Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Aquarama 2007 - Winners of the Arowana Competition

Golden Crossback Arowana - Small Category

Golden Crossback Arowana - Large Category

Red Arowana - Small Category

Red Arowana - Large Category

Arowana - Open Category

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Diseases of Arowana

When a fish is placed in a artificial environment from its natural habitat, the chances of the fish getting disease is high. The stress due to the changed environment and also other stress factors like different feeding regime from the natural habitat and bad water quality management will also cause the fish to acquire disease. Therefore, one should be aware that keeping the stress level low is the best way to prevent disease rather than curing the fish after it acquired the disease.

Generally the dragon fish have a great resistance against diseases so long as they are not weakened by bad treatment, such as spoilt food, polluted and contaminated water, lack of oxygen, sudden change in water temperature, or other conditions the result of human negligence and ignorance that will cause stress and injury to the fish. Remember that the fish remains healthy as long as it is allowed to live in an environment to which it has adjusted.

The List below are some of the more common diseases associated with the dragon fish, their symptoms and suggested remedies.

1. Tilted (overturned) Gill Covers


  1. Fouled water as a result of rotting food particles and excretions. The strong presence of NH3, NO2 and NO3 can reduce the content of oxygen in the water.
  2. Space constraint - When the Dragon Fish is growing, it not only needs nutrition, it also needs a lot of room to move about. Otherwise, the gill covers may be affected. They may tilt over.
  3. Change in temperature - The temperature of the water in the aquarium should always be maintained. The sensitive gills can be affected when it is either too hot or too cold suddenly.


At the initial stage, the movement of the gill covers is not regular and breathing is also faster and abnormal. Next, the gill covers may become concave and the edge may curl upwards, causing the gills to be exposed in the water.

Finally, at the serious stage, the fish pushes its head up constantly to the surface for air while at the same time loses its appetite. This means the internal gills have become damaged and probably infected with bacteria, affecting the function of breathing and this can lead to death eventually.


When it is first discovered that the Dragon Fish is not breathing properly, the water should be changed immediately. Every 2 to 3 days, 20% of the water in the aquarium should be changed. Air pump should be further activated and air bubble stones could be added so that oxygen level in the aquarium could be increased. Also, change the filter media to coral sand.

Next stage

When the edge of the gill cover is slightly curled but not yet hardened, other than changing water, and increasing air/oxygen supply, strong water current could be created. There may be 50% chance of a cure without the need to operate.

Final stage

When the gill cover is tilted and hardened exposing the gills, the only way left is to trim off the tissues of the tilted region. Tools needed are scissors, surgical spirit, gloves, plastic bag and a rubber sheet. Also water-proof fine sand paper to polish clean the gill cover affected by cut tissues. The above tools must be properly sterilised.

When all equipment have been properly treated, the Dragon Fish should be transferred to a smaller fish-tank leaving the original tank to be filtered and pumped with air to increase oxygen content. With 1/3 of water in the small tank, anesthesia should be administered within the plastic bag which contains the sick Dragon Fish. It must be established prior to the operation that the Dragon Fish has completely lost consciousness before it can be removed (take care not to cause dehydration). Then use a clean pair of scissors to trim the edge of the gill covers.

After cutting, it is necessary to apply antiseptic medications to the trimmed edges. The Dragon Fish should be promptly put back into its own aquarium to await its regaining of consciousness. More antiseptic medication may be added to prevent wound from being infected with bacteria.
When it regains consciousness, switch off all lights and allow the Dragon Fish to recuperate. Feeding can be stopped if it has no appetite. Additional equipment may be fitted to create waves in the aquarium. The cut portion must grow again before the operation is considered successful.

2. Cloudy Eyes

This can be caused by:

  1. Eye-injury as a result of bad handling.
  2. Contaminated water.


Initially, one eye may appear cloudy. It then becomes moldy as though a membrane is hanging over it. Eventually, the eyes may swell and are covered with blueish white foreign matter. At this stage, if they are not treated may result in death or blindness.


