I got the chance to hit the aquarium nerd hat trick this weekend. I went to a public aquarium, an aquarium livestock wholesaler, and a retail store…all in the same day. During this amazing journey, I happened across several amazing fish, but all of them pale in comparison to the stunning Cirrhilabrus earlei from Sea Dwelling Creatures. The fish was neatly tucked away into a random holding tank and neighboring some other pretty neat fish, but was otherwise unassuming and you almost had to know it was there or else you might miss it. Despite the poor warehouse lighting, humidity that wasn’t playing nicely with the camera lens, and acrylic that was quite hard to see through at times, I still managed to spot this beauty right away.
Besides the fish’s obvious good looks, the excitement surrounding it goes well beyond that. The fish is incredibly rare. In fact, it has only seen the mainstream of the aquarium hobby for the last few years and anytime one surfaces, it sends wrasse junkies into a tizzy.