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FAQs on Arowanas Disease/Health

Related Articles: Arowanas, Bony Tongue Fishes, Arowanas, Arapaima, African Butterflyfish, Featherback Knifes, Mormyrids, Elephantfishes

Related FAQs:  Arowanas 1, Arowanas 2, & FAQs on: Arowanas Identification, Arowanas Behavior, Arowanas Compatibility, Arowanas Selection, Arowanas Systems, Arowanas Feeding, Arowanas Reproduction, & Bony Tongue Fishes, Aba Aba Knifefish, African Butterflyfish, Arapaimas, Featherfin Knives, Mormyrids, New World Knifefishes,

My Arowana Tank (.com)

Arowana Eye Problem URGENT !       1/26/16
Hi WetWebMedia Crew.
<Kelvin>
I'm writing in desperate need of your guidance of how to treat my Arowana eye. I'm not sure is a injury or a disease,
<Almost assuredly the former. Seen many times... the fish jumping... damaging itself... spooked by? Another fish? Something outside the tank....?>
it start of as a very small white hole and then it get worst and worst. Please look at the video and you will see how's his eye look like.
https://youtu.be/-XcaZ2XZ45s
<Good water quality is paramount... useful antibiotic gotten INTO the fish (Chloramphenicol if you can get it) via food. Otherwise, time going by. Review here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/ArowanaDisF.htm >--
*Kelvin Lo*
<Bob Fenner>
Arowana Eye Problem URGENT ! /Neale     1/27/16

Hi WetWebMedia Crew.
I'm writing in desperate need of your guidance of how to treat my Arowana eye. I'm not sure is a injury or a disease, it start of as a very small white hole and then it get worst and worst. Please look at the video and you will see how's his eye look like.
https://youtu.be/-XcaZ2XZ45s
Kelvin
<As a general rule, if one eye becomes infected (as here) physical trauma is likely; if both eyes, then environmental stress. So in this case, as it's just the one eye, I'd be thinking about how the eye became damaged.
Commonest cause is jumping into/onto solid objects -- typically the roof of the aquarium. Arowanas are "jumpy" by nature, leaping out of the water for all sorts of reasons but including escaping from enemies and for catching insects above the waterline. Regardless, this isn't something (easily) accommodated in home aquaria, hence the tendency to see Arowanas injure themselves. Rocks inside the tank can also be swum into, causing similar injuries. Rough handling (e.g., using nets to move the fish) can cause injuries to eyes. Finally, tankmates are always a gamble. Arowanas are an unhelpful mix of territorial and easily bullied: while happy enough to dish out punishment when they can, they are easily damaged by more aggressive or heavily armed tankmates. Even some opportunistic but persistent "nibblers" can cause problems, including herbivorous/omnivorous fish that adopt a suck-it-and-see approach to determining what's edible. In short, ideally isolating the fish, certainly ensuring optimal water quality, and if you can, using antibiotics or antibacterials suitable for sensitive fish would be the way forward. Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) can help to reduce swelling and is worth using, but I'm not totally convinced by the use of table salt (sodium chloride) as a supportive for fish in this sort of situation, though it won't do any harm at low doses, and may have some minor antibacterial effect. For doses, see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
Wouldn't use salt above 2 gram/litre. Epsom salt use at the dosage described. Don't use anything with formalin or copper in them unless told to do so by a vet (both are highly toxic, and especially so to primitive fish). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Arowana Eye Problem URGENT !        1/30/16

Hi, WetWebMedia Crew,
Thanks for your quick reply and support. I have isolated the fish to medicate and i have used tetracycline to treat the eye. After a few day of treating it, the white stuff on the eye started to come off as a film like substance. Does that mean the antibiotic is working and the eyes getting better?
Kelvin
<Could well mean that. At some point the dead tissue will peel away and hopefully new cells will grow to replace it. It's touch and go though. Do keep a very close eye on water quality. Cheers, Neale.> 

Arowana  disease    12/17/12
iam  having silver Arowana,    it is having  only one  small  black  spot   on its  body ,   what is it ,  whether it is disease or  general body
scraping   . how to  over come  this , whether it is disease  means give some medicine name
<Please send some information about the size of the aquarium, how long the tank has been set up, filter used, any other fish in the aquarium. Read my
previous e-mail about maintenance of Arowanas, but note that Silver Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) grow even larger than Asian Arowana (Scleropages
spp.) and consequently require even more space. They are prone to physical damage because they like to jump. If the scales are knocked off, then black patches can develop. Is the Arowana still actively swimming and feeding?
What are you feeding it? Cheers, Neale.>
about   silver Arowana, sys., using WWM    12/17/12

thanks  for ur mail,
my Arowana  is  1.5  feet  long tank size  is   80 gallons , 350 l water   content filtration is canister 2200 l/hr  and  internal filter is 1500l/hr no  gravel in  the bottom  , tank bottom is  empty  only  my  doubt is  only  one  small black spot   is  seen near the body , give me your  suggestion  about this
<Please learn to/search WWM and use the indices... I'd have gravel in Arowana tanks... too much reflection otherwise; and added nitrification.
Bob Fenner>
silver  Arowana - wound    12/20/12

my Arowana  jumped  while i am  cleaning inside the tank,  by  got hit over the tank its scales removed  like  a   round shape, what to do  , any 
medicine for the scales to be cured. give some medicine  name for the  scales to   be healed
<Hello again, Harsara Ap! We have answered several questions from you -- but you have not given us ANY information about your aquarium, water quality, etc. Without this information we cannot help you. Cheers, Neale.> 
silver  Arowana - wound

my Arowana  jumped  while i am  cleaning inside the tank,  by  got hit over the tank its scales removed  like  a   round shape, what to do  , any medicine for the scales to be cured.
give some medicine  name for the  scales to   be healed
<This specimen needs to be in a larger system... a 1.5 foot Arowana won't live long, well in a 80 gal. volume. See WWM re this group... Stop writing and start reading. BobF>
wound

for what reason ur asking water quality.
for injury  i am  asking , why u need for water quality the  injury  is happened today, i am not talking about the past
What? Please send previous correspondence. Have no idea what you're
referring to; whom you were chatting w/ here. BobF
wound    12/20/12

for what reason ur asking water quality.
<Because injuries will not heal if water quality is bad. I assume you have a NITRITE test kit. Use it -- and be honest about the answer. Also, if the size of the aquarium is too small, the Arowana will simply injure again. It will not heal. This is why we need to know about your aquarium. How big is it? What is the filter that you use?>
for injury i am  asking , why u need for water quality.
<Because if the aquarium is wrong, the Arowana will die quickly. We need to establish that he is in the right aquarium.>
the  injury  is happened today, i am not talking about the past
<We also need to know how big is this Arowana; how long you have had it;
and what country you live in (not all medicines are available in all countries). Cheers, Neale.>
Arowana wound     12/22/12

thanks for ur reply,
<Welcome.>
i am from India ,  i am     not  having  much space in  my home , i have kept only  4feet aquarium  with 400 litres  of water ( 80 gallons).
<Much too small for Arowanas, whether Osteoglossum or Scleropages species.
A young specimen (up to about 20 cm/8 inches) could work, but you would have to work extremely hard keeping the water clean. Zero ammonia and nitrite essential!>
filtration is canister 2200l/hr and internal filter  1500l/hr. while  i am cleaning, Arowana got wound  , its  scales  fallen from the body  like a round shape. give some remedy   or  it will normally  the wound be cleared
<In good conditions, missing scales will grow back. I would also treat with antibiotic of some sort; Erythromycin and Minocycline used together would be ideal. But long term, this fish needs a bigger home. In a small tank Arowanas are prone to jumping (hurting themselves) and also problems such as "Gill Curl". Cheers, Neale.>
About  water quality   12/22/12

