My Top 10 Favourite Freshwater Tropical Fish

I have been in the hobby now for just over 5 years and have kept many of different species. I will admit I probably still have a lot to learn and also still want to keep certain fish which I haven’t got round to keeping.

This here is my top 10 of freshwater tropical fish i have kept so far.

1, Tropheus Moorii Ikola – Tropheus sp. Ikola

This is a fish that live in Lake Tanganyika. There are many different species of Tropheus but i think the Ikola is the best one due to the striking yellow band it has. Also I have found the Ikola easier to find and buy as not as rare as other Tropheus. Make sure you only feed Tropheus a vegetarian diet, I personally only use JBL Spirulina.


 2, Clown Loach – Chromobotia Macracanthu

The humble Clown Loach what a fish. The Clown Loach has bag of character from the clicking noisy it makes when happy to fish playing dead lying on its side. This is a must for anyone who is an aquarist. However be warned they can suffer from white spot disease.


3, Gold Nugget Pleco – Baryancistrus, L018, L081, L085, L177

This is my most favourite Pleco and you can’t beat it for its stunning colour’s it will stand out in any aquarium. They place of origin is the Amazon River. Make sure you have plenty hiding spaces.


4, Cardinal Tetra – Paracheirodon Axelrodi

Yes believe it or not but there is a Tetra on my list. The Cardinal Tetra’s not to be mistaken for the popular Neon Tetra. The main reason they are on my list is the amazing neon colours and when you have a tank of 50+ they look really cool shoaling. However be warned they can suffer from white spot disease.

Cardinal Tetra

5, Jack Dempsey – Archocentrus Octofasciatum

Jack Dempsey not only a heavyweight in the ring but a heavyweight in the aquarium. You can get the Electric Blue ones (EBJD) however I am more of a fan of the normal one. This should be regarded as one of the best South American Cichlid.


6, Pictus Catfish – Pimelodus Pictus

I love these Catfish. They don’t grow very large which is a good thing plus they will make sure the bottom of your tank has some action. However beware of 2 things, they can become terrestrial so best to have a min of 3 and don’t catch with a net due to the rigid pectoral and dorsal spines. Also i have found they love JMC Catfish Pellets.

Pictus Catfish

7, Black Ghost Knifefish – Apteronotus Albifrons

Now the Black Ghost Knifefish has to be one of the strangest fish around and for that it is my top 10. When I had one I had trained it to eat of my hand which was pretty cool.

Black Ghost

8, Synodontis Granulosus – Synodontis

Well if you want the king of all Synodontis Catfish look no further. This is very rare and comes at a high price but you will be the envy of everyone. My friend has on in his Tropheus tank and it rules the tank.


9, Fire Eel – Mastacembelus Erythrotaenia

If you haven’t owned an eel get down to you LFS and buy one. This oddball is full of character and a great addition. Beware the Fire Eel can get to a very large size. It is important that you cover the aquarium, as the Fire eel can jump quite high. It is also a skilled escape artist and the aquarium must be properly sealed.

Fire eel

10, Oscar – Astronotus Ocellatus

Last we have the Oscar. What a great fish so intelligent and very outgoing, however most people forget how big and quick they grow and soon outgrow tanks. You need to remember these can be a dirty fish some good filtration is essential. A South American Cichlid must.


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