Asian Arowana
(Protected under CITES)
Scleropages Formosus Gold Crossback, Blue Malayan Malaysia
Red Tail Gold Norther Sumatra, Indonesia
Red, Super Red, Blood Red, Chilli Red Borneo, Indonesia
Green Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia
Australia Arowana Scleropages Jardini Pearl Australia
Scleropages Leichardti Spotted
South American Arowana Osteoglossum Bicirrhosum Silver Brazil, Columbia
Osteoglossum Ferreirai Black
The Evolving Classification of Asian Arowana Sub Verieties


Back in the early 70’s, Asian Arowanas were first categorized by their three main colours – Red, Gold and Green. Asian Arowanas were new to the ornamental fish hobby world and most hobbyists had little knowledge and expectation of how each variety developed.

Soon after CITES restricted trade, the price for Asian Arowanas rose sharply, causing Asian Arowana keepers to be more selective when purchasing. This restriction triggered the Arowana market to gain huge traction in the ownership of this exotic and endangered species. Sellers in turn further classified Asian Arowanas into sub-categories based on quality, price and scale colour to please the appreciating knowledgeable and sophisticated buyers . The first classification chart was thus evolved and shown on the right.



As the rising demand continued to soar into the 90’s, market prices rose in parallel, and more breeders entered the competitive Arowana market. As a marketing strategy, sellers continued to further classify Asian Arowanas by their base colour and the intensity of the scale colour. This refinement led to the classification below.



With the surge of successful 2nd and 3rd generation breeders growing throughout South East Asia in the last decade, breeders had further differentiated their own Arowanas by brands. Branding relieved the Arowana buyers of confusion arising from complicated classification scheme by focusing on the farms’ particular product lines and blood lineages.  It, together with the warranty that comes with some premium brands, provided the exact quality assurance that the buyers need, since the juveniles that they purchased now do not necessarily colourize until maturity a few years down the road.

As Asian Arowanas became widely popular throughout Asia, breeders began experimenting with new varieties by cross breeding various strains to attain more unique and beautiful sub-varieties. Dreamfish currently offers 2 lines of signature Arowanas. The MerLion Royal Harmony is a rare breed derived from five main bloodlines fused harmoniously together with special rainbow scale colouring, while the MerLion Royal Splendour Red-Gold is a cross between MerLion Red and MerLion Royal Gold. Both signature lines display exquisite beauty and rich colourization.

As a precaution to the unwary buyers, be aware that there are unethical breeders who cross breed high grade and low grade Arowanas and yet market the hybrid under the high grade classification. It is a trick to manipulate and con novice buyers. That’s why It is essential for buyers to choose a reputable breeder with moral ethics that maintains high breeding standards to ensure that they are getting what they paid for.

For more information on how to purchase and import Asian Arowana into Canada, please contact us today!