Piranha feeding

ojdgtjc

I am currently cycling a 55 gallon tank, and I would think a single red bellied piranha would be fine for the tank. the one thing is, the feeding. I don't have the time or the money to buy tilapia for it, or buy live fish for it, do they eat pellets? if so, what kind of pellets? would it be hikarI gold? thanx


OJ
 

Morpheus1967

Are piranha available where you live? I know a lot of states outlaw them, mostly southern states, to keep folks from releasing them into the wild.

Yes, they can eat pellets as part of a varied diet. A quick Google search can give you some examples.
 

Fishcat

Massachusetts bans ‘em too. I think a 55 might be small for them, though, and I believe in general they’re kept in groups.
 

ojdgtjc

Are piranha available where you live? I know a lot of states outlaw them, mostly southern states, to keep folks from releasing them into the wild.

Yes, they can eat pellets as part of a varied diet. A quick Google search can give you some examples.
I live in wisconsin where they are legal. they sell them at some stores around here

piranhas are loosely schooling fish which in the wild, some are solitary. 40 gallon is a minimum, but a 55 would be more comfortable for one.
 

SixThreeOh

Piranha are skittish as is. I wouldn't keep one by itself.
 

MacZ

Looong ago I looked after the piranha of a friend for some time.

Generally piranha (or better: what people associate with that name) are strikt carnivores and actually several different species. Pacu are close relatives and the juveniles mimic piranha coloring to avoid predation by actual piranha. So take a good look when you get one, could be a young pacu and they grow enormous within short periods of time.

There are schooling piranha and solitary species. If you e.g. get a red-belly, they are schooling fish. To keep them alone is in my opinion begging for accidents to happen. It may stress out permanently and turn aggressive (again, they are quite timid by nature). In a group they are more likely to not become aggressive, though still very skittish.

Foodwise... I can't stress it enough: They need more than just dry foods. Pellets are ok as an additive, when you only can get your hands on one type of frozen/fresh food (like only herring for example). Don't use feeder fish, they are ineffective as nutrient sources and often diseased, you don't want that in your tank. But it also doesn't have to be tilapia. You can feed shrimp, clams (without the shell), different kinds of fish (tipp: Ask for leftovers at a fish market or fishmonger or even the foodfish-department in a bigger super market. Heads, tails, other cuts humans don't want to eat. With bones and skin and everything (maybe no innerts, that's just messy), that's more nutritious than just a tilapia filet. You rarely pay more than maybe 5 bucks for a bucket of fish scraps. Just ask them beforehand to keep the stuff cooled. Piranha can handle half rotten carrion in the wild, but in a closed system you may want to pevent to many possible diseases. If you want to make sure it can't get sick, ask for saltwater fish, there are less diseases it could contract from them. At home freeze it in portions and thaw as needed. Don't microwave it. Just thaw it naturally and clean it with hot water (dechlorinated, please.). Then you hold it in the tank and wiggle it a bit until it has taken 1-2 bites. then drop it in and enjoy the show.).
Juveniles should be offered food twice a day, but once should be enough. The older they get, the less often you should feed. Fully grown red-bellies are usually only fed 2-3 times a week. And always remove the leftovers when the frenzy is over. They can be messy eaters, but normally they take quite clean bites. Depends on the size of the food.

Maybe start with a solitary species and go to classical red-bellies when you can upgrade to a tank of more than 120gal. In general I wouldn't even keep a solitary species in a smaller tank than that, because most can grow quite large, tbh.
 

chromedome52

An occasional bite size piece of orange or grapefruit will be appreciated, as well. Just because they are predators doesn't mean they can't appreciate an occasional bit of fruit.

I always liked to feed mine bugs, like crickets or mealworms. White/Grindal Worms are good when they're small. The idea that feeder fish are often diseased is highly dependent on where you get them. Goldfish as feeders are known to be nutritionally lacking, but minnows (I collected my own) are not so bad. However, I still would not depend too heavily on fish. If you can get them to take a good quality pellet, that will be more balanced. The frozen stuff will work, too. Mine readily ate thawed frozen Brine Shrimp.
 

jinjerJOSH22

My LFS has about 10 Red Bellied in a 7 ft tank, I wouldn't do it in a 55 they grow large.
 

ojdgtjc

ok thanks guys for the info
 

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