Are Arowana Aggressive: From Calm to Carnivorous

Have you ever watched your Arowana fish exhibit surprisingly aggressive behavior and wondered why? Known as the Dragon Fish, Arowanas are one of the most unique freshwater species due to their combative nature.

This blog post will dive into understanding these magnificent creatures’ aggression patterns, providing valuable tips on managing this behavior for a peaceful aquarium environment.

Read on if you’re ready to unlock the secrets behind your Arowana’s fiery temperament!

Key Takeaways

  • Arowanas, also known as Dragon Fish, are unique freshwater species with aggressive behavior and territorial tendencies.
  • Different types of Arowanas require slightly varied care based on their physical attributes and natural habitats.
  • To create an ideal environment for Arowana fish, provide a spacious tank, maintain proper water parameters, choose suitable tank mates, and monitor aggression closely.
  • Understanding individual differences in Arowana temperament is crucial for managing aggression in your aquarium.

Overview of Arowanas

Arowanas, also known as Dragon Fish, are highly coveted and unique freshwater fish with aggressive behavior and territorial tendencies.

Types of Arowanas

The wide and colorful world of Arowanas offers a diverse range of species, each with its own unique beauty and personality. Here are some of the most distinctive types:

  1. Silver Arowana: Found in South America’s Amazon River, this species is the largest and is known for its metallic silver body.
  2. Black Arowana: Native to South America as well, it’s darker in color with an elongated body.
  3. Asian Arowana: Also known as “Dragon Fish”, this highly sought-after species from Asia can vary in color from green to red to gold.
  4. Red Tail Golden Arowana: This type found in Indonesia boasts a golden body with a contrasting red tail, making it a favorite among aquarists.
  5. Jardini Arowana: From Australia, these fish are hardy but aggressive with distinct golden brown scales.
  6. Leichardti Arowana: Another species indigenous to Australia recognized for its long body and larger scales.

Habitat and appearance

Arowanas are native to rivers, lakes, and ponds in Asia, South America, and Australia. They are known for their distinctive appearance with long bodies covered in large scales that resemble armor.

These fish can grow up to three feet long or even more, depending on the species. Arowanas have prominent mouths filled with sharp teeth that they use to snatch prey from the water’s surface.

In terms of habitat requirements, arowanas need spacious tanks due to their size and active swimming habits. It is recommended to provide them with a tank capacity of at least 150 gallons or more.

The tank should be equipped with strong filtration systems and ample hiding places using driftwood or rocks.

Moreover, it is important to recreate their natural environment by maintaining warm water temperatures between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit (24-28 degrees Celsius) and keeping the pH level slightly acidic around 6.5-7.5.

Tank setup and maintenance

Setting up and maintaining a tank for Arowana fish requires careful consideration to ensure their well-being and minimize aggressive behavior. Here are some key tips for creating an ideal environment for your Arowanas:

  1. Tank size: Arowanas are large fish that require ample space to swim and explore. Provide a tank that is at least 200 gallons or more to accommodate their size and promote their natural behaviors.
  2. Filtration system: Invest in a quality filtration system to maintain clean water conditions. as Arowanas are sensitive to water parameters. Regularly monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to prevent stress-induced aggression.
  3. Adequate hiding spaces: Arowanas appreciate natural hiding spots such as rocks, driftwood, or live plants in the tank. These hiding places will provide them with a sense of security and help reduce stress.
  4. Temperature regulation: Arowanas prefer warmer temperatures between 75-82°F (24-28°C), depending on the specific species. Use a reliable heater and thermometer to maintain stable water temperature.
  5. Lighting: Provide appropriate lighting conditions by using full-spectrum aquarium lights that mimic natural daylight cycles. This helps regulate the Arowana’s biological clock and promotes their overall well-being.
  6. Water movement: Arowanas come from fast-flowing rivers, so simulate this in the tank by using powerheads or strong filtration outlets to create gentle currents. This will help replicate their natural habitat and encourage active swimming.
  7. Weekly water changes: Perform regular water changes of around 25% every week to remove accumulated toxins and maintain optimal water quality.
  8. Tank mates selection: When choosing tank mates for your Arowana fish, consider peaceful species that can tolerate their territorial behavior without causing conflicts or becoming prey themselves.
  9. Introducing new additions cautiously: If introducing new fish into an established Arowana tank, use quarantine tanks first to acclimate them and ensure they are disease-free. Gradually introduce them to the main tank while closely observing their interactions.
  10. Monitoring aggression: Keep a close eye on your Arowanas for any signs of aggression, such as chasing, biting, or fin nipping. Immediately separate any aggressors to prevent injuries or stress to other tank inhabitants.

