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Newbie to Pirhanas.... few questions

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by -={Nexus}=-, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. -={Nexus}=-

    -={Nexus}=- New Member

    hey all,

    alright so i've harboured a few zebra and gold fish in my 10 gallon tank for about 5 months now.. been pretty succesfull with these guys.....(stole them from my genetics lab :D .... were gonna get euthenaized!) and am ready to move on to the cooler fish... i did a lot of reading on Pirhanas and so far i know:

    1.) 1 red belly pirana / 30 gallon tank. (i plan on buying a 33 gallon)
    2.) feed Beef heart or feeder goldfish
    3.) don't buy live plants cause they'll eat them

    i had a few more things i needed clarified before i begin on my pirhana tank.

    1.) do i need to feed them in a different tank?
    i heard that because of their diet. the water gets too "bloody"?
    2.) how often do red bellies need feeding?
    i read they go on fasting periods....
    3.) what temperature is most suitable for this species of pirhana?
    and finally, because i'm too lazy to do one more search,
    4.) are they fresh or salt water? i'm a little daunted at the idea of taking on a salt water tank as it might be too time consuming and hard to maintain.

    so yah... just to separate fact from fiction in all my readings... any help would be greatly appreciated.

    thnx muchly,


    oh yah... if anyone knows any good pirhana maintenance websites the links would help loads too!

  2. Fishkin

    Fishkin New Member


    First off, anything below a 50 gallon is too small for even 1 red belly piranha. You could manage to squeeze about 1 or 2 red bellies in a 55 gallon. A 75 gallon or larger is the best way to go honeslty. I have 4 red bellies 6 inches each living happily in my 75 gallon. Piranhas get to be about 8-12 inches when adult. Yes, beefheart and feeder fish are excellent for piranhas. You can also try Tetra JumboMin Food Sticks (my piranhas love these more than live fish! :eek: ). Earthworms are happily accepted also. Lets just put it this way... piranhas will eat virtually anything you give them from cheese, carrots, dog/cat food, to any kind of cooked meat or raw meat (mammal meat is not good for them though). So you should only feed them mice, birds, or any other mammal meat as a rare treat. No you do not need to feed them in a different tank since those stories are all fake about the water getting bloody. In all my years of feeding my piranhas live fish, I think about one time I saw an unusual ammount of blood in the water (and that was because they had bitten the gill filaments). The blood lasted only 6 seconds most and either way blood wouldnt pollute the water so you don't have to worry about that one. Juvenile piranha should be fed 2-3 times a day while adults should be fed 1-2 times a day. Piranhas can go an amazingly long time without eating (at least in my experience). Keep the temperature around 75-78 degrees farenheit. The higher the temp (but not too high or too low) the hungrier and more aggressive they will be. Red Belly Piranha (I think almost every piranha actually), is freshwater. They can stand salty water better than others but plain old water will be more than good.
    Other things to keep in mind are that piranha aren't as aggressive as everybody says and may not always eat in front of you (at least at first). Luckily mine are very human friendly (most are). Piranha tanks seem not to be messy but when the gravel is raveled up there is alot of waste to be seen so make sure you do weekly or every other week water changes on the tank. Piranhas in my opinion have ALOT stronger immune systems than most fish and hardly ever catch diseases or die from bad water qualitys which I think is pretty cool (but that doesnt mean you should never clean the tank). Lastly and most important is place the tank somewhere in which there is less light than other rooms because piranahs go absoulutly nuts when you turn on the lights unexpecidly or shine light in their eyes because they have no eyelids and have no cornea (or whatever its called) to block out the light levels. Have fun....
  3. -={Nexus}=-

    -={Nexus}=- New Member

    hey fishkin..

    that helps a lot!


    i'm just unsure of whether to buy live plants or not.

    because dont' they require a pretty strong light to grow? and the fish won't appreciate that... migth get too stressed.

    shoudl that be enough reason to use plastic fish?

