Introduction to Arowanas

The Stunning Asian Arowana, is the perfect compliment and companion for your stingray aquarium.

The Arowana has tank presence almost second to none. This prehistoric looking fish bear a close resemblance to the Dragon of Ancient China. The large dragon like scales and large pectoral fins resemble this worship creature. To own one of these magnificent fish is an honour. In certain cultures, the Asian Arowana is a symbol which symbolises strength, prosperity, wealth, luck and provides the owner with a good Feng Shui. Ranging in striking stunning colours this amazing addition to your aquarium is a perfect investment as these beautiful fish have an average life span for 20 years.


Origin of the Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus)

These majestic fish originate from the freshwater rivers of Southeast Asia. Their natural environment would be the rivers and streams generally cruising the slow water habitats.

These fish are entirely carnivorous and patrol the waters looking for its next meal. The Asian Arowana is a surface dwelling fish and will primary feed on small fish and surface insects however it also has a unique ability to jump out of the water to grab a unsuspecting tree frog for its dinner. It is vital that your aquarium is fitted with a lid to ensure that your friend does not jump out of the tank.

This magnificent fish is sadly a endangered species and is only bred under strick licence agreements which are monitored closely by the Asian agricultural authorities. Any Asian Arowana that is exported outside of Asia must be done through the CITES (Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species). All fish must be microchipped with its own unique certification and accompany with a Article 10 Document. To own or sell one of these fish without is illegal and your fish may be confiscated and a fine could be issued


Asian Arowana Categorisation

From the wild these fish can be categorised into these different varieties. Although belonging to the same species these fish have developed different features and colours depending on where they have lived.

  • Green Arowana – Indonesia
  • Banjar Red – Banjar Nasin
  • Red Tail Golden – Sumatra
  • Golden Crossback – Malaysia
  • Tong Yang – Hybrid between Golden Crossback and Red Grade 1
  • Red Grade 1 – Kalimantan (Kapaus River, Sentarum Lake)


The Size and Anatomy of the Asian Arowana

This enchanting fish is not for the small aquarium. These fish can reach a total length of 34 inches in length. Generally, these fish are peaceful slow moving animals but due to its strong tail fin these fish can move quickly too. Therefore, attention should be given to the fact of allowing this fish to swim freely with in your aquarium.

The Features of the Arowana

The most notable features are that they have large distinct scales arranged in 5 horizontal rows. The scales themselves contain several bandings colours with the most intense and appealing contrasts fetching the highest prices.

Distinct barbells protrude from the lower jaw and the large number of teeth and presence of bone in the mouth lead to the common name Bonytongue. Some rare Arowana develop three or even 4 barbells fetching the highest price.

Long flowing pectoral and pelvic fins add to the graceful impact of the fish, and their powerful motion allows them to jump in excess of 6 feet from the surface of the water.


Keeping an Arowana

There are sometimes concerns about the investment of purchasing a Arowana and the potential risks along with it. These beautiful fish are remarkably tolerant to most tropical water conditions and are heady animals. They enjoy well filtered water at 28 degrees and they can thrive in a wide range of water types from soft to hard water conditions. These animals live for up to 20 years meaning that you will have years of enjoyment from your gentle giant.

Arowana are exceedingly tolerant of poor conditions, they are not however tolerant at all to changing conditions. The greatest risk your Arowana will face is a change in environment such as changing the filter, or overfeeding a tank that has too weak a filter.

This can cause a spike in ammonia, nitrates or nitrites. It is not the conditions themselves that can be harmful but the change which may result in losing your fish.

Can I keep Arowana with other fish?

Arowana are also highly territorial but establish good relationships with other fish such as Barbs, Parrot Fish and Stingrays. If you want to keep a number of these fish together, then as a general rule they can only be kept with other Arowana if in groups of 6 or above. Also attention should be made to ensure that they are all similar in size. Keeping many of these fish together will disperse any aggression and your fish should live a peaceful school.


In the wild Arowana enjoy live food ranging from insects, fish, frogs and other small animals. They are a surface feeding fish so care should be taken to feed surface food for your fish. They will rarely dive to the bottom of the tank to gather food. (This is a excellent feature when keeping rays and arrows together).

Our captive bred Arowana have been brought up on a wide variety diet.

  • Mealworm, Morrio Worm (live or dead)
  • Crickets
  • Locus
  • Shrimp
  • Prawn
  • Mussel
  • White bait

A varied diet will ensure your Arowana develops to its potential. Pay attention to your fish to find out its favourite foods.  Food which contains certanids can help develop the reds and gold colour in your fish.

It is important not to over feed your arrow as this can affect the development of its scales and colour as it grows. A general suggestion is to feed any fish smaller than 10 inch twice a day and above this once a day. As the fish reaches adult hood some keepers feed every other day. It is important to see how your arrow responds and feed him accordingly.

A varied diet will ensure the best development for your fish. High protein foods such as meal worms and the like have low nutritious values similar to a pack of biscuits to us. These should be given with other nutritious foods.

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