Silver Arowana: Why you shouldn’t buy this? [2020]

Silver arowanas' mouth

Silver Arowana is one of the freshwater fish which looks very attractive and beautiful. It is often called a Dragonfish or the monkey fish due to its appearance.

This fish is great at hunting and this makes it unique and stands out from other species of fishes. If you fairly a beginner to fish keeping, we don’t recommend you to make this fish as your first choice.

Silver arowana in aquarium
Image credit- കാക്കര, Commons Wikimedia

Silver Arowana likes to swim around the aquarium. Keeping one single Arowana on your fish tank is what most of the aquarists do.

In this article, I will guide you on the Caring of Silver Arowana, Choosing the right Tankmates for silver Arowana, Tank setup and conditions, Breeding of this and more.

Let’s Dive right in!

Short Overview

Silver Arowana is found in most of the freshwater regions of the south America Amazon river zone.

Due to its shiny appearance, most of the aquarists tend to buy this type of fish in their aquarium setup. However, The fish is powerful and can be aggressive in uncomfortable conditions. It is a predator fish meaning it preys on the other fishes too.

If you could ever see them in the wild, you would be surprised to see their way of hunting which is quite unique. They can even survive without water for a short period of time using their swim bladder.

There are varieties of Arowana fishes out there, But the famous variety among them is the Silver Arowana fish.

If you are an experienced aquarist then you should surely add this beautiful fish into your setup.

Here is a quick infographic!

silver arowana infographic

Appearance of Silver Arowana

Size of Silver Arowana

silver arowana appearance
Image credit- Qwertzy2, Commons Wikimedia

In the wild, Silver Arowana grows for about 3 to  4 feet and weighs around 5 kgs when fully matured. When it comes to the length, It can grow for up to 100 centimeters which is equal to 39 inches.

Physical appearance

Silver arowanas' mouth
Image credit- Jarek Tuszyński, Commons Wikimedia

As the name suggests, The body color of Silver Arowana is silver and usually, females are thicker as compared to males. Males have larger anal fin as compared to the females.

Whenever you have a side-view look at this fish you will notice the long sleek body of this fish which appears to be flat. They have silver scales all over their body. This is what attracts the audience.

The babies of this Arowana fish are about 4 inches when they are hatched with a properly nutritious diet they tend to grow faster than your expectation. Just make sure you have enough tank size for this fish to swim around the fish tank comfortably.

In the first year of silver Arowana, It grows about 2 inches each month. Hence, you should provide a nutritious diet, Larger tank size and maintaining the right water temperature.

Behavior of Silver Arowana

They get stressed out sometimes, for example when you move around the aquarium quickly they get shocked. or if you switch on aquarium lights they get freaked out sometimes.

Place your aquarium in such a place that, the fish doesn’t get stressed out often. Often, a place with fewer movements or actions will help silver Arowana to stay calm and happy.

Most of the time this fish swims on the top part of the water. They might try to jump off the aquarium, to make sure they do not accidentally jump out, make sure you have an Aquarium top cover. They might get injured when they hit the aquarium top.

Silver Arowanas’ can jump upto 3 meters of height

Although, If your aquarium is comfortable enough they would never try jumping out. So keep in mind, tank size matters a lot for silver Arowana. The more the size of the tank, the better and comfortable life they live with.

Habitat and Tank setup

In this section, we will talk about setting up the tank for silver Arowana and its habitat.

Tank size

As you already know that silver Arowana fishes are powerful and strong swimmers. Due to this reason, It is important to have a larger aquarium tank size in-order for this fish to live a comfortable life.

The right tank size we recommend for silver Arowana fish is 250 gallons. You might think that this is a big capacity but, these fishes grow very fast and once they cross their juvenile stage they need at least 250 gallons of the tank.

If you try keeping this fish in a small-sized tank, you might notice a few problems like short lifespan and body deformation. These types of problems occur when they have an uncomfortable space.

Tank setup

It is always a dream for the aquarist to set up a beautiful tank for their silver Arowana and we have got this covered for you. visit the nearest fish keeping store to get the listed equipments for setting up a beautiful home for this fish.

These are the required equipments to set up a beautiful tank for silver Arowana:

  • 250 gallons capacity of Aquarium tank with a heavy top cover
  • Water heater
  • Water filter to purify water
  • Decorations like Rocks, caves and live plants
  • Aquarium lighting
  • Fine, small gravel
  • Thermocol sheet

Follow these steps in setting up of tank:

  1. First of all, find a right and convenient place where you want to set up.
  2. Lay down the Thermocol sheet on the surface area. Thermocol sheet provides proper balance for the aquarium tank.
  3. Place the aquarium tank on top of the thermocol sheet.
  4. Fill the tank with small gravel and strong-rooted live plants and place rocks, caves and other decorations you like.
  5. Now, install the water heater and lighting along with a water filter.
  6. Fill up the aquarium tank with water and switch on the heater setting it around 78° F. pH level should be maintained at 6.5 to 7.5 and water should be soft.
  7. Finally, bring the silver Arowana into the setup.

Keep in mind that you buy plants with strong and has sturdy roots. This is to prevent silver Arowana fishes from dislodging the live plants

Tank condition

Maintaining proper tank conditions for silver Arowana is necessary. In this section, we will guide you with it.

