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Maximum size : 5 cm

Arowana Tetra - Gnathocharax steindachneri : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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It's not the most impressive-looking Tetra in the world, but hobbyists who love oddball fish will still enjoy the Arowana Tetra (Gnathocharax steindachneri). These Tetras are peaceful, lively schooling fish that enjoy swimming with conspecifics in the upper third of the water column. It is possible to keep Arowana Tetras in a community aquarium with non-predatory fish of similar size and temperament to avoid stress and reduce the fish's restlessness. Dwarf Cichlids, Plecos, Corydoras Catfish, and similarly sized Tetras would be ideal tankmates. There should be plenty of free swimming space in the middle of the aquarium, while the edges and background should be densely planted. The colours are better viewed on a dark bottom with dim lighting and floating plants. Adding driftwood branches and roots to the aquarium is also appreciated, as it allows these fish somewhere to retreat if they feel threatened in any way. A decent amount of surface current is also necessary, and you will need to have a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium since these Tetras are good jumpers. Arowana Tetras have slender and compressed bodies on the sides. Their heads are placed in a central position and are well defined. Their mouths are very large, turned upwards, and equipped with sharp and protruding teeth on both jaws. In addition, they have silvery bodies with greeny-turquoise iridescence. These fish also have a black blotch on the base of their caudal fin with a slight red marking on either side and a red crescent marking on their eyes. All their other fins are transparent except for a few small black dots.

Arowana Tetra Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is unknown. However, females will only gain a dark spot in the abdomen during the pre-spawning period.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameGnathocharax steindachneri
Year Described1913
Other NamesNone
OriginsBrazil Guyana Venezuela
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 20
73 - 80
22.8 - 26.7

Natural Habitat

Arowana Tetras are endemic to the Amazon and Orinoco River basins throughout Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela in South America. You can find these Tetras in a multitude of habitats ranging from slow streams to irrigation canals up to the bends of large rivers.


Unfortunately, there is no information on the breeding habits of the Arowana Tetra, and there are no records on the successful breeding of these Tetras in captivity.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, the Arowana Tetra will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements. Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

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