What Do Arowana Fish Eat?

Mansions, jets, and sports cars are the typical elements that people associate with wealth. Nowadays, however, there is a prized fish that is fast becoming a symbol of wealth.

The Asian Arowana fish is now among the world’s most expensive fish, rumored to have sold for $300,000 in 2009.

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This is a long and sleek, streamlined freshwater fish species with large scales and a pair of barbells that protrudes from its lower jaw’s tip.  It is sometimes called a dragonfish because of its appearance.

The Arowana fish generally inhabits the inland waters of Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America. Folklore holds that this fish brings luck because it looks like a traditional Chinese dragon.

The Arowana fish lasts for over twenty years in the wild, making it one of the longest-lasting pet fish. You can choose from silver, black, green, Australian, red tail, golden and red Arowana fish species for your pet.

One of the essentials that most people will, unfortunately, struggle with when getting the Arowana fish as a pet is its diet. The following are some expert guidelines on how to feed the fish.

Arowana Fish Diet in the Wild

Arowanas have a predatory nature. In the wild, they primarily live in floodplains where they feed on insects and small animals.

Furthermore, Arowanas feed on amphibians, arthropods, and small fish. Research has also proven that the fish sometimes eat birds and mammals.

Their choice feed in the wild is, however, crustaceans and small fish. Owing to the position of their mouths, Arowanas will swim just below the water’s surface then jump up to catch their prey.

You can find interesting videos of them leaping from the water to reach insects on tree limbs. They can catch fish by swimming just beneath them before scooping them.

Best Food for Arowana Fish in the Aquarium

You should mirror the diet of Arowanas in the wild as much as possible to guarantee they thrive and are comfortable in your aquarium. 

This means including as much live feed as possible in the diet. Variety is, however, essential to avoid creating a nutritional deficiency in your fish.

For insects, you can include crickets, cockroaches, and centipedes for your Arowanas. Crickets are nutritious and have low risks of disease transmission to your fish.

You should nonetheless primarily opt for farm-bred crickets since wild-caught ones are often contaminated with insecticides.

Crickets are good sources of vitamin A. Settle for farm-bred live cockroaches to minimize the odds of introducing pesticides into your aquarium. Frozen centipedes will intensify and enhance the color of your Arowana fish.

Amphibians like geckos, lizards, frogs, crustaceans like shrimps and prawns, and worms like earthworms, mealworms, and tubifex worms are also essential in an Arowana fish’s diet.

You can also include fish meat in your pet’s diet. Ensure this meat has all its fat trimmed before being cut to bite sizes and washed.

An Arowana fish’s aquarium diet will be incomplete without pellet food. There are many commercially available pellet feeds with varying nutritional values that you can choose for your fish.

Pellet food should nonetheless be used as supplementary feeds since it has been associated with a protruding anus in Arowanas.

How Often Should You Feed Arowana Fish?

Juvenile Arowana fish grow fast and will need a lot of food and energy to support their growth. They thus should be fed twice daily to keep up with their growth rates.

As they grow, however, the growth rates of Arowanas, as well as their metabolism rates, will slow down.

Their appetites will also naturally slow down. As such, you can feed adult and sub-adult Arowana fish once daily.

Arowana fish will thankfully decline food when they are full, so you need not worry about overfeeding. To this end, you can keep feeding them if they accept the food.

Just ensure you remove all leftover food from your aquarium immediately after feeding so that its ammonia levels are not spiked.

How Long Can Arowanas Go Without Food?

Several things can cause your fish not to eat. The common ones include restricted tank size, incompatible tank mates, disease, unfavorable water parameters, disease, and giving the same food continuously.

Overfeeding Arowana fish can also cause a loss of appetite, affect its breeding, and shorten its lifespan.

In general, Arowanas can go without food for about three weeks without any issues. If the fish resists feeding beyond this timeframe, get an expert to investigate and remedy the cause.

This averts nutritional deficiencies that might have long-term consequences.

Can Arowanas Eat Small Fish?

As previously noted, in the wild, small fish make a significant portion of an Arowana fish’s diet. The fish should thus also form part of your pet’s diet in an aquarium.

Live fish like baby catfish, baby koi, small chidid, feeder goldfish, and meadow fish can substitute an Arowana fish’s diet in the wild.

You can feed medication and supplement nutrients to these small fish before feeding them to the Arowanas to transfer them to the latter.

Goldfish can also be sparingly included in your Arowana fish’s diet. This is rich in fat that is essential to avert eye issues in your pet fish.

Including too much of it might, however, cause nutritional deficiencies in an Arowana fish. Before feeding small fishes to an Arowana fish, quarantine them for at least five days to avert the spread of disease.

Wrapping Up

Caring for a fish as big as an Arowana might be initially overwhelming and daunting to both experienced and novice fish keepers.

Once you master its feeding, however, keeping an Arowana fish will be a breeze, and your pet will thrive. The above tidbits will thankfully go some way in easing the feeding of your fish and its overall maintenance

Even so, you should first invest in a healthy Arowana fish. When buying your fish, opt for one that is actively swimming, responsive, and alert.

The healthiest Arowana is also one with radiant and complete scales, fully-stretched fins, non-protruded veins, and fresh red and bright gills.

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