Arowana Care: Different Shades of Gold

One of the favorite fishes of hobbyists is the golden arowana fish, since not only does it intensify its association with power and wealth due to its distinct coloration, they also tend to come in different variants, and enthusiasts had even put them into a scale. One of the levels of grading golden arowanas is the Red Tail Golden (RTG) arowanas. This variant is known to have a distinct coppery development of scale coloration. However, the second and third rows of the scales give off a slightly purplish sheen. The fins are also coppery red, almost brown-red, while the row of scales directly near them ranges from dark grey to black.

Another level, and the one that holds the most prestige, is the Full Scale Gold (FSG) arowana fish. Based on its name, it is obvious that this variety boasts an almost solid pattern of gold scales. Indeed, it does, with scales which may or may not give off a purplish sheen. It is also known for a sharp black line around its eyes. Unlike the RTG arowanas, FSG arowanas have yellow-brown to solid gold pectoral and ventral fins. These features are also the ones being sought first when buying a golden arowana.

An enthusiast with an eye for an arowana fish might notice the difference, but a beginner couldn’t tell an FSG from a High Back RTG. If the FSG is known for its black eye line, the High Back RTG has a blue-green or brown-red eye line; varying hues might be easily mistakened as black. Also, two-thirds down the pectoral and ventral fins, the supposedly yellow-brown or golden coloration turns coppery, sometimes dark red. Other varieties which are out in the market are relatively new, like the Malaysian gold and Australian gold, all of which are not yet known to many hobbyists.

A fully-grown adult arowana fish has a formidable countenance often cloaked in bright colors, but it does not mean it began like that as well. In fact, regardless of the variety and color, anl arowana starts off as fragile, vulnerable silver fry. In fact, they are so helpless that for the first five to six weeks, they have with them an egg sac, which provides them with food and nutrition. Their minute form also exposes them to danger, and that is why the young arowanas can be usually found in groups of ten. When they are old enough to lose their sacs, which is when the territoriality and aggressiveness kicks in while they look for themselves bugs and small aquatic animals to feed upon.

If anarowana fish is well taken care of, add to that well-kept tank conditions, it grows very rapidly, hence its reputation as being a gigantic fish. In fact, it is very noticeable that it grows and does not seem to stop. After about a year, many arowana owners see their pets reaching sizes of almost one foot! Indeed, this adaptation is really important as in their natural habitats, predators are usually of the lengths between two to three meters; something evolution shaped to make the arowana survive. Indeed, if one keeps on taking good care of the arowana, it will continue growing, given that there is enough room, food, and patience.

The arowana fish exhibits slight sexual dimorphism, as it is seen that males have bigger and deeper mouths. In mating, the two fishes will swim in pair and find a spot to make a nest, usually from mud. Once the female lays the eggs, the male inseminates them and eventually puts them in his mouth to incubate them; something unique for the arowanas.