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The Arapaima

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The Arapaima

Post by Admin on Sun May 25, 2008 11:18 am

AKA: Giant Arapaima or Pirarucu
Arapaima gigas (Cuvier, 1829)

Temperment Sociability Min. Tank Availability Area
Aggressive Solitary 900 gallons Semi-Rare Middle-Top

The Arapaima is truly the giant of the aquarium world. One of the largest freshwater fishes growing up to 13 feet in length, the Arapaima grows rapidly in captivity and soon becomes a very powerful swimmer and jumper. The body is elongated and covered with large scales. The head gives an irridescent green-copper sheen and the body is a darker blue-green on the top and fades to the white belly. Towards the end of the body the fins are edged with red. The caudal fin is dark and rounded.

Because of its large size, the giant Arapaima is obviously best suited to a public aquarium. The fish spends most of its time cruising around the aquarium with sinuous body movements.

In their natural habitat of the Amazon these fish will leap out of the water to grab small birds off of overhanging trees. In the aquarium, they enjoy large morsels of meat such as beefheart or large feeders. The Arapaima should be allowed a period of fasting every week.

This monster requires an extremely large tank, with well-filtered, highly oxygenated water. A temperature of 75-82 degrees F. and a slightly acidic pH is recommended.

The Arapaima spawns from January to March. The female lays thousands of eggs in a well-dug pit in the sandy substrate. One of the parents develops white tubercules on its head that provide nourishment for the fry. Which one of the parents develops these tubercules is uncertain. This fish has been bred in large indoor ponds in Germany and in man-made lakes in Peru.


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