Resource Center Menu


includes arowana species

The Arowana is a long, sleek streamlined fish of great beauty with a unique character. Arowana are large and often aggressive with the potential of rapid growth. Many believe that Arowanas bring good luck and fortune.


Arowana Facts

Average Adult Size Up to 2 feet, depending on species
Average Life Span depends on species
Diet carnivore
Minimum Aquarium Size 150+ gallons, depending on species
Water Temperature: 72-82°F


A well-balanced Arowana diet consists of:

  • Provide pellets designed for surface feeding carnivorous fish.
  • Live or frozen fish and insects, krill, worms and shrimp.
  • Avoid insects or inverts with sharp or very hard shells for juvenile Arowanas.


Things to remember when feeding your arowana:

  • These fish are surface feeders often gliding just below the water surface.
  • Feed young fish 2-3 times a day, adults once a day; feed only what they can eat in 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen foods before feeding.


  • Keep in an appropriately sized aquarium; the arowana is a surface-swimming fish, so width and length of the tank are more important than height. Arowanas are avid jumpers, so be sure to have a tight-fitting aquarium hood. Arowanas are more sensitive to nitrites than other fish, so provide proper filtration and perform 10 to 20% water changes as needed.
  • Stable water quality and parameters are critical to the health of aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality, Petco provides free water testing.


  • Arowana have mandibular barbels or whiskers that are used to sense movement on the water surface.
  • Known for jumping out of tanks that do not have a secure top; in the wild Arowanas will jump out of the water to grab prey.

Habitat Maintenance

  • Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
  • Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.
  • Monthly: change 10 to 20% of the total volume of water every week if necessary. Otherwise, change 25% of the total volume of water every 2 to 4 weeks.


  • Adult Arowanas are best kept alone, because of their size and requirements. If housed with other tank mates they must be large enough not to be swallowed whole by the Arowana and must not occupy the upper section of the tank. Most bottom dwellers are tolerated; other aggressive fish may ruin the long flowing fins of the Arowana.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Eats vigorously
  • Swimming at the top of the aquarium
  • Colors should be bright and shiny

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • listlessness or bottom dwelling
  • cloudy eyes or pop-eye
  • elevated scales
  • frayed or discolored fins
  • Listlessness or bottom dwelling
  • Labored respirations
  • Erratic swimming
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.

Common Health Issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes Suggested Action
Health Issue Fin rot Symptoms or Causes Frayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens. Suggested Action Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
Health Issue Fungus Symptoms or Causes White cottony growth and/or discoloration of the eyes. Suggested Action Quarantine fish; use a commercial antifungal remedy as directed.
Health Issue Bacterial infections Symptoms or Causes Cloudy eyes, open sores and/or reddening of the skin. Suggested Action Improve water quality; use a commercial antibacterial remedy as directed.
Health Issue Ich Symptoms or Causes White spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly. Rapid respirations. Suggested Action Quarantine fish immediately; use commercial ich remedy as directed.


Ask a store partner about Petco's selection of books on arowanas and the variety of private brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All private brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.

Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Atypical Mycobacterium and Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of disease.

Pregnant women, children under the age of 5, senior citizens and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.

Go to for more information about aquatic life and disease.

This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.

Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.