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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading on Shark Aquarium that these species can be shoaled (Serrasalmus medinei or sanchezi). Anyone tried it?
 

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Nurses Do It Better
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Technically Serrasalmus species are solitary fish. It is at what cost you are willing to put up with such an experiment. Hey, i've seen it first hand a shoal of elongs packed in a 20 gallon with no fin nips....It's all up to you...People will tell you no, others will say go for it...I doubt Sanchezi or any Serra would successfully shoal without a very large tank. My experience is that it will destroy anything that moves. When i had mine in the 55 i had a pleco 3 times his size and he still killed it by drilling a hole through his head.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
jerry_plakyda said:
Technically Serrasalmus species are solitary fish. It is at what cost you are willing to put up with such an experiment. Hey, i've seen it first hand a shoal of elongs packed in a 20 gallon with no fin nips....It's all up to you...People will tell you no, others will say go for it...I doubt Sanchezi or any Serra would successfully shoal without a very large tank. My experience is that it will destroy anything that moves. When i had mine in the 55 i had a pleco 3 times his size and he still killed it by drilling a hole through his head.
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Well I have a 90 Gallon that I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with. I'm gonna have 3 baby rbps and maybe 1 piraya in my 75 Gallon. The 90.....I'm just exploring ideas, maybe a piraya and caribe shoal. However, 3 sanchezi's might be worth a shot.
 

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azeral26 Posted Today, 03:43 PM
I was reading on Shark Aquarium that these species can be shoaled (Serrasalmus medinei or sanchezi). Anyone tried it?
First, piranas cannot be "shoaled" in the literal sense, shoaled makes it sound like they are going to be peaceful like neon tetras or guppy's and nothing could be farther from the truth. So we come to compatibility. Most p's are not compatible because they engage in finbiting and sometimes mortal bites. This behavior is most evident with Serrasalmus species. Because some species like S. maculatus are found in small groups in the wild, it seems some hobbyists think their fish tank is the rio Guapore. It's not. Its an unnatural situation and they are confined to a small space. What does a photo op prove? nothing, except to those gullible to believe its worth a million words. Realistically, Serrasalmus species when juveniles can exist with a minimal of damage (loss of fins or eyes) for a short duration.

What constitutes a short duration? Anything from a few hours or until they reach subadult size. What happens when they are grouped together basically depends on several things, water temperature and tank size are considerations. Piranas are unpredicable and for anyone to suggest they "shoal" is either irresponsible or lack any real knowledge of the beast and what the term "shoal" actually means. Science (W.L. Fink, 1997) clearly stated they do not shoal in the literal sense. And that is the world foremost authority on these critters. I would certainly take his observations over some guy on the internet.

So does that mean you shouldn't try? As a collector, I wouldn't simply because I enjoy my fishes pristine and undamaged. So it comes down to what you are after. If it is grouping of the species then mortality or fin damage are something you'd better seriously consider. Don't be fooled into believing a photo taken at a moment of time to suggest it is long term "shoaling". It's not worth anymore than photos of BIGFOOT suggesting the species is real.
 

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hastatus said:
First, piranas cannot be "shoaled" in the literal sense, shoaled makes it sound like they are going to be peaceful like neon tetras or guppy's and nothing could be farther from the truth. So we come to compatibility. Most p's are not compatible because they engage in finbiting and sometimes mortal bites. This behavior is most evident with Serrasalmus species. Because some species like S. maculatus are found in small groups in the wild, it seems some hobbyists think their fish tank is the rio Guapore. It's not. Its an unnatural situation and they are confined to a small space. What does a photo op prove? nothing, except to those gullible to believe its worth a million words. Realistically, Serrasalmus species when juveniles can exist with a minimal of damage (loss of fins or eyes) for a short duration.

What constitutes a short duration? Anything from a few hours or until they reach subadult size. What happens when they are grouped together basically depends on several things, water temperature and tank size are considerations. Piranas are unpredicable and for anyone to suggest they "shoal" is either irresponsible or lack any real knowledge of the beast and what the term "shoal" actually means. Science (W.L. Fink, 1997) clearly stated they do not shoal in the literal sense. And that is the world foremost authority on these critters. I would certainly take his observations over some guy on the internet.

So does that mean you shouldn't try? As a collector, I wouldn't simply because I enjoy my fishes pristine and undamaged. So it comes down to what you are after. If it is grouping of the species then mortality or fin damage are something you'd better seriously consider. Don't be fooled into believing a photo taken at a moment of time to suggest it is long term "shoaling". It's not worth anymore than photos of BIGFOOT suggesting the species is real.
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ding ding ding we have a winner.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What is the definition of a shoal then? A large group or number: a shoal of fish. Or is there some definition of shoal which specifically refers to them not only living in groups, but their behavior and reasons for that behavior in groups.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was just checking the validity of what George presented on his site. Which was:

Red Throat Piranha 4-5"
Serrasalmus medinei or sanchezi

These piranha are medium sized, can be kept in shoals, have reflective scales, and a red throat.

