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. It’s made even more fun by introducing a showpiece fish to serve as your aquatic pride and joy. A centerpiece fish draws attention, stands out through either color or size, and also gets along with the other swimmers in the community tank. But which one should you get? This is a difficult question to answer as we don’t want larger fish to eat the other!
What are the key features of a centerpiece fish?
Before you go fish shopping for that perfect species, let’s go through the highlighted traits you’ll need to keep in mind. For your centerpiece showstopper fish, it’s got to stand out and be noticed! Here are two important factors:
– Color – Size
Below are five fish that we chose to highlight the different patterns and colors of each feature. These fish tend to grow slightly larger than most community fish. So, even in a smaller tank, you can have a fish that really stands out.
This article will discuss our top five favorite fish and the aquarium’s centerpiece fish. These fish will live happily in a tank of 29 gallons or less – and they won’t eat any other fish!
These are 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.
With their beautiful shape, distinctive fins, and lovely striped pattern, the striking angelfish certainly lives up to its name. These tiny beauties won’t fit into 10-gallon tanks. But, they will be happy in larger tanks (20-25 gallons) and with a tall tank (especially one that is vertically high. 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. Honey gourami makes a great centerpiece fish. It only grows to 2 to 2.5 inches in length and has a distinct warm yellow color. Another choice? The female powderblue gourami is beautiful and shimmery. It’s slightly larger than honey. To prevent aggression, only one should be obtained. If you have shrimp, it depends on the fish whether they want to eat it or not! There’s always risk in adding shrimp to fish that are too big for their mouths. While 5 gallons is a bit of a squeeze, we recommend at least 10 gallons and up as an ideal habitat size.
3. Apistogramma / Dwarf Cichlid
This striped fish is our number three choice with its bright orange and black fins. For the best color, choose a male. You could also choose the Agassizii color variety, and the double red is particularly striking. Another option is the Japanese Fire Red which is mostly orange. You can also choose the Apistogramma Borellii (yellow dwarf) if you prefer a yellow colour. These cichlids can reach 3 inches in length. They are adaptable enough for smaller fish species and can handle 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. Their tails have long pretty trailer fins. Plus, they’re also easy to care for and have a remarkably peaceful demeanor. They don’t bother other species. Living as a single fish is just fine.
1. Betta Fish
The betta fish is our number one pick! The stunning half-moon or crown tails with their huge flowy fins might get pecked at by other fish, so we recommend the Plakat Betta or Betta Pugnax, with much shorter fins. The Koi ones resemble actual koi and are very pretty. Male bettas can be aggressive but as long as only one is kept and given enough space in a 20-gallon tank, they’ll do just fine. Bettas are all unique and each fish has their own personality. We’d still recommend it for your centerpiece.