The Fish Guru

Uncovering the Mysteries of Arowana Fish Care and Behavior

Introduction to Arowana Fish

If you’re looking for an exotic fish to add to your aquarium collection, the Arowana is definitely one to consider. With its distinctive appearance and aggressive demeanor, the Arowana has become a popular choice for serious fish enthusiasts.

In this article, we will provide an overview of Arowana fish, discuss their different types and habitats, and delve into their care requirements to help you make an informed decision about owning one.

Overview of Arowana Fish

The Arowana fish is a member of the Osteoglossidae family and is commonly referred to as a bony tongue fish. Known for their long, streamlined bodies, they can grow up to 3 feet in length, making them a sizable addition to any aquarium.

They are characterized by their color and scales, which are typically silver in color with reflective scales that shimmer in natural sunlight. The Arowana fish is indigenous to South America’s Amazon Basin, where they are found in slow-moving waters and swamplands.

They predominantly feed on smaller fish and invertebrates, thanks to their large, sharp teeth and powerful jaws.

Types of Arowana Fish

There are several different types of Arowana fish, each with its unique characteristics and attributes. These types include:


Silver Arowana:

The Silver Arowana is the most common variety of Arowana and is known for its metallic body coloration and large scales that are highly reflective. They can grow up to 3 feet in length and are considered one of the most aggressive types of Arowana.

2. Australian Arowana:

The Australian Arowana has a more elongated body shape compared to the Silver Arowana and is known for its brownish coloration.

They are one of the largest types of Arowana, growing up to 4 feet in length. 3.

Black Arowana:

The Black Arowana is one of the rarest types and is highly sought after among fish enthusiasts due to its unique appearance. As the name suggests, they have a dark black color with hints of green and red, giving them a distinguished look.

4. African Arowana:

The African Arowana has a unique coloration that ranges from silver to gold.

They are smaller than other types of Arowana, only growing up to 12 inches in length. 5.

Southern Saratoga:

The Southern Saratoga is a freshwater fish found in the rivers and streams of Australia. They have a distinctive, elongated body and are characterized by their silver scales and dark spots.

Origin and Habitat of Arowana Fish

Arowana fish are primarily native to the slow-moving waters of the Amazon rainforest in South America. Their natural habitat is warm and humid, with temperatures ranging between 75 to 86F.

They are often found in the depths of the river and prefer still water that is heavy in vegetation. Owing to their ability to breathe air using their swim bladders, they can survive in oxygen-poor environments.

They are known to be territorial and aggressive, especially when it comes to protecting their territories.

Arowana Care

Before owning an Arowana, there are specific care requirements you should consider to provide a comfortable and healthy environment for your pet. Below are some key considerations:

Ideal Tank Size for Arowana Fish:

As Arowana fish can grow up to three feet in length, you’ll need a tank that is significantly larger than a standard aquarium.

An eight-foot-long tank with a capacity of 250 gallons or more is ideal. The tank should also have enough space for the Arowana to swim freely and establish their territories.

Water Parameters for Arowana Fish:

Maintaining the correct water parameters is crucial for the health of your Arowana. Ensure the pH levels are between 6.5 and 7.5, and the water hardness ranges between 5 and 12 dGH.

The water temperature should be kept between 75 to 86F. Consistency in water quality is essential for the survival of Arowana fish.

Filtration and Aeration for Arowana Fish:

A high-quality filtration system is essential to keep the water clean and free of debris. Aeration is also necessary to boost dissolved oxygen levels, ensuring that your fish can breathe easily.

A good filtration system will not only keep the water pleasant to look at but also minimize the risk of bacterial infections that could be detrimental to your pet fish’s health. Lighting for Arowana Fish:

Moderate lighting is sufficient for Arowana fish, and it’s best to provide them with a natural daylight cycle of 12 hours.

You may also want to create an aquarium background that mimics their natural environment, such as a picture of plants or natural scenery. Substrate for Arowana Fish:

Choosing the right substrate for your Arowana tank is essential.

Sand or gravel is a popular choice, and you can also add rocks or artificial plants to enhance the visual appeal of your aquarium. Natural decorations offer a comfortable environment for your fish, and live plants can also help maintain optimum water quality.

Tank Maintenance for Arowana Fish:

Maintaining a clean and healthy tank environment is vital for the health and well-being of your Arowana. Ensure you change approximately 20% to 30% water every week to keep the water quality high.

Regular tank cleaning and filter maintenance also help keep your fish healthy, which can extend their lifespan.


In conclusion, Arowana fish are beautiful and exotic creatures that require proper care if you plan on keeping them as pets. Before adding them to your aquarium, it’s crucial to understand their care requirements and choose the right tank size, water parameters, and substrate to meet their needs.

By following the information provided in this article, you’ll be well on your way to creating a comfortable and healthy habitat for your Arowana fish. Remember that consistency in maintaining the water quality and keeping your tank clean is essential, and ensure your fish have enough space to swim around freely.

