Arowanas are large fresh water fish with beautiful flowing fins. They are often referred to as the dragon fish and there are six different kinds including the popular Silver Arowana and the South American Arowana. When selecting a tank and considering tank mates for your Arowana, knowing the compatible species is important in saving money and maintaining the health of the Arowana and other fish by reducing stress and the possibility of bought fish becoming food.
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Important Arowana Characteristics
Arowanas become very large in size, up to 36 inches, and require increasing amounts of tank space as they mature into adulthood. Also, Arowanas are top feeding, surface dwelling fish. Because of these characteristics of the Arowana, many bottom dwelling species are quite compatible tank mates. Another characteristic to consider when selecting tank mates for the Arowana is their carnivorous nature. Arowanas will eat other fish, especially if they are top dwelling fish or small enough to swallow whole.
Introducing Tank Mates
Arowanas are often kept in tanks alone because of their predatory nature and size, but it is possible for them to live harmoniously with other fish. It is best to prepare Arowana for tank mates by keeping them alone at first to establish a consistent dietary habit. Arowanas tend to keep to the same diet, so by establishing a set diet with a usual food type and feeding time before adding tank mates the risk to the other fish is reduced further.
Compatible fish for the Arowana include the large Plecostomus catfish, large cichlids and large tinfoil barbs. Larger species are a better choice as tank mates for the Arownan, however fish that practice schooling can also be a safe choice as they receive a sort of group protection. Mid-sized tetras, silver dollars, bottom dwellers and fresh water rays will be tolerable companions.
Maintaining Arowana Health
Another thing to note is that Arowanas should not be overcrowded, so avoiding tank mates that occupy the upper space of the tank will reduce stress to the Arowana and help maintain health. Overcrowding the tank can result in stress induced illness in the Arowana. Finally, aggressive species may attack the Arowana that could result in damage to the Arowanas delicate fins. This is neither attractive nor healthy and aggressive fish should not be added as tank mates.
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