Are Arowana Aggressive?

Arowana fish are known for their aggressive behavior and territorial nature, making it important to understand how to deal with their aggression and ensure compatibility with tank mates.

Understanding their aggression

Arowana fish are known for their aggressive nature, which can pose challenges for aquarists. These magnificent creatures exhibit territorial behavior and can become highly protective of their space.

This aggression is particularly evident in species like the Asian Arowana, making them difficult to keep in a community tank. To prevent conflicts and ensure the well-being of your Arowanas, it’s crucial to understand their aggression patterns and provide them with the necessary care.

By creating a spacious environment that mimics their natural habitat and carefully selecting compatible tank mates, you can minimize aggressive behaviors among these fascinating fish.

Dealing with aggressive behavior

Dealing with aggressive behavior in Arowana fish requires careful observation and proactive measures. Here are some key tips to help you manage aggression in your tank:

  1. Provide ample space: Arowanas need plenty of swimming room due to their size and territorial nature. Ensure that your tank is large enough to accommodate their needs, minimizing stress caused by overcrowding.
  2. Introduce tank mates cautiously: Not all fish species are suitable companions for Arowanas. Select tank mates that can tolerate their aggressive behavior or choose species that inhabit different areas of the tank, reducing the chances of conflicts.
  3. Remove aggressive individuals: If a particular Arowana becomes excessively aggressive towards other tank mates, consider removing it from the tank and housing it separately. This will prevent injuries and maintain harmony in your aquarium.
  4. Provide hiding spots: Creating hiding spots with rocks, plants, or driftwood can give subordinate fish a place to retreat if they feel threatened by an aggressive Arowana. This helps create a more balanced environment and reduces instances of aggression.
  5. Regular feeding routine: Arowanas can exhibit heightened aggression when hungry or poorly fed. Establish a regular feeding schedule and ensure they receive a well-balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs.
  6. Monitor water parameters: Ammonia spikes or poor water quality can increase stress levels in fish, leading to heightened aggression. Regularly test your aquarium’s water parameters and maintain optimal conditions through proper filtration, regular water changes, and appropriate substrate cleaning.
  7. Consider individual differences: Each Arowana has its own personality and temperament, so monitor their behavior closely to understand any specific triggers for aggression in your fish. Some may be more prone to aggression than others.
  8. Avoid overstocking: Overcrowding can contribute to increased competition among fish and escalate territorial disputes. Stick to appropriate stocking guidelines based on the size of your tank and the needs of your Arowanas.
  9. Seek professional advice: If you’re struggling to manage aggression in your Arowana tank, consult with an experienced aquarist or fish expert for guidance and support. They can provide personalized recommendations tailored to your specific situation.

Compatibility with tank mates

While Arowanas are known for their aggressive and territorial nature, finding the right tank mates can help create a harmonious environment. But remember, not all species are compatible with Arowanas and careful consideration is needed to avoid conflict and ensure the overall health of the aquarium community.

SpeciesCompatibility with ArowanasNotes
Oscar FishMediumOscar fish can match Arowana’s size and aggression. However, both species tend to be territorial and might compete for space. It’s best to introduce them when they’re young and monitor their interaction closely.
Discus FishLowDiscus fish are peaceful and slow-moving, making them easy targets for Arowanas. Therefore, they should be avoided as tank mates.
Giant GouramiHighGiant Gouramis are robust and large, making them ideal companions for Arowanas. They are less likely to be bothered by Arowana’s territorial behavior.
StingraysHighStingrays are bottom dwellers and tend to avoid the upper areas where Arowanas swim, minimizing conflicts. However, they require similar care and tank conditions as Arowanas.
PlecostomusHighPlecos are also bottom dwellers and generally ignored by Arowanas. They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.


Note that the size and temperament of potential tank mates should be compatible with the Arowana’s aggressive nature. Also, making sure your Arowana has enough space to swim and establish territory can help reduce potential conflicts. Remember, an overly crowded tank can stress Arowanas, contributing to increased aggression.

Tips for Care and Feeding

Proper care and feeding of arowana fish are crucial for their health and well-being. From maintaining water parameters to providing the right diet, learn how to keep your arowanas thriving in our comprehensive guide.

Don’t miss out on these essential tips!

Proper diet and feeding habits

Arowanas have specific dietary needs that must be met in order for them to thrive in captivity. These fish are carnivorous by nature, and their diet should reflect this. In the wild, arowanas feed on small insects, crustaceans, and even small fish.

