Black Fish Species – 10 Great Choices (With Pictures)

Fish keepers around the aquarium hobby love various fish species—with distinct patterns, sizes, and color variations. Some like to grace their tanks with fun, vibrant fish species while others opt for plain white fish species.

However, there is a portion of some people that admire the blackfish so much, that half of their tanks are filled with different varieties of blackfish.

This article is dedicated to those unique fish keepers that appreciate a unique tank vibe and go for black fish species. In this article, I will list the ten best black fish that float gracefully in a blue-green tank environment.

Let’s go!

Key Takeaways

  • Fish that are mostly black are hard to find in aquariums
  • There are small fish and large fish available. You can also find black freshwater and saltwater fish
  • Some designer breeds are black and will cost more than other breeds like Dragonscale Bettas
  • The only tank bred saltwater fish are cardinalfish and clownfish

5 Best Black Freshwater Fish Species

If you’re a beginner in the aquarium hobby, freshwater fish species are easy to take care of and handle. For your ease, I have listed the five best types of black freshwater aquarium fish.

1. Betta Fish

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Betta Fish

Betta Fish are one of the most beautiful varieties of freshwater fish available in the hobby. Easy to care for with plenty of varieties!

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  • Scientific Name: Betta splendens
  • Difficulty Level: Fairly easy
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Temperature: 75-80°F
  • pH: 6.5 to 8
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Origin: Thailand
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Planted tank suitability: Yes

While choosing the best black aquarium fish, you can choose a variety of them from the betta fish family.

The wild betta fish has black color dispersed on their bodies, but it is usually overshadowed by other pop colors such as red, and orange. However, there are different types of black betta fish that are equally beautiful and elegant.

Some of the common species of black betta fish are as follows (video source):

Black Melano

The Melano black betta has a super dense, dark appearance that often resembles the “blue-black” color of a raven.

Black Lace

The black lace betta relegates to the Dark Bicolor class because they display too much iridescence in their body and fins. One of the most beautiful characteristics of Black lace betta is their clear or cellophane fins that give them the “lacy look”.

Black Orchid

The black orchid betta or black devil or black Ice betta. They are enchanting black fish with streaks of steel blue in the fins, just like the butterfly pattern.

Copper Based Black

As the name suggests, copper-based black betta fish have gold or heavy coppery iridescence

Super Black (Ultra Blackfish)

The super black fish is the darkest among other fish species because it is without scales on its body. It is also the most expensive blackfish because it is a rare and completely blackfish without any traces of color.

Dragonscale Bettas

If you’re looking for a black fish that is exceptionally beautiful, you should take a look at dragon scale bettas.

They have black bodies with a bluish glow on their scales.

2. Black Neon Tetra

  • Scientific Name: Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1 inch
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Temperature: 75°F
  • pH: 5.5-7.5
  • Temperament: Gentle and peaceful
  • Origin: Brazil
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Difficulty to breed: Difficult
  • Planted tank suitability: Yes

It might strike you by surprise but the black Neon Tetra is not a family member of Neon Tetras. These freshwater fish come from soft, acidic water that prefers temperature ranges between 75 to 80°F.

They are olive-green from the dorsal surface and show silver color on their bellies. The fins of Black Neon tetras are colorless with an adipose fin present. They are a beautiful and hardy addition to your home aquariums.

3. Black Mollies

Black Molly
  • Scientific Name: Poecilia sphenops
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 5 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 29 gallons
  • Temperature:70-79 °F
  • pH: 7.0-8.5 
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive fish
  • Origin: South America and Central America
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Planted tank suitability: Yes

Black mollies turn your aquarium into a beautiful, lively place for other fish. It’s great for freshwater or brackish or saltwater tank. However, I advise keeping Molly fish in a tank with water that has some salt in it. The amount of salt shouldn’t be very high, but some salt is required to keep them thriving and happy.

Black Molly resembles a black guppy fish, so many novice aquarists get confused between them. Black Molly fish is a live-bearer fish. That means you have to provide the adults with some baby fish for their comfort. Otherwise, the adults will be stressed and might even die.

