The Appeal of Arowanas

What is it that makes the Arowana so appealing to so many aquarium hobbyists? Is it:

  • Their shiny scaling and long, graceful fins?
  • Their expressive, large eyes?
  • Their sinuous swimming motion along the surface of the tank?
  • Their peaceful demeanor (unless they consider you food)?
  • Their ability to jump out of the water and snatch their prey from a low hanging branch?
  • Their variety of colors, available from silver to gold to red to blue/black?
  • Their ability to bring good luck and wealth to their owners?

It must be a combination of all of the above that helps explain the universal appeal of Arowanas!

The Common (or Not So Common) Plecostomus

Sooner or later, nearly all freshwater aquarium hobbyists will purchase one of the plecostomus species. This ubiquitous member of the catfish family is usually purchased to help control nuisance algae in the aquarium. Also known as a sucker-mouth catfish, the Plecostomus (Pleco for short) has the ability to flatten its mouth like a suction cup and use 100’s of small rasping teeth to scrape the algae off the rocks and even the glass of the aquarium.

Using Feeder Fish for the Pure Predator

Part of the beauty of aquarium keeping is learning about all the different habitats of the fish you can keep: where they come from, the types of water parameters they prefer, and their nutritional requirements. It is this last one that sometimes re-enforces the concept of the “survival of the fittest”. While the majority of fish kept by hobbyists can be fed prepared fish foods, there are some pure predators that must have live food

Discus Overview: The King of Freshwater Fish

Originally found in the rivers of South America, the Discus (Symphysodon discus or S.heckeli) is considered the “king” of the freshwater fish by many hobbyists. Up until the early 80’s, nearly all Discus were captive caught and considered fairly difficult to keep, requiring very soft water with a pH from 6.0 to 7.0 and warmer temperatures in the mid 80’s F. They were also notorious for refusing to eat most prepared aquarium foods except bloodworms and, for some reason, frozen beef heart!

Placing New Live Rock

Depending on the timing and the source, there can be a couple of different methods to adding Live Rock to an aquarium. Most hobbyists purchase the majority of their Live Rock when they are first setting up their mini-reef aquarium.