The Arowana, often referred to as the “dragon fish,” stands as a majestic testament to the captivating world of freshwater aquariums. Hailing from the calm river basins of Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America, this powerful and elegant species exhibits an array of dazzling colors and a unique, almost prehistoric appearance. With its elongated, streamlined body, pronounced dorsal and pectoral fins, and signature barbels on the lower jaw, the Arowana exhibits a distinctive visual appeal that is hard to match. However, its beauty is not its only claim to fame. In Asian cultures, the Arowana is considered a symbol of good luck, wealth, and prosperity, enhancing its allure among aquarium enthusiasts. Moreover, the ethical and legal concerns surrounding the ownership and trade of certain Arowana species, especially the Asian Arowana, have also become an integral part of the discourse surrounding this fascinating species.

Arowana Varieties

The Arowana, a true spectacle of the freshwater aquarium world, is not a singular species but a collection of captivating varieties, each with its unique characteristics and charm. Let’s explore some of the most popular Arowana varieties.

Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus)

Golden Arowana
Golden Arowana
Super Red Arowana
Super Red Arowana
Green Arowana
Green Arowana

The Asian Arowana is arguably the most popular and expensive among Arowana aficionados. This variety is further categorized into several types, including the Red, Golden, and Green Arowana. The Red Arowana, particularly the Super Red, is highly coveted for its vibrant color and is a symbol of prosperity and luck in Asian cultures. The Golden Arowana, also known as the Malaysian Gold, flaunts a beautiful golden sheen, while the Green Arowana, often called the Banjar Red or Borneo Wild, sports a stunning green tint. They are carnivores and feed on insects, crustaceans, and small fish. Asian Arowana are an endangered species due to overfishing and habitat loss. These fish can reach lengths up to 3 feet and have a lifespan of over 20 years. Note that the Asian Arowana is listed as an endangered species and is banned in some countries, including the United States.

Asian Black Arowana
Asian Black Arowana

Silver Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum)

Platinum Silver Arowana
Platinum Silver Arowana

Native to South America, the Silver Arowana is the most common variety found in the aquarium trade. As its name suggests, this species boasts a brilliant silver hue, accentuated by its large, metallic scales. Its large size and propensity for jumping make it a dynamic addition to a large home aquarium. They are larger than their Asian counterparts, growing up to 4 feet in length. As their name suggests, they have a shiny, silver color.

Black Arowana (Osteoglossum ferreirai)

Juvenile black arowana
Juvenile black arowana
Black arowana
Black arowana

The Black Arowana originates from the Amazon Basin. Unlike its name might suggest, it features an intriguing mix of colors ranging from dark blue to olive green, rather than true black. Its juvenile stage is particularly striking, with a distinctive contrast of orange and black. They can grow up to 3 feet long and have similar care requirements to Silver Arowanas.

Australian Arowana (Scleropages jardinii and Scleropages leichardti)

Pearl Arowana
Pearl Arowana
Australian bonytongue (Scleropages jardini)
Australian bonytongue (Scleropages jardini)

The Australian Arowana includes two species: the Pearl Arowana and the Scleropages jardinii. The Pearl Arowana, with its opalescent scales, is a rare sight, and the Scleropages jardinii, also known as the Gulf Saratoga, exhibits a unique spotted pattern. These breeds are smaller than their Asian and South American counterparts, reaching lengths of about 2-3 feet.

African Arowana

African Arowana

Unlike its Asian and South American counterparts, the African Arowana has a downward-facing mouth – a distinguishing trait, reaching lengths of 1-2 feet. Although less colorful and not as commonly found in the pet trade, its unique features make it an interesting addition to any collection.

the Arowana varieties offer a vast array of visual appeal and behavioral traits. Owning an Arowana, regardless of the type, is a rewarding experience for any aquarist. However, potential owners must be prepared for the significant care requirements and ethical considerations, particularly concerning endangered species. As we continue to admire these magnificent creatures, we must also remember our responsibility towards their conservation and welfare.


Arapaima and arowana are two types of freshwater fish that are often confused with each other. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between the two species.


  • Both arapaima and arowana are large, elongated fish with large scales.
  • They are both native to tropical regions of the world.
  • They both have a bony tongue.
  • They both have a tendency to swim near the water’s surface.