4. Black Moor Goldfish

What Does A Black Moor Goldfish Look Like
  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 6 to 8 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Temperature: 60-75°F
  • pH: 7.0-7.5 
  • Temperament: Peaceful and social fish
  • Origin: China
  • Diet: Carnivores
  • Difficulty to breed: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Yes

One of the most exquisite freshwater fish are Black moors. They are a beautiful variety of black fish with a velvety black color. Their bellies are dull silver in color. The eyes of black moors protrude and pop out from their skull. Their protruding eyes are the reason Black moors have a common name of Black Dragon eyes. 

Another factor that adds to the beauty of this black freshwater fish is its lifespan. They are the longest-living goldfish with a lifespan of around 20 years or over. So, if you’re looking for a long-term commitment, Black moor goldfish is just for you. 

5. Red Tail Shark

What Does A Redtail Shark Look Like
  • Scientific Name: Epalzeorhynchos bicolor
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Adult Size: 4 to 6 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Temperament: Aggressive and territorial fish
  • Origin: Endemic to Thailand
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Planted tank suitability: Yes

The common name for Redtail Black Shark is The Red tail shark, Redtail Shark minnow, Red-tailed Labeo, Redtailed Shark, Red-Tailed Black Sharkminnow, and Fire Tail.

Unlike their name, the Redsharks are not true sharks but are more closely related to loaches and barbs. The Redtail sharks are native to Thailand, particularly in the river basins of Chao Phraya. However, they are now extinct in the wild.

They are stunning freshwater fish with velvety black bodies and beautiful, bright red tails. However, if you’re someone who loves a community aquarium, I recommend avoiding the Redtail Shark since they are not schooling fish and are highly aggressive, especially as adults.

Top 5 Saltwater Black Fish Species

Saltwater aquarium fish requires expertise and patience. Hence, I suggest if you’re a beginner, avoid keeping saltwater fish in your home aquariums. 

But, if you’re a seasoned fish keeper and you can meet the required water conditions and other water parameters for saltwater fish, here are some of the five best saltwater fish you can keep.

1. Black Clownfish Black Fish S

Darwin Black Ocellaris Clownfish

A black snowflake that resembles a traditional ocellaris with a misbar stripe in the middle

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  • Scientific Name: Amphiprion ocellaris
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Temperature: 75°F to 82°F
  • pH: 8.3 to 8.4
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Origin: the Pacific Ocean, specifically from Japan to New Caledonia
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Reef Safe: Yes
  • Tank Bred Available: Yes

Black clownfish are deep-sea fish. It means you can find them all the way down to 300 meters below the surface of the water. They camouflage so well that they have zero predators.

The most common names for a Black clownfish are False Percula clownfish and melanurus clownfish. They are mainly found near the reefs and under rocks. 

These fish are midnight black in color with white accents. There are many varieties available in this fish species. Otherwise, generally peaceful and non-aggressive, Black Clownfish can sometimes get territorial. They are available tank bred and offered in multiple varieties.

2. Black Tang

Black Tang in Reef
  • Scientific Name: Zebrasoma rostratum
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Adult Size: 9 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Temperature: 72 to 78˚F
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Origin: South Pacific off the coasts of the Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Line Islands, Tuamoto Islands to the Pitcairn Islands
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Difficulty to breed: Difficult 
  • Reef Safe: Yes
  • Captive Bred Available: No

The black Tang or Black Longnose Tang or Longnose Surgeonfish is a jet black saltwater fish with an oval body followed by blue pectoral fins. 

It’s a rare and exotic Tang variety that requires a 180-gallon tank or more with lots of free swimming places.

It’s a beautiful Tang fish with a striking black appearance. However, the price could be a deal breaker for you. But, if you’re on a budget and still want a Tang variety with a black color, I highly advise going for a Scopas Tang. 

