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10 Peaceful Fish for Community Tanks (with Pictures)

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

Aquarium set up

Community fish tanks are popular in the aquarium hobby. They allow you to add in all your favorite fish without having to purchase separate tanks. Community tanks can be beautiful and entertaining when you have added in various types of fish regarding shape, color, and size. Although community tanks are easy to maintain if you have the right conditions, there are a few factors to consider first before you go ahead and house different fish together.

Community tanks thrive when all the tank mates are peaceful and do not harass each other by chasing, fin nipping, or fighting. Some fish are just not happy when kept with other fish like bettas, whereas some species of fish feel happy and secure when kept with other fish.

This article will help you determine which fish you can place into a peaceful community tank.’



The 10 Peaceful Fish for Community Tanks

1. Neon tetras

neon tetra
Image Credit: Kristiana Berzina, Shutterstock

These fish are one of the most common and peaceful shoaling fish for community tanks. They have a vivid coloration that looks metallic under bright lights. They bring life into an aquarium and look striking in planted tanks. Neon tetras should be kept in groups of 8 or more to reduce aggression amongst one another. They will happily fit into a 20-gallon tank with other small fish. Neon tetras are hardy and adapt well to many types of environments. Due to their small size, they are at risk of being eaten by larger fish.

2. Danios

Two Celestial pearl danios
Image Credit: Bos11, Shutterstock

Danios are another type of colorful shoaling fish. They mainly swim near the top level of the tank and should be in groups of 10 or more. They can begin to chase their group mates if the shoal size is too small. Danios do not get very big and can be added to an already over-populated community tank.

3. Corydoras

Corydoras Catfish
Image Credit: Rethinktwice, Pixabay

These peaceful and playful catfish will spend most of their time cleaning different surfaces in the tank. They enjoy being in groups of 4 and should be housed in tanks that are heavily planted. They prefer to spend most of their time at the bottom and mid-level of the tank.

4. Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos
Image Credit: TTONN, Shutterstock

Plecos are one of the best community fish. They generally mind their business and spend their time at the bottom of the tank. There are many different types of plecos that are suitable for community tanks, but the bristlenose variety is the most recommended. If you have a community tank over 100 gallons, then a common pleco is a good choice as they can get up to 12 inches in size.

5. Mollies

ballon mollie
Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

Mollies are a type of livebearer fish, and they should be kept in groups of 8 or more. They are colorful and the perfect size for 30-to-55-gallon tanks. They get along well with a variety of other fish and quite playful fish.

6. Platys

Red Wagtail Platy
Image Credit: Joan Carles Juarez, Shutterstock

These fish are related to mollies and swordtails. Platys are colorful and interesting fish that are shyer than mollies are. They are not as hardy though and are sensitive to poor water quality.

7. Swordtails

red swordtail
Image Credit: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock

Swordtails are a species closely related to mollies and platys. They have a pointed tail which gave them the name and they are small and timid. Swordtails do best in groups of 6 or more.

8. Black skirt tetras

black skirt tetra
Image Credit: Joan Carles Juarez, Shutterstock

You can get different types of black skirt tetras. The most famous variety is the GMO version of this tetra. They are colorful and do not get overly large. They do well with many different types of fish and rarely cause trouble.

9. Dwarf gourami

Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock

Dwarf gouramis are good centerpiece fish for community tanks that are populated with small shoaling fish. They grow to a medium length and come in a variety of colors. They get along well with other fish and swim around the middle level of the aquarium.

10. Fancy guppies

fancy guppies
Image Credit: panpilai paipa, Shutterstock

Guppies are an all-time favorite amongst community tank keepers. They are colorful and attractive fish that bring life into the community tank. They are not aggressive and get along with different species of fish. They will mainly inhabit the top level of the tank.



Considerations When Setting Up a Community Fish Tank

There are many considerations that you should take before you create a community fish tank. Several aspects will determine if the community of fish will be successful, or a failure.

Tank size

The tank should be large enough to comfortably house a range of different fish. The smallest recommended community tank size is 20 gallons. Many fish will become stressed and aggressive if they do not have an appropriate amount of space. Never use a bowl or bio-orb as a community housing method. These are too small and limit the number of fish you can keep inside. If you want to keep multiple grouping fish like tetras, then you will need a tank that is over 30 gallons in size.

aquarium cleaning
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock


Live plants with rocky caves and floating plants can provide an attractive view, but also provide each fish with a hiding spot. These visual barriers also help to ensure that the fish cannot constantly see each other.


Big fish will easily eat small fish in seconds. If it fits in their mouth, they will eat it. Always choose fish that are similar in size to prevent this from happening.


Peaceful and aggressive fish do not mix well. They will constantly bully, chase, nip, and attack each other. This causes stress and disease outbreaks amongst the community. Peaceful fish belong together, whereas aggressive and territorial fish should be housed with their own specific compatible tank mates. Not only does it cause stress amongst the individual fish, but it is also unappealing to look at a community tank where the fish are not getting along.

tetra fish swimming in tank
Image Credit: Juan Carlos Palau Díaz, Pixabay


Each species of fish will require a special diet. Do not feed your community tank one type of food for all, but rather purchase separate foods that meet the requirements of the specific fish. Bottom feeders will eat sinking foods like algae wafers or sinking pellets. Whereas smaller shoaling fish will eat flakes, small pellets, or granules.

Swim level

Every fish inhabits a different level of the tank. This is where they will spend most of their time. It is important to not overcrowd each level so that they all have enough space to swim without bumping into one another.




Keep in mind that most community tanks are tropical, and the fish require a heater. The heater should be set to the desired temperature that can comfortably accommodate all the species of fish. Do not mix cold water and warm water fish, either species is going to be uncomfortable in these conditions and will fall ill. Most peaceful community fish can be housed together in the same tank, given that the tank is large enough and has adequate filtration.

Featured Image Credit: zoosnow, Pixabay

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