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joey'd is da man
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my guide to setting up a piranha aquarium.
you will need:
-A fish tank
-P.H. chemicals
-Aquarium salt
-Filter
-Heater
-Gravel
-airpump & accessories*
-undergravel filter base & uprights*
-Rocks/driftwood*
-Plants*
-A tank stand *
-A polystyrene base plate*
-A hood *
-A light unit *
-Test kits*

* = optional, but recommended.

Obviously the first thing to do when planning to set up a piranha tank is to decide how many piranhas you are going to keep, this will enable you to determine what size tank you will be needing.
Once you have done all this and you have bought all the equipment you are ready to start.
You need to put the tank on the stand, remembering to put in a lair of polystyrene between them to help protect the tank, otherwise you might find cracks in the base of the tank or a gap between the tank and its stand.
Then you might want to add an undergravel filter base & uprights - only if you are using one, I recommend this option with powerheads - and add the gravel, tank decorations, heater and filter - if you didn't go for the undergravel option.
When decorating the tank you should always remember that it in not just a medium for artistic talent, but a home for piranhas, so decorate with plants, rocks, and driftwood ensuring there are plenty of hiding places for the piranhas. The closer it is to their natural habitat - the happier they will be.
When choosing a filter or heater you should always get the one which is designed for the tank size you have, for larger tanks this may require more than one filter or heater - ask at your local fish shop if you are unsure.
Also I would recommend getting a heater with a built-in thermostat, otherwise you will also need to buy a separate thermostat and link it to your heater.
You might also be adding airstones, these will help by adding oxygen into the water and also by ensuring that the waters surface is not stagnant. It is important to remember that if your airpump is going to be situated below the waters height you will need either an anti-siphon loop (a loop in the airline) or a one-way valve to ensure that no water siphons down the airline into your pump.
Now it is time to add the water, you will not have to heat the water first because there are no fish, add 1 teaspoon of salt per 3 gallons of water, and some P.H. chemicals - Piranhas like their water slightly acidic so try to make it around 6.8,-7.0.
Personally I use Proper pH 7.0 from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, it sets the P.H. straight at 7.0 so you don't have to worry.
I find it is best to add the powder and salt to boiled water - it dissolves better.
Now you might have to put the light unit inside the tank hood and place on tank and plug in!
Piranhas are not too fond of bright lights, so when choosing the bulb try to get one of the dimmer kinds.
you also might find it easier with all the plugs to get an Interpet Aquarium Cable-Connector.

Do not add fish until the tank has finished cycling - "when all the Ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are safe" - This may take a couple of weeks.
You should get test kits covering P.H, Nitrites, Nitrates, and Ammonia. alternatively your local fish shop will do these tests for you at a small price, or sometimes even free, and also some dechlorinator for water changes.
You should not change any water for 2 months after setting up, this will allow the vital bacteria build up.

Enjoy your fish!
 

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The ASSMAN
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Nicely done Innes but I would make a couple of changes. First I would scrap the air pump, there is no need for one and I would add a power head instead (with Pygos). I would suggest not messing with the ph, from what I have read it is better to have a stable ph level than an optimal ph level and most who would benefit from this list would not have the skills to manage small ph adjustments. Add a test kit to the list. Aquarium salt should be optional, it is really not needed, I only use it to help with injuries and as a treatment.
These are some of the changes I would make, but I am far from an expert.
 

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joey'd is da man
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have edited it a little from your suggestions.
I believe the P.H is important enough to go in, and if they get the product I reccomended it will be easy to keep it steady - it sets the P.H straight at 7.0.
As for salt - I know some fish need it more than piranhas, but it does help prevent fungus, and it also helps those little nips and scratches that piranhas are constantly getting, so again I left it in.
 

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The ASSMAN
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Like I said, I am no expert. These were just my thoughts.
. I have heard varying things about the proper ph. What is you ph from the tap? Mine is high, I think around 7.5 - 8 I didn't use anything for a year and have had no problems. Recently I started using blackwater extract and it lowers it somewhat, but I like the way I don't have to use anything to dim my lights because the water is a darker color now.
 

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i agree with grosse gurke and there really isnt a need for a nitrite or a nitrate tester becouse the tank should be cycled before the piranhas are added and your should be doing water changes once a week some the nitrite and nitrates will be very little if any(same with the amonnia test kits too)
 

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Here's my thought, and its just that my thought.
I have my red belly p's in a 240g tank. which was the biggest I could get in the room. I have tried to make it as close to the fishs natural habbitat (from what ive read). I have background that raps from the back around the sides of the tank. I have a natural stone gravel in the bottom, thick covering. I have 30 amazon sword plants in various sizes. I have some fake bog wood (plastic). I have a little hut thing I make from slate, black and red. I have alot of bubble bars under the gravel to get the water moving and release carbon dioxide. I have 1460 Gph of filters running to keep the tank clean. I have 2 1000 watt titanuim heaters to keep the temp up. I have power heads to keep from having dead spots. I am still looking for a lower power more natural bulb for my lights. but my lights are on a timer, so they get a full days light and full night moon, with help from a blue green indeglow night light across the room. I make water changes about 3 times a week, of about 20-50% depending on how much they eat. I put aqua salt in the tank once a week. My temp stays at 82F. I feed them about 300 feeders every other day. I clean the tank every week. I have never messed with the Ph or hardness of the water. I leave it alone. They are very happy and very very mean fish. I choosed to have 40 some p's in this tank because of the fact that when in the wild there are so many of them. I wanted to see on they would act. ummm im done
 

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"Nitro"
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5,386 Posts
i have air pumps and a powerhead. I was really disapointed with my powerhead, the piranha's barely know its even there, but I can bet the airation helps at least.
 

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well the point of the power heads was to stop the dead spot on top of the water in the middle of my tank. because of its large size you need to keep the water moving to get air in and let carb out. very important with live plants. it think
 

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joey'd is da man
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
such contrasting opinions - on one hand take stuff out & make it more simple.
and on the other add more detail for the noobs.
I can't make it both more detailed and less detailed at the same time!
Does anyone like it the way it is?
 

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nitrofish said:
i have air pumps and a powerhead. I was really disapointed with my powerhead, the piranha's barely know its even there, but I can bet the airation helps at least.
My reds are as lazy as yours; they all, except one, just hang out at the far end of the current all day. I guess they really don't care wheter it cost me a nice wad of dough, bastards

Funny thing: one of my smaller reds does swim in the current a lot. I guess he's plotting a hostile take-over as soon as he is big enough
 
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