Scientific NameOsteoglossidae
Common Name(s)Arowana, water monkey, dragon fish
Temperature Range79-86°F
pH Range6.0-7.0
Adult Size60 -90cm
DietCrustaceans, insects, smaller fishes, dead meat

Arowana Facts:

  • The name Arowana comes from the Indonesian arwana or nirwana, meaning fish of paradise
  • Arowana have been recorded jumping more than 6 ft from the water to pick off insects and birds from overhanging branches in South America, earning them the nickname ‘Water Monkeys.’
  • Arowana are mouthbrooders, the parents hold hundreds of eggs in their mouths while hatching, the young may make several trips outside the parent’s mouth to investigate the surroundings before leaving permanently.

Arowana Overview:

The Arowana is large a freshwater fish that has relatively large scales and an impressive jumping ability earning it two nicknames, the aforementioned ‘water monkeys, and also the ‘Dragon Fish’ because of the way the light shines off it’s ‘armor’.

The Arowana swims near the water surface to seek its prey, mostly feeding in insects and small fish although specimens have been found with the remains of birds, bats, and snakes in their stomachs, made possible by the Arowana’s drawbridge-like mouth, designed for larger meals.

Contrary to their reputation Arowana often exhibit parental care building nests and protect their young after they hatch.

The Arowana family includes several species spread throughout the world, from South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The Asian Arowana is a listed protected animal so the silver arowana is often kept as a pet, being considered an acceptable and obtainable substitute.

At least five types of fossils dating back as far as the Late Cretaceous and the Jurassic period are widely considered to belong to the Arowana family. Relatedossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica.

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

Recent Posts