Piranhas are unique creatures that have gained popularity not just because of their appearance, but also because of the many myths that are told about them.
Whichever of those species you choose, you should have an aquarium of at least 100 gallons. A group of 5-6 piranhas is very appropriate; however if you want them breeding it’s best to keep a pair only, so that there are no other fish to irritate them. To find a mating pair select two adult piranhas, one thick and the other thinner – in most cases thick piranhas represent females and thinner piranhas represent males. Just make sure you aren’t looking at them after they have been fed. Although having found a man and a female doesn’t automatically mean success, it’s a step on the way.
The ideal temperature is between 73°-83°F. Standard fluorescent bulbs are fine for the light. Piranhas also enjoy some protective cover, and you should also produce the light of half of the aquarium darker than the other. Piranhas are hardy fish but it’s a good idea to maintain the water clean and clear. In their first Amazon River habitat, the rainy season is when most fish spawn. Frequent and larger water changes seem to have an immense effect on the success of breeding (as they simulate the rainy season) and are most helpful in getting the piranhas into breeding condition.
When your piranhas lose all their colour and turn almost completely black, they are in breeding condition! Both of them may start to protect a specific place; chasing off other piranhas that come too near. When they start picking up gravel in their mouths like digging, it usually means they’ve already started the mating procedure. Be careful not to disturb your piranhas during this time! The female will release eggs into the pit, and then leave the nest (but might stay close by it). The man is usually responsible for guarding the nest and eggs. The amount of eggs laid varies from 700-4000. The eggs hatch in 2-3 days.
If you are fortunate enough to have reached this stage, then it’s time to look after the fry. Prepare a 10 to 15 gallon tank with heater and undergravel filter. Water should be from the parents’ tank. Be very, very careful when transferring the fry, as the parents can be extremely protective and aggressive. The fry will quickly absorb their yolk sacs and you can begin feeding them live baby brine shrimp as food.
1 thing you should be aware of is the legal issues. Some states do not allow the sell or ownership of piranhas in any respect. Other states require that you get a license to sell or own a piranha. Be sure to check to find out if any regional restrictions apply before buying your piranhas.