You have stated ammonia and nitrates should be zero in  the tank.
<Hi, in the future we request that you use proper spelling and grammar in your queries, this makes it easier for other readers to use and allows search engines to more accurately find relevant information.  As to your question, ammonia and NitrITE should be zero, nitrate should be low, less than 20 ppm.
How to keep it stable , shall we  add  zeolite  to the canister filter.
<This is controlled mostly through bacterial processes and proper maintenance and feeding.>
How to keep  nitrates to zero
<Nitrate is best controlled through regular water changes.>
awaiting for ur reply
<Chris>
Re: Another Arowana-in-80-gallons question     12/24/12

thanks for ur reply,  my question is  when powerhead in the bottom of the tank, due to  heavy pressure  it is not giving air bubbles, can  we  connect  additional separate  air pump   to the venturi  valve  nozzle in the powerhead?
<Powerheads won't work more than a few cm below the waterline. In deep tanks, install an airstone driven by a very powerful air pump. But you should not be relying on air pumps for making water "better". Circulation is better provided with powerheads, and if your water doesn't have enough oxygen in it for your fish, then get a bigger aquarium! You cannot keep Silver Arowanas in less the 200 gallons.>
i want air bubbles because  it   looks  beauty , connection between powerhead and separate  air pump means there will  be  wrong  gas  exchange will happen. awaiting for ur reply
<Hmm… do spend more time reading, and less time writing! Can I recommend the following:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/osteoglossiforms.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/arowanafaqs.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/ArowanaSysF.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/ArowanaDisF.htm
Most problems with Arowanas are caused by their environment; get that right, and these fish are hardy and interesting. But they need HUGE aquaria with MASSIVE filters to do well. Cheers, Neale.>
air pump  connection with  powerhead, Arowana sys.     12/25/12

why we  should not connect  air pump  to the  venturi valve nozzle of the powerhead,
<You can.>
i  don't want to give separate  airstone diffuser by  air pump i want to give air circulation by  means of powerhead with air pump. give your suggestion
<Adding more air won't make an 80-gallon aquarium any better for an Arowana. Please do understand this. Merry Christmas, Neale.>

