Fish That Start With Q – A Comprehensive Guide To Aquatic Life!

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There are a ton of fish in the world, but did you know just under 40 species start with the letter “Q?”

Crazy, considering there are over 33,000 fish species in the world. But it’s true! “Q” fish are in short supply, but that doesn’t make them any less fit to join your home aquarium.

Below, we’ll share some of our favorite fish species that start with “Q” to give you some new ideas for your home tank. 

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Overview of Fish Species Starting with “Q”

Fish Name and OriginSize (inches)Unique Trait
Royal Queen Angelfish (Atlantic Ocean)Up to 18“Crown” marking on their foreheads
Queen Triggerfish (Unknown)Up to 24“Lock” their dorsal spine in position
Quillback Rockfish (North Pacific)Up to 24Can live for over 95 years
Queensland Goby (Australia)Around 3Known for “dancing” in the water
Queen Parrotfish (Unknown) Up to 24Eats algae off coral reefs
Quetzal Cichlid (Central America)Up to 12Intensified color during breeding
Quickie Loach (Unknown)Up to 4Known to “play dead”
Queen Wrasse (Unknown)Up to 16Burrows in sand for protection
Quarantine Tang (Quarantine Banks)Up to 9Named after its natural habitat
Queensland Blenny (Australia)Up to 4Incredible jumping abilities

1. The Royal Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris)

  • Size: Up to 18 inches
  • Care: Needs a spacious tank and omnivorous diet with both meaty foods and veggies.
  • Fun Fact: They have a unique “crown” marking on their foreheads, fitting for a “queen!”

The queen angelfish is a glorious sight to behold in any tank. This vibrant fish species is easily recognizable thanks to its brilliant blue and yellow body. 

Originally found in the Atlantic Ocean, the queen angelfish is a graceful, yet massive, addition to your tank. These fish can reach upwards of 18 inches!

As a result, you’ll need a pretty large tank to keep them happy. They’ll also need an omnivorious diet of meaty foods and vegetables, but they also enjoy pellets. 

Beyond this, you should give your queen angelfish plenty of hiding spots in their aquarium – even royalty likes a little privacy now and then. 

2. Watch Out! The Queen Triggerfish (Balistes vetula)

  • Size: Up to 24 inches
  • Care: Requires a large tank with plenty of rocks and caves and enjoys meaty foods and greens.
  • Fun Fact: They can “lock” their dorsal spine in an erect position, which is where the name “trigger” comes from.

The queen triggerfish is a beautiful neon fish known for its equally as bright personality. A curious fish, the queen triggerfish can often be found rearranging its home by moving any decorations around, so don’t be surprised if you see this going on!

As highly intelligent fish, this species needs a large tank to explore and keep them entertained. They also tend to be a bit aggressive, so you’ll want to think carefully about any tankmates you decide to pair with them. 

Because of their massive size, you should plan for an equally massive tank and plenty of caves to hide in. They also love to eat both meaty foods and vegetables, so be sure to give them a varied diet. 

3. How Old?! The Quillback Rockfish (Sebastes maliger)

  • Size: Up to 24 inches
  • Care: Prefers cooler water with rocky environments and feeds on crustaceans and smaller fish.
  • Fun Fact: They can live for over 95 years, making them one of the longer-lived fish species!

Looking for a long-term fish friend? Look no further than the quillback rockfish, which can live over 95 years!

This species, originally from the North Pacific, is truly a sight to behold with its spiny dorsal fin and mottled coloring. They’re a pretty hardy species, so they do well for beginners looking to take on a big responsibility. However, they do prefer cooler temperatures and rocky decor.

Though they are pretty peaceful, they can get a bit territorial with their own kind. Considering their large size, any behavioral issues should be addressed quickly.

You should give your quillback rockfish a combination of crustaceans and small fish to keep them happily fed. 

4. The Dancing Queensland Goby (Pseudogobius olorum)

Size: Usually around 3 inches

Care: Thrives in brackish water setups and enjoys small invertebrates for meals.

Fun Fact: Despite their small size, they have big personalities and can often be seen “dancing” in the water.

The Queensland goby is a tiny marvel from Down Under. Originally from Australia, this small fish shows off bright, beautiful colors that make for a nice pop in any tank.

This species is also known for its bright personality, often darting around or burrowing in the substrate. It’s quite fun to watch them socialize with one another!

Queensland gobies prefer brackish water and eat a variety of small invertebrates. Overall, these fish can make for an excellent centerpiece in any room. 