At the initial stage 1/3 of water should be changed and coarse salt should be added.

Water temperature should also be increased to 30°C to 33°C. Observe for 2 days. If condition improves, water should be changed every third day (1/4 of water) and more salt may be added until complete recovery. At the intermediate stage, medications may be needed to bathe the fish in. Such medications will have their own instructions to be adhere to on application. When eyes become moldy, recovery may take 3 to 5 months. If swelling subsides, medication may be reduced or stopped eventually. After recovery, eyes may appear smaller but that should be normal.

3. Protruding Scales Disease

This often occurs when Dragon Fish is young. The adult Dragon Fish seldom gets affected by this disease.


  1. Events causing extreme temperature changes within the aquarium.
  2. Contaminated water.


Initial stage - Scales tilt at every 5th to 8th scale. Blood traces may be seen at the root of scales. If not arrested at this stage, scales will gradually tilt, redness may appear and the scales will not be able to protect body causing bacteria attacks to the body of the Dragon Fish. The scales may all drop off causing the body to decay and the fish to die.


Add coarse salt and increase temperature to 32°C to 34°C. Increase oxygen content in the water and change water (1/4) every 3 to 4 days. Water may be heated prior to change. Add copper sulfate medications to the water.

4. Rotting Gills Disease

Caused by a type of parasite which cannot be seen by the naked eye. These parasites hide in the gills sucking and absorbing all the nutrients from the Dragon Fish. The cells of these parasites multiply speedily at 25°C. This disease is highly contagious.

Cause: Polluted water or water which has not been changed for a long period.

Symptoms: The fish is breathing very fast and its color is dull.

Cure: Similar to that of the "White Spots" Disease

5. Stomach Ailments

This occurs when fish is very young - mainly due to eating stale food or it may have been injured by the sharp pincer of the prawns causing the internal wall of the stomach to be infected with bacteria, resulting in a swollen belly.


Initial stage - Swollen stomach with a red swollen anal region. At the advanced stage, the Dragon Fish may be seen to have lost its balance dipping its head downwards.


At the moment cure is limited, but commercially available fish medications may be given and water may be changed with temperature increased by 2°C to 3°C.

6. 'Red Spots' Disease

This is often regarded as a terminal disease and it affects mostly young fishes.


Red spots occur on the lower back portion of the body. Early stage - patches of red spots, gradually swelling occurs, scales are upturned and finally the fish may slowly rot to death.


Try increasing temperature to 36°C plus bathing it with fish medications available commercially.

7. Parasites

Most of these parasites come from the live food that are used to feed the Dragon Fish and are passed to the Dragon Fish during feeding. the parasites that affect the Dragon Fish are mainly the fish lice and the anchor worm.

Fish lice

Approximately 3 to 5 mm long, can be seen with the naked eye on the external body. It has a flattened body shell. It has a needle-like structure at the mouth to suck out the body fluid causing the fish to lose its lusture, at the same time causing the fish to be uncomfortable, scraping the side or bottom gravel of the aquarium.

Anchor worm

Found mainly around the fins or within the body of the fish. The head of the worm is forked and it sucks the nutrients from the fish directly. The length is about 1 cm. The affected region is often red and swollen with traces of blood and then decay sets in. An affected fish may appear to be irritable, scraping and rubbing against the sides of the aquarium and losing its appetite in the process.


The above parasites can be killed by using copper sulfate medications. The fish lice can also be gotten rid of by keeping the Dragon Fish in a concentrated salt solution. Oxygen content should be increased in the aquarium during this soaking period.

Note: Once the Dragon Fish has been infected by parasites, the tank must be sterilised.

8. 'White Spot' Disease

This disease is very common among fishes. It originates from a type of ICH bacteria. It can multiply alarmingly fast, and can flourish at body temperature 25°C from a single cell to 3000 over cells in a hour. Under high temperature, it can stop multiplying and even die.


ICH bacteria only attack the fish with low resistance. The bacteria suck up the body fluid of the fish. The affected region looks like white powder.


