Green Arowana

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Scleropages formosus - (Müller & Schlegel, 1844)
Green Arowana

The most common Asian arowana, but a banned CITES I species.


Endangered in its home waters in Asia, this species has been protected by a CITES I ban on its trade since 1975.

Several CITES-approved breeding facilities have been established and certified and tagged specimens are sometimes available. (The United States currently forbids the keeping of Asian arowanas under the Endangered Species Act.)

Family: Osteoglossidae

Other common name(s):

  • Dragonfish
  • Asian Arowana
  • Asian Bonytongue
  • Red Arawana

Native range:

Habitat: Jungle streams and swamps.

Maximum length: 90 cm (35 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 1135 L (300 gal)

Water: Freshwater 24 °C (75 °F) - 30 °C (86 °F)

General swimming level: Top.


Adults feed mostly on fishes. Will leap up to 6 feet (2 m) out of the water to catch large insects and birds.

Aquarium Compatibility

Must be kept only with large fishes that cannot fit into its large jaws.

Special Care

All arowanas are strong jumpers. The aquarium must be securely covered to contain a very large, athletic fish.


Mouthbrooder. Very difficult to breed because of its mature size.


Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW