The Quality and Ethics of Asian Arowana Breeding Farms
There are more than 100 CITES registered Asian Arowana breeding farms scattered across Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore that export internationally. Not every breeding farm maintains high quality control and standards in their breeding practice. If you are considering purchasing and importing Arowana directly from a breeding farm, it is vital that you find the right breeder with good reputation and quality standards to ensure that the Arowanas you purchase are consistent in quality and colour. This is especially true for those who are buying young juvenile Asian Arowanas as they do not show full colourization until 1 to 3 years later when they reach full maturity.
With a lack of knowledge and experience in identifying genuine high quality Arowanas, first time buyers may be easily misled by unethical breeders and traders. They devise deceptive ways to make an Asian Arowana look attractive and irresistible despite its inherent low quality.
Unethical Techniques Breeders and Sellers Used to Deceive Novice Buyers:
Colour Hormones Usage
This method is primarily used on younger Arowanas when their sizes range between 4 and 7 inches. This is because adult Arowanas have thicker scales, which hide the colour of the skin below. Some breeders deceptively feed common Yellow Tail Arowanas with red colour hormones and sell them as genuine Red Arowanas.
Over Exposure to Sunlight
This method works particularly well with the red and yellow tail Arowanas. When exposed to bright sunlight for long periods of time, the colour darkens as the colour pigment enhances. However, when the fish is transferred to indoor tank with little exposure to sunlight, its colour gradually fades over time.
Starving the Arowana
The breeder stunts the physical growth of an Arowana by providing minimal amount of food to achieve deeper and intense colourization compared to normal Arowanas. As the juvenile reverts to the buyer’s normal feeding habit, it begins to show abnormal appearance such as large eyes, sunken belly, disproportionate body shape.
Cross Breeding Mixed Graded Arowanas
As juveniles do not show full colourization until maturity, it is very difficult to visually identify a mixed graded Arowana at young age, even for experts. Some examples are Crossback and Green, Crossback and RTG, which are both sold as premium Crossbacks.