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 it even more enjoyable by adding a showpiece fish as your aquatic pride & 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. What fish should you choose? We don’t want the larger fish eating the smaller ones!
What to 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. For your centerpiece showstopper fish, it’s got to stand out and be noticed! Two key factors are important here:
– 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. Also, these fish normally grow a bit larger than other community fish. Even if your tank is smaller, you can still have fish that stand 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. They are not suitable for 10-gallon tanks. However, if your tank is larger than 20-25 gallons (especially tall vertical tanks), these angelfish will fit in well and thrive. Although they can be quite aggressive, they are much more docile and easygoing if there is only one.
Gouramis look a lot like bettas. They are both part of the Siamese fightingfish family. 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 choice? The female powder blue gourami – such a pretty shimmery color and slightly larger than the honey variety. Only get one to prevent 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. Although 5 gallons may seem a little too small, we recommend at minimum 10 gallons as the ideal habitat size.
3. Apistogramma / Dwarf Cichlid
The striped fish, with its black and flaming orange fins, is our third recommendation. Choose a male for the best color. Another option is the Agassizii variety. The Agassizii double-red color is very striking. The mostly orange Japanese Fire Red is another variety. If you’d prefer a yellow color, go with the Apistogramma Borellii (yellow dwarf cichlid), and you don’t even need a heated tank. They can grow up to 3 inches in length and can tolerate a low pH. 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. They have beautiful trailer fins that extend from their tails. They are easy to take care of and have a peaceful disposition. They will not harass other species. They can live as 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 bettas look very much like real koi, and they are quite beautiful. While male bettas can be aggressive, they are fine as long you only keep one and give them enough space in the 20-gallon tank. Each betta is unique, so it all depends on the fish! We’d still recommend it for your centerpiece.