Red Bellied Piranha
Alternative Name(s):
Scientific Name(s): Pygocentrus altus
Category: Tropical
Maximum Size: 30cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 680 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 72" x 24" x 24"
Water Temperature Range: 24-29°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.0
Water Hardness Range: 5-18 dGH

General Information: Piranhas have single rows of sharp teeth in their upper and lower jaws. These teeth are tricuspid (three points) with a large, triangular blade-like middle cusp. Extremely sharp, the teeth are tightly packed and interlock, making them excellent for puncturing and shearing flesh.
Tank Requirements: Piranha live in shoals in rivers and streams as well as lake environments. Shoaling creates a feeling of security for these fish. They do not show co-ordinated hunting behaviour, but will go into a feeding frenzy if they are starved. Temp ideally 27-28C.
Diet Requirements: Omnivore. Fish, insects, crustaceans, worms, plant material and carrion. Must be given fresh raw meat at least twice a week. Generally does better on the addition of live foods.
Compatibility: Piranha are schooling fish, forming a loosely associated group with other fish. Sexually mature adults maintain a spot in the middle of the shoal. NOT A COMMUNITY FISH, suitable only for species tank.
Recommendations: A very tight lid is needed as they will jump out. Lots of bogwood and roots that the fish can hide in. Leaf litter also to help keep acidity at a decent level.
Common Problems: Although they appear quite robust, they are not an easy specimen to keep. Even in a very large aquarium an acclimatised fish can suddenly become aggressive. The tails of their own species and of larger fish will be bitten off, causing possible disease threats. They can be fed worms and young specimens will take other live food as well. Their water should be soft and acidic, with a good amount of water movement in the tank.
Similar Species: This fish is best left to public aquariums and people who have a lot of experience and know what they are doing. These fish can inflict serious injuries if care is not taken.
Sexing: Male Piranha have a more intense red belly then the females, especially during breeding.
Breeding: Has been bred in home aquariums though rarely. Fry are cannibalistic and larger fry will eat smaller ones.
Author(s): Anon, Fishlady | Photo: Anon | Views: 23180
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