Can I Feed Crickets To My Arowana? {The Ultimate List of Arowana Food}

Would you like to know the best foods the feed your Arowana? Are crickets nutritious or potentially poisonous for these elegant fish? In this article, we’ll find out if we can feed crickets to Arowana.

Can I Feed Crickets To My Arowana? Arowana enjoy eating crickets and other insects that mimic their their natural diet in the wild. Crickets can be gut loaded with carotene, vitamin A and calcium before offering them to Arowana. Sometimes Arowana get addicted to crickets and stop eating pellets altogether. 

Do Arowana Eat Crickets In The Wild?

The arowana species derives from the Amazon River where insects like crickets are plentiful. The rainy season allows for arowana to consume crickets to their heart’s content. Any insects on the surface of the water are fair game and will be a fitting meal for arowana.

During dry season, surface swimming fish, spider, frogs or even small birds can become the prey for arowana. They are able to stretch their mouths to feast on a variety of live foods.

Crickets are an excellent source of nutrition because whatever they consume gets passed through to the arowana. The vitamin A and calcium transferred from the crickets help the arowana grow larger, live longer and enjoy healthier lives.

How Often Should I Feed My Arowana?

Firstly, we should establish a feeding schedule. We always recommend that your fish receives a varied diet. Arowana may love eating crickets so much that they might not want anything else.

Switching them back to pellets will be challenging. They enjoy eating live foods more, but pellets provide the best and safest balance of nutrients for our arowana and the health of our tank’s ecosystem.

This is a meal plan that is suggested, but can be adapted under your discretion:

Small Arowana (below 6 inches): 3 meals a day

Medium Arowana (6 inches to 14 inches): 2 meals a day

Large Arowana (above 14 inches): once a day

How Often Should I Feed Crickets To My Arowana?

Each meal can contain 3-4 average sized crickets. If you overfeed arowana, they may stop eating and starve themselves for a few days.

Overfeeding high fatty foods, live foods or too many pellets causes:

  • lethargy
  • lack of appetite
  • drop eye problems
  • inability to breed

Variety is key. Feeder fish are higher in fat and could lead to drop eye where their eyes tilt downwards or look droopy. Avoiding the food or spitting it back out is common when arowana are stressed in smaller tanks or simply overfed. Breeding capabilities are vastly reduced for overfed arowana.

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What Do Arowana Eat?

The following is a list containing a wide variety of foods that arowana eat:

  • feeder fish
  • shrimp
  • worms
  • frogs
  • crickets
  • cockroaches
  • centipedes
  • krill
  • lizards
  • geckos
  • pellets
  • large flakes
  • fish fillets

It’s best to provide a variety, but offering too many live foods will cause your arowana to avoid anything else. Pellets and flakes will simply fall to the bottom unnoticed and may dirty up your tank’s water with ammonia buildup if not removed.

We tend to offer pellets for most meals, but try to introduce many of the foods on this list five or more times a week.

Why Are Crickets Good For Arowana?

We like crickets because we can load their guts with densely packed nutrition from carrots, eggshells or other foods rich in vitamin, carotene and calcium. The arowana eats the crickets and the nutrition from the cricket’s gut transfers over.

It’s advised to remove the hind legs of the crickets  to prevent anal swelling or digestive tract issues. Baby arowana would need the hard shell of the cricket’s exoskeleton removed to ease digestion.

Quarantine your live crickets for a few days before dropping them into your tank. Please make sure there aren’t insecticides or other chemicals on them.

Crickets can provide:

  • carotene
  • minerals
  • vitamin A
  • calcium 
  • phosphorous 

What Should I Feed The Crickets Before Feeding Them To My Arowana?

Feed the crickets by placing any of the following foods next to them for a few days while they quarantine:

  • kale
  • sweet potato
  • carrots
  • eggshells
  • leafy greens

Carotene rich foods helps your arowana’s scales shine. This is debatable without enough science backing it up, but the nutritional benefit is irrefutable. Eggshells increase calcium. Vegetables help with vitamins and minerals.

Your arowana will most likely avoid this list of healthy foods. Allow the cricket to gut-load them and the nutrition will transfer to your arowana when they eat the crickets.

Why Is My Arowana Not Eating Crickets?

Sometimes you will notice your arowana taking in a cricket and spitting it out. You may offer 3-4 crickets and only one gets consumed. Crickets are not the cheapest food source and it get frustrating to see them being avoided.

Crickets could cause blockage sometimes with their hard exoskeleton. Your arowana might be experiencing this and wishes to slow down with its consumption.

Allow for larger arowana to take a day or two off. Smaller arowana who are still growing should require more variety with pellets as the top choice for their blended mix of nutrients to help them develop.

Can I Feed Frozen Crickets To My Arowana?

Frozen crickets are easier to store with less hassle. They don’t need to be quarantined or fed prior to offering them to your arowana.

The problem or disadvantage is that you won’t be able to gut-load the crickets with rich nutrients before passing them over to your arowana. Unfortunately, you can’t feed a frozen cricket.

The benefit of gut-loading is huge when considering the amount of calcium, vitamins and carotene that your arowana can receive from a live cricket who recently consumed these hearty vegetables.

Will Crickets Change My Arowana’s Color?

Coloration usually comes out through:

  • age
  • sunlight
  • food intake

Foods rich in carotene may help to enhance the color of your arowana. Others say that crickets may darken the scales of arowana. The science is not strong enough to support these claims. A frozen cricket that isn’t gutloaded with carotenoid rich foods is unlikely to provide any coloration benefits.

The age, type of species and exposure to sunlight or artificial light assists in the brightening of colors on arowana, but the balance is key.

Maintain a large, clean tank, provide plenty of nutritious foods including crickets if you wish. You arowana will most likely love them!


Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you again for another article on Arowana or any other marine life that interests you. 

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.

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