Arowana Fish

Scientific Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Class:   Actinopterygii
Order:  Osteoglossiformes
Suborder: Osteoglossoidei
Family:          Osteoglossidae

The Arowana hailing from the Osteoglossidae family are a bony freshwater fish, they have another name, Bonytongues (the name bony tongue is meant for the Arapaimidae). The head of this group of fish is bony and its lengthened body is covered with weighty scales, having canals of mosaic design. The fins on the anal and dorsal sides have a long base and soft rays, whereas the fins on the ventral and pectoral sides are tiny. It obtained its name as “bony tongued” from the toothed bone situated at the base of the mouth. The “tongue”, is fitted with teeth, which bites on the other teeth in the mouth. The Arowana is an optional air breather, it gets oxygen from the atmosphere by inhaling it to its swim bladder that has capillaries lined similar to the tissues of the lung.

Arowana Fish


The spotted Arowana Fish whose scientific name is Scleropages Leichardti is generally seen in the southern regions of Australia. Their size is almost 90 cm (36 in.). It is difficult to accommodate them in a simple aquarium. They do not have as much a demand as the Asian Arowana. Their other names are: Dawson River, Southern Saratoga, Saratoga, Australian Spotted Arowana, Spotted Barramundi and Leichardti Saratoga. When compared to the other Arowana varieties of fish, these fish love to remain nearer to the bottom of the substrate, meaning that you could consider keeping them with the Silver Arowana at times. Regarding their diet, they eat anything that enters their mouth, such as Hikari pellets, crickets, insects, and the like. This variety of Arowana fish, are adjustable to temperatures of 75 to 86 of (24 to 30oC), and  a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. It is likely that they belong to an aggressive and territorial group.

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The normal, healthy growth size of the Arowana Fish is 24 to 30 in. (60 to 75 cm.). The sizes of some, in the wild, reach up to 48 in. (120 cm). Such fish are not suitable as community fish, they are aggressive (by all means), and keeping the Arowana fish in an isolated aquarium is ideal. Bear in mind, that keeping small fishes along with it possibly providing it its diet.

Growing at Home

Arowana. Photo: Irvin Calicut


Even though these Arowana fish consume all types of food, they belong to the carnivores group. Feed the juvenile Arowana fish with live or frozen brine shrimp, black worms and also tiny fish. When they grow older, give them bigger fish. The feeding schedule is: Baby Arowana, thrice daily, average sized ones, twice daily and matured ones once daily or on alternate days. Similar to the other fish, the Arowana Fish also prefer a balanced diet.

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The Arowana Fish is not meant for learner aquarium keepers. The Arowana require bigger size aquariums as they grow big. You would do well to have a tank of minimum size 100 gallons. For a juvenile, a small size aquarium is sufficient, but they grow very fast, beyond your imagination. Those who are keen owners of Arowana prefer aquariums of 125 gallons or bigger aquarium.


The Arowana Fish grows well where the temperature is within 75 to 86o F (24 to 30o C), and the pH is within 6 to 7. Keep the juvenile Arowana in a tank of size not less than 36 in. (90cm.). In the process of growing, shift them to a tank of size 48in. (120 cm.). When it attains a size of 15 in. (40 cm.), shift them to a bigger tank. There are chances that the Arowana turns violent and eat the smaller fish in the aquarium. Keeping them along with bigger catfish and some other types is fine. By all means they are predators that consume small fishes. For a home aquarium, a juvenile is fine, but they grow very fast when the ideal place is in a big aquarium kept in a public place.

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