The most expensive fish, hunted by everyone from amateur enthusiasts to millionaire celebrities, can be astronomically expensive, which corresponds to its beauty and rarity. Here are the top 10 most expensive aquarium fish in the world, for which collectors are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.
10. Iron-forged butterfly fish (Chaetodon daedalma) — $2700
This small fish (up to 15 cm long) lives in the Pacific Ocean and is most often found off the coast of Japan. It got its name due to its black metallic coloring, with bright yellow stripes on the dorsal and caudal fins. The iron-forged butterfly fish usually moves in pairs in its natural habitat. However, sometimes they form a shoal of hundreds of fish. Fish farmers and collectors can pay more than $ 2,700 (164,000 rubles) if they want to get an “iron” butterfly fish in their collection. Such a high price is explained by restrictions on the distribution of Chaetodon daedalma outside Japan, as well as an increase in export costs due to its inclusion in the Red List of Endangered Species.
9. Australian Flathead Bass (Rainfordia opercularis) — $5,000
Catching Australian flathead bass in the wild is not easy, as it tends to disappear into caves before divers can spot it. And the small size makes escape even easier. Like the iron-forged butterfly fish, the Australian flathead bass can grow up to 15 centimeters, which makes it a suitable option for collectors with relatively small aquariums.
8. Golden alligator pike, aka Mississippian shellfish (Atractosteus spatula) — $7000
Although this brightly colored predator usually prefers large rivers and lakes, it also tolerates seawater conditions well. As the name suggests, these fish are bright golden in color, with a long and smooth body that helps them glide easily through the water. Potential owners of alligator pike should make sure that their aquarium is suitable for such fish, which can grow up to 3 meters tall and weigh up to 130 kg. The value of golden alligator pikes is explained by the rarity of their colors. Only one out of 10,000 alligator pikes has a golden color.
7. Platinum alligator pike (Atractosteus spatula) — $7000
is another expensive aquarium fish that is valued because of its rare coloring. Because of its somewhat prehistoric appearance, the platinum alligator pike is often called a “living fossil”. And it is not surprising, because the ancestors of the Mississippian shell appeared in the Eocene, which began 56 million years ago, and ended 33.9 million years ago. The snout of this fish is short but wide, and the body is covered with white, enamel-like ganoid scales in the form of rhombic solid plates. With proper care, the platinum alligator pike can live up to 50 years.
6. Neptune sea bass (Cephalopholis igarashiensis) – $7000
A beautiful combination of orange and white stripes, emphasized by a plump body and a spiked dorsal fin, makes Neptune sea bass an amazing addition to any marine aquarium. Although owning one of these rare fish in the world will cost collectors at least $7,000 (426 thousand rubles), Neptune groupers have difficulty adapting to the surface due to changes in water pressure. This is due to the fact that the Neptune sea bass usually lives at a depth of about 200 meters, so it is very difficult to bring it to the surface alive. Special decompression procedures are required. If you prefer to eat rather than own a Neptune perch, then you can buy it in the food markets of Japan for only $ 50 (3045 rubles).
5. The Bloodefin basslet (Jeboehlkia gladifer) – $10,000
This small creature usually reaches only 3 cm in length, and its body is decorated with bright white and red markings. Its tiny size combined with its preferred habitat depth (243 meters) make the basslet one of the most expensive aquarium fish in the world. The Bludefin basslet is a good-natured fish, so if you are lucky enough to have one, you don’t have to worry about it eating other aquarium inhabitants.
4. Masked Angelfish (Genicanthus Personatus) – $30,000
Extremely rare deep-sea fish, commonly found on coral reefs around the Hawaiian Islands, and protected from commercial fishing, so they are usually bred in captivity. As protogynous hermaphrodites, masked angelfish begin life as females and eventually turn into males, with this transition affecting subtle changes in coloration around their eyes. Only females have a distinctive black mask. And males have black color only on the tail.
3. Mint angel fish (Paracentropyge boylei) — $30,000
This fish is like a brightly colored toy, but its cost is not a toy at all. Found in the South Pacific Ocean, the peppermint angelfish lives up to 120 meters deep in caves and on reefs, feeding mainly on worms, sponges and other detritus. Only experienced divers can reach their habitat, and lifting the mint angelfish to the surface is a delicate process, since the fish must be decompressed so that it can safely leave the deep waters. In 2012, the Waikiki Aquarium purchased a mint angelfish for $30,000.
2. Leopoldi Stingray (Potamotrygon leopoldi) – $100,000
Freshwater pea stingray, also known as Potamotrygon leopoldi, is an incredibly rare fish. It got its name in honor of King Leopold III of Belgium, who sponsored various studies of the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences. Hunting the leopoldi stingray in the wild can be extremely challenging as these beautiful creatures spend most of their time buried in the sand. However, collectors can also purchase stingrays grown in captivity.
1. Platinum Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) — $450,000
The most expensive fish for breeding in an aquarium with a significant margin is platinum arowana, the price of which reaches $ 450,000 (27.4 million rubles). Its value is explained by its extremely rare color, as well as the fact that in some Asian cultures, the arowana is a symbol of prosperity, strength and power. There is even a belief that this fish can save the owner from death, at the cost of his own life. The scales of this slender and elegant fish resemble a dragon’s, and have a metallic iridescence when the arowana glides through the water. Arowans are insatiable, they eat everything from other fish and crustaceans to frogs and crickets, and even jump out of the aquarium for prey, for which they received the nickname “monkey fish”. As expected, the most expensive fish in the world is listed as an endangered species, and only a few aquariums can find platinum arowana in captivity.