Piranha Fish

Piranha fish have been popularized by TV. They have been shown as merciless attackers. Contrary to popular belief, piranhas do not survive exclusively on live preys. In fact, in their natural habitats of Amazon, Guiana and Paraguayan basins in South America they are known for cleaning the water of dead animals, that means piranhas eat dead animals so that the water is not contaminated by decaying animal flesh. It is also a fact that piranhas attack aggressively only when they are hungry.

The negative publicity of piranhas has given rise to curiosity about them. This has led to a huge demand for piranhas as pets. This is despite the fact that it is illegal to keep piranhas as pets in some of the states in the US. In many parts of the US, demand for piranhas exceeds the demand for other fishes as pets. This is so because piranhas come in so many colors and shapes and because they live longer in the aquarium as compared to other pet fish. If kept well, piranhas can live for 10-15 years in captivity.

Some facts and tips about Piranha Fish:

The variety and size: More than 70 different varieties of Piranhas have been identified so far and more species that are new are identified quite often. The most well known species of piranhas is the Red Belly piranha, which is also the most popular species of piranhas as pets. Piranhas are usually 6-12 inches long, some of them can also grow up to 2 feet.

The food: Piranhas are not very fussy about food. You can feed them with beef, pellets, chicken, small insects, fish flakes or just anything that fishes are known to eat. Some piranhas are vegetarian and eat vegetables like spinach, potatoes, vegetable flakes and even aquarium plants! Some experts say that most piranhas are omnivorous and need both flesh and vegetables in their diet.

The aquarium size: Fully-grown piranhas require 2 gallons of water per inch of their length. Make your own calculations and decide the tank size needed to keep your piranhas. Do not keep too many piranhas in one tank. The minimum tank size should be 25 gallons for piranhas.

The water: Piranhas are fresh water creatures and they produce a lot of excretion waste, so it is very important to change 10-15% of the tank water every week. You must also have a filter that can provide filtration to such a large tank. Many people use more than filter, you too can do that.

The warmth: Piranhas cannot stand very cold temperatures. They should be kept between 24 to 28 degree Celsius or 76 to 83 degree Fahrenheit. You should keep a heater and thermometer to monitor the temperature of your aquarium.

The darkness: Piranhas live in muddy water. Too much exposure to light may be irritable for them. In the beginning, keep the place dark where you have kept them.

The hideouts: Piranha fish like to hide a lot. This may be so because they like to keep themselves away from probable hunters. This does not mean that if you arrange for them to hide in the tank, they will not come out or you will not get to see them often. Make hiding places for them in more than half of the area of your tank.

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