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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an old post that I wrote a few months back on Pfish. It is a little outdated as far as my piraya size goes (they are now about 6-9"), but the information is still the same as I see it.

As some of you know, I recently introduced a shoal of 15 3-6" piraya into my 350 gallon tank. Although they have only been here since Wednesday, I have already observed some of the most impressive feeding frenzies that I have ever seen by piranha of any species. After having a mixed tank of large piraya and being able to observe the feeding habits of all four pygo species, I have come to the following conclusions.

All species, including reds, feed extremely well in a shoal of at least six or more. In general, the bigger the shoal, the more aggressive and speedy the attack. In defense of the nattereri species in so much as some of the negative posts that I have read about them, I say do not judge them until you observe them in a decent sized shoal. Given a large enough tank to feel secure and not cornered, and with a shoal of at least six but preferably ten, the nattereri species is more than capable of living up to the name piranha.

Now for the caribe. In my observation, normally a more aggressive and speedy attacker than the nattereri when conditions are favorable. However, in my experience the natts are not quite as picky of eaters, and will more readily take different foods other than live feeders much easier than caribe. Still, the caribe seem to be the least affected by foul water and temperature conditions than all the other pygos.

On to the ternetzi. This fish is a glutton. Mine will eat until his sides pop out, even in a tank by himself. They also more readily try new foods, but again not quite as easy as the nattereri. The ternetzi does seem to be a bit sensitive to high temperature, and can tolerate and thrive in colder water much better than the other pygos. This species likes clean water and lots of flow.

Finally, what is obviously my favorite pygo...the piraya. This fish is the most picky of four, in terms of water quality. Clean water with good to excellent perimeters are a must, but they do seem to be able to tolerate warmer temps and continue to thrive a little better than some of the other pygos, especially the ternetzi. The piraya is a beautifully colored fish when given great water, but not quite as thick as the other pygos. However, given his body shape is a little more streamline, the attacks by piraya at feeding time are definitely the swiftest, even more so than the caribe. They are also much more agile than the other pygos when fighting or fleeing. I believe that this may be one of the reasons why many piraya owners have had problems with piraya cannibalism, as their attacks are often simply too fast to successfully avoid that first fatal bite.

Of all the pygos, piraya need the purest water. If and only if they are provided with this, they feed aggressively and with blurring speed. They also have no problem with new foods, and have just as much (if not more) of an appetite as the other pygos with the exception of maybe the ternetzi. I cannot stress enough though that if frequent water changes and dedication to water quality are not possible in your tanks, piraya may disappoint. I believe that this may be one of the main reasons some have observed that their piraya seem to be finicky or not very opportunistic at feeding time (it could also be the lack of adequate shoal size promoting competition), especially if they are kept in a mixed tank with other pygos like caribe which thrive under a wider range of water conditions.

Again, I stress that these are conclusions that I have come to after observing only my own fish, and/or talking to or reading from other piranha owners. I am sure that there are exceptions to these observations, and only by posting our personal experiences can we all learn from a truly scientific standpoint the general rules which govern how each species differ. If you have had a vastly different experience with your pygos, please post those differences. If your experiences concur with mine, please post that as well. It is really the only way we can truly learn more, since many of the experts that write the books we read on our fish are not really piranha owners.
 

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a 350 gallon tank, is that a ten foot tank, long I mean. I have a large group of RBP's and yes they are alot more aggressive do to the large number 41. I very well do enjoy watching these fish eat, but more so just watching them at all. I do not like having only a small number of fish, and have also found the bigger the number the move active and aggressive.
 

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joey'd is da man
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nice post, but again I think it should be in the tutorials, or saved topics section.
 

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These will be put into the Saved Topics section once I get around to making it and starting to move things....Awesome post Knife!
 

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Death is fair to everyone.
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I am interested in a small schoel of piraya.
Did ya get em from oliver?
And also what is the growth rate of your schoel.
I probably only go with 6. I have bought a 220 gal. And I have a piraya now and he seems relentless in letting all the others (cariba's) That he's the man.
No real probs though.
I Earlier wanted 10 but i have been reading some of your posts
and i think maybe with the tank size and aggression of these guys. That 6 whould be better. They're in a 90 now. And the cariba's will stay.
By the way you have very nice collection of p's
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Raptor said:
I am interested in a small schoel of piraya.
Did ya get em from oliver?
And also what is the growth rate of your schoel.
I probably only go with 6. I have bought a 220 gal. And I have a piraya now and he seems relentless in letting all the others (cariba's) That he's the man.
No real probs though.
I Earlier wanted 10 but i have been reading some of your posts
and i think maybe with the tank size and aggression of these guys. That 6 whould be better. They're in a 90 now. And the cariba's will stay.
By the way you have very nice collection of p's
Yes, I did get my shoal of piraya from Oliver. They were around 3.5 - 5.5" when I got them, and now are right around 6 - 9". I have had them for five months now.

I would suggest getting a couple more piraya than what you intend on keeping long term. That way if an aggressive individual or two make themselves to be a nuisance, you can remove them and still have a number that you can be content with. This is what has worked for me so far.
 
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