emergency help needed for red tail golden Arowana (RMF, anything to add?)<<>>   12/29/10
to whom it may concern:
<Hello,>
about a month ago, our qian hu red tail golden Arowana developed pop eye, with first just 1 eye, and then 2. within a week, it got from bad to worse, even with frequent 20-30% water change, increased temperature to 32 degrees Celsius, adding rock salt,
<Why? Salt does nothing useful in this situation.>
Arowana vitamins and half a pack of OCEAN FREE YELLOW POWDER,
<<Can't find what this actually is... listed as an antibacterial of wide use...>>
as instructed by our local fish store. the worst stage was when he already kept bumping into the glass quite hard because while he could swim good he could not see, and therefore could not eat.
<Indeed.>
it is placed in a 75 gallon aquarium with an over head filter.
<Much too small for Scleropages spp. Anything less than 150 gallons is, in my opinion, worthless when it comes to Arowanas, and frankly, even a 200 gallon tank is "small". These are RIVER fish as well as being HUGE, so it's critical they have plenty of space, both psychologically and physiologically. Without sufficient space they're prone to swimming into/jumping into the walls of the tank. This causes both stress and physical damage, and that in turn leads to Pop-eye. As for their physiology, large water volumes dilute the MASSIVE amounts of nitrogenous wastes these fish produce.>
it is 4 inches long when we bought it 2 months ago. we have been feeding it protein worms and small feeder fishes.
<Why are you using feeder fishes? That's part of the problem, I'm sure. Let's be crystal clear about this. There are NO reasons in favour of the use of feeder fishes, and in fact lots of VERY GOOD REASONS not to use them. Besides malnutrition, you're also introducing parasites and bacterial infections of all sorts, and the use of live feeder fishes also tends to make predatory fish more active and more aggressive, two things you DO NOT WANT in aquaria.>
the popping and bulging of the eye did get better by the second week but the pupil/iris/inner part of the eye ended up being covered by a thin white translucent sort of film. it is similar to eye cataracts in humans, but is not, since this is well inside the cornea of the fish eye. upon consulting from the local distributor, the yellow powder may have been too much and irritated the eye in the process. we were instructed to do 25% water change every other day until the dark yellow water becomes much much lighter already. it was about a week before it ate a worm. during this time the color of the Arowana became visibly more vibrant in the body and in the fins as well.
<A clue here, I'm sure. Water changes = improvements in water quality. It would seem obvious to me that a combination of poor environmental conditions and physical damage, i.e., swimming into the glass, has caused Pop-eye.>
we proceeded to put MELAFIX by the middle of the 2nd week since only 1 eye got better while the other remained swollen and cloudy. within a couple of days the improvement was dramatic in both eyes.
<Okay. Melafix itself is fairly mild, and I wouldn't expect much from its use. But it can help in some situations. I'd always trust a proper antibiotic instead.>
but other symptoms came up, we noticed some small red worms in the water, and then some white ones after the red ones were gone. although we put in Epsom salt to draw water out from the eyes as was suggested in an internet article, we assumed we were lucky in expelling internal parasites/ worms in the process.
<Worms likely came from the feeder fish. They sound like Camallanus but its hard to say. Unlikely to be related to the Pop-eye, but a clear sign of poor care. Please do focus on what Arowanas need in captivity. It's a shame they're so popular as "lucky" fish -- obviously they'd be luckier if they were left in the wild! -- and this lucky aspect means some people buy them for their home aquaria without any idea about what they need. I'm an expert fishkeeper, and even I wouldn't bother keeping an Arowana in anything smaller than 200 gallons.>
by the 3rd week it was already eating well, but the one eye was still cloudy in the middle and now there were worms. out of desperation we put in RID ALL, and OCEAN FREE INTERNAL BACTERIA AND ULCER AWAY. in hind sight this may have been a wrong concoction. we were told that the OCEAN FREE YELLOW POWDER was mainly a water conditioner and antibiotic, and did not attack internal parasites, which according to some internet articles, were possible causes for pop eye. the RID ALL was put because the fish shop told us the cloudy eye was caused by fungal infections.
<Instead of listening to the shop guy, who is trying to sell you something, read something about Pop-eye and Arowanas first. Random medications rarely help and usually make things worse. It's crucial to understand that Pop-eye doesn't happen for no reason, usually physical damage and poor environmental conditions. Antibiotics and Epsom salt will reverse Pop-eye, but only if the environment is fixed.>
after doing this the Arowana started listing to its right side, its good eye side. since this was pretty immediate I presume the RID ALL and INTERNAL BACTERIA AND ULCER AWAY concoction may have been an overdose and shocked the fish. the white film over the eye worsened also.
<'¦>
we performed daily 15% water change. and the Arowana fed normally except by this time we had proven that it had difficulty in depth perception as it was trying to eat the worm sometimes inches off. since the fish was listing towards the good eye, which was dropping a bit already, we presumed this was not a swim bladder problem but an eye problem, specially because it sort of leaned towards the good eye to look at you through the window, and it could go up and down, and swam with direction, only it did at an angle. like other experiences I've read, when the light was off, it seemed to swim more upright, and when the light was turned on the listing was more pronounced sometimes at a 45 degree angle.
<'¦>
we decided to make an over all cleaning of the overhead filter, thermometer, motor 1 day. and when we looked, 2 scales had fallen off and a bit off blood was visible at the gills. we do not know if it had tried to jump out. it also appeared jumpy at this point.
<Indeed. It's world is too small, too poor.>
by the 4th week we had wrapped the front side of the aquarium with dark covering and placed a floating ball to try to keep him looking up, and hopefully correct his swimming. this was also from the internet.
<'¦>
through all of this we also noticed that there is a very slight S shaped bending of the spine.
<Not good, and again, a sign of poor environment as well as poor diet.>
we are about 5 weeks from the first pop eye. the medicines are probably gone because we have returned the carbon filter in the over head. we have also lowered the temperature to 31 degrees Celsius and a bit less rock salt every 3 day water change of 10-15%.
<Stop with the salt. Epsom salt is fine; sodium chloride irrelevant, perhaps stressful. Instead of adding stuff to the tank, focus on the reality -- this fish needs a MUCH BIGGER WORLD.>
it is at this point that the Arowana began swimming in circles just 3 days ago, which I initially thought to be a behavior brought about by seeing in only the right eye, and in wanting to see 360 degrees around, it swam in circles. upon reading just now, I believe it is either of 2 things, loopy as was described by Sabrina in this website, or whirling disease by Myxosoma parasite.
<Not good.>
as a last ditch effort, I would like to use clamoxyquine or the likes prescribed in Wikipedia, if incase it is whirling disease.
<Is not.>
the circular swimming has been getting more and more frantic. and the direction to its swimming is in my opinion deteriorating a bit. although I am still hoping that it is just loopy in that it was shocked by the amount of water change and medicine that was applied during the past month. it may have helped that we did not ad anti chorine because pet shop said it cannot be mixed with antibiotic, which was already in the water.
<'¦>
I would like to ask now what would be the best course of action: to add more medicine, or to try let it recover by itself.
<A bigger aquarium, better environment, the right diet -- plus antibiotics and Epsom salt as described elsewhere on WWM.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/epsomfaqs.htm
May take months to recover, hence the CRUCIAL need for OPTIMAL living conditions. Antibiotics reduce the bacteria behind the eyeball, and Epsom salt relieves swelling, but neither will fix the problem if the fish's world is not essentially sound.>
thank you very much. I do not like to give up on this fish. it is clear that water quality was the problem at the beginning and although we have addressed that, a lot of symptoms have appeared: scales fall off, blood in gills, curved spine, cloudy eye, loss of appetite, listing, and now looping or whirling. a lot of times it seemed to me to be his last day, but he kept getting better, then worse, then better.
he wants to survive but I can't help him.
<The key thing to know about Arowanas is that they're easy to kill, just like Stingrays. You NEVER want to be in a situation where you have a sick Arowana to deal with. They're delicate and sensitive to some medications, particularly copper- and formalin-based ones. So you MUST start as you mean to go on. A 150, 200 gallon aquarium; massive filtration, i.e., turnover rates 10 or more times the volume of the tank per hour; massive water changes, at least 50% weekly; very steady water chemistry, though the values themselves aren't critical; elimination of anything in or outside the tank likely to cause them to jump -- not loud music, no sudden lights, no aggressive tankmates; and a carefully chosen diet based around safe live, fresh and dried foods -- crickets, earthworms, tilapia fillet, prawns, pellets, etc. Every time you depart from this list of essentials, e.g., by using a smaller tank or feeding goldfish, you simply increase the chances your Arowana will get sick and die. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.><<Agreed. RMF>>
Re: emergency help needed for red tail golden Arowana (RMF, anything to add?)   12/29/10
dear Neale,
thanks for the quick response.
<Glad to help.>
changing the aquarium is not an option right now physically in our home. I did expect the 75 gallon aquarium to be outgrown in a year's time and have not yet taken steps towards that, although I think it can suffice for a 4-5 inch Arowana for the time being.
<I understand your logic here. But the reality is that Arowanas don't always see things the same way as we do! It's always cheaper for you and better for the fish to buy the big aquarium FIRST and forget about upgrading tanks months or years down the line. Why? Because we tend to delay spending money on the second tank, and between the time we buy the second tank and the time when the first tank becomes inadequate, there's a gap where the Arowana (or any other large fish) gets stressed by its environment.>
if it does get thru this ordeal alive, even with 1 blind eye, then I will address the aquarium size problem. transferring a severely sick Arowana to a 20 gallon aquarium isn't practical or possible right now.
<Do you mean 200 gallons? Yes, moving it to a bigger, better world would help things. Whether that's do-able for you given your budget and the size of your home, I cannot say. But these are precisely the reasons I don't keep Arowanas or Stingrays. Yes, I have the skills to keep both, but no, I don't have the space or money.>
how did you come to the conclusion that it is not whirling disease?
<Extremely rare in aquaria. The parasite is transmitted through live foods, and because of the life cycle of the parasite, it's very unlikely to get into the home aquarium. It's more of a problem on fish farms.>
if it is not, will it ever stop swimming around in circles? I'd like to focus on what I should do immediately. this remains to be the biggest and problem right now.
<The "swimming in circles" is a combination of stress, poisoning, and/or nerve damage. Very commonly observed in dying fish.>
the eyesight I would think has a fighting chance to get better a few months down the road. however, the listing to the right at a 45 degree angle, and the nonstop looping/whirling/swimming in tight circles, is just getting worse by the day.
<Yes.>
by the way, I just noticed now that the left eye which is the unhealed eye, seems to have gone inwards the head a bit. I am really having difficulty pinpointing what it is this fish has.
<Environmental stress.>
and I want to be certain I am putting the correct medication this time around. I am afraid there will not be another chance.
<Indeed.>
do you think OCEAN FREE INTERNAL BACTERIA AND ULCER AWAY,
<No idea, because I don't know its ingredients. Only proper antibiotics help with Pop-eye, not "anti internal bacteria" potions using formalin, etc. Indeed, only antibiotics are *safe* with Arowanas.>
along with Epsom salt will do the trick? is 34 degrees too much?
<Yes, too warm. Loss of oxygen at high water temperature is a factor.>
should I add AQUA GUARD anti chlorine as well?
<You should be dechlorinating all new water added to the tank anyway.>
is protein worm diet ok? the fish will not eat anything that doesn't move since day 1.
<Yes, it will eat pellets, crickets, etc. It's up to you to wean him onto those foods. Earthworms are fine, but they're expensive in the long term, and not balanced. You need a variety. Arowana Pellets are an excellent staple, and crickets can be easily dusted with vitamins and calcium.>
thanks again.
<You're welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Arowanas in large tank    9/1/10
Hi guys,
<Shalom!>
First, thanks in advance for any help that you will be able to provide. We are at a loss!
<Glad to assist you>
I work at a public aquarium. We had 6 medium to large silver Arowanas, 9 adult (and breeding) jaguar cichlids, 5 motoro freshwater stingrays and 3 large Plecos
<Thank you for providing this/tankmate information. VERY useful in determining what might be wrong>
in a 4,500 gallon tank (4x2x2.5 meters). All was well for several months, but recently the Arowanas started dying on us. The symptoms are all similar - loss of appetite (we tried changing foods -
<I take it from the syntax that the losses occurred before the actual change in diet>
from commercially obtained frozen North Sea fish, which are used to feed many species of fish and birds, to floating pellets, cooked shrimp, cooked mussels and even some red meat), and then vertical "tail standing" and eventual death. One of the 2 aro's that died was also breathing heavier before it started standing on its tail. The first was isolated after it started "tail standing" in a quarantine tank with added aeration and treated with Baytril (common general antibiotic) IM
<Intra-Muscular for browsers>
injections and daily water changes. It survived 5 days and died, never gaining its balance back before dying. The second one showed the symptoms about 6 weeks after the first one died. It was isolated with added aeration and treated with Baytril, Metronidazole, Artemiss (by MicrobeLift) and daily water changes. It survived two days and died. The third one just started "tail standing" and is still in the main tank. The thing with the third one is that it is (used to be?) one of the two dominant individuals in the tank that looked like they formed a pair, so this might rule out (?) stress due to constant aggression by tank mates.
<A sub-factor...>
No inter-specific aggression was observed. The second aro that died was sent to post-mortem, but no definitive results came back (bacteriology and gross pathology), but it was not in an optimal condition for tests because of the time between its death and the procedure.
water parameters are as follows:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0-0.1 (on feeding days)
Nitrate - ~40
<A little high, but tolerable>
water are extremely hard (out of scale of most commercial kits)
PH - 8.6
<Way too high for the Osteoglossids, Rays>
The water conditions are currently less than ideal because of electrical problems that cause less than ideal circulation in the tank and sump, but the stingrays, which are supposedly sensitive, are doing just fine!
<Yes>
Any advice, suggestion, idea will be appreciated
<My best (initial) guess is something amiss with water quality... But what? From the behavior, lack of reaction by other fishes present, perhaps simple low dissolved oxygen... I would test this (it may have changed w/ the loss of the Arowanas...) and assure that it is a good 5-6 plus ppm... Does your facility use ozone? I would add it here for sure. What is the respective ORP in this system? Bob Fenner> 
Re: Sick Arowanas in large tank   9/4/10

