Piranha in aquarium content


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.

Piranha in an aquarium: content, compatibility, video review

Pygocentrus nattereri Piranha in an aquarium

Detachment, family: haratsinovye.

Comfortable water temperature: 24-26 ° C.

Ph: 6,0-7,0.

Aggressiveness: aggressive 100%.

Compatibility: preferably kept separately.

Useful tips: Fish is a legend, a terrifying fish, causing instinctive fear in people. In natural conditions, piranha is really dangerous, but its aquarium relatives adapted are calm and less aggressive. But for some reason people’s fear of this does not disappear. Somehow Pirani Pak started up - the excitement and furor among friends and guests was deafening !!! But no matter how much I tried to convince, no one dared to put his hand in the aquarium: winked:


They are found in rivers and reservoirs of South America. Size 30 cm. And more.

Piranha predators are literally armed to the teeth. Teeth lamellar and sharp as a razor. Piranha's jaws are powerful, an adult can bite a wooden stick as thick as a human finger.

It is worth noting that aquarium piranhas lose their aggressiveness, but retain their formidable appearance. In the aquarium with piranhas, you can safely lower the hand.

In the aquarium, piranhas can get along with other members of the Haracin family. Piranhas are a great aquarium fish, therefore it is better to keep them with a school of 5-8 fish of the same size and age.

The volume of the aquarium should be at least 150 liters.

Comfortable parameters of water for the content: hardness 12-16, pH 6-7, water temperature 24-26 ° C. Aeration and filtration will be useful.

Aquarium is equipped with soil and shelters of snags, large grottoes are large bushes of plants.

In the aquarium, piranhas live long enough for about 10-12 years.

Piranhas are fed with meat, squid fillet or sea fish. I recommend to feed beef heart (not fat, diet, not expensive) - eat with a bang !!!

Especially "cold-blooded owners" feed piranhas with inexpensive aquarium fish: guppes, swordtails, "Goldfish", etc.

Feeding aquarium fish must be correct: balanced, diverse. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses. Article "How and how much to feed aquarium fish" talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.

In this article, we note the most important thing - feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.

Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company "Tetra" - the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking. In the "gastronomic arsenal" of Tetra are included as individual feeds for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, arovan, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry. Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company - here.

It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state - this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.

Popular video about piranhas

Amazonian Piranha - a legend in a home aquarium

Common piranha has many variants of the name - red-bellied, red or Natterer. If you apply one of these names to piranha, you will not go wrong. The first predators appeared in aquariums lovers of exotic more than 65 years ago. They were brought to our country in the middle of the last century from the waters of the Amazon and Orinoco.

It is worth noting that the most beautiful appearance of the aquarium piranha becomes at the time of full puberty. The photo clearly shows the play of colors from the steel back to the silver body and red belly, throat and anal fin. Red-bellied reaches about 30 centimeters in length in the wild and 25 in the aquarium. In their natural environment, they live in flocks. The minimum number of individuals in one group is 20 tails. They are combined to facilitate the search for food. Piranhas are brutal predators, so they choose a victim and attack it in a flock. This species is considered the most ferocious of the inhabitants of the waters of the planet.


Despite the fact that piranhas are not difficult to maintain and are hardy enough, they are best kept by an experienced aquarist. Do not underestimate her sharp fangs and deadly grip. Inexperienced breeders can get to her tooth out of ignorance and negligence. In no case can not put the aquarium with predators low, if you have small children.

Piranhas are not suitable for aquariums with several types of fish. They prefer the company of “their own”, but even there tragic cases are not excluded. If you carefully look at the habits, you can find a leader. He always eats first, takes the best places, shows who is the master in the home aquarium, and, most often, is the largest in size. It is not uncommon that scuffles may occur during clarifications. It is not excluded aggression and cannibalism. The only option with which you can try to settle piranha is a black pacu, provided that the latter has not reached puberty and is considered a teenager.