3. Marine Betta 

Marine Betta in Fish Tank
  • Scientific Name: Calloplesiops altivelis
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 8 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
  • Temperature: 72°F – 80°F
  • pH: 8.0-8.4
  • Temperament: Peaceful but will eat fish that can fit in its mouth
  • Origin: Red Sea, Indo-Pacific, and East Africa, ranging down to the Line Islands
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Reef Safe: Yes, but will eat inverts like shrimp
  • Tank Bred Available: No

The Marine Betta or Comet is a saltwater fish that is extremely hardy and disease-resistant. It is a deep sea fish that is found in rocky crevasses and at depths of around 45 meters. The false eye spot near the tail of Marine Betta resembles the head of a Moray eel. They grow up to 8 inches in length and the bare minimum tank size for Marine Bettas is 55 gallons. 

Marine Bettas are known to eat many smaller fish and shrimps. Thus, avoiding keeping them with smaller fish.

4. Pink Tail Triggerfish

Pinktail Triggerfish Swimming in Reef
  • Scientific Name:
  • Melichthys vidua
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Adult Size: 15 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Temperature: 72°F – 78°F
  • pH: 8.1-8.4
  • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
  • Origin: Northwestern to central Australiaincluding the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Difficulty to breed: Difficult
  • Reef Safe: Yes, but will eat inverts like shrimp and crabs
  • Tank Bred Available: No

As the name suggests, this triggerfish is named after its very beautiful pink tail. The body of the Pinktail Triggerfish is a dark emerald green color with yellow hues on the face and pectoral fins. 

Unlike other triggerfish, the Pintail Triggerfish is easy to keep and safe for reels and corals in your aquariums. 

5 Banggai cardinalfish 

Bangaii Cardinal in Reef Tank
  • Scientific Name: Pterapogon kauderni
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
  • Temperature: 78°F – 82°F
  • pH: 7.8-8.2
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Origin: Endemic to the Banggai Archipelago in Indonesia
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Difficulty to breed: Easy
  • Reef Safe: Yes
  • Tank bred available: Yes

Benggai Cardinalfish or Pterapogon kauderni are usually raised in home aquariums. They are native to Indonesia.

Benggai Cardinalfish are one of the hardiest and easiest to keep fish as beginner saltwater aquarists. They are very docile. social and friendly that are rated reef safe. 

The Benggai Cardinalfish are small fish growing around 4 inches in length. Their bodies are very appealing to most people with three black bars running across the head and body with black edges on their anal and dorsal fin. They prefer a group of six or more but avoid keeping them with aggressive fish species.

FAQs

What kind of fish is black fish?

The term “blackfish” is used to describe a variety of fishes with dark colors, such as the black ghost knifefish, Alaska blackfish, and black sea bass (see sea bass). The California minnow Orthodon microlepidotus, the European deep-sea rudderfish Centrolobus niger, and a number of Australian food fishes are all also referred to as “blackfish.” 

Is eating black fish good?

Blackfish are very difficult to catch. However, they are the tastiest fish that comes from the sea. They usually feed on mussels, clams, and crabs, so they make delicious food for fish. 

How long do black moor fish live?

The black moor fish is a beautiful goldfish with fancy, long flowing fins. They grow around 6 to 8 inches in length and live for up to 20 years. But, if taken good care of, they may even live for up to 25 years or longer.

What does a black molly fish look like?

Black Molly fish looks like Black Guppies with streaks of yellow, running down the dorsal fins. They grow larger than guppies.

Which is the blackest fish in oceans?

According to NBC News, the blackest fish, or ultra black fish in the ocean was found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Monterey Bay in California under depths of up to 1,000 feet during the night.

There were many varieties of black fish—some were very small, but the blackest fish they found was around two inches long. It was a type of anglerfish, called a dreamer.

Is black fish good for an aquarium?

Yes, black fish are an absolute beauty when it comes to their overall aesthetics. Above that, it is believed that blackfish eliminates problems and brings positive energy into the house. 

Black fish look beautiful when they are kept in a community aquarium with gold-colored fish, or bright orange-colored fish. You can also keep a group of two golden fish and one black fish to bring more attention. 

If taken care of, black fish is ideal for home aquariums. 

Final Thoughts On Black Fish Species

Who said black is boring? Black fish varieties can be very exciting depending on their species and appearance. Sometimes, black fish even overshadow the bright and vivid ones in the aquarium. 

Following the above list, make the right choice and go for what suits you and your home environment the best. 

by Mark

Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping - both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.

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