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

Some fish names that start with Z are easy to remember because the fishes are regular in the hobby, while others are a bit strange because the fishes are either unknown or unpopular in the hobby.

From the freshwater fish in rivers and streams to the saltwater fish that exclusively stay in the oceans, this page lists plenty of fish names that start with Z.

Check out this post, starting with our top 9 picks to the lists below for fish names that start with Z.

Our Top 9 Fish That Start With Z

Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Zebra Shark is a carpet shark species endemic to the tropical waters of the Indo-Malayan parts of the Pacific ocean. This fish also loves to frequent coral reefs at a depth of about 203 ft.

The Zebra Shark is the only member of the Stegostomatidae family. It is a nocturnal fish that usually spends its day resting on the sea bed. It spends its night hunting smaller animals for food. It hunts crustaceans, smaller fish, mollusks, and sea snakes in the reef’s crevices.

Zebra Sharks swim alone. They have a solitary nature. Although some groups have been seen gathering together, they rarely gather together. When they do, the females usually outnumber the males 3 to 1. Their mating behavior remains a mystery, and the reason for the gathering is yet to be identified.

Zebra Loach (Botia striata)

Zebra Loach is a widespread aquarium fish. It is also known as the Candy Stripe Loach and is one of the few peaceful fish suitable for a community tank.

This freshwater fish grows only about 3.5 inches long. The bold vertical stripes on its body are the obvious reasons for its common name. It is one of the species in the Botia family.

It is a bottom dweller and a good choice for a beginner hobbyist. This fish is not sexually dimorphic, but the females usually have a much more rounded abdomen than the males.

This fish is an omnivore. But it primarily prefers live foods. It is a notorious consumer of snails. If you have a snail population crisis in your tank, you can keep one. You can also feed it other foods like bloodworm, glass worm, and brine shrimp.

Zebra Tilapia (Heterotilapia buttikoferi)

Zebra Tilapia (Heterotilapia buttikoferi)

Zebra Tilapia is an aggressive freshwater fish. It is usually housed in a species-only tank or with other aggressive cichlids of its size. Zebra Tilapia is an omnivorous aquarium fish with an attitude.

This fish is very aggressive and will knock down your decorations. You want to use a large tank to provide adequate swimming room for them.

Secure your decorations in the aquarium so this fish does not displace them in their frenzy.

It is also a very prolific waste producer. If you are keeping some, you want to frequently change the water and ensure that the water parameters are stable and correct at all times.

Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)

Zebra Danios are one of the popular aquarium fish in the hobby. They are schooling fish, and they love slow-moving to still freshwater bodies.

They usually reach no more than a length of 1 – 1.5 inches at the adult stage. If you want to keep this fish, keeping at least 8-10 of them in a tank would be best.

A fascinating aspect of Zebra Danios is their regenerative ability. This fish has the ability to regenerate organs in its body after an injury or amputation. This is the reason most people prefer this fish for research purposes.

Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra)

Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra)

This benthic fish is the only member of the genus Gymnomuraena. It is common in the Indo-pacific, specifically the coast of East Africa through the western coast of the Americas.

The Zebra Moray is a dangerous fish species. It usually grows up to a maximum length of 59 inches. But its average length is 2 inches. It gets its common name from the densely banded white and black stripes around its body.

This fish is not much of a browser. It has its preference. Its food options are specific; it eats only crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins.

Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus zebra)

Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus zebra)

Zebra Pleco is another great aquarium fish that starts with the letter Z. It is a South American freshwater fish. Zebra plecos can be found in the rivers and streams of Brazil.

Imperial Pleco is another name for this fish. It is a shy fish and will typically hide under rocks and caves. It is also nocturnal. It is expensive because it is not as widespread as the other pleco species.

It is a beautiful fish. One indispensable fact about this fish is that it loves algae. It typically takes its time to scrape algae off rocks and will compete with other fish in the tank for the last bit of algae.

Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra)

Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra)

Zebra Lionfish is an impressive saltwater fish. You can find it in the Indo-pacific tropical waters. It is also referred to as the Zebra Turkeyfish.

Its maximum length is around 10 inches. This fish is a bottom-dwelling fish species that likes to stay on reef flats, coral, and rock bottoms. It has vertical orange, black and white stripes on its pectoral fins. Its pectoral fins are fan-like.

They are often broadened anytime the Zebra Lionfish lays on the seabed. This fish belongs to the Scorpionfish family. It may appear peaceful, but it is a dangerous fish. It has 13 venomous spines lined along its back for defense.

Zander (Sander lucioperca)

Zander (Sander lucioperca)

This ray-finned fish is another interesting fish that starts with the letter z. It is also known as Sander and Pikeperch.

This ray-finned fish is not one of the fishes commonly kept and traded in the hobby. It has a length of about 20-26 inches. Zander juveniles are usually kept and traded in the hobby, but their place is in the wild.

Zander fish is almost as muscular as the Northern Pike. This makes it one of the fishes often caught for food in Europe. Apart from catching it for food, it is also one of the many game fishes in Eurasia.

Zebra Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus zebra)

Zebra Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus zebra)

Zebra Bullhead Shark is not the least on our list of fish that start with z. This fish is a type of catfish that is popular in Europe. You can also find them in Asia, especially in the central Indo-Pacific.

This bottom-dwelling shark has an appearance like a catfish. It has vertical grayish-black stripes like a zebra and a large, somewhat broad head. This is probably the main reason it is called a Zebra Bullhead Shark.

Its maximum length is usually around 41 inches. Like a shark, it feeds on smaller fishes and invertebrates. It is a curious and aggressive fish.

List of Fish Beginning With Z

Check out the lists below for more options to choose from when choosing the right fish for your tank.

Freshwater Fish Beginning With Z

  • Zander (Sander lucioperca)
  • Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)
  • Zebra Loach (Botia striata)
  • Zebra Oto (Otocinclus cocama)
  • Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus zebra)
  • Ziege (Pelecus cultratus)
  • Zingel (Zingel streber)

Saltwater Fish Beginning With Z

  • Zebra Bream (Diplodus cervinus)
  • Zebra Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus zebra)
  • Zebra Lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra)
  • Zebra Moray (Gymnomuraena zebra)
  • Zebra Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Image Credit:

Kelly Stanley