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this maybe kind of a stupid question, but ive had 3 rbp's for about a month and im still learning alot about this species of fish, especially with the help of you guys. anyways, my question is how big to the teeth really get on these guys? do they literally stick out of the fish's mouth? just curious because ive read talk about people actually cutting the lips off of there fish (i think thats really cruel to do) to make them more meaner looking. i saw a full grown red belly at the lfs and its teeth were pretty big and i was just wandering if my fish will look intimidating like that or was i just imagining the teeth that big. thanks for all your help.
 

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anyways, my question is how big to the teeth really get on these guys?
I have the jaw of a large (over 20 inch S. rhombeus) in my possession (see also Body Parts of Piranha at OPEFE). The largest tooth on this specimen is just a bit over a 1/4 inch. There might be some larger, but not sure as I have never seen it.
 

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i just wondering hastatus in all your years of studing,collecting and studying species have you ever been bit?and what was the worst one?
When I was a young man (about 20 yo), I was moving a single red-belly, P. nattereri (a bit more than 1 1/2 inches TL) from one aquario to another and made the mistake of catching the fish with my hand when it bit through the net, never thinking it was capable of biting bad. It cut a nice 1/2 inch bite hole (but 1/4 in. deep, without successfully removing the flesh, but did require 3 stitches. In those days, I was pretty dumb, even dumber by testing the biting ability of 4 inch TL Pygopristis denticulata just to see if it could remove flesh on my finger. It didn't but never tried it on a larger specimen, nor do I recommend it. I quickly learned that some of this fish (mostly Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus have a very strong musculature of the lower mandable. While going a bit off topic, I read stories of people feeding their piranas by hand and I recall one person telling me their fish was trained and would not bite him. One day it did, taking a nice slice off the tip of his finger.
 

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"Nitro"
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chopper said:
, my question is how big to the teeth really get on these guys? do they literally stick out of the fish's mouth? just curious because ive read talk about people actually cutting the lips off of there fish (i think thats really cruel to do) to make them more meaner looking.
I have some large red belly piranha's and the most I can see it the little tips of the teeth. but If I was to catch one and hold its lip down Im sure they would be prety huge.

I wouldn't cut off thier lips either, Im satified with the way they look just as they are.
 

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nitrofish Posted on Mar 31 2003, 01:08 AM ... I have some large red belly piranha's and the most I can see it the little tips of the teeth. but If I was to catch one and hold its lip down Im sure they would be prety huge.
They would be broader, but not taller since pirana teeth are specialized for the type of meal they eat.
 

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I have an 11in red, was the first one I got . lets just say I bought a new net the other day for moving him to bigger tank. Well he put a big enough hole in it when he locked his jaws that I threw the 7 dollar net away after moving him.
 

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DBROWN said:
Well he put a big enough hole in it when he locked his jaws that I threw the 7 dollar net away after moving him.
i'm in the same boat
..
 

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hastatus said:
nitrofish Posted on Mar 31 2003, 01:08 AM ... I have some large red belly piranha's and the most I can see it the little tips of the teeth. but If I was to catch one and hold its lip down Im sure they would be prety huge.
They would be broader, but not taller since pirana teeth are specialized for the type of meal they eat.
agreed, but broad teeth can still be considered huge, just not long
 

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nitrofish Posted on Mar 31 2003, 07:36 AM.... agreed, but broad teeth can still be considered huge, just not long
Easily checked out. I have a nearly foot long P. piraya and other large P. nattereri. I will do some measuring and do a comparison. Michel Jegu did some of this already and is posted at my web site and the link escapes me right now LOL (see my own web site and I don't even know what's there). I'll post it here.
 
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