Content piranhas in a home aquarium


Red-bellied aquarium piranha - the legend of Amazonia in your aquarium

Common piranha (lat. Pygocentrus nattereri, as well as Natterer's piranha, red-bellied piranha, red piranha) is a fish that has its own history, because it has been kept in aquariums for more than 60 years. This is the most common species of piranhas, which is widely found in nature, especially in the Amazon and Orinoco.

The red-bellied piranha looks luxurious when it becomes sexually mature. The back of its steel color, the rest of the body silver, and the belly, throat, and anal fin bright red. This is one of the largest piranhas, reaching up to 33 cm, although in an aquarium it is usually smaller. In nature, she lives in flocks of 20 individuals, thus, it is easier for them to hunt, but at the same time and not to become the victims themselves. Red piranha is considered the most ferocious of all types of piranhas found in nature.

Although it is not picky in feeding and is quite hardy, it is recommended to keep it only for experienced aquarists. This is really a predatory fish with very sharp teeth. Most aquarist bites happened through carelessness, but still it’s better not to stick your hands into the aquarium once again. In addition, it is very demanding on the quality of water.

Piranha aquarium fish are predatory and certainly not suitable for a role in the general aquarium. They can live alone in an aquarium, but it is better to keep them in a flock. However, even in a formed group, cases of aggression and cannibalism are not uncommon. As a rule, the largest and most dominant fish leads in a flock. She takes the best places and eats first. Any attempt to challenge the current state of affairs ends in a fight or even wounds to an opponent. You can try the content with other large species of its related, for example, with a black pacu, while he is a teenager.
For one piranha, an aquarium of 150 liters is enough, but for the flock one needs a more spacious one. They eat a lot and greedily, leaving behind a lot of waste, and you need a powerful external filter.

Habitat in nature

Predatory piranha vulgaris or Natterer piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri previously, Serrasalmus nattereri and Rooseveltiella nattereri) was first described in 1858 by Kner. There is a huge amount of controversy over the scientific name of piranha, and it is possible that it will change, but at the moment they have settled on P. nattereri.
Piranha is found throughout South America: Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay. He lives in the Amazon, Orinoco, Parana and countless other small rivers.

It lives in rivers, tributaries, small rivers. Also in large lakes, ponds, flooded forests and plains. They hunt in flocks of 20 to 30 individuals. They eat everything that can be eaten: fish, snails, plants, invertebrates, amphibians.


Piranhas grow in size up to 33 cm in length, but this is in nature, and in the aquarium they are much smaller. The normal life expectancy of piranha is about 10 years, but there are cases when they lived and more than 20.

Piranha has a powerful, dense, laterally compressed body. It is very easy to identify them on the head with a massive lower jaw. Add to it a powerful tail and a body covered with scales, and you will get the perfect portrait of a fast, active killer.

Mature piranhas are luxurious in their color. The color of the body may vary, but it is mostly steel or gray, the sides are silvery, and the stomach, throat and anal fin are bright red. Some have a golden sheen on the sides. Juvenile piranhas are more faded, with a silver color.

Content difficulty

Piranha is unpretentious in food and quite simply contained in an aquarium. However, it is not recommended for inexperienced aquarists. They are predatory, they are large, it is better to maintain the aquarium with caution, there were cases when piranhas injured their owners, for example, during transplantation.


In nature, piranhas feed very diversely, most likely not so much - in order to be caught. As a rule, these are fish, mollusks, invertebrates, amphibians, fruits, seeds. But, gathering in flocks of more than a hundred, they can attack large animals, such as a heron or a capybara. Despite the terrible reputation in the nature of the piranha rather scavengers and insect hunters. During the famine, they show aggression in droughts and in large flocks, which are not collected for hunting, but for protection from predators. Only weakened and sick animals become prey of piranhas.

Piranha aquariums eat protein foods - fish, fish fillets, frozen shrimp, squid meat, hearts, earthworms and crawfish, sometimes even live mice. But it is not recommended to feed piranha with mammals, as it is poorly digested by fish and leads to obesity. Consider that there will be a lot of food debris after them, and they rotting can severely poison the water.

