What It Is Like To Own An Arowana(s)

BuzzStarred Page By Buzz, 7th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2_atha_m/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Fish

This is my response to Mark's new factual article writing challenge for February 2012.

First Things First: Facts About Arowana And Its Varieties

Arowanas have become an aquarium domestic pets where before tropical fishes (the little ones) like gold fish, the black molly, sword fish, guppy, etc. adorned our homes and we do our best to make them live as comfortably in an aquarium as we can possibly simulate their natural habitat.

Until recently, I'd had arowanas as pets (including a mynah bird which I taught how to talk, but that's another story) and it had been my niece who sparked my interest in this beautiful exotic creature: the silver arowana which came from Brazil but might have since been locally-bred.

A bit later, while beginning to feast my eyes on the graceful movement of this new find in my newly bought aquarium, I learned that there were actually different varieties of arowanas when I visited pet shops in our vicinity and even far off. To cut the long story short, I bought an Australian arowana, then a Malaysian arowana. within a month or so of each other.

And so I got 3 different species. Brazilian, Australian and Malaysian. Facts, facts, what are they?

Let's consult sources that know better. Wikipedia describes arowanas as "freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, also known as bonytongues. In this family of fish, the head is bony and the elongate body is covered by large, heavy scales, with a mosaic pattern of canals. The dorsal and the anal fins have soft rays and are long based, while the pectoral and ventral fins are small. The name "bonytongues" is derived from a toothed bone on the floor of the mouth, the "tongue", equipped with teeth that bite against teeth on the roof of the mouth. The fish can obtain oxygen from air by sucking it into the swim bladder, which is lined with
capillaries. like lung tissue. The arowana is an 'obligatory air breather.'"

They are also called dragon fish.

There are other varieties (more pricey ones because of their coloration) but I'll limit this article to the above mentioned 3 I had the privilege of owning.

My Brazilian Silver Arowana

This silver variety I bought from a Chinese pet shop, only 6 inches long then, and about 2 months old, I was told. He was in perfect shape and once he was in a tank, I noticed he stayed fixedly in a corner, which I thought was normal and natural. Even we humans would feel the same way if kidnapped by terrorists and put in a room to be observed at gunpoint.

Also, I observed in the beginning that whenever I came into his view, he would easily get startled and look as if he would go berserk, which in turn got me more startled than him because his "nervousness" or what seemed like it would prove too much for him - and me!

Don't let that queer behavior fool anyone, though. Arowanas, in general, are feisty, aggressive and territorial. They don't want any similar species as companion in captivity (in their own tank/aquarium) and, being solitary fish, they just want to be left alone, unless they get used to being brought up together as babies in the same tank.

This silver arowana was, and still is, the largest variety It can grow to a full length of 46 inches, and much more in the wilds or natural habitat, that is, in South America.

For the purpose of identification, I named my Silver "Moe"...lol. Oh, beware of the silver kind, for being the giant of their kind, they have the propensity of jumping out of your aquarium when they are in a foul mood. So make sure the top glass cover is thick enough or heavily covered for them to somersault.:)

Now let's go to his smaller Australian cousin.

My Australian Arowana

This variety was quite naughty, too. Of the food that was fed him, he liked house lizards the most, and what occupied my time as soon as I got home from work in the evening was to scour the nook and cranny of the house for lizards which I would catch with my bare hand, though, I must admit, I was/am afraid of creepy crawleys myself..lol

His scales were shiny and quite golden, this darn fish. I named him Larry. :D

There was one instance in the peace and comfort of our home-life when Larry got into a brawl with his Malaysian cousin, which I will relate later.

So much for Larry. Now let's go to my Malaysian arowana.

My Malaysian Arowana

This Asian arowana was, no doubt, the most vicious of the 3 I had, let alone my unforgettable variety: Don't mess with him.

Even when still juvenile, he could very well sink his "fangs" into your meddlesome limb, like mine was when I cleaned the tank, his bite mark on my right forearm visible for an entire week! (I cleaned their tanks weekly by suctioning their waste at the bottom of the tank, while draining 1/4 of water from my each of my 75-gallon tank into a big pail.)

Before I forget, his name was Curly...haha (you get it now, don't you?)

The Three Of Them Together, In My Home

So here they are, in the pic I taken one Christmas night 2002, barely a year after I bought them 3 in early 2001.

In contrast to the Brazilian arowana, the Australian and Malaysian varieties, which were similar in size but different in body texture, were smaller.

One time, these two gave me the fright of my life when the live lizard I dropped into "Larry's" west side of their "Berlin Wall" (as you see the partition that divide them in the picture) crossed to the east side of "Curly's" territory and the Berlin Wall collapsed. A brawl ensued, leaving the poor Aussie Larry shorn of his beautiful fins (which fortunate grew back after they were kept apart again).

Arowanas eat live guppies (little fish and frogs), lizards, worms, insects including roaches, little mice and even baby rats!

At any rate, as pets to their master, they happily got tamer as all 3 grew up in my care, the love- (and food-) giver that I was to them. They died one after the other of a mysterious water and skin disease, coincidentally in 2009 after having lived with me for almost 8 years. They're all in Heaven now, I'm sure.:)

(Note: Most arowanas are now endangered species!)

====================================================================

Images credited to Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons, except the preview
and the last which is mine.

Join me writing for Wikinut and earn royalties in English pounds.

