As we all know, the world of aquariums is a rich and mesmerizing one. A huge part of that is fish that start with the letter “E,” which make up over 85 different fish species! (*)
Every single fish on this list offers a unique spin on your home tank. From quirky cichlids to shy bottom dwellers, there’s no shortage of “E” fish that can brighten up your home.
In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite fish species that start with the letter “E” to give you some ideas on new fish for your aquarium.
A Quick Overview of “E” Fish Species
|Fish Name and Origin||Size Range||Care Level|
|Electric Blue Hap (Lake Malawi, Africa)||5-6 inches||Moderate|
|Elephantnose Fish (Unknown)||8-9 inches||Intermediate|
|Ember Tetra (Brazil)||0.8-1 inch||Easy|
|Emperor Tetra (Columbia)||2 inches||Moderate|
|Endler’s Livebearer (Unknown)||1.5 inches||Easy|
|Eel-tailed Catfish (Unknown)||12-16 inches||Moderate|
|Electric Catfish (Africa)||Up to 12 inches||Intermediate|
|Emerald Brochis (Amazon Basin)||Up to 3 inches||Moderate|
|Emperor Angelfish (Unknown)||Up to 15 inches||Advanced|
1. The Vivid Electric Blue Hap (Sciaenochromis fryeri)
- Size: 5-6 inches
- Care: Moderate care requirements. These fish favor hard alkaline water conditions and lots of hiding places.
- Fun Fact: Their strikingly brilliant color, especially prominent in males, intensifies during courtship displays. This then helps them when performing their eclectic mating dance!
The electric blue hap is one of the most vivid wild fish in the world. This bright blue fish comes from the rocky shores of Lake Malawi in Africa, and has an equally as bright personality.
Electric blue haps are active swimmers and have fascinating social interactions with one another, especially when mating. They perform mating dances that shimmer in the water with their vivid coloring, a gorgeous spectacle to behold.
In addition to this, electric blue haps are also known for claiming and defending territories, so you’ll want to make sure they have plenty of space to claim as their own. They also love rock formations to hide behind where they can feel safe and cozy.
Mimicking their natural diet with krill and brine shrimp is the best way to keep them happy and healthy.
Between their color and behavior, these bright fish make an entertaining addition to any home aquarium.
2. The Quirky-Faced Elephantnose Fish (Gnathonemus petersii)
- Size: 8-9 inches
- Care: Intermediate care requirements. These fish prefer a dimly lit tank with a soft substrate, as they tend to be pretty sensitive.
- Fun Fact: Their trunk isn’t just for show – it’s actually a highly sensitive electroreceptive organ that helps them locate food hidden in the mud.
One of the most unique fish you’ll ever lay eyes on is the elephantnose fish! Named for its long, trunk-like structure, this fish uses its “trunk” to probe soft substrate for teeny prey.
Because of their shy personalities, elephant fish prefer dimly lit tanks and only become active at night due to their nocturnal nature.
Since they tend to be a bit larger in size than other aquarium fish, you’ll need to have a very large tank to give them the space they need to swim and hide. When in doubt, aquarium plants can help with this as well.
3. The Always-Zippin’ Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae)
- Size: 0.8-1 inch
- Care: Easy care requirements. These tetras love densely planted environments with soft, slightly acidic water.
- Fun Fact: These little firecrackers tend to exhibit deeper and richer colors when they’re in environments with dark substrates and dim lighting.
A tiny flicker in freshwater, Ember Tetras mirror the warm glow of dying embers with a vibrant, fiery orange-red hue.
These small fish originate in Brazil and have lively natures, making them an entertaining addition to any tank. They prefer tanks with many aquatic plants to zoom through and hide in when they aren’t swimming harmoniously in their schools.
Some of the most adaptable and hardy aquarium fish out there, ember tetras are a great choice for any newbie aquarium owners looking to create their first setup.
4. The Majestic Emperor Tetra (Nematobrycon palmeri)
- Size: 2 inches
- Care: Moderate care requirements. These fish thrive in slightly acidic, soft water with floating plants to dim the lights.
- Fun Fact: In a display of natural sexual dimorphism, the male Emperor Tetras often sport longer and more vibrant tail fins than their female counterparts.
Love tetras? Consider the emperor tetra!
Originally from Columbia, the emperor tetra is an elegant and beautiful fish in the freshwater world. Their iridescent bodies have long, majestic fins that are truly deserving of the term “emperor.”
Not only are they beautiful, but emperor tetras also have fascinating social behavior in terms of hierarchy in groups. Often, you can see them nipping or chasing each other in displays of dominance within their schools, making them an entertaining sight in any tank.
