Category : PET
Name : Breeding Arowana Fish
Description : Arowana are one of the largest growing species of aquarium fish and can sometimes reach lengths of over 1 meter. They are usually vibrantly colored and come in shades of red, gold, silver and black. Price of the fish starts from 100 Euros and goes more than 50 thousands Euros depends on the appareance, type, age, etc.
Size: Up to 120cm (4’)
Difficulty Rating: Average
Breeding Difficulty: Difficult
Life span: 15-20 years
Water pH: 6.8 – 7.5
Water Hardness: 3 -12 DH (total hardness)
Feeding : Feeding arowanas can be a difficult sometimes because some adults only accept live foods. Serve a balanced feeding which consists of both meat and vegetables to help the Arowanas mature and spawn. Avoid pure fatty food which can affect the health of the fish in the long-term. Live foods such as wild guppy, freshwater prawn, and low-grade goldfish, mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers, locus, garden worms, fly, small frogs, small fish, shrimps, beef heart, etc are good options, but offer them only occasionally to reduce aggression. Supplement regular feeds with pellet food. The food that your arowana will like is very personal to the fish, so try lots of different things and see how they respond.
For small fish feeding once or twice a day until they lose interest is enough. From 15 cm to 30 cm length, once per day is enough. Beyond 30 cm you can consider once every two days, or even less.
Breeding Temperature : 26-29°C
Breeding Tank : 2500 lt equipped with filter, heater, thermometer. It is better to consider the heating of whole room for bigger production sizes and more breeding tanks, instead of heating each tank. Instead of glass aquarium for much better chance for breeding you may use outdoor ponds (for available weather conditions). These ponds are approximately 15m by 20m with a mud or silt floor. Possible to keep up to 30 fishes there to let them select their pair and breed naturally.
Breeding Parent : 1 male to 1 females. Best way for pairing is by mixing a few matured arowanas together and let them choose their own mate. You can try to force a couple to pair but result can not be sure. They should be purchased as juveniles and allowed to pair off. Some offers different visual methods to select sex but the best way to identify arowana sex is to let them breeding then you may surely identify. Generally, males are larger in size and fins then females. They also has wider and deeper jaw (to hold the eggs and fries). Females, on the other hand is smaller in size and has a more rounded body. It takes a lot of experience to sex mature asian arowana. Only when they started breeding, you can be 100% sure which one is male and which is female.
Number of fry per Breed : 50-80 (depends on size and age of couple, males mouth size )
Breeding Efficiency: Generally female takes 2-3 years and male 4-5 years to reach maturity.Starting with spring, they can breed 2-3 times per year.
Process : After pairing the couple, you must keep them in separate tank (for aquarium breeding). 1-2 months later they can start breeding, during this period, they will swim closely together (often in circular motion), chase and bites each other’s tails(&fins) and often cause injuries to the body too. Female usually sustained more injuries especially in anal fin, genital area and gill cover, possibly due to male trying to stimulate her hormonal secretion.
Their appetite will drop gradually. The abdomen of the female will start to swell up and filled with eggs. They will then choose an area for egg laying, usually a less disturbed area. It is not a bad idea to cover the tank (at least to the spawning area) to avoid sudden termination of spawning if the pair got scared.
They will then swim parallel to each other, rubbing against each other and occasionally stayed motionless. Eventually, the pair stopped swimming and continue body rubbing action. With a sudden spasm, the female release her eggs and simultaneously the male releases his sperm to fertilized them. Spawning usually happen in afternoon. The number of eggs laid range from 50-80, each measured around 12-15 mm in diameter. The male immediately scoop up as many eggs as possible. The remainder are usually eaten up by the female.
During hatching period, female will start to chase the male, possibly trying to chase him from spawning site and find another site suitable for upbringing baby arowanas. The chasing may get violent and male might swallow some eggs accidentally during this chasing. It is a good idea to remove/ separate the female away at this time or collect the fry from male.
With temperature between 26°C-28°C, the yolk sac will be fully absorbed in around 60 days. The fries will start to leave the father’s mouth, briefly initially and slowly increase the duration when they are more confident. You may start feeding fry with blood worms or baby guppies at this stage.
The fries can be removed from the parent if they accept the food well for at least a few days. Make sure their new tank has at least half of the water from the parent tank and the temperature and water parameters are equivalent to the parent tank to avoid shock. Arowana is mouth brooder and the males of the species carry the eggs in their mouths until the fry are hatched and their yolk sacks are fully absorbed. Arowana eggs are orange. In most breeding farms, breeders collect arowana fry by capturing the brooding males and forcing their mouths open, causing them to drop their broods of eggs or fry.
In the wild, they pair off at the beginning of the rainy season, and build a nest where the female lays her eggs. After the eggs have been laid, the male will take the eggs into his mouth and care for the fry for the next 40-60 days.
The breeder will maintain a constant vigil to identify the presence of “Mouth Brooding” male fish, and when you feel there is enough justification, will call a harvest. The fishes are driven in a net to the edge of the pond where they can be caught and identified more easily. The breeder will then identify mouth brooding males and collect them in a net. A fast peek into the mouth will allow you to identify if the fry are old enough to be released. The fry are released into a net and collected. Then the fry are placed into special tanks which simulate the water flowing in the mouth of the adult. Here they are left to develop until large enough to swim freely.
1-Keep group of adults together for pairing.
2-If you noticed two of them always swimming together and prepairing one region in the tank and protecting that region, keep them as pair and remove the others.
3-Let them 2-3 months to lay eggs
4-After male collecting eggs to his mount remove the female.
5-You may collect the eggs-fries and keep them on separate aquarium with water movement or you may keep them with male.
6-After they consume their yolk sac, you may start feeding as described below.
Feeding the Fry : Fry will be big enough to accept small live foods like guppy fry, daphnia, etc. Their food must be small enough. The fry should be fed two to three times daily, amount must be just enough to consume all within 5 minutes. Never let excess food to stay on the tank.
Additional Sources :
The Life of Arowana From Egg (Day 1) to Adult Video:
Breeding Video – Collecting Fry: