Training Arowana to Eat Pellets

red_arowana

Arowana are in my opinion one of the most amazing tropical fish to keep. The key factors to getting the most out of this magnificent fish are a big tank, very stable water conditions, and proper nutrition.

Most Arowana are fed on feeder fish when they are young and never become accustomed to processed food. The problem with live food is that it is expensive, can be hard to find, and is usually not kept in the best of conditions, which can cause your prized Arowana to become infected with disease or parasites.   

One of the questions I am frequently asked is how did I get my Arowana to eat pellets.

Initially when I brought my Arowana home it would only eat feeder guppies. So that is what I fed it for the first month or two. I did try feeding some pellets but these were ignored by the fish without even a second glance. Becoming tired of having to provide a continuous supply of guppies for my Arowana, I was determined to get it eating processed foods.

Don’t expect your Arowana to take pellets within the first few days. This is going to take some time and perseverance on your part. At first the Arowana may not even show any interest in the pellets.

One of the things I noticed while I was training my Arowana to eat pellets is feeding time. My Arowana responded much better late in the evening.

 

This is how I did it:

Stop feeding live foods! I didn’t see a need to starve the fish for a week as is sometimes recommended. I just placed a single floating pellet in the middle of the tank. It was up to the fish whether it wanted to eat or not and after 2 mins remove the pellet.

On day 1 and day 2 my Arowana showed no interest in the floating pellet. I removed the pellet after a few mins, to avoid it spoiling the tank water.

On day 3 the Arowana took the pellet into its mouth but spat it out and swam away. Some progress none the less.

On day 4 I decided to change things up a little. I placed the floating pellet and a large tropical fish flake in the middle of the tank. Initially the Arowana took the flake, spat it out but then returned and swallowed it down. It then turned its attention to the floating pellet, but again spat it out and left it. I fed it a couple more tropical flakes and called it a day. At least it had eaten something.

Day 5 and again I tried something different. This time I soaked the pellet for a few minutes in a container with tank water to soften it up a bit before attempting to feed it to my Arowana. I started the feeing session with a few tropical fish flakes. As before these were quickly eaten by the Arowana. Then using a spoon I scooped out the soaked pellet and placed it in the swimming path of my Arowana. This was rather messily swallowed down by the fish. Things were looking good.

For the next few days I continued feeding a couple of tropical flakes and a few soaked pellets, one at a time. My Arowana was now recognising the pellets as food.

The next step was to stop soaking the pellets before feeding. This was done by breaking the pellet in half, into a size easy for the fish to swallow. After a few days once the Arowana was use to the texture I began feeding the full size pellets.

 

It may take a bit of work to get your Arowana eating pellets but it’s worth the effort for your fish to have a healthier diet. It will also save you some money in the long run.

Thanks for reading.

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