensive lunch. But if you keep your tank stock down to medium-sized fish you can have a big school of neons. These guys are only about an inch long, so you can stock twenty of them or more, as long as you aren’t overstocking the rest of your tank. Along with some natural vegetation, a big school of neons really makes a tank pop.

There are lots of other pretty tetra species out there as well. Some of my favorite being black skirts, cardinals, black neons, and bleeding hearts. Most grow larger than neons and may be more appropriate with larger fish.

Cherry Barbs

These guys aren’t very big, around the size of many tetras. The males have a bright red hue, and a school of six or eight is very pretty. They school loosely, often breaking off individually and spreading around the tank. But when perceived danger is present, such as the dastardly water-changer tube poking into the tank, they tighten up their ranks.

Top Swimmers

Some fish will inhabit the top portion of your tank, flitting around at the water surface with only occasional forays into the depths. They’re typically small, quick fish, and adding a few can really liven up your tank. Of course, you want to be smart when stocking. Small fish at the surface are easy prey for larger fish lurking below.


Guppies are very pretty and very lively, and they come in a bunch of colors. The only problem is they are also very small, and if you intend to stock guppies you need to take the same precautions as if you are stocking neons. Still, if you plan your tank right you can have a burst of colors at all levels of the water column.

Swordtail and Platy

Both are bright-orange fish with similar behaviors. In fact, in some cases, it is hard to tell the difference between a female sword and platy. (A platy is typically a bit larger and bulkier.) Male swordtails have the swords on their tails, so they are easy enough to distinguish. Stock a couple of females for every male sword. Both fish are available in many different varieties.


Black molly, lyretail molly, sailfin molly, marble molly and more. These are active fish and very popular in the aquarium industry. There are a lot of different types and hybrids out there. They are typically peaceful fish, but in some cases, mollies, and even platies, may harass other fish. The best defense against this is a well-stocked tank, so one fish does not receive the burden of the harassment.

Zebra Danio

Adorable little striped fish, and very active. These are hardy fish, very docile, and you can have a school of them. The zebra danio also has the distinction of being the lucky fish genetically modified into the intriguing GloFish.

55-Gallon Species and Specimen Tanks

Hopefully, the suggestions listed above will get your mind turning. Remember, as the fish keeper it is your responsibility to research any fish you intend to bring into your aquarium and be sure they are a good fit with the rest of the stock.

For example, some fish are considered semi-aggressive and should be kept with other appropriate fish. It would be unwise to expect to mix them with docile species without incident. Planning your tank takes some research and a little effort, but doing it this way pays off in the end.

Researching fish and understanding their requirements before you bring them home is important if you want to run a successful aquarium. I have always found that a good reference book goes a long way when trying to make these decisions.

Are there easier ways? Sort of. Some fish keepers prefer to maintain species-only or single specimen tanks. In these cases, you don’t need to worry as much about compatibility, but you do need to know what you are getting yourself into.

Here are a few ideas:

African Cichlid Tank

A 55-gallon tank is a minimum size you should consider if you intend to keep African cichlids. Bigger is even better! These are beautiful but highly aggressive fish that will stake out territory in your tank. Really, the footprint of the tank matters more than the height, as more ground space means more territory.

A community of African cichlids will establish a pecking order within their tank, from the dominant fish down to the weakest. For this reason, this is one of the rare cases when it is okay to slightly overstock (and over-filter) a freshwater tank. More fish means more targets for the dominant fish and ultimately less stress for the overall population.

If you intend to stock African cichlids please take the time to research their requirements thoroughly before building your tank. They are among the most colorful freshwater tropical fish, and a cichlid tank is a beautiful thing, but done wrong it can be a disaster. Learn as much as you can about them before proceeding!

Oscar Tank

You can keep one oscar in your 55-gallon tank. Sound boring? If you think so, you don’t know much about oscars. They’re large cichlids, growing to over a foot as adults, and highly predatory. They also live for around a decade, so having an oscar is really more like having a dog or cat.

