10 Most Expensive Aquarium Fish ( Are They Overpriced! )

Whether as a source of protein or as a pet, fish are known worldwide. You would possibly be surprised to know that after dog and cat, fish are considered to be the third most popular pet to keep. If you are looking for a unique way to ornate your living room, a fish aquarium can be a great choice.
Nature has given us various species of fish as a gift from which some species are used as food and a few are used for beauty. Keeping fish in an Aquarium has become very popular among people.
Thousands of fish species for aquariums are available in the market. From these varieties, one can easily get whatever types of fish he needs within a tolerable budget. But there are some species whose price will surprise you. You might have to spend thousands of dollars to purchase them.
Thousands of dollars for a fish! Isn’t it surprising? You might be wondering why this price is so high. Let me explain it to you.
Well, some fish live so deep in water that it is very difficult to catch them. Some fish breed in a little number where some have been bred scientifically. For that, they often fetch a higher price.

Have a quick view of the Top 10 Most expensive aquarium fish in the World


10 Wrought Iron Butterflyfish $2,700
9 Australian Flathead Perch $5,000
8 Dr. Seuss Soapfish $6,000
7 Neptune Grouper $6,000
6 Golden Basslet $8,000
5 Bladefin Basslet $10,000
4 Masked Angelfish $20,000
3 Peppermint Angelfish $30,000
2 Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray $100,000
1 Platinum Arowana $400,000


Wrought Iron Butterflyfish

Scientific name: Chaetodon deadalma
Price: $2700
Color: Dusky black and Gray
Size: 5.91 inches (15cm)
Lifespan: 7-10 years
Another beautiful and expensive aquarium fish is the Wrought Iron Butterflyfish. Doesn’t the name sound strange? Actually, this fish is named after its unique metallic appearance.
These fish are usually found at a depth of 10 to 20 feet in Japan and surrounding islands. Their market value is around $2700.
Wrought Iron Butterflyfish
The Wrought Iron Butterflyfish has a length of 6-7 inches. Their body has a unique scale pattern that sparkles under reef lighting. Along with dusky grayish-black color, it also has a bright yellow line at the back end which makes it more exclusive. They are friendly in nature and like to be grouped.

Australian Flathead Perch

Scientific name: Rainfordia opercularis
Price: $5,000
Color: Orange and Blue
Size: 6 inches
Lifespan: 15-20 years
The Australian Flathead Perch has entered the list of the top expensive fish with a price of 5,000 dollars. Basically, it is included in the family of Grouper, Anthiines, and Basslet. Divers have to work hard to catch this species as they often escape tactically. As it is a rare species, very few people only know about it. For an adult pair, a 120-gallon aquarium is needed to swim.
Australian Flathead Perch
This fish has an orangish body with a blue color pattern which makes it more stunning. Generally, the juvenile Australian Flathead Perch are comparatively brighter than the adult one. The bold color pattern and unique flathead of this fish have caught the attention of both fish breeders and fish collectors.

Dr. Seuss Soapfish

Scientific name: Belonoperca pylei
Price: $6,000
Color: Red and Orange
Size: 6.2 cm
Lifespan: N/A
Dr. Seuss Soapfish known as Red-spotted Soapfish has gained its place in the list of the top 10 most expensive aquarium fish with a price of 6,000 dollars. This was named in the honor of Richard Pyle, a scuba diver, and ichthyologist who discovered this species in 1989.
Dr. Seuss Soapfish
These specimens are found at a depth between 85-120 m in the Cook and Marshall Islands. Generally, they are highly aggressive and coveted species and very rarely seen in the ocean which makes it difficult for the divers to catch them.
This alluring deepwater species has a beautiful orange color in the head and a red spot on its surface as per its name. The adult soapfish has a length of 6.2cm. It seems that it costs 1000 dollars for each cm. Minimum 75-gallon water tank is required for this lovely fish.

Neptune Grouper

Scientific name: Cephalopholis igarashiensis
Price: $6,000
 Color: Pink and Yellow
Size: 6 inches
Lifespan: Up to 30 years
With a price of 6,000 dollars, Neptune Grouper is another most expensive aquarium fish in the world. This deepwater fish is very difficult to catch as it is found at a depth of between 260 to 800 feet in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Neptune Grouper
The adult Neptune Grouper has an orange or pink coloration with yellow patterns which makes it more attractive. Generally, it feeds on crustaceans and fish. You will be surprised to know that, in the dead condition, it is sold for only 50 dollars in the fish market. But when it comes to living specimens, a special decompression and transportation process are needed on the upper surface for their adjustment. That is the main reason for such a high price. These species require a minimum 200-gallon water tank to move.

Golden Basslet

Scientific name: Gramma dejongi
Price: $8,000
 Color: Golden yellow
Size: 7cm (2 inch)
Lifespan: 5-8 years
The stunning Golden Basslet is one of the prettiest and smallest fish in the Basslet family. This beautiful fish often fetch a higher price tag of $8,000 because it is very troublesome for the divers to catch this fish as they are tiny in size and live at a depth of 450 feet to 800 feet above the surface in the sea.
Golden Basslet
Basically, Golden Basslet is native to the Caribbean Sea. Although it was discovered in 1860, people first saw it in the aquarium in 2011. It has a stunning golden yellow color and few purple patches on its fin.
The male fish are more aggressive than the female. For that, only one male fish can be kept in the tank though it easily shares the tank with other species. A minimum 50-gallon water tank is required for this beautiful fish.