At initial stage, the disease affects mainly the fins. The fish that has been infected with this disease tends to scratch itself against the sides or bottom of the aquarium to rid its itch. Its appetite deteriorates greatly and fin ends starts to rot. Lastly when it attacks the gills, the fish may die.

The illness should be arrested at once as it is highly contagious.


  1. 1% salt.
  2. 0.8 gm of Quinine in every litre of water.
  3. Use available commercial preparation from Aquarium shops.

Warm the water by increasing by 2°C to 3°C in temperature and adding air-pumps to increase the oxygen level in the aquarium.

In the process of treatment, the Dragon Fish should be fed nutritious food so as to build up its physical resistance. Upon recovery, it is advisable to disinfect the entire aquarium.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Enjoying Arowana as a hobby

Keeping of Arowana can be a tedious job, but with a little planning, you can enjoy keeping this beautiful creature without all the unnecessary task. If you want to enjoy keeping the fish, you need to understand the fish more. Its natural habitat, its feeding habit and many many more.

Maintenance of the dragon fish in an aquarium at home is relatively simple, if a few basic requirements are met. A 90cm X 45cm tank for young fishes up to 40cm length and 120cm to 150cm X 75cm tank for larger fishes is required. Ample space in the tank will prevent the fish from being stunted in growth.

The tank must be covered and the location should preferably be in a quiet area of the house, away from direct sunlight and constant human traffic. Aeration and filtration is essential but no decoration within the tank is required as this may cause damage to the fish when feeding. Because of its aggressive nature, this voracious but easily tamed fish should be raised in isolation.

The dragon fish is extremely sensitive to chlorinated water and water from the tap should be aged at least a day before use. Weekly water changes are encouraged, but only partially (not more than a 1/3) so as to avoid upsetting the fish. Never change the water's pH or hardness level suddenly because this can be fatal to the fish. pH and hardness levels must be slowly and carefully adjusted so that the fish can adapt comfortably. This applies also to the temperature of the water.

Favorite food are insects (e.g. meal worms, crickets, and grasshoppers), small frogs and live fishes (e.g. guppies, mollies and goldfish), but to ensure that the fish acquires rich coloration, it should be fed live-shrimps, cockroaches and centipedes. Young fishes are fed up to 2 to 3 times a day, but for adult fishes daily feeding or even on alternate days is recommended.

What to note when feeding:

  1. When feeding, it is best to remove the sharp pincers of the prawn to prevent injuring the throat and stomach of the fish.
  2. Live-food for the feeding should be kept and reared in a separate tank. Small fishes and prawns should be properly cleared of dirt and toxic matters before feeding the Dragon Fish.
  3. Weight of live-food should amount to 75% of Dragon Fish’s total feed.
  4. Live cockroaches should be used as dead ones may have been sprayed with insecticide.
  5. Tubifex Worms should be made immobile before putting into the tank to prevent causing injury to the Dragon Fish when chasing the worms.
  6. Avoid feeding young Dragon Fish with whole prawns as these may cause indigestion to the young ones, thereby resulting in death.

Things to do and have when transferring the Dragon Fish to a new aquarium tank:


  • Styrofoam box (with lid) - for containing and transporting the bagged fish
  • Plastic bags to contain the fish
  • Oxygen tank or battery - operated air pump
  • Newspaper, rubber-bands, polythene bags, scotch-tape and medication (in the event of injury)

During winter, one may consider using a hot-water bag to keep the fish warm as the water-changing process may be time-consuming, thus causing the temperature of the water to decrease too suddenly.

Two days before the moving, the feeding of the fish must stop.

It is best to use a double-layer of plastic bags to contain the fish. A lining of newspaper could be placed between the 2 bags. This can warm and calm the fish and also prevent the fish sharp teeth from tearing the bag.

Using Plastic Bags to hold the Dragon Fish when transferring:

Dragon Fish that are smaller (12 cm and below) may be transferred with the use of a net. The bigger ones need the use of plastic bags. Never use a net to catch the bigger Dragon Fish as it may cause injury to them.