You should consider it as such, and care for it appropriately. These are fish with unique personalities. Oscar keepers report intelligent fish that learn to recognize their owners, and sometimes even allow themselves to be touched (can you pet a fish?).

This is a fish with specific needs, so once again be sure to do your homework before purchasing. In a 55-gallon tank, your oscar will have no tankmates, so you can set up a home just for him.

Green Spotted Puffer Tank

Like the oscar, the green spotted puffer can live or over a decade. These are fish that require a commitment, just like a dog or cat. But they are also among the most rewarding fish to keep. They are round, solid fish that grow to around six inches in length.

Green spotted puffers can live in freshwater as juveniles but will require brackish water as adults. Some puffer owners even keep their fish in marine setups as adults. But this isn’t the only reason tankmates are hard to come by. GSPs are highly aggressive and will likely demolish any other fish in the tank.

Kept alone in a 55-gallon tank, a GSP makes for a great pet and a very cool tank setup. But, probably more than any other fish, the green spotted puffer requires a deep understanding of what you are getting yourself into before you purchase.

Do your research before bringing one home!

Good Luck with Your Fish Tank!

As you can see, you have many choices when it comes to stocking your 55-gallon tank. The take-away messages of this article should be:

  • Consider the area of the tank a fish will inhabit when stocking.
  • It’s better to under-stock than over-stock.
  • Big fish eat little fish! Don’t mix little guys with big fish who could eat them.
  • Be aware of the temperaments of the fish you intend to stock.
  • Always research fish before you purchase.
  • If you intend to keep a species or specimen tank really do your research before proceeding.

Good luck! Fishkeeping is a fun and rewarding hobby when done correctly, and choosing the right fish for your 55-gallon aquarium is the first step!

Which Fish for Your 55-Gallon Tank?

Eric Dockett (author) from USA on August 05, 2020:

@Kimberly - Probably, but you should do some research into the effects it can have on your water such as leaching tannins and lowering pH.

Kimberly K. on August 05, 2020:

Is it ok to add driftwood to my 55gal tank?

Eric Dockett (author) from USA on April 21, 2020:

@Lol idk - African cichlids and bala sharks are not a good match. African cichlids should be kept with other African cichlids.

Lol idk on April 20, 2020:

I have 3 bala Sharks in a 30 but im soon Gonna be upgrading them to a 100 gal. But one qeustion does anyone know if u can put african cichlids with bala sharks?

J on September 04, 2019:

An Oscar needs at least a 75 gallon aquarium, love the rest of the suggestions though

FISH BOY on June 11, 2019:

I am planning to add a lot of plants to the bottom layer since it looks natural and vibrant

fishy fishy on February 18, 2018:

i have a 29 g at home and thinking of upgrading to a bigger tank soon

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 11, 2015:

I remembered my old fishes love the man made houses for them and the grasses

Here is the list of 25 best freshwater aquarium fish to help you out.

1. Longfin Zebra Danio (Danio rerio):

This member of the Cyprinidae family lives up to 5 years and grows up to max 3 inches in the home aquarium. Longfin Zebra Danio is available in Blue, Purple, White, and Yellow. Being the native to the Ganges region in Eastern India, Longfin Zebra Danio likes a home aquarium planted well with open, large swimming areas.

Longfin Zebra Danio is usually of a peaceful temperament making it a popular choice among aquarists. Therefore keeping them with equal-minded fishes in small-size schools would be best for them. Being omnivores by nature, they eat just anything from high-quality flakes to frozen foods along with other diets.

Male Longfin Zebra Danios are generally found in more torpedo shape compared to females with a more massive belly.

2. Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata):

It is large freshwater aquarium fish with a striking appearance and attractive mannerism from the cichlid family. The lifespan of Jack Dempsey is 5-7 years, and it grows up to 8 inches. It is native to Guatemala and Honduras.

