Top 5 Centerpiece Fish for your Small To Medium Sized Community Aquarium

Top 5 Centerpiece Fish for Your Small to Medium Sized Community Aquarium

Creating your own ‘school of fish’ in a medium-sized or small fish tank is a fun and rewarding experience. It can be even more enjoyable if you add a showpiece fish as your aquatic pride & joy. A centerpiece fish draws attention, stands out through either color or size, and also gets along with the other swimmers in the community tank. What fish should you choose? This is a difficult question to answer as we don’t want larger fish to eat the other!

What are the key features of a centerpiece fish?

Before you head out to fish shop for the perfect species, let us review some of the important traits that you need to be aware of. Your centerpiece fish must be noticed and stand out. This is where two key factors come into play:

– Color – Size

Below are five fish that we chose to highlight the different patterns and colors of each feature. These fish grow larger than many other community fish. Even in a smaller aquarium, these fish can be truly unique.

This article will focus on our top 5 favorite and most important fish here at Aquarium Co-op. These species can all be happy in a small tank (minimum 29 gallon) and will not eat other fish.

Our Top Five Picks

You can have one fish in any size tank: a 10 gallon, 20 gallon, 25 gallon or 29-gallon.


5. Angelfish

The striking angelfish lives up to their name with its beautiful form, distinctive fins, and beautiful striped pattern. They are not suitable for 10-gallon tanks. However, if your tank is larger than 20-25 gallons (especially tall vertical tanks), these angelfish will fit in well and thrive. Although they can be quite aggressive, they are much more docile and easygoing if there is only one.

4. Gourami

Gouramis are similar to bettas in appearance. Honey gourami makes a great centerpiece fish. It only grows to 2 to 2.5 inches in length and has a distinct warm yellow color. Another choice? The female powderblue gourami is beautiful and shimmery. It’s slightly larger than honey. To prevent aggression, only one should be obtained. It is up to the fish whether or not they want to eat shrimp. There is always a risk when you add fish that can fit shrimp in their mouth. Even though 5 gallons can be a hassle, 10 gallons or more is the ideal habitat size.

3. Apistogramma / Dwarf Cichlid

Our third choice is the striped fish with its flamingo and black fins. A male is the best choice for the best color. Another option is the Agassizii variety. The Agassizii double-red color is very striking. Another option is the Japanese Fire Red which is mostly orange. The Apistogramma Borellii (yellow-dwarf cichlid) is another choice. These cichlids reach about 3 inches in size, can handle a low pH and are adaptable enough that they can be kept with smaller fish species. You might find a 10 gallon too small. However, if you have at most a 20 gallon, it’s fine.

2. Bolivian Ram

This species has fewer bright colors, thanks to its muted striped color palette. However, they are 3 inches in size, making them a great centerpiece fish. Their tails have long pretty trailer fins. Plus, they’re also easy to care for and have a remarkably peaceful demeanor. They won’t harass other species. One fish can survive on its own.

1. Betta Fish

Our number one choice is the betta fish! These stunning half-moons and crown tails, which have huge flowing fins, might get pecked by other fish. So we recommend the Plakat Betta, or Betta Pugnax. The Koi bettas look very much like real koi, and they are quite beautiful. Male bettas can be aggressive but as long as only one is kept and given enough space in a 20-gallon tank, they’ll do just fine. Each betta is unique, so it all depends on the fish! It would still be a good centerpiece.