Poor Mouse:

Poor fish fillet:

Content with other fish

The question whether piranha can live with other species of fish is perhaps the most controversial. Some say that this is impossible, others successfully contain piranhas with very small fish. Most likely, it all depends on many factors: how large the aquarium, how many plants, the amount of piranhas, their nature, how densely they feed and others. The easiest way to keep a piranha is with large species: a black pacu, singing catfish, plexostomus, and pterigoplichts. The last two get along well with them, as they live in the lower layers, and are protected by bone plates.
You can try other fish, but then how lucky. Some piranhas do not touch anyone for years, others ...

Maintenance and care in the aquarium

Fish aquarium piranha, lives in all layers of water. In an aquarium of 150 liters, you can contain no more than one fish. Considering that it is recommended to keep piranhas in flocks, from 4 individuals, the volume for such a flock is needed from 300 liters and more. Oddly enough, piranhas are shy enough to make them feel more comfortable, they need places in the aquarium where they can hide. It is better to use snags or other decor items, as piranha plants can damage.

The most important thing in the content of piranhas is always clean water. Check the content of ammonia and nitrates weekly with the help of tests, also change the water weekly.

It is important that there was a powerful external filter in the aquarium and there were regular water changes. This is all due to the fact that they are extremely littering during meals, and they eat protein foods that quickly rot. The filter should be rinsed regularly and more often than in other aquariums. The best way to understand when the time has come is again tests. Do not forget that when washing the filter materials, you need to use water from the aquarium!

The most important thing about piranha content (and interesting!) Is to watch. Watch your pets, study, understand and in time you will no longer need to fear for them. All the problems you will see at the stage of generation.

Gender differences

It is extremely difficult to distinguish a female from a male from piranhas. Visually, this can be done only by long-term observations of the behavior, especially before spawning. Males at this time are painted in the most vivid colors, and the female's abdomen is round from the calf.


First of all, the aquarium should be in a quiet place where no one will disturb the fish. Further, the fish must be compatible (long-established school, with a developed hierarchy). For successful spawning, very clean water is needed - a minimum of ammonia and nitrates, ph 6.5–7.5, temperature 28 C, and a large aquarium in which the couple can separate their own territory.

The spawning couple chooses their spawning grounds, which they aggressively guard. The piranhas' coloration darkens, and they begin to build a nest on the bottom, pulling out plants and moving stones. Here, the female marks the spawn, which the male will quickly fertilize. After spawning, the male will guard the spawn and attack everyone who comes close to it.

Caviar orange, proklyunutsya after 2-3 days. A couple of days the larva will feed on the yolk sac, after which it will float. From this moment the fry is deposited in a nursery aquarium. Be careful, the male can even attack the object, protecting the fry.

Already being a fry, piranhas are very greedy to feed. To feed them you need to nautilia Artemia, the first days, and then add flakes, bloodworms, daphnia, etc. Feed the fry often, two or three times a day. Juveniles grow very quickly, already reaching a centimeter in a month.

Can you feed piranha in an aquarium?

Piranha’s small, toothy predator can become a beautiful and original exotic decoration of absolutely any aquarium. However, before you get such an aggressive, but at the same time extremely shy fish, it is necessary to ensure its normal living conditions. Not forgetting to take into account that aquarium piranhas are predatory fish that can inadvertently bite their master or very quickly deal with their neighbor in the aquarium. That is why experts recommend to keep this fish only for professionals and experienced aquarists.

Distinctive features

Piranha fishes belong to the family of ordination ones, from the order of carnelian. Natural habitats are freshwater bodies of the South American continent, but the most common place is the famous Amazon River. In nature, there are a huge number of varieties of piranhas, but only a small subspecies, it is best to keep at home. The most common are: red-bellied aquarium piranhas, moonlight, dwarf and slender piranha or red pacu.

These predatory individuals have a dense body, compressed on the sides of a length of 5 to 15 cm. but in natural conditions, these fish reach 30cm. A characteristic feature inherent only in this type of fish is a massive lower jaw with sharp teeth, which make it fairly easy to cause serious injuries and eat your prey in a matter of seconds.

The color of the young individual is light silver, and the whole body is covered with black specks. But over time, the color of the scales changes and more closely resembles antique silver, varying from dark gray and brilliant. However, with the right content and constant balanced nutrition, the color becomes a beautiful saturated color. Some species may have a golden ebb at the sides and dark streaks at the tip of the tail.

