The Arowana Fish.
The Dragon Fish
Scientifically known as Scleropages formosus, the arowana fish is characterized by their elongated bodies which are covered in large scales. With an exaggerated, upturned mouth and an aggressive hunting style, these fish are more commonly known as the dragon fish.
In the Wild
Known in China to bring good luck, these fish are mostly found in the freshwaters of South America, Australia, and Southeast Asia. There are many different species, featuring a variety of colors, that are native to each of these areas.
Some species, like the silver arowana, can grow up to three and a half feet and tend to be rather docile. Their large mouths allow them to breathe oxygen and eat a varied diet of crustaceans, small fish, and insects. Large species have been known to eat snakes and bats.Typically, they will hover under the water’s surface and wait to ambush their prey.
In the Tank
As aquarium fish, the smaller species are best suited for tanks. Arowana can live up to 20 years in captivity in the proper water conditions. Because of their size, South American arowana require tanks of 220 gallons or more. Asian and Australian arowana fish need at least 120 gallon tanks. These powerful fish also require tanks with thick glass and a strong lid, as they are natural jumpers.
Since arowana are predators, they should be fed a diet similar to their wild counterparts. When possible, they should be given small fish and crustaceans. If those aren’t available, typically roaches, worms, and crickets will do for a bit. Many arowana fish don’t do well on fish food pellets.
Arowana fish, besides the silver, are typically very aggressive and territorial, so finding suitable tank mates can be difficult. Not only will they attack many other species, but they are known to kill their own kind as well. Fish that are too big to eat, like the peacock bass or larger catfish, tend to do well with arowana.
Since the arowana fish is the most expensive aquarium fish in the world, they are often transported by armed guards. As ornamental fish, the golden arowana, which is native to Indonesia, has been rumored to cost around $300,000 in some markets, so it would make sense that these fish require such transport.
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