Jack Dempsey is an aggressive territorial fish with strong facial features compared with the famous 1920s boxer Jack Dempsey. It might prove to be destructive in the aquarium. Therefore, it is recommended to arrange plenty of hiding places or keeping a clay pot or cave-like structure on its side as it prefers and that also works well with this fish.

This hearty eater usually accepts flake, vegetable food, and a wide variety of lifelike eating worms, insects, crustaceans, and other fish.

3. Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi):

This small size freshwater fish is known for its dazzling colors and energetic behavior. Green Neon Tetra is considered as the most popular fish amongst fishkeepers. It is easy to take care of Neon Tetra and often recommended as one of the first fish to beginner aquarists. Native to South America, Neon Tetra belongs to the Characidae family.

This peaceful community fish is best to be kept in a small school of 3 to 6 members. Its size is approx. 1 to 1.5 inches and can live up to 10 years. This omnivore accepts most foods like worms, shrimp, brine, insects and also plants.

4. Bettas (Bettasplendens):

The majority of beginner aquarists choose this viral, vibrantly colorful freshwater fish for their hassle-free maintenance and its aquarium does not even require any filters or heaters. They are easy to take care of and can be kept in small aquariums with other fish species safely. Bettas belong to the Gourami family and are highly territorial.

Bettas usually live 2 – 3 years, but it can extend further in some cases. They grow to the max. 3 inch in size. It requires an omnivorous diet with high protein and fiber consisting of brine shrimp, dried bloodworms or daphnia. Male Bettas are very notorious fighters therefore only single male Betta should be kept in each tank.

5. Discus fish (Symphysodon aequifasciatus)

It is a very reputed, robust and social fish from the Cichlidae family, often called king of freshwater tanks. This graceful fish requires a tank of a minimum 25 gallons size. It can grow up to 8-10 inches and live up to 10 years or more.

The most exciting thing about Discus is that it interacts with you displaying its moods and personalities and even observes your movements.

Some say that Discus is not for beginners, but once you grasp their behavior and habitat conditions thoroughly, it is not an expensive venture. In aquariums, Discus fish requires a high protein diet like flake food, blood worms, pellets, beef heart, and black worms.

6. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras):

Corydoras Catfish, popularly called Cory Cats is a hardy fish that is ideal for beginner hobbyists. They have a variety of species and are available in different sizes and colors. This freshwater tank fish is a common feature in every community tank. Although Cory Cats are active bottom dwellers, they are calm and peaceful species, and it’s easy to take care of them.

Their size ranges from 1-2.5 inches in length. The lifespan of this fish can be 5 years or more depending on the suitable conditions.

As regards the diet, you can feed Cory Catfish with fish flakes and pellets. They have a habit of digging tank bottom for leftover foods but that cannot suffice for their diet. Usually, Cory Cats are most comfortable in a school-size of two or more with mates preferably of similar types.

7. Oscar Fish (Astronotus ocellatus)

It is the favorable tropical aquarium fish from the cichlid family for home aquariums. This big sized fish of around 35 cms in length needs a minimum 30 gallons tank for better care. The hassle-free Oscar care also requires clean water with the temperature varying between 74°C to 81°C to strengthen their immune system and prevent many diseases.

Native to South America, Oscar fish is generally peaceful, hold the personality, and quick in recognizing strangers. They live up to 10 years. Though it likes live food but eats flakes when young. Sometimes they also eat tank mates of smaller size. They prefer a tank with rock ledges, and live plants do not last long in their tank due to their habit of digging.

8. Guppi (Poecilia reticulata):

Guppies are tropical aquarium fish that are most widely distributed in the world. It is one of the most renowned freshwater fish species for the aquarium as it is nice, active, breeds easily, and not demanding in case of diet. These are from the Poeciliidae family. The lifespan of Guppy is about 2 years on average but can stretch to 3 years in right tank conditions.

