These fish are apparently very much sought after in the aquarium trade. By very much sought after, I mean that more than one site I saw said they could sell for up to $300,000, and at least one person has been murdered for their fish. They are impressive and truly are beautiful. Fully grown they can reach about 4 feet long. The males take care of brooding the eggs by carrying them in their mouth while they develop. Along with the intense collection of these for aquarium trade, they also are at risk due to habitat loss. Over the last 20 years or so some areas of Southeast Asia, where the fish are from, have seen a 90% decline in population numbers. This is not the only colour of these fish. There are quite a few varieties in fact, gold, a couple types of green, and a few different reds.
I think they are incredible looking, but it is mind boggling to me how big of an aquarium you would need to keep a 4 foot long fish happy. We had a 60 gallon tank for a few goldfish. Craigslist is great for finding used fish tanks by the way. The idea of having to move a large fish tank to a new home, or realizing you are not good at keeping fish alive is often enough for someone to decide they are tired of having pet fish. They then are desperate to get rid of this usually at least slightly smelly breakable thing that is taking up room in their home, and you then can get a tank for much less than it would cost new. Painting this fish was a very long process. It would have helped if I was the sort of artist that traces, used a ruler, or even copied a picture. It took me a lot of time in order to get the scales the way I wanted them. I had to take several breaks. This certainly was not one of the paintings I could do in an hour or an hour and a half. I had grand plans of what all I was going to accomplish today. Yeah, well, at least I got the painting done.