15 Aquarium Fish That Start With B (With Photos)

Greetings fellow fish-lovers and welcome to another interesting fish article!

From prehistoric dinosaur-like fish that can walk on land to confirmed man-eaters, there’s no shortage of fascinating fish with names that start with B. In this post, we’ll be introducing thirty amazing fish that start with b, including 15 awesome species that you can keep in your own aquarium.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Many of the world’s most popular aquarium fish start with the letter B.
  • Not all fish that start with the letter B are good choices for a fish tank. Species like the basking shark can grow to 30 feet!
  • These fish live everywhere from tiny mountain streams to the deepest darkest oceans.

15 Aquarium Fish That Start With B

This section is all about awesome fresh and saltwater fish that are perfect for a fish enthusiast. Read along to get some great ideas for your next pet fish!

1. Betta Fish

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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
  • Fish Family: Osphronemidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 2 – 2.5 inches
  • Special Features: Intelligent and interactive nature

The betta fish or Siamese fighting fish is a tropical fish from Southeast Asia that has become one of the world’s most popular pets. These vibrant and colorful creatures are easy to care for and don’t need a large aquarium to live a happy and healthy life.

Don’t let their beautiful looks fool you though, these fish love to fight! Make sure you keep just one male in his own tank to prevent any aggression.

2. Bala Shark

How Does A Bala Shark Look Like
  • Scientific Name: Balantiocheilos melanopterus
  • Fish Family: Cyprinidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size Range: up to 14 inches
  • Special Features: Silvery body and dramatic shark-like fins

The bala shark might have the outline of of shark, but it’s actually a freshwater fish from the goldfish family.

These large, streamlined fish are popular with fish keepers, although they can grow to over a foot long, so they need a large aquarium of at least 125 gallons and bigger if they want to be kept with other fish.

3. Bristlenose Catfish (Pleco)

Bristle Nose Pleco
  • Scientific Name: Ancistrus sp.
  • Fish Family: Loricariidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 4 – 5 inches
  • Special Features: Interesting bristle-like growths on their nose

The bristlenose catfish is a popular fish species for peaceful community aquariums. These strange but peaceful bottom dwellers love to hang out in caves and come out to graze on algae and tiny creatures that grow on the driftwood in their tank.

4. Bamboo Shark

Bamboo Shark
  • Scientific Name: Chiloscyllium spp.
  • Fish Family: Hemiscyliidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Care Level: Advanced
  • Size Range: 3 – 3.5 feet
  • Special Features: Cat-like eyes and small whiskers

The bamboo shark is a true shark and one of the few species that stays small enough to be kept in a home aquarium. However, these camouflaged creatures still need a very big tank of at least 300 gallons when fully grown.

Bamboo sharks pose no threat to humans, but crustaceans and slow-moving fish in their tank are never safe!

5. Barb Fish

Gold Barbs Profile
  • Scientific Name: Puntius, Barbodes, Pethia, etc.
  • Fish Family: Cyprinidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful/ semi- aggressive
  • Care Level: Easy-moderate
  • Size Range: 2 – 14 inches
  • Special Features: Large eyes, shapely fins, and small whiskers

Barb fish are small to medium-sized freshwater fish native to Asia, Europe, and Africa. There are many beautiful species available for fishkeepers, ranging from colorful nano-fish like the Odessa barb to large and impressive species like the tinfoil barb.

Want more info? Check out my guide to 12 amazing barb fish to learn much more about the different species you can keep and how to care for them!

6. Bichirs

Bichir Fish in Aquarium
  • Scientific Name: Polypterus spp.
  • Fish Family: Polypteridae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size Range: 10 inches to 3+ feet
  • Special Features: Prehistoric appearance

Bichirs are strange freshwater fish from the rivers and swamps of Africa. These prehistoric creatures almost look more like a dinosaur than a fish, and they can actually leave the water to walk over land for short distances when their home dries up.

These fascinating ‘fish with legs’ make great aquarium pets too, but they need a big tank and large tank mates. Small fish tend to disappear into their large, dinosaur-like mouth!

