Red Belly Pacu

Red Belly Pacu

The Red Bellied Pacu is close related to Piranhas put are unlike their feared cousins vegetarians. They can grow very large and can sometimes reach 30 inches/ 75 cm but they usually don’t reach that size when kept in an aquarium tank. 12 inches / 30 cm is a more common size in aquariums. You should however be prepared that they may grow to their full size when buying a Red Belly Pacu and that you might need to be able to house a very big fish.

Red Belly Pacu fish are not suitable aquarium fish for most aquarist due to their size and the fact that they grow very fast when given the proper care. Red Bellied Pacu is an appreciated food fish which led the Brazilian government to set up a breeding program for the species to replenish the wild population. The project was successful and this has led to Red Belly Pacu becoming the absolutely most common Pacu in the aquarium trade and to Red Belly Pacu being breed for food all around the world. This project also increased the amount of available Red Belly Pacu information and the amount of information about the breeding of the species. Breeding this species demands large ponds or possible very large aquariums and will therefore not be detailed in this Red belly Pacu info sheet.

A Red belly Pacu aquarium tank

Red Belly Pacu does due to their size need large aquariums to thrive. Juveniles should never be kept in aquariums of less then 50 gallons (190 L) and adult fishes should be kept in aquarium of at least 200 gallons (700 L) or even better in an indoor pond (or outdoor if the climate permits). An aquarium for Red Bellied Pacu should be well filtered and kept at a temperature between 78-82ºF (25-28ºC)

Red Belly Pacu will eat any plants that you but in their aquarium so avoid plants in the decoration. Instead decorate the aquarium with large pieces of bogwood among which the Pacu can hide. A few large can also add to the comfort of the fishes and help given the aquarium a more appealing décor.

Other large friendly fishes make suitable companions for adult specimens while young Red Belly Pacu fish prefers to be kept with other Pacu. Suitable species to keep with includes Oscar fish, Arowana, Clown knife fish, and Datnoids.

Feeding Red Belly Pacu

Red Belly Pacu fish accepts most food sources and are very easy to feed. Juvenile Red Belly Pacu does well on a diet of flake food but large specimens require pellets or live food to do well. Their diet should also contain vegetables like salad and broccoli. They do well on a diet of pellets and vegetables so live food isn’t necessary unless you want to try and breed red bellied Pacu.

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