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easy cold water fish to keep

Every cold water fish tank owner has experienced the difficulty of keeping certain fish species alive in their tanks, especially if those species are live-bearers, which are especially hard to keep. If you’re interested in keeping a cold water fish tank, but don’t want to experience the heartbreak of losing your fish before you even get to name them, here are some of the easiest cold water fish to keep in your tank.

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Comet Goldfish

Sarasa Comet GoldfishSarasa Comet Goldfish
Humanfeather / michelle jo, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While some people prefer Koi, Comet Goldfish are an easy cold water fish for beginners. They’re hardy and tend not to experience as many illnesses or problems as other goldfish varieties. Even better, they grow slowly, so you won’t have to worry about your little one out-growing its tank—making it perfect for that big space on your bookshelf. They’re also quite pretty, with their long bodies and flowing fins—and if you get bored of them, they can live happily in outdoor ponds year-round. It doesn’t get much easier to keep them than that!

Glow light Tetra 

Glow Light TetraGlow Light Tetra
gonzalovalenzuela, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Glow light Tetra is an extremely easy cold water fish. They are very peaceful and great for beginners. However, they do best when kept in schools of 6 or more. If you're looking for cold water fish that prefer colder water, like goldfish, then be sure to read up on what species will work well in your tank before purchasing. Goldfish don't thrive at temps over 70 degrees Fahrenheit! That's something people often overlook when trying to keep them as cold water fish. Other popular cold water fish include koi and crawfish!

Bloodfin Glass Tetra

Bloodfin Glass TetraBloodfin Glass Tetra
Chronotopian, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bloodfin glass tetra has some interesting characteristics that make it one of the easiest cold water fish species to keep. These include long fins, intense colouration and relatively small size (3 inches maximum).

The bloodfin glass tetra lives in shoals of 20 or more, so if you’re thinking about adding these beautiful little fish to your tank, we recommend getting at least that many. If kept correctly, they should be able to live up to eight years or longer.

You’ll need water with neutral pH levels and adequate aeration for healthy bloodfin tetras; tanks no smaller than 30 gallons will suffice. And don’t worry—these fish are easy to feed!

Zebra Danio

Pogrebnoj-Alexandroff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The zebra danio is an active, schooling fish that's easy to care for. It can be kept with other fish and will thrive when kept with its own kind.

Zebra danios are best kept in groups of at least five or more. They prefer cooler water temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for cold water tanks where other tropical species might suffer because of low temperatures.

In fact, most zebra danios live longer than one year, which isn't something you see often with tropical species. The zebra danio doesn't grow very large; it reaches about 2 inches long at most but keeps its black and white stripes throughout adulthood.

Green Neon Tetra

Green Neon TetraGreen Neon Tetra
Atulbhats, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The green neon tetra is one of several tetras that are commonly kept as fish for tropical freshwater aquariums. It originates from South America and can be found in most parts of Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay.

Their lifespan generally ranges from four to five years but they have been known to live longer depending on care.

The bright colour of green neon tetras can make them hard to miss while they swim through your tank, but they shouldn't be overlooked; their peaceful nature makes them suitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists.


Common GoldfishCommon Goldfish
ぱたごん, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are many types of goldfish available, but keepers of cold water fish tanks will soon find they are really only interested in two varieties: common and shubunkins.

These fish have been selectively bred for their hardiness and size. They also grow fairly large, so it’s important to take that into consideration if you don’t have much room for your cold water fish tank.

There are other breeds of goldfish that do well in cooler temperatures, but I wouldn’t recommend them to someone new to keeping these kinds of fish because they tend not to be as hardy or forgiving as common or shubunkins.


Guppy FishGuppy Fish
D3LL, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Guppies are among some of the most popular cold water fish. If you’re thinking about putting one or more into your own cold water fish tank, read on for our best tips for keeping them healthy and happy.

Fancy guppies are popular aquarium fish and easy to care for because they’re disease-resistant and don’t require fancy filtration systems or heaters.

In fact, they prefer temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them ideal for those with small tanks or apartment settings where space heaters aren’t allowed.


When you think about keeping fish, it's easy to automatically think of tropical fish with big colourful fins. But you might be surprised at just how many fish do well in cold water tanks.

Not only can these creatures thrive without being given special treatment, but they can also make great tank mates for your tropical fish. Give cold water fish a try—they’re easy to keep and fun to observe! And if you'd like more information on these unique species, contact us today.