Arowana Fish – Types, Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details

Arowana Fish, or, as it is called in China, the river dragon fish is one of the oldest on the planet. Representatives of the Arowana species still look the same as 100 million years ago as they were during the Jurassic period.

Archaeologists have found fish prints on rocks that are identical to modern specimens. In eastern countries, Arowana’s are considered the talisman of good luck in business.

Habitat and Description

Arowana fishes live in the rivers of Burma, North Vietnam, and South China also found in South America and Australia.

Arowanas Prefer stagnant water, away from the main river channel. Arowanas are omnivores in nature and they can eat everything that fits in its mouth: small fish, frogs, water insects. They have high jumping ability used for hunting beetles, dragonflies, and little birds.

All species of Arowana have the same body structure and scales.

The physical appearance of Arowana fish is as follows:

  • The body is long, flexible, streamlined.
  • The head is proportional, and the muzzle is raised, the lower part can swell and take the form of a bag.
  • The eyes are large, round, moderately convex with a black pupil.
  • Scales – large, solid, tight-fitting to the body like a shell.
  • The fins are powerful, dense, painted the color of the body.
  • Color – each species is different. At home, content, pearl, black, silver, green, platinum shades are found.


Types of Arowana Fishes:

The most popular Arowanas are the following:

Red Arowana: It is endangered and costly as well as It is almost impossible to buy red Arowana. The owner must have a certificate of ownership. In nature, These arowanas live in the rivers of Southeast Asia and only very wealthy people can afford to keep it in domestic aquariums.

Golden Arowana: This Arowana species looks like a huge swimming gold bar. The species is endangered. The cost of one single fish is much higher than the prices of similar varieties of Arowana.

Black Arowana: According to Asian beliefs, The owner of this fish will get luck in all endeavors, and negative energy remains outside their house.

African Arowana: A rare species that live in the Upper Nile, also found in Senegal, the rivers of Chad and the Gambia. Adult specimens little resemble representatives of their squad, more like catfish.

Platinum Arowana: It is one of the rare and only variety on the planet with even perfect color.

South American Silver Arowana – Mostly found in the Amazon. The most famous resident of home aquariums and not very costly.

Acquisition and cost

The cost of Arowana fry depends on the species, place of origin, growth, and color quality and ranges from $20 to $500.

In bigger nurseries, A microchip is implanted in each individual,  the parameters of which are documented upon acquisition of fish. With its help, you can subsequently determine the origin, age, and variety of fish.

The cost of an adult grown Arowana in such an economy is high, and not everyone will be able to purchase this exotic dragonfish.

The highest price of $80,000 was offered to a businessman from Singapore for a very rare platinum-colored Arowana, But the owner flatly refused to sell his pet.

Arowana Fish Care

Keeping Arowana in the aquarium doesn’t require a lot of effort. The capacity may be low, but the volume for an adult needs 1 thousand liters or more, the recommended length is not less than one and a half meters and Fish should turn freely and move.

To ensure the purity of water, a powerful external filter is required.

Optimal parameters:

  • temperature – 22-25 degrees above zero;
  • rigidity – ranging from 5 to 10;
  • The pH is neutral.

It is mandatory to change 20% of the aquarium water every week. Plants with strong roots should be planted at the bottom and near the back wall or in pots.

Coarse river sand or pebble is suitable as soil. The lighting should be dim, preferably with a function to control the brightness of the light.

Arowana Tank Mates

Arowana is not suitable for keeping in a general aquarium, and it will eat everything that fits in its mouth. You should keep one Arowana in your aquarium because the fish has a highly developed intraspecific aggression. Still, with large fish like Oscar Fish, Indian knife fish, giant gourami, black pacu, Arowana cohabits peacefully.

By sex, it is almost impossible to distinguish fish – they look the same, but males are more elegant than females, with a longer anal fin.

Arowana Fish Feeding

Feeding Arowanas can significantly undermine the family budget; this fish needs a lot of food. It is recommended to give small aquarium fish, crickets, centipedes as live food.

Experienced aquarists recommend gradually moving the pet to special frozen and dry food. You can also feed raw sprats after thawing it. Arowanas are prone to obesity, so the owner should adequately organize meals and do fasting days once or twice a week.

Aquarium Conditions

Arowanas at the home aquarium are very shy by their nature. They are afraid of sudden movements, flashes of light, and even a cat who is interested in them. They can jump out of the aquarium with fear and even break it if the glass is too thin.

It is recommended to cover the aquarium with an opaque lid, as colossal fish can be frightened even by the owner’s shadow.

Scientists have found that Arowans have specific intelligence. They recognize the owner, can calmly take food from their hands, and let themselves stroke.

But large crowds of people near the aquarium are not welcome, so noisy parties are strongly not recommended in the room where the pet lives.

Breeding Arowana Fish

At home, Arowanas do not breed. They are bred only in special nurseries or fish farms. In nature, Arowanas spawn from December to January, when the flood begins.

The female spawns up to 100 large, up to one and a half centimeters, eggs, which the male fertilizes and incubates in her mouth. The fry hatch after two months with a large yolk sac, due to which they feed until it is completely restored.

All this time, they also live in the mouth of their father, who, from time to time, lets them out for a walk, but at the slightest danger, the young fry hides back.

After the yolk sac is resorbed, the fry can eat on their own, and the father’s mission ends there. The juveniles are fed with mosquito larvae, daphnia, nematodes; as they grow older, they are transferred to regular food.

With proper maintenance, the exotic beauty Arowana will become a universal pet and an object of pride for the owner.

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