Arowana fish care

We will talk about Arowana fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types,lifespan,tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare, etc.Everything you need to know about arowana fish care will be briefly discussed.

Overview

In this blog post we will discuss
Key specifications of arowana fishWhy is arowana fish care important?How many arowana fish should you start with as a newcomer?Habitat of arowana fishTypes of arowana fishDifferent strains or colors of arowana fishGeneral and physical attributes of arowana fishArowana fish lifespanArowana fish tank set-upArowana fish diet and feeding requirementsArowana fish healthcare and health conditionsArowana fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tipsSummary

Key specifications of Arowana fish

Name Arowana fish
FamilyOsteoglossidae
HabitatConservation statusSoutheast AsiaAsian arowana (Endangered)
LifespanUpto 20 years 
DietCarnivorous(wild)In captivity they can be trained to have a variety of foods.
Body sizeBody shape
Color
Special trait
Sexual dimorphism
3-4 feet long (within 2 years they grow fully)Elongated body structureGreen, golden, red and silver (vivid colouration)Tough scales Leaping behaviorYes (when they reach sexual maturity)
Another namesDragon fishShui longMonkey fish
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardnessAlkalinity 72F-82F6.5-7.58-12 dGh,Soft-hard(moderate)1-8 dKH
Temperament
Beginner or experienced 
Aggressive and territorial (except black and silver arowana)Experienced hobbyist
Care levelDifficult
Tank size and set-up
Tank type (Prefered)
150-220 gallons (depending upon the type of arowana ) Solitary tank mainly
Preferred plants/decorationsFloating plants 
CompatibilitySolo is best
Number of arowana fish species found Six species (true arowanas)
BreedingBit difficult in aquarium setting(They reach sexual maturity after 5 years)

Why is arowana fish care important?

Arowara are attractive aquarium fish,and are popular for their vivid colourations and flowing fins, but they are quite challenging to keep because of their size, jumping behavior and water parameters.They need utmost care if you want them to survive for years.Some of them comes under endangered category.So its very important to take care of these monstrous beauty very well.  

How many arowana fish should you start with as a newcomer?

As a newcomer you get a small group of juveniles, They will learn to adjust with each other , but keep them in a bigger tank as they grow quickly.Juveniles are less expensive than adults.So its up to you completely

Habitat of arowana fish

Arowana are freshwater fish and native to blackwater rivers and wetlands in Southeast Asia.They are also found in South America and Australia.

Types of arowana fish

Silver and black arowana –  South american (largest arowana)Asian arowana-Red tail golden,golden, green,banjar or yellow tail arowana, red, and batik arowana.Jardini arowana, saratoga (not so famous)- Australian arowanaAfrican arowana
Variant’s (genetic mutation)
Platinum arowana (very very expensive)Albino arowana

Different strains or colors of arowana fish

Arowana come mainly in these different colors : green, golden, red and silver.

General and physical attributes of arowana fish

  • Arowana are almost a meter in length.
  • Specialized Mouth with two dark barbells.
  • Size- Asian arowana can grow upto 3 feet and silver arowana can grow upto 4 feet.
  • Male arowanas are larger and more attractive than female arowanas.
  • Arowana can glide.

Arowana fish lifespan

Arowana can live upto 20 years in captivity.It’s all about how you are maintaining the fish in aquarium settings.In a well maintained tank they can live longer and won’t survive if all the necessary conditions are not met.

Arowana fish tank set-up-

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size

Tank size and shape is an extremely important point to be considered before buying arowana.A spacious tank will keep them happy and healthy.Different species of arowana have special requirements in terms of their tank size.

For a monstrous fish like arowana you need a monstrous set up to house them.proper preparations should be done before getting them.Tank size- 6 feet tank (150 gallons plus) for asian arowana and australian arowanaTank size for silver arowana – 7 to 8 feet  (220 gallons)Tank size for juveniles- 75 gallonsTank length and width should be more than the height.They are powerful and can break the tank glass, so get an aquarium with great thickness.They are surface swimmers.They are big jumpers, and are often known as water monkeys because they can jump out of the aquarium,so it is advisable their tank should be covered with a tight lid.You can cover the tank with mesh covers or heavy iron or aluminum nets.

Light intensity 

Moderate to dim lightingSunlight Use lighting which enhances their beauty and body colouration.Artificial lights available in pet shops, you can inquire about this with the pet shop owners.

Substrate/decoration 

They are surface dwellers so substrate is not so important.If you want you can use bare bottom tanks.Substrate and decorative items should also be cleaned to remove bad bacterias from the tank.Driftwood and live rocks can be used.Avoid sharp decorative items.

Water parameters 

Replicate the natural habitat water parameters for better survival.