7. Blue Gourami

Blue Gourami Fish
  • Scientific Name: Trichopodus trichopterus
  • Fish Family: Osphronemidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 5 to 6 inches
  • Special Features: long, feeler-like fins

Also known as the three-spot gourami, these beautiful Southeast Asian fish are a great choice for medium-sized freshwater aquariums. These popular fish have attractive marbled patterns and spotted fins, making them an excellent centerpiece species.

Not all blue gouramis are blue, and the species is also available in an interesting golden form. Like other gourami species, these fish have strange but interesting pelvic fins that are modified into long feelers.

8. Banded Killifish

  • Scientific Name: Fundulus diaphanus
  • Fish Family: Fundulidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 2.5 – 5 inches
  • Special Features: Banded body pattern

The banded killifish (video source) is a beautiful native species that is rare in the aquarium hobby. These schooling fish live in lakes, rivers, and streams in the Northeast of the United States.

These short-lived fish survive for just two to three years, but they make a great species for aquarists interested in native fish.

9. Baby Whale

  • Scientific Name: Brienomyrus brachyistius
  • Fish Family: Mormyridae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 4 – 5 inches
  • Special Features: Round, whale-shaped head

The baby whale (video source) is a true oddball fish, all the way from tropical West Africa. They are not very common in the aquarium trade, but they are a great choice for an African forest biotope setup.

These strange but adorable fish are nocturnal scavengers that emit a weak electrical field to explore their surroundings and communicate with other fish.

10. Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee Goby In Planted Tank
  • Scientific Name: Brachygobius doriae
  • Fish Family: Oxudercidae
  • Water Type: Brackish
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size Range: 1.5 inches
  • Special Features: Black and yellow banded pattern

The bumblebee goby is an awesome nano species for brackish aquariums that can be kept in tanks as small as 10 gallons. These little guys are not ideal for a beginner, but more experienced aquarists will love the experience of keeping these feisty little fish!

11. Banded Dwarf Cichlid

  • Scientific Name: Apistogramma bitaeniata
  • Fish Family: Cichlidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size Range: 2 – 3 inches
  • Special Features: Bold black horizontal stripes and dramatic spiky fins

Also known as the two-striped apistogramma, banded dwarf cichlids are beautiful tropical fish from South America that can be kept in a species-only nano aquarium or a larger community setup with other peaceful fish.

They are not as common as some of the other apistos but are still available in various color forms, including Blue, orange, and yellow.

12. Black Winged Hatchetfish

  • Scientific Name: Carniegiella marthae
  • Fish Family: Gasteropelecidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Size Range: 1 inch
  • Special Features: Deeply rounded belly

The Orinoco and Negro Rivers of South America are home to a strange and tiny freshwater fish with a flat body and hatchet-shaped profile (video source).

These hachetfish are great for South American biotope aquariums. Just make sure you have a tight-fitting lid – these fish are jumpers!

13. Bronze Corydoras

Bronze Corydoras Fish
  • Scientific Name: Corydoras aeneus
  • Fish Family: Callichthyidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 2 – 3 inches
  • Special Features: Metallic green sheen on armour-like scales

The bronze corydoras is one of the most popular pet fish for community aquariums because they are just so peaceful and easygoing with other fish species. Although they grow to just 3 inches, these are one of the biggest cory catfish species, and ideal for aquariums of 30 gallons or larger.

These social bottom dwellers love to hang out with their own kind, so be sure to keep a school of at least 6 individuals.

14. Black Triggerfish

  • Scientific Name: Melichthys niger
  • Fish Family: Balistidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 12 – 18 inches
  • Special Features: Deep black body with white margins on Caudal, dorsal, & anal fin

The black trigger (video source) is a unique saltwater fish from the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. They are easy to care for, although they require a large tank of at least 180 gallons for long-term care.

Over in Hawaii, these fish are known as Humuhumu’ele’ele. Try saying that three times fast!