One piranha will live in an aquarium, but it is better to start several individuals at once. For large fish, you need to choose the right volume of the aquarium. There is about 150 liters of water per individual, the same parameter should be taken into account if you decide to settle several fish in an artificial pond. Piranhas are very voracious, and, as a result, produce a lot of waste, so be careful about the choice of filter and its power. Active killers live in aquariums for at least 10 years, this should be taken into account before the organization of the aquarium.

Water requirements:

  • 150 liters per individual;
  • A large number of shelters;
  • Pure water and daily substitution;
  • Powerful filter with active filter element.

Carefully monitor the behavior of pets and regularly do tests to determine the ammonia content of water.


In their natural environment, these fish eat everything they can catch, so the diet of piranhas is incredibly diverse. It may include other fish, mollusks, various invertebrates, fruits and seeds from the surface, amphibians. Officially confirmed the facts that a flock of more than one hundred individuals can attack large vertebrates, for example, capybaras. More often than not, corpses and insects fall into their teeth. They become aggressive at the moment of famine, drought, constant attacks. The predator chooses sick and weak animals for attack.

Piranhas living in an aquarium enjoy eating such products as:

  • A fish.
  • Shrimp.
  • Squid.
  • Earthworms.
  • A heart.
  • Creeps.
  • Mice.

Novice aquarists sometimes begin to feed fish with mammalian meat, but this is not worth it, as the abundance of such food will inevitably lead to obesity and digestive disorders. In addition, undigested meat will come out and rot, severely polluting aqua.


To distinguish the male from the female will have to try. The only way is observation. The behavior of a piranha in an ordinary aquarium becomes characteristic before spawning. Males become much brighter, as seen in the photo, and the female's body is rounded due to the accumulation of eggs in the abdomen.

To create spawning choose a quiet place. Despite all their aggressiveness, these fish are rather shy. You need to keep only compatible fish that have long been "familiar" and have got accustomed to each other.

Requirements for spawning:

  • Pure water;
  • Stiffness from 6.5 to 7.5;
  • The temperature is about 27-29 degrees;
  • Sufficient volume.

At the beginning of spawning, the pair will find a convenient place for spawning. After that, they aggressively guard the place they like. Now you will notice how the color darkens, and a small nest appears at the bottom. After fertilization takes place, the male will violently protect the clutch from others.

Eggs have a rich orange color. It is already on the third knocks. After that, the larva will lie for a couple more days, and the fry will appear. Now you need to carefully catch the tadpole. Do this with a long handle cage, because the male guarding the clutch can attack any approaching object.

Keep the fry is necessary in the same conditions as adults. From a young age, they show great interest in food. Artemia with the addition of bloodworm and daphnia are best for feeding. First, feeding takes place at least 2 times a day. In a month, the fry will be about one centimeter in size.

Content piranhas in the aquarium. Breeding piranhas

Probably there is not a single person who has not heard anything about the evil piranha fish that inhabit the Amazon River and keep the locals at bay.There are legends about numerous attacks by piranha schools on cows who have come to the Amazon to drink water and on their abilities to gnaw the hand of an inattentive tourist to the bone for a second.

In fact, these stories are greatly exaggerated and almost half of all existing types of piranhas are vegetarians. The real danger to animals living on land, but having frequent contact with water, may be only 4 species of these fish.

Aquarium Piranha

The following species are suitable for keeping piranhas in an aquarium: slender piranha, dwarf, flag and red-bellied piranha, red pacu, ordinary and lunar metinnis.

Aquarium piranhas are rather cowardly, which does not at all correspond to the legends about their wild relatives. They are afraid of sudden movements and blows on the glass, loud noises. Therefore, it is advisable to plant dense vegetation in the aquarium, mainly near its rear wall - this will provide shelter for the fish.

