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FAQs on Arapaimas

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Related FAQs:  Bony Tongue Fishes, Aba Aba Knifefish, African Butterflyfish, Arowanas, Featherfin Knives, Mormyrids, New World Knifefishes,


Hai, I’m planning to buy an Arapaima gigas.      11/26/19
<Seriously? These things are enormous. Literally the biggest freshwater fish in the world.>
Size of about 6 inches.
<Not for long it won't be! Wikipedia informs me the average specimen is 2 m long, and some specimens are more than twice that size. The species is farmed for food, and reaches around 1 m within the first year. Growth likely slows down a bit thereafter, but I think you could realistically expect a common adult size of 2 m within 2-3 years.>
What all requirements should I have?
<A tropical pond of some sort, first of all. I can't see any commercial aquarium being viable for more than the first six months, and thereafter, you'd need a custom aquarium around 2 m front to back, 2 m deep, and 4-6 m in length for maybe the next 6-12 months. Once the fish is over 1 m in length, it's hard to imagine anything other than a tropical pond being viable.>
I need a complete specifications about this, to be more precise Its tank requirement, water quality and diet.
<This species is fairly widely kept in public aquaria and zoos. I'd suggest visiting some of these, or getting in touch with the aquarium directors, who might be able to provide you with further information. Alternatively, look at aquaculture supply companies, because realistically, what you're going to want is a large tropical pond as would be used for rearing large aquaculture species like Ictalurus.>
So could you please provide me it when you are available....
<Basic care is pretty much the same as any other Arowana, except everything needs to be multiplied upwards given Arapaima are 2-4 times the length. Cheers, Neale.>

Arapaima info. Thank you for your information. Do you have any related links on the captive breeding on Arapaima? Or other extra information? Do you know any personnel currently working on this species? <Don't have any more than is posted on our sites... would look to BASIC, the Zoological Record for folks involved in this species biology... recent citations. Bob Fenner>

Enquiry for Information on captive Arapaima gigas Hi Robert, I'd like to ask a few questions regarding this species. How many times do you feed this species in day? < When small just a couple times a day. Just enough so that all the food is gone in a couple of minutes. Once a day when larger.> When, what type of food and how do you feed the species? < Smaller fish eat lots of different live foods. Older ones like fish.> Do you vary type of food everyday or occasionally? < A varied diet is very good for any fish. The more times you can feed different things the better.> How much food does the fish consume per meal, say in kg? < This depends on the size of the fish, and what water temp it is kept at. Higher temps mean a higher metabolism and needs more food. I would still go with as much as it could eat in a couple of minutes each day. I would think that very large fish could go with a KG per day.> Regarding water, do you set specific parameters for water quality, possibly pH, nitrite or ammonia content? < These fish come from clean soft acidic Amazon water. The cleaner the better. Slightly acidic would suit them just fine.> What is the suitable water condition, is it running water or non-running water? < It is natural habitat it come from flowing rivers so I would say that running is better.> How often should you clean the water to ensure that the cleanliness is maintained? < The ammonia and nitrites should be zero. The nitrates should be under 25 ppm.> Finally, what is the treatment for diseases involved and how long does it take for the species to recover? < This fish is fairly hardy under normal circumstances. The key to quickly curing diseases is to watch the fish and treat when the diseases is still early in its curable stages.-Chuck.>
Enquire for Information on Captive Arapaima gigas
Sat, 12 Feb 2005  Hi, Rob. <Who's "Rob"?> When is the suitable time to feed this species? Is it anytime of the day? How many times do you clean the aquarium, or you prefer to clean it as it gets dirty? The questions are common ones but I hope to get a reply from you. Thank you very much.  Regards, Sandra James <Before you get you hopes up on this fish I think I need to give you a few details that you may not be aware of. This fish is an endangered species and cannot be exported from South America without lots of paperwork. Secondly they get very very large. Like almost 10 feet long! They require a large tank like 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. They are large messy feeders that require very clean soft acidic water. Water changes would require thousands of gallons weekly. This fish should only be kept by public aquariums with the facilities, time money and space to properly provide for this fish for the many many years.-Chuck>

Conscientious Fishkeeping, Behaviour of A Potential Giant ... Arapaima behavior   4/30/06 Hello WWM crew! I just have a quick question regarding the typical (or not so typical, whichever the case may be) behavior of a juvenile Arapaima gigas we've gotten in at the store I work at. <A WHAT?!  Your store, as in fish store?  As in place of inspiration for aquarium keepers everywhere?  An Arapaima?  You've got to be kidding me.  Do you even realize what this animal is?> It's currently about 6" long, <Not for long.  This animal, the "largest" freshwater fish, will grow to some FEET in a year, and can reach 15 feet at 440 pounds - you read that right, fifteen feet, four hundred and forty pounds.  Please read here:  http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=2076&genusname=Arapaima&speciesname=gigas .  Give this to your store manager, the owner, and everybody that inquires about this animal.  Any attempt to keep this fish in less than some tens of thousands of gallons is ludicrous and ultimately a premature death sentence; leave this beast to public aquaria and nature.> and is acting almost aggressively at the sides of its tank. The back and left side of the tank are blue, and he seems to be pacing back and forth along that corner, attempting to bite at it. I would pass it up to tank size, if it weren't for him concentrating on a somewhat particular area. And I cannot figure out why. <This is actually a very common escape behaviour.  It will pass in time, once it understands the size of its confines.  I hope that tank has a VERY tight-fitting cover that still allows for air exchange for this air breathing fish....> At first I thought he might have been stressed by the lighting, so I added a bunch of water hyacinth (thank god for pond season) to block out a good percentage of the light, and also to allow the roots to break up the open water area, hopefully giving him a better sense of security as opposed to upsetting him further by taking up a little bit of swimming space. He DEFINITELY preferred the areas under the hyacinth. After 4 hours or so, though, he was still at it. So, we decided to add a couple baby giant Gourami (well, and a Plecostomus) to hopefully act as something as a dither fish, and give him something else to pay attention to. No luck. We've only had him since Friday, but I am trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. Water temperature is around 80F; ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are at 0 ppm; pH is around 7. <Ultimately, he will chill out in some days' time.> Any suggestions? <Return this fish from whence it came with stern admonishment to your dealers for carrying such a creature and selling with the intent of dooming it to a ridiculously short lifespan in a ridiculously small space.> Or is this just something he'll probably grow out of after a few days or so in the tank? <You got it.  Please consider the conscientious move here, and what selling this animal means for you, your store, your customers, and (ultimately) your hobby.  Like nurse sharks, Pangasiid catfishes, and sturgeon, this animal belongs in the wild.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

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