Silver arowana

Alternative Name
Binomial name Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Basic Info

The silver arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), sometimes spelled arawana, is a freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, commonly kept in aquaria. The term "Osteoglossum" means "bone-tongued" and "bicirrhosum" means "two barbels" (from the Greek language). This fish has relatively large scales, a long body, and a tapered tail, with the dorsal and anal fins extending all the way to the small caudal fin, with which they are nearly fused. It can grow to a maximum size of around 1 m (39 inches) in captivity. In the wild, it has been known to reach over 1.2 m (47 inches) in length. The juveniles are usually a dull silver color with black markings around the head and the tail. Once they reach about 15 cm (6 inches), the markings will disappear and they will start to obtain the silvery color that give them their common name


Water Conditions Water conditions are important for arowanas. Strong filtration is necessary for these large carnivores. Commercially available black water additives can help simulate the Silver Arowana's natural habitat, although they can adapt to most water supplies and thrive. A 25-30% water change, siphoning waste and other detritus, is necessary 1-2 times every week to maintain excellent water conditions. The water temperature should range from 24C (75F) to 28C (82F), with the ideal about 26C (79F).

Silver arowana picture

Fresh water fish


The species is also called monkey fish because it of its ability to jump out of the water and capture its prey. It usually swims near the water surface waiting for potential prey. Although specimens have been found with the remains of birds, bats, and snakes in their stomachs, its main diet consist of crustaceans, insects, smaller fishes and other animals that float on the water surface, on which its draw-bridge-like mouth is exclusively adapted for feeding. Arowanas are sometimes called Dragon Fish by aquarists because their shiny armor-like scales and double barbels are reminiscent of descriptions of dragons in Asian folklore. Tankmates Silver Arowanas can be kept with other freshwater fish as long as they are too large to fit in the arowana's mouth and can tolerate the arowanas active-swimming lifestyle. Many people like having more then one Arowana in the tank; in this case, hobbyists recommend keeping at least 5-6 in the tank at a time because Silver Arowanas are very aggressive towards each other.


Amazon River


This species is found in is the Amazon River basin and in the Rupununi and Oyapock Rivers in South America as well as in still waters in Guyana.

Common Foods

Young Silver Arowanas should not be overfed, because according to some hobbyists, they can develop dropeye, a condition in which the eyes are turned downward, as they grow. Arowanas should be offered meaty foods such as insects, shrimp, fish, beef heart,

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