My Silver Arowana

So my fish tank at the office was once filled with goldfishes. I either totally underestimated how difficult goldfishes were to keep or I just wasn't meant to keep goldfishes. One day all of them would be happy and swimming around and then the next morning I would find most of them upside down.

So after a year or so of trying to keep goldfishes, I decided to trade in the only one I had left (trooper) for a silver arowana. I always wanted a red/gold arowana and although they are illegal, I'm sure you could find them if you looked hard enough. But they're also super expensive running into the thousands of dollars for a single one. yikes! So since I never kept arowanas before, I decided to give one a try and went with the legal silver ones.

It's about i'd say 4-5 inches long right now and they can supposely get HUGE. Like 46+ inches. That's a big fish. Heck, it's in a 48" long tank so that means once it's full grown, it would be almost as long as my tank? amazing! but ofcourse that'll never happen as i'll have to upgrade (oh no!) to a bigger tank. haha. It's a matter of necessity. i HAVE to upgrade. haha. where to put the big tank? I'll figure that out later. haha.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Harley January 24, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Hello that is a real nice fish, just a newb question why are the red ones illegal?

admin January 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

i believe b/c they are on an endangered species list in the United States. If you live in Asia, you can find them there.

FishGeek January 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

AWESOME!! Ive got one too! Mines a tad bigger than yours though. Hes about 5-7 inches. Mine loves Krill, Crickets and Bloodworms. Thats about all h will eat right now. Everything else that I have tried he spits back out. LOL. ve read they only get 46 inches in the wild and that there is no known report of them getting that big in captivity. Ususally in a tank they get 24-36 inches (females obviously being smaller). Im looking forward to seeing him grow and sharing with ya!! :p

admin January 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm

oh cool! so far i’ve fed him dried krill. i haven’t seen him eat it when i put it in but when i come back later, it’s gone.

how often do you feed yours?

FishGeek January 24, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I was feeding him everyday cause he was skinny. But I just started feeding him every other day. It took him about a week or so, but now when the lid goes up hes right there wanting fed. I read too (and saw on You Tube) that they will eat (size apropriate) Mice!! And I geuss that its good for them. O and DONT feed him goldfish, Ive read alot of bad stories about it. And they seem to enjoy eating from the surface anywayz.

dj July 22, 2008 at 9:29 am

i have one about 6 inches, he stopped eating today, only because i found little food in the garden for him, see if i find a creature in the garden, he eats it! i also feed him baby guppies, flies, chicken if its fresh, and crickets, he is doing ok and will move to my five foot tank, which means i will have to take some fish out the five foot so he has space!

arowana lover January 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Good one the arowana that you hv got. What r u feeding that with,
Be careful regarding Drooping eyes and protruding jaw.

Now that your arowana should be a year old, try putting a red or green plastic ball in your tank, as the ball floats your fish would keep looking upwards.

In the next year you would have to upgrade to a six feet 320 L tank.

Do not feed gold fish regularly as these tend to be fatty and induce droopy eye sydrome to yur fish.

Feed him with krill,shrimp , crickets etc.


Johnny January 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

thanks for the helpful information.

i’ve noticed his gills are flared out….instead of being flat against the body. do you know what that is?

arowana lover February 1, 2009 at 11:05 pm

How big is he now, and is he approx 3/4 the length of the tank, kindly tell me to answer your question. The possibility of gill flaring out is due to the arowana going backwards instead of turning which means he is cramped for space. Kindly put a latest photograph pl.


Johnny February 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Hi Gokul,

I’ll try to take a picture. it’s actually a different arowana now (jardinii).

i was watching it and it’s able to turn around and go in circles. he’s about 6″ i think. and the tank is 48″ long and 12″ wide? it’s a standard 60 gallon.

is it water quality?

arowana lover February 10, 2009 at 2:07 am

Hi Johnny,

Might be, there is a chemical method of checking the nitrite level in the tank. Why dont you try that and find out. An arowana require zero nitrites.

Just go thro the nitrogen cycle in the net. You might probably find a few points that you ll find probably useful.

Is your jardini taking feeder fish.


arowana lover February 10, 2009 at 2:17 am

what abt your silver, what happened to him ??

Johnny February 10, 2009 at 2:25 am

okay. i’ll test it out and see. he seems fine…just the gills are flared out…almost looks like it’s permanent. it’s been like that for months.

i feed dried shrimp.

the silver..unfortunately jumped out. there was a 1inch wide gap in the back for the filter and it somehow got through there. :(

arowana lover February 10, 2009 at 3:04 am

Try feeding small feeder fish.

What abt his movements, slow or quite normal, what is ur feeling

How is the clarity of water.

What type of filter are you using

arowana lover February 10, 2009 at 3:43 am

Hi johnny,

I didnt know that you are an aficinado of marine tanks. I just saw one of your other posts. Your anemones are beautiful.

Kindly give me inputs on setting up a marine tank. Where and how do i start. Approx costs, how to setup etc.

