PLEASE HELP! Red Belly Pirana - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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PLEASE HELP! Red Belly Pirana

Hello I am thinking of buying ONE Red Belly Pirana (like about 4-5" size of fish) could it live in a 20 GL tank and not die because of the tank size?
thank you

Last edited by Clarias; 06-18-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-18-2010, 05:39 PM
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I would say no.

Plus, you really have to check local laws, it's illegal to own a pirahna without a permit in several states.

They're really messy eaters as well...Might be able to keep one alive for a while in a 30+, but logically, you wouldn't want any other fish.

Also, pirahnas aren't really ancient fish, they're pretty closely related to tetras if I remember right...

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Last edited by redchigh; 06-18-2010 at 05:41 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-20-2010, 05:58 AM
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Welcome to TFK! Here's a really good page with lots of information on keeping these fish as pets:

Essentially, since they are a shoaling species that get quite large and are very messy, they need a tank much larger than 20 gallons.

If you're looking for a fish that can live in a 20g tank with an aggressive personality, I suggest getting a cichlid like a jewel cichlid or convict. These fish do fine on their own, will stay small enough to live in a 20g tank permanently, are easier to feed than piranhas (they'll readily accept all types of prepared foods as well as frozen and live foods) and, if you ask me, make much more interesting pets as they're very outgoing and nowhere near as shy as piranhas tend to be.

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post #4 of 4 Old 07-30-2010, 12:25 PM
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I would say not a good idea. I have 6 young ones in a 56 gallon soon to be 125g these are a shoaling fish they really operate best in a group because the group works as one. If you stick just one in a tank feeding him live is a bit more difficult with out the group (it can be done tho). But they appreciate the group.

Also to what everyone says above, they aren't really that messy because you don't have to feed them live food. There are other options and even if fed live food (in a group) they aren't that messy

If you do upgrade tanks and get some here are a few pointers

Obviously make sure your tank has been cycled DO NOT CYCLE IT WITH YOUR PIRANHA they WILL die.

secondly. Piranha don't like change. So don't than a 50% water change once a week EVERY week also don't constantly redecorate your tank or move things around.

third. Don't attempt to "starve" them to see them frenzy over food this is VERY bad for the fish

fourth. feeder goldfish are "ok" for them but only ok. don't live feed them more than 1 or 2 times a week

fifth. If you keep your Piranha well fed they will NOT bite you. I can reach down right beside my group and they dont even bother me a bit.

sixth. (and this is important) Piranha "dart" around a lot VERY quickly and are easily startled, they have a tendency to wedge themselves under a rock or into a plant and get stuck. So make sure you count to be sure you have them all EVERY day.

seventh. Frozen Brine shrimp makes a good feed for these guys. Also they do appreciate a varied diet so make sure you change it up some times. (and believe me you will see a difference in attitude and color)

=) Piranha are an excellent fish, not for beginners but moderate experience is good. Respect this fish and they will respect you (aka not remove your fingers ;) )

Next to goldfish Piranha are said to be the number 1 most mistreated fish. If you get these guys don't do it to impress your friends or because you like to see things get ripped up. Do it because you enjoy fish keeping and will care for them proper.

Good luck to you hope you have learned something and that (if you get them) you enjoy your AWESOME new Piraha!!!
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