Common Name: Silver Arowana
Scientific Name: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
Other Names: Arahuana, Aruana, Arwana, Monkey fish, and Dragon fish
Silver Arowanas are a large freshwater fish with elongated bodies that are laterally compressed, and covered in shiny silver scales. They are characterized by their long, torpedo-shaped body, and their large, bony head. The fish's most distinctive feature is its large, triangular-shaped scales that cover the entire body. Arowanas have long, slender bodies that allow them to swim quickly and gracefully through the water. They have two long, whisker-like barbels on its lower jaw that it uses to detect prey. The fins of the fish are large and elongated, with the dorsal fin running along the entire length of the fish's back.
Habitat and Distribution:
- Country of Origin: South America, primarily in the Amazon River Basin.
- Silver Arowanas are found in the slow-moving, shallow waters of the Amazon and its tributaries, including blackwater and clearwater rivers and lakes.
- In the wild, the Silver Arowana can grow up to 4 feet long, while in captivity they typically reach around 2-3 feet in length.
- The fish has a lifespan of around 10-15 years in captivity, but can live up to 20 years in ideal conditions.
- The Silver Arowana is a carnivorous fish that feeds on a variety of prey, including insects, small fish, and crustaceans. They are known for their ability to jump out of the water to catch prey.
- In the aquarium, they can be fed a diet of frozen bloodworms, live or frozen small fish, and pellets.
- Silver Arowanas are generally solitary fish and can be aggressive towards other fish in the tank, so they are best kept alone or with other large, non-aggressive fish.
Breeding and Reproduction:
- Breeding Silver Arowanas in captivity is difficult and requires specialized conditions, so it is typically done by experienced breeders in commercial operations.
- In the wild, the fish breeds during the rainy season and will lay eggs in nests built by the male.
- Commercial breeding operations have been successful, and the demand for captive-bred Arowanas has increased in recent years.
Aquarium Care and Tank Requirements:
- The Silver Arowana requires a large aquarium with plenty of swimming space. A tank size of at least 250 gallons is recommended.
- They prefer dimly lit aquariums with plenty of hiding places and areas of dense vegetation.
- The water should be kept clean and well-filtered, with regular water changes to maintain good water quality.
Ideal Tank Mates:
- Silver Arowanas are best kept alone or with other large, non-aggressive fish such as large cichlids or catfish.
- The Silver Arowana is considered a difficult fish to keep in the aquarium due to its size, specialized care requirements, and tendency towards aggression.
- Temperature: 75-82°F
- pH: 6.5-7.5
- General Hardness (GH): 4-10 dGH
- Carbonate Hardness (KH): 2-8 dKH
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Nitrite: 0 ppm
- Nitrate: Less than 40 ppm
- Silver Arowanas are often kept as a status symbol in some parts of the world, particularly in Asia where they are considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
- In the wild, the species is threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution, and is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List
- It can be sometimes confused with the Black Arowana (Osteoglossum ferreirai), especially when adults, presenting silver coloration, however, Black Arowana maintains a silvery blue tone near the lower fins and a more slender body.
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