The ideal water temperature for them is 50F – 84F (10-29C), but the temperature should be kept consistent which can be achieved by using the best aquarium chiller. They have an elongated body with flat sides of 0.6–1.4 inches long in case of males, and for females, they are 1.2–2.4 inches long.

Guppies are easy to feed and gladly accept flakes, pellets, and other artificial food. These are peaceful and friendly to tank mates, but they will eat its juveniles.

9. Platy (Poecilia)

The small yet active Platies are very famous because it’s effortless to take care of them and comes in every color you can imagine. Poecilia family has around 170 species of varied, colorful fishes. They are very peaceful and great community lover to go well along swordtails, mollies, and guppies. They carry eggs inside the body and spawns ready-to-swim entirely formed juveniles similar to them.

The size of the fish is 1.5-2.5 inches and females are usually larger than males. They live about 3-4 years. Platies are omnivorous, but apart from meats, they need much of herbivorous food and preferably a good mix of proteins and a plant-based diet.

10. Swordtails (Xiphophorous hellerii)

Swordtails are very hardy fish from the Poeciliidae family which makes them very famous spread tank fish and a perfect freshwater species for the beginner aquarist. They have a slightly bulkier body similar to the shape of platy or guppy with a sword-shaped extension of the fin.

Swordtails are available in different color variations. The size of Swordtail may be quite large about 4 to 5 inches long and lifespan is about 3-5 years. They are quite peaceful in nature but lively and prefer swimming in loose schools of groups.

However, every swordtail has its own temperament either timid and shy or aggressive and blusterous. The diet for swordtail fish should be diversified consisting of artificial, live or frozen food but must contain vegetable food like fish food flakes with vegetable supplements.

11. Harlequin rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

This small, magnificent fish will be a good tank mate for each of the aquarium fish mentioned above. This fish is popular among aquarists for its small size, good temperament and on top of that, it is not demanding. It grows up to 2 inches in length, and the lifespan is about 3-4 years. There is a black spot on its brightly colored body that goes well with its name.

Harlequin rasbora likes swimming and needs much space, so it’s better to keep them in a school in a spacious tank. They are a very peaceful one and can be maintained with fish like tetra, gourami, and betta as long as they are not large and a predator.

It accepts a variety of food except for any large-grained food that is hard for them to swallow. The fishes always stay together in the school, and a large school looks fabulous making the aquarium vibrant and vivid with their graceful movement.

12. Bolivian ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

It is the correct choice for planted community tanks as maintaining them is very easy. This peaceful, calm and good-tempered cichlid species is quite hardy and live successfully in a standard fish tank. You may find them a little more aggressive, but they are more like to scare other fish rather than attacking or hurting them.

They are just fine living as a single fish, and also a group of 6-8 species of its kind fits them better. The size ranges from 2 to 5.4 inches. The lifespan is up to 6 years. They are omnivorous and eat all types of live and frozen food like Bloodworm, daphnia, tubifex, and artificial food.

13. White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes):

It’s an ideal fish for aquarists who have just gathered knowledge about aquarium husbandry. This very small fish is only 2.5-3 cm in size and absolutely not demanding.

Brightly colored, White Cloud Mountain Minnow is not aggressive and breed easily. It doesn’t even attack its juveniles. It may live about 3 years if you take good care of them.

The fish prefers middle water layers, and it likes swimming in a school. White Cloud Mountain Minnow manages well in cold water and, therefore, kept in a pond in the yard in summer by pet lovers. Being a micro-predator, it feeds on worms, small insects, crustaceans and other varieties of zooplankton. They like small schools of minimum 6 species.

14. Sailfin Molly (Poecilia latipinna):

These are stunning livebearers that originated from southern and central parts of US. Mollies can live in either salt or freshwater and love to dwell in densely planted aquariums with proper illumination. They like to feed on algae but you can also feed them with flakes, boiled spinach or other fish food specially meant for them.

