Maryland Blogger: What in the world is an arapaima?

What in the world is an arapaima?

What in the world is an arapaima?

A big fish story


The answer to this question may be found at the Amazonia Exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.  Arapaima are among the largest freshwater fish in the world and several may be seen in the 55,000 gallon aquarium in the Amazonia Exhibit.

Individual arapaima are typically six to seven feet long but can reach eight feet or more. The scales are large and the mouth is turned up because they feed at the surface of the water. These fish are found in the Amazon in South America. The arapaima is a predator and they eat chopped fish along with a prepared diet at the National Zoo.

Arapaima are very unfishlike in that they are air breathers that stay submerged for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. This tendency to stay at the surface makes them vulnerable to hunters with harpoons.



Arapaima, Amazonia, National Zoo IMG_9609

Canon PowerShot G11 Camera

Photograph by Roy Kelley 

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Roy Kelley and Associates


Roy Kelley, Associate Broker

Realty Group Referrals (Retired from RE/MAX Realty Group)

6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 200

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Main Office:  301-258-7757 (You will not reach me at this number)

Send an email message if you need my phone numbers. I will be happy to recommend a real estate professional if you are moving to the area.

Comment balloon 16 commentsRoy Kelley • September 08 2018 10:12PM


Very interesting looking fish, Roy!  When I first saw that name, "Arapaima," I thought it would be a really good name for an airline.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 8 months ago

Good morning, Roy... is this a big fish story, or a fishy story! (Just kidding!) Never heard of these fish before and 8 feet is awfully large... that's the great thing about AR... something new to be learned each day.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) 8 months ago

Very interesting, Roy.  I had not heard of these arapaima before.  I'm glad they aren't swimming around in the rivers around my home.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 8 months ago

Good morning Roy. Must admit did not know about this fish. Very interesting. Thanks. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 8 months ago

I don't know that anyone will ever ask me,...but just in I know !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 8 months ago

Roy, that was a new one, had never heard of this before.   Have not been to an aquarium for quite some time.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 8 months ago

I learned something new, thanks for sharing the pictures and story of the Arapaima Roy

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 8 months ago

Very interesting, I had not heard of that type of fish before today.  When I visit the aquarium, I always learn about fish I had never heard of.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 8 months ago

Good morning, Roy.  Thank you for this interesting post.  I learned something new about fish today.  Have a great rest of your week! - Jasmine Tsang, Business Manager @Organized Living Interiors.

Posted by OLI ., Residential Staging & Design (United States) 8 months ago


This is the first time I have heard of this fish.  What a great story, and like every day I learned something new..A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 8 months ago

Good morning Roy - this is really educational.  I would love to go to the National Zoo.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 8 months ago

This fish ... this aquarium ... sounds like something my grandson needs to check out, Roy Kelley.  He LOVES to see and read about sea life.  Passing your info on to him ... 

I always learn something from your posts, Roy!


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) 8 months ago

Very interesting and a nice shot Roy Kelley

Posted by Lee Potts, The smarter we work, the luckier you get. (Aloha Group Maui) 8 months ago

How interesting Roy. Did you and Dolores take a trip to the Zoo recently?

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 8 months ago

Hello Roy --- it's true, we can learn something new at ActiveRain everyday. Thank you for sharing. By the way --- a trip to the National Zoo has many photo opportunities. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 8 months ago

Thanks so much for your comments and for your continued support.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 8 months ago