Piranhas are a family of extremely aggressive freshwater fish made up of more than 30 sub-species. They are characterized by two rows of extremely sharp, triangular shaped teeth which are tightly packed in both jaws. Most species of piranha are fierce predators and some species like the Red Bellied Piranha are known to attack in schools and strip away the flesh from the bodies of large mammals within a matter of seconds.
It is important to remember that it is illegal in many parts of the world, including the United States, to buy, sell or raise most species of piranhas.
Piranhas are a family of extremely aggressive freshwater fish made up of more than 30 sub-species.
Piranhas originate from the rivers of South America.
Piranhas are typically colored in shades of red, blue, green, brown, silver or black.
Maintenance and care
Piranhas are heavy eaters and thus produce an extremely large amount of waste. For this reason it is important to ensure that the aquarium has adequate filtration and also that water changes are carried out every week.
Most species are omnivores, but show a strong predilection towards meat. Piranhas thrive on live foods and it is virtually impossible to get piranhas to accept most flake based foods. They also accept some frozen foods like chopped beef hear and will occasionally accept fresh vegetables.
Although commonly thought of as a schooling species of fish, research has shown that piranhas only school as a means of protection from larger species of fish that prey on them.
Breeding piranha is extremely difficult in the home aquarium and requires an extremely large tank. In addition to sufficient nutrition and healthy water conditions, regular water changes and a gradual increase in temperature is also believed to stimulate spawning. Piranhas usually spawn on a peat substrate and the males are fiercely protective of their eggs. Once spawning is complete, the male will also start attacking the female and she should be promptly removed from the breeding tank.
Black Shoulder Piranha, Red Bellied Piranha, Blacktail Piranha, Black Piranha, etc.
Photo credit: Gregory Moine/Wikimedia; Ltshears/Wikimedia
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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