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Dec 03 2015
by Elaina Berkowitz

Top 11 Fish to Have in Your College Dorm

By Elaina Berkowitz - Dec 03 2015
Fish are colorful, simple animals that are easy to take care of and do not require much work. If you feel a little lonely in your dorm, or just want a friend to take care of, fish are the perfect pet for you.

11. African Cichlids

These colorful fish are easy to care for and extremely active. It’s important to consider that they are aggressive toward tanks mates, so this would be a good choice if you’re only looking to buy one.

10. Semi-Aggressive Tropical Fish

These fish are known for their vibrant colors. They also have fun, animated personalities. It is important to note that they bully smaller tank mates, so you should ensure that they are smaller in size if you have multiple fish. This would be an ideal fish to get if you are only planning to have one or two fish in your tank and want something with a little personality.

9. Swordtails

These fish are ideal because they are very active and feed on many types of food. They are generally peaceful, but males may be aggressive towards each other and females are known for eating their young. It would be a good idea to separate tanks by gender to avoid aggression and mating. These fish also breed easily and grow to 4 inches in length.

8. Angelfish

These fish are perfect for beginners because they are extremely easy to keep. They come in many varieties, but it’s important to note that they become territorial when they mature.

7. Black Molly


These fish are known for being very peaceful. Though they are not a very exciting color, black, they are good for community tanks. They are omnivores and their maximum size is 3 inches.

6. South American Cichlids

These manageable fish come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are easy to care for and very durable. It is important that they are similar in size to other fish in the tank, but that is not too difficult because most reach 6-8 inches in length. They are also pretty easy because they can be fed a variety of foods.

5. Danios

These fish are small and hardy. They prefer to live in groups, but are not picky about what they eat. They are active schooling fish that thrive in community tanks. In addition, they are extremely tolerant of a range of water conditions.

4. Neon Tetras

These iridescent fish seem to glow in different lightening. They are schooling fish that are best in a community tank, so they are perfect if you plan to buy and care for a lot of fish. They form in groups of six or more and are perfect to add some color and glow to your dorm room.

3. Platies

These fish are perfect for community tanks. They are schooling fish that thrive in smaller groups of about five and are very easy to breed. They are broad bodied and come in many different colors. They only thing they really require are plants to provide privacy and, of course, food. 

2. Tropical Fish

These easy going fish are very colorful and active. The biggest bonus, specifically for college freshmen, is that they are extremely inexpensive. In addition, they do best when kept in schools of 5 or more. This is an ideal fish to get if you want a lot of fish but are on a tight budget.

1. Goldfish

These classic fish are well-known and beautiful. They come in very interesting varieties and are known for their gorgeous fins. They are ideal for beginners in addition to being laid back. They can actually live up to 20 years as well.

If you're looking to get one of these fish, make sure you order the essentials. Amazon has a variety of tanks that are perfect for dorm rooms and fish supplies to get started.

Like this tank for $25.99! Or this tank, below, for $39.99.


We hope you find the perfect pet for your dorm room!

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Elaina Berkowitz - Syracuse University

“Elaina is a freshman at Syracuse University majoring in Advertising. She loves writing, watching The Office and dancing. Her favorite things are ice cream and Instagram. You can follow her on Twitter @Elaina_Berk and on Instragram @elainaberk!

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