Just under a week ago, we spied an amazing deepwater Spanish Flag Grouper from Curacao in LiveAquaria’s popular Diver’s Den. Despite the rarity of Curacan deepwater fish, the Wisconsin-based marine fish junkies are at it once again with another rare fish. Their latest prize, a deepwater bicolor basslet (Lipogramma klayi). Unlike the grouper we talked about last week, this stunning little basslet is completely reef safe. It’s striking color is very similar to that of acouple of other species found in the Caribbean and surrounding waters, most notably the regular old run of the mill bicolor basslet (Pseudochromis paccagnellae) and the royal gramma basslet (Gramma loreto). But what sets L. klayi apart is the fact that it’s collected from extreme depths. Most of these deepwater basslets are collected at depths exceeding 200 feet, which requires specialized equipment and skills just to get to, let along traipsing around trying to catch the elusive fish.
The L. klayi will reach a maximum size of just over an inch and a half, making them ideal for nano aquaria, but it’s $850 price tag (which is a comparatively huge bargain) will put it out of the reach of most aquarium keepers.