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Pterois volitans
Volitans Lionfish
Zebrasoma scopas
Scopas Tang
Serranocirrhitus latus
Sunburst Anthia
Chaetodon kleinii
Klein's Butterfly
Nemateleotris decora
Purple Firefish
Amblyeleotris steinitzi
Streinitz' Prawn Goby
Apogon cyanosoma
Yellow Lined Cardinal
Amphiprion perideraion
Pink Skunk Clownfish
Paracirrhites forsteri
Forster's Hawkfish
Hippocampus subelongatus
Western Australian Seahorse


Fish are often the first noticeable, active and colourful reef life a guest, novice or long term aquarist sees when viewing an aquarium. They can be painful, dangerous, active, inactive, fascinating and full of character. Many aquarists have started the hobby because of them, and many leave because they pass away. Under our care, these wonderful additions quickly become a member of the family, and as such, the following guides are (to the best of the communities knowledge) descriptions on how to give them the best possible care.

Each individual fish species has its own tank requirements, and it is important for an aquarist to research these BEFORE purchasing. Each species has its own feeding requirements, common physiology traits, certain tank mates they do/don't get along. Commonly known as an impulse purchase, buying the wrong fish can lead to unwanted fish to fish aggression, fish predating on desired invertebrates (including shrimp), corals being consumed or pestered and death from something like jumping, stress or just inappropriate tank attributes.

Having said this, with research, a great fish list can be constructed to ad colour, movement and personality to any tank, where tank mates, corals and invertebrates co-exist peacefully.

See Pests/Diseases for information on identification of diseases effecting fish and treatment options.




Fish Common Names

For a listing of "common" names for fish, see the fish common names page. It is an alphabetical listing of common names that fish species go under in Australia, based on the type of fish. For example, a Yellow Tang will be listed under T, for Tang.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Below you can find a listing of the various grouping of fish, based on the taxonomy of fish. Simply follow the links to the particular type of fish you are interested in.

Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous Fish

Order Orectolobiformes - Carpet Sharks

Order Rajiformes - Rays

Osteichthyes - Bonyfish

Order Anguilliformes - Eels

Order Lophiiformes - Anglerfish

Order Syngnathidae - Seahorses, Pipefish and Allies

Order Scorpaeniformes - Scorpionfish and Flatheads

Order Perciformes - Perch-like Fish

Order Tetraodontiformes - Pufferfish and Filefish


Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life to prevent undue pain and suffering. In the aquarium industry, euthanasia is most often performed on fish with physical abnormalities which prevent a fulfilling life (e.g. swim bladder abnormalities), in response to an incurable disease, infection or parasite, or malnutrition. Several methods are considered below;

Clove Oil

Clove Oil (or eugenol) is a plant-derived analgaesic and sedative. It is used as a anaesthetic at a regular dose, but at higher dosage rates (i.e. 400mg/L [1]) clove oil can be used to euthanise fish. A small volume of tank water should be removed and placed in a separate container. Completely dissolve the appropriate volume of clove oil in the container. This can be best achieved by warming the clove oil and supplying sufficient aeration/mixing. The fish should be removed from the aquarium, and carefully placed in the container until it looses conciousness. The breathing rate should decrease, and the fish should succumb to the overdose of anaesthetic within 10 minutes.

Clove oil is favoured (especially over prescribed anaesthetics which require a prescription) due to its availability at over-the-counter chemists. A clove-oil based commercial product is also available, and is used in aquaculture, called Aqui-S[2].

Hypothermia (Freezer Method)

The method of hypothermia is commonly used because there is no requirement to purchase a product. By separating the fish into a small container of tank water and placing it in a freezer compartment, one drops water temperature, causing a loss of conciousness and eventual death. Although seemingly harmless, falling temperature and hypothermia may take time and cause undue stress to the fish. Considering the extremeties of fish may freeze before a loss of conciousness, the RSPCA considers this method inhumane [3].

Ike Jime

"Ike Jime" is a method to humanely bleed and kill fish to maintain their flesh quality, originating in Japan. Ike Jime involves a precision strike using a sharp implement through the fishes head and into the brain, causing immediate brain death. The method involves precision, and knowledge of where the brain is. This method is also known as "pithing" in Australia. Death is instant, and can be confirmed when the fish goes limp and extends its pectoral and dorsal fins. Considering the size of some ornamental fish, this method may be inappropriate for some fish, as excess handling should be avoided.


The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Training (ANZCCART) has published a draft guide on the euthanasia of animals used for research[4]. Within this guide, administration of medication via injection, blunt-force trauma, cervical dislocation and decapitation are considered "acceptable with reservation", considering the training and experience required to administer these options with success. Freezing (hypothermia) is considered not acceptable.



  1. ( What is the most humane way to euthanase aquarium fish?, August 2013
  2. ( Aqui-S New Zealand Ltd
  3. ( What is the most humane way to euthanase aquarium fish?, August 2013
  4. ( Reilly, J. S., Euthanasia of animals used for scientific purposes, Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Training, Adelaide, 2001


Will the size of the fish in my tank be restricted by the size of the tank?

No. Marine fish have never evolved (nor needed to) the ability to only grow to the size their surrounding will support, unlike some freshwater species. A marine fish will commonly live for many years, and will reach its maximum size in captivity. If you cannot cater for its maximum size then it's strongly recommended you do not purchase this fish. See the Fish By Size pages, Recommended Fish for a Small Tank or research at FishBase.