View Full Version : red belly piranha questions

03-16-2010, 04:38 AM
Okay,so I was thinking of keeping 5 or 6 red belly piranhas,I have a 65 gallon tank but I plan on getting a bigger tank within the year. Okay so my first question would be, is I have a 10 gallon sump that I'm basically compleate with, just on the testing phase. Do you think I should maybe add a canister filter also? And would it be okay to use plastic plants instead of useing real ones? Aaaannnddd any other tips I should know? And what size power head shud I use? Thanks for all your help

03-16-2010, 04:41 AM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!
Here is a link with some info.

I think they would tear apart most plants plastic or live.

03-16-2010, 06:03 AM
If you got dime sized baby reds...they would probably be alright in the 65G tank for 6-8months tops. Once the fish hit about 5-6" they will demand more space. I would definatly pile on extra filtration....more the better. Powerheads do make them feel more comfortable...doesnt need to be anything crazy...a Koralia 1 would do fine with the circulation you will have from the sump and canister. And yeah they will take chunks out of plastic plants as well...honestly youd be better off with some floating live plants like dwarf water lettuce, it will spread faster than the piranhas destroy it...they will also appreciate the shelter the trailing roots of adult lettuce plants provide. Keep your lighting very dim, some leaf litter and branchy driftwood would be nice as well. Its also important to not start young piranha on live feeder fish, feeder fish offer next to no nutrition and are very prone to introducing disease into the tank. Train them to eat raw seafood, frozen fish food and dried fish food.

03-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Ive kept both red and black belly snappers.

first of all the shoal size is good, the filtraion needs to be very efficient at least double the capacity of the tank.

A sump would be fine of that size as long as it has good water movement through it. Filtration in the sum p should be Peat or similar engineered equivalent, bio-balls and lots of small ceramic media. (The rough kind is better than the smooth kind for this kind of filtratrion.)

Lights need to be diffused for this tank and lots of bogwood root structures would make them feel very much at home. Floating plants are a great addition an a soft sandbed is needed rather than rough gravel. Territoriality is a big thing with all RB's and deont be surprised when you get them you lose a couple or so due to nipping, heirachy order disputes, and weakest member issues. Once the find a weak link in the shoal, its over... So id personally invest in about 8-9 or so with a view of losing around 2 during the maturation process.

Tank has to be fully matured, and what i'd do is get the tank cycled, chucmk some cheap fish (I used good quality guppies...)in there to build up bacterial strength, then get the RB's as youll have to introduce the shoal all at once and, on a un-matured filtration system, this is bad news. The Rb's will take care of the previous tennants. Dont feel bad, if you want to keep them, this is the best way and it's what they do....

Feed a delicate regimen, dont chuck steaks or red meat and such in there, theyll get obese adn desease prone. Feed like they would in the Basin. " days feed, 1 day off, 2 day feed, 1 days off, 1 days feed, 1 day off, 1 day feed. Feed using beefheart, smelt, bloodworm, some vegetable matter. A general balanced diet.. Twice a day, small amounts are good relative to their size and make sure that the food is process and reputable, dont use wild caught or unknown live foods, they wil introduce pathogesn into your tank.

Tank cleaning. If youre going to get your hand in there. Dont do it on a starve day !!! Dont also corner a RB. It WILL fight its way out and the pack will get involved... Talking from experience....

For all their reputation, the yare nice fish to keep, quite peacefull within themselves, but do require alot of husbandry to keep well. As long as youre prepared to put the work in, youll be rewarded with great looking healthy fish.

Hope this helps


03-17-2010, 02:25 PM
RBP are fairly skittish fish, when I had mine I used a lot of drift wood and dim lighting. More filtration is better with them, but do not have too strong of a current. Add all the fish you are going to get at one time, if you add a few to start, then try to add a couple of more it is likely that the new comers will be eaten, or at least injured. Do not feed feeder fish. Good foods are pieces of fish (just about any fish/seafood you can find at your gorcery store, like salmon, smelt, trout, whiting, cod, catfish ect..) shrimp, clams, mussles, squid, insects and some greens and fruits. You can also feed most frozen foods found at LFS and live blackworms when they are young.