Red Arowana Fish – How To Care For This Aquarium’s Gem

red arowana fish

It is always recommended that people start fishkeeping by starting with fish that are easy to care for. But if you are a fish tank keeper who has gained some experience in this field, you can move on to some challenging fish, and you can consider the Red Arowana Fish. 

Due to its aesthetics and beauty, the Red Arowana Fish is surely worth the efforts and hard work it requires. Therefore, this fish is also known as the “Aquarium’s Gem.”

If you want to add a Red Arowana fish to your tank, you need to know some things to care for this fish properly. To help you in this matter, we have put together a cheat sheet that will help you master the art of keeping a Red Arowana Fish within no time. 


The names Super Red, Blood Red, and Chilly Red Arowanas, the most prominent characteristic of a Red Arowana fish, are its size. They are large-sized fish that can grow up to a length of thirty-five inches when fully mature. 

Other than the size, their drawbridge jawline is another feature that makes them stand out and easily recognizable. Due to this sharp jawline, at times, people also confuse them with the Silver Arowanas fish.

They have scales covering their bodies in horizontal rows, with each scale displaying three colors, i.e., the base color, color of the first rim, and the color of the second rim. Their name indicates that their fins are bright red in color with a golden iridescent touch to give them a slight sheen. 

They have a strong body structure, and their fins are quite powerful. These fish can jump up to a height of six feet above the water surface if they coordinate their fins’ movement. These fish have teeth and bones in their mouth; therefore, some people also refer to them as the “Bony Tongue” fish. 

Behavior And Temperament

Many people refrain from adding a Red Arowana Fish to their tank due to its temperament. The Red Arowana Fish temperament is semi-aggressive. Therefore, it is not recommended for beginner level fish keepers.

This fish is territorial in nature. Therefore, it will not shy away from getting into a scuffle or a fight with other fish if they cross the boundary. 

Despite their semi-aggressive temperament, they are easier to care for since they are hardy fish that can survive in a wide range of conditions. These fish are not very demanding when it comes to tank setup and conditions; therefore, the only challenge associated with adding them to a tank is their aggressiveness.  


When setting up a Red Arowanas Fishtank, the tank owners should try and recreate their natural habitat to the best of their abilities. The fish comes from the Southeast Asian region. Their natural habitat comprises streams and rivers with slow-moving water. 

The water in these areas is slightly acidic, but these fish can also happily survive in alkaline water in some occurrences. Naturally, the Red Arowanas Fish can be found in large water bodies where they get ample space to move around and swim freely. These fish need ample space because they love to swim and because of their large size. 

Tank Setup

Red Arowana fish tank setup is surely challenging and requires effort and dedication. Red Arowana fish is on the brim of extinction. Therefore, a license is required to breed this fish. They are quite hardy and have an average lifespan of twenty years.

Some Red Arowana Fish lifespan has even reached around sixty years. But considering their beauty and the fact that they are rare fish, these fish are quite expensive. This fish is not sold at every local fish store. Therefore, if you are seriously interested in adding a Red Arowana fish to your tank, you will have to put in some effort to find it in the first place. 

Generally, the Red Arowana fish is sold between one hundred to five thousand dollars per fish. But some certain Red Arowana’s have also been priced at around three hundred thousand dollars.

Therefore, it can be rightfully stated that this fish is not for everyone. Only the truly passionate people about this fish and can take on caring for it should opt to add it to their tank. 

The tank setup for the Red Arowanas fish is essential. This fish will spend most of its time swimming around in the middle water column inside the tank. At times, you might find it venturing towards the bottom of the tank; therefore, you have to be careful about the type of substrate that you add to the tank. 

Substrate, Plants, And Decorations

Using sand as the substrate for a Red Arowanas fish tank is an ideal choice. Ensure that the substrate is fine-grained, so it does not hurt the fish when it makes its way to the bottom of the tank. Due to its large size, the Red Arowanas fish needs ample space inside the tank.

Plus, this fish does not have a shy or timid personality. Therefore, they do not need decorations or plants to serve as a hiding spot. Try and avoid adding too many plants or decorative items as it may take up space inside the tank, and the fish may feel congested with a lack of space to swim.

The plants that you add to the tank should be firm rooted to stand strong, and the Red Arowanas cannot pull them or uproot them. 

Temperature and pH

The ideal temperature range for a Red Arowanas tank is between 75 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be maintained at 6. You do not need to worry about adding fancy equipment to the tank as this fish only demands a heater and a filter. But do not forget to add a tight lid to the tank as this fish does tend to try and jump out of the water. 

