All About The Arowana: The Bony Tongue

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The Arowana is one of the most popular fish in the aquarium trade and can often be sold for some serious money. They're also a popular food fish in their native countries

They come from the Osteoglossinae family which contains just a handful of fish, all of which have an elongated body and a bony tongue.

These fish come from Southeast Asia and Africa, where they live in slow-moving rivers and streams.

In their dedicated GB blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about Arowana!

Description and Appearance

Photo: seksanwangjaisuk via Getty Images

The Arowana is a long, slender fish with mosaic-like markings on its scales. They often have a golden sheen to their scales, and some fish can even change color slightly depending on their mood or stress level.

Males and females can be told apart by their size and coloration. Females are typically smaller and have more muted colors, while males are larger and have brighter colors.

Arowanas are one of the only fish that can look you in the eye thanks to the unique placement of their eyes on the top of their head. This gives them amazing vision and they're able to see in all directions at once.

Their long, snake-like body is perfect for swimming in their natural habitat of slow-moving rivers and streams. They have a long, whip-like tail that helps them navigate through the water and keep balance.


Arowanas eat mostly insects, small fish, and other aquatic animals. In the wild, they often feed on items at the water's surface, which is why they have such a bony tongue.

Arowana owners should feed their fish a diet of mostly live food. This can include feeder fish, earthworms, crickets, and other insects. It's important to note that Arowanas should not be fed mammalian or avian meat, as this can lead to health problems.

You can also supplement your Arowana's diet with frozen or pellet food. Just be sure to avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to further issues for your fish.


In the wild, Arowanas reach sexual maturity around two years of age. They typically spawn during the rainy season, when the water levels are high and there is an abundance of food.

Arowana owners can help encourage their fish to spawn by providing a suitable environment and mimicking the natural conditions of their native habitat.

The female Arowana will lay up to 2000 eggs, which are then fertilized by the male. The eggs are sticky and will adhere to plant life or other objects in the tank.

The parents will then guard the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes around two weeks. Once the fry is born, they are free-swimming and will start to look for food.

The fry is very small and needs to be fed live food such as baby brine shrimp or micro worms. They should also be given plenty of hiding places to avoid being eaten by their parents or other tank mates.

As they grow, you can start to introduce larger food items such as crickets and earthworms. Once they reach around four inches in size, they can be transitioned to a diet of mostly pellets or frozen food.

Distribution & Habitat

Arowanas are found in the slow-moving rivers and streams of Southeast Asia and Africa. They prefer areas with dense vegetation, where they can hide from predators and ambush their prey.

They're are a popular fish in the aquarium trade, and they can often be found in pet stores and online shops.

Arowana owners should provide their fish with a tank that simulates their natural habitat as closely as possible. This includes plenty of plants, hiding places, and a sandy bottom.

The tank should also have a tight-fitting lid to prevent the fish from jumping out. Arowana is a notorious jumper and can easily escape from an open tank.

When choosing tank mates for your Arowana, it's important to select fish that are of a similar size. Arowanas are predators and will often eat smaller fish.

It's also important to avoid putting too many fish in the tank, as this can lead to aggression and stress. Arowana is best kept singly or in pairs.

However, there's a clear exception to that rule. They can be kept beside you, too. That is if it's Gage Beasley's Arowana Fish Soft Stuffed Plush Toy! Not only is it comfy to the touch, but it also comes in two colors: blue and red. Now isn't that a fun accent to your bed?

Gage Beasley's Arowana Fish Soft Stuffed Plush Toy


Photo: 3D_generator via Getty Images

The Arowana is considered to be a threatened species due to habitat loss and overfishing. Due to popularity in the aquarium trade, many Arowanas are caught from the wild and sold illegally.

Arowana owners can do their part to help conserve this beautiful fish by choosing a captive-bred fish whenever possible.

You can also help by spreading awareness about the need to protect the Arowana's natural habitat.

Other Interesting Facts

  • Arowanas are sometimes called "dragonfish" due to their long bodies and whiplike tails.
  • They're also known as "monkey fish" due to their playful nature and tendency to jump out of the water.
  • Arowanas are one of the oldest fish in the world, with fossils dating back to the Early Cretaceous period (over 100 million years ago).
  • The Arowana is considered to be good luck in many cultures, and they're often given as gifts to business associates or friends.
  • It's the national fish of Singapore.

Final Thoughts

The Arowana is a beautiful and unique fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium. They're relatively easy to care for, but it's important to provide them with a suitable environment and diet.

There's also a growing demand for Arowanas in the aquarium trade, so again it's important to choose captive-bred fish whenever possible.

Please also help spread the word about the need to protect the Arowana's natural habitat.


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