30 Peaceful Community Fish Perfect For Your Aquarium

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

A calm and friendly home aquarium gives an unbeatable feeling. But it rightfully depends on the specific community fish species you intend to keep at home.

Worried about the next member of your peaceful community tank? Let’s review these 30 best peace-loving guys together.

We will discuss every fish species in detail, highlighting exactly why each of them would make for a great companion inside a friendly community tank.

Walk with us as we get into the actual details now!

1. Blue Gourami

Blue Gourami is an ever-popular freshwater aquarium fish that’s beautiful, affordable, and readily available. They sport a signature Gourami appearance that entails a detailed body profile.

Blue Gourami swimming in tank.

On top of that, they have silvery-blue coloration with a dark spot at the midsection that gives a stunning display.

Blue Gouramis are more stunning in groups, creating a spectacular display that’s impossible to replicate with most freshwater fish. They readily thrive with standard tank water conditions, even if they are fond of live plants and slow-flowing waters.

Size: 5-6 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 30-35 gallons

2. Honey Gourami

Honey Gourami is another interesting Gourami species that is happy to live in a peaceful community. They have striking similarities to the aforementioned Blue Gouramis.

honey gourami swimming in a tank

However, they have beautiful shades of orange and yellow in place of the standard blue coloring, making them just as eye-catching as you would expect them to be.

Also, Honey Gouramis have intricate details all over their bodies, with their hardness and beginner-friendly disposition only making them more popular in the aquarium hobby.

While male Honey Gouramis can always show an impulsive urge to fight, such squabbles are only facilitated by small tanks. With proper planning, starting with a sizable aquarium, you shouldn’t face any problems keeping these fish at home.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

3. Rubber Lip Pleco

Hailing from Venezuela and Colombia in South America, Rubber Lip Pleco has been famously kept for its versatility.

Rubber lip pleco swimming in aquarium

They are quite hardy when introduced to community tanks, given their natural habitat has fluctuating conditions throughout the year.

As expected, this Pleco has the iconic sucker mouth for effortless scavenging, with their friendly personality giving them an endless list of possible tank mates.

Rubber Lip Pleco will be happy to call any tank their new home as long as it matches their size and has standard water conditions.

Don’t be surprised by their passive activity levels because the Rubber Lip Plecos aren’t as active and will spend maximum time at their favorite hiding spot.

Size: 7 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 20-30 gallons

4. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasboras are small, peaceful aquarium fish perfect for newbie aquarists and advanced hobbyists.

Barely reaching 2 inches in maximum size, you will instantly realize that the Harlequin Rasbora is exactly what has been missing inside your dull community.  

They are more rewarding when kept with similar-sized, peaceful fish, complementing each other to create an amazing display inside the tank.

Whenever you introduce the Harlequin Rasboras to a community tank, the general rule states that you must avoid any large, aggressive fish that might make the captivity life quite stressful.

Ideally, a small 15-gallon tank should be efficient enough to accommodate up to 10 Rasboras at a time. But as usual, the larger the tank, the better the experience. 

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallon

5. Zebra Danio

Zebra Danios are more impressive with pint-sized bodies that sport beautiful bluish-purple and silvery striped colors.

Zebra Danio swimming in tank.

These fish are only a diminutive 2 inches in maximum length, but they prefer an ample swimming space with plenty of vegetation to match their activity levels.

Naturally, Zebra Danios are friendly aquarium fish that can mingle with similar species inside the tank. However, their agility can sometimes put your shy, slow-moving fish under a lot of stress.

Also, Zebra Danios have natural fin-nipping tendencies, always targeting any shy fish with free-flowing fins.

That’s why the choice of ideal tank mates is of great concern to these fish.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

6. Diamond Tetra

Diamond Tetra might not receive the same attention as most Tetra species, but they are among the best options for peaceful communities.

Diamond tetra swimming in tank.

They are schooling fish that should be kept in groups to display their strongest attributes inside the tank.

As strange as it may sound, Diamond Tetras are famously kept in odd numbering. That means you can either keep 3, 5, 7, or 9 species at a time.

They have laterally compressed bodies with iridescent scales that stand out inside the tank. Also, they prefer well-maintained aquariums with enough plants and hiding places.

Size: 2-2.4 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

7. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain Minnow originates from China’s White Cloud Mountain as one of the best freshwater aquarium fish for peaceful communities.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

With a typical adult measuring slightly over 1.5 inches, the White Cloud Mountain Minnows are safer in groups and can be a thrilling addition to most tanks.

