Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just curious if anyone keeps piranha and could give me some tips at what to expect as far as feeding, tank size, and maintenance.

From what I understand recommended tank size is 20 gallons per piranha with no less than 6 fish. Also that tank mates are pretty much not an option. This is for a future tank dream that will be a reality as soon as I find a place to put a 180 gallon tank. I'm shooting to have a school of 9. My main question: How do you do a water change and how often on a tank that size? How do you stir the sand or vacuum gravel with a tank that size and is safety an issue with Piranhas in the tank? I've heard that in smaller schools as they are in aquariums they do not show aggression towards humans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have had red bellies before, pretty boring fish. Do the weekly water changes with a gravel siphon. It is possible to keep a pleco with them. They are not realy agressive towards humans but if you have a cut that is bleeding or they are spawning the chances of getting bitten are alot higher. Always a chance of getting bitten though. You will have to check to see if they are even legal to own in your state as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,450 Posts
I know there is a user over at TFK (parent site of bettafish.com) who keeps them. Maybe post over there in the freshwater fish section. I'm sure he'll come.

From what I have heard about piranha, keeping them is similar to keeping goldfish in that they need heavily filtration and large tanks.

From what I understand of characidae (tetra) keeping piranha is basically the same as any other SA tetra. Dim lighting (achieved through lots of floating plants), sandy substrate, and lots of bogwood can make a great biotype in which they will color up nicely and be rather active. In fact, that also sounds similar to a discus biotype setup. Red Bellied Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) - Seriously Fish

Water changes on a tank like that would be the same as any other tank: once weekly. You could also look into putting in a sump to increase your water volume because with a messy fish like that, more water means more dilution. When you do get ready to install your dream tank, it might be a good idea to join a piranha-centric forum or a megafish forum. I know monsterfishkeepers.com is a good one.

And lastly, we wanna see pictures when it's done!! :-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
All I know about piranha is that you have to buy them all at once. Sometimes a school accepts new members but sometimes they don't (and you really don't want to watch that). I read about a public aquarium having problems with dumped piranha since their school wouldn't accept newbies.
It'd be really cool if you built a huge biotope for them, tannin stained water and tons of driftwood. I think piranha aren't done "properly" very often, everyone just does huge bare tanks.
A lot of people on megafish forums creep me out. Don't become one of them. Also don't become one of those people that posts "my piranha eats a goldfish/frog/mouse/anything cheap at the pet shop" videos on youtube. Like, really?

For stirring sand I'd just get Malaysian trumpet snails so you don't have to stick your hand in there. For other tank maintenance, I'd just corral them into some huge breeder bin in the tank while I did stuff in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips and places to look for more information. I was definitely going to do more research and try to set up their environment as closely to the natural environment they inhabit. I really got interested in them after watching River Monsters and seeing that guy swim with them. This seems to be another fish with numerous misconceptions. I know most people don't consider them beautiful but I love that glimmer on the sides and the red coloring they have on their bellies. I would feed them live food as part of their diet. I personally think it adds to the quality of life for a predatory species. I won't feed it live exclusively but they'll get the occasional hunt.

I know the timing of the water change is the same but seriously I mean how do you change that MUCH water physically?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,450 Posts
I love River Monsters, too. I was just telling my boyfriend about how misunderstood piranha are and used Jeremy Wade's swim in the pool with them as an example. They're actually a common food item in the amazon despite their fierce reputation. Even the people eat them. Apparently they are pretty good, or so says my ichthyology professor. He did research in the amazon for a year.

I think if you can get a great setup for them, your tank would be the envy of the forum! Most people who keep redbelly don't keep them in proper setups, and their colors get washed out. With diffused light and some tannin staining, I bet you could have some beautiful fish.

As for actually changing that volume of water, it's no problem. I've done changes like that on a 150 gal coldwater community that was housed where I used to work when I was in college. I drained the water from the tank using a massive python siphon connected to a hose (larger than the one I have for my 50 gallon). I then refilled a 60 gallon drum and treated the water there before draining the drum into the sump and having the pump push the water back into the tank. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. You personally don't move too much water; you get the hoses to do it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
I think the thing about feeder fish is you should raise your own, I think they can introduce disease to the fish since they're always treated so bad.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
I saw some near my house in a shop,they kept plecs and suckers with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,948 Posts
I do a 50% water change on my 48g once a week. It's not too bad, just time consuming to run back and worth with my bucket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
Red bell piranha Are illegal is some state.
If so then the next closest looking fish is the pacu
Yeah piranha tank smells.
If your going to keep it inside and feed it live food.
Good luck
If your going big on the tank
Build a slump system
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
Except pacu grow way bigger and need humongous custom built tanks. So bad idea.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,249 Posts
I watch a guy on YouTube, Dustinsfishtanks, he had piranhas. He said he thought they would be cool, but got really boring. He said they were super afraid of people don't know if you can get them to become less shy.

For live food, definitely raise what ever you feed on your own. Fish stores mistreated feeders even more than other fish, so feeding a fish like that will eventually lead to disease. What would you feed them anyways? I agree though, no putting it on YouTube,"piranhas eat mouse" such messed up. I know they gotta eat...

Build or buy a sump, building would be way cheaper and there are lots of videos on YouTube showing how.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Hate to burst the bubble but you might want to look at this..

NORTH CAROLINA
Possession of Certain Fishes 15a ncac 10c .0211
It is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess or sell any live individuals of piranha.


taken from here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
I've think more then half of the state are illegal it own one.
Since they can survive in lakes
Piranha are scare fish.
They don't do well in tanks.
All they do is hide.
I've never seen a piranha attack another fish while looking at them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
...They don't do well in tanks.
All they do is hide. I've never seen a piranha attack another fish while looking at them

That is why I want to try it. I have a guy that I met at a LFS that has them. Next visit I'm definitely asking more questions. My main goal with this isn't to just say "Oh I have piranha." Other than a close circle of friends and the internet would be the only entities that would know about the fish. The goal is to raise full colored healthy bold Piranha. This is possible from what I understand on many of the Piranha forums. I understand one key of it is to get juveniles and put them in a high traffic area so they grow accustom to human presence. Most people put 2-5 in bare tanks and think "OMG KILLER FISH let's feed it..." It doesn't quite work that way you have to consider most of these fish are wild caught from large schools and shipped in. So it's not like that are accustomed to tank life with 2-5 buddies. Even if you get them as juveniles you may never get them accustomed to tank life. The chances do go up with having a bigger school for their boldness to shine through because they are a schooling fish and some of that comes from strength in numbers. Right now I don't have the time to tempt this due to school or the space to take this on, but it will be my first monster tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
It's up to you.
I've seen tank breed piranha, not much different.
They don't get bright in color until breeding season.
Out of season the just look like a pacu with teeth sticking out.
Down fall in keeping a group.
When the fish is 2 year in age or hand size.
They will start to breed.
They do get aggressive toward each other.
You'll have a lot of injury fish
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top