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Arowana Care - Tips For An Healthy Environment

Updated on December 6, 2012

Understanding Their Origin

There are many different species of arowana fish, also known as "dragon fish" or "bonytongued" fish, with origins that date back to the Late Triassic period. South America, Asia, Africa and Australia are all homes to the 10 species of Osteoglossids,which is the family that arowana's belong too. These elongated fish thrive in freshwater environments and typically enjoy their space. They have been around for about 220 million years due to their adaptive nature and it is necessary to care for them in a specialized way.

Preparing For An Aquarium

Arowana's aren't just some fish that you pick up from the local store and drop in an aquarium. Proper preparation must, I emphasize must, take place prior into introducing arowana to their new environment. There are many different methods to setting up a successful aquarium for arowana but the method I've found, that provides the most suitable environment, will be outlined further into this article. Arowana's aren't cheap so it is best to have there environment set up prior to their purchase or arrival. Wouldn't want to risk shocking the fish to death.

Things You'll Need

  • Large 100 gallon acrylic aquarium with lid (arowana can grow up to 3 feet)
  • Submersible aquarium heater
  • Carbon filter
  • Reverse osmosis system
  • pH tester (to test the acidity of the water)
  • Ketapang leaves
  • Aquarium thermometer (preferably digital for accurate readings)
  • Aquarium filtration system

Setting Up The Aquarium

  1. Place the empty aquarium in desired location. The location should not be in direct sunlight. The aquarium should be placed on a stand for display and protective purposes.
  2. Fill the aquarium with water until it reaches 2 inches from the top. Arowana love to swim just below the surface of the water, so there needs to be room left for this.
  3. Use a carbon filter to get rid of the chlorine that may exist in the water.
  4. Once chlorine levels are non-existent install and use the reverse osmosis system, which gets rid of minerals in order to make the water softer. Arowana thrive well in soft water. Most tap water is hard that's why it has to be processed..
  5. Test the pH level of the water once the reverse osmosis process has finished. I tend to keep the pH level between 6.5 and 7.3. Use the dried Katapang leaves to sustain the pH at these levels. Katapang leaves won't harm the environment for the arowanda. They are in fact healthy for arowana.
  6. Now it's time to check the temperature of the water, which should be between 74 and 79 degrees. I always stay one above the minimum and one below the maximum of what is recommended. Doing so doesn't cause such a panic when the min. and max. are reached
  7. Install the filtration system according to specific instructions provided on product.
  8. Purchase a small arowanda and carefully transfer the fish into its new environment. Make sure to check the pH and temperature regularly and clean the tank once a week leaving 30% of the water in the tank with the arowanda to prevent the fish from going into shock. That's it. You have successfully created an environment that is best for arowana to live in. Now all that's left is to feed it, sit back and watch it grow.

Feeding Your Arowana

The video below shows live footage of a arowana using its keen senses to strike above the surface of the water to snatch a spider off of a branch. Arowana are carnivorous, which justifies why they are aggressive in nature. They pretty much eat anything. Brine, shrimp and small fish are decent items to include on their menu. Baby arowana eat more since they are in the development phase and should be fed three times a day an equal interval. Medium size arowana only need to be fed twice a day and adult arowana should be fed at least once every two days. With feeding comes waste and the waste of arowana will typically change the pH of the water. The pH levels should be checked on a regular basis to prevent irregular levels. Remember to remove at least 30%of the water , depending on the tank size, and replace what was taken out with fresh water. For smaller tanks remove about 20% of the water making sure to replace this as well. Replace the lid on the tank after every feeding and cleaning. Wouldn't want your arowana to escape.

Build for The Kill - Arowana

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    • profile image

      prashanth 2 years ago

      I am having four inch baby pearl arrowana , how to feed it, what to feed, and what is growth rate...plz help me

    • Pao D Panlilio profile image

      Pao D Panlilio 3 years ago from Caloocan

      they require 180 gallons not 100 they wouldn't have enough space to turn in a 100 gallon tank

    • profile image

      chairs 3 years ago

      The arowana is a fierce fish and rare . It is a good pet because it doesn't spread diseases. Next time I'll keep six pieces of baby arowana at home!

    • profile image

      pradeep from surat india 4 years ago

      I have 1 arowana &4 red parrots how much I set the temperature in tank is comfort to my fish

    • jonno96 profile image

      jonno96 5 years ago from Australia

      very nice picture :)

    • profile image

      Hilary 5 years ago

      Maybe one day I can have an aquarium as nice as the one in the picture. I had some fish as a child but haven't had the opportunity to acquire some more. Hopefully in the future.

    • profile image

      Sayonara Clark 5 years ago

      How do I get one of these exotic looking fish?