What Do Arowanas Eat? [A Complete Guide for Beginners]

What Do Arowanas Eat? [A Complete Guide for Beginners]

Arowana searching for food

Arowanas are predatory fish. In the wild, they feed on small birds, fish, reptiles, arthropods, amphibians, and insects. In aquariums, you can feed them a varied diet consisting of farm-bred insects, worms, pellets, fish meat, and live and frozen food to satiate their dietary requirements.

What Do Arowanas Eat in The Wild?

Arowanas are known for their predatory nature and unique hunting skills.

In the wild, they usually make their homes in floodplains. It’s a perfect place for them to find various food options.

One of the primary food sources of arowanas in the wild is insects.

They love to munch on these little critters, which are abundant in their natural habitat.

They also enjoy eating small animals, fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and arthropods.

Arowanas use their unique mouth structure to their advantage while hunting.

By swimming close to the water’s surface, they can easily jump up and snatch their prey.

You can find jaw-dropping videos of arowanas leaping from the water to grab insects resting on tree limbs.

Their hunting method involves swimming just beneath their prey before scooping them up in one swift motion.

Arowanas have also been known to eat birds and even small mammals that come near the water.

So, now you know what arowanas eat in the wild.

Let’s now look at what you can feed them in aquariums.

Ideal Food for Arowanas in Aquariums

When keeping arowanas in an aquarium, mimicking their wild diet as much as possible is essential.

This helps ensure they stay healthy and comfortable in their new home.

Providing a varied diet can prevent nutritional deficiency and keep them happy and active.

Given below is a list of food items you can feed arowanas in aquariums.


Insects like crickets, cockroaches, and centipedes are great options for arowanas.

Crickets are a good source of vitamin A and have a low risk of disease transmission.

Opt for farm-bred crickets to avoid introducing insecticides into your aquarium.

Frozen centipedes are also nutritional and can help enhance your arowana’s color.

When feeding young arowanas, avoid insects or invertebrates with tough or pointed shells.


Worms, like earthworms, mealworms, and tubifex worms, are a great addition to your arowana’s diet.

These wriggly treats provide essential nutrients and protein for healthy development.

Amphibians and Crustaceans

Arowanas enjoy feasting on amphibians such as lizards, geckos, and frogs in their natural environment.

You can feed them frozen amphibians to imitate their natural diet.

Arowans also devour crustaceans like shrimp and prawns. Including these live feeds in their diet can make them feel at home.

Fish Meat

Adding fish meat to your arowana’s diet is also a good idea.

Just be sure to trim off any fat and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces before feeding to avoid choking.

Pellet Food

Pellet food is an excellent supplement for arowanas.

Choose floating pellets designed for surface-feeding carnivorous fish because arowanas are top feeders.

Remember that pellets shouldn’t be the primary source of nutrition for arowanas since they can lead to health issues like a protruding anus.

Frozen and Freeze-Dried Foods

If live food is unavailable, frozen and freeze-dried food are alternative options.

Be sure to thaw the frozen food before feeding your fish.

Also, freeze-dried food must be soaked in water before feeding to avoid digestive problems in arowanas.

What Do Silver Arowanas Eat?

Silver arowanas are predatory fish that thrive on a protein-rich diet.

In the wild, their diet consists of insects, insect larvae, frogs, birds, snakes, crustaceans, etc.

These large, agile fish are always on the hunt for live food to satisfy their hearty appetites.

As silver arowanas grow, their dietary needs change. The quality of their diet determines their growth rate and eventual size.

When young, they eat small prey such as small fish, snails, and large insects.

Adults can eat larger prey like rabbits, frogs, snakes, and crustaceans.

Silver arowanas crave a diverse and nutritious diet when kept in captivity.

Some popular options for captive arowanas include:

  • Frozen foods,
  • Feeder fish,
  • Shrimp,
  • Nightcrawlers,
  • Red worms,
  • Earthworms,
  • Crickets,
  • Flakes, and
  • Pellets.

Pellets are an excellent option to feed silver arowanas if they accept them.

However, it shouldn’t be their staple food since silver arowanas need a protein-rich diet to stay healthy.

In the wild, silver arowanas are known to leap out of the water to catch frogs, crustaceans, minnows, crabs, and earthworms.

Captive silver arowanas can also enjoy these treats if you are willing to feed them these foods.

But ensure to feed them a varied diet, such as live or frozen bloodworms, krill, daphnia, and other protein-rich foods, to ensure that they receive a well-rounded aquatic diet.

Be cautious when feeding live or frozen food because some may contain pesticides that can harm your fish.

