Up until last week Bradley Wood was the owner of six Blue Zaires, all of which were imported from one of the deepest and longest lakes in the world.
"It's kind of a thrill I guess. And it's a conversation piece, you know, when people come into your house they're just like 'Where did you get these fish? Petsmart?' And it's like 'No, they're from Africa'," said Wood.
No one else in the state of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi has what Wood calls novelty fish, not even the Georgia Aquarium. Wood did say that there were a few people in Florida with the unique pet.
"It's the type of fish that is an investment that you really need to know what you're doing before you jump into something like this," Wood said, when asked whether anyone should look into getting a Blue Zaire.
There was quite a process in getting the fish here though. An importer in Kentucky buys them 20 at a time for about $200 per fish. Then they are shipped to the United States for almost $2,000 per crate.
"I found them online. I saw pictures and videos. I was like I gotta have them," Wood said.
The fish are about 16 inches long and he kept his in a 200 gallon aquarium. An extra bonus? Wood brought in shells from their original habitat and put them in their tank.
Wood makes sure to match the pH and the water temperature to what they're originally used to.
But unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Brad and his fish had to part ways. He was able to give them to a friend who also lives in Enterprise.
"Most 17-year-olds don't have, you know, some of the rarest fish in the world," Wood said, laughing.
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