A polythene bag is most suitable because it is transparent, so the Dragon Fish is not frightened. When catching the Dragon Fish, let the polythene bag sink into the water with its mouth wide open and slowly lure the Dragon Fish into the bag. After catching it, raise the bag out of the aquarium and transfer it into the new aquarium immediately.

Things to do before catching the fish with the polythene bag:

  1. Check to see that the polythene bag is not leaking.
  2. To catch the fish, face the mouth of bag towards the Dragon Fish's head and gently guide it into the bag.
  3. Water in the bag should be one and a half times higher than the depth of the fish.
  4. Twist the mouth of the bag to bind the bag so as to lift up the Dragon Fish.
  5. If the Dragon Fish can be moved into its new environment within 10 to 20 minutes, oxygen is not required. If the period is longer, then it is necessary to pump the bag full of oxygen.
  6. When letting out the fish, the whole bag should be immersed for 5 to 10 minutes for the fish to adapt to the external temperature before letting the fish out of the bag.
  7. Open the mouth of the bag to let the fish out and observe it for 30 minutes to make sure that the Dragon Fish is adapting to the new environment.
  8. Leave the Dragon Fish alone in the aquarium for a whole day. Lights need not be switched on in the day as darkness can calm the fish but at night leave a light on for a few days to prevent the fish from trying to break out from its new environment. Feeding is also not necessary until it is more or less stable before feeding it a little at a time until it fully regains its appetite.
  9. The transferring process is then completed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Arowana Care


Arowanas are well known as carnivores, they will eat crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, centipedes, krill, shrimp, prawns, frogs, and pellets.

When feeding your Arowana crickets, mealworms, or centipedes it is highly recommended that you buy them from a reputable dealer that specializes in raising this type of feed for fish or reptiles.

Live food is considered to be a favorite among many Arowanas. It is recommended that all feeder goldfish or frogs be quarantined for at least a week. This helps avoid harmful parasites.

Overfeeding of food should be avoided. Twice a day is more than reasonable in most cases.

Aquarium Size:

The minimum recommended size for an Arowana is 200 gallons or 750 liters. Younger Arowanas may be kept in smaller aquariums, but as they grow a larger tank is required to protect the fish against deformities and to maximize its lifespan.

Aquarium Decor:

Arowanas act very uncomfortable in bare tanks. They might knock some of their decor around, but they act much calmer in a decorated tank. It is recommended to put small artificial plants within the tank to make the Arowana feel more at home.

Aquarium Cover:

Arowanas are known to be tremendous jumpers. Fully grown they can jump up to 2 meters! (over 6 feet) While Arowanas are young an aquarium cover is recommended but the likely hood of them making it out the tank is low. As the Arowana matures very strong lids are needed to keep the fish from knocking the lid loose and bailing out of the aquarium.

Water Temperature:

Being tropical in nature, the Arowana’s natural habitat is between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When a fish is kept in captivity it is a good rule of thumb to try and the aquarium’s temperature to that of their natural habitat. It is recommended that you buy a digital tank thermometer so that you can always keep tabs on the water temperature. Remeber always try to keep your Arowanas at tropical temperatures – 75o to 80o. They do not do well in cool water.


When preparing and maintaining the tank for your Arowana it is vital that you test its pH regularly. Arowanas are very sensitive to pH changes and fluxuations may cause unneeded stress which can weaken your fish, leading to higher susceptibility to diseases. Arowanas prefer water that is somewhat acidic (6.0 -7.0).

Changing of Water:

Moderate water change is recommended. As a rule of thumb 10 to 20 percent change in the water is adequate. If greater amounts of water are changed the fish may go into shock, this can be potentially life threatening.


South American Arowanas (silvers) start out as cute little two-inch, fork-tongued dragons dragging a large orange egg sac from their belly. At this stage, they succumb too many problems usually initiated by improper and insufficient foods. We prefer to start with the larger guys well past this delicate stage. Beware. They all grow to at least two feet long and eat ever-increasing amounts of food.