They flourish on the cooler side of water temperature and won’t have any problem living inside a pond if needed. As a newbie aquarist, here’s one of the best fish species you can keep without facing many challenges.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 10-20 gallons

8. Bristlenose Pleco

A typical Sailfin Pleco is an interesting fish for many reasons, but they always have an aggressive side that’s just so difficult to deal with, even more so for newbie aquarists.

Bristlenose Pleco swimming at the bottom of a fish tank.

Fortunately, Bristlenose Pleco readily exists as the perfect alternative.

Unlike most catfishes, Bristlenose Plecos never grow beyond 6 inches in captivity, making them easy to manage when introduced to a community of active freshwater fish.

For the best experience, we recommend at least 30 gallons for Bristlenose Plecos, and that’s down to their enormous waste production.

In general, choosing new tank mates should be of least concern seeing as these fish readily mingle with other friendly species like the Neon Tetras, Guppies, and Platy fish.

Size: 3-5 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 25 gallons

9. Pictus Catfish

Pictus Catfish is a lesser-known variant of the broader Catfish family famous for its nocturnal behavior. They are peaceful bottom-dwelling fish with excellent scavenging abilities.

Pictus catfish swimming in tank.

If you need a small, nonaggressive community fish that will only mind its business inside the tank, Pictus Catfish it is.

They will always spend much of their time at the desired resting point, far away from the general commotion, and only ever coming out at nighttime.

They can confuse your smaller fish species with being an ordinary snack. That’s why any selected Pictus Catfish tank mate should be equally peaceful, medium-sized, and passive.  

Size: 5 inches

Difficulty: Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

10. Glowlight Tetra

Glowlight Tetra is another excellent option for novice aquarists, given its peaceful disposition and low maintenance. If the tank water conditions are befitting, Glowlight Tetra can readily cohabitate with a wide range of fish species.

Glowlight tetra swimming in tank.

Like most peaceful fish, these Tetras are happier in groups, and keeping the right number of fish (usually 8-10 species) would be great for a start.

Of course, you need a bigger aquarium to do that, which is why we recommend a minimum of 20 gallons from the start.

When introducing new tank mates, try as much as possible to avoid any large, aggressive fish like most Cichlids that could feast on your little Glowlight Tetras.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

11. Guppy Fish

You won’t believe how easily the ever peaceful Guppy fish could transform your tank if you match it with the right decorations. They are cute, little live-bearers that everyone is aware of in the aquarium community.

Guppy fish swimming in tank.

Many aquarists adore Guppies because of the varied color patterns that could easily light up any aquarium. They are peaceful, beautiful, and easy to breed, with long, flowing fins that are sure to catch your visitor’s attention.

As a peace-loving aquarium community fish, a typical Guppy deserves pristine living conditions to maintain its beautiful coloration all season.

Beyond the small body lies a pretty adaptable fish that does best with hard, alkaline waters inside a well-planted tank.

Remember, their effortless breeding means they can easily take over your tank. And if you are unsure how to handle that, stick to the male Guppies alone.

Size: 0.6-2.4 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

12. Dwarf Gourami

A nonaggressive freshwater fish with an oval shape, Dwarf Gourami combines its unique coloring with a gentle personality to make for an alluring look inside the tank.

Dwarf Gourami swimming in tank.

They are outright beautiful freshwater fish wearing stunning orange-red and iridescent white shades.

We can’t stress their ease of care enough because that’s one of the biggest reasons they are so popular in the aquarium community.

There has been a widespread notion that Dwarf Gouramis are a territorial fish, with many aquarists even choosing to avoid them altogether just because of that.

So, to put it straight, Dwarf Gouramis are excellent in communities. However, everything depends on the chosen tank mates.

If you are careful enough only to cherry-pick other friendly companions, you shouldn’t have any problem raising a thriving community.

That aside, Dwarf Gouramis also love their habitats calm and comfortable, meaning you should avoid strong water currents, bright light, and curious tank mates.

Size: 4-4.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

13. Sparkling Gourami

As one of the cutest fish species you will ever come across in the aquarium hobby, Sparkling Gourami truly is one of its kind.

sparkling gourami swimming in aquarium.

Sparkling in their name eliminates any doubt you might have heard about their appearance. And truly, Sparkling Gourami is one of those fish species that will never let you down if you value aesthetic appeal.

