Published on May 3, 2023

Featured image source: Pinterest

The dragon fish tattoo is one of the most popular styles of tattoos all over the world. Sometimes it features a dragon and a fish separately, while sometimes, it is a single dragonfish. It is also called the dragon koi tattoo, referring to the koi fish.

Whatever name it goes by, it’s often the basis for a stunning, detailed, and color-rich tattoo that is also rich in meaning.

Dragon Fish Tattoo Meanings

A dragon and koi fish tattoo usually features an Asian dragon and a koi fish. However, this is not always the case.

The dragon in the tattoo typically represents power and strength, while the koi fish represents perseverance .

This is due to the ancient legend where a koi fish transforms into a dragon through persevering. Only one koi fish is usually included in the design.

A dragon fish tattoo can symbolize someone’s struggle to persevere through a challenge, or perhaps they are facing difficulties, and their goal is to get through them. This tattoo can also represent the discovery of one’s inner strength.

An article of interest: Koi Fish Tattoo Ideas

Best Dragon Fish Tattoo Styles

You can get a dragon fish tattoo in a wide range of styles, from simple to elaborate. There are many colors of dragon and koi fish tattoos, and you may want to get a blue koi fish tattoo, white koi fish tattoo, red koi fish tattoo, or another color.

Here are some of the most preferred styles:

Simple outline

Some dragon fish tattoos are quite simple. They feature a black outline of a dragon and fish without any other color, creating a bold effect.

Separate dragon and fish

Some dragon fish tattoos feature a separate dragon and a fish on the same tattoo, presenting them as different entities.

Single dragonfish

Often, the dragonfish is presented as a single mythical creature, sometimes depicting the koi’s transformation into the dragon of legend.

Best Designs for a Dragon Fish Tattoo

Dragon fish tattoos come in some stunning designs. Check out the following if you want some ideas for your tattoo:

Dragon fish Tattoo on Elaborate

Elaborate dragon fish tattoo

This elaborate Asian-style design references the legend of the koi fish, which transformed into the dragon through its perseverance. (Credit: @kimgxxg)

Colorful and bold Tattoo

Colorful and bold dragon fish tattoo

Depicting a red and orange dragonfish, this time as a single creature, this tattoo features some truly stunning colors. (Credit: @mondaytattoo_hk)

Color bomb

Color bomb dragon fish tattoo ideas

The dramatic colors are the first thing you notice in this stunning tattoo, which is rich with yellows, reds, blues, and greens. It’s a real sight to behold. (Credit: @rudiink_)

Dragonfish head Tattoo on Arm

Dragonfish head tattoo

Sometimes just the head is featured, as in this fierce and bold tattoo. (Credit: @disaikner)

Rich detail Dragon fish Tattoo

Rich detail fish dragon tattoo

This stormy and atmospheric tattoo features the colorful dragon koi against a black background. (Credit: @davidronin_tattoos)

What Are the Best Places to Get a Dragon Fish Tattoo?

There are several popular places to get a dragon fish tattoo. Here are a few examples we’ve found:

Dragon Fish Tattoo on Legs

dragon fish tattoo on leg

This original tattoo features the dragonfish across two legs, creating an interesting effect. (Credit: @eastsideinktattoo)

Arm Dragon Tattoo

fish dragon tattoo on arm

The dark and moody dragonfish looks wonderful on the underarm, as in this tattoo. (Credit: detchchan)


dragon tattoo on shoulder

The large, angry eye and rich design detail of the dragonfish create a stunning effect on the shoulder. (Credit: k_okai)

Full body Dragon Fish Tattoo 

full body dragon fish tattoo

The dragon fish tattoo is one where a huge amount of detail can be depicted, meaning it can even cover the whole body. (Credit: horijo_tattoo)

Full arm Dragon Tattoo

fish dragon tattoo full arm

This sleeve depicts the red dragon and fish against a black backdrop to create a bold and impactful impression. (Credit: mateuszkanu)

Other Tattoo Ideas

Dragons are popular in a wide range of designs. Want to get a different tattoo with a dragon focus? Here are some of our other guides that might interest you:


Dragon fish tattoos are very popular in a range of different forms. Whether you want to show your perseverance in adversity or you simply enjoy the elaborate and intricate depictions of the dragon and koi fish, this could be the perfect tattoo style for you.

Hermillis Haden
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