Clean Water:

This cannot be stressed enough. Keep their water clean and large. You cannot over filter your arowanas’ water or give them too much room.

Asian Arowanas:
Please note it is ILLEGAL to own an Asian Arowana within the United States unless you can prove you have owned one since July 14, 1976. This said, please also realize that it is illegal to use the internet to BUY, SALE, GIVE, TRADE, Asian Arowanas within the United States.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Making the right selection

Arowana is a highly prized fish, so when you are choosing a fish to purchase, it is important to know that you are getting the best fish. In our farm, we only sell the best fish to you and here are some criteria when you choose your Arowana.


The most important criteria is the colour of the fish because it is often the colour that first attracts the hobbyist. Hence, if the body shape is attractive but the colour is not, it cannot be considered perfect. According to the different types of Dragon Fish, the standard colours differ. BEWARE OF FAKE RED AND BLOOD AROWANAS IN THE MARKET! One way of preventing this is to get your fish from a CITES registered farm and make sure that the farm has a good sales record.

Body Shape

The ideal shape is one that is proportionate, neither too fat nor too thin. Essential to look after its environment and the food that it takes.

The space (size of tank) directly affects the growth and progress of the body. A limited space may result in its stunted size, or rounded, hunched shape. Basically the length of the tank should be 3 times the average length Dragon Fish during the growing stage.

Food should be nutritious. Besides fish and prawns, other types of food may be fed. Do not allow the Dragon Fish to be inclined to one type or eat too much. Feeding should be well controlled.


Scales are the Dragon Fish's distinctive feature. Neatly layered and slippery scales are comparable to the good complexion of a person. The scales should be even and radiant. They should not have dark spots, although red spots are welcome as they are considered auspicious.

Many people have a misconception about the scales. They think that when the scales drop off, they may not be replaced naturally. The only point to note is in replacement, it has an itchy sensation causing it to rub its body against the side of the aquarium. This may cause the fish to be damaged. To prevent this, it is advisable to remove anything that may cause injury in the aquarium. If there is loss of scales, they can grow back after 3 to 5 weeks. While they are being replaced, the water condition should be noted so as to prevent harmful bacteria from proliferating. If any scale is out of shape, it could be removed by anesthetize the fish during the operation. A new scale will eventually grow in its place.

Mandibular Barbels (Whiskers)

Many fish lovers have high regard for the Dragon Fish's whiskers because they resemble the dragon's horns - a sign of blessing.
Mandibular barbels must be equally long, straight and the color similar to its body-color. These act as an extension of the Dragon Fish's power. Any broken, shortened or bent whiskers may mean a reduction to its majestic appearance.

How then can these whiskers be preserved and maintained?

First of all, one must prepare ample space for free activity and to prevent the whiskers from getting damaged. Without this ample space, the Dragon Fish’s whiskers cannot grow properly and the tips may rub against the sides of the aquarium thus getting damaged.

Points to consider:

  • Do not decorate aquarium with furnishings such as rocks and other decorations.
  • Do not drop food in a corner. They should be put in the Centre of the aquarium.
  • Do not knock against the aquarium to cause the Dragon Fish to be shocked or frightened.
  • Cover the aquarium with a thick glass, the edges of which should be smoothened and rounded.

The above 4 points can help to prevent the Dragon Fish's whiskers from getting damaged in its excitement or when it is frightened.

Should the whiskers be broken or damaged, the recovery period varies according to the age of the Dragon Fish. Normally a young Dragon Fish recovers faster than an older Dragon Fish.
Whiskers may be damaged in 2 ways:

  1. At the root
    When this occurs, recovery may be difficult even for a young Dragon Fish.
  2. Away from
    It is necessary to decide whether to leave it to grow the root back naturally, or to use a needle to help speed the growth. Even if the whisker is bent but not broken, it is best to cut it off so that it will not be out of shape when regrown.


The fins of the Dragon Fish are like its limbs. Any damaged fin can affect the Dragon Fish's graceful movement and ultimately the beauty of the whole fish.

