What Fish Go Well In A Community Tank? Here Are The Best Fish AND Tanks!

In my opinion, a community fish tank is the best kind of fish tank.

There’s nothing better than having different types of fish all interacting together as they would out in the wild.

It’s unusual to just keep a single variety of fish in a tank. You would do this if you were keeping an aggressive fish species or if your tank was too small for multiple breeds.

An aquarium with multiple varieties of fish is more colorful, attractive, and interesting.

It’s the type of tank that more aquarists go with, however, there are a few things to keep in mind before getting started. For example, what fish go well in a community tank?

Here’s what you need to know, along with some recommended tanks you could get (though the bigger the better – a 75 gallon tank is a good start).

Community Fish Tank

20 Gal Freshwater Tanks

  • Alright for freshwater fish
  • Keep 2 or 3 varieties of small fish
  • Very cheap beginner option
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40 Gal Seaclear Tank

  • Mulitple sizes available
  • Affordable 40 gallon tank
  • Large enough for different fish
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Coralife Biocube

  • Great small reef tank
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Houses many types of fish
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Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium

  • Comes with everything you need to get started
  • LED lighting
  • Decent size for keeping a range of fish
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75 Gallon Fish Tank

  • High quality tanks in large range of sizes
  • Attractive options
  • Many tanks with stands
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A community aquarium is one that is filled with a variety of fish:

  • Different species
  • Different sizes
  • With different behaviors

When you are planning how to set up a community fish tank, you need to get a large enough tank to accommodate all the species.

Some fish require more space than others, so it’s best to think big – you don’t know what sort of fish you might want in the future!

Here are some tanks that are good for housing multiple varieties of fish, before we take a look at what fish are best kept together.

1. SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Set

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This SeaClear 40-gallon tank is the perfect size for starting a community fish tank.

It is made from acrylic, which is said to be more than 15 times stronger than glass, clearer than glass, less prone to cracking and chipping, all the while being far lighter than glass.

This tank can be used as a freshwater community tank or a saltwater community tank (though the Biocube is a better starter reef tank).

The combo that we’ve linked to above includes:

  • The 40-gallon fish tank
  • Light fixture, but no bulbs
  • The top of the tank can be covered with the light fixture

2. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

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The Marina LED Aquarium Kit is another good community fish tank.

This set comes with basically everything you need to get going, though you will still need to get your own water heater and pump if you require them. This will depend on the climate in your area.

You will also need your own decorations and, of course, the fish!

The tank is made from glass and measures 24 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, and 16.5 inches high. It can also be bought in 10 or 5 gallon sizes.

These tanks are very cheap glass fish tanks that your fish will be very happy in – the bigger the better in my opinion!

What’s included?

  • A 20 gallon glass aquarium with cover to help reach and maintain water temperature
  • Daylight LED lighting set up in tank cover – can be switched on and off
  • Fish food – Fluval Max brand
  • Fluval Aqua Plus water conditioner for treating tap water
  • Fluval Cycle Biological Supplement to create the best bacterial environment for your fish
  • Soft mesh fish net
  • Aquarium set up guide and advice

3. Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit

fish for community tank

This Tetra 20-gallon aquarium is another of the best community tank choices.

It is made from special scratch-resistant glass and comes with LED lighting in the aquarium hood.

It is the full setup, coming with a range of other Tetra products.

What’s included with this combo?

  • The 20-gallon tank
  • A light hood with LED lighting
  • Tetra 100 watt water heater
  • Tetra Whisper 20 filter
  • Artificial boxwood plant mat
  • Two artificial plant multipacks
  • Sample food
  • Water conditioner

You will still need to buy more fish food, gravel, tank decorations (like aquarium driftwood), and of course, the fish!

Best Community Fish

Community fish are those that can get along with each other in a fish tank.

You don’t want highly aggressive or territorial fish as part of your tank community. A vampire tetra, for example, should not be your first choice for a community tank fish.

Good fish for community tanks are…

1. Not being overly particular about water conditions

You don’t want a fish for which it is essential they have an exact temperature, perfect ph levels, exact lighting, etc.

These conditions might not perfectly suit another fish in the community, so it is best if you have fish that can thrive in a small range of conditions.

2. Given to good health

Some fish are more prone to sickness than others.

To start off with, at least, you want fish that are not going to fall ill at the first sign of bad bacteria in the tank.

3. Active & Colorful

This might not affect the community, but it is nice for you!

Having good-looking fish swimming around your tank is what it’s all about. Choose fish that are going to be active and pretty.

How Many Fish Can You Have In A Community Tank?

best community fish tank fish

The answer will obviously depend on the size of your tank, the type and size of your fish, and the filtration setup you have in place.

The standard answer is to have 1 inch of fish per gallon of water, but it really does depend on the species. Make sure you research the water volume requirements for each fish you intend to keep.

