The fish cells, known as chromatophores, contain color pigments that determine the colors of the fish.
However, there are fish with only red chromatophores, which make them red in color.
Given below is the list of 18 fish that are red.
18 Beautiful Red Color Fish
1. Red Egger’s Killifish
Red egger’s killifish are native to Tanzania’s stagnant swamps and slow-moving waterways.
Their tiny size makes them perfect for small aquariums.
Red egger’s killifish have bright blue and red coloration.
Their stunning appearance and peaceful reputation have made this freshwater species well-known among aquarium hobbyists.
They have a notorious reputation for being overly aggressive toward other males of their species.
So it’s best to keep them with other tankmates.
2. True Red Terror Cichlids
Check out how True Red Terror Cichlids look like over here.
These colorful fish live throughout the Amazon Basin of South America, from the Rio Esmeraldas in Ecuador to the Rio Tumbes in Peru.
Female red terror cichlids have bright red and orange color with a reddish-orange snout.
In contrast, males are green in color, which they begin to lose as they mature.
True red terror cichlids have an aggressive character.
So you must select tankmates that can hold their ground or defend themselves against these fierce fish.
3. Chili Rasboras
Check out how a Chilli Rasbora looks like over here.
Chili rasboras, also known as Mosquito Rasboras, are native to Southwestern Borneo in Indonesia.
They’re one of the smallest tropical fish found in home aquariums.
Chili rasboras have red-colored bodies with a dark stripe along either side.
Males rasboras can be identified by their bright red dorsal and anal fins.
Chilli rasboras are an excellent addition to a community aquarium with small and calm inhabitants because they’re themselves tiny and shy.
4.Red Neon Stiphodon Gobies
Check out how Red Neon Stiphodon Gobies look like over here.
The red stiphodon gobies are freshwater fish inhabiting the swift and clear streams located closer to the sea.
They can be easily found in waters around Japan, Samoa, and the Philippines.
The male fish are known for their bright red and orange color.
Female fish aren’t as brightly colored but are still very attractive with their horizontal black and cream-colored stripes.
Red neon stiphodon gobies have an easygoing nature, making them a good choice for a vibrant community aquarium.
5. Scarlet Badis
Scarlet badis inhabit the drainage systems of the Brahmaputra River in West Bengal and Assam states of India.
However, they’re known to migrate to Bhutan occasionally.
Adult male fish are bright red or rust orange in color with silvery blue stripes along their fins.
Males are usually more attractive than females, with silver grey color and transparent fins.
These fish are suitable for small community aquariums where there are other smaller fish because larger fish can eat them.
6. Red Bettas
Red bettas are freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia.
They’re mainly found in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Red is one of the most common colors for bettas.
Betta fans usually prefer a solid, consistent bright red color, which is considered the most desired look.
However, like other fish, it’s a little odd to see an utterly red betta.
They’re often bi-colored, with dark bodies and bright red highlights on their tails and fins.
7. Flame Dwarf Gouramis
Flame dwarf gouramis are from the Osphronemidae family, also known as the Gourami family.
They’re indigenous to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Flame dwarf gouramis are a special breed of dwarf gouramis.
They get the name because of the color of their skin, which looks like an intensely burning fire.
They have a fiery red color that fades at the top of their heads.
The male’s dorsal fin has an excellent electric blue color, with a silver color at the tip of the dorsal fin.
8. Red Dwarf Gouramis
Red dwarf gouramis have colors similar to flame dwarf gouramis but have two distinct variations.
These fish don’t have the blue dorsal fin characteristic of the flame dwarf gouramis.
The overall sharpness of the red color is also less intense than flame dwarf gouramis.
Their red color is a mixture of orange and light brown instead of the reddishly orange found on the fire dwarf gouramis.
9. Clown Barbs
Check out how Clown Barbs look like over here.
Clown barbs are native to Sumatra and Borneo. They live in clear streams of the forest floor puddles and foothills.
They’re schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six.
Clown barbs are colorful fish with red fins and a golden-red body decorated with spots that look like polka dots.
Young clown barbs are dull in color compared to adult fish.
Like most barb species, clowns are fin nippers. So choosing the best tankmates for them is vital in preventing fights in the aquarium.
10. Cherry Barbs
Cherry barbs are found in Sri Lanka, where they live in the tropical Kelani and Nilwala river basins.