An interesting video about piranhas from the channel "All About Pets".

Basic care requirements

Aquarium piranhas are flock fish, which is why it is better to keep them in flocks, about 10 individuals, but if the volumes allow, more can be done. In that case, when they create their own flock, they cannot, become fearful, and as a result they develop poorly and the life span is significantly shortened. Adults, can live peacefully alone, while they feel quite confident. In addition, they even alone can easily attack not only other large fish living in the aquarium, but also individuals of their own species.

In an aquarium, the water must always be clean, which is why filtration and aeration is the most important requirement for keeping this type of fish. A weekly water change of about 10-15% is also an important condition for good fish development. Also in the aquarium it is necessary to establish the optimum temperature, approximately 26.5 ° C. If the water in the aquarium is constantly cold or, on the contrary, is warm, this can cause a weakening of the immunity of the fish and the occurrence of diseases.

Particular attention should also be paid to decorating the space in which these individuals live. Since it is comfortable and confident, the fish feel in aquariums with dense vegetation. That is why more than 50% of the water area should be equipped with special shelters in the form of caves, houses, koryag and planted with artificial plants. Of course, natural greens will not interfere with piranhas, but with such a delicacy she will quickly finish, because this species eats everything that can be eaten.

Basic rules of nutrition

Piranhas living in aquariums in food unpretentious, but it is important not to overfeed their pets, if possible every day to change their diet and clean up the remnants of food immediately after snacking. The main difference between piranhas from other aquarium fish, is that, having been satiated, they leave from food, and do not pick up the remains of the meal. Therefore, to prevent rotting and rapid water pollution, it is better to clean the rhinestone feed.

And although the content of the piranha is not particularly picky, but to grow beautiful, healthy piranhas, it is worth stocking up on several types of food. For example, small fish, frogs, tadpoles, squids, fish fillets and shrimps. But it is better to refuse meat, since the color of fish dims from such food. In addition to seafood, piranhas periodically need fresh vegetables, such as raw zucchini, potatoes or spinach.

Look at feeding aquarium piranhas.

See also: money fish.

How to keep piranhas: piranhas at home

These fish are famous for their "bloodthirstiness." Terrifying stories about how in seconds a flock of piranhas eats hand to bone, frighten many, and they prefer to start more "friendly" fish. But those who are still not scared and brought such fish to themselves are very pleased. After all, it is not necessary to take care of this type of complex, but they look very impressive and will decorate any apartment.

Of course, given that this species is predatory, then their behavior will be aggressive. Although if these animals will be properly cared for, they will not pose any danger. The piranhas have a tall, flattened body, painted in gray and silver tones, and there is a scattering of specks or spangles throughout the body. When the fish grow older, the color of the piranha changes a little, and its sides turn pink, covered with gold sparkles. If the piranhas change their mood, they turn black, which looks very impressive.

We will understand how to contain piranha. Keep them better not alone, but in groups. For such a group would require a roomy aquarium. It is desirable that it was elongated and its volume was more than 500 liters. In the aquarium itself, you will need to place a few koryag, stones and large bushes of plants. If the aquarium is too small, get ready for increased aggression of piranhas to each other and to large enough fish. Small fish especially piranhas do not care (except when the predator gets hungry).

The water in the aquarium should be kept in proper condition: it must first be clean, its temperature is 24-26 degrees. From time to time it is necessary to change part of the water to fresh, periodically it will be necessary to clean the soil. Aquarium should be equipped with devices for aeration and water filtration.

Piranhas eat any animal food at home. Cut beef meat (lean), beef heart, sea fish rather large pieces. Piranha is not interesting to pick up sliced ​​pieces. Do not give the meat of freshwater fish, with it in the aquarium can get parasites and diseases. When serving pieces, hang them on a string. So it will be easy to remove what will remain uneaten, and the water will not spoil for a long time.

Small piranhas can be fed with bloodworms, shredders. They are sold even in winter. You can give the predator a live feed in the form of frogs and live fish. Some find it advisable to keep in the aquarium "feed" fish, which piranhas will periodically eat up.

Piranhas in the aquarium

Exotic predatory piranha fishes often become an adornment of home aquariums. Subject to certain rules of content, some species of piranha may well live in such conditions. The most common of them are piranha vulgaris, red pack, lunar metinnis and ordinary metinnis.