15. Blue Throat Triggerfish

Blue Throat Triggerfish in Fish Tank
  • Scientific Name: Xanthichthys auromarginatus
  • Fish Family: Balistidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size Range: 9 inches
  • Special Features: Male has a blue throat and yellow fin margins

The blue triggerfish is an interesting tropical saltwater species for aquariums of 125 gallons or larger. These tropical fish are generally peaceful, although they are true carnivores that use their sharp teeth to crush hard-shelled marine invertebrates like shrimp.

Other Species That Can’t Be Kept In Aquariums

Not all fish that start with B are great choices for aquariums. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t ‘nerd out’ and learn some fascinating facts about their species!

Keep reading to learn more about 15 interesting fish that start with B.

1. Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna
  • Scientific Name: Thunnus thynnus
  • Fish Family: Scombridae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 12 feet and nearly 1,500 pounds
  • Special Features: World’s largest tuna fish

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the world’s largest and most powerful bony fish. They are prized for their meat and the incredible sport they offer to fishermen.

Despite their massive size, these fast-swimming fish tend to hunt small prey like sardines and mackerel. Of course, these magnificent creatures are not recommended for the home aquarium!

2. Blue Catfish

  • Scientific Name: Ictalurus furcatus
  • Fish Family: Ictaluridae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Size Range: Can reach over 5 feet and 150 pounds
  • Special Features: Largest North American Catfish species

The Blue Catfish is a large freshwater fish that lives in the rivers and lakes of eastern North America and down through Mexico to Central America.

These predatory fish eat pretty much any prey that they can swallow, but they also scavenge for any meaty foods.

3. Blue Shark

  • Scientific Name: Prionace glauca
  • Fish Family: Carcharhinidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 12 feet and 450 pounds
  • Special Features: Sky blue dorsal color

Blue sharks are large, graceful sharks that live near the surface of the open ocean, including cool waters off the west and east coasts of the United States.

The blue shark is a predator that hunts fish and squid with speed and powerful jaws filled with sharp triangular teeth.

4. Bull Trout

Bull Trout
  • Scientific Name: Salvelinus confluentus
  • Fish Family: Salmonidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Size Range: Can reach over 3 feet and 30 pounds
  • Special Features: Green body with white spots and white fin edges

The bull trout (or Brook Trout) is a large char species native to the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States and neighboring Canad. These attractive freshwater fish live in cold mountain rivers, streams, and lakes where they feed on invertebrates, other fish, and their eggs. They are popular with fly fisherman.

5. Basking Shark

  • Scientific Name: Cetorhinus maximus
  • Fish Family: Cetorhinidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Reaches over 30 feet and 5 tonnes
  • Special Features: Huge mouth for filter feeding

The Basking shark is the world’s second-largest fish (video source). Despite their dangerous appearance, these real-life sea monsters are gentle giants that feed on plankton and other tiny invertebrates that live in the water column.

Basking sharks are widespread in the temperate regions of the world’s oceans and occur off both the west and east coasts of the United States.

6. Blacktip Reef Shark

Blacktip Reef Shark
  • Scientific Name: Carcharhinus melanopterus
  • Fish Family: Carcharhinidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 5 feet and 30 pounds
  • Special Features: Black-tipped fins

The Blacktip reef shark is a common predator around reefs of the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

These small sharks pose low risk to humans although they have bitten a few unlucky divers. Their natural prey is much smaller, including smaller fish, octopuses, and crustaceans.

8. Buffalo Fish

  • Scientific Name: Ictiobus spp.
  • Fish Family: Catostomidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Size Range: Up to 4 feet and 80 pounds
  • Special Features: World’s oldest fish

There are five species of buffalo fish in North America (video source), including three in the United States. The bigmouth buffalo is the largest, reaching impressive weights of nearly 80 pounds.

The buffalo fish’s longevity is even more impressive than its size, and with a lifespan of up to 127 years, they are the oldest known fish species by a long way!

