10 Fun & Interesting Facts About Arowana

Arowana fish present a true challenge to any experienced aquarist. And pride. Indeed, these fish are one of the most unique pets one could ever own. They are demanding and needy, yet they bring so much joy and happiness in return.

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Not everyone can own an arowana, so some of us can just continue admiring these living fossils from a safe distance. Here comes our selection of the 10 most fun and interesting facts about arowana fish. And you may be surprised by some.

1. Arowana fish require Massive Tanks

And that is exactly why keeping arowanas at home is reserved just for the smaller part of modern aquarists. These fish require such large tanks that this certainly presents one of the biggest challenges about them.

Arowanas can grow up to even 4 feet in body size, which is extremely large for a pet. But not only. Arowanas make extremely agile and active swimmers. Furthermore, thanks to their elongated bodies, they also require long tanks rather than high. Therefore, massive space is needed to house these amazing predators, and that is at least 500 gallons.

2. They are almost Impossible to Breed in Captivity

If you are looking to adopt a happy couple and to breed them, you can easily cancel your big plans, as this is extremely rare and almost impossible to obtain. Indeed, if they need huge tanks to survive, they will need even larger tanks to breed. And as you may have guessed right, this is almost an impossible mission unless across some public areas.  

Adding to that, these creatures reach their sexual maturity pretty late in life, so you should wait at least 3 years before even trying to breed them. But who knows, your tank may be a lucky one after all.

3. They are amazingly agile Jumpers

These ancient athletes love to jump. In the wild, arowanas love feeding from the water surface, but they occasionally even take a step further than that. Indeed, these fantastic predators are able of jumping out of the water onto tree branches, in order to catch themselves a tasty monkey or snake.

And when jumping, they jump high. A spectacular jump of 6 feet is not unusual for these fish, so always ensure your tank is properly covered to avoid injuries.

4. No live Pray can Escape from an Arowana

There are many great predators out there, but arowana fish take the entire game to the next level. So elegant yet so powerful, these creatures can hunt every pray down. They are ultra-fast, and their elongated bodies certainly contribute a lot in that.

They present extreme agility and elegance in their hunting activities, so it actually quite beautiful to observe them. Unless you are the pray.  

5. Arowana fish have a Precise Eyesight

Another great contribution to their hunting capabilities is their superb eyesight. Arowanas are able of spotting precisely their prays and to easily calculate their hunting route before catching them. And on top of that, they are also very well able of noticing prays which are located outside the water, too.

Sadly, their eyes are often subject to various infections and diseases, even in the wild.

6. They are Intelligent creatures and can Recognize their Humans

If you are looking for the least boring type of aquatic pet, arowana fish may be the ideal choice for you. These creatures have been living on planet Earth for many centuries now, and they have lots of life experience. On top of that, they are smart and highly intelligent.

With time, your arowana pet will learn to recognize you and your looks, and it may also decide to interact with you from time to time. For those who are willing to put some effort into training them, they can be taught to accept food from their owner’s hands. However, such adorable training does require some previous experience.

7. Arowana fish are Facultative Air Breathers

When needed, arowana fish are able of collecting oxygen from the air and to breathe. They can literally suck air into their swim bladder, and absorbing oxygen from it.

This allows them to survive even across some dump water areas around their natural habitats, making them amazingly adaptable survivors.

8. Male specimens are Mouthbrooders

Did you know that male arowanas make quite the responsible and caring parents? Most species are mouthbrooders, meaning that they carry fertilized eggs inside their mouth until they are ready to hatch. This usually takes about a month of time.

However, their paternal care does not end once those babies are hatched. Indeed, they keep taking care of them for 2 or 3 more months, until they are large enough to survive on their own. Observing baby arowanas swimming in and out of their dad’s mouth seeking for protection is just adorable.

9. Arowana fish own Bony Tongues

And by bony tongues, we do not literally mean tongues made out of bones. In fact, arowana fish have tongues that are equipped with teeth. They are not the only fish species featuring such strange mouths, but they are still pretty rare when compared to most others. They also have some teeth on the roof of their mouths.

And yes, if your arowana pet happens to bite you, it will hurt. A lot.

10. They are Millions of Years Old

If you have done at least a bit of previous research on these spectacular creatures, you have probably stumbled upon the phrase ˝living fossils˝ at least a couple of times.

And indeed, they are often referred to as such, and that is not for no reason. In fact, arowana fish are proven to be millions and millions of years old. Moreover, this family presents the most primitive among all modern fish species.

Fossils from extinct genera belonging to the same family have been collected on basically all of our continents, except on Antarctica. These prove that arowana fish were very much alive during the ages of the Late Cretaceous, but also during the Late Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous. Living fossils, indeed!

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