A wild-caught adult, and juvenile red-bellied piranhas.
Photos taken at Wharf Aquatics
Photos © Sean Evans
|Common name:||Red-Bellied Piranha, Red Piranha, Natterer's Piranha|
|Scientific name:||Pygocentrus nattereri|
|Synonyms:||Serrasalmus nattereri (not valid)|
|Size:||Up to 12" (30cm)|
|Origin:||South America - large areas of the Amazon and its major tributaries.|
|Tank setup:||A large tank with bogwood, and a few robust or plastic plants for decor.
A shoal of adults will require a tank of 100 gallons (450 litres) plus. Heavy-duty filtration is essential.|
|Compatibility:||A highly predatory carnivore, best kept in a shoal in a species tank.|
|Water chemistry:||Fairly soft, acidic water (pH 5.8-6.8) prefered, but not essential, as harder and more alkaline water is well tolerated.|
|Feeding:||Carnivore: Live or dead meaty foods. There is no particular need to feed live fish, as they can easily be weaned onto
thawed mussel, prawn, etc - some even take pellets which can help to provide a varied diet. The use of "feeder fish" carries a strong risk
of introducing disease.|
|Sexing:||No clear sexual differences. Breeding females may appear more robust in shape.|
|Breeding:||Eggs are laid among plants or in a pit in the substrate and defended by the parents.
Hatching takes around 2-3 days.|
This fish is infamous as a highly dangerous carnivore. Although its reputation is somewhat exaggerated, it
is wise to take precautions when carrying out tank maintenance. The fish may actually appear rather timid if kept
in a brightly lit aquarium with little cover.|
This species may be confused with P. cariba, which occurs in the Orinoco river, rather than the Amazon.