Asian arowana Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The Asian arowana is a beautiful and unique freshwater fish that is popular in the aquarium trade.

These fish are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in a variety of habitats, from slow-moving rivers to fast-flowing streams.

Asian arowanas are a predatory fish and can grow to be quite large, so they are not suitable for every aquarium. However, if you have the space and the proper setup, they can make a great addition to your tank!

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Asian arowana care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

The Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) is a freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It is considered a sacred animal in some cultures, and is one of the most popular fish in the aquarium trade.

The Asian Arowana is a predatory fish, and in the wild it feeds on smaller fish, insects, and crustaceans. In the aquarium, it should be fed a diet of live food, such as small fish, shrimp, and crickets.

Asian Arowanas are beautiful fish, and they are prized by fishkeepers for their iridescent scales and long, flowing fins. They are also one of the most expensive fish in the aquarium trade, with some individuals selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

Asian Arowanas are difficult fish to keep, and they require a large tank with excellent filtration. They are also very sensitive to water quality, and even small changes in water parameters can lead to stress and illness.


Asian arowana

The Asian arowana is an impressive freshwater fish that is sure to turn heads. These fish have long bodies that can reach up to 3 feet in length! They have a unique diamond-shaped head that is quite large in comparison to their body.

Their mouths are located on the underside of their head and extend all the way back to their eyes. This gives them a very “vacuum-like” appearance when they’re feeding.

Asian arowanas have large scales that cover their entire body. These scales have a reflective quality to them that gives the fish a bit of a shimmer.

The color of these fish can vary quite a bit depending on the specific subspecies. However, they are usually some shade of green or blue. Some varieties may have a bit of gold or silver in their scales as well.

These fish have large dorsal and anal fins that taper off into a point. They also have a long and thin caudal peduncle. Their caudal fin is forked and very tall, making up a good portion of their length.

Asian arowanas also have a pair of long barbels on their chin. These help them to “feel” around for food in murky water.


In the wild, Asian arowanas have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. In captivity, they can live even longer—up to 25 years—with the proper care.

As with any animal, there are a number of factors that impact an Asian arowana’s lifespan. In the wild, predation and disease are the two biggest threats to these fish.

In captivity, the biggest threats to Asian arowanas are poor water quality and stress. Stress can come from a number of sources, but the most common is incompatible tank mates.


The Asian arowana is one of the largest freshwater aquarium fish, with some specimens reaching lengths of up to 3 feet! They are also one of the most expensive fish in the world, with some individuals selling for tens of thousands of dollars.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for an Asian arowana is 48 inches by 24 inches, which is equivalent to approximately 55 gallons. But we recommend going up to a 75-gallon tank if you can.

The main reason you need a larger tank for an Asian arowana is because of their size. They can grow up to 3 feet in length, so they need the extra space to move around.

Another reason is that they’re a messy fish. They produce a lot of waste, so you need a larger filter and more water changes to keep the water quality high.

Water Parameters

The Asian arowana is a tropical fish, so you’ll need to maintain warm water temperatures in the tank. They’re also native to slow-moving waters, so a moderate water flow is ideal.

As for water parameters, these fish prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. Water hardness should be between 4 and 8 dGH.

Alkalinity levels are not as critical, but aim for a range between 2 and 6 dKH.

As far as filtration goes, you’ll need a canister filter that can move at least 10 times the volume of your tank every hour. An arowana tank should also have a protein skimmer to help remove organic waste before it has a chance to break down and pollute the water.

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the inside of an aquarium for an Asian arowana there are a few key things that you need to take into consideration.

First and foremost, these fish need a lot of space to swim. They’re not the type of species that do well when cramped up. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 50 gallons of water for each arowana.

The next thing you need to think about is the type of substrate you’re going to use. These fish love to dig so you need to make sure it’s something soft (sand is ideal).

Next, you need to provide some hiding places for your fish. Asian arowanas are shy by nature and will appreciate some places to hide. Driftwood, caves, and plants are all suitable options.

Finally, make sure the water in their tank is well-filtered and has a high flow rate. These fish are messy eaters and produce a lot of waste.

Common Diseases

The Asian Arowana is a notoriously difficult fish to keep healthy. They’re very sensitive to changes in water quality and their immune system isn’t the strongest.

This makes them susceptible to a lot of different diseases and illnesses. The most common ones that you’ll need to watch out for are:

-Hole in the head disease


-Fungal infections

-Bacterial infections

These are just a few of the potential diseases that your Asian Arowana could face. It’s important to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary so you can act fast if necessary.

The best way to keep your Asian Arowana healthy is to provide them with the best possible living conditions. This means clean water, a stable tank, and plenty of hiding places.

If you can provide all of these things then you’ll be well on your way to keeping your Asian Arowana healthy and happy.

Behavior & Temperament

Although they are sometimes thought of as aggressive, Asian arowanas are actually very peaceful fish. They are shy by nature and will often hide behind plants or decorations in their tank.

The one thing you need to be careful of with Asian arowanas is their long, sharp fins. These fins can easily rip the fins of other fish. So, it’s best to keep them in a tank by themselves or with other fish that have similar-sized fins.

Asian arowanas are also known to be jumpers. They can easily jump out of an open tank, so it’s important to keep a lid on their tank at all times.

One of the most interesting things about Asian arowanas is their ability to change color. They are born with a silver coloration. But, as they mature, they can start to develop other colors like gold, green, or blue.

Tank Mates

Asian Arowanas are not community fish. They’re too large and too aggressive to live peacefully with most other species.

The truth is, there aren’t many fish that make good tank mates for Asian Arowanas. In fact, the list is pretty short.

These are the only fish that can hold their own:

Anything else is likely to get eaten or bullied to death.

It’s also worth noting that Asian Arowanas are known to eat smaller fish. For this reason, it’s best to avoid anything that’s on the small side.


Asian arowanas are one of the most difficult fish to breed in captivity. They have very specific requirements and are very picky eaters.

The first step is to find a healthy male and female. These fish can be aggressive, so it’s important that you find two that are compatible. Once you have your pair, put them in a breeding tank.

The breeding tank should be at least 200 gallons. It should have a water heater to keep the temperature between 80 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The water should be very clean and well-filtered.

Asian arowanas are surface feeders, so the tank should have plenty of floating plants. You can also add a piece of driftwood for them to perch on.

The next step is to start feeding them live food. Feed them live insects, small fish, and earthworms. You can also offer them frozen foods, but they should be thawed and fed live.

When the female is ready to spawn, she will lay a few hundred eggs. The eggs will float to the surface and attach themselves to the plants. The male will then fertilize them.

Once the eggs hatch, the fry will feed on microscopic organisms in the water. You can supplement their diet with live baby brine shrimp.

As they grow, you can start feeding them larger live foods. Once they’re big enough, you can move them to your main tank.


The Asian Arowana is a beautiful and unique fish that will definitely add some flair to your home aquarium. They’re not the easiest fish to take care of, but with a little bit of knowledge and commitment, you can definitely do it!

We hope this guide has been helpful and that you now feel more prepared to take on the challenge of keeping an Asian Arowana. If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences, feel free to reach out to us on social media or directly through our website. We love hearing from other aquarists and are always happy to help!