Bucket List Fish

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Wyomingite

Fish Wrangler
Oct 16, 2008
525
280
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Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Real Name
Ivan
I was thinking about fish I'm keeping my eyes out for and thought this would be a fun little thread to get people thinking what species of fish they'd like to keep at some time in the future. I actually have certain tanks set up that I can make accommodate these fish within a couple hours simply by rearranging stock and/or bringing water chemistry and temperature to the needed parameters. And, with the rarity of at least one of these, this really is a bucket list for me at my age, lol.

I know my list has evolved and changed over time. I've kept all the fish that have been on it in its various iterations except the latest, which have been Rift Valley cichlids almost without exception. I've managed to obtain all the fish that have been on it in the past except two, both Victorians that are Critically Endangered, and one of which may be Extinct. Both were imported sporadically in the early 1980s, but both suffered severely during the nile perch explosion of the early and mid-80s.

Your list may only have one or two fish, or it could have ten. Don't try to reach a certain number. So, without further ado:

7. L-46 zebra pleco - I can make my water softer, I just have a problem paying two, three or four hundred dollars per fish. I trade or even give my fish away, so it's my opinion that if breeders were truly conservation oriented they'd keep the prices at a level were more hobbyists could afford them.

6. Golden dwarf acara (Nannacara anomala) - These used to be fairly common in the hobby, but I don't often see them anymore. I've kept these guys before and they were just a blast to keep, with all the contrariness of a green terror or other large acara but in a compact package that can't do much harm to anything.

5. Apistogramma sp. 'abacaxis' - I only recently stumbled across these and from the pictures the colors are different from any other apisto I've seen. I just thought they were gorgeous.

4. Cupid cichlid (Biotodoma cupido) - Pictures don't do these justice. I had five that the shopkeeper was selling as mixed Africans. They were getting beat up severely by all the mbuna in the tank, and they were drab as hell when he netted them out. I knew they weren't Africans, but didn't know exactly what they were, and I guessed they were a Geophagus species. They were an impulse buy, something I'm guilty of quite often but have the tank space to do. Anyways, when they colored up I was floored. It took me a couple of years to determine what they were. I just loved them and want to keep them again. Anymore I see these fairly often these days and I'll be ready to order some when spring rolls around.

3. White-cheeked moray eel (Echidna rhodochilus) - Another fish that I had in the late 1980s and early 90s. I didn't buy them actually. My girlfriend and I went to the LFS and I mentioned how cool they were, but had no intention of buying them because I didn't have tank space. Well, she went and bought them for me as a birthday present for my 22nd birthday. They were sold as freshwater morays. I ended up gradually converting them to brackish water since I knew there were no purely freshwater morays, but never identified them until the early 2010s. They were about 6" when I first got them and grew to 9" before tragedy struck. After I moved back to Cheyenne they were in a 55 by themselves. The strainer fell of the filter and one of them got up in there and was severly injured by the impeller. The other ended up with a broken back, and I never determined the reason. I had them about three years. Anyways at a foot long and being brackish, these guys aren't tankbusters and have fairly reasonable care demands.

2. Canara pearlspot cichlid (Etroplus canarensis) - Not common, but they show up on dealers' lists fairly often these days. I just like the way they look, and they'd be a notch on my belt for another Asian species. I already have a tank ready for them when they come up for sale the next time.

1. Iranian cichlid (Iranocichla hormuzensis) - My Holy Grail. It's been No. 1 on my list since the late 2000s. The males are just gorgeous when in breeding dress They have only been imported to the United States once, via Europe, as far as I can determine, and breeding efforts weren't especially successful. I was looking for them to come up for sale anywhere but they never did. Simply acquiring some would leave me dancing on the air. Breeding them would be my ultimate achievement in the hobby, my masterwork, my pièce de résistance, my magnum opus, LOL. The likelihood of any of this is probably impossible considering the political climate and the relations between the U.S. and Iran.

WYite
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
10,803
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SF Bay area, CA
I have a few fish I'd like to keep in my "old-ish" age. Not necessarily rare 1s but fish I haven't yet kept or would like to keep again. Mostly loaches, lol. Weather loaches, kubotai, clowns (but they live so long!), sidthimunki, histrionica, pangios...& lots more! Then there are cichlids too, blue acaras, laetacara, many apistos, maybe a few others too. Some catfish, flagtails, rarer corys: some large & small barbs as loach dithers...

Zebra plecos used to be on my list, I've loved them since I first saw them way back in the day, but they hide...

So many fish, but I'm kind of up against a realistic number of tanks I can care for, my expected life span (I'm 63 & healthy for now) & ability to find & keep ALL the fish I'd like...
 

