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Pictures of Reef Fish and Tropical Fish

Updated on September 16, 2014
photo: my own, taken while snorkeling off Eleuthera
photo: my own, taken while snorkeling off Eleuthera

Images of Reef Fish, And Gifts Ideas

Tropical fish found on coral reefs and in tropical waters are astonishingly colorful and diverse. The beauty of this wonderful marine life has inspired generations of artists and designers.

They're a popular element in powder room décor. Who hasn't seen cute little angel fish hanging on someone's bathroom wall? Or a coloful shower curtain full of yellow tangs?

Coral reefs, teeming with thousands of different species of marine life, are a constant draw for divers and snorkelers.

But there's danger lurking in the rocks .... did you know a beautiful, but dangerous species has recently invaded Atlantic and Caribbean reefs? He's dangerous not only to other ocean life, but also to humans and the delicate underwater ecosystem. Who is he? Read on to find out.

Are You an Aquarium Keeper? - (a poll)

Do you have, or have you ever had, an aquarium?

See results

The Mandarin Fish Takes on New Challengers

In the last group of tropical fish pictures featured on this page, the colorful Mandarinfish was the clear winner.

Now, he takes on a new group of challengers, with five different reef fish pictues from all around the internet. Can he hold on to the title, or will another image prevail this time?.

It's up to you!

Have a look at all six images, and then vote for the one you like best.


This poster available to purchase at Zazzle.
This poster available to purchase at Zazzle. | Source

Powderblue Surgeonfish Near Mozambique

By Hein waschefort, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
By Hein waschefort, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Long-Nosed Hawkfish

by JJulian812 on Morgufile
by JJulian812 on Morgufile | Source

Closeup of a Brightly Colored Crescent Wrassee

Moon or Crescent Wrassee picture available at AllPosters
Moon or Crescent Wrassee picture available at AllPosters | Source

Regal Angelfish

NOAA Public domain photo, via Wikimedia Commons.  (This fish also sometimes called the Royal Angel Fish)
NOAA Public domain photo, via Wikimedia Commons. (This fish also sometimes called the Royal Angel Fish) | Source

Tropical Fish in Bora-Bora Lagoon

Wall art available at AllPosters
Wall art available at AllPosters | Source

Vote for your favorite Image - ( a poll)

Vote for your favorite among the above posters and prints.

See results

Beautiful Corals and Fascinating Marine Creatures

For the serious diver, snorkeler, or guardian of the world's coral reefs. This set will help you identify just about everything you see while diving or snorkeling the beautiful waters off Florida, around The Bahamas, and in the Caribbean. A must have!

The books even have plastic covers and water resistant pages so you can take them along with you. (But not under water, of course)

Identify Them with This Multi Volume Set

The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes)
The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes)

Excellent photos and details about individiual species of corals, fish, and other creatures found in the reefs of Florida, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean

 Publid Comain image
Publid Comain image | Source

Freshwater vs. Saltwater

Tropical, Reef, and Marine Fish

The term tropical fish can refer to either saltwater or freshwater species that are typically found in tropical waters.

Prized for their beauty and color, they are popular with hobbyists who set up home aquariums to keep them.

Most freshwater tropical varieties are colorful due to the irridescent nature of their. However, some are specially bread for pigmentation to satisfy the aquarium trade.

Saltwater tropical fish, also referred to as Reef Fish, because they live primarily on the world's ocean reefs, generally owe their colorful appearance to natural pigmentation. Sometimes referred to as "marine" by hobbyists, their variety is utterly amazing. They come in nearly every color you can imagine, and their habits and habitats are fascinating, too.

Add a Touch of Color to Your Décor - Sea Creatures from the Tropics

Sea creatures from warm marine regions are quite popular for home décor - particularly in bathrooms, but you'll also find them in other rooms of the house. Because they are naturally so colorful, many people see them as a way to add a burst of color to a room while still using a natural element.

Aquavista 500 Wall Mounted Aquarium with Tropical Water Background, Black Frame
Aquavista 500 Wall Mounted Aquarium with Tropical Water Background, Black Frame

a real aquarium that you can hang on your wall like a framed picture!


Dangerously Beautiful Invader

An invasive species is bringing a danger and a problem to some North American waters.

This guy may be beautiful, but it also poses a distinct danger - to humans, other marine life, and the ecosystem of the Caribbean reef.

