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Others / Osteoglossidae / Asian Arowana

Asian Arowana, Green Arowana
Scleropages formosus


Synonyms: Osteoglossum formosum
Physical description: The body form is similar to that of Osteoglossum except that Scleropages has a stockier body, larger scales, shorter barbels, and shorter anal and dorsal fins. The caudal penuncle is very thin when compared with the rest of the body. The caudal fin is fan-shaped. The back is olive while the flanks are greenish gray to olive-silver. A greenish iridescence may be present. The fins are greenish brown. The iris of the eye is red.
Size/Length: To 36" (90 cm)
Similar species: Silver Arowana ( Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), Silver Barramundi ( Scleropages jardini )
S: top
Habitat: This species inhabits still streams and creeks in Southeast Asia and Australia; Borneo, Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand.
Aquarium: A tank measuring 48" (122 cm) or 55 gallons (209 L) is minimum for young individuals. They will quickly out-grow an aquarium of this size! Use peat filtration. Follow suggestions for O. bicirrhosum.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-7.5 (7.0); 1-10 dH (5); 77-86°F (25-30°C)
Social behavior: This predatory species is pugnacious towards others of its own species, although relatively indifferent toward other large fish. Small fish will likely be consumed.
Suggested companions: Large Tinfoil Barbs, Clown Knife, Giant Gourami, Cichlids, Asian and South American Catfish (Pimelodids, Loricarids, Auchenipterids, Doradids, Bagrids [ Leiocassis, Mystus])
FOOD: Live; fish, spiders, large flying insects, Tubifex; may accept pellets and flakes
Sexual differences: It is believed that females are plumper when mature.
Breeding techniques: Similar to S. jardini, except 30-50 eggs are produced..
Breeding potential: 10. This species has said to have bred in captivity although details are not available at this time.
Remarks: See comments under O. bicirrhosum. The Asian Arowana is protected as an endangered species by the Indonesian government and wild specimen cannot be legally imported. There are several forms including super-red, golden, green, and silver. There is even a rare albino form.
Difficulty of care: 7. This large, predatory species requires living foods and an enormous tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com