This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected
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and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles
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One of the giants of the home aquarium, the Arowana cannot be a casual
purchase. Their size and dietary requirements make them a choice for
only those willing to meet their needs. This profile concentrates on
the South american species, but the needs of the Asian species are similar.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 48 inches in the wild.(120 cm)
||6.0 to 6.5
||Soft to medium, or dH to 8°
||75° to 86° f (24 to 30°C)
Silver Arowana, Black Arowana
Silver Arowana, Found in Guyana, and the Amazon River basin
Black Arowana, Found in the Rio Negro River basin.
General Body Form:
The body is very flat from side to side and if you look at if from above
the fish looks very thin, its' up and down profile is very deep, however.
The Anal and dorsal fins are very long and low and run from the center
of the body almost to the caudal fin. They have very large mouths which
open like a trap door from the bottom hinges. They have two forked Barbels
that extend from the lower lip and in the male these extend above the
upper jaw. Mature females are much larger in circumference and the anal
fin is not as long as the males.
Silver Arowana, The sides appear quite dull, grayish silver to
a pale Greenish Yellow. Each of the individual scales on the sides have
a bright Red spot. In mature specimens, the throat is a Golden orange
to Red color and the barbels have a Blue to Green tint to them. The
fins overall appear Greenish or Yellow, but if you look closely you
can see patterns of Red or Brown markings.
Black Arowana, A very beautiful fish. The sides are generally
Black in color with a White stripe running down the entire length.
The Anal and Dorsal fins are also Black with an edge of White on the
top. The upper part of the head area is Black with the bottom being
Silver. There is a very attractive Black stripe or bar running through
a Silver Eye. The Barbels are also Black and Silver.
The average hobbyist will be satisfied with the younger specimens, but
these will soon outgrow all but the largest of tanks. The Aquarium must
be well covered as these fish can jump! While it obvious that you must
provide plenty of open space for swimming it's also require places to
hide, such as plant thickets or driftwood. The Water should be soft
and the addition of peat filtration, or Tetras' "Black Water Extract"
will benefit the fish. Temperature should be on the higher side with
77° f (25° C) being a happy medium. Feeding the Arowana is where the
real challenge (or fun) comes in. The Arowana will eat only live food
so you must find the right food for the size fish you have. Brine shrimp,
baby Livebearers and the such for the small ones and moving all the
way up to nightcrawlers and full size Goldfish. I have read that some
small specimens have been trained to accept non live food. As with most
of the Predators you will need a good filtration system to help with
the clean up. I feel a Canister filter with the intake and outflow at
opposite ends of the tank would be ideal. These are very interesting
fish that seem to develop their own personality and to recognize their
keeper and genuinely get excited about seeing them. Another Fact about
the Arowana is that in their native habitat they are an important food
resource for the native peoples. Given the proper tank size and conditions
the Arowana would be a fine addition to a species tank that will provide
years of pleasure and conversation.
Silver Arowana juveniles
Slow moving shallow waters with dense vegetation, typical of an Amazonian
They are Mouthbrooders, with the male incubating the eggs and young
for about sixty days. The fry would stay in the parents care until they
are about three or four inches long. Many times the only ones we see
available at the shops still have the egg sac attached and have been
forcibly removed from the father and can be very difficult to raise
due to their young age and rough removal. This is very sad to me and
I see it more with the Black Arowana, which I believe is rarer than
the silver. I would not buy one with the sac unless you are very patient
and experienced and if you see them like this, please let your store
know your disappointment. End of Badmans ranting.