They’re also commonly found in the rivers of Mexico and Colombia.
Female cherry barbs are larger, rounder, and often paler in coloration.
In contrast, males have vibrant red bodies, which intensify during breeding.
Cherry barbs are schooling fish and must be kept in a group of at least six fish.
A group of cherry barbs needs a well-planted tank of a minimum of 25 gallons with plenty of hiding spots.
11. Rosy Barbs
Rosy barbs are native to the tropical waters of Southern Asia, where they thrive in large populations.
However, you can also find these fish in far-off places like Australia, Colombia, and Mexico.
Male barbs are more colorful than females. They usually turn into a beautiful red or pink color.
In contrast, females have a more subdued gold or silver color.
Several species can coexist with rosy barbs as tankmates.
These freshwater fish are usually very peaceful and do well when kept in community tanks.
12. Red Zebra Cichlids
Red zebra cichlids are a type of freshwater fish that live along the East coast of Lake Malawi in Africa.
In the wild, males are blue or pinkish, and females are dark orange or reddish.
In captivity, males tend to be orange, and females tend to be light orange.
They’re effortless to take care of and perfect for beginners.
Red zebra cichlids can grow up to five inches long and need a 50-gallon or larger aquarium.
13. Serpae Tetras
Serpae tetras are also known as Red tetras or Jewel tetras.
They live in the Amazon river basin and hide in murky waters to avoid potential predators.
Serpae tetras are deep red-colored fish with a tall, flat shape and a distinctive black comma-shaped marking behind the gills.
Females are paler than males and have plumper bodies.
They can coexist peacefully with other peaceful and fast-swimming species.
However, they’re known to nip fins of slow-swimming fish species.
14. Red Discus
Red discus or Heckle discus are a species of cichlids native to the Amazônia basin, where they’re found in the lower Rio Negra, upper Uatumã and Nhamundá, Trombetas and Abacaxis.
They display a brilliant and vibrant red coloration, although some are commonly mixed with a bit of white on the head or end of the fins, and a few captive-bred color mixes, primarily white, black, and a faint red.
Red discus are peaceful and docile for their size.
Therefore, the golden rule for selecting tankmates for them is to keep fish that are similar in size, temperament, and habitat.
There are few varieties of red-colored discus specially bred in captivity.
- Red Sun Discus: They have transparent fins with red and yellow coloring, blending in with their eyes.
- Red Diamond Discus: They have translucent fins, an orange and a yellow face. They have a deep red color that covers most of their bodies, giving them a fascinating look.
- Pigeon Blood Discus: A stunning pattern of round red squiggles covers the body of these beautiful fish. They have light blue stripes through their fins and tails with a pattern of white and orange spots on their heads.
15. Red Guppies
Guppies originate in Northeast South America. However, they can also be found in Guyana and Brazil.
These fish prefer freshwater habitats but can survive in brackish water.
Most of their body is covered in a bright red color. However, in the case of a red guppy, color variations exist.
The best tankmates are their own kind, and they do well when kept in a group of at least six or more.
They feel vulnerable if kept alone and can spend most of their time hiding.
16. Gold Red Platies
Check out how a Gold Red Platy looks like over here.
Gold red platies are a type of aquarium fish found in Central America.
They’re easy to care for and a good choice for beginners looking to get started with aquariums.
They’re named for their gradient coloring.
The front half of these fish is light gold, while the back half turns darker red. Their fins are either black or clear.
Gold red platies are peaceful and docile, but there should be more females than males in the tank.
The male-to-female ratio must be one male for every three females.
17. Mickey Mouse Platies
Check out how a Mickey Mouse Platy looks like over here.
Mickey mouse platies live throughout Central and North America, from Mexico to northern Belize.
These freshwater fish get their nickname because of the large round black spot in their tail area.
Their body color may vary from pale gold to yellow, orange, red, and even blue.
However, they’re all classified as Mickey mouse platies for their black pattern resembling the iconic character’s head.
18. Red Wagtail Platies
Red wagtail platies are native to Central and South America, from Vera (Mexico) to Belize.
Wagtails have black fins and a body of any other color or pattern.
Usually, their body color will be red or gold, but it can also be many other colors.
Red wagtails are a peaceful species and do best when kept together with similar-sized fish.
Mollies, guppies, swordtails, and tetras can be good tankmates for these platies.