Shalom Bob,
<And you Noam>
Thanks for your swift reply and apologies for my belated one, but I wanted to get some measurements following your suggestions.
First - some measurements of water hardness: GH = 21 dH; KH = 14 dH
<Fine>
Unfortunately, cannot measure ORP for now. We do not use ozone in this system, but we have two 55W UV bulbs instead.
<Ahh, these will/do add to ORP, DO to an extant>
Oxygen level was about 6 ppm (at the end of the day)
<This is fine, near saturation. Perhaps this reading was different though when the animals were lost>
and the water temperature is 29 Deg. Celsius (warm summer in Israel) - the Oxygen level indeed seems a little low, but no other species has been showing signs of breathing difficulties (e.g. rapid breathing, surfacing for air). Are Arowanas more sensitive to low Oxygen?
<Not generally... in fact they and many other S. American "Amazon" fishes are facultative aerial respirators... i.e. can/do "gulp" air at the surface at times for ancillary respiration... Of the fishes/tankmates you listed though, they are the most sensitive. Am back to considering some other source of outright toxicity... The next likely source of mortality... the food/s>
Noam
<Bob Fenner> 
Re: Sick Arowanas in large tank   9/6/2010

Shalom again Bob,
<And you my friend>
Some news regarding the aro's - the latest sick Arowana died yesterday and was immediately sent for PM. A definite result for Mycobacterium came back.
<Mmm, this genus of bacteria is almost omnipresent... often leading to questions of cause or effect...>
My questions now would be:
1. I understand that the bacteria is common in aquariums and fish can be hosts of the disease for a long time with mild or no symptoms. So can water conditions or some other stressor can be the cause for the outbreak of the disease recently and the death of the fish?
<Yes. I do believe this is so>
2. Can we prevent further deaths to our remaining aro's by fixing possible stressing parameters or are all our aro's doomed?
<Can be thwarted with improved water quality... even some attest by prophylactic antimicrobial additions to food/s>
3. How about the rest of the species in the same tank? Are aro's specially sensitive to TB and the rest of the species are safe for now or should we perform some radical treatment to avoid their death as well?
<I do think there is more susceptibility in some fish groups/families than others... All fishes can/will succumb if conditions are so "bad"...>
One more thing - I failed to mention previously that to avoid stress to the fish due to sudden turn-off of the lights, we leave subdued lighting (similar to moonlight) in the aquarium. Can the constant lighting (10.5 hours full light/13.5 hours subdued light) be a stressing factor for some/all the fish?
<Can be... how "subdued" is subdued? Some low light intensity is a very good idea 24/7>
Many Thanks again for your help!
Noam
<Please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_6/volume_6_2/mycobactera.htm
and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Very Sick Arowana! HELP! Hello WWM crew. First off, your time is greatly appreciated! I have searched all over your website and all over the web and can't seem to find what I am looking for. Hopefully one of you will have an answer. One of my silver Arowanas is very sick. First here are some of the details of the tank, setup, and water parameters. I have a website for my tank on myarowanatank.googlepages.com so you can check out the basics of my tank. 4 months ago I received 7 baby Arowanas. 4 jardinei and 3 silvers. They are currently range from 5 inches for the smallest jardinei to 11inches for the biggest silver. They are in a 150 gallon tank <... not altogether...> with a sump operating volume of 42 gallons. I know it is small but that is for a reason. I am keeping them in that small of a tank so they do not get territorial. <This won't happen...> I have had zero fights because of it. I have 430 gallon tank ready for them when they get a little bigger. <I would move them now... at least all the silvers...> I will eventually have an even larger tank for them when they need it. So despite the size it is setup to handle the bio load for all of them right now. I am OCD about my tank water. I do 10% water changes by gravel vacuuming daily which is automatically replaced by the RO/DI and auto fill system. I maintain KH with baking soda. There is also a 36W UV before the input into the tank. Ok so the water during the day is at. pH = 6.8 - 7.0 Ammonia = 0 always Nitrite = 0 always Nitrate = always less than 5, usually zero GH = 60 always KH = maintained between 20 - 40 PO4 = 0 -.5 <All look good> Now one of my silvers is very sick. 3 weeks ago I noticed white scratches on is head and white around his lips. It looked like damage from hitting stuff which they occasionally do and not like cotton mouth.? I added a little salt and the head mark went away in about 4-5 days. However after a few more days the lips were still not healed and I noticed his appetite dropping off. (All 7 eat 1000 crickets a week right now!) <Need more nutrition than this> I hand feed them and pet them so I knew something was wrong. He would only take food if I held it in front of his mouth for awhile and was very slow and not aggressive when he would finally eat it. But appetite dropped from 20 to maybe 4 crickets a day. He is know pretty skinny and still has white lips and has lost all of his appetite yesterday. Last night I caught him vertical tail on bottom head straight up. I took him out of main tank and put him in the plant refugium. Added aeration, salt, stress coat, and some extra minerals to the water. After an hour he was back horizontal and is also ok this morning. But still weak and no appetite + plus is breathing a little slow still. Now I have carefully inspected him from head to tail. There are no white lice or spots anywhere on his body. His head itself is healed and looks good. But his lips are still white both lower and upper. However the lips are not hairy or fuzzy. It doesn't look like cotton mouth or ich but I am no expert. Any ideas? I usually feed crickets but occasionally give them feeders. I believe it came from a batch of Rosie minnows several weeks ago. Although they were quarantined for a week with no deaths or apparent problems first. So any recommended medications or treatments? Also none of the other fish have shown any problems after 3 weeks now. I want this fish to live at all costs! I can take pictures if needed. PLEASE HELP! Sincerely, Robert Bledsoe <Again... better, wider nutrition and move the Osteoglossum bicirrhosum to the larger system... they will fight there in time as well... the real issues here are diet and stress. Bob Fenner>