Tropical freshwater setup should be done.Water movement- slow in the tank.Optimum pH- 6.5 to 7.5 (more vibrant colouration in more acidic pH)They are sensitive to organic pollutants so they need an efficient filtration in their tank.Canister filters and other different types available in pet stores can be used to filter out the waste and keep the organic waste like ammonia , nitrate and nitrite in check.Make sure your filtration system is not removing beneficial bacteria from the tank. Ammonia level- zero ppmNitrite level- zero ppmNitrate level- below 40 ppmA suitable water test kit and pH kits can be used to monitor all the water parameters.

Temperature

Temperature plays a vital role for the metabolism of an organism.A stable temperature will maintain the proper growth of the fish.Sudden changes in temperature can affect the health of your pet.

Thermometer can be used to maintain the optimum temperature. 

Optimum temperature- 72F-82FThey are tropical fish and thrive well in warm water conditions, except Australian arowanas (they can grow well in cooler temperature conditions.)

 

Tank plants

Plants act as hiding spots (although they dont hide) and natural air purifiers in aquariums.It gives a beautiful touch to your aquariums too.

Live floating plantsUse plants which don’t let them jump out of the tanks. Artificial plants (up to you)

Tank mates

They do well solo in aquariums.Juveniles can coexist well in a group but if you’re getting an adult arowana then its bit difficult for them to adjust with other tank mates But if you’re planning to add tank mates for your arowanas you can consider these points for their tank mates :

  • Adults – Keep adult arowanas alone in tank
  • They can adjust with bottom and mid dwellers 
  • Small size fish- Avoid small fish as they end up becoming their snack.
  • Aggressive fish – Can hurt them by nipping their long flowing fins

Compatible tank mates –

StingrayPlecosOscarKing kong parrotPeacock bassGeophagus

Arowana fish diet and feeding requirements

Arowanas are carnivorous fish and have a big appetite,so a protein rich diet is a must for them.They are surface feeders and feeding should be done 2-3 times a day.Never overfeed your pet, as it creates lots of waste in the tanks and increases the organic pollutant accumulation,if the leftovers are not removed from the tank.

ShrimpCricketsFeeder fishLive and frozen fish (be careful while giving live food, because they come with lot of infections)Live mealworms/superwormsPellets designed especially for surface feeding (juveniles can be trained to eat pellets)Shellfish -for maintaining the red colourations especially in red arowanas.

Arowana fish healthcare and health conditions

Arowanas are prone to nitrate pollution, so the amount of nitrates in the tank should be controlled in the tank.If it is not controlled it can hinder their growth and they won’t be able to survive in the aquarium.

Some common disease:

Fin rotWhite spots or ichEye infectionsUlcers Fungal infectionsBacterial infections

Arowana fish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips

Daily care tipsBi-weekly care tips
Wipe the tank glass everyday.Glass thickness should be great, as they can break the glass.Tank should be covered tightly with the lids.Check all the equipment if they are in working conditions or not.Nitrate levels should be below 40ppm.Feed them twice a day on a protein rich diet.Leftovers should not be allowed to accumulate in the tank.Don’t overfeed.Check pH and temperature everyday.Water quality should be checked once a weekYou can change 10-20% water once a week if required.25% water should be changed every 2 weeks.Quarantine live fish food feeding your arowanas for a month before feeding arowanas in a separate quarantine tank to avoid infections.Filter should be cleaned properly from time to time.

Summary

  • Arowanas are considered as monstrous and predatory fish.
  • They need bigger and spacious tanks with a tight lid on the top, because of their jumping behavior.
  • They grow bigger in size and it’s challenging to keep them, so think before buying them as a newcomer.
  • Feed them a protein rich diet.
  • Nitrates should be kept below 40 ppm to avoid pollution in the tank.
  • Most expensive aquarium fish and not a beginner fish.

Frequently asked questions on arowana fish care

Are arowanas easy to care for?

Arowanas are a bit difficult to care for because of their large size and tank setups.They are highly maintenance aquarium fish.Do all the necessary arrangements before buying them.You need a lot of patience to handle them.No doubt they are one of the most beautiful aquarium fish,but you need to have a thorough knowledge about them before getting them to your home aquarium.

Are tank sizes similar for all the arowana species?

No, tank size will be different for all the arrownas.You need to consult the aquarium owners before buying the type of arowana you are want.Juveniles need smaller tank size but they outgrow quickly and need to shift soon in the bigger tanks.So, it’s one of the main factor to consider before buying them as a pet for your aquarium.

What are the important factors to consider for arowanas?

  • Always select a good variety of arowanas
  • Replicate natural habitat for better growth and longevity.
  • Tank setup and tank mates
  • Vital parameters (water conditions & temperature)
  • Feeding habit and feeding behavior

Reference

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