Piranha in the aquarium

There are many sorts of stories and even legends and myths about the bloodthirsty creature, about how the travelers were attacked by piranhas or when piranhas eat a huge beast the size of a bull for a few minutes.

What is a piranha?

Here’s what he wrote A. Newman in his book “Lungs of our planet”: “I reverently stared at the water ejected from Isidro fish. Small in size (15-20 cm in length), they do not produce special impression. Just take a look in it’s mouth, you know the reason for such a high “efficiency”: the jaws are lined with a thick row of teeth are serrated, like saws, the edges; these jaws they close with incredible force. To this must be added that by closing the jaws the upper teeth are exactly between the teeth of the bottom, allowing the fish like a razor to cut chunks of skin and meat from the body of the victim”.

Piranhas live in freshwater bodies of South America. Huge flocks to attack any prey, tearing pieces of meat from the victim’s body, tearing it, is the anatomical structure of the jaws and teeth of these predators. Piranhas, able to strip to the skeleton is quite a large animal, or for 10-20 seconds to break off a big fish.

The piranhas react to the splashing of water and the smell of blood. Trapped blood in the water they feel a few tens of meters.

If in a tank full of hungry predators to let a pipette a few drops of blood, within a minute, the smell, and the taste of blood will lead the piranha into a frenzy.

Nature has endowed them with such functions, because piranhas eat, primarily of sick or injured animals, so in principle they can be considered underwater orderlies, in a certain sense.

The behavior of piranhas in the aquarium is dramatically different from the behavior in nature. In the aquarium fish are most relaxed and less aggressive, but do not forget about their bloodthirsty nature.

There were cases when, during the transplantation of fish, for self-defense, piranhas were gnawing at the net neat round hole.

Aquarium piranhas are very timid, strongly react to noise or sudden movement. There were cases when during catching, transport, the aquarium, tapping on the finger with a sharp approach to the aquarium “horrible and bloody” piranha fainted in the truest sense of the word.

During faint they lie on the side on the bottom and almost beat in the seizure, but quickly come to life.

Therefore, fallen into a swoon piranha, not throw away from the aquarium, dead fish.

PIRANHAS (Serrasalmidae) type:

1. Piranha ordinary (Rooseveltiella nattereri), length 30 cm

2. Big piranha (Pygocentrus piraya), length to 60 cm.

Piranhas, Piranesi, Pirie, Caribbean (Serrasalmidae), a family of carnivorous fish of the order Cypriniformes. Powerful jaw, sharp teeth.

Common piranha that is most common in our aquariums, youth (up to 7-8 months of age) painted in silver color, with dark back, their bodies scattered rather large blackish circular spots. The chest and the base of the pectoral fin red, anal fin large Carmine. In males it is slightly pointed and is markedly concave. The caudal fin is grey with black stripes on the base. When the body length reaches piranhas 8 cm or more, the spots fade and disappear, the whole body of the fish becomes grey-silver; lighter and anal fin, but during spawning it becomes bright again.

The piranha is better to have a flock of five to eight fish of the same size and age as follows: under normal feeding they relate to each other quite “gentlemanly”, but subject to compliance with nutritinal hierarchy. Before the year of such a flock can be kept in a tank of 150-200L, and later – at least 250-400l. In tanks with small capacity may be a manifestation of cannibalism, when a bevy of only one and two individuals. The aquarium is extremely desirable soil and shelter (driftwood, large shrubs artificial or live plants). Definitely, good aeration and filtration. The water temperature can be 24-26°C, hardness – 12-16, a pH of about 7.

Mature fish at the age of 16-18 months. at a length of about 20 cm Spawning pair and can occur in the same aquarium where the fish lived. The male guards the clutch, and in order not to irritate, other fish before spawning should be deposited. The substrate serves as the ground of the aquarium in which the male scoops of regular round shape with a diameter of up to 18-25 cm and a depth of 1-2 cm Stimulator spawning usually serves as a substitution for a quarter of the water volume with simultaneous decrease in pH to 6.5 and hardness to 10° and the water temperature rises to 26-28°C.

Fecundity of adult females is about 1,5-3 thousand eggs. The larvae is 90-95%, and the weekly fry – 75-80% of the number of larvae. To avoid cannibalism, since three weeks of age, young people need weekly sort. The optimal planting density for a 150-gallon tank of fry monthly 300-500, 250-gallon tank two months. Fish of older age contain when the conditions of detention of adults.

Juvenile piranhas can be fed with Artemia nauplii and Cyclops, in a day or two translating into small Cyclops, moin and cut Tubifex. The growth of the fish give small pieces of meat and fish (sea), the problem of “cutting” feed the fry handle themselves. Before the age of two months the fish can be fed bloodworms, Tubifex and Daphnia, gradually introducing into the diet of meat and fish. With age, the proportion of meat and fish increases, and after three months of piranhas, it is desirable to translate into the diet of adult fish: meat (no more than 20% because of the risk of obesity), cut and whole fish, dead. From live feeds and give the fry a large aquarium fish (including sick and injured), tadpoles and frogs: it is desirable to add to the diet, albeit in small amounts, food of plant origin and containing chitin (crustaceans, large insects).

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