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Thread: Thinking about getting a pet....

  1. #1

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    I was in a pet one day, we were buying some cod for the pond and I asked the employee, do u have piranha. Replying yes as she pointed out where they were. Looking at them as I talked to myself "goto get one or more." I was wondering does anyone here have them? If so, what r the conditions?

  2. #2

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    Hi. Are you sure they are real pirhana? I have heard that they arent legal in must areas without a permit. Could be a look alike like a pacu, sliverdollar, or even an oscar. Maybe you can check with your finger [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img].....
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  3. #3

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    Hi,

    Red-bellied piranhas are actually not too difficult to keep in terms of water quality. Being South American Characins, they prefer warm (23-27 deg. C), soft and slightly acidic water. But I have bred them in the harder more alkaline tap water of my area. They lived happily for many years.

    Depending on how many fish you get, I would recommend a minimum 80 gallon tank for them. I had 3 in a 140 gallon tank, and IMO, I would have been comfortable adding only one more piranha to that, had I wanted to. Large pieces of drift wood should be added at the ends of the tank to prevent them from smashing into the glass when frightened, which is potentially fatal. Other 'solid' decorations should also be provided to offer shelter areas and reduce stress. Of course piranhas don't eat plants per se, but their teeth are so effective that they will nonetheless shred the plants quickly. Use floating plants if you want live plants in the tank. Their location generally protects them from the fish's teeth. Plastic plants are totally not recommended, since they will also be shredded, and could be eaten by the fish.

    Water changes should be performed often. Due to their diet, they can 'foul' the water even quicker than many other fish their size.

    In my experience, piranha do not need live food. I raised them mostly on fish fillets bought at the grocery store. Mostly I fed them salt water fish such as ocean white fish, cod, and such. I tried on a couple of occasions to feed them fresh water species such as trout, but they were absolutely uninterested in them. It is recommended to occasionally feed them vegetables, since they occasionally eat this in the wild. If your fish accept vegetable fare, peas, zucchini, and slices of apples can be offered once or twice a month.

    Safety is of course a big concern with these fish, rightly. I have found the red-bellied piranha to be an especially cowardly fish, except at breeding time, when they will defend their nest vehemently. But don't let this fool you! Piranha have a strategy when frightened of continually opening and closing their mouths while they flee. Anything that gets between them and where they are going will quickly be shredded! Even when they become accustomed to you, they can still be dangerous in other ways. I had trouble feeding my piranhas because they became over eager, and would rush toward me while I lowered the food. They jumped right out of the water occasionally to grab the food. I had to be swift to avoid injury. I was also fortunate they didn't bust the glass cover of the tank and 'escape' onto the floor. They are just as dangerous out of the water as in.

    While I generally frown on keeping them because of the "gore factor" (And I'm saying this in a CP discussion forum no less!(g)) they can be interesting, personable pets that recognize you and learn your habits. They will destroy any other fish you add to the tank, but beyond this, they are rather gentle in nature, and in fact can become boring to many people. If they still interest you, and you can meet their needs, then by all means get them. But be very careful anytime you go near the tank! :-)

    Take care!

    Chris

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    hmmmm... is it a insect-eating pirhana?

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    Arrow

    Cephalotus88,
    I'm positive that they are piranhas. Their belly was red.

    Drosera,
    What ever happen to them? Thanks for the info. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

  6. #6

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    Eplants,

    Well, I'm rather ashamed of what happened to them. I had them for a good 7 years. They bred 3 or 4 times, but I could never grow the fry. They tended to bury themselves into the gravel and die. Should have done a bare-bottomed tank.

    Anyway, this was quite a while ago. My boyfriend suggested using an outdoor waterhose to help with the water changes. We would fill a large bucket near the tank to treat for the chlorine using the hose, and then fill the tank from it. Using suction, it also quickened removing the water. At the time I had heard that hoses were bad to drink from, and I had assumed it could be bad for the fish too. We weren't on the net at this point, and I had no proof of my assumption. He pressed his case and persuaded me to use it. (Technically, they were his fish, though I of course had to do most of the work(g)) It actually didn't bother them for a long time, a couple of years I think. But the chemicals must have built up, because they became sick one day. No outward visible signs, but when the fish swim in upside down circles, you know something is wrong. By making massive water changes, (using only plastic pails at this point, purely by chance)we almost managed to save them since they got better. We were however still thinking the problem had been a disease, as opposed to the hose, the issue which had long been forgotten. A couple of weeks later, doing a water change with the hose yet again, and they died by the next evening.

    They were fully mature fish, almost a foot in length, with one of the males having a fiery red belly. It was horrible to see, and we both felt guilty afterward. But at least I learned one thing. If I believe something, *he* can no longer persuade me against it! :-)

    In memoriam...

    Chris

  7. #7

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    By the way, if you get some, make sure to gt at least 3-4. They are actually a bit of a schooling fish, and seem to need the company of their own kind. One or 2 alone would probably be stressed.

    Take care!

    Chris

  8. #8

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    Wow Chris... Not to change the topic, but what DON'T you know about?

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