  • Temperature: 76-82° F
  • pH levels of 6.5-7.5
  • Soft water preferred
  • A strong water filtration system

This fish doesn’t like dirty water hence, it is important to keep the water as clean as possible. Although, you can change 25% of the water weekly and have a strong water filtration system installed.

Lastly, try to stick with maintaining these conditions.

Silver Arowana Tank mates

If you remember, we already mentioned in the above section, that silver Arowana is a predator fish and it likes hunting on other fishes. So, due to this reason, it is quite hard to tie them up with other fishes.

When they are in their juvenile stage, They are small and hence, the other aggressive breed fishes might try taking advantage of this. so, you should keep this in mind before you share the tank with other aggressive fishes.

However, you can pair silver Arowana with each other and raise them at a young age. Pairing 5 to 6 these fishes together would be a great idea. Pairing these many fishes will allow the small-sized silver Arowana from getting bullied from the larger sized once.

Now, let’s talk about the adult-sized Silver Arowana.

As mentioned above, finding the right tank mates for silver Arowana would be a little hard. This is mainly due to, they are also targeted by the aggressive fish as their size is larger. If you try choosing smaller fishes than the Arowana this would be a wrong choice as well because silver Arowana fish will end up eating the small fishes.

There are few species of fishes that are compatible with this type of arowana.

Keep these points in mind while choosing the tank mates with silver Arowana

  • Find fishes that are peaceful as well as aggressive at times.
  • Size of fish should be large so, that silver Arowana can’t eat them
  • Try adding Arowana to the tank first and later the other tank mates

We recommend adding these tank mates with Silver Arowana fish:

  • Green terrors
  • Oscars
  • Knifefish
  • Parrot cichlid
  • Angelfish
  • Catfish
  • Large Plecostomus

If you feel, they are uncomfortable with each other take them off the aquarium tank.

Keeping silver Arowana with each other

If you are planning to keep these silver Arowana fishes together this is not a good choice. It is okay to keep them together until they reach their adult stage. Once they are adult it is a good idea to transfer to a separate aquarium or just keep them alone.

Silver Arowana feeding and Diet

As per the researchers, silver Arowana fishes are considered carnivorous in nature. However, they are omnivorous occasionally.

When you see them in the wild regions, they usually feed on small fish, snails, insects, rabbits, frogs and even they eat snakes sometimes.

The most common food they like is eating other small fishes.

Silver Arowana fish has an amazing body that helps them catch their prey easily. Their position of the mouth is unique and that helps them swim just on the top surface of the water and this helps them hunt their prey.

If you observe, you will notice they will scoop the small fishes into their mouth with ease. Be sure, to feed them what they like eating in the wild.

The recommended food for Silver Arowana is

  • Earthworms
  • Crabs
  • Crickets
  • Shrimp
  • Krill

You can also feed them small live fishes and they love it. Most of the aquarists feed them feeder fishes. If you are planning to feed your silver Arowana with feeder fishes. we recommend you to breed them yourself. In this way, you are feeding healthy feeder fishes to you Arowana.

If you are planning on bringing feeder fishes from the nearest aquarium stores or online stores. This would end up risking diseases into your aquarium also and this is something you should avoid doing.

Frozen foods also work fine and this is much cheaper when it comes to cost-cutting

When silver Arowana is in the juvenile stage, you should feed them only live and fresh foods only. This is to prevent any sort of diseases attacking these little Arowanas. When they reach about 8 to 9 inches. Now, they are adult and you can feed them with frozen foods and krill.

You might wanna check this article on Harlequin Rasbora

Silver Arowana Breeding

When it comes to breeding of silver Arowana you should take care of a few things to make sure you follow the right.

Usually, In the wild nature of this fish, they lay eggs in the season of December and January. Before the mating process both the male and female together start building a nest. After mating the female will lay eggs into the nest and then the male silver Arowana takes these eggs in his mouth. This is because they are mouthbrooders.

The size of these eggs are large and are generally orange or red. Male fish carries these eggs for about 50 days of the time period until they completely mature from egg to larvae. Once they are hatched they look for food around.

Breeding silver Arowana fish is not as easy as you think! If you are planning to breed this fish in Home aquariums. It is quite a little hard to breed these fishes. The success rate of breeding in Home conditions is very low and hence breeding in the Home aquarium condition is not recommended.

Silver Arowana Price

The price of a small-sized silver Arowana fish is around $40- $45. Although, the price may vary depending on its size and availability too.

Concluding Thoughts

If you are fairly beginner to fish keeping, then you shouldn’t start with this fish. As this fish is quite a little difficult to take care of.

If you have planned to get this fish then you should get a tank size of at least 250 gallons of capacity. Deciding and finding the right tank mates with silver Arowana is also a tricky task.

The Maintenence cost of silver Arowana is high compared to other fish this is due to its size and the amount of food it eats. If you want to save money be ready to make your food to feed your fish.

Buy silver Arowana with a size of when they are at least 8 inches long. In this stage, they are matured and they can get adjusted easily.

Let us know in the comment section what do you think of this fish?

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