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Breeding

Many hobbyists are keen to know if it is possible to breed Arowanas in the tank. Reasons for this interest vary from individual to individual but the most common driving force we know of is the enterprising spirit.

IN THE WILD

In the wild, the Arowanas prefers to stay in shallow waters (above five feet deep), near riverbanks and in shaded areas. Arowanas prefer these areas not because they are avoiding the elements, but because insects are plentiful in shaded areas and these are their main source of food. Arowanas also spawn in these areas. Parents take care of their young until they are able to feed on their own. This is usually about 50 days after the eggs have been laid and the yolk sacs have disappeared from the underside of the young Arowanas.

IN CAPTIVITY

The conditions of the pond were controlled to be as close to the Arowanas preferred natural environment. Weeds, floating logs and leaves were left in the pond to achieve this effect. Between 30 to 40 Arowanas between the ages of five and seven, half of them male, half of them female were released in the pond. They were left in the pond to allow them to pair themselves off, while the fish farmers observed from afar with binocular.

After sometime (between one and six months): compatible male and female Arowanas couple by themselves. However, this does not mean that with 30 to 40 Arowanas, you will see 15 to 20 pairs. On the contrary, it is sometimes impossible to get even one pair.

The farmers continued to keep a close watch on the pair. About 30 days later, the spawning was successful as the male was seen releasing young Arowanas from his mouth for between three and five minutes before drawing them back into his mouth again. At this stage, a net was dropped into the pond to segregate the couple and their young from the other Arowanas. After the young were free-swimming, they were netted and kept in separate tanks to grown individually, feeding on bloodworms.

Observations have shown that the female Arowana spawns once a year and each successful spawn produces between 30 and 80 young.