Barreleye – Reef Central Online Community


03/30/2010, 10:36 AM


Moved On

JHemdal's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2002

Location: Ohio

Posts: 1,971

The picture on your avatar looks like the images taken by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s research institute. If so, that was taken at only at 750 meters, and fishbase seems to indicate that these fish come closer to the surface than that (probably at night).

They may not need to be decompressed – depends if they are physotomus or physoclistus. The former have a tube connecting the gas bladder to the mouth. The fish you see with their eyes bugged out when brought to the surface are physiclistus, they don’t have that tube, so the pressure can’t bleed off. More importantly, to bring fish up from depth you need to capture them without damage (many deep sea fish have soft bodies) and then you need to protect them from light and temperature change. Finally, Monterey discovered that oxygen actually kills some of these creatures, so they needed to shoot nitrogen gas into the water to keep the dissolved oxygen levels low enough.

So can you get one? No – but watch the Monterey Bay Aquarium – they have a long history of researching a new species (tuna, white shark, etc.) and then once they’ve learned enough, they try them on exhibit. They’ve already done a temporary deep sea exhibit and didn’t have this species, so they may have found that they are not suitable for capture….

I wrote an article on Deep Sea isopods (Bathynomus giganteus) for TFH magazine a number of years ago – they come from roughly the same depth, and are kept by public aquariums. They are collected by a firm that also collects for pet stores, so it seems to me that a home aquarists with deep pockets could get a truly deep sea animal for their home – figure on $1200 for the isopod, then you need a tank with a chiller….fun to dream though!


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