Arowana Care Guide – Diet, Water & More

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The best name to give the endangered Arowana is “the bullets fish,” wondering why?

Well while in water the fish moves at a speed of 25mph just to catch its prey. Ever heard of the saying sky is the limit, indeed it is for the Arowana and a lot of irony because while in the wild the fish has the ability to leap from water to catch insects and small birds. 

Arowana is one of the oldest fish in history that dates back to the Jurassic age, which is over 180 million years ago. Over the years the fish hasn’t changed much, the reason why they are so distinct and endangered; but, man, as usual, came to the rescue and has bred the fish to ensure that even if they disappear in Australia, Asia and Amazon, which is their native home, they still survive at the breeders. 

Arowana Care Guide

1. Arowana fish Characteristics

Most fishes protect their territories and also eat their young ones, like the betta female fish that feeds on its eggs and the male feeds on the fry. Arowana is however very territorial and protects its family, and this is done through the combined efforts of both the male and the female Arowana. 

We will discuss more about compatibility below but just so you stay in the know, the Arowana is a no-nonsense fish and will come to you guns blazing if it feels threatened. What’s more, is that they fight in groups to defend their own, they will bite, body slap, and even nip at their intruders. 

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Arowana aquarium

2. Tank requirements 

There are different types of Arowana fish such as the Australian Arowana, the South American Arowana and Saratoga among others. The latter is normally kept by professional Arowana enthusiasts and they also come in variants such as the Platinum Arowana, and the Albino Arowana. With the above varieties invest in a fish tank that can comfortably accommodate the type of Arowana that you want to keep as a pet.  

Tank Width 

Put a lot of consideration on the width of the fish tank, so that they don’t encounter problems when they want to turn around. For example, you could invest in a 220 gallons tank to accommodate your South American Arowana with a few tank mates. And as we discussed earlier the Arowana is not your common type of fish and can easily go through the aquarium glass window if it is not strong enough. 

The Glass window

To this end, you should carefully consider the quality of the glass that is used in making the fish tank, because the Arowana fish is very powerful. When setting up your Arowana tank, consider placement and stand because you will not be moving it around a lot, because of its big size and weight. The stand that you use has to have the capacity to keep the tank stable for a long time because the fish also does have a long lifespan of up to 20 years.

Therefore, when you decide to go adopt Arowana as your pet fish, just know that it is going to be a longterm commitment. 

The Tank hood 

Your martial arts Arowana pet fish will jump right out of the aquarium if you don’t provide a sturdy hood for your tank. Remember this is something that they do while in the wild and while in captivity and given the opportunity will not hesitate. So if you don’t want some evening or morning exercises invest in a sturdy hood. 

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3. Lighting 

For your Arowana aquarium lighting is essential for two purposes, one for the purposes of tanning and second for viewing. While in the aquarium the fish will need light to spot its prey, predator, and food, the tanning light is necessary if you want to enhance the cosmetic look of your aquarium.  Therefore, Pink tanning lights can be used to enhance the look of your red or gold Arowana. 

4. Substrate

Incorporation of the substrate into the Arowana tank is completely a personal choice because some people do prefer to do without the substrate as it affects the color of the fish when viewed from outside. However, if you prefer to go with the substrate, then use a fine substrate that comprises of very fine gravel. Benefits of gravel are apparent if you are keeping other housemates in your fish tank, but if you only want to keep the Arowana then you can do without it. 

Another important point to remember is that if you plan on using plants inside your aquarium then incorporate a strong-rooted plant because your feisty Arowana pet will dislodge it if it feels like, no apologies. Despite the fact that the Arowana fish rarely feeds on plants, you should not include too many of them in the fish tank for the purpose of space. 


Water Parameters for the Arowana fish 

Water hardness

Acidic water will affect the color of your Arowana fish, and since we already indicated that the Arowana fish are extinct and are majorly bred in captivity, they can thus stand different levels of water hardness. However, the best PH level would be 6.0 to 7.0, and to ensure that you maintain the right water parameters it would be best if you invested in a water test kit. 

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The water temperatures could, therefore, be maintained at 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and ammonia levels should remain at 0ppm, same as the nitrites. The level of nitrates can however, be kept below 40ppm. 

Arowana Fish Feeding  

Before we dig too dip into feeding your Arowana fish, you should know that they will do well with high levels of protein. Arowanas don’t easily accept processed foods but you can slowly train them to eat them also ensure that they have the right amounts of protein. Baby Arowanas can be fed insects such as worms and crickets. 

And as they grow into adulthood, you could teach them to accept frozen foods such as shellfish, prawns and the market fish. small arowanas are to be fed at least twice a day and the adult-only once a day. For this type of fish pet, you don’t have to worry about overfeeding because when they are full they will just ignore the food. 

Remember to get rid of any excess food in the water to prevent a spike in the levels of ammonia in water. 

Arowana Fish Compatibility 

Arowana will attack and kill any docile tank dweller; they don’t have favorites and will thus attack their own. You should therefore, only keep one Arowana in the fish tank, other species of fish can be paired with the Arowana only that they have to be big enough not to fit in Arowana’s mouth. The fish can, therefore, be paired with the docile monster fish, the stingrays, the peacock fish and the big catfish.

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