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Aquarium piranhas are bred by aquarists all over the world. The stories about their bloodthirsty tendencies can be treated with considerable distance. Nevertheless, you need to take appropriate precautions when work on the aquarium requires contact with the animal. Piranhas that are not hungry should pose no threat, but be careful. What does piranha look like and what do you need to know about it? We will answer these questions in our text, in which you will check whether these animals may be dangerous in any way. Read on!
What does piranha look like?
Piranhas are very large fish. In natural conditions, they can grow up to 30 centimeters, and their weight is sometimes as much as 4 kilograms. A distinctive feature of piranhas is its jaw. The animal has a number of sharp teeth. They are large and well visible in the lower jaw, and much smaller but more numerous in the upper jaw. Piranha teeth are adapted to bite and rip apart prey. However, few people know that these animals usually swallow their victims whole.
Piranhas – disposition
Images of piranhas as bloodthirsty, dangerous and very predatory fish dominate in pop culture. In fact, however, they are quite skittish. As a shoal species, they do best in large groups. It is best to keep at least four piranhas in the aquarium.
Aggression, so often associated with this species of fish, only increases in times of hunger. In nature, piranhas are the greatest danger in periods of drought, when the area of water bodies is shrinking and food is scarce. In aquarium conditions, they must be fed well and plentifully. Otherwise, they can attack each other.
Piranhas – precautions
Well-fed piranhas should not be aggressive. Nevertheless, all precautions must be taken when working in an aquarium.
- Always catch fish with the wire mesh.
- You can also wear protective gloves.
Piranha aquarium – requirements
The size of the aquarium for piranhas depends primarily on the size of the animals and how many there are. For young individuals in a small herd, a temporary 300-liter tank is sufficient. When the fish grow up, they will need a tank that is at least two meters long.
An aquarium for piranhas, or what does this animal like the most?
Piranhas like to have plenty of space to swim. They prefer aquariums with a sandy bottom and fairly lush vegetation. The muted lighting of the aquarium will make the fish the most active and most visible.
Piranhas feel best in their own company. Keeping them in a tank with other species of fish is risky and dangerous. Even if the fish stay in harmony for a while, the instincts sometimes make themselves felt and the companion may be eaten.
Piranhas – proper nutrition
Piranhas – nourishment in nature
Piranhas are considered predatory fish. They sometimes kill a much larger victim, but in practice they usually feed on carrion. They can be considered omnivorous fish.
In the wild, piranhas eat other fish – both live and dead. They also do not disdain insects, plant matter, and even small reptiles. In times of hunger, they will also be happy to settle for terrestrial creatures within reach of their teeth. This behavior is the domain of most species, especially the red piranha. Interestingly, the largest piranha in the world (Pygocentrus piraya), however, feeds primarily on plants.
Piranhas – feeding in the aquarium
In aquarium conditions, piranhas should be fed primarily meat. Here are our tips.
- It is best to give them whole fish (together with the head, bones and guts).
- In some, it is necessary to activate the hunting instinct in order for them to start eating. Moving a dead fish in the water surface should encourage the piranha. However, never do this while holding the food with your hand. Special feeding tongs are required.
- The variety can be raw meat (poultry, beef, hearts, giblets, etc.). You can also give plant food once in a while.
Piranhas – reproduction
Piranha breeding in aquarium conditions is quite difficult. Fish should pair up on their own within the herd. When this happens, they move away from the rest of the aquarium inhabitants and dig holes in the bottom of the aquarium, where the female spawns.
How do I control little aquarium piranhas?
The fry hatch after approximately 36 hours. The best solution is to transfer it to a separate tank. After a week, the little fish begin to swim and attack each other. In such a case, it is worth separating the smaller specimens from the smaller ones and feeding them abundantly.
In an oversized aquarium it is difficult to count on willing breeding of fish. You have a much greater chance of fry in large and spacious tanks.
Piranhas are not very popular, but at the same time fascinating aquarium fish. Although the stories of their aggression and great ferocity are sometimes exaggerated, their breeding definitely requires proper precautions.