It’s widely claimed that Arowana breeding is only suitable for professionals. Yes! I agree that Arowana breeding is extremely difficult, requires both hard work and experience. If you think breeding Arowana is easy that every fish keepers can do, then you’re wrong. However, this doesn’t mean that aquarists – like me and most of you – cannot accomplish this task. My Arowana breeding tips today will show you why!
Breeding in Nature
In the wild, most kinds of animal pair by natural selection, and Arowana is not an exception. The male fish must invest weeks for flirting the female. They, as a couple, will pursue and nibble each other’s tail while seeking. In the long run, one next to the other until the female gives birth.
As the female had enough preparation, she will lay eggs on riverbed holes that she already dug. Each hole has the diameter of about 0.5 inches. Once the female finished her job, the male start fertilizing by releasing his sperm and then scooping up all the eggs to hatch in his mouth.
From that moment, the male will be responsible for everything, while the female will do nothing. Time passes, and fry is eventually introduced into the new world. They gradually leave their father’s mouth until no one left. The number of fry will be smaller than the number of eggs. That’s because the male unintentionally swallows a portion of eggs.
The dad and his newborns now become a strong union. As he detects any indication of danger, he will flag his kids so that they can promptly swim back quickly for security. The infants will have a yolk sack until they’re mature enough to feast upon their own. When they are equipped for getting by all alone, they will leave their dear dad.
Tank Breeding Difficulties
It’s true that many commercial keepers have big successes in breeding Arowana. However, these achievements mostly come from breeding in earthen ponds. Just a few are from aquarium.
How they do that? At least 10 adult Arowana (5 males and 5 females) are release into the pond. Here, the natural selection takes place to determine the pair. The process of pursuing and breeding follows the same as what happen in the nature. The keepers then spread a net to isolate the male from the other. When the male releases all of his kids, the keepers will spread a net again to collect the fry. The fry is then raised in tanks.
Unfortunately, most of us (aquarists) don’t have earthen ponds at home or live in a climate appropriate to abandoning Arowana outside for several months. This makes the breeding business lot of harder. The truth is that many Arowana keepers have tried to breed their fishes, but the majority of them fail.
Mr. Hiroshi, a Japanese Arowana specialist, is one of the first examples of Arowana breeding success. However, 100% of his work is not performed in his aquarium. In particular, the pair of Arowana is successfully matched in a pond. In other word, the fishes are already paired off before they’re moved to the aquarium and lay eggs in it.
What we obtain from this example? Arowanas don’t love sex even though when they’re youthful. The underlying reason comes from the difficulty in pairing the male and female. The result will get better if they live in the nature.
Is There any Positive Sign for Matching Arowanas?
The answer is YES! There are two methods to match up Arowanas: natural pairing and forced matching.
Since Arowanas are carnivorous, they’re very aggressive. This make forced matching comprises lots of risks. There’s nothing to surprise if the fishes fight against each other as the first time they meet. The possibility of battles tends to diminish when the quantity of Arowana expanded to at least six. This leads to a big challenge: tank need to be longer, wider and higher no matter which method you choose.
The main principle of this technique is simple. That is growing up Arowanas all together when they’re YOUNG. Additionally, it’s important to put them into a new home at the same time so that the opportunity of building up a regional sense is minimal. In general, a mature female Arowana has the age of 2-3, while the male is 4-5 years old.
Which sign indicating a successful pairing? When the male swimming nearly to the female, looking like he’s pursuing her. At this time, move other fishes into another tank. Just leave this couple only! Do the same for others if you detect any successful pairing. Every relationship needs time to be built up!
Flirting will take place for about 1-2 months. They will keep on swimming firmly together, regularly in round motion. The behavior will be the same as what happen in the nature. Pursuing and nibbling each other’s tails, which can cause some injuries. Females generally get more wounds, particularly in fin, genitals and gill.
Their craving will reduce bit by bit as the abdomen of the female inflate and filled with more and more eggs. An area, for the most part the least disturbed one with slow current of water, will be selected to lay the eggs.
The male and female intentionally swim parallel to each other, rub against each other and sometimes remain unmoving. In the end, they will stop moving, but keep rubbing bodies until the female lay eggs (about 60 eggs). At the same time, the male will fertilize by discharging his sperm. Finally, he scoops up all the eggs to hatch in his mouth. About 60 days later, fry hatches and starts leaving their dad’s mouth.
At this time, don’t hastily separate them from their dad. Leave them together and feed newborns with healthy food. Once they can eat readily for several days, it’s time to bring them to a new house.
As I mentioned before, forced matching comprises lot of risks. There’s nothing to surprise if the fishes fight against each other as the first time they meet. The prerequisite is that you should have a ton of experience and ought to just be attempted with extraordinary care. It’s possible that your fish will fight until one dies.
Offer your fishes with bunches of alive preys. Put them into an aquarium of 170 gallons or more with a transparent divider between them. Present them an opportunity to become familiar with each other and keep on abundant feeding in the meantime.
After several weeks, uninstall the divider. Keep a close look at them. Violent will mostly occur. When it gets excessively rough or fish are harmed, return the divider. Give them a few more days. Try again, remove the divider. If the situation is still bad, return the divider and try again. This will be the final chance for them and for you. If nothing improved, I’m pretty sure you chose a wrong pair of fishes.
If your decision is correct, your fishes will show flirting behavior. You’re now successful!
My Final Thought
The Arowana breeding business can be profoundly gainful when taken place on a commercial basis. This has driven up the enthusiasm of individuals needing to get into this business. In any case, keep in mind that a portion of risks might ruin your fishes before taking the plunge into it.
Hope the above Arowana breeding tips helpful for you! Thank you for reading!