  • Arapaima are much larger than arowana. Arapaima can grow up to 15 feet long, while arowana typically reach lengths of 2 to 3 feet.
  • Arapaima are native to South America, while arowana are native to Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America.
  • Arapaima are air-breathing fish, while arowana are gill-breathing fish. Arapaima, also known as pirarucu, is a genus of South American tropical freshwater fish. It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, capable of growing up to 15 feet long. They have a unique method of breathing, being able to extract oxygen from the air, which allows them to inhabit oxygen-poor waters.


Despite their differences, arapaima and arowana are both fascinating creatures that are worth learning more about. If you are interested in keeping one of these fish as a pet, be sure to do your research to make sure that you can provide them with the proper care.

Arowana Diet

Arowanas are carnivores and their diet should consist of high-quality protein. In the wild, they prey on insects, crustaceans, and small fish. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods.

In an aquarium setting, it’s important to provide a varied and balanced diet to keep your Arowana healthy. Here are some common food options:

  1. Insects and Worms: Insects like crickets, mealworms, and earthworms can be a good source of protein for Arowanas.
  2. Fish: Small fish such as feeder fish, guppies, or goldfish can be used, but it’s important to ensure they are disease-free to prevent transmission of parasites or bacterial infections.
  3. Shrimp and Prawns: These are a favorite of many Arowanas and can be given as a treat or a regular part of the diet.
  4. Pellets and Frozen Foods: High-quality pellet food designed for carnivorous fish can provide balanced nutrition. Frozen foods, like bloodworms or brine shrimp, can also be a good addition.
  5. Occasional Meats: Some Arowana owners also feed their fish pieces of raw meat or poultry, but this should be done sparingly, as these foods can be high in fat and may not provide all the necessary nutrients.

Arowanas are surface feeders, so they prefer food that floats or can be found near the surface. Always monitor your fish’s eating habits and adjust as necessary. Overfeeding can lead to health problems, and uneaten food can degrade water quality. It’s also important to note that Arowanas can grow to be quite large, so their diet will change as they grow.

Here are some tips for feeding your arowana:

  • Feed your arowana twice a day.
  • Offer them a variety of foods to choose from.
  • Do not overfeed your arowana.
  • Remove any uneaten food from the tank.
  • Keep the water quality in your tank high.

With proper care, your arowana will thrive and live a long and healthy life.

Arowana Care

Arowanas are large, beautiful fish that make stunning aquarium pets. However, they are also expensive and require a lot of care. If you are thinking about getting an arowana, be sure to do your research and make sure that you are prepared to provide them with the proper care.

Asian Arowana

Water Conditions: Arowanas prefer a water pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. The water temperature should be maintained between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 degrees Celsius). They are sensitive to changes in water conditions, so regular monitoring of water parameters is vital. A high-quality water filtration system is essential to maintain clean water and remove harmful toxins. Regular water changes, typically 10-20% of the tank volume every week, will also help maintain optimal water conditions.

Tank Size and Setup: Arowanas are large, active fish, with some species reaching lengths of up to 3 feet. Therefore, they require a spacious environment to thrive. A minimum tank size of 250 gallons is generally recommended, but the larger, the better. Also, due to their natural behavior of swimming back and forth, a long tank is preferred over a tall one. Since Arowanas are known jumpers, it is crucial to have a secure and sturdy lid on your tank to prevent any escape attempts.

The tank should be decorated with smooth rocks, driftwood, and robust plants. Sharp objects should be avoided as Arowanas can injure themselves easily. However, keep the middle area relatively clear for free swimming.

Tank Mates: Arowanas can be aggressive or territorial, particularly with smaller fish that they may perceive as food. Careful selection of tank mates is required to prevent conflicts. Other large, non-aggressive species can be suitable tank mates.

Legal and Ethical Considerations: Some Arowana species, such as the Asian Arowana, are endangered and heavily regulated by international law (CITES). Ensure any Arowana you purchase is legal in your country, and that it has been bred in captivity, not taken from the wild. Always buy from reputable sources to discourage illegal and harmful trade practices.

Overall, while Arowanas are a challenging species to keep, with proper care and attention, they can make a rewarding and striking addition to suitable home aquariums.

With proper care, arowana can live for many years. They are beautiful and fascinating fish that make wonderful additions to the right home.

