How to Get Tank and Water Appropriate for Arowana Fish

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Unlike a goldfish,, the arowana requires a very large tank.
Unlike a goldfish,, the arowana requires a very large tank. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Arowana fish, sometimes called the dragon fish, is a large freshwater fish popular with many fish keepers. These fishes are usually from Southeast Asia and South America. In Asian countries, it is considered a symbol of luck. The arowana comes in a variety of colors and is quite expensive in most fish pet stores. Because of this, it is important to learn how to get the right size tank and water that's appropriate for them. Water is the most important element in keeping fish and is the key to having healthy fish.

Purchase a large aquarium. The arowana fish is quite large and can grow up to 3 feet in length in captivity. It requires a big aquarium and should be kept by itself because of its aggressive nature. Smaller arowana will do fine with a smaller aquarium. However, as the fish grows, bigger aquariums must be used to accommodate them. A lid is must to prevent this fish from jumping. In the wild, they usually jump to capture their prey and fall back into the water with no harm. In captivity, it will not necessarily fall back into the water and will die shortly after leaving water. It is better to select a tank that is made of acrylic rather than glass because it is more durable and strong. One full grown arowana needs a 100 gallon tank.

Monitor the water conditions. Water conditions are very important and should be monitored carefully. Arowana fish require soft and slightly acidic water. Hard water has lots of minerals while soft water lacks them. When you know that your tap water is hard, it is a good idea to get a reverse osmosis system to get rid of the minerals. Before using reverse osmosis, you will have to either get rid of the chlorine with carbon filter or put some water in the bucket so that chlorine levels can decrease over a few days.

Test for the pH of your tank. It can be bought from a pet store. The amount of acidic and basic ions is measured by pH, which ranges from 0 to 14. When the value is low (less than 7), the water is acidic. Seven is neutral pH in which the acidic and basic ions have the same concentration. Any value higher than seven is basic with fourteen being the most basic. For arowana fish, it is necessary to keep the pH in the range of 6.0 to 7.5, according to AquaticCommunity.com. This can be accomplished with dried Ketapang leaves. They release natural organic acids that both lower the pH and are healthy for the arowana fish. The pH should be checked whenever you change water in the tank.

Check the temperature of the water. Arowana fish is a tropical species so the temperature should be kept around 72 to 80 degrees Farenheit at all times. It is especially important to make sure that the temperature does not change too much when changing water.

Perform a water change at least once a week. Changing the tank once a week is important for the maintenance of an arowana fish tank. No more than 20 percent of the water should be changed at one time because it might shock the delicate fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • These fish can be quite aggressive so check with aquatic experts before adding other pet fish to the tank.
  • Some species of arowana are endangered so check local and state ordinances before purchasing your fish.

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