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Freshwater Community

Freshwater Community

includes tetras, rasboras, cory cats, danios and loaches

Freshwater Community Fish are generally quiet and non-aggressive. Many are brightly colored schooling fish. Most species are recommended for beginning aquarists.

Freshwater Community

Freshwater Community Facts

average adult size: depends on species
average life span: depends on species
diet: omnivore
minimum aquarium size: 10+ gallons depending on species
water temperature: 72-82°F


A well-balanced Freshwater Community fish diet consists of:

  • Tropical flake foods, pellets.
  • Treats include bloodworms, brine shrimp and mysis shrimp (frozen or freeze-dried).


Things to remember when feeding your Freshwater Community fish:

  • Feed 1 to 2 times a day, no more than will be eaten within 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen food before feeding.


  • Keep in an appropriately sized aquarium; provide proper filtration and temperature to maintain health.
  • Stable water quality and parameters are critical to the health of aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality, Petco provides free water testing.


  • Schooling fish are happiest in groups of five or more of the same species.
  • Inhabit all levels of the aquarium.
  • Feel more secure when plenty of hiding places are provided.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


Compatible with tetras, danios, rasboras, smaller plecos, catfish and other Community fish. Can be compatible with less aggressive barbs and gouramis.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Healthy appetite
  • Bright, even coloring
  • Fins completely intact and undamaged

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color or appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • cloudy eyes
  • frayed fins
  • labored respirations
  • erratic swimming
  • weight loss
  • bloating

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health IssueFin rot Symptoms or CausesFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens. Suggested ActionImprove water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
Health IssueFungus Symptoms or CausesWhite cottony growth and/or discoloration of the eyes. Suggested ActionQuarantine fish; use a commercial antifungal remedy as directed.
Health IssueBacterial infections Symptoms or CausesCloudy eyes, open sores and/or reddening of the skin. Suggested ActionImprove water quality; use a commercial antibacterial remedy as directed.
Health IssueIch Symptoms or CausesWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly. Rapid respirations. Suggested ActionQuarantine fish immediately; use commercial ich remedy as directed.


Ask a store partner about Petco's selection of books on freshwater community fish and the variety of private brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All private brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Atypical Mycobacterium and Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note:The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.