Liu Tan Fu is converting his hobby into a lucrative business by breeding a large number of arowanas. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
The indoor fish pond is guarded with iron gates to prevent theft. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
These little fish will be sold after they have grown to one foot long. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
A glittering arowana with a dominant look. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
This room has been turned into a big fish pond to accommodate Liu's arowanas. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
Every available space in the room has been fully utilised to accommodate various kinds of fishes. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
In most people, "sensuous pleasures sap lofty aspirations." However some business-minded people have been able to turn their "sensuous pleasures" into successful businesses.
Turning ideal into reality
Living at the Aulong village in Taiping, Liu Tan Fu has been very keen on rearing aquarium fish ever since he was young.
With his rich experiences of more than ten years in rearing fish, Liu was well familiar with the nature of fish but the thought of turning his hobby into a business never crossed his mind.
Until breeding arowanas became a red-hot business in 2005, when he started to have the idea of turning his ideal into reality. He then gradually turned his village home into a fish farm.
Other than different types of fish tanks in his house, there are also eight large fish ponds. Even his rooms have been turned into indoor fish ponds, leaving only a living room, a dining room and a bedroom for his day-to-day use.
Must understand the nature of fish
During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Liu said breeding fish was considered a hobby to him before this, but after he started breeding arowanas, he found that he had developed a strong passion for this species, not so much because of the wealth and luck that arowanas would supposedly bring, but the lively, glittering scales and the majestic look of arowanas.
"Breeding arowanas is as easy as breeding other fish provided that we know well about its nature and requirements such as water temperature, feed and how to take care of it."
"I initially tried to breed arowanas in the aquarium but later due to increased demand, I was forced to build a fish pond at my backyard. Soon later, I even turned the rooms in my house into big ponds to accommodate over 200 arowanas."
High demand overseas
He said demand for medium-sized arowanas was high, and this had caused an urge for him to buy some young fish from fish traders for breeding. These arowanas will then be sold to customers after they have grown to about a foot long.
He added that due to high demand for arowanas from China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the prospects of breeding arowanas are good, and a 1-foot long arowana can fetch up to a thousand ringgit.
"Besides own experiences, I often visit fish exhibitions such as the recent Chinese International Aquarium Exhibition in Guangzhou which has greatly enhanced my knowledge of aquarium fish."
Precautions against thieves
When asked about the security issue of his arowanas that cost hundreds of thousands of ringgit, he said he had done some precautions against potential thieves such as installing iron gates at every side of the fish ponds as well as the ceiling. He is also installing CCTVs and alarms at home.
He said he would not consider setting up a large fish farm like other fish traders at this moment, as he was contented with the current situation. (Translated by LIM LIY EE/Sin Chew Daily)