Rarest fish you saw in private tanks

MacZ

Hello everyone!

Seeing a rarely kept species is always exciting. A lot of us only get to see those in public aquaria. But who here has seen a rare species (be it because rare in numbers, unusual to keep at home or very specialized conditions) in home aquaria? I'm not necessarily asking who keeps those themselves, I want to know what astonishing discovery you made in other peoples tanks.

To be clear, I don't support keeping endangered species at home! This is about oddballs and rearely kept species. This can overlap, but I hope nobody here is keeping endangered species, which is illegal in most countries.

Pictures are appreciated but not necessary.

(@admin @mods: If this is the wrong sub-forum, please move the thread. Thank you!)
 

FinalFins

Funny, zebra plecos are endangered.

Yeah seeing a rare fish is always cool. But never seen any other tank but mine around here
 

MacZ

Funny, zebra plecos are endangered.

Yeah seeing a rare fish is always cool. But never seen any other tank but mine around here

True, that's why tank raised specimens are that expensive and it's really hard to get those here anyways.

So what do you keep? (Besides zebras, I guess?)
 

FinalFins

True, that's why tank raised specimens are that expensive and it's really hard to get those here anyways.

So what do you keep? (Besides zebras, I guess?)
Ehhh the usual mixed oto species rams and bettas. Hoping to get hands on zebra otos, wild rams and pygmy sunfish. I've heard I can collect the latter around where I live.
 

MacZ

Hoping to get hands on zebra otos, wild rams and pygmy sunfish.

This would be like winning the lottery here.
 

FinalFins

This would be like winning the lottery here.
I could probably special order the former and maybe the pygmy sunfish so not bad for me.
 

MacZ

I think the pygmy sunfish are on the banned species list in Europe, zebra otos I have only seen in zoos around here and wild rams are available maybe once a year.
 

MacZ

They have one of the shortest wikipedia articles I've ever seen. wow...
 

jkkgron2

my LFS sells baby arowanas
oops just read rare species for home aquaria sorry
I don’t know what it’s called but someone has this huge monster catfish that I’ve never seen before
 

MacZ

Ok, I should clarify: Rare does not necessarily mean monsterfish.
 

jkkgron2

Ok, I should clarify: Rare does not necessarily mean monsterfish.
Well you said “unusual to keep at home” lol, and I’m pretty sure it counts as unusual
 

MacZ

Still not what I meant. But I see how that could have come across that way.

Now, what I mean is rare even for that size category. Like people keeping an electric catfish or an obscure but small kind of elephant fish, alkaline cichlids, desert dwelling livebearers or the like. The butterfly barb is an excellent example of what I meant.
 

jkkgron2

Ohhh ok, thanks for clarifying!
 

MacZ

Language barrier. English is not my native language and sometimes I have lazy days like today, where I just can't get it completely right.
 

Falena

My lfs has currently has vampire tetras and corydoras cf.pulcher! (wish I could afford the latter, holy moly) They once had a channa bacara that was ordered in for someone too! Absolutely stunning. They quite often get in rare species, so I could name a few but sadly they're either too big or too pricey for meead:
 

Falena

Oh and not sure how common they are, but was impressed by a very large pair of Uaru amphiacanthoides that were there last month, reserved. I'd never seen those in person before, they're quite striking in the flesh!
 

Nataku

I've had folks tell me my tank of exodon paradoxus (bucketooth tetra) was quite unusual. But I suspect that's simply because most folks keep pretty peaceful tanks, or people don't expect 'highly carnivorous fish' to be that size. I think most people are expecting oscars or arrowanas when I say that. They seem underwhelmed when they see these little guys, right up until I throw a piece of meat in.

I have an LFS that keeps quite a fascinating array of fresh and marine fish, including a few fish which are not for sale and are kept on display only. They have a breeding colony of a juliidichromis marlierI and another colony of julidichromis ornatus. I don't know any other store or person around here who keeps julis, let alone has successful breeding colonies of them. The store owner tells me he sells children from the colonies occasionally, but only as trios minimum due to their nature, and he's got a book with a list of people waiting to buy them from him. He says he sells them starting at $80 a piece, but the waiting list is probably at least two years long. Their fascinating fish to watch, their social structure is very complex.
 

MacZ

Exodons you really see quite rarely. Mini-Piranha.

Julidochromis are common in my opinion, but this could very well be a regional thing. But seeing a whole breeding colony is less common. Nice.

Oh and not sure how common they are, but was impressed by a very large pair of Uaru amphiacanthoides that were there last month, reserved. I'd never seen those in person before, they're quite striking in the flesh!

Haven't seen Uaru in the flesh outside public aquaria.
 

coralbandit

I have one freshwater pipe fish left from my original 5 over a year ago .. I lost one early on but the other 3 passed when we had an extended power failure in the fall..
I keep her in with my red picta ..
Here she was before with eggs !

