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Breeding Asian Arowanas Is A Lucrative Business But

May 25, 2008
Today we see an interesting development of individuals who are enquiring about the feasibility of investing in arowana breeding farms. These potential investors are ofcourse only interested in the more expensive asian arowanas which consists mostly of the cross back gold, red and red tail golden (or RTG) arowanas. We will continue to see a steady increase in demand due to the growing affluence in many parts of Asia especially in China.

Because asian arowanas resembles the mythical dragon in asian folklore, they are a much sort after fish in the feng shui realm. Many people keep them at home or in their offices and consider them a 'lucky' fish. Arowanas are considered one of three feng shui fishes, with the other two being koi and goldfish. Luo Han or flowerhorn was at one time also considered a feng shui fish but they have not really stood the test of time and have more or less been dropped from the feng shui list.

The fact that asian arowanas are hard to breed has driven up and maintained their high price in the hobbyist market. There are only 3 countries in the world today, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia that have commercially bred asian arowanas successfully. Some have tried to breed them in other Asian countries with similar climates but to no avail and this has caused demand to always outstrip supply. Some have tried to breed asian arowanas in tanks but the very low success rates does not make it a commercial option at all.

Because of the high profit potential stated above, many more parties are becoming interested in investing in arowana breeding projects. However before you do take the plunge, please weight the pros and cons first as there are inherent risk involved.

1) The barrier to entry can be quite substantial because, on top of the investment to build the farm, you also have to purchase many adult arowanas. For this business to be viable, you will need many ponds because not all will be producing from day one. Each pond needs to have between 20 - 40 adult arowanas at around $5000 - $10,000 each. So please work out your sums well before you decide on taking the plunge.

2) Your job is not done even if you have managed to build a top notch farm with many ponds of adult arowanas. You still need a very important component which is an experience person to run it! We, as amateurs, will not know how and when to harvest arowana fry in the ponds. You would need a person who is knowledgeable and experience. This person can help you spot pairing arowanas and decide when best to harvest the fry from the arowana male's mouth. We need to be able catch as many of these pairing arowanas as possible because even the professional and experience breeders get it wrong sometimes.

3) I want to repeat the following facts again. Asian arowanas has only been successfully bred commercially in three countries so far, namely Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. If you are contemplating investing in a breeding farm in some other country, please be very sure this is what you want to try. The climate and soil might be similar in some other countries but obviously they are not the same. Asian arowanas will only breed in the 'optimal' mix of climate, soil and water in the mud ponds. However, does this mean that it will never be able to breed elsewhere? No one knows! In this day and age, never say never but just know the risks you are taking.
About the Author
Steven Yeoh is an passionate arowana fish lover who is also involved with an asian arowana breeding farm. If you find his arowana information helpful, do sign up for his seven days ecourse for the "New Arowana Hobbyists" at his arowana care site.
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