I have a red bellied piranha that is now approx. 4 inches. He was at most 3/4" when I first got him, about 3 months ago. I take a picture once a month to show rate of growth. He is in a 55 gallon tank with no lighting, just natural light from across room. Tank is kept at 82 degrees. I have taught him that in order to eat he must come to a certain area of the tank. He never hides and follows us back and forth. The dogs to! I have no mess from food because I break off mouth size pieces of whatever meal and feed one at a time till he is full. He is still getting 3 meals a day. He gets salmon, shrimp, prawn, mealworms, earthworms, scallops, sole and any other white meat fish I can think of. Tuna too. I get everything from the sea food section of our food store. I make sure everything has been previously frozen to avoid any diseases. The prawn I get from the petstore. He lives with my 8 inch pleco peacefully (so far).
In India, we face no problems getting piranhas. We have one dozen red bellies in a 5X2 feet, that is 650 liters of water in the aquarium. They are eating only Goat mutton. Occasionally we introduce beef but they liked to eat goat. The fish are very shy. Sometimes they strike the water with violent force. We are fascinated by stories of their carnivorous nature. Astonishingly, I found these are comparable with any other fish regarding discipline. Any one can easily adopt this fish if they have a big tank and enthusiasm.
I have 6 Red Belly Piranhas in a 100 gallon tank, the largest one is around 10". They are aggressive only during feeding time and if they see a new fish being introduced (which is devoured in a couple of hours). Otherwise, they are very skittish and freak out very easily. They don't like bright lights and are very active when the room is dark and empty. They require a lot of water changes, as I feed them meat / fish 2-3 times a week. My piranhas are pretty large and will not recognise pellets or flakes as food anymore. The only fish that has survived with them is a medium sized common pleco, all others have become meals for the piranhas. A very interesting and rewarding fish to have!
I have to disagree with some of the info given above. The piranha is not a VERY dangerous fish. It just takes common sense when caring for one. My hands are in the tank alot. I just always feed previously. They want to avoid you. They will bite if scared or starving. Also, they can be bred in captivity. And, as far as feeding goes, flakes and pellets should NOT be their primary source of nutrition. It is a great supplemental food. But they shoud get variety, white fish meats, worms, etc. I also meant to add, live foods shoud be quarantined due to diseases. Gold fish are also growth inhibiting.
I have 4 red bellies, they are in a 55 gallon tank with a bottom feeder and about 20 small gold fish at a time. I have an extra large filter to keep up with their eating. They are all about 6-7 inches long and are very aggressive and they don't bite my hand but they eat what ever they can. They are only about 4 or 5 months old and I love having them. I also keep a tiger osar in the tank with them and they get along like brothers, never had any trouble.
I have two juvenile red bellies in a 30 gallon that are growing very nicely! Black and white gravel really compliments their color. No doubt about feeding them live fish only as a treat, because that can become expensive. Test that pH often.
|From: Eric Schuh
I have six red-bellied piranhas in a 55 gallon tank and they get along well with the red-tailed shark. We feed ours about 1 goldfish each, every 2-3 days. I heard that feeder goldfish are not good for piranhas. Is this true? If it is what else can I feed them?
|The feeder goldfish can bring in disease if they are not put into a quarantine tank and monitored for several weeks before feeding them to your fish. Too much of the same thing for every meal is not a good thing for most species. Try to vary their diet with a high quality pellet food and supplement (feed less often) with the live foods.|
|From: Rajesh Plakkat
Keep small feeder fish like small gold fishes or guppies in large numbers to minimize agression among piranhas cause they always keep an eye on other tiny other fishes which they can't catch easily. Give them shade by placing wood pieces or stones so they can have more places to hide.
Author : Mike FishLore
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