9. Beaked Salmon

  • Scientific Name: Gonorynchus spp.
  • Fish Family: Gonorynchidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 2 feet
  • Special Features: Beak-like snout

Beaked salmon (video source) are marine fish that live along the sandy bottom in coastal waters. These nocturnal fish have an elongated body and they bury themselves into the substrate, leaving just their eyes and snout exposed.

10. Bonnethead Shark

Bonnethead Shark
  • Scientific Name: Sphyrna tiburo
  • Fish Family: Sphyrnidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: 3 – 4 feet
  • Special Features: Flattened, shovel-like head

The bonnethead shark is a remarkable North and South American shark species from the hammerhead family. These small sharks live in shallow coastal waters where they feed on various small fish and crustaceans that live on the sandy sea bed.

They also eat large amounts of seagrass, which is very strange for a shark. In fact, the bonnethead is the only known omnivorous shark in the world!

11. Bull Shark

Bull Shark
  • Scientific Name: Carcharhinus leucas
  • Fish Family: Carcharhinidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater, brackish water, freshwater
  • Size Range: Up to 13 feet and nearly 1,000 pounds
  • Special Features: Muscular body and aggressive behavior

The bull shark rivals the Great White as one of the world’s most dangerous sharks. These aggressive apex predators are at home in warm, shallow coastal waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

Bull sharks are unusually comfortable in brackish water, and some individuals even swim up hundreds of miles into pure freshwater rivers and lakes.

12. Brook Lamprey

  • Scientific Name: Lampetra planeri
  • Fish Family: Petromyzontidae
  • Water Type: Freshwater
  • Size Range: 4 – 5 inches
  • Special Features: Sucker-like mouth

Brook lampreys (video source) are tiny eel-like fish that live in streams in Europe and North America. Unlike the parasitic sea lamprey, these primitive fish are harmless creatures that filter-feed on tiny plants, animals, and other organic matter in the water.

13. Butterfly Ray

Butterfly Ray
  • Scientific Name: Gymnura spp.
  • Fish Family: Gymnuridae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 13 feet across
  • Special Features: Diamond-shaped body

Butterfly rays are large relatives of the stingrays that live along sandy beaches and estuaries in warmer oceans, including the southeast of the United States.

These rays are much wider than they are long and perfectly camouflaged to blend in with the sandy or muddy bottom of their natural habitat.

14. Burrowing Goby

  • Scientific Name: Croilia mossambica
  • Fish Family: Gobiidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater, brackish water, & freshwater
  • Size Range: Up to 2.4 inches
  • Special Features: Elongated body and spear-shaped tail

The burrowing goby (video source) is a small fish native to the warm coastal waters of Southern Africa. These interesting creatures can tolerate both fresh and saltwater, although they need areas with still water and fine sand to create their burrows.

15. Bobtail Snipe Eel

  • Scientific Name: Cyema atrum & Neocyema erythrosoma
  • Fish Family: Cyematidae
  • Water Type: Saltwater
  • Size Range: Up to 6 inches
  • Special Features: Long, bird-like snout

Bobtail snipe eels (video source) are unusual saltwater fish with long snouts, almost like a bird’s bill. These small deep sea fish are rarely seen, although they are found in all oceans, including off the coast of the United States.

Bonus Fish That Start With B

Looking for more fish that start with B? Check out these 10 bonus species!

  • Blue Whiting
  • Black ruby barb
  • Bombay duck
  • Buri fish
  • Brook stickleback
  • Bramble shark
  • Black mackerel
  • Brown trout
  • Balzani’s earth eater
  • Blue marlin
  • Butterfy Fish
  • Black Stripe Dwarf Cichlid
  • Banjo Catfish
  • Baikal Oilfish
  • Black Piranha
  • Prinance Glauca Buri
  • Black Fin Cory

Other Lists

Looking for other fish that start with other letters of the alphabet? Check out the other posts below:

Final Thoughts

From brutish bull sharks to beautiful bettas, there’s no shortage of amazing fish that start with B. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading along with us and discovering all these fascinating species! Why not choose some fish from the first section to add to your aquarium?

Do you keep any species of fish that start with the letter B? Share your favorites in the comments below!

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