What Is The Most Low Maintenance Fish?

One of the most important responsibilities of a pet owner is looking after your pet. While fish won’t require your constant attention and company like a dog or a cat, they can still require a bit of work on your part. That said, some fish are much easier to care for than others. So what is the most low maintenance fish?

The most low-maintenance fish are live-bearing species. Common fish in this family are guppies, platys, mollys and swordtails. Other hardy fish include zebrafish, betta, tetra and, of course, the ever-popular goldfish. Keep reading below for more details on each of type of fish.

What Is The Most Low Maintenance Fish

While the list below provides several examples of low-maintenance fish, which of these is truly the most low-maintenance and easy to care for?

We will look at the following low-maintenance fish to determine their pros and cons.

  • Guppies
  • Platys and Mollys
  • Zebrafish
  • Betta
  • Tetra
  • Goldfish


The guppy is a fairly common low-maintenance fish, and they are of the Poecilid family and live-bearing. Guppies are very hardy and can be kept in a tank or a pond. One word of warning, though, is that they can reproduce rapidly, so expect your numbers to multiply. 

The guppy is small in size and can range anywhere from 0.6 inches to 1.4 inches in length.

Guppies are adaptable and can live in freshwater and saline tropical tanks. They are relatively social fish and should be kept in numbers. A great benefit of guppies is that they feed off algal growth, which will help keep your tank algae-free. They otherwise can be fed basic flakes. 

If your state experiences cold winters, your tank may need a heater.


Platys And Mollys

Platys and Mollys can often be found in aquariums and tanks with guppies. They are also live-bearing, and of the family Poeciliidae, these are also hardy fish and can manage room temperatures. Both platys and Mollys will grow to a maximum of 2.8 inches, so they are small to medium size for aquarium fish.

Like guppies, platys and mollies are also prolific breeders, so again, be prepared for your population to increase in size. Although capable of surviving at room temperatures, as with guppies, if you live in a state with cold winters, it is advisable to get a heater for your tank during the cold months.

molly fish


The zebrafish is another smaller fish otherwise known as the danio rerio. They have a pretty striped appearance as their name suggests and, best of all, are low maintenance. Unlike some other fish, zebrafish aren’t hugely fussy temperature-wise so they won’t require a heater. 

Zebra danios can be fed flakes or pellets. This fish does need others like itself, so it is best to buy a few of them as they like to swim in a school. They manage well with other species.

zebra fish


Bettas are smallish fish ranging from 1 to 5 inches in length. They are more commonly known as Siamese fighters elsewhere in the world. The betta comes in various colors, with males having long rayed-fins.

These are easy fish to care for, although the males can be quite aggressive, particularly toward other betta males and, at times, towards other species. 

Male bettas are often kept on their own in a small tank, although they coexist peaceably with females. 

Bettas are able to thrive in low oxygen conditions so that they can manage without filtration. It should, however, be noted that their tanks or aquariums should then be cleaned and their water changed more frequently to ensure their best health.

Nonetheless, the betta is a beautiful and low-maintenance fish that makes a good pet for a beginner when it comes to keeping fish.

What Is The Most Low Maintenance Fish


There is a large variety of tetra available. One of the more common is the neon tetra due to its bright coloration. These are very small fish growing to a maximum length of 1.5 inches. Due to their very small size, they don’t require large tanks or aquariums. However, they should be kept in groups of three to five as they like to school together like zebrafish. 

Tetras are freshwater fish and can be kept at room temperature. Because of their small size, they don’t create much waste and won’t require tank cleaning as often. For food, they can be fed flakes or small pellets.

tetra fish


Last but not least is the goldfish. This is one of the most well-known pet fish on the planet. Goldfish come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. They are hardy fish that can be kept at room temperature with or without filtration

Goldfish can grow to up to 14 inches in length, so be prepared to need larger aquariums as your fish gets bigger.

If you opt to keep one without a filter, you will, however, need to clean their water and tank regularly as goldfish are known to be one of the more messy fish. With a filter, the tank will still require occasional cleaning.


What Makes A Fish Low Maintenance?

Before we take a look at the most low-maintenance fish available, we will first take a look at what defines low maintenance. A low-maintenance fish is easy to care for and requires minimal effort on the owner’s part, which makes them great fish for beginners.

Of course, you will need to ensure your fish is adequately fed and housed, but a low-maintenance fish will not have picky dietary requirements. Neither will it need special lighting, perfect filtration, or complicated heating systems. 

Some fish may destroy your aquatic plants, while others will not. Once you know what you want your tank to look like, it makes it easier to decide on the type of low-maintenance fish to choose.

A further factor to take into account is the sociability of the fish. Can the fish live with other species, or should it be kept on its own? Certain species will fight, and others may try to eat other fish.

Which Low-Maintenance Fish Is Best For You?

Deciding on the best fish is a personal decision and will depend on what you are looking for in your pet and your aquarium. 

If you only wish for a single fish, a Betta is a good choice. If you would prefer a busier aquarium, perhaps a combination of some of the species may be an idea. In the end, all fish above are considered low maintenance in fish-keeping terms. 

It is, however, important to remember that low maintenance does not mean that there will be no maintenance. If you decide to get a fish, you should always ensure that its environment is suitable and clean and has sufficient nutrients.


Whichever of the fish you choose from our list, you’ll find them easy to care for, especially if you’ve never cared for fish before.

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