Evidently , he has presented inaccurate information and I suppose my question has been partially answered because I still want to know the expieriences of the people that have tryed it.
 

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There are a number of people that are experimenting with various Serra's together. Frank is trying to make you understand that you can put the fish together and they might live together fine. However it's likely they will chew on each other a considerable amount and you could lose expensive fish. If you want to put these fish together and don't mind the fish having shredded tails and fins and you aren't worries about losing fish then go ahead and put them together.

If you do give this a try keep us posted on the results.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll keep you guys posted. The liklihood of me keeping serras together is very low. I was just probing for info.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
azeral26 said:
I'll keep you guys posted. The liklihood of me keeping serras together is very low. I was just probing for info.
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I want to keep a "group" of piranhas in the 90 and I was exploring all the options.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think I'll make it ,the 90, the Highlander Tank. Riverwonders has 5 baby assorted blacks for cheap. I'll drop them in and "There can be only one"
hahahahhaaa
 

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I have a video of 2 Sanchezi's that are 4 Yr's old and living together and they stay really close to each other but don't nip each other at all. They are totally at peace. No violence in this instance.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
KrazyCrusader said:
I have a video of 2 Sanchezi's that are 4 Yr's old and living together and they stay really close to each other but don't nip each other at all. They are totally at peace. No violence in this instance.
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This partial might be of interest to you since the term "shoal" is still evident. Its an answer that biologist seem more comfortable with.

One unresolved question about schools concerns definition. "Obviously one fish is not a school; is two fish a school?" asks Julia K. Parrish, a University of Washington zoologist who has studied schooling in various ocean species. "I, personally, do not believe that two fish is a school, but there are definitely people who put two fish together and say they're studying schooling behavior. "I think of a school as enough individuals to form a three-dimensional structure," she says," so we're in the high tens to low hundreds as a minimum number." Some schools have millions of members and span an area as large as a small town.

A number of researchers have avoided the difficulty by using the term "shoal" for all groups of fish and then classifying them as either simple aggregations or schools. "Schools would be what you probably think of as a group of fish traveling together that turn with an impressive synchrony and in unison...rather like coordinated airplanes doing those maneuvers at air shows," says Tony Pitcher, director of the University of British Columbia Fisheries Center. True schools have distinct boundaries, Parrish notes. "There are lots of fish and then no fish. It's not that they sort of peter out."
That clarifies the term "shoal" as far as science is concerned. Should hobbyist avoid it? I would simply because I stated above Piranas don't shoal in the usual sense. Let me give you an example. If you do a search in google you can come up with a lot of explanations for the term "shoal" including the one you described above. But another consideration why do fish form "shoals". Largely it is a number of young (and adult) prey fishes (for protection) that predators eat, usually found in the 100's. So what is a pirana? A predator in the literal sense. And they are territorial so when you add some other distinctive characters to define whether or not a pirana "shoals" then you can comprehend why the term doesn't fit with piranas as a whole. Most as full grown adult go off on solitary trips or can come together as a small group (20-25 individuals). That still doesn't form a shoal. If you have a 100 young fry of P. nattereri in a tank would that be a shoal? Yes until they no longer are in that number and decrease themselves through predation. Then you can understand why the term "shoal" doesn't apply to Pygocentrus either.

So if I were to define what a pirana forms it would be as follows; Group = any small number of predatory fish (ie; piranas) that consists of 50 members or less .(<<<<period).

And I would leave the term "shoal" to your feeder goldfish or guppy's. As for the S. sanchezi, that can be left open to interpretation and in order to understand what I wrote about compatibility requires you study the Serrasalmus species and its feeding habits in the wild. S. sanchezi behave as solitary individuals usually found with P. nattereri because they most resemble their sisters by the scaling, red belly and body shape. The reason why they have this wolf in sheep clothing attire, is because they feed on Pygocentrus fins. So we are back to that again and its natural behavior.
 

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PS: Since George's name was brought up. If George has a large quantity of piranas in a tank, he can call it a "shoal". It doesn't necessarily make it so by definition. So don't criticize him for using that term. I'm just trying to educate you hobbyist on proper terminology and not a dealer is right or wrong.
 

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Captain P
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Excellent reply. That cleared up a lot of questions I had. So the sanchezi , in some cases, eats the fins of the natteri for a food source. I thought the fin nipping was exclusively for territory issues (It was a newbie assumption). Weird. That is
. You have expanded my understanding.
 

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Captain P
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Also since it is in the nature of a serra to fin nip as a food source, then...eventually one of them would be weakened by that behavior and they will just kill it. Hence why it is a wild card to keep them together right?
 
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