Types of White Fish: 12 Different Aquarium Fish That Are White

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Updated: June 24, 2023
Share on:


White fish are stunning, elegant, and neutral. They’re great additions to colorful or dark tanks, and make great companions for more vividly-colored tank mates.

Some people find white fish boring, but not us! Here are 12 beautiful white fish that’ll make you want a new tank!

Please remember before you read: all of these fish cannot be kept together. They have different tank requirements and some of them don’t get along with other fish. Always do your research before adoption— having a pet is a big commitment and you’re responsible for their wellbeing!

Only The Top 1% Can Ace our Animal Quizzes

Think You Can?
Infographic of 12 Aquarium Fish That Are White
Fish including swordtail, butterfly koi, and Medaka rice fish can be found in white shades.

1. White Betta Fish

Rosetail fighter fish

Betta fish don’t do well with tank mates as they are aggressive fish.


Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish, are bred in many colors. While white bettas are rare, they’re stunning to look at!

Their white coloration puts their elegant fins on full display, with nothing to distract you from their beauty.

As their nickname suggests, bettas are aggressive fish. They don’t do well with tank mates and are best raised alone in a tank of at least 10 gallons.

Unfortunately, these fish are extremely popular as pets and also often abused. Well-intentioned people may put them in incredibly small tanks or bowls, sometimes at the directions of pet store employees.

Always do your research when adopting a new pet and be careful taking a pet store’s advice — they’re there to sell animals, and sometimes can give very poor care tips.

2. Guppy

White Fish - Guppy

Guppy fish have an incredible amount of variety in their appearance and colors.

©panpilai paipa/Shutterstock.com

Guppies are very popular and easy to care for fish. Maxing out at 1.6 inches, they’re small and like to live with other guppies.

It’s recommended to keep two female guppies for every male guppy since the males can harass the females!

Guppies have been bred in captivity for many years, so there are a ton of varieties to choose from when adopting them as pets. Yin yang and platinum white are two to consider.

Yin yang guppies get their name because they can be black or white, and complement each other nicely!

3. Dwarf Gourami

Types of White Fish - Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf gouramis can appear in pale white varieties.

©Andrej Jakubik/Shutterstock.com

Dwarf Gouramis are typically vivid blue, red, or orange in color. However, there are pale white varieties as well. These fish tend to have hints of red or blue in their scales, which is a nice addition if you don’t want a plain white fish.

They are schooling fish, and socializing is extremely important to them. Never keep less than six in one tank.

These fish reach around 3.5 inches in length and need a tank to accommodate their size and numbers. Purchase at least a 25-gallon tank and add five gallons for every additional fish.

4. Swordtail

White Aquarium Fish - Swordtail

Swordtails can appear in vibrant white coloring.

©Dan Olsen/Shutterstock.com

White swordtails, like the Kohaku swordtail, are medium-sized, live-bearing fish with asymmetric tails. The bottom tail fins of the male swordfish are longer than the rest of their tails!

These fish also come in red, orange, black, yellow, and more colors if you want to keep a variety.

Because these fish are mid-sized and social, they need a fairly large tank. We recommend at least a 30 gallon with a minimum of five swordtails.

The male-female ratio should be 1 to 4.

5. Butterfly Koi

White Fish - Butterfly Koi

Butterfly koi are larger than previous white

aquarium fish

we just looked at.

©Dany Kurniawan/Shutterstock.com

Butterfly koi are much larger than the fish listed above. In fact, they’re so big that they can’t be kept properly in tanks!

If you’re looking to fill a backyard pond, some of these fish are a stunning white color. They can also be born with a white base and pops of color throughout their scales, which is just as beautiful.

As koi grow older, their fins continue to grow until they are long and flowing. This makes watching them grow up very rewarding!

6. Barb Fish

White Fish - Barb Fish

Barbs are active, social fish and can have white scales.

©Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com

Barbs are another fish that display a variety of colors and patterns. The tiger, zebra, and tinfoil barbs all have patterned white scales, though they aren’t completely white in color.

These little fish are so active you’ll want to watch them swim all day! They’re also incredibly social, so you shouldn’t keep less than six in one tank.

