Arowanas live up to 20 years in the wild. In aquariums, most arowana species live up to 15 years. However, captive arowanas must get a stress-free habitat, stable water conditions, a large-sized tank, nutritious food, and compatible tank mates to live longer.
Factors that Impact Arowana Lifespan in Captivity
The lifespan of an arowana in captivity is primarily influenced by the aquarium habitat that you create for it.
Given below are some of the factors that impact the lifespan of arowanas in captivity.
1. Improper Tank Setup
Arowanas need a large tank that can provide enough swimming space for them to move around.
If the tank is too cramped, it restricts the growth of arowanas and reduces their lifespan.
Having too many tankmates can stress the arowanas.
A lot of fish waste will also negatively impact the water quality and create hazardous conditions for the fish.
3. Lack of Nutritious Diet
Arowanas need a high-protein diet to stay healthy.
These fish aren’t picky about their food.
However, feeding a low-quality diet can lead to malnutrition and reduce their lifespan.
4. Poor Water Quality
Arowanas need clean and well-oxygenated water to remain healthy and live longer.
Unfiltered or poorly filtered water can cause serious health issues in arowanas and decrease their lifespan.
5. Irregular Tank Maintenance
Poor tank maintenance will result in high ammonia levels and toxins in the tank water.
Unstable water parameters can create health issues, which will significantly reduce the lifespan of arowanas.
6. Stressful Habitat
Arowanas are sensitive to the stress caused by aggressive tank mates and sudden changes in water parameters.
All these factors can lead to health issues and decrease the longevity of arowanas.
7. Poor Genetics
The genetic makeup of an arowana is another critical factor that determines its lifespan.
If the arowana has a weak genetic makeup, it may not live as long as the one with strong genes.
How to Improve the Lifespan of Arowanas?
Providing a conducive tank environment, proper care, and eliminating stress are crucial for the longevity of any fish.
Given below are a few tips that can improve the lifespan of arowanas in aquariums.
1. Buy Fish from A Reputed Seller
When you purchase arowanas from an unknown source, there is a risk of getting a poor arowana breed.
There is always a risk in buying any fish. So it’s best to buy fish from a reputable store.
Reputed stores are known to keep good quality fish breeds.
Buying an arowana from reputed stores eliminates the risk of getting a breed with poor genetics.
2. Get a Large Tank
A tank of at least 250 gallons is ideal for arowanas.
Arowanas need a large tank that can provide enough swimming space.
Cramped space creates a lot of challenges and impacts the health and lifespan of arowanas.
The larger the tank, the more comfortable it is for your arowana to move around, stay healthy, and live longer.
3. Maintain Stable Water Conditions
Arowanas thrive in water temperatures between 75°F to 82°F (23.8°C to 27.8°C).
You should also keep them in water with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 and water hardness of 8 to 12 dGH.
Keeping water pH levels, temperature, and hardness at ideal levels reduces stress.
It also facilitates optimum growth and improves the longevity of arowanas.
4. Provide a Nutritious Diet
Arowanas need a high-protein, meaty diet to sustain their rapid growth rate.
An appropriate diet for young arowanas comprises of live or frozen brine shrimp, black worms, small insects, and small fish.
Adult arowanas should be fed worms, shrimp, small fish, insects, frogs, and other meat-based food.
Feeding arowanas an adequate and well-balanced nutritious diet improves their lifespan.
5. Install Quality Aquarium Equipment
Installing a robust aquarium filter is necessary to reduce dirt, debris, and toxins from the tank water.
Cleaning the filter media and other tank equipment regularly is also essential for maintaining clean water.
A thermometer can help you measure the water temperature accurately and regulate the heating systems accordingly.
Having good-quality aquarium equipment in the tank will help ensure that the water parameters stay balanced.
This helps the arowanas live a healthy and long life.
6. Perform Regular Tank Maintenance
Arowanas produce a lot of waste. This elevates the tank water’s ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
Changing 20% to 30% of the tank water every week is recommended to maintain optimal water quality.
An electric vacuum is very helpful in efficiently changing the water from large tanks.
Monitoring the parameters during water changes is essential for maintaining a healthy aquatic environment.
7. Keep Compatible Tank Mates
Arowanas are predatory fish and must not be kept with other arowanas to avoid conflicts.
However, if you want to keep tank mates, choose fish species that can withstand the size and aggression of arowanas.
Don’t keep fin nippers because they can nip and stress the arowanas.
Keep compatible tank mates with arowanas that can co-exist and maintain harmony inside the aquarium.
How Long Do Silver Arowanas Live?
Silver arowanas are freshwater fish native to the Amazon River Basin in South America.
Silver arowanas are known to have a long lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
With their striking appearance and predatory behavior, silver arowanas are highly sought after in the aquarium hobby.
Their lifespan depends on the water conditions, environment, and diet.
Poor conditions and stress can create developmental issues in arowanas, which reduces their lifespan.
Providing the necessary care and a suitable habitat is essential to ensure that your arowana stays healthy and stress-free.
How Long Do Asian Arowanas Live?
Asian arowanas inhabit the black water bodies in South East Asia, typically the slow-moving waters of swamps and wetlands.
Like most arowana species, Asian arowanas have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
In their natural habitat, they are known to leap out of the water to catch their food in the air.
Due to increased breeding, the number of Asian arowanas is higher in aquariums than in the wild.