Arowana Fish

Arowana fish, also known as dragon fish, are large, eye-catching fish which have relatively long life spans of up to 20 years. These fish are primitive, thought to have originated about 140 million years ago during the Jurassic period. They are sometimes called “bonytongues” because of a bone covered with teeth on the bottom of the mouth, i.e. the “tongue”, which clamps with the teeth on the top of the mouth when biting. In Chinese culture, this fish is considered prosperous because it resembles a dragon, the traditional symbol of good luck. They also play a role in feng shui, where they are believed to distinguish between an enemy and a friend by showing an aggressive or calm demeanor respectively.

Arowana fish are carnivorous and surface eaters, consuming shrimp, black worms, and other fish. Growing arowana are generally fed small fish while older, bulkier arowana are capable of eating larger fish. Small arowana should be fed 3 times a day, average arowana twice a day, and adult and bigger arowana around once every day or on alternate days. These predator fish generally eat anything, and because of their big size and aggressive nature, they may eat other smaller fish in the aquarium. They are best kept alone or with other assertive fish (such as green terrors or pacu) that cannot fit in its mouth. If you would like to keep multiple arowana together, you should note that they group together in groups of five to eight. With fewer fish, there will be struggles for dominance and too much aggression.

In captivity, arowana are seen to reach a maximum length of 36 inches, while in the wild, such as in the Amazon, they have been observed to measure up to 48 inches. Because of this, they require large aquariums which may not be suitable for all homes. Their eating habits produce high amounts of waste, and changing a quarter to a third of the water in the aquarium weekly is recommended. For optimum cleanliness, change 20% of the water twice a week. Keep an eye on the ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite concentrations in the tank, because these compounds increase with waste and can harm the fish. The temperature of the aquarium should be kept from 75 to 80°F (each species has a more specific range) and the pH should generally be kept at neutral. Too low or too high temperatures or pH values can kill or shorten the arowana’s lives. Arowana generally swim at the top of the aquarium and are known for their jumping behavior, earning them the nickname “water monkeys”. To avoid any fatal accidents, keep the tank covered.

There are many species of arowana including silver, black, spotted, northern, African, and Asian arowana. Silver and black arowana the most common pets. Their colors are suggested in their names; however, the black arowana also has yellow markings down its body, head, and tail, which turn blue as it grows older. Arowana are on the more expensive side, and silver and black arowana are the cheapest. Asian arowana are endangered species and fish collectors and enthusiasts are known to pursue this species the most.

Whether you’re looking for a unique pet or a unique symbol of luck, arowana fish are an interesting way to add flavor to life.

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