Fish That Start with A: A Comprehensive Guide to Aquatic Species

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Table Of Fish That Start with A Overview

Fish NameSizeHabitat & Care RequirementsFun Fact
Angelfish6 inchespH 6.5-7.5, 74-78°FKnown to be territorial especially during breeding
Arowana36 inchesSpacious tanks, live foodAssociated with luck and prosperity
Anemonefish (Clownfish)4.5 inchesSaltwater, anemonesThe dominant fish in a group is always female
Archerfish5-6 inchesBrackish water, insectsCan shoot water streams to knock insects
African Cichlids5 inchespH 7.8-8.6, hiding spacesKnown for rapid evolution and adaptability
Australian Rainbowfish4-5 inchesAlkaline water, varied dietColors become vivid during mating or when threatened
African Butterflyfish5 inchesStill waters, insectsExcellent upward vision, poor downward vision
Albino Cory Catfish2-3 inchesPeaceful tank, soft substrateKnown to “play dead” by lying still

Where it all begins – the letter “A.” 

There are over 32,000 fish species on the planet, which can make picking a few for your home aquarium a challenging decision. (*)

To help you with this, we’ve decided to go through the alphabet one letter at a time, giving you a list of our favorite fish species starting with each letter! Below are our favorite species that start with the letter “A” to give you some ideas. 

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1. The Majestic and Territorial Angelfish (Freshwater) (Pterophyllum scalare)

  • Size: Typically 6 inches
  • Care: Angelfish thrive in a pH of 6.5-7.5 and temperatures of 74-78°F. A varied diet, including both flakes and live food, will keep them happy and healthy. 
  • Fun Fact: Despite their heavenly name, Angelfish can be somewhat territorial, especially during breeding.

Few fish are as gorgeous and majestic as the freshwater angelfish. Seriously, these fish look like they belong in a painting.

Angelfish have long, triangular fins and bodies that display a variety of intricate patterns and bright colors. From stripes to marble patterns, there’s no shortage of uniqueness when it comes to angelfish.

Though they do have the name “angel,” angelfish are actually known to get pretty territorial – especially around breeding time. So, you’ll want to give them plenty of space and not put too many in one tank together.

Regardless of their tricky personalities, angelfish make beautiful additions to any large tank for those willing to take care of them. 

2. Bringing Luck and Fortune: The Arowana (Scleropages formosus)

  • Size: Up to 36 inches
  • Care: They need spacious tanks, and a diet mainly of live food, like insects and smaller fish. 
  • Fun Fact: These fish are believed to bring luck and prosperity, which makes them highly sought after!

Looking for a challenge? Here it is: the Arowana.

Arowanas are some of the largest fish you can keep in captivity with their incredibly long bodies and massive scales. Usually, they grow around 3 feet long!

These fish have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, and are native to several different areas between Africa and Asia. Some have even been found around Australia!

Because of their size and beauty, they’re typically associated with prosperity and good fortune, especially in Asian cultures. 

If you plan to raise an Arowana, prepare to get the largest tank you can get so they have plenty of space to swim around. They’ll also need a rich diet of live foods to give them the strength and energy they need to thrive. 

Those who have been lucky enough to own an Arowana have said its like having a small dragon living in your home!

3. Love Finding Nemo? Try the Anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

  • Size: Up to 4.5 inches
  • Care: Anemonefish need saltwater setup with anemones to replicate their natural habitat. They eat a variety of foods, from algae to small crustaceans. 
  • Fun Fact: The dominant fish in a group of Clownfish is always female.

Anemonefish, better known as clownfish, are some of the most recognizable fish in the world. With their bright colors and solid white stripes, they’re easy to identify in any tank.

And it goes without saying that Finding Nemo helped with some of that, too.

Anemonefish are incredibly charismatic and are known for their symbiotic relationships with anemones. The anemone provides protection and food, while the clownfish protects the anemone and gives it nutrients. 

Remember how they called it “home” in Finding Nemo? It’s like that in real life, too!

If you plan to raise your own, they’ll want some anemones to call their own. Give them lots of options to keep them happy. 

And if you notice any strange behavior in your clownfish, don’t be too surprised – all clownfish are actually born male, and one fish eventually turns female once the dominant one in a school dies. They’re incredibly adaptable and know exactly what they need!

4. Shoot and Score: The Archerfish (Labrus jaculator)

  • Size: 5-6 inches
  • Care: These fish prefer brackish water, with a varied diet of insects being their favorite. 
  • Fun Fact: Archerfish shoot water streams from their mouths to knock insects into the water.

