My therapist suggested getting a fish, what would you suggest as a beginner fish owner?
ok so for a beginner overall i would say that bigger is better! and by that I mean that you should try to get the largest tank possible (this will make it easier for you and better for fish!)
now i’m not saying that you need to get a 100 gallon or anything but if you have a choice between a 5 gallon and a 10 gallon go for the 10. (choice between a 10 and a 20 go for the 20 etc.)
it’s easier to maintain a larger aquarium because the added water volume gives you some wiggle room for errors. a good beginner tank is a large, understocked one.
(i’m just going to ramble about fish after this. mostly just to give you some ideas. make sure to do research on the individual fish that you end up deciding on!)
Betta splendens (betta fish)
honestly, bettas are really ubiquitous on fishblr for a reason: they’re really good for beginners (and people of all skill levels)
they have personality! they’re small! and they come in lots of colors and shapes so you can pick your favorite one! you could pick the biggest, fiestiest betta and watch it rule over it’s new home! or you could pick the smallest, saddest looking betta and give it the best present ever! lots of options!
a single betta in a 10 gallon tank would be an awesome place to start. you could plant it with real plants if you wanted to. if you want a more personable pet, one that will greet you when you walk up to the tank, then a betta would be perfect! you can even train them to do tricks (jumping out of the water to touch your finger, flaring at a pencil, swiming though a hoop, etc)
for a betta you would need at least a 2.5 gallon tank (though i’d recommend a 5 or a 10 to be extra safe. plus your betta would feel like royalty in such a big space) you would also need a heater and a filter.
or maybe you want something that schools in a nice group. schooling fish need larger tanks because they need more friends to feel safe. I’ve always loved watching schools of fish move together. i think it’s calming.
Tanichtys albonubes (white cloud mountain minnows)
you could do a school of white cloud mountain minnows. they thrive in cooler water so you wouldn’t need a heater. you could have a small school in a 10 gallon but I would recommend having a larger school in a 20 long or a 29 gallon aquarium. that way they have more friends and feel safer!
these little guys aren’t as personable as a betta but they should move around as a group through the tank. it’s really relaxing to watch imo.
for these guys you would need at least a 10 gallon (but a 20 long or a 29 would be much much better) you would also need a filter.
if you don’t like/can’t find any white cloud mountain minnows but you like schooling fish you could also look into harlequin rasboras, rummy nose tetras,(both would need heaters) mollies or platies (might not need heaters? it seems like they have really wide temp ranges from what i’ve seen. i’m not sure). also dwarf corydoras are an option. (all of these would probably need a 20 long or a 29 gallon tank)
all of these guys are schooling fish who would appreciate having a larger tank with more friends. most people would recommend 6-8 fish in a school but i think 8+ would be better.
if none of these guys strike your fancy then liveaquaria is a good website to browse types of fish. each fish has a care sheet which is more or less accurate. (what i would do is to look up a fish you like on live aquaria that’s considered “easy” and then research it in other places and/or ask about it on fishblr.)
also make sure to read/watch videos on testing water quality, cycling an aquarium and how to do water changes. all of these are very important for successful fish keeping! this is a good article to read for a basic overview. (you can ignore number 5 it’s not really necessary for beginners imo)
i hope this helped some at least?? maybe other people will add some info.