The Basics of Arowana Fish Care
The mere fact that you are reading this article means that you are interested in keeping an arowana as a pet. If you want to have an arowana fish as an addition to your aquarium, yet you find yourself clueless as to where to even begin, then you might as well learn the basics of arowana fish care. On the other hand, for aquarists and hobbyists who already have an arowana, it would also be helpful to know the necessary things involved in arowana fish care.
Having an aquatic creature, especially an arowana as a pet, is unlike any other experience. It is definitely hard work maintaining this kind of fish in your aquarium. However, the mere fact that having an arowana requires a lot of time and effort should never turn you off because caring for such fish is a skill that can be learned and can develop over time.
General Guidelines for Arowana
The first thing that you need to do is determine what type of arowana would you want as a pet. If you already have one, you’ll need to identify what species of arowana you have so that you can cater to the specific needs of the fish type. The most sought after types of arowana, which include the Golden Arowana, Red Arowana and Silver Arowana all have different habits and special care. If you have a Golden Arowana, make it a point to secure the necessary permits and documents to keep one. Because they are now considered as an endangered species, Golden Arowanas are protected by the law so you must abide to the requirement in importing and handling such fish.
Even before deciding to buy and keep an arowana as a pet, you should already have enough knowledge or at least bits of information about arowana fish care. Arowanas are such beautiful, rare, yet delicate pets and so a deep understanding on the things required from you as the owner is needed in keeping them. For example, the choice of aquarium or tank must be well-thought of prior to buying an arowana. Arowanas are known to grow in size within a short span and so a sizable tank is a must.
Specific Requirements for Arowana Fish
The tank for arowana must be at least 31.5 in. by 15.75 in. (80 cm by 40 cm) though a bigger tank is much better. Just like any aquarium, a complete set-up with filter, aerator, heater, thermometer and fluorescent lamp is a must. Diligence in cleaning and maintaining the fish tank is also needed to keep your arowana healthy. Most arowanas prefer to feed on live fish, shrimp and small crabs though other species like the Jardini Arowana can live on a diet of pellets and frozen food.
For arowanas, the ideal water pH is somewhere between 6 and 8.5 while a temperature 77 to 80.6 Fahrenheit (25 to 27 Celsius) is much desired. Use the heater when the water in the tank becomes too cold until the right temperature is reached. It is very important to measure the pH level routinely and adjust accordingly. Of course, one of the most basic maintenance techniques is monitoring the quality of water in the tank. Make it a point to replace at least 10% of the water every other day while total water replacement must be done within a span of three months.
Diligence in caring for arowanas does not only involve monitoring the water pH and temperature. Keep it mind that arowana fish care involves a great deal of ‘detail-orientedness’. Like any other fish, arowanas are most comfortable when their environment imitates their natural habitat. Be wary of the aquarium interior. It might be impossible to replicate the arowana’s native environment but it is possible to mimic some aspects of it through the careful placement of natural elements like sand, rocks and several aquatic plants.
Known Issues and Illnesses Affecting Arowana
Arowanas are prone to diseases. There are several factors that affect the health or arowanas, some can be hereditary while most illnesses are caused by environmental factors and parasites that can weaken your arowana. Some of the signs that can indicate a decline in the health of your pet may include inactiveness, noticeable decrease in appetite and a sudden change in its usual habits. Physical symptoms may include the loss or cracking of its scales and bleeding.
When some of these signs occur, be wary enough to check the quality of water and the pH and temperature in the tank. When sudden or drastic changes appear in the environment, your arowana will definitely be affected. Adjust the pH and temperature of the water accordingly when found necessary. Also, be careful on the type of food that you give your arowana. Lastly, there is risk involved in feeding live food to your pet because the fish or shrimp that you feed might carry diseases.
There is always a need to reiterate the hard work, perseverance and diligence required in keeping an arowana as a pet. However, once you are able to learn the necessary skills in arowana care, you will definitely discover that all your efforts are worth it.