There are three main types of arowanas which originate from South America; namely the Silver Arowana, the giant Arapaima and the Black Arowana. They are usually found in the rivers of Brazil and Colombia and the French Guiana in South America. The scientific name of black arowana is osteoglossum ferreirai.
The black arowana is very similar to the silver arowana in stature. They only differ when young since the former’s body is black in color and fades as it grows into an adult. Its scales then turn to silver while each fin change to blue. At its final growth stage, the black arowana will look very much like the silver arowana with olive green and purplish hue.
Outside captivity, the fish is easily frightened when approached, but this type of arowana is found to be the tamest or somewhat shy in nature by many of its owners. The black arowana is presently considered a protected species in Brazil. It is getting harder to acquire one as a pet. The possible way of having it is if you are lucky to find imported ones that pass as a silver arowana.
Taking care of Your Black Arowana
The black arowana grows up to 3 feet in length. While still young, it should be placed into a tank that can hold more than 50 gallons of water, while a 480 gallon-capacity container is sufficient for adults. A large tank is important to contain the full length and maximum life span of the fish. The temperature of the water must be maintained between 24 to 28 degrees centigrade. Be sure to cover the tank with a heavy lid since the fish are known jumpers, often resulting as a dead arowana on the floor.
Feeding your arowana with live insect, small fish, crustaceans, meat or food pellet is ideal for its diet. Just be careful when feeding the fish with live creatures since most of them will pass parasites or bacteria to the arowana. Common diseases such as red spot, fin rot, ascites, etc. are usually attributed to these bacteria.
The arowana is best kept in a solitary environment. But if you decide to introduce other fishes to its container, be sure to place fishes that are large enough not to fit in the arowanas’ mouth as the fish is predatory in nature. Ideal tank mates are less aggressive types such as Pacu or Oscar fish. The number of these fishes should not exceed up to six per tank to ensure harmony between each other.