10 Most Expensive Aquarium Fish In The World

10 Most Expensive Aquarium Fish in the World

Among the many species found in the oceans, fish are the most variable and adaptable water animals that make excellent aquarium pets. They come in vibrant colors, can be cross-bred, and have all kinds of sizes, making them appealing as house pets.

If you are a fish enthusiast, you are undoubtedly aware of the exorbitant prices of some fish and the care they demand. If you are new to the fish petting world or are just looking for some fun information on this topic, we have compiled a list of ten most expensive fish in the world to help you decide which one you can afford.

Let’s start with the cheapest aquarium fish and work our way up to the most expensive.

1. Clarion Angelfish  -$2,500

The Clarion Angelfish is a vivid saltwater fish found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, primarily off Mexico’s Pacific coast. They can grow 10 inches to 20 centimeters, with bright blue stripes running down their luminous orange-colored bodies and around their faces.

Unfortunately, Clarion Angelfish is threatened with extinction in the wild and has been listed as “Vulnerable” since 2009, making it one of the rarest fish in the world.  Angelfish are very peaceful but prefer solitary; however, they can be aggressive to other Angelfish, so do not house them together.

2. Wrought Iron Butterfly Fish – $2700

The Wrought Iron Butterfly Fish is found in the western Pacific Ocean, in central or southern Japan. This fish is a sought-after aquarium fish due to its distinctive metallic coloring, cross-hatched body pattern, and highlighted yellow-tipped fins.

They prefer to remain on the surface of clean water at a depth of approximately 33 feet and can grow to 6 inches long, making them ideal aquarium fish.

The Wrought Iron Butterfly Fish is one of the most expensive aqaurium fish, fetching $2,700 per fish.

3. Australian Flathead Perch – $5,000

An Australian Flathead Perch can easily cost around $5,000. This fish is exclusively found in the coral reefs of eastern Australia, has a minimal geographical range, and is rarely found lurking in the wild, making it one of the rarest fish you can find.

They have a flathead and a large mouth, and lilac stripes running down from their mouth to their tail that look like peacock feathers. The fish has a flattened body which allows it to live amongst rocks reefs and slide through cracks.

The Australian Flathead Perch, distinguished by its 6-inch body, is very peaceful and prefers solitude.

4. Neptune Grouper – $6000

As a pet fish, the Neptune Grouper is difficult to come by. They inhabit the Indo-Pacific water at depths of 200-800 feet, which requires a specific decompression and transportation process to keep them alive. They have a distinct color; pinkish-orange with white stripes and black patches.

Neptune Groupers have a tendency to die when brought to the surface and require an elaborate mechanism to acclimatize. Of the grouper class of fishes, Neptune Grouper is the rarest.

5. Golden Basslet – $8,000

The Golden Basslet is a stunning deepwater reef fish, ranked fifth on the list. What this fish lacks in size (3 inches), it makes up for with the price tag.

They are happy tank mates and are known for their lovely yellow bodies with purple patches on their fins and a tiny trail on their bellies near the fins.

Golden Basslets are native to the coral environments of the Caribbean Sea, making it challenging for divers to catch this elusive fish.

If you are an enthisiatic collector of rare fish, the Golden Basslet will be an excellent addition to your collection.

6. Bladefin Basslet – $10,000

They are rare, beautiful, and vibrant aquarium fish with a striking orange fin resembling a blade and a white body with a broad red patch and fins.

The Bladefin Basslet is native to the Southern Caribbean region and lives in deep waters at a depth of 300 meters, almost exclusively in caves and crevices. 

Despite being the smallest fish on our list, with a maximum size of 1.5 inches, the Basslet fetches an astounding price owing to its rarity and the challenge it poses for divers.

7. Masked Angelfish – $20,000

The Masked Angelfish is a magnificent reef fish, distinguished by its white marble body, black eye mask, and fins. The fish is also found in variations where it has colored markings around its eye are yellow, black, or purple.

The fish can reach a length of up to 7 inches which is when some fishes change sex to males. At this point, their dorsal markings show a change in color to yellow.

The Masked Angelfish is renowned for its simplicity and elegance. They are primarily found in Hawaii’s northwestern islands and require specialized equipment to acclimate them to tank life, making them rare aquarium fish.

8. Peppermint Angelfish – $30,000

The Peppermint Angelfish is a one-of-a-kind species with a 3-inch red body and white stripes, making it the holy grail of home aquariums. This fish perfectly resembles a peppermint sweet with its vivid and contrasting colors. It goes for $30,000, making it the most expensive fish globally. They inhabit the tropical reefs in the eastern-central Pacific, near the Cook Islands and Rarotonga, and can be found at depths of more than 300 feet, making it a challenge for divers to catch and acclimatize.

If you get your hands on these fish, keep them in cool water with low lighting at first to help them adjust to aquarium life.

9. Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray – $100,000

The Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray is the second most expensive freshwater fish. They are native to Brazil’s Xingu River basin and like rocky bottoms. They have circular black/brown bodies with white patches and can grow to be about 18 inches in diameter.

These fishes are predatory; it is best to keep them alone in a 180-gallon tank. However, they also necessitate much care and upkeep, particularly hand-feeding.

Trading them is illegal in Brazil, and a few states in the U.S. have prohibited them as well. If you want to keep Stingrays in your aquarium, make sure your state does not restrict it, and you have the proper arrangements to facilitate their survival.

10. Platinum Arowana – $400,000

Platinum Arowana is the most expensive fish on the list and the rsarest too. They are endangered freshwater fish, which makes their trade illegal. Some people think they ward off bad luck in Asian cultures. They are found throughout Southeast Asia, where the name “Platinum Arowana” comes from. Platinum Arowana, also commonly referred to as dragonfish, has glittering, armor-like scales and twin barbels that resemble descriptions of dragons in East Asian folklore.

This fish can grow up to 4 feet and live up to 15 years, making it the largest freshwater fish.

These fish need a 25-gallon fish tank and the care of an experienced aquarist. It also has a high-maintenance carnivorous diet consisting of small fish, insects, and snails.

If you are an avid collector, it will be helpful to find out extensively about the fishes and animals you want to pet before investing in them. This will help you understand their original habitats and what you need to do to replicate them in your aquarium to keep rare breeds alive and kicking and appropriately caring for them.

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