Housing these fish properly requires a 30-55 gallon tank, depending on the variety you adopt.

7. Angelfish


Angelfish vary in color dramatically, but some can be white.


Angelfish have always been one of my favorites! Their unique, triangular body and tail shape alongside their flowing fins make for a beautiful sight.

These fish can also be either plain white or white patterned. You can’t go wrong with either, since the patterned angelfish have the prettiest black and yellow markings.

Angelfish are a big commitment, though, since you’ll need at least five to six fish in one tank to keep them happy. Since they are large, this means at least an 80-gallon tank is required!

Lastly, angelfish should only be kept with docile, larger fish — and only if you have the tank space for them all. These fish are prone to aggression and will eat fish of a smaller size.

8. Medaka Rice Fish

White Fish - Medaka Rice Fish

Medaka rice fish are quite small and live in groups.

©Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com

Medaka rice fish, or Japanese rice fish, is a type of killifish. They are quite small, as their name applies, growing to about 1.4 inches in length — about the size of seven grains of rice lined up side-by-side.

They can be white patterned or even clear in color, allowing you to see their bone structures!

These cool little fish swim in schools and must be kept in groups of six or more fish. Their tank should be 10 gallons or larger.

9. Cory Catfish

White Fish - Panda Cory Catfish


cory catfish have a distinctive black and white appearance.

©chonlasub woravichan/Shutterstock.com

Cory catfish help to keep the bottom of your tank clean, and they look great while doing it! White varieties are usually patterned, except for albino cory catfish.

They grow up to one to four inches long (quite small for catfish!) and have cute whiskers near their mouths. They must be kept in groups of six or more, in a tank that’s at least 20 gallons.

Although these fish are docile, they should be kept with other fish of similar temperament and size. Aggressive or large tank mates could injure or kill your Cories.

10. White Skirt Tetra

White Fish - White Skirt Tetra

White skirt tetras should have at least a 20-gallon tank.

©Steve Bower/Shutterstock.com

Tetras are another commonly-bred fish with many color varieties. Look for a white skirt tetra if you’d like a white-to-clear colored tetra with clear fins.

These social, schooling fish should be kept in groups of six or more. This allows them to interact and live happily inside of their tank.

At least a 20-gallon tank is recommended for housing a school of tetra. Allow more space if needed for more tetras or tank mates.

11. Bristlenose Pleco

White Fish - Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose

pleco is popular among the smallest pleco fish

and can be white.


The bristlenose pleco, also known as bushy nose pleco or bristlenose catfish, is a species of small catfish that typically grows to around five inches in size.

They are bigger than cory catfish, and quite different in temperament as well. Bristlenose plecos are more territorial and do well as the only catfish in the tank, or when introduced to another pleco at a young age.

These fish are also herbivores, meaning that they eat algae and other plant matter from your tank. They are nocturnal as well, so you’ll only rarely see them moving around the tank.

Bristlenose plecos should be kept in a tank no smaller than 20 gallons. For more than one, increase the tank size.

12. Goldfish

Goldfish - "Red Cap Oranda" among plants in a fish tank.

“Red Cap Orandas” can have white bodies and a distinctive cap.

©Wang Sing/Shutterstock.com

White goldfish are simply angelic. They look fancy with their flowing fins and cute little faces!

Goldfish can be entirely white. Some have a slight pink or yellow tint that is beautiful. Lastly, there are white goldfish with different-colored patterns on their scales that look incredibly cool.

A note about goldfish is that they are perhaps the most misunderstood pet out there. Many people keep them in small bowls or tanks, but this couldn’t be further from proper care.

In order to adopt goldfish and care for them properly, you’ll need an outdoor pond. This is because goldfish can grow very large in size — up to 14 inches long!

Summary of 12 Different Aquarium Fish That Are White

Here’s a recap of a dozen aquarium fish that can come in wonderful white colorations.

1White Betta Fish
3Dwarf Gourami
5Butterfly Koi
6Barb Fish
8Medaka Rice Fish
9Cory Catfish
10White Skirt Tetra
11Bristlenose Pleco

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Dany Kurniawan/Shutterstock.com

Share on:
About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.