Last update: March 12, 2024

100+ Best Small Fish Names – The Ultimate List

Few things add as much magic and beauty to your home as an aquarium with an exotic fish swimming gracefully around. You just beam with pride when introducing a visitor to this beautiful, finned friend of yours. But what do you call it? Such a graceful creature needs a name to match—one that encapsulates the magical sight of this little bit of marine life.

Naming your fish is thrilling, whether you’re a new or experienced aquarist, and this article will help with that. We’ll provide a comprehensive guide for naming your aquatic pets. From cute and funny to unique and famous, you will surely find the perfect name for your little swimmer.

You will also like these other perfectly curated lists of fish names:

Small Fish Names For Girls

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Pimelodus pictus – Pictus Cat

Choosing a name for your female fish can be as fun as watching them glide through the water, and you want to make sure the name fits perfectly. If your fish is female, the ideal name for it will not only be female but also graceful-sounding.

Here are 50 of the best small female fish names and their meanings:

1. Lily (purity and beauty)

2. Coral (marine invertebrate)

3. Pearl (precious and rare)

4. Marina (of the sea)

5. Ariel (lion of God, also a mermaid)

6. Nixie (water nymph)

7. Bubbles (light and playful)

8. Sapphire (precious gem)

9. Misty (covered with mist)

10. Aqua (water)

11. Maris (of the sea)

12. Star (celestial body)

13. Faye (fairy)

14. Shelly (meadow on a ledge)

15. Goldie (gold)

16. Opal (gemstone)

17. Iris (rainbow)

18. Angel (messenger)

19. Luna (moon)

20. Glimmer (faint or wavering light)

21. Crystal (clear and bright)

22. Brook (small stream)

23. Willow (graceful and slender)

24. Serene (calm)

25. Azura (sky blue)

26. Mermaid (mythical sea creature)

27. Splash (to scatter water)

28. Oceana (ocean)

29. River (large natural stream)

30. Delta (mouth of a river)

31. Harmony (peaceful)

32. Melody (musical)

33. Coralie (coral)

34. Marina (of the sea)

35. Ripple (small wave)

36. Misty (covered in mist)

37. Zoe (life)

38. Ivy (fidelity)

39. Jade (precious green stone)

40. Bella (beautiful)

41. Amber (fossilized tree resin)

42. Dory (gift of God)

43. Sunny (bright and cheerful)

44. Aurora (dawn)

45. Daisy (day’s eye)

46. Mimi (wished-for child)

47. Flora (flower)

48. Pearly (like a pearl)

49. Rosie (rose)

50. Celeste (heavenly)

Small Fish Names For Boys

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A pair of guppies. Male and female

If you have a male fish, the maleness of the name is a no-brainer. But more importantly, you want a name that sounds exotic and possibly even mythic. However, a more modern-sounding but still graceful name is fine. 

Here are 50 of the best male fish names, along with their meanings:

1. Finn (fair or white)

2. Marlin (type of fish)

3. Neptune (Roman god of the sea)

4. Oscar (divine strength)

5. Zephyr (west wind)

6. Atlas (to carry)

7. Bubbles (light and playful)

8. Gill (respiratory organ of fish)

9. Blaze (flame)

10. Bruce (the willow-lands)

11. Caspian (relating to the Caspian Sea)

12. Drift (to be carried along)

13. Echo (reverberating sound)

14. Flash (bright light)

15. Hunter (one who hunts)

16. Jet (black gemstone)

17. Kai (sea in Hawaiian)

18. Levi (joined or attached)

19. Maverick (independent)

20. Nero (stern)

21. Ocean (large body of water)

22. Pike (type of fish)

23. Reef (rocky underwater feature)

24. Sailor (one who sails)

25. Scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus)

26. Storm (violent weather)

27. Triton (Greek sea god)

28. Typhoon (tropical storm)

29. Wade (to walk through water)

30. Zale (strength of the sea)

31. Anchor (secure position)

32. Apollo (Greek god of light)

33. Aqualung (underwater breathing apparatus)

34. Barracuda (large predatory fish)

35. Captain (leader of a ship)

36. Dexter (skillful)

37. Eddy (circular movement of water)

38. Flipper (flat limb of aquatic animals)

39. Harbor (sheltered area for ships)

40. Igor (warrior of peace)

41. Jack (God is gracious)

42. Kraken (mythical sea monster)

43. Lagoon (shallow body of water)

44. Moby (from “Moby-Dick”)

45. Nautilus (marine mollusk)

46. Orca (killer whale)

47. Poseidon (Greek god of the sea)

48. Quill (spine of a sea urchin)

49. Ray (beam of light, also a fish)

50. Skipper (captain or master of a ship)

Popular Names for Small Fish

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Redcap oranda goldfish

While exotic names are all great, there’s no reason you can’t give your fish a more popular name—-something more easily recognizable to your friends or even kids.