Appearance and characteristics of aquarium piranhas

Externally, the piranhas are not too similar to the formidable predators — it looks like an ordinary, peaceful fish of the carps. But the presence of triangular and razor-sharp teeth makes it dangerous for roommates in the aquarium.

The color of young individuals is unremarkable, mostly it is a narrow range of colors from dark gray to light gray. The silvery inclusions are well distinguished on the main background. The back is usually somewhat darker than the main body of the fish, and the tail is bordered with a black stripe. Growing up, piranhas are completely painted in silver color.

The body is compressed from the sides, has a disc shape. Until puberty, it is almost impossible to distinguish between a male and a female.

Conditions and feeding piranhas

It is possible to call piranium with a big stretch simple fish in maintenance. They require an impressive space - on average one fish should have at least 50 liters of water. Also in the aquarium, you can contain only one species of piranha, otherwise, when sharing another species there, conflicts between them are inevitable.

Piranhas do not tolerate sharp fluctuations in water parameters. Ideally, the water should be clean, slightly acidic, soft, well saturated with oxygen. Water temperature should be in the range of 24-26 ° C. The main ration of piranhas is earthworms, meat, squids, as well as swordtails, guppies and other inexpensive fish. As a spare food can be considered the heart, poultry and beef.

Breeding piranhas

An important condition for fish breeding is the volume of the spawning aquarium - one pair of fish per 300 liters of water. Stimulation of reproduction is achieved by raising the temperature of the water, daily replacement of a quarter of the volume of water in the aquarium and enhanced feeding with live fish.

Having decided to become a piranha breeder, be sure to follow all precautions and restrict children's free access to the aquarium.

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. It is also undesirable to feed piranhas with freshwater fish meat, since this leads to the appearance of parasites and various diseases in them.

Young piranhas are great eating moth and shaker. Gradually, as they grow older, they should include fish and meat in their diet. And at three months, piranhas can be fully transferred to an adult diet.

Aquarium Piranhas

Perhaps only one shark can compete with them in the number of legends and stories in which these fish are mentioned. Therefore, many aquarists, when the opportunity arose, immediately set about trying to keep such terrible and famous creatures at home. How true are all these horrible stories about their cruel temper, and is it so difficult to keep piranha aquarium fish?

Types of aquarium piranhas

We name those species that are most common among fans:

  1. Slender piranha (piranha pike);
  2. Pygmy Piranha;
  3. Lunar Metinnis;
  4. Common Metinnis;
  5. Flag Piranha;
  6. Red paku;
  7. Redfin mile;
  8. Red piranha.

Piranha aquarium content

Outwardly, it is not very similar to a terrible and formidable predator, but sharp teeth can hurt the careless aquarist. In captivity they live from four to fifteen years. It is better to buy in one aquarium individuals of one species and size. Well, if it is a flock of ten individuals. Terrible predators can be afraid of tapping, splashing water or bright light. Water temperature should be kept around 26 degrees. Too large temperature fluctuations affect them. On average, 2.5 cm of the body of an adult individual needs up to eight liters of water. Piranhas feel comfortable in aquariums with dense vegetation and equipped with various decorative shelters.

What to feed aquarium piranha?

For these predatory creatures, tadpoles, small fish, frogs, thawed fish fillets, and shrimps can be excellent food. It is better not to give meat to piranhas, they say that then their coloring can fade. Sometimes, for a change, they can offer chopped green vegetables (spinach, raw potatoes, zucchini). Not all aquarium piranhas are so bloodthirsty, there is also a herbivorous species - pacu. It is similar to the others, but these creatures lack terrible teeth and are not dangerous. They are omnivorous and not very choosy in feed. Aquarium piranhas look beautiful in their glass house, they are not particularly difficult to maintain. Performing simple daily procedures, you can enjoy in an easy chair for their game, presenting yourself on the banks of the Amazon.

Money fish in the home aquarium

Did you know that piranha vegetarians live in our world? It turns out that the most bloodthirsty fish can be safe for humans and even bring him good luck!

