We’ve been closely following the saga of a very special fish that was recently collected by its owner in South Africa. While on holiday Pieter Uys and his family were vacationing around the Kei River, he managed to squeeze in some quality snorkeling time in the lagoon formed past the mouth of the river. Near the end of the trip Pieter did one last snorkel during which time he spotted a tiny bumble bee of a fish which could be none other than the quintessential tiger angelfish, apolemichthys kingi, a South African endemic marine fish.
After quite an exciting 30 minutes of frantically trying to catch this baby kingi angelfish, Pieter calmed down, employed a little observation and easily scooped up the fish after figuring out its local swimming behavior. Totally unprepared for such a fish the South African aquarist did have a spare tank in operation to house and condition his new fish. It’s been about ten days now and the juvenile Kingi anglefish seems to be adapting well to aquarium life, eating and carrying on like young fish do.
We’ve seen, heard and written extensively about the big beautiful adult tiger angelfish but juveniles like the one Pieter photographed are virtually unknown, in pictures, aquaria or any sort of documentation. As far as we know this specimen is the first time a young Apolemichthys kingi has ever been kept in captivity. PIeter has done a fabulous job so far of keeping the little bugger alive, managing a few cell phone snapshots and a basic video but we are dying to see more of this fish. If you want to follow the saga in a little bit more detail check out Pieter Uys’ thread on SA ReefKeeping.