The red lionfish - Pterois volitans - has invaded the waters of Florida, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean in recent years, and it's causing a big problem. The invasion may be a result of pet owners releasing their aquarium specimens into the sea after tiring of them. In any event, it has become a BIG problem

Red Lionfish

This Photo Sculpture available at Zazzle
This Photo Sculpture available at Zazzle | Source
By Albert Kok at nl.wikipedia  [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
By Albert Kok at nl.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons | Source

This Beauty is Causing Problems in North American Waters


PROBLEM #1: Danger to Humans

Native to the Indo-Pacific reefs, the lionfish has venomous ray fins. The venom causes vomiting, fever and sweating. In rare cases, it's been fatal.

PROBLEM # 2: Danger to the Ecosystem

Because of their voracious appetites, rapid rate of reproduction, and the fact that they have no kown preditors in the Atlantic or Caribbean, they are literally eating up other creatures faster than those other creatures can reproduce. Scientists fear they may soon wipe out rmyotr species and upset the balance of the ecosystem. For example, the supply of grouper has diminished as the population of lionfish has expanded.


A number of countries, including the US, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and The Caymans, have authorized 'lionfish hunts,' in an effort to stem their incredible population explosion. (The hunting is done by spearing them while scuba diving.)

Government and non governmental organizations are encouraging restaurants to add dishes featuring these edible invaders to their menus, hoping an increased demand may eventually lead to active harvesting of the troublesome species.

Video of the Amazing Looking, but Dangerous Lionfish

Lionfish really are beautiful, and most unusual looking. They are almost surreal in appearance. Yet, make no mistake about it, that beauty is deceiving. They are poisonous to humans, and destructive an ecosystem and marine population to which they have been artificially introduced.

Sterling Silver and Simulated Black Onyx Tropical Fish Earrings
Sterling Silver and Simulated Black Onyx Tropical Fish Earrings

Prefer silver? These earrings are in .925 sterling, with black onyx.


Snorkel in the Caribbean

See Beautiful Caribbean Tropical Fish First Hand!

If you'd prefer not to go to the trouble of setting up a saltwater aquarium to enjoy the sight of beautiful tropical fish, consider doing a little snorkeling in the Caribben, the Florida Keys, or The Bahamas.

Even for those who aren't experienced snorkelers or advanced swimmers, it's possible to snorkel with an experienced guide, who will instruct you in the use of the equipment, and provide you with an inflatable safety vest and flotation device. You will be amazed at the new world you will discover beneath the surface of the turquoise waters!

Shown here is a Stoplight Parrotfish, a common species the Caribbean. I am always fascinated by the way they giltter and glisten with the sunlight from above filters down through the clear Caribbean water and they swim out of a shadow and int the light!

Have You Snorkeled a Reef?

Have you seen tropical fish in the wild while snorkeling?

See results

Cute Ocean Critters from Romero Britto - Popular Items for Those in the Know

Romero Britto items are as hot as the tropics this year, and the hip young designer has used tropical fish as the theme for several designs.

Romero Britto Passport Cover - Fish on Blue Background
Romero Britto Passport Cover - Fish on Blue Background

What a great way to keep your passport nice and handy


The World's Coral Reefs

PD-USGov, Courtesy NOAA
PD-USGov, Courtesy NOAA | Source

Many Species Live on and Around Coral Reefs

The vast majority of the world's coral reefs lie within the tropics: Between the Tropic of Cancer in the north, and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. Technically speaking, that's between latitude 23.4378° N and 23.4378° S, though many people tend to think of the tropics as being generally between the 30 degree latitude lines.

Where do most of the tropical reef fish live?

- About 500 - 700 species live on the Caribbean Reef (includes Florida and The Bahamas)

- The Indo-Pacific region reefs are home to 5000 - 6000 species.

- Australia's Great Barrier Reef reef, part of the Indo-Pacific region, has 1500 - 2000 species.

Tropical Fish Collectibles

Can you find a something cool on eBay today?

I've seen some awfully cute collectibles on eBay from time to time.

Here's a sampling of what's available there right now.

The particular item shown here could be gone by this time tomorrow, as auctions there have various ending times . (A word to the wise!)

Please stay long enough to say hello, OK?

The Guestbook Is: OPEN

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    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      I never saw fish this beautiful when snorkeling, but I did run into two sharks once near Cancun.

    • DentalTalk profile image

      DentalTalk 4 years ago

      Great lens and snorkeling is great but you should take it to the next level and go scuba next time you're in the tropics!

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      Informational lens thanks

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Back for a second look. The images are so beautiful.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 4 years ago

      I am rearing guppies now in my fish tank. It's always nice to see them swimming around as a way to relax.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      Excellent! Anything to do with fish will get my attention. Can you get me a Scorpionfish for my Bouillabaisse this weekend?

