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Tropical Freshwater Arawana

Arowanas have survived virtually unchanged since the Jurassic Period, 150 million years ago. They populated the rivers of Gondwana, and when that continent split apart, they were vicariously carried along with the pieces: there are South American, Australian, and Southeast Asian species today. Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, the silver arowana, hails from Brazil and is the most common species of arowana to be kept as an aquarium fish in the United States today.

The Silver Arowana, or Arahuana, is known by many alternate names, sometimes making identification tricky. Among the group known as band fishes, the Silver Arowana is considered a true bony fish. Indigenous to the flood plains of the Amazon River Basin in South America, the Arowana can reach an intimidating 47 inches in the wild, and is often too much for all but the advanced freshwater aquarist to manage.

The Silver Arowana prefers a 250-gallon tank with a fine gravel bottom, loosely planted, and soft, peaty water with lots of open space above for swimming. The aquarium must be fitted with a tight, heavy cover because the Arowana will jump, particularly when after prey.

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