Bladefin Basslet

Scientific name: Jeboehlkia gladifer
Price: $10,000
Size: 1.5 inches
Color: Red and White
Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
Another incredible reef fish that can easily secure its place on the list of the most expensive fish is the Bladefin Basslet. It is named after its white color dorsal fin which looks like a blade. This little gem is only 1.5 inches in length and generally found at the depth of 500 feet from the surface.
Bladefin Basslet
At first, Bladefin Basslet was discovered in Curacao. This fish is sold at a price of around $10,000. Isn’t it too much for paying such a huge amount for this tiny fish?
It is heard that the fish has been priced for every inch of its body. The unique coloration and the difficulty of catching it are the reasons for this high price.
About 50 gallons of water is required for this little fish for their comfortable swimming.

Masked Angelfish

Scientific name: Genicanthus personatus
Price: $20,000
Color: Black and White
Size: 8 inches
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Masked Angelfish features a premium price of around $20,000. This elegant fish has a stunning marble white body with a small black patch which gives it a beautiful appearance in its whole life-cycle.
Masked Angelfish
The fish was first discovered in 1972, since then, it has a high demand among aquarists. Masked Angelfish are often sighted at over 300 feet deep in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands where the collection of aquarium fish is strictly prohibited. That’s why they are rarely seen in the industry which is one of the main reasons for the high price.
The Masked Angelfish are “protogynous hermaphrodites” which means they are born as female and transform into male when they become mature.

Peppermint Angelfish

Scientific name: Centropyge boylei
Price: $30,000 Color: Red and White
Size: 7cm
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Peppermint Angelfish is one of the rarest and expensive fish in the world which is worth $30,000. This small angelfish is known for its beauty. It has been named after peppermint sweet because of its beautiful color. This fish has an orangish-red and white striped pattern with an adorable face.
Peppermint Angelfish
These shy species are found at depths of 300 to 400 feet in the Cook Islands and Rarotonga in the Pacific. In the presence of man, it hides itself in any shaded place.
Only one species of Peppermint Angelfish is available for the public displaying at Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii. Since then, the fish has caught the attention of private collectors and they offered more than $30,000 for that fish but the aquarium refuses to sell it.

Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray

Scientific name: Potamotrygon leopoldi
Price: $100,000
Color: Brown or Black and White
Size: 1 foot 6 inchWeight: 20kg (44lb)
Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
Another fish that bears a higher price is the Polka Dot Stingray. This expensive fish is basically famous for its unique shape and was sold for $100,000. They are generally native to the Xingu River Basin of Brazil.
Catching these rare fish is very difficult because they bury themselves in the sand during the daytime. It is also considered to be venomous. It contains protein-based venom in its spine. It takes full dedication, time, and enormous space for breeding freshwater stingray. So, they come at a high price.
Polka Dot Stingrays have a black to dark-brown oval-shaped body in which the top is covered with white polka dots as per its name. The underside is light grey without any spot. They have eyes on the dorsal surface that allow them to see the above. They also have special sensing organs around the nose and mouth which are called electroreceptors. These help them to detect minute electric fields produced by other organisms.
Polka Dot Stingrays always need a pristine water condition and an outsized aquarium.

Platinum Arowana

Scientific name: Scleropages formosus
Price: 400,000
Color: Silver white
Size: 4 feet 9 inchWeight: 4.6kg (10lb)
Lifespan: 10-15 years
The fish that occupies first place in our list is the Platinum Arowana. It is one of the coveted fish that maximum aquarists around the world want to keep. Ten types of Arowana are found in the world for the aquarium.
From Red Arowana to Platinum Arowana, these fish often come to the market at a hefty price. Among them, the Platinum Arowana was sold at a price of around $400,000. Isn’t it too high for a fish? Actually, what makes it that much more expensive?
Platinum Arowana
Specifically, Arowana is an endangered species and renowned for its unique beauty. In China, Singapore, and other East Asian Countries, it is believed to bring great luck and prosperity, and that makes it expensive. Besides, its shiny, metallic-like scales and its beautiful rare color make it more unique and expensive.
The unique features of this fish are its big eyes, curved mouth, and tapered tail.
Platinum Arowana can often be found in Southeast Asia. This is why it is called Asian Arowana, and the Chinese called it dragonfish.
Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the rarest freshwater aquarium fish?

The Chinese Paddlefish is considered to be the rarest freshwater fish in the world. It has a long silver-gray body with a white underbelly and has an extended sword-like rostrum. They are commonly seen in the Yangtze in China.
rarest freshwater aquarium fish
But in 1995, the last juvenile paddlefish was seen. Statistics show that an adult Chinese Paddlefish was seen last in 2003, and now they get extinct due to dam construction and overfishing.
Scientific name: Psephurus gladius
Color: Silver-gray
Size: 9.8 feet
Weight: 300 kg

What is the most intelligent aquarium fish?

Oscars are well known to be the most intelligent aquarium fish. It belongs to the cichlid family and native to parts of South America. By watching it for a couple of minutes, one can easily see its intelligence.
most intelligent aquarium fish
These fish can redesign their tank by moving rocks according to their taste. Besides, they ask for food by swinging their tail. If they don’t like something in their tank, they stay in one place without moving.
Scientific name: Astronotus ocellatus
Color: Dark Brown and Orange
Size: Up to 18 inch
Weight: Up to 3.5 lbs
Lifespan: Up to 10 years

What is the most exotic freshwater fish?

Discus are considered to be the most exotic freshwater fish. They are renowned for their stunning color and generally come from the lowland Amazon River basin.
What is the most exotic freshwater fish
Discus belongs to the Cichlidae family. They usually have a thin disk-shaped body with a large dorsal fin. Because of captive breeding, they have a variation in color and pattern.
Discus are peaceful fish, but sometimes they can be aggressive to others. A minimum 75-gallon water tank is required for them when they are fully grown.
So, here are the top 10 most expensive aquarium fish. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.
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