Red Belly Piranha Don’t Like To Eat.

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Jetskid

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hello everyone, so I have three red belly piranhas, two are male one female, they are pretty well full grown, I have a friend with same type and when he feeds them pretty well anything within seconds they attack and eat every last bit. I normally feed mine frozen shrimp or smelt, sometimes the odd goldfish, but when I drop something in they don’t even really bother with it, sometimes if I drop like 3 shrimp in at night, the next morning there will still be one in there. As well as if I feed them feeders, they will sometimes be in there for a couple days, I only feed them every 2 or 3 days, they look very healthy, and also when u do see them eat the female always seems to get chased away and does not seem to get anything to eat, she is significantly smaller as well. Any advice would help. Thank you.
 

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DutchAquarium

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Could parasites be an issue. Look at the fecal matter for them which do sometimes deter eating. You might need to feed your fish with tongs also. Let them chase the food a bit which might trigger a eating response. I also would avoid feeding goldfish. They have a chemical in them which stunts fish growth and causes a shorter life in your fish. Try rosy reds.
 
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Thank you everything looks very clean, I do not think it is parasites or anything, and I have rarely fed them feeders I just wanted to see if putting something live In there would get them going.. so I don’t know. Like I say they look very healthy. Maybe they just aren’t very aggressive lol.
 

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What size tank is it? How often do you do water changes?

Can you list water parameters? pH, temp, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates

Sometimes issues with water quality can affect their health and hunger, so we want to rule that out.

They also get up to 12-20" if they're true red-bellies, so they're not near full grown.
 
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It is about 60 gallons 50” long by 18” wide and 24” high, the ph is around 7.0, water temp is 80 Fahrenheit, and the nitrate is normally around 20-30, nitrite 0, I have pretty hard water normally comes out around 125-150, but I use water conditioner for using tap water with chlorine, I do weekly water changes and change at least 1/3 of water.
 

TexasDomer

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Have you tested for ammonia?

The tank is too small for those fish. They may be stressed by the bright lights, small group, and small tank.

Do you have any other fish in the tank with them?
 
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I never put the light on, had only put on on to take a quick picture, and it is just them and one big pleco that is about 10-12” long. I don’t see on my test strips anything about ammonia, only nitrate, nitrite, hardness, alkalinity and ph, It is a little bigger than 60 gallons if you do the math. And I was told it would be big enough, I have been looking into getting a bigger tank, I what do you think would be a good size for them? I don’t have a lot of room to put like a 200 gallon tank or anything like that. Thanks for your help.

Also I know it is not good to have them in small groups like that, and I wanted to get a couple more, but I was worried about how they would be me introducing two more with them? Especially if they are smaller, or if they were larger than mine? I really don’t know a lot about piranhas, I only took them from someone who was not taking care of them his tank was disgusting and I had my tank just sitting here so I took them.
 

TexasDomer

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Right, the strips don't test for ammonia. I'd get a liquid test kit or else take some of your water to your LFS and ask them to test ammonia for you.

Unfortunately you were given bad information. This tank is not big enough for them, and they do need a huge tank. They will be stunted and stressed if kept in this small tank. The pleco likely also needs a bigger tank - if it's the common pleco, it'll keep growing and outgrow this tank.

You may not want to hear this, but it would be best for the fish to rehome them. You can then stock with fish appropriate for your tank size. We can help you with this, if you're interested.
 
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Thanks. I have another tank with a bunch of angels, and barbs and stuff like that. What size of tank would be the minimum size if I wanted to keep them ? I do like having them, and I have no idea what type of pleco it is. Here is a picture. This is why I want to get a bigger tank as well. Pleco is fairly big.
 

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TexasDomer

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Can you give us more info on the other tank? Size and complete stocking?

The common pleco would need a tank wider than he is long, and I'd go for one 5-6 ft long. Some common plecos can get up to 2 ft, so you'd need a very big tank. They really are better suited for a pond.

If you wanted to keep the piranhas, I'd go with a tank that's at least 6 ft long and at least 2 ft wide (180 gallons), though even that is likely too small for them. A 300 gal would be much better though.
 
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The other tank is 60 gallons as well but it is only 36” long 24” high and 20” wide. There are 6 koi angel fish, 3 cherry barbs, and the other two look kind of like silver dollars but they are something else I can’t remember my wife knows more. And another pleco in there as well. I know for the piranhas I need much longer and wider tank.. going to have to look into it more now...

Here they are
 

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TexasDomer

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You have stocking issues with that tank as well, if you'd like to discuss it.
 
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Sure??? What do you mean by stocking issues? Like what fish I have in there? Thanks
 

TexasDomer

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Yes, the fish you have in there.

6 angels may not work out long term in a 36" tank - I would bet it will not work out, and aggression will become a problem as they grow and become sexually mature.

Cherry barbs should be in bigger groups of their own species.

Can you take pics of the unknown species?

A common pleco will outgrow that tank as well. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a pleco in every tank. They create lots of waste, many grow too big for most tanks, and they're not the good cleaners LFS make them out to be.
 
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I see. The guy I got the angels from bred them and he said just about same size tank and must have had at least 15 full grown in there. Not saying you are wrong just saying. Here is a picture of the one I don’t know what it is, and I didn’t know you don’t need a pleco figured they kept tank cleaner, this one is only a few inches long.

He had the same size tank I meant
 

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TexasDomer

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He was likely growing them out; if that was his permanent set up for adult angels, poor things! I had aggression issues with 4 angels in a 48" tank - keeping 6 adults in a 36" tank is asking for trouble. Adult angels can be aggressive. You can likely get away with it for a time, but I don't think it'll work out long term.

That's a tetra, looks like a peppermint tetra to me. They should also be in larger schools of their own species.

What species of pleco is it then?
 
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Yes that’s right! They are tetras peppermint doesn’t ring a bell. I can ask her when she gets home, I didn’t know they had to be in schools, I knew the barbs did she did have more a couple died not long after she got them. I believe it is a common pleco as well, and actually there are 4 barbs, three of those yellow coloured ones in picture and one cherry barb

Here is a better picture of barbs
 

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TexasDomer

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So the common pleco will outgrow the tank still, even if it's only a few inches now.

Those are not barbs. Can you get a better pic from the side? They look like honey gourami.
 
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Actually sorry you are right they are gouramis, it was only the cherry barbs she had and two died.., last picture is the barb which I’m really not sure if it is a cherry barb, I remember the other two were a lot brighter in colour. And thank you for your help and input Texasdomer! Much appreciated
 

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DutchAquarium

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I can confirm that the fish is a cherry barb. I don't know if it was already stated, but you should have a minimum of six in their. Just a heads up also, your going to want to get rid of the common pleco while he is small. Nobody will take them when they get bigger, and you will be stuck with a big fish.
 
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Thank you, good to know! And I know I already a pleco that is almost a foot long lol. And I doubt I could get rid of it to a better home.
 

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