Red Bellied Piranha
Behaviour Peaceful, predatory, nippy, timid
Typical size 30cm
Max size 40cm
Tank Area Middle
Min Tank Size 150cm
Min Number 4
Temp Min: 22℃ Max: 28℃
Feeding Pellet, frozen, live foods, meaty foods
pH Range 6-8
Hardness vs,s,m,h
Red Bellied Piranha Pygocentrus nattereri
  • Red Bellied Piranha Pygocentrus nattereri - thumbnail
  • Red Bellied Piranha Pygocentrus nattereri - thumbnail

Red Bellied Piranha

Pygocentrus nattereri

It is unfortunate that the interest in these fish often stems from their 'bloodthirsty' reputation, and if this is a person's main drive to keep these fish, then that person is not fit to keep any fish. In the wild, shoals of hundreds can cause severe damage to animals if they are hungry, and can literally remove every trace of flesh within minutes. In the aquarium and in smaller numbers, the story is very different. Piranhas in general are actually a relatively peaceful, timid, and slow moving fish which are easily frightened and rarely aggressive, although they may occasionally take bites from other fish. Providing they are well cared for, they can be kept with other large hardy fish such as barbs, large characins, and peaceful cichlids. In fact, in a list of dangerous common aquarium fish, including marine species, the Piranha would not even make the top ten. A large aquarium is required to keep a small group of these fish, which should be provided with cover amongst wood and/or subdued lighting. Most plants will be eaten although some hardy varieties may be left alone.

Due to its unusual combination of being picked on by aggressive fish, annoyed by over-active fish, and unpredictable nature to bite, Piranhas are excluded from the Compatibility Checker

This fish is excluded from the Compatibility Checker as it is unsuitable for community aquariums or may require expert care.

Family Characidae (Characins) | Synonyms Pygocentrus nattereri, P. altus, P. stigmaterythraeus, Rooseveltiella nattereri, Serrasalmo pirahna | Other names Red Piranha, Piranha, Redbelly Piranha | Origin South America; Amazon River basin | Breeding Nester, Male protects the eggs and nest site | Natural Water Conditions pH 5-7.5, medium | Natural Habitat Open rivers, flood plains, pools | Sexing Mature males are a gold-silver colour with a more pronounced red area, females are more yellow

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