Silver Arowana: Everything About This Bony Fish and Its Care

silver arowana care guide

The Silver Arowana, a captivating and elegant fish, has captured the attention of many aquarists due to its unique appearance and intriguing behaviors. With its elongated body, delicate barbells, and shimmering fins, this bony fish is undeniably a sight to behold.

However, the care and maintenance of the Silver Arowana can be a complex endeavor, requiring meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of its specific needs. From creating a suitable environment to providing a balanced diet, every aspect of its care demands careful consideration.

In this article, we will explore the various facets of caring for the Silver Arowana, aiming to equip enthusiasts with the knowledge and insights necessary to ensure the well-being and thriving of this remarkable fish in their aquariums.

Key Takeaways

  • Silver Arowanas are very difficult to care for and require a minimum tank size of 250 gallons.
  • They have a long and slender body with distinctive barbells on their head, resembling a dragon.
  • Proper care and maintenance include maintaining water parameters, providing enough space, and preventing injuries and diseases.
  • Their diet consists of carnivorous food items and they can be trained to eat fish food pellets.

Appearance of the Silver Arowana

glimmering silver fish beauty

The Silver Arowana, also known as the Platinum Arowana, is a bony fish characterized by its silver coloration, elongated and slender body, and distinctive dragon-like barbells on its head. These unique barbells are used for sensory purposes, helping the fish detect movement and locate prey in its natural habitat.

The Silver Arowana is native to the freshwater rivers and lakes of South America, where it is known for its ability to leap out of the water to catch insects and small animals. This adaptation allows the fish to survive in areas with low water levels or flooded forests.

In addition to its striking appearance, the Silver Arowana has a highly specialized jaw structure that allows it to swallow prey whole. This, combined with its sharp teeth, makes it an efficient predator in its environment.

Care and Maintenance of Silver Arowana

Care and maintenance of the Silver Arowana require meticulous attention to its specialized needs and the provision of optimal living conditions to ensure its well-being. Common mistakes in care and maintenance can lead to health issues and a decrease in the fish's overall happiness. To keep a Silver Arowana healthy and happy, here are some essential tips:

  1. Provide a spacious tank: Silver Arowanas require a minimum tank size of 250 gallons to swim freely and comfortably. Insufficient space can lead to stress and stunted growth.
  2. Maintain water parameters: The pH range should be between 5.0 to 7.5 to replicate their natural habitat. Regular monitoring of water quality, temperature, and filtration is crucial to prevent diseases and maintain optimal conditions.
  3. Offer a balanced diet: Silver Arowanas are carnivores and need a protein-rich diet. Feeder fish, shrimp, beef heart, and blood worms are suitable options. Train them to eat fish food pellets to diversify their diet.
  4. Prevent injuries: Sharp objects in the tank can cause injuries, and Arowanas are known to jump. Ensure the tank is free from any potential hazards and provide a secure lid to prevent escape.

Diet and Feeding for Silver Arowana

optimal diet for silver arowana

Silver Arowanas have specific dietary requirements that need to be met in order to ensure their optimal health and growth. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to the diet and feeding of Silver Arowanas:

  • Carnivorous Diet: Silver Arowanas are carnivores and require a balanced diet that is rich in protein. They can be fed a variety of suitable food items such as feeder fish, shrimp, beef heart, blood worms, and more.
  • Training Techniques: Silver Arowanas can be trained to eat fish food pellets, which can provide a convenient and nutritionally balanced option for their diet. This training process involves gradually introducing the pellets alongside their regular diet until they are fully accustomed to them.
  • Common Diseases: Silver Arowanas are susceptible to diseases such as ICH, fungal, and parasitic infections. It is important to ensure that their diet is nutritionally balanced to support their immune system and overall health, reducing the risk of common diseases.

Tank Setup and Compatibility for Silver Arowana

When setting up a tank for a Silver Arowana, careful consideration must be given to its compatibility with other tank mates and the specific requirements of its natural habitat. The tank size needs to be enormous, with a minimum of 250 gallons, to provide enough space for the Arowana to swim and thrive. Additionally, the tank decoration should mimic the natural habitat of the fish, with plenty of hiding spots and plants. In terms of tankmates, it is important to choose large and semi-aggressive fish that can withstand the Arowana's size and temperament. Some ideal tankmates for the Silver Arowana include Oscar fish, Bichirs, and other large cichlids. It is important to avoid small or delicate fish that may be seen as prey by the Arowana.

Ideal Tankmates for Silver Arowana
Oscar fish Bichirs Large cichlids

Tank decoration for Silver Arowana should include plenty of hiding spots and plants to mimic its natural habitat. This can be achieved by adding driftwood, rocks, and live plants to the tank. The Arowana will appreciate having places to hide and explore, as well as areas to rest near the surface of the water. Creating a natural environment will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the tank, but it will also help reduce stress for the fish. It is important to ensure that any decorations added to the tank are securely placed to prevent injury to the fish.

Lifespan and Breeding of Silver Arowana

silver arowana lifespan and breeding

The lifespan of the Silver Arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, typically ranges from 10 to 15 years in captivity. Breeding these magnificent fish can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and understanding of their habitat requirements, it can be achieved successfully.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Breeding Techniques:
  • Provide a spacious tank with plenty of hiding places and floating plants to simulate their natural environment.
  • Maintain water conditions with a pH range of 5.0 to 7.5 and a temperature of 78 to 86°F.
  • Use a separate breeding tank and introduce a pair of mature Silver Arowanas.
  • Habitat Requirements:
  • Silver Arowanas are native to South America, specifically the Amazon River Basin.
  • They prefer slow-moving rivers, flooded forests, and areas with dense vegetation.
  • Recreate their natural habitat by incorporating driftwood, rocks, and plants in the aquarium.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Average Price Range for a Silver Arowana?

The average price range for a silver Arowana varies depending on factors such as size, quality, and availability. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, with rarer and larger specimens commanding higher prices.

Can Silver Arowanas Be Kept in a Community Tank With Smaller Fish?

Silver Arowanas are not suitable for community tanks with smaller fish due to their aggressive nature and large size. They have strict feeding requirements, needing a balanced diet rich in protein from live or frozen foods.

Are There Any Specific Tank Decorations or Plants That Silver Arowanas Prefer?

Silver Arowanas prefer tank decorations that mimic their natural habitat, such as driftwood, rocks, and caves. They also appreciate the presence of live plants, with Java Ferns and Amazon Swords being suitable options.

How Long Does It Take for a Silver Arowana to Reach Its Maximum Size?

The growth rate of a Silver Arowana is influenced by various factors, including genetics, diet, water quality, and tank size. However, on average, it can take several years for a Silver Arowana to reach its maximum size.

Are There Any Specific Water Parameters That Are Crucial for the Health of a Silver Arowana?

Water parameters play a crucial role in maintaining the health of a Silver Arowana. It is important to replicate their natural habitat by ensuring proper pH levels (5.0 to 7.5), temperature, and water quality to support their well-being and prevent any potential health issues.


In conclusion, the Silver Arowana is a captivating fish that requires careful attention and specific care to thrive in an aquarium setting. Its striking appearance, along with its dietary needs, tank setup requirements, and suitable tank mates, make it a challenging but rewarding species to care for.

With a potential lifespan of up to 20 years, it is important to provide the proper environment and diet to ensure its longevity. To put it into perspective, the Silver Arowana can grow up to 3 feet long, making it an impressive and majestic addition to any aquarium.