Very Sick Arowana PLEASE HELP! Neale's much more thorough go    11/11/07 Hello WWM crew. First off, your time is greatly appreciated! <You're welcome.> I have searched all over your website and all over the web and can't seem to find what I am looking for. <Ok.> Hopefully one of you will have an answer. One of my silver Arowanas is very sick. First here are some of the details of the tank, setup, and water parameters. I have a website for my tank on myarowanatank.googlepages.com so you can check out the basics of my tank. <I'd sooner you summarised this here. Kind of a pain to have to open up another browser window and trawl through a whole bunch of stuff to find what I wanted. All I really care about is water chemistry, tank volume, filtration and diet. But nice tank though.> 4 months ago I received 7 baby Arowanas. 4 jardinei and 3 silvers. <You do realise the Jardinei's will pulverize the poor South American Arowanas?> They are currently range from 5 inches for the smallest jardinei to 11 inches for the biggest silver. <Quite a selection. There are, as I hope you know, territorial, non-schooling fish. Unless the tank is the size of a pond, it's one to a tank.> They are in a 150 gallon tank with a sump operating volume of 42 gallons. <Way too small for this number of Arowana. Two compatible South Americans might coexist, but even a single Jardinei is going to own that space, and treat anything else in there as either [a] dinner or [b] target practise.> I know it is small but that is for a reason. <Indeed...?> I am keeping them in that small of a tank so they do not get territorial. <You're joking, right? These aren't Mbuna or mudskippers, where this sort of idea makes sense. Each of these fish gets to around a metre in length, and most of that is solid muscle. The sheer bio-load on the filter alone is reason enough NOT to keep them all in a tank this size. If you want to stock multiple South American Arowana, it's something around 150-200 gallons per fish. With Jardinei, it just isn't viable because of their incredible aggression.> I have had zero fights because of it. <No, you've had no fights because they're babies. Give 'em a few more months. Once the Jardinei are half-grown, the males will be causing a LOT of problems.> I have 430 gallon tank ready for them when they get a little bigger. <Ah, that tank will house two, maybe three South Americans. Or one Jardinei. Your choice.> I will eventually have an even larger tank for them when they need it. <I hope so. The seven South American Arowanas are going to want something like 1000-1500 gallons. And one Jardinei will take over that tank all by itself given the chance.> So despite the size it is setup to handle the bio load for all of them right now. <Well, they're not "all right" at all. You have one dying Arowana. This is what happens when you have too many mutually aggressive fish. I've seen it with Archerfish, halfbeaks, angelfish, Mbuna, and so on ad nauseum. One fish gets sick, and dies thanks to stress and an inability to get enough food. A few weeks or months later, another fish dies. And then another. And then another. Until there is one left, the dominant male.> I am OCD about my tank water. <Good.> I do 10% water changes by gravel vacuuming daily which is automatically replaced by the RO/DI and auto fill system. I maintain KH with baking soda. There is also a 36W UV before the input into the tank. Ok so the water during the day is at. pH = 6.8 - 7.0 Ammonia = 0 always Nitrite = 0 always Nitrate = always less than 5, usually zero GH = 60 always KH = maintained between 20 - 40 PO4 = 0 -.5 <All seems fine.> Now one of my silvers is very sick. 3 weeks ago I noticed white scratches on is head and white around his lips. <Skin damage. From fighting or jumping. Quelle surprise.> It looked like damage from hitting stuff which they occasionally do and not like cotton mouth.? <Treat as per Finrot.> I added a little salt and the head mark went away in about 4-5 days. However after a few more days the lips were still not healed and I noticed his appetite dropping off. (All 7 eat 1000 crickets a week right now!) I hand feed them and pet them so I knew something was wrong. He would only take food if I held it in front of his mouth for awhile and was very slow and not aggressive when he would finally eat it. <Likely stress. This is what happens when fish are stressed. They go into a "retiring" modus to avoid contact with aggressive fish, I suppose. In any case, the best (only) cure is to remove the fish to another tank and allow it to rest and feed peacefully.> But appetite dropped from 20 to maybe 4 crickets a day. He is know pretty skinny and still has white lips and has lost all of his appetite yesterday. Last night I caught him vertical tail on bottom head straight up. <Nichts gut.> I took him out of main tank and put him in the plant refugium. Added aeration, salt, stress coat, and some extra minerals to the water. <Wasn't aware that salt was beneficial to Arowana. They naturally inhabit fairly soft water. I'd be looking for more specific treatments here, in particular to deal with secondary bacterial infections, which are likely the cause of the skin problem.> After an hour he was back horizontal and is also ok this morning. But still weak and no appetite + plus is breathing a little slow still. Now I have carefully inspected him from head to tail. There are no white lice or spots anywhere on his body. His head itself is healed and looks good. But his lips are still white both lower and upper. However it lips do look like they are getting fuzzy or hairy so it could be cotton mouth but I am no expert. <It's just secondary infections setting in. As I say, treat as you would Finrot and/or Fungus and be done with it. Salt isn't really helpful, and neither is Melafix-type stuff.> Any ideas? I usually feed crickets but occasionally give them feeders. <Crickets are fine, but they are pretty monotonous and unless you are gut-loading them then hardly a balanced diet. Mix it up, and use either a range of insects or a mix of crickets with carnivore pellets. Feeder fish are an incredibly bad idea with Arowanas. Goldfish and other Cyprinidae are right out, because of their fat content and Thiaminase, but any feeders you didn't personally breed yourself should be treated as parasite/bacteria time bombs. I'm not sure why so many fishkeepers can't grasp this: they spend $1000 on an prize Arowana, and then feed it a 10 cent goldfish taken from a tank with billions of other goldfish many of which are quite obviously sick and all of which are nutritionally incredibly bad for most predatory fish. It's insane.> I believe it came from a batch of Rosie minnows several weeks ago. <Even better. Did you breed those Minnows yourself? And gut-load them? And de-worm them? And treat them with a systemic antibiotic? If the answer is "No" to any of those questions, why on earth were you feeding them to fish you purport to care about? Feeder fish -- unless you breed livebearers or something safe yourself -- are nothing more than disease time bombs. Don't use them.> Although they were quarantined for a week with no deaths or apparent problems first. <Indeed.> What would be the best thing to do for treatment? <Finrot/fungus medication of a type safe for use with Arowana. Quite possibly their is an internal bacterial infection as well, given the odd behaviour of this fish. An antibiotic or antibacterial may help.> Any specific medications or treatments? Also none of the other fish have shown any problems after 3 weeks now. I want this fish to live at all costs! <In which case, consult a vet. Largish fish like Arowana can respond quite well to prescription medications better than those offered by pet stores.> I can take pictures if needed. PLEASE HELP! <Certainly, a photo of the head of this fish would help pin down the precise infection. But I'm fairly sure it's some sort of secondary infection caused by [a] being bitten by a more aggressive fish (they fight jaw-to-jaw and jaw-to-tail) or [b] hitting its head on the roof of the tank while trying to escape from something. My money would be on one of the Jardinei throwing its weight around. While your plan might work with South American Arowanas, and maybe even some of the Asian Scleropages, in my opinion Jardinei are just too mean.> Sincerely, Robert <I hope this helps Robert. Your project looks fascinating and I entirely understand your love of these superb fish. But I suspect you have taken on rather more than would be wise. Sincerely, Neale>

