For small fish species to be utilized as models for carcinogenicity testing they should be capable of developing neoplasms, preferably in multiple tissues, when exposed to known carcinogens. Seven species of small fish were exposed to methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM-Ac) and tumor development was monitored. Specimens 6–10 days old were exposed to nominal concentrations of MAM-Ac up to 100 mg l−1 for 2 h, then transferred to carcinogen-free water. Hepatic neoplasms developed in the Japanese medaka, guppy, sheepshead minnow, Gulf killifish, inland silverside, rivulus, and fathead minnow. Additionally, neoplasms occurred in other organs and tissues of the medaka (retina, various mesenchymal tissues, exocrine pancreas, kidney, and nervous tissue), guppy (mesenchymal tissue, exocrine pancreas, and kidney), and sheepshead minnow (choroid gland, mesenchymal tissues, and nervous tissue). All tumors were diagnosed in specimens within 1 year post-exposure. Early signs of liver tumors appeared in medaka and guppy at about 1 month post-exposure. These studies show that both medaka and guppy would be good models because they appear sensitive to carcinogens, develop tumors in multiple tissues and are easy to breed and maintain. Certain other small fish species also may prove to be good models because of habitat preferences, breeding strategies, or genetic attributes.