How to Set up a Piranha Tank

Written by lawrence gould
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Fish are fascinating creatures to have in your home. Watching them in your aquarium is relaxing and entertaining. Perhaps the most feared fish of all, the piranha, is legal in many states and can be kept successfully in a home aquarium.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 55 gallons (or larger) fish tank
  • Filtration
  • Gravel
  • Piranha
  • Food
  • Dechlorinator

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  1. 1

    Determine if piranha are legal in your state. (See Reference)

  2. 2

    Purchase an aquarium of at least 55 gallons as well as gravel and a proper filtration system. Make sure the filtration system is strong enough to filter at least double the amount of gallons your tank holds. The stronger the filter, the clearer the water. Piranha are voracious, messy eaters, and strong filtration is a must. Your local pet store will be able to help you determine which filter is suitable.

  3. 3

    Purchase either sliders (long thin fish available at your local pet store), krill (frozen shrimp-like crustaceans) or buy feeder goldfish if you will be feeding your piranhas live food. Piranhas prefer live food, and it is interesting to watch them eat.

  4. 4

    Set up the fish tank by putting gravel in it then filling it with water. Put the hood on the tank.

  5. 5

    Turn on the filters and add dechlorinator into the tank. Piranha are freshwater fish and require no salt. Let the filters and tank run for 24 hours to insure there are no leaks.

  6. 6

    Purchase piranha from your local pet store. Be sure to get young piranha and make sure their eyes are intact. In many cases, young piranha eat each other's eyes as their teeth are extremely sharp, and they get nervous during transportation.

  7. 7

    Feed the piranha once, preferably twice, a week if using live food. If feeding frozen, once daily is sufficient. Be sure to feed the piranha no more than they will eat at one time as excess food will turn to ammonia and cause problems in the tank.

Tips and warnings

  • Piranha are actually shy fish. You can safely clean the tank with your hands, if you choose, although caution should be taken. There are many instruments made which allow you to clean the tank without ever putting your hands in. Also, make sure you drain one quarter of the tank each month, replacing it with dechlorinated water.

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