FAQ in arowana-ML

Here are some tips to share with you. Most topics are discussed in the mailing list.
Be sure that these answers are not always YOUR answers.
(The responsibility for the wording of the articles lies with the ML-administrator.)

Q: What is the key point to select a juvenile fish?
A: What you like is your best! That's all. :-)
Well, in the case of red arowana, you should check the color of pectoral fins. Most so called "Banjar Red" have light color pectoral fins. If the fins are in dark color, the arowana is hopeful.
In the case of cross back golden, you should check these points; back scales are in light color, side scales are bright and scales near the dorsal fin are clear.
If you really want to get good one, I recommend to purchase a good adult one. This is the truth.

Q: What is the difference between chili red and blood red?
Q: Are chili red better than blood red?
A: "Chili Red " and "Blood Red " are names for wild arowana. Chili red live in the south area of the Lake Sentarum in Kalimantan. Blood red live in the northern area. A chili red has a "spoon" head, a blood red has a "cannonball" head. A chili red has a diamond shape tail, a blood red has a fan shape tail. A chili red has green skin, a blood red has darker base. Both become red. They are different strains, so it is worth nothing to say which is better.
I should mention again those names are for WILD fish. We can purchase only farmed fish, and they are cross bred ones. It is nonsense to discuss "Is my aro chili or blood?" Only we can purchase are "1st grade red". Of course "Chili red TYPE" or "Blood red TYPE" do exist.

Q: What is the minimum size of the tank?
A: The area of the base should be 5 ft x 2 ft or more. Length is more important than height. It s desirable that the width would be more than 3 times as the fish length and the depth of the tank would be more than the fish lenght. If the arowana grows up to 2 ft, the base area is desired to be more than 6 ft x 2.3 ft.

Q: How can I identify my arowana male or female?
A: I regret to say there are no obvious ways.

Q: How can I mix some arowana in one tank?
A: First, put the smallest one into the tank. Two or 3 days later, put the others once. At the first day of mixture, you should keep the light on all the night, so that arowana recognize their tank is changed. Of course they often fight each other. At that time, you should separate bigger one to another tank. After while (usually one week), try mixture again. So you should prepare another tank to separate at any time.

Q: How do I cure gill curling?
A: Change water first. Making water flow in the tank is a good way to cure. I recommend to add a submerged filter like EHEIM 2209.
If such water flow make no effect, you should perform a surgical operation to cut curling area.
Raising in a small tank often causes gill curling or drop eye or tail biting. If your arowana show such symptoms, you'd better move him/her to a bigger tank.

Q: Is drop eye curable?
A: There exists successful example of cure with operation; scraping out fat tissue in the back of the eye ball. I don't recommend the operation because it's too risky.
Some say that reflection in the tank causes drop eye, some say that tank mates at the bottom of the tank cause it, but I feel those effects are week. I think lineage is the dominant factor and smallness of the tank is the second. Empirically saying, mixture with arowana prevent becoming worse.

Q: My arowana bites his tail. What should I do?
A: This symptom is also often seen in a small tank. Move him to a bigger tank. If he still bite, give him tank mates; parrot cichlid is recommended.

Q: After moving to a bigger tank, my arowana doesn't eat and always be hiding.
A: I think he is just not accustomed to the new tank. Soon he will swim around and eat much.
If he sometimes run amuck, cover all sides with paper and remove it with a small area day by day.

Q: I found holes in my arowana's head. What should I do?
A: High level ammonia causes such symptom. Change water 50%, set temperature 33 deg C, add a cup of salt and wait & see.

Q: What is the head down disease?
A: "Head down" is the inflammation of the air bladder and it is a bacterially caused disease. The sick arowana can't adjust buoyancy so he will swim with his head down. It is rare to die because of this disease, and it is curable if in an early stage. To cure him, treat him with this procedure;
1. change the water depth nearly as the aro's height
2. put 0.15% salt
3. keep the water temperature higher; 32 deg C
4. set an air pump to prevent an oxygen shortage
It would take about 3 months for recovery.
After that, you should care specially about rapid temperqture change. Because it will flare up again.

Q: My arowana doesn't eat pellts.
A: First of all, you should make your arowana recognaize pellets as food. If he hold pellets in his mouth but spit out them, he might recognaize pellets as food but taste bad. Only starvation make him eat pellets. You need to win an endurance race, it will take one or two weeks or more.

Q: I live in US. Where can I purchase an Asia-arowana?
A: I regret to say that Asia-arowana are illegal in US. Not because of CITES, Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the US make it illegal to import the fish even they are captive bred.

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