Chinese Fish Names & Meanings

Written by jennifer vanbaren
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Chinese Fish Names & Meanings
The Chinese value the meanings of fish. (fish image by cherie from

Over the centuries the Chinese have developed a system of symbols and values related to the natural world. One of the animals of great significance in Chinese culture is the fish. Fish can symbolise wealth, luck, happiness, good fortune, and prosperity. The Chinese display various fish in different ways to remind themselves of these meanings.


The Chinese focus and decorate their homes around feng shui, the concept of bringing harmony and balance to the home. The carp is a fish that symbolises wealth and prosperity. The legend behind the carp recognises the fish for its strength and bravery because it swims against the current. Many people place in their homes a decorative piece of twin golden carp swimming on top of gold coins. These objects come in many sizes and are made out of many materials. The carp is considered one of the luckiest fish in Chinese culture.

Hua Luo Han

The hua luo Han, also called the flower horn fish, symbolises good luck. This fish is exceptionally colourful, showing shades of blue, black, and pink. The flower horn fish stands out because of its vibrant colours and the distinction of having a hump on the side of its head. The Chinese consider this to be the luckiest fish of all and will pay a great deal to have this scarce fish in their aquariums at home or work.


The arowana fish is red, a very lucky colour for the Chinese. This fish is also called the dragon fish because of its appearance. Chinese people hang pictures on their walls of this fish for good luck. They also keep them in aquariums at home or at work. The arowana symbolises good luck and happiness, and is said to provide riches. The Chinese believe that the more arowanas that surround them, the luckier their lives will be.

Koi Fish

The koi fish represents success and wealth. It can be either red or black. This fish is sometimes referred to as a Japanese carp. It is a strictly ornamental fish. People who practice feng shui often put koi in ponds at their homes, or the fish may be placed in ponds at parks. Typically if koi are found in or near a pond, the bottom of the pond is filled with coins because the fish is thought to be extremely lucky.

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