The silver arowana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum ,is a South American freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae. Silver arowanas are sometimes kept in aquariums , but they are predatory and require a very large tank. The generic name Osteoglossum means "bone-tongued" and the specific name bicirrhosum means "two barbels" from the Greek language. The silver arowana occurs in both black- and whitewater habitats, including flooded forests.

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Renowned for its hunting ability and large size, this fish is one of the most iconic around and will be the prized possession of any hobby aquarist. Your Free Little Extra: Download our free Silver Arowana ebook which covers everything from their natural habitat to their diet.

Also known as the Dragon Fish, Monkey Fish, and occasionally misspelt as Arawana and Arahuana, this fish is adored by many hobby aquarists.

Arowana are strong powerful swimmers, and can be fairly aggressive at times. They are a predator fish that can grow up to 4 foot in size and weigh in excess of 6kg. When raised in captivity you should expect an Arowana to have a lifespan of years. If you ever encounter them in the wild, you will notice their unique hunting style. They have a huge leap which allows them to hunt animals on low level branches etc. They also have the ability to survive short periods of time out of water, by using their swim bladder.

In general if you are looking for an Arowana, Silver Arowanas are the least restricted to import regulations and because of this are also the cheapest variant of Arowanas available. Their huge size, precarious nature and long lifespan make them a fish that only experienced aquarists should consider. The Silver Arowana is a much sought after fish, normally the crowning jewel in any collection.

They are large and silver colored, and can grow up to 4 foot in the wild, however when kept in captivity you should expect them to grow to around 3 foot.

In terms of weight the average Arowana will weigh around 4. Its most distinguishing characteristic is its jawline. As for their body, you will see they have large pearl-like silver scales across their entire body. As juveniles these scales can have a blueish tint to them.

Their long sleek body appears flat when viewed from the side, and if you look closely you will notice their dorsal is almost fused with the caudal fin. As for their growth rate, they start out small around 4 inches after their egg sack has been consumed , but grow exceptionally fast. During their first year they will grow 2 inches each month, so you need to make sure they are well fed and have plenty of space in their aquarium.

For a large fish they can be surprisingly skittish. Arowanas will get scared from sudden movements, for example when you approach the aquarium quickly, or turn the lights on. You should make sure to keep your Arowanas in a tank placed in a low foot-traffic area. This prevents them getting startled each time you walk past the aquarium. When watching your Dragon Fish, you will notice they spend most of their time swimming close to the surface of the water.

However it should be noted that Silver Arowanas are notorious jumpers. They are most likely to jump when they are new to an aquarium or are placed in an aquarium which is too small for them. When placed in an aquarium that is too small for them, they will repeatedly try to jump to freedom.

Even if the aquarium is covered, they will still jump and can injure themselves when bouncing off the lid. As mentioned in the appearance section above, Silver Arowanas are large fish and strong swimmers.

They quickly outgrow most hobby aquarist tanks, and require a tank at least gallons in capacity. Juveniles can be raised in a smaller tank of 60 gallons, but will quickly need moving out into a larger aquarium. The substrate should consist of fine, small gravel. The tank should be sparingly planted, and have lots of open space for them to move around in. If you like to decorate your aquarium, you can do so with driftwood, rockwork and sturdy plants. You should avoid plants with weak roots as they can be dislodged by Silver Arowanas.

Finally, it should be noted that Silver Arowanas are notorious jumpers, so you need a very heavy cover to stop them jumping out of the tank. Meanwhile, pH levels should be 6. Like other freshwater fish , Silver Arowanas are tolerant to changes in these conditions; however you should aim to keep your water within the tolerances outlined above. The first thing to remember about Silver Arowanas is that they are first and foremost a predator fish. This has implications for their compatibility and which fish can share a tank with them.

When they are young they are particularly susceptible to bullying by more aggressive breeds. So you should bear this in mind when placing them in an aquarium. You should also know that when young, they can be kept together and raised. This prevents the smaller ones from being excessively bullied by the larger Arowanas. This is because they are targeted by aggressive fish due to their size.

If you plan on keeping multiple adult Arowanas together, do so cautiously. If you are insistent, you should keep at least 6 of them together and keep them in a large natural pond or an aquarium of similar size.

Silver Arowanas are generally considered to be carnivores, however they are occasional omnivores. In the wild they will consume a wide variety of prey including: small fish, snails, large insects, rabbits, frogs and even snakes!

Arowanas have a distinctive hunting style. Due to the position of their mouth they can swim just below the water line before jumping up out of the water to catch their prey.

They can also catch small fish by swimming beneath them and scooping them up. When keeping these fish you want to make sure their diet is as close to what they would eat in the wild. Their preference is a meat-based diet, which can include: earthworms, crab, crickets, shrimp, beef heart, krill and crustaceans.

You can also give them feeder fish. This allows you to watch them hunt which can be very absorbing. If you want to use feeder fish, I would generally recommend you breed your own, this way you can ensure the breeder fish are healthy. As they begin to mature above inches you can introduce them to frozen foods such as krill. In the wild Arowanas will normally lay their eggs at the start of the flood season December — January. Before spawning, they will pair off and build a nest.

The female will then lay her eggs into the nest before the male takes the eggs in his mouth; Silver Arowanas are mouthbrooders. The male will carry the eggs for around 50 days where they mature from an egg to larvae, to fry. Unfortunately there is only a handful of breeding success stories in home aquariums. Due to its large size and long life expectancy, only more experienced aquarists should undertake this challenge.

It requires an enormous tank at least gallons in capacity and finding suitable tank mates for them can be challenging. They are considered to be carnivores and eat large quantities of food so this should also be considered before purchasing them.

Though you could make your own fish food to save money. If you are looking to get an Arowana, try to buy them when they are at least 8 inches long.

By this time they have started to mature and are much hardier which means you will have a better chance of successfully keeping them. Do you already keep Silver Arowanas?

Let me know your experience with them in the comments below…. It is wide enough to accommodate most setups and has just the right amount of space to become a great home for many beautiful fish.

Deciding which is best tank for you especially for [Continue reading …]. A paludarium is an aquarium which has terrestrial plants as well as aquatic plants and aquatic life. They are much easier to maintain in comparison to fully aquascaped aquariums, because they pretty much look after themselves if you choose the right plants and animal species. You can include a much [Continue reading …]. There are so many things you need to keep an eye out for; this means there are a lot of mistakes that you can make.

A lot of the time these [Continue reading …]. I just bought 2 Arovanas without knowing all this information you have given, when I bought them one was about 3 inches now almost 5 inches,other was about 2 inches and now over 3 inches and taking good care of them. Never knew it was so hard to look after them.

Hi I am having a silver arowana which is about 3 inches approx. What to do. This is quite common for the first week or two. Leave the feeders in for when he starts to get hungry. You can also try some shrimp. My tip for getting Silver Arowanas to feed. First starve them for a couple of days.

Then put some live river shrimp in which should stimulate them into feeding. At the same time put in some frozen cocked. I let them defrost in the tank as they then float for longer. What I find is the Arowanas start to eat the frozen food at the same time as the live river shrimps.

Ideally, you should either keep them singularly, or in a group of 6 or more. Thanks, Robert. Any tips for the tank filtration system? You could either build your own sump or use an external canister filter. What size tank with the arowana be going into?

Hi I have 2 silver arowanas in my aquarium They are about 5 inches and size of aquarium is about 5 feet. Is that any problem while putting two of them in one tank and they do not eat anything.


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