Fish That Start with Y (Discovering A Fascinating List)

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Did you know that there are over 80 species of fish that start with the letter “Y?”

That’s right – over 80 different fish start with the 25th letter of the alphabet. In fact, you may have some of these species right in your own home aquarium.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of 9 of these amazing aquarium inhabitants, all united by this one letter.

Keep reading to learn about the size, care, and personality of each of these incredible fish species!

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Table Of Top 5 ‘Y’ Fish Species

Species NameSize (inches)Fun Fact
Yellow TangUp to 8Has white, scalpel-like spines for defense
Yellowtail DamselfishUp to 3Can be territorial, especially in small tanks
Yellow Eye Kole TangUp to 7Known for algae grazing, helps control tank algae
Yellowhead JawfishUp to 5Males mouthbrood eggs until hatching
Yoyo LoachUp to 6Distinctive markings resemble ‘Y-O-Y-O’

Yellow Tang

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  • Size: Up to 8 inches
  • Care: Yellow Tangs thrive in well-filtered, spacious tanks with plenty of live rock for grazing. They also need a diet rich in marine algae.
  • Fun Fact: Yellow Tangs have a white, scalpel-like spine on each side of their tails used for defense. They’re also one of the most popularly collected aquarium fish. 

The Yellow Tang is like a splash of sunshine in any aquarium with its bright yellow body. 

This bright fish calls the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans home. It can also grow pretty big throughout its life – up to 8 inches! 

If you’re thinking about adding a Yellow Tang to your tank, you’ll need a good-sized space with extremely filtered water. They also love to graze around rocks in the tank to nibble at algae, so give them plenty of those to enjoy. 

These lovely yellow swimmers bring a lot of joy to any aquarium. Unsurprisingly, they’re a pretty big favorite for aquarium hobbyists.

Oh, and there’s one in Finding Nemo, too – remember Bubbles?

Yellowtail Damselfish

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  • Size: Up to 3 inches
  • Care: This species is hardy and prefers tanks with plenty of hiding spaces. They prefer a diet of varied marine foods.
  • Fun Fact: Despite their beauty, Yellowtail Damselfish can be quite territorial, especially in smaller aquariums.

Meet the vibrant Yellowtail Damselfish. This small, brightly colored fish loves to dart around in the water. 

The damselfish’s body shimmers in radiant blue, contrasted by a lively yellow tail. It adds a nice pop of color to any tank setup.

Despite its small size, reaching only up to 3 inches, this fish has a big personality! It’s pretty easygoing for the most part, and they love spaces where they can play hide and seek. They also prefer a varied diet of different marine foods. 

After all, you wouldn’t like to eat the same thing for forever, would you?

However, you should keep in mind that these little guys can be quite territorial, especially in smaller spaces. You should definitely make sure to give them more than enough space to claim their own spot. 

Yellow Eye Kole Tang

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  • Size: Up to 7 inches
  • Care: These species require large aquariums with abundant live rock and a diet rich in vegetable matter.
  • Fun Fact: They are known for their algae grazing, and can help you control algae growth in your tank.

The Yellow Eye Kole Tang is another fascinating fish with a distinctive look. This species has a recognizable yellow area around its eyes, along with a vibrant body that stands out in any tank.

Like a few others on this list, the Yellow Eye Kole Tang can get pretty big. Expect it to grow up to 7 inches!

You’ll want to give this fish plenty of room to swim, in addition to many rocks around the tank to eat algae off of. This means they’re not just pretty faces – they’re hard workers too!

Make sure you still provide this species with a nutritious diet, though. They love vegetables to keep them nice and healthy. 

Yellowhead Jawfish

  • Size: Up to 5 inches
  • Care: They require sandy substrates to burrow and prefer diets of small, meaty foods.
  • Fun Fact: Yellowhead Jawfish are known for their unique mating dance, where males mouthbrood the eggs until they hatch.

The Yellowhead Jawfish is a charming and interesting character in any aquarium. This special species has a bright yellow head and can reach up to 5 inches in size. 

Generally, Yellowhead Jawfish prefer sandy substrates so they can burrow and create a cozy hideout. They also prefer small, meaty foods to stay strong and healthy. 

One of the most fascinating things about the Yellowhead Jawfish is its unique mating dance and the fact that it’s the males who mouthbrood the eggs, protecting them until they hatch. 

