Velvetfish is one of my favorite fish, but very hard to find. Aptly named turdfish, these weird fish must get anyone actually having the pleasure of seeing them trying to figure out how such an untalented animal, barely able to move, uglier than most, and not very quick at that, can survive!
I am definitely not an economist. However, I am pretty sure that any basic course in economy would include a part on profits. Profits are not about what you spend, and not about what you earn. Profits would be the difference. You could earn a lot but spend still more, and you would be in trouble. You could also be really frugal, but earn very little, and be in just as much trouble (and probably having a less interesting life on the way!).
In nature, this could be exemplified by the two main energetic strategies we have. One is the endothermic, where animals maintain a high body temperature by burning lots and lots of fuel (sugars and fats mostly). However, such a high cost obviously has to be offset by an enormous energy intake, which will have to be even higher than the expenditure in order to pay for growth, behavior and reproduction. Any mistake will lead to quick starvation by animals following this strategy.
Birds and mammals use this strategy, and the likely reason is that endotherms can sustain a big, bright brain (the IQ f a chicken might not strike you as impressive, but compared to a beetle it is in the stratosphere). Thus, complex problems can be solved, and temperature variances can be handled by such animals. Remember though, that a couple of bad days could put many of the animals using this strategy in serious trouble. Some, like shrews, can not even survive half a day without food.
The other strategy is be the cheap one. Animals using this strategy far outnumber the endotherms in diversity and even more so in individual numbers. These are the ectotherms. Not being willing or capable of spending a lot of energy, the endotherm strategy is characterized by animals having approximately the same temperature as the environment. There will of course be a wide variance in energy requirements for animals using this latter strategy, as movements will cost whatever the laws of physics demand, and one could move less or more. However, even the most avid ectotherm mover would be energetically well of when compared to most, if not all, endotherms.
Velvetfish takes this cheap strategy to the extreme. They very seldom move. They have no cost for predator evasion, as their looks really only would attract dung beetles, which are not marine. They seem to grow slowly, and, at best be small when adult. Thus, their costs are probably among the least of any living fish around the Lembeh area. And, consequently, they will not need to succeed in catching prey very often, but can highly likely be without food for long periods of time. As such, that really exemplify that the bottom line, the differences in earnings versus costs will be the deciding factor for success or failure.