Content piranhas in a home aquarium

Arrangement of aquarium for piranha and care for them has its own nuances and features. First of all, the right temperature is important - in the range from +25 to + 28 ° С. To maintain it, a thermometer and a water heater must be present in the aquarium. A prolonged decrease in temperature can lead to fish diseases, reduced immunity, heart damage, etc.

Also, the content of piranhas in an aquarium implies constant maintenance of the purity of the water and its saturation with oxygen. To do this, install a filter and compressor for aeration. In addition, about once every 1-2 weeks you need to replace some of the water.

As for the volume of the aquarium, for every 2.5 cm of the body of the fish you need 8 liters of water. Accordingly, the minimum amount of water in the aquarium leaves 100 liters. The lack of space affects the behavior of the inhabitants - piranhas can cripple each other. And since piranhas love to hide, there should be vegetation, snags, houses, caves and other shelters in the aquarium.

What to feed piranha in an aquarium?

In food, piranhas are completely unpretentious. They eat all kinds of live food equally well. The only rule is that they cannot be overfed. It is advisable to feed them once a day, limited to two minutes. A longer feeding time causes the food to sink to the bottom and contaminate the aquarium, which is highly undesirable because it leads to fish diseases.

For piranhas to be healthy in an aquarium, their diet must be varied. It should include shrimp, tadpoles, beef, frozen fish fillet. It is not recommended to feed the piranhas with meat alone, since this causes the scales to darken. Также нежелательно кормить пираний мясом пресноводных рыб, поскольку это приводит к появлению у них паразитов и различных заболеваний.

Молодые пираньи отлично едят мотыля и трубочника. Постепенно, по мере взросления, в их рацион нужно включать рыбу и мясо. And at three months, piranhas can be fully transferred to an adult diet.

Piranhas: description, habitat, species

Probably everyone who begins to engage in aquarism sooner or later want to get into this collection of this exotic inhabitant, able to surprise and amaze anyone who looks at it. And it is to such fish that the world famous piranhas can be attributed. It would seem that having such a sad glory, not everyone will dare to keep them in aquariums, but scientists have proved that only 40% of the representatives of this species are bloodthirsty predators.

Piranha fish appeared in artificial reservoirs not long ago, but they did not immediately gain high popularity among aquarists. And first of all, this was due to their not very positive reputation and lack of knowledge on their breeding and content. This trend lasted about 30 years, but in recent years it began to change for the better. And today you can see these fish in offices, shopping centers and just going to a friend's home.

Living in a natural environment

These fish are found in freshwater bodies of water in South and North America, Mexico and even in Spain. It is worth noting that some species of piranhas were able to adapt in the reservoirs of our country. Separately, we need to emphasize the diversity and diversity of their species, numbering about 1,200 items. Among them, as mentioned above, one can meet both predators and herbivores. But here, as for those who can be kept at home, the choice is not so great. So, these types of piranhas include:

  1. Red Pak.
  2. Ordinary.
  3. Flag.

Consider each of them separately.

Herbivore Piranha Red Paku

Paku red fish, the photo of which can be seen below, is distinguished by its oblate body shape. Also, almost the entire surface of the body is covered with small silver scales. As for the fins located on the chest and abdomen, it is colored in a reddish tint.

The maximum size of an adult individual in natural conditions is 900 mm, and in artificial only 400-600 mm. These fish are also long-lived. So, they live up to 10 years in an Ido 29 aquarium in nature. They feed on both plant food and live food. Sometimes beef meat can be used as food for them, but it should be borne in mind that if it is regularly consumed, such fish can become quite aggressive towards the rest of the inhabitants in the aquarium.

Description of Piranha vulgaris

These fish, photos of which can be seen below, have been found in many artificial reservoirs for over 60 years. And this is not at all surprising, given that representatives of this species are the most frequently encountered in natural conditions. This fish looks incredibly luxurious. But this happens when she becomes sexually mature. So, first of all, it is worth noting its steel color of the back with a body of silver hue. They feed only on food of animal origin, for good reason because they consider it one of the most dangerous representatives of this family. It is also best to keep it only experienced aquarists.

