Fish That Start With P


Fish that start with “p” demonstrate the vast diversity underwater. Even experienced fish enthusiasts will indeed find something to catch their interest here!

Pufferfish, for instance, can inflate their bodies to hide from predators, making them relatively easy to keep in your tank, and providing plenty of room for swimming around.


More than 120 species of pufferfish belong to the scientific family Tetraodontidae and share one trait in common – they can enlarge into an inflating ball when threatened – but each has different features depending on where and how it evolved; small with wild markings to giant with fused teeth are among them.

Pufferfishes possess spines to deter predators when not inflating, but should they become prey, they also use an extremely potent neurotoxin known as tetrodotoxin, which can cause respiratory paralysis and even death in minutes for humans consuming these toxins – and some pufferfish possess enough of this neurotoxin in their system to kill 30 adult humans at one time!

Pufferfishes can release tetrodotoxin through their skin when they puff up, producing it through organs and even their blood. When exposed, symptoms include perioral paresthesia and numbness followed by vomiting, dizziness, gastrointestinal pain, dysarthria, and ascending paralysis before eventually leading to respiratory failure and death in the fish.

Pufferfish are omnivorous predators, eating plant and animal matter; however, their primary food sources include algae and smaller fish. Furthermore, these creatures use their long, tapered bodies to scavenge food from the seafloor by scooping up particles using their long antennae.

Pufferfish species exist in over 120 varieties and inhabit tropical and subtropical waters worldwide, though some also thrive in brackish or mixed salt and freshwater environments. Some even make their home exclusively in freshwater – 35 species have been documented living solely within freshwater environments!

Like other fish, pufferfish do not possess scales but instead use visual and scent cues to communicate. Instead, these creatures use visual cues and smell to communicate among themselves and with potential prey and predators, including one another and predators. Pufferfish are highly aggressive fish with sharp beaks and teeth designed to break open shellfish and attack other marine invertebrates such as corals. Some species also can eject toxic tetrodotoxins from their mouths when threatened – something some species do when threatened themselves! Pufferfish meat has long been enjoyed as a delicacy in East Asia, where it’s known by its name of “fugu” only by chefs with special licensing and certification.


Piranha fishes belong to the Characiformes order of predatory fishes and inhabit freshwater rivers, backwaters, oxbows, and temporary forest pools. Unfortunately for fishermen, they often pose an inconvenience as they steal bait, take fish off lines, and damage gear. Piranhas are opportunistic feeders that consume anything they come across, including other fish, plant matter, insects, and carrion – even other piranhas! With jaws strong enough to crush bones and a spacious pharynx that accommodates large prey items. Their top and bottom teeth work together like scissors to cut up food. Like sharks, their mouths have evolved for their meat-eating diet with sharp blade-like teeth tailored explicitly for this task.

Piranha fishes can often be seen swimming through open water channels in South America’s Amazon Basin and Rio Paraguay river systems, small tributaries, shallow backwaters, and temporary forest pools formed during rainy seasons. Aquarium owners frequently release them into nearby lakes or ponds.

Piranha species are only fished commercially at a minimal level, though some are caught as game fish. Piranhas have long been popular pets among home and school aquarists, though their importation into many locations is illegal. Piranha are known for being aggressive predators, preying upon wildlife populations. Some bold varieties, like P. nattereri, will consume other fish species, birds, or humans!

Red-bellied piranhas are perhaps the best-known species, garnering their notoriety due to exaggerated claims made during Teddy Roosevelt’s expedition of Amazonia and recounting stories of starving piranhas attacking large animals with gusto. Red-bellied piranhas rarely go on feeding sprees themselves, instead often warning predators away by making bark-like sounds; their top and bottom teeth work together like scissors to cut food up, meaning their top and bottom teeth break off frequently and are swallowed, leading them back into existence again.


Platy fish, known for their vibrant hues and easy care requirements, make attractive aquarium additions as pet owners often keep multiple. Furthermore, these freshwater fish species have also proven invaluable research subjects, contributing essential discoveries in biology, ecology, and genetics studies over several years of research studies. If kept under optimal conditions, they can live for five years.

Platies are lively fish who enjoy swimming around their tank and interacting with others in their community. Omnivorous feeders, platies can benefit from regular fish flakes as well as occasional treats like bloodworms or brine shrimp; providing plenty of vegetation and hiding spaces will help make them feel at home in their environment.

Platies tend to be one of the easiest species of fish to breed, making them one of the easier species. But female Platies should be kept separate when giving birth to prevent males from fighting with each other and potentially injuring or killing the fry. A breeding trap – an enclosed plastic box with small holes- can protect the mother and fry from other fish while she gives birth, permitting her offspring to escape through these holes unimpeded by any potential threats during labor and give birth in peace.

Once a mother has given birth, she should return to her community tank; however, if she exhibits signs of dropsy–an illness that causes scales to protrude from her body and give it a pinecone look–she should be quarantined separately in her tank for recovery without risking the health of the fry.

Platies fishes can be kept in tanks as small as 10 gallons, but the optimal environment for these aquatic creatures is larger biotope-style setups that replicate their natural habitats. Such aquariums should feature filters designed to filter out debris and provide clean, hard water; additionally, large surface areas are necessary for swimming as they require temperatures between 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit for comfort. Water quality testing kits should be used regularly when monitoring pH levels of aquarium water for best results.

Pearl Gourami

These colorful freshwater fish are an absolute delight to observe in an aquarium. Their peaceful disposition makes them excellent tank mates for other small and temperate fish species, boasting gorgeous white spots on their bodies and large, delicate fins that will catch anyone’s eye. As with all fish, however, they must be adequately housed to thrive and remain healthy.

Pearl gourami fishes may be hardy creatures, but even they can succumb to various issues in an aquarium if not given proper care. One such issue is fin rot, which causes fin tips or edges to become damaged or decayed due to stress, bacterial disease, or poor water conditions. To combat fin rot effectively, it’s essential to monitor your aquarium regularly with regular water changes; monitoring will keep the risk low.

Pearl gourami is vulnerable to parasitic conditions known as “bumblefoot,” caused by parasites that can damage both feet and fins, making treatment difficult if caught early enough. Ich, another risk associated with parasites, causes irritation of skin cells, which causes itching or inflammation; prevention can be accomplished with frequent water changes, feeding your fish smaller portions at intervals, and having an aquarium with good filtration.

Pearl gourami fish make excellent additions to a community aquarium as they tend to be relatively peaceful and can co-exist happily with most fish species. One exception would be during spawning when males become more aggressively protective of their bubble nest and may kill females who try to consume its eggs – therefore, providing plenty of hiding spaces within your aquarium is vital to avoid unnecessary spawning events during this period.

Once a pair of Pearl Gourami are ready to breed, the male will create a bubble nest while the female swims underneath it. He may attempt to coax her closer before guarding their eggs – however, at this stage, the female may consume her eggs, which should be removed immediately from the tank as she will drink her own. For your safety, it’s also wise to ensure there are hiding places within your aquarium for her in case this occurs.