Arowana Health

Skin and Scale Diseases

Certainly. Maintaining the health of an Arowana requires vigilant observation and a well-rounded understanding of common health issues these fish may encounter. Here are some of the most common health concerns:

1. Drop Eye Syndrome: This is a common issue in Arowanas where one or both eyes start to droop downwards. The exact cause is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to genetics, diet, or water quality. It’s mostly a cosmetic issue and doesn’t affect the fish’s health, but it can reduce an Arowana’s value. There is no proven treatment, but maintaining good water quality and a balanced diet can help prevent it.

2. Fin and Tail Rot: This is a bacterial infection that causes the edges of the fins or tail to become ragged or white. It’s usually caused by poor water quality, so regular water changes and a good filtration system are key to prevention. In more advanced cases, antibiotic treatments may be necessary.

3. Ich (White Spot Disease): This is a common parasitic infection in fish, characterized by small white spots on the skin, fins, and gills. The fish may also show signs of discomfort, like rubbing against objects. It can be treated with over-the-counter medications and by increasing the water temperature slightly to speed up the parasite’s life cycle.

4. Swim Bladder Disease: This affects the fish’s buoyancy, causing it to float on its side or swim abnormally. It’s usually caused by poor diet, overfeeding, or a sudden change in water temperature. Feeding peas (a natural laxative for fish) and maintaining a stable water temperature can help treat and prevent this issue.

5. Gill Curl: This is a condition where the edges of the gills start to curl inwards, which can hinder the fish’s breathing. It’s often caused by poor water conditions or a lack of essential minerals in the water. The condition can be prevented by maintaining good water quality and adding necessary minerals to the water.

6. Skin and Scale Diseases: These can include infections, parasites, or injuries that affect the skin and scales. Symptoms can vary widely, so it’s important to observe your fish closely for any changes. Most of these conditions can be prevented with good water quality and a stress-free environment.

If you notice any signs of illness in your arowana, it is important to take them to the vet immediately. With proper care and treatment, most arowana can make a full recovery. Regularly observing your Arowana’s behavior and appearance can help detect any potential issues early.

Here are some tips to help keep your arowana healthy:

  • Keep the water quality in your tank high.
  • Feed your arowana a balanced diet.
  • minimizing stress
  • Provide your arowana with plenty of enrichment.
  • Monitor your arowana for any signs of illness.
  • Take your arowana to the vet for regular checkups.

If your Arowana does get sick, it’s recommended to seek advice from a veterinarian who specializes in fish, as some treatments can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Arowana Breed

Breeding Arowanas in a home aquarium is extremely difficult and rarely successful due to their specific requirements and behaviors. In the wild, Arowanas are mouthbrooders, which means the male carries the fertilized eggs in his mouth until they hatch. This fascinating behavior is one of the reasons why Arowanas are so captivating. However, it also makes breeding them more complex. Arowanas are mouthbrooders, which means that the male fish carries the eggs in his mouth until they hatch. This is a very delicate process, and it is important to provide the male fish with a calm and stress-free environment.

Here are some steps usually involved in breeding Arowanas, though keep in mind that these are generally performed by experienced breeders or in commercial settings:

1. Sexing the Fish: Determining the sex of Arowanas is challenging as they are not sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females look very similar. Some suggest that males have a broader head and jawline, but this is not a foolproof method. Often, sex is only definitively determined during the spawning process when the male starts mouthbrooding.

2. Pairing: Arowanas can be aggressive, especially towards other Arowanas, making pairing tricky. Breeders generally introduce potential pairs to each other gradually, with a barrier between them initially to prevent fighting.

3. Spawning: If a pair is compatible, they will spawn. The female lays eggs, which the male then fertilizes and picks up in his mouth. The male continues to carry the eggs and then the hatched fry in his mouth for about 50-60 days. He will not eat during this time.

4. Rearing the Fry: Once the fry are released by the male, they can be fed a diet of brine shrimp and gradually introduced to larger foods. They grow quickly if well-fed and kept in good conditions.

Commercial breeders have had success breeding certain species of Arowanas, particularly the Asian Arowana. However, even for them, it’s a complex process that requires a lot of space, time, and resources. Therefore, it’s generally not recommended for hobbyist aquarists. Instead, most Arowanas available in the pet trade are bred commercially and sold as juveniles.

By fishexp