  4. Fishkin

    Fishkin New Member

    I would lean more to fake plants. They don't look as nice as live plants of course but sometimes they have more color. I have 4 plastic Amazon Sword Plants in my 75 with the 4 red bellies. In the wild Amazon Sword plants are the most natural plant to them I think. You could also use this plant that is like thing shreds of grass (maybe needlegrass), I don't know?? If you are going to use live plants they are in postion to be eaten by the piranhas if they are curious and as for the light for plants dealing with the piranahs just an idea might be dim out half the light with fake lilly pads that float on the top water but I am not sure if that would still allow enough light for the plants. Anyways, hope that helps.
  5. -={Nexus}=-

    -={Nexus}=- New Member


    that helps loads..

    i'll post some pics when i get all this good stuff in motion. will prolly be in two weeks as i have a crazy asss midterm schedule next week.

    anybody good in immunology wanna write them for me so i can start with my new fish obsession
  6. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    Live plants are alright with the bright light... and as long as your "55 or 75" gallon is planted heavily enough, thier curiosity will go mostly unnoticed... My 55 gal has some of the more common plants such as hornwort and ludwig plant and also some lillys, drift wood as long as its disinfected first (baked) makes great areas for them to hide under escape the intense light... in the amazon they frequently encounter both intense light and shade... having cover for them will settle them down... also I've found that they love crickets, which is a little better than feeder fish because of the risk of disease.
  7. Nathanael

    Nathanael New Member

    I think a 33 gallon tank will be fine. A temperature of 70-80 would be ok. Do not feed them feeder fish! They can carry deseases. I think you could probably have 2 piranhas in a 33 gallon tank but no more. And by the way, piranhas are freshwater. Hope this helps.
  8. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    unless you don't want your fish to be able to turn around I would NOT go with a 33 gallon, 55 min... that way its an inch wider than they will be when they are full grown... and even a 55 is kind of small... 75 is substantially better (which I will be upgrading to once mine hit 8 inches long)
  9. babydoll

    babydoll New Member

    ok i have 4baby red pirhanas and they are in a 20galon tank and they are fine we are gettting a 150 gallon in january but for now they are fine so all this 75 shit well thats all it is shit cuz well if u get them as babys they can be as small as your thumb but if you get them bigger like 4inchs or more then yes a bigger tank for sure mine are growing very fast but but are just fine and can "turn around" just fine lol actualy they are more so in teh corner of my tank during the day lol!! so if you want babys your33 is just fine but you will need a bigger tank in about 2 to 3 months for they do grow fast!
  10. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Please watch your language. Yes, we have a filter, but it shouldn't have to be put into use.

    And yes, smaller tanks are okay for baby fish, but it's much better to start off with a tank that's large enough to house your fish for its entire life. Not everyone wants (or can afford) to upgrade tanks every couple months (one 75 is much cheaper than a 33, 40, 55, and finally a 75). Plus moving fish is stressful for the fish and what happens if suddenly your plans for a larger tank falls through? You'd be stuck with too many large fish suffering and/or trying to kill eachother in a tank that's too small. So yes, baby fish can be kept in a smaller tank, but it is not ideal.

  11. babydoll

    babydoll New Member

    sorry about the language but what says they can aford a 75 right now you telling some one that they should have a 75 right now well you might be ruening there dreams of owning such amazing creachers and im not saying you should up grade every few months im saying if u want to start a tank go for it at 33 glons and thats fine for the time being but ovously you will have to up grade but its not mandatory to up grade right now! and yes it is stress full for the fish i agree its stress full for people to move to lol sorry but i was just saying that haveing a smaller tank to start off in is just fine as but be prepared to up grade in teh future!
  12. Fishfirst

    Fishfirst New Member

    well if they can't afford a 55 or 75 gallon right now... then if they are responsible they shouldn't even consider getting piranhas. A tank like that is a big investment, and might not be able to be made in the future. Also Nexus did not mention any upgrading or plans to upgrade which is why people are warning them...
  13. gravity

    gravity New Member

    uh...I got my 55g tank and stand with heater and filter, hood and lights delivered to my apartment...for $50. Thanks Washington Post classifieds!

    Get the tank BEFORE you get the fish -- it's easier, safer, cheaper, and smarter. Just because you *can* do something doesn't mean that you *should*. If you were getting ready to move to a farm in 6 months, but lived in an apartment until then, would you buy a horse before you moved to the farm?
  14. GodsChld

    GodsChld New Member

    one thing i have learned

    about 4 months ago i knew that fish lived in water and that was about it. This forum has taught me alot and is a wonderful resource. When people on here tell you something most of the time you can take it as fact. The most important thing i feel i have learned is that when caring for fish.....size does matter.....think about this.....would you want to live in a nice 2000 squarefoot house, or in a 300 squarefoot apartment. when you are a baby the 300 squarefoot place might seem like a palace, but as you get older it would be unlivable.....and of course you have to rememebr that if you were a fish you would be pooping where you live, no toilets really ;)........like was said earlier you can DO ANYTHING, but if you really care about these wonderful creatures stop and think about long term and their life before thinking about how badly you want a fish.....plus you should by the tank first becuse it should be cycled......lets not forget that!!

    Happy holidays all!!

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