5. Saving the Reefs: Queen Parrotfish (Scarus vetula)

Size: Up to 24 inches

Care: Needs a spacious tank with rocks and primarily feeds on marine algae.

Fun Fact: They create a mucus cocoon around themselves at night which masks their scent from predators.

The queen parrotfish is truly nature’s artist. This species plays a unique role in maintaining the coral reef by eating algae off of it!

With their bright colors and beak, this fish stands out from the crowd. As they mature, you’ll see them go through several fascinating color changes. 

Because they can get pretty large, you’ll need to commit to an exceptionally large tank for swimming and lots of rocks to eat algae off of. As herbivores, this makes up a big part of their diet and is quite fun to watch. 

6. The Vibrant and Fascinating Quetzal Cichlid (Paraneetroplus synspilus)

Size: Up to 12 inches

Care: Prefers a tank with plenty of hiding spots and an omnivorous diet.

Fun Fact: Their vibrant color intensifies during breeding seasons, making them even more attractive.

The quetzal cichlid, sometimes called the redhead cichlid, has a gorgeous color gradient along its body. This fish originates in Central America and can be seen becoming more vivid during breeding season. 

However, you should keep in mind that these pretty fish can also get pretty territorial during breeding season, so make sure they all have ample space and enough hideouts. 

You can offer these tropical fish a balanced diet pellets, fresh foods, and vegetables to keep them healthy and active. Because of their specific care requirements, this species is best left to experienced aquarium hobbyists. 

7. The Fish That Plays Dead: The Quickie Loach (Yasuhikotakia lecontei)

Size: Up to 4 inches

Care: Loves well-oxygenated water with a sandy bottom; protein-rich diet.

Fun Fact: They are known to “play dead” by lying on their sides when they feel threatened, only to dart away when approached.

It’s not just possums that play dead!

That’s right, the quickie loach is known for its ability to play dead by laying on its side to hide from predators. So don’t be alarmed if you see them snoozing!

Though this small fish isn’t the brightest, they have a playful personality to make up for it. You’ll often see them rummaging through the substrate for a quick snack or to find a cozy place to burrow, so be sure to give them soft substrate.

As peaceful fish, they do well in community tanks, so they’re a great choice if you want a variety of species in your tank. 

8. The Burrowing Queen Wrasse (Coris formosa)

Size: Up to 16 inches

Care: Requires a spacious tank with sand beds and feeds on meaty foods and seaweed.

Fun Fact: They often bury themselves in the sand when they feel threatened or while resting.

The vibrant queen wrasse has a unique appearance, with its vivid red body and yellow accent. As active swimmers, they need lots of space to explore, so plan to get that big tank you’ve been eyeballing.

This species also needs sand beds to burrow in, which they do as a form of protection while resting. Because of their curious nature, they’re a delight to watch in your home aquarium. 

9. It’s Not What You Think: The Quarantine Tang (Acanthurus tractus)

Size: Up to 9 inches

Care: Enjoys a tank with rocks and caves and herbivorous diet with marine algae.

Fun Fact: Their name has nothing to do with illness but is derived from their natural habitat near the Quarantine Banks off Florida.

Did that title scare you?

No need to get your mask, we’re talking about a different type of quarantine. The quarantine tang is an attractive tropical fish that originates from the Quarantine Banks in Florida.

As big fish, they need lots of space to swim around as well as several rocks and caves to hide. They also need lots of marine algae to eat off the rocks as a major part of their diet. 

Quarantine tangs tend to be very gentle fish, so they make nice additions to any large-sized community tanks. 

10. The Jumping Queensland Blenny (Ecsenius namiyei)

Size: Up to 4 inches

Care: Reef-safe fish that needs rocks or corals to perch and feeds on frozen and live foods.

Fun Fact: Blennies have incredible jumping abilities and can leap out of the water to escape predators.

You’re going to want a lid for this one.

The Queensland blenny is a long, skinny fish known for drawing attention with its big eyes. As Australian natives, they’re a reef-safe species that would love to live in a tank with plenty of rocks or coral.

They also tend to be quite active, and have been known to jump out of the water to escape predators. Be sure to keep your lid on nice and tight!

A combination of frozen and live foods will keep them happy and healthy. Overall, the Queensland blenny is a great option for those looking to maintain a smaller tank. 

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Swim On to Another Letter

From the queen wrasse to the Queensland blenny, there’s no shortage of fantastic “Q” fish out there to choose from. If you’ve got the room in your heart (and your tank), be sure to give one of these fantastic fish species a try. 

Don’t forget to check out our other fish letter articles, like Fish That Start With Y, to find several other species that may be right for you!

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