Choosing the Best Schooling Fish for Planted Aquariums

Estimated read time 7 min read

Planted aquariums can be a mesmerizing addition to any home, with their lush greenery and colorful fish adding to the beauty.

However, selecting the right school fish for your planted aquarium can be challenging.

This article will provide a comprehensive list of the best schooling fish for planted aquariums, their characteristics, and how they coexist with other fish.

Here’s the quick list;

  1. Neon Tetra
  2. Harlequin Rasbora
  3. Cardinal Tetra
  4. Glowlight Tetra
  5. Cherry Barb
  6. Ember Tetra
  7. Celestial Pearl Danio
  8. Pygmy Corydoras
  9. Endler’s Livebearer
  10. Rasbora Heteromorpha
  11. Pearl Danio

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Neon Tetra

Black Neon Tetra - Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi
Black Neon Tetra

Neon Tetras are popular for planted aquariums because of their striking blue and red colors.

They’re peaceful fish that love to live in groups, which makes them ideal for schooling.

Neon Tetras are compatible with most peaceful fish and have a lifespan of up to 5 years. They thrive in soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

Harlequin Rasbora

Rasboras is a good tank mate for black neon tetra
Rasbora’s

Harlequin Rasboras are another stunning schooling fish for planted aquariums.

Their orange and black pattern adds a captivating appeal to the aquarium.

Harlequin Rasboras are peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups of 6 or more.

They are compatible with most peaceful fish and have a lifespan of up to 5 years. They thrive in soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

Cardinal Tetra

Cardinal Tetras
Cardinal Tetra School

Cardinal Tetras are similar to Neon Tetras but with a deeper red coloration.

They’re peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

Cardinal Tetras have a lifespan of up to 5 years and prefer soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

Glowlight Tetra

Glowlight Tetra In 10 gallon tank
Glowlight tetras schooling

Glowlight Tetras are fascinating schooling fish for planted aquariums. Their orange and silver pattern contrasts beautifully with green plants.

Glowlight Tetras are peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups of 6 or more.

They’re compatible with most other peaceful fish and have a lifespan of up to 5 years. They thrive in soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

Cherry Barb

Cherry Barbs are colorful schooling fish that add a pop of red to planted aquariums.

They’re peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

Cherry Barbs have a lifespan of up to 5 years and prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH range of 6.5-7.5.

Ember Tetra

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon Amandae)
Ember Tetras swimming together

Ember Tetras are smaller schooling fish that bring a burst of orange to planted aquariums.

They’re peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

Ember Tetras have a lifespan of up to 3 years and prefer soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0.

Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danios, or galaxy rasboras, is a colorful and unique schooling fish for planted aquariums.

Their blue and orange pattern stands out beautifully against green plants.

Celestial Pearl Danios are peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

They have a lifespan of up to 5 years and prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0.

Pygmy Corydoras

Pygmy Corydoras are peaceful and small schooling fish that bring a playful element to planted aquariums.

They’re bottom-dwelling fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

Pygmy Corydoras have a lifespan of up to 3 years and prefer soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0.

They appreciate a substrate such as Fluval Stratum that mimics their natural habitat.

Endler’s Livebearer

Endler’s Livebearers are colorful and active schooling fish for planted aquariums. They come in a variety of colors with unique patterns.

Endler’s Livebearers are peaceful fish that prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

They have a lifespan of up to 2 years and prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH range of 7.0-8.0.

Rasbora Heteromorpha

Rasbora Heteromorpha, or blackline rasbora or harlequin rasbora, is a peaceful and colorful schooling fish for planted aquariums.

Their black and orange pattern adds to the aquarium’s aesthetic beauty.

Rasbora Heteromorpha prefers to live in groups and is compatible with most other peaceful fish.

They have a lifespan of up to 5 years and prefer soft water with a pH range of 6.0-7.5.

Pearl Danio

Pearl Danios are peaceful and active schooling fish for planted aquariums. They come in a variety of colors with unique patterns.

Pearl Danios prefer to live in groups and are compatible with most other peaceful fish.

They have a lifespan of up to 5 years and prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.0-7.0.

When selecting fish for your planted aquarium, it’s essential to consider their compatibility with each other.

Besides the fish mentioned above, many other schooling fish can be added to planted aquariums.

However, overstocking the tank is not advisable. Instead, aiming for one inch of fish per gallon of water is advisable.

It’s crucial to provide proper filtration for your planted aquarium. A good aquarium filter, such as the Fluval 206 canister filter, can keep the water clean and healthy for your fish.

Proper nutrition is also essential for your fish. For instance, Betta fish require a varied diet that includes pellets, frozen or live foods, and occasionally vegetables.

If you’re considering keeping dwarf gouramis in your planted aquarium, selecting compatible tank mates is vital. Good dwarf gourami tank mates include other peaceful fish such as tetras, rasboras, and corydoras.

If you observe your fish swimming sideways, it may be a sign of swim bladder disease, which can be caused by overfeeding or poor water quality.

Therefore, it’s critical to monitor the water quality in your tank and avoid overfeeding your fish.

In conclusion, selecting the right schooling fish for your planted aquarium can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

There are numerous options to choose from, but it’s essential to consider the compatibility of the fish with each other and provide proper filtration and nutrition for your fish.

With good care, your planted aquarium can become a beautiful and thriving ecosystem for your fish to flourish.

Now that you’ve explored the fascinating world of schooling fish, it’s time to dive even deeper into this captivating topic!

Here are some articles to help you expand your knowledge and discover more about the best schooling fish for various aquarium sizes and setups:

  1.  Best Schooling Fish for 5-Gallon Tank: Learn about the perfect schooling fish options for a compact 5-gallon aquarium.
  2.  Best Schooling Fish for 10-Gallon Tank: Explore a variety of schooling fish that thrive in a 10-gallon tank, adding life and movement to your setup.
  3. Best Schooling Fish for 20-Gallon Tank: Discover the ideal schooling fish for a 20-gallon aquarium, creating a mesmerizing underwater display.
  4. Best Schooling Fish for 30-Gallon Tank: Enhance your 30-gallon tank with a selection of schooling fish suitable for this size.
  5. Best Schooling Fish for 40-Gallon Tank: Uncover the top schooling fish choices for a 40-gallon aquarium, adding color and dynamism to your setup.
  6. Best Schooling Fish for 55-Gallon Tank: Find out which schooling fish will make your 55-gallon tank an aquatic wonderland.
  7. Best Schooling Fish for Aquariums: Get an overview of the most popular and best-suited schooling fish for various aquarium types.
  8. Best Schooling Fish for Community Tank: Discover the ideal schooling fish that can peacefully coexist with other species in a community tank setup.
  9. Best Schooling Fish for Planted Tank: Learn about the perfect schooling fish that will complement and thrive in a lush planted aquarium environment.
  10. Bottom-Dwelling Schooling Fish: Explore the world of bottom-dwelling schooling fish, adding diversity and intrigue to your aquarium floor.
  11. Mid-Level Schooling Fish: Dive into the realm of mid-level schooling fish, which bring balance and movement to the middle section of your tank.
  12. Schooling Fish for Small Aquariums: Uncover the best schooling fish options for small tanks, maximizing beauty without overwhelming your space.
  13. Top-Dwelling Schooling Fish: Learn about the fascinating top-dwelling schooling fish that will enhance the surface of your aquarium with their captivating behavior.

By exploring these resources, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of schooling fish, their care requirements, and the most suitable options for different aquarium setups. 

As you continue to learn, you’ll be able to create the perfect aquatic environment for your schooling fish to thrive in.

So, immerse yourself in the captivating world of schooling fish today!

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