Silver Arowana [Care Guide] – Tank Size, Mates, Length & More

The Silver Arowana is a large and stunning fish that will add beauty to any aquarium. Learn how to look after this beautiful fish in our new care guide.

Silver Arowana – Quick Facts

In a rush? Check out the quick facts about Silver Arowana below.

Fish Info

Scientific NameOsteoglossum bicirrhosum
Common NamesSilver arowana, green arowana, aruana, arowhana
AppearanceLarge, silver, long and sleek.  
DifficultySilver Arowana care can be complex due to their size and temperament.
DistributionFound in floodplains in South America. Additionally, they can be found in the Amazon River and Basin, Rupununi and Oyapock River. They have a limited distribution due to the fact that they are unable to travel upriver because they can’t make it through the fast moving waters.
LifespanThe lifespan of silver arowana is around 10-15 years.
TemperamentThe silver arowana is a predatory fish known for being aggressive and territorial.
Keep in Groups of1
Tank MatesClown Loaches, Freshwater Stingray, Tiger Datnoid, Parrot Cichlids, Common Pleco, Knife Fish, Bichir, Black Ghost Knife Fish, Large Catfish Species, Green Terror, Jack Dempsey, Jaguar Cichlid, Oscar, Pacu
DietSilver Arowanas are carnivorous fish that eat small fish, snails, and crustaceans.
LengthThe typical size of a Silver Arowana in captivity is almost 3 feet long when fully grown! These are massive fish. In the wild, they’re known to grow up to 4 feet long!
Sexual DimorphismFemales are thicker than males; males also have a longer anal fin.
Breeding DifficultyBreeding silver arowana is difficult because they are mouth brooders and need large ponds.

Water/Tank Recommendations

Water TypeFreshwater
Water TemperatureThe ideal water temperature for silver arowana is 75-82°F (24-28°C).
Water pHThe ideal water pH for silver arowana is 6.5.
Water HardnessThe ideal water hardness for silver arowana is 1-8 dH.
Tank size125+ gallons


Silver arowana care is not for the faint of heart. These are large and aggressive freshwater fish that require an experienced owner.

However, if you’re someone who has been keeping aquariums for quite some time and knows what they’re doing, this guide will help you keep your silver arowana happy and healthy.

This species is simply gorgeous!

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about silver arowana. From tank size and water conditions all the way to their behavior and compatibility with other fish species.

About Silver Arowana

Silver Arowana is a carnivorous large fish that originates in South America. They are amongst the largest of the freshwater fishes and can reach up to 3 feet in length!

These predatory, aggressive fish are considered one of the most challenging to care for due to their size, temperament, and need for an enormous tank. However this has not stopped aquarists from trying them out – Silver Arowanas have been known as being quite beautiful with their silvery-blue sheen.


The silver arowana is a very unique-looking fish species. They have a long, slender body with an almost torpedo-shaped head. The silver coloration is metallic in appearance and covers their entire body (minus their fins).

These fish are also covered in large scales that give them a very fearsome look! Not only do the scales cover the entire length of their bodies, but they can be found on their heads as well. This makes it appear like these big predatory fish have armor plating when viewed from above or below.

Their Length

Silver Arowanas are extremely long fish that can reach lengths of up to 3 feet when fully grown! These large fish require large aquariums (or ponds) in order to thrive.

NOTE: They’re known for being aggressive and territorial!


The typical lifespan of silver arowana is around 10-15 years. There’s no exact number because it will depend on the care level you provide, as well as their genetic disposition.

NOTE: Despite having such a long lifespan, these fish are not recommended for less experienced aquarists due to the difficulty in caring for them.

Sexual Dimorphism

Silver Arowana maleshave a longer anal fin than females. Females also tend to be thicker in the body as well.


Silver Arowanas are a notorious fish to find in the pet trade. However, they are naturally found in white and black water flood plains in South America. The Silver Arayana can be found in the Amazon River and Basin, Rupununi and Oyapock River but cannot travel up river because they can’t swim through the rapid moving waters. Therefore, the silver arowana has a limited distribution.

These fish like to spend time at the bottom of rivers and lakes. They are known for having a strong appetite, so they will scavenge for food in these waters as well. Silver Arowanas also enjoy hiding out under driftwood, logs, or rock ledges. Adding some large rocks in your tank works great with these fish.

