People are prepared to spend thousands of pounds on hobbies and weird and wonderful rare things that nobody else has, so it shouldn't be surprising to hear that someone has actually paid $400,000 for A FISH! Whilst this might seem like an obscene amount of money for everyday people to spend on their hobby, the aquarium industry can become a really expensive pursuit for certain individuals that want to own rare and beautifully colorful species.
Let's take a look at six of the most expensive aquarium fish, ranked from lowest (even those are still expensive!) to highest.
Golden Basslet ($8,000)
This fish is found in the Pacific and the Atlantic at depths of 450-800 feet, given that recreational divers usually don't go below 130 feet, you can see how deep these fish live! These fish are really shy and live solitary lives. This orange/goldfish may look like they are one flat color, but on closer inspection they are a wonderful combination of tangerine, yolk yellow, gold and red. Would you say their beautiful honeycomb pattern is worth the $8,000 price tag?
Bladefin Basslet ($10,000)
Another Basslet, this is the smallest fish on this roundup, measuring only 1.5 inches in length. The reason this fish is so expensive is due to its incredible coloration and the difficulty in collecting wild specimens. It lives at depths of over 500 feet, making it really tricky to collect and transfer to a captive environment. It has a brilliant white body with red markings and a white blade like fin (just like its name.) The most expensive species to ever sell, was for $10,000.
Masked Angelfish ($20,000)
One of the favorites among experienced fish keepers is the Masked Angelfish. This marble white fish only has quite simple patterning, but perhaps its simplicity and rarity is what makes it so sought after. They have a black mask which spreads across their eyes, and bluish lips. Even though, they're a favorite, like all other fish on this list they are also extremely rare. The area which they're most common in, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, has imposed a strict ban on collecting aquarium fish, and they're almost impossible to come by in other areas.
Peppermint Angelfish ($30,000)
The Peppermint Angelfish looks just like the colors that you see on a peppermint sweet. With vibrant red and white patterns, there is only one of these fish available to view publicly in the whole world. Kept in a public aquarium at Waikiki Aquarium, this fish is extremely rare, and private sellers offered to pay up to $30,000 for this species. This fish only grows up to 2.5 inches in length which makes it possibly the most expensive fish, per inch, ever seen in the hobby. At $30,000, this fish is slightly more expensive than the sweets which it took its name from!
Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray ($100,000)
One particular Polka Dot Stingray sold for $100,000, because it was so unique looking. Instead of the regular rounded head of a stingray, this creature had a genetically mutated head which causes it to have a U-shape look to it. Not only did this mutation change the shape of its head, but it also made it really difficult for this fish to feed in the wild. It's a good job someone was willing to pay for this rare and fascinating fish, so that it had the chance to be hand-fed and well looked after in captivity.
Platinum Arowana ($400,000)
Grabbing the top spot in this roundup, the platinum Arowana is the most expensive aquarium fish to ever to buy. Being sold for a whopping $400,000, this incredible fish is a rare color variation of an Arowana and is so valuable that a microchip is implanted into the fish before they are sexually mature. They are solid white in color and can grow up to a meter in length. This fish is certainly not for the amateur fish keeper. Anyone considering giving this fish a home will need plenty of experience and plenty of space to house a tank large enough for this monster!
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