Top 7 Costly Fishes For Your Home Aquarium

Most Expensive Pet Fish

In the pet trade world, fishes are a popular choice that all types of persons are taking a deep interest in. People are so passionate about fishes, that not all of them are concerned about their prices. Fish enthusiasts exhibit their expensive fish collections with pride and honour. 

The fishes, on the other hand, show why are they so pricey with their unique colouration and behaviour. Now, if you don’t have to think about your wallet before purchasing the tank, then we have some super gala options coming your way. Read the whole article to know about such expensive fishes and how to choose the right one. 

While some of the fishes are given the top preference on this numbering, some are on the lower side of the list. This is because some of the individual fish species have been sold at a definite price, but that does not ensure that all the fishes under the same species would be that expensive. Actually, it all depends on the species. So the list we’ve presented here, was made keeping all these factors in mind. This is more evident when you see fishes that are all the time pricey.

What To Think Before Buying An Expensive Fish?

  • Budget – It might sound irrelevant to this topic, but it is not in reality. When a fish is called expensive it doesn’t only refer to the purchase price, it also includes the maintenance cost and that is what is more important.

You can save your money to buy it, but maintaining it should always be a major concern when it comes to figuring out how expensive a fish actually is. Because that is a continuous process and you can’t hamper it for the lack of money.

  • Setting – Keeping a fish inside an aquarium is the basic thing that we all know about, but is that all? Definitely not! The filter, the heater, and many other water parameter conditioners are needed to keep the fishes healthy. Make sure you know about all of them prior to getting your food.
  • Fish Size – The fish size is crucial information because you need to have the tank accordingly. Also, you have to consider so many things. Say for example, if the fishes are schooling or not. If you have to keep them together then the tank size would be even more, according to their requirement. 

List Of The Most Expensive Fishes In The Aquarium Industry

On with the main list! Let’s have a look at the Top 8 most expensive Aquarium Fishes in the world.


Platinum Arowana

A Platinum Arowana swimming with grace.

You might be wondering why the species has the crown of being the most expensive one in the whole world? The answer is simple because it has a rare platinum shade that is appreciated by fish enthusiasts. This is a freshwater fish by the name of Platinum Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) or Silver Arowana, which is native to multiple regions of Southeast Asia. 

This exclusive coloured version of the fish that is available at the highest price for any fish species in this world. The other shades like red and albino are also being sold at quite a high price, to say the least.

Fish Size – 36- 47 inches on an average

Diet – Carnivorous

Lifespan – 10-15 years

Price Range – $300,000 – $400,000 approximately 

Tank Size – 250 gallons


Peppermint Angelfish

An adorable Peppermint Angelfish in its natural habitat.

With a beautiful combination of red and white, adorned with some tinges of yellow and orange, Peppermint Angelfish (Centropyge boylei) is known as peppermint due to its striking similarity with the sweet item with the same name. The fish is not at all a large species, so it looks quite cute while it swims through the reef tank. 

There is one famous fish, displayed at the Waikiki Museum in Honolulu, that was once offered to be bought, but the authority didn’t let it happen. This is because in such a way, the specimen could be exposed to so many people. Catching the fish is also quite difficult, which basically adds to its high price. 

Fish Size – 2.8-3 inches

Diet – Carnivorous

Lifespan – 12-15 years

Price Range – Around $30,000

Tank Size – 500 gallons


Kohaku Koi Carp (Red & White Koi Carp)

The majestic colour combinations on a Kohaku Koi Carp.

The beautiful orangish white colour combination of this fish, alongwith classic hints of black just blending perfectly is a serene sight on its own. This particular Koi fish breed is a rather priced beauty. The Kohaku Koi Carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a Japanese breed that can live over 20 years, which is a pretty massive lifespan. 

Coming to their size, they are nowhere behind in that department either growing up to 3 feet. One exclusive specimen of this extravagant breed was once sold in China for a staggering amount of 2.2 million U.S Dollars. 

Two Kohaku Koi Carps.

The name of the fish was S Legend and apparently the fish was known as the perfect representation of the species at just 9 years of age. The bright pattern of multiple classic colours, harmonizing on the fish’s skin flawlessly is something visibly magical. Murata Koi Farm is one of the most authentic Kohaku breeders in the world. 

Fish Size – 10-14 inches

Diet –  Omnivorous

Lifespan – 20 years (40 years inside Japan with proper care) 

Price Range – $1200-200,000 (Based on quality & auctions) 

Tank Size – 500 gallons


Xingu River Ray

A Xingu River Ray in its natural habitat, existing with subtlety.

Xingu River Ray (Potamotrygon leopoldi) or Black Diamond Stingray from the Potamotrygonidae family is an aesthetic species with bold black base colouration and polka dot-like blotches of white spread throughout. Majorly found in the Xingu River of Brazil, this freshwater beauty basically obtains its name from the place of origin.

The amazing thing in the pet industry is that, this fish needs proper nurturing. Mainly as it can’t procure its own food in the wild, a proper care regime is of utmost importance. So, it can’t be surviving for a long time if you miss out on that. However, the numbers are thriving, mostly because of the pet industry. Although they have a strong jawline, that is able to chew down all their preys. 

These bottom-feeders stick to the rocky base of the tank or water body and are sometimes seen in the aquarium business despite its obvious rarity. Their size range is pretty massive, growing up to 30 inches in size with a disc-like shape. Doing justice to this list, these sting-rays were sold the highest for a massive amount of 100,000 U.S Dollars.

Fish Size – 30 inches (16 inches of the disc size) 

Diet – Carnivorous  

Lifespan –  Almost 15 years for females (Larger in size than males) & 8 years for males. 

Price Range – $ 5000-10,000 (Highest noted $ 100,000)

Tank Size – 500 gallons


Red Asian Arowana

A Red Asian Arowana flaunting its beauty in the aquarium.

The Red Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) is mainly captive-bred. This highly sought after species is rare, which is a similar pattern followed by many extravagant fishes in the list. There are many sub-variants colourwise, namely the Emerald Violet and Super red fused fish ($12,000) and a bit contrasting Chili red being around 1400 U.S Dollars staple! 

Arowana, especially any Asian breed itself is very admired, serving well to the money making tastes in the hobby. Evidently, some variants have been rumoured to sell for 300,000 U.S Dollars. That’s certainly fascinating to the wallet, as their shine and glimmer is hard to resist.  

Fish Size – 35 inches

Diet – Carnivorous

Lifespan – 20 years or more   

Price Range – $70,000 (Bottom-line $300) 

Tank Size – Over 150 gallons


Masked Angelfish

The mono-chromatic beauty on a Masked Angelfish.

Masked Angelfish (Genicanthus personatus) are mostly found in the warm, tropical water bodies of wonderful Hawai. These fishes possess a simple, mono-chromatic colouration, with a mask-like pattern on the face. 

The beautiful milky-white body with just a dark face and a dark stripe on the tail, this fish is simply majestic to look at. Like most expensive aquarium fishes on this list. Masked Angelfish is also quite rare. 

Hence, the expense is justified despite the positively minimalistic beauty this species has on the plate. Also, they are “protogynous hermaphrodites”, starting off their juvenile lives as essentially females and turning into males with progressing adulthood. 

Fish Size –  8 inches

Diet – Omnivorous 

Lifespan – Over 20 years  

Price Range – $20,000 

Tank Size –  Over 70 gallons


Bladefin Basslet

The wonderful Bladefin Basslet.

The Bladefin Basslet fish (Jeboehlkia gladifer) is quite small, perhaps the smallest in this list growing just about 4 inches. For its size, it is easily ruling the price it comes in, standing at a staggering $11,000 for just one fish! The interesting striped colouration, with a whitish-silvery body and pigmented orangish-red patterns is where the actual beauty of the fish lies. 

A Bladefin Basslet in its natural habitat.

They are not the easiest to require, so you will not find them that often in some common aquarium shop or the market. You may actually have to hire a special agency who specialize in getting the target fish in advanced tanks. 

