Welcome to this article on the best low maintenance fish to keep as pets.
Fish can be one of the easiest pets to own. For anyone who lives in an apartment or home that does not allow pets, having a fish is usually a loophole (always check with your landlord first)!
There are hundreds of thousands of different fish in the world of all different sizes, shape, colors and habitats. Some are salt-water fish and some are fresh-water fish, some eat a lot and some eat a little.
If you are a seasoned fish owner you probably are able to care for some of the more exotic fish species.
However, if you are anything like me, the only fish you have ever owned is a cheap goldfish you won at the fair that died the day after you brought it home. RIP Bubbles.
Hi pet parents! My name is Bri, and I currently do not own any fish.
I prefer dogs, but I also know that there are many animal lovers out there who prefer water animals or who do not have the option of having a dog or cat!
As a kid, we had a few fish here and there that I really enjoyed taking care of. Being young, it was a good lesson of responsibility and learning to take care of something for an extended period of time.
My parents knew that my sister and I would be the ones taking care of any fish we brought home, so they made sure to only let us have the ones that were relatively easy to take care of.
With how many different fish there are out there, this took quite a bit of research.
However, we did find that there were a handful of fish that were much easier to take care of, but were still fun and beautiful to have as pets! That is what we will cover in this guide.
I will cover my top three recommendations on the easiest and low maintenance fish to keep as pets. For each fish, I will talk about their needs for a habitat, food and overall care.
I will also cover whether or not they are good with other fish. First, I will share the list!
My top three recommendations for the easiest fish to have as pets include Bettas, Platies and Black Mollies. Now, let’s break down each fish and talk about why they made the list!
I start with Bettas because they are my favorite fish on the list. The real name for Betta fish are the Siamese fighting fish.
Their Latin name is actually Betta splendens, which is where they get the nickname betta. They are one of the most popular fish among aquarium enthusiasts..
Bettas are stunning fish that come in many different, vibrant colors. They have a fan-shaped tail and fin that boasts their stunning colors and help them communicate with other fish.
What kind of Habitat to Betta Fish Need? How often do I have to Clean their Tank?
Any fish should be put into a habitat that closely resembles the one they would live in in nature! However, Betta Fish are pretty versatile and are able to do well in various habitats.
They do best in a bowl that is at least a quart in size or larger. They need clear, clean water that stays warm, specifically between 75 to 82 degrees F, which can be a little difficult in a small bowl.
As long as you keep the bowl in a warm space they should be fine, but the water should be changed regularly! Cold, dirty water can stress out your Betta and make it easier for them to get sick.
You can either put your Betta in a heated aquarium or keep a mini heater by its bowl to keep it warm. Be careful though, the temperature needs to stay consistent.
You also do not want to keep large plants in your Betta’s habitat! They look pretty, but these fish are not plant eaters and the plant will do more harm than good.
Small plants are ideal though because that is where they like to settle in and rest! A good way to tell if your Betta’s habitat needs to be cleaned is by the water – if it starts to look foggy or you see particles floating in it, it’s time to change it.
When you change the water make sure you clean the rocks or marbles in the bottom of the bowl! Food and other nasty stuff can settle between them so this is crucial.
Are Betta Fish Good with Other Fish?
While I have heard success stories of Bettas living together, it is rare. These fish are extremely territorial and will defend their territory to the death, literally.
Betta fish will fight another fish and will not stop until one of the fish dies. I know that sounds dramatic but it is true!
Also, it is worth noting that this applies to any fish, whether it is another Betta or a different kind of fish. So to play it safe, it would be smart to keep your Betta as a single pet!
What to Betta Fish Eat? How Often Do I Feed Them?
Betta Fish are carnivores! They need meaty foods so make sure to get a high quality flake or pellet food.
You can also, and should, feed them treats like brine shrimp which can be frozen or live, or freeze-dried tubifex worms.
You only need to feed these fish once a day, and be careful not to overfeed them. Follow the feeding instructions on your food label and you will have nothing to worry about!
Platies are a great first fish because they are incredibly easy to care for. They are vivid, bright colored fish that come in literally every color in the rainbow!
Platy fish are a mild tempered fish that live anywhere from three to five years depending on how well you take care of them.
