Fish That Start With N [Extensive Freshwater & Saltwater Fish Name List]

When you think about fish names that start with the letter N, neon tetras are likely to pop up in your head. But there are a lot more fish names that begin with N than you can imagine!

This article lists common fish names that start with N, especially in the cichlid community.

Our Top 5 Best Fish Names Beginning With Letter N

Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)

This freshwater fish is a popular pet fish in the aquarium hobby. Neon tetra dates as far back as the 1930s. It is among the oldest tropical fish in the aquarium trade.

shot taken from an aquarium of two Neon Tetra as one of the fish names that start with N

It is a shoaling fish with unique colors. Its torpedo-like body is usually about one and a half-inch long. It has a bright neon blue stripe that runs from its nose tip and fades off as it reaches its caudal fin. It also has a silvery-white belly.

You want to keep at least a dozen. When choosing tankmates, you want to select tankmates with a peaceful personality. You also want to avoid larger tetras or any bigger tankmate that can eat your pet fish.

Nicaragua Cichlid (Hypsophrys nicaraguensis)

This fish is native to Central America. It is one of the most feisty cichlids as it is pretty territorial. The males grow impressively larger than the females. They can reach a maximum length of 10 inches.

close up shot of a Nicaragua Cichlid in aquarium

This fish is best kept with a mate. You can pair them with other cichlids, but you want to keep them in a large tank. A tank that is about 6 feet long should be ideal.

This omnivore eats almost anything you offer it in the fish tank. But in the wild, it eats plant matter, detritus, insects, and insect larvae.

Needlefish (Xenentodon cancila)

This fish species of a cute species native to the shallow waters of Chesapeake Bay. It looks like white fish but has a silver color and a slender body, and its long jaws are filled with needle like teeth.

a photo of an Needlefish (Xenentodon cancila) in aquarium

The Xenentodon cancila is a freshwater fish from South Asia. It is relatively smaller than its cousins in the ocean. The usual length of the needlefish is about 15 inches.

This fish is not a good choice for a beginner hobbyist. It is better suited for advanced hobbyists.

Nichols’ Mouthbrooder (Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi)

This is a cool and active fish species to keep in the aquarium. It is a cichlid species native to the Congo basin in Africa.

One cool thing about this cichlid is how protective it is about its eggs and fry. Mouthbrooders hold their eggs and fry in their mouth. They do so throughout the incubation period as it is the safest way to protect their younger ones.

Another cool thing about these cichlids is how the color of their head tells their mood. The color of their heads changes depending on their mood. It changes from bright yellow to mustard. Although they are small fish, they can be very aggressive, especially to other cichlids.

But they will coexist peacefully with members of their own species. You want to keep one male for every three females you have in the tank.

Needle Fin Eater (Belonophago tinanti)

The needle fin eater is a predatory fish native to Africa’s Ubangi River and Congo basin. It is a relatively large fish that grows up to 16 inches. It has a very slender body with a single dorsal fin.

Most needle fin eaters eat smaller fish. You might also find them nipping at the fins of larger fish in the mid-top area of the tank. They do this with their long jaws, which contain many needle like teeth.

You want to pair it with a larger fish that hangs out at the bottom of the tank. You also want to avoid keeping smaller fish in the same tank with them so that they do not end up as food for your needle fin eaters.

List of Fish Beginning With N

Check out our list of fish names that start with N for more fish names. Some are cute freshwater fish that thrive in lakes and ponds, while others are saltwater fish that inhabit the ocean. Their scientific names are placed beside their common fish names to distinguish them from similar species.

Freshwater Fish Beginning With N

  • Naked-Back Knifefish (Gymnotus sp.)
  • Nandus (Nandus nandus)
  • Nase (Chondrostoma nasus)
  • Needle Fin Eater (Belonophago tinanti)
  • Needlefish (Xenentodon cancila)
  • Neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
  • New World Rivuline (Aplocheilus lineatus)
  • New Zealand Smelt (Retropinna retropinna)
  • Nicaragua Cichlid (Hypsophrys nicaraguensis)
  • Nichols’ Mouthbrooder (Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi)
  • Nigerian Red Krib (Pelvicachromis taeniatus)
  • Nile Bichir (Polypterus bichir)
  • Nile Puffer (Tetraodon fahaka)
  • Njassae Synodontis Catfish (Synodontis njassae)
  • Nkata Cichlid (Copadichromis nkatae)
  • Nobol Distichodus (Distichodus noboli)
  • Noodlefish (Salanx chinensis)
  • Norbert’s Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma norberti)
  • North American Darter (Percina pantherina)
  • North American Freshwater Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)
  • Northern Hog Sucker (Hypentelium nigricans)
  • Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
  • Northern Sawfish (Pristis microdon)
  • Northern Squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis)
  • Northern Stargazer (Astroscopus guttatus)
  • Nurseryfish (Kurtus indicus)
  • Nyassa Blue Cichlid (Metriaclima zebra)
  • Nyerere’s Victoria Cichlid (Haplochromis nyererei)

Saltwater Fish Beginning With N

  • North Pacific Daggertooth (Anotopterus nikparini)
  • Northern Anchovy (Engraulis mordax)
  • Northern Clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus)
  • Northern Lampfish (Stenobrachius leucopsarus)
  • Northern Sea Robin (Prionotus carolinus)
  • Notothen (Dissostichus mawsoni)
  • Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)


Kelly Stanley