Tank Size

Due to their large size, they do require a bigger tank. Once fully grown, a Red Arowana fish will need a tank with a minimum capacity of around two hundred and fifty gallons.

If you want to add more than one fish to the tank, you recommend adding one hundred gallons of water per fish. Any tank size smaller than this would lead to deformities in the fish due to lack of space. Still, it will also increase the fish’s chances of getting into a fight as there will be a lack of space for the fish to survive happily within their respective territories. 

Tank Mates

The Red Arowana fish size, semi-aggressive temperament, and territorial nature surely do not make this fish an ideal choice for a community tank.

A Red Arowana fish should be kept by itself or within a group of their own kind only if you can manage a huge aquarium. It is highly recommended that you add a group of six Red Arowana fish to the tank. 

Some other fish species can be kept with the Red Arowana fish. But it will surely make the fish keeping more challenging. Bear in mind that the Red Arowana fish is a large-sized fish with an enormous mouth.

Therefore, it will not shy away from eating small-sized fish. Therefore, adding small-sized fish to the same tank as the Red Arowanas fish is a big no. The same goes for invertebrates like snails and shrimps. 

The Red Arowanas fish has a very unpredictable nature. It may be living peacefully with the tank mates, and suddenly you might notice some chaos inside the tank.

Therefore, you cannot be a hundred percent sure that peace has been maintained inside the tank and you have picked the right tank mates for the Red Arowanas fish. 

Keeping the Red Arowanas fish with bottom feeder fish is a considerably safer option. The Red Arowanas fish does not occupy the lower water column inside the tank.

Plus, these fish will also eat away the excess food that makes it to the bottom, thus preventing food decay and composition. Hence, bottom-feeder fish are a safe option and one of the best matches for a Red Arowanas fish tank.

It is highly recommended that the tank owners be vigilant and observant. Even if you notice the slightest sign of fighting or trouble inside the tank, remove the Red Arowanas fish and separate it. It will be the best decision for both the Red Arowanas fish and the other fish species. 


By nature, the Red Arowanas is a carnivorous fish. This means that you will have to feed them meat and protein-based diets. From bloodworms to invertebrates and even smaller fish, there are plenty of different options to choose from when it comes to Red Arowanas feeding. 

It is recommended that the tank owners feed them various protein-based food items rather than sticking to the same meal. The variation will not only keep your Red Arowanas fish excited and happy but will also ensure that the fish’s nutrition levels are met properly.

The food items that are known to have higher carotenoid levels are highly recommended as these contribute to maintaining the bright red color of the fish. 

You will never find the Red Arowanas fish making its way to the bottom of the fish tank and searching for food. Therefore, always pick food items that will stay afloat on the upper and the middle water column where the Red Arowanas fish will easily consume them.

Feed the Red Arowanas fish in smaller portions. Add a small amount of food to the tank and wait for it to be consumed. This technique has two advantages.

Firstly, the tank owners do not end up overfeeding the fish by mistake. Secondly, the food that is added to the tank is immediately consumed by the fish, so no extra food sinks to the bottom of the tank to be decayed. 

Care Level

Generally, the fish that are categorized as exotic fish are quite difficult to care for. But the case with the Red Arowanas fish is the exact opposite. The only main challenge associated with this fish is its aggression.

Otherwise, it is a hardy fish that can not only tolerate a wide range of water conditions but is fairly easier to care for as well. 

Due to its large size and the fact that the Red Arowanas fish will not refrain from getting into a fight, the tank owners do not have to be concerned about this fish getting bullied inside the tank. Rather it will be the one picking up fights and harassing the other tank mates. 

Although this fish is hardy, it does not mean that the tank owners can be careless about maintaining stable water conditions inside the tank. Ensure that the water parameters remain stable as a sudden fluctuation can cause serious illness for the fish. 


The Red Arowanas fish’s care level is not very high, and rather these are one of the hardiest and most tolerant exotic fish that you will come across. But this fish is absolutely not an ideal choice for beginner level tank keeper.

The Red Arowanas fish is costly and not available commonly. Therefore, you should only think about adding it to your tank if you are truly up for the challenge and can put in the additional effort needed to keep this fish happy and satisfied. 

The large size, territorial nature, and semi-aggressive temperament make it harder to care for, but at the end of the day, the beauty and the look of the Red Arowanas fish is to die for. It is a beautiful fish that will truly be the gem inside your aquarium tank.

John Kilmerstone

I love keeping pet fish and receive a lot of joy and peace from watching these colorful creatures. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of pet fish. Discover how to care for and look after pet fish and amplify your satisfaction.

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