Very Sick Arowana! HELP! Hello WWM crew. First off, your time is greatly appreciated! I have searched all over your website and all over the web and can't seem to find what I am looking for. Hopefully one of you will have an answer. One of my silver Arowanas is very sick. First here are some of the details of the tank, setup, and water parameters. I have a website for my tank on myarowanatank.googlepages.com so you can check out the basics of my tank. 4 months ago I received 7 baby Arowanas. 4 jardinei and 3 silvers. They are currently range from 5 inches for the smallest jardinei to 11inches for the biggest silver. They are in a 150 gallon tank <... not altogether...> with a sump operating volume of 42 gallons. I know it is small but that is for a reason. I am keeping them in that small of a tank so they do not get territorial. <This won't happen...> I have had zero fights because of it. I have 430 gallon tank ready for them when they get a little bigger. <I would move them now... at least all the silvers...> I will eventually have an even larger tank for them when they need it. So despite the size it is setup to handle the bio load for all of them right now. I am OCD about my tank water. I do 10% water changes by gravel vacuuming daily which is automatically replaced by the RO/DI and auto fill system. I maintain KH with baking soda. There is also a 36W UV before the input into the tank. Ok so the water during the day is at. pH = 6.8 - 7.0 Ammonia = 0 always Nitrite = 0 always Nitrate = always less than 5, usually zero GH = 60 always KH = maintained between 20 - 40 PO4 = 0 -.5 <All look good> Now one of my silvers is very sick. 3 weeks ago I noticed white scratches on is head and white around his lips. It looked like damage from hitting stuff which they occasionally do and not like cotton mouth.? I added a little salt and the head mark went away in about 4-5 days. However after a few more days the lips were still not healed and I noticed his appetite dropping off. (All 7 eat 1000 crickets a week right now!) <Need more nutrition than this> I hand feed them and pet them so I knew something was wrong. He would only take food if I held it in front of his mouth for awhile and was very slow and not aggressive when he would finally eat it. But appetite dropped from 20 to maybe 4 crickets a day. He is know pretty skinny and still has white lips and has lost all of his appetite yesterday. Last night I caught him vertical tail on bottom head straight up. I took him out of main tank and put him in the plant refugium. Added aeration, salt, stress coat, and some extra minerals to the water. After an hour he was back horizontal and is also ok this morning. But still weak and no appetite + plus is breathing a little slow still. Now I have carefully inspected him from head to tail. There are no white lice or spots anywhere on his body. His head itself is healed and looks good. But his lips are still white both lower and upper. However the lips are not hairy or fuzzy. It doesn't look like cotton mouth or ich but I am no expert. Any ideas? I usually feed crickets but occasionally give them feeders. I believe it came from a batch of Rosie minnows several weeks ago. Although they were quarantined for a week with no deaths or apparent problems first. So any recommended medications or treatments? Also none of the other fish have shown any problems after 3 weeks now. I want this fish to live at all costs! I can take pictures if needed. PLEASE HELP! Sincerely, Robert Bledsoe <Again... better, wider nutrition and move the Osteoglossum bicirrhosum to the larger system... they will fight there in time as well... the real issues here are diet and stress. Bob Fenner>