7I6lFCnl.jpg

MK9nzjYl.jpg
 

Falena

I have one freshwater pipe fish left from my original 5 over a year ago .. I lost one early on but the other 3 passed when we had an extended power failure in the fall..
I keep her in with my red picta ..
Here she was before with eggs !
So gorgeous!! I have some of these ordered, they are ridiculously adorable. I didn't/don't know anyone else that keeps or has kept them. I Know who to bother if I run into any problems
 

coralbandit

I feed mine live BBS 2x a day .
I have hatched BBS [3 batches] everyday for the last 3 years ..I have never seen her eat anything else although I now suspect in the picta tank she gets the occasional new born fry .. My thread on them ;
Fresh Water Pipe Fish ! | Oddball Fish 389435
 

Falena

I feed mine live BBS 2x a day .
I have hatched BBS [3 batches] everyday for the last 3 years ..I have never seen her eat anything else although I now suspect in the picta tank she gets the occasional new born fry .. My thread on them ;
Haha! That is a lot of BBS
Thank you for the heads up! luckily I've always got a bag of hatch in the bag bbs ready or available for my Bettas and occasional fry. It's good to know your girl is doing well on them and It'll deffinitely come in handy to know the failsafe food source if they refuse others (which I'm now expecting is inevitable lol) I'm going to bookmark and read through your thread! thanks again
 

Crispii

I have kept many rare species of fish.

-LeopoldI Angelfish
-C121 Corydoras
-Betta hendra
-Betta enisae
-
Altum Angelfish
-Red Base Tetra
 

chromedome52

Rare is actually a relative term, but I have had a few species that were considered endangered in the wild, or even extinct. Of course, being extinct in the wild does not always reflect on their availability in the hobby. I always considered it an obligation to breed such fishes, and if I couldn't do it, I have passed them on to those who I thought could do so.

I have kept a number of Killifish species that are quite rare, even killie enthusiasts have rarely seen some of them. I've seen some really rare fish in private tanks, particularly Goodeid livebearers like the Allodontichthys species.

There are some Tetras that are very rare in the hobby, and their habitats in the wild are at risk from development. I bred at least one of these, Rachoviscus graciliceps. A few Tetras are like the Zebra Pleco, endangered not by collecting but by the building of a dam. in fact, the accusation of overcollecting causing population collapse is severely overblown. I am only aware of one or two instances where such things have happened. Danio margaritatus was actually listed as endangered due to overcollecting, as it had only been found in one limited location. However, other locations have been found, and are now protected by the government there.

Oops, I had this confused with another thread. Yeah, I've seen a number of rare fish in private aquaria, and had several myself.
 

Troyee219

Yea the Devils Hole Pupfish is actually the rarest fish in the world, it is desolated to one pool of water in the middle of death valley, they have them in captivity at The Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility in Nevada, and recently just had there first successful spawn of them in 2013, and had more added to their population, back in 2013 their population was between 500-600 individual fish, and said soon once the population has risen to a good number it may be in the aquarium trade, which I will try to get some as soon as they're put up for sale lol.
 

Dewclaw83

Yea the Devils Hole Pupfish is actually the rarest fish in the world, it is desolated to one pool of water in the middle of death valley, they have them in captivity at The Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility in Nevada, and recently just had there first successful spawn of them in 2013, and had more added to their population, back in 2013 their population was between 500-600 individual fish, and said soon once the population has risen to a good number it may be in the aquarium trade, which I will try to get some as soon as they're put up for sale lol.
Them making into the aquarium trade? I doubt it. Wish they could - they’re adorable - but I doubt it. The conditions they require would be so hard to mimic on a smaller, home based scale
 

jinjerJOSH22

Mine is probably either my Snakeskin Gourami or my Black Paradise Gourami, I don't really see people talking about them often.
Funny, zebra plecos are endangered.

Yeah seeing a rare fish is always cool. But never seen any other tank but mine around here
True, that's why tank raised specimens are that expensive and it's really hard to get those here anyways.

So what do you keep? (Besides zebras, I guess?)
Part of the reason they are so expensive is they take around 3 years to mature and only yield a dozen or so per spawn.
coralbandit just incase I remembered wrong
 

Troyee219

Yea that's true their water temps in devils hole was probably 100 or above, and then got frigid at night, its just cool to think their making a comeback from numbers below 300 individual fish but it would be awesome if they could be kept in the home aquarium.
 

Dewclaw83

Yea that's true their water temps in devils hole was probably 100 or above, and then got frigid at night, its just cool to think their making a comeback from numbers below 300 individual fish but it would be awesome if they could be kept in the home aquarium.
It would be, they’re quite adorable
 

Troyee219

they remind me of badis or darios, its kinda what they look like, but they are completely different lol.
 

chromedome52

Cyprinodon species in general are fairly ugly little lumps, including diabolis. As for being the most rare fish in the world, that could be debated. More likely some one wrote an article and used such hyperbole to dramatize their situation. Other desert fishes have similarly limited populations, and most are protected. I know someone who collected one of these in a location where they could have been arrested by seven different state and federal agencies if they had been caught. He's now been breeding these fish for several generations, and distributed them to other conservation minded hobbyists.
 

