Top 10 Fish For Beginner│ Without Oxygen Filter

fish that can live without air pump

The trend of keeping fish in aquariums started 4500 years ago by Sumerians, they used to keep fish in artificial ponds. Goldfish was one of the first fish breeds introduced for fishkeeping. 

But they used to die within a few days due to lack of oxygen, So later different designed tanks and filters were introduced for a suitable environment. 

Anabantoidei is a species of fish that breathe through the intestine, they can use atmospheric oxygen as they come on top of the surface and use atmospheric oxygen. These species do not require artificial oxygen machines in an aquarium. But you must keep open space on top so they can breathe through the atmosphere. 

The temperature of these species should be about 27-27℃ and for female species they need something to hide as males tend to get aggressive, keeping some aquatic plants will be sufficient. So let us start with our countdown.

10. Suckermouth Catfish

Suckermouth Catfish

Suckermouth Catfish are native to South America and they are close to the Catfish family. These fish have a sucker-like mouth to hold a grip on plants and rocks. They mainly love to stay low and deep inside the water. 

They have a scale bone-like layer on the body. They can be small when young, but as they grow up they can be up to 30 inches. So you must provide a large tank. They have a life span of 10-15 years. They are found in black and brown color with spots and strips over them. Females tend to have round bellies whereas Males are slender and skinny.

9. Platy Fish

Platy Fish

Platy fish are found in Mexico and Central America, they are similar characteristics to molly fish. These fish are found in the group and have varieties of a breed like Mickey Mouse, Sunburst, Red Wag, Blue, Bumblebee, and Green Lantern. 

They are about 2-3 inches in size and have a life span of 3-4 years. They can survive one week without food. Males tend to have to mate every time, so it's recommended that you keep two females for one male platyfish.

8. Mollies or Molly Fish


Mollies are found in Malaysia and the American part of the region. These fishes are found in varieties like Black mollies, Sailfin mollies, Balloon mollies, Lyretail mollies, and Dalmatian mollies. 

They are also called common molly, Characters are they are playful, energetic, less aggressive, and calm. They tend to be in a group and they have a size of 3-5 inches. The lifespan of these fishes is 3-5 years.

7. Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami is found in India, West Bengal, Assam, and Bangladesh. These fishes can live for 6-8 hr without water as they breathe through the lungs through the atmosphere. They breed in floating leaves like lotus plants. 

Male gourami is larger than the female with turquoise blue vertical strips and extended fins. They need a temperature of about 22-28℃. They are non-aggressive and calm. They are found in pearl, marble, golden, spotted blue, neon, and rainbow color. And finally about the lifespan of 2-3 years.

6. Paradise fish

Paradise fish

Paradise fish are mainly found in Southeast Asia like China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, and some part of the United States. They need an optimum temperature of 16-25℃ and required clean surroundings, so you must keep their tank clean.

They are territorial and aggressive and tend to kill fish smaller than them. You should keep one male in one tank with a group of female paradise fish. Some of the variants of paradise fish are M.Opercularis, M.Ocellatus, and M.Spetchi. They are 4 inches in size and have a life span of 6-8 years.

5. Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio

Zebra Danio is native to Ganges & Himalayas region as these fishes don't like warm habitats they are mainly found in the colder region. These are tiny fishes with a black and white horizontal strip over their body. They are found in groups and are peaceful. 

The temperature to be maintained for these fishes is 21℃. They are found in Silver gold, albino, and gold in color. They have highly active and have a life span of 2-3 years.

4. Ember Tetras

Ember Tetras

Ember tetras are one of the breeds of tetras breed which is found in Brazil. These fishes are red and orange with partially transparent body. They love to relax in aquatic plants and tend to be in groups of 15-10. 

These breeds are perfect for the beginner as they are inexpensive and hardy fish. Their diet includes larvae, small insects, and vertebrates of small size. They have a life span of 8 years. Other varieties of tetras are glow, neon, glow light black, lemon, and rosy.

3. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Mountain minnow

White Cloud Mountain minnow is native to the Chinese mountain stream and Vietnam. These fish are easy to care for in a bowl and friendly with other breeds of fish. They have a fluorescent color line over the body with a red tail. 

Males are more colorful and slender than females. They have a size of 1-2 inches and a life span of 3-5 years. They are unaggressive and simple behavior fish. These fish are also called Chinese danio. 

2. Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta Fish

Betta Fish

Betta fish originated in Thailand 150 years ago, these fish are about 3 inches in size. Males tend to have beautiful long fins whereas female fins are short and not attractive. These fish need a temperature of about 25℃ and their stomach are the size of their eyeball, So you mustn't feed much. 

Their physical character is they have elaborated fin and overlapping scale, and are found in varieties of colors like red, green, and blue. They have a life span of 3-4 years. During the breeding, season males build up bubble nests and have matting with the female. 

After which females lay eggs and males place the egg in a bubble nest until babies are formed. At that time they don't let females be around the nest and attack females. Betta fish are aggressive they should be kept separate as they fight with other fish and harm them even if it is of another breed that is how they got the name fighter fish.

1. Guppy


Guppies are native to Central and South America and are found in varieties of shades. Males have bright colors and colorful tails compared to females. They can survive without food for more than one week and can sustain temperatures up to 15℃. These fish doesn't require much cleanliness as they are hardy fish and sustain anywhere in the environment. 

Male size is about 3-4cm whereas females are about 5-6cm. Wild guppies live more compare to breed guppies. They have a life span of 2 years. Characteristics are they are unpretentious, perky, and found in abundant colors like red, yellow, green, and blue. They are easy to breed fish.


In conclusion, certain fish breeds can live without an oxygen machine or air pump, despite the fact that the majority of fish species need one to exist in an aquarium. These species include the Anabantoidei, the Suckermouth Catfish, the Platy Fish, the Mollies or Molly Fish, the Dwarf Gourami, the Paradise Fish, the Zebra Danio, the Ember Tetras, and the White Cloud Mountain Minnow.

Honorable Mention:

  • Angel Fish
Angel Fish

  • Redtail Shark
Redtail Shark

  • Swordtail Fish
Swordtail Fish

1. Can Molly fish live without oxygen?
Any organism in the world cannot survive without oxygen, so it's important even if you do not install a filter you must provide a tank with aquatic plants and open space to the atmosphere.

2. Which fish can be kept in the bowl?
Fishes like betta fish, guppy, zebra danio, and tetras can be kept in a bowl

3. What is the life span of molly fish?
Molly fish have a life span of 3-5 years

4. Can a fish live in Vodka?
No. Your fish will die instantly as vodka is high in alcohol and impurities your fish won't survive.

5. Which is the easiest fish to keep alive?
Guppy is the easiest fish to keep alive with a limited amount of food and oxygen.

6. What fish can live in a bowl without oxygen?
Fish like guppies, betta fish, zebra danio, and molly can live in a bowl without oxygen.
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