Tim's Tropical Fish






Silver Arowana

Arowana Galleries

Silver Arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

The Arowana originated from the Amazon River basin.  Variations on the spelling of the name include Arrowana, Arawana, and Aruana.  It is also called the Dragon Fish and the God Fish.

The Silver Arowana has large silver scales.  The dorsal and anal fins are set far back and almost merge into the tail fin.  Another distinctive feature is the presence of a tongue that protrudes from its mouth.

The Arowana is not a beginner fish, because it needs very clean, clear water and lots of space - at least 55 gallons and preferably 300.  Arowanas are very tolerant of variations in pH and water hardness.   They can breathe air for short periods of time.  Arowanas are very popular for the beauty of their swimming patterns.

Feeding an adult Arowana is expensive.  They can be fed live and frozen brine shrimp, live black worms, live crickets, floating pellets, arowana sticks and any live fish that will fit in their mouth.  They will also eat meat, but if they have been raised on feeder guppies or goldfish, they will not take to meat easily.  They only take food from the surface.  In the wild, they will leap from the water to catch insects.  They are also easily scared.  A covered tank is essential and the lid should be weighted down, as they can force their way through most aquarium lids.  As they mature, they become aggressive toward their own kind.

Silver Arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

It is nearly impossible to distinguish the sex of a Silver Arowana.  To establish mating pairs, raise a young group and allow them to pair naturally.  They reach sexual maturity at 3 years of age.  Breeding is not difficult once you have a large enough tank.  The pair will swim in circles and the female will lay 50 - 250 eggs for the male to fertilize.  Arowanas are mouth brooders.  The fry will stay in the male’s mouth for over a month before they are free swimming.

Scientific Name: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
Family: Arowana
Temperature: 24 – 28 C; 75 – 82 F
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
Size: 120 cm; 48 inches
Life Span: 20 years
Breeding: Normal, Egglayer


Ornate Bichirs; Large Plecostomus Catfish such as the Common Pleco and Red Tail Sternella; Large Cichlids such as the Texas Cichlid, Green Terror and Jack Dempsey.

The most important criteria for tank mates is size, as Arowana will eat any fish that fits in its mouth.