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How To Take Care Of Your Arowana
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If there is one freshwater aquarium fish which is prized above any other, it is the arowana. What comes to mind when describing an Arowana? Are they really insatiable predators with insatiable appetites which require ever larger tanks to house and keep them?

Are they safe to keep with Sclerophages species of fish and bottom dwellers much more than any other species? Would they leap up and out of your tank by behaving as they do in their natural habitat when catching insects perched on plant leaves?

Although Arowanas may start out as reasonable sized specimens of five to six inches as infants, they soon grow to become fifteen inch monsters when they reach adulthood within 2 years. With striking pelagic fins and dorsal fin rainbow colours, arowanas have quickly become established as prized freshwater aquarium fish.

Because arowanas eliminate pests and predators in the paddy fields they are viewed as the farmer's friend. In fact, they have cultural significance in their native Myanmar and Thailand.

They consume insects, lizards, frogs, smaller fish, bats, small birds, crustaceans, shrimps, prawns and chicks, larvae, toads, beatles , mealworms in their natural habitat which is the dank swamplands of the rice paddies in South-East Asia. Therefore, it is safe to say they have voracious appetities for live food.

Once you have established the bond between you, then they can be safely finger fed but do not feed them more than one meal per day when you only need to provide them with four meals per week unless you want an overweight specimen.

Be aware that because your arowana is endemic to rice paddy fields they require dark, dank, acidic, stagnant water where they reside and hide as they are ambush predators. If you introduce lizards, frogs, crabs, worms into your average 40 gallon size tank amid all the foliage and leaves they will satisfy your Arowana's specialised dietary requirements.

By purchasing your arowana as an infant, you will be able to introduce it into your habitat without any behavioural issues. Adult arowanas would be more developed and alltogether more unruly.

For those of you wanting variety in your 40 gallon aquarium tank, introduce scavenging bottom feeding species and sclerophage family fish of equivalent size to your arowana. Because arowanas patrol the surface depths they will not tolerate any smaller surface feeders who will be consumed as the next meal of the day.

Do not introduce more than one male. If your aim is to breed arowanas, one pair of male and female arowanas should produce numerous offspring during the breeding cycle. However, you should have two separate tanks during this period. Clutches of eggs will be concealed amid the leaf litter which will hatch in only 4 weeks. By three months of age, arowanas become adults.

To replicate the natural habitat of the arowana, ensure you have between 3-4 inches of peat layered substrate at the bottom of your tank. Inserted into this should be abundant leaf litter, decomposing bark, wood shavings and masses of Malaysian ketapang leaves which decay and release nitrogen throughout your tank.

By carefully filtering oxygen and nitrogen levels to aerate your tank, you can ensure your arowana stays healthy. However, the tank should not be too oxygen rich as the tank acidity levels should be PH5 and above. Temperatures should be kept constant in between 90-100 degrees at any time with dark shaded corners. Heating pads placed beneath the tank should be set to this during the winter.

Important to the survival of your arowana is the quality of the water filtration and the cleanliness of the tank. If you don't rigorously clean the tank at least once per week, your arowana becomes susceptible to bacteria, fungi, parasites. Look for any signs of ill-health. Symptoms of ill-health include clouded eyes, growths on the scales, mites infesting the scales, parasites sited around the gills.

By being placid in temperament if cared for correctly, arowanas become undemanding but also highly prized as collectors specimens. Even though there are numerous tropical fish enthusiast communities, arowanas have their own niche community of enthusiasts who specifically collect arowanas and breed them.

Arowanas are beautiful and visually distinctive species like tropical species of our native pike as they are just as voracious. They are also consume smaller fish species so they are best kept as solitary specimens with catfish, loaches, sclerophages.


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