They have slender bodies packed in so much beauty. At first glance, you will spot beautiful stripes and dots running the length of their bodies, with semi-transparent fins that take on a noticeable blue coloring and shades of red and black at the edges.

While all Sparkling Gouramis will be peaceful, a few can be timid inside the tank, prompting you to avoid any large, predatory tank mates that may want to assert their dominance inside the aquarium.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

14. Otocinclus

The little Otocinclus are insanely popular among fish lovers for their algae-eating abilities.

Otocinclus Catfish swimming in tank.

They are best when kept in groups and, as part of a peaceful fish community, will rarely become the typical troublemakers inside the tank.

As a natural vegetarian, only food truly matters to the Otocinclus. And as long as you maintain a steady supply of algae and other plant-based matter, everything else becomes a breeze.

Never forget that the Otocinclus are one of the most delicate members of the Loricariidae family, thriving under very specific conditions when kept in captivity.

Generally, it’s important to pay attention to the water parameters to ensure everything stays within the acceptable range. On the same note, avoid aggressive, large-sized fish that would be a nuisance to your petite, adorable Otocinclus.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

15. Bolivian Ram Cichlid

We know what comes to your mind when we mention Cichlid fish, aggression. Fortunately, the Bolivian Ram Cichlid does just enough to disapprove many aquarists.

Rarely do we find a peaceful freshwater Cichlid that only wants good food and its space inside the tank. But such is the rare combination exhibited by the Bolivian Ram Cichlids.

Typically, the breeding period puts most freshwater fish under so much stress, and for the Bolivian Ram Cichlids, this is the only time you may notice spontaneous aggression from them.

However, that should never be an issue if you introduce a new breeding tank to accommodate the mating partners.

In general, Bolivian Ram Cichlids take on a typical Cichlid appearance, but with larger fins and more colorful shades all over their bodies.

A typical fish will have a beautiful combination of black stripes with a red hue in some body parts and shades of iridescent shimmer.

Size: 3 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

16. Peacock Gudgeon

Hailing from New Zealand, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, Peacock Gudgeon comes as a beautiful freshwater fish that will brighten any aquarium.

Peacock Gudgeon swimming

They are one of the best community fish with vividly colored bodies that can be red, yellow, or silvery blue.

On top of that, the beautiful Peacock Gudgeons have long, slender bodies with long fins that charmingly complement their colorful look.

They are best kept in groups and can exhibit spontaneous aggression to one another even though such fights are never serious enough to attract much attention.

A typical routine will involve casual exploration as long as the tank size is perfect, as the adult fish searches for any edible food inside the aquarium.

Size: 3 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

17. Pearl Gourami

When it comes to elevating the tank’s appearance with a colorful freshwater aquarium fish, there’s none like Pearl Gouramis. They are brilliantly colored freshwater fish of Asian descent with attractive white spots on their laterally compressed bodies.

Pearl Gourami swimming in tank.

Pearl Gouramis wear multiple colors on their bodies, including silver, orange and yellow. Besides, they are one of the hardiest freshwater fish species ideal for beginner-level aquarists.

While everything will revolve around the beautiful color markings that are sure to capture anyone’s attention, the true value in keeping the Pearl Gouramis is in their temperament.

They do well in community tanks with an endless list of suitable companions if you avoid any bossy, aggressive fish. It’s worth mentioning that the male Pearl Gouramis can get quite territorial. And that’s why a perfect grouping should only follow the one male per tank rule.

Size: 4-5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

18. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach is an outright showstopper if you need variety inside the tank. These medium-sized, peaceful bottom dwellers are an absolute must-have for anyone looking for a peaceful algae eater that’s easy to maintain.

kuhli loach

They spend much of their time towards the tank bottom, sifting through the substrate to find leftover food. A typical fish requires clean waters with a soft sandy substrate that’s smooth on their bodies.

Also, Kuhli Loaches need enough hiding places given their natural tendencies to hide inside the tank. Never forget that the Kuhli Loach is a nocturnal species, with much activity only expected at night.

For anyone looking to go beyond the ordinary, the Kuhli Loach’s snake-like appearance could be all you need to add an element of rarity inside the tank.

Size: 3-4 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

19. Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra is a small, peaceful freshwater community fish that’s a charming addition to any tank. Their 1-inch body sizes are so addictive to watch and will live their best lives when kept in schools.

ember tetra swimming in aquarium

Aggression isn’t an Ember Tetra thing with their petite bodies, and you can expect them to mingle effortlessly with other peaceful fish inside the same habitat.