    • yellowmouse lm profile image

      yellowmouse lm 5 years ago

      great lens, my best friends wife is going to absolutely love this lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Found this awesome lens via the NetLeeks network and I am sharing it to my Pinterest board for The Bahamas.

    • profile image

      Rickcpl 5 years ago


    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I love to look at fish in an aquarium, but much more snorkeling the reefs. Love this lens.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 5 years ago

      I see many of these fish all the time while snorkeling. Incredibly beautiful. Parrot fish are easy to find because you can hear them chewing on the coral from quite a distance. Just follow the noise.

    • evannecarter profile image

      evannecarter 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit, most appreciated. Love dragonet mandarinfish...see my lens about them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      love the lens

    • profile image

      WinWriter 5 years ago

      Love the Mandarin fish. So beautiful!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I can't get enough of these colorful fish .. it's a whole other world to explore

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      So beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      that was beautiful, I like the way you arrange 3 photos on one line I would love to be able to do that too. I would not go snorkeling as too scared of sharks

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Beautiful images

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      @RetroMom: It surely is!

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Amazing pictures. It's a beautiful world under the sea.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 5 years ago from Florida

      I went scuba diving off in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico. Stunning beauty that I took to my dreams. It was like a dream world down there. A couple of my brothers and their families are regular scuba divers.

      Gorgeous fish!!!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      These photos of reef fish are so beauty.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Ah, the underwater world, world of piece and beauty!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens and great information. It's atrocious how people move species about and unwittingly cause major environmental problems. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Came by to be refreshed once again with your beauty here!

    • Richardryder profile image

      Risteard O'Marcahain 5 years ago from Wales

      lovely lens Thank you for your visit earlier

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Gorgeous images. I love reef fish.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Bright and beautiful fish pictures, loved them

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      What beautiful creatures!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wow. beautiful pics and vids. really enjoyed my visit. thanks for this wonderful presentation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Its just refreshing to stop by here again.

      I love the aquatic feel of the lens. :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      These are such beautiful fish and beautiful photos!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      @biminibahamas: Oo - No, that I would love to try!

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      The lion fish is certainly creating a problem here in the Bahamas. Last year we had our first Lionfish Bash with another scheduled this July .. btw ... they make tasty fish nuggets breaded and fried!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      @mumsgather: It's amazing. I can't get enough of it.

    • profile image

      mumsgather 5 years ago

      Beautiful. I enjoy snorkeling. Its like swimming in an aquarium. :)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. We snorkeled while we were in cancun and it was really pretty. I've heard the caribbean is even more amazing. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i like the Red Lionfish, good idea..

    • savenlives profile image

      savenlives 5 years ago

      I have earned the nickname of Suzie Snorkel by my husband!! lol. I once found about 40 lion fish right off the coast of the Bahamas, where people were swimming, scary. After returning back to that resort they are now all gone, thank goodnes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tropical fish are so beautiful and these poster pictures tell it all.

      Very nice pictures of the fish, I enjoyed the colorful gallery. :)

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 5 years ago

      Beautiful images of reef and tropical fish, thanks for sharing! =)

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Beautiful and so colorful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Fun article indeed to read and participate in too! *blessed!*

    • AlphaChic profile image

      AlphaChic 5 years ago

      Lovely pics. Makes me want an aquarium!

    • digitaltree profile image

      digitaltree 5 years ago

      Beautiful Lens, great choice of animals.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a beautiful lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      I am an artist and have a mermaid baby series so for awhile I tried to hunt down images of fish I could paint into the series.. I wish I had seen this lens when I was on the hunt.. wonderful!! Angel blessed!

    • profile image

      cruiselinefans 5 years ago

      Great lens - the kid who wanted to be a marine biologist when he was younger in me really wishes he had fish right now. We've been talking about getting the kids a fish tank 0- maybe it's time.

      Great lens, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Bash51214 5 years ago

      i really enjoyed your post.. thank you..

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I have snorkeled in different parts of the world, and seeing a lot of tropical fish. It is one of the most amazing experiences you can have.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Nice photos, such colourful fish. I love snorkeling in the Red Sea of Egypt - awesome and so beautiful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh my word! What a stunning array of beauties! Breathtakingly brilliant!

    • profile image

      mnl7362 5 years ago

      Absolutely Breathtaking! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image

      entertainmentev 5 years ago

      I love tropical fish. They are beautiful.