Arowana Feeding?

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mervinr

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HI all,

Just an introductory post from me. I just started keeping a Silver Arowana. Frankly speaking, I didn't really do much research before buying it. Before it I had kept a few koI and other tropical freshwater fish for about 1.5 years in a 1.5 feet tank. My Arowana was around 6 inches when I bought it but has grown quite rapidly in just this few weeks (at least an inch).

After buying it I did some Internet searches and boy was I surprised at how some people really looked at all aspects of taking care of it!

But I think these fishes are more hardy than we give them credit for. When I was setting up my new 4 ft tank (125 gal according to somewhere else in this forum), I originally used a filter which turned out to be not adequate enough. So I bought an external unit with a stronger flow rate. Setting up the unit proved to be quite a challenge for me and all of this was done with my arowana in the tank!! I was worried that she would be stressed out but either I'm lucky or she's stronger than that. I had set up my tank in the early afternoon and she did not display any unusual behavior. I use small live fish as her food and had put some in the tank with her. By early night she displayed her usual appetite and had devoured some.

In fact, my main worry now is her appetite!! She seems to have quite a huge one and depending on the type of fish I put in, she can eat as many as 20 (with an average length of 1 cm) of them in a single night!! She's currently around 7 or 8 inches long. How often should she be fed and how many fishes do you all give?

Thanks in advance.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Mervinr and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I have moved your post from another thread to create a thread of it's own so that it gets the attention it deserves.

I hope you enjoy the site!

Ken
 

Elodea

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Unfortunately, you'll need a way larger tank, preferably a 300 gallon minimum (as wide as possible, height doesn't really matter). That arowana will grow fast, so you'd better work on getting that tank as soon as possible.

Too many live fish is not good for the arowana, as it will develop the disorder known as Drop Eye, where the eyes literally point downward and sag. Not to mention liver problems and obesity. A staple diet of pellets with live fish fish only as occasional treats is the best for your fish. If possible, feed ghost shrimp or live crickets, as they contain carotenes and are healthier. Remember that fish, shrimp, or insects are all high in fat and protein and should only be fed occasionally, maybe once weekly.

Good luck with your new arowana! They are rather demanding to care for, but extremely rewarding and impressive fish if taken care of properly.
 
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mervinr

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x I am going to start him on pellets as you suggested. Do you feed him every day?
 

Elodea

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Oh, I don't have an arowana, but since they're my favorite fish, I have done some extensive research on them.

I would suggest two very small (no more than he can consume in 45 seconds) feedings daily with pellets. Crickets from the pet store and ghost shrimp make good "treat" feeders, maybe a couple crickets every week.
 

Elodea

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Hmmm, that may be a large problem. Can you get someone to come twice a week to feed some pellets? They are very nutritious and should be the staple diet of any large carnivore.

Also, you should put this post in a new thread to prevent hijacking someone else's. It's a good idea if you want more people to notice it.
 

swervo513

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try krill. my arowana loves them. also I think minimum tank size is 220 gallons.. I have a 180 gallon and even that is too small for a full grown arowana... they say the width of the tank should be longer than the width of a full grown arowana.. which is about 30 inches. In my tank I will be able to keep an arowana for about 2 years before I have to upgrade.
 

Elodea

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Yep, krill is a great nutritiously, looks like you know your stuff, Swervo. However, I will politely disagree on the tank size, it should be at least 350 gallons or more. Mainly due to the fact it has to be at least 7 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. These fish need swim space.
 

oscar freak

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Also I have to admit feeding my arowana is a lot easier than I ever read,he is actually easier to feed than my oscars.
 
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mervinr

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Well it has been a few months since I got the fish and also started feeding him pellets. I've since discovered this fish is a lot more hardy than we take them for. I only feed mine every 2 days with about 20 pellets at each feeding. Talking to some pet shops, they only feed theirs once a week or even less!! I arrived at that amount after many trials to find out when he would stop eating. He can definitely take more but I discovered he won't finish all and also takes longer to eat during which time some pellets would actually dissolve in the water.

From time to time I do feed him live fish as a treat and also to stop him from losing his hunting instinct.
 

oscar freak

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as your arowana gets bigger you should feed him less often but a growing juvenile should be fed rather small quantities but more often maybe 3 times a day if u can manage.
 

Elodea

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Yes, spread out the feedings. Try not to feed live food at this point, as the juvenile growing stage is one of the easiest periods for it to get the Drop-Eye Syndrome.

Never overfeed. If he can't finish all the pellets in 45 seconds to 1 minute, you're feeding too much. I'd say to hold off of the live fish and feed him crickets instead. They are much healthier than the fat-filled fish, and technically, their actual diet in the wild. In nature, arowanas rarely eat fish, they eat large insects instead.
 
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