Very Sick Arowana PLEASE HELP! Neale's much more thorough go    11/11/07 Hello WWM crew. First off, your time is greatly appreciated! <You're welcome.> I have searched all over your website and all over the web and can't seem to find what I am looking for. <Ok.> Hopefully one of you will have an answer. One of my silver Arowanas is very sick. First here are some of the details of the tank, setup, and water parameters. I have a website for my tank on myarowanatank.googlepages.com so you can check out the basics of my tank. <I'd sooner you summarised this here. Kind of a pain to have to open up another browser window and trawl through a whole bunch of stuff to find what I wanted. All I really care about is water chemistry, tank volume, filtration and diet. But nice tank though.> 4 months ago I received 7 baby Arowanas. 4 jardinei and 3 silvers. <You do realise the Jardinei's will pulverize the poor South American Arowanas?> They are currently range from 5 inches for the smallest jardinei to 11 inches for the biggest silver. <Quite a selection. There are, as I hope you know, territorial, non-schooling fish. Unless the tank is the size of a pond, it's one to a tank.> They are in a 150 gallon tank with a sump operating volume of 42 gallons. <Way too small for this number of Arowana. Two compatible South Americans might coexist, but even a single Jardinei is going to own that space, and treat anything else in there as either [a] dinner or [b] target practise.> I know it is small but that is for a reason. <Indeed...?> I am keeping them in that small of a tank so they do not get territorial. <You're joking, right? These aren't Mbuna or mudskippers, where this sort of idea makes sense. Each of these fish gets to around a metre in length, and most of that is solid muscle. The sheer bio-load on the filter alone is reason enough NOT to keep them all in a tank this size. If you want to stock multiple South American Arowana, it's something around 150-200 gallons per fish. With Jardinei, it just isn't viable because of their incredible aggression.> I have had zero fights because of it. <No, you've had no fights because they're babies. Give 'em a few more months. Once the Jardinei are half-grown, the males will be causing a LOT of problems.> I have 430 gallon tank ready for them when they get a little bigger. <Ah, that tank will house two, maybe three South Americans. Or one Jardinei. Your choice.> I will eventually have an even larger tank for them when they need it. <I hope so. The seven South American Arowanas are going to want something like 1000-1500 gallons. And one Jardinei will take over that tank all by itself given the chance.> So despite the size it is setup to handle the bio load for all of them right now. <Well, they're not "all right" at all. You have one dying Arowana. This is what happens when you have too many mutually aggressive fish. I've seen it with Archerfish, halfbeaks, angelfish, Mbuna, and so on ad nauseum. One fish gets sick, and dies thanks to stress and an inability to get enough food. A few weeks or months later, another fish dies. And then another. And then another. Until there is one left, the dominant male.> I am OCD about my tank water. <Good.> I do 10% water changes by gravel vacuuming daily which is automatically replaced by the RO/DI and auto fill system. I maintain KH with baking soda. There is also a 36W UV before the input into the tank. Ok so the water during the day is at. pH = 6.8 - 7.0 Ammonia = 0 always Nitrite = 0 always Nitrate = always less than 5, usually zero GH = 60 always KH = maintained between 20 - 40 PO4 = 0 -.5 <All seems fine.> Now one of my silvers is very sick. 3 weeks ago I noticed white scratches on is head and white around his lips. <Skin damage. From fighting or jumping. Quelle surprise.> It looked like damage from hitting stuff which they occasionally do and not like cotton mouth.? <Treat as per Finrot.> I added a little salt and the head mark went away in about 4-5 days. However after a few more days the lips were still not healed and I noticed his appetite dropping off. (All 7 eat 1000 crickets a week right now!) I hand feed them and pet them so I knew something was wrong. He would only take food if I held it in front of his mouth for awhile and was very slow and not aggressive when he would finally eat it. <Likely stress. This is what happens when fish are stressed. They go into a "retiring" modus to avoid contact with aggressive fish, I suppose. In any case, the best (only) cure is to remove the fish to another tank and allow it to rest and feed peacefully.> But appetite dropped from 20 to maybe 4 crickets a day. He is know pretty skinny and still has white lips and has lost all of his appetite yesterday. Last night I caught him vertical tail on bottom head straight up. <Nichts gut.> I took him out of main tank and put him in the plant refugium. Added aeration, salt, stress coat, and some extra minerals to the water. <Wasn't aware that salt was beneficial to Arowana. They naturally inhabit fairly soft water. I'd be looking for more specific treatments here, in particular to deal with secondary bacterial infections, which are likely the cause of the skin problem.> After an hour he was back horizontal and is also ok this morning. But still weak and no appetite + plus is breathing a little slow still. Now I have carefully inspected him from head to tail. There are no white lice or spots anywhere on his body. His head itself is healed and looks good. But his lips are still white both lower and upper. However it lips do look like they are getting fuzzy or hairy so it could be cotton mouth but I am no expert. <It's just secondary infections setting in. As I say, treat as you would Finrot and/or Fungus and be done with it. Salt isn't really helpful, and neither is Melafix-type stuff.> Any ideas? I usually feed crickets but occasionally give them feeders. <Crickets are fine, but they are pretty monotonous and unless you are gut-loading them then hardly a balanced diet. Mix it up, and use either a range of insects or a mix of crickets with carnivore pellets. Feeder fish are an incredibly bad idea with Arowanas. Goldfish and other Cyprinidae are right out, because of their fat content and Thiaminase, but any feeders you didn't personally breed yourself should be treated as parasite/bacteria time bombs. I'm not sure why so many fishkeepers can't grasp this: they spend $1000 on an prize Arowana, and then feed it a 10 cent goldfish taken from a tank with billions of other goldfish many of which are quite obviously sick and all of which are nutritionally incredibly bad for most predatory fish. It's insane.> I believe it came from a batch of Rosie minnows several weeks ago. <Even better. Did you breed those Minnows yourself? And gut-load them? And de-worm them? And treat them with a systemic antibiotic? If the answer is "No" to any of those questions, why on earth were you feeding them to fish you purport to care about? Feeder fish -- unless you breed livebearers or something safe yourself -- are nothing more than disease time bombs. Don't use them.> Although they were quarantined for a week with no deaths or apparent problems first. <Indeed.> What would be the best thing to do for treatment? <Finrot/fungus medication of a type safe for use with Arowana. Quite possibly their is an internal bacterial infection as well, given the odd behaviour of this fish. An antibiotic or antibacterial may help.> Any specific medications or treatments? Also none of the other fish have shown any problems after 3 weeks now. I want this fish to live at all costs! <In which case, consult a vet. Largish fish like Arowana can respond quite well to prescription medications better than those offered by pet stores.> I can take pictures if needed. PLEASE HELP! <Certainly, a photo of the head of this fish would help pin down the precise infection. But I'm fairly sure it's some sort of secondary infection caused by [a] being bitten by a more aggressive fish (they fight jaw-to-jaw and jaw-to-tail) or [b] hitting its head on the roof of the tank while trying to escape from something. My money would be on one of the Jardinei throwing its weight around. While your plan might work with South American Arowanas, and maybe even some of the Asian Scleropages, in my opinion Jardinei are just too mean.> Sincerely, Robert <I hope this helps Robert. Your project looks fascinating and I entirely understand your love of these superb fish. But I suspect you have taken on rather more than would be wise. Sincerely, Neale>

Re: Disease Identification On Arowana  11/12/07 Hi Crew, <Alan> Possible to identify the disease (see attached pic.) that's on my Arowana's head. Currently it's in a hospital tank with aquarium salt and heater set to 32°C. Will this do? It's already a week and doesn't shows any sign of improvement. Any other remedy that'll speed up the cure? Thks. In advance. Regards. Alan <... is the physical trauma Neale and I have told you about... No "treatment" recommended... other than what's been stated re the dire need to separate these fishes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bonytongfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re:... Disease Identification On Arowana... still not understanding...   11/13/07 Hi Crew, Thks. for the reply. Sorry for being in doubt, but it looks fungus (whitish film over certain top scales) to me. Will adding of antibiotics helps? If it's really caused by physical trauma, then is it advisable to put it back into the main tank with the rest of the fishes? Thks. in advance. Regards. Alan <... not worth treating... can't be put back in... RMF>

