Friday, April 18, 2008

Food for Arowana


Introduction
Arowana is a carnivorous fish. In wild, its food consist mainly insects, fishes, prawns, worms and small amphibians. Live food are preferred by arowana though they can be trained to accept other food. Variety in food is a MUST to avoid nutritional deficiency.

Small arowana(below 15cm> should be fed three times a day, medium arowana<15-35cm)>

Live food is generally more nutritious then its counterpart. However, the risk of introducing disease into the tank is increased when live food is used. This is especially true when the live food is waterborn(live in water). Live food should be quaranteen for at least a few days before feeding to the arowana. If you have doubt in certain food, the golden rule is "If in Doubt, Don't Use It". There is always other types of food available.


Insects
Crickets:
Crickets are nutritious food for arowana. The risk of disease transmission is very low. Use the appropriate size crickets for different size arowanas. Hard shell of crickets should be removed when feed to baby arowana to avoid intestinal injury. Use only farmraise crickets as wild caught crickets may be contaminated with insecticide. You may feed the crickets vitamine A rice food like carrot before feeding it to arowana. This is a good way to transfer nutrient. Vitamin A enhance color of arowana(esp red). Crickets may be frozen to avoid hassle, the percentage of nutrients retained when frozen is uncertain and require further study.

Cockroach:
Similar to cricket. Do not feed dead crocroach to arowana as it might have been killed by insecticide. It is advisable to keep the crocroach for a couple of days before using it, any insecticide contaminated crocroach would be death by then.

Centipedes:
Centipedes are very nutritious food for arowana. They are commonly used in Asia to enhance and intensify the color of arowana. Unfortunately the availability of this food is low. Frozen centipedes are more readily available then live one.


Fishes
Live Fishes:
Almost any bite size fish that is not poisonous can be arowana's food. Feeder gold, meadow, baby koi, baby catfish and small chidlid are commonly used. There is pontential risk of disease transmission when this type of food is used. Quaranteen is a MUST as it will screen out most(but not all) sick fishes. To transfer nutrient or medication to arowana, you may feed them to feeder fish right before using it. Some fishes, like goldfish are rich in fat and will precipitate drop eye problem. Use them sparingly. Goldfish is also believed to contained enzymes that will lead to nutritional deficiency in arowana, use it sparingly or avoid using it.
Fish Meat:
Fresh fish meat can be used. Trim all the fat away and cut them to bite size, wash them before use to avoid contamination of the water. Avoid frozen fish meat as denatured protein may lead to liver and internal organ sickness in long run.

Crustaceans
Live Prawns/shrimps:
Prawns/shrimps are rich in vitamin A which enhance arowana's color. They are very nutritious food. Avoid feeding baby arowana shrimps as thier shells are hard to digest and may cause intestinal injury. Do not leave live prawns/shrimps in arowana tank as they encourage arowana to search downward constantly for them and hence may precipitate drop eye. Once again, there is also a potential risk of disease transmission.

Prawn Meat:
Use only fresh prawns. Avoid frozen prawns unless you are very sure of its freshness as denatured protein may lead to liver and internal problems in long term. Removal of head is recommand as it is hard to digest and also the gill may have high concentration of germs/toxin. Prepare the prawn in bite sizes and wash it before use.

Krill:
Krill is a nutritious food and it is readily available. Use appropriate size krill for diferrent size arowana. Crush the shell then soak the krill to soften the shell proir to feeding baby arowana as hard krill may cause intestinal injury.


Worms

Bloodworms:
Bloodworms are mainly used to feed baby arowana. They a nutritious food. Rinse away impurities before use. Do not feed it when frozen as it may cause intestinal upset. Avoid old age bloodworms as it is hard for baby arowana to digest. Live bloodworms is preferrable but commercially available bloodworms are equally good when fresh. Freeze dry bloodworms may also used.

Tubifex Worms:
Tubifex worms are collected in highly contaminated drain and should be avoid unless properly treated. Commercially breed tubifex worms claim to be cleaner but its source are sometime questionable. Remember the golden rule: "If in Doubt, Don't Use It". This goes to frozen tubifex worms too. Freeze dry tubifex worms are cleaner but possibility of germs survived through very low temperature cannot be ruled out. High heavy metal content in the source is also a worry.

Mealworms:
Mealworms are healthy and nutritious. Avoid feeding them to baby arowana as thier hard shell is difficult to digest and may cause digestive problem or/and intestinal injury. Use worms that have just shed its shell. Darker color mean older shell. So choose pale looking mealworm. Drowning the worm proir to feeding is recomanded if the fish accept dead worm. Head can be removed to minimise digestive problem.

Earthworms:
Earthworms are very healthy and nutritious. Risk of disease transmission is minimal. Squeezing the soil out before feeding is recommanded. Or better still, feed the earthworm with nutritious food to clear the soil and transfer the nutrient. This is a highly recommanded food by most aquarist.


Pellets/sticks Food

There are many commercail pellets/sticks food available. Their nutritious value varies. Choose reputable brand. Pellets/sticks food specially formulated for arowana is recommanded. However, this should not be the only food of arowana.

Amphibians
Frogs:
Frogs are very nutritious food for arowana and are commonly used in Asia. You should be certain that the frogs are not poisonous before feeding them to arowana. Frogs should be quaranteen for a few days before use as they are often collected in Padi(padi)field where insecticide is frequently used. Do not feed death frog to arowana. Frogs are believed to enhance arowana's color.

Lizard/Gecko:
Lizards and geckos are also very nutritious food for arowana and are often loved by the fish. They are usually not commercially available or demand a very high price. Geckos is found in almost every house in tropical region. Catching them is hard work but often rewarded as they enhances arowana's color. Quarenteen is also recommanded as they might have eaten insecticide contamination insects, eventhough the probabilty is small.

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