Everyone needs company, but not everyone has room for a cat or a dog. If you’ve got an apartment and you’re looking for a new pet, here are five low-maintenance fish species to choose from.

A few options if you're thinking of getting a pet fish species
A few options if you’re thinking of getting a pet fish
Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash

Do you get lonely living in your apartment? Lots of apartment buildings won’t allow most pets; even those that do, won’t have room for a larger pet.

However, there might be room for some fish in your apartment. Fish aren’t the most cuddly pets but they will give some color and life to your space. If you’re considering getting fish for your apartment, here are a few popular options.

Betta Fish

Pet fish species
Betta fish can add color to your apartment without taking up too much space
Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

The betta fish, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is a tropical freshwater species that originate in flood plains throughout Southeast Asia. Betta fish are popular species in aquariums due to their beautiful colors. Since they can usually survive in small tanks, they’re also a great choice for people without much space to keep a pet.

Betta fish are also labyrinth fish – they can breathe air directly from the surface of the tank, which means that betta fish can survive in oxygen-deficient tanks.

You will, however, need to get a heater, since betta are tropical fish. Be careful about what goes in their tank, as chlorine can be harmful to them. If you want to learn more about how to care for betta fish, check out our article on the subject here.

Tetra Fish

pet fish species
Black Skirt Tetra are one of the many Tetra species
Photo by Cofish Aquarium on Unsplash

Tetras are a freshwater species originating from the Amazon. These colorful little fish come in several varieties, including Ember, Neon and Black Skirt. Because of their vibrant colors and easy maintenance, they are one of the most popular fish breeds in the US.

Neon Tetras tend to live in schools, both in the wild and in captivity. They also make good inhabitants for a tank with several species, as tetras as a species tend to be peaceful. As long as the other species don’t include predators, tetra can easily coexist with other fish.

If you’re getting a school of tetra fish, it will help to make sure that the tank closely resembles their natural environment. Tetra fish will require a heater since they are a tropical species. Their tank should also be heavily planted and have plenty of shade for your fish.

Angelfish

pet fish species
Angelfish make popular aquarium fish
Photo by Vishal Hanoeman on Unsplash

There are several breeds of angelfish. Like the tetra fish and the discus, they are a tropical freshwater species from South America.

Angelfish tend to make low-maintenance pets. They’re omnivorous and can eat pretty much anything, including regular fish pellets, fresh vegetables, or frozen food.

Because of their size and their unusual body shape, angelfish generally don’t do very well in small tanks – especially if you have more than one. Crowding angelfish into a small tank can lead to aggressive and territorial behavior.

Clownfish

Clownfish are also known as anemone fish pet species
Clownfish are also known as anemonefish
Photo by Zheng Wei Lim on Unsplash

Clownfish, sometimes called anemonefish, are a tropical saltwater species originating from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A peaceful, low-maintenance species, clownfish make a good choice for new pet owners.

Clownfish generally do not need a lot of space. Owners may want to get an anemone for their tank since the two species have a symbiotic relationship in the wild.

Clownfish may get aggressive if they have to share their tank with other clownfish but they can generally live peacefully with other, non-predatory saltwater species such as angelfish.

Discus Fish

pet fish species
Discus are on the large side for aquarium fish, but they make good pets
Photo by Michael Rodock on Unsplash

Discus fish originate from the flood plains of the Amazon. This beautiful freshwater species is on the large side for an aquarium fish, and are also known to be somewhat difficult to maintain. Discus fish usually live up to a decade, but some have lived for as long as 15 years.

While discus can peacefully coexist with other species, in a shoal of discus fish there may be some competition. If you have a shoal of discus fish, make sure you monitor their eating habits; otherwise, smaller members might not get a chance to eat.

As with tetras, discus fish should have a heavily planted aquarium with plenty of shade. Discus should also be put in larger tanks, as they are usually found in schools.


It’s nice to have a little life and color around your home, isn’t it? Even if you don’t have space for a dog or a cat these fish can keep you company without taking too much effort or too much space. If you have any questions or additions please scroll down to our comments section.