Description Flag or Pennant

As a rule, such fish, photos of which can often be seen in some magazines, live in the basins of the Orinoco, Amazon and Eisquibo rivers. Representatives of this species can boast a gray-green body color and a red belly. Also, as they mature, their dorsal and anal fins are somewhat lengthened, which is why the name of these fish actually appeared.

The maximum size of adults is 150 mm. It is also worth noting that this is a rather aggressive fish, so keeping it in the general aquarium is absolutely not recommended. It should be noted that the highest level of their aggressiveness is observed during stress. To which can be attributed:

  • lack of food;
  • small space;
  • transportation;
  • panic.

As for the conditions in the aquarium, young fish can be kept in small flocks, but as they mature they should be seated separately. In addition, the circulation of water should not be strong. They feed mainly on worms, meat, shrimp. The ideal temperature range is 23-28 degrees with a water hardness up to 15.

Important! During any work in the aquarium with this predator, you should ensure that the fish do not damage the hands.

The behavior of piranhas in the aquarium

Representatives of this family that are contained in an artificial reservoir, as a rule, have a more peaceful nature, unlike their wild relatives. But It is worth noting that most of them are schooling fish. Therefore, keep them in a vessel, recommended in the amount of 8-10 individuals. If this is not done, the piranhas are very difficult to endure loneliness and become more withdrawn and shy, which further seriously affects their further development. You also need to emphasize that these fish are very susceptible to loud sounds, bright objects and even new decorative elements. Sometimes they are so scared of change that they are able to bite their owner.


As for the content of these fish, it has its own characteristics. First of all, it is worth noting their high thermophilicity. That is why in no case should one assume that the temperature of the aquatic environment drops below 25 degrees. Experienced aquarists also recommend purchasing a heater to eliminate even a short-term drop in temperature. If this happens, the piranhas will be subject to various diseases, reduced immune protection and even cardiac arrest.

In addition, it is necessary to constantly monitor the purity of the aqueous medium and its saturation with oxygen. The ideal option would be the placement in the artificial reservoir of the compressor and filter. Also, do not forget to conduct regular water changes.

To create a comfortable environment, you need to select the capacity at the rate of that for 25 mm. the body of an adult representative of this species, it will be enough 8l. water. Therefore, the recommended amount of artificial water should be at least 100l.

Remember that the lack of free space can lead to injury of these fish and cause them aggressive behavior.

If one of the fish is still injured, then it urgently needs to be moved to a separate vessel, as it will be easy prey for their fellows.

Important! It is recommended to place a large number of shelters and vegetation in the aquarium.


Aquarium piranhas in food are quite unpretentious. So, as food for them will suit various types of animal feed. The only thing that needs to be noted is that they are absolutely not recommended to overfeed. Also, it is imperative to destroy all remaining food from an artificial reservoir. They need to feed no more than 1-2 times a day with a duration of no more than 120 seconds.

Important! Proper and balanced nutrition will contribute not only to its rapid development, but also significantly strengthen the immune system.

Experienced aquarists pay attention to the fact that with regular consumption of only meat food it is possible to achieve that the color of the fish will become much dimmer.


Immediately it should be noted that piranha breeds very badly in captivity. Therefore, in order to get their offspring will have to spend both strength and personal time. So, the first thing you need to place an artificial reservoir in a quiet and cozy place. After that, there should move a couple with a long-established hierarchy. It should also be noted that the success of spawning largely depends on the presence in the aquarium of clean and fresh water with a minimum content of nitrates and ammonia. The optimum temperature of the aquatic environment should not be less than 28 degrees.

Next, you need to wait until the selected pair starts building a nest for itself, in which the female will later begin to spawn, which the male fertilizes. As soon as the spawning procedure is completed, the male will guard the nest, and bite everyone who comes close to it. Then, after 2-3 days, the first larva will emerge from the calf, which after another couple of days will become a fry. Once this has happened, all the fry need to be transplanted into a nursery vessel. But it is worth being careful, because the male can attack the object itself, by means of which the transportation process itself will take place.

Did you keep piranhas in the aquarium? What are fed?


