I am filling a 55-gallon freshwater tank.

I am planning to add group fish, schooling fish, like guppies and tetras. I am avoiding African Cichlids and solitary fish.

I am looking for additional, non-fish animals to add to the tank; crabs (hermit or otherwise) or shrimp or snails, for example. I want to avoid destructive animals.

What should I be looking to add? Is there anything I should explicitly avoid?

  • Dwarf crawfish, african dwarf frog, various dwarf shrimp (amano, crystal, peppermint, cherry, etc..), maybe a purple crab, but i'm not sure about that last one
    – anon
    Mar 15, 2015 at 1:50

1 Answer 1


Snails would be good. They don't do much, but it adds to the authenticity of the tank. They are good for eating algae as well. They usually require a different diet from the rest of your fish, such as shrimp or veggie chips. You will have to be careful with adding snails, because some breeds of fish will eat the snails. I have had snails in the past, and they are actually quite cool, especially when it goes on the side of the tank and you can see its belly. You will also have to watch to make sure that your snail population doesn't get out of control, as snails can lay a lot of eggs if the conditions are right.

If you wanted to add some land to your tank, you could check out some sort of frog, turtle, or newt. The most popular are:

  • Newt, toad and turtle are not a great idea for a community tank. I'd suggest stick to snails. There are various types of Nerites which does not breed in fresh water so the population outburst is not an issue. Nov 21, 2013 at 10:10
  • They can be good in a community tank depending on the species interacting Nov 22, 2013 at 11:59
  • 2
    Just so people looking at this in the future know. Turtles will eat the fish. Fire-bellied toads secrete a poison that acts as a localized anesthetic, fire-bellied newts contain toxins in their skin that are poisonous if ingested. Putting either in the water would kill the fish.
    – Spidercat
    Mar 27, 2014 at 14:04
  • 1
    The last part of this answer is simply dangerous to the fish.
    – Joanne C
    Mar 27, 2014 at 14:36

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