A Flaming Beauty
One of the most highly prized fish a collector can have in his or her aquarium is the rare and beautiful red arowana. Long considered by the Chinese as the symbol of wealth and prosperity and as a provider of positive Feng Shui energy, these large fish are in high demand in China and the rest of Asia. Other people like to have these fish around them due to their perceived “magical” properties – arowanas have been believed to hear the approach of death and give up their own lives to prevent the death of their owner – and still others simply like to watch the flame-like fish dance around their aquariums.
Sadly, this demand has caused a severe decline in red arowana numbers in the wild. Naturally found only in the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, these fish are experiencing a rapid decline in their numbers due to habitat loss and over-exploitation. It is a good thing that conservation efforts have been stepped up with the building of fish farms which breed these and other endangered species, thus conserving them for future generations. These fish farms also ensure a steady and legal supply of Asian arowanas for collectors.
Red arowana, like all other arowanas, exclusively eat meat. Captive arowanas must be fed a steady diet of fish or insects to keep them in tip top shape. Certain foods, such as prawns, can help to promote and enhance the color of the fish. Collectors should also keep in mind that these fish are strong jumpers – some have been known to leap up to 6 high out of the water in order to catch food – and thus keep a heavy lid over their fish tank. With proper care and maintenance, owners of arowanas could have their beautiful fish around for a very long time.