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18 Most Expensive Fish Ever Sold

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In the fascinating world of pet ownership, fish lovers are still in the box as we get to know the most expensive fish in the world.

When most people think about pets, they probably envision dogs and cats, but there are several other people that take an interest in aquatic creatures. Among other sea creatures, fish are the most preferred pets for aquatic lovers.

Fish can make a room more beautiful with their colorful appearance and elegant movements. Keeping fish as pets can be as easy as having a goldfish in a bowl or as challenging as maintaining a complete reef ecosystem in a tank.

It’s a hobby that can be as cheap or as expensive as you like, and the value of particular species reflects its scarcity, beauty, or difficulty in breeding and maintaining.

The notion of fish as expensive pets may seem puzzling to those outside the industry. However, fish enthusiasts are aware of some fish species that can be purchased for a price comparable to a luxury vehicle or even a small house.

Let’s get to know the most expensive fish ever sold.

Related: The Most Expensive Houses in the World.

18. Izumo Nankin Goldfish – $500

The Izumo Nankin is a Japanese culture-laden goldfish with a single tail. Its distinctive red-and-white coloring and graceful swimming style has made it a symbol of fortune and prosperity. This fish is rarely found in pet stores and is typically obtained via special order or online. With a purchasing price reaching $500, Izumo Nankin Goldfish is one of the world’s most expensive fish.

These kinds of goldfish are renowned for their resilience and longevity, which can exceed 20 years under optimal conditions. They require a diet of plant matter and small invertebrates, as well as a large aquarium or pond, to thrive.

17. Zebra Shovelnose Catfish – $500

This intriguing fish is called a shovel-nose and has zebra stripes, making it a beautiful fish to have in an aquarium. With its $500 price, Zebra Shovelnose Catfish is among the most expensive fish in the world.

Zebra Shovelnose Catfish is best for experienced aquarium keepers due to its predatory nature and potential to grow up to 24 inches. They need a big tank, different types of live and frozen food, and hiding spots to feel safe.

16. Blue-Eyed Plecostomus – $600

The striking blue eyes and patterned skin of this South American species are their well-known features. In the wild, blue-eyed plecos are nocturnal and prefer to eat wood, algae, and plant matter.

Blue-Eyed Plecostomus should be given access to a variety of commercial foods, plenty of hiding places, and driftwood for grazing while in captivity. They thrive in communal tanks with fish of the same size and are calm fish.

15. Clarion Angelfish – $2,500

With a price tag of $2,500, the Clarion Angelfish makes it to the list of the most expensive fish in the world. The Clarion Angelfish is only found in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is majorly loved for its bright orange body and blue stripes.

This type of fish needs a big aquarium with lots of live rock to graze on and hide behind. Most of the time, they don’t bother other fish, but when they do, they can be territorial. They should eat both meat and plant-based foods in their diet.

14. Wrought Iron Butterflyfish – $4,000

This type of fish, distinguished by its metallic black coloring, is primarily found in the waters surrounding Japan and Korea. Due to the fact that their diet consists primarily of insects and coral polyps, they are difficult to care for and unsuitable for reef tanks. To thrive, they require a very large tank with numerous hiding spots and a tidy environment.

13. Australian Flathead Perch – $5,000

The Australian Flathead Perch can go as high as $5,000, and it is one of the costliest fish in the world. This species, which is indigenous to Australia, is highly desirable because of its scarcity and the stunning coloration it possesses. They are scavengers by nature and enjoy eating live prey over dead.

As with other species of perch, they do best in an aquarium that is designed to resemble the sandy substrate and numerous hiding places that are common in their natural habitat.

12. Neptune Grouper – $6,000

This species lives in the depths of the ocean and is distinguished by its bright orange-red color and white spots. The high water pressures that they are accustomed to in deep water make them difficult to keep as pets.

When kept in captivity, they demand a varied diet consisting of freshly prepared and raw meaty foods, as well as large tanks and a calm environment.

11. Golden Alligator Gar – $7,000

The Alligator Gar is a prehistoric species with a long, slender body and a snout filled with sharp teeth. Having the same price tag of $7,000 as the Platinum Alligator Gar, the golden variety is exceedingly rare and expensive.

