Did you know there are well over 30,000 different species of tropical fish identified? This number continues to rise as more species are discovered.
This article will give you a list of our 7 favourite tropical fish beginning with the letter R.
Some you may have heard of, whilst some I am sure you won’t as they are more unusual. We are using their common names, as who actually uses their scientific names when popping into the local pet shop?! I have included the scientific names as well though for the nerdy types.
For the purpose of variation (and because, quite frankly, some of these letters were hard to research!), we may have included some saltwater fish as well. These are clearly marked, as rule number 1 in the world of fishkeeping is that you can’t mix your freshwater fish with your saltwater fish.
Tropical Fish that Start with the Letter R.
- Rosy Barb
- Red-bellied Piranha
- Rummynose Tetra
- Rabaut’s Corydoras
- Red Devil Cichlid
- Regan’s Julie
- Royal Dottyback (saltwater)
Scientific name: Pethia conchonius.
The Rosy Barb originates from Asia, mainly in Assam and Bengal. They are one of the bigger members of the barb family, and can grow up to about 15 cms. They don’t tend to get to that size in an aquarium though.
They are both peaceful and social when in a community tank. The males are brighter in colour, especially when they’re in spawning season. They need to be kept in groups of at least 6 in a tank with a lid, as they like to jump. If you keep one on its own, or only with a few other Rosy Barbs, boredom will kick in, and that is when they tend to take up fin nipping as a hobby. They also prefer to be in a tank with more subdued lighting if possible. This will also enhance their colour. Always make sure there is plenty of room in your tank for them to be able to swim around comfortably.
Scientific name: Pygocentrus nattereri.
The Red-bellied Piranha originates from South America. They can be found in the Orinoco river, as well as in Guyana.
In their natural habitat, they can reach up to 30cms in size.
They would be completely rubbish in a nice, friendly community tank, as they are aggressive and territorial, but you probably knew that already, didn’t you?
Red-bellied Piranhas need plenty of space, and they need to be well fed to stop them unleashing their alter cannibal ego. As a result of eating a lot, they produce a lot of waste, so you need a good filter. Any cables need to be protected as they are also at risk of being eaten.
Scientific name: Hemigrammus rhodostomus.
The Rummy-nose Tetra originates from South America, along the Amazon River towards Belem.
They are one of the more popular Tetra species as they are small, growing up to 5cms, and a great addition to a community tank as they will add both colour and personality to any tank.
They are shoaling fish and are happier when in groups of at least 6. They are easily recognisable by their red noses. The happier they are, the more prominent that colouring will be. Males are always deeper in colour and are slightly smaller than the females. The females are also a bit rounder in shape.
They need plenty of swimming space, and they prefer the top and middle of the tank.
Scientific name: Corydoras rabauti.
Rabauti’s Corydoras (also known as the Rusty Cory) originates from the Rio Negro in Brazil.
They are fairly small, growing up to about 6cms and make a good addition to a community tank, due to their peaceful and social nature.
They are easily recognised due to their rusty colour and the prominent black stripe that runs down either side of their body.
They are happiest in a well planted tank and in a group of at least 6 as they are shoaling fish. they are susceptible to infection so regular partial water changes are a must.
Red Devil Cichlid.
Scientific name: Amphilophus labiatus.
The Red Devil Cichlid hails from Central America, in the Nicaraguan Lakes. They grow to an impressive 25cms in their natural habitat, and not far off that in a big enough sized tank.
The clue about the temperament of this species is in their name! They may look colourful and pretty but they really are devils!
They are predators, and, while they can learn to be well behaved in front of their owner-they can form a strong attachment to their owner and will come and ‘greet them’ at the tank, they can make light work of anything that annoys them.
They have big teeth and very strong jaws which they can put to good use, especially if they don’t have enough room in their tank.
The males are larger and more vividly coloured. They form a hump on their neck which is a breeding hump. In their natural environment this is only a temporary hump, but it seems to be permanent if in captivity.
Scientific name: Julidochromis regani.
Regan’s Julie is part of the Cichlid family and comes from Lake Tanganyika, which runs down the border of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
They are also known as the Convict Julie, in reference to the dark colour stripes that travel down the length of their body.
They can grow up to 30cms so you need to have a big tank to house one comfortably. They like a sandy substrate, and plenty of rocks to hide amongst.
They are best only being kept with other Cichlids native to Lake Tanganyika, for example, Fairy Cichlids, Lemon Cichlids etc, and only if there is plenty of room for everyone to space out.
Royal Dottyback (saltwater).
Scientific name: Pictichromis paccagnellae.
The Royal Dottyback is a saltwater fish. It reminds me of the old Fruit Salad sweets you used to be able to buy years ago. Their front half is purple and their back half is yellow.
They can grow up to 7cms. This species looks, and sounds like a lovely fish to add to your tank, but, these guys definitely suffer from Small Fish Syndrome. They think, and act like they are a lot bigger than they actually are!
The Royal Dottyback is very territorial, but their version of that their territory actually is, is a lot bigger than it needs to be, which can lead to trouble with any tankmates.
Experienced aquarists tend to favour housing them on their own to stop any potential trouble, as there is bound to be if housed with anyone else.