Mollies can live in both freshwaters as well as saltwater, depending on the way they are acclimatized. These fish require a well-lit tank with plenty of live plants. Mollies are never aggressive towards other tank mates.

Although there are various types of mollies, the most common freshwater fish type is the small finned mollies. Mollies are the easiest variety to breed as they are not choosy during breeding and breed with any kind of molly. The recommended temperature for mollies is 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Mollies are considered mid-level swimmers, and it’s better to decorate with plants that help them to hide.

15. Plecostomus (Hypostomus plecostomus):

These are tropical aquarium fish belonging to the Loricariidae family. There are around 150 varieties of Plecostomus, commonly called plecos, which range from peaceful to aggressive varieties. The most common type of catfish is the armored one that grows up to 24 inches and has a lifespan of 10-15 years.

However, beginners can opt for smaller plecos that can be accommodated in a tank size of 10 gallons. They are nocturnal inhabit. The majority of plecos are brown in color, and their body coloration depends on the environment.

Plecos are mostly from South America and also found to exist in both salt and freshwaters. Please keep in mind that plecos can grow from 2-4 inches to a large size very quickly.

16. Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii):

Kuhli loach is the most unusual fish, and even an inexperienced aquarist can keep them easily. Being close to true loaches family it resembles a small snake. However, the fish is not harmful at all, rather quite enduring. It is a peaceful ground species that are fond of hiding in the daytime but are more active at night. However, if they are kept with other fish, they become active in daytime even for food rivalry. It will grow about 4-5 inches in length and live up to 10 years.

They are a euryphagous fish, and Omnivorous bottom feeder, therefore, eats all types of live and frozen food like pellet, different tablets, granules, brine shrimp, blood worm, tubifex, daphnia, and others finding or digging from the bottom of the tank. Thus they are excellent tank cleaners. This fish prefers a school of 5-6 fishes.

17. GloFish (Danio rerio)

This beautiful fluorescent fish, available in various neon colors like red, orange, green, purple, blue and others, are unique. These are genetically modified zebra danio and bred initially to help detect the environmental pollutants. These are safe for the environment and become wonderful pets for new aquarists as well as experienced enthusiasts.

GloFish can grow up to 2 inches in length, and their lifespan is 2 – 4 years but sometimes extends up to 5 years. These can go well with other danios, tetra, angelfish, barbs, and other freshwater fish species that are not big enough to eat them up. They eat worms, insect larvae, flakes mixed with thawed brine shrimp and small crustaceans. They are peaceful and happy in a group of six or more.

18. Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Goldfish is a wonderful freshwater variety for both beginner and seasoned aquarium enthusiasts. They are comfortable in a fish tank with 40 gallons capacity and can attain a maximum size of 18 inches. The most suitable temperature for keeping goldfish is 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Goldfish generally prefer aquatic plants, insects, larvae, crustaceans, and other smaller fishes. They can be fed every two weeks, that’s why they make great pets for travelers.

They have a shiny silver or blue combination on their bodies. Goldfish tend to become aggressive and might injure each other during the breeding season. They get along well with tetras, discus, guppies, and female rainbow fish.

You must change the tank environment periodically and keep it clean. You may feed them bread, cracker, biscuit crumbs, rice, potato, peas, carrot, oranges, and zucchini. But make sure you don’t overfeed your goldfish.

19. Pearl Gourami (Trichopodus leerii):

Pearl gourami is a beautiful freshwater fish with white spots across its body and delicate fins. They demand mid-level care and are of peaceful temperament. They grow up to 4-5 inches in length and live up to 5 years. They prefer living in tanks that are heavily planted. Pearl gourami requires a minimum of 30 gallons of water while in an aquarium.

