There was an interesting article on Friday in the Singapore Straits Times with regards to tanning lights for arowanas. This ‘new’ product seems to be the talk of the arowana community at the moment.. Have a read below of the full article…
CALL it an artificial sun-tanning device – for fish.
Hobbyists and breeders have taken to a tanning rod developed by leading fish breeder Qian Hu, which exports more than 1,000 species to more than 80 countries.
Switched on over an aquarium, it can intensify the red and gold colours of fish like the Asian arowana, goldfish and koi.
That is a big attraction for enthusiasts who believe that brilliantly hued fish bring them good fortune.
It has already proven a boon to breeders and aquariums – the tanned fish sell for more, even fetching five-figure sums.
A red arowana, which sells for between $1,000 and $80,000 depending on fin size and colour, can go for double the price after tanning.
Qian Hu developed the rod, affixed with LED lights, after working on it for 21/2 years. It went on the market this year.
Kept under the light for six months, the fish develop a tan that lasts about five months.
About 800 of the rods have been sold here so far at between $67 and $159, and 5,000 have been exported.
The popular Nanyang Trading Aquarium in Jalan Kayu said it sold 300 rods to hobbyists in three months.
Three arowana fish farms also acquired the rods with an eye on boosting the quality of their exports.
The idea of tanning fish is not new.
Ornamental fish farmers and hobbyists have long known that arowanas deepen in colour under sunlight.
So they have placed fluorescent lights and even torchlights over their tanks, to give their fish that extra glow.
But Qian Hu’s innovation is the first purpose-built tanning rod for such fish.
Its head of research and development, Mr Alex Chang, explained that the LED rod emits a wider spectrum of ultraviolet rays than fluorescent lights.
He and his team of five tested the rod on more than 300 arowanas.
Mr Chang said: ‘Many people keep these fish for auspicious reasons and they want it to be very red and very gold. We have customers from Russia who spend a lot of money on such fish because they don’t want to waste time tanning the fish themselves.’
Mr Fong Ching Loon, who chairs the Singapore Aquarium Fish Exporters’ Association, said the innovation helped to keep Singapore’s ornamental fish trade competitive.
The Asian arowana, also known as dragonfish, is one of the top 10 popular breeds of fish exported. Exports of this breed alone were worth $5.9 million last year, up from $2.26 million in 2000.
With other species included, Singapore led the global ornamental fish market with $80.3 million in exports last year – a fifth of the world market.
Meanwhile, netizens in online forums such as arowanaclub.com and arofanatics.com have been abuzz over the tanning rod, with some asking if exposure to the light was safe for their pets.
Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Animal Concerns, Research and Education Society (Acres), said research has shown that exposing fish to ultraviolet light is unlikely to have a negative effect on them.
But Ms Deirdre Moss of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, urged hobbyists to pause a while, saying: ‘They should ask themselves: Is it necessary?’
Hobbyist Richard Goh, 50, who has tested the tanning rods, is going ahead to use them on his 200 red and gold arowanas.
‘Red and gold arowanas have to be really red so they bring more luck,’ he said. ‘They are also prettier.’
By email@example.com (From The Straits Times on 3rd Jun 2011)
What do you think I did after I read this article? Yes yes, I’m a sucker for anything that can help my arowanas intensify their color. To be frank, my arowanas already had pretty ‘good’ gold color BUT I just had to try the lights to see how much further they could enhance it!
Soooo I did the obvious…. I bought the lights the very next day!!! Here’s a photo of what the box and light looks like…
Does this really work? I have no idea but what I can say is that Qian Hu would not put it’s reputation on the line if they were not confident that it would. Anyway time will tell and personally, I do hope it works as it would give me immense pleasure watching my enhanced ‘gold bars’ swimming around in the tank! ;D
Cheerio and have a good week ahead!Tags: fish sell, ornamental fish, Singapore Straits Times, auspicious reasons