FishAddict74

AC Members
Dec 8, 2020
339
211
46
46
I was thinking about fish I'm keeping my eyes out for and thought this would be a fun little thread to get people thinking what species of fish they'd like to keep at some time in the future. I actually have certain tanks set up that I can make accommodate these fish within a couple hours simply by rearranging stock and/or bringing water chemistry and temperature to the needed parameters. And, with the rarity of at least one of these, this really is a bucket list for me at my age, lol.

I know my list has evolved and changed over time. I've kept all the fish that have been on it in its various iterations except the latest, which have been Rift Valley cichlids almost without exception. I've managed to obtain all the fish that have been on it in the past except two, both Victorians that are Critically Endangered, and one of which may be Extinct. Both were imported sporadically in the early 1980s, but both suffered severely during the nile perch explosion of the early and mid-80s.

Your list may only have one or two fish, or it could have ten. Don't try to reach a certain number. So, without further ado:

7. L-46 zebra pleco - I can make my water softer, I just have a problem paying two, three or four hundred dollars per fish. I trade or even give my fish away, so it's my opinion that if breeders were truly conservation oriented they'd keep the prices at a level were more hobbyists could afford them.

6. Golden dwarf acara (Nannacara anomala) - These used to be fairly common in the hobby, but I don't often see them anymore. I've kept these guys before and they were just a blast to keep, with all the contrariness of a green terror or other large acara but in a compact package that can't do much harm to anything.

5. Apistogramma sp. 'abacaxis' - I only recently stumbled across these and from the pictures the colors are different from any other apisto I've seen. I just thought they were gorgeous.

4. Cupid cichlid (Biotodoma cupido) - Pictures don't do these justice. I had five that the shopkeeper was selling as mixed Africans. They were getting beat up severely by all the mbuna in the tank, and they were drab as hell when he netted them out. I knew they weren't Africans, but didn't know exactly what they were, and I guessed they were a Geophagus species. They were an impulse buy, something I'm guilty of quite often but have the tank space to do. Anyways, when they colored up I was floored. It took me a couple of years to determine what they were. I just loved them and want to keep them again. Anymore I see these fairly often these days and I'll be ready to order some when spring rolls around.

3. White-cheeked moray eel (Echidna rhodochilus) - Another fish that I had in the late 1980s and early 90s. I didn't buy them actually. My girlfriend and I went to the LFS and I mentioned how cool they were, but had no intention of buying them because I didn't have tank space. Well, she went and bought them for me as a birthday present for my 22nd birthday. They were sold as freshwater morays. I ended up gradually converting them to brackish water since I knew there were no purely freshwater morays, but never identified them until the early 2010s. They were about 6" when I first got them and grew to 9" before tragedy struck. After I moved back to Cheyenne they were in a 55 by themselves. The strainer fell of the filter and one of them got up in there and was severly injured by the impeller. The other ended up with a broken back, and I never determined the reason. I had them about three years. Anyways at a foot long and being brackish, these guys aren't tankbusters and have fairly reasonable care demands.

2. Canara pearlspot cichlid (Etroplus canarensis) - Not common, but they show up on dealers' lists fairly often these days. I just like the way they look, and they'd be a notch on my belt for another Asian species. I already have a tank ready for them when they come up for sale the next time.

1. Iranian cichlid (Iranocichla hormuzensis) - My Holy Grail. It's been No. 1 on my list since the late 2000s. The males are just gorgeous when in breeding dress They have only been imported to the United States once, via Europe, as far as I can determine, and breeding efforts weren't especially successful. I was looking for them to come up for sale anywhere but they never did. Simply acquiring some would leave me dancing on the air. Breeding them would be my ultimate achievement in the hobby, my masterwork, my pièce de résistance, my magnum opus, LOL. The likelihood of any of this is probably impossible considering the political climate and the relations between the U.S. and Iran.

WYite
Iranian cichlids would be cool, I would probably have those on my list as well
I would also have
Malawi trout
Snakehead micropeltes
Peacock bass
Goliath tiger
Bumblebee grouper
And above all else a big school of look down fish would be my ultimate fish fantasy

512AED16-B73C-4424-ACE5-9E5CE825F56E.png
 
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Sprinkle

AC Members
Mar 21, 2020
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Dear WYite, for most of these fishes you have mentioned you would have to order them online if you would be unable to find them in your store near you.
We could not find sparkling gouramis in our stores near us so we had to order them off a store online. Were dispatched and delivered the same day along with gravel to her fish tank.