These are 20 of the most popular and fascinating small fish names:

1. Nemo (from “Finding Nemo”)

2. Goldie (common for goldfish)

3. Bubbles (for bubbly fish)

4. Flipper (like the dolphin)

5. Splash (for playful fish)

6. Sushi (ironically popular)

7. Guppy (a type of fish)

8. Swimmer (for obvious reasons)

9. Aqua (water-themed)

10. Fins (a key fish feature)

11. Dory (from “Finding Nemo”)

12. Marlin (from “Finding Nemo”)

13. Blue (for blue-colored fish)

14. Angel (for angelfish)

15. Comet (swift and bright)

16. Neptune (god of the sea)

17. Pearl (precious and beautiful)

18. Rainbow (for colorful fish)

19. Shadow (for darker fish)

20. Tide (ocean-related)

Funny Small Fish Names

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Redcap oranda goldfish

If you’re a bit of a goofball, giving your fish a chuckle-worthy name is a great idea. Here are 20 funny small fish names that will make you chuckle and light your aquarium:

1. Fish Sticks

2. Sushi Roll

3. Swim Shady

4. Bait

5. Gilly Nelson

6. Fish and Chips

7. Fin Diesel

8. Flounder

9. Gill Clinton

10. Water-logged

11. Squishy

12. Krusty

13. Fishizzle

14. Puddle Jumper

15. Sir Fin-A-Lot

16. Tank Sinatra

17. Wanda (from “A Fish Called Wanda”)

18. Squirt

19. Swimmy Fallon

20. Bobber

Unique Small Fish Names

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Salt and Pepper Cory Catfish (Corydoras hasbrosus

If you want your fish to stand out more, perhaps because it’s a very rare species, you might want to pick an even more non-generic name. Consider a few names from mythology, astronomy, or even astrology.

Consider these unique small fish names:

1. Aquarius

2. Briny

3. Calypso

4. Drizzle

5. Euphoria

6. Frolic

7. Glint

8. Hydrus

9. Iridescence

10. Jovian

11. Kelpie

12. Luminara

13. Moana

14. Nebula

15. Oyster

16. Polaris

17. Quasar

18. Rippleton

19. Stardust

20. Tidal

Fictional Small Fish Names

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Fairy Cory (Corydoras atropersonatus)

Perhaps fiction is more of your bag—novels, films, and the like. In that case, here are 20 fictional fish pet names inspired by literature and film:

1. Glub-Glub (generic cartoon fish)

2. Mr. Limpet (from “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”)

3. Cleo (from “Pinocchio”)

4. Don Lino (from “Shark Tale”)

5. Mrs. Puff (from “SpongeBob SquarePants”)

6. Gil (from “Finding Nemo“)

7. Oscar (from “Shark Tale”)

8. Lenny (from “Shark Tale”)

9. Angie (from “Shark Tale”)

10. Flotsam (from “The Little Mermaid”)

11. Jetsam (from “The Little Mermaid”)

12. Chum (from “Finding Nemo”)

13. Gurgle (from “Finding Nemo”)

14. Bloat (from “Finding Nemo”)

15. Deb (from “Finding Nemo”)

16. Jacques (from “Finding Nemo”)

17. Peach (from “Finding Nemo”)

18. Bubbles (from “Finding Nemo”)

19. Dory (from “Finding Nemo”)

20. Bruce (from “Finding Nemo”)

Famous Small Fish Names

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Cardinal tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

For pop (fish) culture lovers, there are many names that would surely resonate. Here are 20 famous small fish names:

1. Jaws (from the movie “Jaws”)

2. Free Willy (from the movie “Free Willy”)

3. Shamu (famous orca)

4. Moby (from “Moby-Dick”)

5. Flipper (from the TV show “Flipper”)

6. Willy (from “Free Willy”)

7. Echo (from “Dolphin Tale”)

8. Winter (from “Dolphin Tale”)

9. Katina (famous orca)

10. Keiko (famous orca from “Free Willy”)

11. Tilikum (famous orca)

12. Nemo (from “Finding Nemo”)

13. Dory (from “Finding Nemo”)

14. Marlin (from “Finding Nemo”)

15. Bruce (from “Finding Nemo”)

16. Gill (from “Finding Nemo”)

17. Bubbles (from “Finding Nemo”)

18. Peach (from “Finding Nemo”)

19. Mr. Ray (from “Finding Nemo”)

20. Hank (from “Finding Dory”)

Creative Small Fish Names

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Dwarf Pufferfish (Carinotetraodon tranvancoricus)

You may be creative and prefer more innovative fish names instead of the standard, generic ones. If that sounds like you, let us suggest a few clever fish names you might like.

