7 Types of Purple Fish to Own

Timothy Hill

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If you absolutely love a pop of purple in your home aquarium, there are several amazing purple fish you can add to your setup. In addition to some brightly colored saltwater fish, there are purple freshwater fish as well. So whether you are looking to have a fish of every color or you are supporting your favorite sports team with matching aquarium colors, here are seven types of purple fish to own!

Purple Dottyback

Orchid Dottyback
The orchid dottyback is a brilliantly purple fish. They are sought after by aquarium owners to spruce up their tank’s appearance.


The purple dottyback is a bright purple saltwater fish that is common in the aquarium trade. Their coloration can look purple to magenta to pinkish at times with darker purple circles around each eye. They have an elongated minnow shape and can get to be 3 inches long. Purple dottybacks’ dorsal fin and anal fin are clear with simple contour veining. The end of the tail fin is also clear. It is recommended that you keep them in a tank that is at least 30 gallons and if you plan to have it share the tank with tank mates be sure there are plenty of hiding spots. Dottybacks can be a bit territorial and feisty if not given room to retreat and feel safe.

Royal Gramma Basslet

Royal Gramma Basslet
The front half of the royal gramma basslet is purple, but the back half is a striking electric yellow.


The royal gramma basslet is a strikingly mixed-colored saltwater fish with the front half being purple and the back half an electric yellow. As the color transitions from purple to yellow a beautiful mix of purple-outlined yellow scales can be seen. Besides their dark black eyes, they have a dark black spot on the front edge of their dorsal fin, about the same size as their eyes. Royal gramma basslets are typically in the 2-2.5-inch range but can be as long as 3 inches. A 30-gallon tank makes for a good size environment and they are a reef-safe fish. Including a nice reef setup with plenty of places to hide will make these fish feel comfortable in their new home.

Purple Tang

Purple Tang Fish
Reaching up to 10 inches long, purple tangs are quite large, and need aquariums that can accommodate their size.


A larger purple fish to own for your saltwater tank is the purple tang. Tangs are beautiful dish-shaped fish that have rounded dorsal and anal fins. The caudal fin is fan-like, and on the purple tang, it is bright yellow. The body is a deep purple to blue with a mix of faint darker horizontal striping. Around the pointed snout and face, there are faint darker spots. The very tips of the pectoral fins are light yellow, a truly stunning fish!

Purple tang can get to be 10 inches long, so you will need to have a setup that can accommodate such a large fish. It is recommended that they have at least 125 gallons. They do well in a reef aquarium, but it’s better to house them on their own, not with other tangs. This is because they can get quite aggressive toward other tangs.

Purple Betta

Purple betta fish
Betta fish have a variety of colors. Purple betta fish can be entirely purple, or have red dorsal and anal fins.

©oddi chandra pratama/Shutterstock.com

One of the easiest purple fish to own is the purple betta! Betta fish are small, freshwater fish so no need to have an extensive tank system. You do want to provide them some room for them to swim around and some plants and a fun treasure chest to keep life interesting. Similar to tangs you certainly don’t want to put two male bettas in the same tank…they will fight!

Betta fish come in a wide variety of colors from vibrant yellow to shocking red. Some of the purple ones are entirely purple while others will have red dorsal and anal fins. The fins on the betta are what make it such an attractive fish with beautiful flowing fins. Bettas are usually only around 2-3 inches in length and make for an excellent fish to own.

Purple Moscow Guppy

Blue Moscow Guppy
Moscow guppies come in many colors, from purple to blue, and black to green, with some being rather rare.

©Mircea Costina/Shutterstock.com

If you want to have a tank full of colorful purple fish then guppies may be the fish for you. You can have 6-8 purple Moscow guppies in a small tank or expand your tank to make room for more. These vibrant little fish get along well with others and don’t need a whole lot of space. What makes them a great fish to show off is their flowing fanned tail fin. Although these fish only get to be 1-1.5 inches, having several in a tank makes for a great display. Add a little Christmas moss or Java fern and the purple guppies will really pop!

Purple Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlid
Cichlids have some outstanding color combinations, and that’s true of purple peacock cichlids, too.

©Richelle Cloutier/Shutterstock.com

Lake Malawi in Africa has some of the most diverse fish species in the world. There are more than 600 different species of cichlids that live in Lake Malawi alone! Cichlids are very colorful tropical freshwater fish which makes them very popular in the aquarium trade. Some truly beautiful color combinations are displayed by these amazing fish. The purple peacock cichlid doesn’t disappoint! They are longer than they are tall and can reach lengths of 10-12 inches, so pretty good-sized. Their bodies are all bright purple with faint vertical banding. A long dorsal fin lines their back with a bright golden edging. A matching golden edge lines the far end of the tail. Nice touch!

Purple Tetra

Super Blue Emperor Tetra - Purple Tetra
A 10-gallon tank could accommodate at least eight tetras.

©chonlasub woravichan/Shutterstock.com

Another fun schooling fish that you could add to your tank is the purple tetra. Adding 8-12 of these to your freshwater tank will really brighten things up. Purple tetras are only around 1-1.5 inches long, look a bit like minnows, and have shimmery scales that seem to change color based on the lighting. At times they look more silvery than purple, but other times, you will get a nice purple tone. They are native to the Orinoco River Basin in South America. A group of eight to 12 purple tetra would do just fine in a small 10-gallon tank. Be sure to add some variety to the tank by adding a sandy bottom with some plants and a few pieces of driftwood. Purple tetras also do well in a larger community tank if you have a variety of other fish.

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