A beautiful fin should be smooth and outstretched, with all its hard rays straight and smooth. There should be no tear.

Care should begin with the baby Dragon Fish. At this stage, it should not be given too much space. The fish is easily frightened as it feels insecure in a spacious environment. In dashing about at every slightest disturbance, often suffers injuries.

A smaller space which gives the fish a feeling of security will also enable the fish to be more active, thereby strengthening its fins.

When it is at the adolescent stage and more stable, it can then be transferred into a larger aquarium.

To avoid hurting the fins, these points should be noted:

  • Do not install ornamental displays such as rocks and other decorations.
  • Do not rear with other fishes in the same tank.
  • To lift the young, fine net should be used. When it reaches 15 cm, net should not be used. Hold in plastic bag instead.

If a piece of the hard ray of the fin is injured, it could be gently removed at the base and a new ray will grow in its place. In case of more rays, then the Dragon Fish needs to be given anesthesia before operation to remove the broken rays with a pair of scissors.

When fin-rays are broken, they need to be treated immediately, especially tail fins, as the Dragon Fish depends largely on its tail fin to move about.

Although fins may recover by themselves, they may be disfigured when they do.
After surgery, a replaced fin can be almost perfect, except it may be a little wavy.

However, it is best to get a specialist to perform the operation.


In the natural environment, the eyes are focused above water-level to search for live food. However, when the fish is reared in a fish tank which is transparent all round, the eyes tend to focus downwards due to distractions around and as food is readily found around and at the bottom of the tank.

The hobbyist need not be unduly worried about the fish's health although the value of the fish is affected by this phenomena. This is only a natural adaptation to its environment.

A good quality fish's eyes must be centralised, compact and focused, not droopy or protruding. They must revolve naturally and be shaped evenly, sparkle brightly and clear.

In the aquarium, the Dragon Fish's eyes tend to focus downwards sometimes because:

  1. When it is kept in an aquarium, its feeding habit changes because its prey are no longer floating above but are at the bottom of the aquarium.
  2. It gets distracted by movement outside the glass panels of its aquarium.
  3. It does not exercise enough, so fat is accumulated to bulge or protrude within the socket of the eyes causing the eyes to protrude or droop.


When close the upper and lower lips must not protrude. The lower jaw should not be loose. In the fish tank, the fish often rubs against the glass wall resulting in the loosening of the jaw muscles. To avoid this, the space must be increased or install a water jet to increase the speed flow of the water.


Generally, fish hobbyists do not pay much attention to its teeth. However, its teeth are quite important. If the teeth of the fish are not healthy, they will affect the fish's health.

Gill Covers

Normal gill covers should be smooth and flat with no scratches or wrinkles. The following points should be noted:

  • Do not install ornamental displays in the aquarium.
  • Maintain the right temperature. Gill covers and head tissues may wrinkle if temperature is too high. A vast change in temperature may cause the fish to suffer tilted gill covers.
  • Change water regularly and maintain cleanliness and the best water condition.
  • Raise oxygen content in the water.
  • If there is any injury in the gill region, fish-treatment medication should be put into the water to prevent bacteria infecting wound.


A healthy fish's vent should be horizontally located at the pelvic region. It should not be easily seen. If the vent protrudes it means the fish has a stomach problem- revealing the unhealthy state of the fish.

Exception is when the fish is due to deliver eggs or after it has delivered.

Swimming Style

The style of movement is important in enhancing its beauty. A beautiful fish that does not swim gracefully can affect its aesthetic value. Correct posture is to swim vertically in water, spreading out all its fins. The mandibular barbels must be straight. It must be able to turn swiftly. Moving up and down or diagonally is not ideal.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Facts About Arowana

Asian Arowana (Scleropages Formosus), as the name implies is found exclusive in Asia and has the reputation as being the world's most expensive freshwater aquarium fish.The reason for this is because of its close resemblance of the oriental dragon and hence highly prized.

In Chinese traditions and cultures, the oriental dragon is a symbol of good luck, strength and power and is believed to ward off evil.