This is key to setting up a dream aquarium with most of the peaceful, small-sized community fish you may already have in mind.

Generally speaking, Ember Tetras have only risen in popularity because of their mesmerizing look. A typical fish can be a joy to watch inside the tank, sporting an exclusive orange-red coloring.

Size: 1 inch

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

20. Cherry Barb

Cherry Barb is the next interesting community fish for your home aquarium. They inhabit the tropical waters of Sri Lanka and can be mesmerizing with their brilliantly colored bright cherry-red bodies.

Cherry barb swimming in tank.

They display a likable personality with a peaceful temperament that allows them to cohabitate with other similar-sized, friendly fish species like the Otocinclus, Pearl Gouramis, Asian Stone Catfishes, Mollies, and Kuhli Loaches, among the rest.

As for the typical tank décor, be sure to introduce your Cherry Barbs to a well-planted aquarium with a dark sandy substrate, caves, rocks, driftwood, and other hiding spots.

Don’t forget to keep them in groups to help them exhibit their almost flawless schooling abilities.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 25-30 gallons

21. Chili Rasbora

Chili Rasbora is a small, ray-finned schooling fish that everybody talks about in the aquarium community.

Chili Rasbora swimming in a fish tank

They have cemented their names in the aquarium hobby with a bright-looking red and pink coloring that’s so hard to ignore.

Chili Rasboras have had a meteoric rise in the aquarium trade, with a vast majority of experienced hobbyists agreeing that they are one of the simplest species to care for. But it doesn’t end there.

These fish species have a peaceful disposition expected from most small-sized fish. They can explore the tank in groups as long as they feel comfortable, happy, and secure.

You can keep your Chili Rasboras with other passive tank mates like the Neon Tetras, Celestial Pearl Danios, Sparkling Gouramis, and Dwarf Shrimps, among the rest.

Size: 0.7 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

22. Cory Catfish

Who doesn’t love the Cory Catfish? These peaceful, bottom feeders belong to the Callichthyidae family and are often ideal as beginner-friendly peaceful freshwater fish.

cory catfish swimming in tank.

They are easy to maintain and can also combine perfectly with other peaceful tropical fish to create a beautiful aquarium.

Their robust protective armors mean they are safer inside the aquarium and can casually explore their new home without worrying about bodily injuries.

Cory Catfishes exist in multiple varieties, and if it’s a small tank, we recommend the Corydoras Pygmaeus.

If you need a charming personality to transform the mood inside your aquarium, we can only think of a charismatic little guy in the Corydora Panda.

What’s more, ensure the designated tank has enough live plants with adequate hiding spots and a soft, sandy substrate.  

Size: 1-4 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 20-30 gallons

23. Neon Tetra

Now, this is the classic Tetra fish that would do well in a community tank as long as there are no large, predatory fish on sight.

Neon Tetra swimming in the tank

Thanks to its attractive body and easygoing temperament, Neon Tetra is a popular name in the fishkeeping community.

They are best for schooling communities, with up to 6 or more species to create an alluring tank display. Of course, they only measure about 1.5 inches in maximum size, meaning they will require an added cover in the form of plants and other hiding spots.

The general rule for keeping Neon Tetras at home is to avoid aggressive tank mates. And as long as the key parameters stay within acceptable levels, you shouldn’t have any problem maintaining a thriving community.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10-20 gallons

24. Molly Fish

Oh! The ever-reliable Molly fish. It’s interesting to see that despite their long history in the fishkeeping community, the Molly fish haven’t lost the unique personality and beautiful coloration that once made them a highly sought-after species in the aquarium hobby.

molly fish

Native to the natural streams and marine waters of South America, the Mollies come as the complete package, peaceful and easy to maintain, with a charming personality.

For anyone looking for a plain-looking live-bearing fish that’s just as captivating as it can get, don’t second guess your options here.

With selective breeding, aquarists now have a wide range of options to choose from, including the Black Mollies, Gold Dust Mollies, Harlequin Sailfin Mollies, and White Mollies, to mention a few.

And well, Mollies are somehow larger than the Common Platies and Guppies, meaning they will need a slightly larger tank when kept at home.

Size: 3.5-4.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

25. Black Skirt Tetra

For anyone who loves the Tetra fish but wants to escape the plainness of the standard Neon Tetras, here’s a peaceful freshwater fish that epitomizes originality.

black skirt tetra swimming in fish tank.

