Can You Keep A Turtle With Arowana?

The arowana is a beautiful fish, often majestic in its glittering silver.

In the aquatic world, though, it can be incredibly hard to pair fish with other creatures that live around or in water.

The horror stories of mixing two fish that don’t naturally get along well are well documented, known to end even relationships. 

You’ve heard the story: a young suitor surprises his love with a new pet, only to find the next morning it has killed all her others.

Fish are hard to pair, so you can imagine how difficult turtles and fish can be.

Turtles and arrowana cant live together because there is a high chance your turlte will end up eating arrowana.  

Arowanas can grow to be quite large, putting them in a turtle’s tank is generally not advisable. 

In this blog, we’ll explain just why this is a bad idea, and then go over some tank mates your turtle will get along with. Your turtle is likely a solitary creature, but company can be tolerated in certain situations. 

Why Keeping Turtles With Arowana is a Bad Idea

Arowana can grow up to four feet in length.

That’s a big fish, so you’d expect a turtle wouldn’t bother trying to eat it.

But, if it feels aggressive and up to the challenge, it can take enough bites out of the arowana to kill it over time, and then enjoy what’s left of it over time. 

Not only is it unpleasant, it’s a waste of money.

That’s not to say it’s impossible the two can’t share a tank. But it’s not the best option for a roommate on the market.

There are ways to protect your arowana from your turtle, but it seems a little sadistic to have to do so.  


Keeping a four foot fish also means you’re going to need a particularly large tank.

If you have even a 150 gallon tank for your turtle and fish, that may not be enough to accommodate both a large fish and a turtle, especially if the turtle gets to be a very large adult. 

Generally, arowana are not great partners for your turtle, but there are other options.

You would think all fish are to be avoided unless they’re intended to be food.

Some fish are too dangerous for your turtle, and some are too weak. The key is finding a fish that can escape a fight. 

How Fish and Turtles Can Live Together

First, it’s important to understand that turtles like their solitude unless it’s mating season.

Even then, they can get quite aggressive, so it’s best to keep them away from other turtles.

If two males are in a tank with a female, there’s little doubt they’ll fight over her. 

Some turtles of the same species, when one is larger, are known to be bullies.

They’ll pick fights with their smaller companions for no reason that can turn violent. 

Keeping turtles together is a mistake, and certain fish are obviously out of the question.

Some species of turtle, such as snapping turtles, are far too aggressive to tolerate any company at all.

The first thing you need to ensure when considering adding a second creature in your turtle’s tank is that you have enough room to accommodate both animals.

The standard rule states that you should have ten gallons of water for every inch of your turtle’s shell. 

Since a lot of turtles, such as red eared sliders, can grow to be very large, that probably means you’re going to need a big tank. 

Fish are going to mean you’ll need even more space to hold more water. If you’re going to add fish to your turtle’s tank, you need to look at tanks larger than 80 gallons.

You’ll probably need quite a bit more than that, but if you’re just adding one small, quick fish, that’s the minimum size tank you’d need. 

One easy way to avoid a conflict between your fish and turtle is to add ornaments, wood and toys in the tank that the fish can swim around, behind or in to get away from the turtle should it feel peckish.

Aquarium hideouts also provide some privacy for both your pets. 

Do Turtles Eat Fish?   

Asking if turtles eat fish is akin to asking if the Pope follows the Catholic faith. Of course turtles eat fish, in fact they’re one of their main food sources in the wild. But some species of turtle prefer fish more than others. Turtles that are mainly aquatic, such as red eared sliders, are just naturally used to snacking on fish. 

What Turtles Don’t Eat Fish?

To be clear, there’s no species of turtle that simply would not eat a fish if given the opportunity.

It’s just that some species of turtle are less capable of hunting them.

Species such as musk turtles and mud turtles are not very good hunters, and they’re more likely to leave fish alone. 

What Fish Can I Keep With Turtles?

There are four species of fish that work particularly well with turtles. They are:

  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Angel Fish
  • Zebra Fish

But you aren’t limited to only those.

It may take some experimenting, but as long as the fish can swim quickly to avoid a fight and has ample space to both swim and find a hiding place, some fish can live a mostly peaceful existence with your turtle. 

But some fish, however, are dangerous to your turtle.

The tables can turn when the fish you put in the tank happens to be more aggressive than your turtle.

There are some species of fish that are just too risky, such as: 

  • Piranha
  • Catfish
  • Electric Eels
  • Lobsters

Basically, any fish or aquatic creature that is too big and too mean for a turtle should be avoided at all costs. 

The ocean is a scary and dangerous place for small, slow creatures.

They’re the first to go in the unforgiving natural world. But that doesn’t mean, in your own home environment, you can create a peaceful place for both a fish and a turtle. 

Arowanas may not be ideal, though it is possible for the two to exist together. Though you’re usually better off going with a fish your turtle would find less appealing. 

Also read

Can Turtles and Rabbits Live Together

Can Turtles and Axolotls Live Together?

Can Turtles eat Canned Tuna

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