Jardini Arowana: Appearance, Lifespan, Size, Diet, Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

Looking for a beautiful and distinctive fish to add to your aquarium? Consider the Jardini Arowana! This remarkable freshwater fish, also known as the Australian Arowana or water monkey, boasts an impressive appearance that will draw attention.

With its long, slender body, beady eyes, and upturned mouth filled with spiky teeth, the Jardini Arowana is a true predator.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of the Jardini Arowana, covering everything from their appearance and lifespan to their diet, care requirements, ideal tank mates, breeding, and more.

So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of this captivating fish, keep reading!

Definition and Overview of Jardini Arowana

The Jardini Arowana, also known as the Australian arowana, is a unique freshwater fish species. Interestingly, it is alternatively called the water monkey in certain groups.

No matter what you name it, there is undeniable proof that this fish is fascinating. It is originally found in water bodies in Australia and New Guinea. Typically, it resides in areas such as flooded plains, sluggish rivers, and marshes.

Keeping these fish in captivity can pose a significant challenge for enthusiasts. The large size of these fish alone makes it hard to maintain them, and their predatory behavior can become a nightmarish situation if not adequately prepared.

The care of the Jardini Arowana is often thought to be only achievable by experienced fish enthusiasts. Even for them, thorough research and profound knowledge of the fish’s requirements are necessary.



Physical characteristics and distinctive features of Jardini Arowana

This Arowana is known for its elongated body shape. It has large, metallic scales that shimmer in shades of silver, green, and gold, giving it a regal and eye-catching appearance. One of the most distinctive features of the Jardini Arowana is its broad, arrowhead-shaped head and its large, predatory mouth.

Another notable characteristic of the Jardini Arowana is its long anal and dorsal fins, which resemble delicate feathers and add gracefulness to its overall appearance. These fins also serve a practical purpose, aiding in its proficient swimming abilities. In addition, Jardini Arowana possesses delicate, webbed pectoral fins that allow them to navigate the water precisely.

The Jardini Arowana looks even more stunning thanks to its big and captivating eyes that stand out beautifully against its metallic scales. These eyes have excellent vision, allowing the fish to spot prey and potential threats even in low-light environments.

Overall, the physical characteristics and distinctive features of the Jardini Arowana contribute to its allure and make it a highly coveted addition to any aquarium.

Coloration variations and sexual dimorphism

Jardini Arowana fish have relatively muted coloration, with the standard being silver-gray or slightly beige. However, their scales create a beautiful shimmer in the right light. There are also variations of black, brassy, and rare coral-colored fish.

Sexual dimorphism in Jardini Arowanas is subtle. Males and females are nearly identical, but males usually have longer anal fins, lower-set pectoral fins, and lengthier whiskers.

Here’s a summary of the coloration variations and sexual dimorphism in Jardini Arowanas:

Coloration Variations:

  • Silver-gray or slightly beige is the standard coloration.
  • Some individuals may exhibit black or brassy coloration.
  • Rare coral-colored fish can also be found.

Sexual Dimorphism:

  • Males and females are nearly identical in appearance.
  • Males may have longer anal fins, lower-set pectoral fins, and lengthier whiskers.

Factors that influence the lifespan of Jardini Arowana

Several factors can affect the lifespan of Jardini Arowana:

  • Quality of Care: Providing high-quality care is essential for the longevity of Jardini Arowanas. This includes maintaining the right tank conditions, providing a suitable diet, and regularly monitoring water parameters.
  • Water Quality: Jardini Arowanas require clean and well-maintained water. Poor water quality can lead to stress and illnesses, shortening their lifespan. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and a well-established nitrogen cycle are crucial for their health.
  • Diet: A nutritious and well-balanced diet is vital for the health and lifespan of Jardini Arowanas. These carnivorous fish should be fed high-quality live or frozen foods, such as insects, small crustaceans, and fish.
  • Genetic Factors: Like any living creature, genetics play a role in lifespan. Some individuals may have stronger genetics, resulting in a longer lifespan, while others may be more susceptible to health issues.
  • Stress Levels: Stress can significantly impact the lifespan of Jardini Arowanas. It’s essential to provide them with a suitable environment, including adequate hiding places and compatible tank mates, to minimize stress and ensure their well-being.