Metinis ordinary (silver, Schreimüller, dollar fish, Latin. Metynnis argentus) is a herbivorous fish of the Kharatsin family. It lives in the waters of the Amazon. Unlike piranha (close relative), it is a peaceful and slightly fearful being. It prefers secluded thickets, feeds on algae, although it does not refuse protein food. They have small teeth.

Metinis fish are schooling inhabitants of reservoirs, but they perfectly adapt to the conditions of the aquarium. In the wild, their length reaches 15 centimeters, in captivity, they are slightly less. Do not offend neighbors in the aquarium and are not afraid of larger fish. Due to the perfectly rounded body resembling a silver coin, they were called “fish-thaler”, “fish-mirror”. Absolutely unpretentious in the content, so will please the eye of households, office workers, visitors to the trading rooms.

Appearance and content

The body of the fish is rhomboid, pressed from the sides. The dorsal fin has a crescent shape, the caudal fin is weakly expressed. Metinises have transparent fins, the males have a tail fin with a black outline, and an anal veil fin. In females, anal fin is straight and red. Scales very small, tight to each other, flickering in the light of a bluish-greenish tinge. During the spawning period, the body of the male acquires a reddish-golden color. The eyes of the fish are also silvery, with a black pupil.

It is best to buy several metinises at once, as they are schooling fish who do not like loneliness. They are very active and can live in captivity for more than ten years.

Comfortable content - 2-8 fish in one aquarium. However, be careful with the living creatures that these fish can feed on (the Metinis can stalk small fish and crustaceans). Do not move them together with guppies, neons, frogs, crayfish and shrimps.

Whether the breed of metinis is whimsical in content, is it difficult to contain them? It’s easy if you are an experienced aquarist. If a beginner - start with 2-4 fish. 1 individual requires from 80 to 100 liters of aquarium water. Since these fish are very active, it is advisable to keep the aquarium closed (especially at night) so that they do not accidentally jump out.

Filtration and aeration of the aquarium should be high power, it is desirable to create a small flow using the filter head. 20% (1/5 part) of water should be changed weekly. Metinis feel great at a water temperature of 23-27 ° C, p-h 5-7. Aquarium for fish is decorated with dark soil, stones, snags, synthetic plants or greens with harsh leaves. Avoid plants that are rich in calcium and magnesium. Many metinis plants are eaten, so you need to be careful with them.

Look - silver metiniss look good in a large aquarium.

Nutrition and reproduction

About 70-80% of food of metinis is of plant origin (spinach leaves, lettuce leaves, Brussels sprouts, dried nettle, scalded oatmeal, dandelions, zucchini, etc.). The remaining 20% ​​of the diet - a special feed (containing spirulina) for fish or live food. Before feeding the food (plants) need to pour boiling water.

Reaching the year, the Metinis are ready for reproduction. For spawning, a separate aquarium of 200 liters with soft and slightly acidic water (hardness 4o, rH 6.4-7) is suitable. The temperature is raised to 28-29 ° C.

It is recommended to prepare parents before spawning. They are seated in different aquariums with small-leaved plant food (two weeks before the start of spawning). After transfer to the spawning aquarium, its lighting is gradually increased.

The female throws 300-1000 transparent, non-sticky, yellowish-colored eggs that fall to the bottom of the aquarium or settle on plants. After four days, the larvae appear, which begin to feed in 4-8 days with small plankton, crushed lettuce leaves, and artificial food. They feed young animals several times a day. By 6 months, they become adult fish.

See how these peaceful piranhas deal with shrimp.

After throwing eggs, adult metinis show no interest in caviar, so they can be placed in a common aquarium. And not just because they were called "fish dollar". They will bring joy and prosperity to their owner, while absolutely unpretentious and friendly. This is a real treasure that is available to everyone.

See also: Aquarium piranha - what to feed and with whom to settle?