Bet you never thought you’d see the term “sharpshooter” associated with a fish before, but here we are.

Indeed, archerfish are the sharpshooters of the water. They’re able to use their special tongue to shoot a sharp stream of water at insects hovering above the water, causing them to fall onto the surface and become a tasty treat. 

In many cases, you can observe this in your own home if you raise archerfish!

Though they do prefer brackish water, archerfish are known for their adaptability and hardiness, so they’re a good choice for beginners looking for a unique addition to their home. 

5. Shimmering and Mouthbrooding African Cichlids (Cichlidae)

  • Size: 5 inches
  • Care: These fish need a pH of 7.8-8.6 with plenty of hiding spaces in the tank. They also eat a strongly omnivorous diet. 
  • Fun Fact: Their ability to rapidly evolve and adapt to different niches within lakes is some of the most astounding in the world.

There are many different types of cichlids out there, but African cichlids are some of the most vibrant and beautiful. These fish are highly active and make for an entertaining fish tank in your home.

African cichlids are known for their adaptability and diversity, so they do well in a variety of tank conditions. However, you should always do your best to provide them with an optimal home similar to their native homes in African waters.

These exotic fish display a range of unique behaviors from territorial disputes to fascinating breeding rituals. For one, they’re known for their “mouthbrooding” abilities, where females are able to carry their eggs in their mouths until the eggs hatch.

Because cichlids in general can be aggressive, you’ll want to give them enough space and tank mates that can handle their strong personalities. 

6. Australian Rainbowfish: Shimmering and Social (Melanotaenia nigrans)

  • Size: 4-5 inches
  • Care: These fish prefer slightly alkaline water and a varied diet of flakes, live, and frozen food. 
  • Fun Fact: The Australian rainbowfish’s colors can become more vivid during mating or when they feel threatened.

If you’re looking for a bright, shimmering fish friend, look no further than the Australian rainbowfish.

These fish are aptly named for their bright, dazzling colors that bring a nice pop to any home aquarium. They’re also known to get even brighter during mating season.

Alternatively, these fish sometimes show more colors when feeling threatened. Keep a close eye on the color of your fish to determine how they may be feeling in their tank.

Naturally social, these fish are peaceful in nature and are also pretty hardy. They make great aquatic companions to newbies and experienced aquarists alike. 

7. Get a Lid for the African Butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi)

  • Size: 5 inches
  • Care: They prefer insects and floating foods, with still waters replicating their natural habitat. 
  • Fun Fact: African butterflyfish have excellent vision upward but don’t see as well looking down, which makes them great surface dwellers.

The African butterflyfish brings aquarists a combination of fish and bug aesthetics.

Unlike other fish species, African butterfly fish have wide fins resembling the bright wings of butterflies. Because of their inability to see downwards very well, they typically skim the top of the water to look for a nice insect treat. 

Because they’re surface feeders, you should make sure to give them lightweight food that will float at the top of the water. Calm waters and a secure lid are a must, too, as they tend to be jumpers. 

You don’t want to come home and find your butterflyfish on the floor!

Because of their unique appearance and behavior, they’re a favorite for many fish owners. 

8. Boo! The Albino Cory Catfish (Corydoras aeneus)

  • Size: 2-3 inches
  • Care: These catfish prefer peaceful tankmates, soft substrate, and a mixed diet of sinking pellets and live food.
  • Fun Fact: Albino cory catfish love to “play dead” by lying still on the tank floor, so don’t be alarmed!

The albino cory catfish is a unique variation of the famous cory catfish. With a pale, translucent body, this fish almost gives the appearance of a ghost in your tank!

But don’t be too spooked, albino cory catfish are actually incredibly harmless. They’re known for their docile personalities and pair best with other gentle tankmates. 

At heart, the albino cory catfish is a friendly, active scavenger ready to clean up the algae at the bottom of your tank with no complaints. You’ll often see them working hard to find snacks in the substrate, using their “barbels” or whiskers to help them feel around for a tasty treat. 

And if you see one laying on its back, don’t panic – this species sometimes lays back and “plays dead.” Only fitting for a fish that looks like a ghost, to be fair. 

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Final Thoughts

There are countless other fish that start with the letter “A,” but this list has hopefully gotten you started on finding a few new favorites. Whether you choose the elegant angelfish or the quirky archerfish, there’s no shortage of unique underwater friends to call your own. 

Be sure to check out our other letter articles, such as Fish That Start With Y to give you more ideas for your next fish tank!

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