1. Aquafina

2. Blu-Ray

3. Coraline

4. Dewdrop

5. Electra

6. Finley

7. Glimmer

8. H2O

9. Icicle

10. Jazzy

11. Koi Story

12. Liquid

13. Mystic

14. Nautical

15. Ocelet

16. Prism

17. Quiver

18. Reef Runner

19. Splashy

20. Tidepool

Whether you’re looking for something classic, creative, or just plain funny, there’s a name for every fish in your tank!

How To Name Your Fish 

Choosing the perfect name for your blue companion from the aquatic world can be fun and daunting. If you’re seeking a splash of inspiration, consider names derived from their physical attributes, such as Gill or Finn, reflecting parts of fish anatomy. If your fish is an Electric Eel, consider Electra or Sparky, depending on your taste. Look to the specific species of your fish for a name that speaks to its unique identity.

Expand your horizon by considering your fish’s color, patterns, and unique characteristics. Names highlighting these aspects can add a personal touch and make your fish’s name special.

Navigating the Sea of Names

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Embarking on the journey of pet ownership brings joy and the exciting challenge of naming. Here are some buoys to help you navigate through.

1. Simplicity is Key:

Opt for a name that flows off the tongue, preferably with one or two syllables. It should be memorable and easy for you to use comfortably.

To be fair, you can always go for a more complex name if you want, but simplicity is worth considering, especially if you have kids in the house. You don’t want them biting their little tongues pronouncing, for instance, ‘Calliope.’

2. Seek Far and Wide for Inspiration: 

Your inspiration can come from anywhere – from baby name books to the unique personality traits of your fish. Is your fish an eager eater, or does it have a quirky swimming pattern? Perhaps it’s a playful fish, or maybe there’s something about the shop where you got it. Drawing names from these things can be both meaningful and fun.

3. Unique Stories Lead to Unique Names: 

Has your fish’s arrival into your life been nothing short of a storybook tale? Consider names that reflect this special journey. Names inspired by favorite movies or books, such as Dora, meaning “God’s gift,” or the beloved Nemo, can add a narrative touch to your fish’s identity.

If the fish came into your life at a very meaningful time, such as at a very happy moment, let the name reflect that.

4. The Charm Factor: 

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Let the name reflect the cuteness and playfulness of your aquatic friend. However, don’t feel pressured to follow trends. A name with positive associations in literature or with a personal connection can be just as delightful. You may even consider simple names like Jolly.

5. The Name Trial: 

Test out your favorite names to see how they feel when called out loud. Feedback from friends and family can be invaluable in gauging the fit of a name. If the name sounds right, it might be.

6. A Collective Brainstorm: 

If you’re stuck in a naming whirlpool, turn to your social circle or dive into online communities and forums for a sea of ideas. Collaboration can spark the perfect name. If you have kids, you can even ask them. You might be surprised what cute little names they can come up with.

7. Revitalize Common Names: 

Give a twist to a common name by adding a title or modifying it slightly to refresh its appeal. “Ms. Nemo” can offer a new take on a classic name. Combining parts of names also works; for instance, you can combine Moby and Mr. Ray to make Moby Ray.

8. For the School of Fish:

When naming multiple fish, consider themes, pairings, or group names that reflect their collective identity. Drawing inspiration from previous pets can also connect generations of your aquatic family. The Moby Shoal is a great example here.

Final Thoughts

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Remember, the journey to finding the perfect name should be enjoyable and reflect your fish’s personality and story. It can and should reflect your personal tastes and, as much as possible, be simple. Take your time, explore various avenues of inspiration, and when you find that perfect name, you’ll know it’s just the right fit for your finned friend. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The internet has quite a few questions about pet fish, especially about health, habitat, and feeding. Let’s address some of the more common questions that center on naming pet fish.

Can you give male fish female names? 

It is not uncommon to give male fish female names or vice versa. However, it’ll be more appropriate for the fish’s names to match the fish ideally, but ultimately, the naming is up to you. 

Is there a system for naming fish? 

There is only a system for naming fish species, but there are none for naming individual pet fish. 

What are the most common names for pet fish? 

The most common pet names for fish are Nemo, Bubbles, George, and Goldie.

Ian Sterling

Ian Sterling, founder of, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website,, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.

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