Red-Bellied Pirahna

ninjacheesefish

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Helloo.
 
So I've gone an adventure and got a red-bellied piranha. Don't know whether its male or female, so I called it Fluffy.
 
Anyway a few questions:
1) Is there anyway I can safely clean the tank without it going crazy?
2) Is it normal for them to go crazy at nothing?
3) What sort of tank decor is preferable? At the moment its got bogwood and some live plants that he shreds *thinking of going plastic*
 
Many thankies in advanced. 
 

Clearwaters

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Most tanks I've seen them in have a few rocks and that's it, as with feeding them a lot of cleaning is needed to keep tank healthy, so more bare easier to keep. I'm no expert though, others on here will have better info for you.
 

phantomlink

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Only one?  It wont really be too happy by itself and it'll be really shy.  What size is the tank? I hope its huge
 

Dominus_XVIII

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Red bellies tend to be skiddish fish, so you shouldn't have any issues with cleaning the tank. I've kept numerous species of piranhas and from my own experience, red bellies are one of the safest.
From what I gathered from you saying: "normal from them to go crazy over nothing?" it's most likely your red belly feels stressed and threatend.
Piranhas need hiding places, either it be a heavily planted tank or large driftwood and rocks, as these fish originate from the blackwater river basins of the Amazon. Which means they also prefer dimmed lighting.
Use natural decor, you'll learn very soon that using plastic will kill your piranha. Piranhas go through a teething phase, so chewing their decor is to be expected. If you use plastic, there is a very high chance that your piranha may ingest the pieces and die from clogged intestines.
Stay away from feeding live as well, I can't stress this enough. Numerous individuals buy piranhas just for the sake of feeding live goldfish to them. Store raised feeder goldfish contain massive amounts of growth steroids and parasites, which will damage your piranhas live over time and cause a slow and painful death. Piranhas need a balanced diet of high protein foods. Either it be high quality carnivore pellets (Hikari), salmon fillet pieces or even home raised platties/swordtails or even baby convict cichlids.
Hope this helps, feel free to ask me any other questions.
 

njstockley

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I feed mine Hikari Massivore Delite which they love and keeps their colours really bright.
 
I have a shoal of 7 and never had any issues when my hands have been in the tank - best to keep the lights on though as they are dawn/dusk predators so are wary of the lights when they're on.
 
Big bits of bogwood / rounded river stones look great in piranha tanks and will help him feel comfortable and come out more.
 

laurac94

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If you only have one fish it will probably just be scared of you approaching the tank, as it grows it will become more comfortable with you being around the tank and won't go 'crazy' as much.
Mine move away from my hand and have never even looked like they were going to bite, so just clean as if you were cleaning a peaceful community tank and you will be fine, especially as your confidence grows.
Just don't do anything stupid like try to touch it, remember it has sharp teeth so just respect the fish.
Hope this helps;-)
 

Mikey1

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red bellies are very shy and feel threatened easily,
 
this behaviour will be worse if the tank is small, or they dont have enough hiding places, or the light is very bright
 
red bellies are easily stressed out, they only feel comfortable and "at ease" in an extremely large tank (200+ gallons) with lots of shelter/hiding places, and dim lighting
 

laurac94

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I've got lots of bogwood to provide hiding places and sone long grasses they seem to enjoy swimming through
If it is only a young piranha and since it is on its own it will be very skittish with you approaching the tank if there are not many hiding places for it:)
I'll try to upload a pic but the file sizes are all too big atm:-(

This is half of the tank..had to crop the image but you get the jist:)
 

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Mikey1

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laurac94 said:
If it is only a young piranha and since it is on its own it will be very skittish with you approaching the tank if there are not many hiding places for it:)
 
 
being by itself should not matter, a lone single piranha can feel comfortable and at ease if the conditions are right,
 
piranhas are not really a shoaling/schooling species, they only gather together out of fear, for protection when the are afraid, nervous, or feel threatened,
 
if you have multiple piranhas in a tank, they will normally stay away from each other and defend their "territory" from one another, not swim or shoal together
 

dbanner

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Id say 50gal minimum for a single red belly. I had 5 red bellys... 1 got killed by the rest quite early on so obviously i was left with 4... then out of nowhere my biggest RB turned psycho and killed the rest. He was crazy. Mine where in a 125 gal so plenty of room, plenty of hiding places and so on. Despite what ppl say red bellys are not killing machines lol they are actually very shy and dont do much. Just tend to stay in 1 part of the tank, they need lots of cover as they hate light. Although... as i said, my remaining piranha was a nut job. I couldnt ever put my hand in the tank to clean it or move anything without him darting for my fingers. He was just over 7 inches when he was rehomed. I didnt have any problems putting my hands in before he decided to go crazy lol as for decor i just had sand and a few rocks, dim lighting is essential. As is ALOT of filtration. Around 10x your tank water volume as they are very messy fish.
 

Mikey1

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dbanner said:
 As is ALOT of filtration. Around 10x your tank water volume as they are very messy fish.
 
yeah i agree,
 
thats one thing i hated about keeping them, constantly vacuuming and picking out left over food from the tank
 

fishforumnetter

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Mikey1 said:
 
 As is ALOT of filtration. Around 10x your tank water volume as they are very messy fish.
 
yeah i agree,
 
thats one thing i hated about keeping them, constantly vacuuming and picking out left over food from the tank
 
Actually clearing away left over food isn't a bad thing.
 

brandoncw

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phantomlink said:
Only one?  It wont really be too happy by itself and it'll be really shy.  What size is the tank? I hope its huge
i have to disagree, i have a single red belly piranha, i got it when it was less than 2 inches long, it is now 5 inches long after just a few months of raising it. The fish used to be pretty skittish but now it will nearly eat from my hand, it may do it if i let it eat from my hand, but those teeth, yeah, im not getting any closer to them. when i walk in the room it kinda "greets" me probably expecting food
 
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