They are very small so you might not think they need a big tank, but they are extremely active. Let’s get into more detail about their habitats.
What kind of habitats do Platies need? How often do I need to clean out their tank?
Like I said, Platies are small and may not seem to need a lot of space.
However, they do prefer a tank that has lots of plants for them to hide in and need lots of open water to swim around in to keep up with their active personalities.
They need a habitat that mimics their natural one as close as possible, so make sure there are a couple inches of gravel beneath the plants for them.
When you are arranging the plants, be sure to leave them a decent amount of open space for them to swim in!
These fish will need a minimum of a 10 gallon tank to swim in comfortably, so while they are easy to take care of, you need to make sure you have a decent-sized space to keep them in.
Are Platy Fish good with other fish?
Unlike Bettas, Platy Fish are perfect companion fish for other kinds of fish! They are extremely active but peaceful, so the occasional fight will break out but nothing serious.
Make sure to pair them with other fish that are of similar size and temperament. Some great examples would be Tetras and Characins.
Keep in mind that you want to start small with your Platy population. If you have a mix of males and females, it will not take long for that population to grow!
You will want to keep more females than males in your tank. The females will be chased regularly by the males, which will wear them out and can make it easier for them to get sick.
What do Platy Fish eat? How often do I need to feed them?
Platy Fish do well on a diet of vegetable based food. This should preferably be in flake form.
They will also eat small crustaceans and plants, but veggies are the best for them! If you want to give them an occasional treat, something like bloodworms are a great choice, or brine shrimp.
If you want to do things the organic way, you can cut pieces of boiled squash, spinach and other veggies and drop them directly into the tank. They will love you for it!
A Black Molly is definitely a beginner fish, but they do need a little more maintenance when it comes to their habitat. They are completely black in color with a distinct round belly.
These are peaceful fish that repopulate quickly, so make sure you have more females than males unless you want a ton of them in your tank!
What kind of habitats do Black Molly Fish need? How often do I need to clean out their tank?
Black Mollies need at least a 10 gallon tank to comfortably swim around in. They will also want lots of plants to hide in and take their rest in!
Putting an inch or two of marbles or rocks in the bottom of the tank along with a couple pieces of driftwood will also help them feel like they are right at home in their native waters of Columbia.
Like most other fish, you want to make sure their water is clean and clear. However, you also do not want to go overboard with cleaning!
Transfering your fish out of the tank too often could stress them out and make them sick. You will be able to tell when it is time to clean out the tank!
When the water looks a little foggy and you see particles floating around, it is time to clean it out. Make sure you rinse off all the rocks or marbles too so you get all the extra food and gunk out of the tank!
Are Black Molly Fish good with other fish?
Black Molly Fish are known to school with their own kind, but are peaceful enough that they do well with other fish. They should be paired with fish of a similar size and temperament just to keep the peace!
When it comes to their own kind, like I said earlier, make sure the females outnumber the males so your tank does not become overpopulated. Females will produce 20-40 free-swimming babies at a time.
While that may seem overwhelming, you probably will not see these babies for long as they often are eaten by the adult fish. Seems a little morbid but it is nature’s way of controlling the population!
You might have a few that survive, so be prepared for your numbers to grow.
What do Black Molly Fish eat? How often do I need to feed them?
I guess I partially answered this question in the last section, but their own young are not the only things they eat! However, they do require a meaty diet.
Live worms like bloodworms, glass worms and tubifex worms are a great start for these fish. They also do well with several vegetables in their diet like spinach, zucchini, peas and lettuce.
If you find a good quality, meat-based flake food, this is also a great option! When it comes to how often you feed them, follow the feeding instructions on your food label.
If you are giving them live food, feeding them once a day is plenty depending on the size of the live food. The fish will munch on them throughout the day rather than eating everything all at once!
Final Thoughts: 3 Best Low Maintenance Fish
Fish make great starter pets for anyone who does not want a larger, more time-consuming animal.
I personally prefer having an animal I can snuggle with, but fish are beautiful to look at!
These three fish are incredibly low maintenance for those who are new to aquarium keeping. Once you get the hang of taking care of them, you can start moving onto more complex fish and aquariums!
Hope this information helps! Happy Pet Parenting!