Feeding is one of the important factors in upkeeping a healthy Asian Arowana. We believe the actual color potential of the fish is 80% from the parental strains. Still it is important to provide the fish's diets with good mixtures of food, not restricting its potential. Various kinds of food like fresh market prawns, bee shrimps, crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, frogs, feeders fish, centipedes, pellets and such are some sources of food for arowana. For good red color development, it is ideal to feed Prawns or Bee Shrimps (their shells contain carotenoid) as part of their main diets. Frozen food such as market prawn is advised to be placed in individual small plastic bags or suitably sized trays so that you do not have to thaw and refreeze more than required as this will damage the freshness of the food. Use only farm raised crickets and cockroaches to avoid any contamination by insecticide which is fatal to the fish. Live food such as feeder fish, frogs must be quarantined properly for a week before use to avoid any parasites (anchor worms, fish louse, threadworms etc) infecting the fish. The important thing is to give the fish, the most nutritious food you can get so that the fish can have enough resources for its growth.
Young arowanas grow faster than older ones.
Hence, they are hungrier and require more food intake. They cannot eat enough at any one time to keep going for long, and thus will be stunted if feeding is not properly attended. This means that for optimum growth and health, young fishes need plenty of space and frequent feedings on
live food, as their growth tends to be poor without them. And it is advisable to feed 70% lived food for arowana
to achieve its maximum potential size when fully grown. Feed young arowana (below 10 inches)
two to three times a day. Once the fish reaches 10 inches, one feeding per day is sufficient.
Adult arowana may be fed on alternate days. A general rule of thumb, never feed the fish 100% full during each meal, instead feed only about 70% full to control
its daily appetite. You may use a heater to raise temperature to 29.C - 31.C.
This will increase its metabolic rate hence promoting frequent feeding and rapid growth. No food should be left to accumulate for long in the aquarium as it will decompose and pollute the water. It is a good practice for hobbyists to use
a net to remove any leftover food or fish wastes after each feeding.
How do I keep some common live food for my fish?
Shrimps / Prawns - Keep them in a tank with sufficient oxygen supply. Avoid over crowded in a bare tank as this will encourage killings of its own kind for food. It is good to use some 1-3 inches PVC tubes or similar and place them at the base of the tank. Change water everyday if necessary. Do not use heater and keep water cold. Always break the sharp pincers at the head portion and tail portion before use. For frozen market prawns, buy those smaller ones (2 - 3 inches). Before feeding depose off the head and tail portion and cut them into appropriate sizes with shells attach. Feed without shells for young fish below 8 inches.
Crickets - Arowana's favorite food. It contains good source of protein, vitamins and mineral. Always use cramped newspaper or fold egg shell tray or similar to create a hiding environment for the crickets. Same as above, they feed on themselves if no other alternate food source are provided. Avoid storing too many at a time as such insects have average of 40-49 days life span. It is somehow a bit effective to feed them with carrots, which contains carotene (or an acting source of vitamin A) that help orange or red color development when supplied to fish. Avoid ants with crickets and it is not necessary to remove their rear legs before use.
Mealworms (Tenebrio Molitor) - Another source of high protein food for arowana. Never wet the mealworm and always keep them dry because dampness will kill them . May feed mealworms with pellets, vitamins, carrots and veggies. Change veggies every couple of days to avoid mould formation. Breeding mealworms is easy and all you need to do is to give them food and dry place. The female Beetles lay about 400 - 1000 eggs and the breeding cycle is - egg, larva, pupa and beetle.
Small Frogs - As long it is not poisonous, frogs are very nutritious food for growing young arowana. They can survive for several days without food and are simply to maintain. Just change water daily and avoid sunlight. Quarantine the frogs for a few days and use only healthy ones for your fish.
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