When you are buying fish from a breeder or pet store, it’s also a good idea to ask their advice as to whether the fish you are buying is compatible with the fish already in your aquarium.

Here are some general guidelines on fish that get along well together in a community fish tank.

Best Freshwater Community Fish

What are the best community fish for a freshwater aquarium?


These fish get along well with most other varieties. However, when I had guppies they were breeding non-stop, and they have a lot of fry, so keep that in mind.

The males tend to hassle the females continuously and nip the tails of other males, but it’s nothing too serious. Just try not to let the numbers get out of control.

Neon Tetras

These are generally very peaceful and quiet fish. Though again, I’ve had a little bit of trouble with them fighting each other in one of my tanks.

For some reason, they would nip at one another very quickly, but this settled down after a while. I had to break the tank up a bit with extra plants etc. and this seemed to help the problem.


Platies are another peaceful, tranquil fish that go well in a community tank.

Like the guppies, they breed easily and can quickly dominate your tank if you are not passing them on to your friends or selling them to pet shops.

Clown Loach

The Clown Loach is another friendly fish that gets along well with other breeds in a community aquarium.

These are very quiet fish that will find a special hidden spot in your tank and spend a lot of time in there. I have one quite large one that will only come out when I put some bloodworms in the tank.

Bristlenose Catfish

Bristlenose and many other types of aquarium catfish make good community tank fish. I’ve never had any trouble with them hassling other fish or being a menace to society.

If these fish settle down and feel comfortable they will also breed.

The female will lay the eggs in a cave or castle, then the male will fertilize and sit on the eggs until they hatch. This can take over a week and he doesn’t come out to eat very often during the process.

Sword Tails

Swordtails are another good community fish for beginners.

They are not overly sensitive to water conditions (though still have your tank at 78 degrees) and get along well with other fish. As with many of the other common tank fish, they breed easily and the female delivers live young.

Best Saltwater Community Fish

What are the best community fish for a saltwater aquarium?

Butterfly Fish

A colorful fish that is popular in saltwater aquariums, and which get along well with others in the community.

They can be territorial so need plenty of space and a piece of the reef they can call their own. Double-check the tank size required for these fish before you purchase, as some need to be in tanks in excess of 100 gallons.


These are hardy and adaptable fish that every salt-water aquarium must have!

Especially if you have kids in the house. The distinct coloring and character make them wonderful to watch. Clownfish need to be in at least 20 gallons of water.


These are little fish that are fun to watch going in and out, around and around the coral.

They are quite quick and playful and make a great addition to a saltwater tank. They need to be in a tank of 20 gallons or more.


There are a variety of Gobies that make great saltwater community fish tank inhabitants.

They are peaceful fish that can live in tanks 10 gallons and above.

Types of Goby include:

  • Clown Gobies
  • Decorated Goby
  • Diamond Watchman Goby


Another peaceful community tank fish. Wrasse has delightful coloring and grows up to 4 1/2 inches.

They need to be kept in large fish tanks of 50 gallons or more.


Blenny fish are easy to care for, peaceful fish, that come in a range of colors.

They join into saltwater communities with ease and enjoy swimming around the reef.

Marine Betta

Saltwater Bettas look even more amazing than freshwater Bettas.

They are peaceful community fish that are very hardy and easy to care for. They are reef compatible and need to be in a tank of at least 50 gallons of water.

The bigger a tank the better.

Community Fish FAQs

fish that go well together in aquarium

What’s the best community fish?

Ultimately, the best community fish are those which get along well together, such as we mentioned above.

Second to that, it’s the fish you want to keep. Don’t just get fish that go well together but which you don’t personally like.

Try and tick both those boxes for a tank that you love and can be proud of.

What are the most peaceful community fish?

All of those freshwater and saltwater we listed above are reasonably peaceful or shy, and won’t cause too many problems when kept with other species.

As long as each fish has a good amount of space and you’re kept their preferred environment requirements in mind, they should live in harmony.

Breeding fish and fish having babies may need to be moved into a separate aquarium at times to avoid conflict.

Should I get fish that stay at the top and bottom of the tank?

In a community aquarium, it is a good idea to get fish that live in the different levels of the tank.

Catfish tend to stay at the bottom, tetras in the middle, and guppies will spend a lot of time near the top.

It’s best not to fill a tank with only fish that stay at the top of the tank, for example, but to try to get a variety.

Community Fish Tank Advice

You can ask us any questions in the comments section down below, though if you need an immediate answer there are better options.

If you want to find out the best aquarium fish combination when you’ve got specific fish in mind, check out these FB groups.

These are some of the best large fish tank Facebook groups:

There are always people willing and able to help you.

Getting started with a community tank can take a lot of thought, research, and planning.

A freshwater tank is the easiest to start, and a larger reef tank is much more technical. There are many accessories one requires for the best results.

For example, you may need a protein skimmer, a dosing pump, and an overflow box.

Let us know if you have any questions down below!


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