What are the most beautiful freshwater fish?

When people think of beautiful fish, they usually think of tropical species. But there are actually a lot of beautiful freshwater fish too.

What is the most pretty freshwater fish?

A strong contender for the most pretty freshwater fish has to be the betta fish. It comes in a wide variety of vibrant colors, has long flowing fins and puts on impressive displays when it feels threatened.

betta fish are possibly the most beautiful freshwater fish
A pair of pretty betta fish – quite possibly the prettiest freshwater fish – in contrasting colors. iStock.com/armi_fauzi

What is the ugliest freshwater fish?

Looks aren’t everything, but as we’ve chosen some of the prettiest, most beautiful freshwater fish, we should probably choose an ugliest fish too.

Now, most of the world’s really ugly fish are saltwater fish – just look at the Blobfish! – usually those that live deep in the darkest depths of the ocean. The average freshwater fish is actually quite good-looking in comparison! But, for the title of ugliest freshwater fish, we’re going to choose the Dog-toothed Characin, with its grey body, up-turned mouth and sharp, protruding teeth.

The dog toother characin is definitely not the most beautiful freshwater fish
Can you find an uglier freshwater fish?

What is the coolest freshwater fish?

Whether something is cool or not is really a matter of opinion, but in our view, the coolest freshwater fish is probably the discus.

The discus is cool because it’s an interesting shape – a really unusual flat disc – it’s has bright colors and interesting patterns, and it looks like a saltwater fish.

Most people would look at a discus and think it belongs in a tropical, saltwater tank, when you can actually keep it in a freshwater aquarium. We think that’s pretty cool.

What do you think? Is the discus cool? Or would you choose a different fish as the coolest freshwater fish – perhaps one with really interesting behavior?

A brightly colored discus fish

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