“Dragon Fish” is a common name that refers to two different species of fish: the Violet Goby and the Asian Arowana. As a result, this page explains:
Violet Gobies are classified fish, but when you take a look at them, their bodies closely resemble that of an eel.
Violet Gobies have very sharp teeth. To go against the contrary though, they don’t use their teeth to harm other fish; they use their sharp teeth to scrape algae off of rocks.
Even though they have very destructive teeth, Violet Gobies have two things not going in their favour in regards to eating: they have poor eyesight and narrow throats. Having poor eyesight makes it nearly impossible for them to compete with fish for food, and having narrow throats limits which kinds of foods they can even ingest.
As a result, their main method of gathering enough nutritional intake to survive consists of them scooping up mouthfuls of the substrate beneath them, separating the food from the substrate, eating the food, then spitting out the substrate.
Violet Gobies are often described by fish stores as “aggressive with other fish”. In reality though, if they’re fed properly, these fish don’t normally harm smaller fish whatsoever.
Generally speaking, two Violet Gobies can be kept in one aquarium. However, if the aquarium that they are kept in is too small, one will eventually become the dominant one. Unfortunately, as one of them claims the dominant role, it will usually begin harming the other one.
For some reason, Violet Gobies really enjoy hiding all day. Usually, they will only come out of their refuge when the lights of their aquarium are turned off and you’re out of sight.
It is recommended to keep Violet Gobies in brackish water. However, as long as they’re initially kept in brackish water, it is possible to gradually transition their water to freshwater or saltwater, and have them survive.
In 2003, a study redescribed the Asian Arowana into four different species:
- An individual species for the strains known as “Green Arowana” and “Gold Crossback”.
- An individual species for the strain known as “Silver Asian Arowana”.
- An individual species for the strain known as “Red-Tailed Golden Arowana”.
- An individual species for the strain known as “Super Red Arowana”.
As it just so happens, most researchers dispute this reclassification. They claim that the four traits that were used to separate the Asian Arowana into four different species can actually be found within a single strain, making all four species one species.
Most fish reach the point of sexual maturity after 6 months of life. The Asian Arowana, however, reaches sexual maturity after 3-4 years of life.
Asian Arowana are mouthbrooders. Although, they aren’t your typical mouthbrooders.
Usually with the mouthbrooding reproduction process, the female carries the eggs in her mouth. In the case of Asian Arowana, however, it’s the male who carries the eggs in their mouth.
The large, metallic scales covering them, and the double barbels around their mouths, resemble the appearance of the Chinese Dragon. As a result, many people of Asian descent believe that they are reincarnations of the mythical dragon that symbolizes luck, wealth, prosperity, and strength. They believe that if they own them, these traits will be passed onto them.
They also believe that if something bad is going to happen to them, and they are the Keeper of an Asian Arowana, they will be saved. They say that if their fish dies, it symbolizes that they were supposed to die, but the fish took their place.
They are also backed by businessmen. They say that the gold variety brings them prosperity, and the red variety keeps them free from evil spirits.
Asian Arowanas have been most recently described as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. As a result, the trade of them has become very strict. As a matter of fact, The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (the treaty that controls the international trade of all fish) placed it on its most restrictive category: Appendix I.
Appendix I only has seven other species of fish listed on it, so it’s easy to imagine how restrictive the trade of these fish must be. As a matter of fact, only a small number of registered breeders in Asia are able produce and import these fish. In the United States, these fish can’t be purchased without a permit whatsoever.
In one of their articles, Hindustan Times claims that “an 18-inch long Arowana may cost up to $60,000”. Because of this steep price, people often go for the Golden-scaled Asian Arowana figuring instead.
If Asian Arowanas are kept properly, they can live as long as 40-50 years.
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