Arapaima : the biggest freshwater fish

Posted on Oct 31 2018 - 2:59pm by fishexp


About Arapaima

Arapaima gigas, also known as pirarucu is a species of arapaima native into the basin of the Amazon River. Once thought to be the sole species in the genus, it is one of the largest freshwater fish. The species is an obligate air-breather and has to come to the surface regularly to gulp air.

Arapaima is the biggest freshwater fish in South America and one of largest freshwater fish in the world. Arapaima will grow to more than 8 feet long and weigh over 400 lbs. It feeds on other fish species and at times it may even jump from the water to catch a snack such as a bird or little land mammal. Additionally, this fish can breathe air and remain underwater for 15-20 minutes at a time and can also survive up to 24 hours out the water.



Arapaima is the biggest freshwater fish

IGFA world record for the fish of 339 pounds (154 kg)

A. gigas has a streamlined body with dorsal and anal fins set well back towards the tail. Though the body is mainly gray to gray-green, its Brazilian neighborhood name”pirarucu” derives from the indigenous word for”red fish”, thought to refer to the red flecks on the scales towards the tail or the reddish-orange colour of its meat.


Arapaima Size

The arapaima is perhaps the largest freshwater fish on earth, reaching up to 440 pounds (200 kilograms) and 10 ft (3 meters) in length. But, sizes of 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) and 7 to 8 feet (2.2 to 2.4 meters) in length are more prevalent. But Maximum size and length is

MAX SIZE: 450 lb / 200 kg
MAX LENGTH: 13.5 feet / 4.5 metre

Reproduction and Development

Throughout the dry season between February and March, arapaima put thousands of eggs in nests about 28 inches (70 centimeters) long and 10 inches (25 centimeters) deep hollowed out from the sand by their fins. The eggs hatch at the beginning of the rainy season (between October and November), which allows for your fry (baby fish) to collect food. It is also believed that mouth incubation takes place. The man protects the fry by drawing them into his apartment, long mouth and transferring them to another place if predators get too close. Sexual maturity is attained after approximately 4 or 5 years old.

arapaima in aquarium

Aquarium Care

Arapaima requires huge aquariums with big filtration systems capable of managing the heavy bio-load of this type of massive fish. The massive size of this Arapaima also suggests that its tank mates must be selected wisely so they don’t develop into a meal.

Along with being very big, Arapaima aquariums need to have a soft sandy substrate and tons of space for your own Arapaima to float and turn around inside the aquarium. Arapaima is famous for swimming or close to the water’s surface and will jump out of your water for a number of reasons which range from exposing food into being startled or uneasy with their environment.

Thus, Arapaima tanks ought to be coated so as to stop the fish from jumping in the aquarium. Arapaima are an air-breathing species also will require lots of unobstructed access to clean air and a source of clean air available in the water’s surface. Therefore, aquarium covers need to be quite sturdy so as to protect against jumping, while still providing access to lots of fresh air in any way times.

Care Level: Expert

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Maximum Size: 104″

Minimum Tank Size: 2500 gallons

Water Conditions: 75-86° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5

Diet: Carnivore

Origin: Amazon, Orinoco River Basin

Family: Osteoglossidae

Species: Arapaima

Aquarium Type: Cichlid-New-World

Lifespan: The arapaima can live for up to 20 years.
Arapaima Farming

Arapaima Farming

Super Red Arapaima Gigas // Siriwan farm