Fish Size – About 4 inches  

Diet – Carnivorous

Lifespan –  2-4 years 

Price Range – $11,000 (Subject to change in private sales)  

Tank Size –  Unknown, 150 gallons is recommended. 

Honourable Mentions

Let’s have a look at our lovely honourable mentions which deserve to be included in this all-inclusive list of expensive aquarium fish choices. 

Big Gem Tang (Zebrasoma gemmatum)

A Big Gem Tang and its unique play of patterns.

The appeal of the Big Gem Tang is out of this world, with spread out, fine polka dots all over their black base colour on body. The classic Tang body shape is typical of the very common yellow variant. However, the unique pattern on their body and gradient on tail and fins, make them stand out. These Tangs are originally from the Western Indian Ocean, so the prices vary depending on your location. In this case, the price should be somewhere around $2000.

Sunrise Dottyback (Pseudochromis flavivertex) 

The brightly coloured Sunrise Dottyback.

Also known by the name of Sunrise Hogfish, the Sunrise Dottyback is a unique fish of magical colour contrasts, blending altogether like some painting in an art exhibition. The intrinsic touch of yellow over the side-solid bluish white gradient is the one to lookout for. They are mostly found in the real depths of the Hawaiian Islands, another rare catch indeed. You literally require actual deep-sea divers in order to get your hands on one of these! Despite that, it’s risky. The variant with red body and yellow stripes can cost up to $3500, just for the difficulty in obtaining one of these for yourself.   

Clarion Angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis)

The magnificent colour contrasts on a Clarion Angelfish.

Clarion Angelfish once had a dense population in the Spanish waters, where fishermen would quite often overfish the masses of them. Since their numbers depleted, fishing in their natural habitat was stopped. That made these fishes extremely rare, to the point, that it’s very hard to spot them in the business. Their beautiful orangish-brown base colouration with bright stripes never fails to impress, but due to their high rarity it was last sold for as high as $7000!

Wrought Iron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon daedalma)

Wrought Iron Butterflyfish with its metal-like appearance.

This absolutely stunning, rather gorgeous looking species of Butterflyfish is surely some eye-candy. Usually you see, Butterflyfishes have a body colouration on the lighter side but the Wrought Iron Butterflyfish is an absolute standout in that regard. 

Their actual wrought iron-like appearance is striking to the eye, with strokes of yellow on the base of their fins and tell. Cashing in as high as a mind-blowing $30,000, these beauties are also acquired from the depths of the ocean.

Golden Basslet (Gramma dejongi) 

The very rare Golden Basslet in its natural habitat.

The Golden Basslet is indeed one of the most expensive fishes in the world, giving it the title of an “Ultimate Goldfish”. Very few of these variants were ever caught, let alone have ample presence in the aquarium hobby. These fishes are so rare that biologists, ever since its discovery in the late 1800s were never able to determine this vibrantly contrasted beauty’s actual species sketch. 

So, whenever one of these depth-loving fishes are spotted in the market, the price doesn’t go anywhere below $8000, cha-ching! Fun-fact, that the glimmer on their scales are bright enough to hamper your eye’s retina. 

Neptune Grouper (Cephalopholis igarashiensis)

A Neptune Grouper in its natural habitat.

Only found in extreme depths, this beautiful fish is rare. Sold for as high as $6000 for one single fish, this species is compatible with the high water pressure in the deepest layers of the ocean. This species is very rare to achieve as with the absence of that kind of immense water pressure, the fish can’t survive. A usage of a special compression tank is of utmost necessity if you wish to have one of these for yourself, even at the time of obtaining them from a mysterious underwater world. 

Australian Flathead Perch (Rainfordia opercularis) 

An Australian Flathead Perch, flaunting its unique features.

Australian Flathead Perch as the name suggests is found in the enchanting waters of Australia, another super-deep living bottom dweller which is hard to find. They were first sold in the United States around 2011, where the exquisite body shape with stripes truly stands out. The price range is as high as $5000! 

Similar Care Guides