Arapaima gigas – Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2021)

Arapaima gigas is a kind of mind-blowing fish, also named pirarucu, which is found in the vast Amazon River basin. Once believed to be the only species of the genus, it is one of the largest freshwater fish.

The species is an obligatory air-breather and needs to come to the surface regularly for air to blow.

arapaima gigas

Arapaima gigas description

The species is among the most well-known freshwater fish, which typically measures 200 centimeters (7 ft) tall and exceptionally 450 centimeters (15 ft) in length. Adults can weigh up to 200 kilograms or up to 440 pounds.

Arapaima gigas surface has dorsal and anal fins well behind the body, although the body is mainly gray to green, its Brazilian local name “piarucu” originates from a native word of “red fish”, it is reddish or reddish-orange in the strands on the tail. Its flesh is believed to refer to color.

arapaima gigas

Arapaima is very unique in fish, it can breathe air! They have very primitive lungs. They can receive oxygen through their gills, but they usually live on oxygen-poor waterways and are supplemented with breathing air.

World Record Arapaima was recently caught fishing in Guinea, South America by an angler. Record-sized fishing is the dream of many anglers. State records are often broken, but world records last longer. The monster-sized fish tipped the scales at 416 pounds.

arapaima gigas


Arapaima Gigas is endemic to the Amazon River basin; It is known in Brazil, Guyana and Peru. The species was introduced in different regions of East Asia, both for fishing purposes and by accident.

Also known as Arapaima is an air-breathing fish that rains in the Amazon Basin of South America and the surrounding lakes and wetlands. One of the largest freshwater fish in the world, these giants are 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall and weigh 440 pounds (200 kilograms).


Arapaima Gigas has the ability to breathe air into the surface to supplement the oxygen it receives from its gill use, and in fact depends on air blowing out loud every 5-15 minutes. Like other species of the genus, a modified swimming bladder with tissue-like tissue is used for this change.

arapaima gigas

The species feeds primarily on fish, though minors will prefer insects and fish larvae until they are fully grown.

Spanning occurs in lakes and rivers during low water levels (August to March). After hatching eggs from egg to egg in a nest made by both parents, males protect them for about three months. Young people reach sexual maturity from four to five years old; The average life expectancy is 15-220 years.


The species was heavily influenced by overfishing in the past, for air-storytelling was regularly increased by their surfacing habits.

Although Arapaima fishing has been banned in Brazil for 24 years, illegal fishing is likely to continue and the population is believed to be declining. Due to lack of detailed information on population development, IUCN is currently not assigning conservation status to Arapaima gigas.

arapaima gigas


It is not directly harmful to human beings, though the Malaysian cousin was credited with drowning two people in the 21st. Arapaima is another water-dwelling, air-breathing fish that helps trap land animals but also makes them vulnerable to being hunted by humans.

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But it also tastes so good. Arapaima seems less like a fish than a prehistoric torpedo. Fish meat – also known as boneless, odorless and gentle, is a valuable attraction for both foreign fishermen and chefs alike.


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