Silver Arowana Fish

Published September 23, 2018
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Silver Arowana comes from the Amazon River in South America. This is a very beautiful and a fascinating fish to watch. However, because of their huge adult size of 35 - 40 inches (89 - 102 cm) they are not recommended for the beginning aquarist. Actually, this is one of those fish that are probably best kept in the wild or in huge public aquariums.

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum Osteoglossum bicirrhosum


They require at least a 200 gallon (750 liters) tank to adequately keep them. You also need an excellent aquarium filter such as an external canister filter. Arowanas are also excellent jumpers so you will need a good, tight fitting hood with no escape holes. In the wild, they can jump out of the water at insects and small animals on overhanging branches.

Because of their potential adult size, there are not many compatible tank mates that quickly come to mind but you may be able to keep an Arowana with a larger Common Pleco.

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

This fish is definitely one fish species that is best left to the experts and public aquariums.

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Silver Arowana Care

Scientific Name : Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Common Names : Silver Arowana, Dragon Fish, Arawana, Aruana, Arrowana, etc.

Arowana Care Level : Moderate to Difficult, needs a large tank and is not recommended for the beginning aquarist. Needs a good aquarium filter like an external canister filter.

Size : 35 - 40 inches (89 - 102 cm)

pH : 6.0 - 7.5

Temperature : 75°F - 83°F (24°C - 28°C)

Lifespan : 10 - 20 years or longer.

Origin / Habitat : South America, Amazon River

Temperament / Behavior : Can be aggressive, especially with smaller aquarium species.

Breeding : They have been bred in captivity. The males carry the eggs in their mouths (mouth brooder).

Aquarium Size : 200 gallon minimum but preferably much larger tanks. This fish is best left in the wild, in public aquarium displays or with advanced hobbyists with the equipment and space to keep them.

Tank Mates : Because of the huge adult size of Arowana there are very few common aquarium species recommended. One that may potentially be kept with them is the Common Pleco, but you would need an even bigger tank (bigger than 200 gallons) to provide both of them with adequate water volume as adults.

Food : A carnivore - provide a varied diet with pellet food, frozen food and they will definitely accept live food.

Tank Region : Mostly at the top of tank

Gender : May only be possible to determine gender differences in mature adults Arowanas. Males may have larger mouths since they are mouth breeders.

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Fish Lore Forum : Arowana Forum

Silver Arowana Comments and Tips

From: Jason Mark
I have a 4 ft L, 1.5 D, 1.5 H tank and have 2 silver arowanas (16 inch and 21 inch), 1 red belly pacu (13 inch), 2 albino catfish (9 inches each) and 1 pleco catfish( 8 inch)... they have been living peacefully however just wanted to check if there could be a problem later. My aros eat chicken and my pacu eats everything. I don't want to get rid of either of them. I live in Mumbai, India
Based on your supplied measurements, I'm guessing thats about a 70 gallon tank? You are seriously overstocked! To give these fish a comfortable existence you would need an enormous tank. This tank is too small for even 1 arowana. Feeding chicken may be a good source of protein for your fish but it will really pollute the tank water. Please try to get a much larger tank or give/sell these fish to someone with a much larger tank or pond and perform very frequent (daily) water changes until then.

From: Francisco
I have a 10" silver Arowana in a tank with two 8" and 6" Oscars and two 4" Parrot fish. They get along fine as long as I keep them well fed. I first feed them colour bits followed with frozen bloodworms which are eaten mostly by the Arowana. They are growing well and fast. Currently the 300 litre tank is OK, but I figure in 6 months or so I will have to get a 600+ litre tank.

From: Tom
We know this fish as Arowana in Indonesia, it comes from Borneo rivers. We have silver and red colored Arowana. The red Arowana is almost extinct, we are not allowed to keep it in captivity.

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