5 Small Fish For Your Mini Aquarium Set Up

An aquarium is a perfect way to bring life to a dull space. But some spaces are small and an aquarium setup would only add insult to injury. That’s why the mini aquarium was invented!

Mini aquariums range from two to five gallons and they can provide a luxurious addition to any space. Even if all you have is a desktop you can still have a few small fish.

Imagine watching your fish dart around and hide in their secret coves that you’ve created for them. Creating an environment for your fish is fun and relatively simple but you do have to be careful which fish you choose. A mini aquarium is meant to hold only a few small fish.

You should never put a large fish in a small tank. It will either outgrow the tank very quickly or soon die. So, here we’ll discuss five fish that pair well with a mini aquarium. Keep reading to learn more.

Our Favourite Mini Aquariums

Mini Desktop Aquarium

Marina 360 Aquarium 10L

Interpet Nano LED Aquarium

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1. Tetra

There are a variety of tetras that will do well in a mini aquarium. They thrive on diets composed of small dried foods like micro pellets and flakes although they should be supplemented with frozen and planktonic foods.

A School of Neon Tetra

These are active fish and they like to school together in groups of five or more. They enjoy slightly acidic water such as they are used to in their natural environment where the temperature is usually below 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Tetras are capable of adjusting to more tropical environments but it is suggested to create a habitat for them that closely mimics the wild.

You can pair them or school them, whichever you prefer. They will do well together with other small tetras and other small fish.

Tetras are some of the most popular fish for home-style aquariums as they are easy to maintain and quite a joy to look at. Their vibrant colours and friendly personalities make them a favorite among many.

2. Catfish

You can find a few different varieties of small catfish that will do well in a mini aquarium. Our favorite is the Otocinclus Catfish. Their max size is two inches and they will be fine in a five-gallon aquarium.

Jaguar Synodontis Catfish

These fish love eating algae and they’re best paired in a tank with other small fish. They will not only help to keep the tank clean but you’ll have fun trying to find them as they quietly nibble along.

This is one of the smallest catfish in its family and it has a strong appetite. You’ll likely need to supplement the diet with algae-based flakes, pellets or wafers.

These are peaceful fish and you can use them in a tank with many different types of fish. They do well in small groups of no more than six, or pairs.



3. Betta

A favorite single fish among many small tank fish keepers is the male Betta fish. They are easy to care for and require minimal setup.

Beautiful Beta Fish

The one particularity about male Betta fish is that they don’t do well with other fish. They are an aggressive species and are best kept in small 1-2 gallon aquariums by themselves. You can provide fake or real plants for your Betta to swim through, hide in and lay on.

These are fun fish to keep because they are entertaining and luxuriously beautiful.

There are a few different varieties of Betta fish available. They originate from Southeast Asia where they make their homes in rice paddies which are drainage ditches and warm floodplains in the region.

4. Tiny Gourami

There are two types of tiny gourami:

  • Sparkling Gourami
  • Liquorice Gourami

They should both be kept in an aquarium no less than five gallons and they both enjoy the same type of diet which includes frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex worms. They are likely to refuse dry foods initially but can be trained if you prefer to feed them this way.

The Sparkling Gourami

These are the smallest of the species ‘Gourami’ reaching just one and a half inches in their adult life. Gouramis are neat because they can actually breathe above the water with special organs called labyrinths.

These smaller gouramis can be difficult to care for because they are native to slow-moving waters like swamps and pools. These environments provide rich nutrients to the fish. They are low in oxygen and very acidic which can be difficult to replicate in a mini aquarium.

If you do choose the tiny gourami, they can be paired well with other small fish or grouped in a school of no more than five.



5. Fancy Guppy

Guppies are great because they’re small and colourful and oftentimes curious creatures.

They’ll do best in a five-gallon tank in a school of five or less. You can keep more but be careful not to overcrowd them. Guppies come from tropical waters so it’s important to keep their tank temperature regulated at all times. They should have water in the range of 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fancy Guppy

Feed them well with tropical flakes that can be found at any pet store. Try to stick with a name brand so you’re not getting a bunch of ‘fillers’ in the food that don’t provide the right nutrients for your fish.

You’ll enjoy your mini aquarium light on these little guys because they’re so uniquely colourful and vibrant. This is especially true at night with other lights dimmed or turned off.

Setting Up Your Mini Aquarium

Before you can get your fish, you must ensure that your tank and supplies are sufficient. Make sure you have a tank large enough to house as many fish as you plan to keep. Mini aquariums typically house 1-5 small fish.

You can include plants in your aquarium and you should decorate it with seascapes and rocks. Decorations and rocks and plants are good for your fish to give them hiding places and filter their waste.

Do your research on the type of tank and accessories that you purchase to make sure it’s a trustworthy brand with good reviews.

When you’re all set up, add the fish and enjoy your new mini ecosystem.