Arapaimas are air-breathers, meaning that they inhale their oxygen through the air rather than through the water. Because of this, they are typically found near the surface of the water, though they are able to hold their breath for 10-20 minutes.
The breeding cycle of the Arapaima is dependent on the seasons. Eggs are laid February-April, when the water is at its lowest, and hatch during the flooding season so that the young fish can thrive and feast on all of the organisms that are churned up. Male Arapaimas take an interesting role in the process, incubating the eggs in his mouth (mouthbrooding).