By addressing these factors and providing proper care, Jardini Arowanas can live between 10 to 20 years on average, with some individuals potentially reaching up to 50 years in the wild.


Growth rate and maximum size of Jardini Arowana

Jardini Arowana is a large and impressive freshwater fish that can reach lengths of up to 24 inches in captivity and even up to 36 inches in the wild. These fish rapidly grow and can grow approximately two inches per month with the right diet.

By the time they are a year and a half, they will reach full size. Providing adequate living conditions and space is crucial for the health and well-being of these fish.

Here’s a summary of the growth rate and maximum size of Jardini Arowana:

  • The average size in captivity: 24 inches
  • Maximum size in the wild: 36 inches

Requirements for tank size and living conditions

Regarding the tank size and living conditions for Jardini Arowanas, providing them with an adequate and spacious environment is crucial. These fish can grow up to 24 inches in length, requiring a tank of at least 180 gallons to accommodate their size. A larger tank is even better, with a volume of 200 gallons or more recommended.

It is essential to consider the length of the tank rather than just its height, as Jardini Arowanas prefer to stay close to the surface of the water but also need plenty of room to swim back and forth and turn around.

In their natural habitat, Jardini Arowanas are found in relatively shallow streams and marshes, so replicating this environment is ideal. Proper filtration is also essential to maintain the water quality and ensure the well-being of the fish.

It is worth noting that Jardini Arowanas can thrive in larger outdoor ponds if the climate allows. In such cases, ponds with 500 gallons or more are recommended.

Providing a suitable tank size and maintaining optimal living conditions is crucial for the health and happiness of these unique and fascinating fish.



Carnivorous Nature of Jardini Arowana

The Jardini Arowana is a carnivorous fish with a voracious appetite. Its diet primarily consists of live food, including insects, crustaceans, small fish, and even small mammals and birds.

Their predatory nature makes them fascinating to watch as they hunt their prey. However, it’s important to note that their carnivorous diet requires careful consideration regarding feeding and maintaining their health.

Here are some key points regarding the carnivorous nature and feeding habits of Jardini Arowana:

  • Live food is essential: Jardini Arowanas thrive on live food such as feeder fish, insects, and crustaceans. These live prey items provide the necessary nutrients for their growth and well-being.
  • Feeding frequency: As voracious eaters, Jardini Arowanas require regular feedings. Juveniles may need to be fed two to three times daily, while adult specimens can be fed once or twice daily.
  • Variety in diet: It’s essential to provide a varied diet to ensure that the fish receive a wide range of nutrients. This can include live food, frozen foods, and high-quality pellets.
  • Size of prey: The size of the prey should be appropriate for the size of the fish. It’s important to avoid feeding oversized prey that can cause digestion issues or potential harm to the fish.
  • Feeding techniques: Some hobbyists prefer to hand-feed their Jardini Arowanas using tweezers or tongs to ensure that the fish receive their food and to monitor their feeding behavior.

Remember, providing a balanced and appropriate diet is crucial for the health and well-being of Jardini Arowanas. Regularly monitoring their feeding habits and adjusting their diet is essential for optimal growth and development.

Ideal diet and feeding habits for maintaining their health

The perfect diet for Jardini Arowana consists mainly of live protein-rich foods. This species is carnivorous and prefers live food over processed or frozen alternatives. The following are some ideal food options for maintaining their health:

  • Bloodworms: These small aquatic worms are a popular food choice for Jardini Arowana. They are highly nutritious and can be easily obtained from pet stores.
  • Blackworms: Another nutritious option, blackworms are a great source of protein for Arowanas. They can be purchased frozen or live.
  • Earthworms: Natural and readily available, earthworms are a favorite among many Arowana keepers. They provide a good balance of nutrition and stimulation for the fish.
  • Crickets: Live crickets can be fed to Arowanas as an occasional treat. They offer a different feeding experience and help mimic the fish’s natural hunting instincts.
  • Minnows/Ghost-shrimp/Crayfish: These small live fish and crustaceans can be fed to Arowanas as part of their diet. They provide variety and help replicate the fish’s natural prey.