Johnny February 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm


His movements are fine. he’s actually quite active. i’ve been splashed a few times by him pretty good (i use eggcrate as the cover to keep him from jumping out. he seems back and forth at a constant pace and most of the time near the top of the tank scanning for food.

clarity of the water is clear. i try to vacuum the gravel once a week when doing a 5 gallon water change (tank is 60 gallons). I’m using a hang-on power filter (millenium 3000 – has two filter inserts).

i do notice that some parts of his fins has receded – but i read that might be due to water quality.

in your opinion, will those flare gills return back to normal? i read somewhere that someone had to “cut” off the flared portion of the gills.

anyways, interested in a saltwater tank? I would suggest taking a quick look at these threads:

my few tips…

1. go as big as you can (tank size) – as you’l always want to keep on upgrading haha
2. buy equipment that is designed for tanks larger than yours. for example if you get a 29 gallon, try to get equipment that’s geared for like a 75 gallon. reason is that you’ll most likely upgrade and when you do, you don’t need to re-buy all new equipment.
3. saltwater equipment is more expensive (and fishes/corals too) but maintenance-wise, it’s almost the same as keeping freshwater fish.

feel free to ask me or join our forum! and you can ask all the questions you want there and we have alot of saltwater fish keepers too!

RB May 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

my silver arowana almost died yesterday while i was cleaning its tank. i put him in a big tub and forgot to put lid on it and he jumped out. have no idea how long he was out there… he’s alive but seem weak, anything i can do?

fawwaaz netspyder February 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

i wud like to point out that arowana grows when they chase :)
upgrade your tank right now, you will see the difference.. do not feed the fish by MANY food at a time
give him something to chase
like a goldfish or million fish
quite easy to find and cheaper as a cent
hope i said everything right
God bless

Brazy March 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

I have 2 baby arowanas , just bought them not long ago, 2 days ago maybe? and there not eating at all, does it mean they need to get used to whats around them? cause i have everything in the 60 gal tank, and the arowanas are 4 and 7inch right now. have heater, pump, and a filter, the temperature is 73-80 F at least ? and tried feeding them feeder goldfishes, they won’t eat ! :[ please help.

– Brandon

Rayyan March 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm


may be they were fed something else at the pet must starve them for a few days and this trick might work.

brazy March 17, 2010 at 2:11 am

Thanks rayyan, I fed them dried krill, there eating it ! :), and would it be good if I let them in my pond because lately the weather outside is hot, and how often should I clean the tank if I have no filter, cause my filter is broken :(. And I need to upgrage my tank, how big my tank should be?.

thomas florido March 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

i already bought 3 small arowana silver about 4-5 inches and all of them die it did not reached 2mos. i dont know whats the problem i have 75 gallon tank,rena 300 filtration,heater,set to 76 with no gravel always test the water result normal water good water.still my 3rd arowana die what i did wrong i put the arowana in the tank 2 weeks after i filled the tank.i have also bubble stones.please help.
i have arowana in the philippines and it is 12 years already and still alive

Kyle May 19, 2010 at 10:38 pm


You may want to get your water tested to make sure everything is good with ammonia, nitrates and pH. If bad then adjust accordingly. Adding tap water and not adding a water conditioner and kill fish. I use a product called Prime. Also, you may want to go get some starter fish (guppies or gold fish) and leave them in for a few days to get the tank ready. Once it’s all good, remove starter fish and add arowanas. Regarding temp, I have mind set at around 80-82 degrees. Just my 2-cents, hope it helps. Good luck bro!

leon November 24, 2010 at 9:10 am

my arowana have a clouldy and red eye. and i am not to sure what is going on with him. can you tell me what i can do?

priya April 5, 2011 at 6:52 am

just got a silver aruwana about a week back .it is feeding on dried shrimps is it good….also i wanted to know what would be the most appropriate way to dress the tank for my aruwana

nicolas z April 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm

i have found these web and was buy 2 Super Red, nice delivered to me only wait 6 days after all.
condition very healthy
here the link, maybe you need also :

please admin these not promo, just try to help other people who need asian arowana

Justin November 27, 2011 at 4:24 am

Why don’t most of you read any info before buying difficult fish and who in the hell can’t take care of goldfish? So you decide to jump to arowana? What the hell. Mininium tank size would be 200 us gallons cause I’m seeing a lot of little tank owners and if you have a little tank you better have room for a 6 foot tank and the ability to buy a large tank too

I just hate to see any fish get mistreated cause this fish is for rich people

Chris April 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Wow got to agree with Justin here,arowanas are not for the novice fish keeper and the people on here’s knowledge seems to be slim to none!if you arowana has gill curl it’s because of poor water conditions and you should have a water test kit to check!Any arowana keeper should know the are jumpers hence the nickname “monkey fish!” make sure your lid is weighted Dow with nowhere to escape and most importantly GET A BIGGER TANK!!!! Just for information red ones or asian arowanas as they are called are not illegal but are on the endangered species list and are very expensive, they will come microchipped and certificated to prove they are from a fish farm not the wild!Good luck I think you will need it and do some research next time you buy a fish.

josh February 16, 2014 at 4:22 am

Ok I realize this is all old posts but. I’ve actually seen happy arowanas in small tanks. One of the healthiest silvers I’ve seen was in a 50 gal on YouTube under thefishmaster arowana one year update. No ripped fin or dropouts eyes and kinda pearly looking not too silver. It is a beauty. I mean I house two in a two hundred gallon but just saying. I’ve seen happy healthy arowanas in small tanks. It all depends on owners. If anything arowanas should be left alone in the wild. But were all human so were greedy and will take them and put them in a box for our amusement.


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