I am an Affilate!

I sincerely hope you love any product or service that I recommend. :) Just to clarify, I may take a share of any sales or other compensation from the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use my links, great, I appreciate your support.

Can Silver Arowana Fish Change Colors?

Can the Arowana Change Colors? 

That's a question many aquarists that own, or are considering getting, a silver arowana will come to ask at some point in time. Well, the answer is yes.

They do change colors sometimes. In fact, it's actually a very normal thing. The fish's background and the environment are what usually give rise to this color change, as you can see from other owners on ​reddit.

They do this so that potential mates can notice them more. When the background changes back to normal or the mating process is done, they'll normally change back to their original color.

Where is the Silver Arowana fish From?

The Silver Arowana fish, a freshwater fish which might easily be among the most common and iconic aquarium fish, is a native of the Amazon river basin in South America. 

It is also commonly known as the Monkey fish or Dragon fish, according to ​fishKeepingWorld. Renowned for its large size and predatory instincts, this fish is normally considered a prized possession for most hobby aquarists out there. 

Whilst beginners are not usually recommended to start with caring for fish such as this, for an experienced fish tank keeper, this can make a wonderful addition to their aquarium.

The Silver Arowana is a strong and powerful swimmer that can sometimes be considerably aggressive. They're predatory fish that grow up to about six kilograms and more in weight and almost four feet long in length.

Those that are raised in captivity are expected to live for as long as ten to fifteen years. When in the wild, they have a unique hunting style. They take huge leaps out of the water, somewhat like what the Great White sharks do, so as to have the ability to get to prey on low hanging branches.

Also, with help from their swim bladder, these fish have the ability to stay out of water for short periods.

Is It Beginner Friendly?

Caring for a silver arowana fish is definitely not an easy thing to do, according to ​oscarFishLover. An amatuer aquarist is bound to have a tough time dealing with this type of fish.

As we mentioned earlier on in the introduction, this is certainly not the type of fish you want to keep as a beginner. 

Only seasoned fish tank keepers have the skill and knowledge to effectively take care of the silver Arowana, and even they run into numerous complications and obstacles from time to time.

Fish such as this require a lot of hands on care, some of which a beginner will probably not even know where and what to start with. So, to answer the question subtopic, it certainly is not beginner friendly.

What Do They Look Like?

This type of fish is usually the crown jewel of any aquarium collection. They are silver colored and large in size, according to ​fishKeepingWorld

When in the wild, some of them can grow up to about four feet in length, however, when raised and kept in captivity, they only grow up to around three feet in length.

When the issue of weight is concerned, a fully matured, adult silver Arowana should weigh close to five kilograms or ten pounds.

Its jawline is the most distinguishing characteristics this fish has. Most people affectionately refer to it as 'drawbridge' because of the nearly vertical nature of its mouth.

Their body contains silver scales that look pearl-like and run across their whole body. When the fish is still of tender age, the scales kind of look like they have a blueish tint.

When you view them from the side, their body appears long and sleek and upon further investigation, you'll notice that their caudal fin is almost fused to their dorsal fin.

The males are generally much more slender than their female counterparts who happen to be considerably thicker and have a much bigger anal fin as well. In terms of their growth rate, normally they start out very small (about four inches), however, they tend to grow exceptionally fast.

They'll grow two inches every month for the whole of their first year, so you'll need to ensure you provide them with enough food as well as a fish tank that has plenty of space.

What is Their General Behaviour Like?

Even though the silver arowana is a considerably large fish, they can sometimes be surprisingly skittish. Sudden movements usually scare arowanas, for instance when you abruptly turn the lights on or when you're approaching the aquarium rather quickly.

You should ensure to keep your Arowana's fish tank in a location where there is low foot traffic. This helps prevent the fish from getting startled every time someone walks past its fish tank.

If you watch your Monkey fish closely, you'll notice that they love to do their swimming really close to the water's surface. Some believe they do this because this fish is known to be a notorious jumper, so they may be assessing their next jump possibility.

When in the wild, the silver arowana can jump up to around three meters high in search of or hunting prey that is sitting on low hanging branches. If a fish tank is way too small or it's new, your arowana will most likely try to jump.

When the aquarium they've been placed in is too small, they'll try to jump their way to freedom. It doesn't matter whether you've covered your aquarium with a lid, if the tank is too small, they'll attempt it anyway. And this could prove to be very dangerous for your fish because it can cause them to severely injure themselves in the process.

Are They Easy To Breed?

Silver arowana fish are very rarely bred in a home aquarium, according to ​aquariumtidings. They're often bred in big, natural ponds. Breeding this type of fish is certainly not an easy thing to do.

If you're considering trying to breed these fish, you'll need to acquire them as juveniles and then allow them to pair off. 

Those few people that have claimed to have successfully bred this type of fish using fish tanks have done so with tanks that measure well beyond five hundred gallons.

