The whimsical and cartoonish looking Belonoperca pylei has long been regarded as a straight up unobtainable “book fish”. In the past year or two however, we’ve seen a few being slowly drip-fed into the aquarium scene. While still out of reach to many aquarists, these specimens are at least a much better alternative than looking at one in the pages of a book. B-Box Aquarium teases us with a short clip of the newest Dr. Seuss fish to enter the trade.
B. pylei is a beautiful fish with a honeycomb pattern of pink and orange, and is the one of two species in the genus, the other being the gunmetal colored B. chabanaudi which sporadically appears in the trade. Being deepwater predatory fishes, these are best kept in dimly lit set ups with plenty of overhangs, and some live feeder shrimp to get them started with feeding.
It’s difficult to predict the trend of marine fish, but based on some incredible catches in the last year or so, we’ve been seeing a greater influx of deepwater treasures. Fishes like Centropyge narcosis, Paracentropyge boylei, and even Cirrhilabrus claire, which was known only from a washed out holotype, have been entering the trade in such meteoric fashion that who knows what we’ll see in five, or ten years down the road. Perhaps by then, B. pylei would be way more obtainable than it is today. We can only dream.