Despite legal limitations, captive breeding challenges, not to mention their high cost, the Asian varieties will most likely always be by far the most popular Arowanas. Perhaps nothing can compare with the splendor of Cross back Golden Arowanas. The brilliant coloration of Red Arowanas is equally hard to rival. Regardless of what form of Asian Arowana one considers, no other species rivals its status as King of the Aquarium.
Yet for most, the King remains off-limits because of their geographical location and trade restrictions. Others simply cannot afford the prices Asian Arowanas command. What can you do if you’re one of the many without access to your chosen fish? Until it becomes available, have a practical approach and revel in an intriguing, amazing alternative.
Introducing the Silver Arowana
Silver Arowanas are a great substitute for Asian Arowanas which are nearly always available and affordable. They are often the initial species of Arowana aquarium enthusiasts are subjected to and provide an expense-effective overview of the proper care of Arowanas. When considered independently without comparison to Asian Arowanas, Silver Arowanas are usually impressive and captivating. At that time, with very little contact with the asian variety, nobody may have convinced me any other fish could be more intriguing!
Osteoglossum bicirrhosum was first given its species status in 1829 in France. Zoologist George Cuvier is responsible for its recognition. Silver Arowana come from South America where they naturally inhabit floodplains and freshwater regions of the Amazon River and its Basin. They inhabit mainly swamps and shallow waters of flooded areas, along with their distribution indicates Silver Arowanas usually do not swim through rapids. As surface dwellers, in the wild they consume fish, insects, spiders, birds, and even bats.
Physical Features of the Silver Arowana
Like Asian Arowanas, Silver Arowanas are true bony-tongues. They are primitive and prehistoric fish. Along with their bony tongues, Silver Arowanas also possess the chin barbels characteristic of Asian Arowanas. These people have a more elongated, tapered appearance than their Asian cousins, along with their fins are significantly longer. The dorsal and anal fins of Silver Arowanas appear nearly associated with their caudal fins. The females tend to have a deeper figure than males, and males use a more elongated jaw when compared with females.
Silver Arowanas are incredibly large fish typically reaching 24 – 30 inches in captivity, even though they can grow up to36 inches. In the wild, Silver Arowanas may grow as huge as 4 feet long!
Those unfamiliar with Silver Arowanas often consider their coloration to become “silver” with little variation. In reality, there is certainly significant amounts of variation among these fish in terms of their brilliance and coloration. The coloration of Silver Arowanas is very pronounced, many hobbyists boost their color through special diets just as Asian Arowana enthusiasts do!
Silver Arowanas may possess a silvery, light grey, or strikingly white body coloration. It may appear highly metallic using a high sheen, or maybe more flat and dull in tone. They may be solid in color or possess and/or reflect flecks of blue, red, or green in their opalescent scales. Most have a characteristic blue coloration behind the gills. The fins and tails of Silver Arowanas can be red or blue across the edges or perhaps in their entirety.
Silver Arowana Temperament
Silver Arowanas are predators with similar temperaments to Asian Arowanas. They may consume anything sufficiently small to suit within their mouths and are best kept alone being a single species representative. Tank mates appropriate for Asian Arowanas will more than likely do well with Silver Arowanas. They should be large, bottom dwellers or fast, mid-tank swimming fish that often avoid the Arowana’s way!
Many experienced hobbyists claim Silver Arowanas are slightly more skittish than Asian Arowanas. They likewise have a good reputation for being easier “tamed.” Silver Arowanas are often educated to take food directly from fingers, while Asian Arowanas are rarely so docile!
Good care of the Silver Arowana
Silver and Asian Arowanas require nearly identical habitats and care. They require large tanks, immaculately clean, well-maintained water, as well as a varied, high quality diet. Careful attention to their environment aids in preventing zeinrk start of typical Arowana diseases. Droopy Eye is probably the most frequent affliction Silver Arowanas suffer.
One consideration pertains to Silver Arowanas that is no longer a concern when acquiring an Asian Arowana. While they are bred in captivity, a big most of Silver Arowanas commercially available are still wild caught. Be sure to ask about the foundation of the fish you purchase and take extra precautions with wild caught specimens. When they are thriving in captivity in the pet shop, mimic their water conditions and tank set-as closely as is possible.
Jumping is needless to say a problem with any Arowana, but particularly one that is wild caught. A very tight lid is totally essential to prevent a Silver Arowana from harming itself, especially during the initial few weeks and months of captivity. Many hobbyists suggest lowering water degree of the tank somewhat during the initial few weeks of acclimatization.