The Tropical Tank Homepage
Article Library Fish Index Tank Setups Forum Links
Fish Index:
Misc FW
A-Z list by
Common name
A-Z list by
Scientific name

What's New:

What's New in the Fish Index

Three new Puffer profiles.

All Updates

Site Map
About this site
Find The Tropical Tank on Facebook Follow The Tropical Tank on Twitter

Enjoyed this site?
Vote for it and
visit other ranked
aquarium sites...


Red-Bellied Piranha

Picture of Red-Bellied Piranha Picture of young Red-Bellied Piranha

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.
Temperature:24-27oC (75-81oF)
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.
Comments: 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.



[Home] [Article Library] [Fish Index] [Tank Setups] [Forum] [Site Map]

The Tropical Tank Copyright © 2000-2020 Sean Evans This website was last updated on 26th September 2020