Batik Arowana (Scleropages inscriptus): Ultimate Care Guide


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Common Name(s)Myanmar Arowana
Scientific NameScleropages inscriptus
OriginMayanmar in the Tanintharyl River
Temperature86 F
Size35 inches 8 lbs
Minimum Tank Size55 gallons for small young fish
Food & Dietcommercial pellets, pellets specialized for Arowana, cut up chicken, prawns, frozen fish meat, and frozen seafood
LifespanUnknown but speculated to be 20 years
Water pH7.0-7.7
Tank MatesCichlids, xenomystus, synodontis, astronotus, Oscars, and channel catfish
BreedingMouth Brooders
Common DiseaseAnchor Worm and Fish Lice

The Batik Arowana has a very distinct look to it, and they were discovered approximately a decade ago. Their scales almost appear to be tattooed or batiked as the name suggests. It’s rumored that the patterns are unique to each fish, comparable to a human fingerprint. The artistry on the fish becomes more prominent with age. Batik Arowana have the signature long body of the arowana family, and their dorsal fin is small and close to their rounded tail fin. They have a flat chin that gives them the appearance of a gruff expression.

Batik Arowana were discovered in the Tanintharyl River near the peninsula of Myanmar.  They are a freshwater fish, and were previously harvested for locals to eat. 

The scientific names for Batik Arowana is Scleropages inscriptus another common name is Myanmar Arowana after the region they are native to.

Batik Arowana (Scleropages inscriptus)
Batik Arowana (Scleropages inscriptus)

Batik Arowana Care

Because of their massive size Batik Arowana requires a very large tank which most aquarium enthusiasts will not be able to invest in. As far as Arowana feeding goes the Batik Arowana is fairly straightforward. They do require quite a lot of water maintenance in their tank.

Temperature

Being a tropical freshwater fish Batik Arowana like warm water.  A temperature around 86 degrees Fahrenheit is optimum

Water pH

The best pH for Batik Arowana is 7.0-7.7

Batik Arowana Size

There isn’t a lot of information on Batik Arowana size in captivity.  It is assumed that they grow to be about the same size as the Red Arowana which is 35 inches long and up to 8lbs.

Food and Diet

One of the unique features of Arowana is they are a large bony tongue fish.  This means they ingest their food by swallowing it whole.

This can be somewhat problematic for smaller younger fish as you need to make sure their food is small enough to not get stuck going down.

Batik Arowana can be fed commercial pellets, pellets specialized for Arowana, cut up chicken, prawns, frozen fish meat, and frozen seafood.

Batik Arowana Lifespan

Because Batik Arowana are relatively new to the aquarium market, there isn’t sufficient evidence to determine their captivity lifespan. However other Arowana live up to 20 years and it is speculated that with proper care and living conditions Batik Arowana could live that long as well.

Batik Arowana Tank Size

For juvenile Batik Arowana, a tank of at least 55 gallons should be provided.  As your Batik Arowana get larger a tank of 250 gallons minimum should be their home.  However, it is popular opinion that Batik Arowana needs more space than 250 gallons and very large tanks should be considered to properly house your Batik Arowana.

Tank Setup

There should be minimal decorations in a Batik Arowana tank as they require plenty of swim space. Due to their large size decorations would hinder their movement and possibly cause injury. Batik Arowana are strong jumpers and could easily knock a glass top off of a tank. The tank lid must be tight fitting to prevent your fish from accidentally ending up outside of the tank.

It’s important to have an excellent filtration system in your tank and water changeover should happen at a rate of 20% every week.

Batik Arowana Breeding

Batik Arowana needs a large space for breeding.  It’s because of this that they rarely lay eggs in captivity. Not only that but the Batik Arowana is very particular about who they mate with so trying to play matchmaker for these fish would be futile.

In the wild (or in breeding ponds) the female Batik Arowana can lay up to 30 eggs, then the male fertilizes them and scoops them up into his mouth to incubate for up to five weeks.  Once the fry has hatched out of the eggs they stick close to their father who guides them in foraging and protects them from danger.

Batik Arowana Male or Female

There are several different philosophies on how to sex Batik Arowana.  Some say to look at the “A” crease of the fish which is a line near the front of the gill.  Others say a female has a pointed mouth and a male has a rounder more pointed mouth.  Looking at the body shapes can also be a way to tell males from females. Males tend to have a larger head and a more slender body, and females have a smaller head and stockier body.

Batik Arowana Disease

The most common diseases for Batik Arowana are parasites that are introduced to the tank by new fish or live food.  Fish lice are a very common parasite and it latches on to the fins tale and abdomen of the Batik Arowana in order to gain nutrients by sucking out the Batik Arowana’s blood.  To remedy this do a 30% water change every 3 days and use a commercial anchor worm and fish lice medication.

Batik Arowana Tank Mates

There are plenty of aquarium enthusiasts that advocate for no tank mates with your Batik Arowana.  They are aggressive and territorial fish that may get into turf wars if other fish are introduced to their tank.  If you insist on adding tank mates, make sure to add large enough fish like Cichlids, xenomystus, synodontis, astronotus, Oscars, and channel catfish

Where can I find Batik Arowana for sale?

Batik Arowana are a very rare fish and can be ordered online from specialty Arowana shops. Batik Arowana are very expensive and can cost $3700 USD.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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