Most of the people who keep fish as pets are confined up to the more regular kind of fish like Goldfish, Oscar, Koi Carps, Anglerfish, Dollars, Parrots fish, Cichlids etc to name a few. But there are fish enthusiasts who have liking for Piranha. Piranhas are mainly found in the Amazon basin. There is a myth that keeping Piranhas as pets in aquariums is dangerous. Yes, they are very aggressive but with a little caution, Piranha can prove to be a good pet.
The most common aquarium Piranha is the red-bellied Piranha, scientifically know as Pygocentrus nattereri. Many fish dealers sell Piranhas and it can be bought fully grown or as juveniles. Always keep 4-6 piranhas as this will help distributing the aggression and help weaker fish to survive. In aquarium, an average Pirahna can grow up to the length of 10-12 inches depending on the size of aquarium and density of fish, but it can grow up to 18 inches in the wild.
The basic requirements include a good big size aquarium so that fish can get enough space to swim and a very good filter system as they are sloppy eaters. Avoid any plastic plants in the aquarium as they may bite it and destroy not only the plants but also hurt themselves.
They get aggressive when they are hungry, so feed them timely to avoid fighting. Feed them live fish as its best for their growth and health. Alternatively, chicken liver and other variety of meats which are rich in protein can be tried. Never feed them with hands and while cleaning the aquarium, make sure you remove all the fish from the tank. Rather call the professional to do the cleaning part.
As far as their tank mates are concerned you don’t have much choice. You can keep Cichlids, Oscars, Tetras, and Pacus. PH levels should be kept between 6.5 – 6.9 and water temperature should be around 80 F. Try to keep ornamentation minimum and lighting dim. With time, you will realise that they are not a difficult fish to keep at all.
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