That definitely wouldn't fit comfortably in your living room, would it? Not to mention that this also renders the endeavour to expensive for the typical home aquarist.

Before spawning, they usually pair of then go build a nest. The female will then proceed to lay its eggs into the nest and then the male, using its mouth, will come and collect the eggs.

Yes, the silver arowana fish is a mouth breeder. These eggs are normally reddish orange in color and are really large in size. The eggs will be carried around by the male for about fifty days.

During this period, the maturing process of egg-larvae-fry takes place. Five weeks after they hatch, they'll exit the mouth of their father and start looking for food on their own.

Only a handful of people have recorded breeding success using their home fish tanks or aquariums when it comes to the silver arowana fish. A

nd as mentioned earlier, those that managed to do it did it in tanks that measured well in the excess of five hundred gallons. Again we say, breeding this type of fish is certainly no mean fete. It is hard and requires a lot of skill and knowledge if you want to do it right.

How Big Should Their Tanks Be?

If you want your arowana to stay healthy whilst in captivity, you'll have to get the biggest fish tank or aquarium you can find on the market.

As we've pointed out all throughout this article, this type of fish is not only a very large fish, it's an extremely strong swimmer as well. 

They'll quickly outgrow many hobby aquarist fish tanks. Only when juvenile can they be raised in those small tanks that weigh around sixty gallons, however, once they start getting older you'll have to quickly move them into a bigger tank.

If you don't do this, you'll quickly begin to have a few problems with your fish. Most notably of them being a reduced lifespan and a deformed body.

The substrate you put in your tank should consist of small, fine gravel. Plants should be planted sparingly so as to give your fish plenty of open space to swim and roam around in.

If you're the type that wants to decorate your fish tank, then you might want to stick to using sturdy plants, rockwork and driftwood. Avoid plants that don't have strong roots for they will certainly be dislodged by your silver arowana fish.

What Fish Make Good Tankmates For Them?

The Silver Arowana is a predator fish. This should tell you a little bit about its compatibility implications and what kind of fish can room in with these big guys. When they're young they're quite helpless and are easily susceptible to bullying by fish that are much larger and more aggressive.

So you should keep this in mind before placing them in a tank that has other fish, like rainbow sharks, or others that fit this description. When they're of a tender age, keeping them amongst their own kind is what most experts will usually advise you to do. However, they should all be around the same age. You should keep them in groups of six or more.

When they've fully matured and have grown into full-size adults, finding the best and most appropriate tankmate for this fish can be extremely difficult. This is largeley due to the fact that aggressive fish will most likely want to attack them due to their large size.

However, on the other hand, smaller fish may not be the best option either because they may end up acting as prey to the Silver Arowana and get eaten in the process. Why, because silver arowanas are predator fish, remember?

But don't fret, there are still several other species that can coexist harmoniously with the a Silver Arowana. When trying to find a suitable tankmate for your Arowana fish, you'll need not to forget these three very important things;

  1. You want to get fish that strike a balance between slightly aggressive and peaceful.
  2. Get a large enough fish that can't be devoured by your Silver Arowana
  3. The Arowana should get introduced to the tank first.

Some good examples of fish that can fall into this category are; Oscars, Green Terrors, Large Plecos, Knifefish, Angelfish, Catfish and Parrot Cichlid.

What Should You Feed Your Arowana Fish?

When in the wild, this fish usually posses a threat to anything below as well as above the water surface. Their diet usually consists of mice, birds, snakes and sometimes bats.

But, what they prefer to eat most are aquatic animals. Their primary source of food when in the wild are insects, small fish and crustaceans, according to ​fishKeepingWorld. You'll need to try as much as possible to replicate this when you have this type of fish in your home fish tank.

Some of them can be taught how to eat food pellets for fish, however, they'll always still much rather a diet that predominantly consists of meat with the occasional addition of feeder fish.

When in captivity, your best bet would be to feed them earthworms. crab meat, beef heart and shrimp. They will also feed on frozen fish foods that contain brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms. As they grow older, the amount of food you feed them will also have to gradually increase.

You should always try and train your arowana to learn how to feed on prepared fish foods. This will help ensure it keeps a balanced diet. This can be done by mixing the other food you intend to give them with the prepared foodstuffs.


As you have discovered, the Silver Arrowana fish can change colours in certain conditions, so hopefully this has answered your qustion.

All in all, if you happen to be a seasoned and experienced aquarist, then the Silver Arowana is definitely a fish you should consider getting for yourself. It's sure to uplift the look of any aquarium. 

Beginners can try their lack with this type of fish but they should be prepared for a difficult road ahead. If you're thinking of getting one, try acquiring one that is eight inches long at the least. This generally means, get a juvenile. However, at this length, they've matured just a tad bit so it's not a complete newborn.


Hey, thanks for passing by, welcome to the blog for Pet Fish fans. This is me, Wayne, and my son Theo. I started this journey after we bought him hist first Fish Tank of fish. Follow my site for my research and info on Pet Fish.