Aquarama's most expensive fish?


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One of the most photographed fish at Aquarama 2007 is also one of the show's most expensive - a platinum arowana with a mortgage-inducing price tag.

The fish is an Osteoglossum species from South America, rather than the usual Scleropages from Asia, and is owned by Singapore-based Dragon fish breeder Aro Dynasty.

Unlike most Osteoglossum, this mutant is virtually white with virtually no other colours present, not even on the dorsal surface.

It was recently offered for sale to prospective buyers by a UK arowana importer for more than 200,000.

However, Aro Dynasty told Practical Fishkeeping Online that the fish is no longer on the market.

It confirmed that it turned down S$80,000/26,376 for the fish a few years ago.

We've yet to hear of a fish with a higher price, although some of the more unusual arowana's on display are said not to be for sale at all.

Aro Dynasty said that the fish is now "the only one of its kind in Singapore", suggesting that others exist elsewhere.

While arowana of the Osteoglossum genus are neither particularly rare nor that expensive - the species is farmed and imported from the wild and small ones cost around 20 - platinum ones (or Snow aros as they're sometimes known) are exceptionally rare.

This unusual colour variant appears to crop-up only very rarely, and as Arowanas are considered lucky in the Far East, the fish has a correspondingly large price tag.

The fish measures around 40cm/15" in length, and looks stunning. It does have one minor flaw, though. The fish's right eye is starting to look downwards.

This is said to be a common defect in captive arowana and is believed to stem from their feeding mode in captivity, where food tends to drop past them. In the wild, they normally leap from the water to catch their food.

One trade visitor told us that some arowana keepers are now resorting to cosmetic veterinary surgery for their fish to correct the problem if it arises.