red piranha

Scientific name Pygocentrus nattereri
Descriptor Kner
Year of description 1858
IUCN category NE
Family Serrasalmidae
Genus Pygocentrus
Pygocentrus nattereri Pygocentrus nattereri

Introduction

Pygocentrus nattereri, commonly known as red piranha, is a fresh water fish from the Amérique du Sud.

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Who is it?

Morphology

  • Average size
    30 cm
  • Maximum size
    50 cm
  • Longevity
    10 year
  • Shape
    Ovoid
  • Average size
    30 cm
  • Maximum size
    50 cm
  • Longevity
    10 year
  • Shape
    Ovoid

How to recognize the red piranha ?

The red piranha measures between 30 and 50 cm. This fish is bicolore with a predominantly rouge and or body.

Sexual dimorphism

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    carnivorous
  • Sociability
    gregarious
  • territorial
    Yes
  • Way of living
    diurnal

This species is known to emit sounds easily audible by humans.

The red piranha is a fish gregarious naturally found mid-depth and near surface. The members of each group are organized around a well established hierarchy. This species is carnivorous .

The red piranha is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. Relationships between conspecifics are also hectic, with each seeking to secure its place. Parrying or even sustained fighting can occur between dominant males.

Reproduction

  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The red piranha is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert. This fish protects its eggs from nearby predators.

Life-threatening species

  • Venomous
    No
  • Bite
    Yes

This species can attack if it feels threatened. It is important to be particularly vigilant especially during dives or fishing sessions. In the most serious cases, it can cause death.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    22 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    5.5 - 7
  • gh (hardness)
    2 - 10
  • Flow
    Medium and Slow

Biotope presentation

Species of the same biotope

Main recommendations for fishkeeping

Deontology

In order to preserve wildlife, if you acquire this animal, it must not be released into the wild. See also, the Fishipedia charter.

Fishipedia supports the practice of responsible and environmentally friendly aquarium keeping. We encourage maintenance if it is motivated by a desire to understand the biological functioning of living things and if it is done with respect for animal life.

We believe that aquaristics is an opening to the discovery of aquatic environments, especially freshwater, and that this knowledge is necessary to better protect and respect these environments. Logically, we refute the compulsive purchase of animals that would not find a sufficient and / or adapted place in the host aquarium.

Our recommendations

  • Min volume
    800 liters
  • Population min
    8
  • Temperature
    22 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    5.5 - 7

Characteristics

  • Difficulty breeding
    hard
  • Robustness
    tolerant
  • Behaviour
    moderately aggressive
  • Availability
    occasional

General reminders

It is strongly advised to read the complete dedicated file and to get information on the feedbacks of maintenance of the envisaged animal, this to avoid any potential conflict whose end result is generally the death of the individual (or the other inhabitants). It is important not to overload your aquarium to limit pollution. This will make maintenance easier.

In nature, animals are subject to weather conditions and live in waters with variable characteristics. The recommendations offered by our team for aquarium maintenance are a guidance and cannot be assimilated to scientific datas.

General reminder on maintenance datas

Le démarrage d'un aquarium est une partie primordiale pour l'équilibre et le bien-être des poissons. Lorsque l'on met en eau un aquarium, l'eau passe naturellement par un cycle biologique : le cycle de l'azote. Celui-ci dure environ trois semaines. Tous les 2 jours, nous vous conseillons de tester votre eau jusqu'à ce que le taux de nitrite soit à zéro pendant plusieurs jours d'affilée.

Pour accélérer ce cycle, vous pouvez utiliser un activateur de bactéries comme JBL Denitrol. Cette solution riche en bactéries vivantes et enzymes permet une mise en place rapide du cycle de l'azote. Les poissons peuvent alors être introduits plus rapidement.

Il est important de tester l'eau de son aquarium régulièrement pour maintenir un environnement sain pour les poissons et les autres habitants. Les tests d'eau permettent de mesurer les niveaux de différents paramètres tels que le pH, la dureté totale, ainsi que les taux de nitrates, de nitrites et d'ammoniaque.