Re: Very Sick Arowana update!  11/16/07 Thanks for the response! First off let me say I am taking your advice and all the Jardinei's are going! The largest Jardinei is getting very aggressive and herding the 3 smaller ones to the bottom of the tank. <Indeed. This is what they do.> The largest jardinei is being sold to the owner of a LFS in 3 days. <Good. They're lovely animals -- but one to a tank!> The others I will get rid of ASAP with care of course. <Good. You will find that the largest male left behind will become aggressive, and so on as you remove them.> Then the silvers (hopefully 3 not 2) are going to be moved to the 430 gallon until they grow a little bigger. <OK.> Now as for the sick silver. I isolated him for 5 days in the plant refuge and treated him per instructions with 2 packets of 200mg Erythromycin, aeration, and a daily 25% water change before each daily redose. The mouth wound or infection has healed considerably and has lost its fuzziness and just left the slight erosion on the end of the lip. <This will heal in due course, but some scarring may remain. Often the "new" skin has a different colour to what was there before. This is particularly commonly seen in fins, but can happen on the body as well.> He appeared to be swimming fine and a lot more active but will not take food. <Not a problem in the short term. More important he heals.> So I placed him back in the main tank hoping it would encourage him to eat. <Which he won't if he's being bullied there. I'd keep a sick Arowana on its own. Really, they're best kept alone anyway, and if you going to mix them, they all need to be healthy.> He has not eaten for about 7 or 8 days now. How long can they go without eating? <Several weeks. Do try alternate foods. South American Arowanas have a great fondness for insects, so try offering a variety of different insects. Beetles are apparently their favourite food. River shrimps, if you can get them, are also excellent, and few predatory fish ignore earthworms. Don't worry too much though. When the fish is healthy, it will eat.> Now back in the main tank I watched him closely for several hours. During the day he was horizontal and swimming with a slight waddle. After the lights turned off at night I found him vertical again. He would curve or coil his tail up and try to touch his body. At one point he was swimming in a out of control spiral. After a while he would be back up top swimming normal. Then back on the bottom head up again. I have looked him over very closely. His fins look perfect! The only thing I can see is a small red tinted spot approx 1/8 -3/16" in diameter which u can barely see. When he was still I looked closely at it with a flash light. It appears to have a pin head little spot in the middle of it. This is the only thing I can see on his body. I have attached a few large pictures now if that helps. <Please next time send smaller photos -- it takes forever to download 14 MB of photos via an e-mail client. We do explicitly ask for photos no larger than a few hundred KB each.> The first picture is when I placed him in refuge for treatment. The other night time photos where just taken (last 2 show red spot on lower jaw / gill area. What do you think?? Should I treat for fungal, parasites, or different bacteria? Again thanks for your time. Sincerely, Robert <He needs to be moved back to his own tank and kept there, end of story. Get the fish settled down and healed. I don't think there's any seriously wrong with your fish. It's noticeably underweight, yes, but that's easy enough to fix with a mixture of live invertebrates and good quality pellets. The antibiotics or antibacterials will take care of the secondary infections. My guess would be this fish is at the bottom of the pecking order, and putting it into the big tank is simply futile. It's a fish that needs its own tank where it can swim about and feed naturally. Ultimately you can't medicate this problem away -- it's a question of husbandry. Arowanas are not schooling fish in the wild and they are not sociable fish in aquaria. They are territorial loners, and the males especially are pretty nasty towards one another. What you're trying to do is fight against nature, and that's a battle I don't think you can win. If you happen to get a few specimens that coexist, that's great, but there will likely be specimens that will not coexist, and they will HAVE to be re-homed. Cheers, Neale.>

Swimming Problem... need info.   10/23/07 Hi Crew, <Alan> One of my fish can't seem to "dive down" no matter how hard she try and the back is always expose above the water level. She's swimming in a horizontal position and not those with head tilted downwards. What's the cause? Should I start to isolate and medicate her or will most likely recover on its own? Pls. advise and thanks in advance. Regards. Alan <Mmm, is this saltwater, fresh? What species of fish? Such disorientation can be the result of trauma, poor nutritional conditioning, diseases of various sorts... And their resolution a reflection of cause... If a goldfish... a good guess... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Swimming Problem, Osteoglossid    10/24/07 Hi Crew, <Alan> Sorry for missing out the type of fish, it's an Arowana. Should I take her out and into the hospital tank with medication? Pls. advise and Thks. Regards. Alan <I would NOT move this fish... much more likely trouble in doing so than not. Likely the root cause here is either a physical trauma (highly likely from jumping) or "trapped gas" inside from a blockage... In time this should pass. I would leave this fish where it is, be careful re feeding only small amounts of cut up food. Bob Fenner>

Arowana with Anchor Worms  3/16/2007 Hello Crew,                   I tried to email you thru the website but it would not go thru. I have a 5 inch Silver Arowana and I noticed it had a few Anchor Worms on him. Well I looked it up on the internet and found several ways to treat Anchor Worms, and I am not sure of the best way to go. So I was wondering if you could help? <Gladly>                   I have him in a 55 gallon tank with 2 Leopard Plecos (3 inches each) and 2 Sun Catfish (3 inches each). The Plecos and Cats look fine. I do have a Hospital tank set up and running as I type (35 gallon long), but I am not sure what to do. What treatment method should I use and what Medication? Do I have to treat the 55 gallon even if I move him? <I would treat this main tank, either in addition, or leave the Arowana in place, and treat it there as well> I am just lost right now and do not want to lose my Aro. If you have any ideas on how I should handle this issue please let me know. <Do get some help... as I suggest you carefully net out and hold this fish down (gently) and use tweezers to remove the adult worms/crustaceans from the Arowana (pull near their points of insertion, away from the fish (toward the tail)... daub the area where they're removed with a Mercurical (e.g. Mercurochrome) on a cotton swab (e.g. "Q-Tip")... and treat the water for intermediate forms with an Organophosphate... (e.g. Fluke Taps, Dylox, Masoten...) Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>                                                                                                         Thanks in advance, Sara N.

Arowana rubbing on things own jardinei Arowana that is about 10 inches, right now my fish didn't eat anything for a whole week, it's skin begin scratch and all the skin lost its color, can you help me some ways to prevent this problem, thank! <Arowanas are often times quick to turn off of food.  Usually it's because of declining water conditions or illness.  Since you mentioned it's scratching, then it most likely has a skin infection which will need to be treated immediately.  If you have a large enough tank to separate it and medicate it than please do so.  It most likely has a parasite like Ich, and is rubbing on things to help remove the parasite from it's body.  I would suggest medicating the fish with something like Maracide from Mardel.  That should help the fish.  Good luck. -Magnus>

Arowana problems Hi, I am wondering if anyone can help me, I have two Arowanas. One has started to swim with his head up with his rest of his body vertically down. I waited for a while thinking he had died but realized that he was still alive? He is swimming normally now, but has done this a few times! What is he doing?? Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. Hello John. You will need to give us a bit more information. What size tank is he in? What filtration do you use? Do you add any products, and if so, which ones? How often do you do partial water changes? Do you know your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels, and what are you feeding your Arowanas? Arowanas are prone to Internal gas bubble disease. Make sure your tank has good circulation and surface movement. Here are some links which may help you understand what gas bubble disease is: http://www.seahorse.org/library/articles/GBD.shtml and http://www.thekrib.com/Diseases/gas-bubble.html  -Gwen

Wormy Arowana  - 02/27/06 I have a 12" Arowana that had a lump on his right side. I tried to treat it with Prazi-pro, and salt but to no avail. I thought he may have developed dropsy but that was his only symptom, so I treated him with Maracyn II after the Prazi and salt but that didn't work either. So, I decided to perform surgery. I used Eugenol as the anesthetic (clove bud oil) then made a small incision under the scale at the backside of the lump. I couldn't believe what I saw. I removed a 3-4" pink worm with a white head all curled up in a ball. He is doing fine know and I am using the Maracyn II as an antibiotic. I was wondering if you could identify the worm and give me some tips on how to prevent this again? My water is perfect and I also have a very healthy teacup ray and clown knife. Thanks Mark Galary < These fish are always wild caught and could have picked up all kinds of intestinal critters like flatworms or tapeworms. Use a medication with  Praziquantel in it like Parasite clear, or PraziPro to prevent further problems.-Chuck>  

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