Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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cal1112333 11-10-2008 11:20 PM

Pirhana tank!
So Im setting up a tank for piranhas. I know they theyll graze on real plants and that you CAN keep tank mates, so long as you don't make them too hungry to consider them food. What kind of plants and tankmates would you sudgest? I am a huge fan of getting the animals to do most of my work and would like to get a sand sifting crew as well as an algae crew. Any Ideas? My plan as it stands is to get a pleco or loaches but i dont know how much theyll want to dig through the sand.

What Im most concerned about is the algae control. My standard oto swarm might not be a good idea as theyll become bite sized snacks when the pirhanas grow up.

SinCrisis 11-11-2008 09:12 AM

Where do you live? I thought Pirhanas were illegal...

Bakerman 11-11-2008 09:24 AM

I leave in Pennsylvania, and they are readily sold in pet stores here. My assumption is that they are legal here.

cal1112333 11-11-2008 10:13 AM

I am in Minnesota, and its fully legal. The states in which whey are illegal are states that could support them in the wild, warmer states that have taken the measure against them in other words. My lfs has to order about 5 every week because of the local demand for piranhas.

Kim 11-11-2008 07:36 PM

Hmm..that's interesting. I don't think I'd get them, but hey if you like them go for it! I don't have any suggestions because I really know nothing about pirahanas other than the videos I have seen of them in the wild devouring large animals! Post some pictures when it is set up for sure.

cal1112333 11-12-2008 12:03 AM

Sure thing, they come very very small initially but ill get some of them dominating one of my guppies.

SinCrisis 11-12-2008 01:01 PM

whoa... interesting... What would you feed the piranhas?

cal1112333 11-12-2008 01:49 PM

Im going to feed them enriched beef, the guppies that Id need to get rid of anyway (breeding them on the side) and feeder goldfish.

Back to the question at hand. Can anyone offer suggestions on an algae and sand sifting crew that will be efficient?

iamntbatman 11-12-2008 08:42 PM

For sand sifting, I don't see why Malaysian trumpet snails wouldn't work. They stay hidden under the sand and I don't think piranhas are the world's best snail eaters, anyway.

For algae control, I'd get some fast-growing plants and/or an algae scrubbing brush. Honestly, I've seen a lot of piranha tanks before, and I've just about never seen anyone have long term success with any sort of tankmates. How many fish are you planning on keeping, and in what size tank? A standard 55g will work for perhaps three fish, a 90g would be great for five or six.

cal1112333 11-13-2008 12:37 PM

To be perfectly honest im putting them in a tank thats a little small, only a 45 gallon, I have a 66 gallon canister filter for it. Im getting 3 pirhana that start out at less than 2" and might be getting a 125 within a year that Id move them to.

I also have about 60 lbs of craft sand about 15 lbs more than standard, should I remove some or should the mts keep it sifted well enough? If I were to remove some I could start my crystal cherry tank a bit sooner than planned.

The pirhana are omniverous so if the plants will grow fast enough it wont be a problem Ill get some water lettuce and let it go nuts.

As far as a tank mate, Ive ben considering a blue lobster, I know itll eat anything it can catch but would you be worried about my pirhana? Furthermore would you think the pirhana will eat it? at $40 for the crawfish and $10 each pirhana I would rather not find out the hard way. But keep in mind there will be guppies and goldfish in thetank too, so its about wether or not itll catch the pirhana first or if the feeder fish will be easyier prey. And more importantly, im going to move 3/6 of my freshwater clams to the pirhana tank, will the mts/lobster bother them do you think? The pirhana I would imagine not but considering i got a speeding ticket in route to get the clams theyre a little too expensive for me to toss them into a den of lions.

As far as standard tankmates. Ive read relyable testimonials about tetras being kept with 8-10" pirhana with very few casualties for the 2years it was set up, the trick it seems is to get them young and train them to eat "aggressive fish" pellets. Ive since reconsidered full of fish as mates as the point of the tank is to have the pirhana eat other fish for my enjoyment.

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