As an aquarist, it’s important to replicate this natural diet as closely as possible.

Offering a variety of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and small feeder fish is recommended. These types of prey provide essential nutrients that are crucial for the overall health and vitality of your arowana.

It’s also important to note that while commercial pellet or flake food can be offered occasionally for convenience, they should not make up the majority of their diet.

Proper feeding habits include providing regular meals throughout the day rather than relying on one large meal. Arowanas have a voracious appetite and tend to eat quickly, so it’s essential to monitor their food intake carefully.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health issues down the line.

Maintaining water parameters

Proper maintenance of water parameters is crucial for the well-being of your Arowana fish. Here are some key tips to ensure a healthy and suitable aquatic environment:

  1. Monitor temperature levels regularly: Arowanas thrive in temperatures ranging from 75°F to 86°F (24°C to 30°C). Use a reliable aquarium thermometer to maintain consistent water temperature within this range.
  2. Optimal pH levels: Maintain a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5, as this replicates the natural conditions in which Arowanas thrive. Regularly test the pH level using a quality testing kit and make necessary adjustments with appropriate products.
  3. Proper filtration system: Install a high-quality filtration system capable of handling the size of your tank and providing efficient mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. This helps remove toxins and keep water parameters stable.
  4. Regular water changes: Perform regular partial water changes, ideally around 20-30% every 1-2 weeks, to prevent the buildup of harmful substances such as nitrate and ammonia.
  5. Consider water hardness: Arowanas generally prefer soft or slightly acidic water, but they can adapt to different hardness levels. If your tap water has high mineral content, use a suitable conditioner or consider using reverse osmosis (RO) water for partial or full tank water changes.
  6. Test for ammonia and nitrite levels: Ammonia and nitrite are toxic substances that can harm Arowanas. Regularly test these levels using an accurate testing kit, ensuring both are consistently at zero ppm (parts per million).
  7. Adequate oxygenation: Arowanas require well-oxygenated water due to their large size and active nature. Use an air pump or install efficient surface agitation through an air stone or powerhead to ensure sufficient oxygen exchange.
  8. Water circulation: Ensure proper circulation throughout the tank by strategically placing powerheads or adjusting the direction of filtration outlets. This prevents stagnant areas and ensures all parts of the tank receive adequate water flow.
  9. Regular water parameter testing: Besides pH, ammonia, and nitrite, regularly test for nitrate levels, dissolved oxygen content, and any other relevant parameters specific to your tank setup. Monitoring these factors helps identify potential problems early on and take appropriate corrective measures.

Arowana-specific care requirements

Proper care is crucial to ensure the health and well-being of your arowana fish. These stunning creatures have specific care requirements that need to be met for them to thrive. Firstly, it’s important to provide them with a spacious tank that allows them ample room to swim.

Arowanas are known for their size and powerful swimming ability, so a tank size of at least 100 gallons is recommended.

Maintaining water parameters is also key when it comes to caring for arowanas. They prefer slightly acidic water with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Regular water testing should be done, and any necessary adjustments made accordingly.

In terms of feeding habits, arowanas are carnivorous predators, mainly consuming live or frozen foods such as fish, shrimp, insects, and even small frogs or mice on occasion. Offering a varied diet rich in protein is essential for their growth and overall health.

Conclusion and Key Insights

In conclusion, understanding the aggressive nature of Arowana fish is crucial for their proper care and well-being. These unique freshwater creatures are known for their territorial behavior and can be challenging to keep in a community tank.

By providing them with the right environment, proper diet, and compatible tank mates, aquarists can manage their aggression effectively. Remember to always prioritize the welfare of these beautiful fish while enjoying their captivating presence in your aquarium.


1. Are Arowana fish naturally aggressive?

Yes, Arowana fish are known for their aggressive nature. They can become territorial and may exhibit aggression towards other fish in the same tank.

2. How can I manage aggression among my Arowana fish?

To manage aggression among Arowana fish, it is important to provide them with a spacious tank that allows each fish to establish its own territory. Additionally, providing hiding spots and keeping a compatible mix of tank mates can help reduce aggression.

3. What are some signs of aggression in Arowana fish?

Signs of aggression in Arowana fish include fin nipping, chasing or attacking other fish, flaring of gills, and displaying dominant behaviors such as puffing up or erecting fins.

4. Can I keep multiple Arowana fish together without issues?

While it is possible to keep multiple Arowana fish together, it requires careful selection of compatible individuals and providing a large enough aquarium with ample hiding spots and territories for each fish. It is recommended to consult with an experienced aquarist before attempting this setup to minimize potential conflicts.

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