Ensuring that the food is high quality and free from contaminants is essential. Regular feeding should be supplemented with occasional fasting days to mimic the natural feeding patterns of Arowanas. Feeding should be done in moderation to avoid overfeeding and maintain water quality in the tank.


Essential care guidelines for Jardini Arowana

When caring for Jardini Arowana, there are essential guidelines that need to be followed to ensure their health and well-being:

  • Tank Size: An aquarium for Jardini Arowana should be around 180 gallons, focusing on length and width rather than height. These fish are top dwellers and need ample space to swim.
  • Water Conditions: Maintaining the right water conditions is crucialRegular water changes are necessary to prevent the buildup of toxins.
  • Filtration and Maintenance: A robust filtration system is needed to maintain water quality. Mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration methods should be employed. It is necessary to regularly maintain your tank by cleaning it and monitoring the water parameters.
  • Diet and Feeding: Jardini Arowana is a carnivore and requires a varied diet consisting of live or frozen foods, such as small fish, shrimp, and insects. Feeding should be done once or twice daily, ensuring they consume adequate food.
  • Tank Mates: Choose tank mates carefully, as Jardini Arowana are aggressive and may prey on smaller fish. Large, fast-swimming species are the best companions, while slow-moving fish or smaller invertebrates are not recommended.

Proper care is essential for the well-being of Jardini Arowana. Adhering to these guidelines will help create a suitable habitat for these stunning and unique fish.

Water conditions, filtration, and temperature requirements

Jardini Arowana has specific water conditions, filtration, and temperature requirements that must be met to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some important considerations:

Water Conditions:

  • Jardini Arowana is native to streams and marshes, so they prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6 to 7.5.
  • They require clean and well-oxygenated water, so a powerful filtration system is necessary to maintain water quality.
  • Regular water changes of at least 25% every two to four weeks are recommended to prevent the accumulation of toxins.


  • Due to their large size and messy eating habits, a robust filtration system is crucial for Jardini Arowana tanks.
  • Mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration should remove debris, convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrate, and maintain water clarity.
  • External canister filters or sump filtration systems are often recommended for their efficiency and capacity.

Temperature Requirements:

  • The ideal water temperature for Jardini Arowana is between 75°F and 86°F.
  • The use of a reliable aquarium heater and thermometer is essential to maintain a stable and appropriate temperature.
  • Sudden temperature fluctuations should be avoided, as they can stress the fish and compromise their immune system.

It’s important to remember that these guidelines are general recommendations, and it’s always advisable to research further and consult with experienced aquarists to ensure the specific needs of Jardini Arowana are met.

Maintenance and cleaning recommendations

When it comes to maintaining and cleaning a tank for Jardini Arowana, there are some essential guidelines to follow:

  • Tank Size and Filtration: It’s essential to ensure your tank has a powerful filtration system to maintain water quality and remove waste efficiently.
  • Regular Water Changes: Regular water changes are essential to keep the tank clean and maintain water parameters. Aim for at least 25% water changes weekly to remove accumulated toxins or waste.
  • Gravel Vacuuming: Use a gravel vacuum to remove any debris or waste that settles on the tank substrate. This helps prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and maintains a cleaner environment for your fish.
  • Algae Control: Jardini Arowana tanks are prone to algae growth due to the high lighting requirements. It’s essential to maintain a consistent lighting schedule and consider adding algae-eating fish or snails to help control algae growth.
  • Regular Equipment Maintenance: Check and clean all equipment, including filters, heaters, and air pumps, regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and not contributing to any water quality issues.

Remember to monitor water parameters regularly using a test kit to ensure optimal conditions for your Jardini Arowana. Following these maintenance and cleaning recommendations can provide a clean and healthy environment for your fish to thrive.