Dewclaw83

Cyprinodon species in general are fairly ugly little lumps, including diabolis. As for being the most rare fish in the world, that could be debated. More likely some one wrote an article and used such hyperbole to dramatize their situation. Other desert fishes have similarly limited populations, and most are protected. I know someone who collected one of these in a location where they could have been arrested by seven different state and federal agencies if they had been caught. He's now been breeding these fish for several generations, and distributed them to other conservation minded hobbyists.
The devil’s hole pupfish was down to like 35 individuals at one point, I’m assuming that’s how that rarest fish in the world stuff started
 

Troyee219

The devil’s hole pupfish was down to like 35 individuals at one point, I’m assuming that’s how that rarest fish in the world stuff started
Yes it was only when it was taken to environmental conservation centers is when its population (luckily) shot back up so now it may not be but back in the 90's and early 2000's it definitely was.
 

CHJ

Yea the Devils Hole Pupfish is actually the rarest fish in the world, it is desolated to one pool of water in the middle of death valley, they have them in captivity at The Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility in Nevada, and recently just had there first successful spawn of them in 2013, and had more added to their population, back in 2013 their population was between 500-600 individual fish, and said soon once the population has risen to a good number it may be in the aquarium trade, which I will try to get some as soon as they're put up for sale lol.
Doesn't that take a 110F-115F tank temp or something insane like that? How many properly functioning heaters go up that high?
Seems like even more extreme than building a dorm fridge into an aquarium for lumpsuckers.

Least common fish I have might be parotocinclus britskii? I'm not trying those again. They require soft water at a level I cannot maintain so I have one left. I may have something else less common or that I have forgotten about?

parotocinclus britskii925.jpg
The green is the wall color not the water.

Are Harlequin lancers rare? I wouldn't think so as lots of the pics online are fish that someone is about to eat.
For local rarity I have a weather loach. Illegal to obtain so rare here (like apple snails). Crime loach! Not uncommon at all where legal... or in local lakes.
Rumors L134s will have their export banned (but those have been floating around since Zebra export got banned). not that uncommon.
I have some cories that have very few listings on aquabid. So rare? Things like equis now seem to be getting bred in captivity so their rareness may be going away.
After checking my tanks for rare fish.. Derp, I breed albino checkerboard hoplo cats. Rare enough that the only internet photos are from The Glaser. Rare because no one wants them, not because they are in any way hard to breed.
I have rare/unique morphs of some stuff that is common. I'm pretty sure that doesn't count.

For which I have owned?
As a teen I had a red snakehead due to a pet shop telling me "it will dwarf if you do not feed it as much" (well and being a teenage boy who loved a cool fish that eats other fish). Only rare due to ban now.
I had an African arrowana that didn't end well. Painful lesson about weird diets. This lesson let me skip the great blue spotted mudskippers that came into the LFS (poor doomed fish)



The LFS commonly has rare fish, endangered or extinct in the wild. I'm always tempted to help preserve a species but never have the open tank space.

live224.jpg

rare something620.jpg
The top one sold out fast. The bottom may still have specimens in store. I guess the bottom one doesn't breed for long and they do not birth many fry when they do.
Those top fish look even better in real life.
I missed out on the Green Otocinclus as I didn't have a free tank.


The tank I want to see is some rich dude in California that a guy at the LFS knows. Apparently he has a monster acrylic tank where he is trying to breed cross river puffers. I've never seen one in person. I want to see that tank... or have him send me some if he breeds them... as a gift.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

I've NEVER seen a rare fish. Discus is as close to rare that I've seen.
 

MacZ

Wow... there is a whole lot more going on than I thought. I find it hightly interesting not only to see what you all had the fortune to see and keep yourself. What fascinates me most is the variety and what even is possible to keep for non-professionals.
 

kbn

Hello everyone!

Seeing a rarely kept species is always exciting. A lot of us only get to see those in public aquaria. But who here has seen a rare species (be it because rare in numbers, unusual to keep at home or very specialized conditions) in home aquaria? I'm not necessarily asking who keeps those themselves, I want to know what astonishing discovery you made in other peoples tanks.

To be clear, I don't support keeping endangered species at home! This is about oddballs and rearely kept species. This can overlap, but I hope nobody here is keeping endangered species, which is illegal in most countries.

Pictures are appreciated but not necessary.

(@admin @mods: If this is the wrong sub-forum, please move the thread. Thank you!)
Goldfish
 

MacZ


No comment? Why? I'm aware there are some rare expensive breeds, but... Is that what you want to tell us?
 

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