7 Green Fish for Freshwater Tanks

Posted by on 3/13/2024

Green-colored fish are some of the rarest and least seen in the fish-keeping hobby. While some fish naturally display shades of green, others are the result of years of crossbreeding by fish-keeping enthusiasts. In this post, we'll recommend some of our favorite green-colored fish for freshwater aquarium owners.

Our Favorites

Whether you're looking to add some contrast to a tank full of red-colored aquatic plant, or you're looking for a green-colored fish to complement a dark-colored substrate, here are some of our favorite options. 

Emerald Cory

First up on our list is the Emerald Corydoras. If you're new to the world of corydoras, these fish are bottom-dwellers, meaning they'll often be found lounging along the substrate or perched on top of aquarium hardscape, such as seiryu stones or pieces of driftwood. These fish are native to the Amazon, and hobbyists will appreciate their coloration on dark-colored substrates such as eco-complete. Often difficult to find for sale, these fish reward the hobbyist with their natural beauty.

An Emerald Corydoras
chonlasub woravichan/Shutterstock.com
An Emerald Cory, displaying it's preference for relaxing along the substrate

Kubotai Rasbora

While we mostly see orange-colored rasboras, the rare Green Kubotai is a small-sized fish that makes an excellent stocking option for small-sized tanks and planted aquariums. Green Kubotai Rasboras are tiny fish, and adults only to about ¾ an inch in length! Relatively easy to care for, these fish make an excellent choice for beginners.

Green Kubotai Rasbora
Rays Aquatics/Light Fish
A Green Kubotai Rasbora

Green Dragon Bristlenose Pleco

Next up on our list is the Green Dragon Bristlenose Pleco. There are two distinct versions of the fish, a short-fin version, and a long-fin version. Both are stunning, but hobbyists will want to do their research before diving into the world of plecos. These species are long-lived, with healthy fish living for up to 12 years in an at-home aquarium! We cover this fish in more detail in our guide: Green Dragon Bristlenose Pleco: Care, Size, Lifespan & More.

A Green Dragon Bristlenose Pleco
A Green Dragon Bristlenose Pleco

Green Phantom Pleco

Another sought-after pleco is the Green Phantom. This fish is significantly smaller than the previously mentioned Green Dragon Bristlenose, and will only grow to about 5 inches in size. Hobbyists will need to provide an aquarium that's at least 30 gallons in size if they want to appreciate this fish's lime green color and laid-back temperament. For those looking to learn a bit more about the Green Phantom, we go over all the details in our guide: Green Phantom Pleco: Care, Size, Appearance & More.

A Green Phantom Pleco
5snake5/Wikimedia Commons
A Green Phantom Pleco

Neon Green Tetra

Native to the Orinoco and Negro Rivers of South America, the Neon Green Tetra (scientific name: Paracheirodon simulans) is a popular aquarium fish due to its ease-of-care and peaceful temperament. Similar to an Ember Tetra, the Neon Green Tetra tends to "color up" once your aquarium lights kick on. The result is a beautiful blue/green iridescent schooling fish that can be appreciated by both new and experienced hobbyists. We're big fans of this fish here on Light Fish, and it's even landed on our list of 10 Best Fish for Planted Nano Tanks.

Green Neon Tetra
Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com
The Neon Green Tetra (we think it looks a bit more blue than green, but we'll let you be the judge!)

Green Betta

Betta fish are some of the most popular species in the freshwater aquarium community, and as a result, there has been a huge market for breeders to produce a wide variety of exotic colors and patterns. Over the years we've seen tons of different color strains, such as the Galaxy Koi, so it's no surprise that breeders around the world have been trying to produce a green-colored betta. Hobbyists will want to do their due diligence before purchasing a green betta, as most of the green-colored bettas we've seen tend to have an iridescent-green coloration, rather than some of the more exotic shades of green advertised online.

Green Betta Fish
A well-fed Green Betta Fish

Green GloFish

GloFish have earned a controversial reputation over the years. These fish are patented by a company known as Spectrum Brands, and only authorized retailers can sell these genetically modified fish. Still, it's undeniable that these fish are green in color, earning them a spot on our list.

Green GloFish
Serhii Shcherbyna/Shutterstock.com
A Group of GloFish swim in an aquarium


That concludes our list of 7 green-colored fish for freshwater tanks. While there aren't too many options for hobbyists, we can guarantee that breeders are working around the clock to produce different shades of green among their livestock.

Did you have a green-colored fish that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to visit our marketplace, where you can find some of these fish for sale by hobbyists just like yourself!

Image of Miles Harrison

Miles Harrison

With over a decade of aquarium experience, Miles can be found writing about saltwater and freshwater aquariums. When he’s not writing about fish, you can find him going for a run or building websites, such as this one!