It’s always better to culture the live foods or purchase them from reputed breeders to avoid the risk of transmission of diseases.

Feeding silver arowanas can be a rewarding experience since these fish have a hearty appetite and aren’t fussy eaters.

What Do Asian Arowanas Eat?

Asian arowana searching for food

Asian arowanas are carnivorous creatures that love to feast on numerous small fish, frogs, insects, and invertebrates in their natural environment.

In captivity, they appreciate similar meals like giant centipedes, mealworms, earthworms, moth larvae, and locusts.

You can also feed them meaty food, such as beef heart, krill, crab, feeder fish, shrimp, and crickets.

In addition, you can feed Asian arowanas koi fries as an occasional treat to enhance their coloration.

Since Asian arowanas are surface feeders, live and prepared foods are excellent choices for them.

Dry proprietary feeds packed with nutrients are another excellent choice for them.

However, if your Asian arowanas don’t accept dry foods, you can add shellfish or insects in these foods to make them tastier.

It’s essential to monitor their eating habits to avoid overfeeding.

Overeating can harm your fish’s health, disrupt their breeding cycle, and compromise their tank integrity.

Replicating their natural environment and feeding them a diverse and meat-based diet will ensure that your Asian arowanas thrive in your aquarium.

What Do African Arowanas Eat?

African Arowanas are unique filter feeders that live in lakes and rivers.

They primarily feed on worms, insect larvae, adult insects, phytoplankton, and small crustaceans in the wild.

During their juvenile stage, these water creatures use their tongue and teeth to break down and consume their prey.

When in captivity, African arowanas still need a diverse diet of live food, including tiny fish, shrimp, lobster eggs, krill, and mosquito larvae.

They also benefit from algae wafers that replicate the plant-based food they would find in their natural environment.

These fish hunt for food by swimming through the water and filtering out tasty morsels with their specialized mouths.

Their active lifestyle requires a diet high in protein and fat to support their energy needs.

In addition to plankton and invertebrates, African arowanas enjoy a variety of meaty foods like lance fish and specially formulated fish pellets.

These food items provide essential nutrients to support their immune system and protect them from diseases.

What Do Baby Arowanas Eat?

Baby arowanas, just like their adult arowanas, need a high-protein diet to support their rapid growth.

As carnivores, these little fish thrive on live worms, small fish, insects, and high-protein pellets.

Offering freeze-dried worms and shrimp can also help boost your baby arowana’s diet.

You can also include certain foods in your baby arowanas diet to enhance their coloration.

Astaxanthin is found in high amounts in shrimp and krill, while carotenoids are found in orange and yellow vegetables.

So by providing freeze-dried shrimp or carrots as part of their diet, you will help them develop brighter colors as they grow.

Here are some excellent food options for baby arowanas:

  • High-Quality Flakes: Flakes can be supplementary food for baby arowanas. However, flakes aren’t sufficient once your arowanas grow up.
  • Foodsticks/Pellets: Pellets and food sticks can be a stable food source for baby arowanas. Look for high protein content and choose a pellet size that is suitable for your baby arowanas.
  • Frozen/Freeze Dried Bloodworms: Nutritious and appealing to even picky eaters, bloodworms are a favorite among baby arowanas.
  • Freeze-Dried Plankton: Rich in carotene, plankton offers extra nutrients to support the healthy growth of arowanas. Remove any hard or pointed parts before putting them in the tank.
  • Baby Crickets: Soft and full of protein, baby crickets can help baby arowanas grow strong and healthy. Avoid feeding big crickets because their tough shells can hurt baby arowanas.
  • Shrimp: Market shrimp with the hard shell/skin removed can be defrosted and fed to baby arowanas.

When feeding your baby arowanas, offer different types of foods thrice a day.

This will ensure that they receive the required nutrients.

Feeding Frequency for Arowanas

Arowanas are large fish that need adequate nutrition for optimum growth.

Juvenile arowanas need substantial food and energy to facilitate their rapid growth.

Feeding them twice or thrice daily is recommended to support their rapid growth, metabolism, and appetite.

As arowanas mature, their growth and metabolism rates gradually decrease. So you can feed adult arowanas once a day.

They may occasionally decline food, which is normal and not a cause for concern.

You should avoid overfeeding because leftover food can lead to poor water quality in your aquarium.

It will also increase ammonia levels and harm your fish.

When feeding your arowanas, ensure that all the food is consumed within a couple of minutes.

If you are using frozen food, always thaw it before feeding to avoid any potential issues associated with freezing foodstuffs.

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