Asian Arowana Fish Overview, Breeding, Care Guide, Aquarium Setup, Water Conditions, Tank Mates & Diet:

Asian Arowana is a monstrous fish & it belongs to the family of osteoglossidae. They are also known as bony tongues & the name describes their toothed plate of bone on their mouth’s lower part.

Arowana is a territorial fish & semi aggressive in nature & they guard the water surface & fight any fish trying to enter their territory.

They can live for more than 20 years when kept in pond or aquarium. This fish will stay for a longer period with you & will grow larger in size so keeping them is quite a challenge.

Asian Arowanas are indigenous to Southeast Asia & they like to swim in slow moving waters. It lives happily in freshwater tropical tank if you are keeping just one fish. Asian Arowanas are found in rivers or streams in the wild that are large & have lots of space for swimming & they are great jumpers too. Their favorite substrate is the river bed that does not have many plants, rocks & waste.




Care Level





More than 20 years







Min. Aquarium Size

250 Gallons

Aquarium Setup

Freshwater, lots of free swimming space


Alone, or in a group of hard fish


Other names of Asian Arowana are Asian bonytongue, dragonfish, & it has more names that are given because of the diverse color varieties of this specie.

Asian Arowana are native to Southeast Asia, where they are found in blackwater rivers. Mature Asian Arowana eat other fish while young eat insects.

Asian Aroawanas look similar to Chinese dragon so they are named dragonfish. Asian Arowanas have a big cultural importance in Chinese regions.

Dragonfish care guide and breeding
Dragonfish Care Guide and Breeding
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Breeding Asian Arowana Fish:

Asian bonytongue is ready to breed after 3 to 4 years of age. Female Asian Aroawana does not lay many eggs & they are about 30 to 100 in numbers. They have big eggs. Asian Arowanas are different from other fish because fertilized eggs & larvae are brooded inside male Asian Arowana mouth.

For several days before female Asian Arowana lay eggs, both male & female Asian Arowana are continuously together, & they swim near surface. One male can help in at least 2 spawning per season. Male Asian Arowana incubates the eggs laid by females & most of the time they are at surface, & during incubation period males do not like eating.

It is difficult to breed Asian bony tongue at home because the procedure is not very clear. Asian Arowanas are bred commercially by experts & they are microchipped after reaching a size of 4 inches.


Asian Arowana Aquarium Setup and Water Conditions:

Asian Arowana needs a fine grained substrate for example sand. Keep plants & decorations in your aquarium. They do not like hiding behind decorations or structures & need lots of free swimming space. If you want to add plants to Dragonfish tank, then root it firmly in the gravel because this fish can dislodge plants that are weakly rooted.

Dragonfish needs a pH of 6 & water temperature between 75 to 86 Degrees Fahrenheit. They only require a heater & a filter. Arowanas are great jumpers so cover your aquarium with a lid.

A completely grown up Asian Arowana requires an aquarium size of at least 250 gallons. Very small aquarium can cause deform in Asian Arowana body which reduces their lifespan. Adding another Asian Arowana requires 100 more gallons of water.

Asian Arowana Fish Care Guide and Breeding
Asian Arowana Fish Care Guide and Breeding
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Asian Arowana Tank Mates:

If you are looking for right aquarium mates for Asian Arowana, then it is hard to find, but you can select from some fish species that can live with Asian Arowana. Asian bony tongue needs tough tank mates.

Some of the best tank mates of Asian Arowanas include: Oscars, Knifefish, Cichlids, Large Plecostomus, Discus, Angel fish & Catfish.

Dragonfish have a large mouth, & they eat any fish that can fit in their mouth. Do not add aquarium mates that are smaller in size for example Guppies.

Do not keep freshwater invertebrates that are smaller in size because they will be eaten too.

Fish that like to swim near the surface of aquarium water will meet Dragonfish & will be in danger.

Asian Arowana are great fighters & they fight with other mates in the same aquarium. If you find them fighting another fish, then it is a good idea to separate them. Every Dragonfish has its own behavior which you can’t predict unless you see it fighting against other fish so monitor each Asian Arowana.

Asian Arowana has territorial behavior so it is advisable to either keep it alone or in a community of at least 6 fish.


Asian Arowana Fish Diet:

Dragonfish is carnivorous & likes to eat live foods. Feed them nutritional diets. Live foods include crickets, mealworms, flies, shrimps etc. In the wild, they eat small fish.

Each Dragonfish has its own choice, so offer it few diets before you can choose the one it likes. Offer that chosen food regularly.

Diets that have lots of proteins for example meal worms may not have other types of nutrition.

Add diets that float on the surface of water or in the middle because Asian Arowana don’t like to eat food from the bottom. Leftover food should be removed because they will pollute water, so it is a good idea to keep a fish that eats from the floor. If you can’t find that fish, then it is recommended to remove that excess food manually.

Offer food to small Asian bony tongue just 1 to 2 times every day until they are not interested anymore. When the young reaches a length of 12 inches, feed them just one time in every 2 days.


Asian Arowana Fish Care Guide:

Asian Arowanas protect the Pandanus roots or other structures at day, & eat when its night.

Arowana also known as bony tongue are beautiful monstrous fish. They need care & lots of free swimming space in aquarium. Because of the large size of adult arowana, a big aquarium is required to keep arowana healthy. They are carnivore & like to eat smaller fish.

Asian Arowana likes to be in the middle of the aquarium where they swim but can go higher or lower. They are tough & can survive harsh water conditions. They need simple care but their large size can make things difficult because they create lots of waste & need a large tank which needs higher maintenance. Hence they need overall intermediate care level.

Asian Arowana can guard itself from enemies, so that do not receive many wounds during fight. Asian Arowanas are tough & are able to survive tough conditions. They are the best choice of intermediate & one of the best big exotic fish that any starter can keep.

Dragonfish can survive in harsh water conditions, but they are weak against changing conditions, so make sure your water conditions are stable. If your tank has a sudden nitrate spike or temperature of water quickly drops then it could cause sickness or death of Dragonfish. Such conditions can happen if you are offering more food to fish & your filter is not able to clean water which results in excess amount of fish waste in aquarium. If your tank is clean, then it reduces the chances of disease.

Many aquarists face a problem known as eye droop, which causes a single or both eyes of the fish to point downwards. To save your Asian Arowana from this disease, it is important to provide a clean tank & offer a balanced food.

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