Yoyo Loach

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  • Size: Up to 6 inches
  • Care: These freshwater fish prefer tanks with plenty of hiding places and enjoy a varied diet of high-quality pellets, vegetables, and occasional protein treats.
  • Fun Fact: The Yoyo Loach got its name from its distinctive markings, which sometimes resemble the letters “Y-O-Y-O.”

One of the coolest fish on this list is the Yoyo Loach. When looking at this fish, its distinctive patterns sometimes resemble the letters “Y-O-Y-O!”

These fish can grow up to 6 inches and are considered big adventurers. They love aquariums with many hiding spots and also have a diverse palette, needing foods from pellets to vegetables to meat. 

Because of their friendly nature, they typically make a great addition to any community tank. 

Yellow Watchman Goby

  • Size: 4 inches
  • Care: These fish are bottom-dwellers and need tanks with plenty of hiding places and sandy substrates. They thrive on a diet of small, meaty foods.
  • Fun Fact: The Yellow Watchman Goby sometimes forms symbiotic relationships with pistol shrimp, where they share a burrow and warn each other of approaching threats. 

The Yellow Watchman Goby is a small but wonderful addition to any marine aquarium.

This bottom-dweller grows to around 4 inches in length and enjoys comfy sandy substrates and lots of hiding spaces. You should also plan to feed them lots of small, meaty foods, as they like to eat these bits off the bottom of your tank.

If you’re interested in a community tank, pistol shimp make some great friends for these gobies. They often form a symbiotic relationship with them, helping each other burrow nice and cozy and warn each other about potential threats. These relationships can help your Yellow Watchman Gobies feel safe and can reduce their stress levels!

Yellowfin Surgeonfish

  • Size: 15 inches
  • Care: Preferring large, stable marine environments, Yellowfin Surgeonfish require a varied diet rich in algae and high-quality prepared foods.
  • Fun Fact: Surgeonfish get their name from the sharp, scalpel-like spine located on either side of their tails.

The Yellowfin Surgeonfish is a large and magnificent species that can reach up to 15 inches. Its bright yellow fins can be identified quickly in really any tank.

This massive fish needs a stable marine tank and also requires a pretty diverse diet. Plan to serve your Yellow Surgeonfish a nice blend of algae and high-quality prepared food. 

Ever wonder why they’re called Surgeonfish? Take a look at their spine – this fish has a sharp, scalpel-like spine on either side of its tail. Just like a surgeon’s favorite tool!

Because of their bold appearance, they easily become a focal point in any massive home aquarium. 

Yellowbelly Damselfish

  • Size: Up to 3 inches
  • Care: This species prefers aquariums with ample hiding spaces and a mixed diet of meaty foods and vegetables.
  • Fun Fact: Though small, Yellowbelly Damselfish are known for their bold, territorial behavior, especially during breeding.

The Yellowbelly Damselfish is a vibrant combination of both blue and yellow. This 3-inch-long fish loves hiding in its tank, and is also know for its bold and territorial personality. 

This is particularly true during breeding season – don’t get in the way of a broody Damselfish!

Though small, they eat quite a lot. Plan to feed them a combination of meaty foods and vegetables. 

Their energetic personality certainly adds a level of excitement to any tank. 

Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish

  • Size: Up to 6 inches
  • Care: This species needs stable marine environments with plenty of hiding spaces and a varied diet of high-quality prepared foods.
  • Fun Fact: This species is known for its strong mating bonds, with pairs often remaining together for life.

We typically think of clownfish as those bright orange characters from Pixar, but there are actually lots of different types of clownfish.

One of those is the Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish, which has a gorgeous deep maroon color and pastel yellow stripes across its body. They aren’t the most common clownfish in home aquariums, but that makes having them even more special.

This species needs a stable environment with plenty of hiding spots, along with a high-quality diet. Clownfish can be a bit finicky, so pay close attention to their needs to thrive. 

If you get multiples, don’t be surprised if you see some interacting more closely than others. Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish are known for their tendency to form strong, lifelong mating bonds. 

Observing these touching bonds firsthand can be a wonderful experience, especially if you’re teaching young children.

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Just Keep Swimming’

There are tons of colorful and unique fish species out there starting with the letter “Y.” Now, you know some of the most popular ones that you can add to your own home aquarium.

As long as you take each species’ special needs into account, you can have a happy, thriving tank full of “Y” fish. 

If you’ve ever owned one of these fish before, let us know about your favorites in the comments below!

In the meantime, check out our other articles on fish starting with other letters, like Fish That Start With “W”  to get some other great ideas. 

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