See also my previous work:

Tags

Aquarium, Arowana, Arowanas, Australian Arowana, Buzz, Endangered Species, Fish Diseases, Malaysian Arowana, Pet, Pets, Silver Arowana, Wikinut, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Buzz
Author is retired and a homebody and loves reading, writing, playing the piano and the guitar.

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Comments

author avatar Buzz
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you, Mark. We survived the glitch...whoooh! Oh, thanks for the star..and support!

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Buzz, for commenting...lol

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Wow, such an amazing article about Arowana!

Great Buzz, my friend!

Namaste!

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Rathna, dear friend. I suspect my 3 arowanas died of prostate cancer..lol (Joke). Read your article in this regard. Namaste!

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author avatar johnnydod
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Good to see your article back again Buzz it was well worth the wait.... a great star page

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Johnny. Very much appreciated. Other friend Wikinutters are well advised to have a backup of their work before publication. Cheers!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
10th Feb 2012 (#)

What great information on owning Arowana fish. Good pictures too. Added to facebook and google+

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks again, Mark, for the concern and support. Have also added your article to FB.

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author avatar Tess Irons
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Very nice article, Buzz. I enjoyed reading it, but sad that they're all gone now. Congrats on the star.

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Tess (love, lol). Well, it was a consolation that they grew to live for 8 years, no mean feat for a tropical fish hobbyist like me.

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author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
10th Feb 2012 (#)

But how do they taste? :-}

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

LOL. Arowanas are edible to the Chinese. They are said to be a delicacy in China for their aphrodisiac properties. C'mon, David, I don't need that for now...lol

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author avatar Jules, The Cowboy
10th Feb 2012 (#)

ive seen pink arowana in bing image....they say arowana brings good luck... well done Kabz

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

That's the general impression, Kabz, as the Chinese would have us think. If you ask me, they did bring me luck during those years. Thanks for the comment.

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author avatar Carol Kinsman
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Hi Buzz.... I use to have a fish tank room. I had an Arowana in one of the tanks. They have quite the personality and seem to be more intelligent than most fresh water fish. This was an outstanding article with great photos. Thank you, my friend!

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you so much, Carol, for the comment. Nice to know you have this beautiful pet, too. You must be using heaters to keep the fish warm during winter. Here in the Philippines, they seemed well adapted to the tropical climate. Take care, dear friend!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Amazing fish and article, dare I say a pretty fish,I enjoyed learning as always from your wonderful articles, thanks Buzz my friend:0)

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

They were amazing, really, Delicia. They gave me joy throughout. Thanks for the comment, dear friend!

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author avatar Songbird B
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Stunning Star page article Buzz and so informative too.. What a great page this is my dear friend..\0/x

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, lovely love Bev, for the compliment. I'm still working out an article about your songs. I'll need lots of creativity (inspiration) there I can muster before I finish it.:) Hugs!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Fishy writing with fishes.. Nice work...

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, Md. Arowanas are "fighting fish". :D

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author avatar princess
11th Feb 2012 (#)

ditto with cowboynextdoor. do arowanas really bring good luck? I used to say they bring bad luck when they die, as I know they are expensive! :0

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author avatar princess
11th Feb 2012 (#)

well done buzz, congrats on the star page! :)

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Hi, Princess Sally. You're correct, it's bad luck if you lose them so soon after bringing them home. Tumagal naman sila sakin and what a joy they brought into my life.:) I liked your funny line, though.:D

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you, Buzz. A very interesting page. I have read that "fish die belly upwards and rise to the surface; it is their way of falling".

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author avatar Buzz
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Yep, that's exactly how they died, Ivy, opposite the way my heart sunk. Too sad for me when they died. Take care, honey. Is Waleed still there with you?:D Oh, don't let him give you the heebie jeebies, darling.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
11th Feb 2012 (#)

No, Buzz, the Waleed has gone belly up and is rising to the surface. Thank you, dear Buzz, for caring.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Feb 2012 (#)

You have met Mark's challenge head-on and come out with flying colors! So much details and personal experiences with a variety of Arowanas. They obviously keep you busy, but you manage your time well. Maybe, Buzz, a topic that you can share with us how you squeeze it all within a day! siva

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author avatar Buzz
12th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for your precious comment, siva-ji. Well, I've no more pets to mind at the moment, my friend so my time is free to write for wiki.:)

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
12th Feb 2012 (#)

You did very well my friend. Great star page.

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author avatar Buzz
12th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks very much for the compliment, Clarence. I see that you have a great star page, too, related to the challenge.

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author avatar Denise O
12th Feb 2012 (#)

What a gorgeous fish the Arowana fish is. Great writing and I just love the photos, great job! Congrats on the well deserved star page. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Buzz
12th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks, my friend Denise! I'll see you around. Take care!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
13th Feb 2012 (#)

The images are stunning. Glad you shared this. I had no idea what arowana was. It looks so sleek and silvery. But what a sulky puss!!!!
And of course you got a star page - of course you did! This is extraordinary

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author avatar Buzz
14th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks so much, Sheila. Hope you're feeling much better now after your recent illness. Take care, my friend.

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author avatar ppruel
18th Feb 2012 (#)

They are expensive aquarium pets dude. They are beautiful.

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author avatar Buzz
20th Feb 2012 (#)

Yes, they are, Kabz. Ok lang, they lived 8 years naman. Thanks for the comment.

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author avatar Athena
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

Your Arowanas are lovely! Congratulations for another star page!

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author avatar Buzz
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Athena. I bet you're a beautiful kabz.

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author avatar Christine Crowley
25th Feb 2012 (#)

I'm not a "fish" person but this was interesting. Enjoyed it.

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