These fish can grow up to 10 feet long and require enormous tanks or ponds. Most of their diet consists of fish, requiring experienced caretakers.

10. Platinum Alligator Gar – $7,000

The Platinum Alligator Gar is a type of fish that has a unique and uncommon color variation. This particular variation is known for its stunning pure white color that sets it apart from other types of Alligator Gar.

Platinum Alligator Gars are fish that are similar to their golden counterparts. They are big and like to eat other kinds of seafood. They need a special place to live and a specific type of food to survive as mere pets. One of these can be sold for up to $7,000.

9. Golden Basslet – $8,000

Sold for $8,000, the Golden Basslet is among the costliest fish in the world. This tiny deep-sea fish is sought after for its vibrant gold coloration. Their preference for deep water makes them challenging to keep, as they require specific pressure and lighting conditions. In captivity, they should be kept in a peaceful tank with plenty of hiding spaces and a diet of small, meaty foods.

8. Bladefin Basslet – $10,000

The Bladefin Basslet derives its name from its distinctive dorsal fin and is valued for its striking red coloring. The Bladefin, like the Golden Basslet, is a deep-sea species that requires special care.

Due to their high cost reaching $10,000, and the difficulty of providing the conditions necessary for their survival, hobbyists do not typically keep these fish.

7. Masked Angelfish – $20,000

This unique angelfish is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and can be identified by its black face mask and stunning white body. Like other deep-water species, they have specific care requirements when captivity.

They are typically found at depths exceeding 150 feet. Due to their diet of sponges and other encrusting organisms, Masked Angelfish are difficult to maintain in a home aquarium, despite being an expensive fish.

6. Peppermint Angelfish – $30,000

The Peppermint Angelfish is also one of the most expensive fish ever sold. This beautiful and rare species inhabits the deep reefs of the Pacific Ocean. Its common name is derived from the striking red and white stripes that cover its body.

Like other deep-sea species, Peppermint Angelfish require specific lighting, pressure, and diet in captivity in order to thrive.

5. Freshwater Polka Dot Stingray – $100,000

This one-of-a-kind stingray from the Amazon River basin is distinguished by its distinct polka-dot pattern. A sandy substrate for burrowing, a large and shallow aquarium, and a diet of small fish and invertebrates are necessary for their care. These fish are extremely sensitive to water conditions and necessitate careful attention.

4. Platinum Arowana – $400,000

The Arowana is a large, elongated fish known for its jumping ability. The Platinum Arowana is a rare color mutation with a magnificent sheen.

They require a large, secure tank with a tight-fitting lid to prevent escapes. Arowanas prefer live foods and can be quite aggressive, so it is often best to keep only one.

3. Flowerhorn Cichlid – $600,000

Flowerhorn cichlids are hybrid fish famous for their vibrant colors and prominent head hump. These fish are aggressive and require large, well-filtered tanks.

A balanced diet of commercial and fresh foods will aid in maintaining their health and vitality. Having a price tag of $600,000, the Flowerhorn Cichlids are one of the most expensive fish in the world.

2. Koi Fish – $1.8 million

Koi fish are extremely valuable for their diverse array of sizes and colors. In 2018, S Legend, the most expensive koi, was sold for $1.8 million due to its size and distinct coloring.

These fish require a large pond with effective filtration and a balanced diet of commercial and plant-based foods.

1. Bluefin Tuna – $3.1 million

While not a traditional aquarium fish, the Bluefin Tuna is worth mentioning for its record-breaking price at auction. A 612-pound Bluefin Tuna was auctioned off in Japan in 2019 for an unbelievable $3.1 million.

Bluefin is highly prized for sushi and sashimi in Japan. However, overfishing has led to a dramatic reduction in their population, increasing their value. Bluefin Tuna are not typically kept in home aquariums due to their massive size and migratory nature.

Related: 10 Most Expensive Wines in the World


The most expensive fish in the world is more than just a sea animal. It stands for a delicate balance of scarcity, attractiveness, popularity, and intricate farming or fishing techniques. These factors make it expensive and desirable for food lovers, collectors, and enthusiasts.

These expensive fish are special because they either taste good or have a splendor of beauty. Although expensive, it remains captivating and reflects humanity’s fascination with rarity and luxury.

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