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What are some rare and pretty fish for a planted tank?


8 Nov 2022
Hello all,
I am looking for rare fish I can add to 3000 Liter High Tech Planted Tank I was requested to look for fish few people have, are beautiful, and are expensive. One good contender I found with this criteria are the honey blue eye rainbowfish.

The one seller I could find has them at $80 USD and limited quantity. I would likely setup a breeding project for them.

What are other less common fish like these? Although pretty and colorful are the main ones I am looking for, I am open to hear about other rare fish. Also inverts.
i think the smaller rainbowfish might be totally lost in a tank that size! I don't think you can go far wrong with some Pearl Gourami if you're looking for a colourful fish with very interesting behaviour. Other than that, how about some large tetras like Bleeding Hearts? I think they look fantastic when fully grown
I agree with that ,take the rare fish out of the equation ,some of the common fish in every Aquarium shop often ignored like eg Gold Barbs,Black Neons, Glowlights can look stunning in the right numbers in well planted tanks with the right tank mates
There's some rare characins on the market lately. Hyphessobrycon peugeoti comes to mind. Also, there's the new(ish) pencilfish that might be worth looking into.

The rather expensive African characins might also suit your taste. There's species like Phenacogrammus aurantiacus or sp. Fantastique. Alestopetersius also has some very nice species, like (personal favorite) A. nigropterus or brichardi.

African characins look very nice, but (imo) they tend to be skittish when kept in high light conditions. They are found in very tannin stained waters.




So a big school might look Incredible or you pay a lot of money just to see them during feeding while they hide during the day.

A better option might be the 'simple' P. interruptus. An adult fish is a sight to behold and they definitely don't look cheap.

Expensive fish can look boring too, so I'd just pick the fish you think looks best and fits your stocking plan.
Hyphessobrycon Wadai, They used to be rare but are now quite commonly available. They’re a stunning species always up the front displaying. Moenkhausia rubra is another nice species which is always up the front displaying and is hard to find.

I think smaller species Hyphessobrycon Peugoti and Hyphessobrycon red cherry would just get lost in a tank that size. I have them in a five foot tank and they’re hidden most of the time.

As mentioned by a few others, they may not be rare but there are few freshwater fish as stunning as a mature male Congo tetra.
I was requested to look for fish few people have, are beautiful, and are expensive.

Something of an unusual request there! Rare I get (we all get a bit of collectable-itis for rare stuff sometimes), beautiful is a given, but expensive? If I were in the US, I could them sell them some Black Neons - certainly beautiful (though not at all rare), but I'd could sell them for $200 each to ensure they were 'expensive' 😂

Joking aside, I'm with @Scaperinc and @Conort2 and @JeffK - in a tank that size, a decent shoal of Congo's would look stunning.

If you want something a bit smaller, how about some Asain Rummynose (Sawbwa resplendens) - not rare, but certainly more unusual, and suitable for your hardscape enriched water - and certainly beautiful if you can get them to colour up like @VarunA did in his tank here: Rise

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Get a group of zebra plecos, they fit the bill. You’ll just never see them 😂

L-numbers are a great way of wasting your money, I have a group of L134 which I see once every few months.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I did find two fish that the tank owner liked. Now to the hard part of actually obtaining rare fish lol. I will update soon on the build thread.