Get to know a lot of facts and a glimpse on the profile about this creature, the Arapaimas.

By Frederico Valdez (MFK-SCP)

The Arapaima Gigas, commonly known in the Philippines as the Giant Arapaima, are found in the rainforest rivers of the Amazon. It is definitely one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, reaching up to 9” (feet) in length. The life span of the Arapaima is about 15 to 20 years in captivity.

Due to its potential size and just like any other fish, good water parameters must be maintained to keep it healthy. While still considered “small” at 12’ to 48’ (inches), these fish has been known to jump outside their enclosures.

In my experience, we almost lost one of our Arapaimas. We were fortunate enough that it landed on a mud puddle. It must have been hours before we noticed it wasn’t in the pond anymore. They are air breathers; hence, they get oxygen from the water’s surface. That is why it was able to survive in the mud puddle.

These fish are also wickedly powerful! While we were transferring them to a bigger pond, it took 8 fullygrown men to lift a single arapaima out of the water. While they were holding it, it decided fight back. The fish used its muscular tail to flick one of my men and he literally flew into the wall!

Let’s not forget feeding time! It’s always a treat hearing it gulp the prey fish while making a huge vacuum; the water slapping back will always be music to my ears. Despite its size and strength, for me, it’s still one of the gentler creatures available. They don’t often chase and bully other tankmates as long as these are big enough not to be considered food.

Arapaimas, indeed, are truly one of nature’s behemoths. It’s also one of the few naturally occurring giant fish that’s available for trade in this hobby. Thus, the arapaima remains one of the most sought after monster fish.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s January 2016 issue.