These beautiful fishes are covered in white pearl-like spots thereby giving them a distinguished appearance. They are acquainted with living in slow-moving freshwater in Asia. They thrive best in tanks having a temperature between 77-82 degrees Fahrenheit with hardness ranging from 5-15 dh.

Pearl gouramis are peaceful fishes like pearl danios or neon tetras. They are omnivorous by habit and live on larvae, small insects, eggs, and algae. They suffer from a disease called fin rot which results in decay and discoloration.

20. Angelfish (Pterophyllum)

Angelfish is a freshwater variety that is originally native to South America. Carnivorous by nature, Angelfish needs proper for its overall growth and wellbeing. So feeding it with flakes, pellets, shrimps, daphnia, etc. can work best for them. Angelfishes can grow up to 6 inches provided you take good care of them. In some cases, they can even grow to a size of 10 inches if kept in bigger tanks.

Angelfish is considered community fish and prefer to grow with other tropical species. They must be kept in cleanest, large-sized tanks having a proper filtration. Right water conditions can lessen the stress of these fishes and keep them healthier, happier. Angelfish prefer a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit for spawning and the average pH of water for the same should remain 6.5 to 6.9.

The females prefer to deposit eggs near neat rows on the submerged slate which remains leaned against the wall in aquariums. Both male and female species look identical. They are a very rewarding variety for first-time hobbyists.

21. Killifish (Austrolebias affinis)

Killifish is one of the vibrantly colored and beautifully patterned freshwater aquarium fish. The concern level for keeping these fishes depends on easy to difficult and varies according to species. They are vividly colored and have a lifespan of 3 months to five years.

Carnivorous by nature, Killifish grows up to 2.9 cms in length in a tank with a minimum of 20 gallons of water. The tank water should be 72- 75 degrees Fahrenheit with 120-160 ppm hardness. The tank set-up is very simple with a bare floor, having a minimal light setting and also a sponge filter.

They are slender and pike-shaped which makes them great swimmers. With larger dorsal and anal fins, Killifish are good community fish and blend well with other peaceful species like neon tetras and rummy nose tetras. They inhabit a large number of places including saltwater and also tank water environment.

22. Rainbowfish (Melanotaeniidae)

Rainbowfish is native to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia. They thrive in lakes, rivers, and swamps. They thrive well in aquariums where the temperature of water remains 74-78 degree Fahrenheit and have at least 30 gallons of water. In case your aquarium is kept below 74 degrees Fahrenheit, then you must use Aqueon aquarium for increasing the temperature.

Rainbowfish are peaceful and active behavior-wise and can be kept well with larger tetras, rasboras, catfish danios, and other non-aggressive cichlids. The males have vibrant colors and vie for the females during breeding. However, breeding of these fish is a difficult task.

The rainbowfish feed on color flakes, aquean tropical flakes, spirulina flakes, and also betta treat. You must feed the fish whatever they can eat in 2 minutes. Rotating the fish food can be best for them.

23. Cherry barb (Puntius titteya):

Cherry barb is found in the freshwaters of Sri Lanka and other South West areas. They live in shadowed areas surrounding the streams and small rivers. They thrive comfortably where the water temperature is 23 to 27 degrees Celsius with pH 6 to 8. These are small fishes that are 1 to 2 inches in length and grow up to 1.8 centimeters.

While male cherry barbs have brown-green, reddish, and brown-red color combinations, the female counterparts are found in yellow-gray and brown-red. Cherry barbs are omnivorous by nature and have a lifespan of 4-5 years.

They mostly swim in the middle and bottom layers of the water. Although peaceful and calm by behavior, the males fight with each other by dancing in front of their rivals. Small cherry barbs are easy prey for predator fish so you should keep them with other community fishes like harlequin rasbora, neon tetra, betta, cardinal tetra, neon tetra, and catfish.

24. Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher):

They originate from Africa and grow up to 3-4 inches in length. Kribensis thrive well in an aquarium with a minimum of 20 gallons of water. They are peaceful by behavior and have a lifespan of 5 years. These bottom dwellers are comfortable in aquariums where the water temperature is 75- 77 degree Fahrenheit with pH 6.4. The hardness of water should remain 8-12 dGH.

Kribensis are colorful fish having color morphs like green, red, yellow, and blue. The adult males grow up to 4 inches while the females grow up to 3 inches. They are kept in community tanks where they nib the fins of slow-moving fish like angels. You may provide caves where they can do the spawning. They are omnivorous in nature and thus feed on all types of food including daphnia, shrimp, flake, mosquito larvae, and bloodworm.

25. Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus):

This freshwater aquarium fish comes in a number of colors including black, brown, yellow, etc., and has colored body spots throughout. As the name suggests, Bristlenose usually possesses a flat body with bony plates that appear like tentacles on maturity.

Bristlenose plecos are peaceful species and get along with other tank mates. They are a hardy type and hence easy for the first-time hobbyists to keep. They have a bony armor. They prefer a water temperature of 15 to 27 degrees Celsius with pH 6.5 to 7.5.

The diet for Bristlenose pleco consists of 85% protein and 15% plant matter. If you’re looking for an algae eater, this fish would be the best choice.


September 7, 2019 By Joe Smith · Leave a Comment · (Updated: April 19, 2020

The fishes you are intending to stock majorly determine whether or not the aquarium established by you will be a success. A 55 gallon tank gives you enough space to add immense variety of flora as well as fauna in your tiny yet vast ecosystem. You can experiment with a lot of species of fishes because of the size of this tank provided you conduct proper research before putting them in the tank. While maintenance is one thing you need to take care of in case of 55 Gallon tanks, you can a variety of biodiversity to this tank. A 55 gallon fish tank which has been stocked ideally will never fail to be the centre of attention and attraction in your living room.

2. Angelfish

There are two types of Angelfish, freshwater Angelfish belongs to the Cichlidae family and marine Angelfish that belong to the Pomacanthidae family.

Freshwater Angelfish are originally found in Brazil’s Amazon River. They are popular among aquarists due to their ornamental form, calm demeanour in comparison with other Cichlid and ease of care.

These types of fish are known as angelfish owing to their wing-like shaped fins. Their appearance and attractiveness earns them the label, ‘King of the Aquarium’ among many aquariums.

Angelfish live comfortably in aquariums with water temperatures between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit and a PH level of 6.8 and 7.8.

They require a larger aquariums, of at least 55 gallons of water, since they can grow quite large.

Things to Remember When Selecting Your Fish

The best freshwater aquarium fish make your life easier, and this comes down to making the right choices. Select fish that have similar temperature and PH level requirements or, at the very least, fall into the same brackets. There is a lot of colorful freshwater fish in the peaceful section to create a friendly community fish tank.

The temperament of the fish listed in the 25 Of the Best Freshwater Aquarium Fish for a 55 Gallon Tank is based on the species characteristics individual fish may display different degrees of aggressiveness.

Choose fish that occupy different places in your fish tank and create enough hiding spaces for your fish to interact with and allow the more peaceful fish to hide away from the more aggressive ones. If you do this, it will decrease the stress of the more timid and shy fish. Include caves and driftwood for the fish to hide under and swim around.

Hi there! I’m Richy, the founder of AquariumStuffs. Since I was young, and had my very tiny plastic fish bowl, I’ve been passionate about fish and aquariums. I went to school to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology, and have continued to educate myself and share my knowledge in this field. For almost 20 years, I’ve been obsessed with collecting and learning about everything to do with fish keeping and aquascaping. My goal with this site is to bring all that I’ve learned – the principles, how-to guides, and more – to you. Learn about the art and science behind aquariums, and let me simplify each process around building a sustainable home for your fish through this blog.

Watch the video: Top 5 Fish for a 55 Gallon Aquarium (August 2021).