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Diet and Quantity

The type and amount of food fed to the fishes should be varied and just right, like in the case for humans. Food can be classified into "live" food and "non-live" food. Live foods are small frogs, centipede, roaches, crickets, grasshoppers, shrimps, fishes and worms. Non-live foods are frozen bloodworms, frozen prawns, frozen fishes and commercial pellets. Arowana's are fishes with character and they are habitual by nature. Once they are too used to live food, for instance, it would be rather difficult to accustom them to non-live foods.

Live foods are often the cause for the introduction of parasites into a tank, otherwise, free from parasites. Anchor worms and fish lice are often introduced into the tank by goldfish, guppies and other small prey fishes and thus, cause a parasitic outbreak in an Arowana tank. The sources from which the whole seller collects live worms and small frogs are also questionable, sometimes from dirty drains or polluted ponds. These are then sold to the pet shops, which in turn sell it to the hobbyists.

If you like and must feed live fishes, for instance, keep them in a separate tank and treat with salt and Acriflavine for at least one week before feeding. Discard the sick fishes and fishes with parasites. Feed only those that appear healthy and lively. Likewise, live worms may be treated with high salt content water before being feed to the Arowana's.

Crickets and grasshoppers are a safer alternative, as these are land creatures. Vitamins may be injected into their bodies and in turn, feed it to the Arowana's. Or you may keep a small population of crickets (if you cant mind the noise) or mealworms. Feed them on raw carrots, which will enhance the red color on your Arowana's due to the beta carotenoid, which carrots contain.

Another good alternative is to feed non-live foods such as thawed prawns. There are fresh prawns that we would normally buy from the supermarket and eat it ourselves. Choose the smaller 4-6cm ones and buy a quantity that will last for about two weeks. Decide on the number of prawns to be consumed per day and wrap those prawns into say, 14 packets with a plastic wrapper.

Next, freeze it and taw one packet per day, just before feeding. Trim off and discard the head and the sharp pointing tail. These are hazardous as it might pierce through the stomach and intestines of the fish, thus, killing the fish. Cut the body into 4-5-bite size that is suitable for your fish, with the shell still attached. Feed it to your fish and over time, you will see the red color on the scales and fins being enhanced. Like carrots, prawns carry the red pigment, beta carotenoid.

Generally speaking, young fishes of 12-25cm may be fed 2-3 times a day. Only small amounts should be given at each feeding. Once the fishes are 30cm or larger, one feeding a day would be suffice. Do not overfeed and pollute the water, as ammonia would rise, hence, creating health problems for the fish.

Adopt good habits like removing uneaten food after 15 min. During water changes, make it a point to use a net to scoop out the feces. This is very important especially if you are too busy and would like to delay the water change a few days later.

Of course I feed Black Tiger Shrimps to my Dragons and freshwater Stingrays. Once in a while I stuff some pellets inside the shrimps to enhance more color of my Dragons.