Thursday, October 20, 2005
This fish is quite popular among fish rearers in Southeast Asia. It seems that it is able to bring the owner enormous luck, depending on the pattern of its side scales. Whatever the attraction, its popularity has dipped somewhat compared to the time when the Arowana was "red hot" among the fish fanatics. These days, only the discerning and the hardcore are still breeding this species for hobby and for profit.
AROWANA - A LAYMAN'S GUIDE
By Willie Si and Winston Sng
Published by Times Editions - Marshall Cavendish
ABOUT a decade ago, before the Flowerhorn Fish grabbed centre stage,
there was the Arowana.
At the height of its popularity, no businessman worth his millions would
be seen without at least one golden or red, adult-sized Arowana swimming
in an impressive aquarium inside his bungalow.
That was then. These days, even the fame of the Flowerhorn has taken a
dip. But Arowana or Dragon Fish as it is popularly known has continued to
be the exclusive property of those who claimed they know their fish.
The Dragon Fish has other names - namely, the Arawana, arrowana or the
aruana. The fish is native to the rivers of Southeast Asia, Australia,
Africa and South America.
Fossil evidence reveals that the Arowana is a creature that has its
origins em-bedded in prehistoric times. The Asian Arowana is the most
expensive because it is believed to be near extinct.
The life span of an Arowana is about 60 years so, unlike other pets, it
can live as long as you can, perhaps even longer. If it is well looked
after, it is believed that the fish will bring its owner an endless stream
of wealth and good fortune.
Thus, the Arowana was, and still is, an extremely popular fish. There
are several varieties of Arowana - green silver, black, red and golden.
Willie Si and his nephew, Winston Sng, have written this book for
Arowana lovers. Willie's association with the Arowana began in the mid
1980's when his brother Sammi complained about the difficulties of rearing
Being a mechanic at that time, Willie took upon himself the challenge of
learning more about this fish. So what began as a mission to learn more
about the Arowana quickly developed into a passion and eventually became a
profession for Willie.
In 1991, The Straits Times and The New Paper of Singapore found out
about Willie the "fish doctor" and published two articles about him. It
was then rumoured that a book about Arowanas was also in the pipeline and
would be published in due course. What began as a dream is now a reality.
This book is the culmination of years of experimentation and invaluable
experience culled from rearing the Arowana.
This layman's guide should be read by all those who have developed a
deep interest in the Arowana. It has beautiful colour pictures. Valuable
tips, information and advice on looking after the Arowana abound between
The Arowana is not the kind of fish to keep if you have just some spare
change. Like everything else of value, it requires a healthy budget.
Today, the price of a potentially beautiful infant Arowana can exceed
When fully grown, a beautiful Arowana can be priced above RM10,000. It
is a buyer-seller situation. The book informs all Arowana owners or
collectors that the vital points to remember about this fish is to keep it
healthy at all times.
Lighting in the aquarium must be strategically placed, to bring out the
magnificent colours of the fish.
Feeding of the Arowana must follow a strict schedule. Salt content of
the aquarium water should also be monitored closely.
The filtration system must be the right type, otherwise the fish may
become prone to fungus attack.
The rumours that surround the beautiful Arowana only add to its mystique
This guide book has vivid pictures of sick Arowanas. It displays
pictorial evidence of illness like off-coloured scales and gills and
advice on how to overcome these problems.
This book is a source of valuable information to those who want to learn
more about the dragon fish. It does not claim to have the last word on
this much sought-after aquarium fish but it does have lots of good advice
on how to make the hobby of rearing the Arowana a wonderful pastime.