With proper care and attention, Arowana fish can thrive and be a great addition to your aquarium collection.

3) Arowana Fish Appearance and Behavior

Appearance of Arowana Fish

The Arowana fish is known for its unique appearance, with long, streamlined bodies that can grow up to 2-3 feet long. They have giant mouths that are filled with sharp teeth perfectly suited for their carnivorous diet.

The Arowana fish also boasts shiny scales with vibrant coloration, making them a true spectacle in any aquarium. Their scales are so reflective that they appear to have mirrors attached to their bodies, making them look all the more attractive.

The variety in their coloration can range from silver, brown, green, red, or black, distinguishing them from other fish species. Moreover, they have a distinct barbial hanging or whisker-like apparatus on their lower jaws, which is where they get their name bony tongue fish.

Lifespan and Average Size of Arowana Fish

Provided with the proper care and right living conditions, Arowana fish can live up to 10 to 15 years. Arowana ranges from 2-3 feet in length and can weigh up to 10-15 pounds, depending on their variety.

They grow quite large and need a spacious tank that they can swim in comfortably.

Behavior and Habitat of Arowana Fish

In the wild, Arowana fish are known for their aggressive nature and predatory instincts. They are carnivorous, feeding on smaller fish, insects, and even small birds and mammals that are in or near the water.

Arowana fish require slow-moving waters to survive and thrive, preferring swamps, marshes, and wetlands. They have an impressive jumping ability and can leap up to 6 feet out of the water.

They have trouble moving quickly and prefer to lie in wait for their prey to come to them, striking when they have an opening. They are also territorial creatures that establish their domains in areas with plenty of vegetation or shallow areas of water.

4) Arowana Fish Diet and Breeding

Diet of Arowana Fish

Arowana fish are carnivorous, and they require a high protein diet. In the wild, Arowana fish typically feed on live prey like fish, shrimp, insects, and small mammals.

In captivity, they can be fed a variety of live food, such as crickets, mealworms, and feeder fish that are readily available in pet stores. It’s essential to ensure that the food provided is fresh and of high quality to ensure optimal health for your fish.

It’s worth noting that as they are carnivorous fish, feeding them a diet that lacks protein can lead to long-term health problems like stunted growth and digestive system abnormalities.

Breeding of Arowana Fish

Arowana fish are egg-layers, and breeding them can be a difficult task. In the wild, Arowana fish breed during the rainy or flooding season when the water conditions are perfect for mating.

To mimic this, you can increase the water temperature and provide plenty of vegetation to encourage the fish to breed. When breeding Arowana fish, it’s essential to ensure that the male and female are fully matured.

Tank conditions also play an important role in breeding, so ensure the water parameters are highly maintained. As soon as the eggs are laid, they should be removed from the main tank and placed in a separate tank with similar water parameters.

You can then wait for them to hatch, which takes roughly a week, and once hatched, they should be fed a diet rich in protein.

Compatibility and Tank Mates for Arowana Fish

Arowana fish are territorial and highly aggressive, so it’s essential to research tank mates before introducing them to an aquarium with an Arowana. Arowanas are known to be aggressive towards similarly sized fish, and in some cases, even larger fish may fall victim to their aggression.

Suitable tank mates for Arowana fish are those that can survive in a highly aggressive environment and are of similar size. Predator fish such as Oscars, Plecostomus catfish, and Fly River turtles are suitable tank mates.

You should ensure you provide a spacious tank with plenty of hiding spots for the other fish to avoid confrontations and reduce potential stress. If you introduce smaller fish species like Tetras or Guppies, the Arowana is likely to see them as prey rather than as tank mates.


In conclusion, Arowana fish are a beautiful, exotic addition to any aquarium, and owning them requires proper care, maintenance and consideration for their aggressive nature. They require specific water parameters, high-quality filtration and aeration, a spacious tank, quality feeding, and a nuanced understanding of their breeding preferences.

While they can be challenging to care for, they provide exceptional rewards in terms of their captivating appearance and behavior. Choosing compatible tank mates and ensuring that the tank is spacious enough to allow the Arowana to establish their territory can go a long way in creating an environment they will thrive in.

By adhering to the care guidelines outlined in this article, you can provide a healthy, comfortable environment that will help your Arowana fish thrive and live a long, fulfilling life. In summary, Arowana fish are beautiful and exotic creatures that require specific care requirements to thrive in captivity.

Properly maintaining water parameters, filtration systems, and tank mates are essential to providing your fish with an environment that helps them thrive. However, with the right care, Arowana fish can live up to 10 to 15 years and provide a captivating spectacle for any aquarium enthusiast.

Remember to keep your Arowana fish healthy with a balanced diet and clean tank, all while allowing them to establish their territories comfortably. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can provide your Arowana with a long, happy life.

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