Best tank mates for Jardini Arowana and potential issues to consider

When choosing tank mates for Jardini Arowana, it’s essential to consider their aggressive nature and large size. Here are some compatible tank mates:

  • Clown Loaches: These bottom-dwelling fish will stay away from the Arowana and are compatible due to their peaceful nature.
  • Large peaceful cichlids: Some larger cichlid species, such as the Oscars, can coexist with Jardini Arowanas as they can hold their own in the tank.
  • Bichirs: These armored fish are known for their hardiness and can tolerate the Arowana’s aggressive behavior.
  • Silver Dollars: These fast-moving fish can often avoid the Arowana’s aggression and provide a contrasting presence in the tank.

It’s important to note that tank mates should be similar to or larger than the Arowana to minimize the risk of aggression. Additionally, providing ample hiding places and breaking the line of sight using rocks or decorations can help mitigate aggression. Regular monitoring and observation will also ensure the compatibility of tank mates with the Arowana.


Breeding Jardini Arowana in captivity is feasible, although it can be challenging. The first requirement is a considerably large breeding tank, as a couple of breeding Jardini Arowanas need a habitat that holds a minimum of 600 gallons. Due to this necessity, many breeders opt for utilizing an outdoor pond.

Introduce a pair of bonded fish into a partially filled pond. While preparing them for reproduction, give them top-quality, high-protein meals and gradually fill the pond until it reaches its maximum level. This filling procedure imitates the rainy season conditions when these fish naturally reproduce in their natural habitat.

The Jardini Arowanas are mouthbrooders, meaning the females are responsible for laying approximately 200 eggs. Afterward, the male fertilizes the eggs, and he carefully gathers and holds them in his mouth to provide incubation. The eggs remain in the male’s mouth for approximately two months until they hatch.

There is no need to be concerned about separating the parents from the eggs once they hatch. The parents are highly devoted to guarding the offspring and will remain involved in their care for about a month. Even beyond that time, the mother fish will open her mouth as a protective measure when there is danger, providing shelter for the young fish.

FAQs About Jardini Arowana

How long do Jardini Arowanas live?

Jardini Arowanas can live up to 10-20 years in captivity, but they have the potential to live up to 50 years in their natural habitat.

How big do Jardini Arowanas get?

On average, Jardini Arowanas can grow to 24 inches in captivity, but in the wild, they can reach up to 36 inches in length.

What size tank is suitable for Jardini Arowanas?

It is recommended to have a tank size of at least 180 gallons for a single Jardini Arowana. Larger volumes, such as 200 gallons or more, are preferred.

What type of diet do Jardini Arowanas require?

Jardini Arowanas are carnivorous and require a diet that includes live and frozen foods such as insects, shrimp, small fish, and pellets designed for large predatory fish.

Can Jardini Arowanas be kept with other fish?

Jardini Arowanas are aggressive and territorial and best kept in solitary tanks. Some compatible tank mates can include large cichlids, catfish, or other large, aggressive fish.

How can I breed Jardini Arowanas?

Breeding Jardini Arowanas can be challenging and requires specific conditions, including a large tank with suitable hiding places and the correct water parameters. It is recommended to consult with experienced breeders or aquarists for successful breeding.

Importance of providing proper care and understanding for this unique fish species

Providing proper care and understanding for the Jardini Arowana is of utmost importance to ensure the health and well-being of this unique fish species. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Long Lifespan: With a potential lifespan of up to 50 years in the wild, the Jardini Arowana can be a long-term commitment for fish keepers.
  • Size and Tank Requirements: The Jardini Arowana can grow up to 36 inches in length, requiring a large tank of at least 180 gallons for their well-being. Providing them with adequate space and suitable living conditions is essential for their health and happiness.
  • Carnivorous Diet: As a carnivorous fish, the Jardini Arowana requires a protein-rich diet.
  • Conservation Efforts: Proper care and understanding of Jardini Arowana help conserve the species. Knowing their habitat, reproduction, and behavior helps them replicate it in captivity.

By prioritizing their care and taking the time to understand this unique fish species, we can create an environment that promotes their health, longevity, and overall well-being.