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Arowanas in your Aquarium

Popularly dubbed as the “dragon fish”, the Arowana (also spelled as aruana or arawana) is one of the most popular types of big fishes kept by avid fish collectors, capable of growing as big as four feet long.

Known for being feisty and temperamental, Arowanas are part of the Osteoglossidae family of fishes, easily identified as “bony tongues”. With origins which date back to prominent species during the Jurassic Period, the Arowana’s head structure is bony, with its body elongated in shape, covered with large heavy scales.

As a member of the Osteoglossidae family, Arowanas are carnivores, as the floor of their mouths would reveal toothed bones (the “tongue”, so to speak). Arowanas are specialists for surface feeding, and owners, at one point and time, have revealed of instances when feeding them has left nicks on their fingers.
If keeping an Arowana is on your list of future plans, know that they are quite puckish when it comes to their diets, opting for live food over non-live varieties. Generally, they do not eat anything that is at the bottom of tanks, but they can adjust to food items which easily float on water surfaces.

They are known to go for insects such as grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets, and also respond well with worms. Small frogs are also a “treat” for Arowanas, along with certain species of smaller shrimp. Small fish is a popular type of “feed” opted by Arowana owners, but going for small fish as Arowana meal staples isn’t highly advised.

With different types of Arowanas, primarily defined by their color, the most commonly encountered type would be the Silver and Red, with known varieties of Gold among the ranks.

Though they are naturally temperamental, Arowanas do get to cool and calm down over time, which would make things easier for you if you do plan on getting one.

Just keep in mind that though they are beautiful to behold, their upkeep – primarily with what they eat – calls for a degree of commitment in keeping them in your aquarium.
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