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Aquarium Ninja
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It has come to my attention after reading a couple of threads that pet stores have been selling pacu's labelled as piranhas,most likely sold as a pygocentrus nattereri(red bellied piranha or red breasted).

So here is a comparison between the Red Belly Pacu and Red Belly Piranha for everyone who is new to the piranha hobby so he/she will not mistake buying a pacu thinking its a piranha, and thus being dissappointed.

Red Belly Pacu;




Red Belly Piranha




Both pictures at the top depict the juvinile pacu and the juvinile piranha,which are both similar in appearence.And you can see how most people make the mistake,however.there is a quick and simple I.D you can do at the pet store before making the purchase.

So now your asking yourself at your lps, is this an RB piranha or really just an RB pacu..and here is how you can I.D,simply by just looking at the jaw structure.
Pacu's have a beak like mouth where both top and bottom lip meet at the same point,where as piranha's have an underbite,this is cause by the bottom lip being larger and longer than the top,also you can I.D the both between different characteristics in the tail,the piranha's with black/white,and the pacu's with white/black,and you can also tell the difference between the eyes.The pacu's being parrelell directly to the beak(mouth)while the piranhas is slightly above.

If you come up with one of those characteristics you can be 100% sure that its either a pacu or piranha(whatever your observation was)
 

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there's a difference in the tail too....

pacu's have a white/black tail, while RBP's have a black/white/black tail.
 

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Aquarium Ninja
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bloodbelly said:
there's a difference in the tail too....

pacu's have a white/black tail, while RBP's have a black/white/black tail.
if Xenon decides to pinn this he can add this too
 

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DOC#003162
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good article add a clearer picture of a red piranha and i think you got a winner

it would be cool to find a close up profile of the two ill look around and see if i can find something to add
 

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Aquarium Ninja
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NTcaribe said:
Bloodbelly said:
there's a difference in the tail too....

pacu's have a white/black tail, while RBP's have a black/white/black tail.
if Xenon decides to pinn this he can add this too
actually i think i might edit this in to it..thanks for pointing that out
 

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Aquarium Ninja
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mr.freez said:
good article add a clearer picture of a red piranha and i think you got a winner

it would be cool to find a close up profile of the two ill look around and see if i can find something to add
alright cool
 

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I usually just ask myself "Does this fish look retarted?" and if the answers yes, then it's a Pacu


But seriously, thats good info and should help people with questions
 

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NTcaribe said:
NTcaribe said:
Bloodbelly said:
there's a difference in the tail too....

pacu's have a white/black tail, while RBP's have a black/white/black tail.
if Xenon decides to pinn this he can add this too
actually i think i might edit this in to it..thanks for pointing that out
Edit it into it. I am having Judazzz turn this into an article. Thanks!
 

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DOC#003162
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not quite what i wanted but it was the best i could do heres the best profile i could find


and heres a fry, about 2 inches long i imagine this is whats in most fish shops



heres a juvy red belly piranha looks about 2 inches



pygo a little older

 

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acidWarp said:
I usually just ask myself "Does this fish look retarted?" and if the answers yes, then it's a Pacu :laugh:


lets hope this thread will stop people getting stitched up.
 

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I was one of the n00bs who recently bought a pacu...

It was at a large chain pet store, with highschool kids working the fish section. Bad enough, but I HAD to have a "piranha".


So it went back after I identified it (pfury rocks btw
)
There where at least 15 little pacus sold over the summer, very few came back. The employees didnt believe me till another guy came in with the same complaint.

There was a fresh batch of pacus in one of the tanks. I hope they go back to the distributer (if the lfs summer student crew dont know the fish, the distributer better dam be sure)


They seemed concerned but made little effort. Supposedly "real"
reds are coming in at 2pm today and they would be happy to give one to me. Im gonna go check it out, and ill see if Ive learned my lesson.

Im moving to Vancouver in a month so Ill probably wait till then to get a real red. Maybe theyll give me some fish chow as compensation...

As for the ppl who say pac's are ugly, at 4-5" they look real nice, the pics here dont do the colors justice (or maybe i just got a good one)


BEWARE THE CORPORATE FISH STORE!!
 

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Oh, SNAP!
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I think the difference is fairly obvious, the pacu looks like a mentally retarded fish and the Ps don't.
 

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I agree with JAC.....
 

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true dat should be pinned ...but it would be nice to have better profile pix
 
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