KEEPING H. AIMARAS
H. aimaras are very hardy and tough fishes. They are tolerant of poor water conditions, as long as extremes are avoided. One will not encounter difficulty in keeping them. A ph range of 6.5 to 8 should be comfortable for them. Tropical temperatures of 23°C to 30°C are recommended. In my experience, the H. aimara often hurts itself, and it does so in many ways: they get cuts and bruises when they crash into driftwood when chasing prey; tear their fins when they hit the brace or glass cover; or bust their lip when they hit the glass panel. They are injury-prone in captivity because of their reckless and violent behavior. However they are also tough, so they easily recover from these injuries in few days, even without treatment. The aquarium for H. aimara will have to be large since it is a very large fish. Remember, it grows to over a meter in length in the wild. In captivity, the H. aimara can easily reach 50 centimeters (cm). This should be considered average sized. It is highly probable that larger specimens will attain sizes of 80 cm. and up if the tank is large enough. I have a friend, Joely Cervantes who saw a huge H. aimara in Malaysia. This was from a private collector and it measured 34 inches in length! Joely claims its head was bigger than his own, and its body girth was almost the same size. The aquarium will also need to have a good filter because the H. aimara can be a messy eater. It is not a choosy or picky eater as it will gladly eat any live or fresh meaty food. However, with its massive jaws and sharp teeth, it will surely mess up what it is eating. Scales and bits of meat will be scattered everywhere; thus, strong filtration is essential. Also bear in mind that commercially available filters will not work. H. aimaras are known to attack anything in the tank, whether alive or inanimate. Thus, it can easily dislodge filters, tubes, airstones, etc if these are not fully secured. The tank for H. aimara will have to be well planned. Nothing must come loose, because if anything does, you are not going to recover it without getting bitten.