Pour réaliser ces tests, vous pouvez utiliser des produits d'analyse spécialisés tels que JBL ProScan qui permet de réaliser un diagnostic de l'eau directement via un smartphone. Il existe également des coffrets de tests plus classiques de bandelettes, comme JBL PROAQUATEST.

En cas d’usage de l’eau du robinet, vous pouvez utiliser un conditionneur d’eau de type Biotopol de JBL pour éliminer les substances nocives comme le chlore, le cuivre, le plomb et le zinc. Les conditionneurs d'eau garantissent une meilleure santé aux poissons et une meilleure croissance des plantes.

Chlorine and chloramine are dangerous for the health of animals. Used to disinfect water, these agents are present in significant quantities in tap water. We recommend using an anti-chlorine agent every time you change the water. In addition to chlorine, treatments and medicines sold for aquarium use sometimes contain dangerous heavy metals in high doses.

Specific needs for the red piranha

The red piranha is a species which lives naturally at a temperature between 22 °C and 30 °C. For proper maintenance, the temperature should never exceed the 33°C for long periods. Nitrate levels should remain below 50mg/L. To keep the water clean and unpolluted, plan on changing 20% to 30% of the water volume each month.

The red piranha is a species whose maintenance is rather reserved for informed aquarists . It can only be successfully carried out by carrying out a minimum of documentation work. Special husbandry conditions can easily lead to the death of the species or other animals.

This species is generally available in specialized shops or from aquarium clubs. Specimens that have been bred for a long time are easier to breed, but special water parameters must be respected.

Cohabitation & Environment

The red piranha is a fish which it is advisable to maintain in specific aquarium. Associating it with other species is not fundamentally impossible but a documentation work is necessary for the constitution of the population. Being a gregarious fish, it is advisable to install at least 8 individuals in an aquarium of 800 liters minimum. Group maintenance is a prerequisite to ensure their well-being. Lonely individuals tend to quickly become stressed and become especially susceptible to disease.

Tips for feeding

The red piranha is carnivorous.

This species can eat dry food (flakes, pellets), fresh food and frozen food. To avoid deficiencies, it is recommended to vary the types of food.

You should not overfeed your residents to avoid polluting the water. For most species, it is better to feed a few small portions each day rather than one large meal.

Food recommendations from our partner JBL - Products PRONOVO

Reproduction protocol

  • Maintenance difficulty
    hard
  • Spawning cleaning
    Female & Male
  • egg-laying protection
    Female & Male
  • Fry protection

Reproduction of this species in an aquarium is considered hard. Ideally, it takes place at a temperature of around 25 ° C for a pH of 6.5 .

Hybridization risks

In general, it is advised not to mix several species of the same genus or different varieties of the same species, to avoid the risks of hybridization.

These animals might interest you

To go further

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To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Robert Allgayer

Robert Allgayer

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer

Translation

Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

In collaboration with : Fédération Française Aquariophilie

Bibliographic references

Breeding behaviour of the red-bellied piranha,Pygocentrus nattereri, in nature - Massao Uetanabaro - Tobias Wang - Augusto S. Abe - Environmental Biology of Fishes - 1993.

Environment‐related life‐history trait variations of the red‐bellied piranha Pygocentrus nattereri in two river basins of the Bolivian Amazon - F. Duponchelle - F. Lino - N. Hubert - J. Panfili - J.‐F. Renno - E. Baras - J. P. Torrico - R. Dugue - J. Nuñez - journal of fish biology - 2007.

Sound production in red-bellied piranhas : an acoustical, behavioural and morphofunctional study - Sandie Millot - Pierre Vandewalle - Eric Parmentier - Journal of Experimental Biology - 2011.

Red-bellied Piranha Pygocentrus nattereri Kner, 1858 (Characiformes: Serrasalmidae) in open waters in R. Macedonia - Kostov Vasil - Ristovska Milica - Julijana Arsovska - Jordanova Maja - Prelik Dana - Environmental Biology of Fishes - 2016.

Red Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) : Ecological Risk Screening Summary - Massao Uetanabaro - Tobias Wang - Augusto S. Abe - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - 2018.

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