Ancient Chinese emperors were also obsessed with dragons and their robes were embroidered with dragons. Dragons were therefore considered auspicious.

Many businessmen also believed that keeping an arowana will make their businesses prosper. In fact, the arowana is commonly known as the Dragon Fish because of the 2 barbels.

When the arowana glides through the water, its pectoral fins often spreads out, resembling a dragon in full flight.

While you may have seen a dragon in books or posters, you may wonder what the terms barbels or pectoral fins meant.

The above illustration is specially designed to help you understand the parts of the asian arowana.

Click on video clip below to watch the breeding of Asian Arowana:

Video Clip - Hi

Video Clip - Lo

The World of Arowana

The keeping of dragon fish in aquariums in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia began in the early '70's and gained quickly in popularity during the '80's. This interest then spread to Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan in spite of the fish being listed as an endangered and protected species and prohibited from trade worldwide by the Convention in Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna CITES; only allowing limited trade of an allocated annual quota from Indonesia. However, Singapore's success in documenting the breeding of this fish in captivity caused CITES to approve worldwide trade of such Singapore captive-bred dragon fish in August, 1994.

Dragon Fish are found in S.E. Asia where it is popular and expensive. Each has its unique feature and color, for example, Malaysia has her Gold Dragon Fish and Green Dragon Fish whereas Indonesia has her Red, Red-tail Gold and Green Dragon Fish.

We can classify them according to these 4 species:

  • Indonesian Red-tail Gold Dragon Fish
  • Malaysian Gold Dragon Fish or Malayan Bonytongue
  • Indonesian Red Dragon Fish
  • Green Dragon Fish
The Dragon Fish from S.E. Asia as compared to the South American Arowanas have rounder and broader bellies. When young, their back portions are horizontal. When fully grown, their backs become slightly arched. The depth of their body - 4 to 5.5 inches. Scales are coarse and big. Pelvic Fin and Anal Fin are of the same length. Caudal Fins have 2 shapes - Pear and Fan; 3 back fins (tail, anal, dorsal) are not joint; Mouth extremely big and slanting, the slit extends beyond the eyes, teeth tiny, closely packed and sharp, mouth is rectangular in shape when open. Eyes are big.

A pair of mandibular barbels grow out of the tip of its lower mouth. This fish can grow up to 30 inches weighing 7 kilos in an Aquarium.

Breeding is not easy. Each time, approximately 40 to 70 eggs are laid of diameter about 1.72 cm. This fish is a mouth brooder. When hatched, the baby fishes cluster within the male Dragon Fish's mouth for protection. Normally, it is the male fish's duty to protect the babies in its mouth but when the number gets too big, the female does help.

In the wild, the fish lives near the surface of clean, standing or slow flowing shallow waters in blind arms of inland rivers and lakes in dense jungle. Water temperature of about 27°C, pH of 6.5 to 7.0 and water hardness of H8 are the characteristics of the water it thrives in. It is aggressive in nature and very defensive about its habitat.

Red Tail Gold Dragon Fish
The back portion is dark green, including the dorsal fin and upper half of its tail fin.
The color of the scales are gold. A good fish has 1/2 of each scales glittering. Its gill cover does not have any red color. The whole gill cover is a glittering gold color.
This attractive specie is found in Kalimantan and Sumatra. It is reasonably priced.

Malayan Bonytongue
Characteristics similar to the Red-Tail Gold Dragon Fish, except for its golden scales overlapping the dark greenish back causing the whole body to shine.
This breed is in great demand because of limited supply. Hence, it is more expensive than the Red Tail Gold Dragon Fish. Sometimes it is even more expensive than the red variety.

Red Dragon Fish
The gill covers have unique red coloring. All the fins and the edges of the scales are in the following colors: apricot, pink, deep red, blood red and even brown or liver colored.

Green Dragon Fish
Green scales. Body shape is shorter and smaller. Its lateral line is very prominent.
Its natural source is in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma. It can be easily captive-bred. The more expensive breeds have scales that are purplish-spotted in color. Others are more ordinary and not so costly.