From the Southern Pacific to Curacao to Hawaii and homeland Japan, BlueHarbor never looked so amazing this week with what could be the most intense collection of fish ever at any one time. Just when we think the man in Japan couldn’t out do himself, he did. If you think the Peppermints are all they’ve got, then continue reading and you’ll be in for a shock. Rare fish lovers you do not want to miss this.
Yes, by now you may have heard that nine Peppermint Angels were collected recently. That’s nine, incase you misread. What was once a book fish of near legendary status, the Peppermint Angelfish has seen an increased in collection efforts, just like the Narcosis Angelfish. For reefers willing to drop top dollar and provide it nothing but the best of care, the fish is now more obtainable than before. In this day, there are more Peppermint Angels in the market than captive Debelius Angelfish and Kingi Tiger Angelfish combined.
Colorful barbershop pole angelfish aside, there are three other fish from the same batch that are just as, or potentially more exciting. The highly secretive Cirrhilabrus claire, an undescribed Chromis sp, and the stupendously gorgeous deepwater Mystery Wrasse make another cameo reappearance.
Let’s start with C. claire. Claire’s fairy wrasse was described in 2001, but was the last species in the genus to have its live pictures published for the first time in 2012. For eleven years, this species was known only from two discolored holotypes. If that doesn’t tingle your spine then I don’t know what will. We were fortunate enough to witness this fairy wrasse in the flesh back in 2012, and even managed to get some pictures. The fish looks in person, how they do in pictures. The males are decorated in purple on an eerie green body colour, truly unique and mesmerising on any Cirrhilabrus.
The Mystery Wrasses that have been appearing from these parts are nothing short of spectacular. Unlike the usual ones, they keep the white bars with age and do not lose it after a certain size. But the most stunning aspect of this form would have to be the gold colored sheen that accompanies the dorsal region and fins. This is the second piece that BlueHarbor received, the first one can be seen here.
Another gorgeous find is this amazing baby blue pomacentrid. This deepwater Chromis sp. has one of the nicest shade of cyan we’ve ever seen. The same species can be seen in its natural habitat in the original Moorea deep dive expedition video. At the 3:20 mark, you can see this beautiful fish darting around the barren aquascape.
From the South Pacific, BlueHarbor also has an unusually colored Cephalopholis polleni grouper and a gorgeous Ctenochaetus flavicauda tang. The Polleni Grouper is a beautiful predatory fish best suited for a FOWLR tank. We’ve never seen one quite like this before with such beautiful amounts of yellow all over its back. The White-tailed bristletooth tang is another uncommon number that gives justice to this underrated genus of Tangs. The brilliant white tail is unmistakable and eye catching.
The menagerie doesn’t end yet. If you’re breathless already, we suggest taking a break before continuing. This Hawiian meets Japan video above highlights some of the recent treasures BlueHarbor received recently. An update of the existing stock, and they all look to be in excellent health. Liopropoma aurora, Lipogramma robinsi, Odontanthias fuscipinnis, Pseudanthias rubrolineatus, Roa excelsa, Plectranthias sagamiensis and Bodianus sepiacaudus star in this short film.
L. aurora was one of four that BlueHarbor received, and this one is in excellent health. Zero signs of swim bladder distress, and it looks in the pink of health. O. fuscipinnis and the R. excelsa were fishes that came with the Aurora Basslet and are looking to be in top condition as well. These are some of the rarest deepwater Hawaiian endemics anyone can ever hope to see. P. rubrolineatus and P. sagamiensis are two rare japanese endemic basslets that are more occasionally obtainable at BlueHarbor. The lone L. robinsi is Koji’s personal pet and is one of three only to be collected so far.
Combining fishes from two halves of the globe, Koji released another video, this time a Caribbean meets Japan number. This video features a pair of Prognathodes aya, a P. guyanensis, a Tosanoides anthias, Lipogramma klayi and a female Cirrhilabrus lanceolatus. As usual, all fish appear to be in excellent health, including the Prognathodes butterflies.
If you are planning to visit BlueHarbor, now is the time. There is not going to be another chance where so many rare fish are congregated all in one store. Hats off to Koji and Rufus for allowing fish lovers everywhere to sleep peacefully tonight.