Best regards,
Sara, Sprinkle’s big sis
 

FishAddict74

AC Members
Dec 8, 2020
339
211
46
46
I was thinking about fish I'm keeping my eyes out for and thought this would be a fun little thread to get people thinking what species of fish they'd like to keep at some time in the future. I actually have certain tanks set up that I can make accommodate these fish within a couple hours simply by rearranging stock and/or bringing water chemistry and temperature to the needed parameters. And, with the rarity of at least one of these, this really is a bucket list for me at my age, lol.

I know my list has evolved and changed over time. I've kept all the fish that have been on it in its various iterations except the latest, which have been Rift Valley cichlids almost without exception. I've managed to obtain all the fish that have been on it in the past except two, both Victorians that are Critically Endangered, and one of which may be Extinct. Both were imported sporadically in the early 1980s, but both suffered severely during the nile perch explosion of the early and mid-80s.

Your list may only have one or two fish, or it could have ten. Don't try to reach a certain number. So, without further ado:

7. L-46 zebra pleco - I can make my water softer, I just have a problem paying two, three or four hundred dollars per fish. I trade or even give my fish away, so it's my opinion that if breeders were truly conservation oriented they'd keep the prices at a level were more hobbyists could afford them.

6. Golden dwarf acara (Nannacara anomala) - These used to be fairly common in the hobby, but I don't often see them anymore. I've kept these guys before and they were just a blast to keep, with all the contrariness of a green terror or other large acara but in a compact package that can't do much harm to anything.

5. Apistogramma sp. 'abacaxis' - I only recently stumbled across these and from the pictures the colors are different from any other apisto I've seen. I just thought they were gorgeous.

4. Cupid cichlid (Biotodoma cupido) - Pictures don't do these justice. I had five that the shopkeeper was selling as mixed Africans. They were getting beat up severely by all the mbuna in the tank, and they were drab as hell when he netted them out. I knew they weren't Africans, but didn't know exactly what they were, and I guessed they were a Geophagus species. They were an impulse buy, something I'm guilty of quite often but have the tank space to do. Anyways, when they colored up I was floored. It took me a couple of years to determine what they were. I just loved them and want to keep them again. Anymore I see these fairly often these days and I'll be ready to order some when spring rolls around.

3. White-cheeked moray eel (Echidna rhodochilus) - Another fish that I had in the late 1980s and early 90s. I didn't buy them actually. My girlfriend and I went to the LFS and I mentioned how cool they were, but had no intention of buying them because I didn't have tank space. Well, she went and bought them for me as a birthday present for my 22nd birthday. They were sold as freshwater morays. I ended up gradually converting them to brackish water since I knew there were no purely freshwater morays, but never identified them until the early 2010s. They were about 6" when I first got them and grew to 9" before tragedy struck. After I moved back to Cheyenne they were in a 55 by themselves. The strainer fell of the filter and one of them got up in there and was severly injured by the impeller. The other ended up with a broken back, and I never determined the reason. I had them about three years. Anyways at a foot long and being brackish, these guys aren't tankbusters and have fairly reasonable care demands.

2. Canara pearlspot cichlid (Etroplus canarensis) - Not common, but they show up on dealers' lists fairly often these days. I just like the way they look, and they'd be a notch on my belt for another Asian species. I already have a tank ready for them when they come up for sale the next time.

1. Iranian cichlid (Iranocichla hormuzensis) - My Holy Grail. It's been No. 1 on my list since the late 2000s. The males are just gorgeous when in breeding dress They have only been imported to the United States once, via Europe, as far as I can determine, and breeding efforts weren't especially successful. I was looking for them to come up for sale anywhere but they never did. Simply acquiring some would leave me dancing on the air. Breeding them would be my ultimate achievement in the hobby, my masterwork, my pièce de résistance, my magnum opus, LOL. The likelihood of any of this is probably impossible considering the political climate and the relations between the U.S. and Iran.

WYite
I just remembered I had a white cheek in the late 80s as well. They were also being sold as freshwater morey. I walked to lfs with a friend after school and we each bought one.This was in San Diego I can’t remember how it turned out tho but probably bad since that was back when I listened to the lfs workers
 
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Wyomingite

Fish Wrangler
Oct 16, 2008
525
280
72
52
Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Real Name
Ivan
Dear WYite, for most of these fishes you have mentioned you would have to order them online if you would be unable to find them in your store near you.
We could not find sparkling gouramis in our stores near us so we had to order them off a store online. Were dispatched and delivered the same day along with gravel to her fish tank.

