Fish are some of the easiest pets in the world when it comes to caring for them… but they still require a lot of involvement. You need a great filter to keep the water in the tank clean, you need to change the water regularly, feed them the proper food and so on.
But this is still minimal work and involvement. Even better, the older your tank setup, the less time you will have to spend caring for it. But even so, some fish are hardier and easier to care for – and that’s what we’re going to talk about today!
Which are the easiest fish to care for?
Not all fish are created equally, with some of them being much easier to care for than others. Hardy fish that can tolerate lower water temperatures and swings in water quality are the easiest to care for: guppies, bettas, mollies and plecos.
Goldfish are also a good breed of fish and are easy to care for, but we wouldn’t really recommend them to beginners. Goldfish can actually grow very large and end up requiring huge aquariums and are known to be poop factories.
This proves that even the hardiest fish out there will still require a bit of maintenance: there’s no fish that you can purchase, throw into a bowl and let it sit there indefinitely.
But the fish mentioned above accept an extremely varied set of living conditions. They are not very pretentious when it comes to water temperatures, the water quality doesn’t always have to be perfect and they are known to live long.
Let’s talk a little bit about each of these easy to care for fish and see what makes them such good choices. You can then decide which one(s) to purchase and place in your tank.
This was the first type of fish that I was introduced to when I first got into aquariums, when I was around 7.
While I am sure I wasn’t able to properly care for them (and my parents help), having them alive and well for years proved that they are indeed some hardy fish that can do well even with inexperienced aquarists.
Back when I was a child with my first set of guppies, they actually lived in a bowl with no water filter, no heater and minimal amounts of plants.
While I wouldn’t recommend that nowadays, it just proves that guppies are extremely hardy fish and they can adapt to living conditions that would kill other fish.
The biggest problem with guppies is overpopulation: even if you start with just a couple, in one year’s time, you’ll have too many guppies to handle. These are live bearing fish, meaning that they will easily multiply their numbers in any sort of living conditions.
But yes, I consider them some of the easiest fish to care for! I actually used them as livestock in one of my largest jarrariums and they did really well (but I eventually moved them away because the space they had was not enough in my opinion)
Just a couple of years after getting my first guppies, you can probably guess what new breed of fish I received as a gift (together with a larger tank). Yes, mollies!
These fish are larger than guppies but also from the same big family, meaning they’re just as hardy as their cousins. Also live bearing fish, so overpopulation will become a problem.
But for variety, they are great, coming in all sorts of colors and color combinations, with the main advantage being that females are usually better looking than guppy females.
When I was a kid, the mollies joined my guppies in a tank without additional heating and filtration and did just as well as far as I remember.
Again, I would not recommend holding them in an unheated tank – make sure to keep temperatures between 22 – 25 degrees Celsius (71.5 – 77 Fahrenheit) but know that they will do well in lower temperatures too.
They are hardy, beautiful and peaceful. Being slightly larger, they require a larger tank… but no matter where you put them, they tend to adapt and thrive.
I think it’s pretty obvious that a fish which is kept in water glasses in pet stores all over the world is a very hardy one and easy to care for.
That is true: Bettas are not only extremely beautiful (the males, at least), but they are also extremely hardy.
While getting one to keep in a glass of water is definitely not a good idea, they could live well in unheated tanks with little or no filtration. Although they do prefer to have some space and warmer water.
The biggest problem with Bettas is that most of them are pretty aggressive toward other species, so they’re not good when it comes to sharing the tank with other fish.
But sometimes, you just don’t need (or don’t have room for) more than a single fish – in which case a Betta male is extremely useful. They eat almost anything, including human food, and usually live long lives in tanks.
The Bushy Nose Pleco is another extremely hardy fish, but they are not usually popular choices for aquarists – at least not as single inhabitants of a water tank.
These fish are bottom dwellers and not very active – so definitely not spectacular.
But they are easy to care for and have an added benefit: they help keep the tank clean, by eating all the debris that falls to the bottom and which would otherwise rot and negatively influence the quality of the water.
As a result, if you have a large enough tank, you can always get a pleco and use it a company for a more active, easy to care for fish like a Betta (they usually do well together) or some guppies/mollies.
What is the most low maintenance fish?
You already have a few options, but you might still be wondering: out of all fish there, which is the easiest to care for?
In that case, if we really have to choose one… we’ll choose two. Really, no joke. Because it all depends on how many fish you want.
If you have a smaller bowl or tank or you just want a single fish, the most low maintenance fish you can get is a Betta male. They do well if kept alone in a tank and you will surely love them.
If you want more than one fish, then your best option is to go for guppies. You can also choose males only if you don’t want to risk overpopulating your tank – or go all in with at least a family that will soon start producing offsprings.
Important things to know
Even though all of the fish listed above are very low maintenance breeds and are extremely easy to care for, you should still do their best to offer them proper living conditions.
Unlike most other pets, it’s impossible to really know for sure if they are just surviving or enjoying their life in your tank – try your best to make it the latter.
This means that you should constantly do partial water changes, clean their tank of debris, feed them on a daily basis and ideally have a heater and water filter in your tank.
This will ensure that your pet fish will enjoy their time in your aquarium, will live longer and be happier for the entire duration of their lives. And in all honesty, you will only need to spend a few minutes each day caring for them – so not too bad.
Which of these easiest fish to care for are your favorites? Let us know by sharing your comments below!