How to Take Good Care of Arowana

By Lizzie Brooks

Arowana are long, silvery fish with a snakelike swimming motion. They originate from the Amazon flood plains and use their specialized mouths to feed on insects and small fish near the water's surface. They are a dramatic addition to any tank, although their large size limits them to serious fish owners.

Purchase a tank of adequate size to hold this large fish. Arowana have been known to reach 47 inches in length, although in aquariums they usually only reach 24 to 30 inches in length. As such, they will eventually need to be housed in a tank of at least 100 gallons in size, although young specimens can be temporarily held in a smaller tank.

Cover your tank with a strong, securely attached lid. Arowanas like to jump and are strong enough to knock a loosely attached cover right off the top of their aquarium.

Install an adequate filter. Water filters are sold according to the volume of water they are capable of cleaning. Arowanas demand very clean water and need a filter that meets or exceeds the water capacity of the tank.

Add fine gravel to the bottom of your tank and include some structure such as plants or rocks. Arowana do not hide and so do not need a well-developed tank structure, but they do become agitated when the tank is completely barren.

Adjust your water pH to between 6.5 and 7.0, which is the preferred pH range of the Arowana. Adjust your water heater so that the water temperature is between 75 and 86 degrees F. Adjust the water hardness until it is in the 8 to 12 dGH range.

Feed your Arowana live foods of an appropriate size. Baby Arowanas will eat brine shrimp or feeder-sized white cloud fish; when Arowanas reach about 4 inches in size, they can be fed live worms, frozen foods and increasingly large feeder fish. If your Arowana will accept large flake or pellet food, this will help to provide a nutritional balance in its diet.