Best regards,
Sara, Sprinkle’s big sis
Thank you for your advice. I know I will have to order them on-line, in fact that is the plan and does not pose an issue. 95% of the fish I have were ordered on-line as the "LFS" is 50 miles away, focuses on saltwater, and has a very vanilla offering in terms of FW fish. After that one, there are a couple of good shops 100 miles away in Denver, CO. By the time I figure travel time and cost of gasoline, it balances with shipping.

WYite
 

Sprinkle

AC Members
Mar 21, 2020
1,652
321
92
15
UK
Camera Used
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Thank you for your advice. I know I will have to order them on-line, in fact that is the plan and does not pose an issue. 95% of the fish I have were ordered on-line as the "LFS" is 50 miles away, focuses on saltwater, and has a very vanilla offering in terms of FW fish. After that one, there are a couple of good shops 100 miles away in Denver, CO. By the time I figure travel time and cost of gasoline, it balances with shipping.

WYite
Srry bout my sister, can’t leave her alone for 2 mins alone😅
 
Apr 2, 2002
2,753
394
92
New York
I have been breeding zebra plecos since early 2006. There are reasons they are so pricey.

1. They are illegal to remove from Brazil.
2. They only live in one part of one river in Brazil.
3. The damming of that river at the top of the zebra range is likely to wipe them out.
4. They take a couple of years to reach spawning size/age.
5. A huge spawn is anything over 15 eggs. Not all will hatch.
6. If one wants to spawn these fish over time, you need to start with a group to be safe.
7. It is almost impossible to buy proven breeders.

Now here is what I can say re this fish today. I work with a partner to sell my fish as well as to import some from Indonesia. There is an excellent breeding operation there for rare B&W plecos. Last March we imported some 330 zebras. Most were 1.5 inch TL and 50 were 2 inch. 25 of this size were for me personally. I just got my first spawn from them. Of the 280 smaller sized zebras, we lost about 20 fish.

One reason we bought so many was this. I attended the NEC convention as a vendor for a number of years. I am friendly with the people who sponsor and run the event. So we made them an offer. Anybody who was registered for the event scheduled for late March of 2020 could buy the smaller size zebras for $85/each for delivery at the event. If you were a member in one of the clubs that was a part of the NEC, you could buy up to 5 fish. if not, then the limit was 3 fish.

Of course Covid caused the cancellation of the event. However, we offered those who had espressed and interest in buying to do so even after the vent was cancelled. We had made the offer based on folks oicking up at the event but offered to ship once it was. Onlly two of about 19 buyers went though with the transaction. Normally, these fish would sell on Aqiabid etc. for about $125 each.

I will not tell you what the ultimate cost/fish was with shipping, import fees, source certification etc. and losses. What I can tell you was that with the 50 fish my partner in the deal ordered for his business we spent well over $14,500 to get the price we did. Not included in that number are the travel we did, the time we spent selling and shipping etc.

The only fish that were still on my bucket list were super white 236. I got them in early 2020. They are caving and I am hopeful I will see them spawn by mid year. I am planning to be down to one or no tanks by the first few months of 2024.
 

Lalo J.

AC Members
Mar 8, 2020
432
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México
Quite interesting thread, I have made a quick search of some species that have been mentioned here and I must say that they are all beautiful fish and have magnificent tastes, I hope that one day we can all acquire the species that most excite us in this hobby. Personally, I don't even know where to start, those who have visited my thread know that rare and unusual fish are what I'm passionate about, maybe some of the species that I keep are not but I like them quite a bit, other species are relatively easy to obtain in others countries and they cannot be obtained so easily here in Mexico. I have many freshwater species that I would like to keep both for their rarity and for how beautiful they are, frankly it's a long list and if I had the opportunity to have them all in any way I would not do it, because I'm not a fan of having many tanks at home, and we know that the needs of many fish are very different from others, so I guess I base this list on the species that I could keep in my tank if I have the opportunity:
-Corydoras CW028
-Corydoras pantalanensis
-Nannostomus marylinae
-Hypancistrus zebra L-46
-Tucanoichthys tucano
-Aphyocharax paraguayensis
Possibly this is my holy grail when it comes to tetras, a fairly discolored but extremely rare fish rarely seen in the trade:
-Thayeria obliqua
 

Wyomingite

Fish Wrangler
Oct 16, 2008
525
280
72
52
Wonderful Windy Wyoming
Real Name
Ivan
Some really cool fish. I looked at some of the choices and I'll have to look for some of them. The Malawi trout are great fish, but make sure you get a male and at least two females. No more than one male, or you will end up with one male anyways. I'd love to keep a snakehead, except I live in the U.S. and they're kind of illegal. :) The toucan tetras are pretty. I actually have been considering them for a 10 gallon tank that is currently empty, but not sure I want to go that way. Both the cories are really attractive.

WYite
 
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