Caring for Silver Arowana

Silver Arowana care can be difficult due to their size and temperament. These fish need plenty of space, large tanks that allow them to move around freely.

A minimum tank size of 125 gallons is needed for an adult Silver Arowana. However, they are known to be very territorial and aggressive toward others.

These predatory fish also require hiding places where they can rest out of the spotlight when desired. Rocks and piles of driftwood work well, as do caves made from rock or artificial materials such as plastic tubes.


Silver Arowanas are carnivores that eat small fish, snails, and crustaceans. In captivity, you will need to provide them with a high-protein diet of live or frozen food. You can feed your silver arowana meaty foods such as earthworms, chopped up shrimp, mussels and more.

It’s also important to provide a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals. Silver Arowanas enjoy a variety of foods, but you can supplement their diets with specialty prepared pellets intended for large fish.

How Often & How Much to Feed Them

Silver arowanas are predatory fish that need to eat at least 2-3 times per day. They’re not picky and will accept just about any kind of meat, but you should try to find high-quality food for them.

Feed your silver arowana enough food that will be eaten in one feeding.

Possible Diseases

Silver Arowana fish are susceptible to all the common diseases that can attack freshwater fish. This includes Ick, fungal infections, and parasites.

Silver Arowana fish can also suffer from scale rot. This is a fungal infection caused by bacteria in the water that affects the scales of these large fish. Because their scales are so large, infected ones fall off and new healthy ones don’t grow to replace them.

Tank Setup

The most important thing you need to worry about when setting up a tank for silver arowana is making sure that the water is clean. These fish are highly sensitive to any changes in water conditions and will be very unhappy if there’s something wrong with their home.

Silver arowanas need large tanks (125-250 gallons) so make sure that you have adequate space available before getting one of these fish. A larger tank means more swimming room, less chance of fighting between other species, and better overall quality of life for your fish.

Aquarium Size

The minimum tank size for silver arowana is 125 gallons, and the recommended tank size is 250 gallons.

However, remember that these fish need plenty of room to swim in order to stay healthy. Depending on how many you are keeping together, increasing the tank size can be a good idea.

NOTE: Silver arowanas are powerful swimmers, which means they need plenty of room to roam. In fact, you’ll find that the smaller their tank is the more aggressive and territorial these fish can be.

Water Conditions

The silver arowana requires warm and highly oxygenated water.

NOTE: Make sure that you are using an accurate test kit when monitoring pH levels for this species (or any other).

When setting up the tank, you must provide plenty of room for water flow and movement. To keep them healthy, it’s important that you mimic their natural habitat.


The recommended pH levels for silver arowana fish is around 6.5. You should perform regular testing to ensure your tank water is close to this optimum level.

Some aquarists think that since their fish can handle a large pH range, they don’t have to be as concerned about water conditions. This is not the case!

While these fish are fairly hardy and tolerant of water conditions, there is still a point at which they will experience stress. Continuously exposing them to suboptimal levels of pH can lead to health complications for your fish.


The best temperature range for silver arowanas is between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything outside of this range can be detrimental to the fish, as well as its lifespan.

The reason why it’s so important to keep their water in the right temperature is because these fish live in bodies of water with varying temperatures throughout South America: The Amazon River Basin, Rupununi, and Oyapock River are warmer (75-82°F), while the upper reaches of the Amazon are colder (65°F).

If water temperatures get too cold, the fish may suffer from shock or stress-related disease. If it gets too hot, organ damage is a possibility.


The hardness level of the tank water is an important consideration to keep in mind. Silver arowanas have very specific hardiness needs that need to be met, or they simply won’t thrive.

The recommended hardness for silver arowana is between 1 and 8 dH. This means it should not exceed 8 on the scale (1 being softest). Anything higher than this could prove fatal or cause serious health issues that make living difficult.

Most of the fish sold through reputable sellers are hardy enough to handle a hardness level between 1 and 8 dH. However, it’s important to always check this information before purchasing one.


It’s important to have a strong filtration system when caring for silver arowana. You can use both internal and external filters, but the latter is preferred because it mimics their natural habitat in South America.

External canister filters are recommended to give your fish plenty of oxygenated water that replicates their natural environment. In addition, they’re going to be more powerful than other types of filters available on the market (this is key).