5. The Fascinating Reproduction of Endler’s Livebearer (Poecilia wingei)
- Size: 1.5 inches
- Care: Easy care requirements. Endler’s livebearers are adaptable to a range of water conditions but love well-planted tanks.
- Fun Fact: Due to their vivid coloration and patterns, there’s a grading system among enthusiasts to categorize their beauty. Class N, for example, denotes a fish’s wild-type appearance.
As the name implies, Endler’s livebearers are known for their ability to give live birth! That’s right, these aren’t just any fish – these fish have no need to lay eggs as a part of their reproduction strategy.
A close family member of the guppy, Endler’s livebearers come in a variety of colors and patterns to create a truly unique tank. They’re also quite charming and have delightful little personalities as you watch them swim around and interact with one another.
This species is fun for both children and adults to observe, especially when they have babies.
6. Long Bottom Feeders: The Eel-tailed Catfish (Tandanus tandanus)
- Size: 12-16 inches
- Care: Moderate care requirements. These large fish require spacious tanks and caves or hideouts to feel secure.
- Fun Fact: While they’re solitary in nature, Eel-tailed Catfish communicate with each other using a series of clicks and vocalizations.
Can’t choose between a catfish and an eel? Why not have a bit of both?
That’s right, the eel-tailed catfish combines the best features of both species to give you a truly unique fish for your aquarium. Due to their long size, you’ll need a pretty massive aquarium to house them properly, so keep that in mind.
These special fish have a mottled brown appearance to help them blend in with the surrounding rocks and substrates. Because of their bottom-feeding instincts, eel-tailed catfish will keep the floor of your tank free from any uneaten food and debris, making them a hard-working tank mate!
7. Zap! The Electric Catfish (Malapterurus electricus)
- Size: Up to 12 inches
- Care: Intermediate care requirements. These fish are nocturnal and prefer a tank with ample hiding spots.
- Fun Fact: Electric Catfish have been known to live for up to 10 years or more in well-maintained aquariums, making them a long-term aquatic friend.
While the term “electric” may already scare you away, we know some people prefer to live life a bit on the wild side.
If you want a truly unique fish for your home tank, the electric catfish will certainly fit that bill. These fish are from the freshwaters of tropical Africa and are able to produce electric shocks to hunt small prey. When in danger, these shocks can also work to deter predators!
As stealthy bottomfeeders, electric catfish have stout and unassuming appearances with smooth bodies. Because of their electric superpowers, these fish are best kept in a tank to themselves.
After all, if you were a fish, you probably wouldn’t want to live with an electric neighbor either.
8. The Spiky Emerald Brochis (Brochis splendens)
- Size: Up to 3 inches
- Care: Easy to moderate care requirements. These fish are fans of well-planted tanks with sandy or soft substrates.
- Fun Fact: Their strong, spiky dorsal fin is not just for show – it also serves as a protective mechanism against potential predators.
The emerald brochis hails from the Amazon Basin and is known for its subtle, sparkling green hue. This fish, also known as the emerald catfish, makes for an excellent bottom-feeding addition to your community tank due to their small size and gentle demeanor.
Though catfish normally prefer to explore alone, the emerald brochis is a schooling fish that loves to spend time with its companions. They will often scour your tank floor together, looking for a quick snack to nibble on between feedings.
9. Swirls of Color: The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
- Size: Up to 15 inches
- Care: Advanced care requirements. This species requires a large, well-maintained marine tank with hiding spots and plenty of room to swim.
- Fun Fact: As these angelfish mature, they undergo a dramatic color change which can be a fascinating transformation to observe over time.
Looking for a more advanced species to care for? Look no further than the emperor angelfish.
The emperor angelfish has a gorgeous blend of electric blue and bright yellow along the sides of its body in intricate patterns. As a fish with a gorgeous, elegant appearance, it easily mesmerizes anyone peeking into its tank.
As these fish mature, you’ll notice their colors start to change. Their yellow circular patterns eventually grow into more intricate designs as adults, making them the perfect centerpiece for any marine aquarium.
Finding a Friend Starting with “E”
So many vivid and entertaining “E” fish are a reminder of the vastness of fish nature has to offer. With so many different species, finding the perfect fish for your home tank is easily a reality.
No matter which species you choose, be sure you pick one that has care requirements you can handle and personalities you’ll love to observe. Who knows, perhaps one of these fish species will become your new favorite.
If you aren’t convinced about the “E” fish on this list, check out our other alphabet fish articles, such as Fish That Start With V, to find your next favorite.