The History of Arowana
Asian Arowanas are considered “lucky” by many people, particularly those from Asian cultures. This reputation derives from the species’ resemblance to the Chinese dragon, considered an auspicious symbol. The large metallic scales and double barbels are features shared by the Chinese dragon, and the large pectoral fins are said to make the fish resemble “a dragon in full flight.”
In addition, positive Feng Shui associations with water and the colours red and gold make these fish popular for aquariums. One belief is that while water is a place where chi gathers, it is naturally a source of yin energy and must contain an “auspicious” fish such as an Arowana in order to have balancing yang energy. Other mythological stories tell of many accounts where the Arowana can preserve its owner from death by dying in his/her place.
The Asian community strongly believe that these fish can increase the momentum of health in a generation, gather accumulation of wealth and neutralize negative forces. The Chinese always associate the fish with abundance and prosperity with the saying “nien nien yew yu” which means “seeing abundant harvests every year”. Because of its strong symbolic meaning, Chinese homes are normally decorated with fish ponds, aquariums and art pieces. They believe this will make the family income “float”. The Arowana is known as the “living dragon” or “golden dragon” because it has scales of a dragon’s, where it is metallic, reflective and colourful.
Arowana fish spawn once a year. Maturity generally ranges from two to four years and during that process the fish will be paired up to produce eggs and sperm. The fertilized eggs will be collected by the male fish which will be incubated in the mouth for two months before they can be released, which is when they can swim on their own. Planet Arowana intensified efforts to raise three types of quality arowana with its technology and R&D.
Malaysian gold Arowana, red Arowana from Kalimantan and Indonesian gold are in the price range of £1000.00 to £2500.00, where as one mature parent can reach up to £9000.00. When breeding usually the male parent can take care of 20 to 60 young in his mouth at one time. Within these two months, the male fish will not be able to eat anything until the brood can be released, in different places in order to reduce the risk of being caught by predators.
However, for commercial purposes and quality control, the fish’s mouths are checked every two months to keeps tabs on its reproduction and its young are then placed in an incubator with the same temperature and water parameters as found in the parent fish’s mouth.
Types of Asian Arowana
There are four naturally occurring colour varieties for Asian Arowanas, namely Cross Back Golden from West Malaysia, Super Red from Indonesia’s West Kalimantan, Red Tail Golden from Indonesia Pekan Baru and the Green variety, which can be found in rivers of Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. Due to its popularity and great demand, Asian Arowanas have been fiercely hunted in its native habitat, hence the population of these fish in the wild have declined. This is especially so for Malaysian Golden Arowanas and Red Arowanas, which had reached a stage of near extinction since 1980s.
Golden Cross Back Arowana
Cross back or back arowana are among the most expensive Arowanas around and are most sought after by many Chinese businessmen. This Arowana is believed to bring good health and prosperity to the owner, because of its beautiful gold colour which looks like gold bars. It has a gold colour that completely crosses its back when the fish is fully matured in the right conditions.
Due to its relatively low supply and great demand in the market, it is currently one of the most expensive colour specimens for the Asian Arowana. The main reason for its high price is due to its scarcity as well as lesser number of fry on each spawn. Currently, only Malaysia and Singapore farms are breeding the Malaysian Golden Arowana.
Super Red Arowana
Are by far the most popular among all the Asian Arowana. Its scales and fins are totally red in colour. There are also Blood Red and Chili Red Arowana. The Red Arowana is very popular among the Chinese hobbyists and is believed to bring prosperity and wealth to the owner because of its close resemblance to the Chinese dragon.
Red tail golden arowana
Are common Asian Arowana. Their scales gradually become gold as they mature and the fins are red in colour. The red-tail golden will have red-coloured fins and tail with shiny body scales when matured. The prices for the Red Tail Golden are more affordable as compared to the Crossback Golden.
The reasons for this is that this fish seldom attain 24K gold as the Golden Cross Back would and the golden colour of Red Tail Golden Arowana will never cross over its back even when the fish is matured or fully grown. Thus, it will never obtain the looks of a crossback golden. Most Red Tail Golden Arowana will have its golden colour reaching the fourth row of scales, whereas the higher graded ones will have it’s golden colour reaching the fifth row. Just like the Golden Cross Back varieties, Red Tail Golden also have different scales base colour in either blue, green and gold.
Are considered the lowest grade of the Asian Arowana. Their scales are a silvery to white colour with slightly green fins. It still has the quality of a fine Arowana but due to its wide dispersion in the region, there can be differences in its appearance and colour. Most of the Green Arowana found in Asia have a greyish green body with a dark striped greyish green tail. Shape of this variety is a big difference as compared to other varieties with its head or mouth portion being larger and rounder.