Got £5,000 to spare? Why not buy a Flat head perch?

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Abyss aquatics of Stockport, Manchester can boast the addition of a very exclusive fish this week – an Australian Flat head perch, Rainfordia opercularis.

This is a fish so scarce that only three or four are known to be captive in the world, with this one representing the first and possibly only ever import into the UK!

We contacted Anne-Marie Powderly, to ask more about this once in a lifetime aquatic treat. Here’s what she had to say…

Why are they so rare and expensive?

"They are endemic to Eastern Australia in caves of coral reefs, and are particularly secretive in the wild. Their unusual flat heads and slender body shape make them particularly suited for hiding within these caves. They stay very close to the safety of the reef’s caves, are particularly elusive, cryptic and seldom seen and also usually found in deep waters; all of these factors make it a tricky customer to catch!

The area to which this fish is endemic and its cryptic nature are what makes this fish incredibly rare and of course with this level of rarity and the level of expertise required to procure this fish, it comes at a cost."

How long have you had it in store?

"We have had this beautiful perch for a little over a week now and it has already become more confident and is eating well. With a fish of this calibre we would insist on keeping it at the shop for at least 10 weeks before we would let it go."

How has it been received by the customers?

"It has certainly stirred up a lot of interest due to its rarity and its price tag. After only having it a week it has already become a massive talking point; it certainly has divided opinion with its price!"

Do you think it'll have much serious buying interest?
"Obviously this is not a fish for the everyday hobbyist but we do have many serious collectors of rare and unusual specimens whom will be incredibly excited at the possibility of owning one of the rarest marine fish that that the world has ever seen."

Do you think you could get more, if somebody wanted to have a try at breeding them?

"We love to hunt down the rarest and most unusual of fish, we specialise in obtaining fish for our customers that they have been unable to get from anywhere else. When the Rainfordia opercularis was offered to the worldwide market for sale we were adamant that we had to have it and we had to move fast. One week later and with the hard work and help of Mr Derek Thompson from Tropical Marine Centre we have the most exceptional fish in our store that we have ever or may ever have... the only problem now is that I don’t know if I can part with it!"

So, if you have the money to burn, and fancy acquiring something that you can be absolutely certain no other fishkeeper in the UK has, this is the opportunity. I’ve calculated that if I sell my motorbike and my cigar collection then I can just about scrape it together, but I’m staying put for the time being.

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