Despite legal limitations, captive breeding challenges, and of course their high cost, the Asian varieties will probably continually be 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, hardly any other species rivals its status as King of the Aquarium.
Yet for most, the King remains off-limits because of their location and trade restrictions. Others simply do not want the costs Asian Arowanas command. What can one does if you’re among the many without access to your favorite fish? Until it might be available, have a practical approach and appreciate an intriguing, amazing alternative.
Introducing the Silver Arowana
Silver Arowanas are a great alternative to Asian Arowanas which are nearly always available and affordable. They are often the initial types of Arowana aquarium enthusiasts are in contact with and offer a cost-effective introduction to the good care of Arowanas. When considered independently without comparison to Asian Arowanas, Silver Arowanas are very impressive and captivating. During that time, with very little contact with the asian variety, nobody might have convinced me some other fish could be more intriguing!
Osteoglossum bicirrhosum was first given its species status in 1829 in France. Zoologist George Cuvier is mainly responsible for its recognition. Silver Arowana come from South America where they naturally inhabit floodplains and freshwater parts of the Amazon River along with its Basin. They inhabit mainly swamps and shallow waters of flooded areas, and their distribution indicates Silver Arowanas tend not to 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. These are generally primitive and prehistoric fish. Together with their bony tongues, Silver Arowanas also possess the chin barbels manifestation of Asian Arowanas. There is a more elongated, tapered appearance than their Asian cousins, and their fins are significantly longer. The dorsal and anal fins of Silver Arowanas appear nearly linked to their caudal fins. The females generally have a deeper body shape 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 mature to36 inches. Inside the wild, Silver Arowanas may grow as large as 4 feet long!
Those not familiar with Silver Arowanas often consider their coloration to be “silver” without much variation. In reality, there is significant amounts of variation among these fish with regards to their brilliance and coloration. The coloration of Silver Arowanas is so 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 even more flat and dull in tone. They may be solid colored or possess or reflect flecks of blue, red, or green inside their opalescent scales. Most have a characteristic blue coloration behind the gills. The fins and tails of Silver Arowanas can be red or blue along the edges or even in their entirety.
Silver Arowana Temperament
Silver Arowanas are predators with similar temperaments to Asian Arowanas. They may consume anything sufficiently small to fit inside their mouths and therefore are best kept alone as being a single species representative. Tank mates appropriate for Asian Arowanas will probably do well with Silver Arowanas. They should be large, bottom dwellers or fast, mid-tank swimming fish that have a tendency to avoid the Arowana’s way!
Many experienced hobbyists claim Silver Arowanas are a little more skittish than Asian Arowanas. They have a good reputation for being more easily “tamed.” Silver Arowanas are often trained to take food directly from fingers, while Asian Arowanas are rarely so docile!
Proper care of the Silver Arowana
Silver and Asian Arowanas require nearly identical habitats and care. They need very large tanks, immaculately clean, well-maintained water, along with a varied, top quality diet. Careful awareness of their environment helps prevent zeinrk onset of typical Arowana diseases. Droopy Eye is perhaps the most frequent affliction Silver Arowanas suffer.
One consideration pertains to Silver Arowanas that is not a problem when acquiring an Asian Arowana. Whilst they are currently bred in captivity, a sizable most of Silver Arowanas commercially available continue to be wild caught. Make sure to ask about the origin in the fish you buy and take extra precautions with wild caught specimens. Should they be thriving in captivity on the pet shop, mimic their water conditions and tank set-up as closely as you can.
Jumping is of course a concern with any Arowana, but particularly the one that is wild caught. A very tight lid is totally required to prevent a Silver Arowana from harming itself, especially during the first few weeks and months of captivity. Many hobbyists suggest lowering the water degree of the tank somewhat during the first few weeks of acclimatization.