Everything begins with a distinct tetragonal body pattern that sets the Black Skirt Tetras apart from the rest.

On top of that, these fish have distinctive fins that appear forked to produce a dramatic effect inside the aquarium.

As for the typical coloration, Black Skirt Tetras wear a grayish silver coloring all over their bodies. The base coloration is well complimented by black or dark gray fins and a pair of unique-looking stripes covering at least half of the whole body.

Black Skirt Tetras can live with most aquarium fish except the aggressive types or those with long, free-flowing fins.

Size: 3 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 15 gallons

26. Bala Shark

Apart from the name, nothing is intimidating about Bala Shark care. They are similar to the dreaded man-eating saltwater sharks in general appearance.

Bala shark swimming in aquarium.

However, they are a friendly freshwater fish that stands out with their long dorsal fin and unique appearance.

Be wary of any small fish introduced to a Bala Shark’s home because they often confuse most little creatures with a typical snack.

But apart from that, you should have a stress-free experience keeping these fish at home, given the Bala Sharks are hardy enough to withstand different conditions within the habitat.

Also, be sure to create plenty of hiding spots inside the tank, given that’s the only place your peaceful Bala Sharks will find comfort in the time of need.

Size: 12 inches

Difficulty: Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 120-150 gallons

27. Cardinal Tetra

Well, the list of popular small Tetra fish is incomplete without mentioning Cardinal Tetra, another peaceful, agile, schooling fish of the Characidae family.

Cardinal tetra swimming in tank.

They get along with most aquarium fish and can be a wonderful addition to community tanks. 

At first glance, Cardinal Tetras are almost inseparable from their Neon cousins.

But if you squint hard enough, you will spot long, neon blue and red stripes running vertically along the Cardinal’s body.

While the Neon Tetras have the same stripe, it is shorter and slightly faded, giving the slightest difference between the two species.

Also, Cardinal Tetras are highly active and will want to explore any part of the aquarium. That means you should only include the right tank mates with proper decorations that promote healthy living.

Of course, they will turn to their schooling community for added security and comfort.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

28. Platy Fish

Platy is another gorgeous freshwater aquarium fish that’s worth your attention. They are popular live-bearing fish originating from Central America and Mexico and are often kept for low maintenance.

platy fish swimming in the tank

Platy fish resembles most fish in the Poeciliidae family, with an iconic shape that epitomizes natural beauty. They have sleek body profiles with triangular-shaped heads, forked caudal fins, and ray-finned anal, pelvic, and dorsal fins.

Of course, there’s no mentioning of Platy fish without the extensive color variations. You can find them in almost any desired color pattern, from the beautiful orange variants to black and multi-colored species.

Size: 2-3 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

29. Congo Tetra

The colorful Congo Tetra is an African Tetra fish with a vivid display inside a home aquarium. At first glance, you will want to include them in your tank, and that’s down to the splendor of their glittery scales that are just as beautiful as their bodies.

Congo tetra swimming in tank.

What’s more, Congo Tetras have another blue coloring towards the underside to give them a magnificent look. They are considered low-budget, low-maintenance freshwater aquarium fish, with a peaceful temperament to go with it.

When kept inside a peaceful tank, they can easily become an easy target for other aggressive fish or the typical fin nippers like the Angelfish, Bettas, and Ryukin Goldfish

Size: 3-3.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

30. Celestial Pearl Danio

The last fish on our list is a brilliantly colored species sometimes likened to a shimmery star.

Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danios are rightfully nicknamed the Galaxy Rasboras because of the eye-catching pearl-like dots all over their bodies.

They have a deep blue base coloration with red or deep orange fins. Celestial Pearl Danios prefer well-planted aquariums with some flexibility in substrate choice. However, you should stick to fine dark sand to create a natural look.

As the typical community fish, the Galaxy Rasboras will never live with aggressive tank mates. Instead, you should match them with other friendly varieties like the Neon Tetras, Guppies, and Molly fish.

Size: Up to 1 inch

Difficulty: Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons 

Final Thoughts

Now, that’s it. The list of the 30 best peaceful community fish is just as detailed as you would expect.

While all the fish species on our list are amazingly beautiful and would transform any aquarium, we always advocate for sanity when choosing the right pet fish. At best, you will want a species that’s easy to maintain and fits your preferences.

If you have any lingering questions about our comprehensive list, we are here, waiting to hear from you.