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9 Of The Most Interactive Fish In The Fish Keeping Hobby!

The number of people getting involved in the fish keeping hobby has been sky rocketing in recent years and there are a huge number of people new to the hobby keeping fish right now.

The issue is that some people who are new to keeping fish get bored quickly and although they enjoy looking at their fish and caring for them, they sometimes wish that they had chosen a more interactive pet.

Due to this, we have decided to publish our own article going over the most interactive fish that you are able to keep within your tanks to help keep you entertained.

Our hope is that we will be able to help you find an interactive fish for your tank but please do your research on the care requirements for each of these species as not all of the fish in our list are beginner friendly.

In addition to this, we have tried to cover a wide range of interactive fish that need different water parameters and tank sizes while also having different levels of aggression too.

Due to this, you are not able to keep most of these fish species in the same aquarium tank as each other so please don’t try to fill a tank with the species listed below, choose one and then build your tank around that specific fish.

Most Interactive Fish!

Here is a short list of what we would consider the most interactive fish:-

  • Betta Fish!
  • Jack Dempseys!
  • Puffer Fish!
  • Oscars!
  • Fire Eels!
  • Green Terrors!
  • Black Ghost Knifes!
  • Convict Cichlids!
  • Bosemani Rainbows!

Betta Fish!

Betta fish are a firm favorite for a lot of people looking for an interactive fish as they are generally very easy to care for while still being beautiful to look at.

They are also one of the most intelligent fish species that you are able to keep as a pet and bettas have been known to learn tricks such as swimming through hoops and even giving kisses when you dip your finger tips in their tank water.

Betta fish are also able to recognize their owners and will often greet them at the front of the tank when they see them approaching with the betta staring at their owner.

One of the issues that you need to be aware of with betta fish is that they are very aggressive towards other fish species and should not be kept in a community tank unless you have a very large tank and the other fish are much too big for the betta to hurt.

Some people have even been able to train their betta fish to go to their betta hammock on demand and lay down but this will take a large amount of consistent training.

Jack Dempseys!

Jack Dempseys are another very popular fish species that people like to keep for their interactive qualities and they are also a very beautiful fish too.

They have been known to be very friendly with their owners often following them around the tank and looking at them while they perform their daily tasks such as cleaning the tank or feeding the fish.

Jack dempseys can be very aggressive though so we usually only recommend that experienced fish keepers keep them due to their aggression levels and larger tank requirements.

We have a dedicated article going over our green terror vs jack dempsey comparison that may be able to help you choose between two of the featured fish species on this list.

Puffer Fish!

The popularity of keeping puffer fish is sky rocketing right now with the valentini puffer and pea puffer both being extremely popular options.

Both can be interactive fish but you will usually have to put some time and effort into getting the fish used to you.

Puffer fish are not usually recommended for beginner fish keepers as they have very specific dietary requirements but if you do your research, you should be able to keep one with minimal issues.

We have this article going over keeping a pea puffer in a 5 gallon tank after seeing so many people asking about it for the species.

We would usually recommend that you go with the valentini puffer if you have the space and budget available to meet their tank requirements though as they are a more interactive fish.

If you are wanting to integrate your valentini puffer into a community tank then our article going over valentini puffer tank mates may be worth reading.


Oscars are a very popular fish species and they are known for being one of the most interactive fish that you can keep as a pet.

They have been known to learn tricks but they can be difficult to train when compared to something like a betta fish.

Oscars are also very intelligent fish and they will often recognize their owners and greet them at the front of the tank.

Oscars are a very active fish and they will often follow their owners around the tank while they are performing their daily tasks too with it being common for an oscar to stare at their owners.

Fire Eels!

Fire eels are not as popular as the other entries on this list as they usually need a huge tank and are often better options for more experienced fish keepers.

That said though, fire eels can be very interactive and if you are able to form a bond with your fire eel then it will respond to you and potentially take food from your hand.

You may be able to pet your fire eel too but petting any type of fish does pose a risk so we usually recommend against it.

Depending on your location, it can be very difficult to find fire eels and even if you can find them, they can often be expensive too so keep that in mind.

Green Terrors!

Green terrors are a very intelligent fish but they can also be very aggressive so they tend not to do well in most community tank setups and they are usually better suited to the more experienced fish keeper.

If you have the time available to bond with your green terror cichlid then you can usually form a bond with the fish and it will become increasingly interactive with you the stronger the bond gets and the more time you spend with it.

Black Ghost Knifes!

Black ghost knifes also need a large tank and can be very expensive depending on your location so this will rule them out for many of our readers.

That said though, you will usually find that they are a suprisingly intelligent fish and that they can become very interactive.

Just like some of the other fish on this list, they can form a strong bond with their keepers and stare at them through their tank throughout the day while also being interactive if you spend time with the fish.

Convict Cichlids!

The convict cichlid is a very popular fish species due to their low cost and the fact that they are very easy to care for as far as cichlids go.

They are also a very active fish and they will often follow their keepers around the tank which can make them seem quite interactive.

Convict cichlids can be aggressive though so you will have to plan out your tank setup prior to actually purchasing your fish.