Care should be taken when caring for fish. A couple of piranhas need an aquarium with a capacity of 150 liters or more. In small volumes, fish are aggressive to each other and other large fish. Piranha does not pay attention to small fish, so it can be kept together with them, but make sure that the piranhas are not hungry. But it is best to keep the view in a separate spacious aquarium with plants and significant areas for swimming, with good water filtration.
Piranhas can be fed with meat, earthworms, dead fish, bloodworms, and cortex. It is necessary to catch fish with a net from a metal net and be careful, as the piranha's jaws are supplied with sharp teeth. The fish is rather large, therefore plants with a well-developed root system are preferable.

Juveniles Piranha eats ordinary live food for aquarium fish well. Adult predators are no longer regaled with "worms", they need to be fed with meat, squid fillet, sea fish and moss. With river fish, you can bring pathogens to the aquarium, so piranha is fed with cheap aquarium fish: guppies, swordtails, goldfish, rejected by the breeder for ugly appearance. Piranhas are not very agile when hunting and small fast fish are often ignored. Aquarists sometimes get the impression that predators “patiently grow” food to the necessary condition. Alive and dead fish - the best food for piranhas. Dead fish larger than 10 centimeters must be decapitated, gutted and rinsed from fat. Useful and earthworms. Chunks of beef, heart, poultry are spare food. It should be remembered that with abundant meat food piranhas face obesity. It leads, in particular, to the infertility of fish, especially when living in small aquariums. This can be avoided by arranging a discharge day once a week, as well as creating a strong stream of water in the aquarium. However, with poor feeding, piranhas become more aggressive and can attack each other, inflicting and receiving wounds. At the time of feeding, the host simultaneously finds out the state of health of the pets. If the fish do not fight for food, do not actively tear the food, it means that in the conditions of detention something is broken. What exactly caused the deterioration of the state of health of piranhas: whether there is insufficient aeration, whether the water temperature drops or is less than necessary, its replacement - an aquarist should already understand this.
Piranhas in the aquarium. Care, breeding.

Konstantin Shaly

Yes kept all sorts of different. In general, the family of piranya consists of three subfamilies. Herbivorous, fruit-eating (pacu) and piranha proper. Herbivorous (Metinis, Mileusa, etc.) feed on various plants. Predatory pyranias feed mainly on fish in nature when they are lucky with meat. Fruiting eaters eat fruits falling into the water and plants, fruits sometimes are poultry and meat. In captivity, everyone eats the best of modern concentrated fortified foods.

Elena Gabrielyan

I kept and keep 8 pieces in an aquarium now. 600 liters - A sufficiently spacious aquarium from 300 liters and above is needed for keeping Piranhas - they can reach 50 - 60 cm, much smaller in an aquarium - it all depends on the volume of the aquarium. There must be a very powerful aeration and filtration, the water heater is chosen for your volume of the aquarium - the temperature of the content is 24 - 28 C. These fish must first be fed, and only then must be cleaned in the aquarium. You can feed the sliced ​​meat, squid, bloodworm, will not refuse to eat small fish. Quickly get used to the owner, but they can not fully trust them for a few minutes to bite, and the place of bites does not heal for a long time. Very shy, at the slightest scare can faint
(go to the bottom and pretend to be dead), are hammered into the corners of the aquarium. It is desirable to decorate an aquarium only with artificial plants, snags.

stepan novels

Guppies with neons and other non-salacious fish; I have 12 liters of piranha in aqua and another aquarium with golden gupi (about 40 pcs) and this is how they bring offspring to the main offspring. I take fry to the piranha and sit down everything

Tell me, who has experience, is it difficult to keep piranhas in house conditions?

Elena Gabrielyan

You can keep piraniums, but you need a sufficiently spacious aquarium from 300 liters and above - they can reach 50–60 cm in the aquarium can be much smaller - it all depends on the volume of the aquarium. I have an internal JEBO filter of 1400 L / h, the volume of the aquarium is 400 liters, the water heater is adjusted to your volume of the aquarium. the temperature of the content is 24 - 28 C. These fish must first be fed, and only then must be cleaned in an aquarium. You can feed the sliced ​​meat, do not refuse to eat small fish. Quickly get used to the owner, but they can not fully trust them for a few minutes to bite, and the place of bites does not heal for a long time. They are very shy, at the slightest fright they can faint, get hammered into the corners of the aquarium. It is desirable to decorate an aquarium only with artificial plants, snags.