How To Take Care of Piranha Fish for Beginners – Piranha is one of the predatory fish that lives in groups. The Serrasalmidae family is still relatives of Pacu fish, Silver Dollars and Tetra fish.
The natural habitat of this fish is along the Amazon river, Brazil, which is also the original habitat of several other endemic predatory fish such as Arapaima gigas.
All over the world, these fish have started many fans, specifically predatory fish lovers. That’s because of the aggressive nature of piranha, as well as cruelty in hunting prey.
The types of piranhas themselves are estimated at 20 to 50 species, although they are still debates.
However, the most commonly preserved species are the Red Belly piranha.
Red Belly piranha have silver base color with a touch of red around the abdomen. The female fish is larger than the male.
Over time, another piranha species on sale in the ornamental fish shop, such as black piranha and wimpel piranha.
Black piranha is considered the most dangerous and deadly species among various species of piranha. In fact, the bite strength can be up to 30 times the weight!
During this time, we hear stories about the ferocity of piranhas, where they’re able to prey on humans. In fact, they’re not as aggressive as the rumors told.
More surprisingly, they prefer to stay away when they meet humans!
However, you still have to be careful when swimming near aquatic plants, because that’s where they hatch their eggs.
So, if anyone approaches, they will consider it a threat, and will likely attack anyone near him.
Where we can see piranha?
Piranha is found in the Amazon Basin, Rio Paraguay, Rio Paraná, and several other river systems in South America.
They live in creeks, shallow waters, and in forest ponds created during the rainy season.
How to Take Care of Piranha Fish
If you intend to keep piranha fish, try reading the How to Take Care of Piranha Fish below, so that later you will know what needs to be prepared and what needs to be done.
Basically, caring for piranhas isn’t hard thing, because they are strong fish. But you can’t do it carelessly. As water creatures, they also need more oxygen and space.
In addition, you also need to pay attention to other things as below:-
1. Water quality
In its natural habitat, this predatory fish inhabits low pH water. But because of the popularity of piranha cultivation, most fish sold in ornamental fish shops have adapted to higher pH and alkalinity water conditions.
A good pH for take care of piranhas in the aquarium ranges from 6.5 to 7.8. While alkalinity is 3 ° and 8 ° or 50 ppm to 140 ppm.
The ideal temperature for take care of piranha fish is about 24 to 27 degrees Celsius or 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, because these fish have been bred, piranha fish can survive at 30 degrees Celsius or 86 degrees Fahrenheit water temperatures.
You can find out the pH, temperature and alkalinity of freshwater using a water test kit that has been sold in many ornamental fish shops.
Unfortunately, like tetra and other silver-colored fish, piranha is quite sensitive to sudden temperature changes and is prone to white spot disease if the water temperature is too low.
In addition, this Amazon fish is also sensitive to certain drugs, so you need expert advice or read the rules for using drugs carefully before using them.
Don’t forget to give him an aerator for fish’s oxygen needs, because you keep it in an aquarium, not in the wild!
2. Change of Water
The majority of ornamental fish kept in aquariums need good water circulation, including piranha. One way is to routinely change water.
Water change can be done once a week by reducing 10% by volume of water and replacing it with fresh tap water.
You can also replace 25% of water, but it’s done with a longer time, twice a month.
Don’t forget before pouring fresh water into the aquarium, settle it overnight and give oxygen.
3. Ideal Size and Aquarium Equipment
Baby Piranha or small size, can be placed in 20 gallons aquarium capacity or with 61.0 x 33.0 x 53.3 cm aquarium dimensions .
As for the adult size should be placed in at least 100 gallons (or more) aquarium with 185.4 x 48.3 x 50.8 cm aquarium dimensions to avoid stress on fish.
The size above is not absolute, because it depends on how much piranha you keep. The key word, bigger aquarium, it’s better to fish!
Surface and Lighting
In addition, it’s a good idea to give the aquarium a dark surface and soft lighting, so that the fish avoid stress and the color is brighter.
To avoid fish jumping from an aquarium, you can give a fish net or aquarium cover.
Usually, fish will jump from the aquarium when they feel threatened and stressed.
In its natural habitat, piranha fish get mild river currents. You can emulate that situation by giving a current to your aquarium.
You don’t need heavy current, just give it mild but stable. The important thing is to provide water movement.
Since this piranha is a greedy fish, it’s likely that this fish will easily pollute the water with food waste.
So, a good quality aquarium filter is also needed in how to take care of piranha fish.
You can use both mechanical and biological filters in the aquarium to make sure the water quality is still OK.
4. Piranha Fish Behavior
Young Piranhas, generally swimming in groups for safety from predators. Experts recommend to keep at least 5 piranhas in the group to avoid cannibalism. These fish can prey on others if they lack food.
Piranha are shy fish, especially if they’re just put into an aquarium. They prefer to hide, rather than attack.
In addition, if they’re alone, they don’t show much aggressiveness, unlike when in groups.
Actually, this fish isn’t as aggressive as we think. But you still have to be careful and not to provoke them, because they can cause a defensive response.
If you keep a large number of groups (piranhas) in an aquarium, you shouldn’t combine them with other types of fish.
Piranha can dominate the aquarium, especially when they’re hungry, any fish in the aquarium can be their appetizer!
Except, if you already know the characteristics of many predator fish and understand what fish can be joined and which are not.
5. Piranha Food
Piranha are omnivorous fish or eat anything. In the wild, piranha eats fish, crustaceans, insects, plants, fruits, nuts and seeds.
If kept in an aquarium, experts suggest to not giving them live carp food. That’s because live fish can transfer the disease and give poor nutrition.
But if you give it occasionally, it doesn’t matter, as long as you give them healthy fish.
Good food for piranhas such as pellets, frozen fish food, fresh meat and hygienic live fish.
It’s important to give variety diet for balanced nutrition and avoid stress on fish.
Portions and How to Feed Piranha
Also pay attention to the portion of piranha food. Don’t give too much food, because if left over, it will contaminate the water.
Give food that can be spent in 2 to 3 minutes, so it doesn’t give too much waste to water.
You can feed piranha about two to three times a day with not excessive portions.
Long Term Considerations
In how to take care of piranha fish, is also important to consider that piranha will grow large, so that a larger aquarium is needed and you’ll spend bunch of budget for routine maintenance.
Think carefully at the beginning before take care of piranha, don’t let your pets starve and not meet their needs!
Well, that’s a short beginners guide of how to take care of Piranha fish in an aquarium and what they need. Hopefully it can be a reference for those of you who want to keep the fish from the Amazon river!