Aquarium Plants

A well-planned and executed tank setup is crucial to the health and happiness of your fish. A lack of plants could lead to stunted growth, decreased activity levels, and an overall dull appearance in your aquarium.

Plants are not only visually interesting for you to observe but also enrich the environment with various nutrients that freshwater fish need to live healthy lives. Adding a variety of different species can help maintain stability in pH balance, and water hardness while providing hiding places for your fish.

Behavior and Compatibility

Silver Arowanas are predatory fish that feed on smaller fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates. They’re known to be territorial and can exhibit some aggressive behavior towards other fish species in the tank.

You might see Silver Arowanas swimming throughout the aquarium at all times of day. However, they will gravitate toward darker hiding places during the night when others are sleeping.

They’re also known to be active during the day when temperatures are warmer.

Silver Arowanas can jump out of the tank, so you need a secure lid!

How Many to Keep Together

Arowana do better alone as they are prone to aggression when kept with other silver arowanas.

If you do decide to keep them in a group, it’s important that all the members are about the same size. Never keep a smaller Arowana with larger ones.

If the smaller fish is harassed, it won’t have an avenue for escaping the bad behavior. This could lead to health problems and might even result in death.

Additionally, try to keep males and females in separate tanks. You might think that keeping them together will increase the chances of breeding, but it could actually be quite the opposite!


Silver arowanas are very territorial and aggressive fish. They have sharp teeth that can easily injure other fish, so you must keep them in a large tank where they have plenty of space to avoid any problems.

These predatory freshwater fish will spend most of their time swimming around the aquarium looking for prey or chasing other species out of the area. The silver arowana is also known to leap from the water once in a while as well!

Tank Mates

Silver Arowana do well with other large fish species. Large catfish and freshwater stingrays are two of the most common tank mates for this species.

It’s important to remember that all of these fish need similar water conditions in order to thrive. Fish that like cooler waters should definitely be avoided because the warm temperatures preferred by Silver Arowanas will make life uncomfortable for them.

Here are some recommended tank mates to pair with Silver Arowan fish

  • Clown Loaches
  • Freshwater Stingray
  • Tiger Datnoid
  • Parrot Cichlids
  • Common Pleco
  • Knife Fish
  • Bichir
  • Black Ghost Knife Fish
  • Large Catfish Species
  • Green Terror
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Jaguar Cichlid
  • Oscar
  • Pacu


Breeding silver arowana is difficult due to them being mouth brooders, their size and temperament. However, it can be done if you have the right conditions.

Are Silver Arowana Fish a Good Choice For Your Tank?

If you’re looking for a fish that can add an element of danger to your tank, the Silver Arowana might be just what you need. These are large and powerful predators with a healthy dose of attitude!

If you have other large predatory species in your aquarium, we recommend giving these fish a shot. They will often swim around the middle of the water column and get into scraps from time to time. This behavior is exciting to watch!

Silver Arowanas also look great no matter what kind of aquascape or decorating scheme you have going on in your tank. Their sleek body makes them stand out against any background.


The most obvious pro for owning silver arowanas is their beauty. These are stunning fish that will add a whole new level of interest to your aquarium (if you can handle them).

These large and long freshwater fish look like silvery torpedoes! We’ve never seen another species quite like them, which makes viewing them extremely enjoyable. There’s something about this sleek design that just captivates us!

Another big pro when it comes to silver arowana fish is their size. If you have the room, these are an obvious choice for anyone who wants something impressive. These massive fish look great in large tanks and give aquarists a very unique perspective from which to observe their tank.


While silver arowana are magnificent fish and quite fun to watch, they come with their fair share of problems. Because they’re so large, you need an enormous tank if you want them in your aquarium.

Then there’s the aggression that comes with owning these predatory fish. Silver Arowanas are considered one of the most aggressive freshwater species out there! They will attack other fish without hesitation if provoked, which means you have to be extra careful when selecting tank mates.

On top of that, breeding silver arowanas is also very difficult due to the fact that males tend to eat eggs and fry frequently. These issues combined make caring for this species significantly more challenging than others.


Silver Arowana care can be a very rewarding experience if you’re committed to the process. Even though they are aggressive, these fish can be quite enjoyable to watch and observe when everything is going smoothly.

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